Archive | September, 2014

Dessert Party

29 Sep

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Hello everyone. I had a birthday this month. (Shout out to all September borns!)

Initially I wanted to have an intimate gathering. A cooking party, one where a chef comes and demonstrates while the guests follow and prepare the gourmet meal they then indulge in. I soon realized this was well above my means.

What I did instead was just as good. I had a dessert party! A dessert beach party to be exact! Yup, a party where the entire menu is dessert. I also had the fortune and pleasure of being able to have it at a beach house. Dessert, sand, ocean. Pretty perfect.

INSPIRATION
The inspiration for my party was…wait for it…. “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic” a.k.a MLP FIM. Yes, this adult over here is a huge fan of the series. I’ve been a fan of My Little Pony since the original series back in the day. I’m sure most people are vaguely aware that the series has been revamped quite a few times but I have to say that this current version (Generation 4 or G4) is the best! But I digress.

I knew I wanted a party inspired by them but having MLP FIM plates, tablecloth and loot bags would be a bit much even for me. I decided to have a more abstract interpretation of the show.

On the show, the ponies are always having a good time and throwing some kind of party usually put together by resident party planner and my favourite character Pinkie Pie. For this reason I chose pink as the colour of my decor.

At their parties the menus almost solely consist of dessert. Hence my idea to have a dessert party!

THE PARTY
Every shindig I throw together no matter how big or small how casual or fancy I have a party plan. This is where I put together important bits of info to guide me as I plan. Sometimes it’s written, sometimes I put it in my phone and sometimes it’s just in my head but the point is that it’s there.

PARTY PLAN

WHAT: Birthday- Dessert Party

WHEN: September 6th 2014

WHERE: Beachhouse at X location

WHO: Insert guest list here

THEME: MLP FIM /Dessert

MENU: Insert menu here

ENTERTAINMENT: This is where you decide how you keep ypur guests bustm. Anything from an iTunes playlist to a game of monopoly to a performance by a belly dancer goes here.

BUDGET: Arguably the most important part of the party plan.
My budget was $100 US

Wait…what! An entire party for 25 plus persons feeding them dessert!(easily the most expensive part of any meal) for $100 US! No way!

Yes way. I am the poor party girl. I entertain and live fabulously on a budget!

HOW: I decided to do it potluck style. I asked each guest(or couple) to bring a dessert. That way each person only spent money on one dish but put altogether we had quite a spread.

THE LIST
This is my menu
1) Strawberry Trifle

2) Chocolate Trifle (ended up being baked chocolate mousse cake)

3) Brownies

4) Blondies

5)Cheesecake (one with strawberry and the other with cherry topping)

6)Coconut mousse

7) Ambrosia Salad

8) White chocolate chip cookies

9) Strawberry Strudel

10) Ice Cream

11) Fruit Tarts

12) Coconut Loaf

13)Chocolate Bread Pudding

14) Jello

Additionally we had tuna, cheese and cucumber sandwiches as well as fishcakes for those who wanted a break from the sweetness.

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Fruit tarts

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Blondies being sliced

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Some of the desserts

Of course there were drinks. From juice to coke wine, rum and vodka(birthday cake flavoured!), tipsy gummy bears and jello shots!

DECOR
As I said pink was the colour of choice. In an effort to stick to my budget coupled with my lack of time and energy to DIY, I had very minimal decorations but I think it worked out just fine.

1) Triangle flag banners
I bought three of these 9 foot long card banners. They were pink and white with alternating patterns of polka dots and stripes. I got them from a craft/toy store and they werw very inexpensive.

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The banners

2)Flowers
I usually get flowers from my supermarket. They are reasonable and there’s a decent selection. To save money, you could buy 2 or 3 flowers and either add some bulk with foliage from your garden or leave them just so for a minimalist look. This is what I usually do but I got crazy and bought a full bouquet with pink being the main colour of course.

3)Table
I bought a dirt cheap plastic tablecloth in flamingo pink. Not wanting to hide to beautiful dark wood table entirely my sister folded the tablecloth lengthways into 1/3’s and made it into a table runner.

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Table runner and flowers

4) Balloons
What a controversial decoration. For years I considered them tacky. A six year old birthday? Yeah. A high school dance? Fine, maybe. A wedding or a conference? NO!
Now I don’t feel that way at all. All over the net I’ve seen some seriously tasteful balloon decorations. Also, if you like balloons..use them! They are cheap, fun and instantly say “party!”.
My sister and mother got me three regular latex balloons filled with helium( they don’t last as long as heluim balloons) for my welcome home which happened 5 days earlier. They still had a little life in them so I tied them to the gate of the beach house so guests could find us.

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The balloons on day 1(sorry no party pics of them)

5) Candles
More for the ambience than decoration. I got a Glade candle in Coral Lagoon scent. Glade, BBW and similar brands are cheaper alternatives to fancy schmancy pricey designer candles.

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Glade candle

ENTERTAINMENT
Music
My sister’s bf set up a laptop and speakers and hooked it up to the TV. He had a playlist going most of the evening but later in we switched to YouTube requests and karaoke. Fun times!

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The entertainment system and me being a total creep in the window.

Hula(Hoola) hoop
Oh yes, inspired once more by MLP FIM. In their land Equestria, technology doesn’t exist and the ponies entetain themselves with old fashioned passtimes like apple bobbing and ball bouncing. I had 2 hoola hoops and later on in the evening some of us retreated to the sand and had a serious hooping session. I won!
There was also a beach ball (for those who couldn’t hoola hoop)

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View from the beach where the hoop-off took place.

THE CAKE
Half of my budget was spent on my cake. I love baking but who wants to have to make their own birthday cake? I ordered a dark chocolate mousse on chocolate sponge. It was topped with thick white chocolate curls and sliced strawberries. It was pure, smooth chocolaty evil. And we loved it!

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Decadence

I had an old fashioned “birthday song singing, speech giving cake sticking” It was touching.

That’s it in a nutshell. Another birthday well spent with excellent company. I have to admit I had been feeling really down in the days leading up to and on my birthday. This happened to me last year as well (I hope it doesn’t become a regular thing). By the end of the night I felt better and for that I am grateful. (especially after that hooping sesh!)
Wishing everyone an awesome day!

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Fab Find (or not)

11 Sep

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Hello all

I’m back on the beauty vibe today where I’ll be reviewing “Baby Skin” by Maybelline. Let me first acknowledge that this isn’t brand new. It seems to have been around for at least 1 year and so many beauty bloggers/vloggers have already reviewed it. However I’ve only recently used it so I will now add my 2 cents as it were.

Let me first explain briefly what it is. It’s a face product that boasts “blur technology” and is meant to “Instantly erase pores”. It isn’t meant to actually shrink or fill in pores just make them a lot less visible.

Now let me tell you how I came across this product. No I wasn’t actively looking for pore minimizer (even though I have massive pores). I was in the supermarket just perusing the cosmetics section and there it was not too far from “babylips” which I LOVE!
When I saw it I was instantly intrigued. Of course it looked super cute just like baby lips packaging then I read what it does! Erasing pores? I was sooo there.

I bought it with not so much as a second thought (maybe a second but definitely not a third). It cost the equivalent of about $6 US, which is the price I hear it goes for most places. This appealed to the poor party girl in me, for a pore minimizer this was a steal. In fact I don’t evem own any pore minimizer because it tends to be one of those things that run you at least $30 US! and this poorpartygirl AIN’T.GOT.TIME.FOR.THAT (lol).

Anyhow onto the review…..

I tried it literally as soon as I got home and could get it out of the package. With clean hands I squeezed a half of a pea sized amount onto my palm and proceeded to gently pat then spread it over my problem area (either side of my nose)

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It looks like gel. There was no real smell that I could appreciate. The way it feels is the most interesting part of all. I doesn’t really feel like anything I’ve ever touched. It’s not sticky like gel would be, it has a slightly greasy feel when you first touch it but that feeling quickly becomes powdery once you actually apply it. Difficult to describe.

Now did it actually work? Was this in fact a super cheap version of those fancy high end pore erasing/filling products? Was it a fab find? Or not?

…………………………………………………………

Not! I was soooo disappointed! I love Baby Lips and I think Maybelline makes good products in general but this one did not deliver it’s promise.
I actually watched a couple reviews of this on YouTube to see if maybe I was applying it wrong, I wasn’t. I tried it at least 4 times.

I saw one review where the girl was super duper impressed. No one esle really seemed to be but many of them did confess that it made their makeup go on better and so it functioned more as a primer than anything else.

I personally didn’t find any difference in makeup application.

I also noted that one vlogger said she thinks if your pores are too big it won’t work. Maybe that’s why it did nothing for me. But really, it’s people with big pores who actually need a product to erase them so…..

Anyhow the verdict is NOT so fab of a find. It’s certainly affordable but it doesn’t do what it claims to making it something I wouldn’t buy again. However I implore anyone interested to try it themselves and get a true verdict.

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

Tipsy (gummy) bears and Jell-O Shots

9 Sep

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Hello all. So I had a birthday recently (Sept 6th- shout out to all Virgos!) and I had a dessert party! But this post isn’t about that. No, no no. Inspired by my dessert theme however I decided to make 2 alcoholic treats…..

1) Vodka infused gummy bears
2) Jell-O shots

This post is about these 2 treats and how I combined them.



TIPSY BEARS
I first learnt of the existence of these about 1 1/2 years ago when my sister decided to make them for her 25th birthday. She called them Drunken Gummy bears (as per the name used on the Internet).

I remember everyone being able to eat 2 maybe 3 of these max cause they were so potent! All but that one friend who had so many that by the end of the night he was walking like a drunken gummy bear himself (shout out to my friend Mark!). Anyhow, the recipe she used which was based on multiple sources asked that the gummy bears be soaked at least 3 days prior to use. Having experienced 3 day infused gummies, I decided to prepare mine the day before. Hence my term Tipsy gummies rather than full on drunk.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Gummy bears ( the amount you use depends on the number of people you plan to serve and their general tolerance for strong alcohol)
Side note, I’m pretty sure other gummy treats can be used e.g gummy worms (the ones without the acidic sugary coating) could make a great Halloween drunken snack.

2) Vodka – whatever brand you prefer.

3) Bowl- for mixing the gummies.
WHAT TO DO 

1) Pour desired amount of gummies in appropriate sized bowl.

2) Pour on vodka so that all the gummies are covered (not submerged and swimming)

3) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Tips 
I took them out about twice in the 24 hours to give a stir (the gummies become quite congealed) and the second time I added a dash more vodka because they had absorbed it all.
Before serving I took them out of the fridge for about an hour so they would soften and I could scoop them out properly.

I served mine in plastic shot glasses.

And it is that simple.

Jell-O SHOTS




Ahh jell-o. Something I definitely have a love-hate relationship with. I love that it looks so fun, that it’s been around for so long, that it’s so low in calories. However I often cannot get past 2 spoonfuls before becoming painfully aware that I am eating something that wobbles (bleh!)
I do on the other hand ADORE their puddings. I could eat chocolate jell-o pudding evey day for the rest of my life!

That being said, in keeping with my dessert party I decided jell-o (a classic family dessert) was a good idea. Then I was like hey! Let’s add alcohol for a really fun time! What I love most of all about jell-o, as a woman on a budget ( shout out to my fellow poor party girls!) is that it is dirt cheap! A small box is under $1(US) literally eveywhere you go. I used 1 small box to make 40 shots (using small plastic shot glasses)

I have certainly tasted a few jell-o shots in my time but I never made any. Turns out it’s very simple. I also learnt that I didn’t have to use vodka as the alcohol, I could also use rum! (#whoknew)

I made 2 flavours :1) watermelon with regular vodka and 2)raspberry with raspberry flavoured rum.

I got the recipe from a youtube video youtube recipe and the idea to use rum from her.

What you need:

1) 1 small package of jell-o(or other gelatin snack) -I used raspberry for this but use preferred flavour.

2)1 cup boiling water.

3) 1 cup cold water.

4) 1 cup Bacardi flavoured rum (or other flavour, or vodka)

5) Shot glasses (or other suitable small containers).

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Ingredients for jell-o shot fun

What to do:
1) Dissolve jell-o in 1 cup of hot water.

2) Add 1 cup cold water and stir well.

3) Add 1 cup of rum/vodka and mix.

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The mixed product.

4) I placed this liquid into a measuring cup (because the little spout makes it easier for pouring)

THE TWIST!
5) For my raspberry shots I decided to mix poisons as it were and dropped 2-3 tipsy gummies in the bottom of the shot glasses before adding the jell-o.

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Tipsy bears

6) Pour mixture into glasses and let chill and solidify. I left mine overnight to ensure proper consistency.

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The finished product (if you turn your head sideways and squint you can see the gummies in the bottom…lol)

Tips 
I kept them in the fridge for most of the party intermittently taking them out and going around until they’re were none left.

In summary both vodka infused gummies and jell-o shots are a fun inexpensive way to serve both alcohol and an adult treat. You need no more than 2 cups of alcohol to pull off both (that’s like a small bottle of vodka or rum)

I had fun making these and more fun watching my guests devour them with a mixture of delight and horror.

Look out for a post on the rest of my birthday dessert party (on a budget of course) and have am awesome day!

Fab Find!

4 Sep

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Hello all! It’s been about 6 months since I last posted anything! I’m a lazy blogger (how can I hope to build any type of following?) I solemnly swear not to let my life overwhelm me so much that I cannot do things I actually enjoy! That said, let’s get to it.

This is a mini post really (I just NEEDED to post anything to get back onto the blogger-train). Its about some Essie nail polish (ah-hem..lacquer) I purchased from a drug store yesterday.
As anyone into nail polish knows Essie can tend to be one of the more expensive well known brands. They make good polish, have great colours and I suppose for that reason continue to be leading brand. I have been trying to start an Essie collection for almost 2 years and have scoured many a drug store in search. But the price always stumps me! Why pay $8.50(US) for this bottle of polish when I can get as many as 3 in another brand for that money? As a poor party girl I need to make every dollar count! So I would walk away with nothing each and every time.

I was given a bottle as a gift last Christmas and in a moment of weakness purchased a bottle myself a couple months( $9US) ago bringing my grand total to 2! Not much of a collection.

However yesterday I walked into this local drugstore (that I hadn’t been in for like 2 years!) and boom! Essie polishes selling for the equivalent of $6(US). Now this might not seem like a HUGE difference…. $6 vs $8.50 but for me it makes the difference between buying 1 polish and purchashing 3 or 4 at once. It’s that much more reasonable. I saved $10US in total which could buy me another polish or some lip balm or some half decent lunch or a cute top etc, you get the idea.

The moral of this post? Holding out to find a bargin almost always works out.
Sure you may feel a little cheap or even lame for not dropping the bucks on what you want when you want it, but remember most of us live life on a budget and throwing about cash like there’s no tomorrow is what helped trigger the debt crisis the entire western hemisphere continues to face (how’s that for food for thought?).

So yes I waited over 1 year but now I’m well on my way to solid Essie collection and I have money to spare! Thats how a poor party girl does it.

Look forward to more regular posts and have an awesome day!

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