A Painting Party!

sweet-tableWe recently hosted a painting party and it was so much fun! It combined both art and baking and the kids really enjoyed it. For the craft we used painters tape so that the kids could create little masterpieces. The cupcake activity was very well received, not surprising, which kid doesn’t like candy!!!cupcake_edited-1paint-popspaint-pots-and-popsrainbow-vegetablesrainbowcandy_edited-1tablescape_edited-1

Vegan Lasagna

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Soooo since I’m on a roll with the vegan recipes, I thought I would try out another one. Honest truth about this one, it takes a looooonnnnng time to make, like I’m talking from start to finish about 3 hours. I did it in stages which I actually think it made it feel longer because I was constantly in the kitchen. However, it was completely worth it, it was absolutely delicious and even tasted like cheese, so much so that my 4 year old said “I really like the cheese” (haha – little did he know it was tofu). If you’ve got the time, check out the recipe here – it’s well worth it, I promise. I added a layer of eggplant to give it that meaty texture. I sliced the eggplant and lightly cooked it in olive oil before putting it in the lasagna.

 

Spelt Cinnamon Raisin Bread

img_8466This bread will honestly melt in your mouth and oozes yumminess (the truth though, you’ve got to eat it right out of the oven with butter) otherwise it definitely tastes as healthy as it sounds. I got the recipe from Texanerin Baking and followed it pretty much exactly. If you’re following some kind of special diet (which chances are you’re trying, since it’s that time of year) you could have it with earth balance “butter” instead and feel even better about eating half of the loaf in one sitting. Treat yourself to a cup of tea and slice (or the whole loaf) and enjoy!

 

How to Make a Holiday Wreath!

wreathgirlsLast week we hosted a Wreath Workshop (which was just for moms, no kiddies allowed, which meant there was wine)! If you missed the workshop but would like to make your own wreath follow the instructions below.Materials

1 bough of pine

1 bough of evergreen or any other type of Christmas greenery

1 coat hanger

Pliers

Pine cones

Ribbon

Green Wire (can be purchase at the dollar store)

Cranberries

table-top-wreatwreath-workshop-whole-roomDirections

ImageStep 1: Using gardening shears cut off sections of your boughs that will be good size for your wreath. Using your pliers turn your coat hanger into a circle. It’s best to use a somewhat flimsy wire coat hanger, as the stiff ones are harder to manipulate. Once you have formed your circle you can begin designing your wreath. For those of us with Type A personality you can lay out your whole wreath in advance and get the exact look you desire. For those of who are a bit more whimsical you can create as you go along. Select pieces from your boughs and attach them to the wire circle by using your green wire. You should work with one very long piece of wire as opposed to continually cutting pieces. You need to affix your greenery by simply wrapping the green wire around the coat hanger as well as the piece of bough.

wreath-girlsStep 2:

ImageYour wreath will slowly begin to take shape, a trick to making a full wreath is to use two different types of boughs. However, if you prefer the look of one you can stick to just one. Once you have completed your wreath you can use your gardening shears to give it a bit of a haircut if needed. Now you can get all fancy and add all sorts of doodads to your wreath, or you can just leave it plain. To attach the pine cones I took the green wire and wrapped it around the pine cone, making sure it was not too visible. You can attach the pine cone to the wreath using a “twist tie” method. The trick is to hide the green wire within the pine so that it’s not too visible, it blends really well so it’s not too much of a difficult trick! Also remember when adding your pine cones that things in 3’s are usually the best combo for design. You can now add a ribbon to your wreath so that you can hang it or you can place it on a table and add some candles.

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Gingerbread Workshop!

img_7200Looking for an easy and fun activity for your next holiday party? Try doing gingerbread houses, everyone loves them and they’re so fun to decorate. We used muffin tins to sort out all the candies and made our gingerbread houses out of graham crackers (which are easier for little hands to manipulate). If you’re feeling adventurous you could make gingerbread houses from scratch, or buy pre-made kits from a shop. Gingerbread houses are a great way to keep your guests entertained – turn it into a contest with prizes and everyone will want to play! gingerbreadtableimg_7197img_7200img_7197img_7193img_7204gingerbreadtablekitchen-wallkidsgingerbread

Santa at Seasons!

img_7130-2The big guy in red came a little earlier this year than normal but that means our guests have no excuses for not getting their holiday cards out on time! It was a fun filled day with lots of crafts and treats. img_7158A couple tips if you’re going to be hosting a Christmas party, a very simple craft for the kids is to make a card/write a letter to dear ol’ St.Nick. Another easy decorating tip that will take your cupcakes to the next level, use a doily as the wrapper. We used wrapping paper for the backdrop for our sweet table – which would work for any dessert or appetizer station. img_7180img_7155img_7176img_7157img_7172

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Happy Halloween!

img_7057I’m not going to lie – I will be glad when Halloween is finished. It’s an insanely busy time of year for us – we have workshop after workshop followed by a haunted house. Wishing Halloween over just brings Christmas faster and I know, that on Tuesday morning when I wake up, Christmas will have barfed inside every store window. I kind of like the idea of a small break between the two – I feel like the Americans get this with having Thanksgiving in November, but us Canadians we just dive right into the holiday spirit. I’m ready for hibernation from the holidays for just a wee bit. Guess I’m out of luck, given that I run a “seasonal” business! On that note, Happy Halloween!!!! Hope it’s a fun, safe evening for all!

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Tips for hosting a Halloween Parties!

img_6965Maybe, you’ve decided to host a last minute Halloween Party – cause either you like a challenge or you’re just plain crazy. On the topic of last minute decision making, if you’ve forgotten it’s Halloween altogether, check out our collaborative post on Rebel Mama for quick and easy costume ideas! We’ve hosted quite a few halloween events this past month, with our biggest yet to come, here are our tips:

  • Have a plan – or a schedule and keep on top of it, bored children pumped fill of sugar are a terrible combination.
  • pick a couple halloween games the kids can play (Anna Luther from myLifeandKids has soooooo many great ones)
  • have an easy (non-messy) craft, the dollar store sells great halloween foamies (which come with stickers) so no need to worry about glue. You could pre-cut orange pumpkins and have the kids decorate them. If you’re throwing a party for older kids and don’t mind a little mess – check out HGTV for a whole gallery of ideas.
  • Cookie decorating is a great activity for halloween but does come along with lots of mess – so use your discretion. For little hands, I recommend keeping the icing in bowls and giving them spatulas to spread it with. For medium size hands, you can fill squeeze bottles with icing and for the bigger hands go all out with icing bags.
  • Don’t go crazy, keep it simple (as long as you’ve got candy most kids are happy with that).

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Shopkins Party!

IMG_6934.jpgTo be honest, I had never heard of shopkins until recently (I have a 4 year old boy, ask me anything about superheroes and ninja turtles – I’ve got all the answers). Now that I’m a veteran in the world of shopkins I think it’s safe to say if I was a little girl today I would be all over this craze. At first I didn’t quite get it, now that I’ve thrown a shopkins birthday, I most certainly understand the obsession with these little, adorable toys.

If you’re throwing a shopkins birthday, here are three helpful tips.

  1. All you need is pink and purple decorations, then visit Party City or your local dollar store to add some shopkins bling.
  2. Making necklaces/bracelets are the perfect craft, use big wooden beads if you’re hosting a party for wee little hands as they’re easier to manipulate.img_6945img_7578
  3. If you want to throw in a baking activity and don’t want the mess, you could buy chocolate chip cookies, get some candy googly eyes and make kooky cookie! We made ours out of fondant (also an option). img_7571img_7573img_6932img_7574