Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There’s no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On! www.duncanhines.com.
This time of year, our calendars bulge with holiday commitments, parties, and general chaos. That’s why I pretty much never have a holiday party. Instead, we plan more out-of-the-box ideas … our Rainbow Cake party twice a year to celebrate both the beginning and end of school, our Chinese New Year celebration, our annual Valentine’s Day party, our bacon fete, and parties just because. Which are sometimes my favorite kind.
Back in the Spring (yes, it has taken me this long to blog about it), I hosted a Girls Night In. It actually ended up being the night before I left on my Seattle/Starbucks trip. I debated about rescheduling the party, but had been so looking forward to it. With a little careful planning, you too can have a party the night before you fly across country for Starbucks College! Especially if you make it a potluck affair with awesome friends.
The reason for the party to begin with? I had heard about Craft Hope, an organization that tries to meet needs of orphans through handmade goodness, and at the time, they were looking for people to make handmade bracelets, to be sent to orphaned children clear across the world. I have long considered adopting, even when The Ex and I were still married, so this was something that I didn’t need arm twisting to participate in. Add in a group of fun girlfriends, an array of homecooked food and Mom Juice, and directions to make bracelets using t-shirt material, and a perfect Girls Night In was born.
The bracelets are relatively simple to make but require coordination. Of which I have exactly none. Spoken by the person who sprained her ankle. Wearing sneakers. Just walking down three steps. Luckily out of the group of ten of us, there were at least 3 or 4 that got the concept quickly. And they schooled the helpless. Or hopeless. Depending on your perspective. And how much Mom Juice had been injested at that point.
Madeline just saw this picture of me and responded with “Oh Mom, you look cute!” Yeah, that was back when I had hair. I feel like it’s barely grown an inch since I lopped off 9 over the summer. It is s-l-o-w going for sure, and a cut I won’t likely repeat.
Everyone that came brought t-shirts for us to craft with, and food for us to feast on. I made Spinach Cheese Squares and Strawberries Pazzo, a dessert that is sometimes a hard sell but one that I adore.
There were a few salsas and salads to balance out the desserts. Perfect, if you ask me.
Caramel Apple Dip made an appearance. Man, I love that stuff.
So the next time you’re thinking of having a little shin-dig, think outside the box … celebrate an oft-overlooked holiday, make a favorite ingredient the star of the evening, welcome a new season, or host a craft night with your favorite girls. Although Duncan Hines didn’t make an appearance at our craft night this time, they are in my cupboards, perfect for when the kids need cupcakes for school and I receive no notice, or when a brownie craving strikes and time is a wasting. I’m a sucker for carrot cake, but rarely make it myself. I did, however, spy that Duncan Hines has a new version out that I just picked up, so I’ll be reporting on that soon.
I’ll be here tomorrow with some gift ideas for some of those hard-to-shop-for peeps on your holiday list. Until then… xoxo