My Willow House Party
Ladies, I am so sorry for not posting sooner!
Besides being unbelievably busy, my laptop went ka-put! I have not been able to access my blog for about a week. I have only been able to check my gmail on my phone. Man…I feel so out of it.
So, I finally twisted my husband’s arm until it completely fell off, and he broke down and bought me a new desktop computer for my office.
I had a desktop computer that I purchased in 1999, which is a trillion years old in computer years. It was soooooo slow. Literally.
It would take over 15 minutes for a page to load on the internet. Not kiddin.
I would click for a page to open, go downstairs and fold the laundry, come back upstairs, and the page still hadn’t loaded.
So when my laptop is down, I am basically computerless.
Maybe it’s a good thing. But it sure didn’t feel like it.
But since I am teaching now and will be bringing home a paycheck in a few weeks, my loving (one-armed) husband gave me the green light to purchase a mini-mac for my office.
One word….LOVE. (and I love my husband too.) :)
I am so excited about what I am going to be able to do with my pictures and videos for my blog now. The possibilities are limitless!
So now that I have a computer working in my office, I am finally able to post pictures of my Willow House Party.
Let’s start with the most important pictures first…THE FOOD!
My sister and niece helped me out with the snacks, and believe me…they were delish!
My niece, Courtney, brought these delicious “cake truffles”. She told me on the phone earlier, “Aunt Traci, these are better than those Oreo Truffles.”
What? How can that be? Have you tried those Oreo Truffles? They are heaven on earth. (recipe HERE)
But when I took a bit of the “cake truffles”, I will have to admit that I agree. They are soooo good!
1 (18.25 oz) package of cake mix (Courtney used yellow cake mix)
1 (16 oz) container of prepared cake frosting
2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Bake the cake according to box instructions.
2. Remove cake from oven when done and let cool 30 minutes.
3. Crumble up warm cake mix in a large bowl and add frosting. Mix together with a stand mixer or hand mixer.
4. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.
5. Line your cookie tray with wax paper.
6. Use a melon scraper to scoop out the mixture into balls and place on cookie sheet.
7. Set in freezer for one hour.
8. Melt chocolate chips in microwave or on the stove top (double broiler).
8. Using toothpicks, dip the cake balls into the chocolate and place on cookie tray to harden. Place in refrigerator until time to serve.
(This is a Paula Deen recipe. Click HERE to view her recipe.)
I made some delicious cheese truffles from a recipe found in my “Best of Philadelphia Cream Cheese” cookboook. I loved having individual bite size cheese balls versus one large one that everyone has to cut into.
Holiday Cheese Truffles
2 pkg. (8 oz each) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (8 0z.) Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
dash ground red pepper, cayenne (I did not use this.)
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
2 green onions, sliced
1 2/3 cups chopped pecans
Crackers of choice ( I used wheat thins.)
1. Beat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder and ground red pepper with electric mixer until blended. Divide in half. Add roasted red peppers to half and onions to the other half; mix each well until blended.
2. Refrigerate several hours until chilled.
3. Shape into 24 (1-inch) balls. Roll in pecans. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cyndi made Mom’s “Ooey, Gooey Marshmallow Bars” that she had posted about on her blog. You can find that recipe HERE.
To serve the spinach dip and bread cubes, I just flipped my (former) Southern Living at Home cake stand over. It usually looks like this:
We had the party demonstration outside. My friend Lori, the Willow House consultant, had decorated the display table beautifully for us to enjoy…
See the gorgeous green Berry Bowl in the above picture? I got that with my bonus points! It is a strainer, so I can just wash off my grapes or cherries and stick in right in the fridge. I cannot wait to get it!
So many pretty things…
The weather was absolutely gorgeous that night, mid 70’s!
My beautiful sister, Cyndi, enjoyed sipping her coffee while relaxing in the swing…
And two of my Mom’s sisters were there, Aunt Tassy and Aunt Pat. I don’t know what I would do without these ladies in my life right now.
I hosted a party two years ago, and Mom was there. I really missed not having her with us this time. She would have loved the food and the fellowship. As I cleaned the house and got ready for the party, I reminded myself of Mom in so many ways.
Having my precious aunts there made me feel like Mom was nearby. They look and act just like her! We sat around the patio table and talked about precious memories of Mom as we ate our food.
I was so touched afterwards by the words my friend Lori shared with me. She said she was amazed at the closeness I have with my aunts. She informed me that that was rare and special and that she felt honored to be a part of our family that night.
She’s right. Not many people are as close to their aunts as Cyndi and I are. I am so unbelievably blessed with a family that loves me so much. Mom’s sisters have “stepped in” to Mom’s shoes many times this past year when I was feeling her absence the most.
I am so grateful for the blessing of family!
Cyndi, and my precious niece, Courtney. When the three of us get together, you can guarantee it’s gonna be fun!!!
My beautiful friend, Lori, ready to demonstrate some of the gorgeous Willow House products…
As it began to get dark, Lori demonstrated how you could use one of the bowls for a centerpiece with candles. It was beautiful!
She also created an adorable fall display using the 3-tier stand. I absolutely love decorating for fall, don’t you!!?
A couple pictures of the patio all lit up at night…
It was such a great evening! I wish it didn’t have to end.
I should be getting my products in the mail soon. I will share them with you when I do. Can’t wait!
Hope you had a long, restful Labor Day weekend!
This post is brought to you by…
Your food looks so good!! I just became a distributer with Willow House I love the product!!!
Aren’t Macs the best? My husband converted me when we got married. I have no plans of going back…to the other side. ;) That willow tree stuff looks adorable. I know the one year anniversary of your mom in heaven is coming up. I will be praying for you and your family.
Looks like a fabulous party. All of the food looks delish! I love how you just turned that cake stand over and used it for the dip. What a great idea. I just love your patio. So beautiful!
I had an absolute ball doing that party with you Traci! Your gorgeous patio was the perfect inspiration for some fun fall decorating! Let me know how you like your free products!
So glad you were able to have a party….and I look forward to seeing what all you earned! I simply LOVE the French Tiered Wired Basket…did you get one? I love the Berry bowl, too. My last party EVERYONE got one as their half priced item! It’s popular!
Take care, and hope your job is going well!
We love making the cake balls like your niece made!
I’ve got one for Pumpkin Spice balls….would you like the recipe?
Traci your new computer sounds wonderful! I’m glad you are back to blogging and enjoying it. My hubby just got a Macbook Pro lap top and loves it too. He’s trying to talk me into getting one for our desktop as well. I’m afraid I won’t learn it fast enough so I’m holding back on switching.
Your party was precious, the food and everyone looked great. I adore SL/ Willow House. The parties are fabulous! ~Melissa
The food looks wonderful, and your patio so inviting.
It looks like such a fun night… I really love that green bowl you said was a strainer… also, flipping the cake stand over for the dip was so clever!!
Just simply beautiful! Only one thing missing ———MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
Haha! Thanks for sharing your pics with us. Your aunts, sister and niece are all so beautiful.
Everything looks perfect . . . the food, the decor, the lovely guests! Can’t wait for show and tell of the goodies you got from your show.
Oh, and welcome to the “dark” side, or Mac side. ;o) Love all my Apple computers. I have the G5 (I think that’s right) desktop. It’s about 3 years old. Our other desktop for the kids is a Mac Mini and my older boys both have the Mac Notebook for college. We’re a total Mac family, and we love them. We’ll never go back.
I’m so glad to hear about your new computer!!! and I LOVE the pictures from the party! What a gorgeous time! I’ve got to try those cake truffles! YUM!!
YUM! That cake ball recipe looks wonderful — and the cheese recipe is soooo practical! Thanks for sharing those!!
Looks like a great time. Thanks for the recipes, they look delicious.
Oh this looks like a delightful time, wish I could be there! :) All the food sounds amazing too.
Also, I have a giveaway on my blog right now and would love for you to enter if you’re interested and haven’t done so already:
The party turned out BEAUTIFULLY, Traci! I am emailing myself that Holiday Cheese Truffle recipe right NOW!! They look so, so yummy. MMMm : ) Hope you are having a lovely week so far, sweet friend. Lots of love to you!
Wish I could have been there. The food looked really great! I love the products. I know the feeling about computer woes. So, that is exciting you are back up and running.
You patio is such a fun place to host a party! I’m glad the weather is finally cooling down here in Arkansas and I may have to do an outside party or two! I sure hope you cleaned up at your party. Have a nice week!
I am going to have to try those Holiday Cheese Truffles….they sound so good! Looks like you had a great time. Nothing like hanging out your best girlfriends for an evening. :)
oh my goodness y’all sure do know how to put out a yummy finger food table. Thanks for sharing the recipes. I am going to have to try those cake truffles.
Looks like a lot of fun was had and I never knew willow had such nice stuff. First time I ever heard of them was on your blog.
Thanks for the sweet compliments about Aunt Tassy and Me. We love you all so much and are happy just to be able to fill a little toe of Wanda’s shoes. It is all a pleasure and I know she would do the same for us. You girls are so easy to love! So glad we all are so close. Missing Wanda very much this month, but she is in my heart all the time.
Love, Aunt Pat
The pictures were lovely -Lori did a great job displaying everyhting for your party .you are truly blessed with your sister, niece and aunts.
I keep coming back to look at your patio :) and I keep showing it to my husband–“See, we could do this, too!” I love the “tile” concrete, those fab lanterns, the porch swing, well, all of it! Anyhooo, I was also noticing the bird pillow on the swing–I have only seen the black on white version, but this white on brown (?) is so cool. Did you make it? If you didn’t, would you share where you bought it? Thank you!