We’re just wild about Kasey & Tom… so we threw them an engagement party. My best friend Kasey got herself a sweet little rock on her finger so my friends April, Susannah, and I (with the always over-the-top help of Crafty Jan) threw these two sexy beasts a party to celebrate.My parents graciously opened up their home for us to host the party there, and though it rained the day before and the day after, we lucked out famously since the sky was dry and the day was stunning, if not a little chilly. After walking through the from door, guests were greeted with a huge poster on an easel that we had printed at Walmart. (I know! The devil! But their prices are too good!) We gave this to Kasey & Tom afterward as something they could hang in their garage. I designed it using a vintage Disneyland Jungle Cruise poster as inspiration. Before heading in to the party, we had guests drop off their gifts in the dining room. We indicated on the invitation to “bring your favorite bottle of wine to stock up their Jungle Hut.” With that in mind, we turned the entire dining area as… well… a Jungle Hut!We had labels ready for each guest to write a note on and affix to the back of the bottle they brought. By the end of the night this room was overflowing with vino.After ditching their gift, everyone walked into the living room. I didn’t want to make my mom take down all of her beautiful fall decorations (um… we already invaded their house!) so we just left the mantle as is and added a big WILD banner. Pumpkins & Wild Themes totally mix!Where the kitchen nook table normally is, we set up a lounge area. All the leopard & zebra print fabric you’ll see throughout is from fabric.com which I find to be a great resource. My mom is crazier than I am and made pillows to match with the remnant tablecloth fabric. In the middle of the room we set up the cake table.We got that tent thing at Cost Plus and used it above the desserts. (I’ll get to those in a minute! Don’t you worry.) Hula skirts were used throughout the party to add to the safari-like vibe. We yanked my zebra rug from my house and replaced theirs with it. I wish I took a better photo of that but it looked cool.We repeated the safari vibe outside and had a total of 4 belly bars for people to gather around. Draped with painter’s cloth (you can get these at Lowe’s or Home Depot) then covered with leopard or zebra fabric, we added jungle animal figurines & large vases with monstera leaves to keep it funky yet chic.Here’s a few more views.The bar was set up outside as well. We added hula skirts to the top of the umbrella to make it seem more like a palapa. We served up beer, wine, water & specialty Jungle Juice. I don’t drink mixed drinks so I didn’t try it before serving it. Big mistake! I guess it was pretty potent. Next time I will leave the mixing to the experts… like my husband.Ready for a movie?To make things a little funky & unexpected, we set up the outdoor movie screen that my parents have. I rented a National Geographic African video from Netflix and had that on repeat throughout the party. (See the elephant up there?) It was pretty cool… even if things got a little weird during the mating portion of the movie. Using a leopard fitted sheet cut in half, my mom covered the lounge chairs so that people could watch the movie in style. (Not the best photo… but you get the idea! Please ignore the hose!) Okay… let’s take a bathroom break…We couldn’t leave the restroom untouched. I always love to have a compliment on or near the mirror at the party. This time a “Well hello there you sexy beast you” sign was strung across the mirror to up your confidence level!So I guess you may be hungry about now! We did half the food ourselves and half the food using an amazing caterer friend of ours — Cassie from Anything But Ordinary Catering. She’s great.All of the really fancy looking stuff came from her. We did the veggies in individual cups, caprese skewers, meatballs, and Chinese Chicken Salads ready to go and served atop an elephant.Love that they make boxes that fit our theme so nicely!For dessert, we had The Crimson Cake make us the most adorable cakes ever. I am really becoming quite a fan of Alicia’s talent here. If you’re in Southern California, she is totally worth looking up!Check out these darling cakes!I sent her a photo of the bride & groom to be and this is what she came back with! Uncanny! Tom actually ate his own head at the end of the party. Cannibal.In addition to her lovely work (it pained me to cut these cakes!) we made brownie pops. They tasted great though they were obviously made with love and not expertise! Ha ha! I was trying to mimic the leopard & zebra patterns. Told you I wasn’t great in the kitchen! But by the time everyone took a bite, they were too hopped up on jungle juice to care what they looked like!Onto the props!On to the photo booth area! We hung a queen sized leopard sheet and had animal faces & cute messages in bubbles at the ready!How frickin’ adorable are Kasey & Tom!? She came decked out in a beautiful white dress which was perfect for the leopard ears & veil we made her! What a cute kitty!We hostesses all donned animal print – and I was super excited when so many of the guests did as well! Party people unite!The wild theme was actually pretty great because it reunited all of us UofA Wildcats. The best thing is that Kasey & Tom both went to UofA but didn’t meet until last year. Two wildcats that are wild about each other. Perfection!We moved a wire basket to the door filled with individually bagged chocolate-covered “elephant ears.” It was super smart to put them right by the door because they were all gone by the end of the party. I feel like sometimes people forget to take their favor so that was an accidental epiphany.
I think that’s about it! We’re sooooo wild about this couple and what a fun way to celebrate! Get ready for many more posts about Kasey & the parties we’ll be throwing for her until she gets hitched next summer! I have some really fun ideas up my sleeve for this beautiful friend of mine!
Everybody was Kung-Fu
Fighting Dancing at this party for our fabulous 6-year-old buddy Trent!Trent decided that he wanted to dress like a Ninja and have a Kung-Fu Dance Party. How great is that? I totally love the creativity there! Watching 6-year-old dancing ninjas shake it to the beat was quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen.Trent’s parents Heidi & Brandon put on quite the party. They thought of everything and the kids were just blown away by all the fun stuff they got to do! “Do you Kung-Fu?” greeted you as you stepped through the door. And what Heidi initally bought as swords for the kids, turned into some really cool decor once she realized that the edges of the mylar blow-up swords actually scratch skin pretty badly. I thought they were perfect decorations. Heidi set up a table where the kiddos could make their own headbands out of a ripped sheet. They turned out so cute!I love how she printed out the martial arts logo & the yin yan sign so that they kiddos could copy them. It looked great!Before getting into the activities, let’s take a look at how cute everything was. The rice krispie sushi? Get out! Heidi found inspiration all over the web for this idea and there are so many different ways to do it. I love this way best personally! Swedish fish and fruit rolls?! Totally genius, cute, and funny!Lanterns, black and red plates and Hi-Water, and Hi-C (hee hee) were set up.How fun are these cupcakes?As favors, Heidi filled Chinese take out boxes with Chinese finger traps, a Chinese yo-yo, a fortune cookie, and Trent’s Kung-Fu Dance Mix CD. (I have been listening to it all week! What a great favor!)For the dance room, Heidi got three disco ball/strobe lights, tied red balloons to big black streamers and had the music on non-stop.
The kiddos loved it.Once everyone arrived and made their headbands, Warrior Training began.Kung-Fu Master Brandon (a.k.a. Trent’s dad) gave his “little ninjas” a mission – to find “the mysterious cole.” He didn’t explain anything else about what they were looking for but he told them that they would have to go through Ninja training in order to find it.He walked all of them to a nearby park, and two by two he had them learn how to punch and kick……then chop through a piece of styrofoam which was a TOTAL hit! Are you kidding me? Wouldn’t you have loved to do this as a kid?And finally he put on a sword ceremony for them and gave them all kid-friendly foam tubes so that they would be able to attack the hidden ninjas and find “the cole.”He had two of his friends dress up like ninjas and hide on the beach. As he lead them down to the beach, they attacked the evil ninjas and discovered “the cole” which was a new surfboard for Trent… his birthday present from his mom and dad! (Cole is the shaper’s name.)It was hilarious and adorable watching the kids learn from the master and Brandon did such a cute job with them. The ninjas came back hungry so they recharged with kung-food before dancing, hitting a piñata, and playing more. It honestly was such a fun theme! I’ve never seen so many boys focus that hard before! I think their parents must have been thrilled because they likely all went home exhausted!Here are the cutest ninjas in the land – Trent and his big sis Mia Rose. What a fabulous party!It was so fun to help with the paper stuff and I am hoping to get some ninja stuff in my etsy shop soon! Stay tuned and hi-ya!