{Invitation Showcase} Good Luck, Charlie Birthday

Some chidlren's birthday party themes are easy to bring to life!  The birthday girl loves Charms Blow Pops so you host a Candyland party or the birthday boy loves Tonka trucks so you host a construction party.  Simple and fun parties to plan.  But what happens when the birthday girl loves a favorite TV show because one of the actresses wears fashionable clothes, sings, dances, gets into lots of silly mayhem ... and documents it all in a video diary for her little sister?  Yeah, exactly  ... good luck, Charlie!  

This party is one of my latest party challenges.  We ultimately decided on a hip-hop dance party for a dozen fashionable little girls and the older sister will be responsible for the video diary!  Should be fun ... and simple!

To create the invitation for the birthday party, I worked with Paula of Frog Prince Paperie.  Fortunately, she's seen the TV show and with a little guidance, she designed this super cuter invitation that mails this week.

What's great about this invitation is that I have a color palette and defined look and feel for the party, which will make decor purchases a lot easier!

Have you been challenged to create a child's birthday party based on a TV show?  If so, please leave a comment to let me know what you did to bring the show to life!


Heart Shaped Homemade Marshmallows

Chocolates and flowers are nice on Valentine's Day but I think heart-shaped homemade marshmallows are better!  Do you agree?

When planning my Snow in Love Engagement Party photo shoot, I was inspired by marshmallows and decided to take it two steps further by making them and cutting them into heart shapes (using cookie cutters).  The result was fabulous ... just ask my girls who helped me eat the whole batch!

I recommend this fluffy marshmallow recipe ... and if you still need a little chocolate on Valentine's Day, may I suggest a dark chocolate fondue!  Enjoy!

Did this post inspire you to make homemade marshmallows?  If so, please leave me a comment to let me know!


{event showcase} Harry Potter 9th Birthday Party

When my daughter expressed an interest in Wizards (101 and Waverly Place, that is), I suggested the fantastic world of Harry, Ron and Hermione.  Reading together was time well spent and she enjoyed their adventures as much as I.  When it came time to celebrate her birthday, she quickly decided on a Harry Potter theme party ... and I pulled together a few ideas to create a fun wizardry experience!

The birthday party was inspired by Hedwig, Harry Potter's Snowy Owl.  My daughter loves animals and thinks it would be really neat to have an owl for a pet! 

The Snowy Owl, pictured above, was a $.99 sale item in the post-Halloween bin!

Guests received their party invitation via Owl Post.  Invitation designed by Jill Means Design, who I discovered on the One Charming Party blog.

Welcome! A Magical Celebration is in Progress!

Decor was minimal.  I relied on owls, newspaper print and the Griffendor House colors' burgundy and gold.

The prominent party space was The Great Hall (aka my dining room)! 

My goal was to recreate the Hogwarts' Dining Room without tremendous cost.  Therefore, I relied on color (burgundy and gold), texture (shiny gold and newpaper fans) and a few props (my collection of HP books and floating gold candles - by far, my favorite decor element!).

When the guests arrived, we did experiments to see if they were a wizard or muggle.  Children with fizzy concoctions were wizards.  Game inspiration and instructions may be found here.

Our Potions class was complete with Dragon Warrior Eyes, Blood Oozing Skulls and Snake Fangs (all post-Halloween candy), as well as Phoenix Feathers, Truth Serum (vinegar) and Elixir of Life (water).

Once the children were all confirmed Wizards, we sorted them into two houses.  Sorting was done by the color of their drink - blue or red.  A splash of food coloring was put in their cup beforehand and covered with ice.  When water was poured in the cup, the color was revealed.  This great idea was discovered here.

Once the children were sorted, we played a fun game of Quidditch!  There were neither brooms nor flying; instead, we took a Harry Potter quiz.  The team with the most correct answers selected a Seeker to find the Golden Snitch - gold foil wrapped Ferrero Rocher chocolates with wings!

After an exciting Quidditch game, the children made their own tissue pom owls, which was more challenging than I anticipated but they enjoyed the activity.  Then, we brought out the camera and had tremendous fun with the photo booth!  I purchased a big poster of Ron and Harry in the flying car (Chamber of Secrets), cut a hole in the center and invited everyone to take their photo.  Some kids were better actors than others?!!

Completely entertained and immersed in the wizardry world of Harry Potter, we then had cake - a Snowy Owl Cupcake Cake made by Chrissy at We Take the Cupcake.  No doubt, it tasted as awesome as it looked!  Our family loves Chrissy's frosting and I truly enjoy working with her!

As children left, they received a goodie bag of Honeyduke's Candy - Harry Potter Chocolate Frog and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Jelly Beans.

Have these photos and invitation, decor and entertainment ideas inspired you to host a Harry Potter birthday party?  If so, please leave me a comment to let me know.  Also, let me know if you have other HP birthday party ideas to share!


{Snow in Love} DIY Glitter Taper Candles

Continuing my 'Snow in Love' series*, today I have a fabulous and inexpensive way to glam up a dinner table or food buffet, or even a welcome table or fireplace mantle: DIY Glitter Taper Candles!

How often have you found a box of glitter taper candles and wished that they came in a different color or on the other hand, were challenged to find any candles to complement your special occasion?  For me, these scenarios happen a lot ... but not any more.  It's so easy to make your own glitter candles!

Sponge (or thick paintbrush)
Wax Paper

Pour a line of  glitter onto a sheet of wax paper.
Using a sponge, apply glue to the candle in long, even strokes.
Holding the candle gently by the wick and the flat part of the other end, roll it in glitter.
Place the glitter candle in a candlestick holder to dry!

Has this tutorial inspired you to glam up your taper candles?  If so, please leave me a comment to let me know.

*Other articles from the 'Snow in Love' series may be found here and here!


{Snow in Love} DIY Fruit-Infused Spirits

Want to encourage fun at your next cocktail party?  Offer homemade fruit-infused spirits!  Not only will guests enjoy experimenting with flavors but the experience will inspire conversation ... and did I mention that the cocktails will be absolutely delicious?!

If you recall from a recent blog post on 2012 Party Trends, homemade fruity spirits are pretty popular.  Celebrity mixologists, and the upscale bars they manage, are having a blast making fun, delicious cocktails ... and you can, too! 

For this Snow in Love party, I served Absolut Crush Cocktails made with Tangerine Vodka; cocktail recipe below.  To make the fruit-flavored vodka, I put sliced tangerines in a jar filled with vodka and let it sit in a dark, cool cabinet for a week.  The result was fabulous!  I loved the smell of tangerines almost as much as the taste of my cocktail!  Other flavor variations include sliced pineapple, strawberries or blueberries, and even vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks.

Absolut Crush Cocktail

1 Part Tangerine Vodka (instructions above) (or Absolut Mandarin)
3 Parts Orange Juice
1 Part Triple Sec
1 Slice Orange

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with orange slice.

Has this article inspired you to make your own fruit-flavored spirits?  If so, please leave me a comment below and tell me which flavor you'll try first!


{Snow in Love} Snow Decor

Hosting a Winter ONEderland first birthday, Snow Sprinkle baby shower or Snow in Love engagement party this season?  Then, you'll need a little snow! Even if there is no snow outside, you can still create a snowy experience inside ... which is my preference anyways!  Below are a few ideas for snow decor.

Suggested snow materials include:

Swiss Dot white linens
White china
Clear  or milk glass serving dishes
White round votive candles
Bubble vase filled with baby's breath
Crystal or clear plastic and pearl garland
Clear gemstones
Snowflake ornaments
Clear ornaments
Granular sugar
Powdered sugar

What other snow materials do you use or would think to use?  Please leave a comment to let me know.  As you can see in the photo above, I love a mixture of materials, which creates rich texture in your snow design!

For more "Snow in Love" design inspiration, including food and drink suggestions, as well as more photos, please read the January issue of party possibilities.


2012 Trends That Will Impact Your Parties & Celebrations

Happy New Year! I hope your winter holidays were fabulous and your New Year is off to a great start.

One thing that I enjoy most at the start of a new year is reading trend reports to learn what’s hip in food, entertainment, fashion, technology and more because, ultimately, these trends will impact our parties and celebrations … although I doubt anyone predicted the wild popularity of elaborate dessert tables, food trucks at wedding receptions and chevron prints last year … but it’s fun to read predictions and try to stay ahead, correct?! Below are a few trends I spotted for 2012:

• Mini meals
• Continued and greater demand for locally-sourced, farm-fresh food
• Thai and Indian ethnic cuisine

Party Impact: smaller portions, eco-friendly and tastier food options = one delicious party!

• Cocktails on tap (like kegs of beer)
• Homemade bitters and liquor infusions
• Juice bars

Party Impact: pre-made cocktails, DIY fruit-flavored spirits and healthy beverage alternatives = one easy (and affordable) bar!

• Bold colors like Pantone’s Color of the Year, Tangerine Mango
• 1920’s fashion and jazz music inspired the upcoming release of The Great Gatsby

Party Impact: gorgeous décor from linens to lighting and lots of opportunity to accessorize!

• Greater use of mobile devices like smartphones and iPad
• Voice controlled apps like Siri
• Wallet apps

Party Impact: the preference for digital communications and content impacts invitations and marketing while apps make it easier to plan an event and purchase goods and services

Note: Weddings are listed separately because they truly are unique events; however, weddings are trendsetters and therefore, influence many details found at other parties and celebrations

• Vintage inspired
• Colorful gowns
• Brooch bouquets
• Letterpress invitations

Party Impact: continued trend of very personalized weddings … including printed invitations! Please save electronic communications for Save the Dates, collecting responses and sharing event details like directions, transportation and hotel information.

What 2012 party trend intrigues you the most? Is there a trend (or 2) that you will incorporate into your next party or celebration? Please leave me a comment and let me know! I think the cocktail trends look most promising and I’m excited about making my own liquor infusions!