Baskets for Mom

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SipIndulgence #CollectiveBias

Baskets for Mom

It’s almost Mother’s Day…well, not exactly – but it will be here in no time.  I have shared with you how we often host brunch for Mother’s Day and invite some of the moms of the family.  I prefer to host an event, early in the day and that way I don’t have to spend the day visiting everyone and I also get the rest of the day to myself.

Every year I do something a little different (except for the menu, which is almost always the same thing) as far as the gifts that I give the moms.  Some years I have set a pretty table and I line the table with orchids and each orchid is the gift for the moms.  It’s a great idea because the orchids adorn your party and also serve as gifts.  This year I wanted to do something a little different so I was going to make baskets for each mom to gift them after the brunch.  Then I thought it would be fun to let everyone make their own basket.

Baskets for Mom

Most baskets this time of the year resemble Easter baskets but I was able to find these simple little crates that would also work for Mother’s Day.  They were only $3.00 each which was great!

Baskets for Mom

I added a little bag of paper shreds to each crate.  That way each person could line their basket before filling it up.

Baskets for Mom

The idea was that everyone can pick one item from all the groupings to add to their basket.  One of the items the moms could choose from were coffee mugs.  I loved the “mom” one which was perfect for this event.  It will probably be the first to go!

Also, inside each mug is a pack of instant coffee.

Naturally, to go with the coffee and the pretty mugs, some indulgent coffee creamer.  I chose a few of the NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE® Liquid Coffee Creamers.  I purchased quite a few flavors but the most popular were the chocolate boutique flavors – Salted Caramel, the Chocolate Toffee Truffle and the Cafe Mocha.

Baskets for Mom

Of course, nothing says pampering for mom like a candle.  These were so pretty in the rose gold tone which perfectly matched the tablescape.

Baskets for Mom

I thought it was a fun idea to add a jar full of nail polishes so that everyone could pick their own.  It was the area that everyone stood the longest, picking out their shade.

Baskets for Mom

Stationary and pencils.  Hello Spring!

Baskets for Mom

Here are a few pictures of everyone making their baskets or the kids making the baskets for the mom.

Baskets for Mom

Baskets for Mom

Every time that I host something like this in my home, my favorite thing to see is all the generations coming together.

Baskets for Mom

Baskets for Mom

Baskets for Mom

Every basket looked a little different and that was the idea!

Baskets for Mom

This little one needed some assistance making the basket, but no help was needed in making his mom feel special.  Love that little one!

Baskets for Mom

Like I mentioned, my Mother’s Day brunch menu rarely changes.  I served some cookies, a frittata and a salad.  I made the frittata that the Barefoot Contessa makes which was inspired by the owner of Loaves & Fishes in the Hamptons.  I love all of her recipes but this one is my favorite.  I do make some adaptations like the cooking time and the original recipe calls for basil, which the adults tend to love and the boys…not so much, so I omitted that.

Potato Frittata

Ingredients
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
2 cups peeled and 1/2-inch diced boiling potatoes (4 potatoes)
8 extra-large eggs
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3/4 pound Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a 10-inch (oven-proof) pan over medium-low heat. Add the potatoes and fry them until cooked through, turning often, about 20 minutes. Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a small dish in the microwave.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, then stir in the ricotta, Gruyere, melted butter, salt, pepper.  Sprinkle on the flour and baking powder and stir into the egg mixture.

Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake the frittata for 1 hour, until it is browned and puffed.  It will be rounded and firm in the middle and a knife inserted in the frittata should come out clean.

Note: Sometimes I substitute swiss cheese for the gruyere.  Nothing quite substitutes the nuttiness of the gruyere, but it will do if you don’t have it available.

Baskets for Mom

Of course my mom said “don’t you dare post that picture of me eating.”  Haha.  There you go.  You still look good mom!

Baskets for Mom

Baskets for Mom

We clearly celebrated Mother’s Day early to be able to present you with this idea, but we enjoyed it so much that we are thinking of replicating it for the actual Mother’s Day brunch.

Baskets for Mom

The variety of creamers that were in my baskets were found in Walmart and you can find a $0.75 coupon HERE.  Actually, a lot of the little items that went into the baskets were also picked up at Walmart.

Baskets for Mom

 

Go Batty Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #SpooktacularSnacks #CollectiveBias #Ad #Sponsored #GetYourBettyOn

Go Batty Party

 

 

You will notice that Graceful Order during the holidays is a little less about organizing the home, and a lot more about entertaining in the home.  After all, what’s the point of having all our platters organized if they never peek out of the drawer?

My kids love to have little parties for every and any occasion and Halloween is no exception.  On Halloween night, I set up a large table with treats and I will also have butternut squash soup cooking on the stove.  The adults and kids in our family know that they are welcome to stop by, grab a bite and walk around the neighborhood getting treats with the boys.  My boys enjoy the setup and they take turns between getting candy from our neighbors and giving out candy to the little ones that knock on our door.  Last year we had over 100 kids stop by our home!  I know this because I make the little treat bags ahead of time and we ran out (I had made 100).  Other years it’s less, but we have to be prepared because I hate to turn down a swarm of cute princesses, superheroes and astronauts!

Halloween is definitely fun, but also hectic — there is no way to get around that.  This is the time to employ as many shortcuts as possible and give kids and adults what they want — silly-looking sweet treats!  I headed to Target to find some decorations for my party (you know you can count on Target for that!) and these fun combo packages of PEEPS® Brand Marshmallow that are available exclusively at Target.  I also picked up a few Betty Crocker™ favorites to add to my party.

Go Batty Party

Many of the decorations I found in the Target dollar section, and the products I used were found in the baking and Halloween isles, seen below.

Go Batty Party

I followed package instructions for most of the items but I embellished the Yellow cake in the following recipe, by using a few bananas that were past their prime.

Banana Bread Cupcakes

Prep time 10 minutes        /         Cook Time 15-20 minutes        /      Servings 24 cupcakes  

List of Ingredients

1 Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix

1/3 Cup of Vegetable Oil

3 Eggs

3 Ripe Bananas

Optional: Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease the pan that you will be using.  I was using liners in my cupcake pan.

Mash the bananas using a fork.

Combine the bananas and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and beat using a mixer (or vigorously by hand).

Pour into the cupcake pan.  It was about 3 tablespoons per cupcake liner.

Bake for about 15 minutes and take a peek.  If you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean, they are done.  Otherwise, allow them to bake for a few more minutes.

Allow them to cool completely before icing.

 

Go Batty Party

I iced these cupcakes with different flavors. One was a vanilla icing topped with yellow sprinkles.  The other was simply some hazelnut spread mixed with whipped topping (I totally licked the spoon).  The finishing touch were these cute little PEEPS peeking out of each cupcake!  My boys loved these!

A good idea for displaying cupcakes is carefully stacking pedestals to create a little height in your party table.  Also, nestle decorations around your cupcakes.

Go Batty Party

As far as the decor, I like to keep it cute but not scary because I don’t want to scare the little ones and by little ones I mean me.  I chose a fun bat theme and instead of hanging fabric as a backdrop, which I tend to do, I adhered these bats to the bamboo shade as if they were flying out of the table.  I used 2 tablecloths which is a good tip for adding interest to a party table or creating zones (drink zone, sweets, savory…).

Go Batty Party

Another tip for setting up a party table is creating your own cake stands by using an inverted bowl with a plate on top and voila – a pedestal.  I found this little bowl in the Target dollar section.  Most of my plates are white so it was a fun way to add color.

Go Batty Party

If you notice above, I didn’t use all the PEEPS that were in the box for the cupcakes.  These ghosts had to make an “appearance” elsewhere.  I placed them on a bed of whipped topping and added a stick so the kids could help themselves!

Go Batty Party

I wanted the food to match the decor as much as possible (I know…totally type A) so I added some queso and black corn chips to the spread.

Go Batty Party

Here are the brownies that I made.  I just followed the instructions on the box and once cooled, I cut them into little squares so that everyone could have a little bite.

Go Batty Party

Following with the bat theme, below is a free printable for you!  I had a separate tub with drinks but I thought it would be cute to set aside a few water bottles and customize them for our party.

Click image below to print.  

Just A Little Batty

I removed the label from these water bottles.

I printed these thanks to my little Brother (as in the printer).

Cut them out by hand following the lines provided.

And with a small piece of tape, I adhered them to the water bottle.

Just a little Batty!

Go Batty Party

Here are the other drinks which were apple juice and water.  Not that I was trying to stick with the color scheme or anything.  Ok, I was 100% trying to stick with the color scheme.  I’m a little batty.

The trick or treat sign was also a Target dollar section find!

Go Batty Party

I also made special treat bags for our special neighborhood friends.  Those included Peeps, stickers, candy and glow sticks.  Glow sticks are so inexpensive and kids love them!

Go Batty Party

So we are just a little batty over here!  What are your traditions on this night?  Do you get together at your home or do you go to a friend’s house?

Go Batty Party

For more fun ideas, visit the Collective Bias Hub page.  Also, be sure to check out more sweet recipes at Betty Crocker.  I’d love to hear about your favorite recipes for fall parties.  Do you decorate on the spooky side or do you also keep it cute and silly like we do?

 

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Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BOOItForward #CollectiveBias

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

The holidays are not just for the kids and Halloween is no exception.  On Halloween day we do make it about the kiddos and their cute costumes but I also love the idea of the adults getting together to celebrate before the 31st.  Today I will share with you 2 things – How to put together a BOO kit (I will get to that later) and how to put together a little dessert party for your friends and family.  I promise that both ideas are super easy and super fun!

First I want to share with you a little party that I put together and how quickly it came together.  I chose an empty wall in my home and placed a small 4ft table against the wall.  Then I placed a black tablecloth to cover the ugly little table (sorry table).  Then I propped up a piece of cardboard on the table and rested it on the wall.  I covered that with another black tablecloth and got to work on my favorite part – the decor!

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

Part of the ease of this little party is that everything is store bought.  I purchased pumpkin scones and caramel apples and used the white pumpkin to hold the chalkboard sign.  I found a pack of those chalkboard signs for a dollar a while back and I had not used them until now.  I am not sure if they are re-usable since they are made out of cardboard but hey…$1.00?  I’m not complaining.

Tip:  Think of the backdrop for your party.  Will it be greenery (if outside) or a blank wall?  Adding a piece of cardboard to rest on the wall creates an easy and inexpensive backdrop.

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

I found these caramel apples at Walmart.  I dressed them up with a little ribbon and placed them on a stand.

Tip:  It is important when setting up parties to think of varying heights on the table.  Cake stands can be used for more than just the obvious.  If some items are high up and others low on the table, there is more visual interest. 

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

Everyone loves tiny desserts, at least I hope they do because I made a whole bunch of these!  These little containers and spoons are disposable which is a plus.  Inside is greek yogurt (you can also use a quick cheesecake filing), caramel drizzle and a TWIX® for a finishing touch!

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

Delish!

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

Fall is in the air and in your punch with this yummy fall drink.  It’s a 2L bottle of 7UP®, 1 orange sherbet, 8 oz or orange juice, 8 oz of cranberry juice, cinnamon sticks, sliced lemons and oranges.

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

I rested the dispenser on a small, black cupcake stand and these cans were a perfect fit underneath it.

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

Cute straws also decorate the table.  I have so many colorful straws in my party stash!  They are inexpensive and I often buy a pack before I even need it.  If I don’t use it for a party, my boys will gladly use them for their juices.  I also scattered little M&M’s® on the table as little edible “confetti”.

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

In the beginning of this post I promised that I would help you put together a BOO kit.  To be honest I had never heard of this but now I love the idea!  BOO’ing is when you put together a kit that usually includes yummy treats and other Halloween inspired items and you place them inside a bag, and finally you drop it off on your neighbor’s doorstep.  Although dropping it off at our neighbor’s is a great idea, this year I will use these BOO kits as teacher’s gifts!  I love any excuse to treat my boys’ teachers and extend my gratefulness to them.

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

So here is what I did:

1- I printed the card and sign.  You can download the sign here.

2- I cut the “We’ve Been BOO’d” sign.  You can use this to place on the outside of your bag or inside so the recipient can continue to BOO others!

3- I folded the “You’ve Been BOO’d” sign and taped the edges.  This card will be placed inside the bag.  I signed this card with my boys’ names since they are giving them to their teachers.

4- I chose the bag that I would use for my Boo kits.  I chose simple black paper bags.

5- I decided what I would place in each bag.  I used chocolates, pencils, teeth, paper straws, soda can, necklaces and a little pumpkin.

6- I made tags that read “You’re a Spooktacular Teacher” and used a 2 inch round cutter to cut.  If you don’t have a round cutter, you can use scissors and cut a square shape.  You can find the free printable here.

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

I hope they love it because we sure had fun making them!

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

Take advantage of this coupon to create your own BOO kit: Save $1.00 on TWO (2) 2L or 6pk 8oz cans of any flavor Sunkist® Soda, 7UP®, Canada Dry®, A&W®, Squirt®, or Sun Drop®

Here is a shot of where I found the items at Walmart.  Speaking of Walmart, make sure to enter (look below) for your chance to win the #BOOitForward sweepstakes for $1000 Walmart gift card!

Spooky and Sweet Halloween Entertaining

You can also enter to win a $1,000 Walmart eGift Card!  How exciting is that?!  See below for details.

#booitforwardsweepstakes

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