Spook up your Dinner

I received his DIY dinner idea from Jeanne Benedict from the DIY Network’s Weekend Entertaining and wanted to share it with you. She calls it “Boo” Spaghetti and it is really, really simple. Try it out and add a little spook to your weeknight dinner.

Jeanne’s DIY instructions:
  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions, making sure to keep some long noodles intact, as opposed to breaking them to fit into the pot.
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil. Pull a noodle out and form the word “boo” on the foil; make a few.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes until firm and place your “boos” on top of red sauce on pasta!
  • Simple, right? She also has made a creative “Spider Web Design on Triple Layer Guacamole, Cheese, and Egg Torte” that you can see on her blog.

    Thanks for sharing Jeanne!

    Want to host a spooky dinner party? We have scary decor ideas for you as well!

    Party for a Cause with Macy’s|Plus Surprise Giveaway!

    I love taking the time to help spread the word when it comes to a good cause, and this campaign is a great one. Macy’s has launched COME TOGETHER, an innovative awareness and fundraising campaign that aims to feed 10 million hungry people. COME TOGETHER invites you to get involved with the cause by hosting special dinner party in your home and asking your guests to pledge a donation to Feeding America. In return, Macy’s will match these donations dollar-for-dollar until the total goal of 10 million meals is reached.

    Macy’s has even made it simple to host a successful dinner party. They have gathered the ideas and recipes from party experts {can you say Martha?} and the fabulous Macy’s Culinary Council chefs, so your party planning will be simple and impressive.

    From this Autumn dinner above, to a dessert party, or a burger bash, plus several more themes to choose from, Macy’s is providing inspiration for all tastes (and budgets). You an even use Macy’s online tools to start planning your COME TOGETHER dinner party now.

    Not in the mood to be a party hostess? Well, there is actually three ways you can get involved:

    Host, Give and Shop.

    HOST- Friends and families across the country can host dinner parties from casual to formal, send invitations and manage party details including themes and recipes on http://www.macys.com/cometogether. In lieu of bringing traditional host gifts, guests are suggested to make a donation to Feeding America.

    GIVE- Donate $1 directly at any Macy’s register, one dollar provides dinner for seven.

    SHOP- Macy’s customers can shop for the cause and get special savings in-store on October 17, when Macy’s hosts a national Shop For A Cause day. A portion of the $5 in-store ticket sales will benefit Feeding America.

    To inspire others to give, Macy’s is giving two lucky readers a chance to win a $25.00 gift card to shop Macy’s!

    WIN! Contest Closed

    Win one of two $25 gift cards to Macy’s.

    To Enter:

    Leave a comment below telling me if you think you will host, give, or shop to help the COME TOGETHER mission of feeding 10 million people. Make it thoughtful!

    For Extra Entries (once you have done the above):

    1. Follow Macy’s on Twitter

    2. Become a fan on Macy’s on Facebook

    3. Become a fan of Thoughtfully Simple on Facebook

    4. Become an email subscriber to Thoughtfully Simple (left top sidebar)

    5. Visit the COME TOGETHER party site and tell us which party themed menu you’d serve!

    **Please leave a seperate comment for each entry.

    (That is six possible entries per person! Two winners will be chosen using random.org and notified via email. Contest ends October 19, 2009)

    Paper Crush: O+D

    If you haven’t heard of O+D {Offensive and Delightful} cards, you are in for a treat! These witty and charming cards are right up my alley, cheeky and fun- just how I like it! I have been browsing through their collection laughing out loud! Here are just a few of my favorites:

    O+D have a ton of hilarious cards for almost every occasion. Check out more of their selection over at cardstore.com … seriously funny!

    Decorate! Paper Pennants

    It’s no secret that I love using paper pennant flags as decorations. I make pastel ones for Easter, patriotic pennant flags for the 4th of July, and most recently primary pennants to decorate a circus themed party. Here are a few images of my most recent paper pennant flags that I made for Halloween decor.

    A few sheets of solid black and orange card stock, ribbon, and a few scrap-booking embellishments (dots and rub on letters) is all it took to make these DIY paper pennant flags!

    Giveaway! Bug & Goose Personalized Tee

    This little guy got to sport a Bug & Goose personalized tee at his circus themed party… cool right? Well, you now have the chance to win one for your little kiddo- party wear or just because! You’ve heard me rave about them before, it’s true- I love Bug & Goose Tees. They are super adorable and great quality.

    Contest Closed

    Now, one lucky reader will win their own personalized tee from Bug & Goose! Simply, take a peek at their signature tees and share with us which one you’d order. Good luck!

    For Extra Entries {Not required}:

    -Share this giveaway in the social media realm: Twitter, Facebook, Stumble, Digg- wherever you wish, just leave a separate comment and link for each you do. Up to 3 entries allowed per person.

    One person will be chosen using random.org from all eligible comments on October 2, 2009. Winner will be announced no later than October 3, 2009, 12:00 am PST. Winner will be notified by email.

    Don’t want to wait and see if you win? Bug & Goose is offering all of you 10% OFF! Simply use promo code “TS10” now through October 2, 2009 to save!

    WINNER! Congrats to #31 Nessa!

    Step Right Up! It’s a Circus Party Theme

    I have been so eager to share this circus party theme with everyone! I am going to share all the creative {and simple} circus party ideas with you….are you ready? There is a lot to look at!

    This circus party was held for a very special one year old’s birthday. When his mom decided circus was the theme she wanted, I got to work on creating a circus themed invite.

    This is the front of the invite I created using my computer. I got the idea from Caroline Armelle from Armelle the Blog. I printed them onto red cardstock and they looked just like hers {thanks for the inspiration!}. The back of the tickets had more pertinent party info for the guests to read.

    Two design elements that were carried through the entire party were 1. The red tickets and 2. The circus font {I downloaded for free and used on everything}.

    This party had many DIY elements that cost virtually nothing. And since birthday parties can become very costly, this was a must- spend less without loosing the “awe” factor! Greeting guests was a welcome sign that was made out of old cardboard and some craft paint….simple right?

    At the entrance was a table filled with party bags for each child. The labels read “Step Right Up” and were each personalized using that fun circus font I mentioned. Inside the bags were bundles of red tickets that each guest would use during the party. The bags were large enough {and easy for the little ones to carry around} that they fit all the goodies and prizes that were to come.

    Throughout the party space was this handmade paper pennant. This is my favorite party decoration because it is simple so versatile {plus inexpensive}. Made with cardstock and ribbon, paper pennants are my go-to party decor item.

    More signs made out of cardboard and paint to decorated the party space. Not only where they a fun decoration, but they let little ones know how many tickets they were required to forfeit for each activity. I was so surprised that the tickets themselves seemed to be the biggest hit of the circus party. The kids just loved counting out and handing over their tickets!

    Oh and this is the birthday boy…rocking his “1” tee from Bug & Goose matching the circus party theme of course! I love their personalized tee’s- a perfect party accessory. Order in your party colors and with with the age of the birthday child or their initial. Of course the birthday boy needed a wardrobe change {boys get dirty after all}. He went from his “1” tee to a “Ring Leader” tee {you can see it below}.

    Many games, activities and fun…. all “big top” themed (like circus bean bag toss). The kids loved “paying” for the games with their circus tickets!

    The “concession” stand was a brilliant addition by the fabulous caterer, Laura. She whipped this mock concession stand up using tables, milk crates, zip ties and table clothes. Brilliant… and a huge hit! She served pizza and homemade corn dogs (which were to die for). Of course, payment for the concession stand snacks were made by little red tickets.

    As simple as centerpieces get.

    My new favorite cupcake stand decorated with mini paper pennant flags. {Thanks to Kim from Tom Kat Studio for the cupcake stand info. Read about “the stand” here}

    Before the birthday boy’s highchair become covered in big top birthday cake.

    There was a circus tattoo station. A popcorn machine, popping fresh kernels all afternoon that was scoped into cute popcorn sacs. A fun circus pinata {of course} and many other circus”y” details.

    And my favorite part of this circus theme…the photo booth!

    Just a couple more photos, I promise!

    Just place a coat rack or basket near your booth with fun props. We made this booth out of a refrigerator box, fabric and paint. So simple!

    And for a party favor, what else but circus cookies? Tied to each was ribbon and a red ticket with “Thank You” written on it.

    Believe it or not, there were many other details…I could have gone on and on :). Thank you for reading and I hope I inspired your next circus themed party in some small way.

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