Monday, April 25, 2011

{Party Bee} Jake's 1st Birthday Party is Underway!

The invites are out and Jake's 1st birthday party is well underway! It really is a good feeling when the invitations go out in the mail...it is like a huge load is lifted off my shoulders. Now the countdown really begins!

Stay tuned for more sneak peeks of Jake's BIG day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

{Sugar Bee} Happy Easter Daisy Cupcakes

It is Easter and a day to celebrate and rejoice! To celebrate this special day I have whipped up some Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Raspberry Cheesecake Buttercream Frosting decorated with Rolled Marshmallow Fondant Daisies. These cupcakes are not only cute but they are delicious! I found this recipe on the site, Good Life Eats. If you aren't familiar with this site, I suggest you give it look because it is filled with wonderful recipes and stunning photographs of the most decadent and delicious recipes!  I definitely suggest giving this recipe a try!

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

{Party Bee} Tips for Choosing your Child's Party Theme

Sometimes trying to choose a party theme for a birthday party is harder than you think. It could be that you have several ideas for your five year old that neither you nor your child can seem to narrow down to just one, or perhaps you have no idea what to do for a first birthday party. Well have no fear, The Sugar Bee Bungalow is here to help you with a few tips for choosing the perfect party theme for your child's party!

1. When deciding on your party theme, take the seasons and the weather into consideration. You probably don't want to throw an outside beach party in the middle of January. Now I know that seems pretty obvious, but it applies to several other party themes and activities. Stick to snow themes in the winter and water themes in the summer, etc. It really makes planning a lot easier if you work with the weather and the seasons, not against them.

2. The easiest way to choose a theme is by asking yourself, "what does my child enjoy?". Is there a particular food that he can't seem to get enough of, a book that he loves to have you read to him, characters from a television show or movie that make him light up, a favorite animal...perhaps it is a family pet, or maybe a sport that he enjoys playing or watching? If your child is of a certain age, asking him for ideas would probably be very helpful.

3. If your child is turning a year old, he may be a little too young to really be "in" to something specific (but not always), therefore look at a theme that may reflect you or your spouse, or the family as a whole. For example, you may want to have a fireman or police themed party because you or your spouse do one of those as a profession, maybe you choose a golf theme because it is a past time that your family enjoys doing, or perhaps you want a theme that reflects your culture and heritage. These ideas could make a very fun and unique party theme that you and your guests would truly appreciate and enjoy.

4. Having a unique party is great, but if it is too abstract it may make it difficult to find party decor, favors, etc. to go with your theme. Therefore, do some research and look at what would be accessible both in the stores and online. But if you do choose a party theme that is very unique, with a little elbow grease and craftiness you can make coordinating party favors and have the party custom designed!

5. Sometimes a theme is as easy as choosing your child's favorite colors. This makes party planning extremely easy as all you need to find is party decor and favors in a particular color palette...unless your child's favorite color is chartreuse or something. But even then, it is completely possible! Party and craft stores have so many options!

6. The theme may be looking at you right in the face and you don't even know it! Look at what your child is wearing or look in his bedroom. You may find that he owns a toy, decorative object, or an article of clothing that has the perfect party theme. If you look back at my Sock Monkey Party Collection post, you will see that the collection was inspired from my son's onesie. Now I know that was a custom made collection, but there are numerous accessible party collections that exist both online and in the stores. But if you can't find what you are looking for, you can always have the party collection custom designed! 

7. Finally, if you are still unsure of what theme to choose, go online and Google for ideas! This could be the perfect way for you to find that spark of inspiration!

Whatever method you choose in finding your child's party theme, relax and have fun with the process. You are making memories that both you and your child will love and cherish for the rest of your lives!

Monday, April 18, 2011

{Healthy Bee} Not your Mama's Meatloaf

I am a big fan of running and a few years ago I started a subscription to Runner's World Magazine. Not only did I learn helpful tips for running and working out, but I was able to learn some awesome recipes to fuel my body for my runs and workouts. I was pleasantly surprised to find the recipes to be delicious and sustaining. You can even visit their website to find a variety of recipes to fit your needs and your taste buds!

When you think of mealoaf, you probably think of some grody slop of meat that you may have been forced to eat as a child. Well let me say that this meatloaf recipe is a bit different. This recipe is packed with extra vegetables and oat bran that increases nutrients and decreases calories, while still providing you with the fuel your body needs. Even my husband and baby both enjoy the taste!

Meatloaf
By Liz Applegate Ph.D.

1lb extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 medium onion
1 large stalk celery
1 large carrot
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup parsley
1/2 large red pepper
1/2 cup oat bran
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 small (6oz) can tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
Ketchup in squirt bottle

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Finely chop the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley, and pepper in a food processor. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Pack meat into a 9 x 11" glass baking dish coated with vegetable spray. Decorate top with a squirt of ketchup and evenly distribute. Bake for one hour to 1 1/2 hours. Serves six. 

Calories: 180
Fat: 5g
Carbs: 16g
Protein: 20g

Even more, this is such an easy recipe, you can't fail even if you tried! Now go ahead and give it a go! Bon Appetit!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

{Baby Bee} Jake is Turning ONE!

It is approaching one year since the birth of my baby, Jake, and I can't believe how the time has just flown by! I am still questioning where the time went? With his birthday right around the corner, I am busy preparing for his 1st birthday party! Honestly, I have been mentally planning this day since the day he was born (maybe even before), but the actual party planning has recently taken place.

Inspired by The TomKat Studio's Crab Shack party (if you haven't checked this place out you have got to take a look immediately, it is full of awesome party designs), my husband and I decided that we would also like to give Jake a nautical themed party. Of course we love the look of the crabs, but we wanted even more fun nautical elements. Thus, Jake's Anchors Away Party Collection was born! A collection featuring anchors, lobsters, and crabs...oh my!

As you can see from the picture, this past weekend, my dear friend, Dary, from Beyond the 9 to 5, kindly photographed my son for his birthday invitations. She presented me with a sneak peak of the photo shoot and the image was beautiful! I am so very excited to receive the rest of the photographs.

Stay tuned for more sneak peaks of Jake's 1st birthday party!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

{Healthy Bee} Food, I love You!

Food, I love You!, is a fantastic site that features food glorious food! And who doesn't love food? Colleen Donnelly, author and creator of the blog, makes cooking and eating healthy oh so easy by featuring delicious recipes and helpful tips for eating nutritiously. With clever writing and delectable recipes, you can't go wrong with checking out this site. I am very excited to try her Mini Citrus Scones!
Subscribe today and you no longer have to have a love-hate relationship with food, this site and free weekly newsletter will allow you to to "have a love affair with food again"!
You can also follow, Food, I love You!, on Facebook  and Twitter! 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

{Sugar Bee} Bird's Nest Cookies

What better time to make Bird's Nest Cookies than Easter! And to top it off...I used them as cupcake toppers! Now this is a doubly delicious treat!
I found that M&M has a great recipe for these cookies that can be found on their website. Give this recipe a try this Easter. The kids will love them!

Friday, April 8, 2011

{Party Bee} Introducing the Olivia Baptism Collection

The Sugar Bee Bungalow is now introducing a girl's baptism collection...the Olivia Baptism Collection! It includes the same wonderful elements as the Jake Baptism Collection but only in a lovely palette of pink, yellow and brown. Celebrate your daughter's blessed day with this party collection!

The collection is priced at $20.00 for the entire set and contains the following:

*Invitation (envelope not included)
*5 circle tag designs- these are perfect to use as cupcake toppers, cookie tags, labels, table decorations, etc. With just a little bit of creativity the uses are endless!
*Labels for your treat table
*Treat bag labels
*Large cross design
*Happy Baptism______banner
*Coordinating patterned paper

Just send me the name of the little one to be baptized, party information, etc. and I will send you the files electronically!

{Healthy Bee} Spaghetti Squash Casserole Tutorial

Eating lots of colorful vegetables is an important step in being healthy and losing weight. Not only are you taking in plenty of nutrients that your body needs, but you are also filling up your belly and satiating your appetite! That is why I love this Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

Spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta and can be prepared in a variety of ways. I enjoy making this casserole that is similar to lasagna but without the pasta or ground beef. Although spaghetti squash is not as nutrient dense as other winter squash, such as butternut or acorn, it will provide you with a modest amount of calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Not to mention it will just make you feel great!

To get started, you will need the following ingredients:
(this recipe is a vegetarian dish but can be modified to include extra lean ground turkey or beef)

1 spaghetti squash
Mozzarella cheese
Ground crumbles (meat substitute) 
1 jar of Tomato Basil spaghetti sauce
Dry basil
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Oregano
Salt
Italian Parsley for garnish


Cooking the Spaghetti Squash:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin by cutting the squash in half (length wise) and scrape out the seeds.
Place the halves flesh side down in a casserole dish and add about 1/4-inch of water. Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender and remove and let cool.
Once they have cooled. Take a fork and rake the squash so that you create strands like "spaghetti noodles". 
Place the squash strands in a 9 x 13" casserole dish. Sprinkle a little black pepper, salt, 1 tsp. garlic powder, and 1 tsp. oregano.
After cooking your ground crumbles, layer on top of the squash and flavor with a little more oregano, garlic, black pepper and salt.
Pour your jar of spaghetti sauce on top of the ground crumbles and spread evenly. Finally, top with a little bit of mozzarella cheese. Place the casserole back in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese melts.
Once you have pulled it out of the oven and it has cooled a little bit, garnish with some fresh Italian parsley.
Serve warm and Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

{Sugar Bee} Making Whoopies!

Are they cake or are they cookies? They are whoopies!  "Whoopie Pies" to be exact and a fun trend in the baking world. These delicious cookie and cake hybrids are the perfect little size to satisfy your sweet tooth and incredibly easy to make. I found this particular recipe in a book called Paper Crafts Gourmet, a Paper Crafts Publication. This book is very fun because it incorporates cooking and paper crafting in one! If you enjoy both pastimes, I recommend taking a look at this book. It is full of inspiration and delicious recipes!

Now doesn't this make you want to go make Whoopies?!?!

Monday, April 4, 2011

{Queen Bee} Introducing the Healthy Bee

It has been 10 months since I had my son, Jake, and I have yet to return to my pre-baby weight and lifestyle. It is partly because I have enjoyed using the excuse that I have "recently" had a baby and partly because I have just become lazy. But it is now time to stop making excuses and return to the healthy and active lifestyle to which I was once accustomed. Therefore, I am now adding "Healthy Bee" to my blog that will feature recipes and tips for fighting the fat and living healthfully.

You must be thinking how ironic it is to have healthy postings on a blog that features mostly sweets? But, my motto is not to deprive oneself but to eat in moderation. Sure, go ahead and take a small taste of your creation, but don't eat them all! I am one who definitely likes to indulge once in a while, but just make sure that your once in a while doesn't become everyday. You can absolutely have the best of both worlds!

So now here I am ready to fight the fat and return to my former self...and fit into my skinny jeans! I will keep track of my progress and I encourage anyone who has also been struggling with losing weight to join me on this journey!


Here are a few tips to get you started!

*To lose weight you need to have more energy output than input. Therefore, if you reduce your calories by 500, you will lose one pound a week. (1 pound = 3500 calories) Exercise is important and will only help with your energy output. But if you haven't exercised in a while, start slow....you need to re-condition yourself. Try power walking or the elliptical if you are a beginner. The first two weeks will be tough but just power through it, it will get easier!

*It is important to fill your diet with nutrient dense foods. This means you want the "biggest bang for your buck" when it comes food....eating foods that give the highest amount of nutrients for the least amount of energy (calories)! Therefore, don't ignore nutrition labels...they will help you with keeping your food intake healthy and nutrient dense!

*Keep track of your calories in a journal or on an online calorie tracker. Being informed of this will keep you accountable for the foods you consume and will keep you eating the right amount of calories you need to be healthy and lose weight.

*If you have any health or medical problems, consult your doctor and/or a registered dietitian, together they can put you on a program that is healthy and created just for your needs.

Stay tuned for my first "Healthy Bee" post!

Friday, April 1, 2011

{Party Bee} Mod Elephant Printable Collection

Throwing a baby shower for a modern and chic mama-to-be? Well then this party collection is for you. It is my new Mod Elephant printable collection! This party collection combines bold prints and stylish colors for a sophisticated and modern look. What a fabulous way to welcome a baby to the world!

(This collection would also work nicely for a mod birthday party for a modern and stylish child!) 

The entire collection is $30.00 and comes with the following:

- Invitation (envelopes not included)
- 7 Circle tag designs: These are perfect for creating cupcake toppers, cookie tags, table decorations, etc. With a little bit of creativity, the uses are endless!
- 2 Treat bag label designs
- Water bottle label design
- "Welcome Baby" banner
- Name of baby, banner
- Candy bar wrapper design
- Mini candy bar wrapper design
- Goody tent cards
- Coordinating patterned paper in 6 designs
- Large elephant in 6 different patterned backgrounds. These are great for on the wall, hanging decorations, centerpieces, etc.

Just send me the baby's name and the name of the mom-to-be, along with the party information (i.e. time, place, contact, etc.) and I will send you the files electronically.