{event showcase} Let the Ghoul Times Roll Halloween Party

Halloween came early for the Dorfman ghouls ... err, girls and their friends!  Last Saturday afternoon, which was a great day to play outside, 35 kids and half as many adults joined us for our annual Boo Bash.  This year's theme was Let the Ghoul Times Roll, a Mardi-Gras inspired Halloween party for little ghouls (princesses, zombies, wizards, witches and superheros, too) complete with beads, masks, donuts (in lieu of beignets) and live jazz music.  It was like a spooktacular New Orleans festival!

Below are the details. You may want to bookmark this party for next year!

I don't like to brag ... but isn't this the cutest party invitation?!!!  I love the ghouls!  Once again, the talented ladies of Frog Prince Paperie designed the invitation and adorable coordinating printables.

While the party was held outdoors, I did decorate the front door with this fantastic fabric from Joanns.  It is decorated with little ghosts wearing masks, including some Mardi Gras masks.  The hanging plastic ghost is a perrenial favorite decoration; I just added beads from my girls dress-up box.

No surprise, the snack table was a big hit with these hungry ghouls!  Ghoulishly Good Treats included:

Assorted donut holes
Cheese-flavored popcorn
Red Delicious apples
Candy corn
Half Pint Bottled Water
Assorted Little Hugs Juice
Starbucks Coffee
Hot Apple Cider

In addition to the colorful food, I used existing Halloween decorations, including old fabric remnents, to create my display.  I hand-stamped lime green paper sacks for popcorn bags.  Served drinks in a witches cauldron.  Used glitter cardstock to create a simple "banner" backdrop.

Guests' favorite decoration - the Boo Cups!  They are easy to make.  Just attach googly eyes to the white cups and serve! 

There were two craft stations to keep children busy and creative.  They could decorate a mask with feathers and glitter glue and string candy necklaces. 

Both activities were well received.
I also had plenty of orange, green and purple beaded necklaces for the children (and adults) to wear!

The highlight of our Mardi Gras-inspired Boo Bash was the musical entertainment!  Pablo Grabiel and his friends from DC Music Entertainment filled the air with lively jazz music ... and some familiar Halloween songs, too.  In particular, they encouraged the children to sing Ghostbusters and dance the Monster Mash.  Other Halloween hits included:

Adams Family
People are Strange
You Put a Spell on Me
Let the Goul Times Roll
Purple People Eater

Additionally, they showed the kids how to make spooky sounds on the instruments!

The music definitely appealed to kids and adults of all ages!  I received many positive compliments.

Each year, we conclude the Boo Bash with tractor rides!  It is the most antcipated portion of the party; guests line up to take a ride ... over and over!  This year, my husband got a new ... and bigger ... cart and faster tractor ... so the rides were more thrilling for the kids.  He zips them around the property and when the ride is over, they hop back in line for another turn.  It's like being at Kings Dominion (or other amusement park with rides)!!

So that's the scoop on this year's Boo Bash!  The Ghoul Times definitely Rolled; we had a great time and I hope that I inspired you to shake up your traditional holidays with a few creative twists!!  If so, please leave me a comment.  I'd love to hear from you!


{event showcase} Bucket List 60th Birthday

I produce a lot of milestone birthday celebrations and love the challenge of coming up with just the right theme to fit the guest of honor ... but on this occasion, I produced a 60th birthday party based on my client's idea; she wanted a Bucket List themed party for her husband.  At first I was hesitant because there seemed to be a disconnect between celebrating life and preparing for death but I think, together, we pulled the Bucket List theme off in a humorous, light-hearted manner!  Below are the details.  I'd love to read your opinions on this theme - is it a yah or nay?

Bucket List invitation was custom designed by the talented ladies at Frog Prince Paperie.  The design incorporates the brown and blue furnishings at the party venue with a pop of orange for a touch of whimsy.

To keep guests busy until the guest of honor arrived (to be surprised), they were encouraged to fill Mike's bucket ... a shiny silver champagne bucket from Pottery Barn that was engraved locally.  This display was set up near the entrance.  Guests submitted humorous suggestions like 'sail around the world' and 'buy your baby brother a boat'.  Poster and suggestion sheets of paper were also designed by Frog Prince Paperie.

A milestone party isn't complete without a baby photo! 

Every party has delicious food, correct?!  This party was no exception ... the food was exceptional (I had to do quality control so I know)! Fusions Cuisine prepared this ourstanding menu:

Passed Hors d'oeuvres
Vietnamese Vegetable Rolls with Hoisin Lime Sauce
Miniature Crabcakes with Smoked Onion Remoulade and Celery Apple Relish
Lemoncello Shrimp Cocktail (YUM!)

Dinner Buffet
Tarragon Chicken served on a bed of Rattatouille
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Early Fall Vegetable Salad
Baby Arugula Salad
Assorted Breads and Butter

To round out this culinary experience, I ordered homemade pies - apple, chocolate and the birthday boy's favorite, coconut cream - in lieu of a traditional birthday cake.  It was the perfect fall treat!

It turned out to be a gorgeous fall evening, just the right temperature to extend the party (and the bar) outside, which gave guests more room to dance!  For music, I secured custom playlists for their iPod and a sound system.  As the evening progressed, the music evolved from Southern Rock to Popular Top 40 Dance music.  According to my client, the party wrapped up an hour later so everyone could keep dancing.  I think that's a good sign of party success!

So, what do you think?  Is a Bucket List party on your List?!  Please leave me a comment to let me know.


{in season} Pumpkins!

Like many of you, I've discovered Pinterest (and spend way too much time exploring sooo many creative and inspiring ideas)!  For instance, a quick search on "pumpkin decor" revealed thousands of fabulous ideas for embellishing a gorgeous gourd or making your own, not to mention a ton of yummy recipes.  Below are two ideas for posh pumpkin decor in a pinch ... plus an easy cheese pumpkin recipe from Betty Crocker!  Let's begin ...

Thank you Martha Stewart for inspiring another use for my orange paper lanterns!  Just add a stem and green paper leaves for 'lil pumpkin cuteness.

I can't wait to make this paper pumpkin centerpiece with my girls!  Creative and crafty blogger, Aly Dosdall, made these pumpkins from circles of scrapbooking paper!

This photo just looks too festive ... and according to the Betty Crocker recipe, these Cheese Pumpkins are really easy to make - rolled cheddar cheese, chopped peanuts, pretzel stick and parsley! 

Do you have a favorite pumpkin idea?  If so, please leave a comment to let us know!


{event showcase} Pixies & Pirates 5th Birthday

Does your little girl love wings, wands and tutus ... and perhaps a certain water fairy?  Mine, too!  Like a butterfly, she seems to flit from place to place and like Tinkerbell's friend, Silvermist, she has a talent for water ... the amazing talent for jumping in puddles, splashing in the bathtub and more!  She also loves watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates on Disney.  So when she insisted on a Silvermist birthday party, I knew just what to plan ... a Pixies and Pirates theme!

Below is my interpretation of this theme.  I hope you are inspired to create your own [Water] Pixies and Pirates birthday party!

The invitation designed by Little Pig Press
The birthday girl in her Silvermist blue tutu and not-so-matching pink/purple wings, headband and wand!  Each girl received a fairy costume (from Once Upon a Tutu)... and they thought it was great fun to mix and match the colors!

A splash of elegance for the adults table!

Saphhire blue and turquoise linens on a white tablecloth (from BBJ Linens) quickly created the water element for this party.  I embellished the table with seashells, fish netting, coastal driftwood ... and Pixie Hollow dolls!  I completed the look with my personal collection of fish silverware and glasses !

Ahoy Matey!  This pirate's ship table was set for kids!

I purchased a pirate's ship kit online (from Wants and Wishes) and added a black linen.  It was the masterpiece of the party; the kids loved their ship!  To complete the look, I added red napkins, a treasure chest of Pirate's Booty snacks (bottom left photo), a bottle of seashells and scattered plastic gold coins.

Other pirate elements included cookies for dessert (from my local bakery, Patisserie Lille) and a repurposed treasure chest to hold the scavenger hunt loot bags.

After lunch, the kids were invited outside for a scavenger hunt to find the treasure chest of loot.  Each child was given a map (seen in the photo above, from Your Little Cupcake) with these instructions on the back (inspired by this fairy party):

Pixies and Pirate put on your boots;
You’ll be traveling far for some old pirate’s loot.
Follow these clues to an old wooden chest,
Full of the things that you all like the best.
The first clue, if the chest is to be found, is waiting on the playground.

[Encouraged by a sign that read 'Faith and trust, and a little bit of pixie dust ... that is all you need to fly' and some Pixie Stixs, the children flew around the trampoline]

If you want the next clue, you must do as I say;
Gather round in a circle and sing “Happy Birthday!”
Now look for a stump, where a tree used to be,
You’ll find some tattoos waiting from me.

[The children applied an assortment of fairy and pirate tattoos to their arms]

Next, look for some water, to cool off from the heat;
You’re getting closer to finding a wonderful treat.

[It turned out to be a chilly afternoon so the children pretended to launch water balloons at the opposing ship of pirates ... instead of each other.  Plan B was perfect!]

When you find my sweet treasure, you will have me to thank,
But before you can find it, you must each walk the plank!

[The children walked the plank - a piece of wood on two stacks of bricks - with a plastic alligator below]

Then onto the ship deck, near the grill, you will find a small box that will give you a thrill.

Inside the treasure chest were pirate loot bags (goodie bags) filled with Hershey's Nuggets (chocolates wrapped in gold foil), Gold Mine bubble gum, ring pops and rock candy.

A (homemade) sandcastle cake embellished with seaglass, brown sugar for beach sand and Silvermist!

The birthday girl with some of her 'loot'! 

Did this article inspire you to create your own water fairy (and pirates) birthday party?  If so, please leave me a comment to let me know!