Archive | July, 2016

Saturday Simple Celebrations: Inspiration at the Library

Library InspirationDo you have a local library?  I hope so.  I didn’t grow up with one in my hometown.  Talking with my Grandma recently I learned that my hometown has tried several times to raise the money to build one, but it hasn’t been successful.  What a pity.

Ever since having a child, I’ve utilized our local library a lot.  Luckily the libraries in San Diego, and here in Denver have great children’s programs.  Things like story time, songs, play time, dancing story time, and yoga story time.

It just recently occurred to me however, that I could use the library for inspiration.  I started checking out party planning books and cook books along with fun books to read.  Why should my daughter have all the fun at the library?

Checking books out from the library is a great idea if you’re feeling stuck with something.  Sometimes a little inspiration can come from flipping through a book.  The party planning books I’ve checked out have great ideas and tips.  However, the books I checked out were printed in 2010 and 2014, so some things can be a little outdated.  Although many ideas, themes, color schemes, and recipes stand the test of time, so they are still a great resource.

It never hurts to see how other people do things and incorporate what they’re doing into your own routine.  It’s a great way to keep learning and fine tuning how you do things.

It’s so easy to get a library card too.  Typically all you need to apply is something showing your address, like a driver’s license or bill.  Once you get that card, inspiration is right at your fingertips!

Have a great weekend, and think about getting a library card.  I’m sure you’ll appreciate your library more than you ever thought you would.

Library Inspiration

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How to Create an Organized Jewelry Display

First and foremost, I’m going to apologize for how badly lit these photos are.  When you’re taking pictures in a closet with no natural light, it’s hard.  So this is the best I could do, thanks for understanding.

When we moved into this house, I knew right away that our master bedroom closet was going to be so much more functional than what we had in the past.  It’s big enough for all of our clothes, shoes, and accessories, with a little room to spare.  I was so excited to build a kind of boutique/dressing room in our closet.  It started with using bookshelves for shoe display, and now I’ve finally organized my jewelry too.

Jewlery OrganizationI have two sets of billy bookcases as shoe display, and I dedicated one shelf entirely to jewelry.  Up until recently I had been using a flat jewelry organizer that was too big to fit on the shelf.  It worked great in a drawer before, but it just wasn’t working in the new closet.  Plus, it became a place where I would just toss my things and there wasn’t really much organizing happening.

I decided to ditch the flat organizer and get my jewelry up and out so it could breath and I could see it all.  I love how using the vertical space of the cubby opened up the shelf to display bracelets, earrings, and rings.

To hang the necklaces I used a combination of 3M Command hooks.  Some are clear plastic, while others have larger hooks.  I wanted a variety of hook sizes to accommodate the variety of necklace sizes.

Jewlery OrganizationI also purchased this bracelet holder to make sure I had easy access, and a pretty display of most of my bracelets.

Jewlery Organization

Jewlery OrganizationI put my less used bracelets in the little paint can container that my watches are sitting on.  I’m hoping after a few months, maybe a few seasons, I’ll be able to figure out what pieces I don’t wear and be able to purge a lot.

Jewlery OrganizationA  cute little dish holds my earrings.  I hung the dangling earrings on the rim of the dish and placed all of my stud earrings inside.  I love that I can see so many more earrings this way rather than them all laying in a flat container.  The inside of the dish is kind of a mess of earrings. It takes me awhile to find what I’m looking for.  So, I’ll have to keep looking for a way to display those as I wear stud earrings almost daily.

Jewlery OrganizationI had some jewelry boxes that I used to corral bracelets that couldn’t fit on my bracelet holder, and all of my rings.

Jewlery OrganizationOverall, I’m loving this set up.  Mostly because I can see all of my jewelry now.  After having a child that likes to pull and grab at jewelry, I’ve gotten out of the habit of wearing more than a pair a stud earrings.  Now that I can see everything out in the open, I’ve been trying to step up my jewelry game and incorporate more pieces into my every day looks.

What do you think?  Do you like looking at all of your jewelry, or do you like it tucked away in a drawer or cabinet.  Oh, and I’d love advice and ideas on easy ways to display stud earrings.  I want to just reach in and grab them, and not have to take the backs off them to get to them.  Is that super picky?

I hope you have a great weekend.  We’re attending two weddings this weekend and I’m excited to see how the couples are celebrating.  One wedding is at the top of a mountain and the other is at a mansion!  Don’t worry, I’ll take lots of photos and be sure to show you all of the fun details.  Be sure to come back tomorrow for a Saturday Simple Celebrations post.  It’s been a lifetime since I’ve done one of those.

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Around the World Themed Olympics Party

Who’s ready for the summer games?  We’re only about a week away from the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  Are you the type of person that loves the Olympics and watches every event, gets super patriotic, and goes for gold?

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Is there a better way to celebrate the games than by having a viewing party?  It’s a great excuse to get your friends together and cheer for the USA.

I’ve put together a few ideas to get your party started.  I’ve got all the things you need to celebrate all the countries around the world.

The Food

Invite all of your friends from different backgrounds and ask them to bring a dish or drink that represents the country they are from.  Or ask your friends to bring a dish from a country they’d like to visit.  This is a great way to try some authentic food from around the world.  We’re so lucky to have neighbors from India which let us try a lot of goodies from their tandoori grill.  We also have some great Filipino friends that always show up with lumpia.

The Decor

There is no better way to decorate than by incorporating the flags from the countries that compete at the Olympics.  There are so many ways to include them.  Hang flags as a garland, use them on the food labels so everyone knows where the dish comes from, and use them to make a centerpiece.  And don’t forget to use the Olympic rings as part of your decor.  I’d recommend buying some foam wreath forms, spray painting them to look like Olympic rings then hot glue them together for a large back drop or even as front door decor.

The Games

While watching the opening ceremonies or your favorite event of the Olympics, it’s a great idea to get all of your guests involved and have some fun with games.  There are a ton of “minute to win it” type games that would be perfect for this party.  Playing a guessing game during the opening ceremonies is a great idea too.  Have your guests guess the country with the smallest number of people and largest number, the closest guess wins. Another easy game option is to have everyone take a flag button for every country they’ve visited, the person with the most buttons wins!

It’s fairly obvious, but using gold medals as prizes or favors is a must.

Kids Activities

It would be easy to involve any kids attending your party in the party games.  However, if the kids need an activity to keep them busy, here is a great tutorial on making Olympic torches.  Kids love to craft, and this one is so fitting for an Olympics viewing party.

I’d recommend having the gold “handles” of the torches already painted so all the kids would need to do is assemble the torches.  It would also be a fun idea to make a bunch of these and group them together for a centerpiece.

Now that you’ve got everything from the food, games, decor, and activities covered, all you need to do is gather your friends up and invite them over to watch the Olympics.  It’s always a fun time to get patriotic and cheer on your country.  Unfortunately, since we cut the cable cord, we’ll have to find alternative ways to watch all of the popular events.

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Real Life Party: Alternative Bridal Shower

If you’re not a “ladies who brunch” kind of girl, I hope this post inspires you to think outside of the box when it comes to different kinds of bridal showers.

I recently did a post all about switching up the typical bridal shower, but today you get to see it in action.  One of my good friend’s recently hosted a bridal shower for her sister-in-law, and it was anything but typical.

bridalshowerballoonsIt was an alternative evening bridal shower cocktail party.  A great way to take advantage of guests who may have jobs or engagements throughout the day is to host a party in the evening.

Adding pictures of the bride or engaged couple is a great way to embellish balloons.  If you’re using helium balloons, adorning the strings with pictures or some other decoration, like festooning, will help to give them some weight and hold them in place.

bridalshowerflowersLove these simple but perfect centerpieces.  You really can never go wrong with hydrangeas.  They are a big impact for the money.  You get a really large bloom, so you’ll need less flowers.

Coordinating the ribbon around the vase to the cocktail napkins ties the whole them together beautifully.

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Again, the balloons make a great back drop to the cake area.  Adding the letters to the balloons reminds us what marriage is all about, love.

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How great is this cake?  I am in love with the color scheme.  The black and white stripes and gold is such a classic combination.  I also love a good cake banner.

bridalshowerfavorsSuch a great way to display favors.  And the sign, with it’s cute saying, let’s everyone know that they get a little gift on their way out.

bridalshowerguestbookEven the “guest book” at this bridal shower was anything but typical.  Instead of a traditional book, the guests signed a large platter.  I’m sure the couple will use it for years to come during family holidays.

Such great ideas for an alternative bridal shower.  I love that my friends and family contribute such great content for this blog.  Keep it up!  I love it!

If you have a great party you want me to share, click the contact tab and let me know.  I’m always willing to take submissions!

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Party Mistakes I’ve Made

As this blog has grown, I find many friends and even acquaintances approaching me for advice (and sometimes approval) when it comes to parties.  It’s humbling really, because party planning and entertaining is just something I love to do.  I want to inspire people to enjoy it as much as I do.

However, even if having a party planning blog makes you some kind of expert, I think it’s necessary to admit when you make mistakes.  Want to hear all about a few mistakes I’ve made when it comes to parties, and what I could have done to solve them.  Solving them is so much easier after the fact, right?

Birthday BalloonsA recent mistake I made was at my daughter’s birthday.  I had ordered balloons in colors coordinating to the party along with a big number 2.  Perfect for her Daniel Tiger themed birthday.  I was smart and ordered and paid for the balloons about a week before the party.  I thought I was way on top of my game.

Turns out, if you aren’t clear when you communicate it will cost you.  I asked my husband to go pick up the balloons while I was getting ready for the party.  I thought I was so smart by writing down a list for him.  On the list?  Pick up balloons.  Three red, Three orange, and a gold #2 at the party store.  However, I failed to mention that I had already ordered and paid for the balloons.  So he did what he was asked and picked up the balloons, not realizing I had already paid for them, and paid for them AGAIN!  Probably some of the most expensive balloons we’ve ever had.

My solution, be sure to clearly communicate what you want done, what you’ve already done, and if you’ve already paid.

PizzaThis next mistake is one that has kind of haunted me.  For my husband’s 30th birthday I organized a really extravagant party with pool side cabanas, party buses, and flying friends in.  One detail I totally overlooked was how hungry a bunch of drunk people can get.  After the party we returned to our house with a bunch of friends and everyone wanted a late night snack.  I hadn’t planned on that so I made the only thing we had and started whipping up grilled cheese sandwiches.  It sufficed, but wasn’t ideal.

If I had just thought out the entire night, including the after party, I could have avoided making a million grilled cheese sandwiches at 2:00 in the morning.  A quick run to pick up pizza before we left would have been all that was needed.  Keeping them in the oven until we returned home would have kept them semi-warm.  If not, those drunk people wouldn’t have even cared to chow down on cold pizza.

Birthday InvitationThis was the invitation from my daughter’s latest birthday.  Nothing special, I just printed it out on the computer and glued some coordinating colored paper together.  There is one kind of major detail that I left out.  Did you catch it?  My daughter’s name is no where on it.  This caused quite a lot of confusion for the guests we mailed invitations to.  Thank goodness for return addresses or else they never would have known who was inviting them.

This just goes to show you that attention to detail is really important.  If I had enlisted the help of a proofreader  I may have been able to prevent this mistake.

I hope by letting you in on a few of my mistakes you realize we’re not all perfect.  More importantly, I hope you realize that it’s just a party.  If something goes wrong, most of your guests probably won’t even notice and will still have fun.  You shouldn’t let party mistakes ruin your good time.

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Celebrating everyday!