Other Party People :: Confetti Lab @ The Wedding Pantry

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!

Party credits:
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
DJ: Mahjestik
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

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Father’s Day Party :: Golf Theme

Fore! Father’s Day is this weekend, and there may just be a good chance that, like my dad, your dad likes his time on the links. This weekend we celebrated Father’s Day early for my dad at my sister & bro-in-law’s house. The theme? A no-brainer for a golfing fool like “Boppa” – Golf.
My son named my dad “Boppa” so we re-named the day “Boppa’s Day.”We used astroturf as a tablecloth, put golf balls, tees, and score cards into apothecary jars, and put golf shoes and my son’s mini golf club on the table as well. Not surprisingly, my mom had those golf plates in her party stash for some reason. They were perfect for the occasion.
Check out those mini golf clubs below by the front door. Those were my husband’s when he was a little guy! I love that my in-laws kept them for our sons! So cute!It was such a great celebration for such an amazing dad. There is a Chris Rock special I remember watching where he says how ladies get it all for holidays like this… jewelry, candy, flowers. And what do guys/father’s get? “The big piece of chicken.” Hysterical, right? I loved that because it’s so true. So many times guys just get the shaft when it comes to being celebrated. This year we made sure that my dad not only got “the big piece of chicken” but that he realized how very much we love him. The only shaft here was a golf shaft! We had a blast and my sister & my bro-in-law made the best dinner for us. (Thank you both for doing all the hard work!) I’m still dreaming about it.

Supper Club :: The Structure Of Ours

I have been asked by many people how we dole out the responsibilities in our supper club. I take no credit for it’s structure. My friend who brought this group together did all the thinking in that department. But I think it’s really worked out well so I’m happy to share the details.So here goes (in my friend’s words):
GUIDELINES:
1. The goal is to have a GG party every other month (which can be modified depending on schedules).
2. Each couple will be responsible for hosting a GG party which will be based on rotation (averaging once a year per couple).
3. At the beginning of each dinner party, the date and host of the next GG party will be determined.
4. All food dishes must be home-made. This is the educational part of the group. Nothing can be pre-made from the store, including bread. 
5. To share recipes and learn from everyone’s individual experiences. 
HOST RESPONSIBILITIES:
1. The hosts are responsible for selecting the theme and food menu: options are endless (French, Tapas, Italian, Greek, Clambake, etc. etc.).
2. Creating the food menu involves selecting specific dishes that will be part of the meal and then assigning the dishes to each couple. It will be up to the hosts if they want to provide specific recipes for the dishes or allow others to research their own recipes.
3. The host is responsible for the centerpiece/main dish (example: if the theme was French, the hosts would be responsible for the Rack of Lamb or Coq Au Vin – others could be responsible for Au Gratin potatoes, Crepes, French Onion Soup, etc.).
NON-HOST RESPONSIBILITIES:
1. To research a recipe for the dish that was assigned to them, or make the recipe that was selected for them by the host. 
2. To research a cocktail or wine that either compliments your dish or goes with the general theme.  
3. Most of or all of each dish should be prepared prior to arriving at the host’s house for the party (with the exception of heating), unless last minute preparation is required (example: tossing salad, souffle, melting cheese, etc.).
DON’T FORGET:
1. Again, EVERYTHING must be home-made. For example, if you are assigned Pita Bread for a Greek theme, the pitas must be made from scratch. This means no brownie mix, cake mix, muffin mix, etc. can be used. I know you get the idea!Okay, it’s me again! Hi! So we’ve been at this over a year now and we’ve learned a lot, but also tweaked a lot, from those original guidelines. We realized that each couple bringing a ‘signature drink’ was a little too much… it can get pretty sugary. So this next round we’re having the hosts be responsible for the signature drink and the rest of us will just bring beer or wine. We also have TOTALLY eased up on the “make it from scratch” thing. The real point is that we get together and eat a great meal, so if there wasn’t time to pound tortillas or churn butter (i kid!), no one really cared. Everyone made delicious food… they’re just not out gathering wheat to bake their bread anymore.As for how many people to gather together, I think it would be best with a crew of 5-7 couples – but that’s just my two cents. Less would work but I would cap it at 7 couples for sure. Now what are you waiting for? Go out and start up a Gourmet Group/Supper Club! It’s a yummy way to see your friends!

Supper Club :: Something Sweet

My friend Katherine behind this party you saw a while back, is also in a supper club and recently hosted a “something sweet” themed evening. Each couple had to bring a dish with a sweet ingredient included in the recipe. I love this spin on a theme. I would have totally made cupcake steak. Something else I love? How sweet the tablescape was! Those cupcake pincushions kill me. And I’m loving how she made fake cupcakes for the dessert boxes and threw cupcake liners all over the table. Super pretty.It’s midweek! Are you inspired to start your own supper club? They’re just as fun without all the beautiful decorations but it’s sometimes fun to go all out… especially when your turn to host only comes once a year. Have a sweet day!

Supper Club :: Mexican Fiesta Theme

Ay yi yi! Who’s ready to head south of the border? As I mentioned yesterday, it was our turn to host our Gourmet Group and we chose a Mexican menu. My husband and I could live on Mexican food alone for the rest of our lives, so it was a no brainer. I had also intended to force a Mexican themed birthday party for my son so I thought I could double dip in the decor department… That didn’t turn out so well for me (see here.) but at least the donkeys will be making another appearance soon. Since we’re Southern Californians, Mexican themed parties are somewhat frequent. I was lucky because between my mom and my aunt’s collection of Mexican party decor, I was pretty much set before even starting. (Though the cholo and chola were stolen from my very quirky brother.)They had all the serapes (used as tablecloths), sombreros, maracas, lanterns, pillows, napkins & napkin rings, the chi chi ball buckets and various other knick knacks. I just borrowed their stash. How awesome is that?I brought the donkeys, the religious candles (found at the grocery store for $1.50 each), and the papel picado flags (found on Amazon.com), and the succulents ($1 each at the farmers market) planted in El Pato cans (79 cents at the grocery store) to the table.I think it made our house look like a Mexican restaurant.The fun thing about the night was that we literally moved every piece of furniture in our house. We moved both tables into the living room, put one couch in the dining room to create an intimate lounging area, and another couch by the kitchen. It was nice to surprise people who are at our house so often with something new.I honestly love those cholo/a banks.Another donkey comes out for the party.Alternating plates of red & blue with bright napkins.Hee haw! More donkeys!Outside we hung more flags… it was a little windy but it looked cute:Here’s the former dining room turned into a lounge. I actually really loved it like this. Super cozy. What a pity that a big ol’ table has to live there:Simple serape covered backyard table:
And THE FOOD! Later this week I will get into how we assign courses but everything, as usual, turned out delicious! It’s really cool to eat a full gourmet meal and only have to be responsible for one dish.Cheers! (Or should I say, salud?)Prepping margis in the kitchen:Cannot get enough of these things:Yum! Carne asada!
Notice how I didn’t make ONE paper item for this party? I think I needed a break from creating! But with so many colors, I don’t think it really needed it.

Fiesta! Fiesta! Fiesta! Viva Mexican Food!

Supper Club :: French Theme

I am dedicating this entire week to the idea of the “Supper Club.” My husband & I are in such a ‘club’ (which our crew calls “Gourmet Group”) and the premise is simple… Get a few great couples together on a bi-monthly basis, each couple is assigned a dish and a drink to prepare, then chow down. It’s a really fun way to learn new techniques, try new foods, and for me, feel more comfortable in the kitchen… not my strong suit!These are photos from our French themed Gourmet Group gathering that my brother Jeff & sis-in-law Kelly hosted last November. (Keep in mind these photos were taken before I knew I’d be a party blogger!) Didn’t they do a great job? I love the rosemary sprig tucked into the napkin. So sweet.Sunflowers and roosters and radishes took over the tabletop, and we ate off of legit Quimper plates. It was truly a fab French provencal fete. They had everyone bring wines from different regions in France and set up a map of those regions so we could learn about where exactly our wine was coming from. Such a great idea. We ate everything from escargot to French onion soup to coq au vin. Such a great way to try so many different things. Just adorable, no? Ooh la la! I love me some French decor.
Well this weekend marked the end of our first cycle in our supper club. We were the last ones to host out of the seven couples and I will be sharing those photos tomorrow. (I was shooting for today but I was a little foggy on Sunday… probably the margaritas, hint hint.) Anyway, this week I will spill more about the way our club is structured, show photos of our and other’s supper club parties, and end the week with a supper club related Idea Thief post. It’s my first themed week! Whoo hoo! Is anyone else out there in a supper club? How do you structure it? What themes have you picked?
Okay! Ta ta and Adios! Hasta mañana… hint hint!

Not My Party :: Fishy Lunch

I just found this fabulous blog called La Decoracion De Mis Mesas – which I believe loosely translates to mean “My Table Decorations” and I think the lovely lady behind this blog is named Marta. It’s all in Spanish so I am winging it here… Point is, she is fab! I honestly love how she used a small mason jar of water below the hanging fish. So creative!I translated her blog online and I think she said that she just threw this adorable lunch together at the last minute for a few friends who happened to pop by. Are you kidding me? So many things I love here. And those napkins? Adorable right? She has a tutorial on how to make them right here. (Hope you speak Spanish!)I think she wrote (again, I’m translating here) that she just tied those funny little pieces of fabric on those popsicle sticks then threw them into wine glasses because it just looked cute. It’s not like you need to stir your wine! I actually really adore useless creative details like that. It’s fun for fun’s sake, you know? No other reason required!
I love how this little lunch manages to be simple, chic and funky at the same time. I feel like it’s what you get when a grown up and kid hug. The best parts of both worlds. Just fab! I can’t wait to follow this blog from now on! Better bone up on mi español!