Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Easter Party

We were blessed to have my parents (Tom & Dory),
good friends of theirs (Den & Bonnie), and my dear friend Cindy
and her man, Bill, over for an Easter celebration!

Since Sundays are VERY full for me and since Easter is always on a Sunday,
I chose a menu that could be mostly made in advance.

I started with the DOUGHNUTS!
Because they're the most fun and they're the prettiest.
Tasty desserts are even better if they're pretty, too.

First I made maple glazed doughnuts.

Then I made carrot ginger doughnuts (yes,
I topped them with crystallized ginger and coconut shreds!)

Then I made peanut butter doughnuts with chocolate glaze.

These were buckeye doughnuts - in the style of buckeye desert balls,
which are peanut butter on the inside, chocolate on the outside.

They were all beautiful! 

In the leftover melted chocolate,
I put coconut shreds, crystallized ginger, and walnuts.
I dropped it in blobs onto waxed paper and froze it.

It made freezer cookies!

I created little gift bags (8 for $1 from the Dollar Store!)

I filled them with these delicious candy bars
and a tag that read, "You're sweet!  Happy Easter!"
I like to give gifts.
Gift-giving is probably my top love language.

I also had special additional gifts for my Dad, my Mom, and Cindy.
I just can't resist buying special things for the people I love most.
Even if it doesn't mean much to them, it means a lot to me
to be able to spoil them a little.

 I saw a pretty table on Pinterest
that was decorated with lace and succulents,
I moved most of the doilies I have in my house
(from my sweet Grandma) onto the kitchen table and overlapped them.

Thankfully, my Grandma liked blue, too!

Then I started putting out the yummies.

I like to label things for my guests.

I assembled the shepherd's pie on Saturday so that all I had to do Sunday was
bake it for about an hour.  It turned out really well.

I decided to also make a wild-rice noodle casserole on Sunday because
it sounded good to me and because I wanted to make sure to have enough food
(we invited two guests sort of at the last minute).
This recipe got lots of Christie "doctoring" to make it what I wanted it to be,
and I think I did well.  I will be making it again!

My parents thoughtfully brought us some beautiful yellow tulips
and Bonnie & Den brought a lovely candle - I got spoiled, too!

After eating, we chatted for a nice while.
Bonnie & my Mom browsed through some photo books I had
made of some special trips our family has taken.

I was happy that we have such a nice patio and comfy furniture out there,
because we spend a good amount of time in the nice fresh air.

Eventually, I had to pull out my parents' wedding photos.
They're adorable.

You also might notice the tin-foil packets - some doughnuts went home with our guests!

My parents also brought us a lovely Easter gift of this adorable driftwood hedgehog!
I LOVE hedgehogs 
(disclaimer: I do not love hedgehogs as much as I love cats 
and I do not want to live with a hedgehog, but they sure are funny and cute!)

We've named her Hyacinth.

I hope your Resurrection Sunday was beautiful and blessed!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter Preparations

Can you see my Mom and me in the mirror at HomeGoods? 

We had a lovely browsing day and even found a few great things.
We were both pretty tired, but we enjoyed ourselves immensely.
It might be the last shopping day this winter, since my parents will
soon be headed back to Minnesota (waaaah!)

The weather is definitely springy - today it reached 88,
but Cindy and I were able to eat our lovely lunch outside.
It's not HOT yet.
This weather must seem like perfection to visitors.
It reminds me that it's really nice here (MOST of the time).

our Chinese Elm trees in the backyard

Juvy and I spent a little time outside the other day.
I took a blanket, a book, and some sparkling water and enjoyed the breeze and the birdsong.

We had the opportunity to go to dinner with my parents again (yay!),
and this time we decided to go to PF Chang's. 
They have some good options, but I'm not going to be a frequent visitor.
All the sauces have fish and other icky stuff in them, so they're not appropriate for me.
I was able to get them to create a steamed veggie (and pineapple!) concoction
and it tasted pretty good.  If I did it again, I would bring my own spices or sauce. 

Afterwards, we headed out for frozen yogurt.

Sadly, they didn't have sorbet (non-dairy) available for me this time.

But we had a wonderful blessed time together!
(I was happy to wear my new light blue jacket - I love that color!)

My parents bought Greg a fun little gift - chocolate mini doughnuts!
He almost had to eat them right through the wrapping paper.

I tried ANOTHER new veggie burger recipe.
I think I like the sweet potato and rice version better, but these were definitely tasty!

Yesterday and today I'm pretty fatigued again -
it shouldn't be a surprise, since I've been doing A LOT (of FUN THINGS!)

The cats like it when I'm a bit slower.

Though Allistair isn't above causing a bit of trouble to get my attention!

Claude also got some attention by looking so pretty (on the kitchen table!) 

This afternoon I had the complete set (four!) on the couch!
(Juvy blends in - she's on the left near the blue pillow)

Today I got some time with Cindy because she was off school.
We went to Macy's, and then had lunch at Chipotle.
Here's what I was wearing today.
top: Tommy Hilfiger (Macy's)
skirt: Rekucci (Amazon)
shoes: Target
bag: ABage (Amazon)

I didn't buy anything at Macy's, but I did try on two tops that I have had in my online cart for quite awhile.  They were less expensive online, so I came home and ordered them.

Here they are!

Aren't the floppy bows on the shoulders wonderful?!
Maison Jules Striped Bow-Detail Top, Created for Macy's

Maison Jules Dot-Print Bow-Detail Top, Created for Macy's

I came home from lunch and fell asleep on the couch -
with a bunch of cats.  I required rest, so I watched some recorded episodes of The Love Boat
while snuggling.

Tonight I assembled the shepherd's pie for our Easter feast.

Would you like to know what else I'll be making?

Here's my menu . . . 

guacamole & chips
hummus & veggies/crackers

Guests are bringing some bread and a fruit salad.

You probably noticed a lot of doughnuts!
That's because I have made experimenting with many different doughnut recipes and I have liked them all.  Doughnuts seem very springy and Eastery to me, so I'm gonna make all sorts of them.

I'll take photos and let you know how it turns out!