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(photo credit: Belly Feathers)

I am OBSESSED right now with planning Natalie and Liam’s joint birthday party. I am like a crazy person trying to do the most I can on a budget. Etsy is like… heaven. The women who have stores on that site are truly amazing and gifted. With their help, I think this birthday bash is going to be one to remember. Now, if only I can find out how to get a live tiger to show… LOL! Just teasing.

Last night, that’s all I did. I searched online like an ANIMAL and found so many party sites that offer creative tips on how to do it yourself.

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Then I took a break to cook dinner and when I minced my garlic… it turned green in the pan. I never saw such a thing! Has that happened to you? To hide the color I added some black tea to the pan which darkened the chicken. Voila! Bill doesn’t like to see the chicken white – so it actually worked to my advantage on two counts.

I’ve mentioned this before – but I love to cook with Black tea. Instead of using oil, I whip out my Honest Tea and it works just the same (minus the fat or points on Weight Watchers if you follow the plan).

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Another thing that I started to use (when I am in a bind) is Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain White Rice. If I have the time, I usually make basmati rice from scratch. But when I want to get things on the table quickly, Uncle Ben’s is a good alternative.

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My secret is to use chicken stock instead of water and to add a few Bay Leaves to the pot. It really adds a ton of flavor for minimal work.

After dinner, I picked up my friend Cheryl and ran to the Dollar Store. I wanted to get glass bowls to fill with candy for the party. I saw this amazing sweets table online that I am going to try to replicate. I can’t WAIT to have this party!!!

Do you know of any party sites you can refer me to? I am always up for a new URL. πŸ™‚

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