08 August 2011

Weekend Update| August 8, 2011

Lake Eola
 Another weekend came and went and it's Monday again. I guess you can't be sad about the weekend ending if you had a great time, and we did! Friday night we headed out to Lake Eola in downtown Orlando to take pictures. John has been reading a bunch of photography blogs to try and improve his form, and I can tell he's really learned a lot. Isn't the picture of the city so beautiful? I love silvery it looks, it captures the way it looked with the storm moving in perfectly!

He's really been wanting to improve his portraits, so he used me as a model and I think he got some really great shots. See how the background is blurry and I am so in focus and the lines around me are crisp? The secret there is in the zoom lens. Portraits are best taken from afar, and zoomed in to get a crisp image with a blurry background so the person is the focus of the picture.

I took the next one...because it's my favorite part of the park...

After some fun with the camera we ran a few errands and then went out for some sushi...something I haven't done in ages since John doesn't like it. To make me happy he agreed to go out and try some to see if his taste buds have changed. We went to Bikuri Sushi and I ordered a lava roll. He wasn't a huge fan, but he didn't gag or anything, so that's something. :)

Saturday morning we woke up early (7am!) so that John could hit the beach and go surfing with some friends. I had plans to go to a crafting birthday party for my beautiful friend Shana. I spent the morning making a homemade gift of Rosemary Honey Butter (which I found on Fresh Out of Lemons.)  It was so much fun to make and I had everything on hand.

You basically boil a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary in honey and let it steep for a while. You bring a couple sticks of butter to room temperature and then blend it in a food processor with the rosemary-infused honey. Put them in jars and they will firm back up when refrigerated. Go here for the full recipe.

I made Shana an extra big jar of it and decorated it up for her birthday...

And I made a little jar for myself to serve with this homemade bread...

Once my butter was made, I packed up my craft and headed to my friends' house. It was great to be back with Kate and Kayla in the house I called a home for a year prior to my marriage. We had some great times in that house, and Saturday morning kept the memory-making going! Shana spent some time making her very first quilt, Kayla was making a ruffled skirt out of t-shirts, Kate was altering some clothes, and my friend Becky was working on a project for her 1st grade classroom.

Shana quilting

All my friends are very crafty. They sew and knit and crochet and scrap book and all those fun things. I've never been much of a crafter, but if cooking counts...

Thanks to Kayla, I did learn how to knit and have been working on a blanket for the past two years...ok, so I'm not a quick knitter.

My knitted blanket

Saturday night John and I went out for ice cream with our friends Hooman and Viyan. They are the Iranian couple I mentioned two Friday Replays-ago who had the baby shower. Their little girl, Vanda, is turning into quite the little charmer. She's getting so big, and is so well-behaved. She loves looking around and taking in her surroundings. She's such a curious little girl. Isn't she precious?

We enjoyed catching up on life. It had been a few months since we last got together and there was so much to talk about. We really enjoy their company and have so much fun doing nothing at all, just sipping on a shake and walking around town. At the end of the night we found ourselves at Target, and little Vanda who had had a little nap, woke up happy and ready to cuddle!

Sunday we went to church and then came home and cooked. And when I say "cooked" I mean "COOKED!" I may have mentioned before that I usually spend a lot of my Sundays cooking up food for the week so I don't have to worry about it during the week. Yesterday I baked pumpkin muffins for breakfast all week, a chocolate chip bundt cake, homemade bread, a quinoa vegetable salad for lunches, chopped up a cantaloupe, and made a wheat berry vegetable stir fry to go along with baked fish for the first half of the week. By the end I was exhausted and my feet were tired! But it was well worth it being surrounded by fresh foods that are healthy and that contain no unnecessary chemicals and preservatives!

Question of the Day: 
Are you crafty? What kinds of things do you make?


  1. Wow, I LOVE that picture of you! He should be so proud!

    That's such a great gift idea, too. I love receiving homemade things.

    I'm pretty crafty with some things but sometimes it's hard for me to discipline to finish certain projects. I do custom-made journals for people and that's probably my favorite project. AND I was recently inspired to try something very different...if it turns out well, I'll post a DIY about it.

  2. Sounds like a really fun weekend! Great pictures!

    That rosemary honey butter sounds SO good - I'm definitely checking out the recipe!

    I'm not too crafty. I enjoy making notecards and cooking, that's about it!

  3. Sounds like you had a fun weekend! Thanks for sharing all the pictures! I love the first one of the city, it is beautiful!

    I am trying to be crafty, crafts were never my strong thing! I am actually learning how to knit and I am enjoying it so far. Kniting takes my mind off of all the what if's and crazy things I am worried about!

    Happy Monday!

  4. Wow, that rosemary honey butter looks scrumptious!!!!

  5. What a wonderful weekend! I love the pictures you & John took :) ...And the rosemary honey butter looks divine! Perfect for a fresh loaf of bread...

    I'm not really that crafty (unless you count writing as my craft... or cooking...) I'd really like knit though, it seems like such a cozy habit, especially for winter evenings. I gave it a try a couple years ago and it ended disasterously... but perhaps I am brave enough to try again this year ;)

  6. I just started making home made bread! I have mastered ciabatta bread and made a pretty mean Amish loaf the other day...yours looks soooooo yummy...next on my bread list for sure!!

  7. You have a fun weekend. Your homemake bread seem yummy! Great blog! Following you :)

  8. That rosemary butter looks amazing! Yum. Not to mention that bread - I'm a huge bread lover. Homemade gifts are just the best thing.

  9. Mmm that butter looks yummy! I've made that bread tooo and now may have to make it again so I have something to eat with the honey butter!

  10. Elizabeth- I want to hear more about this DIY...

    Amy- I agree, knitting can be endlessly frustrating. I don't know how to describe what went wrong with my blanket this weekend...but it made me want to rip my blanket to shreds. But I calmed down and came back to it and picked right back up.

    The olive tree- Ooo, what's your favorite ciabatta recipe?

    Peiyinn- Great to meet you! And thank you for the compliment!

    Sunshinemeg- I agree, I love doing things from scratch for people.

    Rachel-I like that idea. :)

  11. Hannah, you are a genuine superstar! How do you manage to get that all done over the weekend? I had a list of a million and one things to do (crafting projects included) and ran out of steam after 10 mins! (I also planned to do Leslie's rosemary butter!) Now I am very intruiged by the pumpkin muffins, veggie quinoa salad and the berry vegetable salads - have they been previous posts of yours? I am always trying to be better organised for lunch but can't get it together! Did it really take you all day?

  12. That portrait shot of you is lovely (great job, John!), and rosemary honey butter sounds DIVINE!

  13. Alright my friend... yet another reason I'm excited to come live near you... SUSHI dates! You can introduce me to your favorite places, k? :) Or we can scout out new ones if you haven't decided on a fav b/c of John's dysfunctional taste buds. ;) Yay!

  14. Rosemary honey butter?! Sounds interesting!!! :)
    Glad you had a good weekend doll. :)

  15. Looks like a great weekend! That little girl is adorable. And that's a lot of cooking you did yesterday! Bread exhausts me - I can't imagine baking it and doing all that other stuff too!!

  16. Meghan- I really enjoy being in the kitchen, so I just lose track of time there. I don't have those recipes up on the blog yet. Posting the quinoa salad on Wednesday. :) It didn't take me all day, but it did take a good 4 hours or so.

    Gloria- John thanks you. :)

    Laura- You're on! Sounds like fun...yay, a sushi buddy!!

    Amy- haha, yea. But this recipe was really easy...it has to rest for 4 hours so it gave me plenty of time to work on some other things.

  17. Ok, you have just inspired me to hit the grocery store and do some cooking!

  18. The rosemary honey sounds so delicious!! I'm definitely trying out the recipe :) Thanks for sharing

  19. I'm sooooo happy that you tried the rosemary honey butter!! When I made my first batch, I wanted to give a jar to every single person that I know! The flavor is just so incredible. :)

  20. That is a great shot of you, thanks for sharing the portrait tip, I'm going to have to try that. And I will be making the rosemary honey butter as soon as I get back to Australia, what a great present!

    PS Yum cha is a Chinese dining experience that involves drinking lots of Chinese tea and eating dim sums. More info and photos here http://www.yumcha.com.sg/index.php

  21. That pagoda looks like it is smiling.

  22. Hey just found your blog! And I love it =] Just followed

  23. wow it sounds like you're a domestic goddess!

    what a great and productive weekend, i would have been worn out instead of well rested!

  24. you look lovely! :)


  25. Ohhh, I could totally go for that rosemary butter. Sounds and looks delish!~! really cute photo of you, btw :)

  26. Great portrait and nice town picture...
    Congratulations to your husband John !
    It remember me my trip to Florida. You could find some of my pics here : http://pierre-boyer.blogspot.com/p/ailleurs.html
    Greetings from France,


  27. yum, i'll have to give that honey butter a try!

    as far as making things, i certainly was more crafty before the internet came along. ha!

  28. OMG...Rosemary butter....so YUMMY!!

  29. Oh my I've never heard of honey infused butter (let alone rosemary!). Thanks so much for the tip, I will try it out this weekend!

    ... and yes, dreadful Mondays! Eek!



  30. Seems you had a fun and interesting week end!
    beautiful pics!

  31. you've had such a busy weekend but it looks awesome! that butter sounds fantastic and easy to make! i can't get over how amazing that first photograph is. tell your husband he's doing great. it really is a beautiful picture.

  32. Great photos! That butter sounds amazing! I love finding new things to make!

  33. Well... not ALL of your friends are crafty :)