Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Gifts

I'm so happy to be ringing in a New Year! To celebrate I decided to spread a little cheer. (My son got to the rolls before I could take the picture!)
I made homemade cinnamon rolls for my neighbors and delivered them warm from the oven this morning.

I got this wonderful vintage New Years card from Maryjane at The Beehive Cottage.

The recipe is from the Pioneer Woman's cookbook. I LOVE this cookbook and my husband REALLY loves it! He wants me to make the meatballs and mashed potatoes once a week.
This recipe is also on her website.
For other friends, I delivered Sparkling Apple Cider with the same vintage tag and seam binding.
I wish all of you nothing but health and happiness in the coming year! 2010 will be the best!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cake Toppers

I found these adorable cake toppers at Mit Hus.

Unfortunately, they only ship to the UK, so I am out of luck. Maybe I could create my own!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nutcracker Tea

I hosted a Nutcracker Tea at the Tea Gardens on Sunday. I dressed up as Mother Ginger and the servers were ballerinas. The owner, Elda, just opened her newly expanded space and it was decorated like the Land of Sweets.
I took pictures of each table members and printed them so they could take them home.

We played Christmas Bingo and a relay race with gingerbread cookies. I placed tiny plastic gingerbread men on two cookie sheets and gave each team one spatula. They scooped up the cookies and ran down to the cooling rack and put the cookies on. First team to transfer all of the cookies to the rack wins!

I also read the Nutcracker Ballet story to the kids. For the favors, I had sequinned 6" Nutcracker ornaments, Christmas Tootsie Rolls in organza bags, red and green unicorn lollipops and candy cane Kisses all in a snowflake box.

Sorry I don't have very many pictures of everything, I was a bit busy :) Here I am with the servers. They are less than half my age and I think I look pretty good! (Please feed my ego, I'm going to be 45 in a few weeks!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Children's Holiday Cocktail Bar

Tracy Porter has a great little video about how to set up a Holiday Kiddie Cocktail bar.

Enter this giveaway to win some adorable things from Ruche!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Funky Ticket Tags

I found these cool ticket tags at Blue Cricket Design.

Rolo Cookies

Here is the recipe for the Rolo cookies I made for the children's holiday party...they are SO good!
2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
60 Rolo candies
4 T. sugar for rolling cookies in

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda; blend well. In large bowl, beat sugars and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; beat well. Slowly add flour mixture; blend well. For each cookie, use floured hands to shape about 2 T. of dough around Rolo candy and make a ball. Cover and seal candy completely or you will have melted caramel all over your cookie sheet! Roll dough ball in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes or just until candy has flattened. Cool slightly and remove from sheets to cooling rack.
Hint* I used a meduim cookie scoop and it made about 3 dozen cookies. Baking time was the same.

I served hot chocolate and the kids could chose toppings such as mini marshmallows, whipped cream, candy canes and Christmas Nerd candy.

The gingerbread reindeer cookies were made from a Betty Crocker mix. I used mini chocolate chips, M&Ms and canned squeeze frosting to decorate.
Happy Baking!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Children's Holiday Party

Friday night, I hosted a holiday party for my kids and their friends. I invited the kids to come in their pajamas as we enjoyed the night's festivities. I decorated the table with a vinal tablecloth from WalMart for $5 and made a table runner out of red twill and giant ric rac. I also hung bells from my chandelier with vintage seam binding.
I served fudge, gingerbread reindeer cookies and hot chocolate. But the hit of the night was the Rolo cookies. My friend from high school gave me the recipe and it is a chocolate cookie with a Rolo caramel candy baked inside. As you can see, Molly really enjoyed hers!

I had a giant Santa sack and pulled out reindeers for the kids to stuff by hand. Then I read the Polar Express and handed out bells to everyone. I also ran off some sheet music and we sang some Christmas carols.

I planned on showing "Home Alone" on our giant movie screen but we were unable to find it. I blamed it on our house elf, Clarence. So we watched "Elf" instead.

The kids had a great time. On Saturday night, they will go caroling around the neighborhood. I better bake some more cookies!

Monday, December 14, 2009

90210 Spa Party

I hosted a party for Dr. Robert Rey's daughter on Monday. It was a surprise Spa party and all of the guests and birthday girl were picked up at school and taken by limo to the house. The girls wore pink robes while they got their hair done, had manicures, glitter tattoos, made custom body scrub and gave themselves a facial. We had a quiz about the birthday girl, played Musical Toenail Polish and had hot wax hand dips. The girls said it was the best party they had ever been to and 2 girls wanted me to adopt them! Hayley was very sweet and said that I am hired for her son's upcoming party! Sydney was quiet and sweet and put her friends first. It was a lovely party.
Glitter Tattoo Artist, Lindsay
Sandy helping the birthday girl with her facial mask.
I take pictures of each guest with the birthday girl with their green masks on. I always say that I will be posting them on the school website and their mouths just funny!
This is a beautiful portrait of their family that hangs in the living room.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Sugar Plum

This is my daughter's 2nd year performing in the Nutcracker for Dance Studio 84. Last year she was a solider and this year she is a Sugar Plum. She was so excited to wear purple (her favorite color) and a crown (what girl doesn't like a little bling!).
The performers are ages 7 to 18 and they do an amazing job. The above picture is of the Reeds.

My daughter is sitting in the front just beneath the Sugar Plum Fairy's bent leg. My camera is not the best, so shooting low light doesn't work very well. I'm hoping to borrow a camera from my professional friend to take pics backstage at the 1:00 performance today.

I'm so proud of my daughter for continuing her dance.
Do yourself a favor, and go see a local performance of the Nutcracker.
It is such a lovely experience!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm featured!

My Grinch themed decor was featured on Front Porch Ideas and More! Stop by their blog. They have some great ideas to make the front of your home beautiful and welcoming.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Front Porch Decor

Since I have been battling a cold the last few weeks, I am a bit behind in the holiday decor department. Last weekend, I did manage to decorate my front porch. My youngest son is a Boy Scout and for a fundraiser, he sold fresh Christmas greens. They arrived on Saturday, so I was obliged to get them displayed.
My theme is The Grinch. I just love the bright red and Grinch green on my porch. The feather wreaths remind me of Grinch fur and I have a Grinch and Max doll sitting on my porch ready to greet guests. I hang oversized plastic ornaments from ribbon high above my alcove.

The bench is decorated VERY simply. I just wrap a few yards of polka dot fabric around my existing bench cushion and I made a cover for the pillow that normally sits on my bench. The back is draped with a green blanket and the JOY pillow is a new purchase from Target. For the bolster pillow, it is no-sew as well. I just wrap a yard of fabric around some bunched up fabric and the ends are tied with ribbon.

I have some sparkly picks in my existing flowers in an urn by the front door. I really want to get a pink or white poinsettia to go in it.

I love the look and smell of the fresh cedar. It is draped around my front door and along the banisters.

I also tuck some tree trimmings in some hanging glass cloches and adorn with colorful ribbon.

How do you decorate your front porch to welcome your holiday guests?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Indiana Jones Party

I hosted an Indiana Jones party for a special 7 year old's birthday. The guests received Indy hats and satchels when they walked through the door. Next, they created their own Sandy Candy creations. They played Pass the Skull and Mummy Wrap and had some lunch.
I got a replica of the fertility God that was in the first movie from ebay as well as a book with a dust jacket that looks like an archeology book written by Dr. Jones for the table props. The crystal skull is from Disneyland.

The table had lots of spiders, webs and snakes all over it as well.

After eating eyeball soup and other interesting delicacies, the guests search for coins in a vat of worms (spaghetti) blindfolded and they went through an obstacle course where the guests had to steal the skull statue, shoot the bad guy, crawl under a giant spider, swing across water and then out run a falling boulder and poison darts (straw wrappers shot by other guests). They finished their adventure by having cupcakes and ice cream.

The boys had a fabulous time pretending to be a great adventurer like Indiana Jones!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Grinch is in Hollywood!

Last night, I took my 2 youngest children to go see How the Grinch Stole Christmas-The Musical at the Pantages in Hollywood.
I received an email a few weeks ago from the Pantages offering $15 tickets! I bought 4 (oldest boy didn't want to come-he was studying for 2 tests) and had a lovely evening with my babies.

John Laroquette, from Night Court fame, played Max, the dog and was the narrator of the evening. I just loved it when he sang "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch"!

The man who played the Grinch was just amazing! Do any of you remember the children's show "Lazy Town"? He played Robbie Rotten, the guy who wanted the children to be lazy and eat food that was bad for them. He was jus great.

Sheridan was at the edge of her seat all night. It is an hour and a half show with no intermissions. Very watchable for little ones. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I recommend seeing it. Please help support live theater!!!!