Monday, March 26, 2012

{DIY Monday} Easter Favor Tutorial (2011)

I'm tired this morning... stayed up late watching Mad Men last night, which didn't get over until 11:00pm.  Well, really 1:00am if you consider the fact that I watched it a second time... hey it's been 17 months I had to watch the encore to make sure I didn't miss anything the first time!

Needless to say I'm running a little slow today and that's not a good way to start this busy week of mine.  I'm in Easter party planning mode since we're having an Easter Party & Playdate on Wednesday.  Just a fun little get together for my sons' and some of their friends.  Nothing too big, only about 11 kids.  Haha... I'm laughing because I said that to one of the moms and she says, "Oh, ONLY 11 kids... nothing too big!" I could tell by her tone that she was being sarcastic, but when you're a party planner 11 is really no big deal!

I've been tossing around the idea of making the cute little cans from last year for each of the kids to put their favorite eggs in to take home, but I guess we'll see how much time I have with everything else I've got to get ready.  I've also thought about having them make the egg ornament as a little take home keepsake, but again... we'll see.

In case you forgot about them from last year, or maybe didn't even know about them check out the DIY Tutorials I did last year.


Easter can tutorial can be found here...


Egg ornament tutorial can be found here...

Happy Easter planning!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Party in style.... Mad Men style that is!

So if you're like me (and millions of other women across the country) you're anxiously awaiting the premiere of Mad Men this Sunday night on AMC.  {Insert squeal of delight}  I got hooked on the show about 4 years ago, but I've since purchased the seasons on DVD and watched them ALL!  Everything about the show intrigues me... the style, the drama, which by the way is different than the drama you would deal with in the office today.  Don't get me wrong there are similarities, but the drama portrayed in the 60's just seems classier.  Oh, and let's not forget the characters... Don Draper! {swoon}


In honor of the upcoming premiere I've decided to compile a list of sites that provide some great Mad Men style party ideas, including food, drinks, decorations, attire and more.  If you're already having a premiere party you might find some fun additions.  If you're not, you're going to want to after reading some of these ideas!

These sites are listed in no particular order... all of them offer great ideas... Enjoy!

1.  The Daily Meal - Here you will find ideas for food, booze & flair compliments of celebrity party planner Mary Giuliani.  ***I want that title someday... Jodie Valenti, Celebrity Party Planner... {smiles}

2. Guest of a Guest - If you're looking for Mad Men style cocktails then look no further... here you will find a complete slideshow of drinks just for the occasion.

3. Celebrations - Here you will find ideas for music, games, decorations and food.

4. AMCTV - AMC has put together a party guide for hosting a Mad Men premier and since they are the experts on Mad Men, this may be a good one to check out.

5. Oprah - Oprah has even jumped on the band wagon with some great ideas... I wonder if Martha has too?!

Have fun planning your very own cocktail party, I know I will, planning mine... Let the countdown begin!!



Enjoy!

Monday, March 19, 2012

{DIY Monday} Nacho Ordinary Cupcakes!

Last year around this time I was tasked with making cheeseburger cupcakes for my step-son's class to celebrate his 11th birthday.  
 
This year while searching on Pinterest (yes, I'm an addict)... I came across some super cute cupcake ideas.  Of course one in particular stood out from the rest and when I showed them to him, he could barely contain his excitement.  What type of cupcakes got a 12 year old that excited, you ask?  Well, non other than Nacho Cupcakes!

They are really cool looking and they seemed easy enough so I decided to tackle them this year.  Here's how my version turned out...  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!



The kids all loved them (they tasted really yummy) and he's already talking about next year.  I think I see a little tradition starting to form!

If you're interested in making your own nacho or cheeseburger cupcakes check out the tutorials below.

Nacho Cupcakes tutorial from Sweet Simple Stuff found via Pinterest.

Cheeseburger Cupcakes tutorial from Party NV posted last year.


So what are you're thoughts for next year's cupcakes???


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

{Theme Party Tuesday} Minnie Mouse

M-I-N-N-I-E ....... M-O-U-S-E!

Last summer I was contacted by a local customer for help.  She was doing a Minnie Mouse themed party for her daughter's 2nd birthday and couldn't find anything at the local party supply stores.  She knew of my cakes so that's why she originally contacted me, but after talking with her, we realized I could help her in other ways too.

Her budget was tight since most was, understandably, spent on a bounce house (those 2 year olds sure do like to jump... don't they)!  So we talked and decided I would do a small cake, a banner and some party hats.  I sure do wish I would have snapped some shots of those little ones in the hats because they were so cute.

She made cake pops and other sweets and together we coordinated everything so it would all look unified on party day!  I didn't hep with the sweets display, so I don't have any pictures of everything all together, but I did manage to snap some shots of what I provided and I think it all turned out so cute... makes me wish I had a little girl.








Please check out my facebook page and etsy shop for more information on my cakes and party designs.

Monday, March 12, 2012

{DIY Monday} Shamrock Toss

I have a 2 year old that LOVES to throw things, especially his toys (and my phone when I forget to put it out of reach).   So the other day I was feeling crafty and decided to make him (and his older brother) a fun St. Patty's Day game.  They've been having so much fun with it that I decided to share it with you too!

Here it is... my version of a shamrock can knock down.


You probably already have everything you need on hand, but if not, I'm sure you can improvise!

Here's what you need:

*6 - Soup cans (cleaned, with labels off... and you may want to file any sharp edges for safety). 
*1 - set of my St. Patty can cover printables (you can down load them for FREE here).
*Green felt (I happened to have 3 shades available, but you can use whatever you have laying around... you can also use green fabric if you don't have any felt).
*Shamrock template (I just drew 4 hearts and a little stem on some scrap cardstock paper and cut it out).
*Scissors
*Glue Gun & glue
*Rice
*Packing tape (or whatever else you have on hand to secure the labels to the cans).


There... that's it!  Let's get started assembling so your kids can have some knock down fun.

First you'll need to print off 1 copy of each of the can wrap templates and cut them out.



Next, you need to wrap the cans...


... and secure them with a piece of packing tape (or whatever else you have to secure them).


Now set the cans aside and grab the felt and your shamrock template.

First you'll need to cut out the felt shamrocks (you'll need 2 per shamrock, so if you're doing 3 complete shamrocks you'll need 6 pieces total).


After you get the pieces cut you'll need to glue the edges together, leaving a small opening to pour the rice into.


Pour some rice into the opening (make sure to put enough so that your shamrocks have some weight, otherwise they won't be heavy enough to knock down the cans)!


Carefully glue the remaining edges shut...


... repeat with the remaining shamrocks and you're finished!

Now set it up and let your kids have a blast.  


This makes a great party game too!

Happy crafting!!

Friday, March 09, 2012

{Freebie Friday} FREE St. Patrick's Day Printables

Happy Friday!

Can you believe that St. Patrick's Day is 1 week away?  And it's on a Saturday this year, for all you adults who like to partake in the skip work and drink green beer all day festivities.  Of course if you have youngsters you may want to remember to make arrangements for them since there's no school that day!

If you're like me... next week you'll be busy making treats for your children's classrooms and planning fun activities for everyone to enjoy, like a leprechaun hunt and green milk.  Or what about shamrock shaped, green pancakes and rainbow fruit kabobs?  Oh, and we can't forget the ever popular search for the pot-of-gold!  


Now, I'm not Irish... but that's okay!   I do like to partake in the green festivities so to help you (and me too) I've decided to compile a list of sites (I randomly found online) with FREE St. Patrick Day Printables.  You may be inspired to take on some last minute projects next week, and who knows, I may even introduce you to some new sites, worthy of your love.  So without further ado... here is my list (in no particular order, of course).

1.  www.howdoesshe.com - You'll find 50+ free printables at this site, everything from party & favors to home decor.

2.  www.catchmyparty.com -  This is one of my favorite party sites, no matter what time of year.  They've got some really cute printables, especially if you're planning a little last minute party.

3.  www.bloominghomestead.com - If you're looking for some last minute home decor these are the free printables for you.

4.  www.dollarstorecrafts.com - Here you'll find 20+ free printables and ideas, all on a serious dollar store budget.

5.  www.modpodgerocksblog.com - I love ModPodge too!  Here you'll find 20+ free printables.

6.  www.tipjunkie.com - Along with free printables you'll find 64+ crafts, recipes, traditions and more!

7.  www.livinglocurto.com - Here you'll find a beautiful exclusive party collection.


Oh, and if you're not Irish and want the little sign I made above you can find it here!

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

{Theme Party Tuesday} Monkey See, Monkey Boo!

So, I think I've made you wait long enough!  Just kidding... I'm just finally getting caught up on my posts.

Last fall my baby turned TWO (I know I can hardly believe it myself).  When I started running through ideas for his party I knew I wanted something special for him, something that he could relate to, and something that he would be excited about.  At this age it's so difficult because they really don't get excited over birthday parties, like a 5 year old does.

He has this ratty old green monkey, which he's been inseparable with since birth, and one night while all 3 of us were snuggling on the couch it hit me.  MONKEY!  That's it!!  I'm going to design & style his entire party around his ratty little friend!  You can't get much more special than that... there's nothing that he can relate to at this age more than his monkey... and he's always excited to see him.  Oh and he (Monkey) got a bath, which doesn't happen often enough, for the big day.


Here's Nico showing his friend some love... see what I mean by "ratty"?!


With the theme in place I got busy working on the invites and other designs.   I found this incredibly cute monkey costume at Sew Simply Sweet that I absolutely wanted him to wear at the party and decided to incorporate Halloween into the theme.  His birthday is in October after all, so it worked.  Since monkey is a lime green and the costume I bought had that same green and a deep purple, I opted for that color scheme (which also fit nicely with Halloween).   Seriously... isn't this the cutest costume you've ever seen?!


The invites had a vintage flair to them, but coordinate perfectly with the entire collection... and of course, Monkey made an appearance on them too!  


The next big question on everyone's mind was... What about the cake?  Well, to be honest I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do until the night before.  I knew I wanted something fun and I knew I wanted to incorporate Monkey, but other than that... nothing!  I was so consumed with all of the other details that I hadn't really given it much thought.  Usually I design my themes around the cake, but this time I designed it around something else.  Thank God for the last minute... it motivates my creative mind in ways I can't explain.  When I was finally finished, in the wee hours of the morning while everyone else was asleep.  I took a step back and literally admired it in awe.  It was perfect!!


And YUMMY too!


The weather in Michigan was amazingly perfect for that time of year... I think it got into the 80's that day!  So I was able to hold the whole party outside on our deck, which made a wonderful backdrop for the dessert table.


There were all sorts of treats available: Cake, cupcakes (topped with Monkey, of course), cookies, caramel apples, cake pops, caramel corn balls, ghost peeps, chocolate mummy pretzels and a few seasonal candies.  








Along with the sweets, we had some fun activities planned for the kiddies.  I found this really cute idea at Lowes for using your hand print to make ghosts so I got all of the supplies and everyone got to make their very own ghost to take home.  It was a really easy and inexpensive project and something that the parents can display year after year!



I also decided to have a costume contest and made these award ribbons with some left over supplies I had.


My little man loves to jump and since everyone else's birthday's are during the winter I decided that a bounce house was in order.



I forgot to put together the photo booth I had in my mind.  Hey, what can I say... it happens.  But, everyone seemed to have fun with the photo booth props regardless.  I printed out some conversation bubbles (which are available as part of the collection) and found these really cute masks that I painted.






Overall, the party was a great success.  Everyone had fun and my little man went around all day pointing out everywhere I incorporated his "ratty" friend.... MONKEY!



If you're interested in having your own "Monkey" party you'll find the entire collection available for sale in my etsy shop!



I hope you enjoyed the party as much as we did!!
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I'd like to give an extra special "Thanks" to my dear friend Lindsay Estep for sharing her wonderful photography talents.  Lindsay is an elementary teacher by day and budding photographer by nights & weekends.  I hope to work with her again on many more projects and wish her the best of luck as she grows her business.  I'll be sure to provide links once they are available.  Until then, if you are in the Livingston County area and interested in having Lindsay photograph your special events contact me and I'll be sure to get you in touch!

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