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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Gingerbread House Decorating Party


This post is about a month late but planning and hosting parties during the holidays is plenty of work as it is. Not to mention everything else that goes into holiday planning. A quote from one of my favorite movies, A Bad Moms Christmas sums it up, " You're a mom, moms don't en-joy, they give joy". Okay, well I actually do enjoy the holidays but if you are a parent I'm sure you can relate! We make it all happen, mommas!!

Last month I helped sprinkle a little Christmas spirit for my girls and some of their classmates. On a cold and rainy Saturday, eight little ladies in cozy pajamas gathered in our dining room to decorate gingerbread houses. The fireplace was ablaze, Christmas music softly playing, tree lights twinkling, hot chocolate brewing, and lots of giggling echoing through the house.


I made aprons for the girls to wear with my Cricut Air 2 machine. I ordered the red aprons from Oriental Trading and found the gingerbread decal on the Cricut Design App. If you like crafting and have never used a Cricut machine you are missing out! For the longest time I was the DIYer who would rummage around my house to find the right size circle to trace and cut by hand. This machine is a game changer! It does it all for you with precise cuts and fonts. Cards, tags,banners, iron decals, you name it!

It's all done on the Cricut app or website. You decide the size, font, image etc., cut the vinyl and stick on the mat, the machine makes all the cuts, you peel the excess vinyl away, then iron on your material. It took a little time to make eight aprons but I was surprised at how easy it really was.


With eight girls and not much patience for assembling gingerbread houses, I took the plunge and spent extra money on pre assembled houses. I found the houses at our Super Target and they came with the frosting piped and ready to go. Sometimes I take extra steps to save money and sometimes I spend extra to save steps. Many steps and headaches in this case.

Each guest brought one topping for decorations and I had some here too. Red Hots, M & Ms, marshmallows, gum drops, candy lights, Twizzlers, peppermints, and much more within arms reach for each girl to use. Cookies and hot chocolate were on hand to keep the little decorators' tummies filled.

  


After decorating we had a light lunch, appetizers (I love Trader Joe's variety of frozen appetizers around the holidays), hot chocolate bar and small mimosa bar was also available to the moms.

Note to self: white marshmallows will blend in with white bowls :)


pomegranates and raspberries for the mimosas

hot chocolate break

sweet girls!
finished products

I hope you all had happy holidays! Cheers to a healthy and happy 2019!!!

For more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things
"Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.You can also follow me on www.bloglovin.com, on Instagram and Pinterest




Saturday, January 12, 2019

Healthy Boneless Buffalo Wings


Baked Boneless Buffalo Wings

If you are looking for a game day snack that is also fairly healthy, I've got the perfect recipe for you! These baked boneless buffalo wings are ready in under an hour and a fan favorite in this house! I've been making these a few years now since I found the recipe on Pinterest and adapted it to my liking.

Ingredients for Boneless Buffalo Wings

*3-4 chicken breasts 
*1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
*2 eggs
*2 tsp. cayenne pepper
*2tsp. garlic powder
*2-3 Tbsp. butter
*1/2 cup of Franks Red Hot Original Sauce
*cooking spray (I like Chosen Foods 100% pure avocado oil spray)

Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut chicken into small cubes. Prepare two bowls. One for the eggs and one for the whole wheat flour (I like to use King Arthur's brand but any brand will work). Beat the eggs in the first bowl. Mix flour with the cayenne pepper and garlic powder in the second.

Dredge the chicken cubes into the egg mixture first and then toss in the flour mixture. Cover the chicken completely with the flour mixture. Put on a greased cookie sheet, I use the cooking spray to grease instead of butter. Spray a light layer of cooking spray on the chicken and bake for 15 minutes. Halfway through flip the chicken over (this is important in order to get the crispiness) and spray another light layer of cooking spray on chicken. Bake another 15-18 min. 

Meanwhile, melt 2-3 Tbsp. of butter. Once the chicken is done, put it into another bowl and coat with the melted butter and Franks Red Hot Original Sauce. Mix well and serve. I like to  add fresh veggies and blue cheese dressing for dipping.

As with any recipe you can cater to your liking. If you want more spice, add more cayenne pepper. If you like a lot of sauce, add more butter and Franks. But most of all, enjoy!!!


For more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things
"Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.You can also follow me on www.bloglovin.com, on Instagram and Pinterest



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Canvas Factory Giveaway!



This is a sponsored post for which I have been compensated with a free product sample and a giveaway prize for my readers in exchange for a product review. All opinions are my own.

Calling all professional photographers, amateur photographers and those in between! We all love to take pictures and capture our favorite memories on camera, however, do those moments just stay on your camera card and social media sites? Or do you print them to display and share with family and friends?

For myself, nothing beats having real photographs around my home to view and relive that memory. Plus, photographs make great gifts! That is why I was delighted with a 16" x 20" product sample offered to me from Canvas Factory AND one to giveaway to my readers!

I am working on a new gallery wall for my freshly painted bedroom and was excited to order a canvas print for the wall. No heavy, bulky frames to deal with, and they look great mixed with other textured signs and frames. For the print, I chose one of my children on a recent family vacation to Pikes Peak, Colorado. All four of my kids were looking at the camera, the background was beautiful, and it was a memorable day of our trip. 

The Canvas Factory makes creating and ordering your prints a cinch. Simply click the "Get Started" button and choose what material and layout you would like. I did the single print but would like to order the split image for my daughters' bedrooms next time. Upload your photograph, even directly from Facebook or Instagram if you choose. However, I would personally use a JPEG like I did to ensure a quality photo. If you are unsure of the print you want or have any questions, just click on the Live Support Chat for help.

Once your photo is uploaded you select which wrap you want for your canvas. The options are gallery-where the print continues around the sides or mirrored-where the images mirror onto the sides. I first chose gallery but a message popped up that I would have blank space on my canvas edges so I went with the mirrored effect and love it. (You can see that in the picture below.) Lastly, you can choose to add text and colored effects if you would like. I didn't add either for my canvas this time.


I was provided with timely emails on the status of my order and received my well packaged canvas about a week later.  My favorite part about this canvas print is the quality. The picture is clear, the colors are vibrant and accurate. The corners are smooth and there is a nice backing with two sturdy hanging clips. A canvas print I had previously ordered from another company didn't come with an enclosed backing. I am very happy with my canvas and cannot wait to get my gallery wall started!

Now the fun part. Leave me a comment describing your favorite photograph, one that brings a smile to your face every time you look at it - one you would love to see on your very own Canvas Factory print. I'll randomly choose one winner on Monday, May 14th, 2018 and announce it here. Open to residents of the United States and Canada only. If you reside in Canada please use this link to Canvas Factory.

Thank you for stopping by and good luck!!

For more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things
"Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.You can also follow me on www.bloglovin.com, on Instagram and Pinterest







Thursday, May 3, 2018

Seafood Boil


The lobster dish from Market Street inspired this seafood boil
It had been awhile since I last hosted a seafood boil, and I was anxious to have another. A couple of wonderful families invited us to their Greek Easter celebrations complete with lamb on the spit, LOTS of traditional Greek food, and egg hunts for the kids so I thought this would be a great way to reciprocate.

First, the table. I covered it with white drawing paper (you could also use butcher paper) which fit perfectly width wise so I didn't need to cut it. I added the red and white checkered table cloth from the Dollar Tree, my favorite seashell sand and candle display from Pottery Barn, and paper towel. At each place setting there was a personal bucket for shells lined with super cute state of Texas paper I found at Paper Affair (here in Dallas). The bucket also contained a plastic lobster bib, crackers, a wet nap, silverware, and a mini bottle of white wine.




The guys loved it and did a great job helping drain those heavy buckets of seafood greatness!
Now that we moved south, I don't have all the delicious New England seafood at my fingertips. A majority of the seafood here comes from the Gulf and is Cajun inspired. Catfish, crayfish, and po'boys are what you will find on a typical seafood menu instead of Haddock, Cod, Maine lobster, and king crab legs. I'm not thrilled about it but I have tried them. I have also found the places that fly in seafood from Maine around here! The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck, The keeper, Seabreeze, and Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen are a few of my favorites.

For this boil, I used Dungeness crab from Costco in place of lobster and was very happy with the results! They were sweet and delicious. In fact, he's almost too cute to eat...almost!


In addition to the Dungeness crab, I added large shrimp, clams, andouille sausage, red potatoes, corn, and onion. For the seasoning I use a combination of Old Bay and Old Bay Hot, butter, garlic, red pepper flakes and black pepper. For garnish I set out lemons, melted butter, and cocktail sauce.

Over the years I found that cooking a seafood boil for a large crowd on your stove is easier when you cook the corn and potatoes separately from the meat. I use the exact same seasoning combination and then just mix them all together when everything is dumped out onto the table. You could use multiple pots but be careful not to overcook the crab and clams if you have a couple pots going at the same time. If you are making a boil for 4-6 adults you could easily use one large pot.

The fun part of a seafood boil is that you cover the table and pour out the food for everyone to enjoy with their hands. However, the temps here were in the mid-90's that evening and the husbands were kind enough to let the wives enjoy a relaxing dinner while they watched the kids in the pool first. Because of that I choose to pour the boil out on cookie sheets and keep in our air conditioned, fly free kitchen.

 



In addition to the seafood I served fresh bread, traditional Greek salad and watermelon. Hamburgers, chips, and dessert of cheesecake and ice cream were also available.

I would say this seafood boil another success from all the empty plates and smiles! It left my husband begging for another so I'm already planning for this coming summer!

One of the best things about a seafood boil besides being delicious and easy to make is that you can prepare it anyway you want. Add  only shrimp, potatoes, sausage, corn and seasoning. Make it a crayfish boil. Or go all out and load it up with lobster, king crab legs, and clams. Serve it on newspaper and picnic tables or fancy plates indoors. Enjoy it at the lake or your own backyard. It's a fun meal to share with family and friends while catering it to your own needs.

Check out my Pinterest board crab,shrimp,lobster boil to see more fun ideas you can use to host your seafood boil this summer!

Thank you for stopping by! ❤
For more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things
"Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.You can also follow me on www.bloglovin.com, on Instagram and Pinterest

















Sunday, February 18, 2018

Video Game Birthday


I absolutely love boy Birthday parties! Star Wars, Nerf guns, superheros, construction vehicles, ninjas, and now video games and laser tag! What better birthday is there for a bunch of eight and nine year old boys than a Game Truck?! If you have not heard of this, I will fill you in.

This climate controlled truck with seating for about twenty will pull up to your home, park, or wherever they have fifty feet to park. The game truck host runs the whole show inside the truck. The company we used had six different screens with multiple gaming systems and over ninety age appropriate video games. Depending on your package, you can get at least an hour or more of unlimited gaming. The game host we had was very patient and friendly. He answered many requests to change games and show the kids how to play if they didn't know how. It's a dream come true for kids this age.


However, we didn't stop there. Since the location of the party was at a nearby park with lots of green space we chose to add laser tag. And I am so glad we did, this was the boys favorite part.

While the boys were in the game truck another employee set up the laser tag course complete with tents, inflatable barrels and barriers to hide behind.The laser tag host also ran the games and was a great sport with all the boys. I was worried they would get bored and not want to play an hour of laser tag, but I was wrong. The host mixed it up with different laser tag games to play so they weren't going after the same people the whole time. Thankfully, I had pizza and cupcakes to draw them away from this once our hour was up.









I rented a covered pavilion for a very nominal fee with bathrooms just in case it rained. However, this covered pavilion did nothing to combat my arch nemesis ...wind...again...the balloons, my decorations and centerpieces didn't stand a chance.

I had green and black balloons, table cloths, napkins, and diy centerpieces that I wasn't able to use because it was so darn windy. While I was disappointed, the boys could of cared less. They had such a great time with their friends running around for two hours straight. They happily gobbled up pizza, water, and cupcakes and went on their way.


This was a super easy party to plan and host. The Game Truck company took care of everything except the food.

Thank you for stopping by! ❤
For more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things
"Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.You can also follow me on www.bloglovin.com, on Instagram and Pinterest




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Getting Personal: All about Balance and Self-Care


I just had the best summer I have ever had with all four of my kids! We traveled, all slept in (for the first time ever), swam in the pool, sat on the couch without feeling guilty; that I should be doing something else, crafted, tried yoga, attended circus school, read lots, watched movies, played games, and did whatever we wanted whenever we wanted, with little fighting. I know, I was surprised too! However, this was also the first summer that naps weren't needed, bedtimes could be lenient without horrible repercussions, and everyone just went with the flow and enjoyed being in the moment.

I realized that without all the hustle and bustle of school, homework, activities, room mom duties, and the constant "go go go" I was able to slow down and enjoy my kids again without being so stressed and irritable. And surprise, when I was happier, so were my kids!

However, this was also the first time ever that I have completely forgot to make a hair appointment. As in I didn't notice or care how bad my roots were and how fried the ends were after months of swimming and sun. I looked in the mirror and all I could think about was a meme I came across a few years ago.."I've learned a lot about myself since becoming a mom. I didn't realize just how far I could let myself go and still be okay with it". While I laughed at this, there is also a sad slice of truth to it. I still carry around baby weight I gained from my first set of twins almost NINE years ago.Ugh, that's hard to say out loud. And don't get me wrong, I have tired to loose it but it has been hard with four young kids, the stress associated with a husband who commuted out of state for work twice, followed by two big moves for our family. Those may sound like excuses but that was my life, and for me, it was a very stressful time. So naturally when my to do list for the day was a mile long and I was exhausted, the workouts were the first thing to go.

It may have taken awhile, but earlier this year I finally realized the time to get fit and healthy again is now. Not only do I want to feel better about myself again but I want to grow old with my husband and see my kids grow up. I started making better food choices, cutting back on wine (that's a hard one!), and realizing there is no reason I can't workout for 30 minutes most days. We also adopted our two year old Border Collie/Husky mix named Baloo who needs to walk daily. That's the secret folks, go out and adopt a dog from your local shelter, start walking daily and boom...ten pounds gone!

After that great start to my new routine came a busy end of school year and a month long vacation to visit our families and friends. After that, the summer of fun and relaxation continued until that day not long ago when I looked in the mirror.

Since then I told myself it's time to get back on track and take care of yourself. The first thing I did was make a hair appointment! Hallelujah its scheduled for this weekend! I also tossed in a pedicure last weekend just because. I've restocked my vitamins, switched my afternoon cup of coffee to tea, made time to read and go to bed earlier when I need it, pray/meditate, eat more fruit and vegtables, meal plan, resume blogging because it's a creative outlet I enjoy, got an actual pair of nice pajamas instead of my old grubby sweats (I was surprised at how much better I felt), started doing face masks again, and working out.

Walking the dog, riding bikes with my family, swimming, and going to the YMCA consistently again are giving me new muscle aches and more energy. Last but not least is my favorite. Yoga. Prior to kids I loved yoga and pilates and would take both classes back to back. When life got crazy, I knew I needed yoga back in my life. I slowly started doing some poses and breathing at home and couldn't believe what a difference it made. Then I found a yin yoga class and was in love. It's grounded, slow moving, and helps stretch your muscles. Plus you can totally be a newbie or out of the yoga practice for awhile and no one will notice or care. It's relaxing and I'm hoping this will help me slowly start to regain some of my flexibility.

I might have jumped the gun but I decided to join a vinessya yoga class early this week. Well here's how that went. I was the heaviest and most unflexible person in that room. I yearned for my old body the whole time, the one that could actually do these poses. I spent lots of time staring at the instructor who was twisted up like a pretzel and whispered "wtf" while thinking I can't even come close to bending that way. BUT...I was proud of myself because I stayed the whole class and I gave it my all. Making permanent changes is all about taking small steps and never giving up. And life is all about balance. So take care of yourself mommas and no matter what  your challenge is, don't give up!! Oh and I plan on going back to that yoga class..one of these days I will be able to bend like that.

Have a great school year!

Thank you for stopping by! ❤
For more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things
"Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.You can also follow me on www.bloglovin.com, on Instagram and Pinterest


 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

How To Host An Outdoor Fairy Garden Party on a Budget

 

The idea for this party had been brewing for a couple years, but life with two sets of twins and two major moves in two and a half years put it on hold. However, I am glad we waited because the party turned out to be everything I had hoped it would be!

My grandmother's gold, pink, and green tea cups were the inspiration for this party. I wanted the girls to experience a fancy tea party with a whimsical touch. Each girl received a pair of fairy wings from Dollar Tree that I spruced up with fake flowers and ribbon also from there.

At each girl's place setting was a fairy wand or star shaped sugar cookie on a stick. I picked up the Wilton sticks at the craft store and cut out thick star shaped cookies to slide on before baking. Next to the fairy wands were magical fairy dust aka fancy sprinkles. After lunch the girls frosted and decorated their wands and enjoyed!


    


Inside the gold boxes (also from Dollar Tree) were the supplies the girls needed for their fairy gardens. A fairy house, small animals, rocks, twigs, stones, benches, steeping stones, and a fairy.  Home Depot, Dollar Tree, JoAnn Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby are where we found our fairy garden supplies.


On the menu was iced tea or pink lemonade, ham and Swiss cheese pinwheels, fruit, chips, and veggies. I also had my mother in law's famous avgolemono soup, stuffed peppers, and salad available for the moms to enjoy.

Due to strong winds, and the third outdoor party in a row I've had where the winds were 20-30mph, I decided to move the food table inside the house. It wasn't what I had envisioned but at least we avoided any potential disasters.

These shimmery cake pops tasted as good as they look!






The baker I used went above and beyond and got creative with the cake decorations
 
I just love these confetti balloons!
pinkies up!

 
After the tea party it was time to make our fairy gardens! The girls said this was their favorite part. I also found the planters at Dollar Tree and filled them with dirt so the girls just needed to plant their flowers and decorate.





The prettiest little fairies around
  
Vendors:
Party: Mrs.Party Planner
Cake Pops: Pallister Pop Shop
Fairy Dust/Sprinkles:Neon Yolk Shop
Confetti Balloons and confetti:Paperscapes1212
Tassel Garland: GlamFete

Thank you for stopping by! ❤
For more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things
"Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.You can also follow me on www.bloglovin.com, on Instagram and Pinterest