Thursday, February 5, 2009

Two Truths and a Lie, Some Q&A's, and My Holiday Party

**I actually typed this post several weeks ago, but I was having a problem with the pictures and couldn't get it to publish. Also, there are more photos that need to be added to this post once I figure out what the problem is.**

Because I'm new to blogging and haven't figured out how to find out the stats for visitors to my blog, I didn't know that anyone was reading. Well, today I found a comment on my January 28, 2009 blog from Wendy, who has her own blog with a great name. It's called "Weight...What?". You should pay her blog a visit, and you can even play the game she has going on now called "Two Truths and a Lie". She invited those with a blog to consider themselves tagged (my first one...YAY!!), so here goes!

Okay, here are my two truths and a lie. See if you can figure out which one is the lie, and leave your answer in my comment section. You can also leave your two truths and a lie in the comment section, and I'll follow Wendy's lead and have any readers that I may have out there tagged, too. In other words, if you have a blog, you can put your two truths and a lie on your blog with a link back to mine.

Two Truths and a Lie

1. After our first trip to Hawaii, my friend and I packed up our bags and moved there for two years.

2. I've climbed a volcano and a waterfall.

3. When I was a kid, I spent two summers traveling cross-country in a van with my family and camped in almost every state along the way.

So, which one do you think is the lie?

Now to answer Wendy's questions:

Q: Where do you find all these giveaways?

A: I'm signed up to receive the RSS feeds for a whole bunch of blogs, and when they offer giveaways, I enter them. Some blogs are strictly review and giveaway blogs, and those are the ones that have a lot to enter on a consistent basis. If you are interested in entering some giveaways, you can always click on the links on my blog that will take you to the place to enter them.

Q: How did your dinner party last month go?

A: Thank you so much for asking! The dinner party (actually a holiday party) was a huge success! It was on December 13, 2008, and everyone that came had a great time! Just look at the two reindeer (a.k.a. my cousins, Brittney and Emily) in the picture below for evidence!

One of the hits of the party was an ornament exchange that I called, "Steal the Ornament," which was actually a suggestion from my Uncle Bob, seen here.

If you're not familiar with this, the way it works is that everyone brings a wrapped ornament, and they all go onto one table. Then you draw numbers to see who gets to choose the first package. The next person to choose an ornament has a choice to either choose from the pile of wrapped ones or steal the first person's ornament! You continue playing in this format with each new person getting the choice to choose from the pile of wrapped ornaments or steal from those who already have opened their ornaments. This is why you hope that the number you drew at the beginning was a high one because the higher the number, the more chances to steal!! Oh, each ornament can only be stolen twice, and if your ornament was stolen, you get to pick another one from the pile or steal from someone else. Anyway, it was a ton of fun, and everyone loved it.

Speaking of ornaments, my grandma, seen with me in the next photo, brought me a very special hostess gift. Years ago she used to make these beautiful Christmas ornaments with fancy beads, rhinestones, pearls, and pins, etc., and she gave me the red one I'm holding up in the photo. It's definitely something that will always make me think of her when I see it on my tree every year.

I also received two pretty Christmas Cacti from my cousin Veronica and her husband John, as well as an adorable dolphin statue from my Aunt Deanna, her partner, Charlie, and Brittney and Emily.

Aside from the "Steal an Ornament" game, my mom and I made a ton of yummy appetizers. Three of the recipes I had never made before. I found them on the Better Home and Gardens website. These were double-quick shrimp cocktail, served with large shrimp, pesto-provolone terrine, served with french bread, and brie with mango chutney, served with Carr's Table Water Crackers .

I very highly recommend the pesto-provolone terrine !! It was so yummy and oh-so-easy to make! The brie was good, too, but next time I'd make it with a fig chutney instead because the mango chutney didn't quite do it for me.

I served another shrimp appetizer that's super quick to make. All you do is take a brick of cream cheese, and put it on a serving dish. Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 of a bottle of cocktail sauce over the cream cheese, and top it off with baby shrimp. Serve with Wheat Thins Crackers. It doesn't get much easier than that!

To finish off the appetizer menu, I served spinach dip with french bread, veggies and dip, Harvest Cheddar SunChips , and my mom brought meatballs and a Hillshire Farms Lil' Smokies recipe.

What would a party be without dessert? Veronica brought a delish chocolate cheesecake! There were also lots of different types of chocolate candy, candy canes, and a gorgeous, yummy cake from this awesome bakery.

Since I chose to not decorate in traditional Christmas colors and instead went with a pink, aqua, white, and silver shabby chic look, I wanted the cake to have that same style. I used the same bakery that I had discovered when getting a cake for my mom and dad's 40th wedding anniversary "party" because they had done such a great job.

The bakery is called Jen's Cakes, and let me tell you, Jen is nothing short of amazing!! All I did was ask for a shabby chic Christmas cake, sent her a few pictures with the colors I liked, and she made the perfect cake!! And to top it off, she had just had her first baby two weeks before!!

Q: Were you able to find space for everyone?

A:I was able to find space for everyone, but it was definitely a tight squeeze! I had the party when we were having super cold weather for California (it was in the 30's at night), and I couldn't use the heater because my Christmas tree was in front of it. Well, I guess if I wanted to meet some cute firemen, I could have used the heater...LOL! Anyway, I was worried about it being freezing in here, but because there were so many people in such a tiny space, it actually got too hot for me.

Anyway, the party was a big success, and I think I've decided to make it an annual tradition. If more people come this year though, I may have to move to a bigger place, LOL!!

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