Archive | party TIME

Harry Potter Birthday Feast

A few years ago we decided to throw Paige a small Harry Potter Feast for a family birthday dinner we were hosting for her. She was in a truly obsessed Harry Potter mode at the time and wanted a gift that year instead of a party with friends – so we told her we would keep the family dinner party small. My mom and sister helped me run around- making this delightful spread. We shopped the house and yard for items that could work for decor. She had asked for Beef Stew for her dinner- so that went well with the feast idea and all the fruit and veggies and sides and potatoes that we threw on platters to give the look of a delicious feast. I served sparkling cider instead of butter beer because I just didn’t have time to figure out how to put that together. When she walked in the house (as the theme song from the movie played) she was surprised and happy and immediately figured out what we were trying to do with whole Harry Potter thing (that was a relief).

Here is what we did:

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We wanted to surprise her and make the dinner table like the feast Harry had when arriving at Hogwarts for the first time. Here was our version of that (including floating candles, fancy dinnerware & silver platters gushing with food and delights. We also added a cage for Hedwig and some other HP treasures.

I set out photo props from HP so she could take some photos.

We made a cake look like the one that Hagrid made for Harry.

We put up a Platform 9 ¾ sign.

We added Moaning Myrtle to the bathroom mirror & MINISTRY OF MAGIC sign to the toilet.

If you are a fellow HP fan you will easily get some of the nods towards that theme. I am not a super fan and had to rely on my sister and limited knowledge of the books/movies (so don’t judge me too harshly if we got a few things wrong- ha ha). All in all it was a magical evening and she was both surprised and delighted!

hot dog, hot dog, HOT DIGGITY DOG {a 3rd birthday party}

It’s hard to believe that my two big kids have moved out of the toddler stage.  Paige is about to turn 7 but just a few years ago Paige was totally into Minnie Mouse and the color pink. We threw together a simple and sweet little birthday party for her. Here are some pics. Hope it inspires you to throw a party for the sweet little Minnie Mouse in your life!
For this cake I simply iced it with a hot pink icing and used a piping bag to decorate with black frosting. To get the right shape for Minnie I stuck the tops of 3 oreo cookies – one large and two mini’s – on the top of the cake in the shape of Minnie and piped the black frosting over it. I cut a bow out of a maraschino cherry for the top of her head. I even found candles that were black with white polka dots. It was not very fancy but it made her happy.

::The Menu::

Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dogs

{we grilled up a bunch of fancy polish & chicken dogs}

Minnie’s Bowtie Pasta Salad

{homemade pasta salad with bowtie shaped pasta}

Chips

Watermelon

Apple Sauce

::The Decor::

Pink, White & Black Colors

{table cloths, napkins and frames}

Pictures of Paige

 Happy Birthday signs

{I used a Disney-like font and printed them off of my personal computer}

Minnie Mouse Images

{I made them by cutting circles out of sparkly black paper and taped them on a few frames and a few cheap white containers that I got from Target}

Minnie Mouse Ears

{I bought some with a pink bow but in true Paige fashion she wouldn’t wear them that night}

{Paigey and her sweet little friends…it was a fun and simple little celebration}
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TEA party girl

tea party girlMy sweet Paige loves TEA parties. For about a year or so she has begged me to have one. So I finally put a small little afternoon party together. She invited three friends and I included their mommies {so we could have  some yummy food and a play date too}! Paige made the invites, favors for their little goody bags, place mats, decorations and even helped me come up with the menu. I had to let go of my perfect decor ideas and let her take part with her creative flair. Luckily it was a few days after Valentine’s day, so a theme presented itself easily and Paige loved gathering pretty things from around the house to make it all pretty. We decorated the night before and I made the food while she was at school. The girls came right after school in their party dresses and while Paige had come up with a few games, they were so excited to play in her room {when they weren’t eating} we never even got to games or crafts. Fun was had by all!

Here are a few more details. Hope it inspires you to throw a little TEA party for no particular reason! It sure was fun for us!

::The Menu::

Strawberry Smoothies

Nutella Sandwich’s {cut into hearts}

Cucumber & Cream Cheese Sandwich’s {cut into triangles}

Cheddar Bunny Snack Mix

Cherry Tomatoes

Cookies & Strawberries {thanks to a few girl scouts}

Tea & Hot Chocolate {I ended up only making hot chocolate}

::The Menu for the Mommies::

Strawberry Salad*

Parmesan Toasts {cut into hearts}

::The Favors::

hand-made Pictures, Bracelets & Candy for the Goody Bags {made by Paige}

Small Craft Kits {American Girl Doll accessory-making Kit purchased at Micheal’s}

small Lip-Gloss Rings {hung on each straw}

::The Decor::

black & white Chevron Straws, Bags & Table Runner {purchased online from the Plaid Barn & Pick your Plum}

valentine Decor {from around the house}

hand-made Placemats

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more decor ideas {holiday hospitality 101}

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A few years ago I had the pleasure of helping a team of ladies decorate for a Christmas Brunch that our church hosted. The theme was: Jesus…Light of the World so we decided to decorate with candles, natural elements {that we could gather for free} and metallic accents. We used a ton of found objects and inexpensive ornaments {and lots of creativity}. Twigs, pine cones, moss and cranberries to name a few. And we all gathered whatever mercury glass we could find around our own homes to make the candle light reflect beautifully.

My friend Laura figured out how to create the beautiful sparkly letters, burlap cones and sheet music cones.

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The sparkly letters were cut out, glittered and added to metallic frames that had Christmas sheet music framed inside. It turned out simple and lovely.

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The burlap cones were huge and so simple. She took garden tomato vine cages {that her parents had around} and turned them upside down, loosely wrapped small strands of lights around them and then loosely covered each structure in burlap {I hope that makes sense}. We gathered them together on stage in groups of three or more. Here they are pictured on a table after the event was over. The lights twinkled and the whole thing just looked amazing!

She also discovered that its easy to buy a huge roll of garden burlap at a smaller cost if you need a lot of it {found in huge rolls at the garden section of the hardware store}. We knew it would make great table runners and while it was messy when cut {and the weave is not as tight as normal burlap fabric} it did the trick! We used it everywhere.

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As a team we also decided that we wanted cones made of sheet music with Christmas carols {that I had stashed away}. At first we couldn’t find an affordable solution for making them because Styrofoam and cardboard cones were too pricey for our budget. Laura bough just one Styrofoam cone mold, covered it in plastic wrap & figured out how to paper-mache several more cones out of newspaper from that one mold. She then covered each one with the sheet music {using mod-podge}. The result turned out so pretty and the detail of Christmas carol sheet music made it simple & special. This was my favorite project of all!

DSC_0724  DSC_0829   DSC_0852   DSC_0725 DSC_0714 DSC_0842DSC_0851And here are some other ideas that I have taken pictures of the last few years {like the first two below from Jessica} at the Christmas Tea Parties that I have been to at church and MOPS. Again, sorry for the blurry pictures but I think you get an idea of how things looked and can use them as a jumping off point for your own table decor!

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I think my friend’s Genis and Stephanie did this one…so gorgeous!

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Genis and my mom did the next table. There was a gorgeous twig sculpture in the middle that they hung ornaments from. Lots of sheet music and natural elements. Genis is fabulous with mixing colors, textures and layers along with adding levels and small details to everything she decorates!

DSC_0739 DSC_0740And why not dress up the buffet table as well. It never hurts to switch things up and do a few round tables for your potluck/buffet table if you have the space.

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kid table ideas & turkey hand ART {holiday hospitality 101}

holiday hospitality 101Decorating for the kids is FUN. My little Paigey loves to help me decorate these days. Here are a few ideas of how to make your Thanksgiving “kid table” or place settings special. As you will see some of these ideas are unconventional. You don’t always have to use paper plates or traditional colors. We love to get out fancy plates and glasses to make it more special. I have lots of little treasures from my Grandma Lil {who loved to entertain} and I figure that even if they get broken at least we used them {and these special trinkets won’t just be good for gathering dust}. Also, you can have crafts/activities available to do while the kids wait for dinner or for dessert {why are kids so reluctant to eat sometimes and often get done eating so quickly}. Just keep in mind that age and skill levels of the kids. Have fun with it. The more comfortable you are…the more comfortable your guest will feel. So assure them that if the kids break something or spill something…that’s okay!

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turkey hand art

If you want to make the turkey hand ART like the ones we did above you can set out some simple craft items for the kids and have them go to town while dinner is being made. Or make them before and add names to each to use as silly place cards. Either way…enjoy!

::what you will need::

foam or card-stock sheets

pencil {for tracing} & scissors

glue or mod-podge

feathers or leaves

googly eyes, sequins, beaks & whatever else you want to decorate the turkey face/body

::instructions::

1. Simply trace your kids hands {or anyone who wants to join in on the fun} with a pencil and then cut out hand shapes.

2. Glue feathers {or leaves for feathers} to back of the hands and allow to dry.

3. Glue on googly eyes, beak, sequins and anything else you would like to make your turkey’s special. Add a magnet, or tack up on a board or use as place cards! Enjoy!



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