Monday, January 16, 2017

Music Themed Bridal Shower

I just came across these photos and realized I hadn't yet shared them with you. A few weeks before Mr. Handsome's youngest brother married Sarah during a beautiful December ceremony on the East Coast, his grandmother threw a wedding shower for Sarah.

The shower was music themed, as Sarah is a professional, classically trained musician. Everything was very beautifully done! I wasn't able to attend because Mr. Handsome had to work that weekend, so we couldn't make the seven-hour drive, but my in-laws sent me photos.

The game they played was created by Mr. Handsome's grandmother. Guests had to finish the story using music related words. In case you want to try it, post your guesses as a comment, and I'll share the correct answers in a couple days.

Music for the Shower

The ______ to a perfect day is to have everybody in _______.

As you arrive at your wedding, may you ________ into the church on _________ with your family there to __________ you. Rumor has it that you will be wearing __________ on your feet with __________ on your toes. Your wedding planner will greet you and __________ in with ideas from her _________.

Your wedding planner will remind the groom to ____ _____ and not to fall to ______. It is difficult to have a wedding if the groom is __________. Also, be sure your groom knows you want the best man to be a __________.

The ________ of the ceremony is usually a member of the church ___________.

When you place your _______ on your finger, it is a _________ that you are no longer going through life _________.

Some couples ______ _____ as they leave the ceremony.

A good choice for the meal for your reception is ______ ________. Make every effort to keep the groom away from the _______. As you look at your gift table you will notice that many people have taken time to _______ their gifts.

It is always risky to have the best man __________ a toast. If it is too long, have your maid of honor ready to _______ in.

As you leave for your life together, it is our wish that you will have ________ happiness and ________ stress.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mayan Rice Recipe

While we were in Mexico, we enjoyed a traditional Mayan lunch of chicken, pork, rice, beans, vegetables, homemade tortillas, fruit, and hibiscus iced tea. Mr. Handsome and I agreed that it was one of the best meals we had ever had.

When we returned home, I was inspired to make traditional Mayan rice. Although it doesn't taste identical to the rice we had in Mexico (there is still a flavor I'm missing), we both really enjoyed it.

Here's the recipe, as promised. Have you ever had traditional Mayan food?

Traditional Mayan Rice

1 cup brown rice
2.5 cups chicken broth
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, drained
1/4 onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt to taste

2 chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

In a large stockpot, combine rice, chicken broth, green pepper, black beans, onion, and 3-4 garlic cloves. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, and simmer covered for 40 minutes.

Just before 40 minutes is up, cook chicken in a skillet with butter, ground pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, 1 clove garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper.

Mix chicken into rice, and simmer for an additional 10-20 minutes (until rice is fully cooked). Check frequently to make sure pot does not boil dry. (Add additional chicken broth if needed.)

 Add salt to taste, and serve plain or with tortillas.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

East Coast Wedding Pictures 2

On Sunday, I posted photos from my brother-in-law's rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony. You asked for more snapshots, so here are some from the reception immediately following the ceremony.

The cake was made by Mr. Handsome's cousin. She is in her early 20s and is a professional baker. Her cake is out of this world. I asked if she wanted to share the recipe, but she said she wants to keep it a secret. Boy would it be wonderful to have though! (The cupcakes I posted to my Facebook page were also made by her.)

I took these pictures before guests arrived because I knew you all would want to see photos of the tables. My sister-in-law did a wonderful job.

Just under 200 guests attended the wedding.

Mr. Handsome is the oldest in a family of seven kids, and he was the best man. His speech was top notch. The perfect balance between funny and sentimental.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Car Seat Ponchos

Over the holidays, we visited with lots of friends and family we hadn't seen in a while. It was wonderful. On New Year's Day, we had breakfast with a young mom who has two little girls and one on the way. She is a full-time mommy who also teaches music lessons.

As she was bundling her kids up to go home, she showed me the matching car seat ponchos she had sewn for them. I was intrigued, so she explained how they work. Hers are made of two layers of fleece, and she puts them on her children when they load up into a cold car. The ponchos fit nicely over car seats, and kids can easily remove them if they get too warm.

Pretty genius idea, isn't it? This post isn't an advertisement, but if you're as intrigued as I was and would like one or more car seat ponchos (either for your own kiddos or for a gift) my friend would be more than willing to make them for you. She can make them with one or more layers, depending on the climate.

Monday, January 9, 2017

'Priceless' the Movie

Over the weekend, Mr. Handsome and I had the opportunity to screen Priceless, a movie that was in theaters last fall and will hit the stores on Valentine's Day (February 14th). Have any of you seen it?

Inspired by true stories, the film is a drama that portrays the horrors of human trafficking. The main character, James (played by Grammy award-winning Joel Smallbone of the band For King and Country) is a man who has made a few wrong turns since his beloved wife passed away and his inability to support his daughter caused social services to remove her from his care.

Desperate for a new beginning, James finds one in an unlikely place. He naively accepts a job hauling unidentified "cargo" and inadvertently steps into the middle of a human trafficking ring. When he realizes what is happening, James makes the decision to risk his life to save the girls who are being exploited.

Priceless is by no means a lighthearted film, as human trafficking is a very real issue that is estimated to enslave more than 20 million victims worldwide. However, the film brings much needed awareness to this atrocity and will hopefully encourage individuals and organizations to join the fight against human trafficking.

Rated PG-13, Priceless is certainly not suitable for young children. Parents showing the movie to their teenagers should exercise caution and be prepared to answer difficult questions.

Although emotional and heavy, Priceless has a very good ending, and Mr. Handsome and I are both glad we watched it. It breaks my heart to think of all the innocent victims who are being exploited by human trafficking, and I am hopeful that Priceless will spur us all on to take a stand against this terrible injustice.

Priceless can be pre-ordered on,, and The movie trailer and "Priceless" music video are embedded below.

Photo/videos property of Roadside Attractions

Sunday, January 8, 2017

East Coast Wedding Pictures 1

As many of you know, my brother-in-law got married a few weeks ago. The wedding was a beautiful Christmas affair on the East Coast.

I recently posted photos of the hairstyles that myself and two of the other bridesmaids wore, and you requested that I share more snapshots from the weekend. Here the are! More coming soon.

The first two are from the rehearsal dinner, and the second two were taken at the ceremony. The last picture shows the church when we first arrived. We put the poinsettias, altar, and two chairs in the back room because the wedding colors were green and gold (not red).

We didn't need to add extra decorations to the stage because it was such a beautiful chapel on its own. After the ceremony, it took us less than 10 minutes to return the church to the way it was before the wedding.

Mr. Handsome and me at the rehearsal dinner

Tables set up for the rehearsal dinner 
(With immediate family and relatives who had driven from faraway, we had about 60 guests.)

Mr. Handsome and me after the wedding ceremony

The church

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Homemade Bread Success

Over the past six weeks, I have made many attempts at homemade bread, and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. It's all thanks to my loyal readers who shared such helpful advice on November's "My Homemade Bread Failures" post.

I read through all your hints and printed off every recipe you suggested, and I have now made three tasty loaves of bread that actually rose. (Imagine that...bread that rises!) The recipe I ended up using is Simple Whole Wheat Bread from allrecipes.

I still have some work to do on the presentation of the bread. (Let's be honest...the top is a little flat.) But it's light and fluffy, and it tastes great. Mr. Handsome and I have especially enjoyed eating it with our homemade apple butter.

Thanks again! You are the best readers a blogger could hope for.