Sunday, January 29, 2012

Picture-Perfect Birthday Invitations

Here are some images of the paper invitations I made for my dad's 60th birthday.  After seeing these photo-booth inspired invitations from Martha Stewart, I just had to use the precious photo strip of my dad (trying to figure out how to work the photo booth) from our wedding.

I stuck with the black, white, grey and red theme and used silver photo corners and brads to complete the invites!

Check out the rest of the party details here!

Picture-Perfect Birthday Party

My dad turned the BIG 6-0 in early January, so we threw him a surprise birthday party!  I believe the final headcount came to 75 . . . impressive that my dad has so many friends after ALL of these years!  ;-)

This article in Martha Stewart magazine from January 2011 provided inspiration for the photo-themed party.  In place of Martha's yellow, I used red as my accent color to the black, white and grey color scheme to tie in NIU Huskies colors (my dad is an alumnus and a huge  NIU sports fan).    

I asked guests to send old photos of my dad for a slideshow, and arranged black and white copies of some of these photos to create a "60" sign.

I found these amazing beer mugs at Dollar Tree and used photo corners to affix a photo to each glass.  Leftover pictures from the party invitations and silver-wrapped mints served as confetti.  Easy and affordable table centerpieces!

Noise makers were ready for the SURPRISE! in coordinating cardboard six-pack carriers.

Guests were asked to leave a message for the birthday boy.  Love the look of silver Sharpie on black paper!

Mini cupcakes from Swirlz - YUM!

Lots of beer was consumed at the party, so the koozie favors were used from the get-go!  Shout-out to CustomInk -- I was impressed with their superior customer service!

Happy Birthday, Dad!!!  XO

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Healthy Cookie Recipe

HEALTHY cookies?!  Yes!  Check out this great recipe from a cooking class I took with food and nutrition expert, Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD.  Her website is an excellent resource for creative, healthy and fairly straightforward recipes.  I get excited when I find new uses for quinoa and flaxseed, and this recipe combines both!  I just made these cookies to take to a winter BBQ tomorrow afternoon and my belly is happy to report that they are delicious!

Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies

  • 1 C quinoa
  • 2 C water
  • 1/2 C natural chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1 C rolled oats, pulsed in a food processor to reach flour-like consistency (I used my Magic Bullet's flat blade)
  • 1/4 C ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 C mini dark chocolate chips (or more to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring quinoa and water to boil, cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes until water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Mix 2 C cooked quinoa with peanut butter and honey.  Reserve remaining ~1C quinoa to eat with salads, etc. later in the day/week.
  4. Stir in oats, flaxseeds and salt until well-combined.  Mix in chocolate chips.  (note:  Chocolate chips may melt if quinoa isn't completely cool.  Upside of warmish quinoa = ease of mixing peanut butter).
  5. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Use mellon-baller to drop ~ 1 T-sized mounds on baking sheet.
  7. Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes, until bottoms/edges are golden
  8. Press cookies flat using the bottom of a small drinking class immediately after removing from the oven.  Let cool.
Dawn's recipe yields 36 cookies for nutrition content of 60 calories, 3g fat, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, and 2g protein for each each cookie.  My mellon baller must be bigger than 1 T as my batch yielded 26 cookies with slightly more nutrition goodness in each.  Still healthy and delicious!

Happy New Year!!!


After a loooong hiatus, I'm back in blogland!  Like most people, I've set goals for 2012.  My most relevant goal being to better document my craft endeavors and subsequently blog about them.  Since I made zero posts in 2011, I'm already off to a good start! :-)  Where did the year go?  No excuses, just busy like everyone else.  Watch for a few posts back-filling key parties and projects from the past year.  I do regret that I failed to photograph and document some good ones (Halloween 2010 and St. Patrick's Day book club 2011 to name a few).  More to come!