Kentucky Derby Party - feature

How to Host a cheer-worthy Kentucky Derby Party 

Are you thinking of throwing a Kentucky Derby party? If you’re hoping to celebrate the most exciting two minutes in sports but don’t know where to start – this is your one-stop shop for inspiration and ideas.

Hello! We are throwing a surprise Kentucky Derby themed party for my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday, and we’re inviting you.  

kentucky derby party

You know I love a party. So, when my sweet mother-in-law had a birthday coming up, my sisters-in-law and I put our heads together to come up with a way to celebrate her AND her birthday. Terry (my MIL) is a Kentucky girl and grew up on a horse farm – how cool is that?! My Sister-in-law had a fabulous idea to throw her a surprise Kentucky Derby themed party, and we all agreed. It was only fitting that we pull out the big hats and the bowties to celebrate her big day!

Ideas for hosting a cheer-worthy Kentucky Derby Party 

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience

We embraced the theme fully. You can check out my Pinterest Board for all of the fun ideas I came across!


Derby Party- Invite

To keep it simple (and secret), we created a Facebook event to manage the guest and RSVP list.  I created an invitation graphic and posted it in the group in printable form for those who prefer a printable invitation.  We were still able to set the tone of the party by using the digital invite but without the hassle of a paper invitation – bonus: ease of an online solution.



In keeping with the theme, we asked our guests to wear fancy, derby hats and bowties. I think everyone had fun with the idea! 

kentucky derby party - all the hats

kentucky derby party - all of us

For fun, I made a few fascinators and decorated a few floppy hats.


Click here for the tutorial on how I made the fascinators (hint: I used a paper plate and deco mesh). They were not only simple to make and super inexpensive, but most of all they were fun!

Kentucky Derby Party - fascintators



To give us a southern country feel, we used a myriad of gingham and floral patterns, with accents of black and white stripes. I used my Cricut Diecut machine to cut out the horseshoe and the racing horse silhouettes. These accents brought the theme home in a simple way.


Kentucky Derby Party - Floral Centerpiece - Dining Room

Kentucky Derby Party - Floral Centerpiece - Kitchen

My Mother-in-Law’s birthday is at the end of March when there aren’t a plethora of flowers around. To bring spring to us, we decorated with extra large tissue and other flowers in abundance. I’ll have a tutorial up for how we made them shortly and will link back when I do. 

Kentucky Derby Party - flowers on fireplace

The cupcake toppers and food labels carried on the theme in florals and hand-lettering script.

Kentucky Derby Party - Dessert table

Kentucky Derby Party - Derby Pie Squares

The floral chandelier was the perfect centerpiece for my spring table, and I was so excited to get to use it again in this setting. It might even look more beautiful on my Sister-in-law’s grand chandelier.


Kentucky Derby Party - Floral Chandelier Wreath



We used this porcelain dinnerware from World Market. I love that it comes in its own space-saving tray – great for storing between events.


The food was straightforward and inexpensive to make, perfect for a crowd, and fit our theme. The menu included:

Kentucky Derby Party - hot brown casserole

  • Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole  – I followed this recipe almost exactly, but used turkey deli meat instead of roasted turkey to save on time, along with crisped turkey bacon as that was what I had in the house.
  • Pulled Pork with Slaw
  • Potato Salad
  • Crudites Tray (Fancy for veggies)
  • Chicken nuggets – kids love ’em!
  • Fruit tray
  • Pimento Dip and crackers – OMG – SO good and rave reviews from the Kentucky natives.

Kentucky Derby Party - pimento cheese

Dessert included:

Kentucky Derby Party - Dessert table

Kentucky Derby Party - cupcake

Kentucky Derby Party - Derby Pie Squares

Kentucky Derby Party - cake


A must-have at a derby party, along with the basics like water and soda, we served mint juleps with a twist – strawberry mint julep punch to be exact. We also had all of the fixings for the Oaks Lily cocktail – the official drink of the of the Kentucky Oaks, the premier race for 3-year-old female horses that they’ve held each year on the day before the Kentucky Derby since 1875. And no, I did not know that – Google told me – but now we both do.

Kentucky Derby Party - punch

A self-serve drink table made beverage service easy, as did a multi-purpose punch. This drink recipe card was close by for those who wanted to add a bit of a zip – aka: bourbon – to their punch. The cocktail recipe card is part of the printables kit I created for the party – it will be available for download shortly!

Kentucky Derby Party - drink recipe card

I would have loved to serve our mint julep punch in silver julep cups, but that was a little out of our budget. Instead, we went with a silver-topped disposable cup – a similar look within our budget.

Kentucky Derby Party - silver rimmed glass


Inspired by Kentucky Derby Party ideas I found while researching for this one, I borrowed bits and pieces from those parties to make this Derby themed photo backdrop, and props.


Kentucky Derby Party - prop backdrop

The horse balloons were one of my favorite props – I like how they set the scene and the kids LOVED them.

Kentucky Derby Party - horse baby

Our photo backdrop is made from a paper tablecloth that we embellished, then hung on a rolling garment rack.

I used my Cricut to cut out the photo prop shapes, then, added scraps of ribbon and other fun craft-leftovers to bring them to life.

Kentucky Derby Party - props in bucket



The party was a huge success!

Kentucky Derby Party - decor shadow box

Our guests were such good sports, and everyone took their turn posing in the photo area.

Kentucky Derby Party - props in action 2

Kentucky Derby Party - props in action 1Our Birthday Girl had NO idea what we were planning – A perfectly executed surprise party!

Derby Party - arriving

I think she was as excited as we were when she arrived to find all the family and treasured friends coming out just for her. I think she (and our guests) had a fabulous time – nearly as much as if we’d been at the actual Kentucky Derby. But that is another party!

a_happy birthday terry

derby party the whole gang

rather buy than diy

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Spring Tea Party Invite - Feature

Spring Tea Party

Need ideas for an upcoming spring tea party? We’ve got you covered! Get comfy, grab a coffee, and start planning a special day to spend with your loved ones, friends and family!


* Thank you to Evite for kindly sponsoring this post. Although I was compensated by Evite for my time in developing this post, .all opinions are 100% honest & completely my own. This post may also contain affiliate links. See my disclosure statement, found under Contact Me, for more information. 

Oh, Spring! Glorious Spring! How I love thee!This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. See my full disclaimer statement for full details. 

Seriously, though, we’ve been talking about Spring a lot these days, what with the recent Spring Home Tour, various Spring pies and cakes and crafts. But, do you know what we haven’t talked about in what seems like forever? Parties! And what better way to celebrate the arrival of Spring than with a Spring Tea Party!

Of course, it starts with the invitation. Unless it doesn’t start with the invitation, which was the case here! Ha! In this case, all of my inspiration came from a salad plate. This lovely, vintage style salad plate from Pioneer Woman’s new dinnerware line to be exact. I was busy buying paper towel and laundry soap and came home with 6 of these plates for my table as well! I love the colors; I love the floral pattern and scroll work. And, I live for the red border. These salad plates scream warm and sweet tea afternoons. Spring Tea Party swoon-worthy – they were just perfect!

spring tea - plate

Pioneer Woman Country Garden Salad Plates

Armed with inspiration, it was time for invitations and to visit my go-to guest list management site, Evite! Evite has a wide variety of invitation options for tea parties, but my heart was set on the vintage floral look. There were a few options that came very close, but I was determined to have a near exact pattern and look to my inspiration plate.  Luckily, Evite offers not only free designs but also offers a Premium invitation that allows you to upload your design. Perfect.

I created my design, loaded it up to the Evite site, added the party details and my guest list and pressed send! It was THAT easy. I love that I can go on about my planning and just wait for the RSVPs to roll in. Evite has other fun features that allow you to select gifts and interact directly with your guests through the list. Fantastic.

spring tea - invitegraphic

Tea Party Image|Invitation Created in PicMonkey and Evite

Decor was up next, and I kept it simple.

Although I would have loved to be sitting in the middle of a garden, wearing an amazing Fascinator and sipping mint juleps, the weather isn’t quite up for that yet. So, I brought the garden inside.

spring decorating tablescapeFlowers were a must for this party, and I found all of these at my local grocer. Mixing a matching a few bouquets, and bringing in a few daffodils from my yard gave me the look and color I was going for.

spring tea - partyflowers
A practical centerpiece, the teapots were labeled with the selections of the afternoon and placed on a pedestal.

spring tea - partyteapotcenterpiece

My favorite accent had to be the paper doilies I picked up on clearance at my local grocer – they are also available at Amazon.com. The doilies up the vintage-factor for me for next to no cost.

spring tea - partytablefront
I used my grandmother’s silver and mismatched serving dishes to take away some of the formality. This party was supposed to be fun after all!
spring tea - partytablesetting
Cute and inexpensive clip-on butterflies, which came in a perfect pack of 6, were ideal for place markers!

Tea was obviously an important component to this party. Because I like to offer a cocktail choice at my parties, I decided rather than go with the usual tea flavor favorites; I would offer those that complemented cocktails that included tea. The teas I found that were a natural fit for this were a fruit sangria by Adigio teas,  a citrus green tea, also by Adigio teas, and a hot cinnamon tea by Harney and Sons which had the distinct flavor of red hots candy – this would be great in the fall or winter!

spring tea - tea

To complement these I offered prosecco, sparkling water and sparkling fruit juices and my guests and I enjoyed testing the different flavors!

spring tea - partydrinks

Make sure to have both sweet and savory food options for your party. I kept the food fairly simple. For savory, I went with a selection of finger sandwiches, mini croissant chicken salad sandwiches, and devilled eggs.

spring tea - partysandwiches

spring tea - bunny tray
On the sweet side, petite fours, various other cookies, and other sweets finishing off with a lovely lemon cream cake. I mixed homemade with store bought – don’t feel you have to hand make everything.

spring tea - partysweets

spring tea - cutthecake

I always like to plan a game or activity – there are a million (who knew?) well loved favorites for tea parties. Our favorite “Spill the tea”, where each guest writes a tidbit of information about themselves anonymously and puts the slip of paper into a teapot. Everyone passes the teapot around the table, pulling and reading a sheet from the teapot. The players then try to guess who wrote the slip. It’s a great icebreaker for when not everyone knows one another, and great fun for when everyone knows each other well!

spring tea - partyspillthetea

My favorite part of the afternoon by far – hanging out with these crazies. I couldn’t ask for more lovely ladies in my life!

spring tea - aprilandmeg
spring tea - partyjennifer

spring tea - partymeg
At the end of the afternoon, each guest left with a linen drawstring bag filled with sachets of tea and cookies and a cute little teapot thank you for spending their time with me!
spring tea - partyfavors
As my gift to you, feel free to download the label file by clicking HERE!

Great memories were made – Thank you to Evite for helping me make this, and all of my parties, a complete success!

Invitations: Invitations and Premium Designs http://www.evite.com
Dinnerware, placemats: http://www.Walmart.com
Butterfly Clips http://www.WorldMarket.com
Flowers, Italian and sugar cookies, scones: http://www.thefreshmarket.com
Cake, cookies and all other food: https://www.knockitoffkim.com
Party Design, Decor, and Styling: https://www.knockitoffkim.com
Linen Bags: http://www.Target.com
Teapot Favor Labels: https://www.knockitoffkim.com
Photography: https://www.knockitoffkim.com


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Pin for later: Spring Tea Party


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Bollywood Inspired Party

Celebrating a birthday? Why not mark the occasion with Bollywood theme party!  The rich, vibrant, jewel colors will have you and your guests feeling as though you’ve been transported to India and beyond!  

Bollywood theme party

No, there isn’t a glitch in your system, I am writing a blog post. I know you’ve been hearing the crickets chirping instead of my fingers flying on the keyboard!

I’d bore you with the details of the past few weeks, and the reasons why my beloved blog has had to take a bit of a backseat, but let’s just summarize, shall we? Here’s the skinny:

  • End of school
  • Fifth-grade graduation – is that even a thing?
  • Dance recitals
  • Adult children are moving in. And repeat.
  • The 21 Day Fix – I’m eating out of containers.
  • Autism, autism, autism
  • Mandatory (and much needed) family time
  • Three parties!

Are you exhausted yet because I know I am? The show must go on. Today, I clawed my way back to share one of the three parties with you! If you know me, you know I love a party!

Our lovely girl, Bekah, was turning 12, and the celebration was at our house this year. We threw a fun party for family and friends, followed by a movie/sleepover for eight tweens-bordering-on-teens. The theme – Bollywood!

Bollywood Theme Party Ideas

Inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places – in this case, a mini-card stock book that I can’t for the life of me even remember when or why I picked up. Add to that Bekah’s love for her favorite reigning Disney princess Jasmine, and you’ve inspiration for a theme!
It was a unique theme that was easy to execute. Bright colors, mixed patterns and an over-abundance of a glittery gold set just the right mood and tone. Here are a few of the highlights.


Bollywood Party Invitation
The invitations were created with Picmonkey. My inspiration came from here and here


The party starts at the front door. For the entryway, I used various pieces from around my home, and from different projects. Click the links below to see how I’ve used some of these items in the past!
Indian theme party
Mirror draping – Walmart party tablecloths, the most versatile party decor! Check here and here for other purposes.
Peacock feathers – Peacock Halloween costume.
Gold beads – Christmas decor.
Table covers – Mine, drapes, curtains and a scarf embellished with gold washi tape.

Ice Breaker

I like to start the party with an interactive activity – it’s perfect for that time in between the first guest arriving and the last, and it’s a fantastic icebreaker. This embellished bud vase craft was inexpensive and straightforward enough for even the littlest guests. Gold puffy paint works it’s magic while homemade glass paint adds just a hint of color on what seems a personal genie bottle. You can find a full tutorial at Creme de la Craft.
Bollywood Party Decorations

The Tablesetting (and table)

Dinner (Pizza – I wasn’t up for authentic cuisine cooking!) was on the floor! We made the table using our Ping Pong table top and 6-7 milk cartons in a row.
When decorating for a Moroccan/Indian theme, think layers of color. We laid down thick golden-colored drapes as the base, followed by an orange cotton sheet as a runner. Layers of quilting fabric, fat-quarter size, in various jewel tones layered on top. A roll of gold organza ribbon lay down the middle.
The table sat 12 comfortably – if sitting on the floor is your idea of comfortable!
Bollywood theme tablescape

bollywood party decoration ideas

Plates – Party City.
Chargers – Find them at Walmart during the holiday season for cheap. See here for other uses.

Bollywood theme table setting


Dessert, of course, included cake – coconut is Bekah’s favorite and her request every year – as well as a selection of other yummy sweets and treats. The decor was made up of various items from around the house, as well as a no-sew simple table runner, gold spray-painted elephant toys, and my favorite go-to, vinyl tablecloths.

bollywood party cake and desserts
Best OMG Cheater Coconut Cake

bollywood theme party - dessert tableOther no-sew table runner ideas

bollywood party candy
Gold Votives – Target Dollar Aisle
bollywood display


The key to a successful sleepover is keeping everyone busy! Other activities we enjoyed included DIY Mendhi tattoos using paint brushes dipped in gel food coloring.

The faux henna recipe:

  • 2 drops orange gel food coloring
  • One drop green orange gel food coloring
  • 1/2 cup water
bollywood theme party activities
Design printables – Yoga DoodleArt


bollywood themed party crafts

Another favorite activity – Photo booth fun with our new Fuji Instax Mini! We love, love this thing!

DIY Photo Booth with props and a Fuji Instax Mini 8


Props by The Quirky Quail

There might have also been a bit of belly dancing, movie-watching and snack-eating going on.. but I promised not to post ALL of the photos.

Party Favors

The next morning, each sleepy lady received a gift bag full of the following:

  • Gold bangle bracelets – Target Dollar Aisle
  • Bead ring – Pier 1 Imports – check them out for clearance items for this theme!
  • Beaded Mirror – Pier 1 Imports
  • Finger cymbals (these might have come out for belly dancing!)  – Amazon.com
  • Tamborine – Amazon.com
  • Candy – Rollo’s rock!



I hope you’ve found some interesting and useful ideas for your Bollywood/Moroccan themed party, and I hope you’ll come back and visit us soon!

For more ideas on incorporating a Bollywood/Moroccan theme, check out my Pinterest board.

Looking for more party fun? You might also enjoy: 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Pin for later – Bollywood Party Ideas

Bollywood Theme Party Decorations


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