Ba-By-Q Shower {Co-Ed Barbecue Themed Baby Shower}

Ba-By-Q Shower on www.newsanchortohomemaker.com {bbq baby shower}

Baby-Q Shower, a BBQ Themed Co-Ed Baby Shower

I recently through a baby shower for our good friends Ruth and Austin.  Once again, I decided to throw a co-ed shower (read about “Ahoy It’s a Boy!” shower here)  because it’s just what fits our group of friends.  I love how relaxed a co-ed shower is.  Since it was summer (and really, really hot out here in the desert) why not have a good ole’ fashion barbecue?  Since I was at the height of my morning sickness (read about my pregnancy here) this shower was perfect because it was so simple…and it didn’t hurt to have some help from my friends!

Here’s how I decorated the kitchen island.

Baby-Q Shower. Card Board Letters on www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

My amazing friend Val bought pre-made cardboard letters of the baby’s initials from Joann’s Fabrics, spray painted them and added ribbon. I thought they were the perfect center piece.   I also love using decorations that the couple can use in the baby’s room!

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In between the letters, Val also bought mason jars, spray painted them and filled them with flowers.  I should have known she was the perfect gal for the job.  She is fashion designer and so creative, just check out her Etsy Shop!

Also on the island, I bought a monogrammed layette and hung them up with watermelon clothespins (From Michaels) on a piece of twine.

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My friend Rachelle made the cupcakes, topped with watermelon toppers from Michaels.

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And for the favor, I made mini-pound cakes and put them in these watermelon favor bags from Michaels.

For the Buffet: 

 

Burger Bar for a Baby-Q Shower on NewsAnchorToHomemaker

I dressed it up burgers and dogs with a bit of cuteness by making it a “Burger Bar”. There was a Mexican Station, (To top your burger with guacamole, sour cream and salsa) A BBQ station and an American Station. The cards are Scrapbook Paper from Michaels with Martha Stewart Sunflower Scrap Book Stickers.

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For the Drink Station:

Beverage Bar for Baby-Q Shower with Paper Straws on NewsAnchorToHomemaker

I kept it simple…it was a bbq after all.  Just Blue Moon and Coke (Austin and Ruth’s Favorites.)  I already had the strawberry margarita glasses and filled them with cute paper straws from Michaels and Target.  Of Course we had to have Red Solo cups to top it off.

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For the Table:

Val made more of these gorgeous mason jar center pieces. I used another picnic table cloth from Michaels. The napkins are also from Michaels.  I would have preferred to have this party outside, but it was 104 degrees!

Spray Painted Mason Jars with Flowers, perfect Baby Shower decoration www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

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I hope this inspires your next BBQ bash or baby shower.  Want more posts like this? Follow me on Pinterest and Facebook or check me out on Twitter!

Simple Make Ahead Easter Brunch {Easy Overnight Breakfast Recipes}

Overnight Easter Brunch www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

I’m not sure why, but when it comes to Easter, I get more excited about what I’m going to eat before church than after.  I just love waking to a huge breakfast spread Sunday morning.  However, it’s really too hectic to throw together a breakfast/brunch before getting everyone out the door for church…especially because you want to leave early before all of the parking spaces are full!  That’s why I created this simple make ahead/ overnight menu.  There is something on here for everyone, I assure you!

First up, French Toast Casserole.

Make Ahead French Toast Casserole www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

Ingredients:

1 Large French Bread Loaf, Cut into 1 Inch Thick Slices

8 Eggs

2 Cups of Milk

1 Cup of Half-n-Half

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1 and 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Dash of Salt

Pecan Topping

2 Sticks of Butter, Softened

1 Cup of Brown Sugar

1 Cup of Pecans

2 Tablespoons of Light Corn Syrup

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Directions:

1) Grease a 13×9 Pan with butter.  Cut your slices of bread and place in pan, standing slices up.

2) In a bowl, whisk  together: eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.  Pour egg mixture over bread.  Make sure you lift up the pieces of bread so that the mixture soaks the bread.  Cover the casserole dish and let french toast soak overnight.

3) In a separate bowl, mix together: butter, brown sugar, pecans, corn syrup and cinnamon together.  Cover and refrigerate.

4) The next morning, pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Microwave the pecan mixture for 30 seconds just to soften a bit.  Spread mixture over french toast casserole.  I find using your fingers works best.  Bake the casserole for 40 minutes.  Serve with maple syrup. Yum!!!!

This recipe is adapted from Paula Deen and adjusted to my taste a bit.

 

Overnight French Toast Casserole www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

 

Next up, Sun Dried Tomato and Spinach Muffin Quiches

This makes 6 jumbo muffin quiches.

Sun Dried Tomato and Spinach Quiche www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

Ingredients:

3 Eggs

1/2 Cup Milk

1 Cup Half-n-Half

Salt

Pepper

Dash of Nutmeg

Sun Dried Tomatoes, drained (You’ll need about 3-4 per muffin cup)

Chopped Spinach, Cooked and Drained

1/4 Cup Diced Onions

6 Cheese Blend, Shredded

1 Package of 2 Pie Crusts

Directions:

1) Whisk together: eggs, milk, half and half, several dashes of salt and pepper and 1 single dash of nutmeg.  Set aside

2)  Lay pie crust over the backside of a muffin cup.  Using a sharp knife, cute circles in the pie crust to fit muffin cup.

3) Grease Muffin Pan and layer 2 circle pie crust cutouts in each tin.  Place a few sundries tomatoes and a little bit of spinach in each muffin cup.  Pour egg mixture on top.  Top with shredded cheese.  Cover and refrigerate over night.

4) The next day, pre heat oven to 375 degrees.  Uncover quiche and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.

Here’s what the progression of this looks like:

 

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Jumbo Muffin Individual Quiches on www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

 

 

Third Up, Oven Baked Bacon

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Ingredients:

Thick Cut Bacon

Directions:

1) Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Line with several pieces of bacon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2) The next day, pre heat oven to 375.  Cook bacon for about 25 minutes.

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Lastly, combine your favorite fruit to make a fruit salad.  No directions needed!IMG_2642

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter Sunday.

 

Make Ahead Easter Brunch www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

 

Want more special family meals?  Check out these recipes from my Sabbath Sunday Series. Fried Gnocchi with Goat Cheese, Sweet and Crunchy Pork Chops, Chicken Eggplant Parmesan in One

 

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Violet’s Purple Themed First Birthday Party {Easy, Thrifty}

1st Bday

We threw Violet her first birthday party over the weekend in the theme of her nursery: purple and sweet.  Partly because I still love her nursery (read about it here) but also because I didn’t want to spend an absurd amount of money on a party that was more for our enjoyment than for hers.  Chances are, you spent months picking out things for your baby’s nursery…and chances are not that many people have actually seen his/her nursery…why not show it off and same some money in the process?

Purple Bday Party

 

All of the pictures and candles are from her nursery, smart, right?  I did however spend money on this table setting.  Since we realized the party would be for us than for her…we wanted it to be something we enjoyed.  So, why not a dinner party?  P.S. I’ll use this again for Easter!

Purple Table on News Anchor To Homemaker

Isn’t it pretty?  Purple overload I know, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  Most of the things on this table were purchased from: Michaels, Bed Bath and Beyond and Table Linens Dot Com.

Purple Table

 

Here’s another table.

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My mother in law did this sweet high chair banner.  Pretty self explanatory: Cut scrapbook paper in triangles, thread a string threw it and hot glue on letters.  By the way, Violet ate 2 cupcakes!

High Chair Banner

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Violet with her Momma Debs and Pop!

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We were thoroughly impressed with how much she ate!

 

Here are some more purple details up close.

Purple Birthday Party on News Anchor To Homemaker

I LOVE this idea.  This purple bucket with the chalkboard front was in her nursery.  My mother in law made this tutu. We dipped some big pretzels in cane coating and sprinkles and VOILA–party favors!

Party Favor, Candy Dipped Pretzels

Here’s what we did for the entrance.  My mom just bought Violet these sweet purple chairs from Pottery Bark Kids.  I already had a Purple Chalk Board from here room.

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Oh Yeah, I almost forgot about the food.  I kept it simple.  For an appetizer I made this pinecone cheese ball–get the recipe here

.Pine Cone Cheese Ball www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

We had Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups and Meatballs for dinner.  Get the Recipes here and here.

Purple Cupcakes on News Anchor To Homemaker

For Dessert we had Raspberry Filled Almond Cupcakes with a Butter Cream frosting.  Sounds Complicated, but it’s not.  Get the recipe here.

Almond Raspberry Filled Cupcakes www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

 

My mother in law also made cake pops…these are the best!  Get the recipe here.

Purple Cake Pops www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about our daughter’s purple themed birthday party. I’d love to hear about your kids’ first birthdays in the comment section!

Purple Party www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

 

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Happy birthday Sweet Vi!  Follow me on Facebook…oh, and follow me on Pinterest, too!

The Best Cake Pop Recipe

Purple Cake Pops www.newsanchortohomemaker.com

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I don’t like baking.  My mother in law doesn’t either.  BUT she was nice enough to make these cake pops for Violet’s first birthday party.  I’ve had a lot of cake pops and these are THE best.  They keep well (the leftovers go great with coffee) freeze well and they make a pretty statement at a party.  Here’s how she does them.

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Momma Deb’s Cake Pops

Makes 28-32

Ingredients:

Cake Mix (Any Flavor)

Cream Cheese Frosting (store bought or make your own)

Candy Melts

Lolly Pop Sticks

Directions:

Prepare cake mix cake according to the directions.  Bake and let cool.  Then crumble. Add spoonfuls of cream cheese frosting to the cake crumbs, just add enough to get the crumbs to stick together.  Frosting can be homemade or store bought.

This is where there is no other tools besides your hands – mix the crumbs and frosting until you can form a ball the size of a walnut.  Melt a small amount of candy, dip the stick in the chocolate and insert into the ball.  Place the cake pops in the freezer at this point, just to harden the white chocolate. Freeze for about 30 minutes.

Last step, melt the chocolate candy pieces and dip the balls.  Sprinkles can also be added at this stage.  It is best to stick the cake pops in Styrofoam for display.

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Ahoy, It’s a BOY! Baby Shower

PicMonkey Collage

My mom always told me that one of the biggest positives to military life, are the friends that you make. See, my dad was also a military dentist. I know…a little weird.  My siblings like to joke that my mom cloned herself through me.

Well, we are only a couple of months in and I can tell you that mom was right (aren’t they always?)  We moved to Vegas and had instant friends. There are 4 of us dental resident wives.  And as you can see below, we are about to have a lot more babies on our hands.

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Rachelle (on the right) already has a 1.5 year old and she’s due in a couple of weeks with twins!  Because she and her husband already have most of the things they needed for their new sons, she didn’t want a shower, but Val (the other prego) only had a pack and play when I met her.  So, of course, I told her she didn’t have an option…we were having a shower.

At first I thought I’d do a fall/football themed shower. Put out some fall decorations I already have add in some little boy football stuff…perfect. But then Val gave me a shock of a lifetime (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating…a little) she told me that she and her husband weren’t into football.  Being from the south, my mind was blown!  But I knew something she and her husband definitely were into….sailing.  They practically go every weekend out to Lake Mead.  So, sailing it was!  I decided to do a couples’ shower because Val is so laid back and I just like the casual feel that they bring.

Thankfully my mom (the shower queen) had thrown a nautical shower before and had a few things I could use.  My friend Ruth (who threw the shower with me) is from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, so pretty much everything she and her husband got for their wedding was nautical themed, perfect!

Here’s what the island looked like.

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A hand-made lighthouse (Ruth’s) in between 2 nautical frames. I got the rope frames from Homegoods for $9 each then ordered prints off of Etsy for $10 which also matched the invitation I sent out (mom will be so proud!) I love when I can buy a decoration that also doubles as an extra gift! The little fish plates are from Macy’s and we used those to put different sauces on.

Invitation:

Val&Scott-Invitation-Ahoy Its A Boy

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One of my favorite touches to the shower were these plastic food baskets from Target.  It just made me think of going to a divey seafood joint…which was the inspiration for the food and tables.

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We served shrimp po-boys.  Seriously, these were restaurant quality.  Ruth and her husband know good seafood and this was it. Click here for recipe.

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I was going to make homemade fries…and then I just realized that, that was a ridiculous thought. I love Alexia fries and that’s what we served with the po’boys,

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For appetizers I did mini quiches (Val’s favorite food) click here for recipe.  I also did Paula Deen’s crabcakes…and wow did those turn out good! Click here for recipe.

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For the tables, Ruth found this netting on Amazon. I thought it was so clever and really helped give it that casual feel I was going for.  We topped it with some shells and toy lobsters, both from the dollar store. Again, the light house was Ruth’s.

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For the second table we also used the netting and some nautical candles that my mom sent.  Rachelle made cupcakes that doubled as a dessert and a table decoration. We topped them with nautical flags that Ruth also found on Amazon.

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For the favor…it doesn’t get easier than this. We bought a bag of  gourmet mixed popcorn flavors and put them in little popcorn containers we found on Amazon that had anchors and sailboats on them. We wrapped them in Clear plastic wrap from Michaels and made labels that said “Ready to pop” with a little pregnant lady on them.  I saw the idea on Pinterest a while ago.

All in all I think the shower was a huge success and we can’t wait to meet baby boy Bryant!