Thursday, December 23, 2010

Paddy is planning

I am as bad at menu planning as I am at picking out paint.

The menu wasn't finalized until probably 3 days before the party, even though I made a valiant effort to have it done much earlier.

The gathering was from 2-4, so we didn't need to serve a full meal, but being that a lot of cadets were coming, I wanted to have enough substantial food that they would leave feeling full.  So, at the last minute we decided to add some meat to the menu.

Here was the final menu...

1.  Artichoke Breads 
2.  Grandma's French Onion dip and chips

3.  Ina's Hummus with tomatoes, feta and black olives sprinkled on top with pita chips
4.  Cheese, Crackers, Apples and Grapes
5.  Caprese with fresh basil

6.  Sausage Cheese Balls (I always just google these before I make them, so I never have a consistently good recipe - does anyone have one that they always use/like??)
7.  Chinese Chicken Skewers with dipping sauces (ginger, sesame and mustard vinaigrette)

1.  Red Velvet Cake Pops  
Once these were made, I covered them with glassine bags and tied them with orange polka dot gingham ribbon)

2.  Brenda's famous carrot cake cupcakes (I made small and regular sized cupcakes for guests at the party and I made Paddy a ginormous cupcake with a silicone mold that I found on eBay.  His cake turned out completely lopsided and weighed about 20 lbs.  Too funny.)


from a distance it doesn't look quite as bad as it really is...

here is the leaning tower of carrot least Paddy enjoyed it...

3.  Chocolate covered marshmallows (it took me a while, but I finally found the really giant ones at WalMart.  I used baking chocolate in the disposable plastic containers to make it easy on clean up and then sprinkled with orange/blue sprinkles.  Once they were set, I stuck lollipop sticks in the bottom of them.  I had a large hurricane that I filled with sugar that we stuck the marshmallows in for display.)

4.  Chocolate covered graham crackers (just because I had lots of melting chocolate left)
5.  Texas Sheet Cake (recipe from my mom)

Orange Sherbert Punch (equal parts orange soda and ginger ale and then add orange sherbert ice cream)

If I had to do it over again...

1.  I would not make hummus...I feel like this is a food that people either like or hate....not too much of it was eaten.
2.  I am SO glad that we decided to make the chicken...almost every skewer was eaten!  We made ~5 lbs of it.
3.  I would try to make the foods as accessible on the table as possible...those that were less accessible were less eaten.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Cards

I made our Christmas cards this year, and as with other years, I wanted to include a picture, but I wanted a wallet print just because it would fit the best.  I don't know if you have ever priced wallets, but they are so much more expensive than 4x6s!  I have never bought them before for that reason.  However, I found a site, mPix, that had wallets at a good price.  They turned out pretty well...although Sean's head did get cropped a bit, and on the preview, I had ensured that no one was cropped. 

I designed these in PowerPoint (I know, I really need to figure buy/figure out how to use Illustrator one of these days), and then just used double stick tape to place the pictures on the card.

I enjoy making, if I could just get my printer to cooperate and not have a jam on every other page, or stop wirelessly printing whenever it feels like it, I would save hours and hours of my life and be much happier during the card making process :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Paddy is one...invitations

Paddy turned one on November 13th (I can't believe it has taken me this long to post this!).  We decided to keep it somewhat simple by having a small gathering with the cadets that we sponsor and a small group of friends.

I sent out some invitations that I made using baker's twine, double sided tape, and scraps of fabric that I had laying around.

I know the banner theme is very played out, but I am still a fan.  I seem to be like that with most trends...probably late to the game and stay in the game longer than I should. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


So, due to the super-sized fiddle leaf fig tree, there really wasn't room for a Christmas tree as well.  We are happy with our decision to re-purpose our new tree as our Christmas tree.  I can't believe I agreed to this since I am such a HUGE fan of Christmas trees...especially the biggest, roundest one we can find.  But, it really does make sense for this year.  Paddy doesn't know the difference, and we will be able to enjoy the trees at our parents' houses when we head to IL. year, I will shove the FLF into the basement if we have to (and if I can keep it alive that long), and get ourselves a tried and true real deal Christmas tree.

We are embracing the unconventional new member of the family.

I am one of those people who loves decorating with the old school ornaments...
Love this beautiful Christopher Radko ornament from our friend, Blair...

Tufting Lovers Anonymous

I seriously seem to have an issue with the following:
1.  Buying chairs that need lots of TLC (this is as nicely as I can say it)
2.  Buying tufted chairs/couches

I found this chair last weekend in Cold Spring at Pop's Barn (where I got my citrine colored lamps earlier this year for $5 each!).

I couldn't stop thinking about the chair as we perused the other antique shops on Main Street.  Everything else that I saw just couldn't erase this chair from my mind.  Sean is such a champ to put up with me.  :)  We sat down at dinner, and I decided to quickly duck out to see if I could make it back to Pop's to get the chair.  I was so thankful it was still there!  Why do I love this chair, my husband may ask...why, because:

1.  It's only $10!
2.  It's tufted!
3.  It has caning and I have been wanting a chair with caning!
4.  It is a barrel chair, and I am a fan.
5.  It is actually sturdy.

Now...what to do with it?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fiddle Leaf Fig...found.

Remember my quest for a fiddle leaf fig tree?  I have been obsessed, and I never thought I would find one that would fit the bill.  Well, we went to Adams Fairacre Farms last weekend in Newburgh.  This is just one of those feel good places that feeds the soul.

I had spotted a fiddle leaf fig here a long time ago on one of my trips to visit the Crows, before we moved here.  Well, I am pretty sure this is the same tree that I saw then...only she is a LOT bigger now.  For how big she is, she was a total steal.  We actually felt like we better pay for it before someone realized that there was a mistake.  I recently saw some of these in NYC, and they were $150 for a tree that was probably 1/5 the size of this one...and we paid MUCH less than that.

So, we bought her.  Got her home...and my oh my....she is BIG.  Too big for our room, I will be the first to admit it.  But I still love her and need to make her at home.  I think we may give her a trim....we will see.  I am worried to mess with her too much because I want her to stay healthy!

We will keep moving her around until we find the best location for her...I will keep you posted.

Here is the action unfolding...