Baby Shower.

On Saturday with the help of family and friends, we celebrated our sweet baby girl (who will be joining us in just 10 ish weeks!). Since before I even got pregnant with baby #2, I had envisioned a beautiful girly boho styled baby shower and it was so surreal to finally see all of my dreamy pinterest boards come to life.

Breaking away from tradition, we decided to have a co-ed baby shower. Since this is our second baby, we viewed it as less of a “shower” and more of a celebration… so the more the merrier. Decorations mostly consisted of half the flower asile at Trader Joes and succulents and basically any DIY ideas I could think of to make use of all the extra pallets we had at my job. We decided on having the most delicious tacos catered because I don’t know of a single pregnant lady ever who has wanted to worry about standing around the kitchen helping to put together food for a crowd. Games were kept super simple. I have never been a fan of cheesy baby shower games and wasn’t about to torture all of my friends with them, so we chose just two games:

1. Baby Drawing contest: Everybody gets a paper plate and a marker, then they place the plate on their head and have to draw a picture of a baby. The mom/dad-to-be choose the best drawing as the winner.

2. Beer Drinking contest: all participants get a baby bottle full of beer. Fastest one to finish their bottle wins.

The games seemed to be a hit and were so easy to throw together… which was great because we honestly forgot about games completely until the night before the shower. For a photo backdrop, we took two pallets, nailed them together, stained them, and added some fake flowers. By we I definitely mean my husband. There was of course a mimosa bar in which I was able to enjoy nice virgin mimosas… aka orange juice. We set up a boho style low to the ground pallet table surrounded in blankets and pillows in the backyard. It was 110 degrees and got absolutely zero use but hey, it sure did look cute.

It was truly a beautiful baby shower that once again reminded me of how lucky I am to be surrounded by such a great group of people. My sister photographed the entire thing beautifully. We got lots of adorable little gifts for baby girl. I had like 4 rounds of tacos. Feeling blessed as always and so happy to know how loved this baby already is.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

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Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

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The other day as I was about to head out the door to go grocery shopping, when upon feeling how freezing it was (60 degrees totally counts as freezing to us desert dwellers), I decided that I simply could not go on without a yummy new soup recipe.

So, I did what any modern day housewife would do and I took to Pinterest. All I had to do was type in “healthy soup” and BAM, two seconds later I stumbled upon this little blessing of a recipe. I chose it because it 1. looked tasty, and 2. more importantly, it had a super short and easy ingredient list.

I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of this recipe, I just thought it would be something quick to warm me up and make the house smell good. But boy oh boy was I pleasantly surprised. To me, the true sign of a good soup is one that tastes good right off the bat. Soups are one of those few foods where typically, the leftovers are better than the fresh batch because the flavors have longer to sit. So, one little slurp from the pot of this soup and I knew that if it already tasted THAT good, this recipe was gold.

Let me tell you, I didn’t even know! Served up my first “leftover” batch of it today and couldn’t get it down fast enough (although the heat of it forced me to take it easy). I promise you, just stop what you are doing right now and make this soup happen in your life. Dramatic? Of course. But it really is just that good.

I got this recipe from:
http://www.aspicyperspective.com
but I did add a side note at the end about a couple things that I changed up a little bit. Enjoy!!

Ingredients:
10 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoon olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet onion
1 large lemon, zested
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup israeli (pearl) couscous
1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 ounces crumbled feta
1/3 cup chopped chive
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Place the olive oil in a large 6-8 quart sauce pot over medium-low heat. Peel the onion. Then quarter it and slice into thin strips. Once the oil is hot, saute the onion and minced garlic for 3-4 minutes to soften.
2. Add the chicken stock, chicken breasts, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper to the pot. Raise the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, then simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the couscous, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Simmer another 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off.
4. Using tongs, remove the two chicken breasts from the pot. Use a fork and the tongs to shred the chicken. Then place it back in the pot. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese and chopped chive. Taste and salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm. **Upon serving, I added some extra feta, a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice, as well as more crushed red pepper-because my spice love is so real

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

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First Birthday Party attempts by a pinterestaholic.

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Going into my son’s first birthday, I repeatedly told myself “He’s one… How hard can planning his party be?”. The answer: HARD.

Part of my problem probably lies in the fact that I am a pinterestaholic. For months and months, I laid in bed pinning away on my “First Birthday” board. Because of this, my bar was set high. After changing the theme multiple times, I finally settled on a Tribal theme. If you’re anything like the rest of my family, you have no idea where I’m going with that.. so by tribal I mean arrows and dream catchers and things of that nature. Honestly, even I thought I was crazy as I attempted to put it all together, because let me tell you… tribal theme is by no means a “popular” theme at this time. So of course, I went to Etsy. Etsy has never failed me. I was able to find a grande assortment of everything I had envisioned, and as each item started to arrive, I could see my vision coming together.

Finally, the day arrived. With the help of my friends and family, we were able to pull off what was easily the best first birthday party I’ve ever thrown. Ok, it was the only first birthday party I’ve ever thrown, but it was definitely the best I have ever attended. From macaroni salad and spinach dip, to sangria and passionfruit tea lemonade, there wasn’t a person who left hungry or thirsty, and there wasn’t a baby who didn’t leave completely exhausted. A party that produces an excellent nap time can never be a bad thing, right?

My husband and I had a tornado of a mess to clean up the following day, but we could both agree that it was completely worth it. Next year’s 2nd birthday party will be a whole other adventure… Good thing I’ve got a whole year to prepare!

Cheers,

T.W.C.