Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Boutique

Hi everyone! It's almost December. We broke down at our house and have already decorated for Christmas.
Christmas Lights up on the House...check ,
Christmas Tree...check,
10 Boxes of Christmas decorations...check!
(10 boxes may sound like a lot, but I happen to know someone who has 45 boxes just for her amazing Christmas Village! I am in awe!)
I really do love this time of year. There is something magical about it! People seem to be just a little nicer at Christmas time (except when you are at the mall). It's a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends and most of all to remember our Savior's Birth.
I'd love to invite you to a special event this Friday and Saturday-
Come get a jump start on your Holiday Shopping!!!
My friends and I are having a Holiday Boutique. If you live in the area I'd love it if you could make it. There will be lots of fun things!
I'm including some of the items I will be selling in this post but there will be LOTS more - so if you have time, we would love for you to drop by!
Many styles of single Apothecary Jars


Set of 3 Apothecary Jars filled with Peppermint Sticks
 Candy Cane Dessert Pedestal
Dashing Through the Snow Dessert Pedestal
Mini Apothecary Trio
Set of 3 "JOY" Apothecary Jars filled with Gumballs or Peppermints
Dessert Pedestal
Dessert Pedestal
3 Tiered Dessert Pedestal made from upcycled real silver bowls
And MUCH more!
Hope to see you Friday or Saturday!
If you can't make the Boutique this weekend and you want to stop by the house or if you have questions you can e-mail me at chocolates4bfast@gmail.com or call at 916-342-4425

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Over the River and through the Woods...

Happy Thanksgiving Day!  We're thankful the big day is finally here and all of our planning and preparations are complete.  We're so grateful for the times that bring family and friends together.
Our family has MANY traditions associated with holidays.  One of these traditions happens to follow the big turkey dinner.  The Dessert Trolley.  Not just a few pies but tradition calls for a dessert BUFFET...a trolley full of choices.  Derby Pie is one of the favorites.  
One of our family members moved to Kentucky for Law School and while there became acquainted with Derby Pie.  She shared the pie and then the recipe with all of us and now our pie trolley is not complete without Derby Pie.

It's been said that DERBY-PIE was born nearly a half century ago as the specialty pastry of the Melrose Inn, at Prospect, KY.  Derby-Pie has become the signature Kentucky Derby dessert. 

Here is our family recipe:
Derby Pie
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten light and fluffy
¾ cup chocolate chips
1 cup nuts, chopped

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into unbaked 9” pie shell.  Bake at 350 deg. For 30-35 min. or until golden brown and doesn’t shake in center when moved.  Freezes well.  If frozen, thaw slightly and warm slightly before serving with topping of Dream whip, Cool Whip, or whipped cream.
(Best when warmed after being out of the oven overnight.)

Another family tradition comes after dinner and dessert...the family hike up our mountain!
Happy Thanksgiving


Friday, November 16, 2012

Alice in Wonderland Themed Baby Shower

Another Baby shower? For some reason Kellie and I have been giving quite a few baby showers this year. Both our kids are older so it's been a while since we have done one. It started with my friend Candice having her first baby. Candice is a lot younger then I am. Let me put it this way, when I was in middle school she had just been born. It's funny how as you get older age doesn't matter. Anyhoo...I gave Candice this penguin Baby Shower a few years ago. This time around she was having a girl so it was time for some girly stuff.
She named her daughter Alice so we decided on an Alice in Wonderland Theme!
I had a great time collecting fun Alice in Wonderland Themed Objects.
In the foyer of my house we had an advice book. Guests wrote their best advice on having a GIRL. If you have boys and girls, you know that girl advice is very helpful!
I made pinwheels out of black and white diamond scrapbook paper and printed a clock I found on-line.
Next we had the Hair Bow station. I had seen this on a website a while back and I thought it was a great idea. How fun for the mommy-to-be to leave the shower with a whole bunch of new hair bows made by her friends.

I used the homework caddy  that I had made a few months earlier and put all the items needed to make the bows. That way it was less messy and easy to see what was available. I also printed out some instructions in case some of the guests weren't sure how to make them.
The shower guests had a great time making the bows.
 Here are some of the finished hair bows:
The Dining Room was the place for all the food and goodies.
Because I was in a time crunch I purchased the Banner & food and drink tags from this and this ETSY store and just printed them at home. Esty is a great resource for that kind of thing. It was pretty inexpensive too. I usually make my own at home but in some circumstances it's easier to just buy them and print.  
The food for this party was really fun. I had lots of friends helping also which helped out SOOOO much. We had:
Cookie Dough Truffles
Mini Fruit Pizza's
 Veggies & Dip, Cucumber Sandwiches & Russian Creme (recipe here)
Pasta Salad - here is the recipe - it was amazing!
 For drinks we used my cute jars with these fun Drink Me tags.

The take home gift were these cute sour cream containers filled with candy
Congrats Candice and little Alice!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving on the banks of the Whangpoo River

I was standing duty on board our ship when it was anchored in the Whangpoo River (the river that flows through or near Shanghai).  I was watching the people who lived, worked, and slept in their little boats on the river.  They never left the boats, which meant that they used the river as a source for their culinary water and also as a bathroom.

The water in the river was terribly polluted.  One time, the sailors on my ship had been given ‘liberty’ to go ashore.  They piled into a lifeboat and headed for the city.  On the way, another boat crossed in front of them, and the water in the wake of the other boat splashed into the boat that I and my shipmates were in.  The officer in charge of the boat made us turn around and go back to the ship.  The sailors had to burn their clothing and take showers and get shots.  That lets you know how awfully dirty that water was.
The Chinese people had just come out of a brutal war with Japan, and had no resources for providing for themselves.  One of the ways they tried to provide for themselves was to construct a piece of wood and some nails and a rope to make a dragline to drag the river.  (Papa Kels never said so, but we think that the people were after the things that the wasteful Americans threw away--things like construction materials, clothing, and food.)
One time, I noticed that the youngest member of the family on one boat had found something on the bottom of the river and brought it up into the boat.  I thought it was a piece of coal.  The boy tried to hide the thing under his clothing.  I watched as the grandmother boxed the boy on the ears and took the item from him.  A fight ensued, and the biggest and strongest man on board won (of course).  He grabbed the item from the young boy.   
At this point in the story Papa Kels would pass the box around and ask us to quietly look inside—after all had seen the contents of the wooden box he would continue his story—
The man took a bite of it, I realized that it wasn't a piece of coal--it was a potato.  The man had eaten the potato that had been soaking in that dirty river water.

At this point in the story Papa Kels would express his deep gratitude for the abundance of blessings we as a family shared.  He would express his heartfelt gratitude to our Father in Heaven for the life he had been given.

He would then remind anyone listening to think of that dirty, diseased yet coveted potato when we saw the big bowl of beautiful, white mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving Day.
During the holiday season may we take many opportunities to be thankful—to express our thanks to our family, friends, neighbors and especially to our Heavenly Father.  
Happy Thanksgiving!  


Monday, November 5, 2012

Soccer Party Fun

Tis the season.....for Soccer Parties!!
I'm always SO excited for the kids to start the soccer season, but by the end I am always SO glad it's over!
I was in charge of my youngest child's Soccer Party this year.
I wanted to share a very simple way to make a big splash!
First, I went to Home Dept and bought a grass rug, went home and got to cutting it up!

The rug was huge so I cut it to fit my table first, I had plenty extra so I covered all the other surfaces I was using.
 I went to the fabric store and picked out some fun fabric for my backdrop and made a simple banner.
I bought a brand spankin new ball and placed it on a painted candlestick for the centerpiece of the table.

Cucpakes came next.

And last- TROPHY'S!

This was such a simple and fun party to put together.

I found these cute Soccer Coach Printables at Eighteen25 here is the link.

It doesn't take much time, money or creativity to make something a little more special.
So - Happy Soccer Parties to you this year!!!