My head says think football, but my heart says Valentine.
I'm struggling to find my Superbowl party mojo this year for some reason.
Maybe it's because I'm not invested in either team in the Superbowl this year, (I love Cam Newton's amazing smile and killer skills, but I respect Peyton Manning's career history, so it's a toss up.) or maybe it's because the big game is only one short week in front of Valentine's Day, (How id that happen? They need to be further apart!) and I have been more than a little preoccupied with some plans in the works for that.
(I'm planning something incredibly clever for Valentine's Day...stay tuned!)
Regardless, I am forcing myself to put my Valentine's projects on hold until Monday, and refocusing on this weekend's plans. We've decided on a nacho and taco bar, with all of the toppings we could think of (I originally wanted to do a mashed potato bar, but changed my mind last week.) for our halftime menu. I could eat Mexican food seven days a week, so I am especially looking forward to this year's party food!
(The food has my attention, but the decorations...notsomuch.)
(Did I mention I'm working on something pretty danged creative for Valentine's Day??)
I dug out my little AstroTurf runner, and my penalty flags, but I'm not too sure there will be too much more in party decor, as we are not holding the party at my house. (That in itself alleviates a lot of pressure to handle every detail.)
How about you? Will you be watching the game, or is it just another Sunday for you? Will you be watching those crazy commercials, or will you be at the mall, or the movie theater?
I'll be with friends, eating tacos, and obsessing thinking about my tablescape for the following Sunday.
My my etsy shop is filling up with several new $5 printable e-kits, so you might want to check it out before the weekend gets here.
(Are you getting tired pf seeing my mantel showcasing some new printable yet?)
Some of it is chalkboard art, and some is vintage...all of it is printable....
I'm all about a little holiday decor here and there. How about you?
For my gathering last week, I took the easy route. My cooking mantra is that if I can buy something ready made that tastes better than I can make it, I will. I can then spend more time cooking or baking something else that is amazing. For this meal I chose deli soups from my local Safeway; baked potato chowder and tomato bisque. What made them extra special was the presentation and the details.
For the baked potato chowder, I added toppings to choose from; shredded cheese, chopped green onions, and crispy cooked crumbled bacon. I offered up grilled cheese croutons for the tomato soup. I simply made a yummy grilled cheese sandwich on artisan sourdough bread, and cut into small cubes, then stacked on wooden skewers.
This way, we all had the option of eating the little grilled cheeses on the side, or in our soup!
And, so yummy.
A basket of "Everything Crackers from world Market, and sliced sourdough bread completed the main course.
The real show stopper was dessert. I made homemade toasted coconut marshmallows from this Ina Garten recipe. The Barefoot Contessa is my all-time favorite, and let me tell you, homemade marshmallows are actually easy to make.
We roasted them over the fire pit, then smooshed them in between a graham cracker and a bit of a chocolate bar, and oh, my.The marshmallows hold their shape, and then, when you bite into fresh-off-the-fire gooey goodness, they disolve into a heavenly clod in your mouth.
They were dee-lish.
I had spent a portion of my weekend before the gathering working outside on my patios in preparation for the little outdoor soiree. (The photo above was on a prep night when I was playing with the table setting...)
Yep, that's plural, on the word patios.
Technically one is supposed to be a covered carport I think, but I park my car and truck in my garage, and don't need it for that, so I've made it into the outdoor dining area.
Wait. I'm jumping ahead.
You might remember the first patio from last summer, here. It's set for winter entertaining now, with my outdoor living room type patio furniture complete with blankets tossed for folks to cover up with if necessary, although I needn't have been concerned, as I lucked out with an actual semi-dry day and evening, and we our high last Wednesday was a balmy 57'.
So, now on to the other covered carport patio. The round dining table and chairs is gone from the original patio layout, and has been replaced on this second patio, with a longer harvest table and chairs in more of a full-on dining area set up. I have the two propane heaters on either end of the harvest table to keep us warm. I hung strands of Edison lights (from World Market) around the perimeter, (I wanted to zig-zag them, but they can't be hung too close to the propane heaters) and two vintage windows I bought at a Christmas faire hang above the season's remaining stacked firewood. I wanted to zig-zag the lights, but the instructions on the lights specifically said not to hang them near a heater, so that put the kibosh on that idea.
My outdoor harvest table is a craigslist find, with Ikea bistro chairs (You can't beat fifteen bucks a chair, and they fold up for easy storage if need be!) Five dollar Ikea throws adorned the backs of the chairs, in case that iPhone weather guy was wrong, and they added to the welcome look. With my fire pit going, and two outdoor heaters flanking the dining table, we were quite toasty.
A centerpiece of assorted canning jars with birdseed and votive candles added ambiance and light to the table. I used my metal chargers that are now painted in black chalkboard paint, (A great way to update any outdated charger plates you might have!) and reproduction French grain cloth napkins and runners (From World Market) I had bottles of chilled water at each end of the table. (A great entertaining staple to have on hand are tall closable bottles for water, and I always find them at the thrift store.)
My old enamel top table works fabulously as a buffet server, although I really didn't get any great shots of that, and the food came out perfectly. Easy, tasty, and more than enough.
I'll share my menu tomorrow!
I wanted to share a sneak peek at one of the fun buffet table decorations I’ve come up with for Wednesday night’s Winter Blah’s get together. I found this wine online, and had to search a bit to find out where to buy it. (It got good taste reviews…) It turned out that it is sold at Target stores, of all places. I skedaddled right on over there, and was amazed at the selection of wines with catchy names! Handsome Devil, Fancy Pants, and Middle Sister, just to name a few.
Who knew Target had such fun stuff on the wine aisle?
Pleasant surprise of the week for me.
I made the buffet sign and I was pretty thrilled with the results.
(Is that old photo perfect or what?)
Oh yes, this is gonna be a lot of fun.
With two big brothers, she will most certainly be a force to be reckoned with, and she already has her Daddy wrapped around her pinky.
God is so good.
After I designed it, I printed it, and matted it with a piece of black scrapbook paper. Then I realized it as just going to be easier to text my friends, and so I added the invite to a text as a picture. (I know. Still probably a bit too much, but I am pretty sure my friends know that is just my style.)
Anyway, this little invite is going to set the tone for the girl's night. I'm talking soup, or chowder, or chili, and s'mores on the fire pit, all done up on the covered patio, using my outdoor heater.
Can you see it?
I can hardly wait!
What a weird, unusual, surprising, entertaining football season it has been this go-round! My beloved Seahawks are officially out of the running to play in the big game this year, and the games next weekend will reveal who those two teams will be, but it's time to start planning, and printing, and cutting and pasting all of the fun details for your annual Superbowl party.
Those of you who are not football enthusiasts might want to skip this post, although Superbowl parties sometimes have much more to do with food and fun than the football game itself.
I am updating my Superbowl and football printable kits in my etsy shoppe this week, if you're looking for paper goods to add to the festivities, with Team banners coming after next weekend, when we know who will be playing in the big game. You will see them all later this week in the shoppe, but for now....
My latest chalkboard printable is now available in my shoppe. It adds a whimsical element to my fireplace, and works for the entire football season, really.
Are you ready for some football?
I was invited to a football party for the big games last Saturday, and I decided to make my dipped pretzel sticks in both teams colors (The Patriots and the Cardinals.)as well as taking along a few cupcakes.
The dipped pretzels are super easy, take only a short while to make, and are yummy, with that salty-and-sweet thing going on. Kids and grownups alike love them. All you need to do is pick up pretzel rods at the grocery or dollar store....they come in two length, and I like the longer ones. They are about eight inches long.
...and candy melts. (I get mine at WalMart...they have lots of colors!) pour some candy melts in a microwavable jar...
...and heat one minute. Stir until smooth and creamy. (Microwave an additional 20 seconds if not melted enough)
.....and dip and baste your pretzel rod with the melted candy-melt, the sprinkle with candies if desired.
Lay on a piece of waxed or parchment paper until set. Add additional color melts if desired at that point.
Place in a container to serve, or lay them in a row on a tray....they are pretty, and delicious!
I added a dozen sweet little cuppy-cakes to my tray and I was ready to go. (You know I love to bake and create desserts, and so I always have frozen unfrosted cupcakes on hand...well, almost always. This way, I can pull out however many I might need when friends pop by, or it's a special friends birthday, or, in this case, a playoff football game, and frost the cupcakes accordingly.) I frosted the mini cupcakes in simple homemade white buttercream, and made little cutie-patootie flags to go on top of them by snagging the teams logos from Google.
The kids at the party scarfed down the cupcakes, and the pretzels were a hit with everyone too.
You might remember that I shared some glittery New Year's Eve party hats and horns and party bags back during the fall. Well, my customer sent me some photos from her fabulous event, and they did not disappoint!
The touches of gold and glitter and clocks fit perfectly with the stunning venue, wouldn't you agree?
(And that giant clock as a centerpiece and photo-opp backdrop! Oh! I adore it!)
Thank you Jan, for sharing the photos! I was so thrilled to be a part of this beautiful event!
I saw them well before Christmas at Macy's and couldn't justify the price, for three reasons. First, I already own some darling (Old) soft white (cream?) snow boots. (They never really change the style you know? They may be old, but they are still cute.) Second, I am not going to be in the snow anytime soon that I know of. Third, it was Christmas shopping time, and they were not on sale.
Christmas came and went, and I had to go back to Macy's to make an exchange, and there they were, calling my name, with a sale tag on them now. Not just any sale tag, mind you. A half off tag.
(You know I took this as a sign from God, right?)
Then, as if to confirm that it was truly a God thing, when I exchanged my item, it was on sale as well,and I ended up with $25 going back on my credit card, which, in my little mind, meant I was now saving that much more off the plaid snow boots. (Do you do that too?)
Be still my heart.
I may have to wear them one day soon, even if there is currently no snow here.
I love coming up with themes when shopping for presents, and I am especially thrilled when I can carry the process over to my wrap job. This weekend I gave a friend who is interested in hiking and fishing a birthday present. I was not sure what all he had in his hiking supplies, (To be honest, until this weekend, I was unaware there were hiking supplies.) so I had settled my mind on a gift card. I am not really a huge gift card fan, and so I decided I would give him a small hiking item to go with the gift card to get the theme going.
I found a compass. I figured it was a good item to have in your back pack, in the event you are out of cell tower range and find yourself lost. So far, not a terribly exciting present.
I printed a map of Oregon on computer paper. (I googled it and there it was.) I then wrapped the present in the map paper. I found a hiking quote on Pinterest that I liked and copy-pasted it on to a page, then printed it, along with a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" tag and cut them both out.
I used extra chunky baker's twine to tie the tags to his prezzie, and I was done. Now, it was a much more meorable presentation than just a quick-wrapped gift card.
(And I didn't even have to buy wrapping paper!)