It's Time to Party ... Minnie Mouse 3rd Birthday Party


My daughter loves Minnie Mouse so it's no surprise that we're hosting a Minnie Mouse 3rd Birthday party next month. This is the invitation that I made - Minnie and clock printed on white card stock, cut into a circle and affixed to the pink 5" x 7" pink paper with a black brad; the hands move too. I can hardly wait for the party!

Hostess Gifts

Usually, I write about entertaining ideas for people who like to host their own parties, but sometimes, the shoe is on the other foot; we're guests at a party - and need hostess gift ideas. When I hosted Girls Night Outon Tuesday night, I received bottles of good red wine (prompting me to consider a follow up wine tasting party in the fall?), gorgeous flowers, a CD of photos of my 2 year with my friend's little girl (so sweet!), and The Cocktail Party - shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath in Mimosa, Daiquiri and Margarita flavors by Philosophy. These clever gifts are available for other special occasions, too - Baby Shower, Birthday, Thank you and Congratulations.

Garlic Shallot Rosemary Wet Paste

Recently, my family enjoyed Sunday dinner at our friend's house. Audrey made flank steak that rocked! It was tender, juicy and really flavorful. Her secret is a Garlic-Shallot-Rosemary Wet Paste; the recipe she shared with me is below. Enjoy!

6 tablespoons of good olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced (2 tablespoons)
1 medium shallot, minced (3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

Puree all ingredients in a food processor. Rub on beef and let it marinade for 1 hour, though Audrey suggests letting it sit overnight and I agree.

Girls Night Out

On Tuesday night, about a dozen close friends joined me for a Girls Night Out party at my house. Laughter, dinner and drinks - it was so much fun, and easy to plan. I made the invitation (see blog below) and sent it out about 3 weeks ago. Plan A was to host the party outside but rain and humidity intervened so, Plan B, we gathered inside.

The rest of the plan was simple. A limited bar including my new favorite summer cocktail - Rosemary Vodka Lemonade (click here for recipe), as well as wine, lemonade tea and water. Light buffet dinner included flank steak marinated in a delicious wet paste (see blog above), orzo salad with salmon, summer tomato salad and fresh melon salad; most of the menu items were seasonal, inexpensive and easy to prepare the day before. For dessert, I made my favorite Berry Trifle - layers of angel food cake, white chocolate pudding, cool whip and fresh berries - plus Hershey's Miniature Chocolates - Creamy Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Almonds (yum!)

Decor was simple, too. Incorporating the look and feel of my invitation, I used orange and yellow elemtents - scattered sunflowers from Wegmans for $6.00 a bunch; orange and yellow disposable plates and napkins; orange placements from Pottery Barn ($4.49 on sale) and even, drink and food buffet menus that looked like the invitation.
The biggest surprise was entertainment. I hired a fortune teller, GA Orndorf, via Bialek's Music, one of my preferred local entertainment companies. The girls and I got a kick out of GA's insight and predicitions - especially the ones that were slightly off the mark!


Celebration Wine and Cheese Server


Flipping through a recent Frontgate catalog, I found the most impressive item - a Celebration Wine and Cheese Server - ideal for fall cocktail party. It's instantly 'posh'! I can easily imagine this server on a large kitchen island, which is where guests love to hang out. The cost is a little steep - $499 but Frontgate is running a 20% off promotion. Promo code is 20OFF, www.frontgate.com.


Girls Night Out


I love invitations! And I love making invitations. Above is an invitation that I made for an upcoming Girls Night Out party, inspired by a Paper Source blog posting. I used the new Honeycomb rubber stamp, large and small, and embossed the yellow-orange-red stamp, designing both the invitation and the address label. The finale - an amber gemstone in the center of the large honeycomb. I can't wait for my friends to receive their invites!