Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011 - An Introduction to LivoCity

Thanks for visiting my blog!  I hope you will follow, comment, keep in touch and visit me on facebook and twitter.  I can't wait to get to know you!

Hi, I am Niki.  I am the most outgoing, social person you will ever meet.  I LOVE meeting and getting to know people.  I love seeing life through the eyes of others.  I began blogging because I wanted a place where I could post my creative projects, particularly event design and tablescapes.  Then, I discovered that I enjoyed many more aspects, such as interacting with other bloggers, writing, learning about social media, and more.  So, I launched LivoCity in January, as a blog where I could post a variety of things: crafts, thoughts, events, opinions, reviews, ideas, travels, design and more.

So, LivoCity is a work in progress, just like me!  Join me, as I explore many topics!!  I LOVE comments, so feel free to post your thoughts and opinions as you click through.
 LivoCity celebrates variety, life, all things social, friendships, laughter, travel, and so much more!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lamb and Little Bo Peep Birthday Party

When it comes to birthday parties for my little one, I look for something unique that suits her personality.  She has a musical DVD that shows kids acting out different songs; one of which, is Little Bo Peep.  She acts it out right along with them every time it comes on.  So, I decided that would be our theme for this past December's birthday.
I made these lamb place card holders (with cotton balls) as Little Bo Peep's lambs, who were holding "Where Are Ewe" signs.  I used a strip of green outdoor carpet as the table runner.  It was an affordable and easy solution.  
For food, I resisted the urge to serve lamb (cracking myself up), and chose to serve a wide assortment of appetizers.  We had chicken fingers, quiche, ham rollups, a veggie tray, guacamole, pigs 'n a blanket, and tomato & mozzarella salad with basil, which I set up in my office/craft room to make room for an extra table in the kitchen.
For the kid's favors, it was all lambs and Bo Peep...of course!  I found lamb stickers and a lamb card that said, "I Wooly Appreciate Ewe" at my local Christian book store.  Since it was December, I found adorable candy cane shaped crayons, which doubled as staffs.  Plus, I made white chocolate lambs with molds and melting dots.  
 I took this picture to the Great American Cookie Company so they could decorate the cake.
A collection of lambs and candy on a square of outdoor carpet was what I used to decorate the kids table.
A homemade lamb crossing sign welcomed our guests as they arrived.
She had a great time celebrating with her family, and even acted out the "Little Bo Peep" Song for them.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pork Tacos, Guacamole, Rice & Baked Tortilla Chip Recipe

This recipe comes straight from my man.
Pork Tacos with Guacamole, Rice & Baked Tortilla Chips

Step One - Roast Spices
Heat 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in pan on medium heat, then add 1/2 teaspoon of Chili Powder, 1/4 teaspoon of Cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of Onion Powder, 1/4 teaspoon of Coriander, 1/4 teaspoon of Garlic Powder, & a 1/4 teaspoon each of Salt and Pepper.  Roast for approximately 1 minute.

Step 2 - Add Pork
Chop and add 16 ounces of pre-cooked (leftover) Pork Loin, cook for approximately 2 minutes, turn heat to low and let sit as you prepare other elements. 

Step 3 - Make Guacamole
Cut and core one medium Hass Avacado, add 1 heaping Tbsp Sour Cream, Ground 2 teaspoons of Ground Coriander, 1 Tbsp of Dried Onion Flakes, 1/4 tspn of Garlic Powder, 1 tspn Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp Pico De Gallo, 1 tspn Lime Juice, 1 tspn, Celery Salt and 1 tspn Pepper.

Step 4 - Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips
Cut soft Corn Tortillas in quarters.  Spread on cookie sheet and drizzle with Olive Oil.  Sprinkle with Chili Powder, Onion Powder and Ground Coriander.  Broil until browned (a couple of minutes).  Toss, if needed.  Finish with Coarse Salt once removed from the oven.

Step 5 - Rice and Toppings
Open Uncle Ben's Basmati Ready Rice (we used Butter Garlic this time, but it wasn't as good with this dish), pop in microwave, and heat for 90 seconds.  Then, add 1 tspn Butter, handful of fresh Cilantro and 1/2 tspn Lime juice...and stir.

Chop Cilantro and Pico de Gallo (Tomato, Onions and Jalapenos...if not pre-packaged).
Step 6 - Plate
*Finish Pork with Lime Juice        *Fill Soft Corn Tortillas with Pork, Pico & fresh Cilantro
*Plate with Guacamole, Crema/Sour Cream, Baked Tortilla Chips & Rice

Step 7 - ENJOY!!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Homemade Spring Wreath for $5!

My cravings for variety have led me to volunteer at a school.   I tutor a 17 year old student from China (1st year in America) in English and U.S. History, type study guides, handout tests and quizzes, organize everything from tests and materials to alumni outreach, supervise high schoolers as needed, create bulletin boards and decor, and a multitude of other random (I just love that word) tasks.

 So, when February ended, it was time to come up with something to replace the festive little hearts that adorned our classroom door.  One day, while rummaging through the cheap bins at Target, I came across colored egg wreath for only $2.50.  As can be expected with a 2 Buck wreath, it was small, boring and looked, well, cheap.  I knew...if I really thought about it, I could jazz it up. 

Supplies Used
Scrapbook Paper
Pink Feather Boa
Butterfly Sticker

First, I cut a piece of scrapbook paper into the shape of the wreath, only slightly larger.  Then, I drizzled glitter glue on each egg, to add a little pizazz.  Next, I created a bow from matching sheer ribbon, stuck a butterfly sticker in the center for an extra spring touch, and added a piece to the top as a "hanger".  For the last step, I wrapped a pink feather boa, and Ta Da...we have a fancy, modern Spring wreath.

For added effect on the actual door, I added some Spring decals that I bought last year at Target.  As you can see, my next project needs to be fixing the door at the school. :)


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Bell of the Ball!

       From ThisTo This

When I first bought my house, I put up a little hand-me-down door knob bell at Christmas time.  Very quickly I realized it was more than a decoration, it was a little announcement that someone was coming through the door.  As a result, for over five years, I have had an UGLY unappealing Christmas ornament as the last thing people see when leaving my home.
Yesterday, it got a little makeover!!
I removed the gaudy holly and ribbon, spray painted it gray to match my living room, added some stickers, a key, and a sheer black ribbon…and ding, ding, ding…we have the bell of the ball!!
Hope this inspires you to take a little ugly convenience in your home and turn it into a cute, little piece you can be proud to call your own.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creativity at Work

Call me won't be the first, and you certainly won't be the last...but sometimes I go through periods of brain overload.  It's kind of like standing in the middle of Time Square.  Ideas are zooming past me, like occupied taxi cabs with their destination in mind.  They are like all the tourists bumping into me because they are twirling in awe of the lights, billboards and media that surround them.  I try, heaven help me, I try to jot them down, organize them into a perfectly tasked to do list, but it just never quite works out that way.  I think it's because just when I pick up my teal gel pen, I am slapped with yet another notion more glittery and sparkly than the last.

Then, suddenly, the traffic subsides, the bustle is gone and my to do list starts forming with ease (accept for all of the brilliant ideas that somehow were cut on production room floor).  Yet, it just isn't the same, suddenly the energy I felt before to leap into my tasks is gone.  I suddenly feel like I just don't have the energy...I get discouraged.

You know what happens next, my knight in shining armor rides in on his valiant steed and knows exactly what I need.  This week it was in the form of an email: "'To have a great idea, have a lot of them.' Thomas Edison".  Now that, my friends, is the man meant for me!!  Without my even telling him, he sensed what I needed...encouragement, support, and a little wisdom.  Valentine's Day has come and gone, but my love for my man did NOT go with it.

Happy Day!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Transferring Blogs

 People, I don't know whether to scream or celebrate...I have been so overwhelmed with the thought of implementing (and learning how to implement) all of the things that I want to do with this blog!  I wanted to get it ready, somewhat put together, so that I could tell all of my Entertain In Style followers to make the switch.  [Why is it my Insecurity makes me feel like I have to have it all put together when I know there is so much to do that I would NEVER post a single thing if I waited 'til then?

So today, I decided to just jump in with BOTH FEET!!  I am choosing to accept that blogs can morph as they go along...and I must allow my faithful followers to find me, because where would I be without them anyway.  

Your To Do List is Simple:
Subscribe to LivoCity
Check out my Grab Buttons (over there -->, all urban and cute...Thanks  Blogging with Amy for a great tutorial!)
If you have a blog, consider adding one of those cute little buttons. :) please.
Like my page on Facebook!!
Share my new page with EVERYONE!!!!