Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hockey Themed Gift Wrap


Last night Christian went to a party at Big Air for his friend's birthday party. His friend plays hockey so we bought him a Gamestop gift card and I put the gift card on a huge piece of cardboard with a hockey theme!

I save pieces of cardboard and I wrapped two pieces of cardboard in silver wrapping paper and taped them together.


I bought the hockey player cutout and candy at Party City.


I taped little pieces of candy all over the silver wrapping paper. Party City sells little pieces of candy 15 pieces for a dollar. In the upper right corner I taped the gift card and in the upper left corner I taped a NHL rubrics cube. The middle needed a little something - so I added a huge blue bow! I bought the bow and rubrics cube at Party City.


I hope this idea inspires you the next time you want to give someone a gift card!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Baseball Snack


Tonight was our turn to bring snacks for the baseball team. We are planning on ordering pizza during the sixth inning and picking it up during the seventh inning.  The boys (13 and 14 years old) are really hungry after a game!

I bought some mini sodas, plates and napkins. But I had to make the boys some treats! I almost always make my baseball cookies. I make a round sugar cookie and once they have cooled I frost them with melted white chocolate.



Once the white chocolate has set - I add some red food coloring to the remaining melted white chocolate and put the red chocolate in a zipper top bag. Squeeze the red icing to the end of a corner and snipe off a tiny hole. Pipe the red laces onto the baseball. The red laces don't have to be perfect - the boys eat them so fast!


Once the chocolate icing has set. I like to package the baseballs into cellophane bags and tie them with a ribbon.


I also made some little Rice Crispy Treats.


Using homemade or store bought Rice Crispy Treats - cut them into tiny squares. Using some icing or little melted chocolate glue the little icing baseball mitt onto the Rice Crispy Treat. I bought the little icing mitt at Hobby Lobby.


I decided to add lollipop sticks, they wedge perfectly into the Rice Crispy Treat. Then package them with little plastic bags and tie them with a ribbon.

I hope this inspires you the next time you bring snacks for the sports team.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Have a Ball This Summer Treat Bag for Meals on Wheels


I bought these little bouncing ball party favors at Party City. And I made over 50 little Party Favors for a Meals on Wheels little summer treat. These will most likely be passed out at the beginning of June. The Meals on Wheels coordinator actually decides when they are added to the Meals.


Since these are going to separate households - they don't have to match. But if I was making them for a classroom or sports team - I would use matching paper. They also have these little balls in sports themes. I have seen baseballs, basketballs and soccer balls in this bouncing ball size! The basketballs would be cute for "March Madness."


I had a lot of red paper left over from Christmas and Valentine's Day.


I also had some turquoise paper left over from a Breakfast at Tiffany project.


Rainbow and green paper left over from a Noah's Ark and St. Patrick's Day lessons.

The little tag on each of the bag toppers says "Hope you have a ball this Summer!"


These would be cute to make for a classroom or school club and as I mentioned before - I would use the same paper toppers. Larger tags would also look cute on top of inflatable beach balls! Be creative!

I like to bring two months of treats at a time when I bring these to the Meals on Wheels coordinator.  Next week I will drop off the  May and June  treats Then I will immediately start working on July, August and September. I really enjoy making these treats!

However, I always like to make them a few months in advance - already my May, June and July are booking up with a lot of events and I am already starting to feel a little stressed. So it is nice to always be a little ahead on my Meals on Wheels commitment.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Restaurant Review - Jimmy's Famous American Tavern



I recently had dinner at Jimmy's Famous American Tavern in Dana Point. We had a wonderful experience. After reading some of the Yelp! Reviews,  I was unsure if we should even give this restaurant a try - I am so glad we did!

We were seated promptly (make sure to have reservations) I made my reservations on line. Many people were walking in (without reservations) and were told that the wait was over an hour.



We were given a really large and comfy booth. Our waitress came over right way and helped us select some wine and beer and we ordered the Southern Pimento Cheese Appetizer. It was described as cheddar paprika, roasted green chilies and tortilla chips. It was a perfect appetizer. Yum.  Now I want to google some recipes and try to create this dish at home.

Lately I have been ordering a lot of dishes with figs. I love figs! So of course I had to order the Pear, Black Fig Jam, Gorgonzola, Fontina and Arugula Fire Roasted Flat Bread. It was huge. It would make a great appetizer for a party of four or a main course. It was also fantastic.

My husband ordered the Santa Fe Burger  it had avocado, green chillies, jalapeƱos, Jack cheese, chipolte, aioli and came with fries. He said it was almost as good as the burger that he had at Gordon Ramsey's  BurGR restaurant in Las Vegas.

We also ordered the Skillet Mac & Cheese - it was really good. The menu said that it served two - but we couldn't finish it.

Our waitress cheerfully packed up all of our left overs for us to take home.

I am so sorry that I don't have any food photos - we went at 7 p.m. and it was starting to get dark outside and was dimly lit inside.

We are planning to go back for Brunch and I should be able to take some decent pictures!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fresh Fruit, Dried Fig and Goat Cheese Salad


I had this fantastic salad at the Nordstrom Cafe last week and decided to recreate the recipe at home. 

This was so simple to make and would make a terrific lunch to serve to your ladies who lunch or after a tennis match.  I made this salad just for myself - so you would need to adjust the ingredients accordingly to the number of guests that you are serving.



Ingredients:

4 cups of  a salad Spring mix

3 tablespoons of goat cheese, cut into small chunks

4 large strawberries, cut into quarters

4 dried figs, cut into thirds

15 raspberries

15 blueberries

15 candied pecans

Fruit themed vinaigrette

Instructions:

Toss spring mix with two tablespoons of dressing. Or you might want to serve the dressing on the side.

Place the lettuce on the plate and sprinkle with the goat cheese, sliced strawberries, dried figs, raspberries, blueberries and candied pecans.


I bought the candied pecans at Trader Joe's.


I bought the dried figs and salad dressing at Sprouts.


My husband doesn't like figs - he was looking for something to eat yesterday and saw the dried figs and said, "Figs! Gross!"


The Pear White Balsamic Vinaigrette that I bought is calorie free! 


Let me know if you make this salad. I think your guests would be impressed.





Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Maracas For Meals on Wheels



I have been making little treats each month for Meals on Wheels. For Cinco de Mayo I made some Maracas. I think they came out really cute! Now these took me a long time because I made over 50 - but if you just wanted to make a few it shouldn't take very long!


I found this pattern on the Michael's website. P.S. it is a pattern for kids! But I made a bunch of copies and patterns out of cardboard.


I cut out scrapbook paper and attached it to the photocopy with a glue stick. Then I added stickers and adhesive rhinestones. Then every single Maraca was coated with Modge Podge.


It took the Modge Podge a long time to dry.


Once the Modge Podge dried the Maracas were completely stiff - I was able to cut them out.


I left a little white around the Maracas because I planned to add an edge of pearl ribbon. I bought the pearl ribbon at Hobby Lobby. It was in the fabric section and they had a ton of colors in the pearl style of ribbon.


I bought the colored popsicle sticks at Hobby Lobby and wrote on them "Happy Cinco de Mayo."


Then I hot glued the popsicle sticks to the back of the Maracas.


Then each Maraca got a little pearl ribbon hot glued around the Modge-Podged section.


The pearl trim - just adds a little something extra!


I had black, white and silver pearl ribbon. So each of the Maracas is just a little bit different. These were really fun to make. They would make cute decorations for your Cinco de Mayo party. They would also be cute place cards for any Mexican Fiesta!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Restaurant Review - Nordstrom Cafe Fashion Island, Newport Beach


Today I met my girlfriend Joy at Fashion Island for a little retail therapy and lunch. We shopped for quite a while and decided to eat lunch at the Nordstrom Cafe - because it is usually quite quick.  Today it was quite slow. First a little over a week ago they changed the format of the restaurant and now the hostess gives you a menu and you order with a waiter. They also have a wine list. They serve wine and beer now. They have also added some new menu items.


Today we both ordered a "new" salad. I say a new salad because I always order the Cilantro Lime Shrimp salad - yummy!

But today we both ordered The Fresh Berry and Fig Salad with Goat Cheese - the description of the salad -

Fresh seasonal berries, dried figs, goat cheese and spiced candied almonds on organic baby greens and arugula with a vanilla bean vinaigrette.


The fresh berries were raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. We both loved the fresh berries and goat cheese. However, Joy did not get any candied almonds. And the nuts are her favorite part of the salad. So they brought her a little cup of nuts. Then I said these figs are fantastic. Joy started digging through her salad. She did not have one fig. So once again they brought her a little cup of figs.

Then it took forever to get our bill and the change. Despite this incident - we will always love Nordstrom Cafe!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Need For Speed Party Gift

Christian was invited to a birthday party and they are going to see "Need for Speed" at Cinepolis. So you know I always present a gift card on a big piece of cardboard!

  
Since they are going to see "Need for Speed" I made the theme of the gift - racing.


I wrapped a piece of cardboard  (from a 24 pack of water) in black wrapping paper. And each of the different sized candy bars in white wrapping paper. I added the little flag toothpicks to each candy bar.


In between the candy bars I added a "hot wheel" but I cut the "hot wheel" cardboard off the car. I didn't want the gift to look juvenile.


The candy bars and car were taped on to the black wrapped cardboard.


When Christian gets home I am going to have him sign the card, the gift card and write his friends name on the front of the envelope. Then I will tape the envelope with the gift card inside onto the black wrapped cardboard.

I hope this idea inspired you the next time you buy a gift card for a gift!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Living Room Redo

I decided to fix up the Living Room! I tend to fix up one room at a time and that is because I cannot stand a big mess. So one room at time that is messy is about all I can handle. The biggest change that I made was to have the carpet removed and a wood tile installed.

Here are some before and after  pictures:


I love the wood tile. Friends come over and think that it is real wood and it blends with the stone.


I love the new look - and I am not sure I am loving the throw rug. But I was trying to cozy up the room.  Let me know what you think.


The room behind the arches is our family room - the one we spend the most time in because that is where we watch television.


This is the room you see when you first enter our home - so I wanted it to look fresh and uncluttered.


The carpet was 10 years old and I just wanted a little change.


I used the same furniture - just changed out a few pillows, vases and plants. The next room that I will work on will be the family room.