Love Bug Bash

I'm so excited!  It's almost Valentines Day and my family is hosting our annual party.  Above is the invitation to our Love Bug Bash.  The theme was inspired by the 'cute as a bug' rubber stamps by Sizzix.

The invitation was super easy to make.  I wrapped lady bug ribbon around a red flat card.  On red oval-shaped cardstock, I stamped and embossed the bug and affixed to a slightly larger black oval-shaped cardstock; with glue dots, I attached both pieces to the ribbon.  On the other side, I printed text from a Word document onto a pink flat card and then, rubber stamped and embossed another bug. Using glue dots, I affixed the pink flat card to the red card.

Also, I decided on a new font - Ability (myfonts.com).  Do you like it?

I have a lot of ideas to bring this 'love bug' party theme to life.  I can't wait to share them with you in the next two weeks!


Really Simple Posh Party Decor

I had barely scrolled through my Google Reader this morning when I came across a fantastic baby shower party (complements of Simply Creative Insanity, produced by Houses, Couches and Babies) which featured two great 'posh in a pinch' decor ideas.  I just had to stop reading and share.

When hosting a party in your home, you can transform the look and feel of your dining room or living room to complement the party theme with these inexpensive decor tricks.

1) Insert gift wrap into photo frames.

2) Embellish white candles with ribbon.

What's your favorite party decor idea?


Snow Much [Olympic] Fun

The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are quickly approaching (February 12), which means friends and family will gather to watch the Opening Ceremony and or many of the competitions ... figure skating, skiing and hockey are always the most exciting!  So, if you're celebrating, it's easy enough to pull out your 4th of July/patriotic decor items.  Go USA!  To create a winter experience, you can create faux snowballs (assorted styrofoam balls sprayed with glue and rolled in glitter snow); see inspirational photo below from creative outlet.

Want to incorporate some 'snow' items on the food buffet?  Then consider these snow embellishments:
Powdered sugar

And don't forget the homemade hot chocolate!  Enjoy!

Pushing Daisies ... and Edy's Ice Cream!

Tonight, my daughter will officially become a Girl Scout Daisy!  She's my oldest daughter and we're new to Girl Scouts (GS) so naturally I'm excited.  To celebrate, I wanted something yummy and fun for the girls.  My first thought was GS cookies but they aren't shipping yet ... and then I found Edys Limited Edition ice cream in two of my favorite GS cookie flavors - Thin Mint and Samoas.  I can't wait to celebrate!


What's Your Favorite Font?

I collect fonts like some people collect shoes.  I can spend hours browsing pages of fonts of every genre - script, sans serif, modern, even doodles.  As I review font options, I imagine how they would look on invitations, menu cards, place cards, gift tags, you name it.  Over the years, I've collected  a few fonts - but unlike shoes, my purchases are timeless, always fit and require minimal storage.  My favorite font is Satisfaction; see text below.  I use it all the time - though sparingly - to dress up invitations, holiday cards and mailing labels.  My 'signature' style is to use Arial for most of the text and then accent the title of the event or the hosts name with Satisfaction.  Works like a charm all the time!

{Satisfaction font from myfonts.com}

Today, I felt like shopping for a new font, a font for a Valentines Day party invitation.  I found a few contenders that I thought I would share:

{Sweetheart Script, Queen of Hearts, LDJ Flirt and Heart Beats from myfonts.com}

Another favorite font that is ideal for the Sweetest of Occasions is Love Light, the font I selected for posh parties, LLC (also from myfonts.com):

So, what's your favorite font?  Please share!


Yumminess ... Beyond Curry!

I believe that everyone should have a 'go-to' resource for food when hosting a party or simple gathering of friends.  Whether it be a favorite recipe, take-out menu from a local restaurant or your caterer's telephone number on speed-dial, I think it's a good idea to be prepared for company.  For example, I keep ingredients on hand to make a Pillsbury Crescent chicken and cheese ring for unexpected guests.

I have a new 'go-to' resource to share with you.  Often, I get together with other special event industry peers to talk shop, trends and techniques.  Last week we met and were treated to a tasting from Priya Ammu, owner and chef of Silver Leaf Catering in Bethesda, MD.  In sum, the food was fabulous!  Specifically, I loved the Sweet Potato, Pear and Parsnip Latkes with green grape chutney.  Below are photos from our feast (thanks, Kelley!), followed by the menu. 

If you are entertaining in the near future and want to offer guests delicious food -- familiar food infused with Indian spices, herbs and seasonal ingredients, please contact Priya.  Your guests will be delighted!

Silver Leaf Menu

Sweet potato, pear and parsnip latkes with green grape chutney
Red cabbage and ginger summer rolls with tamarind dipping sauce
Chicken lemongrass lollipops with persimmon coconut sauce
Crostini with edamame, sesame and tofu
Fresh lemon rice with golden cashews
Carrot pudding with cardamom clotted cream garnished with edible silver leaf


Inspired by Time

Season premieres of many TV shows are coming soon, like 24, which returns this Sunday night, January 17 on FOX (and Lost - my favorite - next month).  Some die-hard fans host parties to celebrate.  This blog entry is for you. 

I spotted the photo above on marthastewart.com in a New Year's Eve article but I think the "clock" look could work for a '24' party.  Just remember to set all clocks to 4:00 pm!  [Fans know what I'm talkin' about].  Enjoy!


Crafty 7th Birthday Party

Last month, just before the craziness of the holidays, my little girl turned 7 and we hosted a fun birthday at home. I kept it simple and it turned out really fun - so I thought that I would share some of the highlights in case you're hosting a scrapbooking/paper crafts party in the near future.

Paper. Scissors. Party!

I purchased cardstock, envelopes, circle labels and cupcake sticker embellishments from Paper Source and made my own invitations, which is fitting for a 'paper' party.

For this 'paper' party, I covered my dining room table in moss wrapping paper with a rhubarb (pink)paper runner. The colors complemented the invitations; both materials purchased from Paper Source. It was perfect and I saved money (usually, I rent linens so this was a big change).

The best decision I quickly made was to hire Dianne Andruzzi, an independent demonstrator for Stampin' Up! She suggested some project options; my daughter selected to make Personalized Journals. Dianne brought all of the supplies to the party - the journals plus tons of stamps, die cuts, markers, color pencils, you name it; then, she led the girls in creating their own journal, and when they were done, she cleaned up. It was too easy for me - and the girls loved it; see the photos above! Thanks, Dianne!

Food and Drinks
The birthday party was held in the afternoon so I offered a few snacks. The trick was to offer something enjoyable for children and adults alike. So I served fruit salad and chips and dip, along with a festive Chex Mix, Buffalo Chicken Dip and Chutney Grilled Cheese sandwiches; see my previous post (12.03.09) for recipes. The food was yummy and easy to assemble!
By the star of the party table was the Big Top Cupcake birthday cake! Usually, I buy a fancy cake but my daughter saw the Big Top Cupcake on TV and had to have it. I bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond and we made it together. It turned out cute and it was quite tasty, really moist.
Goodie Bags
The entertainment played double-duty as each girl took home their personalized journal with a homemade bookmark that said "Thanks for coming to my party". To dress up the bookmark, I used a cupcake punch from Paper Source. Again, it was super easy!

Who Says You Can't Play with Your Food?

The weather forecast for tomorrow is snow, which got me thinking about fun winter-themed party food. A little research revealed some very clever ideas ... for the young and young at heart! See photos and links to recipes below.
My favorite has to be the donut snowmen but I really like the Snowman Sandwich, too; I'm always looking for new [fun] ways to encourage my girls to eat. I made the Snowmen Cheeseballs (upper right photo) for Super Bowl last year. I made a Pittsburgh snowman on the left and St. Lousi Cardinals snowman on the right, and let guests nibble on their favorite team!

Snow Day Sandwich Snack from GoodHousekeeping.com
Donut Snowmen and Frosty the Cheese Ball from FamilyFun.go.com
Coconut Snowman (made of ice cream) from MarthaStewart.com