Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hurray for Mardi Gras Day!

A day where indulgence is OK... now that's a good day! Even though I'm far away from the action-- I still love to celebrate Mardi Gras. In past years I've watched great bands, and drunk many hurricanes to celebrate the day... but in more recent years, with the kid's school day typically looming the following day, things have become a bit more tame. So, less hurricanes, but still lots of fun.

Every year we make masks for our dinner celebration. It's great to see how the masks are improving year after year.

And then there's the Mardi Gras meal... OK, I have to admit, I do make these above... I doctor them with veggies and meats. Even though they're not the real thing, it does a pretty good job. (My brother-in-law's family is from creole country-- his mother makes and AMAZING etoufee, yum!)

So, in honor of Mardi Gras this year, I thought I'd make my first Mardi Gras decoration-- a mask garland.
Once I started getting into the project, it really made me want to create a Masquerade Ball Party Kit... I hope to get to that one day in the future.

Enjoy the pics below, and have a great Mardi Gras!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hommage to Oscar!

Well, tonight's the night... it's Oscar time. Right about now, I'm sure the stars are primping and priming for the event. I love the Oscars. I don't know why, given at this point in my life, I'm not seeing any movies in a theatre... except if they are rated G, but I still love the hollywood glam!

I used to throw an Oscar party every year, but since kids, I've taken a slight break in the big production! My sister, though, has now taken on the role in earnest, and I love to hear what she's planning!
My sister has not only thrown blow-out Oscar parties including big screens and formal attire, she has also been to the Oscars-- not the actual event, but the after parties (which in my book is better than the Oscars themselves.) She went the year of the Lord of the Rings phenomenon... Unfortunate for her, she's not a big Tolken fan... but she did meet Frodo's co-horts - one who I think is a big star on the TV show LOST.

One of the best traditions that she and I started for our Oscar parties was the menu planning... We based our dishes around the Best Picture nominees. It's so fun coming up with something that is in theme with the movie!
Here's her menu for this year--
Slumdog Curry
Benjamin Button Sized N'Orleans Crab Cakes

The Reader Brat Bites Served on Saurkraut
Beer in Frosty Nixon Glasses
MILK with Brownies

If you're off to an Oscar gala, have fun, or if you're at home, enjoy some movie popcorn and hot dogs... sometimes simple is great too!

See ya in the movies!

BTW-- in many of the pics above is my latest and greatest Oscar party banner! I'm thinking of doing a Hollywood style party-- a little glam, some hollywood regency. Have you ever thrown a Hollywood party? Love to hear your ideas...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Date Night at Home: Play Restaurant!

Date nights aren't cheap these days. Even in troubled economic times, a night out can set you back $200 or more (of course, a tasty bottle of wine at dinner adds to the cost.) So, last weekend, when we were in desperate need of a night out, we decided to "play restaurant," just like my kid play, but instead of pretend food, we'd use the real thing.

And, of course I enlisted the help of my 2 kids to be the sous chefs and waiters... then voila... Trattoria Valentino!

Even though the date night didn't relieve me of much of the dinner prep, the change in pace was definitely what the family needed. Just the act of setting a "fancy" table and sitting in a different spot than usual made the night feel different.

The candles, the real napkins, table cloth, champagne and hand designed menus also set the tone! During dinner we played an italian CD called "Bella Luna." The ambience was just right.

So, I don't suggest completely getting rid of nights out-- for sanity, adult time is a must... but to shake things up a bit, try the restaurant at home... and if you're smart, perhaps have your kids sit at their own table!


Monday, February 16, 2009

So, You Want Be President?

For some reason, even though there always is a school holiday for Presidents Day, we never seem to celebrate the meaning of the day... So, this weekend, when we went to the library, I checked out a great book to read to the kids, "So You Want to Be President," by Judith St. George and David Small.
It's quite a humorous read... giving all sorts of facts about past Presidents, and things they shared or didn't share in common. For instance, if you're name is James, you may have a better chance of being president, since there has been 5 presidents named James!

For a family tradition idea, I tasked my kids to come up with a slogan they'd use if they ran for president. My daughter said she'd declare the national food to be candy... and my son, well he didn't really say it, but I think he'd promote thumb-sucking at any age!

So, Happy Birthday George and Abe, and have a nice President's Day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Little Romance

Everyone needs a little romance in their life! Here are some images of one of my latest party kits, A Little Romance Party... Although Valentines may seem like the perfect night for this party, it may be just as good on your anniversary, or just a night when you feel like being romantic!

"Roses are red, violets are blue..." a lovely invitation for you!

Invitations and Thank You Cards
The full kit- invitations, thank yous, banner, frame and planning guide.

Up, up and away... Have a Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

This wall hanging sure can come in handy... After a day like yesterday, I'm not quite sure if my husband should have immediately flipped this over to He Loves Me Not, or if he should have kept it at He Loves Me...
After a pretty frustrating day with my kids, my husband arrived home to hear me rant about the fighting, the whining and the constant refereeing then entertaining that was required of me. I'm sure after his busy day, this was not what he wanted to be greeted with... but he patiently listened as I moaned and groaned (This is about the moment when he should have flipped the wall hanging to, "He Loves Me Not.")

But, no, he listened, he gave a couple sparse words of advice, and handed me a delicious glass of wine so I could cook dinner.

So, the sign stayed on "He Loves Me" the whole time... Valentines must be coming soon!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine Countdown Continue: Bisous for You!

I woke up with a headache this morning. Not the way to start the week. After popping my dutiful Advil, though, things started to look up. As I parted ways with my husband this morning-- him off to drop my son at school then work, me off to drop off my daughter, then some work-- he gave me the sweetest kiss, and said, "I hope your headache is better."

Well, lo and behold, I felt great. A little bisous-- kiss-- is sometimes all it takes!

Happy Valentines week!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Valentine Countdown

When I saw this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Thou art to me a delicious torment," I just LOVED it. Anything with the word delicious in it that isn't referring to food is just brilliant... Then to top it off, the word delicious is describing a torment. How intriguing! This quote just had to go with a Marie Antoinette inspired image I had. I can only imagine what a torment that woman was... and a delicious one at that.

So, to kick off your the Valentines brigade, here are some delicious, glittery tags to check out. For more details, check out the Valentines section at bnute.com.

Also, take a look at the upcoming Marie Antoinette book from the folks at Somerset Studio... should be quite inspiring.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter Party Goodie Bag Idea #1

Well, it's official. Punxsutawney Phil says 6 more weeks of winter. Given the prediction, I thought it might be helpful to write about a great winter party goodie bag idea.

Whether you're having a skating party, a sledding party, a broomball party, or just any kind of party in the winter, why not give a goodie bag that will actually be used-- a colorful fleece scarf and mittens.
This idea couldn't be simpler to put together... no sewing necessary! Head to your local fabric store and pick out some fleece fabric. At home, cut the fleece into strips, and fringe the edges. (A child's scarf should be approximately 5' long [1 2/3 yds.], and 6" wide.) Pick up some inexpensive gloves at the local drugstore or Target, and there you have it!

A great way to end the party would be to have all the kids put on their scarves and mittens and take a group picture!

Happy Groundhogs Day!