Just Call Me Martha Stacey

Time for the third installment of bridal shower goodness!

As I’ve mentioned for the past two days, we threw a bridal shower for my sister back in August and I’m sharing some of the details with you!

The bridesmaids and I decided on a brunch menu and set the shower to start at 11am…perfect timing!  It also allowed the guests (and us!) the flexibility of still having the rest of the day available for other engagements instead of taking up the entire afternoon.

Our menu consisted of:
Baked French Toast
Yogurt Bar (vanilla yogurt served in plastic glitter cups, a variety of fruits and homemade granola)
Bacon and Cheese  Quiche
Vegetable Quiche
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Milk, Orange Juice, Tea and Coffee

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The beauty of this menu is that the majority of the prep was done ahead.  The french toast and quiches just had to be baked on the day of and the coffee cake was baked ahead of time.  Really the only food prep I had to do on the morning of was cut up fruit, portion yogurt and prepare the beverages.

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As you can see from the above picture, we used sparkly picture frames to showcase the menu cards.  When planning a party like this, I try to pick a decor theme that I can fulfill from stuff I already have in the house.  These frames were from our master bedroom…the menu is just taped on top (didn’t even have to remove our wedding pictures!).

IMG_1070I bought some diamond and pearl stickers from Dollarama and we used them to spread the sparkle in other little ways.  We made the napkin rings out of scrapbook paper that covered paper towel rolls.  We also made chalkboard food labels and custom envelopes for the game prize gift cards.

Speaking of games…I’m not really a fan of the typical bridal shower games.  I have no desire to be dressed in a toilet paper dress…it’s not my idea of a good time.  I’ve actually googled “non-lame shower games”…and found a surprising amount of results, so clearly I’m not the only one!

Ashley was in charge of the games and we played romantic mad libs and cheesy love song “name that tune.”  The mad libs were read aloud and the bride picked the winner…hilarious!

My top advice for hosting any party (I think I’ve mentioned this before) is to ALWAYS make sure that the dishwasher is empty.  In my experience, guests want to know where to put their dishes…and most are quite happy to put them right into the dishwasher if it’s empty.  It saves so much time in clean up!

The bridal shower theme continues!  As I mentioned yesterday, we chose a brunch menu for my sister’s bridal shower.

I found this recipe for Baked French Toast from marthastewart.com and thought it sounded perfect for our event.  I liked that it could be prepared in advance and didn’t have to be cooked on a griddle immediately before serving.

Hubby looked skeptical about the advance preparation and baking but it turned out really good!  I really liked it, and I’m not one to eat french toast on a regular basis.  Up until a few years ago, I didn’t eat it at all, so the fact that I liked it speaks volumes!

Baked French Toast

6 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup plus 3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
10 slices day-old bread (3/4 inch thick)
1 cup pecans (chopped)

Beat eggs in bowl.  Whisk in milk, cream, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.

Dip bread slices in batter to coat.  Overlap slices in 9×13 inch glass baking dish.  Pour remaining batter over top.  Store, covered, in refrigerator overnight or for at least 2 hours.

Top with pecans and remaining sugar.  Bake, covered, at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Uncover; bake until top is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes more.

Serve with syrup.

I’m going for a mini-theme this week…bridal showers!

My sister got married last September so her bridesmaids and I threw her a lovely personal wedding shower in August.  We decided on a brunch theme for the menu and added some bling in the decor…nothing overboard, just some subtle touches!

More details about the menu/decor/games upcoming on Wednesday, but I wanted to show you how we added some shine to cheap plastic glasses that we used for our yogurt bar.

IMG_1069 I don’t have a great close up picture to show you.  I wanted pre-portioned servings of yogurt for the yogurt bar so the guests didn’t have to worry about it oozing into the other things on their plates.  I bought cheap plastic wine glasses from Dollarama…the ones with the band of ridge detail around the bottom.

I bought some glitter acrylic paint from Walmart and simply painted the ridge band.  The ridge band made it super easy to paint because I didn’t have to worry about making sure my lines were straight.

The paint I got wasn’t opaque enough to get the look I wanted with one coat so I played around with some other options (glitter and mod podge, epsom salts and glue) but they didn’t work out.  I ended up doing three coats of the glitter paint…thankfully I had help from the bride and other bridesmaids!

This project cost me about $3 and looked super cute, especially when the yogurt was actually in the cups!

More bridal shower goodness coming up for the rest of the week!

I think it’s time that I start posting my monthly to-do lists again.  I need the accountability to having to report my success to all of you in order to keep me motivated!

Here is what I want to accomplish in March:

For Me:
-Complete the 30 Minute Shred workout everyday
-read the book I have signed out from our church library

Crafts/Home Decor:
-complete 4 scrapbook pages (I am determined not to let my lack of organized craft space cause me to fall even further behind!)
-put up beadboard wallpaper in the basement craft room

Cleaning/Organization:
-install closet organizers in T-bug’s closet
-start (if not complete) entryway project…so excited about this one!

Food/Entertaining:
-try two new recipes
-make my own pasta

Family/Friends:
-add T-bug to my work benefits plan
-make appointment with the bank to update RESP plan

 

In case you’re wondering, I’m going to refer to my boys as D-bear and T-bug from now on…instead of Munchkins 1 and 2.

I love to entertain.  I’m so glad that I married a man who can roll with my random urges to entertain for no reason at all!

I love the idea of food station parties.  I like the simplicity of prepping ingredients and then laying them all out for my guests to assemble their own meal or dessert…way less stress for me!  And better for the guests, who get their food their way!

 

foodstation1

Source:  Veronica Yem

My sister’s bridesmaids and I served a yogurt bar at her bridal shower back in August because we were doing a brunch theme.  A waffle bar would have fit right in!  The craft paper with the different steps written out is cute too!

 

foodstation2 Source:  The Best Wedding Blog Ever

I love caramel apples…I was very disappointed when the local Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory shut down.  I think this would be a great idea for a fall party or Thanksgiving dessert.

 

foodstation3 

Source:  On To Baby

A hot chocolate party would be the perfect end for a winter skating party.  T-bug has a December birthday, so this could be a birthday party idea for him when he’s older.

It’s Tuesday…so time for another tasty recipe!

I adapted this recipe for sweet potato soup from Martha Stewart’s recipe for Smoky Sweet-Potato Soup.  It’s relatively rich without adding cream or butter so it’s waist-line friendly too.

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 green apple, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
6 cups chicken broth
red chili flakes, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

1.  Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Cook garlic and onion until soft.

2.  Add apple, celery and red chili flakes (as much or little as you want).  Cook for 3 minutes.

3.  Add sweet potatoes and chicken broth.  Simmer until sweet potatoes are tender (15-20 minutes).

4.  Working in batches, transfer soup to blender and puree (or use immersion blender).

5.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with sunflower seeds or sour cream, if desired.

 

I made this soup a few days ago and since I was out of apples, I used two celery sticks instead…worked just fine!  I haven’t tried freezing it, but it would probably work well.  Just reheat on the stove or in a crock pot!

I mentioned in my romantic pinspirations post a few weeks ago that I was planning to make a date jar, filled with large popsicle sticks with date ideas printed on them.

I finally got around to it, and it cost me a grand total of $3.29.  The large popsicle sticks were $1.29 and the awesome “A” bling sticker for the jar was $2.

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This project was super easy. I stuck the “A” sticker (our last name starts with A) onto a leftover glass jar I had.

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I painted the popsicle sticks with one coat of white acrylic paint so the Sharpie marker wouldn’t bleed when I wrote the date ideas on them.  I added a little bling to each of the popsicle sticks too.

Here are my date ideas if you want to make your own (most ideas from The Poe Fam and Life in the Greenhouse, some from my own head!):

  • Movie Night In
  • Dessert Only Date
  • Dinner and a Movie
  • Wine and Cheese Night
  • Appetizer Only Date
  • Coffee/Hot Chocolate Date
  • Try a New Restaurant
  • Picnic Date (picnic on the carpet if the weather is bad/cold)
  • Takeout and Board Games
  • Pizza and Video Games
  • YouTube Date (take turns finding videos to make each other laugh)
  • Breakfast Date
  • Restaurant Hop (appetizers at one, dinner at the second, dessert at a third)
  • His Turn to Plan
  • Her Turn to Plan
  • Slumber Party Date (pajamas, snacks and TV in bed)
  • Fondue Night
  • Ice Cream Sundaes
  • Blackout Date (choose your own activity, but do it by candlelight)
  • Dress up Fancy Date

Can’t wait for fun dates with my hubby!  I know he’ll look forward to the video game date!

Linking to:
Keeping It Simple: Motivate Me Monday
Lines Across My Face: Monday Funday
Today’s Creative Blog: Get Your Craft On Tuesday
Cupcakes and Crinoline: Project Inspire(d) Link Party

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