May 30, 2012

Birthday Party - Angry Birds Style

Today Mr. Man turns nine. Nine! On the weekend he celebrated with his friends - Angry Birds style. Using PicMonkey we turned the above picture into party invitations.  (I was about to share it here when I realized that once I blocked out all the personal information, it well, didn't look so hot. So just imagine fun colourful words in red and green inviting you to a fun Angry Birds birthday party. And oh, the pigs were wearing birthday party hats.)

Before the boys arrived we set up the Angry Birds bean bags that I'd been working on earlier in the week.
And the pigs of course. Because the birds wouldn't be angry if it weren't for the pigs.

Using boxes from the grocery store, the boys built a real-life game board. Placed the pigs. And then hurled the Angry Birds bean bags at the pigs and boxes.
Again and again and again.

 Next it was on to throwing birds in the air and then water balloons at each other.

Followed by a pinata.

And cake. Simple, easy and of course angry.

I think, maybe, just maybe he had a good time!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Man! You are loved.

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May 25, 2012

Thursday

Today (like yesterday) I am getting ready for Mr. Man's birthday party this Saturday. Can you guess what these are going to be?

Today I am dropping off a stack of yummy cinnamon rolls to the school's dessert party.
It's an annual event that's been going on for, oh, 50 years or so. It's our second year. It's a huge event. Everyone is excited.

Today I am searching for socks. Not just any socks. Mr. Man's socks. Currently he has six (probably more) single socks that are in need of their mate. How does this happen, you ask? Um. He takes his socks off in the strangest places. Which means I'll be looking in and under everything.

What are you up to today?

May 23, 2012

Sneaky Peakies

Yesterday we celebrated Sneaker's first birthday. I can't believe that this eight pounds of furry fury is a year old. He is much loved.

Party hats and treats filled his day.

Happy Birthday little Sneakers!

May 17, 2012

Planning

This week we are planning.
Planning a party to celebrate Mr. Man's 9th birthday next weekend. 9! Can you guess the theme?

And planning a party for this crazy one. Oh, little Sneakers how you are loved! He turns one on Monday. The kidlywinks want to throw him a party. There were going to be invitations, puppy friends and cake. I think I've talked them into a quiet celebration with just us. We'll see who wins. But oh do they love their puppy so.

May 16, 2012

Building A Smoker - Part 2

While the girls were enjoying their Mother's Day Tea, the boys were busy installing windows at my parents' place. Andrew did get a few moments to work on his smoker though! These photos were taken at an earlier smoker building session. You can read about the first part here.

To build the smoker, Andrew formed two barrels. One large and one small. It involved a lot measuring, welding and grinding.
 Measuring.

 Welding.
 More welding.
And still more. Slowly, it's coming along.

Hosting a Tea Party - Part 2 - The Recipes

The best part of hosting a tea party is the company of course. Little Miss and I had such a lovely afternoon with the Grandmas. It's nice to send the boys out of the house and eat dainty things for an afternoon. 


Menu

Salad
Cucumber Sandwiches
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Scones with Jam and Devon Cream
Lemon Squares
Jam Tarts
Chocolate Dipped Crescent Cookies
Tea


A tea party wouldn't be a tea party without scones. They taste best warm from the oven. The night before I put the dry ingredients together and then the next morning I added the rest, rolled them out and put them on a cookie sheet and waited just we were about to eat before sticking them in the oven.
Scones
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking poser
1/4 tsp salt
4 TBSP butter
3/4 cup milk

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter into crumbly. Add milk and mix well. The dough will be sticky. Knead the dough for 30 seconds on a floured surface. Roll 1/2 inch thick and cut into triangles. Bake at 400 F for 10 -15 min.


Salad
Mixed greens with sliced green onions and strawberries, dressed with raspberry vinaigrette.

Sandwiches
Egg salad 
Cucumber - cream cheese and cucumber with a sprinkle of salt.

Now, the rest of the yummy goodies you could buy from a bakery to save time or if you just don't want to bake. I made these the night before.
Lovely Lemon Squares
Crust
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
Combine all ingredients and mix at low speed until the mixture is crumbly. Press into a 8-inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F.

Filling
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 TBSP flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 TBSP lemon juice
powdered sugar

Combine all the ingredients except the powdered sugar. Beat at low speed until well mixed. Pour filling over hot crust. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until filling is set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool. Cut into bars and sprinkle again with powdered sugar.

Jam Tarts
Pastry - follow the directions on the box. Use lard. One box of lard makes a ton of pastry. Divide it into six balls. Wrap each ball in wax paper and place in freezer bag. Free. Pull out one ball from the freezer and let thaw on the counter. 

Roll out pastry and place in mini muffin tin. Place a teaspoon of jam in each shell. Bake.

Chocolate-Dipped Crescent Cookies
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips, melted
powdered sugar

Combine sugar and butter. Beat until creamy. Add egg and almond extract. Mix well. Add flour and other dry ingredients. Mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll into ropes and shape into crescents. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes. Cookies do not brown. Cool. Dip on end in melted chocolate and sprinkle the other end with powdered sugar.

May 14, 2012

Hosting a Mother's Day Tea

On Saturday, Little Miss and I hosted a Mother's Day Tea for the Grandmas. It was a beautiful day, and I think both Grandmothers felt special. But - (Mom and Dianne, if you are reading this, just skip to the next picture) it was really easy to do. A quick trip to the grocery store and a little baking was all that it took. It was all pulled together in a few hours. Shhh......don't tell the Grandmas. Quick and easy - the way I like it, but it was oh so pretty. And I think both Grandmas felt special.

A quick trip to the grocery was in order to grab some fresh ingredients. I had the rest on hand - you probably do too - like flour and sugar and a few other things. What was not quick and easy to find was the devon cream.
Andrew came to the rescue. He hunted it down and came home victorious. A tea party is not a tea party unless you have devon cream with your scones. Well worth the effort. Thanks, Andrew! And just so he wasn't sent on another devon cream hunting session anytime soon, he bought two jars. Two. I guess we will be throwing another tea party soon.


Menu
Salad
Cucumber Sandwiches
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Scones with Jam and Devon Cream
Lemon Squares
Jam Tarts
Chocolate Dipped Crescent Cookies
Tea

Fresh tulips from the grocery store, silver and the good dishes, fancy tea cups and a little flower pin for each Grandma helped to make things special. Oh and the sugar cubes. You can't have a tea party without the sugar cubes, even if no one takes sugar in their tea! I also used a tiny vintage milk jar and a few little espresso cups turned jam holders for the day.
I love labels. (Remember these?) A few little pieces of pink tape and some colourful sharpies and voila! Pretty labels for the jams.

My mom, Little Miss and Andrew's mom about to enjoy an afternoon of tea.

Tomorrow I'll share the yummy recipes.

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May 10, 2012

Finger Knitting and Ombre

Finger knitting. Ombre. Right now I see them everywhere. So why not combine the two? 
A quick an easy way to dress up a mason jar come candle holder. For this project I opted for embroidery floss instead of yarn. Want to learn how? You can follow this lovely tutorial over at Gussy Sews. It's addicting. Once you start you won't want to stop. 

May 9, 2012

Crate Love

Remember this?
A mess, I know. But I'm working on it. The pile has gotten significantly smaller. Several things have been scrubbed and put to use, including the large crate. After removing a layer of dirt, I discovered that there was writing behind all that white paint.

A little sanding later and I could finally make out what it said.

Millard Brothers Ltd.
Motherwell
Lanarkshire (that's in Scotland)

A little more sanding revealed the contents of the crate. Apparently this crate was once used to ship shotgun cartridges.

I added wheels from the same pile above. Mr. Man was thrilled. Now I'm nervous. He asked me where he could find his skateboard helmet.

I added some white yarn to soften the industrial look. And to prevent slivers. We don't deal well with slivers in this household.

A perfect place to hold blankets. And a perfect fit beside the couch. So much better than just a pile of blankets beside the couch. Now the fort making, sumo wrestling, tv watching blankets have a place to call home.

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