January 2012 archive

Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas, THE book to have!

If you love sweets, baking, crafting, party styling — or any combination of these things you MUST check out Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas. After pouring her heart into this book for over two years Amy’s labor of love is finally available for pre-order! I am honored to help Amy spread the word, I’ve been a huge fan for years, in fact Amy was one of the first “party people” I began to follow. (She was even kind enough to jump on board for a fun cupcake contest I did years ago!)

Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas

Amy has been humble enough to share the behind the scenes of this book in the making over on her blog (which has been so fun to read!). Here’s the darling cover – aren’t the colors fun?

Be sure to pre-order your copy today (and while your at it, pick one up for a gift for a friend, sister, or for a Mother’s Day gift!). They are sure to sell out!

P.S. I just may have picked up an extra copy to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. Stay tuned!

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WIN! A Chinese New Year Celebration with P.F. Chang’s

The Chinese New Year is one of the most important and festive Chinese holidays and 2012 happens to be the year of the Dragon. Why not invite friends over for a festive Chinese New Year celebration, or plan a romantic night in with that special someone?

chinese new year celebration - decorations

The folks over at P.F. Chang’s are helping us plan the perfect night. I’ve partnered with them to bring you a fun and festive giveaway and to share some ideas that will get you excited about the peace and good fortune that awaits you in 2012!

Create your space: Paper lanterns, bold colors, simple centerpieces are all fitting for a Chinese New Year’s party. For a festive centerpiece, submerge your favorite blooms in water. Image via Rachel Ray

The meal: Pick up on of P.F. Chang’s Home Menu noodle entrees like Pepper Steak with Chow Fun Noodles, Grilled Chicken Teriyaki with Lo Mein Noodles, Garlic Chicken with Dan Dan Noodles (my personal favorite), and Firecracker Shrimp with Yakisoba Noodles. Don’t forget — it’s simple to dress up these no fuss meals!

A Festive Cocktail: Our Ginger Beer Cocktail is a great pairing. Or try something more festive like this Red Dragon:

Red Dragon Martini

11/2 oz. SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit

1 oz. Pomegranate Juice

1/2 oz. Lychee Syrup

2 Lychees

Lime

Combine all ingredients except lychees and lime in cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with lychees and twist of lime.

recipe via Marie Claire

Are you ready to celebrate?!

In observance of this centuries old custom, P.F. Chang’s is giving away Red Envelope Celebration Kits.

1 Grand Prize Red Envelope includes: A night out at the Bistro with their Dragon  and a night in enjoying Home Menu with their favorite Dragon 

 14 Additional Winners will get the Red Envelope First Prizes include: Home Menu coupons, Bistro gift cards, co-branded t-shirts

Contest is Closed. TO WIN: Comment below telling us who embodies the dragon traits in your life (confident, bold, honest & genuine).

For an extra entry: Follow both Thoughtfully Simple and P.F. Chang’s on Facebook — then come back and leave a comment letting us know you did.

Enter by January 26, 2012 midnight, PST. 15 winners chosen and announced by January 27, 2012.

 

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FREE Darling Valentine’s Day Card

Surprise your little one, your love, a special friend or Grandma & Grandpa by sending a darling Valentine’s Day card. Today only, the great folks at Tiny Prints are letting you design and send a FREE Valentine’s Day card! They have adorbale deisngs to choose from and you can even customize many of them with a photo. Order here.

 

Free Valentines Day Card

Hurry, take five minutes and place your order – it’ll make someone’s day!

Thank  you Tiny Prints!

xoxo

 

 

 

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It’s a Sunshine Safari with Operation Shower

How’s your week going friends? Fantastical I hope (yes, that’s a real word — we’ll at least it should be). I’ve been a little quiet this week so I wanted to check in with you all and say “hello” and share what I’ve been working on.

Operation Shower Sunshine Safari

I’m super excited to be helping with an amazing baby shower next week for a group of very deserving military moms. I’ll be one of a handful of party stylist  working on next week’s Operation Shower. If you’re not familiar with Operation Shower, here’s an interview I did with chief party planner Amy a while back (it’s worth the read!). This baby shower will be presented by Operation Shower and Birdies For The Brave and will be sponsored in part by Pottery Barn Kids, Carousel Designs and Carl’s Jr. It’s been a blast working with PBK during the design process. Check out our group Pinterest board where we’ve been gathering some virtual inspiration:

operation shower

With darling printables from paper & cake and great finds from Pottery Barn Kids, I’m in total brainstorming mode. The creative juices are flowing — here’s a sneak peek at what I’m up to (it’s sort of a creative mess in my office today!).

operation shower

See that cute little guy in the middle? Yep, he’s coming with me (and bringing some pals too). I can’t wait to show you more soon.

Now, I better get back to work, only a few more days until I head to San Diego. I just realized that next week I’ll be knocking TWO items off my Party Planner Bucket List (#3 and #5) which is a bonus! I can’t wait to reunite with many of my party planning friends and meet up with many for the first time in the flesh :).

Updates to come on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest — I can’t wait to share all of the great deigns and more of this soon-to-be amazing event!

 

 

 

 

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Valentine’s Day Cookie Pops

Looking for something cute and sweet to whip for your little Valentine or to serve at your Valentine’s Day party? We’ve shared several Valentine’s Day cupcakes (and even an adult only version)  but today we’re loving these super simple cookie pops!

cookie pops

 

Aren’t they cute?!

Recently, the nice folks at Wrigley Candy Co. sent me a huge box of sweet surprises. Think… all the good stuff — Skittles, Starburst, Lifesavers, + gum galore! Besides snacking like crazy (someone please come take this candy away from me) I’ve been playing with fun new recipes like this one.

What I used:

-Mini sugar cookies (these are store bought even, see — simple!)

-White frosting

-Red & Pink Skittles

-White lollipop sticks

*note – you may have to eat all other colors of Skittles in order to isolate the red & pink. It’s okay, just go ahead and eat them all.

What I did:

-Used frosting to attach to cookies together, placing the stick in the middle (like a sandwich)

-Put more frosting on one top of the cookie

-Placed the Skittles on the frosting for the decoration

DONE!

I placed my completed cookie pops in this perfectly sizes Blumebox and covered the pop insert with more Skittles.

What do you think, could cookie pops be the next cake pop? I’m a much bigger cookie fan, so I’d be okay with that ;).

I received candy from Wrigley to complete this post. However, all thoughts & opinions are my own.

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It’s all about the COLOR

I get asked a lot, “How do you come up with ideas for your party themes?” Most of the time, the first glimmer of inspiration I get comes from a color or a combination of colors.

 

Pinterest Wedding Planning

My Pinterest board for a Blush Wedding

I’m not a big fan of character parties or most novelty themes — but color… now that’s something to plan a party around. You’ll notice I typically credit the color of the party first (in my mind it’s the star and where my planning all begins) like in our purple cowgirl party, white spring brunch and this purple & yellow dinner party.  However, coming up with that perfect color for your party or to paint home entertaining space,  can be tricky.

 

My Colortopia - Thoughtfully Simple

 

I often scour the web looking for inspiration so I was thrilled to learn about a new community created by Glidden Paint called MyColortopia.com which is full of inspiration, tools, and advice from the Colortopia Team (a few of my favorite design bloggers have teamed up there!) to help you simplify choosing that perfect color. They’re making it simple (and fun) to select colors, buy paint, paint your space and be thrilled with your choices.

 

 

I’ve been using MyColortopia.com in planning something I have in the works (more to come soon!) and am pleased to have teamed up with Glidden/Akzo Nobel Paints to share this new tool that helps you discover colors that suit your personality and lifestyle (so you can decided what color to paint your kitchen or the color for your upcoming wedding).

Be sure to check it out — take the My Life My Colors Quiz (use the above widget) and leave a comment telling me what colors pair with your lifestyle.

 –I have been sponsored by Glidden brand paint to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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