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PARTIES

Spring Tea Party

Posted in PARTIES
on March 22, 2016

 

* 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. 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. See my full disclaimer statement for full details. 

Oh, Spring! Glorious Spring! How I love thee!


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!

 

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.

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.

Flowers 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.

 

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

 

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.

 

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!

These cute and inexpensive clip-on butterflies, which came in a perfect pack of 6, were ideal for place markers!

Butterfly Clips
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!

 

 

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

 

 

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.

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.

White Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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

 

 

 

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!

 

As my gift to you, feel free to download the label file by clicking on it!

 Teapot Favor Labels

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

Links:
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

Pin for later: Spring Tea Party

 

 

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How to throw a Game Day Party for fans and non-fans!

Posted in ENTERTAINING, PARTIES
on January 27, 2015

football party ideas - displayservewareheader
I know it’s rare to find our breed, but we are kind of non-football people. I know, I know.. gasp, what wicked words do I speak! Well.. I won’t drag my whole family down with me, Truth be told, THEY are football people.. I’m a loser not a football people. No hate mail please, because I don’t hate it, it’s just that it’s not… hockey.


It would help if it weren’t so complicated. All that keeping track of where they are, and then they have to switch sides and start over again.. it’s kind of stressful.

I’m not a total loss, though.. For starters, I know the big game is coming. The big game is the one I actually like to watch. But even that game requires survival skills on my part. To survive a game, or even more so, a football related party, I strictly adhere to the following rules:

  1. I never mistake the American version of football with football from every other part of the world. Football isn’t football. It’s football.
  2. Although I understand that each team has to get the ball to their own side of the field to score a touchdown (and yes, I know what that is), I pretend to understand why they need to do this in 10 yard increments, and I just nod over the whole switching directions at half time.
  3. I know to cover my eyes when Janet Jackson is performing and try not to catch flies when Madonna is performing, over her ability to still dance like that.
  4. I don’t cheer when the referee comes out, despite the fact that I love an outfit with stripes. When he comes out it’s never a good thing. I know this.
  5. I use phrases like “I know, right!” and “tell me about it” whenever someone tries to engage me in conversation about football, for fear I may confuse football with football.
  6. When cheering, I limit my outbursts to “YEAH!” to avoid cheering for the wrong team.
  7. If all else fails, just say, “More seven layer dip?” Good thing I always have some on hand.

I have friends that love football. I love my friends, despite their love, and, I live in a house of occasional football people that I love, too. They are almost equally divided into three camps – The Cowboys camp, the Green Bay camp, and the Seahawks camp. No surprise that we have a pretty excited third of our household these days! But, me? Long hair, don’t care too much. I just don’t love it.

A Cowboys lover and my Superman

But, what I do love? A party. Even a game day party. That’s one thing we can all agree on. Sweets, spicy and savory junk food, fun and festivities? Oh, yeah. That I can get behind!
The best way to plan a party like this, especially an impromptu one, is to just keep it simple. Simple decorating, simple menu, simple games.. believe me, it’s enough for me to just follow the game!

Decorating

My simple decorating started with this easy football table runner that I made last year. One of these days I’ll get around to adding yard lines..  I think it would be so cute that way! For now, it sets the mood nicely just as it is.

Tutorial

For serveware, I use what I have. Over the years I’ve collected many, many of the galvanized tubs, buckets and hit up the Target dollar aisle for way more mini metal buckets than I can ever use. Truthfully, though, I use them for EVERYTHING.
football party ideas - displayservewareheader
In this case, all that metal gave the food table a fun industrial look that had my husband not complaining that I was “girling up” football.. at least until I pulled out the mini serving forks.  A fun bunting, also from the Target dollar bins, gave the display a fun look without a lot of work. Add in a football and you’re good to go!

Food

Our menu? A taco bar, featuring an assortment of TexMex goodness. Rather than talking about it, let me show you!

Walking Tacos – a selection of corn, sun and tortilla chips. Fill your favorite fixings, and add a choice of:
Tex-Mex chicken  @ knockitoffcrafts ||
Smoky shredded pork @ Cooking Light ||
Chipotle Fish @ Cooking Light ||
Individual Five Layer Dip @ knockitoffcrafts
A choice of three salsas –
Pineapple salsa recipe @ skinny mom – I substituted mango for the pineapple||
Just like Chipotle’s Corn salsa @ howsweeteats ||
Lime-cilantro crema @ Cooking Light ||
Tomato Salsa (I use Jack’s Special Mild Salsa – Yum!) ||
The usual fixings – guacamole, shredded cheddar, monteray jack, sour cream, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, onion, bell and hot peppers
Desserts
Empanadas @mycolumbianrecipes – I substituted half of a werthers soft caramel, added toasted coconut and nixed the marshmallow to make my own somoa version

 

(Idiot Proof) Snickerdoodle Peanut Butter Chocolate Chex Mix Bars @ Half Baked Harvest ||

Drinks

For the adults, of course, there is the obvious – a good craft beer! We often include children in our parties, and therefore include a fun carbonated beverage as well.  For something more personal, punch, alcoholic or not, is my go-to beverage choice for a party of any kind. It’s cheap, easy to make and serve – can’t beat self serve – and I love the idea of serving a signature drink or two that goes along with my theme. Here are a few ideas for a game day punch.

Touchdown punch @ thissillygirlslife ||
Red white and Blue Sangria @ knockitoffcrafts||
Fruit punch @ ||
Homemade Cherry Soda @ Southern Living.com

Games

At a game day party, there is often little need for additional entertainment for the adults, what with an abundance of good food, good drinks and good conversation, but if you find a lull in the action, or, if you’re looking for ideas to keep the kids busy, I found some great resources and ideas!

Pin the football on the Goal Post @ crazyloucreations ||
Superbowl commercial bingo @ stylemepretty ||
Tailgate word search and printables @ forrent.com ||
Football trivia and mascot match @ momsandmunchkins.ca ||
Commercial rating signs @ studiodiy ||

Crafts

One of my favorite things to have a party is a craft idea for the small fries. Kids know if they are visiting that I’ll have a craft put together for them!

Game Day Penants @ Sheknows.com ||
Your own personal player @ teachingheart.net ||
Paper football and goal post tutorial @ allfortheboys.com ||

Party Favor Ideas

Send your guests home a small token of your appreciation.

 

Football M&M bags @ chick-n-scrap

I don’t know about you, but I’m stuffed and I have had enough football for the year. With all of this party fun, I’d almost forgotten I have a bathroom in shambles, and owe you a big update on our progress! More on that soon!

23-34- Hut! Hut! (Is that even a valid call?)

Other parties you might be interested in:

 

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That’s not a blizzard, that’s my… daughter? A Tweenish Disney Frozen Party

Posted in PARTIES
on June 13, 2014

As everyone knows, April, May and June are birthday months around here. Kyla, Ayden, Shay, Rebekah and little ol’ me were all born over a 40 day time period – over different decades of course.

It seems like just yesterday my little Kyla-monkey was born. Of course, it wasn’t yesterday at all – it was 10-years ago – queue feeling old.

Even more so than Christmas, Kyla’s birthday is her most exciting day of the year. It’s so exciting to her, that she often begins thinking about next years party the day after the current year. We have to rein her in and refuse to plan until at least after Christmas. Still, it’s often we hear the phrase “So, Mom, I have an idea for my birthday party..” Although it drives every other person in our family crazy, it’s like music to my party-planning ears. She really puts a lot of thought in to it every, single year,  and comes up with the most fun and unique party themes. Last year, we celebrated with a 50’s Sock Hop. Other years, long before I began blogging, there was Halloween in April, a glow-in-the-dark party, and a Divalicious make-over party. I always have such a great time bringing her ideas to life.

Last year’s 50’s Sock Hop
This year, she went a little more mainstream than other years, and decided on a Disney Frozen theme. The irony that we’re finally out of what seemed like an endless winter, and that we would be celebrating all things frozen and snowy was not lost on me, believe you me! From a planning perspective, my first thought? Piece of cake. Frozen is everywhere – only.. I quickly found out that Frozen stuff isn’t everywhere. Frozen stuff is actually nowhere...  so, what do you do when you can’t find Frozen anything? The only option.. Do it yourself. And that’s what we did. Luckily, I actually like cutting out little bits of paper, creating props and planning and decorating. I love the feeling of walking through the door, and bam! you are in the theme.
The front

It always begins with the invitations. Kyla and I made the invitations together using card stock, cellophane and chunky glitter. I wanted to give the illusion of a snow globe and found a fabulous tutorial, that I loosely followed. Because of the wording on the front of the invitation, I wasn’t able to use the wax paper recommended, and after trying to sew the cellophane with less than positive results, I decided on craft glue to secure the cellophane to the front of the invitation. The glue is really noticeable in the photo, but not so much in real life – It was really, really difficult to photograph, but you get the idea.

Back and Envelope

We used generic card envelopes and die-cut snowflakes. To jazz things up, we used washi tape to add a border to the envelopes, and attached a unique snowflake die cut from my silhouette out of glittered card stock – remember, no two snowflakes are the same!

With the invitations out of the way, it was time to set the scene!

This party was quite a bit smaller than our norm – we planned to include ice skating in the festivities, and as a result had restricted the guest list. It was nice for a change and a lot more intimate, and it also meant we could really turn up the volume in the areas the guests would be spending time.

At the front entrance as our guests arrived, they were formally welcomed to the celebration by a narrow path of gently falling snow, as if Elsa herself had given the girls their own private snow cloud. The mood was set with snowflakes galore, and a bowl of snowballs – multi-sized foam balls nestled in a bed of artificial snow.

 

The path of snow lead the girls to the first activity of the party, the “ice bracelet” station, where each girl was able to create a beaded bracelet. It was an inexpensive craft, and a great ice – get it? ice – breaker, that kept everyone entertained until all of the guests had arrived.

Next, the girls gathered outside for a “snowball” fight! Using balled up white socks, the girls ran around, giggling, laughing, and launching “snowballs” at one another in dodge ball fashion. And.. after seeing this picture, I’m never wearing that outfit again. Don’t you just hate that??

Next up? Lunch – served in the “Frozen Dining Room”.

I don’t know what it is, but I love doing up a ceiling. In this case, using white vinyl table cloths gave the illusion that the ceiling was sort of floating. Ayden took one look at it and announced it was time for trick-or-treating, since we often use this technique for our annual Halloween party. Sorry, buddy.. we’ve got a few more months!

The chandelier got a bit of a make-over as well. My favorite scene in the move is when Anna and Kristoff meet up Olaf in the forest.

© Walt Disney Pictures

The forest really is so beautiful with the frozen weeping willows – my favorite tree – and I wanted to recreate that a bit. Using a glue gun, I attached snowflake beads that I found at Michaels to both ends of brown pipe cleaners cut in half. I, and a ton of help (think Bekah and Melinda) created about two dozen long strands of wool, wound in very thin floral wire. I attached the pipe cleaner pieces to the wool pieces, leaving about 10 or so loose pipe cleaner pieces to be used for fill-in.  I then created a frame on the chandelier out of brown wool and draped the snowflake pieces on to the frame. Finally, I used the loose pipe cleaner pieces to fill-in any holes.

The walls were draped with white sheets, save for the dessert table which received a pale blue sheet with faint white patterns that looked a bit like swirly snow to me, to cover my very autumn-themed art work (the above picture was taken prior to the white sheets being applied!).

The table received the royal treatment with clear acrylic plates embellished with die cut snowflakes, on top of glittery card stock place mats in coordinating colors. Metallic wrapping paper envelopes, tied with a ribbon bow, held cutlery and napkins.

 

The centerpiece was made from printed card stock cut-outs, attached to dowel pieces. To stand them, I inserted the dowel pieces into half of a Styrofoam ball, and covered the balls with artificial snow. The snowflakes were suspended from the lid of the jar using fishing line and clear tape.

The background behind the dessert table received my only non-DIY decoration – a poster of the sisters – surrounded by glittery tissue puffs.

The dessert table was draped with yet another white sheet and layer of fuchsia glitter tulle. In the center? A snowflake ornament. The table itself presented us with a perfect time to pull out our crystal and silver platters.

With all of that pretty taken care of, food was up next up.

The Super-simple Menu
“Frozen” Punch
Pizza
Brownie Bites – store bought
Marshmallow Sticks
Sugar Cookies a la Melinda-the-Great
Cake and cupcakes
I often serve punch, as it’s a bit more cost effective than serving individual soft drinks, and it’s easy to incorporate the beverage in to the theme. Too, I find the kids especially love having a signature drink – it makes them feel especially fancy! “Frozen” Punch was a bit of a last minute concoction. It was easy enough to put together with Berry Blue Typhoon Flavor Hawaiian Punch, Lemon-Lime soda, Lemonade, and one package of Berry Blue Jello powder. Add ice and stir. A handful of re-usable ice cubes in blue and pink kept the punch cool, as well as added a bit of themed color to the drink table.

 

With pizza as our main lunch course, I mainly concentrated on the dessert table.

The brownie bites were store bought, and dipped in white chocolate. Once set, there was a quick addition of blue candy melts, piped on to the tops, then sprinkled with blue sugar, while still wet.

The marshmallow sticks received a similar treatment – dipped in blue candy melts – melted, of course –  then rolled in white, opalescent non pareilles.

The cookies were baked, painstakingly decorated, and delivered with a smile by Melinda, the Great, my neighbor and great friend partner-in-crime, complete with a decorated platter. We are so lucky to have friends like Melinda! She.Makes.The.Best.Sugar.Cookies.Ever.

 

Then it was on to the main event: The cake and cupcakes!

I went through a phase where I thought I wanted to be the cake boss-ette – I even had a business name – Twirly Whirl Cakes – catchy, isn’t it? The phase quickly passed once I figured out how much work and time was involved with every cake. I love making them, but it was just too stressful and time intensive to become a full time gig. Too, the 20+ pounds I gained over taste-testing the butter cream, actually made my decision to get out of the cake business pretty simple. I know – go figure. Now-a-days, I pour a bit of that creativity in to my family’s cakes. Unless absolutely needed otherwise, we usually skip the fondant and go with homemade butter cream with an improved boxed mix recipe. I have a lot of fun coming up with something that reflects each person’s personalities or theme.

The cupcakes were marbled blue velvet cake and vanilla cake, with a frothy, marshmallow butter cream. The snowflake toppers were made two days earlier by piping melted white chocolate on to wax paper over a snowflake stencil. Once set, they were carefully removed and stored in an air tight container until party time. Time consuming, but worth it for the effect!

The cake was modelled after a fun Disney wallpaper I had come across during my Frozen stuff search..

Source

 

..and thought it would be super fun, and unique, to re-create in a cake. I simply printed off the wallpaper image, laminated and cut out each individual character and placed appropriately. I also included the same chocolate snowflakes used for the cupcakes. The cake was blue velvet with a vanilla butter cream frosting. Yummy!

 

With the food and cake out of the way, we moved on to some fun activities!I thought it would be really fun to have a photo op and dress-up activity, complete with costumes, wigs and props. It was a little challenging coming up with a design for the costumes and putting them together, but I was so happy with how they turned out that it was all worth it. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to put up a tutorial on how I made them closer to Halloween.

The costumes were made by hand, out of various fabrics and altered clothing pieces. Anna’s coronation dress was my favorite.

I ordered undressed wigs very inexpensively, and dressed them myself using various tutorials found on Youtube. My favorites were by Kayley Melissa – Anna can be found here, and Elsa here.

Props included various quotes from the movie, as well as our favorite supporting characters from the movie.

 

All the girls had a chance to dress up as both Anna and Elsa and we took a million pictures.

My favorite is definitely our very own resident Anna and Elsa!

To end our afternoon, each guest received a goodie bag containing a Frozen Activity book, Extra “Polar Ice” gum, jeweled nail files, lip gloss an assortment of candies.

Our final activity? After a quick costume change..  Ice skating, of course!

Fun was had by all and, as usual, I had a slew of helpers to make the day a success – Thank you to all of them! It’s hard to believe next year I’ll be writing about her 11th birthday – better get started enjoying every moment of her tenth year possible. Thanks for following along!

For even more Frozen fun, check out my Frozen Party Pinterest Board!

 

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