Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gender Reveal Party....It's A.....

This past weekend we had our parents and siblings over for a little Father's Day BBQ/ Find out Baby Allan's Gender Party. I kept hearing more and more about gender reveal parties..I'm guessing they're all the rage nowadays and I decided to hop on the bandwagon. Our reason for having one was mostly based on the fact that the majority of our family doesn't live close by. I don't have the luxury of asking my mom to tag along for an appointment and sometimes a month or two goes by without either of us seeing our parents. So, we figured it would be a fun way for our immediate family to share in a very exciting moment with us! I know some people kind of side eye the idea of parties like this. If I invited the world, sent out invitations, and made this huge spectacle out of it, you'd have my permission to side eye. But, with only our immediate family there..we figured we could have a little fun with it! I'd also like to give a big shout out to myself and Mr. Allan...because it was quite the Herculean effort to know that we could have found out the sex a week before the actual little soiree at our house. I'm quite proud of us and pat myself on the back for not ripping open that envelope!

First up...our little table scape...You might think I'm super creative...but I completely stole a couple of these ideas courtesy of the lovely website Pinterest! We had cake pops, blue and pink chocolate covered strawberries, pretzels, and specially themed Hershey bars.

My home made cake pops..I'd love to know the secret of getting them perfectly round and not having them shaped like meatballs.

Hershey bars...colored in the He and She with some Sharpies!

This one was on my favorite projects. I grabbed these mini chalkboards at AC Moore, painted them with some acrylic paints, and then glued our own Scrabble tiles on with a hot glue gun. The glue flicked right off afterwards, so our Scrabble game was salvageable! All our guests had to cast their vote on what Baby Allan would be!

The took a bit of explaining...but the Pastry Gourmet (located In Cumberland, RI and Wickford, RI) came through for us! They managed to not ruin the surprise by just looking at it and it was beyond good sugary bakery favorite kind!

Moving the party outside....

I hope our little girl doesn't hold this against me. I wore blue to represent my guess...and as you can see it, my vote was BOY! Mr. Allan and I were completely convinced we were having a the point where we referred to the baby as "he" and "Junior" and were only discussing boy names.

So you can imagine how flabbergasted we were to cut into that cake and see PINK frosting on the inside!!!

We had to yank out a piece, blink and rub our eyes, and then it started to settle in...

Not that we didn't trust the bakery...but the next step was to rip open the envelope from my doctor's office!

the proud parents to be...

Overall, this was such a great afternoon! I hope our families enjoyed it as much as we did! I was excited that all the little touches came together and that everyone really got into it!

Just a shout out to my sister who launched the contest for who Baby Allan's favorite aunt will be with this..

and I must say my mom got Mr. Allan a pretty funny Father's Day gift...

It's been a couple days and I think the idea of a little girl is finally starting to sink in a bit! I'm one of 3 girls is all I know..and I have no doubt that this little one will be a Daddy's girl all the way!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Time to Place Your Bets!

I have determined that I have willpower made of steel. On Monday we had an ultrasound or as the kids are calling it nowadays...the big anatomy scan..aka the ultrasound where they can tell you if you're baking a boy baby or a girl baby. Mr. Allan and I decided to find out the sex of Baby Allan. It's funny how many "Team Green" people felt the need to send me messages on Facebook urging me to not find out and how it's one of life's only true surprises. I actually think 2 separate messages contained that cheesy line. I reasoned it out that 1) I'm a mad crazy planner 2) I'm easily the most impatient person on Earth 3) I don't want a child doused in ducks, monkeys, yellow and green and 4) parenthood, for us, is going to be life's biggest surprise.

Baby Allan's sex was sealed in an envelope. As soon as we got into Mr. Allan's car I immediately turned to my husband and said..let's open one will know! He promptly locked in his glove compartment.

right before it was locked away...the all important envelope

Our grand master plan..all of our parents and our siblings are coming over for a BBQ on Father's Day. We decided to make it a big reveal and to share the surprise unveiling then. The true test of discipline, will power and strength...Mr. Allan went out of town on business on Tuesday. He had to hand over the envelope to me since our grand master plan included having a cake made by the local bakery with either a blue or pink center. Since he knows I'm a super sleuth, he took the sealed envelope, folded it in half and sealed it in a new envelope.

On Tuesday, I headed to the bakery. It took me a good 20 minutes to explain what we were looking to do. At first, I thought they grasped the concept...but then they asked if I wanted the cake to say "It's a Boy" or "It's a Girl." I explained that the surprise would be revealed when we cut into the cake..hence a blue or pink cake inside. They seemed to get it and then asked me if the decorations on the cake should coordinate with what color cake they would make. I wanted to yell..No Dummies! I don't want to open the box and know.I want to cut into the cake and find out. So, we decided the fool proof way they couldn't screw it make the cake decorated in both pink and blue frosting with generic weird baby like decorations all over it. We'll see if the plan works on Sunday morning. If you hear screaming sobs all the way from RI because the surprise is completely ruined after I open the cake box and see a blue cake that says "It's a Boy!," the bakery didn't get my idea. I'm already braced to have them immediately shred the order slip for fear that I will see BLUE or PINK cake on it as well! The biggest kicker of all...the manager of the bakery then took my secret envelope, walked about 20 feet from me and OPENED it! I heard her giggle and it took everything in me not to hurdle the counter and grab the opened envelope from her hands and read it myself. She then walks over and hands ME the open envelope. I kindly asked her to duct tape that shit back together before giving it back to me. I had to run to my car and find the most secure place in there to put it. So, the secret envelope is now zippered safely into my Toyota Corolla owner's manual pouch. I have proudly not found any reason to go into my glove compartment since!

So, we're T - 48 hours or so from finding out. The anticipation is killing me. I must admit, I've been thinking about it all week the point where I even had my first weird pregnancy dream. I dreamt that I went to pick up the cake and the bakery decided to be nice and attach a huge bunch of pink balloons to the cake box. Sure enough, when we sliced into the cake...the inside was pink and it was determined that Baby Allan was a girl. After all our family left, I got ready for bed. My doorbell rang. I answered the door to find the old school rapper, MC Hammer, standing there. He whipped out a gun and shot me in the arm. I woke up gasping and out of breath since I was the victim of a gunshot wound and the stupid dream was so vivid. On the bright's hoping that my dream was right about the sex...and that MC Hammer, if he does come to the BBQ, comes unarmed.

Before you wager your bets and take your's what's baking....

and..even though the most common comment I'm still getting is don't even look pregnant never mind almost 5 months (by the way..commenting on how pregnant someone does or doesn't look or asking them how much weight they have or haven't gained..never a smart idea folks!). Here's my 19 week bump..yes, it's there and yes, the only pictures I can take of myself are usually in our poorly lit work bathroom.

Tune in Monday :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beer Butt Chicken

I've been wanting to try this method of cooking a chicken for quite some time. We participate in a meat CSA through a local farm and my husband's favorite item is hands down the little roasting chickens. They're hard to cook during the summer months..the last thing I want to do is turn on an oven at 400 degrees. So, I thought we'd give this method a whirl....

It was pretty simple. I washed the chicken, rubbed it with a little olive oil, and sprinkled him with salt and pepper. I took a can of beer...Mr. Allan's choice this weekend to accompany him during his yard work was Bud Light Lime. We emptied, aka Mr. Allan drank, half of the beer. We took the half full can of Bud Light and sat the chicken right on it. I let the grill heat up. We have a 3 burner gas grill. Most tips I read about cooking the chicken this way advised to not sit it on direct heat. I had the furthest burner on a higher temp and the chicken was placed over a burner that was not on..our version of "indirect heat"

I left the chicken on the grill undisturbed for 1 hour. At the hour mark, we took a peek and let him cook for an additional 30 minutes. This was the chicken after the full cooking time.

I was really surprised by this. It was so easy to cook the chicken this way and the end result was an extremely moist chicken with a nice crisp skin. Usually I make the husband carve the chicken so I don't have to eat it off the bone..lucky for me he's a former Kenny Roger's Roasters employee and can carve a mean chicken...but, he just cut into quarters and it was excellent!

Beer Butt Chicken

4-5 lbs roasting chicken
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 half full can of beer..any will do


 Pre heat one burner of a gas grill. If you're using a charcoal grill, have the heated charcoal on one side of the grill.

Rinse chicken. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Take 1 beer can that is half full of beer. Place the beer can in the cavity of the chicken..aka sit the chicken on the beer can. Place on the unheated side of the grill. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.

After 1 1/2 hours, either check the temp or cut into the chicken to make sure the juices run clear.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Someone wasn't happy this morning that her pops is going away on business she protested as best as she could...

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's hard to believe

that I hit the 18 week mark tomorrow...time has somewhat flown when I think that in 2 weeks I'll be halfway done with this pregnancy...but on the other seems to be creeping by as I wanted to physically harm someone this morning as I dealt with a lethal round of morning sickness that had me whimpering to Mr. Allan who looked at me helplessly as I was on the verge of tears stuffing a sleeve of graham crackers down my throat willing it to go away.

It's also hard to believe that on Monday we have our anatomy scan to see if Junior is a Mrs. Allan, Jr, or a Mr. Allan, Jr. I think both of us are rooting for our own team. We're still in the process of wrapping our heads around the fact that 1) there is a wee baby inside of me and 2) that the wee baby will be our child in about 22 weeks or so. I think mostly because I'm in such a massively awkward stage right now...the stage where people like to tell me that I don't even look pregnant. If I didn't tell you or if I didn't sometimes try to squish myself into my work dresses with pencil like skirts, you probably wouldn't know. But, here's a little bump picture from this week...if you squint your eyes you can make out my after lunch I'm probably more bloat than baby even though I'm puffing out as best as I can bump. Mr. Allan took one this morning..but my weepy I think I'm going to throw up look on my face coupled with the choice of a black dress that made me look not pregnant at all..well, the bathroom self portrait from earlier this week wins out...

But...even more that on Father's Day we'll be hosting our parents and our siblings for a little BBQ. Our master try as best as we can to NOT find out the sex at Monday's ultrasound and instead have it sealed in an envelope..knowing me it needs to be a thick one secured with duct tape...and to find out with our families on Father's Day.

Being pregnant has suddenly made me craftier than Martha Stewart. Instead of roaming the aisles of Target and Marshall's after work looking for good work shoes or a new pair of sandals, I found myself at AC Moore and Michael's making little decorations for our Father's Day/Gender Reveal BBQ. Exhibit A my partially made glitter letter foam backed start of a banner. So place your bets and tune in next week to see if we'll be having a girl to out number Mr. Allan and drive him insane...or a boy that will surely become an absolute mama's boy

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

My nutrition savvy friend, J, gets credit for introducing me to this website and this recipe! I'm usually too lazy to make my own burgers..they'rejust so easy to buy pre-made at Whole Foods..but this recipe really caught my eye. I feel like I associate buffalo chicken with fried chicken tenders or wings...foods I try and steer clear of and really hadn't thought to make a chicken burger!

So, I thought this would be a great weekend dinner since the weather has warmed up and we're spending most nights grilling and eating dinner on the deck. The recipe did not disappoint and I love this website..Prevention RD. It's the little be careful when buying your ground chicken and make sure it's ground chicken breast since most pre packaged ground chicken at grocery stores contain white meat, dark meat, and skin.

Overall, we really enjoyed these, the recipe wasn't too hard (it was something I put together one night, threw in the fridge, and grilled up the next night.) I followed the recipe to a T..with the exception of dicing my red onion up and I sauteed it for 5 minutes before mixing it in..I just have this weird phobia with raw red onions..hate them!

Buffalo Chicken Burgers  (from

1 lb ground chicken breast
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 small red onion, finely diced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 to 2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs (I used Whole Wheat from Whole Foods..turned out great!)
pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp buffalo wing sauce
4 whole wheat hamburger buns (Ezekial is the choice of our house!)
2 oz crumbled blue cheese
2 Tbsp buffalo wing sauce (extra to top off your burger!)

In a large bowl, mix the ground chicken with the following 8 ingredients (through wing sauce). Divide into 4 equal patties.

Preheat a grill, or the oven to 375 F.

Grill for 3-5 minutes per side (depending on thickness) or bake in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray for 15 minutes.

Serve with 1/2 ounce crumbled blue cheese and 1/2 tablespoon of buffalo wing sauce. Serve with your favorite coleslaw topping for an added touch!

Yield: 4 burgers.

Nutrition Information (per burger with blue cheese and additional wing sauce – no slaw): 351 calories; 11.3 g. fat; 75 mg. cholesterol; 825 mg. sodium; 31.5 g. carbohydrate; 2.5 g. fiber; 33 g. protein