A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

Random Thoughts: Having Girls

Random Thoughts: Having Girls | PepperDesignBlog.com

I think that I was made to have girls.

I must admit that when we found out that Liv was a girl (on her birth day!) I was so over the moon. I had an incredible inkling that she was a she from about five months into my pregnancy on from a crazy dream (true story), but the fact that she really was when she arrived basically made all of my own dreams come true.

When we found out that Taylor was a girl (at this awesome party – a gift from Kev for Christmas last year as he badly wanted to also wait for her birth day, though I was dying to know), my second dream of having sisters close in age came to life. I thought that baby #2 was maybe a boy (which would have been totally wonderful, totally perfect). But when I opened that huge cardboard box and found pink balloons floating out I was about as shocked and thrilled as I ever will be.

Random Thoughts: Having Girls | PepperDesignBlog.com

I could have all girls. And sometimes I think that we will (we are hopeful for 3 or 4 children in our family). I know that I have huge amounts of drama to look forward to over the next 18 years and that likely life will not be all tea parties and roses. I am holding my breath for the first time that Liv mentions cliques or makeup or boys. But as true as it ever may be, God could have not given me a better gift than daughters.

I somehow feel equipped to raise girls (is that odd to say?). It’s not the girly ribbons and dress up shoes that draw me in (I’m actually not really in to either of those). It is instead a deep down feeling that I can do right by girls and the next generation of ladies finding their way in this world. I want to empower my girls with insight into the beautiful, complex feminine nature that they possess. I want them to realize that they will be wise and caring and pretty and smart and strong and ambitious and loving and worth it, all at the same time.

Random Thoughts: Having Girls | PepperDesignBlog.com

I want them to know that they are equals in this world. That they will succeed at whatever they choose to do.

I want them to realize that they have a team of people that believe in them and their life journey. If I am to be honest, I think that this is where the world fails with girls. (I once had a man whom I respected offer a sincere comment of something along the lines of ‘better luck next time’ as I walked by with my two girls… I realize that that’s not the norm but I was steaming. I should have replied ‘hoping for a 3rd’). Any bit that tears us down is not welcome.

My sweet girls – I can’t wait for this journey to continue!

Sons are awesome. The mother-son relationship is indescribable. If we have a little boy I will be equally over the moon. But until then, bring on the girls.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for letting me share more about life - and words from the heart – here on the blog in addition to the usual. These are slowly turning into some of my favorite posts (or at least ones I spend a lot of time thinking about!). xx

PS British website Bounty reports that having two girls is the key to happiness. While we might be in that camp for a little while, it’s looking like we’ll most likely end up on the bottom half of that list of ‘best to worst kid combinations’ ;).

More random mom ramblings right here.

A Rosemary & Broiled Lemon Bourbon Cocktail

Good Eats: Broiled Lemon & Rosemary Cocktail | PepperDesignBlog.com

I shared a peek of this cocktail here and here (Instagram often gives me away :)) but I’m so excited to share the full recipe with you all. This could possibly be my FAVORITE cocktail featured so far and I plan on recreating it again and again.

Very pretty too, right? That broiled fruit makes it look quite fancy.

Good Eats: Broiled Lemon & Rosemary Cocktail | PepperDesignBlog.com

Broiled Lemon Bourbon Cocktail

(With a Rosemary Simple Syrup)

Ingredients: bourbon of choice (whiskey as a substitute), lemonade concentrate, tonic water, rosemary simple syrup (recipe to follow), broiled lemon slices

In a glass with no ice, muddle one broiled lemon slice with one part lemonade concentrate and one tablespoon rosemary simple syrup. Lemon need not be destroyed, just muddled enough so that the rich broiled flavor is infused with the lemonade concentrate. Pour in one part tonic water. Add ice cubes (here’s my favorite silicon tray ever invented), top with one part whiskey. Float a second broiled lemon slice and a rosemary sprig as a garnish.

If you’re serving in a dipped sugar rimmed glass, prepare a high ball or low ball glass separately by dipping rim first in simple syrup and then in a plate of sugar. Pour your cocktail ingredients into the new glass just before adding ice and whiskey top.

For this example I used a shot glass measurement as my 1 part, if you’re serving in a high ball glass (or something even larger such as a mason jar), up the ‘parts’ by 2xs that amount. More or less tonic water can be added per your preference.

Good Eats: Broiled Lemon & Rosemary Cocktail | PepperDesignBlog.com

The ingredients are fairly basic with the exception of two key factors: a homemade rosemary simple syrup and broiled lemons.

Experimenting with Broiled Fruit | PepperDesignBlog.com

More on broiling fruit over here, suffice it to say that it’s excellent. I love to make a large batch and to keep my fruit in well sealed glass containers in the fridge. They’ll keep for a while.

Experimenting with Broiled Fruit | PepperDesignBlog.com

Since a simple syrup is already being prepared for the drink itself, the dipped sugar rim is an easy detail to add.

Good Eats: Broiled Lemon & Rosemary Cocktail | PepperDesignBlog.com

Oooo so pretty. A quick dip into the syrup and then into the sugar.

Good Eats: Broiled Lemon & Rosemary Cocktail | PepperDesignBlog.com

The trick for making simple syrup that is infused with any flavor is time. Simply bring to a boil equal amounts sugar and water, add your choice of flavor (rosemary, lavender, orange peels…) and let simmer until reduced to a syrup quality. PS this is so great on white rice and even fish that you might consider making extra for that evening’s entree.

Good Eats: Broiled Lemon & Rosemary Cocktail | PepperDesignBlog.com

When the syrup has finished its reduction, poor into a glass container with a lid (no need to strain formally, but if you do want fewer rosemary springs in your cocktail you can stop rosemary from falling into your glass container by using a lid over your sauce pot to catch leaves). That glass jar makes for easy storage (keeps for a long time!) and clean up since the sugar syrup will eventually crystalize and hot water will be your only solution for melting it away.

Good Eats: Broiled Lemon & Rosemary Cocktail | PepperDesignBlog.com

And there you have it! The perfect backyard bbq or picnic cocktail.

Good Eats: Broiled Lemon & Rosemary Cocktail | PepperDesignBlog.com

Yum :).

To those who have recommend bitters to me – you are the BEST! I can’t wait to share my experiments. This summer is the perfect time to try all of these cocktail beverages out, no?

What’s your favorite mixed drink?

PS more recipes here, more party ideas here.

And just for fun, did you know that this recipe remains as one of the most popular on the blog? and this one also includes rosemary – and quite possibly has garnered the most conversation on this blog.

Giant Tissue Paper Flowers

Tutorial: Giant Tissue Paper Flowers | PepperDesignBlog.com

Such a goof ball.

When Livy and I put together our little spring celebration, I thought that a main decoration of giant paper flowers would be fun.

Teal & Pink Easter/Spring Party | Pepper Design Blog.com

Apologies that this post has taken me a while to pull together (for those of you who have asked for it) but it was very easy and I think you’ll love trying these! I actually referenced two tutorials (RucheMartha) to get me started, but then this project sort of took on a mind of its own.

Teal & Pink Easter/Spring Party | Pepper Design Blog.com

I love how they turned out! These would be so pretty decorating a wall as a backdrop or en masse for a big, colorful event.

Teal & Pink Easter/Spring Party | Pepper Design Blog.com

After testing out a few different paper options, I chose to work with tissue paper because it’s so malleable and light. I loved that the light could filter through the petals (if I strung them up) and that the petals could be easily layered for intensity. Plus the project was easy to prep!

Giant Tissue Paper Flowers

Materials: tissue paper in a variety of colors, yellow cardstock (for centers), green cardstock (for leaves), scissors, tape, double-sided tape

I made a variety of sizes of paper flowers and thankfully cutting these guys out is as simple as stacking tissue paper and cutting out piles of different sizes. The girls’ babysitter and I actually took turns cutting during naps and after bedtime over the course of a couple of days :). Each flower ended up receiving two or three layers of petal arrangements (see below) depending on the final size.

Tutorial: Giant Tissue Paper Flowers | PepperDesignBlog.com

A quick overview:

1 | For the biggest flowers, cut out 4-6 petals in three different sizes.

2-3 | Take each petal and accordion it just a bit with your fingers. Each final accordion side should be facing up for best results (the petals will scrunch up rather than out).

4 | Gather your first set of 4-6 petals at the base of each petal, twist between a 1/2 to 1″ and tape securely.

5 | Repeat with the medium and large petals.

6-7 | Line the base of the small and medium petals with a ring of double-sided tape. Press the now tape-covered base of the small petal grouping into the medium petal grouping. Repeat for the medium into the large petal grouping. Now all three layers will share a center and all will be securely connected.

8 | Cut or punch out (with a crafter’s punch) a round circle in yellow craft paper. Using scissors, cut towards the center of the paper every 1/8″. Mold with your hands until the ‘stamen’ curves up. Use double-sided tape to secure in the center (leaves can be cut out of green cardstock and folded in half for a little added color).

Tutorial: Giant Tissue Paper Flowers | PepperDesignBlog.com

These big guys made such an impact! And we had fun making them :). Livy also helped me decorate her chalkboard wall so that we could draw out a ‘mommy, daddy and baby’ family of growing flowers. Love the way this little girl thinks.

On a more serious note, I might have to consider not including her in the pictures because she’s far too distracting. I mean, those eyes.

PS here’s a link to the full party, and a bunch more craft ideas can be found right here.

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