Cooking Party Recap

My latest cooking lesson party was a success! Lots of fun, laughter, and of course, plenty of cooking. I instructed the ladies on how to cook chicken fried rice, french toast, and more. Our beautiful spinach and fruit salads with homemade salad dressing were a big hit. Save the date for my next cooking party demo and cookbook signing on Friday, August 16, 2013 in La Plata, MD. Details coming soon. Good bless you!



image image image image image

Party Like A Rock Star

Me at my birthday party. CHEEESE!

Me at my birthday party. CHEEESE!

I love to celebrate special occasions. My mother raised me that way. There was not one birthday of mine that went by without being celebrated. What great memories she created for me. During that time, there was no Chuck E. Cheese’s. At best, my party would be at McDonald’s. But typically all of my parties were held right under our carport on a beautiful summer Saturday. My mother and I were the party planners. She would have me choose the theme of the party which would be reflected on the white sheet cake overloaded with colorful butter cream icing. Bozo the Clown, Winnie the Pooh, and Barbie were some of my most memorable themes. The invitation list always consisted of family members, neighborhood kids, and occasionally a few friends from school. My guests and I proudly wore our coned-shaped paper birthday hats until the elastic holding it down broke or became too unbearable around our little faces. Our entertainment consisted of us playing pin the tail on the donkey, bingo, or running around chasing each other. Capturing the memories was easy with our Polaroid camera that developed pictures right on the spot as we fanned the photos back and forth. Those were the good old days. Memories were made. Mission was accomplished!When I my oldest daughter turned one, my mother and I got together once again to plan the ultimate house party for her. We invited lots of guests, hired a clown, ordered tons of pizza, and had plenty to drink. We were so excited to pass this party tradition on to my daughter. To our dismay, my daughter slept through most of the party. The preparation of the house before hand and the clean up after wards was more than we could have imagined. We vowed to never throw a house party again.

Bowling birthday party for my son's 11th birthday.

Bowling birthday party for my son’s 11th birthday.

The next year we went to Chuck E. Cheese’s for her party. We paid our money, walked in when the party started and walked out when it was over. Ahhhh…..we had found our answer to a stress-free party. Like most parents, I despised being at Chuck E. Cheese’s but my kids loved it. Party places like that served us for most of my three kid’s birthdays. Then, finally, they outgrew those places. That’s when I had to dig in and find creative ways to celebrate their birthdays. We have had spa parties, dinner and a movie parties, scavenger hunts, bowling parties, America’s Next Top Model parties, and a candy themed Sweet 16 party. Let me warn you, the parties get more expensive. In our home, we throw a party to celebrate every time our child turns a year older. We throw a big party at 13 and 16 with smaller celebrations for the ages reached in between. Not a year goes by without being celebrated at all.

My daughter True's America's Next Top Model Sweet 16 Party

My daughter True’s America’s Next Top Model Sweet 16 Party

Let me start by saying, I enjoy planning parties and various events for my loved ones. It’s a fun hobby for me, but if event planning is not your thing, HIRE an event planner. There are way too many details that go into having a successful event. If it’s not your thing, put it in the hands of a pro. If you want to plan and execute the event yourself, here’s a few helpful tips:

1) Pick a theme. The internet is a great source of inspiration. Be sure to pick something that really represents your child’s personality. For instance, don’t choose a 70’s theme if your child is uncomfortable with wearing crazy costumes and dancing. I can sense when I have found the right theme because the moment I find it, my mind begins to race with ideas on how to customize it for my event. I don’t want to totally copy someone’s idea, I want it to inspire me to create my own.

2) Create memories inside of memories. As if throwing a sweet 16 party isn’t memorable enough, find ways to create memories while creating the party memory. My daughter and I created additional memories by constructing all her invitations together by hand. We also had fun shopping together for her outfit and for some of the party decorations. Consider having a party planning meeting with your child over their favorite meal. Perhaps you can go to the spa together to have your nails done for the party. Create memories leading up to the event to make it special every step of the way!

Sweet 16 Candy Themed Party for my daughter Fahrelle.

Sweet 16 Candy Themed Party for my daughter Fahrelle.

3) Venues & menus. The type of party you want to have should weigh heavily on your menu and venue selection. If you don’t want a sit down dinner, serve finger foods on small plates instead of heavy dishes that require the use of silverware. Find a venue that suits the type of party you want to have, at the location and price you desire. Every venue has different restrictions, so read the contract carefully before signing.

My daughter True's 17th birthday dinner at P.F. Chang's. Attire: neckties

My daughter True’s 17th birthday dinner at P.F. Chang’s. Attire: neckties

4) Budgets & Buddies. Creativity can cost you extra money or save you extra money. Predetermine your budget for decorating, food, photographer, wardrobe, entertainment, venue, etc. Use online shopping to get decorations for much less than many of your retail craft stores offer. The best budget saver is a creative buddy! Get a creative friend on your team that has a knack for finding cost effective ways to bring your vision to pass. Having a fresh set of creative eyes can offer you a fresh perspective. Two are better than one!

5) Get some FUN out of your FUNction. Don’t allow the party details to stress you out to the extent where you forget to have fun at the party. Participate in a game, dance, chat and take pictures with the guests, laugh with your kids. At the end of the day, you want to walk away with some great memories, too.



Supermom Decoded Tip: I encourage all parents out there to celebrate each year of your child’s life. Find a way to create a memory around that special day. Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive to be memorable.






Other Birthday Celebration Ideas

  • Create a scavenger hunt for the birthday child to find their gifts around the house.
  • Cook their favorite meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • Take them out to their favorite restaurant (for an extra bonus, check them out of school and take them)
  • Invite their friends over for pizza and movie night.
  • Have a small dinner party at a restaurant for them and their closest friends.
  • Add some excitement to smaller parties by requesting all the guests dress in a certain wardrobe. (Football jersey of their favorite team and player, your child’s favorite color, etc. For my daughter’s 17th birthday, we had a dinner party at P.F. Chang’s and had all the guests, guys and girls, dress in white shirts and black neckties)

Cooking Party Again?

Who would have thought that I would keep hosting these things called “cooking parties”? I surely did not know what would become of them when God gave me the idea to create and host one. Well, one led to another one, and here I am about to host my fourth weekend of cooking parties. The results drive me to continue to host them, despite the intense effort that goes into it. These classes have given women from various backgrounds the spark they needed to get creative in the kitchen again. To my surprise, the ladies that have attended were not just stay at home moms. Some of the ladies that attended were empty-nesters looking to cook better quality meals for themselves, newlyweds looking to wow their spouse in the kitchen, engaged ladies planning to start this cooking thing off right and single women that just want to invest in improving their cooking skills.  Check out this quick recap video of the last cooking party I hosted. As always, the results were amazing!

YouTube Preview Image


Shrimp & Grits cooked and plated by attendees.

Shrimp & Grits cooked and plated by attendees.

I am already so excited about the upcoming cooking party weekend happening April 5 and 6, 2013 (registration closed). We will be cooking up Southwest Grilled Chicken, Cilantro Lime Rice, Black Beans and more.

Southwest Grilled Chicken

Southwest Grilled Chicken

If you are in the DC/MD/VA area, and interested in attending, contact me at I love helping others to win in the kitchen!




Supermom Decoded Tip- Do not be defeated in the kitchen. Get the help you need to wow your family with quality meals. They deserve your very best!


Devine Cooking Class Party

If you follow me on Instagram (devinecooking) or Facebook, you already know that I enjoy cooking fabulous meals for my family. The barrage of Facebook dinner pictures I post begin to garner a lot of attention. Requests for recipes and tips led me to seek out ways to help others duplicate the same cooking success I was experiencing. That resulted in me writing a cookbook (to be released by spring 2013), blogging some recipes on this website, and hosting a series of COOKING PARTIES! This cooking party was a new God given concept for me, so I immediately asked some people if they would be interested in attending. The response was overwhelming! I opened my home up to no more than 5 ladies per class, and offered a couple of hands on, small group cooking lessons over a weekend. I kicked off the class with a food game and a couple of gift giveaways to keep the mood festive. The results were nothing short of amazing. Not only did these ladies skillfully execute the healthy meals I taught them to cook, many expressed a new kitchen confidence and creativity. What a blessing to have spouses and children come up and thank me for helping their mom step up her cooking game! In addition to comments from their families, I also received Facebook photo tags, texts, and e-mails from the ladies that attended showing off their kitchen skills. I LOVE it!

In December, I held a Christmas themed cooking party for FREE. The results were amazing once again. My upcoming cooking class sold out 3 weeks in advance, even after I increased the group size. An additional date option for that weekend is being added right away.

I get so excited about women that want to learn and grow, especially in those domestic areas of their lives! Take a look at this brief recap video of the first two cooking parties.

YouTube Preview Image


Also, look at this recap video of the Christmas themed cooking party.

YouTube Preview Image

Finally, take a look at the photographed moments from those events. We had so much FUN!




Supermom Tip – Don’t wait to start helping others. Use what you have in your hand and begin NOW! Duplicate your skill set into the lives of others. It is so rewarding!






image image image image image image image imageWorking togetherbrownie mix