Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I love Mexican food. I could eat it every day for a week, I think. Enchiladas and tacos are my favorite-mostly because they are perfect for a picky eater like me! You can customize them however YOU like them. For a while I made enchiladas on a pretty regular basis, but at some point I decided that they were just too messy and now I save them for special occasions. So instead I make tacos, but when I stopped eating ground beef (did I mention I have some picky food issues?) I stopped making tacos. For a Christmas Party this year we were asked to bring chicken for a taco bar (Don't you love taco bars? They are PERFECT for parties) and I remembered the Chicken Tacos I had at a friend's house for dinner a few years ago. They were delicious! Tacos have been REBORN!

Like I said, I used to make enchiladas all the time and for the tacos I used the same basic idea to prepare the chicken. Well, actually, my daughter Meghan took my instructions and made them hers, both for the Christmas Party and tonight for dinner. I will give you the *amounts* she used, but remember this is done mostly by sight/texture/taste. Honestly, I don't think you can mess it up.

Meghan's Chicken Tacos

1 1/4 lb chicken breast cooked and finely chopped
(We used about 19 frozen,boneless, skinless tenderloin cooked in the Pampered Chef Micro Cooker with no seasoning, in two batches for about 10 minutes-stir halfway through- or until the juices run clear)
1 (10 ounce) can of Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce
7 tsp. of Taco Bell Taco Seasoning (this is almost a whole packet)
A little water

Put the cooked chicken in a skillet and add the taco seasoning and the water (just like making tacos) and cook a bit (I know, really technical, huh? Hey, it cooking not baking...) then add the enchilada sauce and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn and all the chicken gets nicely coated.

That's it. Super simple.

I eat mine wrapped up in the flour tortillas from our local Mexican bakery and top them only with cheese and crispy lettuce, (Here's a tip to keep your cheese melty and your lettuce cold and crispy-put the cheese on top of the meat and the lettuce on top of the cheese. I know it's not Taco Bell's way, but it sure tastes yummy!) but I am sure that for those of you who aren't Miss Picky you could add all kinds of goodies; sour cream, black olives, onions, tomatoes, guacamole...

For sides I heat up some refried beans (stir a little enchilada sauce into these as well as some cheese and they are extra yummy) and sometimes (although we forgot tonight) corn in a butter sauce.

This is one of the recipes I would love to make a huge batch of and freeze in small batches for quick dinners. One of these days I will try some Once A Month Cooking. I'll let you know how that turns out!

I love it that tacos are back on my menu.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Customer Christmas Boxes

I have spent the last three days working on Customer Christmas Gifts for my husband. We started out talking about baking a few different kinds of cookies, but decided to settle on some thing we thought we be simpler and take less time.

We settled on Chocolate Dipped Pretzels with Sprinkles to start with. I had hoped to use the Pretzel Rods because they are so pretty in a cellophane bag, but the ones at Wal-mart were all broken up and they were completely out of them at Winco. I settled on the Snyder's of Hanover Olde Tyme. They are the BIG pretzel twists, not the little snack pretzels.

I love to use the Smooth and Melty Candies to do any dipping. You can buy them in bulk at Winco-they come in Milk, Dark and White Chocolate. I chose the Milk, but the Dark would have been beautiful as well. Smooth and Melty is very easy to work with. Just pour some in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for 30 at a time and stir in between. After the first minute, stir every 15 seconds because they hold their shape even when they are melted. Once there are no lumps and it glossy, you're ready to start dipping.
I only dipped half the pretzel. Be sure to let the excess chocolate drain off. You can shake it a little to make it go faster. If you don't drain enough off, when you add the sprinkles the chocolate will be too heavy and begin dripping off.

I used three different sprinkles, but just one type per pretzel. The combination looked so pretty!

*NOTE* It's actually easier and neater to SPOON the sprinkles over the chocolate than to DIP them.

I laid them on foil to harden back up again. It doesn't take very long.

White Chocolate Peppermint Sticks were next on the list. I've made these before and I LOVE how beautiful they look. These were my WOW addition. They are super simple, but when packaged in a group they are stunning. Not to mention delicious.

You can do this with regular candy canes, but they are harder to package, in my opinion. I use these mint sticks I found at Cracker Barrel. They have a texture more like Butter Mints and a more mild peppermint flavor. We LOVE them! I used the Smooth and Melty White Chocolate and Wilton's white nonpareils from Michaels. Again, you just melt, dip, sprinkle and lay on foil until they are hard. Super simple, but check out how awesome they look!

Lastly I made Miss Lisa's Christmas Caramel Corn. This stuff is to DIE for. It's simple to make, but takes time and your attention. I will post the recipe at the end. We ate almost as much as we packaged (and that's A LOT)!

Everything got packaged up in cellophane bags I picked up at Zurchers. I like theirs because they have a gusseted bottom and are a heavier cellophane, so they are easier to work with for me.

I did two of each type of pretzel and tied the bag with a little bit of white cording and a hand stamped tag.

I made little toppers for the tops of the Peppermint Sticks and the Caramel Corn.

Over the last few weeks, I've bought two different size Martha Stewart snowflake punches at Michaels with my 40% Off coupon and I have been using them EVERY WHERE! Doesn't the smaller look great popped up on the Popcorn Topper?

Wal-mart had sets of gift boxes for $5 and I bought these to package all the goodies in. Each item got its own box and then I tied them all together with curling ribbon and tied on this aDorable gift tag.

I'm not sure that in the end these were EASIER, but they sure did turn out better than I imagined. I think our customers will feel appreciated-I know I would if someone dropped this off at my house! Here's a look at the whole package and the recipe for the Caramel Corn.
Miss Lisa's Caramel Corn

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
12 cups air popped popcorn (sift out the kernels that didn't pop)

In a medium sauce pan, heat the butter, sugar, corn syrup and salt on medium heat until it begins bubbling around the edges. Once it is bubbly, let it cook for 5 minutes WITHOUT stirring. Then remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir in until the popcorn is evenly coated. This will take some patience and at first it will look like it's not enough caramel, keep working at it, there's enough! Divide the corn between 2 cookie sheets and bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Turn out onto wax paper to cool.

Happy Gifting!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Year in Review

{The Sanstrom Seven ~2009}

I can't believe I am going to post these before I send out my Christmas cards, but my brother did a great job {again} with our family pictures and I just have to share them.

Also, I am hoping that my mom's FAVORITE cousin {shhh, don't tell the others} will get a chance to come on by to take a peek!

This has been a big year for me. There have been lots of ups and downs (you can read about them a few posts back). Jeff and I spent a good chunk of the year running around and just trying to keep our heads above water. We also had a LOT of fun watching our kids grow into themselves. It almost seems as though I can watch them get bigger during dinner.

{Meghan Alexandrea}

My oldest daughter is turning 16 in just a few more days. It's a little crazy if you ask me! I hope to do a little blog with some photos over the last 16 years, but I hope for a lot of things! We'll see how time goes and if I get any scanned in. {I promise no naked baby pictures or any of you on the little blue potty in the living room, Meghan!}

Meghan's passion in life are horses. Mainly (I could have used "mane-ly" but resisted the pun) her Arabian named Silver. This time last year, she could barely ride Silver, and after a few lessons with Mike Zebarth {how can I sing this guy's praises? He's FANTASTIC} and hours and hours of practice, she is earning 1st place ribbons and riding bareback. These two have a bond that is amazing to watch. I can't wait to see how she does next year in 4H. She is beginning to work a bit with our mare Hunny. I hope she gets her trained soon, we really need another rideable horse!

She is a Sophomore in high school and doing a great job. Somehow she manages to get her school work done, work with the horses and help me out each day. This girl is my right hand woman around the house. She often knows and does what I need before I even have to ask her. She is such a blessing to me!

{Taylor Katherine}

Taylor is a 6th grader this year. That means that next year I will have TWO daughters in the "Teen" group at church. Am I really this old?

She may only be 11 but, most days I feel like she's turning 30!

Tay is interested in horses as well. This was her first year in 4H and I have to say I am still a little surprised when I see her heft that saddle over her horse's back. I'm not sure she's quite as enamored as Meghan (there was nothing horse related on HER Christmas list) but she still loves to ride and it comes to her naturally.

Lately she has been studying wolves and is very interested in them. She also loves to read and has devoured most every book in our house that is age appropriate. Janette Oke and Louisa May Alcott are two beloved authors.

I have heard mention that she is writing a book but, have not been invited to read it yet. If Meghan is my right hand around the house, Tay is defiantly my left! She is quickly learning all the ins and outs of homemaking. I'm not sure she enjoys the cleaning part {but really, who does?} but she loves to cook and makes one terrific Fried Egg Muffin!

{Kennedy Grace}

My little Kennedy is 10. That makes for {THREE} kids in double digits!

Kennedy is growing up to be quite a beautiful young lady. This girl is my dreamer. She loves to write and comes up with some wonderfully creative stories and poems. She also loves to draw and color; my fridge is often covered in her creations. She is another avid reader and enjoys books on slavery and the depression.

Kennedy is my most soft hearted--the little things are important to her. She will be the first one to give you hugs and hold your hand in the store and when she is making and giving little gifts she is thrilled!

Managing our little Chicken Operation is Kennedy's job. She feeds and waters them and collects their eggs daily. She is also in charge of selling their eggs to friends and family.

Kennedy is a {HUGE} help with Zoey. She has taken Zoey under her wing and mothers her like crazy. She loves to teach her all kinds of little cute faces and sayings.

{Nathaniel Grant}

My baby boy {he would die if he knew I was calling him that!} is turning 7 in January. It is so fun to watch him learn. He is starting to get the hang of reading and in church today kept pointing out his sight words on the screen as our Pastor read from Psalms. It was a {VERY} exciting moment for me to see it all beginning to click.

For someone who's "girl trapped", he is all boy. The BB gun he got for Christmas last year is his prize possession and he defends our home against the pesky squirrels and birds. {Lucky for the squirrels and birds his aim needs a little work.}

At every opportunity, he is at his dad's side helping him with anything he can. When he can't be with Jeff he does lower himself to entertain {or annoy depending on who's talking} his sisters.

He begs each day for school but really only wants to do History and Math. It's okay with him if we work on Language but groans and complains when we get to Phonics. As much as he says he hates it-the look on his face when he reads his sentences can only be described as ECSTATIC!

{Zoey Isabella}

Zoey turned 2 in September and is talking and jabbering more and more every day. How badly she wants to be big! It is happening faster than I would like.

She mimics the actions she sees her siblings do--she stomped her foot and said FINE! the other day. (She did get a little swat on her behind and a firm taking to because of the attitude--but dog-gone it, she was so CUTE when she did it!) Then she batted her eyes and said "Oh tay, mama."

She also has most every person around her wrapped around her finger. Every person in this house runs whenever she calls--{ESPECIALLY} her daddy! Each of the kids tries to influence her in some way. Meghan is passing on her love of horses. Taylor loves to cuddle her and read her stories. Kennedy puts the paper and colors in front of her and helps her to make pretty pictures. Nathan has taught her to fall down and die when he says "bang!".

{The Most Fabulous Five}

Look at them; aren't they amazing?

I know that in a blink it will be Zoey that is turning 16. Between now and then I will savor every moment. I am so incredibly {BLESSED} by them.

How is it that God chose ME to be the one to nurture them and teach them and love them? To BE loved by them?

Jeff is such a wonderful husband and daddy. He takes the time to make each child feel special and loved. He teaches them about life and shows them how to work. The way he lives shows them about sacrifice and giving. The way he loves shows them how a man should be. He helps them to find their dreams then encourages them once they find them.

This man is my life. These children are my heart. This family is my breath.

They make my {HEART} sing.

Prayers Needed

**Updated again at 11:45 pm

Jeff and Del are in Oregon to do a job. They are close to where Del's father lives and decided to park the motor home there and spend the week with them.

I got a text from Jeff about 20 minutes ago saying that Grant (Del's dad) had fallen when he came out to greet them. He was unconscious for a bit and the ambulance was on the way. An update from Sandi a moment ago said that Del, Jeff and Bev (Grant's wife) were headed to the hospital. Del is very shaken up.

Please pray for the entire Sanstrom family and the doctors that will care for Grant. Grant is in his 90s.

***Here is an update...
Grant and Del went out to the shop and on the way back in, Grant slipped and fell on his back. He was unconscious immediately. Del ran in the house to have Jeff call 911 and headed back out with blankets and a pillow. Grant was just beginning to come to when Del got back outside. They were worried about moving him and so covered him with the blankets and put a pillow under his head while they waited for the ambulance (which came quickly).

They are all at the hospital in Hermiston where Grant is having an MRI and some X-rays. It sounds as though he will be admitted for the night. Bev was able to go and speak with him.

Del has two sisters that both live in Washington.

Jeff and Del have a scale to start installing tomorrow morning. They are trying very hard to be home in time for Meghan's 16th birthday party this Saturday. I am not sure if/how this will change their schedule.

Your prayers are a comfort and greatly appreciated.


Thank you all for your prayers! Jeff just texted to say that Grant is being admitted for observation. They do not think he had a stroke or a heart attack. They think that when his head hit the concrete his heart skipped several beats and he passed out. The CT and X-rays looked good.

Jeff and Del will be starting their install tomorrow as planned.

What a wonderful gift Godly friendship is. Your faithful prayers have encourage my heart (and many others) this evening! Thank you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

10 Simple Pleasures

I was wandering around on a new blog today and found a post on Simple Pleasures and decided that today would be a BEAUTIFUL day to do my own list.

10 Simple Pleasures AKA Things I Love

1. Cozy bed piled high with heavy blankets

2. Hugs from my babies

3. Hot tea in huge mugs

4. Beautiful Music

5. Watching horses out my kitchen window

6. Cuddly Kittens

7. Treasured Books

8. Candlelight

9. Hot, steamy bubble baths

10. Sunday naps

Thank you, Lord, for all the marvelous blessings in my life. Help me to remember to cherish each moment. Let my words today, bring glory and honor to Your Name. ~Amen

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cake Mix Cookies

I got a recipe from my friend a few years back for Cake Mix Cookies. This is a great recipe to have in your recipe box. They are fast and easy and require only a few ingredients, but best of all they are super versatile. You can mix and match mixes and chips for all kinds of cookies. If you watch for cake mixes and chocolate chips to go on sale you can stock up and then you’ll be just a few steps away from Chewy Cookie Goodness all the time. The recipe I am posting is a single batch, but the original recipe was doubled so I know it doubles well.

The cookies I made today were with a Devils Food Chocolate Cake and Dark Chocolate & Mint Chips. They turned out FABULOUS! I will list some other combinations at the end of my post.


1 box (any flavor) cake mix
2 eggs
1 stick of butter (soft)
1 tsp vanilla
Chocolate chips (any flavor)


Cream eggs, butter and vanilla. Add cake mix and stir until all powder is moist and combined. Mixture may be VERY thick.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes. {The cookies should be "just set" and beginning to dry a bit on top when you take them out. Do not over bake them or they get crispy instead of staying soft and chewy.} Then remove from oven and let sit for 3 more minutes to finish the baking. Remove to a wire pan to cool.

Makes about 30 3" cookies

These go stale after about 4 days so eat them quickly!

Some other combinations are:

Yellow Cake with Milk Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Chips
German Chocolate Cake with pecans and coconut
Yellow Cake with Butterscotch Chips
Devils Food Cake with Cherry Chips

You get the idea-be creative! Now, go look in your cupboard and see what cookies you can whip up. Pour yourself a tall glass of milk, turn on some music and relax with me.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rebuilding in the Aftemath

I have been neglecting my blog for quite some time {as if you hadn’t noticed} and I have been missing it. My life over the last six months has resembled something like a hurricane; a whirl of activity that left a wake of destruction behind and eventually burned it’s self out.

Throughout the summer, I struggled with a variety of health issues that left me exhausted, racked with pain and depressed. After seeing my doctor and having him run some tests, I was told that I was anemic and that the pain was my Fibromyalgia flaring up.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 9 years ago and shortly after moving to Idaho and the birth of my son, it seemed to go into sort of a remission. I hardly had any flare-ups {though they would happen occasionally} and I didn’t really have to alter my life in any way. But after my youngest daughter was born two years ago, the flare-ups started again and have become more frequent and intense, even affecting my mental state.

My summer was packed to the brim with activities and by the end of summer I was completely drained and seriously behind in every aspect of my life. This forced me to make some drastic changes. Over the last month I have quit every extracurricular activity I have been involved in, including stepping down as Head of Women’s Ministry and not singing on Praise Team, which was devastating for me. It was hard at the time, but it had to be done if I hoped to retain even the slightest bit of sanity.

I have also become a recluse-not answering the phone, not doing lunch with my friends and checking my Facebook only briefly-just so I’m not completely out of the loop. I haven’t even been to church in quite some time. I have become quite good friends with my heating pad and am learning {very slowly-and not the first time} what it feels like when a flare is coming.

It’s been a long, rough ride. But today, I feel like I am just beginning to get my feet back on steady ground. My husband and I made some changes to the way I handle a few of my duties at work that I think are going to make a huge difference in helping to manage my day. After this week, I should be able to get back into our regular school routine. I am determined to get a shower every day {and not just before I climb into bed either} and even blog every now and again. I am looking forward to a few {GENTLE} hugs from my peeps on Sunday. It will be some time before I am out in full force again, but right now, life for me is about baby steps.

Through it all I know the Lord is with me. He has a plan for everything that I face and holds me in the palm of His hand through it all. I will rejoice in the trials before me and Praise His Holy Name. He has blessed me beyond anything I deserve through my family, my friends and my church. Any suffering I endure pales in comparison to what He suffered on the cross to atone for my sins.

And now- A Summery Summary {or What I Did This Summer}

In June, my husband and I helped plan and then attended our church’s Family Camp at Campus Grove in Albion, ID. What an {AMAZING} location! There were a ton of great activities and I heard only wonderful things from the other families who attended. We all had a {BLESSED} time praising God, learning and fellowshipping. We are looking forward to next year, especially since we aren’t planning it!

In July I had the extreme {HONOR} of helping a very sweet young couple from our church plan their wedding. They even asked me to sing two songs for the ceremony. Just a few days before the wedding, I came down with a cold and had very little voice to sing with, but the Lord was {FAITHFUL}, as always, and I was able to sing-quite a bit lower than usual and with a very husky sound. I tried to pretend I was Nora Jones! It was such a treat to be able to help Cassie and Rand create a beautiful wedding.

Two of my daughters were in Horse 4H this year. We attended 3 horse shows, a parade and our week long county fair, in addition to weekly 4H meetings. They each did a {FABULOUS} job at the shows. My oldest daughter, Meghan, won First place in Showmanship and went to district where she won Second place. Taylor, won First place in her age division in Reining. {Just to name a few of their numerous ribbons!}

My sister, brother-in-law and niece drove over from WA for a visit toward the end of Fair Week. It was so much fun to see them. I wish we didn’t have to squeeze it in between fair activities though. The kids loved having them here. Uncle Greg took Nate around the fair one of the days where he did a little Sumo Wrestling and Bull Riding. Not to be out done by her younger brother, Kennedy conquered the Bull as well.

I spent the months of August and September trying to recover from the previous three months; getting caught up on housework, schooling the kids, working and preparing to take my Mom on a 12-hour, Birthday Road Trip to WA to visit my sister.

I was able to squeeze in weekend away with some {GIRLFRIENDS} at a cabin in Sun Valley. We spent the entire weekend getting a head start on our Christmas Gifts. Ahhh, what a {GLORIOUS} time. I give a little sigh of pleasure every time I think about it. We should really make this a semi-annual event.

The trip to Washington was a week-long practice in relaxation. I had planned to use that time to catch up on my blog, but instead spent it reading Diane Mott Davidson books, reconnecting with friends and painting the town with my sister.

Before I knew it, November was here. Now it’s time for our annual family pictures, major crafting binges, baking and the Holiday Rush. I am determined to enjoy as much of this Holiday Season {Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years} as I possibly can! I am still struggling with Fibro Flare Ups, but I am learning to slow down a bit, say no occasionally, and stop feeling bad because I feel bad. Best of all, I am learning to smile and enjoy {MY} life again!

A NOTE: I had hoped to spice up this post with some pictures from the summer, but for some reason I am unable to turn off my pop-up blocker. Hopefully I can get this issue resolved soon because a). I have read that blogs with out photos are blah and b). I have some cute photos I'd like to share!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Plan for Food

This week I am tired. It's only Monday and I think there is a good chance I will be dragging all week. On the bright side, my husband is home after being gone for 2 weeks and if I have a food plan (AKA menu) he will help me out. God has blessed me with the most amazing man. He can cook, knows how to run the dishwasher and the washing machine and can tell my kids what to clean as well as I can-but best of all-when I am not feeling my best, he is willing to do those things. Thank you, Lord, for my loving mate.

My menu this week is nothing to brag about except that I actually sat down and made it out and there is a veggie of some kind scheduled for every night. These are all my comfort meals that are easy to prepare and generally make me happy to eat!

Monday-Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli, Garlic Bread
Tuesday-Grilled Steak and Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Basil Carrots
Wednesday-Romano Crusted Chicken Nuggets, Potato Casserole, Corn
Thursday-Roast, Mashed Potatoes & gravy, Green Beans, Whole Wheat Bread
Friday-Tacos (chicken and beef), Refried Beans, Corn
Saturday-Salmon, Rice Pilaf, Almond Green Beans, Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

At this moment, everything sounds delicious to me. There is a good chance I'll stick to the plan if I get out of the house today and do some grocery shopping!

This is my favorite bread recipe. I got it from a friend in Washington and have made it numerous times. It is super simple and all the kneading is done in my mixer, it always turns out awesome!

Whole Wheat Bread

2 ½ cups Warm water
1 ½ TBSP saf-instant yeast
6-7 cups whole wheat flour (divided)
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup oil
1 ½ TBSP dough enhancer
2 ½ tsp. salt

Combine water, yeast, and two cups of flour in a mixing bowl. Stir to mix. Allow to sponge (sit) for 15 minutes. While you are waiting, measure out remaining ingredients so they can be added quickly.
After 15 minutes, add honey, oil, dough enhancer, and salt. Using a dough hook attachment begin mixing. With mixer running, begin adding the remaining flour (4-5 cups) one cup at a time until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl. Do not let it get too stiff. It should be smooth and elastic. (I usually add right at the total of 7 cups of flour)
Knead dough 7 – 10 minutes. (I start timing after I add the last of the flour and go for about 5 minutes). Dough will be smooth and elastic.
Turn out on to a floured surface. Form two loaves and place in lightly-greased loaf pans.
Let rise 30-60 minutes or until about double in size.
***To rise, pre-heat oven to 170 degrees and turn off. Place pans in oven. (It usually takes about 45 minutes to double). When finished rising, remove bread from oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Return loaves to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool bread completely before placing in bread bags to prevent sweating and soggy crust.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Welcome, to Spa Kennedy

(This was written on Saturday the 13th, but not posted until Monday the 15th.)

It's the day after. My back hurts, my feet are swollen and I am still smiling over the memory. My third daughter turned 10 yesterday. We don't give our kids big parties every year, we try to keep it just to the "big" birthdays. I consider turning 10 one of the big ones. It's the first year in double digits; not quite a teen but, too big for birthday hats and pin the tail on the donkey.

This year, with the help of a friend I planned a Spa Birthday.

I told Kennedy that she could invite five girls over to be pampered for the day.

Inside the invitation read: In celebration of 10 fabulous years, a reservation has been made in your name at Spa Kennedy Friday June 12 from 11:30 until 3:30. Confirm your registration by calling Dori.

The back of the invite gave our address. I also made VIP cards to include in the invitation that said: Your appointment will include Summer Facial, Mini Pedicure, Hand Massage and Young Ladies Lunch at Spa Kennedy's The Table Restaurant. VIP Pass Valid only June 12, 2009.

Each station we planned had a name; Spa Kennedy for the facials, massages and pedicures, Spa Designs Studio for creating their barrettes and hand bags, Spa Cafe where they got their spa snacks and The Table Restaurant where lunch was served. I hung some sheer drapes that I had between rooms where possible.

When the girls arrived, they went to Spa Cafe and ordered their snacks and got bottles of water that my sweet friend had decorated for me with the Spa Kennedy logo.

Then I told them what their appointments were. My sister-in-law and her two daughters came to lend a hand with pedicures and massages. Some girls started with Pedicures while one girl had her hands massaged and other the two girls who were waiting for their massage chatted in Spa Cafe. I found little pedicure sets at the dollar store and they were the colors I had chosen for the party so, I bought one for each girl. They were able to take them home after they used them for their pedicure.

After the first round of pedicures we went to Spa Designs Studio where the girls decorated purses and made darling flower barrettes.

From there, they were taken to their seats at The Table Restaurant where they ordered Italian Sodas and their choice of Soup or Salad. The lunch menu was Mini Quiches, Shoestring Veggies and Fruit Salad with Celebration Cake and Ice Cream for dessert.

After lunch, the girls ate cake and ice cream and Kennedy opened her presents. Meghan made the cake and it turned out fabulous!

Now it was time for the girls to get their chocolate facials. This was such a blast. The girls had a great time and afterward kept talking about how smooth their face felt. I may even try this on myself someday.

We finished up the day with the second round of pedicures and hand massages then everyone settled down to watch Kit Kitteridge until their parents arrived. All in all it was a fun day. The girls had a blast and I am sure this is a birthday that Kennedy and her friends will remember for a long time.

This is the first time I have tried doing a party this elaborate, but it was absolutely worth all the work. Now it's time to start thinking about Meghan's Sweet 16 this December.

Thanks for visiting Spa Kennedy. We hope we see you again.