Friday, January 23, 2015

Ballet Shower

 Last fall my friends and I hosted a shower at work for my friend Amber.  She was a dancer growing up and was planning to use her toe shoes and tutu as part of her nursery decor, so I took that idea and ran with it.
 I made a little sign that said twinkle toes, and we had everyone sign a book.  They had decided to name their littler girl, Charlotte, so we got Charlotte's Web.  It seemed appropriate since this was her work shower to give her something a little educational to remember us by through the years....not that I'm not planning to be around for those years!
 I found this little sign about the definition for a girl on etsy.  One of the other host had a sister in law that teaches dance and she let use borrow all these hair pieces from various recitals, old toe shoes, tutus etc.
 I have a bunch of pink feathers/tulle, ribbon etc I threw around.
 I made this little tulle wreath to welcome Charlotte.
 We decided for munchies to hold a yogurt bar with fun toppings.
 It pays to work with teachers in events like this b/c you know someone is going to have some spectacular handwriting-in this case, Courtney.
 I folded some little 'ballet shoes' out of paper to decorate the jars.
 We served cupcakes and punch as well.
 One of the other gals, Katie, wrote the names of various dance positions and we put them on little flags and stuck them in the cupcakes.
 I found these little ballet slipper socks online via mudpie, and this little bodysuit with a ruffle all the way around....her first little tutu!
 For favors, we bought these containers of cotton candy (at Sam's) and called it tutu fluff.
 I printed off mini 'girl' definitions and  we put them on top...with more tulle.
 For a gift from the hostesses we got a bank (Amber also likes owls...I later found a pig with a tutu, but already had this one...).  We filled it with cash to help Charlotte pay for her first ballet class....or whatever mom and dad deem important as she grows.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Movie Date Gift

 I've done variations of this gift quite a bit in the past.  I love giving 'dates' to folks, especially when I attend multiple wedding showers.  I usually get a few things from the registry, but to have a little fun, at the second shower I try to bring some sort of date for the couple to enjoy.  This gift I put together last year for my Secret Sister at work who was getting married and said she enjoyed the movies.
Super easy-I got movie gift cards, a popcorn bucket from the dollar tree....
 I filled it with movie candies, popcorn, and the cards and then wrapped it up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sour Cream and Cheddar Baked Mashed Potatoes

There are a few dishes each holiday I don't mess around with, but potatoes isn't one of them.  Whenever I make mashed potatoes I always try out new recipes.  I guess b/c it's not one of my favorite dishes, so....I have to mix it up so I CAN enjoy it.  I tried this out recently and it was really good and a fun little twist with a pile of cheese I can dig my fork into.  The original recipe is from cozycountry.
Sour Cream and Cheddar Baked Mashed Potatoes
Ingredients:  5 lbs of potatoes (peeled, rinsed, and cut into 2 inch chunks), 4 T butter, 16 oz sour cream, 1 1/4 c. milk, 1 t. salt,  1/ c shard Cheddar cheesed (grated/divided)
Instructions:
1.  Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until tend (check with a fork).  This took about 45 minutes.
2.  Drain your potatoes and then mash them.  Add the butter, half of the sour cream, and half of the milk.  Continue to mash them together.
3.  Add the remaining milk, sour cream, and salt and continue to mix.
4.  Stir in 1 c. of cheese until well blended.
5.  Spray a 9x13 pan and spoon the potatoes into the dish evenly.  Top with the remaining 1 1/2 c cheese.
6.  Bake at 350 for (cheese should be melted and bubbling).

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mini Sewing Kit Pin Cushion

 I recently got an embroidery machine....but that's another story.  It doesn't fit where the rest of my sewing stuff is (shoved in a closet). I'm dreaming of a craft room....maybe next year, but in the meantime...I needed quick access to things that usually live in that closet.  I've seen versions of these little pin cushions around the net, so I decided it was the perfect solution to my problem.  The one thing I have on hand....always are mason jars.  I took a wide mouth mason jar and some scrap fabric.
 I cut the circle (I use this word lightly) one inch large than the lid.
 I used hot glue to hold down the edges, but I stopped short of sealing it so I could stuff it.
 I filled it with regular ol' stuffing (they sell it in bags at the craft store, or if your lab puppy destroys her toys .5 seconds after you bring them home-you can also use that stuffing...just sayin').
I filled it until I couldn't push anymore stuffing inside.  I then finished off the gluing process and slipped it in the lid ring.
 Cute, huh?
I filled up my mason jar with some little scissors, pins, buttons, thread blah blah blah....all the things I have to hunt down and now will have on hand!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Best Spinach Dip....For Real.

For years people have been bringing spinach dip in bread bowls.  Sometimes I could steal the whole bowl....if people weren't watching, or I was over the whole 'having friends' thing...and sometimes it's just 'eh' and I'd scoop it off my plate and back into the bowl b/c it just didn't live up to the 'last time' someone brought it.  I've looked up the recipe and there area always 19,567 different teas of just a little 'something different' that makes the difference between wanting to scoop more on my plate, or toss my plate in the trash.  My pal, Laine, happens to be the owner of the very best version of this.  The end.  She shared her tips with me....and it turns out....the simpler you go....the better.  Who knew?  So...if you are looking for the very best version of Spinach Dip....I'll eliminate the heart ache of wasting time on anything but the best and sharing this version.  The Right Version.
Spinach Dip
Ingredients:  24 oz sour cream, 2 T. miracle whip, 2 packages of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Seasoning, 1 pkg of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and water totally squeezed out), 2 loaves of Hawaiian Bread
Directions:  Mix 24 oz of sour cream, 2 Tablespoons of miracle whip, 2 packages of hidden valley ranch dip seasoning pack (BUT leave out about a Tablespoon...just use it for soup or something later...if you put both full packs in...it gets a little too salty), and 1 package of chopped spinach you buy in the frozen food section.  Thaw the spinach in advance and squeeze out the water.  When you think you have it all out....squeeze it some more.....that puppy can hold some major water.
Buy two loaves of Hawaiian Bread.  Hollow one loaf out and leave the sliced (or torn) pieces around the bowl for dipping.  Tear the second loaf.  You can also serve these with crackers....but....hello, why if you have access to the magic that is Hawaiian Bread?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tutu Wreath

 My friend Amber found out she was having a girl and promptly began planning a ballerina themed nursery (she danced her way through childhood and had a pair of toe shoes to add to the walls).  What works for the nursery works for the shower in my book.  I've seen versions of tulle wreaths online and I decided to give it a go.  I found a wreath form for a buck at the dollar tree and I got a 25 yard roll of tulle from Hobby Lobby at half off.  (2.50).
 I wrapped the wreath in some pink paper-I was fine with it looking sloppy, I just didn't want the green foam to peak through.
I cut the entire roll of tulle to about 12 inch pieces and then just tied them all over the wreath.  I tried out a few different methods, but found just going around the wreath and tying knots that sat both in the middle of the wreath and on the sides worked the best.  I tied until there was no more tulle to tie.  I hot glued a satin ribbon to the middle...and...for less than 4 dollars-I had our first decoration for Charlotte's baby shower.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Amber and Josh's Baby Q

 Last September was full of celebrations.  So full...it's taken me months to catch up.  Being busy with blessings is always a good thing.  My friend Amber was getting ready to welcome her first baby into the world.  I ended up getting to be a part of two showers for her-one coed with friends and family, and one on work with coworkers.  We work together, but also live close, so....it's a win-win.  Since the coed one had boys, BUT she was expecting a girl....we decided on the most masculine pink thing we could come up with. Her husband is also a cop, so...the sheriff badge cupcakes were a little nod to that as well.
 I was in charge of drinks, decorations, dining ware (wanted to stick to the d-but...plates, napkins, utensils etc) and desserts.  I used my stash of mason jars and filled them up with pink lemonade.  Incidentally, it's frightening to realize how many mason jars I own.
 Another friend was in charge of the main dishes.  I pulled together a punch of decorations to help throw a little western into each area.
 I save things from shower to shower...I've used these metal containers for a few dozen showers....galvanized tubs and I also have an intimate relationship.  I used fall hay stacks for the table.  I keep them wrapped though b/c the hay is pretty over powering.  These little horses are from the dollar tree.  Score.
 I love this picture of Mom and Dad....a little blurry, but....I'll call it art.  Josh's Dad is about to bless the food.
 Party in full swing.
 Desserts also included cobblers in mini mason jars.
 The house was busting at the seems....another good problem to have.
I made this little rag garland, and her sister (in charge of invites and favors) brought some bbq sauce that she picked up in Kansas City (where Amber went to college).  She got spicy and sweet and made some fun tags.
I love having a blog b/c, more than sharing this with others, I get to document my friends as their blessings grow.  I know there will be first birthdays, more babies, someday celebrations and fun memories their kids bring....and I'll get to sit down every once in awhile and remember just how faithful God is....how in the midst of all our questions He has all these answers just waiting for us to experience in the future.