I’m so sorry I’ve been AWOL for a lot of this week! Work was super busy and then I’ve been away at LFCC. I’ll back to blogging as of tomorrow, catching you up on my amazing weekend (and busy week).
I want to start this post by saying that this whole event was definitely not suitable for children and this post is possibly not safe for work!
For my birthday Murder Mystery, I hosted “Natural Porn Killers” a Pirate Porno themed game. We were kindly gifted this game, from a company called Merry Murder. We had previously done their “Pungent Pumpkin Poisoner” (which is free to download by the way!) and thoroughly enjoyed it, so we were thrilled to try something else.
As it was my birthday, and therefore needed to be awesome, I was excited at the thought of dressing up like pirates. We had done it once before, almost two years ago, and I was ready to crack out my knee-high boots and pirate hat again! Not only that, but we got to dress like sexy pirates (read: slutty probably). I immediate began to plan, wanting everything to be perfect!
I’m afraid the menu for the evening was fairly foul. Not that the food was bad, but sadly my crude imagination meant that naming everything was definitely a bit gross!
For starters we had Potato Four Skins (say it out loud and you’ll get it…). Basically four potato skins.
For mains I had bought some penis and boob pasta. Sadly it didn’t really keep its shape when it was cooked, but it tasted great. As the dish was boobs and penis together, the only thing that sprang to mind was a Tit Wank (sorry!!) and that lead to me placing it in a white sauce… hence mains was Tit Wank Pasta!
As well as that, we had a Tear and Share “Orgy” Garlic Bread, along with “Tossed” salad.
Finally, for dessert we had Blue Waffle (please don’t google this, don’t look and you’ll be happier that way!). Sadly its a joke that has been amoungst our friend group for a very long time and it was too funny to resist. Luckily the dessert was a lot nicer than it sounded.
As I’d originally planned to do “Naked Porncorn” for dessert, I still kept that there as a sort of after dessert option. I basically made plain popcorn and had salt options on the table, such as Bacon Salt, Tomato Ketchup Salt, Jalapeno Salt etc.
Not only that, but one of my best friends (Nat) made me a cake. Well technically she made me two cakes. In fact if you want to know more, you can view her post on Twice the Mum, where she discusses the cakes she made! However I did get a couple of pictures, of both my Boobs Cake and my Penis Cake!
On top of that I had made everyone “Sex on the Beach” cocktail for arrival, complete with penis straw and penis ice cube! Pirate decorations were easy to pick up (and we had some from before) as its technically a theme for children’s parties – haha! We had treasure chest napkins and pink pirate plates. There was a huge pirate flag hung on the wall, pirate bunting and even a seagull and parrot hanging from the ceiling!
It’s all the little details that really make the evening for me! Even though I know majority of people who attend don’t even notice, I like it and it makes me happy!
Anyway, the murder mystery itself was split into three rounds. My partner Chris took the role of Lieutenant Gulp, while another 6 of us took the roles of cast members from the current movie, Pleasure Island. I was Saggia Boobflesh, Amy was Frances Heaven, Nat was Wander Whoppers, Chris (my brother) was Rod Shafter, Adam was Bang Yurasov and our other friend Chris was Willy Droop. Our other friends, Erika and Tom, made up the Investigation panel along with my partner Chris who was in charge of the investigation!
With each round, we ate another course of the meal. There was a lot of information given – way more than some of the other Murder Mysteries we’ve done, but it was good and you always felt like you were in the know! Better yet, the host (or whoever is playing the Lieutenant) has flow charts for each round, making it much easier to keep track of who still needs to speak; reveal or ask something.
I adored my part and didn’t care one bit that I was some has-been porn star with saggy boobs! It was so much fun to dress up like pirates – not to mention we’re such a filthy minded group, that the porn element just made it all hilarious.
Natural Porn Killers was an absolute riot to play and I would strongly recommend it to anyone. Make sure you allow plenty of time though as the thoroughness of it all, means that the actual game is much longer than some of the more standard box set versions.
Thank you so much to Tim for letting us do this game and thank you to my amazing friends who made all aspects of my birthday amazing. I promise this is the last post about my birthday now but if you want to see the others they are “Part 1 – The Day Itself and Gifts” and “Part 2 – Harry Potter Studio Tours“. If you’d like to look through the rest of our murder mystery pictures from that evening, you can find them here!
Today is the Eurovision Song Contest Day – and sadly, I’m excited!
For years and years I’ve watched Eurovision. I know its dreadful, I know majority of the music sucks and I also know United Kingdom will never win again. But I still love it.
Over the last few years, my friends and I have joked about having a Eurovision Song Contest Party. As no one ever organises it and the day sneaks up on us, we tend to all gather in an online chatroom and chat/watch together, across the internet. However this time last year, I marked it as a Facebook events for around May 2014 sometime and I was determined to make it happen. Now, it is.
During the last few months, we’ve been vaguely planning this party. I didn’t want to go to an awful lot of fuss, as I do that every time we have a murder mystery. Instead I wanted something more casual and relaxed that didn’t require an awful lot of fuss. So this is what we did…
In mid-March (Chris’ birthday party night in fact), Nat and I sat down and figured out a list of the 12 most likely countries to qualify for Eurovision this year. We looked up the Wiki page, found out who had qualified every year for the last five years and narrowed it down. We were left with: Azerbaijan, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Spain, Ukraine and United Kingdom. There was 10 of us attending, so we placed countries in one bowl, names in another and picked out a country for each person.
The Ukraine and United Kingdom were the only ones left. As there was still to be Semi-Finals to decide definite entrants, we left it that if someone didn’t qualify at the last minute, they could switch to United Kingdom as an easy last minute option.
The idea of the evening, is really just to have a little fun. Of course, ultimately we all support the UK, but that’s not very much fun. Instead we have to support the country we drew, by dressing to represent our country and also providing food and drink for it. Dress code can be anything from stereotypical representation of the country, their flag colours, or any other way to define yourself as that country. On top of that for food and drink, everyone brings with them one item of food to share and one drink – again representing their country.
One day, when discussing it with my mum, she pointed out that there are always countries that are guaranteed a place every year. This was the first I’d heard of it. I looked on the Eurovision website and although for the most part I had picked the main qualifying countries, there was also Italy which we hadn’t got covered. I offered it up to the group and Amy very quickly switched from Romania to Italy.
I then wrote up a list of each person’s country, song entry and matching YouTube video. This was the list:
France – Chris D (Guaranteed Final) – Twin Twin – Moustache (Video)
Germany – Bel (Guaranteed Final) – Elaiza – Is It Right (Video)
Greece – Erika (Semi 2) – Freaky Fortune feat. Risky Kidd – Rise up (Video)
Ireland – Tom (Semi 2) – Can-Linn (feat. Kasey Smith) (Video)
Moldova – Nat (Semi 1) – Cristina Scarlat – Wild Soul (Video)
Italy – Amy (Guaranteed Final) – Emma Marrone – La Mia Città (Video)
Russia – Adam (Semi 1) – Tolmachevy Sisters – Shine (Video)
Spain – Chris B (Guaranteed Final) – Ruth Lorenzo – Dancing In The Rain (Video)
Chris drew Denmark (the host country) and I drew Germany. We were both fairly pleased with that. We started to put some thought into what we might do, knowing we wanted to keep it simple. Chris decided he would make bacon bread – its not Danish, but he’s almost famous for it in our friend circle and if he added Danish bacon, then it represents Denmark right? I decided on Bratwurst sausages, probably as hot dogs.
We went shopping on Thursday to get everything we needed. Chris got his bacon and strong white flour, while I got my Bratwurst and hot dog rolls. We scoured the shelves for alcohol too and we were ages in the aisle! In the end, Chris got Carlsberg, Danish beer – and I got Liebfraumilch, German wine. When we got home, I noticed the Semi Finals of Eurovision were on tv, or at least the second part. As we sat down to half watch them, I looked up to see who had made it through from the first semi finals.
Unfortunately, Nat’s country were out – Moldova! I had to let her know she needed a new country! Within about 30 minutes, the results of the other semi final were through and this time Ireland was out! That’s Nat’s partner Tom’s country. So now both of them had to pick new countries, with only 2 days to go before the evening!
Tom picked United Kingdom, which didn’t really surprise me – and Nat picked Sweden (I’m not sure why!). I personally would have picked Austria as their entry was… interesting!
Now, tonight is the night. I still have a few bits and pieces I want to do to decorate and whatnot, but otherwise I’m looking for an easy and simple set up. Sadly Chris is working and won’t be back till about 10pm, but at least he’ll be able to join us for the results!
With another birthday Murder Mystery on its way next week, I really feel like I should get off my butt and catch up on the last one. That said, Amy herself posted about her Titanic Murder Mystery Party, which you may well have read already!
We were kindly gifted this Titanic Murder Mystery game, by a lovely man named Gary. We had originally been interested in his Fairytale one, but as it wasn’t yet completed, he kindly offered us this one in the meantime. We weren’t completely sure that a Titanic Murder Mystery was quite our thing, but in hindsight it was one of the best murder mysteries we’ve done!
In March of 2013, we did an Alice in Wonderland Murder Mystery Party. This was actually from the same website, as this Titanic one we just did. I’ll be honest and say that we didn’t really set out to do the Alice in Wonderland murder mystery with a view to reviewing it though, just because my partner likes Alice in Wonderland.
When you purchase from the Printable Murder Mystery Games, everything is instantly downloadable. The games are $16.95 each, which converts to about £10-12 (depending on exchange rate) which really isn’t that bad. Included in this particular download is; invitations, character booklets, instructions, clues, recipe ideas, labels (to print and use on wine bottles etc), and even a suggested wine list. On top of that are some additional character booklets, in case you have extra guests you want to invite, but that don’t really have a main part. Finally there is even a folder of rag time music, to give your party some atmosphere!
After deciding who should have each part, we sent out the invites, over Facebook and email. In this modern life, I have to admit that majority of our murder mystery parties are organised over Facebook these days. I usually make an event for the day, invite the people who are invited, then post all the info to the event page. If I can, I usually post character info on the wall, if I need to send booklets or private character info, I do that via FB message or through email. It also saves paper haha!
Anyway, the night of the murder mystery came around and I’d decided on an 8 course meal (I know, I’m mental). Luckily we took a lot of short cuts, making my life a bit easier, but orchestrating it all was still hard work, not to mention I was cooking for 10 people.
Setting the table was a lot of fun, though finding enough cutlery for each course was quite interesting. I also found a new trick for table mats – buying square shaped doileys that look like table mats but are cheap and easily disposable! I also bought a lot of plastic plates and bowls for the occasion, hoping they would last more than one use. One day I would love to own far more occasional tableware, but I’m thinking it will have to wait for now!
I borrowed a full set of glasses from my mum, in order to make cocktails for everyone. I bought 10 matching highball glasses, in order to have as water glasses. Luckily I already have 10 wine glasses though, so that was simply! Napkins were paper and disposable, though a little thicker and better quality than normal. I then bought paper napkin rings too, with gold jewels on. Though there was no picture, hanging from the ceiling was a party chandelier, a little like this.
Costumes were fairly simple and not too expensive. With characters like the Captain, and then passengers both rich and poor. I only posted pics of the guys, as I know us girlies aren’t so fussed about having our pictures taken! The main 8 characters were: Captain Smith, Aidan Brogan, Bruce Ismay, Henry Harris, Irene Harris, Molly Brown, Tessie Anderson, and Margaret Petree. As I mentioned before, you can have additional characters, suggested no more than 4, but they are definitely not the murderer and just have extra input and questions they can ask. There are character suggestions for these people, even with brief character bios to make you feel like you have a back story. My brother played Mr. Isidor Straus and I accidentally printed ALL the extra booklets for him, giving him plenty to say each round!
The rest of the pictures in this post, are courtesy of Amy. I was far too busy with food to remember to take pictures and despite being ill right at the beginning of the night, she still managed to snap one for each food course!
As everyone arrived, I served Blue Lagoon cocktail, complete with a titanic and iceberg ice cube. These ice cubes were from a mold I’d bought from Ebay and were both cheap and effective! Everyone’s character booklets were laid out on the table for them, indicating where they should sit. After taking the obligatory photographs, we all sat down and began the murder mystery!
My first and really only grumble, is that the character booklets don’t recap our character information at the beginning. In a lot of murder mysteries we have done, there is an introduction stage, so we can all remember who is who and what we each do. Instead we all referred to our phones (see, modern life!) and to the emails I had sent out. We made up a brief introduction of ourselves, before I began serving the food. As there were 4 rounds and 8 courses, we did 2 courses to each round.
Parma Ham and Cream Cheese Pinwheel,
Bruschetta topped with Tomato Salsa and Sour Cream,
Cucumber Slice with Smoked Salmon
So this week has been a lot calmer than the last few and I have to admit I’ve been very grateful for it. That said, I started off the week ill which was both a good thing and a bad thing. I very rarely take the time to stop and so getting ill can be frustrating as you’re forced to take that time. However it was much needed time and I can’t tell you how good it felt to take a day off work, despite being ill and just catch my breath for a day. I spent time catching up on TV, writing blog posts and just generally chilling out!
Sadly I lose about £30 a day for being off work sick, so I headed back on Tuesday, despite still not being 100%. This set me back for the rest of the week really as I returned to a job where I don’t sit down for 5 hours straight, way too soon. In fact, Friday was the first day I didn’t actually wake up feeling ill or end the day feeling ill.
Chris was at work every night this week (until his birthday on Thursday at least) so my brother and I spent most evenings catching up on OUAT. We are now up to date with America but we still have Once Upon a Time in Wonderland to catch up on this coming week. Tuesday also saw the start of making Chris’ birthday cake. He’d told me not to worry, especially being ill but I didn’t like to think of him not getting one.
Wednesday night my friend Nat came around, for a chat and a catch up, but I also had Chris’ cake to finish before he got home that night from work. It only took me about an hour to decorate, but this was the finished result:
Thursday was Chris’ birthday and although he was off for the day, me and the kids weren’t. Instead Chris and I met up after my work day was done and headed out to Damon’s for dinner. Later when the kids got home we all sang Happy Birthday and ate some cake!
Like I said before, Friday was the first day I felt half normal again and this meant I was really looking forward to the end of work and the weekend. Friday night was Chris’ bday party, which was basically a board games night, but that’s what he wanted. We played Pandemic to begin with, followed by The Walking Dead gard game. It never ceases to amaze me how much time can pass, just playing a few games.
Since Nat and I weren’t playing Pandemic (its better with less people, especially for the Bio Terrorist option) we decided to pull names and countries out in advance of our Eurovision party (a whole post to come). We narrowed down our list of countries to 12 and then pulled out one for each of the 10 people attending. Should be a fun night!
Saturday was probably my favourite day in this whole week. We seriously did nothing! I started off the morning by reading in bed, once I got up I did some work on my laptop and then read a bit more. I headed out to Tesco for a very quick shop and then headed home to keep on chilling. I finished my current book (Divergent) as well as getting a head start on some posts for the coming week. I even managed to find time to catch up on some tv – a very restful day.
Finally on Sunday we continued our weekend of chilling. The only thing we had planned was to head out to McDonalds for dinner because they were having a Super Mario event. I have to be totally honest and say that McDonalds did really awesome with their family event. We stayed much longer than we normally would on a McDonalds visit and the kids had their pictures taken with Mario and Luigi, got their faces painted and entered a drawing competition. It was a lot of fun!
We ended the day by coming back home and relaxing some more! I know it sounds like a very lazy weekend but trust me we needed it. I’m glad to say there are no upcoming birthdays this week, only Mother’s Day on Sunday. I’m looking forward to even more relaxing though I’m sure Chris and I plan to actually do some more DIY on the house later this week.
I feel like I start off this round up every week by saying “Oh my god what a busy week!” but yet again it has been. The last week of February was dominated by making a cake for my daughter’s birthday, the first week of March by her actual birthday, this second week has been dominated by Amy’s birthday and I have it all to go again next week too!
On the heel of spending a very busy day in Hull and The Deep last Sunday, I jumped into Monday already tired but coming home from work to bake 9 cakes (yep, I said 9!). Tuesday evening was spent making buttercream and icing those cakes (into three tiers) and Wednesday was spent re-icing them as I decided they were rubbish! On Thursday I worked overtime in the evening and so I came home late, finished off Amy’s cake but at the same time encountered a major disaster. However when she arrived on Friday she seemed pretty pleased with it and on Saturday at our Murder Mystery party, everyone complimented it. When she left on Sunday, she hadn’t even let anyone cut into it as she wanted to take it home, but in the end decided she could only realistically take one layer come and the rest was left here!
That was my week with regards to Amy’s cake at least…
In all honesty, there wasn’t a huge deal more going on in my week outside of that. I’m sure I must have done numerous shopping trips in that time, spending money on both cake bits and party decorations. I spent hours browsing the web for various ideas but ultimately came up short since my brain was so focused on the cake!
Wednesday I did get to go to Megan’s assembly at school. That was really nice as now I work, I barely get to attend anything that goes on at school. Her class did a presentation about Ancient Greece which they had all written themselves and it was actually very humorous.
When we got home from school/work on Wednesday, some t-shirts I had ordered for the girls had arrived and they were thrilled. However no sooner than Lily had put hers on, she managed to get splatted by yoghurt all over!
Friday was Amy’s birthday and she arrived on the train at around 5.30, along with my friend Adam. The girls and I had decorated the house with balloons and banners and it was so lovely to actually spend her birthday with her, give her gifts and cards etc. Unfortunately Lily came down ill that evening which lasted for well over 24 hours but luckily she had shaken it by Sunday. Needless to say that caused a busy weekend to be a little more crazy, but it turned out okay in the end.
On Saturday my partner Chris got the job of looking after the girls, especially Lily. Adam, Amy and I took on the food shopping and preparation, then everyone chipped in to get the house ready for the Murder Mystery that night. I will be posting separately about the Murder Mystery itself, but I’m pretty sure everyone enjoyed our adventures on the Titanic and eating First Class.
When we got up on Sunday, there was a lot of washing up to do! Luckily we have a dishwasher but 3 loads later and it still wasn’t done, even after I washed a load of stuff by hand. I feel sure we’ll be getting down it all week. Amy caught the train home in the afternoon (which was sad) and the rest of the day we all spent exhausted on the sofa. That night Chris and Adam played Portal 2 on the computer and I just sat and surfed the net, looking into new cameras.
I look forward to updating you all on Amy’s cake and the Murder Mystery. I know I still want to update about Lily’s birthday last week and next week I’ll have Chris’ to do on top of that! I really need to get organised!
Hope you all had a great week! I know I did, even though it was crazy busy – as seems to be the way this year!
I’m feeling a little guilty for neglecting my blog this week – its been necessary as I’ve been busy, but at the same time I’m really enjoying doing my blog at the moment. I have several things to update about, but I figured I’d just do a small update, focusing on Lily’s birthday cake.
This coming week (on Wednesday) it will be Lily’s 6th birthday. Yesterday (Saturday) she had her birthday party for her friends at school. She’d asked me to make her a special cake and of course, I wanted to do something for her that she would love. Both girls are really into Disney’s Frozen at the moment so it came as no surprise that Lily would want a Frozen birthday cake.
Now let me give you a little background on my cake making… I’ve never really been one for artsy and crafty stuff. I’m definitely not artistic. However this time last year (Lily’s 5th birthday), I had decided I wanted to make her a fairly spectacular Alice in Wonderland cake, as she’d asked for an Alice in Wonderland themed party. There wasn’t particularly a reason for wanting to make the cake, just that I fancied doing it. I was a stay at home mum, spending every day in the house, so I had plenty of time to perfect the cake. The whole thing was very much a learning curve but over the space of about a week, I managed to come up with a fairly good Alice in Wonderland cake.
Sadly, I made somewhat of a rod for my own back, resulting in a year of cake making – my friends affectionately refer to 2013 as “the year of the cake”. After Lily’s birthday cake, I made one for my partner Chris, another for my brother, another for my friend Tom, a baby shower cake for Nat, a Portal birthday cake for Jon (followed by a coffin cake for his joint birthday/Halloween party), a couple of cheesecake birthday cakes and finally Megan’s birthday cake. I swore by the end of the year that my cake making was over as it had become so time consuming, especially now I was working too.
However… right after Christmas, I treated myself to this baby:
which then resulted in me drunkenly posting…
In all honesty, I wasn’t really that drunk. I knew what I was posting and ultimately if I didn’t want to make cake, I wouldn’t. In fact, I’ve managed to get almost 2 months into the year, without making any cakes for birthdays. Last week I made a simple sandwich cake for my sister’s birthday and this week I made one for a person I work with. However Lily’s was a week long ongoing project as it was a little more special than the other two.
Anyway I won’t get into the making process as it wasn’t really anything spectacular. Lily asked for 3 tiers, but I got her to settle on 2. They were both just simple vanilla sponge, though the top layer was blue sponge with white buttercream and the bottom one was regular coloured sponge with blue buttercream. I decorated both in roll icing, with fairly minimal decorating (I bought the characters to go on top). The most interesting part was definitely working with the Isomalt as I’d never done anything like that before.
And this was the finished cake!
I have to admit that, while the design was fairly simple, I’m really pleased with how it came out. I know its not really as spectacular as some of the other cakes I’ve made, or as well finished, but I’m still happy with it. More importantly, Lily loved it and that’s all that matters to me at the end of the day.
So my little blog turns 1 at the end of January and its been an interesting sort of a year for my blog. I’m sure loads of people will be posting today about the end of 2013, the beginning of 2014, new year resolutions etc. For once I even have a small list of resolutions I want to make this year.
Though I haven’t especially tried, I’ve made it to 53 followers and while this might not be many compared to other people with one year old blogs, I’m proud of it as I don’t have the same sort of time (or inclination to be honest) to be around on Social Media and advertise myself.
|The widget on my front page says 51 but I wanted to prove its actually 53!|
This year has been filled with both bad and good as I’m sure majority of people can say about theirs. I went into January 2013 with a fairly new relationship, my partner living with me and my two girls and a definitely feeling that life was on the up (except for money that is). Since I’d just lost my car, handbag and purse in December, I suppose it couldn’t have felt much worse.
In February the four of us went on holiday to Disneyland Paris. Though it was only 3 days long it was great and I would go back in a heartbeat, as would the girls. We then got to enter a competition for our pictures taken there, which we were lucky enough to win £20 in Disneystore vouchers in order for the girls to spend.
In March I celebrated my daughter’s 5th birthday and held the first murder mystery of the year for my partner’s birthday, an Alice in Wonderland themed one. It was a lot of fun to get all our friends together and just have a laugh. I also started to apply for loads of jobs, deciding money was just in too short of a supply!
In April I threw a baby shower for my best friend Nat, went to see Matchbox 20 in London and spent a few days in Skegness with the girls who were staying in Butlins with their Nan. I got a new job as of 1st April and started working 16 hours a week doing telesales.
In May I actually quit my job because I was offered a new one with better hours. I also participated in BEDM (Blog Every Day in May) which I managed right up until the last day or so. May was also the month of my birthday so it included a trip with the family to Meadow Hall and TGI Friday, along with the second murder mystery of the year, #YOLO Upon a Time.
June we decided we were moving to Gainsborough to the house my partner owns. This was all connected to money really but a sensible while hard decision to make. I started my new job which was a very up and down experience. I also continued some weird tradition that seems to have begun with cake making – Tom’s Birthday.
In July I broke up from work and the kids broke up from school. We all ended up terribly ill and on top of that were moving house at the same time. We had a house-warming BBQ whilst taking part in Money Supermarket’s BBQ challenge and generally started to work on getting our new house straight.
Life settled down a bit in August. We took a day out to watch both Despicable Me 2 and Smurfs 2, we visited both Legoland and Cadbury’s World. Amy came to visit for a few days and we did a Treasure Trail. And Chris and I celebrated our 10 month anniversary with an Indian meal out.
September was back to work and back to school. However we held our third murder mystery of the year (Hamlet) after a huge hiatus and it was so much fun. I even sewed my own dress for it which quite honestly was a nightmare I will not be repeating any time soon.
By October we had plans for yet another murder mystery, to take place at the end of the month and celebrate Halloween. The girls, Chris and I also took a few days trip to London and saw Wicked again (for me it was the 4th time!). Half term was the highlight of this whole month!
November saw ANOTHER murder mystery being planned, this time for Nat’s birthday at the end of the month. We did a Hunger Games one that featured 10 female parts and so all the guys dressed as girls which was hilarious. I also took part in BEDN (Blog Every Day in November) which only lasted about a week until Chris had a motorbike accident and everything else went out the window.
Finally came December, the craziest month of them all. I’d started it with solid jewellery making, only to then sit on a stall for 4 days solidly, for Lincoln Christmas Market. Next came Megan’s birthday, while at the same time Lily ended up incredibly poorly. Megan’s birthday party followed shortly after that, a crazy last week at work and then yet another Murder Mystery, this time Christmas themed – dinner for 12! Along with the murder mystery came a night of 6 extra people crashing in the house and gossip till 4am that morning. My friend Namu (from the US) then stayed on until only yesterday when she left to go home. I cooked Christmas dinner for 8 of us on Christmas Day and then my mum had 13 of us on 27th. Finally on top of all that, I re-opened Deckleswood.
This is my year in very brief and I do intend to post a little more about the December we’re just leaving behind. However onwards into 2014 we will be heading and I’m definitely going to try and post about the things I hope to achieve from the year ahead.
So I haven’t updated much recently and that’s something I’m hoping to change now that the Christmas madness is over and done with. However what better thing to post about than our latest Murder Mystery party?
My best friend Amy has already posted about the party over at Cocktails in Teacups, so please head over there once you’ve read this!
|Night of Mystery Website – Ho Ho Homicide|
I bought the Murder Mystery from a site called Night of Mystery. They have a huge amount of choice in all sorts of genres and their Christmas one was exactly what I was looking for. I paid $45 (which is approximately £30) which is way more than I would usually spend on one, but as I said it was exactly what I was looking for and everyone invited agreed to pay £2.50 towards the cost. If you have a poke around their site you will notice that they offer a good amount of information before you need to buy anything, so you definitely know what you’re getting for your money. On top of that they offer individual websites geared to each murder mystery, to offer you additional ideas and support. This is the one for Ho Ho Homicide (the party we had). The purchase is an instant download, which is ideal for people like me who like to buy it and immediately start planning. I wasn’t disappointed in the 80 page PDF file I was sent!!
The information you are sent is incredibly thorough. They include all the usual host information, along with invites and character information for all, but on top of that there are also posters and signs to print out, gift tags and labels for bottles, certificates and much more. There is even invitations you can email out to guests in another pdf file. All in all, it definitely seemed like it was worth paying a bit more than usual. Anyway… the evening turned out brilliant and that definitely made it worth it.
This is how my dinning table looked, all ready for myself and the eleven guests. The whole house was decorated for Christmas anyway so that made it feel even better, not having to decorate additionally. That said I still bought special bauble name card holders, Santa and Mrs Claus Salt & Pepper pots, Christmas serving spoons and so on.
As part of the murder mystery we were also supposed to have fake money in order to bribe each other with. However we decided it would be far more fun (and far more worth bartering for) if we used Candy Canes. Each person had two envelopes full of information, name badges, and a bundle of 10 candy canes.
While I don’t want to spoil any of the murder mystery for you, I think its safe to say that all the characters were Christmasy. Chris and I took on Santa Claus and Mrs Claus, while everyone else was split into reindeers and elves.
The elves all dressed completely differently, but at the same time still all managed to look alike. There was a lot of shaking bells too, on hats and shoes!
Without knowing each other was going to do it, all the reindeers chose to dress in onsies. This was hilarious (but apparently incredibly comfy too!).
The murder mystery itself was pretty good, though actually required more skill than we are used to in these things. I think if we were ever to purchase another from this site we might actually try and put a bit more effort into solving the murderer and actually looking at the evidence provided.
Since I wanted to serve Christmas dinner, I decided to only do two courses. No starter, a full Christmas dinner with turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, carrots, parsnips, sprouts and so forth, then for dessert I just bought yuletide log and cream as I was concerned people would be too full to warrant making anything special. It all seemed to go down well – except for the eggnog we tried our hand at making. That should definitely have been drunk warm when we first made it, not two hours later!
At the end of the night we all exchanged Christmas gifts, cards etc and it was lovely, especially being only 4 days before Christmas. Its by far one of my favourite murder mysteries to date – because of the friends, the game itself, the time of year and everything else combined!
We’ll now be having a break in murder mysteries, until at least March. However we’re likely to have the odd board game night instead so maybe I’ll post about them instead. Until then, I’ll leave you with my favourite picture from the whole evening.
So I haven’t written here in what feels like forever. In fact its actually only been a month – almost exactly – but still it feels like a long time.
Life has been fairly hectic around here, filled with both highs and lows. As I mentioned very briefly the last time I posted, Chris was in a motorbike accident back in November but luckily he was okay. That said he’s been having dizzy spells ever since and is now off on sick leave.
The rest of the month was filled with jewellery making and a Hunger Games murder mystery (oh and I saw Catching Fire at the cinema too!). One of my best friends (Nat from But a Mask) had a birthday on 27th November and in honour of that we had a murder mystery dinner. I had found a cheap (and dodgy) Hunger Games murder mystery on Etsy where all the parts were female. Luckily our bunch of friends are all up for a good laugh and so even the guys were willing to dress up and take part. Sadly we didn’t have any group pictures taken again but here are a selection of the pics. The rest can be found here.
|Guests included me (top right), Hollie (from Touch of Magic), Nat (from But a Mask)
Amy (from Cocktails in Teacups) and Chris (from This, That and Everything Else)
So other than planning the Hunger Games murder mystery (which I might get around to posting about separately but perhaps not), the rest of the month and the beginning of December was filled with jewellery making – as I mentioned before. Rhiannon (from The Sparkly Panda) and I had decided in October that we would do Lincoln Christmas Market together, sharing a stall. There was a lot of prep to be done for that but luckily it was all done on time.
Anyway, Christmas Market was December 5th to December 8th and while it was crazy busy, it was also a huge amount of fun. Despite the chaos and terrible organisation by the person in charge, we all had a great time and even came away with a bit of spending money in our pockets. Now we’re just trying to decide if it’s something we’d want to do again next year…
|Our stall at Lincoln Christmas Market|
Rhiannon and I are both incredibly geeky person and so that’s pretty much what our stall was made from – geekery. You can find Rhiannon’s stuff here on her facebook page Rosy Red Apple. She also wrote a blog post about Christmas Market which you can find here.
In between the murder mystery, the jewellery and the Christmas Market, we did manage to find time to put up our Christmas Tree too. We’ve gone for a whole set of new decorations this year and the girls are really pleased with our Disney themed tree. We still have another one to put up yet but this is the main one in the lounge.
Finally this week has been topped off with both some bad stuff and some good stuff. Saturday Lily performed in her first ballet performance. She was a munkin in Over the Rainbow and she was adorable. Sadly we weren’t allowed to take pictures and so I don’t have any but I do have a program to remember it by. However on Sunday she came down with a really bad sickness bug and has been ill ever since! I took Monday and Tuesday off work but went back Wednesday reluctantly. Its definitely made me think twice about the pros and cons of being a working mum…
Yesterday however was a happy occasion, despite all the illness and worry. My eldest daughter Megan turned 9 and although I can’t believe where the years have gone, I have managed to bring up a beautiful, smart and amazing (not so) little girl. Though the day was not entirely a happy one, we did manage to make it a good day in the end. It had a Happy Ending at least.
Lily seems better today which is good but I’m still holding my breath as she isn’t eating properly yet. However we’re all looking forward to the weekend and Megan’s birthday party. We’re heading to the cinema to watch Frozen and then to ASK for dinner.
So that’s my life update for now and hopefully I’ll be back in the blogging spirit soon. Till then!