Can you even believe it’s the Fourth of July Weekend already? Wow! Anyhoo, I wanted to share an easy table I put together for my father-in-law on Father’s Day. We called the night “Star-Spangled Pops” because he’s super patriotic – but it’s perfect for this weekend’s festivites as well.The table runner, placemats and napkins were all a gift and came from Williams-Sonoma. (Thanks Maryann!) If you host Fourth of July get-togethers year after year, this set will serve you well. One trick my mom always uses, especially when seating is tight, is to turn the place mats vertically so that they are draping off the table. Not only does it look a little more funky, it gives the table a little breathing room. And with this set (which is reversible – stars on one side, stars on the other) – it really looks cool with the runner at the top of each plate.Speaking of the Fourth, did you remember to print your Fourth of July banner? Click here to go grab it! I’m getting excited for the weekend! Happy Thursday friends!
Who’s ready for some serious cute? My clever friend Katherine once again put together a smashing success of a stylish and fun party. Her daughter Carter was ready for her big debut and Katherine and her huz P.J. hosted a gathering to sip and see their wee one.Katherine is a very talented graphic artist and also has a great eye for parties. Duh! Look at this shindig! I can’t imagine how long making all those pinwheels must have taken!In addition to pinwheels, they used other spinning objects like hula hoops and tops as decor because their “hearts were spinning with joy” for Carter. How cute is that? Here’s the invite she sent:Pinwheels lined the path to their front door…… and showed up ON the front door as well! Another fabulous wreath! Wow!In the backyard, pinwheels floated overhead.I love the graphics here. It’s like what you see when a pinwheel spins super fast. Very clever and subtle.One of my favorite details was this loopy garland. Have you ever seen anything like this? I haven’t! Katherine, you might be starting a party trend here. What a great idea.Look how cool it looks! Love this view of the room. And how fun are the individual bowls for the Krispy Kremes?She seriously outdid even herself on this one. You may remember her other parties I posted on… the gingham gathering and the something sweet supper club dinner. I’m so thrilled she lets me share all these shebangs with you! Especially since I don’t often get to go girly in a house full of boys.And let’s end this party with the sweetest little guest of honor, Carter. Could you die over that pinwheel hairband? Katherine made it! Some people just have creativity in their soul. I’m spinning with excitement over this party! Thanks for sharing guys!
Holy moly! Last week I grabbed my party-loving friend Lauren and made the short trek up the 5 to an incredible party about parties thrown by insanely talented party girls. (Can I use the word party a bit more?) I was blown away by the sheer genius in the details of this shindig. And who is the genius I am speaking of? Another crafty gal named Lauren of A Fabulous Fete. My eyeballs were spinning from the details. And holy smokes I want to make her handwriting into a font. There was a cool southwestern/deserty vibe to the party. I adored how she invited Hot Pink to the party. Hot Pink needs to get more invitations in my opinion. Lauren spray-painted that cow skull & the cardboard cacti in the windows and it gave the party such a fun kick.The best use? The tassels on the cactus in the window display. A total subtle but funky touch! I’m mean, this is when creativity is just in your blood. I am also loving those cakes in the window – and am dying over how she used terra cotta bases for them. Total desert dessert. Looooooove!Look at her writing! Fiesta! I love how organic and handmade – but professional – everything looked. Crepe paper streamers led to this awesome sign and set the tone for the party.I am also totally loving these fringe ‘chandeliers.’ Wood + rope + tissue paper = Happy Annika. Loved this so much!Lauren will be sharing the recipes for these margaritas on her blog sometime soon and you won’t want to miss it. I had a rosemary lemon margi and could have had 8 more. (I didn’t! I swear! But I wanted to!) What a tasty combo.She also set up Tutorial Stations around the party so you could learn how to make things like drink stirrers and tape bunting. So easy and clever. I think I am going to host a girl’s craft night soon just to make some of these fun projects.The DJ was phenomenal. I honestly want to hire him to spin in my living room while I work during naptime. (Though I’d probably be dancing and not working!) So good! Below was the only photo I snapped with peeps in it. I am kicking myself for not getting a pic of the ladies who put this party on or some of the other blogging gals that were there! Believe it or not, I am totally shy and should have just said “Hey gals! Let’s grab a snap!” Oh well! Next time I’ll put my brave girl pants on.
I really want to give a major shout to my new bloggy buddy Sharon of Cupcakes & Cutlery for letting me in on the details of this party. We’d connected through the blogs but got the chance to meet at the party and I cannot tell you how frickin’ cool and stylish she is, how rad her parties are, or how much help she gave me in only a few short minutes of chatting with her. She’s been at this whole party blogging thing for about 4 years so her experience, tips and advice were just beyond appreciated. Plus she has two boys just like me. I have a big heart for mothers of two or more boys everywhere! (We moms of mayhem gotta stick together, right?)
Anyway, what a kick-cactus party! I’m so inspired and if you’d like to see how creativity is done right, click on all of the links below. I am bowing down to these party peeps!
Design & Decor: A Fabulous Fete
Venue: The Wedding Pantry
PR: Spruce PR
Mojito Cupcakes: Kupcake Spot
Mexican Hot Chocolate & Churro Cupcakes: Dolce Vista Cakes
Horchata Cupcakes: Somedays Bakeshop
Tacos: Soho Taco
Party Supplies via Etsy: Joie De Vie Paperie, L Elise, A Fabulous Fete
Tequila: Tres Sietes
Photography: Up Imagery (obviously, the photos on my blog are NOT his though! I’m no pro! Can’t wait to see his!)
Party Helpers: Sharon at Cupcakes & Cutlery, Jennifer at Tiny Oranges
I have literally been dying to share this insanely fresh and fabulous “both”day party with you all! Our little friends Dane & Ryley are each other’s cousins and their fantastic parents (Becky & Brad and Nicole & Andy) threw their kiddos – born only weeks apart – a beachy ‘both’ day party! The invite said “It’s O’FISH’ial! Dane & Ryley are ONE!” (Can you get over those highchairs? Me neither! So cute!)Let’s take a gander at the stunning park they threw this shindig in. Oh and that peak of blue between the trees there? Just the ocean. No big deal. How pretty, huh?There honestly was so much to love here! One of my favorite things is how they managed to make this party cool enough for a boy but sweet enough for a girl. It was such a great example of how to throw a joint party for different sexes. “Catch of the day cookies” from Gwynn Wasson Designs. Oh come on! How cute! They also used printables from Catch My Party. What a great mix! Their dessert table was so cute! My favorite detail was that the cupcakes matched the balls in the inflatable pools. Such great synergy! Speaking of the pools, they set up a few inflatable pools from Target and filled them with balls from Walmart ($10 for 150 of them!) They had so many babies there and it was THE BEST activity for them. Added bonus that it was so adorable and theme-related! What a no-brainer! A perfect idea for summer parties!They made PB&J sandwiches for all the kiddos in the shape of a fish. So cute! The grown-up food was pretty cute too.
And check out these fishy nibbles. My 3-year-old loved eating Nemo!
My favorite detail and hands-down the most brilliant thing I have seen in the party world as of late was their use of flagging tape - NOT ribbon – to stream around branches and umbrellas. It looked so whimsical and fun and it was just really quite beautiful. The best part about it? It is CHEAP! What’s flagging tape? It’s what police use as “Caution” tape but it comes in really cute designs and colors. From what I googled it goes for about $1.50 a roll. That’s bananas cheap! You get the effect of a ribbons without the price. Idea Thieves, take note! This is one worth stealing. (I certainly intend to!)Yet another thing I loved was that they rolled two big wagons down to gather gifts for the wee ones. It not only looked cute, but was totally practical… They just had to roll the wagon to the car and unload. You can’t go wrong with bubble favors. Here’s another view of the park. How cute do all the big blankets, pools, balls, and umbrellas look? What a fabulous first birthday for two of the cutest little wee ones I’ve ever seen. And because who doesn’t like to look at cute babies, here’s a pic of the birthday cousins.To die for right? The party AND the babies! I know that Becky & Nicole worked so hard on making such an adorable party for their little ones, but I’m told that the VIP award goes to Dooey – Dane & Ryley’s grandma Judi. Way to go! What an adorable celebration. Not a detail missed! A perfect beachy birthday for two very darling beachy kiddos.Please note: I had nothing to do with this darling party! (Though I wish I did!) If I missed any of the details and you want a little more information, I am happy to ask the party throwers for you. Just leave a comment below.
(All photos by either me, my sister Ellie, my friend Steph, or the birthday boy’s mom Becky. Sorry I don’t know which is which!)
If you’ve made it through MDRP Week, I salute you! Thanks for coming along as I dissected every last detail of this party. It was a blast at times. It was a Pita at times. The main thing is that my little boy turned 3 and I am ever thankful for every day I got to spend with him over the last 3 years. If a Monkey Donkey Robot Piñata party is what celebrates that fact best, so be it!I leave you now with the thank you notes we sent out to all of our party peeps. I especially want to thank my insanely creative and helpful mom, Miss Crafty Jan for everything she did! I don’t think I mentioned this, but she printed and cut just about everything for me! (She has a laser printer and I don’t so I would shoot her a file and she’d print it.) It was SUCH a help! She was another set of stylish eyes, she sewed all the tablecloths, assured me that buying ceramic donkeys and tossing tortillas were totally great ideas, made all the fun paper wheel things (like what was on the front door), and even put all those teeny tiny buttons onto the paper favors. She and my fabulous dad watched my kids when I needed time to create and I honestly don’t know what I would do without their help. Also, thank you again to my friend Steph for taking such great photos! All the best ones are hers. A big thanks to my sister Ellie who is always such a help when it comes to party days – she was taking photos for me like it were her own kiddo’s birthday (and she feels like he is, which is even cuter!) A huge thank you to my mother-in-law Sally who restocked food all night when I was having too much fun to even notice it was empty. An enormous frickin’ gracias to my amazing huz Brett who not only puts up with this crazy train, but climbs on aboard. I love it and I love you! And finally, thanks to all of you for reading, for your kind comments, and for your fun enthusiasm this week. It’s been such a blast for me! (Whoa! Just got Oscar speechy there! Sorry!) Have a beautiful first weekend of summer!
And a final “in case you missed it:”
Pre-Party : Invitations
Idea Thief : Painted Rock Napkin Weights
Part 1 : Decorations
Part 2 : Dessert & Food
Part 3 : Photobooth
Part 4 : Fun & Games
It’s Day Four of the MDRP madness and I’m wondering if anyone is still interested in all of this hullabaloo! Anyway, for the three of you that are still here, we’re getting into games today!Ever since I went to a street fair in Santa Barbara about 10 years ago, I have been kinda in love with cascarones – AKA confetti-filled eggs. I was hell bent on having these for the party just for the randomness of it all. I looked into buying them online but couldn’t find them cheap enough. I was going to suck it up and make them myself. Talk about a bonafide Pita! But the party gods were looking out for me and right after Easter I was walking through Wal-Mart (I know… curses for the big man!) and I spied with my little eye piles and piles of cascarones! I couldn’t believe my peepers! Price check? $1 per dozen! Are you kidding me? Super happy party girl right here. You better believe I filled up my cart. I think I would have had to check into an insane asylum if I had to make them myself. Anyway, it goes without saying that they were a smash! Hee hee! I made all the kiddos find their parents and then crack them on their heads. What good sports my confetti-headed friends are! You should have seen all of our wine glasses! Such a hoot! I hung a Pin The Tail On The Donkey game up but didn’t force it on anyone. Some of the kiddos added a few tails but we (intentionally) never lined up to play. I just thought it was cute… and well, a donkey at a donkey party sure doesn’t hurt.Now for the tortilla toss.Huh? Okay, so backstory here. When I graduated college, instead of throwing our caps, we UofA Wildcats (Bear down!)
threw tortillas up into the air. Thousands and thousands of them! It was gorgeous! The problem was that I foolishly came prepared with flour tortillas when only corn ones really fly high. I always loved ending college that way but I always wanted a redo with corn.So in thinking of random games to play at this random party, I thought, why not toss a tortilla? No real object to this “game” just a chance for the kiddos to chuck food into the sky!
It was hilarious!This lasted until these guys……turned into this…Between the cascarones & the tossed tortillas, our backyard, house, and hair were total messes. I honestly do not know what we were thinking but it was so much fun it was worth the big fat mess. (Although my huz did spend his Father’s Day vacuuming – yes, vacuuming – our grass!)Oh but wait! There’s more! Of course you can’t have an MDRP party without a P! This huge piñata got smashed to bits but it took some major muscle.For the piñata bags, I gocco’d the design on plain brown paper sacks. The writing in the red banner said “Eat it all before bedtime.” I’m certain their parents appreciated that. I literally almost had a heart attack manning this part of the party. I’ve never had a piñata at a kid’s party before and it is intense! One of our sweet little party guests got whacked in the eye with the bat. I was happy when the piñata got smashed and it just turned into this crazy candy-grabbing free-for-all. So funny that I had a lawn full of tortillas & eggs but it was the piñata that stressed me out!Do I suggest copying any of these game ideas? Not if you’re a neat freak. But the kids had a total blast and it was hysterical to watch. I’d certainly do it again… just not any time soon!What a mess! But what a blast! The late night crew (well… late for the kids, anyway) threw an impromptu dance party. It was totally hilarious and adorable. I didn’t know kids could throw moves like that! Party on! We’re wrapping up this chaos tomorrow. Whoo hoo!
In case you missed anything:
Pre-Party : Invitations
Idea Thief : Painted Rock Napkin Weights
Part 1 : Decorations
Part 2 : Dessert & Food
Part 3 : Photobooth
Part 4 : Fun & Games
And now, for the “photobooth” for lack of a better term. The entryway in our house has proven to be the perfect spot for photo backdrops and this round, we set it up there again.You can kind of see the set-up in the photo above.We set up a “Prop Shop” on the stairs and just had a few signs to hold, along with a couple robot heads, a piñata on a stick, a monkey mask, and a donkey mask. Suuuuuuuuper creepy looking but I kinda wanted it to be strange and not cute. The weirder the better. The boys and I made those robot heads together. Shocking right? I mean they look sooooooo professional. Hee hee!I set up a tripod and actually got a cordless clicker for the camera which is pretty legit. I put it in an envelope on the stairwell and put a big keychain on it so that it would be easy to find.What we ended up getting was pretty classic!I love the one with the birthday boy and all the ladies! And now… loads of photos!Whew! Take a break… now go back for more…Okay… one more time: Say Cheese!Oops! I lied! There’s more!Back to the technical bit of it all, and because I get this question alot, I hung the fabric using a flag pole with the ball screwed off. A PVC pipe would work even better… I just had a flag pole on hand. Just sew the fabric to make a hole at the top and string the tube through. I put a rope through the pole and tied it on hooks I put into the walls. I don’t recommend putting silly hooks in your walls either, but since we set backdrops up enough here, I thought, what the heck. The hooks are staying. I love that there are two kids in that robot head. Well… that’s that! Photobooth day complete! Tomorrow some really wacky games! Happy Wednesday!
Did you see Part 1 yesterday? Well here’s Part 2 of the MDRP wrap up! Ready? Okay! Let’s eat dessert first!I’ve mentioned before that the whole food deal isn’t really my thing when it comes to parties. I’m a big out-sourcer in this department. I did have a clear vision when it came to the dessert table though. I wanted each party mascot to have a dessert of it’s own. My mom made Donkey Cookies for me. The tails were sliced up licorice whips. When my son took a bite, he almost got sick! I think he was expecting chocolate, not black licorice! Oops! But how cute are these guys? They were yummy too!Next up, Monkey Bites! I intended to make chocolate dipped bananas, but again – not really my thing – so instead I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up those dried organic banana chips. Brooks & I dipped them in chocolate and called it a day. It turns out that these were actually really good. People even took snack packs home of these. Who knew? Can’t go wrong with chocolate.And now for the Pita of the dessert bar… Robot Pops!They turned out pretty cute, but holy cow did they take forever! And I even cheated! Bakerella has a cake pop cookbook with the robot pop recipe in it. (Thanks to my friend Steph for throwing it my way!) I loved how they looked but honestly didn’t want to go to all the trouble of baking and rolling cake balls. Soooo… I went and bought pre-made rice krispie treats and cut them in half instead of making the heads out of cake. It was pretty sturdy and I felt proud of the time I saved… until I started dipping these suckers into the white (grey) chocolate and decorating the faces. I think it took me 4 hours! I’m either really bad at this stuff or these things are a bonafide Pita. I’ll let you decide! But it was worth it. I loved how they looked.Here’s where I lost some steam. I couldn’t think of anything creative for the piñata portion of the dessert table so I just got a few rock candy sticks and called it a day. I figured there was enough sugar on the table already. I loved how the cake turned out! I knew I wouldn’t be able to make what I had in my head actually look good, so I ordered this cute 6″ cake from It’s All About The Cake in Dana Point. They make incredible and beautiful things and were all about making a chevron cake for me. All I had to do was add the toppers and I think we had a show stopper! It was a pity to eat it!The funny thing was that we didn’t even eat it that night! It’s obviously a teeny cake and there were too many people there to give out slices so we kept it for the next day – which was his actual birthday anyway. Who needs practical when you can have cute? Didn’t matter much anyway – everyone got pretty hopped up on sugar! This guy was no exception!I’m really, really good at dialing out for food and I knew just where to phone for this shindig! Since it was such a random theme, I went with random food. Mexican AND pizza. If you’re in SoCal, it doesn’t get much better than Las Golandrinas for kid-friendly Mexican party platters. Their mini-burritos are perfect for wee ones and EVERYTHING they make is delish! About an hour into the shebang, we had 10 pizzas delivered from Pizza Hut. Not my go-to pizza place but with their 5 for $5 deal, you really can’t beat it! (Quick side note here: You can order these pizzas online up to 7 days in advance. It was awesome! Suddenly a pizza man showed up at 5:30 and I didn’t have to do a thing! Go Pizza Hut! Who knew?) I also cut up some veggies – whoo hoo! I guess I did do something!
It was the perfect amount of food…we did not have a piece of food left. Or maybe that means people went hungry? I don’t know. Oh well.I have to give a quick shout to my friend Steph and sister Ellie who took a ton of incredible photos of this party for me! They’re all jumbled up with mine but chances are, if the picture is good, it’s likely one of theirs. Thanks girls! This post makes me want a salad! Geez. More tomorrow… It’s photobooth day! Thanks for reading!
In case you missed it:
Pre-Party : Invitations
Idea Thief : Painted Rock Napkin Weights
Part 1 : Decorations
Part 2 : Dessert & Food
What do you get when you cross a monkey with a donkey, robot, piñata, 38 kids and 64 adults? One hell of a party! You may remember the invitations I posted from earlier this month? In that post I also explain why the heck we threw a party like this for a 3-year-old! You can bet it wasn’t my idea! Anyway, I’m splitting this whole shebang into a 5 part series. (I cannot believe that this will take me a week to get through!) Today, I give you the overall details. The rest of the week will go like this: Tue – Food & Dessert, Wed – Photobooth, Thu – Games, Fri – Wrap up. Start your engines! Let’s roll!Welcome to the party! Here was the sign that greeted you as you walked through the door. My mom whipped up that flag with some extra fabric we had from the tablecloths. Isn’t it cute? (I’m trying to force her into business so if you’re in the market for a flag like this, email me! Although she might kill me for writing that! Oops!) I ordered black and white chevron and blue and white chevron fabric from fabricguru.com for the party, and as you will see, we used the heck out of it. I honestly am at the point where zig zags make me want to throw up but if you’re seeing this for the first time, it might be pretty cute! I had 18×24″ posters made of the monkey, donkey, robot and piñata (MDRP) for our hallway through a company called Vivyx. I had a coupon so they ended up being pretty cheap and the quality is incredible! Highly recommend these guys if you’re printing anything big. The photo above isn’t the best but I do like how you can see the reflection of the piñatas in the monkey poster. The cool thing is that these are the colors in my son’s room so I am going to hang one of them in there this week. Which to pick?Shoot out of the hallway and you’ll hit the living room. Once I decided to just go with this wacky theme, I got a little obsessed with searching for monkeys, donkeys and robots. I spent about 2 months looking for these suckers! I cannot even tell you how many “deals” I scored on ebay looking for these guys. And by deals, I mean that the robot may have been 99 cents, but the shipping was $15! Ridic and something I highly DO NOT recommend – but if you’re a nut like me, more power to you! Every day a new box would appear on my doorstep with another “treasure” inside. Such a hideous assortment of random ceramics I am now a proud owner of! Oh my goodness, ebay! You kill me! I love how some of these items smelled like smoke and I even got a donkey with a stronger, perhaps greener, smell surrounding it. Oh well! Can’t let a smelly donkey get you down when you have a party vision!And let’s just talk about these guys for a second, shall we? Yarn balls. You come to every party on the blogosphere these days and you look so dang cute, and you seem so fun, and you appear to be so easy to make. Um… nope. I’d rather hunt for monkeys and donkeys than make another batch of these guys!My 80-year-old, very grumpy, ex-marine neighbor calls his wife and his dog the same name: Pita. I shall call yarn balls this name as well. He says it stands for “Pain In The …” You get the picture. I tried about 4 different yarn ball recipes and ended up with sticky hands, sticky children, sticky floors, and a bunch of popped balloons and wet yarn. I finally found a way that worked for me best, but there is a reason these things are on the table and not hanging from the ceiling. Mine turned out so delicate and not stiff at all, so while they looked great, they were actually… well… a Pita. Okay… moving on.Let’s go outside to the piñata shop! I was obsessed with turning our backyard into what I wanted to look like a piñata shop. I think it was accomplished thanks to my very fabulous, bilingual friend April whom I hoodwinked into taking a trip to Santa Ana with me to bargain for piñatas. She got me the best deal and I came away from our crazy trip with a car load of about 15 piñatas. Score! I wish I could tell you exactly where we got them, but I honestly don’t even think the store had a name. To keep things consistent, I covered the centers with wrapping paper to hide the Disney characters. The smaller piñatas with the shiny streamers were from the 99 cent store! Another total score! We filled the biggest piñata with candy… but we’ll get to that part of the party later this week.The tables were a mash up of succulents in low boxes (boxes from the Container Store, succulents from the farmer’s market for $1 a piece.), the “Pitas”, and of course, the MDRPs. Are you thirsty yet? Because we had plenty to drink……and a drunk monkey to boot! Or maybe water is more your speed.Belly up to the bar!I had signs everywhere bossing people around.Anyway, let’s start buttoning up this post…For favors, I figured the kiddos could just take their piñata stash home, but I also wanted to leave them with something a little more memorable. I sent files to the fabulous Peter at KJW Buttons on Etsy. He was such a pro, made these guys so fast, and has great prices so if you’re in the market for favors like this, you should absolutely work with him!I had no idea if buttons would be a good kid party favor but they were a total hit. I put them outside where they were readily accessible and everyone – adults included – wore them throughout the night. Out of 50 sets, we only had 2 left over! It was so cute! Everyone got so creative. My mom even made earrings and a bracelet out of them.And look how cute they looked on the birthday boy!Okay – phew! I honestly cannot believe how much more there is to write about! I’m stopping for the day but come back tomorrow for more!
I am toast. The kiddo turned three. The party is over. I intended to get my act together in time to kick this week off with a round-up of my son’s 3rd birthday party but it’s just not happening… yet. I plan on having something up later today but this wrap-up will likely stretch through the entire week. Get ready to get sick of monkeys, donkeys, robots, and piñatas! For now, I give you a sneak peak photo of our family of four. Stay tuned… hoping to have something up by this afternoon. xo