Utah County's NEW Cafe Paesan (from the Cafe Rio creators)

Saturday I had the yummy pleasure of taking a friend out to lunch and since I was in Orem I suggested the new Cafe Paesan: Italian Bistro. I'd heard that it was started by one of the original creators of Cafe Rio Mexican restaraunt...which is one of my favorites!! I love that it's like fast food, but not and it's yummy food! So the whole idea of a place like Cafe Rio but ITALIAN...was a must see for me.

So here's my review of Cafe Paesan....

Their menu states, "There is an old saying, 'An Italian Grandmother is a gift from God.' The time honored Traditions of Italian Grandmothers preparing family meals each day are the heart and soul of Cafe Paesan (Pie-saan)."

They have only one location so far, but hope to open more near Salt Lake. The Orem location is at: 69 South State St., Orem, Utah (801)404-5555. Their take out menu were a four page hand-written 4 page flyer...hopefully they'll get something more professional or a website to reference, but for now I'll try to give you as much info as I can.

The set-up when you order is just like Cafe Rio, just italian. However, much like my first time to Cafe Rio I was CLUELESS on what to order. And after going there once, I for sure need to go back a few more times to figure out exactly what I would love!

Loved the decor by the way...
My friend ordered from the Pasta Fresca menu. The pasta dish will cost you $7.95 and it's enough I think for two people. They created her dish fresh (homemade noodles too) and offered her grilled mushrooms and zucchini on top. It was beautiful when they served it (photo below was after a few bites). She selected the chicken with pesto sauce I believe. 

Here's how you order the Pasta Fresca: 
First you select your meat, either Paesan Italian Sausage, Balsamic Grilled Chicken, Italian Braised Beef or Bolognese Meat Sauce. Second you choose a sauce: Pomodoro Fresh Tomato Sauce, Creamy Parmesan Rich Cheese Sauce, Pesto Creamy Basic & Garlic Sauce, Rosa Sauce Creamy Tomato Sauce or Primavera Grilled Veggies. 

I ordered the pizza special and oh how YUMMY!! It was an Artichoke/Shrimp Pizza and seriously it was delightful. I loved the sun dried tomatoes mixed with the artichoke and shrimp...it was the prefect size too and made to order and the best crust.

Here's how you order the Pizza: 
They offer six regular menu choices of pizza, but today I picked their daily special (Artichoke & Shrimp). Here's the daily choices, 1) Torrino Apple Braised Pork, 2) Italian Style Braised Beef, 3) Romagna Sausage, 4) Paesan Pepperoni, 5) Siena Spicey Chicken and 6) Margarita. The pizzas are $4.95 and about the size of a plate...made fresh to order as well...yummm!

We also ordered the Bruschetta (ate that super fast) and I had a side salad with my pizza special (salad shown).

Other menu options included the following...

Grilled Flatbread Sandwiches where you pick between Tuscan and Roma Style. You also pick the sauce and meat or veggies for the sandwish. I'm sure those or delicious too!

Any a Cafe Rio style restaurant wouldn't be the same without Paesan Hand Tossed SALAD options too!  Crisp green and garden vegetables served on freshly grilled paesan flatbread. First choose your dressing: Balsamic Viniagrette, Spicey Honey Mustard (which I tried) or Creamy Pesto. Then next you choose from the following: Balsamic Grilled Chicken, Spicey Apple Braised Pork, Italian Braised Beef or Grilled Vegetables. The salads cost $7.95...can't wait to try one of these!

Buon Appetito!

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Favorite Finds....Mockingjay released! And lots of yumminess!

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
I have been patiently awaiting the release of the 3rd and final book to the Hunger Games seriesMockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games). If you've read the first two books then you know where I'm coming from. However, the second book totally left us all HANGING...seriously if there was ever a cliffhanger book 2 (Catching Fire) had one. The books are super fast reads, but boy, I just can't seem to find the time to read past the first two chapters...but give me the weekend. I sure would love to loose myself in a good book!! On a side note, everyone I've talked to said that this last book is NOT predictable and that loved where the story took them...can't wait. 

Peaches N' Cream Muffins
The dynamic duo of Two Peas in Their Pod created this scrumptious treat of Peach n' Cream muffins. I haven't tried them yet, but the thought of them totally makes my mouth water. My husband LOVES peaches so I think I might surprise him with this fun recipe. Here's a recipe link so you can make them too! 

Cheesecake Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
One night the darling Teresa Collins (or her cute cohort Stephanie Ackerman) posted a picture of Cheesecake Chocolate-Covered Strawberries on Facebook. I had NEVER heard of these and so wished I was at Teresa's class so I could try them out. But why wouldn't they be yummy...they have cheesecake, strawberries and chocolate! These are super easy to make...

  • Whole Strawberries
  • Philadelphia Ready-To-Eat Cheesecake filling
  • Good Quality Dipping Chocolate (try white chocolate for a fun twist, see image below)
  • Wash strawberries and pat dry with paper towel. 
  • Remove stem from berries and core the center of each berry. Be careful to leave bottom in tact. 
  • Fill a ziplock baggie with the cheesecake filling and squeeze filling into each berry. 
  • Melt dipping chocolate (in microwave-safe bowl at 30-second increments until chocolate is smooth and creamy. 
  • Dip strawberries to cover about 3/4 of the berry and place on small baking sheet lined with wax paper. 
  • Fill a second plastic bag with chocolate (regular or white) and drizzle to create design. 
  • Chill - but set out to room temp before serving. 
  • You can store these in a sealed container in refrigerator. 

Heart Altered Frame
This is so yummy up close, so I cannot even image how cute this would be in person. I found this over on Pursuit of Crafyness blog and she will tell you how to create your own altered heart frame.  
King Crab for Dummies
I love crab, but NEVER have I dared to cook my own. Plus I figure it tastes better because other people make it for me and charge me lots of money. However, I did love the title of the post over on "Or So She Says" blog (don't you love that name) and I had to share. Maybe I can get over my fear and try this at home. 

Chalk Clipboards
Loved this idea and thought how strange it was that for all the clipboard's I've mod podged and all the times I've played with chalkboard paint, I NEVER thought to combine the two. But the cute girls at Little Birdie Secrets featured this idea on their blog and show some additional images and instructions on how to create these. 

Cry-baby Kool-aid Cupcakes
Loved the idea behind a Kool-aid cupcake, but Confessions of a Cookbook Queen blog posted these pimped out "cry-baby" versions. That means super SOUR!! Check out what she does to these yummy looking cupcakes to make your lips pucker!

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Me, My Daughter & The Lion King

I thought I'd share a quick post about how amazing going to see the Lion King Broadway Musical was the other night! We unexpectedly scored a couple of tickets from a friend. Thank heavens for Facebook, because he posted that he had two extra tickets and asked if anyone was interested!! I instantly replied that I was, without even checking to make sure how much the tickets were or if I could squeeze the money out of my budget. This would be an "impulse buy" if ever there was one!!

We were lucky enough to be the first person to reply to his Facebook post and was informed I scored myself two tickets to see Lion King in Salt Lake at Capital Theater less then a week later. I never even asked where the seats were located...mainly because I didn't care. I was so excited to get to go and emailed my broadway buddy Emily to see if she wanted the other ticket. But then I told my daughter about it and she looked CRUSHED that I didn't think to take her. Well, honestly I did think to take her the instant I hit SEND on my reply on Facebook. But I figured it would be easier to budget one ticket on short notice then 2 tickets. But she assured me that she'd work off her cost of the ticket and asked me with big puppy dog eyes if she could PLEASE go with me. I caved and had to email my Broadway Buddy back and uninvited her (she was cool with that).

Now many of you know when you score such awesome event tickets that you can't get by with only attending the performance and that was it. The night would surely include a dinner and souvenir, which it did! We had to have a t-shirt to "prove" that we were there but settled on one for my daughter.

Do you know what my most favorite part of the entire the entire "me, my daughter & the Lion King" evening was?? Watching how excited and HAPPY my daughter was while she watched the performance. This wasn't her first Broadway, but the last one was when we saw Wicked in Chicago, but she was only 9 years old at the time. Watching her now at 13 was so different and so fun!! Which reminds me, there were A LOT of young kids at this performance. I totally get why, a musical based on a Disney cartoon. But it didn't end until 10:00pm and kids under the age of 5 were not so happy the last hour of the evening. I really think parents would have enjoyed spending the money on those tickets for their kids for a matinee...but me, I want my kids to be old enough to appreciate that I just spent that amount of money on tickets and I want them to be old enough to remember (which for me should be after the age of 7...but that's another story).

The COSTUMES were amazing!! The MUSIC was amazing!! I loved that they had characters walking up and down the isles so much. You could see the costumes up close (my daughter was right on the isle) and that was fun. The music that was added in, not that stuff you remember from the DVD, but the new music was so fun and amazing!! We are for sure downloading the Broadway version for sure!!

As far as characters go, I was a huge fan of Rafiki...she was unbelievable. Her singing voice was gorgeous and when she spoke it was fun to hear!
Timon & Pumba were great...after you got use to the green puppet-master they totally rocked their roles. 

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


My Recent Root Canal

Didn't mean to scare you...

I know this photo doesn't bring about happy memories for most of you. And no, I didn't take the photo (that would be weird). However, I did end up having a root canal last week and I had some thoughts come to mind while I quietly breathed in the nitrous-oxide gas (love that stuff).

Did you know they charge you extra to have gas while getting dental proceedures now? They tell you up front, "well if you want to get the gas you're going to have to pay an extra $35 for it." But hey, it's like getting legal drugs and in my mind that's much cheaper. I loved how I could crank up my iPod to the music I like....because you should hear the awful stuff the Endodontist had playing over the speakers. Then they began to put that awful stopper thing that thankfully holds your mouth open the entire 2 hours and stick some wrap thing around my tooth so that he can't drop tools or piece of my teeth down my throat.

But then the gas...it slowly started to relax me from my death grip on the chair, just in time for the guy (who by the way didn't look as old as the dr in my photos...he looked more like the 16 year old down the street)....anyway, just in time for him to stick the needle in my mouth and begin to numb my mouth. And I'm sorry,  no amount of gas or topical numbing stuff will make that a pleasant experience.

Back to the thoughts I had as I laid in the chair and underwent my (out-of-pocket) $235 root canal. Do you know the one thing I thought of..."I should blog about nitrous-oxide gas." So here I am, telling you about my root canal because that's what I thought about when I was enjoying being gassed.

But no worries, they did send me on my way with a bottle of water and a prescription for pain killers (wink)!
Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Favorite Find: Teresa Collin's Stampmaker

Supplies: Imaginisce B-Day Bash Collection, TC Stampmaker (watch)

I know I've been slacking on sharing my favorite finds, but like all of you, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed and things like scrapbooking and blogging get pushed aside. So I thought I'd share some of my favorite finds I saw at CHA in Chicago this past July.  My first and most favorite was the new Teresa Collins Stampmaker. The card above was create from the stamp that they made during my live demo.

I created the sample above with a the stamp I saw created during a demo. It's amazing how great the detail turned out. So here (photo below) we sat down at the Photocentric booth at CHA (creators of the Stampmaker) and awaited our demonstration. 
After the initial 3 minutes of the stamp packet cooked in the machine, the packet was cut open and our demonstrator proceeded to scrub away the excess goop from the packet. You have to love a man that knows how to scrub!!
After the image/stamp was scrubbed clean, it's then dropped in a small tray with clean water in it and placed back in the machine for 2 minutes. The machine reminded me of a "gel nail" UV light machine I once received as a gift. So girls, if you like doing gel nails then you might be able to use this for your nails too. Anyway, once it's done, you cut away the excess backing and mount it to an acrylic block with adhesive.

We then tried stamping some of the images and the detail turned out great. I even liked that they mounted some to self-inking stamps too. The Teresa Collins Stampmaker retails for around $150-160 dollars. And I've already made a long list of things I'd like to create with my Stampmaker when I get it...hint, hint!

Oh, I couldn't miss out sharing a fun picture we had taken at CHA of me (with humid-hair), Teresa and Bridget. I actually felt bad asking Stephanie Ackerman to take our photo because I adore her too and in my book she's just as talented as the rest of us.

If you're interested to see how the stampmaker works, be sure to watch this video. Love it!!
Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Favorite Finds: Inspiration at the Park City Arts Festival 2010

The first Saturday in August every year I have enjoyed a long time running tradition with my mother. We head up to our beautiful mountains in Park City to enjoy the Park City Arts Festival 2010. This long time tradition of my mother's started when I was young and I cannot remember ever missing it. On occasion we've taken friends and family to enjoy in the experience, but very few ever return with us. Until this year! Both my kids have had the chance to attend with grandma and me (different years of course) and apparently they found something in the experience that made them want to come back. They both promised if they could go that they would 1) they couldn't complain when we stopped at EVERY jewelry booth (why grandma likes to go) 2) they could not fight and 3) they had to let me take pictures of them...smiling at the camera. So you all get to benefit from #3...because I've never taken pictures of us at the Arts Festival until now (scroll to the end of the post). 

So for my favorite finds post for this week I thought I'd share some of my favorite finds from the Park City Arts Festival: 

Let's start with a gal close to my home, Papers Edge. She lives in Kaysville and managed to be selected as an artist for the festival (which I understand is very hard). Her framed pieces caught my eye because they looked like very artsy PAPER-PIECINGS (obviously I'm working the wrong side of scrapbooking). Anyway, I couldn't believe that they were selling for over $300 too. Regretfully I asked her for a business card and all she could offer me was a little sticker that had her "etsy" shop address on it...which I of course lost. But I was able to track down her info, but most of her pieces from the festival don't show up in her etsy shop...she should work on that for sure!

Fred Conlon's Sugarpost designs is the reason that my son insisted on going with us this year. He said he'd been saving up his money to buy one of the metal art pieces created by Fred. I laughed that the one my son insisted on owning was the Gnome-be-Gone piece. Everything in his booth has such great humor to it and Fred is super nice. If you've been to the Arts Festival in the past ten years or so..he's always there!! But if you can't make it, he has a great website and sells online too! 

Jax Hatz from San Francisco was probably the booth I spent the MOST time in. Who doesn't love to try on fancy hats. My mother bought one of their opened top visor hats that stretch to fit and can be rolled up for travel. The prefect hat for her European travels next year. They also had some very stylish ribbed hats that Emma and I loved. I of course wanted the black & white one (see collage photo below...with ME wearing a hat), but Emma insisted we go with the all black hat. Honestly their website does not do these hats justice at all!! 

We were very excited to see that John Galbo returned to the festival. He takes the most amazing photos of Italy (among other places). My mom is planning her European trip in 2011 and was hoping to be inspired by his amazing photographs. Obviously they printed ton canvas and framed are so much more amazing then his online gallery but they're still unbelievable. My vote is Italy for sure!! 

And of course our trip to the Arts Festival wouldn't be complete without me showing off my favorite jewelry booth. The beautiful work of Molly Dingledine totally caught my eye near the end of our travels for the day. Everything she was featuring was amazing and totally my style (if only had more money)! Check out here amazing work on her beautiful website

Here's a quick collage of my first group of photos from the Park City Arts Festival. I figured it was easier to show them off in a collage. Aren't my kids so awesome and CUTE!!?? The of course inspire me every day. I loved how my son liked to talk to the artists to find out how they did their artwork. Both my kids are great artists and I'm glad they enjoy the Park City Arts Festival 2010. 

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Reflections of a Mom's Travels

Although it's now been over a week since I returned from my travels last week I have been thinking a lot about my short trip away and how it has affect me and my family. I say mom's travels because as you know a mom away on business is so different then a dad and this is why? 

The day after I left for CHA-Chicago my daughter left for Girls Camp. I helped get her packed up all her supplies delivered to our camp director before I left. Her dad's only job was to make sure she was dropped off on time for the bus, which he managed just fine. Then two days into my trip I received a text message from my husband before my alarm was due to go off and it read: "Emma came home from camp in the middle of this night very sick. What do I do now? Who do I call?" I called to learn that she was brought home the first night of camp by two of her leaders with a fever and very, very sad that she had to leave camp. One of her AWESOME leaders figured she had strep and passed that information on when they deposited my daughter on our door step at 11:45pm that night. My sweet husband was so worried, not because my daughter was ill, but because she was so upset that she had to leave camp. I assured him that if it was Strep that it only required a shot in the hip and some rest and she should be able to return to camp. I quickly told him the number of our doctor to call and told him to keep me posted. 

I cried. 

I was sad that I was not there to give my daughter "mommy loves" and hug her. I cried because I knew how completely disappointed she was that she had to leave camp at all. I cried because there was nothing I could do from Chicago. 

I later learned that the doctor confirmed it was Strep, gave her a shot in the hip and she had rested most the afternoon. My sweet hubby ended up taking another day off work and stepped up his typical efforts to about 110% to be there to help my daughter. He said to me, "I gave her extra hugs because I knew that's what she'd want from you!" And he even made dinner. He then coordinated the plan for the following day to get her back up to camp, which would require him to get off work early...so all in all, he ended up missing about 2 1/2 days of work because I wasn't home. 

Funny thing, I use to be a traveling mom a lot more years ago and I left my much younger kids home with their dad. We had a lot of friends and family that helped us with the kids because they weren't old enough to be left alone, but never in all my past travels did my husband have to take off 2 1/2 days to cover for me. Go figure! 

So as you can see my sweet daughter was returned to her friends and amazing leaders at Girls Camp (Bottom left photo - she's the second from the left, redhead).
But the reason I tell you this, is there was a wonderful thing that came out of my mom travels. You see, although I was sad to hear repeated stories from neighbors and friends that witnessed my daughters emotional journey and my husband's efforts (which of course made me cry), my heart was very touched to see how my close my daughter her her dad had become. Personally I believe that she learned in the short 5 days I was traveling that her dad is there for her, cares for her and would do anything for her.

So it isn't all bad. And did I mention he "cooked" dinner for my kids. Still waiting to see this one happen since I've returned...I'm hopeful! 
Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Imaginisce's August SKETCH Challenge

Imaginisce is hosting it's monthly Sketch Challenge on their blog and I really liked Sarah's sketch. So I thought I'd see how fast I could throw something together using a sketch and it was super easy. I love using the new Apple Cider Collection papers and figured they'd work for anything with the right color scheme. Oh the layout took me about 30 minutes to throw together (making the flowers took the longest amount of time).

The top flower was created using all three sizes of the i-top punches. I spritzed them with water and then crunched them up and added a small brad to the center made with the i-top tool. My favorite affect is coating the brads with Glossy Accents by Ranger to make them shiny, yet I love how it matches my project perfectly because it's made with the same papers. The flower below is just a spiral flower and super easy to put together.
If you'd like to be entered to win a great goodie box from Imaginisce by leaving a comment here on my blog and then hoping over to the other Design Team member blogs to see what they did with the sketch. Be sure to leave a comment on their blogs and the Imaginisce blog to for multiple chances to win!! Trust me (I know) the prize package is worth your time!!!

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts

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