Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Party Central










I just love getting together with friends and family during December. Celebrating the season is the best ever! We kicked off December with the Carling Family Christmas party down at my Aunt Marilee's place in Liberty Park. She owns and runs the concession stand and rides, and the new little restaurant was a perfect place to hold a party. We ate grilled burgers and hot dogs, popcorn, soda, sweets and a ice cream sundae bar..yum-yum. Even Santa came and payed a visit to all the little boys and girls. The kids went sledding and warmed themselves by the fire. Heber's little hands were so cold! It was great seeing all of my aunts, uncles and cousins...even Grandma made it.

Another fun tradition with the Bernhisel side of the family is the annual cookie party! My aunt Jan had the party over at her newly remodeled house, and what a gorgeous house indeed. The kids decorated gingerbread houses with piles of icing and every kind of candy imaginable. Heber was a professional gingerbread house designer that day. He spent hours making sure his house was just right! It looked wonderful. Matt, Sarah and I made gingerbread mobiles (from the December issue of Martha). We rolled out dough, cut shapes, baked and decorated. My finished mobile is hanging in our living room. I plan to keep it year to year. It's so special to have such fun aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of my family.



The Eve of the Eve party is another Bernhisel Family tradition. My aunt Suzanne has the party over at her house. Everyone brings something delicious to share. There are piles of wonderful food, kids running and playing, lively conversation, and this year there was a serious game of bingo! Next Christmas will be so much fun...4 new baby boys under the age of one. Carter Theurer, Jack Stewart, Colter Allred & baby Felix. So fun!! Even with G-G having her hip replaced only a short time ago, made it to the party. It wouldn't be the same without her and Grandpa Ted.

My darling Kappa girlfriends always have a fun Christmas party celebration. This year April hosted the party over at her house. Lots of fondue and peppermint schnapps. Wish I could have had one of those! Sassy won the ugliest sweater contest. The sweater was not that bad...but with the addition of chocolate drips down the front it won hands down. April sported a lovely jacket and bedazzled/begangled golden corsage...a look for any holiday party. I seriously have the best friends in the world. Everyone is so different, yet we all get along so well. These women are so talented, beautiful and amazing.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Southern Splendor







We just got back from a quick trip down to Southern Utah. Southern Utah is one of my favorite places. I just love the red cliffs, cactus and blue skies! I think that is why I wanted to get married down in St. George. We did a day trip to Zion National Park....so amazing! Matt and I were with my mom and dad, and we all had a great time. We did the river walk and hiked to the Zion overlook...we even saw Big Horned Sheep! Never have we come across any in Zion before.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Recipe & Arrangement Of The Month




I thought it would be fun to blog about some of my favorite recipes once a month. Please try them out, I promise they are tasty! I also put on a favorite arrangement by La Fleur....to give you inspiration to order one for yourself.

This months recipe is a delicious cookie native to New Mexico called a "biscochito". It's Matt's favorite, so I whipped him up a batch. Yum-Yum!

Makes About 4 Dozen
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Whole Aniseed
1 Large Egg
2 Tablespoons Water
2 1/2 Cups Sifted flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cardamon *try this spice, it's amazing. If you don't have it just leave it out of the recipe.
2 Tablespoons Sugar Mixed with 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1. Cream together butter and sugar. Add aniseed and mix well. Beat in egg and water. Sift together dry ingredients except cinnamon-sugar mixture, and stir into batter; beat well. If dough looks a little dry, and a few Tablespoons of water to help it pull together.
2. Wrap in plastic & chill dough until firm.
3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes. I usually just do a simple round shape.
4. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
5. Cool for a few minutes and then dip each side of the warm cookie in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until it has a nice thin coating.
6. Move to wire racks to cool.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dang you Martha!


Okay, so I thought I would get really crafty this year and tackle a small holiday project. I bought the glitter snowflake kit from the Martha Stewart line at Michael's. The snowflakes looked so darling, and I'm a sucker for glittery things. I will advise you NOT to do this project. It takes forever. I've already put in 30 man hours trying to get these snowflakes glued and glittered. I would have much rather bought some already finished. When I finally am finished, I'm going to hang them and leave them all year, so I can remember all the hard work it took.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Kris Kringle Tradition


In the Bernhisel family we have the greatest Christmas tradition. On the Eve of December 5th, Kris Kringle comes to fill the children's shoes with small presents and sweets. This is how the tradition began.....St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children and his feast day is December 6th. Gradually in Germany, a custom grew up where on the eve of St. Nicholas' feast day children would place their shoes or boots out for St. Nicholas to fill with candy and fruit, with the bad children getting twigs. I have the fondest memories of waking up on the morning on December 6th hoping that Kris Kringle had made it to our house. I've carried on the tradition with Matt, and I can't wait to teach my own children about this special day.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Festive Decor!



We went to the best Christmas tree lot this year! The Robinson Family tree farm from Montana. We just had to buy our tree from a fellow Robinson. Matt has been stringing lights, the Christmas music is on, mugs of hot chocolate are ready, a crackling fire is roaring....finally we are ready to fill up the tree with all the ornaments. I love getting out all my Christmas decorations! It's so fun to unwrap all the tissue and see what little treasures have been hidden all year long. I also enjoy making fresh wreaths this time of year. The smell of fresh pine & bayleaf fill the house, and I can't help but smile.

Giving Thanks 2007




Thanksgiving this year was spent in Denver, Colorado with Matt's family. We had such a great time! We cooked, feasted, relaxed, shopped, and just spent time hanging out. We always appreciate seeing the Robinson side of the family, who we don't see enough! Spencer and Sophie (almost 6 year old twins!) are the cutest niece and nephew. Sophie just adores Matt. She is always in his lap giggling with him. Spencer is really into Star Wars Legos...it was all he could talk about. Bill and Barbara are seriously the best parent-in-laws. It felt like they were always cooking and cleaning up after us. Their home is so lovely and comfortable, it always so nice staying with them. Matt and I are so thankful for such wonderful families. Love to you all!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Youth Making A Difference





Just wanted to pass on some information on where my little sister Sarah is spending her next few weeks....India. She is with a great organization called Youth Making A Difference. Please check out the website and you can read about everything she is doing. www.ymad.org I'm so proud of you Sarah! Here is a journal entry from one of the group leaders....so amazing!

Hello Everyone,
I don't think I will ever get over the poverty and joy of this country. Today I went to the hospital and had them take me to the pediatric ward. Many beds had 2 children in them passing infection back and forth. The labor and delivery would make you cry. It has many women delivering at a time on filthy cots next to each other. No epidurals. Eli thinks he is on a movie set and any moment Steven Spielberg is going to come out and say "cut" and then they will get rid of the filth and poverty and return it to the "real world". It is very surreal for the teens and adults as well. They are all physically and emotionally spent. They are in the orphanages all day playing with the children and working on projects. They are in love with the children. I will have to do a bag check to make sure they don't pack any children in their bags to take home with them. God bless America!

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Darling Husband


Okay, I can't even begin to tell you all how utterly amazing my husband is. He is a girl's dream come true. Today I have been a little stressed out. I'm trying to get ready to go to Denver for Thanksgiving, delivering flowers, picking up more flowers, making wreaths, my back hurts and I got hypoglycemic to top it all off! I had to ask for a sucker at the bank....so glad they had some. So, I've been extremely grumpy today. I was even grumpy after Matt made me a delicious pancake breakfast. Later this evening, I walked into our bedroom and there was a wrapped gift and card. I new it was from Matt and I started weeping even before I read the card. He had gone out today and bought me the most beautiful blue maternity sweater with the most darling of cards. He said the sweater was to keep me and the baby warm, and how he can't wait to see me holding our baby boy. Aaaaahhhhh, is this guy for real? I just cried and cried, and felt so bad that I was grumpy. I sometimes take for granted how lucky I am to have someone like Matt in my life. I'm so blessed. I love you honey bear.

Flower Craft Day


I had so much fun teaching how to make a flower arrangement during craft day on Sunday afternoon. The weather was so perfect, and my students were so perfect! Each arrangement had a unique look and design...bravo! The arrangements consisted of: Nandina, Sunflowers, Safflower, Millet, Eucalyptus Pods, & Echinecea Cones....Fall Fabulous! Photo: Sassy, Krissy, Erika, Natalie & Michelle

Saturday, November 17, 2007

La Fleur




Here is a collection of some of my favorite designs.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I Have Been Tagged!





I will answer the following questions for your reading pleasure.....

Okay, Kate want's some dirt.....I don't have bunions, but I do have a nasty cluster of plantars warts on the heel of my foot. Yuck! After baby is born, I'm having them injected with some sort of chemo-therapy drug that will kill them off. Hurray!!

I don't really have a great first kiss story...it was just a first kiss while sitting on my parents front porch. Duh, I wish it was a better story!

FAVORITE PLACES I'VE BEEN:
Maui & Kauai, Hawaii....Underneath the Water
Kiawah Island, South Carolina....On the Beaches Looking for Sand Dollars
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.....The Arch & Lovers Beach
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico....Chitza Nitza
Snow Canyon, St. George Area....The Hidden Pinon Trail
Yellowstone National Park....The Hayden Valley
Teton National Park....Jenny Lake
Zion & Arches National Park....The Emerald Pools Trail & Delicate Arch/Fiery Furnace
San Francisco, CA....Fisherman's Wharf, Baker Beach, The Muir Woods, The Presidio
Carmelle, CA.....Hiking Near the Coast, Great Shopping, Tide Pooling
Seattle, WA....Clam Chowder, Pike's Place Market
The Coast of Oregon...Tide Pools in Florence, Clam Chowder, Amazing Cliffs

SOME JOBS I'VE HAD:
Ride Operator at Liberty Park....This is Why I have a BAD Back! Cars & Planes Forever!!
Cookie Maker....Foothill Village, They always told me I Decorated the Best...Sorry Matt!
Barista...I Make a Great Latte!
Gift Shop Employee....My Most Favorite Job Ever! Changing Seasons in Sugar House
Interior Designer....Hoff Miller, Paula Berg Interior Design in Park City
Floral Designer....Susan's Designs, Artichokes & Roots

Shows I Watch:
Food Network-Barefoot Contessa & Nigella Feasts are some of my favorites!
Any Cooking Shows
Old Martha Stewart Living Re-Runs! I'm the Biggest Martha Fan!
American Idol
Grey's Anatomy
30 Rock

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW, or maybe you do?:
I Love sharks. I even went on a Great White cage dive on the coast of San Francisco...thanks Dad for going with me. It was the scariest thing I have ever done, and I can't wait to do it again.

I have a serious sickness when it comes to holiday decorating. Halloween is my favorite, followed by Christmas. I just love decorating my house, it's very theraputic for me.

I love, love, love throwing parties. Entertaining is so much fun. I want guests to come into my home and always feel welcome, cozy, & full of great food.

I try my best to freak people out with my obssesion with the Super Natural. Ghosts, Orbs, E.V.P's...I love it all. I even had my own Ghost Hunters club in elementary school. I would take my friends out on ghost investigations. I think we found proof in the neighbors shed one afternoon. I also dragged my friends and family to a ghost hunting club a few years back in October. Soooooo Freaky!! I'm a believer! Sorry to Kate for tramatizing her, and sorry to her hubby Brian. I think he still has to get up some nights when she has flash-backs!

I have my own floral design company called La Fleur. It's so much fun having my own business, but it's also a lot of work. I get so much enjoyment in working with such amazing materials, and I feel lucky I get to use my talent and creativity each week. I love working on weddings and I have a sweet gig with a large corporate company. They take me down to Las Vegas for a fun filled weekend, and all I have to do is come up with some killer arrangements! It's also great to know that I can do flowers and still be a mom. I plan on dragging Felix around with me...picking out flowers, buying supplies, and showing him how to make amazing arrangements.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Favorite Things




I thought I would share with everyone some of my favorite things!

1. Halloween! I love: spooky decorations, the falling of autumn leaves, the smell of warming jack-o-lanterns, hot apple cider & donuts, watching "The Nightmare Before Christmas", little kids costumes, screaming with family and friends at a haunted house, & a cozy fire on a chilly evening.

2. Yellowstone National Park! I love: spotting bison, elk and bears, hiking around the mud volcanoes & other thermal areas, jumping into the rapids of Firehole Falls, hiking to Lone Star Geyser, watching Matt fly fish in the Madison, & wildflower trails.

3. Tide Pooling! I love: looking through tide pools in Oregon, finding sea urchins, crabs, & sand dollars, sticking my toes into warm sand, watching for ocean life in the surf & eating a bowl of warm clam chowda afterwards. video

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sage & Leo



This is Sage & Leo, our cute Tabby cats. They are 9 months old and quite a handful! They love racing around the house, playing with paper bags and snuggling all over us. It seems like they think they are humans, not cats. Leo follows me around the house all day long, and Sage is always into trouble. My favorite is watching them snuggle together...brother and sister & best friends.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Maui



Last March we took the most amazing trip to Maui with the Bernhisel side of the family. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun we had. Maui is one of my favorite places on the planet...it truly has a spirit I can't resist. I love sitting out on the balcony, drinking my Kona coffee while watching Humpback Whales play so close to the beaches. This was Matt's first time visiting Hawaii and he is hooked for life! He enjoyed snorkeling and diving with the traditional Hawaiian spear he bought on-line. He didn't spear anything this time! We saw many gorgeous sea turtles out snorkeling, but the best were the ethereal manta rays. We can't wait to go back to Maui in the near future. video