Tag Archives: Birthdays

Bob & Ashley’s Wedding

23 Jul

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that Chris & I would be attending a wedding; Chris was actual part of the bridal party! We met Bob & Ashley a few years ago; Bob used to be the drummer in Chris’s band, Always Second Favorite.

The wedding took place at the Sheraton Great Valley in Malvern. I didn’t get many successful shots during the ceremony but here’s one of Chris & the best man, Rob, & other groomsmen, Jarrod (both Rob & Jarrod are in our wedding, too!).

Ceremony      After the ceremony, we moved to the cocktail hour, where the following appetizers were available:

  • Pork & Vegetable Pot Stickers with Ginger Soy Sauce
  • Vegetable Spring Rolls with Sweet Thai Chili Dipping Sauce
  • Scallop Wrapped in Bacon with a Maple Glaze
  • Miniature Beef Wellington

I tried both a scallop & a veggie spring roll & both were delicious!

During the cocktail hour, guests could paint their name or a message for the couple on a blank canvas:

Guest "book"      Next up we moved to the reception space, where the first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, & speeches took place before dinner.

Best man's speech  Centerpieces   Maid of honor's speech

Parent dances Cake!    Cake cutting

Next up was dinner! The first course was a salad – mixed baby summer greens with crumbled mild goat cheese, candied pecans, craisins, & balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I also enjoyed a buttered roll with my salad.

Salad Roll

Guests had a choice of chicken or salmon for dinner; I went with the chicken – Coq au Vin, breast of chicken braised in red wine with caramelized pearl onions, mushrooms & bacon served with horseradish scented Yukon gold mashed potatoes & fresh steamed green beans.

Dinner is served! I really enjoyed the bacon topping on the chicken, as well as the mashed potatoes! I’m a mashed potato lover! 😉

After dinner, the night continued with dancing. I did enjoy a piece of cake, but my picture didn’t turn out! 😦 It was very good, & I especially loved the thick, sugary frosting – my favorite kind of frosting!

My last two pictures of the evening are of my handsome date & I, & an awkward self-portrait of my outfit 😉 (for those of you who care, the dress is from Ann Taylor circa 2009!).

2 weeks 'till our wedding!  Outfit

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Despite the late evening, I still managed to get up & out the door for BodyPump this morning! Surprisingly, my little at home arm workout from yesterday left me quite sore this morning, but I was able to power through! 😉

Before I “sign off” for the day, I must wish my mom a Happy Birthday! My mom has been such a big help to me lately with all of the wedding mania taking place! So Happy Birthday Mom, thanks for all you do!

Mom & I Mom & daughters

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! 🙂

What’s your favorite part of weddings?

I’m a sucker for the ceremony!

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Chris’s Birthday Recap

15 Jul

Last evening, I headed to dinner with Chris & his parents to celebrate his 25th year!

We went to a local Italian place, Anthony’s Trattoria, which I love going to for the good food & atmosphere.

After dinner, Chris came back to my house for presents & his Boston Cream Cupcakes, which he really liked!

Phillies shirt     Game & DVD

Of course, Chris had a “helper” during present time —

Happy Birthday!        Too many presents!

This dog really likes to get in on the action!

After Chris was finished opening his gifts from me, I decided to do a few “pug lifts” to work off some of my heavy dinner! 😉

Put me down mom!     Mother & son!

Lifting 30 lbs. of pure pug isn’t easy! 😉 (Yes, he’s just a tad overweight, but remember what he looked like when I got him!)

I think Chris would agree that he had a great birthday!

Happy Birthday   **********

This morning I woke up a little later than usually (must have been tired from all the birthday fun!) but headed out the door ASAP because I had a lot of errands to run.

The bank, post office, jeweler, Ulta, courthouse, & Target were all stops on my list! I did some serious damage at Target, purchasing a bunch of “necessities” for the apartment (things like shampoo, cleaning supplies, paper towels, etc.). Then, I headed over to the apartment to unload the goods!

More stuff to unpack!   As I was working in the apartment, I started to get a bit of a headache so I headed home to nap with some of my favorite pooches!

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My mom offered to pick up dinner at Saladworks for tonight. I went with the Chicken Caesar – romaine, iceberg, chicken, homemade baked croutons, chopped eggs, parmesan cheese. I’m not exactly sure what the dressing was, but my mom said something along the lines of “light creamy Italian.”

It was pretty yummy, & I loved the roll on the side as well!

Salad    Salad    Salad

Off to enjoy my Friday evening; have a good one! 🙂

What are you doing this weekend?

The Birthday Month

14 Jul

Hi everyone! It’s Thursday… only one more day until the weekend. (Which means nothing to me since I’m a teacher on summer break, but I know the rest of the world feels differently! ;-))

First, a little recap of yesterday’s wrapping extravaganza…

An entire roll of wrapping paper later…

Wrapping         Chris’s presents were all set to go…

Presents     I’ll let you know how he liked everything in tomorrow’s post!

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I was up & at BodyPump for the 6:00AM class today. I stayed after & completed 20 minutes on the elliptical. (I knew there would be spoonfuls of chocolate frosting consumed some special birthday festivities tonight, so I figured a little extra activity would be a good idea!)

This afternoon, I headed to my wedding hair & makeup trial. Of course I don’t want to reveal any shots of the “final do,” but I’ll share with you all one of my favorite “inspiration” photos that I brought with me…

Wedding hair 1 (source)

I knew I wanted it up (it’s likely going to be hot) & off to the side… as far as the rest, you’ll have to wait until after the big day to see! 😉

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After my appointment, it was time to get crackin’ on Chris’s birthday treat – Boston Cream Cupcakes! (Enter copious amounts of chocolate frosting consumption; why is it so good?!) Chris loves Boston Cream Pie, & when I saw this recipe in one of my Hungry Girl e-mails last week, I knew this would be what I’d make him for his birthday. You can find the original recipe here & my (few!) adaptations below:

Boston Cream Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1/2 c. water
  • Chocolate frosting
  • Chocolate syrup
  • 1 vanilla pudding snack
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350* & line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • Combine the cake mix, eggs, & 1/2 c. water; whisk; distribute into muffin pan.

Ready to whisk

  • Bake for about 20 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean).
  • Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
  • Combine chocolate syrup (2 tbsp.) with chocolate frosting (3 tbsp.) until smooth; cover & refrigerate.

Chocolate glaze

  • When cupcakes are cool, insert a hole in the center of each.

Cut-out cakes

  • Place contents of the pudding cup (mixed with vanilla extract) into a sandwich bag; snip a small piece of the corner off, & pipe the pudding into the cupcakes.

Filled cakes

  • Spread frosting/syrup mixture over cupcakes.

Finished product

  • Enjoy! And refrigerate any leftovers! 🙂

Not surprisingly, I had an “assistant” again today:

"I'll taste-test!"    A dog can dream!

I sampled one of these (as the baker always must) & it was delicious! I’ll let you know tomorrow if the birthday boy approved! 😉

Mmm        Mmm Good!

Speaking of tomorrow… the 15th is my dad’s birthday! Oh, & the 23nd is my mom’s birthday. And my aunt’s is the 24th! This is seriously the birthday month in my family! That’s fine by me; it just means lots of celebrations! 🙂

I’ll be back tomorrow with a re-cap of Chris’s birthday. Enjoy your evening!

When’s YOUR birthday?

Mine’s February 5th… any birthday twins out there?

3-Ingredient Dinner

13 Jul

Happy Wednesday!

Tomorrow is someone special’s 25th birthday, so today was spent running lots of birthday errands! He’s going to be a spoiled boy, & I’m even baking a special treat for him.

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In this month’s issue of Real Simple magazine (one of my favs!) there’s a feature on “3-Ingredient Recipes.” I usually like to read my magazines sequentially, cover-to-cover (because I’m looney! ;-)) but I had to skip ahead to check out some of their creations! I spotted a recipe for grilled portobello quesadillas, & decided that would be tonight’s dinner!

Grilled Portobello Quesadillas (from pg. 172 of Real Simple, July 2011)

*Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium portobello mushrooms (I bought organic because they were the same price as the “regular” ones!)
  • About 2 tbsp. olive oil*
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning*
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 2 c. grated pepper Jack cheese

* = not counted as an “ingredient”

Directions

  • Heat grill (or grill pan) to medium. Brush 4 medium portobello mushrooms with olive oil & season with salt & pepper.
  • Grill, covered, until tender, 8-10 minutes per side (mine cooked up much quicker!).
  • Thinly slice mushrooms.
  • Lightly brush 1 side of each of flour tortilla with olive oil.
  • Form sandwiches with the tortillas, mushrooms, & pepper Jack.
  • Grill, covered, until the cheese is melted & the tortillas are crisp, 1-3 minutes per side.

Portobellos    Grillin'

I topped my quesadilla with plain Greek yogurt, & I’m glad I did – they were a little spicy! I have a very low tolerance for spicy food, though, so I might not be the best judge. The pepper Jack was the star of the show – spicy or not! I used this kind, by Sargento:

01102-8oz-Pepper-Jack-Shred(source)

Quesadilla!     This was simple & tasty – my favorite kind of dinner! 🙂 Of course, you could spice this up by adding more veggies, & I had originally intended to! Then I got to the store & realized I was cheap & 3 ingredients would suit me just fine. 😉

Someone was interested in what I was serving up…

Tyson         Can I have a taste?

I’m off to start wrapping the birthday boy’s presents! Have a wonderful evening!

(Random) question for tonight…

What are some of your favorite magazines?

I have subscriptions to Real Simple & Shape!

Asian Salad Recipe

9 Jul

Happy weekend everyone! 🙂 Hope it’s off to a great start.

This morning I hit the gym first thing & completed 20 minutes on the treadmill followed by BodyPump class. I upped my weights on the squat track & I’m definitely going to be feeling it tomorrow!

Later this evening, I’m headed over to Chris’s house to celebrate his birthday a little early. His actual birthday is this Thursday, the 14th, but they’re having their family celebration tonight.

You might remember the Asian salad side dish I had at my family’s 4th of July festivities last Sunday. This dish was brought by my aunt, who said the recipe was given to her a long time ago from a friend.

This salad is so good, so I asked for the recipe to make as my contribution to tonight’s celebration. And now I’m going to pass it along to all of you! 🙂 (Thanks Aunt Tisa!)

Asian Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of cole slaw mix
  • 1 bunch of green onions/scallions
  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts (I added in a little more than 2 handfuls)
  • 1 tbsp. slivered almonds (I used more than this)
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp. sesame seeds (Again, I added in about 1 & 1/2 handfuls, give or take)

For the dressing…

  • 1 Ramen Noodle chicken-flavored powder packet (I got one of these packages)
  • 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c. sugar

Ingredients Directions

  • Combine the cole slaw mix, scallions, peanuts, almonds, & sesame seeds; mix together & refrigerate.
  • Mix the chicken-flavor, vinegar, veggie oil, & sugar to make the dressing.
  • Just before serving, toss the slaw with the dressing & add the crushed, un-cooked Ramen noodles for extra crunch (the best part! ;-))

Mixed salad Dressing Crunchy topping

Now I just have to keep myself from digging in before the party!

Enjoy your Saturday evening! 🙂

What are you doing this weekend?

What’s your go-to party recipe?