Saturday, June 27, 2009

so you think you can dance...

One of the things I look forward to about summer is So You Think You Can Dance!  And this season, there is one more reason for me to love this show.  My cousin Joey Dowling (with Jacki Ford assisting!) is choreographing a dance in this week's episode!  She is v. talented and I cannot wait to see her in action.  Tune in on July 1 to see her....she will be the tall, gorgeous, super-cool choreographer with amazing style (and amazing dance-wear!).  Check her out!

By the way, they will be choreographing for Randi and Evan...Randi has danced at my Aunt Sheryl's (mother to Joey and Jacki) studio since the age of three and now teaches at her studio.  It was totally by chance that Joey was assigned to choreograph for Randi!  I'm not usually a voter, despite my devotion to the show, but I fully intend to vote all night long for Randi and Evan!!!  If you feel so inclined, throw a few votes in for Randi.

Friday, June 26, 2009

love you.

happy anniversary. love you more than ever.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tara's big day

Thank heavens it stopped raining in Utah long enough for Tara and Jared to get married!  It was a bit of a crazy day for me, trying to run Reese all over town so that I could enjoy the wedding festivities.   Reese took a nice, long morning nap so that I had enough time to get myself ready and to pack Reese's bag full of all her favorite things for the day.  I gave Reese some applesauce for lunch before we left, (which seemed to go down just fine), changed Reese into a pretty white summer dress and headed for Salt Lake.  Tara and Jared were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple and Tara's sister Niki was so sweet to watch Reese for me while I was at the temple.  
Well, on the way down the canyon, I got a call from Niki--the bride was having issues with her falsey eyelashes--and I decided I had enough time to stop and get some eyelash glue.  Thank heavens I detoured because minutes before I got to the drug store, I heard a noise in the backseat of the car--that unmistakable sound of someone losing their lunch, shall we say.  Reese has not spit up or thrown up in at least eight months, and Reese had not shown any signs of feeling unwell, so I was totally shocked.  Her dress and car seat were covered, but still she seemed happy...until I took her "lovey Geoffrey" from her (I only brought one, and with no where and no time to wash it, I couldn't risk her getting him all dirty.  At the drug store, I made sure to buy more baby wipes, as I did not bring nearly enough for this kind of disaster.
Finally, Reese and I met up with Niki (and luckily, I brought a change of clothes for Reese) and I made it to the temple in the nick of time.  The ceremony was lovely!  Afterwards there were pictures outside the temple and Reese loved running around the grounds.  She even made a few friends!  Reese made it nearly impossible for us to stand still for more than a picture or two, and then we were off to make her next play date.  My long lost friend Jenny was so sweet to let Reese come over and play, and I know Reese had the best time.  Jenny has two sons and a daughter and Reese loves to play with them...and their toy cars!
I was off to La Caille for the reception.  I met the other bridesmaids in the bride room at La Caille--have you ever been to the bride room at La Caille?!  It was amazing!  Mirrored walls with at least eight stations of makeup mirrors and all the plugs you need for your curling irons and straighteners, perfect lighting, a bathroom and a dressing room (with the angled mirrors, so as to see your wedding dress perfectly!), and stocked with chocolate, cheese and crackers, and pop!  I wanted to just stay in there all night!  I would get married there just to have that bride room!
Anyway, the reception was beautiful (except for the blustery weather right when it was time to take the pre-reception pictures) and Tara looked drop-dead gorgeous.  That Jared--he's a lucky guy.  We had a really fun table of people and I got to see more of my London friends.  The tables were beautiful, the flowers were gorgeous and the food was delicious.  The only real surprise came when Jared playfully smashed cake in Tara's beautiful face.  I'll bet she didn't know it was coming.  

It was a really fun night and I was thrilled to be able to be there for such a special day.  


My London Girls.
Isn't their cake gorgeous?!

Now two of my besties share the same anniversary!  (Heidi and Ben got married on this day four years ago.)  That's easy to remember!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

bridal shower

Reese and I got to Utah on Thursday and our first order of business was to plan the menu for Tara's bridal shower!  I chose a couple recipes that I had recently tested at Ashley's baby shower, a few new recipes that I was anxious to try, and an old standby that is great for parties.  I was so excited to be able to get to work in Lauren's gourmet kitchen!!!  (I love staying at the Park City house when I go to Utah!)  Since Lauren has a job, and I don't have a car in Utah, we had to be very efficient with our time when Lauren got home from work on Friday evening.  I spent Friday finalizing the menu and making the grocery list, and wouldn't you know it, when we got to the grocery, I realized I had left the list at home.  Blast!  But, I am happy to report I remembered all but about three items on the list.

Here's what was on the menu:
Italian Chicken Salad Sandwiches on Croissants
Fresh Pineapple
Chocolate Chip Meringues
Chocolate cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Lauren was in charge of the decor for the party on Saturday evening.  We found the most gorgeous peonies at the store and Lauren arranged them beautifully.  She also had to huge arrangements at the door, and even left a flower and votive candle in the powder room!  And with all of her beautiful serving pieces, the tablescape was perfect for the occasion.






I was so happy to see Tara and was pleasantly surprised to see so many of the girls from our study abroad to London!  It was really a fun night--Tara said it was the most relaxed she has been in all of her wedding planning--and I think it was the perfect way to kick off the wedding weekend.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My sister's a celebrity!

My twin sister Lauren is big time! She recently finished her interior design degree and has been taking on more and more projects, allowing others to benefit from her creativity and expertise. She is so talented and has impeccable taste! Yesterday she added a new credit to her resume: tv personality! Studio 5 on KSL asked her to do a design segment on freshening up your winter bedding for summertime. She was fabulous! So good, in fact, that I guarantee they will want her back. Check her out!

Quick tips for a Fresh Summer Bed

Tessa!

One of my favorite sisters Tessa (aka Teesa, aka Tessie) had some pto and decided to drive down for a visit! It was so much fun to have her and Reese was in heaven with Tessa in town to play with her and spoil her. The beginning of her trip was consumed with baby shower preparations. (I seriously could not have done it without Tessa.) Of course, what would party prep be without a trip to Wegmans?! I have talked it up so much to my family that Tessa couldn't go home without at least one trip to Wegmans. So, for two days straight Tessa and I spent most of our time in the kitchen--I think she said it was like going to cooking camp.

On Friday, after the baby shower was behind us, we went downtown to hit some museums. It was pretty rainy that day and parking is usually a disaster downtown, so it took us about 45 minutes to get down there, find a spot, and get to the museum. ugh.

Later that night, Dean flew into town for a quick sleep over before heading to Annapolis to attend a leadership seminar. Dean is the greatest guy...even though Tessa and I only got to visit with him for a few hours, it was so fun to get to see him. And the day trip to Annapolis was great! It finally stopped raining, and it turned out to be a really beautiful day. We went to the Naval Academy and walked around the campus a little bit before getting some lunch. The campus is really beautiful and right on the water in Annapolis--I haven't been there for a few years and was really excited to have the chance to go back.
As a side note: Reese was absolutely obsessed with Tessa for the entire week...constantly wanting Tessa to read to her, play with her, hold her hand...except for the few hours that Dean was with us--then Reese wanted to hold Dean's hand. As soon as Dean was gone, she was back to Tessie. And how cute are these three in this picture?!

On Sunday evening, Mike took us on his famous driving tour of DC. Along the way, we stopped near the Lincoln Memorial and walked along the Mall to the World War II Memorial. It was the perfect weather for an evening walk.



Reese loves to push her own stroller and I think it is hilarious when she gets in this position, as though it is such hard work! I promise, she begs us to let her push her stroller...Michael wants to channel that into mowing the lawn or something. You know, put that energy to good use, and all that.

A shot of the Lincoln Memorial from the fountains at the World War II Memorial.
Back on the driving tour, Reese was getting pretty tired and was ready to be in bed...so instead of stopping the car to get out and take a picture, Michael just slowed down in the intersection and Tessa popped out the window for a quick shot.

Reese and I were so sad to see Tessa go. We had such a fun week with her...baking, playing, staying up late every night to watch the Burn Notice marathon...oh, Tessie, come back soon!!!!!

Baby Girl Shower

I have been involved in quite a few baby showers over the last couple years, and they have all been for baby boys! Of course all baby showers are fun and I love to plan a menu for any festive occasion, but a couple weeks ago I co-hosted a shower for my friend's baby girl and I was so excited to make some fun food for the little princess!

On Martha Stewart's baby shower episode this spring, Dani Fiori made the most adorable onesie cookies and I was dying to try them. When I offered to help with Ashley's shower, I knew onesie cookie favors were going to be on the menu. My sister Tessa was in town and was such a big help in all the baking and preparations--we spent almost the entire day before the shower baking and decorating these onesie cookies (we even had Ashley come over late the night before to help us decorate...just because we were having so much fun and wanted her to join us!). I was very impressed with how they came out, if I do say so myself.
Other items on the menu were as follows:
Meringue cookies with mini chocolate chips...I left out the espresso powder and they were so delicious!!!
Chocolate raspberry bars with white chocolate and almonds
...very good, if you like the chocolate/raspberry combo, but I would probably go easier on the jam next time.
Chocolate fountain with strawberries, bananas, and pineapple...compliments of Christin and Jessica
Yellow butter cake with vanilla buttercream...the most delicious frosting ever! (Even my husband, who says he doesn't like frosting, wouldn't eat the leftover cake without some extra frosting!)
Adorable pretzel rods dipped in chocolate and topped with sugar flowers...such a festive (and delicious!) addition to the table scape.
The party was a success and Ashley scored a ton of loot for the baby girl! Can't wait to meet the little dear!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Dinner time!

Dinner time with Reese is usually very entertaining. She opens up really wide for each bite, her lip-smacking is so funny and sweet, and when she likes something, she pauses to make a yummy sound. Reese has recently discovered that she loves corn on the cob--especially now that she's got eight front teeth!

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Pinball

Reese has been doing so many cute things lately (well, always) and with Tessa in town (along with her functional camera), we've been taking lots of video! Reese loves her Aunt Tessie...only wants Tessa to read her books and hold her hand...and has been loving playing with her for the last few days! This is a new game that Reese taught Tessie.

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who's the cutest baby?

Now that Reese is starting to talk a little more and mimic the things that others say, I thought it would be fun to teach her something new. She's been doing it for a few weeks now (my camera has been on the fritz) and I still think it is funny every time!

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