Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday



Meet Clark...
my newest crush--
I mean, seriously, any guy that loves polka dots is my kind of man!

I went over to Kelly's this morning for her to help me with my business cards (I've decided not to go with the name "Shannon's Bloomers"--(even though I was in love with it!)--I'm going with something a bit more professional.

I'll post the results in a few days...


I went to BJ's this afternoon for groceries and ended up buying this huge MEAT LOG...
I needed ground beef, and this was $2.39 per pound...but it was such an obnoxious size...
It actually grosses me out thinking about this much meat jumbled together in one sleeve...why am I not a vegetarian again?
I seriously had to HOIST this bad boy up to put it in my cart.




Several months ago, I found a guy that makes farm tables out of old barn wood...
I ordered an 8 foot table from him and have been waiting for it to be finished...
He's been so busy with back orders so it took a little longer than I expected but he finally finished it!

We drove to Pottstown (hate that name by the way) on Saturday and picked it up (thanks to Bill Webster's pick up truck)...

I never thought I'd say this but I dream of the day when we own a (get ready!)....
pick up truck!!!
Think of the things we could do together!!! Hauling mulch, stones, plants, straw, duck pellets, tag sale finds...the list is endless!




The table is fantastic! It's completely rustic but smooth in spite of the rough looking surface...
The man who built it used a milk wash using carnation instant milk and then put a wax on it after it dried...
I think it looks very appropriate in a farmhouse setting...
What do you think?
Have you ever purchased a meat log?
Is Clark your newest crush?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Five for Friday

1. I've been trying to come up with a name for my business and thought I had decided on Bloom. I wasn't ever completely in love with it, though...it sounded too formal and I liked the idea of having a play on words...
My friend Rob Merrill (Heather's husband) came up with the perfect name the other day that I simply could not refuse.



Shannon's Bloomers it is!
My friend Kelly Farrington was kind enough to design a business card for me and I couldn't be more excited!

2. Observe the master at work a our ward's recent Memorial Day picnic!
Susan has been telling me about this awesome grilled romaine she had at a restaurant recently...
Who knew lettuce could reach such delectable heights!!!


3. The chicks went outside for the first time today. They are supposed to be under the heat lamp for another few weeks, but I thought a little fresh air in the sun wouldn't hurt them for a little while...They weren't sure what to do when I put the basket down on the grass...
It was so funny to see their little heads cocked with curiosity...





4. My mom's recent visit stirred up some serious competition in the way of pick up sticks...



The stakes were high!
$5.00 was the grand prize!
This was the official score board...



I may look like I'm concentrating on my next pick up stick move but I'm really thinking about all the things I needed to be doing during the crazy week I was having!




5. I wish this didn't bother me so much...(look closely at the front door)
When was Christmas, again?
Holy laziness!
Seriously!
P.S. This is not my house

Relief Society High Tea

Every year, at the beginning of the summer, our Relief Society hosts a garden party of some sort. A few years ago, we had it at my house and the focus was on herbs.
This year, Heather and I decided to organize a High "Herbal" Tea...





In doing my research to make this an official "tea", I found out some interesting facts:
1. A High Tea is actually another word the British call dinner. During the Industrial Revolution, exhausted working families returning home from work would set the table with meats, bread, butter, cheese, pickles and tea. There were no dainty finger sandwiches, pastries or scones. Because this tea was taken at a dining table (high table) rather than a coffee or low table, it began to be called "high" tea.
2. Tea Time was created by Anna Maria, the seventh Duchess of Bedford (1783-1857). Now that customs had changed and the noon meal was getting smaller and smaller, the Duchess suffered from hunger and a lack of energy around four in the afternoon. Although in the beginning the duchess would have her servants sneak her a pot of tea and some breadstuffs, she eventually invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal at five o'clock in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. The menu centered around simple foods including small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets and tea. This practice became so popular that the Duchess continued the practice by sending her friends cards asking them to join her for "tea and a walk in the fields". From there, the practice of inviting friends to afternoon tea became a popular practice by hostesses as a social gathering.



We borrowed an assortment of tea pots from various people in the ward and used them for a display...



Each table had a 3 tier stand with and assortment of scones (top layer); savory sandwiches (middle layer)--these included cream cheese/cucumber & watercress, chicken salad, and egg salad; and the sweets (bottom layer) which were cream puffs, lemon herb cookies, shortbread and almond flavored cookies.




Real clotted cream, lemon curd and raspberry jam were on each table as well...



We invited the Young Women to this event and even a few "Young Women in Training" came!
Is that the prettiest dress you ever did see, or what?!




The two Jennys...
(Jenny on the right made the fabulous scones! All 90 of them!! and not one of them was left!--I can't imagine how long she slaved over those!)




In addition to much of my grandmother's fostoria dishes, Roxanna (next to me) let us use her cute tea pots as well as glass platters for serving...
Being able to use real glass and china gave it a really special feel...
I was so glad my mom was feeling better to be here for this...she was such a major help!
That girl's a worker!



We gave everyone about 15 minutes or so to eat and then we started our program...
Rachel Anderson, who used to be one of my Young Women when I served in the Young Women's organization, did a cute presentation on the History of Tea.
Her family currently lives in England, and the sisters in her ward threw her a "Tea" when she graduated from college.
She e-mailed her brother with a list of questions to ask the women in the Billingham, England ward. ("What is your favorite scone recipe?"--"What is the fanciest tea you've ever attended?"
"How has the church adapted to the custom of afternoon tea?"--etc...) P.S. They HATE herbal tea! It was funny to see their reaction when asked if they like it...
Rachel's brother videoed the women responding and it was so cute to hear them explain in their English accents...
Hearing them speak felt like the authentic spice needed to make a recipe go from good to GREAT!



Last year, I asked my mom to be on the lookout for tea cups and saucers. I added that into last year's Relief Society budget so we wouldn't have to worry about it this year. It was so nice to let everyone go home with their own tea cup and saucer. I suggested that they regift it with some fresh flowers in it to a neighbor or friend in case they didn't want to keep it.
Here Heather and I are posing with our teacups after our last hoorah! She will be moving soon...and I just got released from Enrichment Leader and called as Primary Secretary.
She and I have had a blast working on this calling together. It doesn't hurt that she happens to be one of my dearest friends of all times, either...
sigh...
Have you ever been to an afternoon tea?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flowers!

My mom drove up last Thursday to help me out with the busy week I had planned.

I was asked a few months ago by the mother of one of the young women (Brianna) that I used to teach in church to do the flowers for her open house/reception...
Her colors were pink and gray and at the time she told me, I knew that I'd come up with something, but didn't have any inspiration at that moment...
A few weeks later, I got a vision for what I wanted to do, and I was so pleased with the result.


Now this is what I call a celebration of the season!

The first day, my mom and I just worked the whole morning on getting all of the flowers cut and arranged in the vases...

Just look at those vibrant hot pink peonies, peachy pink spray roses, tulips, and gerbera's!

Could you just die?!

I ordered the flowers through a wholesaler as well as supplemented with my own shrub roses, peonies and English roses (that looked like miniature peonies)...


The next day, we went to the church and arranged all of the flowers on the tables...
We took a short break for lunch and drove down to Peace Valley's lavender farm.



It is such a peaceful, serene place...
Although the lavender wasn't quite in bloom, it was still beautiful...



I can almost smell the lavender-to-be in this picture...
Lake Galena is just beyond the trees in the distance..



We couldn't resist buying this lavender infused dark chocolate! Oh my!



My mom was a good sport and agreed to a self portrait even though she was getting sicker by the minute.



We headed back to the church and finished off the decorating...
Pictures simply can't do it justice, but the tables looked so fresh and lovely...
There's such a wonderful energy that is present around fresh flowers, much like being at the ocean...
I loved how different shades of pink blended together to create one shade...
Little compotes of lambs ear brought in the silver...



This was a shot of the main food table...



And here was an overall glimpse of the overall look...Once again, it just doesn't quite do it justice to see it in a picture...
I think Brianna was just as thrilled as I was with the result...
Every time I see pink, I'll think back to this night--

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Ultimate Chick Flick

This past week was just plain intense...
My mom was in town, and ended up getting sick, Reilly had her dress rehearsal and dance recital, I did the flowers for a wedding reception, and was working on coordinating a very detail oriented Relief Society social (that was supposed to be at my house but due to weather had to be changed at the last minute), and the show went on regarding piano lessons and soccer, planning dinners and other motherhood responsibilities.
In addition to all the craziness, I went to pick this box up at the 4-H leader's house...
Can you guess what's inside?!...

The chicks arrived! They hatched last Sunday and were sent out later on that afternoon.
Because of all the nutrients they receive when they are in their shell, they don't need to eat or drink for a minimum of 72 hours...this enables them to be shipped without much hassle...


The ones that we ordered were marked with a red dot on their heads...

We picked a Buff Orpington, Buff Laced Polish, Silver Polish, Buff Cochin, and a Black Cochin...
We had them all sexed, which means that we know that they are all female. I couldn't take the chance of getting too attached and then finding out one of them was a male. My neighbors would be so bugged being woken up to a rooster every morning...
One of the things that surprises me the most is how much less messy they are compared to ducklings! 10 chicks wouldn't equal 1 duckling when it comes to the poop factor!


Any thoughts on a name for this little Buff Laced Polish? Isn't she a hoot?

video

I love hearing these little guys peeping. I'm sure our neighbors think there's some kind of devil worshipping going on over here because the heat lamp is putting off a red glow through the windows...

They should be in our house for at least 4 more weeks...

Ahhh...good times...

***Any clever name ideas?

***Have you ever raised chicks?