Hi. My name is Kristen Massad, I am a mom of two beautiful girls and a sweet baby boy, the wife to the most supportive husband and a pastry chef for all to enjoy! I am a graduate of The French Culinary Institute in NYC and owned and operated Tart Bakery in Dallas, Texas for over 8 years. After growing a successful retail and wholesale bakery, I had a great opportunity to sell it and enjoy this special time with my family.
I started Ink Foods as a creative outlets to highlight original recipes created by me as well as some of my favorite recipes from my Nannies recipe book, other books, magazines and the web that have been edited to meet my sweet tooth.
Last year, I launched JOY + OLIVER, a small batch confections company that specializes in sea salt caramels. I’m thankful to be back in the kitchen while home with my little ones!
Favorite Meal : My favorite meal: and something that we make as a family once a week is Shrimp Aglio olio (garlic and oil). It is one of the most simple meals to make but the flavors are pure and strong and my kids love it as well!
Favorite Restaurant: In Dallas there are some amazing restaurants, but a restaurant that we recently discovered and frequent to often is Sushi at The Mercury. It is a tiny and hidden sushi bar inside The Mercury Restaurant. Very fresh and unique sashimi and great appetizers.
Favorite Kitchen Gadget: I can’t live without my kitchen aid mixer. I use it to bake and experiment with recipes all week long. It sits on my counter ready to be used at all times.
Recharge Batteries: With 3 little ones and working from home, there is very little time to recharge, but simply a glass of wine with my husband once the kids are asleep helps to refresh. I also love a facial to relax and feel energized!
Hostess Gift: A good bottle of wine or a box of sea salt caramels is my go to hostess gift because who doesn’t love that!
Entertaining Must Have: My husband and I love to entertain and we always have more appetizers than food for the main meal. I feel like people always come hungry and it is the best place to snack and mingle.
Favorite Holiday to Host: Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, it is all about family time and food.
So anybody who ever said that planning a birthday party while running a new business and preparing for our summer activities was a good idea, well they should be scolded immediately! The entire month of May was insane! The school year ended for both Coach and Lil Hatt as our little business keeps growing and now, somehow, my little guy’s birthday has snuck up on us leaving me less than a handful of days to make this the extra special day he’s been excited about for months.
Can anyone else relate?
As with any party I throw, I typically start off with my handy-dandy check list that I pull out with notes from the previous year’s successes and failures and suggestions for new things to implement. Except… Gulp… I couldn’t find the notes from his party last year or the year before. Apparently, several files were corrupted and erased on my flash drive. After a few tears, a glass of wine (alright, maybe two) and several words I cannot repeat here, I decided to build anew.
As I mentioned in my first blog post about Lil Hatt’s birthday, I start off with a theme. This year it was easy as I had wanted to do a farm theme last year. I always start with the invitation. Call me old-fashioned, but I still love to send a paper invite. I found this adorable invitation at Sweet Cotton Paperie on Etsy. Mia was so easy to work with and she customized some of the wording for me. I mean seriously, how cute did this turn out???
Next on the list is THE LIST. I break down the menu, the snack table, the beverages, the cutesy names for the games and food, the activities, the decorations, the party favors, the house needs and most importantly – the schedule. This is what keeps me sane and on track throughout the process. (Can you tell I like lists and checking them off?)
I found this adorable shirt at Pixie Stitch LLC on Etsy. I have purchased several shirts from this shop and they are very well made, good quality thick cotton shirts that withstand washing, drying and Lil Hatt. There are so many styles, colors, and themes to choose! I had a custom shirt made last year for the 4th to go along with his birthday shirt and it still fits him!In addition to what I purchased at Nebraska Furniture Mart, here are a few more decorations and the start of the party favors. The animal figures and animal stickers came from Oriental Trading Company. I purchased the “Farm Animals Action Figures” and the “Vinyl Farm Animals” from OTC. I wouldn’t get the vinyl farm animals again as they are teeny tiny and they don’t stand on their own very well. However, the farm animals action figures are awesome and I received 23 animals for only $13.99! I plan on using them on the tables for decoration and then the kids can take them home, as well. I just loved the cute “Simple Face Farm Animal” stickers which were only $2.55 for a roll of 100. They will be on the tables and in the favors as well. The “3-piece Garden Tool Set” ($7.80 for prime members when purchased as an ad-on) and the planters ($12.49 for 8 planters) I found on Amazon. Each favor will include one tool, a planter, strawberry seeds (the kids will get to plant these during the party), a custom activity sheet (more on these in the next post) and a few other goodies I’m still pulling together.
The adorable banner at the top of this post came from Sparkle My Party on Etsy as well and it will hang on my mantle with the party favors lined out below.
I can’t wait to share with you all how it all comes together in the next post! Wish me luck and sleep this week. I think I’m going to need it!
Ahh, spring football. For those of you wondering exactly what this means to a coach’s wife (I feel like my experience as a coach’s wife is a totally relatable subject to many of you whose spouse travels all week, works long shifts, or you experience moments in time where you are “mom” and “dad” to your kids.), it means the following:
1. Coach gets home about 2 hours later than normal*
2. If we are going to eat dinner as a family, we eat 1.5 hours later than normal*
3. As a result, Lil Hatt goes to bed 1 hour later than normal*
4. Therefore, my downtime at night is 1 hour less than normal*
*When I say normal, I am not referring to football season as most that happens during football season is not normal.*
5. Coach has to work Saturday mornings, either at practice or a scrimmage or a position competition or the red & white game or game planning or…..6. Coach becomes extremely limited in his ability to fully engage in conversation, decision making, home front productivity, etc., as football is ever present on his mind
7. As a result, we talk a lot of football. A LOT…8. Coaches wives start to rally and gatherings including our kids (or girls’ night out with babysitters) start getting scheduled so we can take the edge off, commiserate, celebrate and support one another in this “pseudo single parent time” (I will say that we would gladly take THIS every day of the week and twice on Sunday versus the complete “mom & dad” time period we experience during football season)
9. We start to get excited about the upcoming season and the promise of our teams and the arrival of summer time when we only have to share our husbands for a few hours each day (this is the time that the “honey do” list gets pulled out, dusted off and added to).
10. We get ready to say goodbye to the senior boys who have become family, stolen our hearts, enriched our lives and are ready to spread their wings and enter their next chapter.Spring ball is a wonderful, and somewhat tiring, time of year for us as coaches wives and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
How can it be time for my baby to turn 3?? I promise you, I just had him yesterday! I mean, I’m still carrying those last 10 pounds of baby weight (ok, maybe 20 pounds) and surely if he was really turning 3 I would have lost it already, right? Sorry, I digress…
My entire life I wanted a family. I always pictured myself with 3 or 4 kids and then life happened, and as it tends to do, it hasn’t ended up how I pictured.I married my amazing husband, Coach, in 2010 and we started trying right away, but God has a different plan for us.
Maximus came into our life first during his junior year of high school. He was not what we had expected, but he enriches our lives more than words can express and watching him blossom into the man he is today, is a gift like none other.After lots of fertility treatments, many miscarriages and more heartache than I care to remember, we were blessed again with our beautiful, perfect, independent, ornery, sociable and lovely little boy. Now he is turning 3 in a month!Coach is from a small town in Kansas and Lil Hatt loves being on the farm with the animals and crops when we are back home visiting. We planted a garden for the first time this year in our back yard and he has so much fun watching it grow, watering it and learning where our food comes from. So I decided on a Farm/Farmers Market theme for his party. I must preface anything else I say with this: I AM NOT CRAFTY IN ANYWAY SHAPE OR FORM. What I am good at is research, copying and adding my flare to other people’s amazing, hard thought and planned ideas. So that is what I will share with you so you can take my research and copy my ideas and add your flare and voila’!
I always start with the theme and then I research on Etsy and Pinterest. I have to pause and say that Etsy and Pinterest are overwhelming and nerve-racking for me as there is so much to sort through and many ideas to take in. So this process can take a few weeks as I often need time to digest and process all of the amazing things I find on both sites. Once I narrow down the theme, I start in on the invitations and décor. I found all of these fun props at Nebraska Furniture Mart, which in and of itself is very similar to Etsy and Pinterest, awesome yet overwhelming!We had to go there to buy a new breakfast table because this happened when I was cooling my ice cream bases. Just an FYI, you cannot put hot items on a glass table without mitts and expect it to survive…
I can not wait to put all of these adorable items together to create a Farmers Market wonderland (ok, wonderland is a bit extravagant, but it is what I am aspiring to achieve!). I’m working on the invitation now and next comes the menu. I’ll post on both of those updates soon! Pray for me that I don’t fall into the overwhelmed abyss!!!