Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hello Kitty birthday party



My daughter initially wanted a train party.  But I know nothing about trains.  I asked her what was her second choice and she said Hello Kitty but that she also wanted her party to be yellow since it's her favorite color.  That, I could do.  I focused more on yellow than Hello Kitty though.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money and time making paper products/decorations.

I am trying to teach myself how to sew, so I thought I would try making a runner for the table.  It was a bit crooked, but my daughter didn't notice, so I guess it was ok.  

 I ordered lemon cake balls and cookies and cream cake balls from my friend, Jane of Short and Sweets.  They were amazing!


I made a chocolate cake with cookies and cream filling, covered with whipped ganache and garnished with Valhrona pearls.  We served the cake with ice cream.

I used extra fabric from the runner to make little flags for the cake.  The tiny figurine was custom made for me by my cousin's wife Cherry of Clay Latte.  It is made of polymer clay and made to look like my daughter holding Hello Kitty.  It is a key chain but I took off the key chain and added a tiny paper hat to cover the loop on her head.  It's a keepsake that I will use as a Christmas tree ornament each year.  

 Nothing exciting for food this year, just some fruits, veggies with dip, cheese and crackers and pizza.

We played 4 games.  I tried to have different types of games so both kids and adults could participate and have fun.  One was a puzzle.  Whoever put the puzzle together in the shortest time was the winner.  We had the adults play too.  There was a prize for a child and for the adult who were the fastest.  Suggestion if you do this type of game:  If you have older kids competing with younger kids, have the older kid have a handicap of a minute for each year.  I didn't do this and of course the kids who were 5 were no match for the 9 year old.  


Wheelbarrow race.  Initially I announced the game was for a parent and one of their kids.  But I had some kids that wanted to do it together.  So I just said that the winners will get a prize each.

Score a goal.  Who ever scores the most goals out of 5 chances win.  We had the adults play first, then the kids.

The last game was a paper/pen game.  Each family was a team and they had 2 minutes to write down as many homophones as they could think of.  The family with the most won.

Prizes:  I forgot to take a picture of my prize box.  I had so many nice things this year as prizes and didn't spend much at all.  Anytime I go shopping, months and months before the party, I keep a look out for nice prizes at a cheap price.  My budget is usually about $3 per prize but I got most of the prizes free!  I love Kohls because they have sent us so many $10 coupons in this last year, at least 6 or 7 of them. I'm not sure how Kohl's decides who to send these to because I know some people in the same city who don't receive them.  Anyway, to use this coupon, you have to spend at least $10 on anything in the store (except gift cards) and I usually just spend $10.  This year I had Lindt truffles, Godiva chocolate covered pretzels, a lantern, series 8 Lego minifigs, Hello Kitty minifigs, Matchbox cars, and Squinkies.

Suggestion for games:  When we first started the games, I asked if anyone (an adult) would help keep score, keep time and just help me keep things in order, just in case I had to step away to answer the door or snap some pictures.  It made my life so much easier!  And I let this volunteer be the first to have a prize. Win-win for everyone!

Party favors:  I found these felt boards at Michael's on clearance for $2.30  I was so happy when I found them for so cheap, they were selling them at Marshall's for $9.99.  I had several themes, like pirates, dinosaurs, astronauts, ballerina, princess, fire fighters, and beach.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Chocolate Crinkles


I had a wonderful Christmas but kind of feel like I missed a lot of Christmas.  My second daughter was born a few days before Christmas so I didn't get to bake much or attend any Christmas parties.  December went by so fast!  Too fast for my liking!  I just love Christmastime.  Anyway, I'm loving having 2 kids.  I'm super tired but just about recovered from the delivery and getting adjusted to be a mommy of two.

Today, I made Chocolate Crinkles.  I've never eaten them or made them before, but I've seen them a lot around the holidays.  This recipe made beautiful cookies that were light and fluffy, not really with a rich chocolate flavor.  They were alright but I prefer cookies more dense and rich.  Maybe next time I'll make these with a recipe that asks for chocolate instead of cocoa powder. 

 I used a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop and baked for 15 minutes at 350

Sorry for the blur in the center of the pictures.  I recently started letting my 2 year old use my camera so she can learn to take pictures.  After I downloaded the pictures and saw the blur, I noticed a big fingerprint on the lens of m camera.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ice cream and brownies

 I made this tiny ice cream dessert for family who came over for lunch this weekend.  Ganache, 3 tiny scoops of vanilla ice cream and a brownie in the shape of a star.  I  loved this dessert.  First of all I love tiny dishes!  I just bought these from Bed Bath and Beyond 12 for $20 and used the $5 off coupon.  And two of my favorite sweets are ice cream and brownies.  I prepared this ahead of time and kept them in my freezer on my tray.


I am a loyal fan of Ghiradelli brownies and have only made those. But I didn't have any brownie mix at home so I found this recipe that I really liked which I used this weekend. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch square pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and water. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies set up. Do not overbake! Cool in pan and cut into squares. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My baby shower favors


We had our baby shower last week.  It was wonderful!  My sister asked me what theme I wanted for the shower and I didn't have a preference but I knew I wanted pumpkin pie, pecan pie and other autumn desserts.  The shower ended up just being decorated like it was Thanksgiving.  It was beautiful and so delicious.

I made the favors for the guests.  Nothing new, it was pretty much the same favor I've given at many other parties.  I already had some little boxes (from papermart.com) and I used one of  my favorite chocolates: Lindt Truffles.  Costco used to carry bags of the milk chocolate truffles all year long but in the last couple years or so, they only carry them just before and during the Christmas season.  The bag they carry now has assorted truffles:  milk, white, dark, peanut butter and 60% dark.  Oh So Good!!

 Here, my daughter and nephew were helping me fill the boxes.  Three truffles per box.

I made labels with MS Publisher and instead of using ribbon, I printed out orange and white checkers and cut them in strips to use on the favors.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tangled tower pinata


One of my nieces is having a Disney's Tangled birthday party.  My gift for the birthday girl is making the pinata.  Recently I've seen a lot of birthday cakes that look like the tower.  I loved how the purple shingles on the roof looked made out of fondant. I thought it would be interesting to see a tower pinata with little pieces of purple tissue flying in the wind as it hung outside at a birthday party. 

Below are some pictures that I used to help me design the pinata.  I wanted to add more to the pinata, but the pinata is such a short version of the tower, I had to leave a lot of details out. 
a screen shot from the movie

 The international movie poster

the top of the princess float at the Disneyland parade
 another shot of the float

 Just a box that i shaped
I used some packing tape and tacky glue
I wrapped it in black construction paper.  I wish I had beige instead but didn't have any, so I decided on black.
 I made spacers out of squares of cardboard to for the top portion of the tower (where the windows are)
 My little helper, helping me to stack the cardboard pieces

 I let them dry for a few minutes

 I glued them near the top
 The top of the tower was just construction paper glued to the spacers.  I changed it though, not sure why I made it black, but later I changed it to white. 
Sorry, by the time I took this next picture, I had done a lot but didn't take any pictures of the work.  My daughter was "helping" me and it was just a big mess on my dining table.  Here I had added strips of brown paper to the base of the tower and glued on different colored rectangle paper to look like bricks.  I also started making the roof after I attached some hemp string on the inside.  I used glue and tape to keep the rope in place in 4 places.  Then I used strips of cardboard to start making the roof
 Here I glued on a bunch of little pieces of white paper to complete the roof

 I made little squares of purple tissues for the shingles and just started layering them from the bottom

 I curled the ends of brown paper with a small paint brush and added some flowers
the vines are just green tissue i rolled tightly together

 


The pinata is about 17 inches tall and the bottom diameter is about 7.5 inches.  I don't know how long this took.  But it was hours and hours.  If I had a few minutes or an hour free during the day I would work on the pinata.  It was a lot of fun, I love doing this stuff.  I think I may try making another and see if I can sell it online.  I want to remain a stay at home mom, but if there is something I can do when I have free time, that I enjoy, I think I better jump on it because some extra cash would be nice right now.

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