Tuesday, April 26, 2011

KIDDOS: Big Blue Birthday Bash

As most of you know, both Alice's and Lucy's birthdays fall in April, just two weeks apart. Therefore, for the rest of their lives, they'll be forced to have a joint party. So far, this has worked out well, as their four year age difference hasn't really caused a thematic problem yet. This year I had the girls pick a color to coordinate the theme around and much to my surprise and delight they chose blue.
I happened to find plain blue t-shirts for them at the dollar store and ironed on letters I had in my crafty stash to spell out their names. I also found these funky blue paper hats at the dollar store, hot glued some blue silk flowers on and cut out their birthday numbers with some old Contac paper I had. We made our invitations out of paper cutouts of blue balloons tied with blue string and invited our guests to share in the celebration by wearing the color du jour.
The party was originally scheduled to be at a local play park outside, but the stormy spring weather didn't really cooperate. At the last minute we changed the locale to our house, and I set up the ever-popular recycled art station in our garage. It was a huge hit, especially with the 7-8 year old girl crowd.
I am not a big fan of junky birthday party favors for kids, so we went with these packages of fizzly fruit Skittles we found on sale for 50cents a piece at the local Rite-Aid and tied them with blue yarn. The kids also, of course, got to take home any art project they made in the garage.
I made these homemade basic vanilla cupcakes from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book with The Pioneer Woman's basic cream cheese frosting, topped with colored blue sugar. Blue and white polka-dotted cupcake papers and blue and white striped candles topped the mini cakes, as did blue plastic police officers we found at the dollar store. Two thrifted Rummikub game pieces with the girls' birthday years on them marked their cupcakes.
Of course, the decor was all blue - from tablecloths to bowls and plastic forks to platters. We kept the other decorations simple, stringing blue streamers around doorways and Eric picked up 6 or 7 blue star shaped mylar balloons that morning. As the party was from 2-4pm, we had finger foods and lemonade for snacks. Again, the best parties seem to be homemade on a budget and this time around with a simple color theme, the dollar store was really a treasure trove.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

FOODIE: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

I've been a fan of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for years, well before you could buy them at every gas station in town. In fact, I was a fan of them way back in the day when they were exclusively a southern chain and had to wait until I lived in South Carolina as a college student to taste my first piece of HOT NOW! gooeyness. I remember when people would buy dozens of the tasty treats and carry them home on airplanes from visits in the south. Then they went and expanded and now sell day-old boxes at Target and blueberry donut holes at Maverik. But I still love them, and will buy them there, too. It's a visit to the doughnut shop, however, that is the real treat. I'm thrilled that we have one here near Boise, even though it's clear out in Meridian on the nightmare that is Eagle Road. Because of it's location, we don't visit there are often as I'd like, which is probably a good thing.
On a recent morning adventure, Alice and I took our time at Krispy Kreme, watching the freshly fried circles make their way through the glazing waterfall. We picked out our dozen favorite donuts, including Alice's favorite - chocolate icing with sprinkles.

I tried their newest delicacy, Banana Kreme Pie, and it was as yummy as it's advertising promised. Coffee is always necessary, as is a paper bakers hat for the girl. I love the sun-filled space at the Meridian location, and at 10am, the place was pretty quiet. Alice loved standing on the tile bench watching the bakers at work. As a lifelong doughnut lover, Krispy Kreme still tops the list for me.