Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Ball 2011

Well, it's over.  The build up to each years Fall Ball is a bit unnerving as each year I ponder...can we do better than last year?  Will more people come?  Will they like my food?  Will they have a good time?  Will they come back next year?  It really is enough to keep you up at night wondering.  Of course, that's only a fraction of the questions that clog my brain.  I wonder...will I get the costumes completed and will they work?  Will I get my house cleaned?  Did I over extend myself on the food?  And yes, occasionally I have the nightmare...will we run out of beer?

This year, in keeping with having a theme, I decided that costumes would be of cartoon characters.  In my mind, there were 70 years of characters from which to choose and figured that there was little chance of repeat costumes.  Then, of course, I worried...waiting to hear the words of the Master..."you chose WISELY Grasshopper"*  that someone would have my costume, AND do it better than I. 

With this being our 6th Fall Ball, our 5th costumed Fall Ball, I think I have finally figured out the timing.  I got 70% of my cooking done on Friday.  The Cuban Black Bean soup was made and refrigerated.  I made shrimp salsa and Texas Caviar.  I made a raw apple cake and tried a new recipe for Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Swirl Brownies.  I also put the finishing touches on our costumes.  Saturday I woke up early, knowing I had TONS to do I still laid in bed until 8am before getting up to complete preparations.  I put together a Chicken Tortilla soup using a stock I had made the previous day.  I toasted corn tortilla strips to put on the soup and chopped up some additional toppings for it (cilantro, avocado, red onion, tomato).  I made some guacamole and some cajun spiced pecans.  Right before everyone arrived, I made rice for the black bean soup and fluffy cornbread.

Then I cracked the whip and put the kids to work.  And we were DONE by 1pm.(if only it was always that easy)  Everything was ready.  So I did what most people would do:  I took my oldest daughter out mattress shopping (I don't think I can technically tell you how old her mattress is without fear that CPS will be called on us).  Yes.  I did.  No.  We didn't find what we were looking for.  When we got home, I took step one to my costume:  I dyed my hair red.  Yes.  I'll let you absorb that.  Technically it was called Light Auburn, but it still looked red to me.  I had a back up plan if it was HORRIBLE (that being, my natural hair color in "reserve") but surprisingly, it didn't turn out THAT red**.  Red enough to lend some authenticity to my costume:  the husband and I were Woody and Jessie from Toy Story.
The costumes I made or came from Good will.  Well, except the hats and his boots.  Cowboy boots are hard to find at Good Will.  Happy Anniversary Honey (that was yesterday).

The best part of these costumes is that Woody was "authentic".  Right down to his pull string.  Well, that's not completely accurate.  My husband's Woody's lines were...um...slightly off color.  PG-13 with a possible R rating in some southern states.
Since I KNOW you're dying to know...in order of appearance:
Charlie Brown and Betty Rubble
Followed by Charlie Brown and Snoopy.  
Then Cruella arrived.  Followed by:
Holy Zig-Zag Shirts Batman...is that ANOTHER Charlie Brown with the Great Pumpkin?  Well, hang onto your jericurl, cause you ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Daphne and Fred, who brought Scooby Snacks.

Superman (apparently impersonating Elvis with a bad haircut) with Wonderwoman.  I won't mention how long ago she had a baby except to say I hate her.  Not really.  OK...a little.

Is a party complete with out the Simpsons?  I think not.

Then Clark Kent and Rainbow Bright arrived with Inspect Her Gadget (no...I did NOT mistype).

And Fred and Wilma.

Marge and Homer the second.

Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.

And OMG...what do we have here...Charlie Brown and Lucy.  Did you lose count?  Let me help you out:

There...all better?
And finally:
Popeye and Olive Oyl.

My son stopped by with some of his friends whose parents (3 separate couples) were at our party.  OH...he acted all embarrassed but I know secretly, he was digging it. (yes...I said digging it).***


As you may know from previous years, a Fall Ball isn't a Fall Ball unless my  husband ends up with someone else's wig on his head. This year was no different:
Lucy brought us shot glasses that were actually ice cubes.  Rainbow Bright shows us how it's done:
So, I'm sure you are all wondering...prizes right?  There were prizes.  Best Male Costume went to:

Inspect Her Gadget.  First...the name play.  AWESOME!  Second, the headgear...totally original.  Kudos!
Best Female Costume goes to:
Because see Maggie...she MADE Maggie!  I especially liked how Maggie's eyes went in different directions.  But I'm weird that way.


Best Character Line went to Woody.  Yes, I know, bad form having a host win a prize, but he didn't just have one line.  He used about 8 different lines.  Every time you pulled his string.


Now, here's the part of the night that I loved, Loved, LOVED.  After the voting (from those who remained) was over, the discussion became, what will "we" do for next year's theme.  THIS party was not even over and they're already talking next year.


They like me...they REALLY like me. (OK...my parties...but I'm good with that).


*how lame am I that I reached back to Kung-Fu?
**I also knew from past experience trying to put red hilites in my hair, that it would probably wash out quickly.  2 days post dye and most people don't even notice.
***how do I know he was "digging it"?  Because he came home today with some OTHER friends, all of whom wanted to know what they had to do to get on next years invitation list.

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