Archive of ‘Thoughts’ category

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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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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Thoughts :: Humbly ringing in 2012

Believe it or not, 2011 has come to an end. I hope this past year was a great one for you and I’m wishing that 2012 is full of beautiful surprises and lots of laughter.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you … all of you reading this. Thank you for reading Thoughtfully Simple, supporting the blog, the posts, and the goal of simple entertaining. From the virtual support on Twitter and Facbeook — to those real life mentions, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope to bring you a lot more in 2012.

For now, I’m eager to wrap up the work day and join my family in some simple celebrating. Here’s a glimpse of my New Year’s spirit:

Photo credits + more New Year’s eye candy here.

Simple festive & touches, great food, family fun (puzzles and board games!), good conversations and ringing in the new year (with bubbly of course) … this is on my to-do list for the weekend.

How about you? How will you be celebrating?

P.S. Anyone else upset that the Rose Parade in on the 2nd this year? No, just me?

Well, have a great & safe weekend!

Cheers friends,

Tori

 

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Thoughts :: Need Thanksgiving Ideas? Me too.

thanksgiving ideas - table

If you haven’t seen this AMAZING Thanksgiving tablescape from Chris from Celebrations At Home — you must. Check out her feature over on Daily Grommet’s blog today (she’s got some great styling tips and Thanksgiving ideas).

It’s right around the corner — Thanksgiving. Actually, it’s in less than a week. What have I done to prepare you ask? Nothing. Nope, nada. The good thing about sticking to simple entertaining and hostessing ideas is that (when needed) you can pull it all together last minute (yep, literally).

I thought I’d keep it real and share with you all that I am lagging in my planning, but that I’m okay with that. I’ll turn to some of my favorite past ideas like these:

And I’ll throw in some new Thanksgiving ideas like the ones Chris shared here. How about you? Are all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted? How is your Thanksgiving planning coming together?

If you could use a little help pulling your thoughts and ideas together, join me and several other entertaining, design, food, and craft bloggers on Twitter Monday night the @DailyGrommet #HolidayHelp chat. More details here.

Hope to share (and learn) with you there!

 

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Thoughts :: Having a party-plan B

I read a lot about having a “plan B” for your wedding day in terms of having an out door wedding. It’s true — you need to have an “indoor” backup area in mind if there’s a chance that the weather might not cooperate with your outdoor plans. But what about having a plan B for your outdoor birthday party, BBQ, or other event? No one really talks about that. Of course, most things you can schedule around the weather (like BBQs, reunions and other celebrations) but what about birthday parties?

I know a thing or two about trying to plan an outdoor birthday party during rainy season (not that we really have a “season” here in southern, CA). Both of my daughters have birthdays in December (the 22nd & 23rd to be exact — yes, really). And given that the weather could be freezing and raining one day and 80 degrees and sunny the next,  it’s really hard to plan.

We prefer outdoor parties — and luckily last year our cowgirl party fell during a warm spell (getting the horse inside would have been difficult). But sometimes it does actually rain here and we are forced to move indoors (like for our zebra party) which was just a week later. If you are planning a party an worried about the weather here are some tips that have helped me:

  • Make a decision that morning. Even if you really want to have the party outdoors, at some point you’ll need to call it. Give yourself enough time to rearrange things and get set up indoors. You don’t want to be running around stressed out at the last minute.
  • Make sure your decorations can be used outside AND inside in case you need to relocate.
  • Make sure your party games and activities can be played inside if needed. Think about having to put down newspaper or push furniture out of the way. Pinata? Might need a back up plan if you’re moved inside.
  • Can you move your seating indoors to accommodate all of your guests? This is good thing to consider before inviting the entire class!

Have you had to alter your outdoor party plans? Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear them — we have 2 winter parties coming up after all!

image via wehearit.com

 

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Thoughts :: My {party planner} bucket list

A recent blog post got me thinking about bucket lists. You now, the list of wildly, unattainable adventures and goals you want to accomplish before you, well… kick the bucket. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of creating a bucket list  (really, I love any type of list) — but what I like more than creating a list is crossing items OFF of a list. So, instead of creating some extravagant list of things I’m dreaming of seeing or doing (but likely never will), I thought I’d focus a bit. I’m creating a list of party planning specific (and mostly attainable) things to see and do. Let’s hope I can get to crossing things off soon!

 

 

15 things this Hostess wants to do {soon}!

1. Make a ruffled cake

2. Host a pretty bake sale and donate proceeds to a great cause

3. Help with an Operation Shower event

4. Purchase this dining room table and host an intimate dinner party just to celebrate the table

5. Have another party-girl meet up with my amazing blogger friends

6. Host an intimate dinner party on the beach (as in tables on the sand with lanterns a-glow)

7. Convince my tween that a “tie dye” themed birthday would be totally cool

8. Go propping (prop shopping) in NY

9.  Have a Reese’s Peanut-tini with my new best friends (they have no idea we’re best friends btw)

10. Make my own cheese and then serve it at a wine & cheese party

11. Take a floral arranging class

12. Find a new and cool (local) photographer to capture my events

13. Plan a Mother’s Day brunch this year (muffins and mimosas anyone?)

14. Blog more about our lovely parties

15. Somehow legally change my 2 daughters’ birthdays so that they are NO LONGER December 22nd and December 23rd – it sure would be easier to plan parties (and yes I am serious)

 

I hope to start crossing off this list, sooner than later! I’ll come back and cross them off as I complete them (wish me luck with #15, I’m going to need it!).

 

What would be on your party planning bucket list?

………………. 

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to TodaysMama.com to get the details.

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