I host a cookie swap every December that everyone swears is their favorite, but I am cognizant of the fact that they could be just being nice! I’d like to say that it is my charming hostess skills and/or my goodies, but I really think that the women in my life enjoy the opportunity to connect. In our crazy busy world it’s easy to get swept up into the minutia and put aside our own connections for those of our family and/or children.
When was the last time you scheduled a playdate for yourself?
With the cookie swap as a standing date each December, everyone has a “good excuse” to make it—and their family reaps the rewards when they get home. So I’ve started creating other tangible “excuses” for people come over and connect…be it for a craft night or most recently to color!
For those that follow me on Facebook know, I’ve been crazy about coloring from before you could find adult coloring books in every grocery store aisle! I’ve always loved coloring with my boys, and have fond memories of coloring with one of my favorite babysitters who I still think is the best colorerer (I know that’s not a word) in the world—yes you, Betty Strom!
So I decided to stock up on awesome color pencils, create some custom coloring pages, pull together some baked goods and sent out an Evite! That’s the formula for a great party right?
I invited my regular “posse” of friends that are made up mostly of moms of my boys’ friends that I’ve made through the years. They are always up for a gathering and are not completely put off when I pick their brains while they are here for my Just Jennessa purposes.
I did the party after dinner, but I always tell everyone to come hungry! I made a soup, which I would share the recipe for if I remembered what was in it. My recipe for Improv Chili gives you my formula for soup, which at my house, is always made up of whatever is in my fridge and cabinet on that day. I also made my Quiche as You Like It (see below), which again, is a great formula for a quiche. There is no end to the options you can create. I then made my Zucchini Cupcakes with a caramel glaze that were a big hit and pumpkin bread. All my favorites for fall!
After everyone grazed, we settled in at the table where I had put out containers of colored pencils, an electric pencil sharpener since there is nothing worse than a dull pencil, and then sheets of coloring pages. I created these pages with mandalas that I found online and then I added my favorite creativity quotes to them. I printed them on cardstock and then trimmed them down (actually my printer did, but you can trim on the trim lines shown) so that they were 8×10. That way they could frame them if they loved them, and/or give them away. These are the same designs as our Grateful Cards, but with different quotes and a smaller size.
What I loved most about this evening, outside of spending time with a great group of women, is that everyone’s was completely different, even if they had picked the same page, and no one was self-conscious (or at least it didn’t show) about their coloring—no inhibitions! There was a ton of gabbing, coloring, sharpening…and of course eating!
Download the sheets, make some treats, send out an Evite and call it a great reason to connect!
Quiche As You Like It
- 1 9" unbaked pie shell
- 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, etc.)
- 1 cup cooked meat (ham, sausage, bacon, etc.)
- 1 cup cooked/steamed vegetable, drained (spinach, broccoli, zucchini, onion, pepper, etc.)
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup milk of choice or half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
|Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line pie pan with pie shell.|
|Sprinkle the cheese, meat, and vegetables on the bottom of the pie shell.|
|Beat the eggs, milk, and seasonings together until well blended.|
|Pour eggs over the meat, cheese, and veggies and bake for 35-45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.|
|Let stand for 10 minutes to set further before serving. Serve hot for brunch, or warm at your next gathering.|
|Experiment! Serves 6-8.|