Tuesday, April 27, 2010

{Recipes} A Few of My Fiesta Faves!

Cinco de Mayo is a reason for me to visit one of my many favorite Mexican restaurants and splurge! But if you do not want to face the crowds at the Mexican eateries, here are a few of my favorite Fiesta staples!

Fresh Salsa

* 1 small can diced green chiles, drained
* 1 small can chopped black olives, drained (I like to dice mine)
* 5-6 green onions, chopped
* 2-3 medium tomatoes, chopped (seeds and juices)
* 3 tbs olive oil
* 1 1/2 tsp tarragon vinegar
* 1 tsp salt (I typically add a bit more)

Mix all together and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Mexican Cocktail
This is so simple to throw together and is great for a group

* 6, 12 oz bottles of Corona
* 1, 12 oz can of frozen limemade concentrate
* 1/2 a lime

In a large pitcher, combine the frozen limemade and beer. Allow the foam to settle, then squeeze the lime into the pitcher and stir.

Tres Leche
This recipe entails a little more effort, but I promise it is worth it!

* 6 eggs
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 cups flour
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 1/2 cup milk

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Pour into a greased 13x9 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.

* 2 cans evaporated milk
* 2 cans condensed milk
* 2 cans regular whole milk (use cans from condensed milk)
* 3 egg yolks (keep the egg whites for the icing)

Mix everything together in a bowl while cake is baking. When the cake is ready, cut cake in approximately 1 inch squares and pour the syrup all over. Let the cake absorb the syrup for a few minutes before you ice.

* 1 cup light karo syrup
* 1 cup sugar
* 3 egg whites

Place syrup and sugar in a small pot and bring to a gentle boil. Beat egg whites until they are sponge like and start pouring hot syrup into the mixing bowl, but do this slowly. Put a tiny drop of vinegar in the mix to kill the egg smell. When the icing is ready, spread over the cake and refrigerate.

Images: salsa (pioneer woman), drink (food network), tres leche (sylvia's)

{Real Parties} A Blue & Orange Baby Shower

Here is another incredible shower hosted by a Gatewood lady! This time, Cindy and the other hostesses went with the trendy palette of blue and orange. My friend, Hayley, designed the monogram along with the boxed invitation and other paper goods. She never disappoints!

Party guests sipped on "Mommy's Mocktail" which consisted of peach nectar, orange juice and grenadine. Cookies were passed out as favors that pictured the monogram used throughout the party. I love the use of baby bottles used as glasses! And how cute is the diaper napkin??!!

All photography by Angela Francis of Bella Smile

A few party details you might be interested in...

* Monogram, invitation and paper goods were designed by Hayley Hardcastle.
* The precious baby bump mannequin came from The Marketing Company.
* The gorgeous flowers were created by Plants and Petals.
* Distinctive Details provided the linens and the cake was made by Who Made the Cake.
* The monogrammed cookies were baked by Stephanie Conti in Galveston.
* The setting of the lovely shower was the tea room at The St. Regis Hotel.

***A little fun fact....the mommy-to-be had her baby TODAY!! Congratulations Katie!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner! If there is one type of food that we love here in Texas, it's Mexican Food! Will you be doing anything special to celebrate?? We do not have any set plans, but I'll be sure to visit one of my favorite Mexican restaurants for a margarita or make a yummy meal at home with friends.

Decorating for a Mexican Fiesta is so easy! All you need are bright accents, simple flowers (sunflowers are a good choice) and delicious food! I have been dying to rent the Armando's taco truck for a block party. Armando's is a swanky Mexican bistro here in Houston. They now offer a taco truck which will park in front of your house and your friends can order right from the window. How fun is that?! To further set the mood, hire a mariachi band or a Spanish guitarist!

I have a delicious fresh salsa recipe to share with you soon along with the recipes for my favorite Sangria and margarita! Stay tuned...

invitation, mason jars, entry way lantern decor, sunflower boot centerpiece (St. Louis Entertains), bell pepper votives and aqua tablescape (Keely Thorne Events), white tablescape, swanky couch, pitcher vase, kids table (D Jones Photography), fans and sombrero napkin rings (Caplan Miller Events), mariachi band, lanterns, pinata (allison events), taco truck (Armando's)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

{Real Parties} A Black, White & Blush Pink Bridal Shower

This beautiful bridal shower was hosted by one of the Gatewood ladies again! The bride's colors were black and blush pink, so Cindy and her friends ran with that and included a gorgeous damask print to tie in the details.

The crystal wedding tree held notecards with various wedding words on them.

A black and white candy bar was present. Here are a few samples of what they offered.

Guests wrote down their wish for Teresa on notecards that were later given to the bride.

I am not always a fan of shower games, but I truly like this one! At each place setting was a card that listed the words, "old, new, borrowed, blue". Teresa, the bride, was wearing various items of clothing and accessories and guests had to guess which ones fit each category.

Another game the group played was to guess how many blush pink jelly beans were in a jar.

The blushing bride!

All photography by Angela Francis, owner of Bella Smile Photography. If you live in The Woodlands or Houston area, Angela is a wonderful photographer!

A few party details you might be interested in...

* The gorgeous flowers were ordered from Central Market.
* The "Damask Flocked" invitations are by American Crafts and were ordered from Bering's in Houston.
I love the bridal mannequin that is pictured by the invitation. Cindy uses it at many parities and she bought it from Bellaregalo.
* All candy was purchased online from Candy Warehouse.
* The damask linens, which sure made a statement, were rented from The Total Table in Pa.
* The rhinestone chargers and vases were bought at Z Gallerie.
* The white dishes were rented from Aztec Events.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

{Real Parties} Is it a Boy or Girl??!!

Oh how I love this party! Gender reveal parties seem to be increasing in popularity and my friend Paige put together the perfect setting. Paige and Taylor had their doctor write down the baby's gender on paper and seal it in an envelope. One of the nurses then called The Cakery to let them know if it was a boy or girl...who then baked a cake and filled the center with pink or blue.

Paige and Taylor invited their closest family and friends to join them for dinner and then they cut the cake for dessert. Talk about a suspenseful dinner!

It's a......GIRL!!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

{Real Parties} A Pink & Green First Birthday

The inspiration for this first birthday celebration came from the birthday girl's nursery which is decorated in pink and green. I really like when a party theme is based around a color scheme. This was a small family party, but that did not stop Lexi's mom from adding many special touches throughout their home.

The cuisine served was Italian since pasta is easy for Lexi to chew. Just this little element shows how loved Lexi is and that her parent's were thinking about her every step of the way!

A few party details you might be interested in...

* The polka dot balloons were purchased from the Starship Hallmark Shop
The photo banner came from Stylish Celebrations on Etsy.
* The baby's breath centerpieces came from Whole Foods.
Lexi's dress, birthday hat and bloomers came from Pattie Cake Pretties on Etsy.
* Michael's was the source for the pink butterfly confetti, cellophane bags, and ribbon.
* Both of the adorable cakes came from Cakes by Gina here in Houston.
* The #1 cookies came from Paulie's Cookies which is one of my all time favorite cookie places!
* City View Catering provided the delicious spread.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Junior League of Galveston

Attention Houston and Galveston area friends!!

My good friend and stationery extraordinaire, Hayley Hardcastle, is a member of the Galveston Junior League. This year, she created the logo for their upcoming Secret Garden Mother-Daughter Tea which is sure to be fabulous. If you would like to support the Galveston Junior League, please read on for details...

This year marks the second annual event for The Junior League of Galveston County! The Mother-Daughter Tea will feature a seated light lunch and style show showcasing fashions for young and young-at-heart. This event is multi-generational, and will be a celebration of women and the wonders of motherhood. There are also activities for children and vendor booths for shopping for all ages!

This year, the event will be held on Saturday, May 1 from 9 am - 2 pm in The Davidson Ballroom at the Tremont House Hotel in historic Downtown Galveston. For more information contact Lynsey Ginsberg at JLMDT2010@hotmail.com or visit www.JLGalveston.org to download sponsor form to purchase tickets.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

{Real Parties} Thomas the Train

If you follow along with me here on this blog, you obviously know that I have a love for all parties. But as a mother of two boys, I especially love to see unique twists on boy themes since there is not a lot out there. This Thomas the Train party is a perfect example!

Kelly from The Party Dress teamed up with Melissa from Project Nursery to create a special 3rd birthday party for Melissa's son, Austin. WH Hostess, Kelly's stationary business, created a custom logo for the event. The red and aqua logo set the tone and color palette for the party.
I love the cake stand filled with shredded paper! What a simple, but eye appealing idea.

One of my favorite elements of the party are the centerpieces! It's hard to come up with kid friendly centerpieces and the blumeboxes filled with shredded paper and topped with custom centerpiece sticks is perfect.

The use of 3 foot balloons gave the party a modern feel.

Was I not right?! Isn't this such a cute, but stylish party!!

A few party details you might be interested in...

* WH Hostess created so many of the paper goodies at this party! The invitations, custom logo, cupcake and cake toppers, centerpiece sticks, candy jar labels, bubble stickers and favor bag toppers were all designed by Kelly.
* The aqua centerpiece boxes were purchased from Blumebox which I have used before as well.
* Two Sugar Babies created the monogrammed fondant toppers for the cookies and cupcakes and a 3D train to top the cake.

Be sure to visit Project Nursery on Monday morning to see party footage!