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Happy 4th of July!

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 in Entertaining | Comments Off

Along with many holidays throughout the year this one always sneaks up me.  It makes me realize that 1/3 of summer is already over…yikes!  However, it is a great time to celebrate America, get together with others, and really get down to what summer is all about!

I like making ‘Martini Stations’.  You can premake a large amount of a certain martini and keep it in a pitcher at room temperature. Then guests can pour the amount they want into a cocktail shaker, add ice, and have a great drink without the hassle of making martinis one by one.

What’s a great way to show your patriotism?  Make a flag shaped fruit ‘pizza’ of course.

What you need:

  • 1 refrigerated package of sugar cookie dough
  • 2/3 of a package of light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 of a container of light Cool Whip, thawed
  • Blueberries and strawberries, rinsed and dried

Evenly spread the cookie dough into a rectangle (it may not turn out exact, so just trim the baked cookie as necessary to create a rectangle).  Let it cool.  Mix the cream cheese and Cool Whip together and spread evenly over the cookie crust.  Add your fruit and enjoy!

I love making colorful layered cakes (for a gray ombre example Click Here).  Making multiple and different colored layers does add a little time to making a cake, but not much and it really adds a lot to the festivities!  You will want to use a white cake mix and make it with egg whites, not whole eggs (this keeps the color more pure).  Separate the cake in 2 equal parts, add red food color to half and add blue food color to the other half.  I only have 2 round cake pans, so I have to bake the red layers first and then once they cool I can bake the blue layers.   Use white (not vanilla…it’s actually yellowy) frosting and decorate it as you wish!

I love me some glitter!  I buy the inexpensive box of 12 of unscented ‘poured glass votive candles’, add some glitter, and you have cheap decorations!

What’s screams summer and America more than a Bomb Pop treat?  You can relive those icecream truck memories, but with an adult friendly twist.  Below are two different ways to make this festive cocktail:

Option One:  Lemonade, Mike’s Hard Cranberry, UV Vodka Blue (the left half of the below photo)

Option Two:  Smirnoff Ice, Blue Curacao, Cranberry Juice (the right half of the below photo)

Fill your glass with ice.  Pour your blue liquid in (down the side so the color doesn’t stick to the ice), carefully pour in your ‘white’ liquid, and then the red.  The colors blend quickly, so drink up!

Enjoy your cocktails in some patriotic washable glittered glasses.  To learn how to make some sparkly glassware Click Here .

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A Cinco de Mayo Fiesta!

Posted on May 24, 2012 in Entertaining | Comments Off

We decided to have a ‘spring fling’ again this year and when looking at the calendar we realized the first Saturday of May fell on Cinco de Mayo….a great excuse to have a fiesta!  This inspired me to make some new decorations and perfect some much loved recipes from the past.  I set up a burrito bar with some amazing meats, made gallons of beergaritas, and displayed some festive themed treats (all recipes will be up soon, so check back).

I spray painted numerous wine and beer bottles with an array of colors for inexpensive table decor. I had recently taken a trip to Mexico, so I picked up a bunch small sombreros and 10 maracas to place around the party.  The Mexican flag was purchased online for less than $5 (with free shipping). The large drink dispenser is full of beergaritas and the beverage tub has an assortment of Jarritos soda.

The burrito bar was set up on a back kitchen counter.  I taped up some colorful fabric and decorated with Hispanic canned foods, flowers and maracas.

To save time I used a boxed sugar cookie mix, but added cinnamon to give more flavor.  A little white frosting, sprinkles, and gumdrops make these cute sombrero cookies.

I cheated on this dessert as well and used a box cake mix…it’s the decoration that matters when it comes to something like this.   I just used a little food coloring and black frosting gel to make the Mexican flag.

I like to cover the TV when having parties….why not make everything more festive?!?

We strung colorful banner across the kitchen and placed Mexican pots and statues above the cabinetry.

Nothing says ’fiesta’ like our dog, Greta (who is intently waiting for pepperoni in this shot…it’s the only way we can keep her still).

‘Texas Caviar’ is always a hit.  For the recipe Click Here

Why not decorate the back of your toilet?

Make colorful and cheap streamers by coloring doilies, cutting them in half, and taping them across with string.

I can’t help myself when it comes to theme parties….I’m a sucker for a few cheesy elements!

Maybe I went a little overboard on spray painting sticks, but I get obsessed sometimes and have to have every color of something.

 

Now that summer is here throw yourself a little fiesta!

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50 Shades of Grey Book Club Party Ideas

Posted on May 14, 2012 in Entertaining | 3 comments

A few years ago some friends and I started a book club….a dirty book club. We have read a handful of R-rated books, such as Some Girls, Sugar Babe, Candy Girl and more.  However, we also switch it up with ‘normal’ books…Shanghai Girls, The Shack, The Other Boleyn Girl,  etc.

We get together every couple months, a different person takes a turn hosting, and we all bring different bottles of wine to share. This month’s read was 50 Shades of Grey and I hosted. Below are some ideas for you to decorate with a gray theme, whether it’s for a similar book club or just because you like the color!

Of course, I had to glitter something for the night. Below are some wine glasses that I made to help identify our beverages.  Learn how to make these: Click Here

This cake was fun to make.  I used boxed cake mix (make sure you buy a white cake and use only egg whites, so the food coloring stays true…same goes for the frosting.  Get white cake and frosting, not vanilla – as it’s creamy in color).  I separated the cake mix in 4 equal parts and added varied amounts of black food dye.  I then separated the frosting in 3 equal parts, added varied amounts of color and then blended them together up the side and top of the cake.

These are medium sized doilies that I painted various shades of gray, cut in half, and taped to string.  I also made the gray tissue poms.  For directions on how to make them Click Here

I bought a 12 pack of glass votives at the craft store and decorated them with different materials.  Some are wrapped with different gray ribbons, lace, glitter, and scrapbook paper.

I love spray painting sticks.  It’s an inexpensive way to make a large centerpiece with a bold statement.  I painted a bunch glossy white and held them in place in the vase with gray toned rocks.

I made these bookmarks for the girls (but forgot to pass them out that night!).  I printed them on a silver linen paper, glued that to a cardstock weighted scrapbook paper, and finished them with a ribbon.

Look in the center…I even found gray M&Ms at the party supply store.

I used paint cans to vary the height the decor.

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Create and decorate a tiered centerpiece for your table

Posted on May 10, 2012 in Entertaining, Home | Comments Off

I love to create festive tables for entertaining.  A nice way to add interest is to raise the center of the table (or the back of a buffet) by using paint cans (or upside-down pots, soup cans, etc).  Place a tablecloth over the cans to hide them and you can spotlight a cake, floral arrangement, or any decor that adds to the event.

I spray painted wine bottles different colors to create an inexpensive and colorful table for a fiesta.

I had used 3 paint cans and a round tray to display a baby shower cake (that was in the shape of a stroller).

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Glitter glassware so it’s washable!

Posted on May 3, 2012 in DIY & Crafts | 8 comments

I’m a sucker for glitter.  It just makes everything so much prettier and glassware is no exception! The question is…how to wash glitter?  To see what I use for glittering Click Here .  For another project on glittering a phone case click here.

If you love the glittered goblets, but aren’t the crafty type that’s ok!  You can purchase a set from me.  If interested please Email me to figure out glitter colors, glass type, quantity, etc.

The only added step that you need to do to make stemware washable (hand wash only) is to spray 1 or 2 coats of clear sealant over the top of the glittered area (enter ‘how to glitter’ in the Search the Site section at the top of this website). I use a glossy top coat.  Tape plastic over the part of the glass that you don’t need to cover with a clear coat.

I’m taking these to an overnight Bachelorette party this summer.  The bride loves sparkles, so we are all going to wear glitz and sequins as a theme. I thought glittered wine glasses will be the perfect addition to the party. We’ll use them that night, be able to remember which glass is who’s, and the bride can take them home with her.

With summer approaching I need to have a set to help celebrate July 4th!  For more 4th of July ideas Click Here

Nothing says Christmas like glistening sparkly champagne glasses!

Make glasses to match your wedding colors, any holiday, or a whole set of just black or silver glitter for a posh look.

I made this set for my book club when I hosted and we read ’50 Shades of Grey’.  For more ideas on a gray themed party Click Here

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How to make tissue paper poms / tissue flowers

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 in DIY & Crafts | Comments Off

I love tissue poms.  They are such an inexpensive and easy way to decorate and really make a room festive.  The nice thing about using tissue flowers as decoration is that tissue paper comes in a ton of colors and it goes a long way.  You can glue them onto sticks and make arrangements in vases, you can string them up across a room or tree, or you can tape or tie them to almost any surface.

You will need:

  • Tissue paper, a scissor, floral wire, and a wire cutter

1.Depending on the size you want the tissue flowers to be you will vary how small you cut the tissue paper (if you cut it at all).  For small to medium size poms I recommend 9-12 sheets of paper.  For larger poms I recommend more sheets of tissue in order to keep them looking full.

2. Fold the tissue, accordion style (you don’t need to put a hard crease on the fold) and cut a piece of wire (about 5 inches seems to work well).

3. Twist the wire around the middle of the folded paper

4. Cut the ends of the tissue.  Cutting the ends in various ways will change the look of the finished tissue flowers.

5. Carefully pull apart the tissue.  To prevent and reduce tearing, I recommend separating by a few sheets at a time and then pull apart individual pieces.

*You can save the scraps that you cut from the ends of the poms to use as confetti or to fill glass votives or jars for extra decorations.

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Create a colorful 1st birthday party!

Posted on Mar 23, 2012 in Entertaining | Comments Off

My daughter turned one in February and we had a medium sized get-together at our home.  Immediate family and friends with children came to help celebrate.  I made kid-friendly food (see Recipes) and my mom made the cakes (one for everyone and a mini cake for Lauren). Click on images to enlarge.

I took a picture of her every month of her 1st year. I liked to put her in an outfit that was extra cute or special, to also document the insane wardrobe this baby had (better than mine).  I displayed them across the room during her party.  It’s fun to see how a baby changes so much!

Knowing there would be numerous kids around I removed frames and other breakables from the sofa table and set up a candy bar (including suckers that said ‘Lauren’s 1st Birthday’ from Oriental Trading Company) and bags of party favors.

I think making tissue poms/flowers is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to really make a room look festive!  Look in the ‘DIY & Craft Projects page’ or type in “Tissue Paper” in the ‘search this site’ tab at the top of this website for directions on how to make them.

I wanted Lauren to have a special little cake, so I found mini cake tins at the craft store (about 3-4 inches in diameter) and my mom, who makes the best cake ever, made an adorable 2 layer mini cake.

I covered the TV with some fabric and cut a ’1′ out of some pretty paper.  This way Lauren was the center of attention and there wasn’t a way for anyone to turn on the tv (in my opinion the worst thing to have on during a party).  The party was a great success and we have many wonderful memories of this very special day!

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