Berries & Babies

First of all - can I tell you how blessed I feel to have only had RAIN for the past month?  {it has seriously been raining all month}  We've been watching tornado and flood coverage all weekend and I'm just heartsick and praying for those people down South.  And I won't complain about rain.

Secondly - the baby shower was awesome and my *adorable* Sis-in-Law felt our love - mission accomplished!  {and...it looked pretty swell, too}  I can't wait to share more - but I have to get some sleep.  Throwing parties is exhausting!

I can't wait to show you these cool stick vases, too - SO much fun!!!


Happy Easter

Feeling especially grateful for Spring, new growth, warmth, and the peace I feel when I see God's creations all around me.  {This precious little dove sat perched in my tree yesterday - isn't she so beautiful?!}  I'm grateful for my personal relationship with my Savior - He lives and loves all of us regardless if we care or appreciate it.  I'm grateful for his lasting Atonement, Death, and Resurrection.

Happy Easter!


Cooking 101 - Eggs Affettuoso

{affettuoso=Itailan for 'warm-hearted'}

This breakfast dish is my own creation - inspired by a visit to our favorite breakfast joint.  {I tweaked it, of course}  It's scrambled eggs cooked with sauteed tomatoes, basil, and asiago cheese.  This is excellent for you low-carbers out there like me who need some flavor in your mornings!

I named this his bright, sunny breakfast 'affettuoso' because it's very Italian (because I'm Italian blooded, you know) and it's so light, incredibly delicious, and it really warms the soul!  Just like any Italian meal should do, right?! You'll transport yourself to a beautiful Tuscan bed & breakfast with a morning meal like this! {sigh...}  (and then get slapped back into reality when you're all done eating and the kids are climbing the walls, food is all over the floor, laundry is piled on the couch, the TV is blaring, and the naked baby is sitting in something slimy.)

I'm not kidding, though - this breakfast is SOOO good - I made it for the first time this morning after the kiddies were gone and my husband was home studying - he just wanted a bite but couldn't stop eating!  It's amazing how simple, earthy ingredients can turn boring eggs into something amazing!

Eggs Affettuoso
Yield: Two adult servings

1/2 Roma tomato, small dices (or whatever you have)
1 T. butter (or a little olive oil if you'd like it healthier)
1/8-1/4 t. garlic powder
2 T. fresh basil, sliced thin (stack 4-5 leaves on top of each other, roll up a little, and slice thin)
5 large eggs
3-4 T. heavy cream
Asiago cheese, fine grated
salt & pepper to taste

In a small, nonstick pan, melt butter; sautee tomatoes and garlic powder for a couple of minutes, until some of the moisture evaporates from the tomato.  Add 1/2 of the basil, stir for a few seconds.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs and heavy cream, beat until smooth.  Pour into the pan with the tomatoes and basil.  Add the rest of the basil and about 1 T. of the grated asiago cheese.  Salt & pepper your eggs and cook them to the consistency you like them.  {I detest overcooked eggs - they get all spongey and weird}

You're done!  Scoop the eggs out onto your serving plates and garnish with more asiago cheese on top.  Serve with some toasted whole wheat bread - or here is Kadie's homemade seed bread.  (HERE are some more yummy bread recipes)  mmmmm...  Now go get your iPod, put in your favorite music, and enjoy your brief trip to Tuscany!!!


Berrylicious Baby Shower

If I had to be honest and pick my ultimate dream job, I don't know whether it would be photographing beautiful food on beautiful dishes or planning baby showers/kid parties.  Not that my kids EVER get great parties, let's be honest here, but I'd do it as a dream job.  {I think my first two kids got a couple of rockin' parties, but after a while, they just become painful}

SO...Kadie and I have been working on a shower theme for my beautiful, ADORABLE sister-in-law and what could be more perfect right now than strawberries?!  {gasp!!!}  No pink rubber duckies or diaper pins here - we're going straight-up classy, sophisticated, and sweet! {oh, and no weird, miniature naked babies swimming in the punch, either...???...who does that?!}

Here's some of my inspiration so far!  The cute napkin below is something Kadie brought back from her vacay.  {she was gone so long I almost died}  It's the inspiration that spurred on this baby shower idea. 

...mmmmm....how beautiful is a basket of berries?!

The invites are almost done!  I took my file to Staples and had them printed - I TOTALLY pushed the easy button and it worked!!!  haha.  They look much better laser printed than on my home printer.

Yes, ladies, that is machine stitched.  AND...the name tag/jam jar stickers are from Wal-Mart!  ???  Who would have thought?!  They match my invites perfectly.  I'll  have to take back some of the horrible things I've said about Wal-Mart.

The best part?!  I went to one of many of our antique stores here and LOOK at the eye candy I found!  I'm in love with all of it - I haven't even put it away yet because I just want to look at it.  I have an illness, I know.

...mmmm....berries again.  I could never tire of them.  In a pink dish even?!  It's all so overwhelming.

SO - the planning will continue but here's a little taste of the fun so far.  I don't know what I'm more excited about - the baby shower or getting to snuggle a new little family member!!!  Ahh--life really is good.

**For my strawberry invitations, I used a digital scrapbooking mini kit called "Strawberry Patch" from Designer Digitals.


Another Fun Find

Do you ever wish you could catalog all of the beautiful things you see in this wide world of internet goodness?!  Do you ever see a really good idea and then save it to a file on your computer only to forget about it and never see it again?!  Do you wish you had a little haven full of beautiful things, just for YOU?!

{cue annoying informercial music}  

WELL...Kadie introduced me to the coolest. site. ever.  It's called "Pinterest" and you have your own personal space to post anything and everything you love!  {gasp!!!}  And heaven knows we all like our own personal space.  {and I prefer mine NOT to be filled with crumbs from last week, drool, used *moist* kleenex, dirt, and fingernail clippings.  I don't have a fingernail clipping problem at my house---but it's just gross.}  

Anyway---I just started pinning, so my boards are a little bare, but feel free to follow along HERE and let me know if you're pinning up some cool stuff, too!!!  

Inspiring me today...mmmm...

I'm having fun with strawberries right now!!!  I can't wait to show you everything - but here are a few things that have been inspiring the creative juices:

photo from jello recipes

photo from tea party ideas

photo from pinterest

photo from Allposters

"Strawberry Fields" fabric by Sandi Henderson


Full Plate

Hungry?!  Is your plate full like mine?! 

Here's what I want to do:

Have a perfectly clean house
Get plenty of sleep
Exercise like a maniac 6 times per week
Never have to go grocery shopping
Make cute pillows
Finish my embroidered seasonal tree
Scrapbook each of my children's life in a digital album
Sew cute dresses for my girls
Make cute hair crap for my girls
Make cute Easter/Spring decor
Organize my basement
Take amazing spring pictures and spend time in Photoshop

Here's what I have to do:
Taxes (barf)
Cleaning as much of the house as I can
Grocery shopping (barf again)
Take care of kids, do homework, oversee piano practices
T-Ball & Softball practices & games
Feed my family, then clean up the mess
Laundry, then clean up the mess (barf some more...I get sick of barfing...)
Something secret that I can't talk about, which is taking up a huge amount of time but is going to be amazing.
Baby shower for the Adorable Kristine {gasp!} ...between you and me, out of all of this crap on my to-do-list, this one is my favey fave!
My Relief Society calling - planning, following up, lots to keep track of
Clean, organize, and de-junk the entire house on account of LOTS of company coming in May
the kicker....
loose 20 pounds by May.  ???!!!  hmm.  

So my plate is full, but it's full of great things - I just have to take it one bite at a time, I guess!  Now off I go to barf at the grocery store...

Meet our Winner!

Hi Everyone!!!  I'm giddy for you to meet the adorable Margo!   She is our 2011 Fitness Challenge winner and I couldn't be more proud!  So many of you worked very hard - I'm thrilled that you were able to get the nudge you needed.  Here is Margo's story for some more inspiration.  Don't stop working now that the contest is over - keep going!



am thrilled to have lost 38 lbs and thank you all for the motivation and inspiration of this contest to get me going! I still have 22 lbs to go, but I now know that I can do it. I have lost  weight before and have been on almost every diet. The older I got, the harder it has been. I know I am a carbohydrate addict and cookies have always been my stress relief. (Can anyone relate???)

I really didn't think I could do it anymore. I had no motivation and no will power. Then my daughter, Kadie, told me about the contest. I wanted to support it even if I didn't lose weight myself.

I decided to try a diet I had never tried before...Medifast. It worked wonders from day 1. I lost a pound a day for the first 8-10 days, which was very encouraging and exciting. That got me hooked! Kadie got me started watching Biggest Loser every Tuesday and that was very motivating. I also prayed every day to have the determination and motivation to stay on this. I have learned to eat to live, instead of live to eat. I feel 100% better! I have even been on 3 trips and have been able to stay on the plan. I just last night wore a pair of pants 4 sizes smaller than I had been wearing and can now buy clothes in regular clothes stores! (That could be dangerous...lots more available and many more choices!)

Again, thank you so very much for the help in getting started on the road to better health and feeling better about myself! Keep up the great work everyone...we can all do it!

Thanks, Margo, you're gorgeous!  And thanks to everyone who participated with us!



{haha...a weiner!  ...how could I resist??}  

A BIG, huge congrats to our fitness challenge winner. {yaaayyy!}  I just contacted her and we will all get to meet her soon.  She lost over 35 pounds, 18% of her total weight, and worked it!  Good for you!!!  I can't wait to share her fun story with you!!  {...little secret...it's my BFF Kadie's mom and she is the most adorable person ever.  I'm excited for you to meet her!!!}

Until then...I have another fave site, Garnish.  {large gasp!}  I just ordered some stuff from them for a little get-together and I love everything here.

These are my fave little straws!!!  They've got different colors, too!

And I got a bunch of this stuff....to make stuff cute...for the cute stuff I never make but want to...

And some of these...just because... I'm dying for summer and I want to pick berries.  No other reason besides that.  Do you need a reason to have cute berry crates?!  really.

Now off to clean the house.  yuck.


Wonder Women!!

Wow!  I've heard from SO many of you and I'm so proud of your weight loss success!!!  Wonder Woman would be proud.

At this point we have a winner, but to be fair, I'm still collecting emails - I'll give it another day and then I'm going to call it.  {eeek!!!}  So if you haven't checked in with me, and if you are pretty sure you've lost a lot of weight, you should send me an email.  for heaven's sake.

Keep up the healthy stuff - warm weather is a'comin' and you know what that means......  Ice cream season!!!  haha.



Fitness Challenge is OVAHHH!  Congrats to everybody who participated!  So now it's time for everyone to email me - HERE IS WHAT I NEED:

your beginning weight
your ending weight
and USE THIS CALCULATOR to get your percentage lost.  We had so much confusion last time and people not adding correctly, so let's do this carefully.

Email me - abbywelker(at)yahoo(dot)com