I know what you are thinking - about flippin time you put some pictures up from our Hawaii trip. Oh well - better late than never. Recently we decided to invest in Adobe Lightoom to enable us to edit our RAW images - which came in handy since the pictures were shot in the wrong white balance (flourescent so everything had a bluish tinge). I edited the pictures and was amazed at the things Aric captured - flying with the doors off was the best thing ever!! Although cold..
Going to cover all of December in 1 post. Overall our lives calmed down heading towards Christmas. Few big happenings were the 2nd Annual Cookie Baking Extravaganza and Melissa's visiting the week after Xmas.
Cooking Baking - last year I brought pre-made aporns and decorated them. Since I am secretly obsessed with aprons :), I decided to sew aprons for the girls. The only bad part was that I bought the goods in summer (all but purple) and didn't start the project till 2 wks before (during the crazy time mentioned in the last few posts). So needless to say there were some late nights and emergency calls to my mother (and some assistance from her). I did about 98% myself; but the last part required a hand sewn finishing stitch (blind) that I had no idea how to do (thankfully Mom was happy to help)! This year there were 3 of us and we picked our recipes a little more sanely this year. We each chose to 2 recipes (and made sure not to do to many cookie cutter since that took forever last year). Enough talking here are pictures of the festivities..
Invitations this year (last year were gingerbread men)
Apple Doodles (really really good)
Candy Cane Kisses (good but a lot of work so you don't melt the kisses)
Chai Tea Cookies (really good, with frosting ok)
Chocolate Pinwheel (these were ok not the best)
Double Butterscotch (good)
Peanut Chocolate Swirl (ok to much chocolate for me and swirl didn't work out)
Our little helper, Ekam posing by an ornament he made for our tress
Ekam the photographer, Kristy, Jennifer & Paramjit
The girls, I picked out everyone's favorite colors for the aprons
(Paramjit wore pink that matched and she had no idea about the apron!)
The second big happening was Melissa visiting. She drove from FL xmas night Our time was spent mostly just hanging out and catching up.. A few things we did do - went to our favorite cactus shop - Spicewood Spines (I LOVE LOVE that place), learned to knit from my mother, baked some bread, and in general relaxed. Here are a few pictures..
Our purchases; we try to get pots that have a lot of babies and share with each other
At the beginning of last year, we were at woodcraft and I saw a star hanging in the store that I fell in love with. We promptly asked for the plans; but they were not avaiable for purchase. The good news was that you could take a class on how to build the star. So when Aric's sabbatical came around later in the year, he checked the class schedule to see if a class was happening during that time. Luckily it was! Since Dad was going to be here, we offered to pay for 1/2 of the class as birthday/christmas present and he said yes. Here are some shots from the class and the final product. Aric will be working on jigs to build more.
This year Jennifer turned 30 and her biggest wish was to have a big party for her birthday. So that is what we did! It took a little while to decide what type of party which made for a short time to plan - but we pulled it all together and the party was wonderful! A few folks helped out.. James helped out by getting Jennifers requested cake - Pecan Praline Ice Cream Cake and he also got Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cake. Nick and Stephanie brought a veggie appetizer and a veggie entree and help with pictures (hopefully Nick will share copies with us!).
I was surfing the Evite sight and got inspired by an invitation that I eventually sent out. Here is the invite - I have always wanted to decorate with paper laterns and this was the perfect opportunity. I got different colors like the invite; found an online sight with great prices and fast shipping (http://www.paperlanternstore.com/).
Since there was the chance that we would have up to 20 people; I decided to order a table cloth for my table with the extenders in (don't have one and it is impossible to find my size table). I found a great site with great prices that made custom order table cloths and quick shipping (http://www.wholesale-table-linens.com/index.html). I ended up getting 2 - a brown linen for thanksgiving and a taffeta silver with embroidered circles; and 1 for the small table that Nick loaned us (light grey).
In typical Kristy fashion I went all out. Different color napkins (folded as crowns as suggested by Aric), tea light candles with tissue paper covering them in different colors, laterns on the kitchen pendant light (didn't get a good picture, they were from World Market) and tissue paper on the chandelier lights.
Food - we went with a Cajun Creole theme, one of Aric's favorite meals - Creole Cordon Bleu, Dirty Rice, no Meat Diry Rice, and Rolls. We had a few appetizers and I also made puff pastry with rasberry filling and dipped in dark chocolate, and ones filled with lemon curd. Everything turned out spectacular!
The final thing I did for Jennifer was to setup a photo booth for Jennifer to take pictures with all of her guests. Aric and I both enjoy photography; a long time ago we purchased backdrops and build a PVC structure to hold the backdrops - this worked out great! I also purchased paper latern string lights to have in the background. We set up a light and tuned the camera to that light. We put the camera on a tripod and had the remote to take the pics. Unfortunately, there seemed to be some issues with the auto-focus; but most of the pictures came out good, Here are some of the pictures.