Archive of ‘Entertaining’ category

Green Easter Ideas

Want to waste a little less this Easter? Here are some green Easter ideas, and I’m not talking fake grass. When it comes to going-green, Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are the go-to gals! Here are their tips and ideas for creating a fabulous Easter without all the waste.

Some bunny will love a green Easter basket

Easter brings thoughts of spring and rebirth, so there’s no reason not to celebrate it with the Earth’s best interest at heart. Since for many families, Easter wouldn’t be the day without the basket, here’s how to transform this traditional hit, into a gift that truly is worth celebrating.

Instead of buying a new plastic or woven basket made in a country far away, this year, how about using your imagination? Choose an item that can hold the goodies, decorate if you like and you’ve got a unique, no-cost container. How fun would it be for your kids to go on the hunt with one of these?

A purse
A backpack
A scarf tied to a hobo stick
A decorated paper bag or shoe box (add a handle if you like)
A fabric bag of any kind
A pot (decorate by drawing on a strip of paper the height of the pot, then fasten with tape)
A boot (Kids rain boots are especially cute. Tuck some fabric inside to keep goodies clean.)
A paint can (again, add fabric inside if you like)

If you’re the traditional type and like the look of grass, instead of buying the plastic stuff, why not try:

strips of fabric
real grass, either wheat grass or grass from your yard
shredded recycled paper
green scarf
strips of organic nori (seaweed available in paper-like sheets)
green napkin, washcloth or dish towel

What do you think? How will make your Easter baskets a little more green this year?

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at http://www.CelebrateGreen.net

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Saint Patricks Day Craft Idea

Make these simple DIY shamrock drink stirrers {via Martha Stewart} to decorate your Saint Patrick’s day drinks or appetizers. This is a simple and festive Saint Patrick’s Day craft.

Martha’s Instructions on how to make:

Rinse the pink ink from a heart-shaped rubber stamp, and use it (and a green ink pad) to add shamrocks to napkins, coasters, and more. To make a swizzle stick, stamp a clover pattern onto card stock, and draw a stem with a colored pencil; repeat. Cut out with a 1-inch circle craft punch. Glue circles together, back sides facing, onto a skewer.

Hostess Tip: Enjoy this festive craft with your kids and use them to accent your green drinks and Irish appetizers.
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10 Simple Steps to Prepare for Your Party

I was so excited when Jennifer Tankersley of List Mama Blog agreed to share one of her oh-so-organized lists with Throughfully Simple readers! Anyone who knows me (just ask my Host… aka Husband) will tell you that I make lists for just about everything. The difference between my lists and Jennifer’s..well hers you can understand and they are fun to read! Here is one of my favorites that you can use time and time again.

List of Steps to a Fun Night of Entertaining Friends

{via Jennifer at List Mama Blog}

I love the idea of having friends over. I like the planning and the scrambling. I think for me it is a bit like running a race – kind of painful preparing, but always worth it! It is easy to get overwhelmed with what may seem like a lot of details in the planning. If you break the planning and preparation up into smaller parts, then you will see that entertaining friends in your home on a Saturday night can truly be an enjoyable experience for the whole family. Here are some of the steps to entertaining in your home.

  1. Decide on the menu. This will indicate how formal the evening should be.
  2. Create the guest list. Will it be an intimate gathering or more of a party?
  3. Decide on a date and time.
  4. Invite your guests. The final number will help you know how much food you’ll need to prepare.
  5. Create a shopping list. Don’t forget the beverages, napkins, and even candles.
  6. Make your cleaning list. I love having people over because it is the only time I am truly motivated to deep clean my house. Look at it as an opportunity!
  7. Plan some entertainment. Browse through your favorite tunes to find some appropriate music. Rent a movie for the kids. Dust off a game or two.
  8. Make ahead anything that can be made ahead: dessert, cut vegetables, casserole or soup.
  9. Create a timeline so that you are not preparing up to the minute your guests arrive.
  10. Enjoy! This is supposed to be fun, remember? Relax and enjoy old or new friends.

ListPlanIt.com has many of the pages you need to plan a fantastic evening with friends. You’ll find party planning pages, grocery lists, cleaning lists, and even a timeline to plot your preparation and party. Use promo code “listmama” to get a yearly membership for just $19.95.

Tell me, wouldn’t this list be super helpful? Well, go ahead print it out and use it :).

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DIY Bookmarks With Some Color

I have become a huge fan of Jessica Jones and her very crafty blog How About Orange…. Not only does she have fabulous style (I happen to love the color orange myself), she shares some super cool DIY projects that you can try even if you are not Martha Stewart. I am loving these DIY bookmarks…..so SIMPLE!

Made from old paint chips, this project is not only clever, but earth friendly- how thoughtful!

Read the original post to get the inside scoop and DIY instructions.

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Bunco Party Theme

When a friend of mine {Mary Kay} asked if I had any ideas for her next Bunco Party, I began brainstorming. After all, I am always looking for a reason to get a crowd together and have some fun! I started thinking what a great idea it is to host a Bunco Party: 12 close gal friends, a fun game, good food, and of course a signature cocktail!

If you are not familiar the game of Bunco, check out the official rules here and learn more about this game. You don’t need much to get your Bunco party rolling… I suggest keeping with the black, red, and white color scheme inspired by the dice {the most essential part of the game}.

For Mary Kay’s Bunco party, she was looking to serve her gal friends delicious, simple, and healthy appetizers. I put my thinking cap on and suggested she make these appetizers. She was thrilled with the healthy choices that were a breeze to make and also simple to serve. After all- no time for a fancy sit down meal when you are eager to play Bunco!

Antipasto Squares (Yummy served warm or cold)
From All Recipes
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Spinach Feta Pizza Bake
From All Recipes

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Of course what party would be complete without a signature cocktail? How about creating your own “Bunco-Tini!” Just serve up a red colored Martini {whatever you like best} and call it your own! I am currently loving:

Red Apple Martini

1 oz Fris® apple vodka
2 oz apple juice
1 tsp grenadine syrup

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5 Simple Ways to Make “You” Time

As women, moms, and wives, we often find ourselves doing several things at once. And free time? What’s that, right?! For many of us, it seems like there is always something that just has to be done; that just can’t wait. Well, I want to tell you it can and it should! The next time you find yourself with “free” time and are about to clip coupons, switch the laundry, or check your emails STOP! Yes, those things do need to be done at some point I know, but for now just trust me. Do one of these 5 simple things instead (come on, just this once). Even though they may not be the most thrilling or glamorous things-they are sure to lift your mood, even if just a bit. Don’t stress, the coupons can be clipped later.

1. Paint your toe nails. Yes, paint them. I don’t care if it is winter and no one sees them-paint them. Trust me.

2. Visit your closet. We so often run to our closet and grab something to pull on as we run out the door to school drop off. Remember when you used to take an hour to get ready, trying on top after top? Go ahead- change your clothes. Oh… and take your time!

3. Make a smoothie. Yes, I know you probably remember to eat (I sure hope so). But how often do you make something YOU want to eat? If you’re like me you probably just make an extra PB&J in the afternoon for yourself right? Make something for yourself, not just what the kiddos are requesting.

4. Walk to the mailbox. It doesn’t matter if it is at the end of your driveway or a block away, why not take a stroll and check the mail today? I know that I usually drive up to it, grab, and go. This will force you to take a stroll even if it is a short one.

5. Watch TV! Yes, I said it. For me this is hard because I often think of what else I could be doing. But let me tell you, sit back and watch your favorite 30 minute sitcom (for me it is Friends hands down) and your mood will surly change. Sometimes we have to force ourselves sit back and relax.

These are just 5 ways I suggest you take some “you” time this week. But really, the point is to make time for a bit of relaxation time- even if for only 30 minutes. The house will still be standing and the children will be safe, I promise!

What are your favorite way to use your “free” time (and don’t say to clean, please!)?
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