Melissa Kaylene: August 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Create.Simplify.Inspire #32

Welcome! Week 32 already! I love looking at all of the fabulous things you have created, and your amazing stories. If you are new and haven't linked up before, this is a page where we can share some of our favorite things we created, or things that inspire us. If you are a blogger, link up to your post. If you aren't a blogger you can also link up from your Instagram or other social media page that you share on. This is a weekly post for us all to share our inspirations. Thanks so much for helping me make this happen!


                                                                                 ~Melissa
 
Create.Simplify.Inspire. #32


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
  
<a href="http://www.willamettevalleywonderwoman.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss203/anikalene/Untitled-2.jpg" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quiche Lorraine Recipe

Remember when Wayne and I had a fabulous dinner date from In Good Taste where we made our own dinner? I sure can't forget, it was such a fun experience for me to share with you. Ever since I've been getting their monthly newsletters, and I just had to pass along this classic quiche Lorraine recipe with you! If you live in the Portland/Salem area, you should definitely give a cooking class a try! They have so many different cuisines to choose from, I know there is a few more on my must try list!

~Melissa

(source)

Quiche Lorraine

Custard Base
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 gratings of fresh nutmeg
Quiche
1 quiche shell, blind baked
¾ pound bacon lardons
6 ounces gruyere cheese, grated
 
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
2. Whisk eggs and egg yolks together in a large mixing bowl until smooth.  Add the milk, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg and whisk until smooth and well combined.
3. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is deep brown, slightly crispy, but still a little chewy inside, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Strain the bacon from the fat and allow to cool to room temperature.
4. Place the quiche shell on a baking sheet tray.  Spread the bacon over the bottom of the quiche crust.  Spread the cheese over the top of the bacon.  Add enough quiche batter to fill the crust being careful not to overfill. 
5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the custard is cooked and lightly browned.  Allow the quiche to cool until it sets before slicing.
 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lots of Life Lately.


It's been busy. I know, I know, what's new? Last week I worked my butt off on a crazy week of night shifts, went to Noah's preschool orientation, and drove down to Canyonville to visit my Dad and to drop the kids off for an extended weekend visit with him. It was the first time they have ever stayed with their Papa for more than one night.
 
After my hectic week, I decided to have a little R&R on Sunday afternoon and had a much needed pedicure and berry refresher from Starbucks.
 
This week is already flying by and I have my first P.T.S.O mission (I first wrote about it HERE ), to sell T-shirts in our meet the teachers/cookies in the park event for the Kindergartner's on Thursday. Then off to work and then Friday I will be getting ready for our annual end of summer BBQ....which I am in no where's near ready yet!
 
Then next week : school starts.
 
~Melissa

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Four Classy Cocktails

 

Hello! Today I thought since summer is drawing to a close, I would share a few of my fruity cocktails with you, as we all celebrate the end of sunshiny days and bring in the fall soon. I love the summertime, but I will also be looking forward to pumpkin patches, peppermint cocoa, fall soccer, and pumpkin spice lattes. But before that happens, try one of these cold refreshing recipes and tell me what you think!






~Melissa

Friday, August 23, 2013

Imagination.


This 10 year old. Stuck in the middle of childhood and on the verge of growing up. Sometimes I look at her and realize that there isn't many more years of make believe left in her. I love her imagination. Somewhere between those teenage years we loose our imaginations, our dreams. We grow up.

I don't want her to grow up.

She is a reader. She always has been. I love that about her.
She read Anne of Green Gables. A classic. I remember reading it.

We borrowed the movies. If you haven't seen them, they are older, slow paced, and nothing exciting. But they can let a little girl's imagination fly into a world so vastly different than the one we have today.

She was enthralled in it. It doesn't hurt that Anne too had bright red hair and was 'too skinny' as well.

Sitting there watching that movie brought back my own imagination.

I don't want to grow up either.

Just some thoughts on life.

~Melissa

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Create.Simplify.Inspire #31

Welcome! Week 31 already! I love looking at all of the fabulous things you have created, and your amazing stories. If you are new and haven't linked up before, this is a page where we can share some of our favorite things we created, or things that inspire us. If you are a blogger, link up to your post. If you aren't a blogger you can also link up from your Instagram or other social media page that you share on. This is a weekly post for us all to share our inspirations. Thanks so much for helping me make this happen!


                                                                                 ~Melissa
 
Create.Simplify.Inspire. #31


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
  
<a href="http://www.willamettevalleywonderwoman.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss203/anikalene/Untitled-2.jpg" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>

Just me.

 


This is my typical outfit. Just in case you really wanted to know, you know, the real me. The lady behind the blog. We snapped these pictures on my back porch this morning and yes, that's what I wore today. I love loose flowing tops and tanks underneath. In the summer I live in capris . I wear flip-flops nearly year round, and my husband got me hooked on Ray bans. Those things seriously are indestructible which are great for a clumsy girl like me.

I thought I'd answer a few random questions about me, just in case you were interested or something.
I'd love to learn more about you too. Leave a link in my comments with your post as well if you'd like.


Addictions: Starbucks non-fat triple shot white mochas

Bed size: queen

Chore you hate: mopping

Dogs or cats: I have three kids so I don’t need animals! We have a dog, but cats are easier J

Essential start of your day: checking my phone before I get out of bed.

Favorite color: I love earthy colors. But a plum purple is pretty awesome.

Gold or silver: Not sure?

Height: 5'7”

Instruments you play (or have played): none L

Jobs titles you've had: bagger, cashier, fast food (what is their titles anyways?), Certified Nurse’s Aide, Monitor Technician, Charge Nurse.

Kids: Anika 10, Emma 5, Noah 3.

Live: Willamette Valley! Oregon

Mom’s name: Teresa

Nickname: Not many, only a couple people call me Mel or Melis, or Missa….oh wait….”MOM”.

Overnight hospital stays: With each child birth, plus a two night stay while I was 7 months pregnant for a kidney stent placement (ouch!).

Pet peeve:  people that say they are going to do something or be somewhere….and flake out.

Quote from a movie: "If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”

Right or left handed: Southpaw!!

Siblings: 1 sister.

Time you wake up? Depends if I’ve worked all night or not!

Vegetables you dislike: Broccoli

What makes you run late: kids J

X-rays you’ve had done: my mouth and spine.

Yummy food you make: Lasagna and chicken pot pie, and anything sweet.
 
Tag! You're it!
 
~Melissa

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A little luau.


Last Friday my work had a little luau party for the patients that also included the back to school Backpack handout for our kids. My work donates school supplies for their employees children every year.
 
The kids were pretty patient for having to wait around so long. ( I may or may not have bribed them with Wendy's Frosty's ) We finally ate and they played a few games like Simon Says, and had hula hoop competitions before passing out the backpacks.
 
- Just a little peak at the gathering and some photos I took of our kids.
 
~Melissa

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Scenes from The Bite.

 
 
 
 
 

Last weekend Wayne and I attended The Bite of Oregon. (Remember I told you about it HERE ). There was lots of tasty treats, and of course I didn't remember to take many pictures to share with you, so you get stuck with a few selfies and half-eaten cake and cheesecake.

We sat and watched the Iron Chef competitions, did lots of wine tasting, and I tried something new - deep fried alligator! Guess what, it really does taste like chicken! We listened to an 80's cover band and closed the event down. The best part was that it all benefited the Special Olympics of Oregon.

This weekend is a much different one, as yesterday we spent the entire day helping our friends move and today I am doing some much needed yard work around the house.

Hope you had a great weekend!

~Melissa

Friday, August 16, 2013

Easy Embellished Invitations

If you and I were friends in real life, you would know that every year we have an end of summer BBQ in my backyard, where family and friends gather together for what may be the first and last time of the season. You would know that there would be plenty of beer and wine to drink with an over bountiful table of food - and there would probably be something, somewhere on that table that your taste buds had never tried before.

We'd all find seats in my little yard under twinkling lights and chat about a variety of things, but you would know that when you get a group of nurses around there is no topic off limits!

We would stuff our stomachs full of food and then I'd bring out the desserts; pies, cookies, ice cream floats.

We'd chat until late in the evening, and I wouldn't let you leave until I'd had my fare share of photographs with you.

- It's coming again. Last year was our Blue Moon BBQ , this year our BBQ will be even better, and I want to show you updates with my party progress, starting with my invitations that I personalized.

You will need just a couple things to make them.

First of all, decide on a theme. Or browse around and find the perfect card and let that make the decision for you. I used some clip art and Picmonkey to create these simple invites with Chinese lanterns on them. Make sure you size them invites correctly.

Then save the pictures and print them onto heavy card stock. Then cut each one out and embellish. I made my lanterns stand out more with black ink, and - you guessed it - nail polish. Why not?

All it takes is a little time and creativity and you can save yourself a bunch of cash.

Stay tuned for more posts as I cover all my DIY's leading up to the party on August 31st!



~Melissa

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Create.Simplify.Inspire #30

Welcome!If you are new and haven't linked up before, this is a page where we can share some of our favorite things we created, or things that inspire us. If you are a blogger, link up to your post. If you aren't a blogger you can also link up from your Instagram or other social media page that you share on. This is a weekly post for us all to share our inspirations. Thanks so much for helping me make this happen!


                                                                                 ~Melissa
 
Create.Simplify.Inspire. #30


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
  
<a href="http://www.willamettevalleywonderwoman.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss203/anikalene/Untitled-2.jpg" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

thoughts.



 I have been thinking a lot lately. My mind swirls around in circles with ideas, problems, possible solutions, and dreams.

I have so many wishes of things I want to accomplish in my life - but unless I get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper nothing will become concrete.

I'm so happy with what I've become on my life's journey, yet I feel that this is merely only the beginning of greater things to come, in my personal life and in this blog.

I see this blog as a window of opportunity to create a grander life from. I've already been blessed with some wonderful opportunities like Dinner Parties from Local Plate, Adventures from the Portland Aquarium, and Dinner Dates from In Good Taste...and I can see nothing but progress from here.

Will you join me? Will you read along as I create, simplify, and aspire to inspire while living my life?
What are you thinking about lately?
 
~Melissa

Monday, August 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Peek-a-Boo.

 
Ten years ago today I was one scared lonely girl who grew up quickly as I became a mom a month earlier than expected.
 
I never left Anika's side at OHSU until she was healthy enough to go home with me.
 
Without her, I wouldn't be the woman I am today.
 
We've been through many ups and downs and life events together, but looking back I wouldn't change anything.
 
Happy Birthday Anika, we all love you!!!
 
~Mom 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sleepover Fun.


Anika celebrated her 10th birthday a week early this year, doing what she's been dreaming of for a year and a half now - a birthday party sleepover in a hotel.

After weighing the pros vs. cons I proposed a deal with her. One nights stay in a hotel with her two best friends instead of a party and presents. Of course she said yes.

We arrived at check in and the girls were in awe - a one bedroom suite with a jacuzzi tub. They staked their claim on the 'spaces' and quickly changed into their swimming suits for the pool.

Later when tummy's began rumbling we let the birthday girl make the difficult decision on where to eat dinner. She  chose the rooftop at Mcmenamins on down town third street, which was a 'fancey' restaurant to the girls.

After their fill of strawberry lemonades, pizza and burgers, we walked across the street to Serendipity's for double scooped ice cream cones.

We eventually made it back to the hotel for round two of swimming, and then headed back up to the room around 9:30 to sing Happy Birthday and devour cupcakes.

The girls then wanted the old lady (yes, me!) to leave them along, so they shut their doors for a girls night of Disney, nail polish, board games, and of course junk food.

I didn't really think they were going to pull an all-nighter though!! Approximately every 15-30 min. they came in to see if it was 6am yet so we could go down for breakfast.

After essentially zero sleep I drug myself out of bed at 6:15 to take them down, and they loaded up their continental plates.

One of them started tiring, and she crawled back upstairs and crashed on the floor for three hours!

The other two did not.

Before we packed up and headed for home I let them have one last dip in the pool.

Anika and I made it back to the house around 11:30, and she instantly laid down and passed out until 2pm, then she walked into the living room, sat on the couch, and was out again until 6:30. She then ate a couple bites for dinner and went to bed at 8:30. My go-go-go hyperactive little girl has never been so worn out in all of her 10 years!

I'd have to say that might be the most epic sleepover to date.

And lots of memories were made for little girls.

~Melissa

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Create.Simplify.Inspire #29

If you are new and haven't linked up before, this is a page where we can share some of our favorite things we created, or things that inspire us. If you are a blogger, link up to your post. If you aren't a blogger you can also link up from your Instagram or other social media page that you share on. This is a weekly post for us all to share our inspirations. Thanks so much for helping me make this happen!


                                                                                 ~Melissa
 
Create.Simplify.Inspire. #29


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
  
<a href="http://www.willamettevalleywonderwoman.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss203/anikalene/Untitled-2.jpg" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Last Sunday




Last Sunday I woke up to Anika making pancakes with her counter-sitting sidekicks.
 
Later Emma and Noah helped me do some digging in side yard - and discovered 'rolly-polly' bugs.
 
Lastly we all went to a birthday party at the local pool, where everyone had fun splashing and playing around.
 
It was just another day in our lives that would get lost in a bucketful of memories if it wasn't work these sweet photographs. With these, I will remember that sunny summer day always. <3
 
~Melissa

Monday, August 5, 2013

Guest Post // Tips to Creating the Perfect Cupcakes



Welcome! Today I have a guest post for all my cupcake lovers out there, as well as all of my readers who live in Australia! Little Bertha is a company that
bakes fresh, daily and to order, for café customers, corporate catering or direct at home.
They offer a range of handmade cakes and thanks to Melbourne's world renowned café culture boasting high quality boutique coffee houses, the number of their stock lists continues to grow, fast. They will  even bring Little Bertha to your home for big or little kids parties.
Their treats look so delicious If only they delivered to Oregon! :)
They are sharing some wonderful cupcake making tips today.
 
If you are interested in guest posting on Willamette Valley Wonder Woman check out my media kit. I love to work with other bloggers and small businesses!
 
~Melissa 
 
 
 
Tips on Baking Cupcakes
 
Cupcakes are both one of the easiest and hardest cakes to make. They're cute and tasty, but can easily become dry if overcooked and they don't last very long if not stored properly. They can also be time consuming to decorate as you have to decorate multiple individual cakes instead of one large one, but you can take a simpler approach like the carrot cakes from Little Bertha (pictured above).
 
However, there is a way to make delicious and interesting cupcakes without having to go crazy on the decorations. I think you will 'love' these hidden cupcakes that are perfect for any lovely occasion, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, even birthdays and they are surprisingly easy to make. 
 
Start by making a basic vanilla cake batter, (a packet mix is fine). Once you have whipped that up, separate it into 2 bowls, one with a spout so it's easy to pour. Add red food dye to the bowl with the spout and mix well to get a solid red color.
 
Place 2 tablespoons of vanilla batter (you can make it chocolate if you'd like by adding cocoa) into your lined cupcake tins. Pour the red batter into a flat pan so the batter lies about half an inch thick. Bake the red batter for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees C (350 F) and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, cut the flat cake into heart shapes with a cookie cutter and place vertically into each cupcake tin. 
 
Add the rest of the cupcake batter to each cupcake, pouring over the hearts and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
 
Once cooked, remove from pan and let cool. Top with some thick, fluffy vanilla frosting and serve to your unsuspecting guest, they will be delighted when they find your little surprise in the center!  
 
This is only one way of jazzing up your cupcakes, you could even change the shape if you'd like depending on the occasion if you have an assortment of small cookie cutters. I'm sure the kids would love hidden butterflies or dinosaurs, perhaps even a star or car.
 
Another simple way for making exciting cupcakes is to mix up the flavors a little bit, like I mentioned before, you can add cocoa to your vanilla batter to make it chocolate, or even split the batter into two vanilla and chocolate halves to create marble cupcakes. Add coconut to vanilla cupcakes with a little lime to create some tangy cupcakes perfect for those warmer months, or make them a little adult by creating cocktail inspire cupcakes with rum, Malibu, or Irish cream. Your options are endless, and if you've got the time its a worthwhile experiment to see what you can create with these tiny cake creations.