Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tea Party

Sophie recently moved into a new preschool class, so we decided it would be fun if we threw a little tea party at our house so that she could get to know the girls in her class.  What started out as an idea for a playdate grew into a full-blown tea party for all the girls.

I made the invitations with elements from Paper Source.

The kit was for printable invitations but my tech skills are so archaic, I couldn't figure it out.  So, I wrote all the invitations by hand.  I'm not going to pretend that wasn't painful!

I put together a simple menu of things I thought the kids would actually eat at this tea party.

Tea Party Menu
Peanut Butter and Jelly mini-sandwiches
Chicken Mini sandwiches from Chik-Fil-A
Chicken Nuggets from Chik-Fil-A
Grape and cheese on little toothpicks

Strawberry cake
Chocolate dipped strawberries
Chocolate dipped marshmallows
Lemon cupcakes
Madeline cookies
Purple M&Ms

I also thought that maybe we needed a little craft for the girls, so we set up everyone with a straw hat and paper flowers and glitter glue.

As soon as the guests started arriving, the house was buzzing with activity.  Almost everyone showed up in their own princess dress.  And Sophie had dresses to share for her friends that came without gowns.  Then they sat down at the table and started crafting.  The girls and their mamas had a great time making their own tea party hats!

After the hats were made and the table cleared, I set the table up for lunch.  Here's the set-up for the entree portion of lunch.

I think the menu choices were a hit!

After they ate their entrees, I cleared the table again and set up dessert.  Here are the little girls posing in their hats, waiting for dessert to be served.

Princess Sophie had a great time.  I think her favorite part was showing her friends her house and her toys and being the hostess.

All in all, it was a great party!  I think everyone had a great time and the little girls went home very happy!  Now, I will commence my 2-day nap...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dollar Store

I just discovered the joys of the dollar store today.  Yes, yes, I've known what dollar stores are.  But I never realized that the things there weren't necessarily all that bad.  I wandered through a Dollar Tree today looking for cheap placemats for an upcoming party and told Sophie to pick out one item from anything in the store.  It felt great knowing that an impulse item would only cost me $1!  Anyway, she came away with a Disney Princess paint kit that occupied her for a good hour later at home.  The great thing is, we always end up throwing things like this away at my house after a few days anyway, so for once it was aptly priced.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Have you ever been to a chinese restaurant and had Honey Walnut Shrimp?  It's this fried shrimp coated in a creamy, slight sweet sauce, sprinkled with candied walnuts and occasionally garnished with melon balls or broccoli?  It might be my favorite thing to order when I do have chinese food, but it's not cheap.  Well, I knew the internet would have the solution for it turns out, there are many recipes out there for this yummy dish!  I found this one and it worked like a charm!  Just like at my favorite chinese restaurant.

1 cup water
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
4 egg whites
2/3 cup mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon canned sweetened
condensed milk
1 cup vegetable oil for frying
1.Stir together the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the walnuts. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain and place walnuts on a cookie sheet to dry.
2.Whip egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Stir in the mochiko until it has a pasty consistency. Heat the oil in a heavy deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dip shrimp into the mochiko batter, and then fry in the hot oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
3.In a medium serving bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, honey and sweetened condensed milk. Add shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the candied walnuts on top and serve.

**The original recipe is posted above, however if you're lazy like me, you'd buy candied walnuts from Trader Joe's and skip the first step of the recipe.  Also, I found that you should only whip the egg whites until they begin foaming up.  I beat them into stiff peaks and it made the batter a bit too dry.

recipe via All Recipes

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sophie's Closet Redo

We spent this weekend redoing Sophie's closet. We needed a place to store her toys, clothes and linens and also be able to close the doors to make it "disappear". Enter The Container Store's Elfa closet system. I love its ease of assembly and its versatility! As she grows, we'll be able to remove shelves and add rods where necessary. Oh, and Darren got my a label maker for my upcoming birthday, so I was a happy little neat-freak this weekend!

Sophie's closet BEFORE

Sophie's closet AFTER.  All the toys were on the floor of her room, and now are in their own little bins.

I love my labelmaker!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sunny Day

Hello friends, it's been a while! I've been too busy and tired to post for a couple of weeks now, but I do have some small projects to tell you about soon. It's just that I hate to post projects until they're done, so it's not as if I haven't been doing anything--I just can't tell you about them yet. For now, I'll just subject you to another series of pictures of my Gracie. Today was unusually sunny and pleasant and we walked around outdoors, waiting for my mom to get a facial at Red Door.

This winter hat makes her look a little Rastafarian.

We were lonely--there's no one shopping this early on a Friday morning.

I gave her a mint to keep her busy.

Just waiting, and waiting, and waiting for my mom to be done.

Killing time at Caribou coffee