Archives for posts with tag: party

I love salads. I have a knack for making tasty ones. I really need to be better about posting them. This is one of my current favorite salads. I have been making it quite frequently. A few people have asked for the recipe, so why not get some motivation to sit down and post it. One kid is having his afternoon snack and the other is cleaning up (playing with?) his play doh mess from earlier today. The dishes are done. I vacuumed and washed the kitchen floor this morning. And if I don’t glance over to my left I can pretend the family room isn’t covered in toys and wipes that the toddler took out of the package. Oh what was I doing? That’s right, sharing my Fattoush recipe!

I kind of wing some of the ingredients. A salad by nature can be created that way. I don’t always use the exact measurements for the veggies I include. I am always always always generous with my leafy greens.


  • 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves pressed or finely minced
  • sprinkle of salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 packages of Baby Romaine, finely chopped
  • 2-4 vine ripe tomatoes, depending on size. Diced
  • 1-2 cucumbers. Diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 container of feta cheese

Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt/pepper in a large bowl. Add all of the greens and veggies. Sprinkle with the sumac and mix well. Top with feta cheese and mix well again. I really mix it a lot to get the dressing covering all of the veggies. I know there is no feta in the photo, I added it at the party. Recently I added it before we left for a party and it was just as tasty.

You can also serve this with pita and chicken. I have served it with chicken shawarma. Very tasty. It is a stand alone dish or a beautiful and delicious side dish.

A few months ago we started sponsoring a little girl from Lebanon. After I received her information I looked into the school she attends. I came across one of the ways they raise money for the school. They sell an Irish and Lebanese cookbook! All the proceeds go directly to the school.

One of my favorite things in the whole world is Baba Ghanouj. You can imagine my excitement to find a recipe for it in the cookbook I purchased. I adapted it a little bit. I have since made it twice, both times to rave reviews.


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons tahini
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • sweet paprika
  • olive oil
  • fresh finely chopped parsley.

Preheat oven to 400

Clean off the green leaves of the eggplant, but leave the stem on. Once the oven is heated, place the whole eggplant on a parchment paper lined baking pan. Also place the whole peeled garlic on the pan. Cook the eggplant until it is tender. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the eggplant. Keep an eye on the garlic pieces. When they are roasted and started turning brown, remove and set aside.

Once the eggplant is tender, remove from the oven. Carefully peel the skin off the eggplant. You can allow it to cool for a few minutes first, it may be easier to work with that way. Scoop out the inside of the eggplant. Add it to your Vitamix or food processor along with the garlic. Blend. Slowly and alternately add the lemon juice, tahini, and sea salt. Blend until it becomes thick and creamy.

Pour/scoop the Baba Ghanouj into a bowl. Use an olive oil sprayer to spray some olive oil on the top. You can have fun with it and make a pretty design if you want. Then sprinkle a bit of sweet paprika to taste/aesthetic. Top that off with a sprinkle of parsley.

Serve with pita or pita chips. You could also serve with baby carrots. I have tried it all three ways. With the carrots is tasty but the pita bread/chips are even tastier! Such is life 😉

Happy New Year! I am sitting here, hangover free, thinking about how lucky and happy I am. Yesterday was hands down the best New Years Eve ever! EVER! In my entire 27 years on this planet.

We started the day off with a NOON Years Eve party at My Gym. That is where Jack goes for his little gymnastics/play class. It was a blast. It was the first time Jason was able to visit this place. He had been to Gymboree a few times when we went there. He also went to a couple parties with us there. There hadn’t been an opportunity for him to join us at My Gym since we started going. We were so excited to party hard there. Jack had a blast. Jason really liked it and he liked the teachers. P1020147 We did have a discussion after about how we are so much younger than all the other parents. This is no exaggeration. I don’t think there were another set of parents there in their 20’s, like us. I explained to Jason, I find that most places I go, actually. We are not sure why that is, but it seems to workout that way. I know people in their 20’s have babies too! I know it! I have friends who are mom’s in their 20’s. But when we go to activities or do things in our area, we are always the youngest parents. It is just interesting when your spouse gets to see a side of your world that they didn’t really get before. He even brought it up. Not me.

Jack showed Dad all his favorite spots at My Gym. The large ball bit, the trampoline, the two small play houses that have slides, and walking across the high bridge. Jack decided to not partake in the pizza. Instead, he opted for a sucker from the candy drop at Noon and a cupcake. But he wanted me to scrape off the chocolate frosting. He just wanted the yellow cake. He hates chocolate.

Later in the afternoon I went on a date with my mom. We saw Les Miserables. It was amazing! Such a moving movie. I cried for most of it. Anne Hathaway deserves an Oscar. I think Hugh Jackman does too. It was everything I had hoped it would be. It was also  nice to have momma time. Jason would have been miserable, HA, if I had dragged him there. Totally unhappy.

I made filet Mignon, sweet potato fries, carrots, and kiwi for a New Year’s Eve dinner. I even busted out the China. We got super fancy. Well, I was wearing my favorite gray zip up hoodie and Jason had on white t-shirt. So just our dinnerware was fancy. Jack ate a few bites, that is better than dinner has usually gone. See 2013 is already shaping up to be better!

We all hung out until midnight. Even Jack. We danced, played legos, sang, played cars, watched tv, cuddled, hugged, kissed, and just had an awesome time together. I got kisses from TWO handsome men last night. I am so lucky! I was so excited to let him stay up until midnight. He is a night owl and really, it wasn’t much past his regular bedtime.

Jack at exactly midnight CST

Jack at exactly midnight CST

He wasn’t cranky or tired. He had a blast. As a matter of fact, he stayed up playing in his crib well after we turned out the lights. At nearly 1am, I checked the monitor and he was up playing with Scout and his cars.

I know that is a lot of detail of our day but I just can’t get over how perfect it was. I think that 2012 was a really great year for us. It flew by. I still cannot believe that it is over! I cannot get over the fact that it is nearly 2 years since my baby was born. I have not stopped saying that. I really feel that 2013 is going to be as good or maybe even better than 2012. This year we will be buying a new home. I will finish up my Pilates certification. Our son will continue to blossom and grow.

Life is good

How was your New Year’s Eve? What did you do? Are you nursing an unfortunate hangover? Or are you ready to tackle 2013 already,  like I am? If you have kids and spent it with them, how did you ring in the new year? Did they stay up until Midnight?

I have mentioned before I am somewhat of a crafty lady. I am probably down playing that a bit. If you ever saw my crafting area you would probably poop your pants. I have a lot of supplies. A LOT. I love to scrapbook, make cards, and I recently started making decorations for parties. That started with Jack’s party really. I have been scrapping and cardmaking since high school (so a long time har har har)

Yesterday we celebrated my best friend, her hubby, and their unborn baby boy. It was their baby shower! I am so excited for them and I love that little nugget to pieces already.

I made a few things to help celebrate their day.


I made 10 of these rain clouds. They really turned out super cute. I used my Cricut to make the rain drops. Those are white poofs from the party store and I used fishing line to hang the drops.


This was one of my favorite decorations. I am a little obsessed with banners this year. I really loved how the stripes and dark blue complimented one another. I was seriously in love as soon as the triangles were cut. Maybe I will have to make some to just hang in Jack’s room! haha Again I used my Cricut. Threaded it with some double faced white satin ribbon and voila!

Cupcake toppers

While I fancy myself something of a baker/chef as well as a fitness freak and crafty gal, I did not make these beautifully iced cupcakes. I made the umbrella and pinwheel toppers. I am also obsessed with pinwheels this year. Used the Cricut to cut them. Then I used glue dots to adhere the toothpicks to the back. I added a little gem to each one for a little dimension and pop.

Rattle cake pops

rattle cake pops

As I just mentioned I fancy myself a bit of a baker. Especially things like these, cake pops and cuppycakes! I have made cake pops a few times for parties and get togethers. Usually I stand them upright in a box with some flower foam and cover that in a colorful shred. This time I wanted to try something different and it really worked out well. I used glue dots again for the little poof balls on the top and double faced baby blue satin ribbon for the sticks. The cake was a blueish color as well. It wasn’t a striking blue. I learned my lesson with the last batch I made for a party. I did blue velvet. I make it from scratch. No boxed cake mix here. Well if you use the correct amount of food coloring in order to wash out the coco every person who takes a bite will have a blue mouth. Since I knew this would happen this time around I couldn’t in good conscious bring mouth dying cake pops to the baby shower! So they weren’t quite the blue inside I liked. It did look like a blue-brown which is the nursery colors. So there ya go!

The frosting is a cream cheese frosting. Mixed with white chips to help made it a harder shell. Light blue sprinkles. I wrapped some of the satin ribbon around the handle of my stand and then tied a big bow with the white satin ribbon. Just a small detail, but the details can really make things pop.

Fruit kebobs

I also brought some fruit kebobs with a Greek yogurt dip. My dear friend and momma to be, Jen, is much like me. I knew she would LOVE fruit kebobs and I was right. I didn’t try the dip (I am lactose intolerant and I have been making a huge effort to skip as much dairy as I can lately. I have been feeling better mostly from it) But the dip is Greek yogurt and honey. I was told it was really great! I did eat a few of the kebobs and I can tell you THOSE were great! I will definitely be making these instead of fruit salad from now on.

Dessert table

Here is the dessert table. It wasn’t quite done. In that box behind the cake pops is a beautiful canoli cake! A canoli with little canolis inside of it. I cannot take credit for all of the beautiful things on this table. Jen’s mom and sister also worked so hard to make this such a beautiful day. They did an amazing job!!! Also, ignore my Venti Passion tea lemonade (unsweetened lol). It is summer time, Starbucks iced teas are a staple in our family in the summer! mmmmm

Poopy diaper game mmmmm

I also brought a game with. The poopy diaper game. I played this at a shower in March and thought it was the funniest thing ever. You melt chocolate bars and put them in diapers. People have to guess what each diaper has. I made 6. I think 6 is a good number for this game. I used Milky way, Reese’s Peanut butter cups, Almond Joy, Rasinetes, York Peppermint Patty, and Snickers. Some of them looked like legitimate poop. Some people were really grossed out but some people really found it funny. My husband was one of the former. He couldn’t stand them on our counter yesterday morning. HA! I just think it is a welcomed changed from actual poopy diapers 😉 It was silly and fun and I recommend it. Super easy to make. I thought Jack’s diapers were too big at this point. He is in a size 4. They are huge. So I went and bought a pack of size 1. Only had to use the 6, so I gave the rest to the Momma to be. That I think is a double bonus for this game. You can NEVER have too many diapers. Lesson 1 I learned. That and wipes!

Best friends and soon we with both be momma’s to little boys!

She is seriously the most beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen! She looks fantastic. She is all belly. I am so blessed to have her in my life. I am also so excited that we are going to be momma’s to little boys! Oh the adventures we will have together. Especially once they are old enough to play together! Jack loves babies so I know he is going to be stoked to meet his new friend.

I had such a lovely day celebrating 3 of the most wonderful people in the world! Congrats you two! That little boy is so loved already!!!!