Thursday, August 25, 2011


Matt and I took our engagement photos on Tuesday night...and our photographer is CRAZY fast and posted a couple of pictures already....WOoHOo! We only have 13 posted online, he's mailing the rest to us so I will have more to show soon. But with the ones he's put up so far, I think most of them turned out REALLY well! Please comment on his blog, cuz if we get 10 people or more, we get free comment, comment, comment! :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Altitude aptitude! - Shoo Fly Pie

I've lived in Salt Lake City, UT all my life. You'd think I'd be used to the altitude by now, right?? WRONG! This last weekend, I had a wake-up call regarding my high climate life. Last weekend was the fiance's birthday, the big 3-1. :)
Traditionally, we have a dinner at my mom's house and the birthday boy/girl gets to pick what we make for it. Matt requested Jaeger Schnitzel (yay-ger shnit-zle)...yup, I DID just Google that for spelling...and Shoo-Fly Pie instead of cake (because he's crazy, my question: how do you improve cake?). My mom's job was the entree and I was assigned the pie. For those who are not familiar with Pennsylvania-Dutch cooking, this is a wonderful molasses and cinnamon treat! I've only had it once in my life, so perhaps I wasn't the best person for the job...but I decided to give it a shot. I spent a while looking online for recipes and settled on one that had good reviews by Pennsylvanians (they would know, right?). Thank YOU food network, you never fail me.
The pie consists of three layers, the bottom is a crumb mixture (cobbler-like), the middle is the molasses, cinnamon, and cloves. And the top is more of the crumb/cobbler mixture. Let me emphasize, this is one of the EASIEST recipes known to man. Seriously, I can make the most SIMPLE recipes go wrong. I have a knack for it! Proven, keep reading.  ;)
Anyway, Saturday came, and I was so excited to successfully make my first pie! Until, dun dun dun, I came across the one ingredient that would be my downfall....BAKING SODA. Blast the baking soda! The recipe (see below) calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and not thinking, I just threw that bugger right in with the mixture. No problem. Done.
Put it in the oven...wait 30 minutes...
The whole thing went EVERYWHERE in the oven! Epic. fail.
Matt, my wonderful logical half, said, "Oh, wow...what could have caused that?"
Me: "Probably the baking soda...but I don't understand, I did JUST what it says! Ugh!"
Matt: "Huh. Well you accounted for the altitude, right?"
Me: crickets, crickets, crickets....."Ummmmm...."
Matt: "There, there...."
Yeah, whoops. He promptly looked up the conversion for me, and JUST SO YOU ALL KNOW, in Utah, always reduce the baking soda content by 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. Yeah, that'll make a difference!
Good news, not all of the pie ran off.  Bad news, half the pie ran off.  :( *pouty face* And unfortunately, you need the top cobbler part to help solidify the middle/liquid part. Soooo, only half the pie was baked and edible. Saaaad. But, I will say, the part that was baked was DE-LISH!!! And bless my family and Matt's hearts, they were sooo nice about it....awww.  :)
So, here is the recipe, compliments of Food Network. I promise, it really is very simple, I just did the ONE thing I could wrong. I told Matt next year I promise a full pie. ;)

Wishing you happy and properly-leavened baking!

Shoo Fly Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie

Pastry: (I didn't make this part. Pillsbury hooked me up.)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
1.2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

1 cup unsulphured molasses or Pennsylvania Dutch Table Syrup
3/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Crumb topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1.2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
whipped cream, for serving

Pastry: combine flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastr blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the ice water and work it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. Squeeze a small amount together, if it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the counter and a rollnig pin lightly with flour. Roll the dough out into a 10-inch circle; to check the size, put the 9-inch pie pan upside down over the dough. Carefully roll the dough up onto the pin (this may take a little practice) and lay it inside the pie pan. Press the dough firmly into the bottom and sides so t fits tightly. Trim the excess dough around the rim. Place the pt pan on a sturdy cookie sheet so it can prevent spills from burning in the bottom of the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In medium-size mixing bowl, combine the molasses and water; stir in baking soda, eggs and spices.
Crumb topping:
With a pastry blender, mix together the flour, brown sugar, and butter, until it is the texture of coarse crumbs. Take 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture and put it in the bottom of the pie shell, pour in the molasses filling, and scatter the remaining crumbs on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the filling jiggles slightly and the top is firm. Let cool to room temperature before cutting. Serve with whipped cream.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Call

It CAME! IT CAME! iT CaMe!!!!

Okay, had a moment. ;) I just got a phone call, and the dress, MY wedding dress (eek!) that was supposed to ship on the 26th, apparently shipped early, and IT'S HERE!!! I'm sooo excited to pick it up tomorrow, can't wait!

Okay, I'm back, that's all...

Watched pot...blah blah blah

Have you ever noticed how the mail is ALWAYS delivered right. on. time. when you don't care? And have you ever noticed it's ALWAYS late when you're expecting something??? BAH! I know, I know, a watched pot never boils. But seriously!! I need my package! I have the patience of a three-year-old, which is to say I have none.
At the moment I'm expecting an order from the cutest store on the planet: Maurices! What does this have to do with the wedding? Well, like ANY self-respecting female would, I immediately decided that since we are getting engagements done next week, I needed a new outfit! Done! ;)  So, I went online to look, and who knew I chose the BEST year for a teal wedding? Maurices main colors for fall are red and teal! WOoHOo! So, I bought several, and I shall fashion show them for Matt and then take the ones I don't like back to the store (bless in-store returns). I'll let you all know how it goes (once the mail comes!)....'til then!

And how was your weekend?

This last weekend, well, kinda blew by. Wait no, REALLY blew by! I preface this story with, yes, this is wedding related. My dad is a general contractor (the best in the world!!) and he was commissioned last fall to build a greek monument in the International Peace Gardens here in Salt Lake City. Matt got involved and has been helping build it since then. This last month or so, they've really REALLY been working to get it finished.  I was volunteered to help with the first layer of mud on the sculpture last month (messy, but fun!).
They've been painting and sculpting non-stop and this last weekend was the last phase. Matt coerced me on Saturday to come help with the final two coats of stucco on the "lid" part. I was put to work piping stucco onto the lid...and when I say piping, I mean I broke out the cake decor set and went to town! :)
My dad wanted it to look like ruins so there was a specific technique involved. We, and I mean the entire family, spent the day doing that (haha, I'm a stuccoer now...or stuccoist, stuccoette, stuccoess, meh, I dunno!).
Sunday was the day they FINALLY transported it across Salt Lake valley and onto the pillars that were already in place. I went down earlier with Mom, thinking we would watch as they moved it, but seriously, I think I have gray hairs from the stress of it! We couldn't help with it, soooo, we left. It was VERY unerving to watch it teter and groan under the strain, yikes! Matt called me once it was lifted and Mom and I went back down there to take some pictures for dad....and for us all. I LOVE the way they all turned out! My dad is AMAZING at this stuff, and it turned out soooooo beautiful. The coolest part of the story for me, is next week, Matt and I are getting our engagements taken there. I'm so glad I'll have pictures of this work of art my dad and Matt created!

The crew, hard at work. (Matt, my brother Alex, and Dad)

Close-up of the texture...

Isn't it pretty???

Officially: The first engaged couple to take a picture in front of it. 
Funny, there were already TWO brides that afternoon who were
waiting for us to finish and leave so they could get pics in front of it.


The crew

My favorite! The crew, aaaand the help. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Destination anyone????

I know we have a lot of time before the big day. Hell, we have a lot of time before the YEAR of the big day...but there are certain things I would like to accomplish WELL in advance. One of them? Honeymoon. Let's face it, the earlier you book, the better the deals are.
And yes, I know, I know, shouldn't be that difficult to choose a destination.  After all, it's pretty much a splurge vacation. But Matt and I have had some trouble coming up with places we would like to go. What's the issue, you ask? Most people love to do the beach thing for a honeymoon. And, for starters, I'm about as dark as an albino. Plus, I don't tan, I glow. No really, I DO. If you're next to me in the sunlight, you need sunglasses because of me...more than the sun. Yeeeeuuupp!
Soo, because of this, I'm not exactly enthralled with the idea of a tropical setting. Sure, it's fun to lay on beach, but only when you can stay in the sun longer than ten minutes. Did I mention I burn like crazy??? I drove down the canyon in my car last weekend with my arm in the sun....I now have a sunburn. That would be a fifteen minute drive. Fif-teen. Minutes. So you see, we're trying to think outside the box with this whole honeymoon thing. Does anyone have any suggestions? Where are some fun places? Where did you go on your honeymoon? We've never been on a cruise, so that would be fun. But since we've never been, I have NO clue where we should go or anything about a cruise! I would be grateful for any and all suggestions on this one. We DO have a lot of time, so there's no need to panic about scheduling it yet, but I'd like to get some ideas! :)

One Sheet Wonder!

A few weeks ago, I came upon an ingenius concept...a One Sheet Wonder cardmaking class! You only use one sheet of patterned paper, which is awesome since that is usually the most expensive paper you buy. Aaaand, with that one sheet you make 18 cards! That's right, 18!!! Like I said, genius! I found a template (I wish I could remember where :( ) and promptly began designing cards.  Here are some I came up with using a birthday theme.  There's only 9 because the others weren't completed when I took the pics.  However, this is using exactly 1/2 of the patterned paper.  9 cards with half a page!!! AWESOME! What do YOU think? Cute?

Not complete, I would stamp in the age once I
knew who would be receiving it.

This would be my favorite!

This one? Not complete...I figured I would stamp in the age
of the person in the circle once I decided who to give it to

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Pocketfolds....who knew something soooo simple could be sooo hard (and expensive) to come by? I hadn't heard of these before a week ago. Well okay, I've SEEN them, but I had no clue what they were called, if anything. Turns out? Oh yes, these lil' buggers have a name, and they are crazy expensive to buy! Whew!
I looked at a couple of tutorials trying to find different places to order them. But, in the end, I've decided to make mine for our invitations. Yup, I'm crazy.  But we have a lot of time before the wedding, so I figure if I tackle a few here, a few there, it will be fine. *deep breath* :) Here's a picture of the trial run invite I made this week (don't judge too much, it's a rough draft). Also, please forgive the color distortion, I just quickly took these and the lighting was horrible:
The belly band will have our monogram on it for the
finished's a work in progress :)

Inside. The stuff that isn't done: the invite part will be landscape there will be several insert cards.

Dry embossing. Love. :)

Fifth Avenue Floral stamp set by Stampin' Up! Sooo cute!

I have an embossing machine I will use for the rose on the end of the pocketfold. And, after much deliberation, I've decided to print the actual invitation card landscape instead of portrait orientation (so basically, it will read sideways). That was my mom's input: it will make the card more uniform since the RSVP and the other insert were printed that way. 
Anywho, I've decided to order the paper online from  They've given me a great quote on some metallic black paper, so that's the one I'm going with.  I'm putting in an order this week, so hopefully it will come soon, and then I'll post a tutorial with measurements, instructions, and pictures of the pocketfolds!

New Blog!

I have a new blog, I know, cuz I do so well with this one...meh, oh well. We'll see how it turns out.  This blog will be purely for wedding planning and such.  Here's a link to it, check it out!
Life of a Bride
I'm going to do a LOT of the wedding decor and whatnot myself, so I figured putting some tutorials out there wasn't such a bad idea! :)

Monogram: How-to

This last week I created a monogram for Matt and I. I've seen several versions of this online, so this is just kind of updated tutorial. :) Here's a picture of the finished product:
Not too bad, eh? I liked the way it turned out, pretty good I think. For this, I used a simple font for the M and Kuntsler script for the A. First things first, this requires a photoshop program.  The one I used is Adobe Photoshop Elements, not sure what version. Open a new project, and I made mine about 4 x 4 inches (I ended up cropping it quite a bit). Make sure the background is set to transparent. Open a text box, select the font, and type in one letter, doesn't matter which one. Open another text box (this will open another layer) and type the other letter. Then, move one over the other, positioned the way you like. Once the image looks good, select the eyedropper option and pick up the color of one letter. Then, using the paintbrush, paint over certain areas where the letters intersect. This will make the letters intertwined. :) Once you've completed that, open a third text box and type in your first names and the date of the wedding. That's it! Not much to it! Make sure to save it in PSD form not JPG, this is important to keep the graphic quality. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

When? Where? Questions, questions, questions!!

The moment you get engaged, you are flooded with questions from family, friends, and people who you haven't talked to in years that just...come out of the woodwork! What's the date? Where's the venue? What does your dress look like? So many questions! Lucky for Matt and I, we've been to enough weddings that we had a "general" idea of what we wanted. So, here are my answers, at least the ones we have so far:

When: April 28, 2012
Colors: Teal and Green (Black and Ivory)....hence the blog :)
Where: The Cliff Lodge at Snowbird Resort (beautiful ski resort, and only twenty min. from my house!)
What dress: Well, it's chosen, but shhhh, it's secret! ;)
Whose the photographer: James Erick Photography - we're getting our engagements taken next week, I'm soooooo excited!!

Not much decided yet, I gotta get movin' on stuff! My current project is invitations....a little early you say? Well see, I'm making our invitations, so I thought I better get designing and ordering the least! I've designed a monogram for us, and I'll be finalizing the "trial run" invitation and ordering paper this week. At least, that's the plan at the moment! I'm hoping that the invitations will set the theme for the wedding decor, which I've also decided to do myself. Haha, we'll see how it goes....lord.
I'll post soon with monogram pics and instructions. :) 'Til then!

This is me.

I'm engaged to be married. I'm engaged to be MARRIED! :) 
Sometimes it seems like a know, the whirlwind of dresses, reception centers, fabrics, ribbons, cakes, flowers, the whole nine yards. I once heard a quote that weddings are performances put on by amateurs...kinda true! I have NO idea what I'm doing, and the little I do know is from friends who've gone before me. Ah! Trying to figure out measurements, looking at tons of tutorials, checklists, it can get overwhelming. I'm all about spreading the love that is DIY. :) I intend to do a lot of the wedding prep myself, and hopefully put some info out there for others. Please join me in my adventures, and feel free to ask questions! I'll do my best to answer!
So, here is my blog, my journey, and my a bride! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bookworm am I

I saw this on someone's blog and liked it....I think you're supposed to wait to be "tagged" to do it, but whatev. Here I go.

How many books have YOU read???

The rules:
1) Bold those you have read.

2) Put an asterisk next to those you started but didn't finish.
3) Italicize those you intend to read (or have started and intend to finish).
4) The ones you LOVE are Green.
5) Reprint this list in your own blog.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien*
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible*
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte*
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens*
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (most, but not all)*

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens*
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen*
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Don Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens*58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas*66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo