Elah’s Baby Shower

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, USA DO!

It’s my mom’s birthday today. :) I hope you’re having a wonderful day! Love you!

It’s also my Grandmother Tezzie’s birthday today… I love you, too!  I’ve got some wonderful Golden girl examples to follow.

Now, because it consumed my thoughts for a few weeks, and because it was pretty and sweet and involved my own flesh and blood, I thought I’d share some shots from the baby shower we threw my sister and her upcoming addition to the family a couple of weeks ago.  Better late than never, right?

We (two perfectly lovely gals that are two of my sister’s closest friends – and I) hosted the Baby It’s Cold Outside themed shower in Quincy at the Gadsden Arts Center.  It was a beautiful setting for a shower, and the artwork provided a wonderful backdrop.  I didn’t bake the cake or the cupcakes! :(  I was sad that I didn’t have the time or energy to do that.  However, Shirah Brown at Toadally Cakes in Bainbridge did a great job!

Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls

I used glue and very fine Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter to write out Elah’s name and initials on scrapbook cloth for the cake toppers, then glued them to sticks and tooth picks.

Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls

The wooden letters are from Michael’s, which I spray painted gold.  I ordered the Pacifier Favorsfrom Amazon and spray painted them gold to match everything.  As a baby/kid, Anna Jo sucked on a “goggi” or “gaga” and had them hidden all over the house, so I thought that was a nice touch ;)

Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls

Flowers were just baby’s breath and fresh pine needles in mason jars adorned with sparkly gold ribbon and another gold pacifier.

Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls

We had lots of delicious brunch fare, including homemade mini muffins, mini quiche, coffee cake skewers with fruit, salad, a hot chocolate bar, coffee punch, and juices.

Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls

More pacifiers, grapevine wreaths, and cream ticking bunting I sewed onto grosgrain ribbon.

Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls

And lots of amazing gifts to shower the Mama-to-soon-be!

Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls

Even a little trip down memory lane. :)

Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls

Speaking of my Mom’s birthday, here are all three of us Bristol girls. :)

Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls

And Anna Jo with all her hostesses, including little SF, Heather’s little girl, who had a fabulous time putting on a show for us all while Anna Jo opened presents. :)

Elah's Baby it's Cold Outside Baby Shower | Oysters & Pearls

We all cannot wait to meet little Elah in person!

Until Next Time

Bestovers Crock Pot Hawaiian Pulled Pork Tacos

Heyyyyyyy I’m blogging! :)

I have decided that I’m no longer going to put pressure on myself to have a certain number of posts per week, or any posts at all.  It’s liberating!  Except that I’ve been eye balls deep in our audit at work for the past three weeks and haven’t had a chance to come up for air.  However, I  can see the light at the end of the tunnel and have lots to look forward to this weekend with an impending trip to Asheville, North Carolina for two of our best friends’ wedding (squeeeee!) and the audit has almost reached an end.  Kind of.  Anyway, during this audit, the extent of my cooking has been limited to basically this giant pot of best overs pulled pork.  We had some in the freezer from last fall, so Wheat pulled it out and I made it better than before.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Tacos | Oysters & Pearls

I forget how awesome crock pots are sometimes.

I turned leftover pulled pork into the most awesome best over maybe ever.

Bestovers Crock Pot Hawaiian Pulled Pork

ingredients

- 1 gallon ziplock bag of shredded pulled pork, previous frozen
– 2 large cans of crushed pineapple, including the juice
– a few shakes of Garlic Salt
– a couple shakes of Soy Sauce

instructions

Cook on low heat for 8 hours.  Add some semi-homemade BBQ Sauce and serve in taco shells with cilantro slaw, sliced pineapple, sliced avocado, etc.  I based the BBQ Sauce I made on this recipe from Five Heart Home and the stuff I had in my kitchen.  It turned out to be the bomb.com.

Semi-Homemade BBQ Sauce

ingredients

- 2 cups pineapple juice
– 1 tablespoon dried garlic
– 2 tablespoons of grated frozen ginger
– 3 tablespoons dried cilantro
– 1 jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed, finely diced
– 1 cup A1 Steak Sauce
– 1/4 cup Cane Syrup
– 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
– 3 tablespoons honey
– 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tablespoon soy sauce
– a few shakes of black pepper

instructions

Combine pineapple juice, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and cilantro in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every often. Stir in A1, cane syrup, vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and pepper. Cook on low for 15 more minutes. Remove from heat and mix in with pulled pork.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Tacos | Oysters & Pearls

It’s also DELICIOUS just heated up in a bowl and topped with toppings and eaten with a fork.  I actually ended up doing that more often than not.

To make the “cilantro slaw,” I basically just tossed a bag of classic cabbage cole slaw with some store-bought slaw dressing (the fresh kind in the produce section – so sue me) and a hefty addition of dried cilantro.

Crock Pot Hawaiian Pulled Pork Tacos | Oysters & Pearls

EASY PEASY.  And delicious.  I couldn’t get enough of it.  Which was good, because we had an awful lot of it.

I’m going to be MIA this weekend, but I swear I’ll be up to cool things, so follow along with my travels on Instagram!  If not, I really will most likely share my pictures on here at some point after I get back.  Pinky promise (kinda).

Until Next Time

Spring Beekeeping

Hey honeys!

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

As sad as I was to do it, I liberated myself of a couple obligations this week.  Sometimes, even though I care SO MUCH about SO MANY different things, you just have to take a step back and make sure you still have time to do the things you enjoy for yourself, ya know?  One of those things is beekeeping.  I just adore these honey bees, no matter how many times they sting me.  ;)

Sunday, Wheat and I opened up our hives to check on the girls.  We didn’t find what we expected to find, exactly, either.  Our strong hive, the Killer Millers, which we expected to split this spring, we found was weak.  So weak.  They had tons of new honey and comb (pictured above), but so few bees.  The mean old queen was still there though, which was odd.  When a hive swarms, they normally take the old queen with them and leave the new queen (or sometimes, no queen at all).  So the only thing I can figure (because so few bees did not make all that honey) is that the hive already swarmed (which is CRAZY) and they took the new queen with them.  Le sigh.  You never know what those bees are gonna do!

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

My “sweet bees,” our original bee capture, were stronger than EVER!  I’m telling you, bees and honey everywhere! We spotted this queen, too, and she was just laying away.  A bottom box in our double deep (meaning two deep hive boxes without a queen excluder) was chock full of brood.  We even spotted a lot of drones!  So if we don’t do something, this hive will swarm pretty soon, too.  We even found a few in progress queen cups we nipped off.

In these pictures, you can see the white, freshly capped honey.  Fresh wax is pale and light, almost white.

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Just looking at these pictures again makes me so, so happy.  I can’t wait for Spring!

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Bees on bees on bees. :)

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Now for a quick game of (unmarked) Queen Spotting:

Can you find her?

Queen Bee, Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Queen Bee, Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Did you spot her?  She’s right above the word “spot!”  I didn’t exactly manage to center her in the picture.  The sun was so bright I had trouble seeing my phone screen.  She’s a champ!

Then we spotted our marked, mean old biddy of a queen in the Killer Miller hive.  She’s been laying a little, but she’s got her work cut out for her.

Queen Bee, Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Queen Bee, Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

We plan to harvest honey as soon as it warms up, give the sweet bees some room to expand without swarming and take away some space from the Killer Millers.  I love that just when you think you understand the bees, they show you that you don’t actually know much at all!  Kinda sounds like life.

I hope everyone has a very happy Valentines’ Day weekend!  I’m helping throw my little sister a baby shower tomorrow (that sounds crazy even saying it), then retiring to a steak and a bottle of red at home with my very patient, kind, lovable husband.  We are seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, MoFro, with friends on Sunday, and I plan to relax with a day off on Monday.  Cheers to a wonderful weekend, friends, and don’t forget to hug the ones you love!

Until Next Time