Archive Page 2

What about those Awards?

 

Ugh, my ears are burning. Not because people are talking about me as the old saying goes. (At least, I don’t think so.) My littlest enjoys snuggling before bedtime while pulling, pinching and twisting my ears. I’m too tired to fight it. It burns. IT BURNS!

But, now I’m going to cause some other ears to burn with my Blog Award Presentations. (Are you still with me — it was a bumpy segway.)

As you may recall, Meg from Meg’s a Mommy saved me from a repeat of my ill-fated first days of 7th grade by generously presenting me with 3 awards!. And now without further ado, my recipients.

 

The “I LOVE THIS BLOG AWARD” goes to Laura of “I am the Glue” . A mother of SEVEN (many of them teenagers, that makes my head hurt) with a career and a fanaticism for Prince. She has been cranking out posts like a machine this week (or dare I say Little Red Corvette “Baby, U’re much 2 fast..”) And much like her idol, Prince, they are always hits. So, thank you Laura for your enthusiasm and quality writing. You deserve this award and to end on one of my favorites, Raspberry Beret “I think I loooove her.”

Wait, one more minute, there are some rules and stuff you should know. (I’m a bit of a rule-breaker myself — so I’m not holding anyone to anything. OK, I’m just lazy.) The rules for the “I LOVE THIS BLOG” award:
1) Grab the Award and link love the person whom you got the award from.
2) Pass the award to different bloggers whom you think are deserving of this award.
3) Write a post about the award and there you’ll link the person who gave the award to you and those people who you’d like to pass the award.
4) Continue your passion in writing because your hard work will always be appreciated.

The Humane Award goes to Staci of “Momma’s Gone Over The Wall”. As Meg described it:”This award honors certain bloggers that I feel are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn’t for them, my site would just be an ordinary blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendships through the blog world.”

And Momma’s Gone Over The Wall” is very deserving. She provided inspiration for the Let’s Party Mondays Cars theme and was gracious enough to allow links to her blog. She also has such a wide range of content from glimpses of her life to great causes, like Blog It Forward To Fight Hunger. Nice work Staci!

Oh yeah, the rules again: Link back to the person who gifted you with the award and share the love with other bloggers.

Finally, last but not least — “It’s A Major Award” goes to my partner in all things luau this week Aly’Gatr of “Aly’Gatr’s Everywhere”. Because this award is for anyone who likes to smile and/or laugh, and just generally spreads that along in this blogging world we all travel in.

Despite having to finish a big class project for her continuing education while still performing her motherly and wifely duties, the marvel that is Aly’Gatr managed to help out her bumbling blogging friend (that’s me) with a really great Hawaiian Luau party theme this week. And as always gave me a good chuckle. Mahalo.

Ok, close the curtain the presentation is over. Feel free to go talk with the press. Enjoy your awards and keep up the great work. I hope your ears aren’t burning too badly. (Mine are still a bit rosy.)

Luau Entertainment: Hula to Humuhumunukunukuapua’a

Thank you to Aly’Gatr, a pineapple lover and native Hawaiian (she was born there), for embracing this week’s party theme: Hawaiian Luau. As you can see from her comments, this bird of paradise knows her stuff including the actual hula dance that accompanies the hukilau. Sadly, she could not forward her own performance, but supplied a stand-in. (Bloggers are such a generous bunch!)

Performing a hula showcase for the guests of your luau would make you one Hoihoi Hostess (Hoihoi being “entertaining” in Hawaiian). And even if you just bumble through it like the guy in the green shirt and revert to the robot dance, people appreciate your enthusiasm. Similar to my baking – it’s the thought that counts.

If anyone actually does this at their Luau – you HAVE to tell me.

But, if you are not willing to shake your money maker for a crowd, I have another idea for entertaining. It is no surprise that I am a fan of the board game. I do enjoy a game of Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit or Balderdash. That’s right Balderdash – that hilarious game of bluffing. If you have never played (I feel sorry for you), you can get the full scoop at Wikipedia. But, the basic gist is that everyone has to make up a definition of the same word and you guess which the correct definition is. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Now, I know you’re thinking what I’m thinking – HAWAIIAN BALDERDASH!!! (Us screaming in unison. Jinx, Buy me a coke!) That’s right. Take Hawaiian words and have people make up and guess definitions. For example…

Humuhumunukunukuapua’aA blessing after one sneezes
The state fish of Hawaii
An undergarment worn by a bride on her wedding day
Another way of referring to three finger poi

Are you stumped? Well, get ready to hold you sides…(I put the answer in the comments)… Oh, my eyes are watering from the laughter! If you feel your guests are not amused by Hawaiian Balderdash, I say the hukilua is a strong backup or a robot dance.

I leave you with a Japanese proverb…

We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

Right On! I’ve got to Boogie.

Let’s Party Mondays: Huki huki, huki huki, huki hukilau

It was recently suggested that I offer an Adult Party theme. Something about the phrase “Adult Party” makes me giggle the same way the staff reacted to “Grey Poupon”. (“Did you say poop on?”) But, knowing the source, they weren’t suggesting any flagged content — just something for grown-ups. No piñatas. No goody bags. No mutant cakes. (i.e. my dinosaur cake) I’m a people-pleaser — this week’s Let’s Party Mondays theme is…. HAWAIIAN LUAU

Decorations

I’m not really going to bother talking about decorations. I don’t think a party store can call itself a “Party Store” if it doesn’t have a Hawaiian Luau aisle, Mardi Gras section or 50’s Dance Party display. So, you know what to do.

Food

This will determine the success or failure of your Luau — in fact, the Hawaiian translation of Luau is feast. So, you’ve got to get your food on. What incredible pomaika’i (luck) that this grown-up request comes on the heels of a fabulous menu created by the brainchild of bacon, the clever cake-in-the-mug-maker, boozy-paint-can-shaker: Bacon Concentrate. The “Celebrate Someone Special with a Hawaiian Luau Dinner” more than fulfills the feast requirement.

And a party menu dedicated to the Party MOMster just can’t go wrong. (I am so feeling the love -– no more eating cookies with a spoon for me)

Music

I haven’t really talked about music before – it’s not one of my strengths. I am hoping DJ Running Man in the sister offices in Eastern PA will help me with a music post. He knows how to rock an ipod. But, I did a little research on my own and starting off very simply with “Hawaiian Luau Party” at the iTunes store. Two albums popped up.


Hawaiian Luau Party by The Hit Crew came very highly rated. Upon listening to a sampling, it definitely gets your grass skirt shaking. But, with selections like Day-O, Rock Lobster and Cha Cha Slide, it does not have the authentic sound I was hoping for.


Hawaiian Luau Party by various artists is just what I was looking for. Although I am questioning my tolerance for the ukele, I would say it offers a more credible luau sound with hits like Sweet Leilani, Hukilau (of course!) and Hawaiian War Chant (which is certainly not as scary as it sounds). I was reading a review of it on Amazon which included “surprisingly taken up in the fascinating weird world of this amazing CD” – enough said, we have a winner!

With that, I say “Aloha” for now. If you have any “grown up” suggestions, please share. I, myself, am feeling very grown-up. I made it through this whole post without making any jokes about getting “lei’d” (Wait, does that count? Oh, so close.)

Feeling the Love and Plenty of Room at the Lunch Table

I’ve been branching out and meeting new bloggers. It feels like 7th grade all over again when I started a new school. My Mom was encouraging me to meet new people so I wouldn’t sit alone at lunch. (That story ends with me befriending the oldest seven grader, who liked to eat cookies with a spoon.)

Unlike 7th grade, I am finding everyone to be warm and friendly. And my efforts have been rewarded — in a big way — 3 awards! So thank you Meg from Meg’s a Mommy for being so generous.

   

Next week, I will announce my recipients (The “week has gotten away from me” and providing the proper recognition is trumped by a major cereal spill in the kitchen). I just wanted Meg to know how much I appreciated her support. (I can’t wait to go tell my Mom!)

S’more Foolishness

I had a few final thoughts on last week’s party theme: Camp. But, things got a little away from me at the end of the week (one of my classic apologies), so let’s pack it up.

As you may recall, I thought I had lost my Golden Graham cereal forever and then was able to find it in the grocery store (What an emotional rollercoaster!) I put my box to good use and made the Golden Graham S’mores recipe. We loved it. (I loved a whole lot of it.) And the staff was beaming when they came home from a long day of nature camp and were greeted by a glass of cold milk and s’mores. (“Wow Mom, you’re the best! Hey, who ate half the pan already?”)

I had to see if my faux fire idea would work — that is attaching tissue paper to a fan. I’m all about theater and I made this nifty video on some software I found on my computer.

I’m not willing to admit defeat. The staff is not deeming it a true success. And Mr. Party MOMster is just a little worried.

Finally, I couldn’t finish our camp discussion without giving a nod to one of my favorite movies, a tour de force in the summer camp genre: Meatballs

That’s it for my foolin’ around (for now).

Let’s Party Mondays: Start Your Engines, A Car Party!

Well, I was strolling the web and checking out Blogs last week and I hit the jackpot. How? I found inspiration for Let’s Party Mondays (I gotta tell ya, I wasn’t sure if it was going to make it another week. It seems to have the staying power of my last diet.) And I also found a kindred spirit – someone that loves kid parties too!

So, thank you Momma’s Gone Over the Wall your “Things That Go” Party has inspired today’s theme: Cars

Food

I think what I love most about Momma’s “Things That Go” Party is the food. Yeah sure,they had great cakes. But, extending the vehicle theme to the crudités (I could say cut-up vegetables, but I’m feeling fancy) and fruit – GENIUS! I would also like to point out the cookies offered. They are brilliant in their simplicity — Traffic Light Cookies with a red, yellow and green M&M. I am so pumped (and on my second cup of coffee) I’m going to hit you with a quick Haiku:

Things That Go Party
Garden bounty put on wheels
Cookies stop traffic

Brava Momma’s Gone Over the Wall!

Games

Momma’s party reminded of a Cars party we attended at our sister offices in eastern Pennsylvania. They created the “Tow Mater” game. They had paper cut outs of the different characters from the movie Cars with paper clips around the edges. Using a stick with a magnet hanging from it, guests “towed” cars out of the pile up. If only tow trucks were so popular in real life!

And because I can’t get my mind off those Traffic Light Cookies, there is the classic game, Red Light/Green Light. It is expertly detailed at Games Kids Play. They also have several rhymes that can be used in selecting who is “It” on the site. I have heard the staff chanting “Eenie Meenie” lately (another gift from camp) and they always seem accepting of the results – some sort of kid code.

Another activity that might be fun is a car race. My XY chromosome staffer is lousy with matchbox cars. As a group, it may be fun to determine the fastest with a ramp. So each guest takes turns grabbing a car and racing it against others. You keep going till you get it to the top few. Then to up the drama you might pull out a special car to compete – kind of like a “shill” or bad guy in Professional Wrestling (that is Sports Entertainment) – “El Diablo, the hot shot”. Get the kids all worked up to see if the cars they have raced can beat “El Diablo”. We are working on our track — we will keep you updated.

Books (Why books? Click here to find out and you can witness yet another Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Metaphor)

Of course any Disney Cars book would be a strong choice, but some other fun options would be:

  • Cars, Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scary
  • If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
  • Wheels On The Race Car by Alex Zane & James Warhola

Have some more Car ideas? Park them in the comments. And if you have a great idea for Let’s Party Mondays, cruise over to my email. (Enough car puns, I’m driving myself crazy – ugh, now I’m car sick – jeeze, it’s like I have no brakes — honk, if you’re done – Beep! Beep!)

Camp Continues: The Tracking Game

Now, the much anticipated Tracking Game for the Let’s Party Mondays, Camp theme .

The staff has always had a love of animals and the outdoors. We are members of the local zoo and have made frequent trips to our nearby arboretum. These two favorite haunts inspired the Tracking Game – I feel like someone got chocolate in my peanut butter and I came up the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of Camp party games. (Whoa, someone is a little full of themselves today).

Anywhoo, we received a small laminated tracking card of animals of the Northeast when we joined our local zoo. It has squirrels, deer, rabbits, etc. The staff loves to try to find muddy tracks along the wood line behind the house. (Let’s say that’s the “Peanut Butter”.) On our last trip to the arboretum, they handed out a sheet of paper with six boxes on it and a crayon. As you walked the trail, there were these informational signs and below the sign there was a rubbing plate with leaves one it. At each sign, you would rub the corresponding plate. At the end, all the boxes were filled in with cool leaf designs. (That would be the “Chocolate”.) So, I thought why not have rubbing plates with animal tracks and have the kids discover them as they search the backyard. (And there you have the “Peanut Butter Cup”.)

Using my tracking card as a guide, I created these rubbing plates which the staff helped me decorate. I tried two methods: 1) piling on glue as paint (which takes a while to dry) 2) cutting out paper and gluing (takes a while to cut out and doesn’t have as great of a raised effect). And if you don’t want your dishes and laundry to pile up while you are monkeying around with animal tracks, I found a great third option: buy them . They look great and you can have more of them – I could only squeeze out five on my own. I would still attach them to cardboard and decorate the board — it looks cool and the staff had fun decorating. I included a clue because some of the tracks look similar.

To play, scatter and hide the plates all over you backyard. Then give each participant a sheet (newsprint works the best because it is really thin and the rubbings show up very easily) with a space assigned for each animal. Here’s one way…

When they fill in their sheet, they can earn a prize or maybe a badge declaring they are a solid tracker. Okay, there you have it the Tracking Game – I’m open to a better name the “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of Camp Party Games” is a little wordy.

Gotta go, I have this overwhelming desire for candy.

Let’s Party Mondays: Hello Campers!

Hey, it’s Monday again — let’s party! Today’s theme is Camp!

As you know by now, I am loving Camp at the moment. The morning day camp the staffers attended was a big hit and it sent me into a nostalgic frenzy. (ahhh, Camp Arrowhead, Good times…) But, my love of camp has been taken to a new level this week — the staffers are attending Nature Camp this week. That is 4 1/2 hours a day Monday through Friday. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for — EVERYONE!

Besides giving all of us a break from each other, (I’m banking on “absence makes the heart grow fonder” all around) the staffers came home with great games, crafts and were so tired they had very little fight left in them — JACKPOT!

I’m not the only one loving camp at the moment. My favorite magazines have weighed in with some great ideas as well. So, here’s a little somunsomun I put together — welcome to Camp!

Decorations

Now is the time to drag out that dusty tent you may have or borrow one or at the very least hang a simple tarp. I found a very competent video that explains how to make a tent out of a tarp. If you make a tent happen — sit back, you are golden.

If you still want to take it up a notch, I say go for the campfire. Fire and kids seem a bit dicey for me — I’m looking for theater here. I would pile a few logs together and create a faux fire — maybe some orange and yellow tissue paper. I didn’t get to try this out yet, but I was thinking of a small fan with crepe paper ribbons attached to give the illusion of flickering flames. I’m not sure if that would work — if I can make that happen you will be the first to know. (Maybe the second, I may have to explain myself to the neighbors)

Cake

I don’t want to talk about cake — let’s talk S’mores. S’mores and Camping are like Peanut Butter and Jelly, Macaroni and Cheese, Captain and Tennille (Did anyone get that last one? Sometimes, I really am just writing for myself.) So, I offer several S’more options:

Activity

My Mom saved the August issue of Family Fun magazine because it had some great camp crafts. The Totem Pole was her favorite. You have each person create a self-portrait on a paper plate using markers, natural materials and white glue. When the glue dries, tape the plates to a large stick and set the stick into the ground – wahlah a Totem Pole. Nice work, Mom.

Game

Now, there are various iterations of tag and the staff has played quite a few of them at camp — to rave reviews I might add. Now, the Party MOMster usually shies away from tag because someone is “it”. Everyone runs away from the person that is “it” – it just feels wrong to me. But, those super smart camp counselors have teams of people being it – no one is left to be a pariah. Brilliant! I promise a sampling of the most-loved tag options from the staff by the end of the week.

I have got so much more to say including a great game that the staff and I started today. It’s drying overnight. (Oh, are you intrigued?) So, I’m calling it a night and just making my Monday deadline. We will have more Camp ideas for you tomorrow. But, feel free to pitch in a few of your own. (That whole Golden Graham thing has got me a bit down too — that Cinderella song has me all choked up)

Ode to "Bacon Concentrate"

Feeling Giddy. Am I Dreaming?
My once ordinary mug is steaming.

Can it be? Is it true?
Cake in minutes from chocolate goo.

I StumbleUpon this magic trick —
tablespoons of ingredients, microwaved quick.

Not just a fan, but a devotee.
Bacon Concentrate is the food blog for me.

I am completely overcome. Is there really any wonder why I am moved to poetry today? A recipe that allows you to make cake in a coffee mug that you microwave — Brilliant! When I StumbledUpon Bacon Concentrate the other day and saw this recipe, I just loved the IDEA of it. But, I tried it last night and feel…complete. I have found what I was missing: the ability to have chocolate cake in a moments notice.

I may need to practice this recipe and fine tune it. (I am more than willing) There are many helpful adjustments and additions in the comments. (Comments the gorgeous sprinkles on the cupcakes of a post) Mr. Party MOMster was not as moved as I was. But, he’s really an ice cream guy. In the words of one-hit 80’s wonder, Matthew Wilder, “Ain’t nothing gonna break a my stride” (Feel free to click and rock a little — maybe rock is a bit strong. Tap your toe energetically).

Spread the word, it can be done, Cake-in-a-mug-in-minutes. My beloved MacGyver would be proud. If anyone has any other microwave dessert recipes — bring ’em on!

Xanadu Barrettes


Party Tableau from My Talented Staffers

Super Foolishness (According to Me!)