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Margarita Jello Shots in Lime Wedges for Cinco de Mayo

By April 21, 2017 Cocktails, Dinner Party, food, General, Party Ideas, Recipies
tequila jello shots

Whenever there is an occasion that calls for margaritas, I am all in. Cinco de Mayo is an occasion that is worthy of margaritas! With the holiday quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to plan a party with the girls. May 5th falls on a Friday this year, making it the perfect night for a little get together. I will be serving up plenty of my pretty Margarita Jello Shots in lime wedges. Scroll down for the recipe.

tease me tequila

I found this wonderful hand crafted blanco tequila at my local liquor store in Florida. The name is Tease Me and it features an image of a mermaid on the label. Whenever possible, I like to use ingredients from local vendors. However, you may use whatever tequila you like. Blanco (or silver) is the best tequila for this recipe because it is clear and won’t give your jello shots a funny yellow/brown color that you might get from a gold tequila.

Ingredients
2 Packets of Unflavored Gelatin
1 1/2 Cups of Simply Limeade (or any brand of limeade you prefer)
1/2 Cup of Blanco (silver) Tequila
5 Limes
2 TBL of granulated sugar

Directions
Cut limes in half and scoop out the insides. Sprinkle a little granulated sugar inside each lime. Heat the limeade in a pan over medium heat and stir in the packets of gelatin slowly until they dissolve. Add the limeade and gelatin mixture to a pourable container. Pour in tequila. Stir until combined. Place lime halves into a muffin tin to keep them upright. Pour in the liquid until each half is full and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. Slice into slices right before serving.

Are you planning a party for Cinco de Mayo? DIY Invitation Divas has some really fun Cinco de Mayo invites that you can instantly download and edit from home. ♥ I’ve taken all the hard work out of creating your invitations. The image you see is on the file. All you have to do is type in your details, save and print from home or your local copy center. To keep things simple the font and sizes of text are set. The only work you need to do is add your personal information. If you would like a customized file or printed invitations, I am happy to help. Click on the image below for more details.

editable text instant download cinco de mayo invitations

Shop Cinco de Mayo Invitations $9

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Throw a Cheap TuTu Birthday Party Without Looking Cheap

By March 6, 2017 cheap birthday party ideas, General, Party Ideas
girl's tutu birthday party ideas

Your children very important to you. So of course you want to make their Birthday party nothing less than special and memorable for them. Many mom’s and dad’s find that the Birthday party of their little girl’s dreams can cost a small fortune. Money that can be set aside to begin their college tuition fund.

No need to fret. I have solutions for your party needs that won’t break the bank. Lets take a look at how you can have an amazing tutu Birthday party while still being frugal.


Girl’s Love To Play Dress UP
Make tutus and crowns for each girl attending, says Jae Craig  of designdalle.blogspot.com. If you are crafty, this can be a great party favor your your little girl’s guests.

ballerina birthday party ideas

Location, Location, Location
When and where? These are the first and most important questions that you need to answer when planning your little girl’s party. If you live in a warmer climate or if it is summer time, consider your local public park. Many parks have a designated picnic area which is perfect for hosting a family party. If a park is not an option, consider having your party at home or a family member’s home.

I love the idea of making pom pom’s out of tissue paper and hanging them from a tree like this example found on Martha Steward Weddings. Or even putting some pallets together and covering them with a table cloth and using pillows as seating as the one found on Kara’s Party Ideas.

Food
As you may have guessed. Food is my favorite part of any celebration. I love to cook and entertain. However, aside from the venue, food can be one of the most expensive parts of a party. However, you can easily cut the cost of food at a kids party with these simple ideas. Make it a pot luck event. Supply the burgers and hot dogs, and ask family members to bring a side dish. Buy your burgers, hot dogs, and buns in bulk. This will save you a lot of money. Or you can skip the meal and just serve chips, snacks, and of course, lets not forget the Birthday cake.

Guest List
The guest list for your Birthday party will naturally affect the cost of your event. The more people you plan to invite, the more seating and food you will need. If you want to keep cost down, keep the guest list small. Perhaps only inviting family members and close friends.

Invitations and Decorations
Part of throwing a fun party is the decorations and invitations. But they can eat up a good portion of your funds. Choose a color and them for your child’s party and stick to it. For a girl’s Birthday party, you might consider a ballerina theme with pink invitations, bunting, and some pink and white balloons.

ballerina invitation bunting and thank you card pink

Instantly download an invitation like the one above for $9. You can easily edit and print your invitation from home on premium white 8.5×11 card stock. This option is also good if you are running short on time and your child’s Birthday is quickly approaching. The invitation fits nicely in a standard A7 envelope. Depending on the number of guests you have on your guest list, this will cost you significantly less than having invitations professionally printed. And they look so much prettier than emailed invitations or the kind that you write the information in. Plus your guests will appreciate receiving an invitation in the mail. These invitations come with the fonts, so there is no need to worry about downloading them. See the complete line at www.diyInvitationDivas.etsy.com

Fun and Games
Fun and games are a fairly traditional part of a Birthday party. So if it is your wish to go with tradition, I have a an old favorite that won’t cost a lot, if anything at all. Musical chairs will add life to any ballerina’s tutu party. If you have never played this game as a child, I will wonder a tiny bit about you. Just kidding. The game is simple. All you need are kids, music, and chairs. Have one less chair than there are children. When the music plays the children dance around the chairs. When it stops, everyone has to sit in a chair. The one who is out has to stand aside. Then you take one chair away and repeat the process until there is one kid left. I loved this game as a kid and remember that it kept me and my friends entertained for hours.

Chipping In
Most likely, at least one other person in your family has thrown a child’s Birthday party. It stands to reason, then, that they probably know a little something about planning a party. You might even have a talented musician or magician in your family who is willing to chip in their skills to save you some money. Don’t be shy about asking for help from your loved ones, as they might be delighted to help.

tutu birthday cake

The Cake
What little girl doesn’t love cake? And what Birthday party would be complete without one. The Birthday cake is the highlight of the whole party. The cake of your dreams doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. Here are some suggestions. You can buy a cake mix, frosting, sprinkles and candles. Have dad take the guest of honor out for a few hours while you and the siblings work on baking and decorating the cake. It is a fun family project that you all will enjoy. If you are strapped for time, look at your local supermarket or bakery for a pre-made cake.

If you follow these tips, your child’s Birthday party doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Do you have ideas for saving money on a child’s Birthday party? We would love to hear them. If so, won’t you share them in the comments section below.

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Sunday Morning Brunch: Cranberry Lime Mimosa

By February 26, 2017 breakfast, Cocktails, General, mimosa, Party Ideas, Recipies, Sunday morning brunch ideas
brunch ideas, cranberry lime mimosa, mimosa ideas

What is better to serve with my breakfast sliders than my cranberry lime mimosas made with prosecco. If you are not familiar with prosecco, it is an sparkling wine similar to champagne, but is made in Italy. Recently I read an article that drinking prosecco is good for your health. So bottoms up! …in moderation of course.

You might enjoy reading this article for more information on prosecco. 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Prosecco.

mimosa idea, sunday morning brunch idea, mimosa recipe, cranberry lime mimosa

Ingredients Cranberry Lime Mimosa
Prosecco
Cranberry Juice
Sliced Lime

Directions for Cranberry Lime Mimosa
The directions are simple. Pour the bubbly. Splash some cranberry juice. Garnish with a lime. Enjoy!

Brunch and Bubbly Mimosa Bar Signs

Instantly download these mimosa bar sign, print, and place in an 8×10 frame. >> CLICK HERE

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Sunday Morning Brunch: Egg, Ham and Cheese Sliders

By February 26, 2017 breakfast, Brunch and Bubbly, food, General, Party Ideas, Recipies, Sunday morning brunch ideas
ham egg and cheese sliders brunch ideas

Today’s Sunday brunch recipe is a fresh spin on your traditional breakfast sandwich. Everyone is sure to love the egg, ham and cheese on a homemade herbed mini roll. It is a flavorful dish that is perfect for mid morning to early afternoon brunches.

ham egg and cheese sliders brunch ideas

Who knew that bread dough was so easy to make? I am an early riser so I whipped mine up this morning. One batch makes about 12-16 rolls. I like to make 6 rolls at a time and set aside the remaining dough to make a pizza during the week. For my easy bread dough recipe >>CLICK HERE

Ingredients For Homemade Rolls
Victoria’s Easy Homemade Bread Dough
1 tsp Fresh Thyme
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary
3 tbl Olive Oil
1 tbl Raw Sunflower Seeds

Directions For Homemade Rolls
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Separate Victoria’s home-made bread dough into small sections. Knead the dough a tiny bit more and let rise for about 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, combine olive oil, thyme and rosemary in a small dish. Set aside to allow the flavors to infuse a bit. The longer you can marinate the herbs in the olive oil the better the taste. If you have 24 hours, fantastic! If you only have ten minutes, that is fine too. Your rolls will still taste amazing.

Next dry sauté sunflower seeds in a frying pan until they begin to turn a golden brown and the nutty aroma is released. Remove from heat.

Brush each roll with the olive oil mixture and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Bake at 375 degrees on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes or until a golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

ham egg and cheese sliders brunch ideas

Slider Fixings Ingredients
6 Eggs
3 Slices Thinly Sliced Ham
2 Slices Baby Swiss Cheese
1/2 Cup Baby Kale
3 Thinly Sliced Red Onion
1 tbl Olive Oil

Slider Fixings Directions
Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a non stick frying pan. Cook eggs over-easy.

Cut the ham and cheese into 2 inch squares. Place 1-2 slices each on your home-made buns. Top with cooked egg, baby kale, and thinly sliced red onion.

You can use whatever ingredients you like for your slider fixings. For this recipe I am partial to the flavors of the herbed rolls combined with the eggs, tavern roasted ham, and baby Swiss cheese topped with baby kale and thinly sliced red onion. This dish goes well served with my cranberry lime mimosas.

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S’more Thanks – Healthy and Decadent Chocolate Recipe Hostess Gift Idea

By February 25, 2017 chocolate, Desserts, Dinner Party, General, Party Ideas, Recipies
home made chocolate recipe

Are you looking for a sweet DIY hostess gift to bring to a dinner party? I have created this fantastic recipe for healthy and decadent chocolates. Best of all this is an easy gift to put together. All you need is twine, a mason jar (found at Micheal’s), the ingredients (found in the recipe below), and the printable recipe card. Crafting a hostess gift from scratch is a wonderful way to make your host feel special. Handmade gifts are more personal, and the fact that they cannot be found in a store makes this a unique and memorable sentiment.

home made chocolate recipe

Once you have everything you need, tie the recipe card to a mason jar which has all of the dry ingredients layered on top of each other. Make a note to “just add wet ingredients” and add the recipe card to it with some twine or a ribbon. If your hostess loves red wine, pair the chocolate with a bottle of Pinot Noir and add it to your gift. Wrap the bottle with a matching “Thank You” wine sleeve (as seen in the image above) to tie the complete look together. You can even make these chocolates ahead of time and bring them for desert. Information on where to download a free “Just Add Wet Ingredients” card and “Thank You” wine sleeve can be found at the end of this article.

This decadent chocolate recipe uses all natural raw organic CACAO Nibs which is a Mayan super food that helps to boost energy and burn fat. No guilt there! In addition to the rich dark coco taste, they are high in antioxidants, magnesium and phenylethalaine. I like them because their texture adds an enjoyable crunch to this recipe.

Ingredients
1/2 cup CACAO Nibs (Found in health food stores)
3/4 cups almonds (or desired nuts)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 tsp cocoa
2 cups grain sweetened non-dairy chocolate chips
1/4 cup hemp milk
Dried cherries or cranberries
30 mini paper cupcake liners

Directions
Pulse the almonds in a food processor. Add CACAO nibs, coconut, and cocoa. Pulse a few more times. Add brown rice syrup and pulse until completely blended, scraping down the sides as necessary.

In a double boiler melt chocolate chips. Add hemp milk and stir until completely mixed. Add about 1 tsp of melted chocolate to mini cupcake liners. Layer with about a tsp or less of almond mixture. Don’t worry if the almond mixture doesn’t spread evenly. No big deal! Then add another layer of melted chocolate until the almond mixture is completely covered. Top with a dried cherry (my favorite) or dried cranberry. Refrigerate for one hour. Then enjoy after a long day with a nice glass of red wine.

Makes 30 Chocolates

home made diy chocolate recipe

If you would like to download the recipe card used in this article it can be found on Etsy at VG Invites or by clicking on this link >> Home Made Chocolate Recipe Card

FREE printable “Just Add Wet Ingredients” card and “Thank You” wine sleeves can be downloaded at www.VGInvites.com or by clicking on this link and scrolling to the bottom of the article. >> S’more Thanks I have repurposed this article from my S’more Thanks Bridesmaid Gift Ideas because I thought that it would make a lovely hostess gift as well.

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The Perfect Wine Pairing with New England Clam Chowder

By February 22, 2017 Cocktails, Dinner Party, Party Ideas, Recipies, wine
white wine pairing with new england clam chowder

Above photo courtesy of Frank “The Bald Guy” Donnino www.mybaldphotographer.com

Have you ever wondered what wines pair well with a hearty bowl of New England clam chowder? As you may already know, I am partial to the reds when it comes to wine. While a nice red will pair perfectly with a Manhattan chowder, it’s best to look to lighter styles of wine to compliment a cream- or broth-based chowder. That is why I consulted with the experts on perfect pairings. Best of all, these wines are in the $15 to $20 range.

Ashley, who is a wine expert at Wegman’s in Massachusetts, has suggested Decoy’s Sauvignon Blanc as her number one choice for this dish. According to the winemaker’s notes “This inviting wine combines bright citrus aromas with richer layers of kiwi and honeysuckle. On the palate, a perfectly balanced mouthfeel underscores pure flavors of Key lime, orange zest and Honeycrisp apple, all of which carry through to a long and lively finish.”

If you feel that a Sauvignon Blanc is a little to light for your taste, perhaps you would like a medium bodied white like a Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gavi or Riesling, as Charles from wine.com suggests. If you prefer to place your order for wine online, wine.com has a wonderful pairing guide to help you choose the very best wines for your dish. Here is the link >> www.wine.com/v6/aboutwine/pairingfoodwithwine.aspx

Chateau Ste Michelle’s 2014 Chardonnay wine pairing with New England clam chowder

If there is an award winning white wine in my book, it will have to be Chateau Ste Michelle’s 2014 Chardonnay. While I am not one for Chardonnay, the first time I tasted this at a wine tasting with some dear friends on Federal Hill in Rhode Island, I fell in love and bought a whole case. This fresh, soft style of Chardonnay is an appealing, food-friendly white wine. It displays a bright apple and sweet citrus fruit character with subtle spice and oak nuances. It is sure to be a hit at your next dinner party.

If you are looking for a wonderful New England clam chowder recipe, look no further. I love to cook and this is my very favorite recipe that I have cultivated and perfected over the years. To try my chowder recipe CLICK HERE.

Are you throwing a wine lover party or wine tasting? Why not send your guest a paper invitation in the mail. You can order either printed or printable invites if you are short on time. Order yours through Victoria at VG Invites

wine lover party invitation

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Victoria’s Recipe Box: New England Clam Chowder In a Bread Bowl

By February 20, 2017 Dinner Party, food, General, Party Ideas, Recipies
New England Clam Chowder In Bread Bowl

 

Even though I am now officially a Floridian, I still have wicked cravings for New England Clam Chowder, or as we like to call it, chowda. This recipe is one of my very favorites because it is served in a bread bowl. The first time I made my chowder in a bread bowl was for a 4th of July party some years ago. After my friends and family oohed and aahed over the buttery, creamy, and savory dish, they then delighted in eating their chowder-seeped bowls. It was both fun and comical to watch. I miss those days. If you are intimidated by the thought of making bread bowls, don’t be. They are quite easy. I will explain how in my recipe below.

I am making this for my girl’s night in this Thursday. My Floridian girlfriends are sure to love this dish. Some have never even had New England clam chowder before, so it is sure to be a treat. I will be pairing my dish with some wonderful wines all under $20. But first I must consult with Ashley who is a wine expert at Wegman’s back home. So be sure to check back for the perfect wine pairings to compliment my dish. Update! Here is a link see my selection of the perfect wines to go with my New England clam chowder dish. Your guests will agree.

Bread Bowl Ingredients
Frozen Bread Loaf

Directions For Bread Bowl
Thaw the bread loaf. Cut 1 loaf into 4. Let it rise according to package instructions. Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake according to package instructions. Let cool. Cut off the top of each loaf and scoop out the center to make it into a bowl. Set aside.

Chowder Ingredients
4 slices of bacon, diced
1 stick of butter
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tbl of flour
1 10 oz can of Chicken of the Sea whole baby clams, drained and juice set aside
1/2 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube (Knore is my favorite)
2-3 russet potatoes, cubed (I like to keep the skin on)
sprig of rosemary, chopped
sprig of thyme, chopped
3 cups of half-and-half, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste

Chowder Directions
Cook bacon and set aside.

In a large stock pot over medium-low heat melt butter. Add onions and cook until slightly translucent. Sprinkle in flour and stir creating a roué. Slowly stir in clam juice from canned clams, water, and bouillon. Add potatoes, rosemary, and thyme. Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Approximately 10 minutes. With a fork, break apart the potatoes. Slowly stir in half and half and clams. Cook until chowder is heated through. Be sure that you don’t bring it to a boil because you don’t want the half and half to curdle.

Ladle chowder into bread bowls, top with bacon and a sprig of rosemary or thyme for a garnish. Serves 4.

What wines would you pair with this dish? Leave your comments below. The Do Tell A Belle audience would love to hear them.

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Victoria’s Recipe Box – Nutty Lemon Lime Rumba Cocktail

By February 20, 2017 Cocktails, Dinner Party, General, Party Ideas
Captain Morgans Rum Cocktail Nutty Lemon Lime Rumba

 

If you’re looking for a refreshing cocktail for your weekend party, this Nutty Lemon Lime Rumba is one to try. Inspired by my dear friend Leslie, you will love how the lemon and lime aids compliment the coconut flavor of the coconut rum perfectly.

I like this spiked lemon/limeade cocktail because it uses fresh citrus fruits, which is a great alternative to the sugary sour mix. If you don’t want to squeeze lemons and limes to make the simple syrup recipe, a quick and easy route is to combine equal parts lemon and lime-ade. It saves time for when you are in a crunch.

Ingredients
5 lemons
5 limes
5 1/4 cups water
simple syrup to taste
Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay Coconut Rum

Juice the lemons and limes. In a small saucepan combine the sugar and 1 1/4 cups of water. Heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved into a simple syrup. In a large pitcher combine juiced lemons and limes, simple syrup, and remaining water. Chill the lemon lime aid for about 45 minutes (or longer).

Place ice, 1 1/2 oz of coconut rum and 2 1/2 oz of lemon lime aid in a Boston Shaker. Shake and strain into a serving glass with ice. Garnish with fruit and serv.

download rum cocktail recipe

Are you having friends over for a night of cocktails? Perhaps you would like to send them home with this fun cocktail recipe card. It is easy to download and print on cardstock. >> DOWNLOAD YOURS HERE

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Gifts For Your Bridesmaids

By February 19, 2017 Boutique, General, Party Ideas
bridesmaid proposal gift idea, bath and body spa kit

“Made my skin feel so soft”

He popped the question! Now how will you ask your besties to be a part of your special day? When it comes to weddings, it can be the little things that really make those that are closest to you feel special. “Bridesmaids are often the unsung heroes of wedding planning. They wear whatever dress you choose, plan the bachelorette party and bridal shower, and stand by your side during the ceremony. So it’s important to thank them for all of their hard work and dedication with a totally amazing bridesmaid gift.” says Holly, owner of Little Flower Soap Co.

When it is time to ask your bridesmaids to be your go-to-girls for your wedding deciding on what to give them can be a challenge. Plan a girl’s brunch and bubbly at your home. Serve mimosa’s, quiche, assorted fine chocolates and fruit. I like to keep it simple and yet elegant.

To set the mood, light some aromatherapy candles and play some soothing spa music. Provide your favorite spa prep kit for you and your gals to enjoy. When the time is right, pop the question with a special card and a spa gift.

If you are at a loss for what to give, let me just say, I can’t get enough of these exquisite spa essentials gift boxes. They are sure to create a delightful aromatic experience. Little Flower Soap Co. is a charming bath and body shop with bath products that are beautifully hand crafted by perfecting essential oil recipes that are healing, smell wonderful, and are tastefully packaged. They make the perfect gift for all of the tireless work that your Matron of Honor and Bridesmaids will do to help make your day the best day ever.

bridesmaid spa gift set

“I’m in love with this spa gift set!”

This Natural Spa Gift Set in the above photo includes: 1 lip balm of your choice, 1 soap of your choice, 1 four oz bath salt in your choice of Lavender or Pink Grapefruite, 1 muscle rescue balm tin, 1 skin rescue balm tin, 1 gift box with navy grosgrain ribbon and gift tag with your personalized message. The Little Flower Soap Co has an impressive 5 star rating on Etsy. And as a special gift to my readers, Holly is offering 10$ off your order is you use promo code: SWEETPEA10 >>Shop Spa Gift Sets Here

bridesmaid gift idea bath salts, salt scrub handmaid soap

“Everything smells so good! My bridesmaids are going to love these.”

Relax and Restore Gift Set Lavender Soap Detox Bath Salts spa gift for her- All natural lavender gift set features their most popular soap, Lavender Lemongrass, and an 8 ounce jar of Detoxifying Dead Sea and epsom lavender bath salt, 1 bar of lavender lemongrass soap, 1 natural gift box tied with navy grosgrain ribbon and custom gift tag. >>Shop Spa Gift Sets Here

What are some gifts that you have given to your bridesmaids. Our readers would love to know. Share in the comments section.

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Bora and Josephe’s Real Florida Beach Wedding

By February 17, 2017 General, Party Ideas, Wedding Planning
bridesmaids, bride, wedding bouquet white blue and purple

Real Florida Beach Wedding Ideas

Wedding reception

beach wedding reception ideas

Florida Wedding Bride and Groom

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beach wedding ideas sunglasses

beach wedding ideas

beach wedding sign idea

beach wedding photography

Wedding photography courtesy of  Frank “The Bald Guy” Donnino, South Florida Wedding Photographer

When it comes to weddings, there is nothing more romantic than a beach wedding. Especially Bora and Joseph’s wedding held on a beautiful day at the Grand Plaza Resort on St. Pete’s Beach, Florida. Their color pallet is as bright and vivacious as the day, with the bridesmaids rocking their royal purple dresses designed by Azazie. Floral design by 2Birds Events. Band/DJ by Joe Lorenzo of EXPERT Productions.

starfish beach wedding invitation set

Starfish beach wedding invitation set designed by Victoria of VG Invites. >> Order yours by clicking here

real florida wedding ideas

What do you love most about this beach wedding? Leave us a comment below.

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