DIY Birthday Decor

The next time you find yourself planning a child’s birthday party, try one of these DIY decor ideas before you hit the store for those old crepe streamers.

Party Napkins

Instead of buying printed party napkins, try this DIY party idea:

  • Purchase solid colored party napkins to match your party decor.
  • Choose a shape to cut out that matches your party theme
  • Make a template of your shape using card stock.
  • Trace template onto napkin, then cut around design (cut through 3-4 napkins at once to save time).

Birthday Banner

Make your own birthday banner to match any birthday theme and/or color. You can really get creative with this idea since the fonts, letters, and colors are completely up to you.

  • Choose a piece of colored ribbon to hang your banner on (or any type of string or twine will work).
  • Print individual letters out from your computer (one letter per sheet) increasing font size to fill up page.
  • Repeat above until your completed message is printed
  • Attach pages to ribbon by folding over top and securing with tape. Then simply hang!

Tip: Alternate between different fonts and colors when printing out your message for a whimsical effect like shown above.

photos from Martha Stewart Crafts
Leave a comment and share you simple DIY birthday ideas with us!
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3 Simple Ways to Go Green

2008 seemed to be all about “going green” and for good reason….we must change some of our habits. Whether you are a green advocate or a so-so about the movement, there are a few small things we can all do that will make a big impact.

1. Ditch the “Paper & the Plastic” and opt for reusable grocery sacs. If you collect a few here and there (usually cost as little as $1.00 each) you will have plenty to use. I suggest you leave them in your car so they are handy for those quick trips into the store. Bonus: You’ll be carrying in fewer bags because the cloth hold so much more!

2. Turn off your computer at night. I am very guilty of not doing this, but I vow to change in 2009! Why waste so much energy by keeping your computer running all night long? In reality, your computer will run better with time to rest.

3. Use green cleaners. So many people I know are hesitant to change from their regular cleaners to all-natural ones. You really can clean anything with combos and variation of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon. Check out one homemade green cleaner here. Not ready to mix up your own? Try eco-friendly cleaners like Method and Seventh Generation which cost no more than their toxic counterparts.

These are just three simple tips to going a bit green. Please, share with us changes you have made!

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Room Color Inspiration

While reading through Domino, one of my favorite mags, I was inspired by their Paint Palette Combo Gallery. Maybe I was so inspired because I love color…or perhaps because I will be moving a redecorating soon– regardless, here are a few of my favorite color combos!

Bold Orange & Brown

Blue & Beige

Sophisticated Grays

I hope that these photos inspire you to play with color next time you find yourself painting! You can head over to Domino Mag for more fab paint combos and also get the specific paint names shown here.

Share with us: What color combos do you love?

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Four Festive, Fun and Simple Martini Recipes!

Four festive martinis that are oh so yummy and SIMPLE to make!

Pomegranate Raspberry Martini

3 parts Stirrings Pomegranate Martini Mixer
2 parts raspberry vodka
Garnish: Drop a couple fresh raspberries into each glass

Shake Over ice. Pour into martini glass and garnish with berries.

Lemon Drop Martini Recipe

6 parts lemon-flavored vodka
1 part dry vermouth
Granulated sugar
Lemon twist

Rim a chilled cocktail glass with granulated sugar (optional). Shake over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with lemon twist.

Champagne Martini recipe

2 Parts Champagne
1 part Cointreau® orange liqueur

Shake over ice. Strain into martini glass. Garnish (optional) with fresh fruit of your choice.

Apple Martini

2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Apple Pucker Schnapps or,
1/2 oz. Apple Juice or Cider

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with an Apple Slice

Hostess Tip:

To keep your hostess duties stress-free, I suggest you chose a festive drink recipe to serve during your party (at the most two) rather than making several different drinks to serve. This will make your bar-tending duties much easier. Also, if you plan to serve a martini recipe, you can make a large batch of drinks ahead of time in a glass pitcher (just measure in cups rather than shots) then when guests arrive you can just stir, and pour into the shaker when needed. SIMPLE!

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Holiday Decor Inspiration: Cranberries

With so many different ways to decorate your home for the holiday, I suggest trying to pick something that you love (could be a color, a theme, or an item) and streamline your holiday home decor around it. Your holiday decor will appear more thought-out and really pop. We loved these holiday decor ideas we found at BHG all inspired by cranberries!

Simple Mantle Decor: Fill glass cylinders with fresh cranberries and white candles. Use different height cylinders and candles for interest.

Cranberry garland decor

String cranberries to make a festive garland. Attach to mantle with small hooks.

Outdoor Holiday Decor

Take the cranberry decor outside! Line your porch or front step with cranberries atop fake snow in a glass cylinder or other vase.

Crannberry table decor

Carry on the theme by freezing Cranberries into ice cubes to keep your holiday spirits cold.

Cranberry Wreath

Simple way to make a bold statement! Glue cranberries to a cardboard cut out of your families last initial. {Tip} Many craft stores sell cardboard letters in various sizes that are very affordable.

Cranberry Centerpieces

Cranberry centerpieces: Glue Cranberries to foam spheres of different sizes. Display atop candle holders, vases, or cake stands.

Do you use cranberries as decor? Share with us your tips. Or let us know what other “theme” inspires you!

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Candy Cane Shot Glasses

These Candy Cane Shot Glasses will make a perfect touch to your holiday dinner or get together. Your guests will surely notice these sweet swirled shot glasses and what a festive touch to your bar setting or table top!

Not serving alcohol? Candy Cane Shot Glasses

Hostess Tip:

Serve up some sweet vanilla ice cream in these candy cane shot glasses. Garnish with a miniature candy cane and dollop of whip cream and sprinkles!

Where to buy: Grab your set of 2 ($8.00) at Like Cool {likecool.com}

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