Real Simple Ideas for Labor Day Celebrations

I came across this online article by Real Simple magazine titled "Summertime New Uses for Old Things".  So many of their ideas are genius, especially for hosting parties and celebrations.  Here are a few of my favorites, perfect for a work-free Labor Day get-together!


Everyday drinking glasses make great candle holders!

Who doesn't need an extra side table when entertaining?!

Clever way to organize your condiments and disposables!

As a mom to three messy little girls, I love this idea - and I've seen it with watermelon slices, too (just add a popsicle stick through the rind)!

Paper plates + frisbee = happy (mess-free) guests!

Neat trick for preparing ice cream in advance.  Perfect for children's birthday parties, too!

Hot temps, melting ice?  No worries with a rubber band grip!

Perhaps my favorite idea of all.  I love the practical application ... and bright pop of color.

Protect your wine bottle with your child's floatie!  Great for picnics, too - like my picnic dinner at Wolf Trap on Sunday evening!  My family is going to see Peter Pan on our work-free holiday.

So, what summertime new uses for old things idea do you like best?  Please leave a comment!


Back-to-School Bash

Been back-to-school supply shopping yet?  It's an overwhelming experience, especially if you bring your child(ren) along!  If only I had seen this charming back-to-school dessert table beforehand, I would have been amused ... and seen the endless cartons of supplies from a whole different [party] perspective!

If you're hosting a back-to-school bash, then click here for more clever inspiration, including a tutorial for making the pencil cake.  My favorite detail is the pink eraser candy; what is yours?


{sneak peek} Pixies and Pirates Invitation

I can't contain my happiness!  I received these invitations for my daughter's "Pixies & Pirates" 5th birthday party! They are super adorable, especially the touches of glitter, which the scanned image does not do justice.  These invitations were designed and embellished by Jane at Little Pig Press

A sprinkle of fairy dust,
Lots of swashbuckling fun;
Kyra can't wait for her
 5th birthday to come!

The party is next month, just after the girls go back to school!  Until then, I'm busy ordering wings and wands, as well eye patches and swords ... and talking my husband into making a cardboard pirate ship ... so the kids can walk the plank!  More inspiring details to come!


{event showcase} cool outdoor movie birthday party

We're half way through summer so before you send the kids back to school or close up your pool, host a cool outdoor movie party!  It's so much fun - and I've got the game plan to get you started ... just read on for inspiration.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I hosted a party to celebrate our birthdays.  We wanted a casual, family-friendly party to allow many friends to attend.  We decided on an outdoor movie, which would entertain the children while the adults mingled.

After all these years, we're still cool!

The invitation was really simple.  I hand-stamped the fan on poppy PS circle labels, printed the rest from a Word document and tucked the invitation into a navy blue #10 envelope.

This fan is an antique treasure found on etsy!  Not only is it a retro fan but it's orange and blue, which complemented my party colors!  It became the centerpiece of my cool concession stand.

We're movie fans!

Door sign sent guests around to the back of the house, where they voted for their favorite movie - Ice Age and Happy Feet (cold movies) or Shrek Forever After (new release).

The movie screen was set up on the pool deck so we placed chairs in front as well as on the upper deck.  I used existing seating (orange!) and enhanced the space with twill cotton linens, navy blue runners, orange lanterns with fresh blue purim and delphinium, candles and fun pillows.

Other pops of color came from food, drinks and decor!

Since the movie started at 8:30, food was light and simple.  Concessions included boxed movie candy, popcorn and two-bite vanilla cupcakes embellished with sugared orange slices.  I also served cantelope balls and blueberries (which complemented my color scheme); crab artichoke dip with pita chips (yum!); and baked raviolis.

The cocktails were my favorite part of the party!  Once again, thinking about my color scheme, I selected orange and blue cocktails - Orange Iced Tea and Blueberry Sangria Lemonade.  The latter is my new favorite summer cocktail!  Also, I offered bottled water (embellished with strips of fabric and ribbon) and assorted soda, including fanta (get it, fan-ta!!).  Drinks were served in blue plastic cups and garnished with orange slices.

fan-tastic fun!!  I know - enough already, but I was having fun!

Aside from the movie, there were glass firefly jars (topped with orange and blue fabric) and bubble wands (to wave!) to keep children busy and entertained.

Happy Feet was the most voted movie.  Many children and adults enjoyed it; however, the lesson learned is to select the movie that your children want to watch.  When they sit and watch, other children will too!

We used our own movie equipment but many rental options exist; just Google it.

Did this party inspire you to host a cool outdoor movie party?  If so, please leave a comment and let me know!