Thursday, January 31, 2013

There's Snowflake Like You

It's time for another Theme Thursday post and this week I am featuring my dinner party from Rudolph Day!  I called it..."There's Snowflake Like You" and of course it was a winter, snowflake theme,

Here's an overview of the table. It was a dinner party for six.  I used a color scheme of blue, white, and silver. I thought that gave it a "chilly" feel.  First of all I want to make it clear that I don't spend a fortune on dinner parties.  I do however strive to have things look nice and to have a bit of fun.  Over the years I have collected things either as gifts or on clearance, nothing "high end". I try to use lots of what I already have and then just add a little to make it "come together".
Let me tell you about this frugal table.  The lovely blue chargers were bought at Michaels on clearance for 59 cents each. YES you heard right 59 cents!  They are a great addtion because I can use them for winter/snow themes and they will also look great as part of a spring table.
The blue plastic wear is sort of sparkly and icy looking. (Walmart 1.00 on clearance)  and the napkins are the with a foil border (Walmart clearance 1.00)
The plates, bowls, and dessert plates are part of a set I bought after Christmas several years ago...again on clearance for 5 dollars for a set for four. (I bought three sets so I could do a 12 place party if I wanted. They have a small silver ring on them and look nice with lots of themes.
The wine glasses I bought at Gordmann's last year on clearance (I think I got 12 for ten dollars). Attatched to them are little snowmen wine charms that my husband gave me as a little Christmas gift this year. He likes to indulge my little theme escapades.
The centerpiece my daughter picked up on clearance for me after Christms for 5 dollars at Walmart. The pinecones have some sivler glitter like substance on them that gives them an icy look. The little snowflakes are blue, white, and silver and are scattered over the table. You guessed it...clearance (Michaels like 1.50 for a BIG bucket which included letters and other shapes)
Last but not least the little snowmen bags. I didn't have the ties on them when I snapped this picture. I bought these at Oriental Trading probably about five years ago. They were in a set and have Christmas ones too like Santa etc. I'm still using up my "stash" so I thought of them when I was putting together a party favor.  Inside is "winter care"...a little bottle of lotion (clearance at Walgreens 59 cents), Nivea chapstick from Dollar Tree, and hand sanitizer (lots of germs out in winter).

So that's it....a There's Snowflake Like You! dinner party for pennies. Of course there was food which can be an expense but I tried to budget it into the grocery budget.
Vegetable tray with dip
Ceasar Salad
Baked Potato Soup
I'll see you next Thursday with another Theme Thursday post, until then take care and find a way to "theme up" your life!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy January Rudolph Day

This year for Rudolph Day, I will be sharing what I do each month on that Rudolph Day.  By posting about my actual “day” I hope to get a bit more accomplished and also give you some simple ideas of things you might want to try on Rudolph Day. Some months the Rudolph Day topic will be related to the monthly topic (for example January is Notebook Month) and some months I will go off in a different direction.

Here’s my January List:

      Host a There’s Snowflake Like You dinner party for some friends. I’ll share pictures this coming Theme Thursday at Rudolph Ramblings.

      Clean out my notebook. (Honestly this was mostly done but I did at least flip through it and add fresh pages).
I'm going to take you through the sections of my Christmas planner.  Above you see the front cover and below you see the first section: Calendars

After Calendars I have this section:

I have a list of the monthly themes as well as to do list and ideas for crafts and things I'd like to do on Rudolph Day.
This is one of my most used sections. I use it all year long for sending cards and other info when needed!

I love my stocking stuffer section. It's partly my stocking stuffer list and partly an idea file.
Then I have the rest of the sections. The dividers aren't nicely decorated but perhaps that is a little project I can work on during Rudolph Days this year to make the notebook a little prettier. The remaining sections are:
Gifts (holds all gift lists and ideas)
St Nicks Day (gifts and ideas to celebrate)
Elf Magic (a section for elf ideas)
Baking Plans (I list all cookies and copy recipe for the year in this section, also the master ingredients list goes here)
Then I have five sections devoted to parties and dinners:
Family Party
Party (this year it was an Elf Dinner Party)
Christmas Eve Dinner
Christmas Breakfast
Behind each of these sections are a couple of planner pages for planning menus and decor.

I invite you to join me each Rudolph Day and share what you do. You can post a comment letting us know and feel free to add a link to your blog if you post about Rudolph day there!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Theme Thursday: Feliz Navidad

I thought I'd start out Theme Thursday with a post about having a bit of an "international" holiday. Well not really international, more specifically a Mexican theme celebration.  Above you see my nativity set from Mexico. It's so sweet I leave it out all year long in a little nook of my hoosier cabinet.

I have some sweet little ornaments that I bought on a couple of my trips to Mexico but they are packed away so I'll have to share those another time. So for today I'm sharing some great recipes with a bit of Mexican flair.

Chicken Enchiladas

1 package cream cheese
1 can chicken
1 small can green chilies
1 small can of rotel

Cook cream cheese, chicken, chilies, and rotel in a skillet until creamy and delicious. Then fill tortillas and top them with red enchilada sauce. Bake in oven for about 14-20 minutes until sauce is bubbly.

Mexican Chicken Soup  (I have to say my Mexican friend actually liked this...and normally turns up his nose at my "American cooking". So this is a keeper and soooo easy.)

In a crock pot pour

1 can of corn
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of kidney beans
2 cans of diced tomatoes
Add a package of taco seasoning and a package of chili seasoning. Lay chicken breasts on top and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Shred chicken at end of cooking time. (You can add another can of beans to stretch the recipe and the flavor is still great)

Mexican Wedding Cakes

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped pecans

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Gradually add flour, mix well. Beat in vanilla. Stir in pecans.  Shape tablespoonfuls into 2 inch crescents. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown. Roll warm cookies in confectioners sugar, cool on wire racks.

Those are three of my faves for a Mexican Christmas party. Add napkins in green, red, and white and some chips and salsa and you are ready for a Feliz Navidad party!  If you want to decorate a small tree use chili pepper lights and tie on ribbons in red, green, and white for a simple festive touch. If you don't have chili pepper lights...white, red or green work equally well!

That's it for this week's Theme Thursday....I'll be back next week with a special winter theme: There's Snowflake Like You!  See you then!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Feature: Theme Thursday

I love themes, decor themes, gift themes...You name it!  I love when things "come together". I wanted to liven things up here at Rudolph Ramblings for I am going to try a new feature that I'll call Theme Thursday!  Every Thursday will feature something "theme" related...whether it's a collection of recipes that create a meal theme, or ideas for ornaments that create a tree theme...or perhaps dinner party of my faves!  I hope you'll enjoy what ever things I can dig up or create for you!  If you have a blog and would like to join me for Theme Thursday I'd love to have you. Comment on this post and let me know your interest as well as leave a link to the blog where you will feature Theme Thursday.  My themes will be Christmas related since they are on my Rudolph blog but you can go whereever your theme heart sends you! Cheers and welcome to 2013!