This is so easy and so yummy!! You can take your favorite corn muffin recipe and just add hot dogs. I used my mom’s “Very Corny Corn Muffin” recipe – makes 36 mini corn dog bites.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups 1% milk
- 2 tbs canola oil
- 1 cup canned cream corn
- 2 diced hot dogs
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Mix all ingredients together. (Batter may appear thin, don’t worry it will be perfect)
3. Grease mini muffin pan
4. Fill pan with batter
5. Bake 10-12 minutes
My son turned 1 this year. Its amazing how everyone said it would fly by and I believed them and really really tried to live in the moment and cherish every second. It still flew by!
However, the fun part is that we got to throw a big Baseball themed 1st Birthday Party.
Some fun elements were a flag banner that featured photos from every month of life from birth to 12 months. It was a fun way to show guests how much he’s grown and changed. And a “Happy Birthday” banner hung above the high chair.
A sandwich board chalkboard on the curb guided guests the gate leading to the backyard. Above the gate hung another flag banner that said “Admissions” and a little “Gate B” sign on the gate for fun. (B is for Bennett) As guests entered the backyard, a table was set up with some fun ballpark goodies.
• Cotton Candy hanging on a tree branch
• Apothecary jars and mason jars filled with peanuts and sunflower seeds
• Vintage cracker jacks wrapped up with a tag that said “Thank You for Helping to Make Bennett’s Birthday a Grand Slam.”
• Some classic treats like Red Vines, Big League Chew, Twix and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
• An old wooden bat for guests to sign for the birthday boy
• And some pictures from a recent photoshoot
Of course, what’s a baseball party without baseball cupcakes…. I made some Padres pennant flag toppers since the San Diego Padres are my husbands favorite team. The tables were covered with a light gray cloth and baseball jersey pinstripe overlays. The centerpieces were a 2′x2′ astroturf square with apothecary jars filled with baseballs and mason jars in the four corners with a single white rose (from Eufloria) to represent a baseball diamond. And finally, a snack bar filled with some yummy classics: hot dogs, fritto boats, nachos, pretzels, churros and some fresh fruit.
We played wiffle ball in the yard and I made a “Schmitz Stadium” flag banner to hang above the “ball field.” We purchased foam fingers for the teams and to top it off… I made family shirts for our little nuclear family. It has our names and ages on the back.
It was a blessed day for my little man. So much fun hanging out with family and friends.
I saw this done on Pinterest, but the nest was made out of chinese noodles instead. These nests are shredded wheat done up like rice crispy treats with the melted butter and marshmallows. Then drop a couple egg shaped candies, these ones are Reese’s Pieces, and Cadbury Chocolate Eggs, and then place a Peep on top. I found these chocolate covered Peeps at Wal Mart.
A super cute treat for an Easter gathering.
I got this recipe from a friend who got it from a friend who got it from a friend…and so on and so on. I have no idea where this originated or I would give credit where credit was due. However, I do love this recipe, and wanted to share it with all of you. I found all the ingredients on the same shelf at Walmart for a total of $8.
Ingredients / Supplies
• 4 Cups – hot tap water
• 1 Fels-Naptha soap bar (or Ivory soap bar)
• 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (make sure its washing soda not regular baking soda)
• ½ Cup Borax
• 5-gallon bucket
• Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
• Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
• Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
• Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
Top Load Machine – 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
Front Load Machines – ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
I made this wreath this year to match our multi-colored theme indoors. I love make a door arrangement of some kind that matches what people will see on the inside. It gives a little taste of what is to come.
YOU WILL NEED:
• wire wreath form (you can get this at any craft store)
• paddle wire (also at your local craft store)
• wire cutters
• hot glue gun
• assortment of ornaments in different shapes and colors (I bought these from Walmart at the end of the season, they were 75% off. These ones are also shatterproof, but you can use any ornaments that you like)
Wrap paddle wire around the wire wreath form – this will give you more surface area for the ornaments to sit on.
Start gluing the largest ornaments first – you can do this in a pattern or randomly.
Then continue on to the next largest size ornaments
Fill in the gaps with the smaller ornaments
When you are finished you will bask in the glory of your custom designed ornament wreath.
These journals were easy to make and turned out beautiful. I bought composition books at my local office supply store, and scrapbooking supplies at my local craft store and voila….a beautiful journal. What’s really fun about this project is that you can get scrapbook paper that fits the personality of whomever you’re making it for…from masculine to young teenager girls, it doesn’t matter. And they don’t necessarily need to be used as journals. My friend uses hers as a home wish list. She sees something in a magazine, like a kitchen design she loves, then she cuts it out and pastes it into her design book. I use mine as a place where I brainstorm parties and events.
Our friends Loren and Courtney just got married on September 11, 2010. Although we did not have anything to do with the planning or vision, except to recommend a vendor here and there, we must show off this wedding. Courtney did an absolutely fabulous job coordinating her perfect wedding. Her colors were brown and orange. The day was elegant, tasteful, and beautiful. Kudos to Courtney, a fellow lover of party planning.
Her vendors are as follows:
Venue: Dana Powers House, Nipomo CA
Flowers: Lori Boe Floral Design, Arroyo Grande CA
Dress: David’s Bridal
Hair & Make-up: Debra Angell, Los Osos CA
Tuxedo Rentals: A Heart’s Desire, San Luis Obispo CA
Caterer: Phoenix Fine Catering, San Luis Obispo CA
Cake: Windy City Cakery, Orcutt CA
Photographer: ME!! Summer Schmitz, Nipomo CA
I am a second shooter for Amy Wellenkamp Photographers on the weekends. I don’t usually shoot weddings on my own, but these two are my friends and I just couldn’t say no. A big THANK YOU goes out to Amy though, she came out and helped me shoot the ceremony, two photographers is always better than one. Here are some photos I’d like to share with you.
Thank you Loren and Courtney Radis for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful day. You are such a sweet and loving couple, so happy for you two!!
My husband and I are photographers as well, and one thing we love to do for our friends that are having babies, is make a Blessing Book for them. We have noticed a trend in belly photography that includes more of the daddy-to-be. We have a photoshoot with the parents-to-be during the 7th month of pregnancy. That way, mommy is nice and round but not so big that she’ll feel icky about her photos. We go on location locally to a place of the parents choosing. We usually shoot around 200-300 images, then we narrow them down to somewhere between 50 and 75 photos. We upload them to a password protected, online album, and send the link and password to the the parents. They look them over, send the link to all their family and friends, and then narrow them down again to their favorite 20-30 images. We take those 20-30 images and design a photo book, using cute backgrounds, and their nursery colors. We send a proof to the parents to approve before we go to print. Once we get approval we order a photo book. There is a great deal of space around the photos for friends and family to write messages to the coming baby, or the family as a whole. People write blessings, or prayers, or advice. Its a really wonderful keepsake, and all of our friends have loved them so far.
Here are some images found in the book:
When planning a party or shower for friends, the host wants to spend time with people instead of spending all evening in the kitchen! So here is a menu that can be prepped almost entirely before hand!
Prep in advance: Cut a pocket in the chicken breast with a sharp knife. Make sure that the knife does not go all the way through the breast. Stuff the chicken breast with whatever ingredients appeal to you. We did three different stuffings and upon tasting them, evaluating and changing the recipes, here are three that I would recommend.
1. Pesto and sun-dried tomato mix. 1 C. Pesto, 1 C. cream cheese, 1 C. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. This will stuff about four chicken breasts.
2. Caprice mix. 4 Roma tomatoes chopped, 1 C. fresh mozzarella, 1/2 C. basil chopped. This will stuff about four chicken breasts.
3. Cordon bleu mix. 7 thicker slices of black forest ham chopped, 7 slices of swiss cheese chopped. This will stuff about 4 chicken breasts.
For the event we stuffed the chicken and then covered and refrigerated it until the day of the shower. On the day, one hour before cook chicken in oven to 350. I used convection since we had three trays of chicken. Bake about 45 minutes until a thermometer registers 160 degrees. After baking, slice the breasts into small slices so that guests can try several different kinds. This also eliminates waste for people who don’t want to eat a whole breast.
For the salad we served three large organic salad mixes (the big plastic boxes) with six baskets of strawberries sliced into it, about 4 cups of feta cheese, 3 cups of dried cranberries and 4 cups of candied walnuts. All the slicing and candying walnuts were done in advance. The strawberries were sliced the morning of the shower.
Two bags of dinner rolls were bought at costco.
All of this plus 27 chicken breasts fed about 42 people.
If you would like to serve appetizers at your event as we did, here are some easy ones to make:
2 C. cream cheese
1 C. chopped walnuts
2 C. blue cheese
Mix the cream cheese and walnuts until smooth. Gently fold in blue cheese. This can be served on crackers or bread, but is really phenomenal on granny smith apples. You can cut the apples the afternoon before the shower and put them in a bag with several tablespoons of lemon juice. Shake the apples well to coat. This will keep them from browning. The spread can be made up to four days in advance and stored in the refrigerator
Simply stack a dried apricot, a small slice of Asiago cheese and a pecan. This is so simple, and so, so good. No toothpick necessary. Just pick up the stack and pop it in your mouth!
Buy one whole brie round. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 min or until soft and runny. Meanwhile, saute
14 slices prosciutto
2/3 C. sundried tomatoes packed in oil
1/3 C. capers
After the brie is baked, put sautéed mixture over the top of brie wheel. Serve with crackers
…..It’s a New Lewis We’re Adoring!
Here is more on our shower for Jaime Lewis. The shower was at a friend of Pam’s, Brigitte Falkenhagen’s house. Brigitte’s house was simply amazing and gorgeous, there were really no decorations needed. She has a spanish style hacienda, with a beautiful courtyard, that’s where we had the shower. We made these 7 foot tall parasols out of pvc pipe, spray paint, ribbon, rocks and terra cotta pots. I think this was one of my greatest ideas ever. The funny thing is, I don’t think I worked on any of it….oh wait, I did anchor the pvc pipe in cement. The rest was all worked on by my husband, Matt, Laurene and Valerie.
Note: Make sure to take the parasol to the hardware store with you so that the width of the pipe is big enough to slide the parasol handle into it. The folks at the hardware store can cut the pipe down to any length for you.
1. Anchor the pvc pipe in some fence post concrete mix. We found it at the hardware store in 50lb bags for under $3. To Anchor: Line a bucket with a plastic grocery bag (make sure there are no holes), pour in some of the concrete mix, pour in water (just enough to moisten all the concrete), place the unpainted pvc pipe into the center, use a long level to make sure its straight. Let dry overnight. Remove the pole and concrete from the plastic bag, set outside to dry all the way through (this could take another day or two depending on how deep the concrete is).
2. Spray paint the pvc with your first color, let dry and put on a second coat. We recommend light coats so you don’t get drip mark. You can do as many coats as it takes to achieve the look you want.
3. Using painters tape, tape off the stripe pattern and then spray on your second color. We used a 2 inch wide tape.
4. Place the finished pole into any container and cover with dirt or rocks.
5. Tie bows at the ends of the parasol, use different colors and lengths to create a more interesting effect. Slide the parasol into the top of the pipe. You can use anything as your topper.
6. Bonus: We also added some crystals on one to make it look like rain drops.
We made two different sizes, four 7 foot tall stands, and two 4 foot stands. We placed the 7 foot tall stands in the courtyard, and one 4 foot tall stand on the food table and the other on the Welcome/Gift table.
More cute details:
We have been fortunate enough to work with the lovely Amanda Clardy, to help her with her wedding on the day of. She’s is a super creative, ecclectic, and organized woman so she doen’t need us to plan her whole day. Really, she just needs some man power on her big day, so that she can just enjoy herself. We’ll be decorating, setting up the buffet and serving beverages. We met with her yesterday and she said the sweetest thing. She said that she need to have someone there who was both artistic and reliable. That way she’ll know that without her around, her vision will come to fruition.
A big thank you to Amanda, for this super fun opportunity. We’re really excited about your big day!
My friend Valerie Wilson and I just planned a baby shower for our dear friend Jaime Lewis. She is having a boy. We came up with this play on the word “shower,” and found some similar ideas online at various sites. We loved incorporating an umbrella or parasol. We asked Jaime’s mom, Pam Johnson, to help us with the shower because she is sooooooooooooo talented and crafty. When we told her our idea, she came up with this invitation….isn’t the CUTEST!!?!?!!!!
“It’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s a little Lewis we’re adoring!”
I had a baby shower at my “day job” for the teacher I work with. She is having a girl, and her nursery colors are black, white and yellow. I was going to simply do helium balloons, and streamers in her colors since the shower was only going to last 30 minutes during the lunch break. So, I went shopping for exactly those, when all of sudden I had this epiphany. I found some tissue paper in the gift wrapping section. It had words like: Baby, Congrats, and love, printed on white tissue paper in pink, blue, yellow and green. Then it dawned on me…..THE PAPER FLOWERS!!! I had these pink paper lanterns left over from previous parties, as well as some ribbon. I only needed to buy the yellow polka dot ribbon and some tissue. I rushed home and whipped out, 6 of these lanterns. There are 3 paper flowers per lantern, and 3 different ribbons forming the bow. Our shower was a potluck, so I hung 3 lanterns over the food table, and 3 over the gift table. It was a smashing success and I spent very little time on the decoration.
I was reading an article in Self magazine from the Dec ’08 issue about volunteering and it got me thinking about where I spend my time. There’s nothing more rewarding than giving of yourself to a worthy cause. Find what you love to do and donate your time to an organization that is doing the same thing. Laurene and I love Brighten A Corner.
Brighten A Corner (BAC) is a ministry designed to help people who face extraordinary or overwhelming circumstances in practical and tangible ways. Much like the Extreme Home Makeover show, BAC goes into homes of people who have gone through a great deal of strife and they do a little remodeling, re-organizing, and redecorating. They are a local ministry that operates on donations and volunteers. If you’re looking to donate some time or finances we’d encourage you to check out Brighten A Corner.
In that article from Self magazine there was a small section with tips on “How to be a Good Giver,” here’s what it said:
1. TREAT VOLUNTEERING LIKE A JOB. You may not be paid, but you’re still obligated to arrive when you say you will and be friendly and professional.
2. BE COURTEOUS. Give a heads-up of at least two days if you need to cancel.
3. TAILOR YOUR COMMITMENT to your schedule. If you life is unpredictable, sign up for a one-day-only project so you don’t let anyone down.
4. ALLOW TIME to get into the habit. Volunteering is like starting a workout program; it takes a while to find your groove. If you’re not comfortable after a few tries somewhere, gracefully bail and find a better fit.
As I mentioned before, we threw a Paris themed party for a friend of ours who turned 50 this year. The invitations went out, and instructed everyone to wear black and white so that the birthday girl would stand out in pink. She showed up adorning a fabulous pink outfit with head to toe feathers. If you knew her, you wouldn’t expect anything less.
We threw a Paris themed birthday party for our friend who turned 50 this Spring. She had hoped to go to Paris for her birthday, but finances did not allow for it. So, we thought a Paris themed party was a fabulous alternative. This is the invitation, our colors were bright pink, black and white. On the back of the invitation we had directions to the party site. More pictures of the party to follow.
Well, we’ve got a couple different baby shower’s coming up, and I thought I’d share some of my ideas for activities. Most of my friends along with myself are not big fans of shower games, so these are a few non-threatening activities.
1. DOOR PRIZES: Set up an entry table, and as guests arrive have them self-address an envelop to a thank you card. Which means that you either need to supply the mommy-to-be with thank you cards or let her know in advance that you’ll be doing this and ask her to give you the ones she is using. Later the mommy-to-be will draw a name and that person wins a prize. Do this as many times throughout the party as you want. Also, having guests self address the envelops helps the mommy-to-be shave a little time off her busy schedule of writing all those thank you cards.
2. BABY GIFT BINGO: The basic idea is that your guests write down items that they think the mommy-to-be will be unwrapping at the party. Write one item per square, then pass out stickers to use as bingo markers. As the mommy-to-be is unwrapping presents, your guests will be very attentive, marking their items off their bingo cards in hopes of yelling “BINGO.” Now, often times your guests will want to write down their own gift that they brought. I usually handle this one of two ways. Either I have already written FREE on the center square and therefore they are not allowed to use their own gift, or, I do not include the FREE square and I let them use their own gift but only for one square.
HOW TO: Fashion a bingo card on the computer, bingo cards are basically tables that have 5 rows and 5 columns. Use a cute baby themed graphic that matches your theme at the top of the page. Then you can type out directions to the game, then insert your bingo table. You can type Free on the center square if you like, or you can allow your guest one free spot to place anywhere they want. Use colors that matches your theme to give it a little pizazz.
3. BLESSING BOOK: Since I am a photographer, this one is very special to me. I take prego pics of the parents-to-be, thats both mom and dad. And then they select 20 of their favorites. I design a coffeetable book with spaces for guests to write a special prayer or blessing over the baby, or perhaps some parenting advice. This will make a beautiful keepsake to be passed down years later. I also, design custom Thank You cards for the parents, so that when they’re sending out thank yous, their guest are also receiving a photo of them. I’ve done this after the baby was born to, and made it a birth announcement as well. But I digress… The blessing book can be set out at the entry table or passed around during the opening of gifts for guests to sign and look at: creating another experience at the shower.
We’re super siked, because we are planning two parties for February. The first one is a house warming/valentine’s day/birthday party all in one. We’ve gone shopping for paper for invites and favors. We spent a good couple of hours in the store at Michaels and had so much fun! The second party is a 50th birthday extravaganza, with a Sassy Paris theme. We’ve been doing some research on fun party favors. Stay tuned to see what we come up with for invites, and we’ll definitely post pics after the days event. Thanks for visiting us!!
Here is our business card.
the front and back
We have so many friends with businesses and everyone says you’ve got to create an identity package. So here it is. We officially have a logo.
I went to an early Thanksgiving potluck with some extended family, at a cattle ranch in Bakersfield. I thought Cowboy Caviar sounded fun since we were going to a ranch. This recipe, although made mostly of canned goods, tastes light and fresh. I got the recipe from my mother-in-law.
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 teaspoons hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salad oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/8 teaspoon ground pepper
3 firm-ripe avocado
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (15 oz) white beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained & rinsed
3 cans corn kernels, drained & rinsed
1 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onion
1 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Salt (to taste)
2 bags Tortilla chips
1. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, hot sauce, oil, garlic, and pepper. Peel, pit, and cut avocado into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to vinegar mixture and mix gently to coat.
2. Add beans, corn, onions, cilantro, and tomatoes to avocado mixture and mix gently to coat. Add salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!
I went to a holiday cookie exchange and tried a new recipe. Here it is, and I think they are very very yummy. They’re rich, and sweet, and luxurious. I was in a pinch so I used pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough, but you can use your own favorite recipe.
1 roll (16.5 oz.) Nestle Tollhouse Choc Chip Cookie dough
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup caramel topping
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease 9×9 bar pan with shortening or cooking spray. In pan, break up cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust.
3. Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown
4. Sprinkle marshmallows, pecans and chocolate chips evenly over crust. Drizzle with caramel topping.
5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer or until topping is melted.
6. Cool completely, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cut into squares.
Whenever one of our friends has a baby, we welcome the new family home from the hospital with a “diaper dump.” Buy diapers in different sizes, to get the new family through the first few months. This is a great way to bless a new family, diapers can be awfully expensive.