Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Empty Nest

Sadly my children are beyond the ages of dressing up for Halloween (tear).  So instead of pouting about it more that I already have I came up with a solution...

I'm inviting some of my friend's awesome kids over to my home for a pre-trick or treating dinner.  I always remember being so rushed for time when I was getting my children all dressed up each year and dinner sometimes always took a back seat.

So it is my hope to help some good friends out in the process of helping my Halloween Empty Nest Syndrome.  It is a medical term!  I promise!  Well maybe not but it DEFINITELY should be!

Party planning has got to be one of my all-time favorite things to do and this little gathering was no exception.

Sweet kids in costume + deliciously spooky food = Halloween Happiness, for the hostess anyway.

When planning a party (big or small) I usually start with a theme (Halloween-that was easy), color scheme (Black, Orange and Green-again easy), decorations (I'm already decorated) and then food (my favorite).  Here is my menu for tonight:

-Mummified Dogs dipped in Blood-
Hot dogs wrapped in bread dough and dipped in kethcup

-Spider Eggs-OOOOOO-
Deviled eggs with olives on top cut in the shape of a shiny spider, I couldn't resist since two of the cute darlings supply me with a bountiful collection of home fresh eggs each week.

-Witches Fingers-
Carved string cheese with green pepper finger nails

-Wormy Apples-
Crisp sliced apples with a gummy worm through them

A party is NEVER complete at my house without dessert.  I love to make things from scratch but who always has the time.  Tonight I have made Oreo Mummy Pops and Quick Carmel Corn.  They are both desserts that can be made ahead and packaged easily.

I can't wait to share pictures and recipes from the party with you in the next few days.  I better get going I have costumed cuties arriving soon.  Sweet Tricks and Treats-J

What are making for dinner tonight?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Birthday Memories

One of my very best friend's Jenn just celebrated her 3?th birthday last week.  We partied at my house with Margaritas, Fajitas and friends.  Because I was making dinner for about 10 people I couldn't afford to do much for a gift, so I must admit that I was a little stumped. 

Finally I remembered that when Jenn and I were young we would make fun candy bar letters for each other and so the idea was reborn!!  I have to tell you that once I get an idea in my head I become obsessed with it and until I have it complete it pretty much takes over my life.  Ask Taters and Tales (my children Tate and Taylea's nicknames) they would be sure to roll their eyes into the back of their sweet little (well Tate's is quite large) heads and agree.

I first brainstormed about what candy bars that I could use.  There are a ton of fun ideas on the web if you just look.  From there I began writing a letter to my dear friend...this is how it went...

Dear HOT TAMALES (aka Jenn aka my best friend),

You are such a LIFESAVER and have been beside me down every ROCKY ROAD.  You are the one who is there for me when I am in a CRUNCH.   I would not trade 100 GRAND for your friendship and the MOUNDS of fun that we have together.  You have been my friend whether we were AIRHEADS or NERDS and even when my problems are big WHOPPERS.  You love me when I am broke or it is my PAYDAY, when I am watching smut tv or a SYMPHONY.  You, your SUGAR DADDY (aka her husband) and your SUGAR BABIES (aka her children) are the family that I have chose for myself.


Once satisfied with my letter it was time to find the candy.  This is where living in a VERY small town makes things a little difficult.  Luckily I was traveling to a town 90 miles away that happens to have a BIMART and WALMART for my sons football game.  I was able to pick most of them up there and then fill the rest in by going to three different locations in the town where I live.  Please note:  Notify your ENTIRE family that the candy bars are for a project and not for snacks...I had thought I covered everyone but forgot to tell the one person that loves SYMPHONY bars.  They happen to be hard to find where I am from...luckily he was sweet enough to find one for me.

I then purchased a piece of poster board for .50 at a local store and used a permanent marker to write out the letter being sure to leave ample room for the candy bars as I went along.  Once it was all written out I went back and hot glued each candy bar in the designated area. 

At party time I hung it up so that everyone could look at it and it soon became a party hit.  Luckily my friend Jenn was the first to the party because when she read it she teared up.  This is a great example of an inexpensive but yet personal gift that you can easily make for someone important to your life.  As moms we are constantly budgeting, bargain shopping and pinching pennies where we can so that our children have everything that they need.  So instead of going out and spending a ton of money on a gift that your friend will forget about by next year make a candy letter and a memory.  Sweet dreams - J