keeping things simple.

Saida recently celebrated her 3rd birthday.  In my opinion, 3 marks the year for the first official “friend party.”   I was excited about this milestone for her, but admittedly torn about how to proceed.  So I found myself with a choice to make, a {likely} stress producing, Pinterest and blog inspired, greatly satisfying, pat-myself-on-the-back party or just a plain ole’ party.  I do really enjoy throwing a big, well-coordinated bash but it feels a bit more daunting these days… I think it helped to be single and childless, able to sleep and recover as much as needed.

So I did it.  I went theme-less.  That’s right, no theme, no coordinating handmade party goods, just a simple play-date style lunch, some pin the tale on the donkey, balloons and dollar store decorations.

And it was lovely!  Everyone seemed to have a great time, and I wasn’t exhausted!  YAY!  Keeping it simple just may be the secret to surviving these baby years!

The invitations came out simple.simple.simple.  They were really the beginning of my non-theme theme which sort of developed as I created them.

DSCN1265

The doodle is hand drawn with fine tip sharpies.  That’s it.  DSCN1258

Each one came out with it’s own unique swirly style.  Saida did have one request… pink.  Shocking.  Who is this ultra-feminine child?  She must get it from Ben’s side.DSCN1259

DSCN1260

doodle pink birthday invitation

Just simple simple.   I can see some potential to glitz them up.  Maybe some glitter, or handwritten text.  Feel free to copy and update this idea, I was thinking of so many variations as I worked them, I would love to see how they can be improved!

Want help creating yours?  Contact me through the shop tab above!

Oh and with all my extra time, I was able to make her cake and frosting from scratch.  This was a first for me.  Thanks to Sweetapolita  they were totally yummy… and funfetti.

DSCN1282One thing that was planned from the start… I had to make our traditional ice cream come cupcakes…  A family birthday treat dating back to my grandmother…  Remember when you used to bring baked goods to school on your birthday before allergies and things got so crazy?  This was my go to… Every.Year.  I just loved the novelty.

DSCN1283

Saida has already requested them for next year 🙂

Try this: Baked Vegetable Risotto

I was given the Best of Betty Crocker 2011 cookbook awhile back and I have found a few recipes that we keep coming back to.  I made this Vegetable Risotto this weekend for some dinner guests.

If you are like me, you like low hassle meals when company comes.  I used to like to try and wow people with my culinary skills, but now, I much prefer actually being able to visit without the kitchen taking most of my time and thoughts.  This is a great meal for guests because it is easy to prepare, and spends the last 30 minutes in the oven, but still carriers grown-up flavor of rosemary, crimini mushrooms and the roasted peppers.

This time I realized last minute that our roasted red peppers had gone bad, so thankfully I had some regular red peppers on hand, with no time to roast them, I just threw them it, and I do think it made a difference.  Though it was still tasty, I did prefer it with the roasted peppers, much more flavor.  I would also recommend getting real parm, not the shaker kind.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention…it’s vegetarian!

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do.  It has become a regular in our house.