Posts Tagged ‘Celebrate’

Pool Party Inspiration + Carter’s GIVEAWAY

The sun is shining and the weather is warming up and all I can think about it throwing a pool party! There is nothing that screams “summer” more than a pile of flip flops, the scent of sunscreen and cute little kiddos running around in their darling swim suits — am I right?

Today, I’m teaming up with Carter’s to bring you some pool party inspiration and a fun swimwear SALE + GIVEAWAY!

Whether poolside, beachside or just backyard bound, it’s time to get swimming with Carter’s big selection of swimwear. Don’t forget all of our matching accessories including sunglasses, hats and shoes – to complete your little one’s sunny look.

Carter's Giveaway

Protect your little ones from sun and sand with a made-for-summer rash guard shirt, swimsuits and swim trunks with UPF 40 sun protection. These are a must have for my girls who love soaking up the sunshine.

Pool party ideas

Plan a fun pool party: Beach ball invitation // ice cream cupcakes // sand pail favors. Plus darling swimwear of course (these are my three favorites, but check out the complete collection here).

Want to dress your little one in cute new swimwear this summer? Our friends at Carter’s are giving one of you a $50 gift card to do just that!

What is your favorite girl’s swimsuit in the Carter’s Swim Shop?

Tell us and WIN a $50 Carter’s gift card!

WINNER: Jennifer Marie

To enter: Contest Closed, thank you for entering!

Visit the Carter’s Swim Shop and come back here to leave a comment telling us what your favorite swimsuit is.

For additional entries:

Share this post on Facebook, Tweet about this giveaway and/or share on Pinterest. Be sure to come back and leave a link to any extra entry you completed in a separate comment. Up to 4 entries per person, good luck!

Contest ends April 8, 2012 at midnight, PST.

Carter’s partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their swim shop. As part of the program, I received product or gift cards. Carter’s believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words, and therefore did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products I used. Carter’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

 

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Entertaining: small space & savvy budget

I entertain in my home a lot — most often it’s the my go-to venue for hosting events. In fact, you can see that my home was the venue for parties here, here, here and here (just to name a few). One of the biggest challenges in hosting a party in your home can be lack of space. When I’m planning a party, I start out by thinking how I will break down the space in my home and let that lead me in deciding on other party elements like decor, food stations, activities, etc. By utilizing your space and also items that you already own, you can plan a great party — and stick to a smaller budget (a bonus!).

I’ve partnered with Apartment Guide to bring you party planning tips for hosting a pint-size party in a small space and on a savvy budget.

party planning tips - space

 

Here are  3 tips that have worked for me when planning a party at home.

party planning budget

1. Don’t be afraid to move things around. Shuffle couches, tables, chairs and take pieces of furniture from one room to the next to accommodate your party needs. For this birthday breakfast party, I wanted to rent a small child-sized long table but had no room to have it in our home. So, I temporally put our dining room table on the patio and placed the small table inside. It worked perfectly!

party planning tips - activities

2. Utilize your space. Whether it’s setting up a bar, food station, or place to do activities — just move stuff around a bit and use the space to have, you can make it work! For this baking and craft party, I turned our kitchen island into a cupcake decorating station. After the activity was over, I cleared the mess and used the same space to set out the party food. Simple!

party planning tips - space

3. Think outside the box. Turn “dead space” into a functional space. Use your mantel as a place to set arranged flowers or photos of the guest of honor, turn your porch into a decorated entrance to your party — just be creative! Here, we set up a DIY photo booth on the landing of our stairs. No one was going to be going upstairs during the party so we used this dead space to set up this photo booth. It was perfect and out was out of the main traffic areas of our home.

Want to find even more entertaining tips for your home? Apartment Guide has budget-friendly ideas for people in any sized home on Moving Today and the Apartment Guide blog.

Get more:

  • Whether you’re living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers how-to tips for entertaining and making the most of your space on a budget.
  • If you’re ready for a whole new space or looking to move, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect apartment community.
  • “Like” Apartment Guide on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @AptGuide and “circle” them on Google+ for real-time tips and updates on making the most of your space.

PLUS: Stay tuned for more party planning tips for living & entertaining in small spaces and a fun giveaway from Apartment Guide {coming soon!}

party planning tips

What’s your tip for entertaining in small spaces and on a savvy budget? I’d love to hear them!

 

Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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Sunshine Safari Theme Baby Shower

Well, it’s been over a month since I helped out with the Operation Shower Sunshine Safari theme event in San Diego and I’ve been dying to share photos with you! The experience was AMAZING and I was honored to be asked to join in showering such deserving military moms. The baby shower was hosted by Operation Shower, Birdies for the Brave and the Farmers Insurance Open  — who all came together to honor 40 deserving moms whose spouses are deployed while serving in the military. Pottery Barn Kids donated a ton of goodies not only for the new moms and babies but also for us designers to use in our tablescapes.

safari theme | decorations

Here’s a glimpse at my table. Inspiration came from the cheerful safari printables created for the event by paper and cake [you can get them here] and I selected a few Pottery Barn Kids items that I thought would work perfectly. I used elephant pillowcases from PBK in the large vases and their glass pink and yellow bottles to hold flowers at each place setting.

operation shower

Here’s a close up {images above courtesy of Jackie Culmer}. And see that little orange monkey above? The SUPER talented Edible Details created the most adorable fondant animals to match the safari printables. They were SO cute!

safari theme

 I played with layering a combination of textures (burlap, grass mats, charger plates, ribbon and florals) and also combined the earthy colors of brown and green with bright & vibrant pops of pink, orange and yellow.

operation shower san diego

Fresh flowers are my staple. You can make any table look gorgeous with great flowers.

safari theme table

My centerpiece was my favorite element! This giraffe was a Hobby Lobby find (I spray painted it white) that I made the focal point of the table. I added the pink single rose to the bed of moss at the last minute and just loved how it all turned out.

A warm thank you to Operation Shower for inviting me to participate in this event, I can’t wait to help with another.

A little bonus was meeting up with party gal friends (old & new!)

entertaining bloggers

From left to right: Shannon of Cupcakes & Cutlery, Rebekah of A Blissful Nest, Nancy of A to Zebra Celebrations, Jenn of Hostess with the Mostess & Kim of The TomKat Studio.

There was so much talent amongst all these designers, I want you to see each table they did — they were each so unique. Check out this post on A Blissful Nest for a great photo-recap.

I’ll leave you with a gorgeous image of the dessert station styled by the super-talented Marie of Sweets Indeed.

 safari theme party

Be sure to check out Marie’s post for all of the dessert details and sweet vendors!

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A Birthday Breakfast Party

When it came time to choose a theme for my little London’s 5th birthday — I knew I wanted to do a birthday breakfast and decided it would be fun to make it also a pajama party. Since she’s a little young for a traditional sleepover, it was a nice twist and made for a really unique birthday!

birthday breakfast

 My inspiration for the color palette was non-peril sprinkles — they just scream BIRTHDAY!

pajama party

The party was on her actual birthday (2 days before Christmas!) and it was fun to wake her up with new “birthday pajamas” and a darling pancake necklace (I found it on Etsy here).

birthday breakfast party

The breakfast table was set for 12 little ones and I made it bright & cheery — just like a birthday morning should be!

activities | birthday breakfast

I designed simple paper placemats  for each child to color (FREE printable link at bottom of the post!). This kept their little hands busy while the parents greeted one another and grabbed a cup of coffee.

Coffee, creamer, chocolate spoons, birthday bark and fruit made up a little “rise & shine” station for the moms & dads.

 

cereal - breakfast party

The real sugary fun took place over at the cereal buffet and birthday pancakes station! Loved the colorful birthday banner from A To Z Celebrations (and it matched the table runner she made perfectly)!

cereal buffet

All the sugary cereal a kid could dream of — a true birthday treat for our little one! Served in these darling kraft paper bowls. I stamped the wooden spoons with “Happy Birthday” which was an easy way to add something special. The vintage milk carafes were a great thrift-store find.

Mini yogurt parfaits, funfetti pancakes and flavored syrups were all out for grabs. The Mr. whipped up pancakes and bacon to order outside since it was such a gorgeous December morning.

These vintage syrup dispensers were also an Etsy find — and I LOVE having them in my collection now :).

breakfast party

My other favorite element was the breakfast “dessert” table. Donuts and cinnamon rolls that delighted every kid (and several parents)!

It was just so much fun to put together! The donut pops stood up perfectly in these bright containers from Blumbox (they have new inserts which made it super easy).

And these little edible toppers from Edible Details … can you say, PERFECT? I could not get enough of these darling stacks of pancakes — they were so adorable! And the muffin toppers matched our invite perfectly, just so cute!

Activities and Games: We let the kids make cereal necklaces and also played a pancake relay game.

pancake cake

The birthday pancake-cake looked like a stack of giant pancakes, but was really a cake! It was a little tough to convince the birthday girl that we weren’t serving more pancakes (that yes, this was an actual CAKE), but once she tasted it — it was a hit! This is the recipe I used.

For favors, we sent the sugar-overloaded guests home with something that would pick them up after their (inevitable) afternoon crash … Fruity Pebbles rice crispy treats. Oh yes, try them — they are so good!

pajama party

And the birthday girl, awe so sweet :). A big thanks to all those who helped with her party, attended her special day (bright & early!) and to those reading now — thank you!

** I got so many requests for the placemats I designed that I am sharing FREE downloads and have included ages 1-6. Feel free to print and use at your own Birthday Breakfast party! Download the signs & placemats here.

 

For a look back at London’s 4th birthday, check out her cowgirl party.

Invites, Paper Elements, Styling | Thoughtfully Simple

Cinnamon Roll & Muffin Toppers | Edible Details

Table Runner & Birthday Banner | A To Z Celebrations

Party Rentals | Allie’s Rentals

Holders for Donut Pops | Blumebox

Cups, bowls, coffee dispenser, spoons, parfait cups | Garnish

 

 

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Superbowl Party | Ideas & Inspiration

The big game is this Sunday! Are you hosting an party or having people over to watch the game? Whether you are expecting a big turnout or just a few family members, make it an  event with a little Superbowl fun!

Each year I host an completely informal gathering so all the adults can get together and enjoy the game and just hang out. (Hostess Tip: Rent a bounce-house to keep all the rowdy kids entertained in the BACK YARD!)

These four recipes are typically on my menu each year:

Superbowl Party

Get the recipes to these Superbowl food ideas. This year I hear my mother-in-law might be bringing some clam chowder — YUM.

Halftime Snacks

I like the idea of having a halftime snack table. The kids can grab what they’d like, adults have snacks handy and the hostess can be off-duty!

Decor is typically very simple. A couple team balloons and maybe a paper pennant banner hung somewhere. I also gather chalkboards and draw out football plays on them (I place them on the mantle near the TV). I also get team colored cups and make each person claim the color they will be cheering for.

I LOVE this chili bar idea from Chris at Celebrations at Home (I just might have to try this out myself!):

Isn’t this perfect for Superbowl? Check out her full post + recipes here.

I’ve also been collecting great sources for printables and decor that would be perfect for a Superbowl party over on Pinterest. Check out my Football board for more recipes, football dessert ideas, and even fun games (like rate the commerial and Superbowl bingo!).

So, what will YOU be doing this Sunday? Have a favorite Superbowl snack? I’d LOVE to know — I’m always eager to try something new!

Homepage featured image from HWTM which is included in the Pinterest source roundup.

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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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