Valentines day is hot on the heels of Superbowl Sunday, and I've been busy working on some pretty little somethin' somethins' for the occasion.
Last night I started things off by baking a batch of my very-nearly-world-famous signature croutons.
They're so easy to make, and it's a great use of left over bread, burger buns, or dinner rolls. At Christmas time I sometimes use tiny star shaped cookie cutters, and for Valentines day I decided to make them hearts. (Of course, most of the year I just cube up my bread and make them that way....they still taste yummy!)
To make them, all I do is melt some butter (or margarine) and add some Italian season, garlic powder and grated parmesan cheese. Drizzle this mixture over your cut up bread in a bowl, and toss to coat.
Place coated bread on a sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and pop in a 425 degree oven until brown (around 13-15 minutes. Stir them around if you like mid-way through) Voila'!
If you don't eat them right off the cookie sheet hot out of the oven, that is.
Well, if you follow football, you now know that the 49ers and the Ravens will be facing off for Superbowl, and more interestingly, the Harbough brothers will be facing off as coaches.(I myself was born in San Francisco, and raised in the bay area, so you can guess where my loyalties will lie on game day.)
I've been busy crafting and creating lots of paper goodies for the big day, and I have them gathered into two printable kits in my etsy shop.
Let's start with the banner:I'm going to hang my banner across the porch on Superbowl Sunday, but
today I simply swagged it over the yard chairs so you could see how fun
I created some great printed trivia and quotes about football to place strategically around the party...I think they will look fabulous on the food table, the coffee table, and maybe even on the guest bathroom counter? (Simply print them and frame them in frames from the dollar store.)
Little flags add to the fun...
along with a tag I created and hung on the giant jar of small footballs.
How about Flip Score Cards to rate the commercials during Superbowl, as well as Beyonce's half-time show? Last, but not least, I designed cute little juice wrappers.... fun for kids and grown ups alike.You'll most definitely be ready for some football with all of these fun details!
if you're not having a whole slew of people over for Superbowl, you might still want
to curl up with your sweetie for a little sofa picnic while watching the
big game, and cute little details can make that special too. Now, for the decorations. I like to start with the front porch, and so far I have my blow up football that I got for last year's big game. So cute. (Find it here.)
Then, as long as you're on the Oriental trading site, go ahead and get yourself some football shaped paper plates, lanterns, and anything else that might work for you. (The football cups work great as individual popcorn "bowls" in case you were wondering what to do with 50 of them.)
I discovered some great treasures at the dollar store (A football shaped tray was my favorite find.) for our party, as well as the dollar section at Target. (kid-size footballs that will fill a huge glass apothocary jar on the buffet table.) I got my cardboard letters (XLVII) at Joann's Fabric Store and I still need to paint and glitter them up...more to follow on that in another post.
I've been working on my menu for the party. Of course we are keeping it easy with pizza and wings, but I am also considering pulled pork sliders (using the crock pot would make it so easy!) and of course we will break out the chocolate fountain, just because everybody loves that. Oh, and I got a huge bag of teeny-tiny snickers candy bars with all the NFL Teams logos on the wrappers. (I'm all over the cute factor for this shindig, in case you hadn't noticed.)
Now, if it were just going to be me and my Rock n' Roll Buddy, I'd totally do a sofa picnic, with the same foods, except that I'd do my halftime food spread right there on the coffee table. (How cozy and fun does that sound?)
So...I am wondering just how many of you out there in blogland have Superbowl parties, or go to one. If so, do you go all out with decorations, or keep it simple? What kinds of foods do you do for casual entertaining? I'd love to hear!
Christmas is over, and, if you enjoy football, you know what that means...
The Superbowl will be here before we know it, people.
I for one, am ready for it.
Even if the fabulous Seahawks won't be in it this year.
I know. There is no crying in football. But seriously, yesterday's game was so close.
Next year, guys.
Where was I?
Oh yes. Superbowl, and Superbowl parties.
Did you know that out of the 10 most-watched programs in U.S. television history, eight of them are Super Bowls. In fact, last year's Super Bowl tops the list with a whopping 111 million viewers. And in 2011, the top three most watched programs were the Super Bowl, followed by the FOX Super Bowl Kickoff show and the FOX Super Bowl postgame show.
That's reason enough to throw a party, right?
We're having a fairly small gathering for the big game, and so I made my invitations yesterday while watching...what else? Football. You can make your own invites, find some at any local card store, or look online.
My invites came out so cute that I ended up adding them to my etsy shop as a customizable printable.(Find them here.) I've made a few other items for the party as well, but I din't quite get around to photographing them yet, since we were pretty busy watching playoff games all weekend.
As you can tell, I am ready for some(more)football, and February third just can't get her soon enough for me.
We were picking up a pizza to take with us, so that started my inspiration. I got a pizza cutter, some new pot holders and an oven mit, a nice big pillar candle along with a match-light, some cold beer, and, a nice soft blanket throw for their sofa. Last but not least, I scooped the last of the homemade coconut ice cream into a cute to-go container for a late night snack for our friends.
It took me no time at all to assemble the items. I bought the throw and oven mitts, (gotta love Target!) but I had all the other items at home already, so it was really pretty easy.
I always use my plastic grocery sacks as filler to plump things up...
and then cover them with some shred.
Adding coordinating ribbons to items adds a nice touch...
and a sweet tag I whipped up on my computer pulls it all together....
It looked great, traveled well, and, it went great with the five meat pizza.
And it is oh-so-worth the miniscule amount of effort!
We had friends over last Sunday to watch the Seahawks first playoff game, and it happened to be my gal-pal's birthday. We arrived home from our weekend getaway at noon, and they were arriving before the 1:30 kickoff, so I didn't have a whole lot of time, but I knew I could easily pull it together.
First, I threw the ingredients for her favorite ice cream into the ice cream maker and let it do it's thing. Then, I headed for my craft draw of odds and ends. (Do you have one of those? I think we all need one.)
In the craft draw I chose a long pick with a glittery foam flower. (I got these cuties, four in a pack, a couple of years ago at the dollar store.) I then printed two little tags on my computer, whick simply means that I typed "Happy Birthday" and then spaced down a ways and typed "...and many more!" in purple ink.(In Microsoft Word-font size 36) I cut the tags out like little flags and wrapped them around the pick.I glued them on with a glue stick. (four for a buck at the dollar store)
When we served the ice cream at half time, I stuck the pick in her dish, and her dish of ice cream was suddenly an event.
I love it when that happens.
My birthday is in December, which is just a ridiculous busy time for my family, with three birthdays, a wedding anniversary, and Christmas, so we opted to go on my birthday trip after all of the hoopla was behind us.
That turned out to be a fabulous idea, because there is no nicer way to spend the first weekend in the new year, than a two nights of complete and total relaxation, with no scheduled activities filling up your time.
The first morning after breakfast, the girl at the front desk gave us a little guidebook to help us find our way around town. Well, I am a sucker for creative marketing materials and this little book was very clever. How could you not like a community that boasts a "cute" part of town?
I hope I don't offend any of Cottage Grove's residents, but, as it turns out, the town wasn't all that cute (not compared to Camas, anyway, although I may be a wee-bit partial.) but the people were all very nice, and we did manage to find a few interesting things...they had lots of murals around town...
( Buster Keaton filmed the silent movie "The General" here way back in 1926)
pretty cool, huh? (Hey! Maybe cute lil' Camas should do a mural on one side of that Paper Mill?)
...and seven covered bridges that you could walk through...(which I somehow managed to take zero photos of...)
...a fireplace, and even our very own cozy courtyard with a sweet little picket fence. A nice restaurant with old brick walls, painted beadboard, and oodles of paned windows, was located right on the property in walking distance from our room. We had good wine with dinner, and delicious waffles for breakfast.
It all made for a very relaxing, and memorable weekend.
The most special part of it all, if you know my Ralph, is that staying in a charm-filled Inn, in a quaint little town...is so not him.
But he knew it would be so me.
And that makes my heart swell.
The past three years I have chosen a word to focus on for the year. Actually, the first two years I stuck with the same word, which was balance. Last year I switched it up just a bit and chose organize.
Along came 2013 and I have chosen a word once again, that is kinda-sorta along the same lines.
I imagine my words may always be along this theme, because I am a creative type by nature, and that is not conducive to being organized and balanced necessarily, as creative folks generally are whirl-wind types.
This year my word is…
Mmmm hmm. This is going to be my year to (hopefully) pare things down a little bit. Try living a lifestyle of less is more, verses more is more. Have you heard the quote, “ Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”? That’s what I am striving for this year.
How about you? What’s your word for this wonderful-new-without-any-mistakes-in-it year?