Monday, November 19, 2012

A Party for a Birthday Girl!

It was a busy weekend in our household as we celebrated a milestone birthday with our little girl. When it comes to parties I am in the camp of people who like to make the decorations as opposed to buying them. This always seems like a good idea when I'm still in the planning stage, but once it gets to the executing stage I'm usually cursing myself for not buying all the party supplies.

The original party theme was a fairy garden, but it kinda turned into a big giant, pretty girly party...with some fairy and garden accents. I had other decorations I had made but didn't put out because as 1am was rolling around and I was taping streamers to the ceiling I thought just maybe I had enough decorations going on.

From the pictures you can't really get the feel of how everything looked but I have to say, this was probably my favourite party to have planned and decorated for. I pitched the idea of leaving some of the decorations up forever but Mr Bee wasn't going for that one.

1 &3. Paper Pom-Poms. I'm sure you've seen these on Pinterest. They look awesome, right? I was cursing Martha Stewart and the bedazzled horse she rode in on while I was making these. Did you know tissue paper is finicky? And did you know that having to separate 20 layers of it, while it's tied together is even more finicky? Well it is! I used this tutorial to make mine:

*Note, I didn't have floral wire and was too lazy to go buy some, so I used string and it worked fine.I also found that tying a string for hanging before you fluffed it was plenty easier.

2. A basic vanilla cake that I made at the last minute and frosted with whipped vanilla frosting (mixed with purple food colouring) and sprinkles. The Birthday Girl made a big mess of this!

4. For Halloween I made bats that had bent wings so it looked like they were flying; I got the idea for the butterflies from that. I simply drew some butterflies onto scrapbook paper, cut them out, taped to the wall, and bent up the wings.

5. Plastic grass/flower mats from the Dollarstore for $2 each!

6. Originally, I had planned to cover my entire ceiling in streamers, all gathering to a balloon cluster in the middle. But, as 1am rolled around and I was climbing up and down a step-ladder, ripping tape, and side-stepping kids who both woke up (ugh!)...well, I decided to scrap the full-ceiling and simply do sections. And I actually like it better this way! I think it would have been too cluttered with a full ceiling. For the balloons, I used slip-knots to tie most of them together and then push pins to attach the necks of other ones directly to the ceiling (that way I could cover the tape marks from mounting the streamers)

7. The night before the party I decided to make a banner. My printer decided that same evening to run out of ink. Awesome! Not to be deterred, I simply cut flowers out of scrapbook paper, smaller white circles out of plain white paper, and then wrote "Happy Birthday" in a Word document in the font I liked. I wrote the letters onto the circles free-hand and then went over it in Sharpie. I love the way it turned out!

8. Hanging paper circles from the party store ($3), sheer curtains borrowed from my Mama, and flower garlands from the Dollarstore added just the right amount of whimsy.

9. There were 5 or so fairies around the house. They are just drawn onto a solid-coloured scrapbook paper and cut out. Simple!

It was the perfect party for a perfect little girl!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Meatball Soup

My husband had a wisdom tooth yanked a few days ago, so I needed to come up with some meal ideas for the week that didn't involve a lot of chewing. Obviously, soup is the perfect solution to that. And it just so happens I have enough homemade chicken stock in my freezer to open my own restaurant. Score.

So, in looking around Pinterest for some new recipe ideas I came across this soup:

To say I was skeptical was a bit of an understatement. For some reason, in my mind, meatballs and soup were not exactly to foods that go together. But I decided to give it a try.

You can find the recipe in the link above, but there were a few things I did differently.

I didn't add carrots because, well, I forgot to buy any...and anyway, I think carrots would have been weird with the rest of the soup.

I didn't follow the meatball recipe posted in the blog. I had meatballs frozen from the last time I made them and they worked perfectly with this soup.

I used sea shell pasta (I'm pretty sure that's not what it's actually called) because that's what I had.

And, I cooked the pasta in a different pot and then added it to the soup once it was ready to be served. I find that if you cook the pasta in the actual soup it sucks out a lot of flavour and doesn't reheat well. That's also a good note for when freezing soup, I usually omit the pasta when freezing and add it (cooked) once the soup is thawed.

But anyway, this soup was delicious. My husband ate two or three bowls and even my toddler, who has developed a picky eating habit lately, devoured it. This is definitely one for the recipe box. And it was pretty easy/cheap to make, too. So, that's a double win in my book!