Decades Dine Around

Decades DIne Around

We are VERY lucky to live in the neighborhood that we do!  We are all roughly the same age, we have kids ranging from 8 months to 18 and we all love to have fun!  We try to do some form of a progressive dinner a couple of times per year and this September we had the Decades Dine Around.  Never heard of it?  Take notes because it is a blast!  Each couple chooses a decade.  The house is decorated for that decade, you dress in clothes from that decade and you serve food and a signature drink from that decade.  You spend an hour at each house eating, drinking and having fun!

The decades that were selected were the 20s, 50s, 70s, 80s and 90s.  I am going to go in order of the houses, not the decades!

First stop… the 80s!  That was our decade.  Jon is the prepster (loafers without socks to boot) and I was the aerobics chic.  I even had splatter paint spandex.  Hot.  I was a child in the eighties and we weren’t allowed to have junk food so I had NO idea what to serve.  I ended up with Cool Ranch Doritos, Loaded Potato Skins and Artichoke Dip in a Bread Bowl.  Grody to the max.  We also had a bunch of 80s candy and our cocktail was Long Island Iced Tea.  Gag me!  It was actually pretty good.

The decor… neon, neon, neon!  There was a bit of animal print as well.  I also threw in some pics of popular 80s icons, Pac Man and one of our leather stools was transformed into a Rubik’s Cube!

I spray painted cassettes glossy white and used them as food labels.  The garland was simply made of strips of neon knit fabric cut and looped around a rope.

On to the roaring 20s!

The 20s were hosted by two couples and they come up with the idea of a speakeasy… so cool!  The windows were totally covered and the door was answered by a tommy gun-bearing gangster.  We had to know the secret password to get in.

               I don’t have many pics of the decor because the only light was candlelight and a movie from the 20s playing on the wall.  They served champagne and mint juleps.  Much more sophisticated than the Long Island Iced Tea.  One of the hostesses was “selling” cigarettes (candy) in one of those trays that she wore around her neck.  So cute!

All I can tell you is that my trip to the 20s was a blast and I felt pretty cool being in speakeasy!  Next stop… the 90s!

The big scandal of the 90s was Bill and Monica and they were well represented by one set of hosts.  Yes, there was a stain on that blue dress.  The other hosts were into the grunge scene. Kurt Kobain was supposed make an appearance, but without the wig it didn’t happen :(

The food was fat free as were the jello shots.  There were also cosmos and Seagram’s wine coolers.  Now that I think about it, all of the drinks were pink!  Our last stop… the 50s!

We were all sad that the night was coming to an end but we were excited to see what Trisha and Josh had up their sleeves!

They went with a diner theme and served grilled cheese, fries and even little milkshakes!  It was exactly what we all needed after 4 hours of mixing alcohol.  That, and the Tom Collins signature cocktail!


After time traveling through four decades, we were ready to get back to 2012 and get into bed!  I can’t wait for the next one!






Another one for the books!



Ode to Bake at 350

Bridal 1

My friend Vivian asked if I would do cookies for a bridal shower she was hosting.  She sent me a picture of what she wanted.  Mind you, I have never done cookies for anyone but myself!  These are the pictures she sent:

Oh man!  This was a going to be a challenge, but I was totally up to it only because I knew I had a weapon.  The blog Bake at 350!  If you have never been to this site, GO!  Even if you don’t bake, all of Bridget’s creations are so fun to look at.

I used the Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookie and the Royal Icing recipes from the blog.  The best tip was to freeze the cookies for 5 minutes before baking so that they keep their shape!

Here is what the cookies looked like after I outlined and flooded them:


I am NOT a patient person at all so waiting for the first layer of royal icing to set was brutal, but I did it only because Bake at 350 said to!  Once it dried I had to review the notes from Bridget again for the detail work.  This is how they turned out:


Not to shabby, right?!  I could not have done it without the guidance of Bake at 350.  The instructions were so incredibly easy to follow.  Vivian called after the shower to let me know that everyone loved them!  Thanks for your help Bridget!

Just an FYI… this was totally unsolicited!  I am a real fan of Bake at 350 :)

Bean Bag Chair for Children

Bean Bags 11

Lucy’s playroom is ALMOST done!  I still have to make a magnetic chalkboard, window treatments and pillows for the reading loft.

I just finished these adorable bean bag chairs that fit perfectly beneath the reading loft.  I found a tutorial on Kathy Miller’s blog Making it Fun that I used as my guide:

Bean Bag Chair Tutorial

I did make a few changes… I will describe them with the assumption you have or will read the original tutorial.  I didn’t use an applique so I didn’t need that extra fabric or the fusible fleece.  In step one, the instructions say to fold the fabric in 8″, after first folding the fabric selvedge to selvedge.  The base of the pattern from this tutorial is wider than 8″ so I used the base of the pattern as my guide.

In step 3 (for both the inner and outer cover) I lined up the points of fabric at the top and bottom of the bean bag (the ends of the football if you will).  I sewed straight across making sure to sew just below where the seam stitching ended on either side.  If you do it this way, you can skip the applique step.

I think it looks great this way and you don’t have the extra work of the applique!

I left about an 8″ opening to fill the liner with the bean bag pellets.   I got the pellets on Amazon.  They came the day after I ordered them!  I will have to say that filling the bags is probably the most difficult part.  It is definitely a two person job!

Instead of hand stitching the opening closed, I used my sewing machine.  Can you tell I like to save time?!  I sewed as close to the edge of the fabric as I could.

The rest of Step 3 I followed exactly.

And you really don’t have to do Step 4 at all if you followed my instructions for sewing the top and bottom together.  This is what mine look like.  I love them and so does Lucy!

I made two more for my niece and nephew, but I made them a bit smaller.  I simply took 2 inches off of the pattern.  I used about 1/2 as much of the bean bag filling for the smaller bags.

I am linking to:

positively splendid
The Gunny Sack
Live, Laugh, Rowe