Favorite Things Party!

My “Favorite Things” party has quickly become something my friends and I look forward to each year! I know we don’t need an excuse to gather but when you add a fun gift exchange, yummy treats and amazing friends you can’t help but have the makings for a perfect night.

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When I plan a party I always try to find one special something to set the mood or color pallet. These darling chevron cupcake stands from Pick your Plum were the perfect place to start! I loved their bright colors and they were perfect for a fun summer party. When it came to ordering the stands I couldn’t decide on what colors to get so I just got one of each! Orange, Teal, Pink, Lime Green, and Gray. And at only $3.99 each I didn’t feel too bad stocking up! Pick your Plum is a deal a day site so go sing up for updates and watch for these to pop up again!

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I went light when it came to refreshments. I made my homemade cupcakes: Lemon Curd and French Vanilla with whipped Chocolate and Strawberry frosting. I also served fresh fruit.

 

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For last years party I invested in a collection of vintage glass ware! It’s still my most favorite thing at my Favorite Things party! I went from thrift shop to thrift shop in search of a hodge podge of vintage glass wear. At 50 cents each this was a very affordable way to get a beautiful collection of glasses that get used at every party I throw! I also reused the glass bottles that were originally bought filled with Italian Soda but now I refill with water and pink lemonade.

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My style is affordable and simple decor and it doesn’t get much more affordable and simple then this! A half yard each of the coordinating colored fabric cut into 1.5″ strips and tied to green twine made the perfect bunting. It was probably about 100 feet long and I draped it back and forth along the walls of my dining room. And last minute I used the scraps and wrapped my chandelier! I am in LOVE with how my fabric wrapped channy turned out!

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And lastly I made fun take home bags for all my guests! These adorable chevron bags came from a local shop PAK-N-Wrap. I filled them with my all time favorite treats: Kit Kats, Twix, Peach rings and Spearmint gum. Just a little thank you for coming!

Each guest brought a $15 wrapped gift that represented something they LOVED or could be considered their “Favorite Thing!” We had a gift exchange and all went home with a list of new things we all wanted to try.

Turn in to my next post to see what I gave as my “Favorite Thing!”

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“Green Eggs and Ham” Dinner

Dr Seuss Collage

To celebrate the birthday of one of our favorite childhood authors, why not sit down  for an iconic meal!  Dr. Seuss has moved into all our hearts, young and old and to celebrate his birthday on March 2nd I’ve come up with a night the whole family will enjoy! “Would you eat them with a fox? Could you eat them in a box?”

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Our Green Eggs and Ham dinner is taken right out of the pages of a classic childhood favorite! The table is set with fun festive colors and of course…Green Eggs!

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Make “The Cat in the Hat’s” red and white hat the center of attention and create a table setting that is filled with color and fun! Use Dr. Seuss classroom decorations as place cards. And just as Dr. Seuss himself would say, let your imagine run wild!

Hard boil your eggs and color them green. Do this by creating a green bath – combining 4 cups of water, 1 cup of vinegar and several drops of green food coloring. Remove the eggs when they reach your desired hue of green.

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And what’s on the menu for a “Green Eggs and Ham” dinner you might ask!?!

Menu:
Oven Roasted Honey Ham
Ranch Scalloped Potatoes
Green Beans
Dinner Rolls
Green Hard Boiled Eggs

Recipe: Cheesy Ranch Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients
1 tub  (8 oz.) of cream cheese spread
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
10 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled and divided
4 1/2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes (about 12), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 onion, diced
1 cup Shredded Colby or Monterey Jack Cheeses

Directions
Heat oven to 400ºF.
Cook cream cheese, chicken broth and milk in saucepan on medium heat until cream cheese spread is melted and mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk.
Set aside 2 Tbsp. of bacon. Layer in half of each of the potatoes, onions and remaining bacon in a 13×9-inch baking dish; repeat layers. Add cream cheese sauce and cover with foil.
Bake 1-1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown. Add shredded cheese and the reserved bacon, then cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.

 

With full bellies it’s now time to sit and enjoy your favorite Dr. Seuss books as a family! I’ve created a fun quiz that also doubles as a bookmark to round out the night! Enjoy your free printable!

Dr seuss printable

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Cupids night in

This year I am all about creating more family memories and planning fun meals together is a big part of that goal! For Valentines dinner this year I’m creating a beautiful night in with my husband and girls! This table setting sets the scene for a night of amazing food, fun activities and together time! This is just a sneak peek at what I’ll be doing but I wanted to share a little preview…

Apothecary jars make great center pieces and can be filled with anything to fit a season or theme. I filled my two jars with affordable treats, pink marshmallows and red hots!

The dinner table isn’t the only thing that gets dressed up! I hung hearts, tissue paper balls and pin wheels on the walls to make the entire dining room ready for the night!

My everyday simple white dishware looks almost fancy set up on top of layered paper place mats and white doilies both found at a local party supply store. No plastic kid plates or cups here! Make the night special and set the table with “fancy” glass ware and grown up place settings!

I created these easy love letter hanging mailboxes to hang on the back of each chair! Our activity for the night will be to write each other “love notes” and deliver them to each family member.

This night is one of many fun filled theme dinners I’ll be experiencing with my family this year! Stay tuned for more! Steph for Somewhat Simple and I have an ebook coming your way that is filled with themed dinner ideas for you and your family! Menus, activities, decor and more! Each night planned out with memory making in mind! More to come!

 

 

 

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Love letter hanging mailboxes

Love is in the air! If you are looking for a super simple way to collect those endless love notes you expect to get for Valentines why not create these hanging mail boxes! Simple supplies and 5 minutes is all it takes! Shall we get started!

For this project you’ll need large mailing envelopes and decorative paper. This beautiful paper is actually wrapping paper! Cut your paper slightly smaller then the envelope.

Use a glue stick to glue on your paper and embellish with cute Valentines decor. I found a pack of glittery hearts at my local dollar store and used a hot glue gun to attach them.

Fold back the flap that seals the envelope and use a hole punch to make two holes at the top of your envelope. String a ribbon for hanging.

These sweet little guys are perfect for a family Valentines party, school party or to hang at your desk! They were the perfect finishing touch to the “Cupids Night In” dinner I created for my family! More details on this fun dinner to come! My sister-in-law Stephanie, from Somewhat Simple, and I are creating a fun e-book filled with family dinner ideas you won’t want to miss! This is your first sneak peek! I know…I’m such a tease!

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Favorite Things Party!

I am a sucker for any excuse to throw a party and get together with girl friends! It seems like the holidays are always too busy to try to throw in an extra party so the summer time is the perfect time to gather the ladies and enjoy each others company!

This Summer I threw a “Favorite Things” Party and asked all the guests to bring one of their favorite things to give away in a gift exchange! I set a gift price limit and could not wait to see what people brought!

When it came to decor and refreshments I went with what I loved and in the end what I had. When you use what you love you tend to already have a lot of it on hand! It’s a great way to save on  a budget!

 

My happy color scheme was teal, red, and green! I strung my Fabric Bunting, paper lanterns and used a twin sheet as my table cloth! One of the only new items I went shopping for was my vintage glassware!

5 Thrift Stores later, I was able to find 25 glasses that were a mix of different styles but all had a uniform look. They are my new pride and joy and will be used for parties to come. Each glass ranged in price between 50 cents and $1 so for under $15 I now have a set of glassware that will add some fun to all my gatherings!

I learned a super fun trick from my good friend Kim when it came to serving up a great spread! I filled food boats  from Orson Gygi with precut fruit and treats. It makes for easy set up and clean up with no serving dished to wash and everyone gets a great sample of everything yummy! I also added little cups of color schemed candy! I went super simple with refreshments and store bought EVERYTHING! I bought MY FAVORITE treats to serve so it also lent itself to the theme of the night!

Drinks were easy peasy…. I rested my water jug on my painted crate and had Italian Soda in my parties colors too. The Italian Soda was so fun and a great investment! They were $3.49 a bottle from Sunflower Market but come in reusable glass bottles with a wire corked top! After my guests enjoyed then I was able to wash them out and now have 6 bottles to use for my next party! I’ll fill them with Pink Lemonade  or other fun drinks in the future!

Everyone congregated around the food of course until it was time for the Gift Exchange!

Everyone brought a $15 gift that was wrapped and ready to exchange! I had everyone put their name on a raffle ticket and pulled names to pick a gift! Stealing was of course allowed! When a gift was chosen the person who brought it had to share with us why it was their favorite! It was such a fun way to get to know each other better!

The gifts were so amazing! Books, candy, gift cards to their favorite stores, beauty products and more! I won such a fun gift! I picked a gift filled with these totally adorable note cards and a bath melt from LUSH that smelled like heaven! SCORE, ME!

So… if you are looking for an excuse to throw a party, consider throwing  a “Favorite Things” get together!

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Bowling party by “Just another day in Paradise”

I do believe that probably the only person that will get me title is my good old friend Tara…for the rest of you who probably never heard of the movie…my title comes from a song in the sweet movie Grease 2. Yes they made a second one. Yes it had Michelle Phifer in it. AND yes, there was bowling in it.

Now that I digressed….

Let’s bring it  back. Retro bowling party. Yup it happened, even despite me running a fever days before. All of my party plans didn’t quite come to pass, but I still think it was coolsville.

My whole party was based on the fabric that I had found. It screamed retro to me. Once I had made Little Man’s bowling shirt and bag, the rest of the party followed theme with chocolate brown and orange.

One of the easiest ways to decorate a party is to find food and drink in a color matching the theme. Boy did I find some fun orange and brown food.

aren’t these gumballs gorgeous
Of course my brand new Silhouette had to play a part in the decorating. I made these three 16×20 canvases by simply taping off a boarder, painting them with craft paint, and then cutting out the shapes and phrases from vinyl.
This might have been my favorite part!
I also used the Silhouette to cut out these way cute cupcake wrappers.

What would a party be with out a little goodie bag to take home? I made our bowlers a mini version of my bigger bowling bag and packed it full of orange and brown goodies.

This party was super fun. I would totally do a party like this again. I think my Little Man would agree.
Larissa can be found blogging over at “Just another day in Paradise!”
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Harry Potter Party by “Just another day in Paradise”

banner tutorial here

Nothing is more magical than a Harry Potter party. This party theme is perfect for your older Witch or Wizard. I had a lot of fun throwing our 8 year-old this Wizarding themed birthday party. It was by far the most fun party I have thrown.

The decorations were burgundy and gold for the Gryffindor House, with a little bit of black thrown in. There was definitely magic in the air between spells class, magical creatures class, potions class, broom-flying instruction and then a trip to Honeyduke’s.

Of course the whole thing started off with this very special invite.

tutorial here and here 

On party day we had everything set up to welcome our Wizards.

Once they had their robes and wands, it was time for spell class. Each wizard got his very own spell book and a magical creatures book. They learned some important spells. Then we went through the magical creatures book in order to prepare for a magical creatures hunt.

 spell/magical creatures books tutorial here

One of the funnest parts of the party was potions class.

Just looking and smelling the bottles of disgusting ingredients was a hit. Labels were downloaded from HERE. I ended up doing a bit of my own interpretation of the different ingredients. My motto-think outside the box and use your imagination!

In potions class we had three different potions that we whipped up.

The blue fuzzy potion was a mixture of Unicorn Tears, Bone Dust, Worm Juice, and a little water. AKA vinegar, baking soda, and dish detergent. This was probably the most popular potion made.

After a good time in potions class we headed to Honeyduke’s for some famous Harry Potter treats.

A midst all the goodies were chocolate frogs, acid pops, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Jelly Beans, chocolate covered  cockroaches…AND

there were even Cauldron Cakes.

This little cupcake was my answer to a birthday cake. Individual and fabulously unique cupcakes are almost as good as a huge elaborate cake…plus there is less left over!

recipe here 

After getting all of their wizard training, each guest was officially ready to be a wizard. They left armed with books and wands in tow and belly’s full of magical treats, flying home on their very own Firebolt broom.

broom tutorial here
If you have a Harry Potter enthusiast in your midst, a magical wizard party will definitely be a hit. Hope you enjoy all the fun I had in creating this party and that it gives you some inspiration!
For more amazing party ideas be sure to visit Larissa over on “Just another day in Paradise”
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Harry Potter birthday invites by “Just another day in Paradise!”

I love a good party. Okay I am obsessed with good parties.

The next party in our house…you guessed it a Harry Potter party. A party perfect for any Witch or Wizard.

Before any party though has to come a fun party invite!

Today I am sharing with you a how-to on making this Harry Potter party invite.

What you need:

off-white cardstock
vellum paper
envelope template (found here)
you can use any template you want…this one opened like I wanted
and fit on a regular size of cardstock
brown ink
red clay
First you need to print off the names of your guest on the off-white cardstock. This will take some adjusting, finagling, some chocolate (for your patience), and some trial and error…so do some test runs on regular paper. I addressed mine like Harry’s letter to go to Hogwarts but I changed it to use each guests’ name (see below).Then you will print your invitations, 2 per page in landscape. Be creative on the wording…I tried to sound as Hogwarts official as I could. Another way too look official is to make sure to use Harry Potter fonts. These are the fonts I used and/or am using at the party.

all of the fonts can be downloaded HERE for free
After everything is printed out, it is time to cut out the envelope. Use the template. Make sure the envelope template is facing the right way to ensure the name will be the facing the right way on the back. My template was actually upside down.
Set the template over the name, aligning it in the center box. Trace around the outside. Then cut out.

Next, go crazy with the ink. Make it look old and all antique. When you are done, fold the envelope according to the directions on the template.

Almost done! Cut the invitations. Fold in half and make sure they fit inside the envelope.

Place the invite inside the envelope.

Now it is time to make your fake wax seal.

Take your red clay, break off a tiny bit and roll into a ball. Then smoosh…yes that is an official crafting term…the clay onto the point on the top flap of the envelope. Make is look like a melted circle. Then take a coin, any coin, and press it in the middle of the clay circle. This will help it look like a seal.

If you press hard enough, the clay should hold in place. However, if you find the clay seal lifting, you can hot glue it in place.

Now you have all of your official looking Harry Potter invitations.

Any Witch or Wizard would be thrilled to see his/her name on the invitation.

In true Potter fashion, of course the invitation will be delivered by OWL.

If you have a Harry Potter fan in your family and are planning any kind of Harry Potter party, these invites will be a sure hit!
I can’t wait to share with you the whole wizarding celebration!
Be sure to visit Larissa over on ” Just another day in Paradise” for even more amazing inspiration!
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Pinterest Love: Fall is in the air!

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year! The changing colors, the smells of spice, the cozy home life! It’s almost too much! I have been Falling for Fall all month and am thrilled to show you some of my favorite Fall finds from Pinterest…

 

These Pumpkin Cream pies from Tasty Kitchen are such a distraction! Really, how am I ever going to get this post done when all I want to do is go and make these!

 

How cute is this Fall checklist found over on The High Heel Hostess! Love these fun fall activities!  Who wouldn’t love checking off these things!

 

Pam Garrison shares this beautiful Fall Felt garland! Felt and I are having an affair right now just so you know! This is so charming!

 

I fell in love with the mantle above this stove and Julie form  Less then perfect life of Bliss decorates it perfectly for Fall! I love how she used the bold splash of Turquoise! Yep, it’s my favorite color year round too!

Simple Fall decor is what resonates with me best and these beautiful Fall framed art I just adore from Dream Home!

 

How darling are these fabric Acorns made by Zemphira’s Creations! I can’t get over how cute they are!

Centsational Girl shares her skills in creating a beautiful Fall porch with a fun tutorial on how to make this glazed pumpkin topiary!

 

And of course it would be Fall without a warm and tasty Fall treat! These Scones looked irresistible from Sweet Peas Kitchen!

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Mini Paper Bunting

I’m pretty much into anything “Mini!” Let’s face it…if it’s small and tiny it’s automatically irresistible! This Mini paper bunting also makes a great hostess gift for holiday parties and house visits with relatives! You can change up the colors to fit a party or holiday theme and in a mater of less then an hour you have a sweet and tiny little decoration ready to drape over a mirror, hang from a chandelier or swag across a mantel!

1. Gather your scrapbook paper and use a paper cutter to cut 1.5″ strips.

2. Cut multiple pages of paper until you have  a nice collection of strips.

3. Cut the 1.5″ strips to be 4″ long.

4. Fold each piece in half.

5. Use hot glue to glue the folded paper onto a long piece of ric rac. Be sure to make sure the glue touched the ric rac and the paper an dnot just the paper. This will keep it from slipping down the ric rac. Space the papers about an inch apart.

6. Cut a triangle out of the bottom of the papers making them pointed flags.

7. Continue cutting until all have been cut.

8. Hang and enjoy!

 

Simple and fun! What more do you need! This tiny bunting would also be darling if you’d like to layer your buntings! Just like fin accessories, layering in decorating can be just as impressive. Something small in scale like this would look perfectly paired with the bunting I showed off yesterday!

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