LIFE BY DESIGN: 3rd Annual Staycation 2014


My last post focused on the Staycation invitations that I sent out this year for my family’s annual weekend get together.  So to follow up on the event this post focuses on the actual Staycation itself…. and all the planning and decorating that went into getting ready for the big event.

If you read my last post you saw that my theme this year was: 


And, since that theme conjures up a “spa like” vibe I decided to go with sort of an “Asian Spa” atmosphere in all the decorating, food and events.  (Just like I did with the invitations.)


One of the first decisions I made was to do take out for the majority of the food. Winking smile (I know…, right?!)  So I ordered my kid’s favorite Chinese meal – Orange Chicken with all the fixins’ from Panda Express.  Yes, I admit it – I took the easy way out so I didn’t have to cook.  So for the “presentation” I set up an Asian table scape using oriental flowers, lava rocks, leaf plates, candles, etc. 


Fortunately I had these left over from my son’s wedding.  And, lucky for me they came in very handy for my theme.  I placed three of these on the table.


I chose orange as my accent color and found these cute little chalkboard place cards at Hobby Lobby and used them as my food placement cards.



You can see several of them placed around the table to compliment my orange Oriental umbrella.  Just adds a little touch of fun.


I went to World Market for some Asian food and drink ideas and a friendly sales lady there told me about this easy Asian dish pictured above.  (So I did at least prepare something of my own!)  It’s just sliced avocados topped with this Asian sauce, arranged on a leaf platter…


It’s hot and spicy and delicious with the avocados! 


Easy, breezy….and looked pretty on the table!


When my family arrived their dinner was ready and waiting for them by candlelight.


To create a little more of the Asian experience I created a “look” with these long leaf plates on trays.  This way we could relax outside and sit anywhere we wanted to.  Each tray held lava rocks, a little battery operated candle (to prevent any mishaps from a real candle) and chopsticks wrapped in green ribbon.


To incorporate the theme into our drinks I took the advice of my sales lady buddy at World Market who told me to try these cute little Asian drinks and serve them in martini glasses for the girls.


I placed the martini glasses on a tray and added colorful umbrellas for that girlie touch….


That way they could pluck the drink from the ice bucket pop it open and serve themselves.  Each jar had an olive at the bottom which added the martini touch.


Just a fun way to add to the Asian vibe and  “experience”.


For the guys I got Asahi Asian beer (also suggested of course by my little sales lady friend).


And to keep my grandkids from feeling left out I made their fruit drinks in these little plastic glasses with their own little umbrellas to match their mama’s. Winking smile


As everyone arrived I had my Soundscapes playing throughout the house for a spa atmosphere.  Since the first night of the Staycation was dubbed “RESTORE” I wanted to set the stage for the weekend and help start the rejuvenation process……what better way than with music and ambiance!


After everyone arrived and all the “Asian martini’s” were ready the girls had a toast to the weekend. ( But, if I’m perfectly honest here I have to admit none of us were too thrilled about the taste I’m sad to say!  Fun little process….but, taste?  Not so much!Sad smile)


For dessert I googled Asian ideas and decided on a wonton ice cream dish.  For these you spray the pan with Pam and place the individual wontons in each muffin holder…


Then you spray them with butter….


And bake them for five minutes or so…


They form little bowl shapes that can be set aside till ready to serve.


When ready you fill them with ice cream of choice and top with strawberries….


Then sprinkle them with powdered sugar.  It’s that simple.  Pretty and tasty.

This was what the recipe called for —

but, for the grandmunchkins


I deviated and let them top theirs with their candy of choice instead of strawberries.  (A bit more kid friendly version.)


Saturday’s theme was “RELAX”  so to start the day we got donuts and kalache’s from our locally Asian owned donut shop.  Not healthy I’ll admit, but yummy none the less, and a great way to start a relaxing day.


After breakfast it was time for the grandkids to go on their treasure hunt for their surprise goodies. (Our family tradition.)  So, like last year, I printed off pictures of various areas around the back yard which were their clues to follow…..


Big sister lead the way…


Until they finally found their treasure….


And, when they did – they were happy little campers.


It didn’t take them long to get right down to the business of playing with their new goodies.

Then it was onto the adult portion of the day….

However, in my family the world stops when OU plays (considering both my boys went to school there) and Staycation is no exception.  At least it stops for the boys in the family – not so much the girls. So since the game was smack dab in the middle of the day and the theme for the day was “RELAX” I supplied them each with their own individual buckets filled with ice and Asian beer, as well as gift bags with OU ball caps and cigars (compliments of my hubby).  My grandson Eli got a smaller bucket of ice with a couple of juice boxes and a goodie bag with a matching OU ball cap.  Unfortunately, I failed to get pictures, but while they were settling down in their “happy place” to relax and watch the game in our outdoor living area the girls were on a different sort of mission inside…..


I gave each of them a box containing pink terry cloth dresses and matching house shoes.  (Ahem….notice the Asian inspired motif on the boxes?)…..


And, a spa basket filled with spa essentials….


Once they were changed into their matching spa outfits I set up our own mini-spa in my “girlie” room (which, by the way I’m in the middle of completely redecorating so ignore the dated wallpaper and drapes you see here – it’s on it’s way out!)


They each had their own foot massagers (that I borrowed from various friends and family), chilled eye masks…


Facials, warm hand scrub and mani-pedi’s (I was the spa server for the bunch)


My 5 year old granddaughter hung right there with us and enjoyed everything the big girls did.  Is that cute or what?


When spa time was over and the girls were restored and relaxed we finished off the moment with Asian Chicken Salad.  (The boys got wings from Wing Stop – perfect for football.)


Just about the time the game was over it was time for the adult treasure hunt (another family tradition).


I got these extra boxes from Panda Express when I picked up the Orange Chicken to house their “clues” and labeled each of them on both sides with the weekend theme.


Inside each box was an origami (remember those from childhood?)….


And on each origami were clues to get them from place to place to place.  The first origami clues lead them to my office a few blocks away (can you tell?).  There they found another box with an origami filled with clues that lead them to Starbucks….


And at Starbucks they got another box which led them to their final destination – HIGH STONE REFLEXOLOGY and gift cards for each of them for a 70 minute massage.


Yep! Seventy minute Reflexology massages together in the same room.  Did I mention that the theme of the day was RELAX?

And, while they were relaxing….


Mimi and Kaisley did Kaisely’s favorite thing….bake.  The choice of the day was cupcakes.


Kaisley did most of it herself….


And, since it was October she decorated them with Halloween picks.  Pretty good job don’t you agree?


Then she did a little relaxing on her own with little brother, Judah.


After the massages the kids came home relaxed and restored.   Just the way this mama wanted.  Rolling on the floor laughing So we loosened up on the Asian theme for the evening, ordered pizza for dinner and just hung out together. 

After the grandkids were all hunkered down in bed we sat up for hours playing a game called Fishbowl.  (Really fun – no need for a board game, dice or any props to speak of other than paper, pencil and a bowl….you can google it for the instructions.)


It involves three different phases of memory, verbal communication and charades….


Each person getting a turn to describe or act out the word they pulled from the “fishbowl”.


Funny to play….


And even funnier to watch….


Some were funnier to watch than others….just sayin’!


A really fun game that I would advise you to google and play with your own family.


We stayed up and played till around midnight….


Lots of simple fun and quality family time.


Last, but not least, Sunday’s theme was “REFRESH” and I think for the most part everyone was restored, relaxed and refreshed by the last day of Staycation.


So after a cozy morning together it was time for our final Staycation tradition….family photo’s.


Our good friend, David, met us at the park to snap some photo’s (as he has done for every Staycation) which as you can see can be a bit of a challenge….


But, definitely worth the effort to capture some wonderful memories….


Some wonderful moments….


And family time…


Simple, no frills fun…


That we can all look back on…


And, cherish….


And, smile about…


With warm and happy hearts…


And, there ain’t nothin’ more important in this world to this Mimi and Doogie.


Life By Design… there anything better?

Until next year and Staycation 2015……

Happy Decorating!

2 comments for “LIFE BY DESIGN: 3rd Annual Staycation 2014

  1. Doogie
    November 25, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    You are the most awesome Mimi!!!!!!!!! love ya!

  2. susan
    December 13, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Sheri, you are amazing!!! Loved all that you did and your pictures of your family at the end were beautiful!!!

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