Monday, April 15, 2013

Bébé ♥

"You can't plan your own baby shower!" ... I heard this from nearly everyone. I'm here to tell you that you can, indeed, plan your own baby shower, if you like that sort of thing. And if you have amazing friends who will help you pull it off, you're officially as lucky as I am!

When I told Cookie I was pregnant [she was the first to know after Brandon because we work together and there was no way that I could keep it from her!] we immediately started talking about parties. As you well know, I love to throw parties. Themed parties being my favorite, Cookie and I started narrowing down the ideas.

I don't like baby showers. There, I said it! Most of them are just "too much" for me to handle with the terrible games [Really? Melting candy bars in diapers and measuring how FAT a pregnant person is? Who the hell came up with this torture?] and the present-opening, etc. So I decided that I really just wanted a garden party at tea time that would also double as a celebration in anticipation for Winnie's arrival. My rules were simple ... men and women were invited, there must be a themed cocktail, no games, and I wasn't going to open presents while everyone stared at me and giggled. I got 3 out of 4, so needless to say, I'm very pleased with the outcome. In the end, I realized that the opening of the gifts isn't really about the gift-getter, but the gift-giver. People like to see you open presents they give you. So, I sat down on a beautiful velvet couch and opened them one by one like a good little [giant] pregnant lady.

I don't like a hard theme, just a feel ... so I went with ethereal, with a dash of French country. So, lots of ethereal decorating provided by Cookie ... greenery, fresh flowers, dropped off that morning by Ashlee Kirby, jute and burlap over linen, white, clear and green glass pieces everywhere. I chose lavender as the complementary color, so we had dried lavender spread around in the centerpieces. Everything was lovely. For the cocktail, I mixed equal parts of Bombay Sapphire Gin & Verdi Spumante, lemon juice and a sprig of mint. We also served sweet tea, hot peppermint tea with honey sticks and cucumber water. [beyond pissed that I didn't get a picture of the beverage station!] For the food, I made pasta salad with andouille sausage, cucumber sandwiches [Daigle and I invented a new kind; rye toast with herbed cream cheese, layered cucumbers and a sprig of dill ... divine!], home-style fries with dried herbs. Daigle made a fantastic cheese spread with croissants, open-faced mini shrimp po-boys, and some really awesome fruit salsa with cinnamon and gingerbread pita chips. As for the dessert table, we had cupcakes  and macarons from Buttercups provided by Mari Williford, key lime pie, white chocolate-dipped rice crispy treats, so much delectable fruit and my personal favorite ... kiwi sorbet! I'll be posting some recipes soon; the sorbet was kind of a "wing it" situation for me since I didn't like most of the recipes online, which often happens. But it turned out perfect and was a big hit.

The Symphony House on Centenary's campus provided a beautiful venue. The hundred-year-old historical house is now used by the Shreveport Symphony Guild and can be rented as a venue at a decent price. Cookie, Daigle & I made all the food and decorated the dining room [complete with  wood floors, 15 ft ceilings, a full size harp and grand piano] to the nines. I had such a wonderful time! I'll be posting recipes soon, but for now, here are some pictures ...

I'd like to offer a special thank you to those who came to celebrate with us. There was a lot going on that day including another shower, a wedding, a funeral, and the Cork Wine Festival. So, it truly means a lot to me that you came! I'd also like to thank my hostesses Ashlie Daigle and Cookie DuBois for providing lots of fabulousness for me to work with. I could not have had my dream shower with out you!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Every Day is Wednesday!

Well, I think it might be time to tell the internet the not-so-secret secret name we've picked out for our daughter. I'm about 33 weeks along and so it is getting harder and harder not to talk about in mixed company! I have been calling her Bubble because ... she looks like a bubble from the outside, right? Brandon calls her WEOH which is the acronym for her initials and it's fun to shout out-loud or sing with the melody of your favorite song. Okay, I'll give you a few hints ... ready?

Confused yet? It's Wednesday, her name is Wednesday. ♥

Since no decision of ours is made lightly, I'll give you a bit of history. Brandon and I have a unique kinship to the band QUEEN, more specifically Freddie, that dates back to the night we met and a t-shirt that I didn't buy at Hot Topic. So, we've always talked about naming a child Freddie or the like. Well, when we found out it was a girl [yay!] we thought about Winnifred and calling her Freddie. Alas, I could not let go of Wednesday, a name that I've loved since I first saw the Addams Family years ago. It's just so unique! 

There is a precedent, calendar names have been used for hundreds of years ... surely you know an April, May, June, Autumn, Summer, or maybe one of each! Other popular calendar names are currently gaining popularity such as Sunday and Winter, so I'm not reaching too far. As we mulled it over, we kept going back and forth between Winnifred and Wednesday, it occurred to me that they both would use Winnie as a nickname, one that I think is precious and would work if you're 8 or 80. [and explains Winifred Sanderson's appearance in the picture line-up.] After doing a bit of research, it turns out that Wednesday is a Germanic translation of a Latin word from the 2nd century meaning "day of Mercury." Oh, like Freddie Mercury! Beyond that, Mercury is the ruling planet of Geminis; the sign of which she and I are both ascribed, astrologically. As for the old man pictured above, Wednesday is considered Odin's Day. Odin is a Norse god, who represents victory and death, but also magic, shamanism, poetry and wisdom.

Our only rules for naming were that we didn't want anything made up, we wanted a bit of history to the name [or word], and we wanted it to be unique. Well ... jackpot, right? If you don't like it ... you'll be in the company of 67% of people we've told, including our family. However, I promise it will grow on you. Spoiler alert ... her name is crazy long and involves two middle names that we'll announce later. Gotta save something for her birthday, right? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Steak! ♥

More food, yes. So I've been on a beef kick lately. I didn't eat a lot of beef before I got pregnant, but I find myself craving it in my third trimester. Must be this giant baby I'm carrying around! I got some beautiful sirloin steaks at Gucci Brookshires last week and decided to be minimalist about things for once. I simply diced them up, lightly seasoned the chunks with S&P and a little olive oil drizzle. I served crispy veggies on top. I like to cook asparagus in olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice and pepper. I'm in a can't-stop-wont-stop situation with asparagus right now, so it's in everything. Peppers have always been my favorite vegetable. I like them crisply cooked or grilled, so this worked out lovely. I cooked the steak first and then added the veggies, cooking the asparagus lastly, since they're huge and don't like to party with others very well. It took about 20 minutes! Simple and easy ... and great for my blood sugar!