Thursday, June 30, 2011

Red, White and Blue Sangria


I am planning on having one of these in my hands this weekend--just like this! If you're like me and don't completely love red wine (almost always too dry for my taste), but love fruity drinks, Sangria is a great compromise. Plus, I love this presentation, with the star shaped pineapple! If you don't have blue rimmed glasses, just use blue sugar crystals to line the rims. This would also be perfect to bring to a barbecue. Just fill up a large pitcher or decanter.

For the complete recipe, visit Recipe Girl.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Alice Party Part 3: The Activities

Here is where I definitely saved a lot of money. I tried to think of games that were relevant to the theme, yet didn't cost much. It certainly helped that I made myself the Queen of Hearts to lead the games, instead of hiring someone to do the same thing.

THE RABBIT HOLE:
I had the front door decorated so guests had to step through the Rabbit Hole to get into the party. Without expecting it, this in itself became an activity, since the kids had a lot of fun going in and out, or pretending to fall through as Claire did in the photo below. Doesn't she make a great Mad Hatter?! The hole was simply made with a cross slit in a plastic table cover, decorated with signs and blow-ups on foam core board.

GETTING READY FOR THE TEA PARTY:
As each guest arrived, we helped get her ready for the "tea party." I had one friend help the girls put on makeup; one friend applied temporary tattoos (way cheaper than face painting!) and each girl made a heart bracelet. (About $4 for the beads and string.) Plus, the heart bracelet became a take-home gift, too.

PHOTO PROPS:
Once each girl was all doll'd up, we took her photo in front of this fabulous backdrop my friend and photographer, Stephanie, had. It was perfect! I e-mailed each girl's mom a photo as part of our thank you. If you missed it, here is the info on the photo props.


THE GAMES:
After the tea party, the games commenced! We played "Queen of Hearts Says" (a la Simon Says). Girls enjoyed it, but honestly, had a hard time really keeping up! Next, came the favorite game, Musical Cards (Musical Chairs, but with oversized cards). We played this about 3 or 4 times! Pin the Smile on the Cheshire Cat--how does this game not get old?? Kids had fun with this one, too. (The girls could see through the scarf I was using, so we had to resort to an apron!) And of course, croquet. Although most of the girls tried to tackle this one, they had some trouble getting the ball through the hoops.

Last thing to mention, goodie bags (which unfortunately I didn't get a photo of) also had an Alice in Wonderland puzzle (purchased at the Dollar Tree) and a Ring Pop.

All in all, it was a fun time. Posting all these photos the last few days has gotten me tired all over again! I hope you enjoyed our Alice in Wonderland party, and hope it provides you with some inspiration for your own!

Jump here for Part 1, here for Part 2 of the party.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our Alice Party Part 2: The Food Table

The Queen of Hearts certainly took center stage with the main tea party in Part 1 so I knew I had to find a way to represent the other main characters: Alice, Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat. So, I incorporated them into the food table. Since most of the story takes place in the forest I pretty much went with that in decorating the table, using vines and a small tree I had from last year's Halloween party.


In case you missed them, I've already shared the DIY on the Alice Stand and Mad Hatter Hat. More DIY info to come next week!

Those green flower cups were completely inspired by the tie-dye cups The Purple Pug made for her Fly Guy party, that I also featured. The idea was perfect for my table. AND best of all it was a great project for my girls to do, to contribute to their own party. The flower cups are made with coffee filters and you can find The Purple Pug's tutorial here.

THE FOOD: Instead of putting out bowls of food, I wanted to make it really easy for the girls to serve themselves, so everything was put into little cups or made bite-size.
The Alice Stand held tea sandwiches; strawberry cream cheese and, ham and cheese sandwiches.
The Mad Hatter Hat was adorned by cups with cheese sticks, black olives and cucumbers.
The Cheshire Cat Tray (which is just a box wrapped in a plastic tablecover) held cups of strawberries, blueberries and grapes.
The green flower cups held cold pasta salad. (The cups were reused ice cream dixie cups)
The food's color complemented its stand and it was all food 5-year old kids enjoy.

DESSERT: Dessert came later with the "Painting the Roses Red" cupcakes I made to sing Happy Birthday to. Plus, I served Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies and heart-shaped chocolates while the girls played croquet. It was just enough food and sweets. I didn't have many leftovers. It's nice to have a dedicated dessert table, but unless you plan to give most of it away as part of the kids' goody bags, you get left with too much candy. So, think twice before you do it.

Next up: Party Activities!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Our Alice Party Part 1: Queen of Hearts Tea Party

This week, I'm going beyond the usual "Merry Monday" to finally show you photos from the Alice in Wonderland party we threw for my girls, Renee and Siena, who turned 5 a couple of weeks ago. I am so thrilled with how everything went, and even more so, that my friend Stephanie Stamos captured it so beautifully. This week I will post the party photos in parts. Next week, I'll follow up with all the DIY and free printables. Yes, I made everything--even most of the printables! So, without further ado... welcome to our Queen of Hearts Tea Party! And yes... that is me, making a special appearance as the Queen of Hearts. Ha! Let me tell you--it was a great way to get everyone to call me "Your Highness" for the day! ;)


That last photo made it all worth it! The girls still talk about the party.
If you missed it, you can find the DIY and info on the free DRINK ME tag on my post here.

And if you can, please take a minute to look at Stephanie's website. In addition to photography, she sells fabulous tutus and other girly apparel, under the name "Clare Bear Wear."

Part 2 will showcase the Food Table, featuring the DIY Alice stand I shared with you. :)

**Update: Visit here for Part 2; Visit here for Part 3: The Activities.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Crostini Bar

I can't get enough of all the self-serve, interactive food table ideas that everyone has been doing. This is one of my favorites that I recently came across on Eat, Drink, Pretty. This Crostini Bar idea is perfect for so many occasions. It's simple enough that if you're having friends over for just wine, you can easily buy everything pre-made (even the crostini bread) and put it out. It makes a great presentation, and guests will enjoy choosing their favorite toppings. This also makes a great appetizer bar for any party. I always stress about food keeping warm, but this gives you one less (major) thing to worry about.

For topping ideas, visit the original post at Eat, Drink, Pretty here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Four Decor Ideas for the 4th

Here are a few great ideas to add some 4th of July color to your home. Each of them is easy, and I think so clever. The project on the top right uses window clings on a picture frame, and the star garland is made from paint chips. Get the how-to for each by clicking on the links below:


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Watermelon Cake

Who doesn't love watermelon in the summer? Watermelon bowls are cute to serve up carved watermelon, but how about this watermelon cake? I don't think it will replace an actual cake (at least not for me; I have such a sweet tooth!) but I love the presentation with the watermelon balls on top.

Find out how to carve your own at Veggie Belly.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pool Noodle Crafts

The other day when I was at the pool with my two girls who were using their pool noodles in the water, I was just thinking--there's got to be some fun stuff you can do with these. The $1 stores are filled with these--so they make a really inexpensive way to decorate a party. Here are just a few ideas I found online. So, if you've got a Star Wars party or flower party coming up–stock up now!

Sources:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Merry Monday: Superhero Adult Celebration

I love the unexpected–and I especially love people who embrace their inner child! Not many people would be brave enough to adapt a superhero theme for their wedding--but this couple did and it looks like it was a blast! Lots of POW in the details and big BANG in the fun! Appropriately held at the San Diego Children's Museum, the couple broke through a "brick wall" for their first dance followed by a light saber number; the drinks had superhero names and the couple adorned capes.

This would be a great theme for a bridal shower or bachelorette party (She's found her "superhero") or a co-ed shower (Super powers brought these two together). There is so much to be inspired by in this wedding celebration–whether it's a superhero party for adults or kids. Check out the rest of the showcase at Green Wedding Shoes.


Friday, June 17, 2011

DIY Strappy Flip Flops

Thought I'd give you a little fashion tip on this Friday for a change! I love this one, because here in Colorado, we are SO casual–it is flip flop country! Everyone lives in flip flops over the summer. This is a genius idea from Delia Creates to quickly turn your flip flops into something a little dressier, yet still comfy. AND if you're like me, that your shins start to hurt from wearing flip flops a lot, from holding them with your toes (does anyone else do that??) this is a great remedy to lessen that strain. You might even want to go one step further and accent your new straps with ribbon.

Get the full DIY here at Delia Creates.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

DIY Thread Tealight Cover


With outdoor parties lasting past sunset, it's nice to find different lighting ideas to decorate your tables. This idea from Wedding Bee will add some sophistication and interest to your table decor. Make them in different colors so they look pretty on your table from sunlight to sunset.

Get the full directions here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cocktail on a Stick

I frequently post party food ideas for the kiddies, but here is a good one for adults. A refreshing popsicle, perfect for any summer soiree. This one uses one of my favorite drink ingredients–Prosecco. And being that it's red, makes it perfect for the 4th of July, too.

Get the recipe at endless simmer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DIY Sparkler Toppers


Here's a little way to add a big bang to your 4th of July party decor! This easy tutorial from Two Shades of Pink will add some sparkle to your cupcakes, cake or randomly stick them in food items on your buffet table. And it's very inexpensive to make. Find the directions here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Merry Monday: Vintage 4th of July

Something about bringing together red, white and blue as a vintage theme that makes this party setting feel even more patriotic and authentic. There are SO many great details to peruse. The dessert and beverage stations were designed by Sweets Indeed, so the desserts are amazing and really add to the decor–look at those homemade marshmallows with the words "Freedom" and "Hope"! See all the details at Sweets Indeed.

Friday, June 10, 2011

DIY Ice Cream in a Bag

We've already been adding ideas to our Summer Fun List–and now I'll be adding this one, too! I'm sure the kids will love to make their own ice cream. And what a great activity this would be to have kids do at an ice cream-themed party. Once it's made, you can place their ice cream into an actual ice cream container as a favor. (One good source for ice cream containers is this one.)

For directions to make your own batch of Ice Cream in a Bag, visit 2 Little Hooligans.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

DIY Framed Tray

Having an art party or want to add some sophisticated interest to a party? This DIY framed tray is perfect for both. The type of frame you choose will add to the tone of the party: Choose a white vintage frame for a shabby chic party or a sleek black frame for a more modern dinner setting. Best of all, the glass makes it easy to clean up any spills.

Find the complete how-to at Ruffled.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DIY Accordion Paper Fans

Here's a great alternative to tissue poms, and just as easy to make. These paper fans dazzle hanging from a tree, or just on a wall, as shown. Make them in different sizes for added interest. Try them in red, white and blue for the 4th of July! TIP: If you are using them to hang outside, double or triple up on the tissue paper to make them sturdier.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Different "POP" Drink


I love this idea from Food Network! Give your drinks a "bang" on July 4th by adding blue Pop Rocks to the rim of your glasses. Then, fill the glasses with a favorite red drink. Guests will get the feel of different fireworks when they take their drink! TIP: Use corn syrup to stick the Pop Rocks to the glass rims.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Merry Monday: Retro Milkshake Bar

I scream for ice cream throughout the year, not just summer. Ice cream socials are a good reason to get friends together, and I love the adorable ice cream-themed parties that are popular over the summer. But, how about this retro styled milkshake bar spotted on The Sweetest Occasion?! Milkshakes are a good way to serve ice cream at a party without getting too nervous about how quickly the ice cream is melting. Make your milkshake bar interactive by letting guests add their own ingredients or toppings. Kids and adults will be screaming for more!

Enjoy the rest of this fun shoot at The Sweetest Occasion.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Matchstick Candles

Do you have a milestone birthday coming up that you're not too happy about?? Have fun watching it go up in flames with this idea!

Seriously, whether you're happy about it or not, this is definitely a creative way to give credence to a big birthday. Just make sure to glue on those matchsticks securely!

Victoria of A Subtle Revelry created this to celebrate her 30th as part of an intimate beach celebration. Visit her blog to get the how-to.
 
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