Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another big night!

Wednesday was my last full day of work before the big day, (today is 1/2 day and then coaching) and sounds like the last dry day as well - right now it's POURING! Because of this I shuffled my plans a bit - I finished painting the base of the archway, but didn't deal with attaching the sides, since I'm scaling back to a more temporary and less weather-resistant model. I'd rather not be stuck parking outside for the rest of the week, so I'm waiting to put the rest together till Friday or even Saturday instead of putting it together and taking up my whole parking spot :)

But I still made a full evening of it!

I mixed, rolled, cut out, and baked FOUR batches of The Queen's Tarts, which are now ready to put together today or tomorrow. They'll get raspberry or apricot fillings. The process actually went really quickly, even with my ancient mixer. I was pretty proud of two things, first - this is all the dough I threw out:

Nice, right? Every last scrap I re-rolled an cut until I was down to just the tiniest part.

Then, after baking, I was pretty thrilled to find I only broke 3 cookies! That doesn't sound that impressive, but these suckers are fragile. I'll probably lose a couple more when I'm filling them, but so far I'm ahead of last time. Here are the casualties:

I wrapped all the baking up just before 9, and assumed I was headed off to bed (yes, I'm old, I usually crash BEFORE the news even). But then I had an inkling to put together a few goodie boxes, and ended up cranking out nearly 1/2 of them!

I love how they look, and boy are they packed with goodies :) I'm so happy everything fit! The box was the perfect size for all the goodies I wanted to include:

I'm not posting my next to-do list because it's 3 pages long + growing :-O Suffice it to say, I will be running around like the proverbial chicken sans head for the next couple of days, and will likely not get to everything. This will annoy me, but you will probably not notice until I decide I just have to tell you - I've been down this road before :)

Anyways, I'm probably going to be short(er) or updates for the next 48 hours or so, but after Halloween I promise lots of photos & tutorials on every aspect of how I "made" my Wicked Wonderland party 2009 :)

Heather's Mailbag, Halloween Edition:

My friends are awesome. I got an orange envelope in the mail yesterday:

These reactions make all the party prep worth it :) Thanks Brooke, and everyone who has been cheering me on this week with facebook comments, emails, and commentary on how excited you are for the party. I won't let you down!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wicked Wonderland Menu Teaser

Okay, I'm just bursting at the seams to get on with the weekend, on one hand I feel like I need a ton more time to get everything done, and on the other I just want to get to the party already! So to put you in a truly festive mood, I thought I'd post a teaser of my menu plans - as of right now, this is what I'm planning on putting out:

Baby Bread Bowls with Shrunken Spinach Dip

Tiny Tea Sandwiches - PB & J, Turkey Bacon, Ham & Cheese

Teenie Weenies in BBQ Sauce

Magic Mushroom Turnovers

Peppered Pigs in a Blanket

Puking Pumpkin Veggie Platter

Fresh Fanciful Fruit Platter

The Queen's Stolen Tarts

"Eat Me" Sweets - my infamous cupcakes, brownies, cream puffs, mini cheesecakes, and more!

There will likely be a few more munchies with less whimsical names, but here's the core of my spread - what do you think? I played a lot with proportions, since Alice keeps changing size in the story from huge to tiny, I did a lot of tiny foods - which I also just happen to think are adorable. I have several vegetarians in the mix, so I tried to keep that in mind, and last year I noticed that the "savory" food went much faster than the sweets, so I put more emphasis there - but of course I couldn't stop myself from making all my favorite sweets, so I moved them to the goodie boxes - guests lucky enough to get one (hope you RSVP'd!) will receive all these handmade goodies:

-Four varieties of Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
-Six Peanut Butter Balls
-3 S'mores on a Stick
-2 Candy Chess Pieces
-2 Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Marshmallows
-1 Candy Lollipop
-1 Mushroom Keychain

Anybody else getting hungry?

Fantastic Home Made Costumes:

Can you tell Halloween is on my mind today? I'm CONSUMED and finding it hard to focus on anything else, so to pass the time - here are a few of my favorite clever costumes floating around the internets, from my fellow Halloween Addicts at Halloween Forum:

The octo-MUMMY:

Pregnant Zombie - on a woman 7 months pregnant:
I couldn't handle this gore, but I find it really spirited and impressive :) Would definitely freak me out!

Lydia from Beetlejuice (wedding scene):

Napolean & Neapolitan (English majors have to like word play):

Victorian Vampire - I'm a sucker for a silver dress, and this one is GORGEOUS:

Now this looks like any other storm trooper costume, BUT it's not!
This one is "Made from about $10 of craft foam, velcro and elastic." The real kicker is they incorporated an MP3 player to blast the Imperial March while the kid trick or treated. Now that creates a whole new level of awesomeness.

Excellent Product: Krylon Snap and Spray Aerosol Spray Can Adapter

I might have complained before about how I'm too wimpy to handle large spray painting jobs, I have to constantly switch off fingers and thumbs and hands to keep pushing down the nozzle, and I always end up painting half of my fingers. Part of my problem is I don't follow the directions and spray in short spurts (sorry, that's just too annoying, sometimes you just need to do a larger area in one burst, even if that means you create drips and messes). The other part of the program is that I'm weak and it's an awkward movement - does anyone have super buff fingers that don't get fatigued spray painting? Never something I've worked on.

Well, that problem is now a thing of the past, as I recently stumbled on the Snap and Spray Aerosol Spray Can Adapter by Krylon!

So simple, yet so helpful, I grabbed this at Michael's for around $6 (I think - I see them online for a lot less too). It's super easy to work, you just snap it on the top of the can and then you can use the much more friendly shooting motion rather than the awkward pressing.

I love it! It feels much better, meaning I can paint longer and get things done quicker, and it keeps me from getting paint all over my fingernails. It comes back off easily and you can re-use it again and again.

EXCELLENT job Krylon, kudos to you!

Tuesday's Accomplishments:

Well, I mostly kept up my crafty domination yesterday, though hubby and I took a break for burgers and milkshakes, which I really needed. I accomplished all of the tasks I had blocked out on my list for the evening, which is good, though I just didn't quite feel like everything came together the way I wanted it to. I have some perfectionistic tendencies (no, really?) so it's hard for me to scale back or settle, but with just 3 days to go now, that's going to have to be good enough.

I don't have photos, because I'm not ready to expose all these things yet, but here's what I accomplished:

-more spraypainting on the "looking glass" archway
-added text to the upper curve of the archway, outlined in glow-in-the-dark paint
-hung my "Cheshire Cat" stripes & words in the basement
-hung 3 sets of purple lights in the Cheshire Cat area
-washed a load of blankets (I'm anticipating a few overnight guests, so we're shoring up all our resources)
-painted a bunch of little wooden signs with a base coat of white
-went to Michaels, forgot the one thing I went there for but got a few other supplies
-ate a banana-fudge milkshake and bacon cheeseburger
-went to bed early

I could have accomplished more if I had more energy, but I'm still on track - and I actually feel pretty good this morning! I made it out of the house early, stopped at a gas station for Vitaminwater & a lotto ticket (I can dream) and still got to work on time.

Up tonight:
-final coat of spraypaint (hopefully)on archway - attach header & the foil curtain "mirror" center, sides - and DONE (hopefully)
-bake the Queen's Stolen Tarts

Since the cookies involve mixing, rolling, cutting, and baking, I'll be happy just to get that part done this evening. It's hard to judge how long a "normal" sized batch will take, since the only other time I baked them I did more than 12 dozen :) I'll wait to stack & fill them until I'm sure they're completely cool, maybe tomorrow. Which will be Thursday. Which is only 2 days before Halloween. EEK!

Remember those craft fairs I signed up for?

I have tragically neglected my mosaics in wake of Halloween, but starting Sunday that is my next priority. Why? Because I have my first selling event on November 14th! Yikes, that's coming up fast too, and I have much to do. But if y'all want to come out and purchase gorgeous one of a kind hand crafted mosaic mirrors and photo frames, here are the details:

Minnesota Moms in Business "Food for the Holidays" Vendor Fair
(The MMIB group hosts this event to raise funds and collect food items for local foodshelves)

Saturday, November 14, 2009
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

National Sports Center
1700 105th Ave NE
Blaine, MN 55449

Free Admission

Donate 2 non-perishable food items for a chance to win a $25 VISA Gift Card to help with your holiday shopping.

Spend $25 or more with any one vendor for a chance to win a $75 VISA Gift Card to REALLY help with your holiday shopping!

This is really more of a vendor show than a craft fair, but hopefully that'll just mean I stick out more :) It's been my experience at these types of shows that half (or more) of your business just comes from the other vendors, who are bored and captive all day in their booths - fine by me! Now if only I can keep from buying anything myself...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

All I want in the world right now is a Cherry Coke...

I'm not sure that I mentioned it, but recently I stopped drinking pop.

I miss it.


I love Cherry Coke. And Dr. Pepper. And the new Cherry Dr. Pepper. And every once in a while, like whenever I'm at McDonald's, a plain regular fountain Coke. Mmmmm....

I'm a caffeine addict. I've known it for a while. I've detoxed several times, usually unwillingly, and I experience full out nausea, double vision, debilitating headaches, and a general lack of will to live. It's actually pretty scary, knowing how totally and physically it controls me. Of course, when you're sick already, as I happened to be a couple weeks ago, dosing Nyquil and Dayquil around the clock, and expecting to feel crappy, you don't necessarily notice these symptoms. Four days later, when you finally decide to get out of bed, you might realize "Hey, I haven't had a Coke in a while..."

And then you're faced with a conundrum: stay on the wagon? Or suck it down?

I know I have a lot worse habits than drinking pop, but it's not one of my better ones either. My teeth have visibly yellowed, and I have nightmares of them falling out. I probably drink 2 cans or 1 X 20 oz a day at my desk, plus whatever I get if I go out for lunch (realistically another 16+ oz). And have you noticed how much restaurants are charging for soda now?!?! $2.50! I'm kind of aghast. But I really do love it...

I haven't had a drink in 2 1/2 weeks. I want one every moment of the day. I really wanted one at lunch when dear old dad took me to Red Lobster - and I strongly considered it, before ordering my water. But I stayed strong. Here are my reasons:

1. Pop has gotten expensive. It adds $3 to a meal, or $1.25 if I buy a bottle at work. I'm broke. I should cut this ridiculous luxury.

2. Pop is not good for you. The acid & sugar destroy your teeth. I only like regular soda, so it has plenty of sugar - also not great for my waistline. Cherry Coke has 312 calories in a 20 oz bottle. In comparison, the Vitamin water I'm substituting has 25 calories in the same serving size. Hmm. Since I know I'm not gonna exercise, cutting calories is my only real hope for shaping my flab to fab. Saving 287 calories + per day can only help me at this point.

3. Lesser known facts, to help motivate me: drinking soda contributes to osteoporosis & diabetes, both of which run in my family. It is also linked to obesity, mineral depletion, and dehydration.

Timing-wise, this probably wasn't the best - with all the stress of throwing a major party, it's sort of like quitting smoking right before a holiday. I half wonder if it's even worth it, but I think I owe it to myself to stick it out for at least a month. Then maybe two. Then we'll see.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I completely dominated Monday...

I still kinda can't believe it. Here are the highlights:

1. made it to work EARLY (this never happens, let alone on a Monday)

2. Knocked out excellent lunch time errands - picked up a wig (can't decide if I like it, but I'm running out of time and long ago ran out of money, so it'll probably have to do), remaining decoration needs, 6 more blocks of melting chocolate, and a T-shirt for Norm.

3. Cut out the header for my re-vamped archway, drilled all the holes to secure it, and spray painted 1/2 of the wood & arch.

4. Hooked up the remote adaptor & extension cord for the front yard decorations.

5. Dipped a bunch more stuff in chocolate :) Now the "goodie" part of the goodie bags are almost done! I knocked out 160+ chocolate dipped pretzels, 80 dipped strawberry marshmallows, the remaining peanut butter balls, 20 candy lollipops, and a bunch of candy chess pieces. So many goodies, it wouldn't all fit on the banquet table I currently have in my kitchen, but here's some of it:

WHEW! I thought it was a longshot, but getting all of this done tonight puts me in GREAT shape for the rest of the week! I hope I can keep up this pace!

Challenge: Horror Cakes

I love the "Challenge" series on Food Network. They usually center around cake or sugar artists creating huge extreme works of edible art on a theme ranging from baby showers to Christmas. Last night I was OVERJOYED to see the episode titled "HORROR CAKES" - is that not right up my alley?

I watched it in my favorite way - on DVR, so I could buzz through the commercials and all the "coming up next" repetitive nonsense, and I absolutely fell in love with the cake that The White Flower Cake Shoppe created:

Evil killer cupcakes and donuts, and a zombie wedding cake?!?!? I'm in love!!!

The little cupcakes and donutes actually moved too.

Sadly, the judges were against them from the start, they kept saying the cake was too "Dr. Seuss" and "not really horror" which I'm irritated at. Who said Horror = Gore? and who wants to eat a gory cake anyways? I thought White Flower did an amazing job actually making their characters fairly scary, while still appetizing and really well crafted.

In the end a grim reaper riding a chopper won, which is appalling - they admitted it wasn't enough cake to fulfill the rules AND you could see the metal armatures, both violations should have DQ'd the entry let alone kept it from winning.

Miscarriage of justice.

End rant.

If you're lucky enough to live in Ohio, they're selling evil monster cupcakes this week in honor of the show - wish I were close enough to nab one! They also have a blog here.

Oh my aching...everything...

Today I have a baking hangover - sore shoulders, back, and feet from standing at the stove for hours on end, and I forgot to put my wedding ring back on after mixing the peanut butter balls (it's a hands-on job). I'm also pretty tired blended with pretty panicked, so there's a strange bi-polar element to everything I'm doing. Will I get everything done I wanted to before the party? No. I know that. I never do. I get some crazy ideas and end up running out of time/money/energy and something has to give. Rarely would guests notice, but I always feel a little defeated.

So this year I've started earlier than ever before, and hopefully that counts for something. So far my outdoor plans haven't been working out, but inside the house is more than 1/2 decorated. The living room, dining room, hallway and kitchen are done, the bar area is 75% finished, and I just have the bathrooms & TV area to decorate still. Then this week is all about cooking, cleaning, and hiding junk in closets :) One of the best parts about Halloween? Nobody can judge you on your cobwebs - I'll claim I put them out just for the festivities :)

Next up on my list is to pick up more chocolate and crank out the dipped pretzel rods for the goodie boxes, and finish the candy chess pieces. Since the pretzels are the largest, they have to go into the boxes first - the sooner I finish all that, the sooner I can tie all the bows and add the final embellishments to the packages. They're going to look something like this on the outside.

I have a feeling this week will just FLY by...

All this talk about peanut butter balls reminds me...

I've yet to share my recipe! Well I couldn't deny the world this tasty little treat, so here's how I make the magic:

2 Cups Creamy Peanut Butter - I usually use Jif, but doesn't matter.

1/2 Cup Salted Butter (again, the first recipe I used called for unsalted butter + salt, so I just kill two birds with one stone and use salted butter)

2 - 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

1/2 Tsp Vanilla

Chocolate Almond Bark/Dipping Chocolate

Crisco (to thin the chocolate)

Microwave the butter & peanut butter for 1 minute in a microwave safe bowl. Don't skip this, even if your butter is already soft - it seriously makes EVERYTHING easier. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla until you have a doughy consistency - add more confectioner's sugar if necessary. Roll into balls and place on waxed paper. Chill while you start the chocolate.

I melt my chocolate in a double boiler I inherited, which my be my favorite piece of kitchen equipment. I strongly recommend one if you like to do chocolate dipped strawberries, pretzels, cookies, or anything else - it saves a lot of time and product, I've never scalded chocolate using this method. Stir the chocolate periodically, and thin with a small amount of Crisco as needed.

Dipping is not something I excel at, but luckily, nobody ever stares at peanut butter balls long enough to judge them - they just scarf them down! I usually use a set of wooden skewers or toothpicks - stab the peanut butter, quickly run it through the chocolate, let the excess drain off, and set on wax paper to harden. It's easiest when the peanut butter center is cold & solid - if it starts to get warm it goes misshapen too easily. If the stick left a hole, I go back with a knife and smooth on some extra chocolate to cover it up.

Once cooled and hardened, serve in mini muffin cups. You can store for 2 weeks in an airtight container, but I've never seen them last that long - they disappear pretty quickly :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Second Wind...

I thought I was done working for the night, and was more than willing to collapse and veg and fall asleep by 8pm, but as I settled in I started to feel antsy. And anxious. And nervous.


So I dragged my sorry self back up and tackled a few more projects! I had previously copied and cut all these illustrations:

And tonight I sat down and glued all 39 of them (I'm missing a Queen of Hearts somewhere)on to the goodie boxes:

I'm so glad I just sat down and powered through it, that's another big item off my list!

And speaking of goodie boxes, I also started casting my little candy chess pieces:

Three sets down, 35 to go :-P

And through the magic of DVR, I'm now watching the Food Network Challenge: Horror Cakes and pretty sure I'm in bed for good tonight. Gotta rest up, I have a big busy week!

Today Smells So Much Better...

Whew, I'm exhausted, and I can't believe my last weekend before Halloween is already over! EEK! I've had a few moments of panic (and I'm sure there will be more to come) but I tried to make the very most of today, without wearing myself out. I'm still covered in chocolate (Mmmm, I smell tasty!) and I'm sitting down to watch Edward Scissorhands and Challenge: Horror Cakes tonight. It's going to be a busy week, but I think I just might pull it off. Here's what I did all afternoon:

That's FIVE batches of peanut butter balls - mixed, rolled, chilled, and dipped, as well as FOUR batches of s'mores on a stick. These will go in my goodie bags, with a few extras to serve during the party. I went through 5 bricks of chocolate and had to stop when I ran out - so there's more chocolate dipping to come this week (pretzels and Oreos). I'm a little stressed about getting it all done (and fitting all these people in my house!) but I'm also really excited and flattered at the responses I'm getting. Can't wait to see you all, in just SIX DAYS!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Something is Rotten in Denmark...

It's my dog. He's had two baths and still smells like a farm. I'm considering dousing him in perfume to make it through the night.

You all remember my neurotic rat terrier, right? He's the one that ate a half pound of dark chocolate a few months back, which was terrifying but thankfully ended up okay. He also perpetrated the great cinnamon roll fiasco, and now that I've finally watched it, I can see he's modeled his life after Marley from Marley & Me. He's basically the Woody Allen of house pets.

Well Normy had a big day! It started with a long C-A-R-R-I-D-E (the word is generally spelled, lest he hear you and race for the garage) to Henderson, MN where we met Olivia for family photos. We got there early and took a long walk through the prairie grass, and Norm was nearly overwhelmed with things to sniff and pee on. He nearly pulled me down a muddy slope several times, but we managed to keep him reasonably clean until we started photos. He was awful and wouldn't play along, but definitely loved the nature preserve. He found many great scents to roll in. He'd take off, wriggle around on his back for a while, and then randomly decide to listen and come back to us for a snapshot. And one of those times, hubby & I snuggled up next to him and screamed.


He had rolled in poop.

He was covered in poop.

He reeked of poop.

The photos came to a screeching halt.

We trashed his bandanna and luckily I was carrying around a giant can of Clorox wipes, so he got an impromptu sponge bath. It sorta worked.

The mood was pretty much gone. We wrapped it up and set about cleaning him up for the car ride, but the damage was done - that was a long smelly ride! When we got home he went immediately into the tub for a full scale scrub down, and he didn't even fight it - he must have known he stunk.

We also cleaned ourselves up and curled up on the couch for a few hours before heading off to a wedding...but the smell was still there. Egads.

He didn't fight the second bath either, and this time we used scented girlie shampoo, hoping it would mask any lingering stench. So far, so good.

No pictures to post of this long exciting adventure, but hopefully Olivia caught a few good ones before the bloom went off the rose :)

On the plus side, I got to wear my new coat & scarf, and I love them! Can't wait to see the pictures!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Big Rambling Update Post - because Thursday was excellent :)

Whoo hoo for Friday! I'm definitely ready for a weekend, even if it's a busy one. If today is half as good as yesterday, I'm on a roll!

First off, I got all my "yard lighting" put together and ready to set up outside next week. I'm a rookie when it comes to these things, so here's what I did: I asked the lady at Menard's in the lighting section. :) Genius! I told her I needed some bright outdoor spotlights that plugged into a socket (I'm not ever trusting myself to wire something). She pointed me to these:

They are perfect! It's a floodlight holder that has either a flat base or a stake (I used the stake), you can set the angle to illuminate whatever you need, and they hold a big old floodlight that should be perfect. Score! I also got two of these:

3-outlet power stakes, so I can use 3 lights on either side of our sidewalk :)I wish I could set this all up this weekend, but between the bad weather (will it ever stop raining/snowing?) and possibility of theft (don't want to risk it, and we live next to some strange teenagers) I'm not going to risk it.

Then, 2nd super happy thing I accomplished yesterday: I got my hair fixed! WHOO HOO! I mentioned here that I was unhappy with my last cut, but I never explained the story. It was too new and traumatic at the time, but here's what went down: One random Saturday hubby was hosting a bachelor party IN OUR HOUSE, so of course I needed to flee. A free open roaming Saturday is not good for me, I get ideas into my head - ideas like "I should get my hair cut - drastically - RIGHT NOW." My "normal" hair lady who I love works weekday evenings (Chris @ Rosedale Regis - I've ALWAYS been happy, and she's fixed other people's mistakes more than once - yes, I should have learned by now), so she wasn't an option, but I naively thought "hey, I'm just getting a stacked bob, shouldn't be a problem for anyone, right?" and headed to the Northtown Regis. Cue the horror movie music here.

I should have ran immediately when the stylist started asking me questions assuming I was in high school. When I told her I was 30 (essentially) she was aghast and made a huge deal out of it. One of my personal pet peeves is being taken for younger than I am (which happens all the time, but is still annoying) so that should have cued me in. It didn't, so I sat there while she butchered my hair.

By the way, speaking of young, she was a baby. Just out of beauty school, she was 20 or 19 and lives with her parents. Every little small talk topic that came up ended awkwardly as we totally disagreed - weddings, music, eek. Just some background.

She never moved, she stayed on my right side and reached around, which can't be good form. She clearly didn't understand what "stacked" meant because she left the back of my hair all strangely choppy and layered, with a really clear line where it did NOT blend into the sides - EEEEK!

I kept saying "I want it stacked" and she kept saying she understood, but clearly something wasn't going through. Stacked is this:

When I told her it wasn't right, she just kept taking it shorter. I slowly lost all confidence and started to panic. When she asked about layers, I lost it and told her to stop. Yeah, seriously. I couldn't handle her destroying any more of it - I already knew I was going to need to get it fixed, best to minimize the damage and maximize what the fixer would have to work with. I still paid her, but I think we both knew I was seriously unhappy.

I never took a picture of the back, but in my mind I kept seeing this:

and lest you think I'm overreacting because it's scary to have 8" cut off your hair and I didn't like the teeny bopper who cut it, I had at least 3 friends say "Oh it's cute!...but what's with the back?" yeah, that'll make you self conscious real quickly :)

So I ignored it as long as I could and let it grow back a bit, and then did what I should have done originally - called to make an appointment with Chris!

She fixed me. She took all the bulk and choppy feathered layers out of the back and stacked it like I wanted, and she blended in the weird reverse mullet line the hack had left. Here's an awkward self portrait (amidst my Halloween decor):

Suffice it to say, I feel MUCH better - and just in time for our photo shoot with Olivia tomorrow!

Which leads me to the 3rd major happy thing of yesterday, I found an "outfit" to wear! Well, more than an outfit really, I decided since we're having outdoor fall/winter photos, and it's been horribly cold and will possibly snow tomorrow, I'd take a cue from my lil' sis' engagement photos and wear a cute coat! This one caught my eye as soon as I walked in to New York and Co., and I seriously ripped this amazing scarf off of the mannequin and declared it MINE.

Yay, I LOVE it! It's bright and fun and warm, it has an adorable hood, and it was on SALE, always a bonus. I'll be wearing it with jeans and probably a turtleneck, and I hope it looks cute. Hubby will be clad in a winter vest and Henley, he hardly ever wears an actual coat. And Normy will sport his typical black & white fur ensemble :)

I'm still not back to 100%, and hubs had to wake me up because I was snoring so loudly last night he couldn't hear the tv, but I am definitely feeling better. Let's hope it leads to a fun and productive weekend, my last weekend before the big party!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm rocking another sweet Halloween shirt today:

$9.99 at Target again. Stylin', right? :) I'm still a sucker for silver. I'm also wearing my matching sparkly shoes:

And I'm rounding out the look by slamming a bottle of this:

Think it'll work? This is the "recoup" blend of vitamin water, and I'm counting on it to help me get back up and running - I'm still not quite there after this cold. It tastes pretty good too - mandarin & peach, but not overly sweet. Sort of a healthy version of my beloved Peach Schnapps & 7up :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sneak Preview: Goodie Bags (boxes)

If you're wondering if it's a big deal to RSVP to my Halloween party, let me give you a little convincing: Here's a sneak preview of my goodie bags (boxes) for this year:

The little mushroom key chains were custom designed by etsy seller KyotoSong.The front is adorned with one of 4 color illustrations from the original Alice, tied with a cotton bow, and filled with hand made goodies that you'll just have to see to believe :) BUT, I'm only making enough for those who RSVP, so keep that in mind if you haven't let me know!

I'm feeling good now that I got all of the images printed & cut out, next step is to start the baking!

Creepy Clothing

Today I'm rocking one of my two new Halloween T's from Target - for just $9.99 you can look look all kinds of hot just like me. Bonus points if you're coughing and snarfing with the flu that won't die.

Raising the Bar

I don't venture out to the liquor store often, but when I do I make a splash. Last night I made a FULL ON HUMONGOUS BELLY FLOP SPLASH, one that is still radiating the area of my wallet.

I think for future parties I should try to collect liquor slowly throughout the year to avoid this type of sticker shock.

But enough with the wallowing, on to the celebration! Here's what I got:

I thought long and hard and in the end went with pre-mix for my primary "tea." Since I don't generally drink Long Islands and my experience with them has been mixed, I didn't trust myself to spend hundreds on all the ingredients and concoct something awful. I'm guessing that this will at least be drinkable :) At least I hope so, since I got 5.25 liters of it! Should fill my punch bowl nicely :)

This "tea" also caught my eye, I'm not huge on vodka but I couldn't resist something so perfect for my theme. I'm not sure how to serve it - maybe mix with lemonade in a sexed-up Arnie Palmer?

I thought gin & tonics would be fun, especially since tonic reacts under black light. The quinine makes it glow, and since my whole "tea party" is under black light, I couldn't resist! Even though I could never personally drink gin :)

I have a few friends who I know enjoy "blue drinks" and something called "zombie" seemed destined for my party. I haven't the foggiest how it tastes, but Bacardi is usually a safe bet for me and hell, it's pretty!

A little classic Captain, just basic bar building.

I don't generally like vodka, but Absolut Mandarin & Cranberry juice is AMAZING. We went through a whole bottle at Al's bachelorette party, so I figured this was a good bet to grab again.

This was another bar builder - I have never even tried it, but I sure served a lot of 7 & 7's when I was bartending, so someone must like them.

Can you tell I'm big on ready to drink beverages? I thought this one was pretty, UV Cherry Lemonade. Mmm.

I snapped up a "party pack" of varied Smirnoff Twist malt bevs to add some variety.

And finally, a case of hubby's favorite beer!

A friend who brews his own beer has also offered to bring a keg, which is awesome, and we have a lot of schnapps left over from the shot luge last year - hopefully that will be enough, because my budget is drying up FAST!

10 Days - EEK!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blacklight Experiments, Continued...

I've mentioned before that I'm a black light rookie, and so it's been a little bit of a struggle to get my tea party/bar area together, but I'm starting to make progress.

I talked before about the glow in the dark skeletons from the Dollar Tree a few years back (which don't glow in the dark, but do apparently glow under black light) and the Tulip black light paint I used on my "Mad Tea Party" letters, but do you know what really glows best of all?

Plain white paper.
It's gorgeous.

So I've made a few adjustments, namely printing black & white quotes from the tea party scene in my favorite Beyond Wonderland font, which look awesome - I think I need a few more. And I covered the top of our built-in bar with a roll of white paper. I taped it on with painter's tape underneath the visible area, so it comes off easily, and I'm planning to get some clear tablecloths to waterproof it, assuming that doesn't kill the glow. The white paper puts off so much light you should be able to read the liquor bottles clearly, and even though my giant tea cup doesn't glow it should still be visible on the white background.

This clock is exactly 2 days slow...

I remembered to snap a pic of the clocks in the crazy hallway - how fun are these? They're from my mom's collection, and just hung on existing nails that normally hold frames.

I'm pretty much at the end of my buying days (budget = BUSTED, as usual) but I might have to stop by the Dollar Tree and see if they have any small light clocks I could add to the mix.