Personalized Plates from Hallmark

Hold on to your seat!  This new product may make you giddy with excitement.

Personalized paper plates!

Sold by Hallmark, these personalized plates come in a wide variety of designs, including your child's favorite characters (like Cat in the Hat above) and are ideal for many special occasions - kids parties, milestone birthdays, baby showers, anniversaries and more.  The cost is $12 for 10 plates, but the personalization is priceless!

The Celebration Shoppe currently has a Facebook promotion - a $50 Hallmark Giveway! Promotion ends tomorrow so act fast.

Need some inspiration?  Dr. Seuss' birthday is next Wednesday and many elementary schools will celebrate Read Across America in his honor.  I think these cute plates, personalized with a class photo, would be adorable when serving green eggs and ham!

Which design is your favorite and for what party would you use it?  Please leave a comment to inspire others.


Mythbusters Photo Booth Fun

If you are hosting a party and want inexpensive interactive entertainment, add a photo booth!  Photo booths are fun for people of all ages. 

Need proof?  Here are photos from my family's recent Valentine's Day party.  For less than $50, I created a photo booth with a fabric backdrop, a few props and chalkboard speech bubbles.  The result was priceless!  Mild-mannered children became outrageously funny with mustaches, big red lips and feathered glasses ... and parents had a blast watching them.

The theme of our Valentine's Day party was Mythbusters, a family favorite TV show.  The original idea was to 'bust' [Valentines] myths (read this post to learn more) but then I came across a silhouette of the hosts' beret, glasses and mustaches (yellow mugs below); it reminded me of the popular mustache-on-a-stick photo booth props ...and totally changed my game plan! 

Just for kix, we did test one myth ... the popular 'will Coke explode when a mentos (candy) is added'.  Confirmed! Just ask my husband, who got sprayed with Coke and still smiled for the kids =)

The rest of the details (photos below) included red, pink and hearts decor; arts and crafts activities like decorate-your-own heart place setting, sunglasses and speech bubble); chocolate-covered spoon favors; and a dessert table that included a big cookie, heart-shaped brownies, fruit with heart-shaped watermelon and a tower of cupcakes plus bowls of M&Ms and Hershey's Hug & Kisses.

I hope that I've inspired you to incorporate photo booth fun into your next party or celebration.  Hands down, this party was my most successful kids party because they loved the photo booth ... and as a special events professional, I've witnessed countless numbers of adults enjoy photo booths at weddings, birthdays, corporate gatherings and networking receptions, too!


5 Ideas for an Award-Winning Oscars Party

The Oscars will be presented on Sunday night, February 27 and there's still time to plan a red carpet worthy party without all the fuss. Below are 5 of my favorite ideas.

#1. Start the party before the party with a fabulous Red Carpet e-vite from Paperless Post!

#2. Select a Best Picture-inspired menu from Epicurious!  We *like* Toy Story 3!

#3. Serve a themed drink like Red Carpet Fizz from Pizzazzerie.

#4. Embellish your cocktails with these Oscar party drink tags available for complimentary download at Hostess with the Mostess.

#5. Play Oscar Party BINGOHow About Orange has twelve different cards available for complimentary download.

Now, what will you wear?!  Enjoy!


{sneak peek} Star Wars Glam Invitation

Move over, Disney!  There's another Princess in town ...

My daughter loves Princess Leia (and the whole family saga of Padme, Anakin/Darth Vador and Luke Skywalker) so it wasn't too much of a surprise when she announced that she wanted a Star Wars bithday party.  The kicker was that she wanted a make up party, too!

What's a party planner to do with an odd theme?  Hire a talented graphic designer to create an awesome invitation ... which becomes the anchor for all other party elements!

The Star Wars Glam invitation above was designed by Paula of Frog Prince Paperie.  Isn't it stunning? I think so, and so does my daughter!  Thank you, Paula.

I'm off to the Post Office but will share more details about this oddly themed birthday party soon ... like entertainment, decor and food.  Yoda Soda, anyone?!


Unexpected Materials make a Lovely Tablescape

Happy Valentine's Day!  I've been working on a fun project that I want to share with you today.  It's a tablescape created for my client's Valentine's Day dinner party held this past wekend.

Last month, my client called to enlist my help with setting her table.  A veteran hostess, she has beautiful linens, china, crystal, silver, chargers and napkin rings but she wanted to create a fresh look ... specifically, a classic, romantic look that would include low centerpiece.

I proposed a custom centerpiece made from assorted Christmas balls, fresh flowers, feathers and frosted hurricane lamps.  I love the use of unexpected materials and I've been wanting to create this centerpiece for some time; it was inspired by a 50th birthday party in David Tutera's Big Birthdays book.  She agreed to it immediately ... and the rest is shopping history; who knew it would be so challenging to find Christmas balls right after Christmas???

Anyway, here is the outcome of my creative adventure:

Centerpiece up-close.  In addition to the assortment of ornaments, I tucked red craft boa into a few clear balls; tucked fresh white roses along the rim and repurposed clear ornaments on top as vases to hold a few fresh red roses.  I filled in any additional gaps with playful red feathers.

Place setting

Heart-shaped place card incorporates the playful red feather.

Scarlet red velvet chair ties are the finishing touches to this romantic tablescape!

Many thanks to Cathy for inviting me back into her home and trusting my creativity!


Be My Valentine Chocolate Covered Spoons

If you are looking for a last minute, easy to make and unique Valentine treat for tomorrow, let me suggest Chocolate Covered Spoons ... the perfect complement for hot chocolate!  Yes, I just made some for my girls' party this afternoon.  That's my photo below.

I really wish that I could remember who inspired me to make these charming treats because they are so easy to make.  Basically, I melted white chocolate chips in a double-boiler; dipped the plastic spoon into the chocolate; added a dash of sprinkles; and let it dry on wax paper.  To speed up the drying process, I put the spoons in the refigerator.  Once dried, I put the spoons in a plastic treat bag.

I'm so happy with the outcome of this treat! I hope my daughters' friends enjoy them with their hot chocolate.


Be Mine Mojitos and other Love Potions

Have you ever looked for one thing only to discover another thing, and it looks better than the original thing?  That's what happened this morning. I was looking for a love potion and discovered Be Mine Mojitos ... as well as Cupids Kiss, Hope Floats and Love Potion #9 on Oprah's Valentine's Day Cocktail Menu

Be Mine Mojito - I like this berry much!

1 1/2 ounces Bacardi Razz (white rum optional)
1 ounce simple syrup
1/2 lime , freshly squeezed
12 to 14 fresh mint leaves
4 raspberries
4 blackberries
Sprig of mint

In a tall glass, lightly muddle the lime juice, 3 raspberries, 3 blackberries, simple syrup and mint leaves. The trick is to muddle just enough to release the oils from the mint leaves while leaving them intact. Add crushed ice and rum, and top with soda. Stir until the outside of the glass begins to frost. Garnish with the leftover berries speared with a mint sprig. Serves 1.

Cupid's Kiss - pucker up for chocolate!

Hope Floats - a little bubbly with sorbet is like a lot of XOXO's!

Love Potion #9 - this recipe serves a crowd!

Cheers to a wonderful Valentine's Day celebration!


Love Bug B-I-N-G-O

Looking for a fun activity to play at your child's Valentine's Day party?  Try BINGO!

I made BINGO cards for my Love Bug Bash last year and it was a hit!  The cards were easy to make.  I printed the BINGO table (or frame) on cardstock and rubber stamped the squares.  To make each card slightly different (and reduce the time stamping), I filled in some squares with different expressions like BEE MINE or LUV YOU.  We used M&Ms as markers; mini marshmallows would work too!

For more inspiring Love Bug and or Valentine's Day party ideas, including a Love Bug Party Planner (below), please read this month's party possibilities newsletter, published by posh parties, LLC.


Dinner Party Chatter

Going to a dinner party, or better, hosting a dinner party this weekend?  Wondering what to talk about?  Listen to the Dinner Party Download on American Public Radio!

The Dinner Party Download is a weekly podcast of current news, jokes and trivial tidbits of information to start the conversation!  I discovered this entertaining gem in the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine and sampled a podcast this afternoon.  It's a little silly and kind of raw but the concept is genius!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Need more dinner party inspiration?  Read my article, Get Party Organized in 2011, a room-by-room list of practical tips for preparing for a party.  It's my first article and I'm super excited!  Thanks to Val at I Am Modern for selecting my submission and supporting me!


{sneak peek} Mythbusters Valentine's Day Party

Look at what I got in the mail yesterday ...

Mustaches, lips and glasses ... oh my!  These are photo booth props for my Mythbusters Valentine's Day party.  Offered by MaroDesigns, the beret and goatee were added to the collection; thanks, Suzi!

I was stuck at home last week with lots of snow and no power so I had little time to design an invitation.  Here's what I came up with using existing printed cardstock, note cards and envelopes ...

So, we're busting myths this Valentine's Day; what are your plans?