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DIY Centerpiece

The centerpiece for this party should be something I can mark off my to do list pretty quickly. I went to a DIY website and found a couple of ideas. One thing I was thinking of doing was this... I have a gorgeous Trifle bowl (the picture is the only one of it I could find). I thought that it would be nice if I filled the trifle bowl with some red and silver ornaments. Simple, festive and beautiful. I thought that I might lay some evergreen around the stem of the bowl as well. The DIY website suggested using a pedestal bowl, but don't you think a Trifle bowl will work just as fine? We have a nice holiday tablecloth, holiday dishes, holiday napkins, etc. I'm still looking for some holiday stem ware, but I may just use what we have in the interest of space and budget. As an added special touch, I think I'll make some holiday related place cards. I was thinking of doing these 3D Holiday Place Cards. They would be so simple to do and would add a festive touch to the table setting. It's all coming together! I have a few things left to do, including finding the perfect appetizer recipe to make for the evening. … [Continue reading]

Games Required

Whenever we have friends over, it's a given rule in our household that games are a must. I love to play games and don't get to play them nearly enough. My husband groans when I head towards the game closet... he likes to play card games and strategy games. Games like Scrabble, Pictionary, etc. aren't his style. Because of that, our guests are the ones who have to humor me as I dust off my underused games. For our Christmas dinner party, I have a couple of games in mind. I was thinking that we'd either play Apples to Apples or Catch Phrase. Beyond Balderdash is another favorite that might be a possibility for that night. What do you think? What are some of your favorite games to play with friends? What games tend to bring out the most laughs and fun in the people you play them with? I'm completely open to suggestions and would love to hear what some of your favorites are.   … [Continue reading]

Mommy Doesn’t Do Snow

My prayers for a sudden heat wave coming through Kansas City didn't happen, so as predicted, schools were cancelled. This lead me on a quest to keep the kids entertained all day without going crazy. By 9am we had alredy played Candy Land 4 times, followed by several games of Ker Plunk, and then even more games of Trouble. At around noon the snow began to fall again. This time, it came down in beautiful, fluffy white flakes. Not the sleety, icy stuff we had yesterday. Jacob and Kelly sat longingly at the windows, begging to go outside to play in the snow. With each plea, they received my typical answer when faced with this situation. "Sorry kids... mommy doesn't do snow." I just don't like snow. I can appreciate its beauty, but that appreciation is best to me when I can sit inside the comfort of my warm home, snuggled up under blankets and by the fireplace. I do not see the appeal of bundling up and going outside only to freeze our kahuna's off. A few hours later and several phone calls from friends of mine hounding me about not letting my kids play in the snow today, peer pressure won and they bundled up and went outside. I couldn't very well take the baby out, so Ella and I stayed in the comfort of our warm home watching out the window, as I sent my children outside to freeze their kahuna's off. I learned two things today from this "big adventure". 1) Remember to have the kids go to the bathroom prior to getting them bundled up in their snow suits. Kelly, of … [Continue reading]

Ice Storm

It's 5:02 pm on Wednesday evening. I'm looking out the window watching the traffic creep by on the icy roads. Ice... one of the things I don't like about Kansas. Snow is one thing, rain is another, but ice storms are a completely different beast. Am I worried about the drivers? Yes. Am I concerned about people slipping and falling? Yes. However, the real reason my stomach is churning about the ice coming down is that you can bet that school will be cancelled. Now, please don't get me wrong... I love my son. I love his energy, his determination, his personality... but on some days I can only take all of that enthusiasm in small doses, and today is one of those days! He is driving me absolutely insane. He loves school.... he needs school and on the days that he doesn't go to school he is an absolute beast of a kid. He runs around like a crazy guy, playing football, running into walls, waking up his sister's from their naps, etc. So yes, drivers, I'm praying that you make it home safely. I'm praying that there aren't any accidents on the road and that shoppers have steady feet when out on the sidewalk. I am also praying that somehow a heat wave comes through between now and school time so that my cooped up son can get out of the house and share his energy and enthusiasm with someone else! … [Continue reading]

Le Menu

I spent some time last night browsing through recipes on Recipezaar, in my favorite cookbooks and through past issues of Food and Wine magazines. After much debate with my husband on how we wanted to cook it (grilled, broil, oven) and what kind of ingredients we wanted to use, this recipe from Recipezaar won the battle. I love the fact that you can do a lot of the recipe ahead of time, which will be great so that the time spent before the party can be used doing more important things (like drink wine!) Here it is: Show-off Roast Pork Recipe #41426 My favorite do-ahead party dish. Excellent taste, very easy to make, and perfect for everything from a casual to a formal dinner party, or even a buffet. It's great served with braised belgian endive or lightly sauteed broccoli rappe, green salad, wine, and even pasta. Versatile and easy dish. My go-to dish when we've got friends coming over, and I can't think of what to make. by Lizzie-Babette 6 servings 1¾ hours 45 min prep 1 boneless pork loin (2 to 3 pounds) 3 tablespoons softened butter 3 ounces finely-chopped prosciutto 2-3 tablespoons finely-minced garlic 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 - 1 1/2 T dried) 1-1 1/2 tablespoon fresh grated parmesan cheese or shredded parmesan cheese black pepper 1-2 cup dry white wine Mix together butter, prosciutto, garlic, rosemary, parmesan, and black pepper and set aside (can be made … [Continue reading]