Archive | January, 2016

The Daily Hostess is Moving!

Sorry that there weren’t very many posts this week, we were a little busy because…….we bought a house! Thanks to the military we will be moving on from southern California after five years here.  I love that the military keeps us on our toes and helps us explore new places and seek new adventures.  Moving is just a way of life when you’re in the military, but it’s a great way to meet friends that become family along the way.  The best part is that no matter where you go, you probably already know someone in that area and can usually pick right back up where your friendship left.

We are going to be moving to Colorado in about six weeks!  We will be southeast of Denver and we’re excited to explore a new area, meet new people, and be closer to family (only a 12 hour drive, vice a 3+ hour flight), perfect for long weekends and holidays!  Plus our town has the cutest little main street, complete with horse drawn carriage rides during the Christmas season!

It’s going to be bittersweet leaving our current house. Although we’re renting, having been here for 5 years makes it feel like ours.  It also goes without saying that we’re going to miss the mild SoCal temperatures and having a pool in the backyard.  Many a parties have been thrown here because it’s a great entertaining house, lots of family and friends have vacationed here, and we brought our baby home here.

That being said, I’m so excited to live in a house that’s ours and only ours, cue the none stop decorating ideas.  Literally as we were first viewing the home, I started deciding which cabinets our dishes were going into.  I can’t wait to be in a bigger space to stretch out and make it ours.  Plus, my husband can’t wait to have his own office and man cave since he has lost virtually every space in our current home, thanks to one tiny human!

House Picture

I’ll post a full before home tour once we get settled in.  I can’t wait to show you how beautiful this house is, so be prepared for a lot of home-centric posts and progress photos along the way.  It helps that the layout of the kitchen, dining room, and living room is going to be great for hosting parties, so, once we make some new friends, I’ll be sure to show you how we entertain in this new house.  A new home requires a lot of celebrating, we will definitely be planning a house warming party and reluctantly a going away party from our current house and friends.  I’m also scheming up ideas for an old fashioned cocktail party, what better way to make new friends than to invite the neighbors over for a cocktail and a little snack?

Now it’s time to get busy cleaning out, cleaning up, and getting ready for the movers.  I plan on using this free printable from iHeart Organizing to get our current home ready for us to move out.   Anyone have tips on moving with a toddler or long car rides with a toddler, because that’s in our future too?

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A Perfectly Portable Snack

Last night while cutting up celery for dinner I thought I would go ahead and cut up some for a snack since I’ll be out of the house doing Navy Reserve work for the next couple of days.  After cutting it up I wished I had an easy way to pack some peanut butter with the celery and then realized that one of my peanut butter containers was almost empty.  I then had a stroke of genius about how to combine this classic combination of celery and peanut butter.

Peanut Butter & Celery Snack

Peanut Butter & Celery Snack

How about just sticking the celery into the almost empty peanut butter container?  Genius!  And talk about reducing and reusing!  Just be sure to cut the celery to the same height as the peanut butter container so it fits inside.

Peanut Butter & Celery Snack

It’s now going to be so easy to throw this one container in my bag and scoop the peanut butter out with the celery during snack time.  And because I’m addicted to sugar, I also added a few chocolate chips to the container.  Yum!

Peanut Butter & Celery SnackPretty sure I’m going to thoroughly enjoy this and will feel so proud of myself for thinking of it.  I’m sure it’s been done before, but I think it’s just so smart.  What clever ways have you used empty containers around your kitchen?  Or do you have some other really cool trick? If so, share it in the comments below.

Happy Thursday everyone, and be sure to come back on Monday because I’ll be hosting my first ever giveaway!  How does a little extra cash to a trio of stores with awesome home and celebratory gear sound?  I hope you come back to enter the drawing and I’ll be crossing my fingers that you win!

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A Kids Valentine’s Day Craft

Good morning!  Can you believe it’s already half way through January?  I swear it was New Year’s yesterday!  Since time is flying by, we’re already talking about celebrating Valentine’s Day, and you can see how I plan to celebrate here.  Today I’m going to show you step by step directions to making a cute kids Valentine’s craft.  I found the idea for this craft on Facebook but I can’t seem to find who posted it.

A funny story about this craft was that it was made during an impromptu play date.  I had discussed doing this with some of my daughter’s play mates but never confirmed a day or time and then both of her playmates just showed up one morning to do it.  I was confused at first but was so glad to have something fun to do with my daughter and her friends.  Plus, impromptu play dates are so fun!

Here’s the completed valentine!  It’s perfect to give to friends, grandparents, or siblings.

Kids Vday CraftNow, here are all the steps to making one yourself.

All of the tools you’ll need:

  • painted handprints
  • red cardstock
  • a picture of your child
  • scissors
  • tape
  • glue
  • markers

Kids Vday Craft

Step 1: Make your child’s hand print by brushing washable paint onto their hand and pressing them onto white card stock, then once dry cut them out.

Kids Vday Craft

Kids Vday Craft

Step 2: Cut out pictures of your child and glue them onto the red card stock.

Kids Vday Craft

Step 3: Tape the cut out hand print over the picture, ensuring to tape the hand print only at the bottom.

Kids Vday Craft

*Note: Taping the hand print at the bottom allows the hand print to be folded down revealing the child’s picture.

Kids Vday Craft

Step 4: Write whatever message you’d like on your Valentine.  Have fun with this part, by personalizing the message, writing a Valentine’s poem (roses are red, violets are blue, etc.), or coming up with a corny message like those themed Valentine’s you can get at the store.

Kids Vday Craft

When your recipient gets the card they’ll have a cute message and a hand print marking how big your child is at that time, then a surprise photo when they fold down the hand print!  It’s a pretty easy craft and gets your child involved in making Valentine’s for the one’s you love.  It only took me about 10 minutes to put together six Valentine’s after the painted hand prints had dried.

If you don’t have any pictures printed of your child, because it’s 2016 and every picture is on your phone, then try the option below.

Kids Vday craft

Just glue the hand print to the red card stock and add a little paper heart to the palm of the hand print.  I had to do this for two Valentine’s because I only had 4 recent photos of my daughter printed out.  Then add your message as discussed previously.

Kids Vday Craft

I hope you give this hand made Valentine craft a try and I’d love to see how creative you get with it.  There are a ton of variations you could use; patterned paper, fun messages, different sizes and shapes of the Valentine, you’re only limited by your creativity.  A hand made valentine is a great way to surprise someone you care about.

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Valentine’s Sweetheart Party

Happy One Month Before Valentine’s Day day!  I know it’s super early, but I wanted to get a head start on all of the fun things happening for Valentine’s Day.  To start, I put together this super pretty little pink and red Valentine’s Sweetheart table.  It’s such a great way to show someone you love that you don’t mind sitting reeeeallly close to them!

Sweetheart Table
My thought in doing a sweetheart table was that it would be kind of romantic to dine with whoever you love in an intimate little setting and the size and closeness of the table help.  I plan on putting this table back out on the patio to celebrate Valentine’s day with my husband in about a month (sorry to my husband that won’t be surprised at all since he reads the blog!), and making a delicious dinner with no kiddo so we can just enjoy each other.

Sweetheart Table

To dress up the table I used a red tablecloth (typically seen around here at Christmas, everything has to work double duty) and made place settings with everything we already had, gold chargers, and our everyday plates layered onto red plastic outdoor plates.  For the place cards, I cut hearts out of card stock then added a border by gluing a layer of pink sprinkles.  It surprisingly didn’t take many sprinkles, but they do kind of get everywhere, so be forwarned.

For the centerpiece I finally did something that you can see on Pinterest all the time and put a smaller vase inside a bigger vase and then filled the area between them with candy sweethearts.  It turned out so cute, but I did have to go back to the store to buy more sweethearts.  I severely underestimated how many it would take to fill the space, so my tip to you is to buy waaaaaay more than you think you’ll need.  The centerpiece would be nothing without those beautiful pink roses.  I got two dozen at Costco for only $16.99!  They are just gorgeous!

Pink Flowers and Sweetheart Vase

Here’s a closer look at the vase.  You can kind of see that blue mason jar holding the flowers and the sweethearts surrounding it in the clear vase.  It really adds a fun factor and a lot of color.

Pink Roses

These flowers!  I just can’t with how pretty they are!

Sweetheart Table Place Setting

I quickly took a page from Yolanda Foster’s book and added a “My Love” label to the place cards.  #namethatreference  You could easily add your names, the menu you’d be serving, or a sweet Valentine’s message.  Remember all of those Valentine cards growing up and their corny little sayings?  Try and replicate that on your place cards for some fun!

Sweetheart TableAny party table of mine would not be complete without some champagne. Luckily a friend brought me a bottle of pink champagne which fits perfectly in this setting.  Paired with some floral champagne flutes, it’s a perfect way to pop the bubbly and enjoy a cozy night together.  Because we will be dining on the patio in February, and even in Southern California it will be chilly, I plan to add some cozy throw blankets to this sweetheart table along with some candles to light our meal.

I think this sweetheart table is just so pretty, from the flowers to the idea of dining so close to my husband!  I’m looking forward to putting this one to use.  You also don’t have to save this just for Valentine’s Day, put something like this together for an anniversary or birthday or even a random Tuesday.  I promise it will make your dining experience so much more special.

And here’s my little photo bomber “helping” me with this shoot.  Take it in now girl, because you’ll be in bed when it’s really being put to use!  It’s always interesting doing these things with a toddler running around.  It definitely requires strategic picture taking!

Sweetheart Table

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Party Planning Tool Belt

I’m going to call it right now, this party planning tool belt is going to change my life when it comes to decorating for a party.  One of my dearest friends obviously got tired of watching me run around like a chicken with my head cut off decorating for a party because this is the best gift she could have ever given me.  After her visit (and help) during my daughter’s first birthday we all kind of thought it would have been so much easier if I just had a tool  belt to carry around scissors and tape rather than running back and forth trying to remember where I last had them.

Fast forward several months to my 30th birthday and she gifts me with the greatest party planning tool ever.  This ChefWorks waist apron with a lot of cool gadgets to put in it.  It’s the perfect size and holds exactly everything I need when decorating for a party.

Party Planning Toolbelt

It’s going to be so fantastic to have everything right within reach, especially when you’re teetering on a ladder to tape up a garland, ha!  Here’s a peak into the nitty gritty of the typical things needed when decorating for a party.

Party Planning Toolbelt

Tape and twine are your best friend when decorating.  I have a plethora of different types of twine; rope, baker’s, and small white string, all work for varying needs when you’re trying to hang stuff up or tie something back.  I especially love that my friend included a small tape measure because carrying around a bulky tape measure from my husband’s tool box is just not cute or practical.  I also love having post-its on the ready to label anything and everything.  One of my favorite tips is to lay out your serving dishes and place a post-it on each one labeling what dish is supposed to be on each serving piece.  Do this the day or two before a party and you’ll have a lot less stress the day of the event.  They also work great when you’re setting up a table to label where everything is supposed to go, the cake, the favors, the gift table, etc.  Labeling with post-its is also helpful if other people are helping you to set up so they know where everything is supposed to go and you can focus on other tasks.

And here’s a close up of the left side of my tool belt.

Party Planning Toolbelt And the right side.

Party Planning Tool belt

And here’s me sporting the tool belt so you can see how it looks on an actual human.

Party Planning Toolbelt

Yep, totally pretending to hang up that tissue pom.

Party Planning Toolbelt

Isn’t this the greatest thing ever?  I’m so grateful to have it and know that it will be extremely helpful when getting ready for the next get together in our home.  Would this make your life easier when decorating for a party?  What goodies would you include in your tool belt?  I almost want to plan a party so I can wear this and decorate for it!  Happy Wednesday everyone, get excited for Friday’s post because it’s the first in a few Valentine’s Day posts and it’s going to be so pretty!

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Celebrating everyday!