Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sweet Eats: Christmas Edition

Every year our Women's Ministry hosts a Christmas Coffee & Dessert. It's such a fun festive night. Hostesses uniquely decorated their tables, we sing a few Christmas carols, and we always get to hear a wonderful guest speaker. 

A group of us got together this year and baked til we dropped. It was a huge hit and all the desserts were amazing.  

Audrey and I did the backdrop and decorated the main table. She is so creative!!!
The snowflakes and pine cones looked adorable. 

Bottle brush trees 

It's all in the details

Cherry Cheesecakes 

Smores bites 

Fluted Tiramisu Cake 

Heavenly Oreo Dessert...and yes it was heavenly :) 

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a very Smashing New Year! 


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Eats

For Thanksgiving this year I am making 3 dishes to bring to my in laws. They are not super fancy...they are just good eats!! I have never been a good mashed potato maker...weird huh? 
I have wanted to get better at my mashed potato making skills and a friend told me about the Pioneer Woman's recipe! Well I now see my problem, butter I never use enough...I couldn't tell you why either, probably because I wanted to make a healthy for that it's the holidays so I'm going to splurge a little. 

Here are my beautiful super delicious Creamy Mashed Potatoes 
(only thing I did different was I used my Kitchen Aid to mix) 


For my 2nd dish I am making a Pear, Feta, and Walnut Salad with  Costco Poppy Seed Dressing

Third and finally I made a Cheese & Fruit Appetizer. I had all sorts of ideas on what to add and was happy with the final product!!

Brie, Gouda, & Cheddar. Does it get any better? :) 
Apples, Pears, & Grapes 

 I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day with family, friends and lots of good food! 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

We Do Hard Things: Heritage Women's Retreat

 We had a fabulous time at Retreat this year at the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Here are some of the highlights from the weekend. We tried several new things and they ended up to be a big hit. Our retreat study/theme was I Do Hard Hard Things!  

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. 
Philippians 4:13 

I made 2 signs that helped decorate the room and allowed us to achieve the rustic decor we were going for. The pom poms helped bring a whimsical, girly vibe to the room. 

Reclaimed wood, burlap and spray paint. 

Mum centerpieces in reclaimed wood planter boxes. These were raffled off on the last day. They were a big hit!

We were so blessed to have Havilah Cunnington as our retreat speaker again this year. Last year she taught her Keep Calm and Finish Strong study. Everyone loved the newest study, I Do Hard Things. If ever you have a chance to hear her speak don't to the chance :) She's amazing!

This was our first year offering an accessory sale. It was great to see so many women donate their accessories. It was a huge success and great fundraiser for the Women's Ministry.

Hanging out waiting for dinner

Beautiful staging for the buffet table. Shannon and her team made wonderful meals for us!!

The photo booth area was adorable and so much fun, Audrey did an amazing job with the backdrop and all the fun props!! The pictures kind of speak for themselves :) 

Kristin, Audrey, & Lisa 
My roomies: Monique, Audrey & Cori 

Here is one of the many giveaways (chalkboard trays). After each session there were great items raffled off.

Here is the amazing view we had all around us for the two days we were away! I am so thankful for our retreats they are such a special time to move away from the normal day to day distractions and focus your attention on God!

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving,


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Eat Dessert First

I am bringing dessert to our small group tomorrow night. I decided to make an oldie but a goodie, Chocolate Chip Kahlua Cake!! I have seen many variations, here's the recipe I use. It's always a big hit.

Chocolate Chip Kahlua Cake: 

1 box chocolate chip fudge cake mix (Betty Crocker Brand)
1/2 C Kahlua 
2 eggs 
1 pint sour cream 
1/4 C. Oil 
1 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips

Caramel Glaze

Heat oven to 350 
Grease and flour bundt pan, use cocoa. (I didn't have cocoa so I used hot chocolate mix, it worked great) 
Mix all well. Add in choc chips.
Bake 45 min. Dust with powdered sugar caramel glaze or chocolate sauce. 

I decided to use my mini bundt pan, so everyone would have their own little cake! 

 Whenever I make a box cake mix I always sift it. Makes a big difference. 

They came out nice and clean!

Aren't they pretty?!

Let's just say there weren't any left overs :)

Have fun baking!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sugar & Spice: Baby Lydia's Shower

One of my best friends Monique, is having her first baby...a little girl, Lydia (due January 7th). 
I am so excited she was able to visit from Las Vegas earlier this month. 

 The color/design theme for the shower was chevron and polka dots in pink, grey and white. Thank you Audrey for taking such beautiful pictures. You can reach Audrey at for photography services. 
I printed some the ultra sound pictures of baby Lydia for a personal touch to the decor. 

Waiting for all the food.

Here's a fun monogram L I decorated for Lydia's room! Adorned with vintage jewels! 

The food was amazing! I am so thankful to my Mom, Cori, Emily and Lisa for helping out. We had a great variety of food. The Menu: prosciutto/phyllo wrapped asparagus spears, cucumber chicken salad cups, stuffed mushrooms, spinach artichoke dip, brie with crackers, and fruit kabobs.

 And the cake, it's amazing right!?! Thanks to Ashley Stanis for doing such a great job. This was her first belly cake ever and she whipped it up while her little ones took a nap. She makes cupcakes also. Here's her email if you need any sweet treats!!
Belly Cake 
So yummy! Thanks Lisa 

Everyone filled out parenting advice cards
Present time

Each guest left with homemade maple glazed walnuts and pecans in these adorable boxes found at World Market.

Pretty mama reading some parenting advice. 

Monique & Ashley 

All of her lovely guests!!  

There is nothing more exciting and worthy of celebrating than the birth of a baby. It was such a joy to host this baby shower. Love you Monique and can't wait to meet you little Lydia!! 

Have a beautiful day!!