Thursday, May 29, 2014

Party Board: Twinkle, Twinkle

I found this theme while searching online for some fun, girly and unique party themes for a special little girl who is turning one next month. I thought it was so cute, I love the pink mixed with the glittery gold. I think what is fun with this theme is you could do it for a boy or girl and for a girl you could make it more or less girly depending on what colors you chose and how you go about decorating.

My favorite thing about this theme is it brought back memories of my first pregnancy. I would always sing to my baby girl "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", except I would always change the words to "do you know how loved you are". I hadn't really heard that version much before I had my daughter, now I hear it all the time. It is just a sweet song and really fills my heart with love when I think about it.


~ Cake from The Domestic Project
~ Cookies found on Hostess with the Mostess
~ Invitations from Topsy Turvy
~ "Like a Diamond" backdrop banner inspiration found on Bottle Pop Party Company
~ Paper colors from Michaels
~ Star Mason Jar Project found on heart. love. weddings.
~ Straw Vase inspiration found at Toovia
~ Wand & Sandwich Inspiration from 6th Street Design School

My girlfriend has chosen this theme for her daughter's birthday, I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Toni



Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Inspired: Chevron Burlap Wreath

 I am a little obsessed with burlap right now, can't seem to get enough of it. So it is only fitting that my summer wreath be made from burlap too, add a little chevron print and I am in craft heaven!

Supplies:

~ Foam wreath form
~ Burlap garland
~ Decorative ribbon
~ Felt
~ Hot glue gun

I started with a round foam wreath form Michaels and wrapped the burlap garland around the form. To start I gathered the burlap as shown below:


 I hot glued this section to the wreath form. I then started wrapping the burlap around the foam (as shown below), don't try to be too perfect you want it to have a little character.


Once you get back to the starting point on your wreath take the end section and hot glue to the back side of your wreath. The finished product should look something like this: 


I found some adorable chevron patterned burlap ribbon at Walmart in salmon & teal, I thought it would be perfect to add, great summer time colors. 

I started wrapping the salmon burlap around the wreath, just enough to add some color, you don't want to completely wrap it. For this step you could use any decorative ribbon that you would like. Play with colors, prints, have fun with it. 

I next made a bow out of the teal burlap. Now this part wasn't as easy for me, I am not the best at making bows. I gathered the ribbon and made two loops for one side of the bow then another two loops for the other side of the bow. I pitched the center and tied all together with a tan pipe cleaner. Twist it tight to ensure it will not come apart. I then took a small piece of the ribbon and wrapped around the center and hot glued it in the back to set in place. Here is a video that may help with making bows, the wired ribbon is harder to work with so I wasn't able to fluff it up like in the video, you will get the idea though.

I also made three small felt flowers to add to the wreath for a little extra visual interest. To make these felt flowers I followed a tutorial on Little Things Bring Smiles. These were super easy to make and turned out pretty cute. Once they were complete I hot glued them to the wreath.


Here is the finished product, I think it turned out really cute and love that it will add a bright cheerfulness to my front porch!


~ Chevron Burlap Wired Ribbon - both the teal & salmon available at Walmart
~ Burlap Garland - Michaels
~ Felt & Wreath form - Michaels

Linked up on Made by you Monday - Mad in Crafts - Naptime Creations - The Winthrop Chronicles

Toni

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day Celebrations

Memorial Day is a time to remember all those brave men & women who fought fearlessly for our Country. Freedom is not free, and there are so many uniformed Americans who have sacrificed their life so we could live ours in peace. I thank all of them for serving our Country, in a way I could never express in words.

When you are celebrating this 3-day weekend with your family & friends think of the true reason behind this day. Celebrate the men & women in uniform, and this blessed place we call home, The United States of America!

(Photo Credit)
Here are a few photos for inspiration for all those potlucks, bbq's and gatherings this weekend.

(Source)

Red White & Blue Printables by Living Locurto
(Source)

Fresh delicious Raspberry Lemonade
(Source)

Watermelon & Blueberry Star Wands
(Source)

BBQ Food Table
(Source)

Watermelon Stars
(Source)

Red, White & Blue Mason Jars via Michaels 
(Source)

Enjoy your weekend! God Bless!


Toni


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Baby Girl Shower: Adding to the Nest

I had the honor of hosting a baby shower for my dear friend. This is her 3rd little girl and the last to be added to their nest, so I really wanted to make this special. Even better, my husband and I are blessed to be the the Godparents to this sweet little girl.

My girlfriend has a collection of milk glass that I used to add a sweet feminine touch around the party. To the mantle I added flowers from my yard, a birdie banner I made with supplies from Michaels. I also purchased a couple pink feather boas and added those to the mantle with little bird figurines.


We had some delicious food; chinese chicken salad, strawberries, scones, tea sandwiches, chips and dip.


For dessert we had "tweet" strawberry cupcakes and donut holes. I love donuts, but I also happen to know that the momma to be likes them too, so they were a must!



There was a wishing tree for guests to leave special thoughts and well wishes for the momma. 




There were also homemade (by my sweet mom) baby carriage cookies for the guests to take home.



 I loved the color combo of this party, so classy & feminine.

Toni

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chicken Cranberry Salad Sandwiches

Instead of the traditional chicken salad sandwich I thought I would change it up a bit, main reason for this is because I don't like mayo or miracle whip. So I thought there must be something else that you could substitute for the mayo. I came up with using plain greek yogurt for the substitute, it does provide a little bit of a different taste, but it is really good. I used canned chicken from Costco and put into a bowl to mix the ingredients. I mixed a couple dollops of greek yogurt, chopped green onion, handful of dried cranberries and pepper to taste. This recipe is really to your taste, I tend to like mine light on the dressing. Once mixed all together if the mixture is not the consistency you like, feel free to add more yogurt. Then assemble on a ciabatta or torta roll with some chopped lettuce.

This sandwich is delicious and would be great on a warm summer day served with a side of fruit and fresh lemonade!

Hope you enjoy! Let me know how you like this version compared to the original.


Join the party - linked up on Kitchen Meets Girl & The Real Housewives of Riverton. Check it out!
Toni

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Double Chocolate Coconut Brownies

These double chocolate coconut brownies are absolutely delicious and couldn't be easier to make! I used a basic brownie mix and mixed according to package instructions. I then added a handful of coconut shavings and a couple drops of coconut extract. I then chopped a 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips & 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. I mixed all ingredients together and poured into a greased 8 x 8 pan, if you would like the brownies to be thinner feel free to use a cake pan. I then sprinkled coconut shavings and additional crushed white chocolate & chocolate chips on top of the brownie mixture.

I baked in the oven per package directions, uncovered. Once toothpick inserted in brownie's comes out clean they are done. Let cool completely before cutting into them.

They were very good and I of course had way more than I would have liked!

Let me know how you like them.



Linked up on Love in the Kitchen!

Happy Baking!

Toni

Monday, May 19, 2014

Party Board: Glitter, Hearts & Bows

Featuring another party inspiration board today, this one is "Glitter, Hearts & Bows". I just love the feminine colors of this one topped with a little sparkle & shine. Let me know if you have any questions or feedback, I would love to hear it! 

The invitation sets the theme and a great printable party set is always an easy way to incorporate the theme throughout your party. This particular set offers several items; bottle wrappers, cupcake toppers, banners, thank yous, etc... Use the craft paper and make large paper bows to attach to the gold straws. You could use the straws as cupcake toppers, by cutting them in half, or set out for drinks. The circle garland would be a great backdrop to any sweets table. As center stage on the table an adorable pink glitter cake elevated above the other sweets that catch your eye and match the theme. Add flower arrangements in gold glitter mason jars at varying heights around the table. Of course no birthday party is complete without the birthday girl having something special to wear. This adorable striped shirt with a gold glitter heart fits this theme perfectly, add a cute skirt and your birthday girl will be ready to enjoy her special day!


~ Craft paper from Micheals
~ Glitter Circle Garland Backdrop from Hoopsy Daisies
~ Glitter Girl Sparkle Party Printables by Rachelle's Printables
~ Glitter Heart Tee from Splendid Avenue
~ Gold Craft Bow - Via Cricut from The Tomkat Studio
~ Gold Mason Jar flower arrangement inspiration from Toovia
~ Gold Straws from The Tomkat Studio
~ Pink Glitter Cake inspiration found on Kara's Party Ideas by All Occasion Cakes

I am excited to start planning additional party inspiration boards, I hope you all are enjoying them. There will be more to come!

Happy Planning!

Toni

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Party Board: Butterfly Garden

I thought it would be fun to start sharing party boards for different themes. This all started when I helped a good friend pick a theme for her daughter's first birthday. It seem to help narrow down the intent and idea of the party. I also think it may help when I plan my next event.

Butterfly Garden Party



The adorable butterfly invitation can be found on Little L Creations. With many other fabulous invitations as well. All other items pictured are available from your local Michaels store.

~ Scrapbook paper to set the color scheme and to create banners, decorations, etc...
~ Mini pink frame to put the birthday girl as the center of attention
~ Glitter butterflies that can clip to anything
~ Wooden craft butterfly to paint in your color scheme, maybe even add the birthday girl's name to it.
~ Moss items to really set the garden theme
~ Paper Medallions to hang in differing lengths to add interest over a sweets table or entryway.

Hope you like the new featured birthday boards!

Happy Planning!

Toni

Friday, May 16, 2014

Creative Party Place Feature!!!

Check out who was just featured on Creative Party Place! Love that other's liked this party as much as I did!

Thank you Creative Party Place for bringing party inspiration to others!



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Country Girl: Horse Themed Party

What little girl doesn't love horses? My daughter certainly does, she loves looking for the horses in each pasture we drive by. So for her last birthday we decided on a horsey theme! She really loves pink so of course that had to be a part of the color scheme and then I chose the teal, what a great color combination.

Check out all the photos below and leave a comment with any questions or thoughts!


I made this banner using my Cricut; cut out the shapes and letters and then assembled. I love making my own banners, they are relatively easy to make and really make a great party piece.



When guests arrived they were immediately greeted with the horsey theme. Printables were created by me, I laid out some hay and toy horses next to the treat bags. I had bubbles for the kids to take home as well.




Guests were given little treat bags to take home with a horse ornament attached. Treat bags are from The TomKat Studio. I highly suggest you check out this site if you haven't already, Kim with TomKat is an amazing party planner/stylist and you can not only get some great ideas and inspiration but she also has a full shop full of all your party supply needs!



We had "pony rides" for the kids. Since my daughter's still a little too young for the real deal we set up a wooden rocking horse with a pink bandana for all the little kids to ride. Banner was made my me, I cut large burlap flags and attached the paper letters, then attached with tiny clothes-pins to the jute twine.


We had lots of food; bbq sammies, chips, veggies, fruit, rice krispies as haystacks, muddy buddies snack mix and of course cake!




Close up of the cake I made with a horse toy as the cake topper.



I put little helpings of muddy buddy snack mix in the cute candy cups (also from TomKat Studio)


 My first attempt at making tissue tassel, not as easy as it looks. It is very time consuming but I think the end result was worth it. (Sorry for the bad photo).



My daughter and all her little friends had a great time. I loved planning and seeing this party come to life, and I'm already on the hunt to plan the next birthday!

Thanks for looking, hope you can get some great inspiration to plan your horsey party!

- Candy Cups & Treat Bags: The TomKat Studio
- Printables, Cake & Photography: Design My Life
- Horse Ornaments & Fabric: Hobby Lobby

Join the party linked up on The NY Melrose Family & Seven Thirty Three.
Recently featured on Creative Party Place. Check it out!

Toni

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

For Mother's Day I decided to try making a baked macaroni and cheese. I found a recipe here that looked pretty good, I had most of the ingredients on hand except the cream. So I of course decided to adapt a little and it turned out really delicious! It seems like there is a lot of ingredients in this dish, but it is really easy to make. 


1 (16oz) Box Macaroni Noodles
1 stick of Butter
8 Tbsp Flour
2 cups Milk (I used 2%)
1 (8oz) Block Cream Cheese
3/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Pepper & Cayenne Pepper to taste
3 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Shredded Pepper jack Cheese
Breadcrumbs

- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cook macaroni according to directions and set aside.
- Melt butter in saucepan, once melted add flour and whisk to stir until well blended
- Whisk in salt, pepper, garlic powder & cayenne pepper
- Pour milk in gradually, stir constantly
- Cube cream cheese and add to pot, stirring until completely melted
- Bring mixture to boiling point, boil for 2 minutes, continue stirring!
- Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly
- Add shredded cheddar & pepper jack a little at a time, simmer until cheese melts.
- Turn off burner and add macaroni to the sauce mixture. Toss to coat.
- Grease a baking dish and pour the macaroni into the dish



- Sprinkle breadcrumbs across the top of the mixture, once baked this will make a nice crunchy crust layer
- Bake 20-30 minutes, until top is golden brown and mixture is bubbling.



This may not be in the diet plan, but it is Mother's Day after all, the calories don't count today!
Hope you all had a fabulous Mother's Day!

Toni

Monday, May 12, 2014

Favorite Things: Dessert Style

My girlfriends and I routinely get together and host a "Favorite Things" party, if you haven't heard of this concept before it is a blast and a great way to host a get together with friends.

The premise behind the party is for each guest to bring a certain number of their "Favorite Thing" with a price limit. Our group is pretty intimate so we agreed on bringing 3 (of the same item) at a $10 and under price point. We usually have plenty of food and drinks and to make it easier on the host each person brings either a dish or drink to share. The night is filled with good food, drinks, lots of laughs and everyone leaves with a few new items. It is so much fun and I know all of my girlfriends look forward to it.

This past weekend my girlfriend hosted our latest "Favorite Things" party. The host set a theme of desserts, so each of us brought a sweet treat to enjoy along with our favorite items.

My "favorite thing" were items you would use to decorate cupcakes; cute party liners, stripey straws, piping bags and frosting tips then I packaged them in these adorable canvas bags from Michaels.  I spruced up the bags a little, aren't they adorable? I am just loving the gold glitter look right now, who would've thought gold would be back in so soon? To see how I created this check out the post here.


Here are some additional photos of the night. My girlfriend Melanie hosted, and she certainly knows how to put on quite a spread. Everything was delicious and we all had to roll our way home!






Double Chocolate Coconut Brownies - recipe coming soon!


We all had such a great night, these girls are all truly amazing and an inspiration to me. I feel blessed to have each of them in my life.

If you haven't been to a "Favorite Things" party I recommend hosting one, your friends will love it and it is sure to be a night full of fun! For other great ideas on hosting a "Favorite Things" party check out A Place for Us Blog or Jenny Keller from Jenny Cookies just put on a fabulous, extravagant favorite things, check it out here for inspiration.

Happy Planning!

Toni