Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections from 2011

2011 Reflections


This picture was taken exactly one year ago. My how things have changed!

We found out we were having a baby girl! We knew her name would be Sophia Grace but we didn't tell anyone!

We also found out she'd be a little yogini. She still sleeps in that position...toes to the forehead.


We finished our remodel in Spokane Valley and got our house ready to sell. 


We had lots of snow and a successful first year of Kyle's snow plow business. 

A friend, Suwanee, took these maternity photos for me in the snow! I loved them! I was 28 weeks pregnant. 


In April we had more maternity pictures down with Mary Banducci. I LOVED these, too!
I also worked on a few knitting projects for my wee one. 

I also created a styled engagement shoot for our cousins Shayne & Stacey. Ifong took this picture below. I was ready to pop but loved spending the day in a field of cherry blossoms!



In May, my mom hosted a lovely baby shower for me with some of my closest friends. She made the quilt in the picture below for Sophia. 

I was 38 weeks in this picture and ready to POP! I can't believe I carried her almost 6 more weeks after this photo was taken. 


Two weeks after her due date, I finally coaxed Sophia into this world with everything I had to avoid being induced. After a very long and excruciating labor, she was born on June 7th, 2011 at 1:20pm. My birth was nothing I had hoped for or expected. But we are so happy Sophia was perfectly healthy and I was OK afterwards. I love the picture above of Kyle holding my hand and foot. That picture speaks many words about my birth and how much stronger our marriage became by going through that experience together. He was my foundation the entire strong!

We had Sophia Grace baptized a few weeks after her birth. We chose Amy as her godmother and Kyle's Uncle John as her godfather. Amy has been the best godparent anyone could ever ask for! And she lives less than a mile away which is a huge bonus!


In July, we moved from Spokane to Coeur d'Alene. I was SO thankful to move back to Idaho and to be closer to my family. We live in a regular old subdivision in town (totally not us) but for now it works. I am about 2 minutes from my nursing job and about 15 minutes from my parents who watch Sophia all the time for us. 

This picture below is from Mary Banducci at Lydia's wedding. That was a hallmark of our year...taking Sophia to all of the various weddings I helped create and design. Lydia's was one of my favorites. Sophia tagged along to all the weddings I did in 2011. She was a trooper and so was my husband, parents, and friends who helped me so much with all of the amazing weddings I got to be a part of in 2011! So thankful for those people and experiences!




In August we got to be guests at Kyle's cousin's wedding. Shayne & Stacey were married in Spokane and I helped coordinate and design their wedding. It was another one of my favorites and it was so fun to get to know Shayne & Stacey and their families better!

We also took Sophia on her first boat ride on Coeur d'Alene Lake with our friends, Ron & Deanna. She was so curious!



In August and September, one of my business dreams became reality. With the help of my parents, I started the Attic | A Vintage Rental Company. This was an idea I tossed around for a long time. My family and I have collected antiques for my entire life and we love creating and building new things. I'm so excited and thankful this business has taken off so quickly in our area. I am thankful for all of you who support it!


In October we met our family from Italy, California, and Minnesota in San Francisco. Sophia did awesome on her first plane rides and all over the city. 
Above is Gaetano, Angela, and Sophia. They are all second cousins.

Kyle was so excited to take Sophia to the ocean for the first time. He dipped her little toes in the cold waves and she loved it! We also made a trip to Catalina, as well. That and Napa Valley were my two favorite parts of the trip!

October also brought Sophia's first Halloween. She was the cutest little ladybug!

We had some family photos done by Lisa Wise when Sophia was four months old. These are two of my favorites. 


We prepared for our second season of snow plowing. We had more family pictures done at my parents' property. 


In December I focused on making Sophia's first Christmas relaxing and special for our little family. Christmas is so much more fun with a little one!

We are really looking forward to what 2012 will bring and are so thankful for those that have blessed our lives in 2011!

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pear Galette

A galette is the french word for a "freeformed" pie or cake with fruit and a crust. I whipped this up with ingredients I had on hand the other day for a styled inspiration shoot with Mary Banducci Photography and the Attic. 


3-4 ripe Pears
{any fruit would do}

1/2 cup Sugar

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 recipe of pie dough

1 egg

Pie Dough

1 1/2 cups Flour
3/4 butter or Crisco
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Sugar
ice water as needed

To Make:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix your pie dough with a fork in a large bowl. Roll out into a rough circular shape. This does not need to be perfect. We are going for a rustic look. 

Slice your fresh fruit and arrange in a circular pattern on top of the pie dough. 

Sprinkle generously with sugar and cinnamon. 

Fold the edges of the dough around the fruit. This can be pretty rough and rustic looking!

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Half way through the baking brush the crust with one beaten egg. Continue to bake until golden. 

This is the perfect pastry to accompany a breakfast, to be a dessert, or a quick snack to whip up for unexpected guests this holiday season!


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
from The Lewis Family

Kyle, Alisa, & Sophia

Here is the front of our Christmas card this year. Lisa Wise helped me design it and I love the way it turned out! She also took our family pictures when Sophia was four months old and again in the snow at five months old. 

These props are from my new business the Attic | A Vintage Rental Company.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Eggs Benedict with Spinach & Pesto

This is my favorite breakfast! I definitely prefer savory breakfasts over sweet ones. This one even get's you two servings of vegetables in before lunch time!  Instead of including a slice of ham I substitute with sauteed spinach and a few slices of tomato. I also spread the english muffin with pesto instead of butter to add that fresh basil flavor. The hollandaise sauce and the runny egg are my favorite parts!

This recipe definitely takes some patience but I hope even the beginner can make it by following my steps below. It is definitely worth the time and effort!


This is a slightly complicated dish to make because you want all of your items hot at the same time. 
First prepare your cooking area. 

Materials & Utensils

Cookie Sheet
Sauce Pan
Small Glass {heat proof} Bowl
Medium Non-Stick Skillet
Slotted Spoon or Wok Strainer
Cutting Board

You will want to slice and set the eight english muffin halves on a cookie sheet and toast. You also may want to slice your tomatoes  & chives and get your pesto ready to spread at this point.
You will need a separate set up of a saucepan with a glass bowl on top to make the Hollandaise.
You will need a nonstick skillet to poach the eggs. 

{serves four}

4 English Muffins

8 Eggs

2 Tomatoes

4 cups Raw Spinach

1 TBS Olive Oil

1 tsp Salt

1 cup Fresh Pesto 
{I got mine at Costco}

1 TBS White Vinegar



Hollandaise Sauce

4 egg yolks

10 TBS Butter
{cut into slices or cubes}

3 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

1 tsp Salt

{hot water on hand}

To Make

Stage 1:

English Muffins:
Toast the english muffin halves in the broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Turn the heat off and keep them in the oven to warm

Stage 2:

Saute spinach in nonstick skillet with olive oil and salt. Place all of the leaves in the skillet over medium heat. Place a lid on them and let them wilt. They will drastically reduce in size. Remove from skillet and set aside for serving. This whole process takes about 2 minutes.

Stage 3:

1.Start the Hollandaise sauce by adding about 1-2 inches of water into the bottom of saucepan. Bring water to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. 

2.Place egg yolks into bowl and whisk until they are slightly airy and lighten in color.

3.Place the bowl over the simmering water and continue to whisk for 3-5 minutes until they are thickened and almost doubled in volume.

4.Remove bowl from heat and whisk in the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Use immediately or keep over simmering water until ready to use. 

*Before you poach the eggs slice your tomatoes and spread each half of english muffin with pesto and set nearby. 

Stage 4:

Poached Eggs:

1. Fill non-stick skillet with 1-2 inches of water. Add a splash of vinegar.
2. Bring water to an "almost" simmer. Do not let it fully boil. You want the water to be at the place between simmer and boil.
3. Crack your eggs one at a time into small bowls. This makes it easier to drop into the water.
3. Once you reach the almost boiling stage use your slotted spoon or wok strainer to swirl the water.
5. Slide your egg out of the small bowl into the swirling water. 
6. Allow it to cook in the water for 3-4 minutes depending on how runny or hard you like your eggs. 
7. Remove with slotted spoon and place directly onto your prepared english muffins.
*You can poach more than one egg at a time if you have a large enough skillet to be more efficient.

Here is a great visual tutorial for poaching an egg. This is how I learned but slightly changed things up a bit. Once you learn you'll want poached eggs on everything!

Stage 5: 

You now have your english muffin, pesto, tomato, and egg ready to go. Whisk the hollandaise sauce again. If it is thick or clumpy add a few teaspoons of hot water (from your egg pan or pan below) and whisk to thin it out.
Spoon the Hollandaise sauce over the eggs and sprinkle with chives and paprika. 

Now you are ready to serve and enjoy! It's so delicious!

 All photos courtesy of Mary Banducci Photography

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baked French Toast with Blueberries

This is a great breakfast you can make the night before and then bake in the morning. It is pretty much "French Toast Casserole."

I prefer to use a bread like french bread. Brioche would be ideal for this, however, finding day old Brioche in this town in a pinch is not realistic unless  you make it. So regular old grocery store french bread works great, too!



1 loaf French Bread

6-8 Eggs

1 1/2 cup Milk
{rice, soy, or coconut work in this recipe, too}

2 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Salt

2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 Fresh or Frozen Blueberries

Maple Syrup to Serve

To Make:

Slice bread to desired thickness and arrange in a baking dish.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. 

Pour egg mixture over bread. Sprinkle with blueberries. 

At this point to you refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight. 

To Bake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the casserole for about 20-25 minutes or until egg mixture is set. 

Serve warm with maple syrup or honey!