Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Blueberry Luncheon

 My friend Jill asked me to an orchard luncheon,
to celebrate my birthday.
I had no idea what to expect, but I must say,
 What's an 'Orchard Luncheon' 
you ask?
Well, there's this beautiful orchard, that's been in existence for 8 generations now.
They grow, bake, and sell amazing goodies!
We arrived a little early and were able to walk the gorgeous grounds.
 By 12:30 everyone began walking to the barn,
where we would enjoy our lunch.
 It was something out of a Better Homes & Garden Magazine.
The flower arrangements.
 The rustic decor;
look at the dried flowers hanging above,
the lanterns hanging off of a wooden ladder...
 Our table for two!

 Beautiful linen table cloth,
a jar lid as a coaster,
silver dining utensils,
and their orchard paper.
 I couldn't believe how many people there were!
Mostly women, a few men, and lots of positive energy.
 I felt like I was reading Anne of Green Gables
Or even an episode of Little House on the Prairie 
 We were served iced tea in mason jars.
 The theme of today's lunch?
A homemade dressing using Purple Basil Vinegar
Edible flowers
Some Turkish herb, I forget the name of.
It was delicious!
 Honey Oat bread {soft & warm}
Mini blueberry muffins with sugar sprinkled on top
and blueberry-raspberry preserves.
 The light was shining through a bit,
but this was us!!
 The main course was a freshly made tart-applesauce
Green & yellow squash simply sauteed in butter
Turkey--so juicy--with blueberry catsup.

 We were each given a little basket of blueberries to bring home.
Probably the best blueberries I've had all year.
 And of course, for dessert...
Blueberry Pie
 I think I got the first piece, as it looked a tad messy,
but tasted so yummy!
It was warm, sweet, and the fresh creme poured along side,
with fresh berries, & a sugar cookie heart...
I was beyond full and I think baby really liked it too!
I loved how the women who run this,
really took time to explain all of the hard work that goes into it.
I can appreciate a homemade jam much more, now that I know exactly how much
work goes into making one little batch!
They still do everything like we do in our kitchens;
one batch at a time,
baking with the freshest of ingredients,
and lots of love.
The fever of the season was truly transpired through their hard work,
dedication, and mostly through their delicious food.
It makes me appreciate life so much more after experiencing something like this.
I wish there were more opportunities to enjoy a home-cooked meal,
instead of running to and so's, or Apple Sneeze.
Not that there's anything wrong with typical chain restaurants,
but there's just so much more to life than a burger & fries.
I may be going backwards, but I really wish life were that simplistic...
a country road, fields upon fields, rows of peach trees, women in dresses...
Maybe it's the Jane Austen lover in me, but I really like it!
Thank you for such a wonderful day Jill!!
I know all the leading ladies in my life would just adore a luncheon like this.
They even have Christmas teas,
and get this..
Peter Rabbit Tea for little ones.
How precious?!
If you're ever in the Upstate New York Area,
I highly recommend checking out Hurd Orchards!

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Birthday Surprise Overnight

Tuesday afternoon I dropped off our furbabies! 
 I think I was a tad more excited than they were.
But they do love going "buh-byes".
When hubs got out of work, we hopped on the road
and ended up here!!
We have never been to this casino, and Joe did request a King size bed with a falls view..
But they only had 2 queens.
So we snuggled!
Loved this vanity area to get ready in...
so many mirrors!
We got ready for our big steak dinner!
 Maxi dress from my step-mom!!
 Baby came along!
 My Shirley Temple in a giant wine glass...mmm

 I asked him to smile...
Joe & his mojito
We played in the casino and won & lost a little money, but it was fun!
By 10, this mama was tired, so we headed back to the room.
Our view in the morning:
On my actual birthday,
of course we had Starbucks for breakfast!
 Iced vanilla latte
Apple Crumb fritter
 A gorgeous day for my birthday!!
 We walked over to the falls, it was so nice and breezy!
 Love this man.
 Baby & I at the falls!
 I got hungry, so we walked over to a little cafe hubs found online.
We shared a yummy root beer

My lunch:
 Pesto Gnocchi --so good!
 Joe ordered a steak panini
After lunch we headed back home.
We stopped at Buy Buy Baby and looked at furniture,
but it's just too hard to pick out until we know...
boy or girl?!
It was fun to look though.
I had a great, relaxing day and really enjoyed my surprise!!
It felt like a mini-vacay in the middle of the week.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's OK Thursday!

It's been awhile...
Its Ok Thursdays typically be a summer girl, but this baby is making me crave fall {cool weather, pumpkins, donuts, falling leaves, apple pies, boots, leggings, cardigans, scarves}... be so determined to walk more, I made a makeshift leash for Holly, since I left the real leash in my husband's truck {that he took to work}...
...that I cannot wait until Aug. 14 to find out if baby is boy or girl!? want to live on yogurt, fruit, cheese, pasta, and ice cream...
...that I'm still celebrating my birthday today by going to an Orchard luncheon with a girlfriend...
...and to be going on a birthday pedi with another girlfriend tomorrow... obsessively watch pregnancy vlogs/blogs and take them seriously {aka taking notes}...
...that we have no 'set plans' the rest of the week and I love it... be 31 and still not love thunder and lightning...
...that I am getting bigger and bigger each day...I don't know how some gals stay so teeny while preggars...
...that I compare my bump to every other bump around... pay quite a bit of money to leave our dogs in good care whilst hubs and I had a night away...
{you just can't put a price on peace of mind}
...that sometimes I feel like bloggy friends know me better than my own sisters... be loving my land line; call me old school, but I enjoy using a real phone...
...I'm counting down the days until hubs and I go on our little babymoon...
...that I really don't want to do the dishes that are staring me in the face,
since I was spoiled and haven't had to do them since Tuesday...
What are you OK with today?!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy {early} Birthday to Me!

Today will be a great day!
Well, for starters, Emily Giffin's newest novel is released today!!
I pre-ordered it (which felt like forever ago)
and this morning when I checked my e-mail, it said 
my Nook purchase was ready!
I'm having lunch with my wonderful mother-in-law,
then I am boarding the dogs overnight
so my husband can whisk me away for the evening!!

And he has the whole day off to spend with meeeeeeeeeeee.
I'm so excited.
I still don't know where we are going, 
but I do know I don't have to take care of our lovely furbabies for the next 24 hours
and I don't have to cook/clean/do dishes!!
That makes for a PERFECT birthday!
I love love love birthdays.
We've always spent the whole week celebrating birthdays in my family...
I turn 31 tomorrow, on July 25th.
I don't feel "thirty-one".
But I do feel different that I will be carrying a baby on my birthday!!
How exciting, that from now on I'll have a child to celebrate my birthday with.
I love our growing family.
30 was better than I ever could have imagined;
I cannot wait to see what 31 has in store.
Here's to another  year of fabulous.
To me!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Deck Party

I had SUCH a great weekend!
Saturday I attended a pre-natal yoga class at a local holistic fertility center.
I absolutely loved it!
There were 6 other pregnant women and a wonderful instructor.
Each week she wants to have sort of a theme,
and this time it was "letting go".
It was right up my alley!
I tend to hold onto things and worry--and it's something I've been working on.
I refuse to be a stress ball while carrying a baby,
so I think I've been doing pretty well!
It felt so good to move and breathe through all of the poses.
The last few minutes you get to create a "nest" and go into a deep relaxation.
I then spent the rest of the day running around preparing for our deck party!
Since we finished our deck {read here about it}
We got 120 wings for Joe to grill.
4 pounds of sirloin steak--ground.
To top the burgers:
2 lbs of applewood smoked bacon
Gruyere Cheese
I cleaned yesterday and tried to keep cool and casual:
Hey there belly, you just keep getting bigger!
We had about 17 people here and it was so fun.
Little did I know, my sneaky husband decided to turn it into a mini birthday party for me.
I went upstairs to use the bathroom and was called down to everyone circled in the kitchen...
And as soon as I walked in, one of my friend's twins, Aaron said,
"Happy Birthday!"
It was priceless.
A few seconds later my husband came from the garage with a homemade ice cream cake.
My step-mom makes them for each of our birthdays--
My favorite combo:
Butterfingers & coffee ice cream.
 {There's still some in my freezer, I may need some soon!}
Clearly I was caught off guard,
look at those hands on my hips.
 Usually I'm in control of everything.
I am the one in charge!
Not always I guess.
It was very sweet of my family and friends to surprise me!
In addition to the cake,
my MIL also brought cream puffs from a delicious bakery,
lemon ice,
and we had Alison's Key Lime pie
& an eclair cake I made...not knowing about all this!
A few of the sweet gifts I received were...
From my sister!
I'm totally making these for dinner.
 My mother in law Maria made me some adorable aprons!
 Maria and Alison had similar ideas..
Clearly when we made jam,
I did not have the right equipment!
So I am proud to say, I know have
enough measuring cups, spoons, pots & canning supplies!
From my dad and step-mom,
a zester & 
a beautiful maxi dress
I am hoping I can wear it on my actual birthday or even tomorrow night...
as hubs has another surprise up his sleeve!
I've got my feet up and am taking it somewhat easy today...
I want to have plenty of energy for tomorrow night!
I'm very thankful for such a great family, sweet friends, and such an amazing husband.