Monday, March 10, 2014

Despicable Me Minion Party

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As usual, I tried to fit the theme while keeping costs low. Here are some photos of the food and decorations for your viewing pleasure. I designed the food labels myself in PowerPoint and then printed them on photo paper. Always a cute and fun touch, I think.

Despicable Me Party - El Macho's Salsa

Despicable Me Party - Agnes' Caterpillars (Cheese Puffs and Carrots)

Despicable Me Party - Shrunken Moons (Powdered Donut Holes)

Despicable Me Party - Fluffy Unicorn Fur (cotton candy)

Despicable Me Party - Cookie Robots and Coco-nutties

And of course, the cake. I was inspired by a cake I found HERE and modified it slightly for my skill-level. First I cut a homemade sheet cake to form. Next I colored some vanilla frosting yellow and blue and used cherry-flavored black licorice for some fun details. The buttons and eyeball were upside-down Hershey kisses. And the large part of the eye was a frosting covered peppermint patty. Finally, I used silver sprinkles along with some black tube frosting for the goggles. I have to say, I think it came out pretty good if I do say so myself! :)

Despicable Me Party - DIY Minion Cake

I bought plain yellow and purple balloons and decorated them with some free printables I found online (can't remember where).

Despicable Me Party - Evil Minion DIY Balloon

Despicable Me Party - Minion DIY Balloon

The table was decorated as a giant minion. I used a blue and a yellow plastic table cloth layered over each other for the body and pants. Black poster board made the goggles along with a piece of aluminum foil, tissue paper and construction paper. So easy but such a fun detail!

Despicable Me Party - Minion table
Since we decided to do a viewing of Despciable Me 2 on BluRay, we only had one organized activity. A "Pin the Goggles on the Minion" game. I bought a piece of yellow poster board and free-handed a minion on it with a black marker. I added some scrapbooking paper for the overalls. And then used a free goggle printable I found HERE for... well... the goggles. :)

Despicable Me Party - Pin the Goggles on the Minion Game

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Puppy Party!!

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When SweetPea turned seven (what?!?) we went with a PUPPY PARTY theme. It was definitely a fun party to pull together. As usual, it was all DIY and I tried to keep costs down as much as possible. The concept was that the guests would be able to adopt a puppy and, of course, there were plenty of puppy-related snacks!

It's time for a PUPPY PARTY!

Here are the highlights...

I was able to score a dozen dog beanie babies on eBay for about $5 - bargain!! These were used for the adoption center and each guest was allowed to choose one to keep. I designed the sign in Powerpoint and printed on photo paper. The puppies were placed in cute plastic buckets that were left over from Boogey's Rainbow Party (see here).

Puppy party adoption center

I found these super cute (free!) adoption certificates over at Chickabug and we filled one out for each guest and placed in a plastic sheet protector for safe keeping.

Free Puppy Adoption kit from Chickabug

Then the kids went over to the Puppy Spa where they groomed their puppies and placed a collar on them. The "tub" and brush/comb set were from the Dollar Tree. The "collars" were actually bracelets that I found on amazon (12 for $9). They were a little big for the beanie babies, but worked ok. Some kids actually just wore them as bracelets themselves.

Puppy Grooming Station
Bracelets acted as Dog Collars 
Next they went to the "vet" where they picked up a packet of Puppy vitamins. These were simply fruit snacks that I placed in small plastic containers purchased in a 10-pack from the Dollar Tree. I printed up some small tags on photo paper and taped to the top of each lid.

Puppy Party Vitamins (Fruit snacks)

I don't have any photos of the last puppy "station", but I had a bunch of white sandwich bags which the kids could decorate with markers and puppy stickers found in the dollar spot at target.

There was plenty of puppy-themed food. I made the cake myself simply cutting a sheet cake with a hand-made template. And I designed all of the food labels myself in PowerPoint and printed them on Photo Paper. The dog bowls were purchased at the Dollar Tree.

Puppy Party Milk Bone Cake
Puppy Party Dogs in Blankets
Puppy Party Go Fetch Sticks (pretzel Sticks)
Puppy Party Frisbees (Pizza Bites)
Puppy Party PUP-corn
Puppy Party Puppy Chow (Cocoa Puffs)
Puppy Party Puppy Treats (Scooby Graham Snacks)
Puppy Party Water Bowl (Blue Jello)
Puppy Party RUFF-age

All of the kids had a great time! This was a fun party to pull together and I was pleased at how low I was able to keep the costs. Another success! :)

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Recipe - Garlic Lemon Shrimp with Linguine (under 400 cal!)

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I made this for dinner the other day and it was so good I though I would share the recipe.

(sorry this picture is so lousy but it I hadn't planned on posting about this so it was a very quick, last minute cell phone photo)

Garlic Lemon Shrimp Linguine
Garlic Lemon Shrimp with Linguine
(Serves 2)

What you need: 
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil    
  • 8 oz. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (~ 14 extra large)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ C. white wine *
  • ¼ C. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 C. fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz. uncooked linguine
*You can substitute the wine with very dry sherry or extra dry vermouth. Or simply double the chicken broth to ½ C. total liquid.

What to do:
Boil some water in a large pot and cook linguine according to package directions. (Once done, drain and keep warm until needed).

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to pan and sauté until pink, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and about ½ the parsley and sauté, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds more. Remove shrimp to bowl and keep warm (leaving as much garlic in pan as possible).

In the pan, add wine, broth, lemon juice and remaining parsley and bring to boil. Boil, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced by about half. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add cooked linguine to pan and toss to coat. Split pasta into two bowls and top with shrimp evenly. Sprinkle with a little more parsley, if desired.

I put the recipe into myFitnessPal and it stated... per serving: Calories = 366 and total fat = 7.2g. Not bad! (This recipe serves 2). (your values may vary depending on your ingredients, brands and measurements!)

This really came out so delicious and, despite the seemingly small portion, I was fully satisfied after the meal. I served with a fresh salad on the side. I hope you enjoy it too.

(recipe adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook Shrimp Scampi Recipe)

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday SweetPea!

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{Don't forget about my $50 Tiny Prints Giveaway! Click HERE to enter}

My older daughter turns 6 today. I really can't believe how fast time has flown. She is so beautiful - inside and out - and makes us smile every day.

Ocean City, MD - July 2012

And you're doing so great in Kindergarten!! Reading on a first grade level! You make us so proud.

First day of Kindergarten - Sept 2012


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