Monday, May 12, 2014

South Beach Inspired Party

This surprise birthday party for my husband was inspired by the club spirit of SoBe. In an effort to transcend the ambiance of Nikki Beach and the neon lights of Ocean Drive, this is the byproduct.

 I set up a Pit Bull station on Pandora and that's what played the whole night off our computer. It doesn't get more Miami Club then Pit Bull!

 Centerpiece on the hors d'oeuvres table. Made of river rocks, grass and floating candles.

 Food was kept light at this event with a variety of sushi, fruit platter, veggie tray, chips & salsa and carrot cake cupcakes for dessert. The red packages contain detailed chopsticks.

Sheer curtains found at Target for $5/panel were hung using a piece of corner wood trim from Home Depot. 3m hooks are supporting the "rod" on each end. The palm and rattan pot were picked up from Home Depot to add to the tropical flavor of the space.

I hired a bartender to mix an array of drinks with a Miami spin. The top drinks for the evening were  a classic mojito and a cucumber mojito. The beer selection was Corona, Pacifico and Dos Equis. The ice actually had glow sticks in it and lit up purple when the evening fell.

Delicate high top centerpiece

These tables made the party. They really provided that Miami club vibe and even changed colors throughout the night on a setting that spun through an array of neon lights. Very cool when the evening turned dark.(I unfortunately forgot to have them on for my previous pics. oops)

Our kitchen island also served as a hangout spot for guest to sit and have a drink, so I wanted to tie it to the main party space by incorporating the same floating candles, river rocks and flowers.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Gold & Silver New Year's Eve Party

Happy 2014! Yes, I know it's March, but it's never too late to post pictures of a fabulous New Year's Eve party, right?

To ring in 2014, I threw a Gold & Silver themed party. I kept it simple, pulled the details together over one weekend and only invited one family to join us. The party combined party store staples with elegant, one-of-a kind touches. When you have kids, its important to make the holidays special for all involved. We still wanted to celebrate New Year's Eve with our son, but also wanted to have a good time as an adult. We combined both goals in one night and had a great time. This evening was filled with special touches for the kids like being able to color their table top to enjoying a special new drink for dessert. Once bedtime came for the children, we were still able to enjoy an adult evening of Cards Against Humanities (hilarious), signature cocktail drinks and a champagne toast at midnight. The family we invited lived a couple doors down, so better yet no worrying about them having to drive home either. Pretty much a win, win for all involved and perhaps a new annual tradition!

Gold fringe across the walkways was just a party store find. Balloons dangled from the ceiling with a few loose on the floor to serve as entertainment for the kiddos.

The Gold runner was a cheap Marshall's find. The votive candles were plain, so I glued glitter ribbon around them for added flair. The tiaras and horns were a party store find. Silver candle stick holders were a lucky find from a thrift store months prior. 

Here's a close up of the centerpiece I whipped up the evening of. It contained gold Christmas decorations I found on clearance at Michael's.

Bows tied from Glitter Ribbon. (I hit Michaels after Christmas...and they had major sales on "Christmas" ribbon!) Men got the top hats from the party store, girls the tiaras.

Kid's Table. I just taped postal paper to cover the top. Voila, coloring surface!

Closer view of the ceiling. It was literally balloons on string taped to the ceiling. They hung at different heights for added dimension. The white balloon string just blended into the ceiling.

Each adult received a champagne glass for the midnight toast. The rims were just dipped in water then gold sprinkles. For the kiddos special dessert drink, I dipped the rim of the shorter glasses in Nutella and then the same gold sprinkles. Filled them to the rim with milk. Needless-to-say they downed them and were asking for seconds!

The spread.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

DIY Peter Pan Costume

This DIY Peter Pan costume was a combination of storybook inspiration, trial & error and quick impromptu alterations due to dropping temperatures!


I originally set out to make a fleece bodice in the shape you see here covered in layers of felt leaves. After completing the leaf layers on the front, I realized that it was just too bulky for my lil' 2.5 year old. With already having too much time and care invested into the front, I transformed my bodice into a jacket by turning the front into the back and opening up what-once-was-to-be the back of my bodice. I split it right in the middle then worked off the side points to guide the opening of the jacket, leaving the sleeves. Buttons and a felt piece of fabric were used to keep the jacket from sliding off his shoulders. The jacket is a bit of a cross between a jacket and a bolero in style. The leaves are made of felt and a netting/sequined fabric and were all hand cut from a template I found online. I just googled "leaf templates" till I found one that had the shape and proportions I had in mind. Then I hand-sewn each leaf. Yes. Each leaf. Worth it? Yeppers, I think so.  To make the process a bit less daunting, I wanted to work with fabrics that didn't need finishing and would also highlight the details in the leaves which is why the felt and this net-like fabric worked perfectly. I love the touch of gold...reminds me of pixie dust! I wanted a real tonal color palette that truly highlighted the spectrum of fall. Mission accomplished

The pants were just a regular play pant I got on sale for $1.50 at Babies R' Us. I tapered the pant to fit more like a legging. Super easy and saved me from making a pant from scratch.

Since, my original bodice concept didn't work out I needed to added a bodice underneath my new jacket. I worked off a shirt that fit my son for a rough pattern, added rounded short sleeves and cut the bottom of the bodice in the likeness of a men's dress shirt. This was made out of extra blizzard fleece I got from JO-Anns (same as jacket shell) I really like working with the fleece because you don't have to finish the edges, and it's also warm for our chilly Wisconsin Halloweens. Double perk!

Luckily, I found a great tutorial on a fellow bloggers site. You can check out the tutorial HERE. Thanks to her, I had a quick and perfect Peter Pan hat. I added a real hawks feather we found at my son's photoshoot last month. It was a fun photo prop then, and I think adds interest to the costume now in lieu of using the traditional red feather. (Charming....and free!)

The shoe covers are made out of felt. I took the shoes I wanted my son to wear with the costume and
literally played with the fabric till I got the look I wanted. There is one machine seam up the back of the fabric and the rest of the folds were just hand sewn. I added a fun button for detail as they just felt too plain. I originally tried to avoid putting the bottom elastic on but inevitably had to add it as the covers kept turning around and becoming quite hazardous for a troll-oping two year old. 

The sword was a fun accessory that I couldn't resist adding. Got this beautiful item from a great little Etsy shop called, Friendly Fairies. I purchased their Woodsman's Prize Toy Sword for $15. They do have a "peter pan" sword, but I liked the colors and tone of the Woodsman's.

In summation, the story of Peter Pan has been near and dear to my heart my whole life and particularly special to me and my Grandma. It is a joy to see my own son decked out in true Pan fashion. Hope I made you proud Grandma!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Vintage 50's Car Garage Party

For my son's recent second birthday, I went all out with a 50's auto garage theme. Think... Vintage tool boxes. Mechanic's tags. Tire cake. Vintage license plates. Tools. Every boy's little dream, right?!

This concept evolved out of my son's obsession over cars and trucks for the better part of his existence. So, I knew I had to incorporate this fondness into the theme this year. You can find lots of vintage car and truck theme parties, but I surprisingly couldn't find much with the more dominant garage theme. After this party was complete, I realized that I have a very distinct style when it comes to events and my home decor...I use very modern prints and graphics and juxtapose them with very rustic and vintage items. So none-the-less this party ended up true to form!

Guests were invited to the party by receiving a wooden veneer box which contained a vintage automobile key. I ordered a set on Etsy that had an eclectic collection of Ford, GM and Nissan keys. I made a key chain to attach to each one just out of cardstock/scrapbooking paper.  The key and key chain were nestled on a bed of shredded newspaper inside the wooden box.

Kiddos were instructed upon arrival to find their mechanic's name tag before they were sent off to build a hot rod. I made these tags using felt, embroidery thread and hot gluing a pin to the back. 

The kids decorated cardboard box cars with wheels, headlights, stickers, license plates and steering wheels. Their custom hot rods served as the new ride they were "picking up" from the Garage as mentioned on the initial invite key chain.

This party actually ended up being a very "green" or eco-friendly event. I got the boxes for the "cars" from the produce section at my local grocer (for free). And all the other boxes used as small tables for the kids were leftover from received Amazon orders. Some were wrapped in newspaper and others wrapped in brown painters paper. I also made most of my decorations out of old newspaper.

I was able to find a blank Wisconsin license plate image online. I changed the date on the plate in Photoshop to say March '13 (the month and year of his party).

The kids had a wall of vintage license plates to use as a photo backdrop. They took pics in their cars wearing the photo props seen below! I also added scarfs for the little girls and just draped them around the mirror!

I got the above cateye glasses from HERE. They were super cute and affordable. The boys' sunglasses I already had, and I believe were from Target last summer.

Party goer Calvin aka "Cool Dude" strikes a pose in his hot rod!

The snack menu was a cross between diner and southern flare consisting of BBQ Pork sliders, coleslaw, french fries served in wax paper cones, natural applesauce and raisins for the kiddos. (Raisins & applesauce are my son's favorites!) The runner you see here I literally made from newspaper, trimmed in black duct tape and lined on the bottom with white computer paper, so it wouldn't bleed on my white table linen!

I used a great tutorial on how make these wax paper fry cones HERE.

Drinks were served at the Fuel station. A selection of local bottled beer & soda for the adults and Apple & Eve's Fruitable boxed juices for the youngsters! If you haven't tried these juices, get them! It's a sneaky and tasty way to get veggies into your toddler's diet!


My son's tire cake with cake topper banner that read, "Vroom." The cake is just made from yellow boxed cake iced in chocolate icing and covered in black fondant. The bottom tire is 3 layers and the top tire has 2. I made the banner using wooden kitchen skewers, stamped letters on fabric and weaved yarn. Super easy! The number "2" was  a cheap buy from Michael's.

And, this is my son's cake topper banner in flames!!!.....Mama didn't realize lighting candles right underneath it would send the yarn and fabric banner ablaze mid "happy birthday" singing! Quite a comical and memorable moment! This photo totally cracks me up as it captures my innocent son vigorously trying to help mommy blow the flames out and me with a super worried and dumbfounded look on my face! Luckily, I grabbed the skewers in time and ran them to the sink! Whew! Disaster averted!

I made my headband out of scrap fabric. It was my modern take on Rosie the Riveter! 

In addition to the kids taking home their hot rods, each person took home a bag of tool shaped sugar cookies so they could "work" on their cars at home. Favor tags read, "Thanks for Vrooming by." The favors were displayed in a vintage tool box I got from a thrift store originally as a room decoration for my son. You can buy the cookie cutters I used HERE.

Real wrenches were sporadically incorporated into the design. They worked great to ground floor bouquets of balloons!

Looking for the perfect Mom & Dad gift for this party? How 'bout a real retro ride for your little one?! My son received this Retro Tricycle by Radio Flyer. Here's a tip when buying a tricycle- there is a 12" radio flyer one that is really cute. It has a bell and streamers, but after reading the reviews on it, it was just too big for a two year old even though the starting age is 2. So, learn from our research and buy the 10" one I linked to above and add this adorable bell. This 10" tricycle was the perfect size for our two year old, though he doesn't quite get the concept of peddling just yet!

The day ended with a big smile on my son's face. Mom and Dad had a pretty good time too. Nothing like hitting the 2 mile marker in style!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

No Candy Easter Egg Stuffers

Okay, so I can't pretend I'm one of those super moms that completely omits sugar from their child's diet. It would be pretty hypocritical when I'm a sugar fiend myself. Saying, "NO" as I shove my face with chocolate seems a bit cruel, doesn't it? Especially, depriving them of those Cadbury Mini-Eggs. Those are quite hard to resist!

Though I don't omit sugary goodness completely, I do realize my son is only 2 years old, and I keep it to a small treat here and there. He really doesn't need a basket full of candy in addition to every Easter Egg overflowing. For this, I set out to find creative egg stuffers that would be just as exciting as receiving candy! Below you'll find some great items to fill those eggs and save your kid a cavity or two. What other non-sugary ideas can you come up with to fill those eggs?

1. Finger Puppets

I did a set of finger puppets in my son's Easter eggs last year when he was just 1 years old. He loved opening the eggs to discover which new "animal," in his case, it was going to be. I plan on putting more in his eggs this year! So many options!
These colorful finger puppets (found above) would be fun to discover during an Easter egg hunt. These are sold by MiracleInspiration on Etsy and run $18.50 + $6 shipping.

How cute are these Spring inspired finger puppets from Floral Blossom on Etsy? Please, note that this purchase is only for the pattern, so you'll have to whip up these cuties in time so they make it into those Easter eggs. This pattern is only $5!

These Fairy Finger puppets are too stinkin' cute for a little girl. Now, I do have to warn you that the product description does say they are 5" big. So they might not exactly stuff into a standard Easter egg, but they were too cute not to include...and they would still be perfect for the basket! You can purchase these on Amazon: HERE They are selling for $17.98 + $7.99 shipping.

Love this set made by Manhattan Toys too! They have it for $24 on their website. This is the "A Day at the Castle Set." Can buy it HERE

2. Stamps

This Melissa & Doug Farm Animal stamp set comes with small stamps that should easily fit into an Easter Egg. Also great to have the ink pad for a matching basket treat. You can find this on Amazon HERE for $6.99.

This is the girly-girl version of the stamp set above. You can find it on Amazon: HERE for $7.81

3. Stickers

Hit the dollar store and grab a couple of sheets of stickers, cut them into groups of 3 or four stickers and pop 'em in those eggs!

4. Hair Pins & Earrings

How adorable and original are these Pinwheel Bobby pins from Sweet Honeybunch on Etsy? These little guys are $12.50 + $3 shipping.

Just perfect for Spring and those Easter Eggs! Love the colors and floral design of these stud earrings from Paige and Penelope on Etsy. They sell lots of fun Spring-inspired earrings and accessories in their shop! This set of earrings is $13.50 + $2 shipping.

5. Imagination-Provoking Figurines

There are lots of options here from Dinosaurs to GI Joes. The trick is making sure they'll fit in the eggs! Michael's sells lots of these in all shapes and forms. Bring an egg in and see what works! 
Just found these Dinosaurs at Amazon for $3.95. The product details say they're 2 in which seems like they might work in an egg....wonder if that includes the tail? Hmmm.