Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mother's Day Gifts

When it comes to giving gifts in my family, it can get a little pricey and overwhelming. 
Our immediate family on my side and my hubby's side is a total of about 51 family members. That's a lot!

So every year for Christmas, Mother's Day, and Father's Day, I try to think of a theme and provide everyone with the same gift. I figured out that if you buy things in bulk in can be cheaper, and it for sure beats trying to figure out what to get each individual person.

So for example, this past Christmas every family got a popcorn holder with candy/chocolate and movie tickets. I bought the bulk candy and movie tickets at Costco. Everyone enjoys going to the movies, so I thought it would be great that each family go together and hang out.

This past mother's day, I spent days trying to think of a cute gifts to give to the moms. I brainstormed a little on what a mom means. I came across an anchor image, and thought a mother is like an anchor. 
I decided to give anchors as part of the gift.

I have 7 sister's, one passed away when she was 2 years old, but I still count her in. With their gifts, I wanted to add a little something extra.

I love Etsy,  lot's of creative people on there. I came across this shop, and ordered these bracelets.

My idea was to create a little card and describe each element of the bracelet. 

I typed up the card in Spanish, but this is what it says in English

Anchor- A mother is like an anchor to her children, in a low tide or in a high tide, she always keeps them grounded.
Rope- The rope/string on the bracelet means that a women knows she is strong for the journey, but a women of strength, she knows that the journey is what makes her strong.
Love- A mother's love is forever and unconditional
A little something extra
Infinity charm- Whether we have good times or bad times, tears or laughs, we will always be sisters, and the angel symbolized Elizabeth (sister that passed away), she will forever be our sister and our angel.

With my silhouette cameo, I made these boxes to place the card in.

 For my niece and sister in laws, they got these anchor bracelets. Bracelets are from the same shop 

They also got little notebooks with a their name and an inspiring quote.
I printed the images and modge podge them on the notebooks.

All the moms, were touched and that made me feel great!

Weekend Cooking with "Chef" De Sousa

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Weekend.  Some of my family came up to visit, and it was great. The hubby did all the cooking, and everyone enjoyed that.

Everyone arrived Saturday morning around lunch time, and the chef was ready to cook. A few weeks ago we had bought Rachael Ray's The Book of Burger.  Every once in a while I'll be in the mood for a burger, and for this weekend, I was in the mood.

So I requested that my hubby cook from that book, the following: 
Buffalo Turkey Burgers and Extra Crispy Jalapeno Poppers.

For a quick appetizer we had some veggies and used some of the blue cheese gravy as a dip.

Instead of the burger bun, we opted to use ciabatta bread. They were easy to make and delicious. 

The JalapeƱo Poppers

I sipped on a Bloody Mary while we waited for the food. So refreshing!

Everyone was pretty stuffed after this, but we still had lasagna from scratch to make for dinner. The meat sauce took about 3 hours to cook, so in the mean time we took a dip in the pool to cool off and relax. 

This is a picture of the lasagna before it was put into the oven to bake.  We had just bought this Mario Batali Lasagna pan, so we put it to use. 

One thing we did wrong, was when the lasagna was done, we had to wait 20 minutes before we could cut into it. Waiting that time would set in the lasagna and make it sturdier. We unfortunately did not wait those 20 minutes. It was about 9pm and everyone was hungry, so we waited 5 minutes and served it. 

This is how it looked on the plate, not so attractive,  but it tasted it really good, I promise.

The following day we had some lasagna left over, and this is what it looked like (minus the meat sauce, oops!)

My nieces then baked up some chocolate chip cookies from scratch

The moms and kids went cherry picking in the morning, so the hubby made small cherry pies.

And we cant forget my husbands Lattes, these are always a family favorite.

I had an awesome weekend, too much yummy food though!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weekend Cooking with "Chef" De Sousa

Sorry for all the emails today, but I had to catch up :)

My husband has found a new love, and thank goodness for me, it's Cooking!! Over the last couple of years, he has grown to be a good "chef". He doesn't like to be called a chef, but I call him that. We have a lot of cookbooks, and on the weekends he cooks our meals. It gives me a nice break from cooking dinner during the week.
He is a lot more comfortable in the kitchen now, and it's showing in his meals. 

Since I share my crafting, Im going to start sharing his cooking.
 After each meal, he asks me to rate the meal and give my feedback. Sometimes it's a bad review, and sometimes it's a great review. 

For our Mother's Day Celebration the hubby planned a 4 course meal. There were about 30 of us that were going to be there, which required a lot of sous chefs! He wanted to make sure all the plates were done and served all at once. He did an amazing job, and it all turned out great!

First course was
 Grilled corn with ginger and lemon

Our Vintage Tea Party Setting

My niece and me (left)

The yummy corn
Recipe from Weber's Way To Grill Cookbook

Second course was 
Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid with 
Cucumber Salad 
recipe by Gordon Ramsay

(one of my favorites)

Third course was
 Chicken Tortilla Soup
recipe by Ina Garten

Fourth course was
Summer Berry Mille Feuille
with Lemon Curd
recipe by Gordon Ramsay

Dessert was my favorite part of the meal

We were all stuffed, but I rated my husband a 10 across the board!

Mini Graduation!

We are so proud of our niece Anna. She will be graduating from Johnson and Wales University this weekend in North Carolina. She received her Associates in Baking and Pastry Arts. 

Unfortunately we are unable to travel to be with her in this special moment. So, on Mother's day we did a little mini grad party for her.

After all the mom's opened their gifts, I came out and said "we have on little thing to do.  Annis, since we wont be there on your graduation this coming weekend, I made you a cap so we can take pictures with you" she started crying, and some of us did too!
We presented her with a custom card and some gifts. She was emotional, but happy that we did it. No one took pictures of her crying :( but here are some after pics. 

I found this shop on Etsy, the designer has cute designs, and I found this image that fit perfect for the card.  A baker with blue eyes and dark red hair color, just like Anna. I added the cap on there. She's always saying the word "sweet", so I had to put it on there, and it goes perfect with her line of work!

We love you Annis!

Inside of the card

In addition to gift cards and cash that she received, I made her a little notebook with her nickname on it.

Her Uncle and the Graduate lol

Anna and me

With her aunt, baby niece, and cousin

Daughter and Mother

Boyfriend and Anna

With her grandparents

With her older sister and nieces

With her aunt, uncle, and cousin

With her aunt

Mother's Day Tea Party

I hope everyone had a beautiful Mother's Day this past weekend. Our day was great. We enjoy having themed parties when ever we get a chance. So this day was no exception.

 We decided, or I should say my sister Alicia and I decided that we would do a Tea Party Theme. 

We put together a small amount of decorations, but it all looked cute. We had big hats to wear. The funny thing was that we didn't even drink tea, were not big on tea :)

My husband planned the 4 course meal, and all the men and children were in charge of cooking and serving the Mom's on this day!

The decorations were a vintage rose design, and I added some tea cups on some of the decor.

I also made a few napkin rings 

I made these 8x10 signs that say "happy mother's day" in Spanish

A few water labels

A very simple banner

Look at all those gifts for the moms

My dad was in charge of grilling the corn, so cute.

My Hubby the chef.

 My nephew on the left and my hubby on the right.

The gang.

This was some of the gang who cooked and helped out!

 The wine being served :)

My mom doesn't like taking pictures

My place setting

The girls

Bartender, more wine please! That's me on the right lol.

Our meal being served, we were so spoiled.

All the mommies

Me and my sisters 

It was a perfect day!

It will be the women and kids turn to cook for Father's Day next month! The dad's told us to be aware!

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