Archive | June, 2017

Real Life Party: Backyard Wedding Reception

Recently I got to attend my sister’s super casual backyard wedding.  It was a great day filled with close friends and family celebrating a couple that was just so happy to be together.  I keep telling everyone that asks how the wedding was, that I was so amazed at how laid back the couple was.  It just goes to show that when all you care about is getting married at the end of the day, the little stuff just doesn’t matter.

I was honored when my sister asked me to help her decorate and set up for the backyard reception.  It was so fun getting emails and texts in the months leading up to the wedding discussing decorating details.  She had a great general theme and color scheme to work with.  She also diyed a lot of decor so there was a lot to work with.  I mostly did some space planning, set up, and decorating.  All things that I love to do.  I also had a lot of help from my sister-in-law that has an amazing eye for pulling parties together.  See her backyard BBQ here.

Today you get to see a bunch of reception decor and how her theme was carried out throughout the space. Are you ready for picture overload?

Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.The general theme was rustic with a sense of adventure in a navy blue, mint and gray color scheme.  Using mason jars, baby’s breath, wood slices, and a few magnolia leaves we created a simple, but rustic centerpiece.

Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.The abundant charcuterie board.  My sister-in-law is a genius when putting these together. I didn’t think to take any pictures of the food and dessert tables, but it was all delicious.  Because it was such a small wedding it was almost pot luck style.  My brother-in-law roasted pork loin, my mother-in-law made a side dish as well as the groom’s mom, and the dessert was all made by the grooms sister.  It was quite a family affair, but everything was tasty and homemade.

Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.The drink station.  I love the idea of using an old crate to lift the beverage canisters up.  It really brings in the rustic feel.

Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.Probably my favorite area of the entire reception was the head table area.  My sister initially wanted a photo booth area, but because of possible rain, we opted to put the photo booth backdrop behind the head table and it really made a great backdrop to the newly married couple.

Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.The backdrop was built by the groom using pallets and decorated with burlap style curtains and color coordinated pennants made by the bride.  The part I love the most is the vintage window hanging on the backdrop.  The window was found on the family farm, and my sister-in-law refinished it.  Then the bride’s talented friend hand lettered a wonderful quote on it.

Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.“Actually, the best gift you could have given me was a lifetime of adventure.” -Lewis Carroll

Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.The bride’s bouquet was found on Etsy here.  I love that it’s something she’s going to have forever because it’s made of fabric and wood flowers.

Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.Another super on theme area was the gift table and guest sign-in area.  This couple has some amazingly talented friends who made these awesome signs.  Something they’ll have forever. The backdrop was made using pallets, pennants, and meaningful pictures of the couple throughout their life.

Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.

Inspiration for a rustic adventure themed backyard wedding and reception.Another great idea was having guests leave notes for the couple with suggestions of adventures they should go on.  There were some pretty challenging adventures suggested, like finding Wonderland, but this adventuresome couple is up for the challenge I’m sure.

I didn’t think to get any pictures of the lawn area, but after a short storm passed, we busted out lawn games.  Games included cornhole, washers, and a giant tic-tac-toe game made from a pallet and large X’s and O’s.  The wedding was such a nice, intimate, family filled gathering.  Proof that it’s not necessary to spend a lot or have a large production just to get married.

Here’s to a lifetime of adventures and happiness for the bride and groom!  What was your favorite part of this adventure themed wedding?


10 Tips to Quickly Unpack From a Trip

I recently returned from a road trip back home to attend my sister-in-laws super pretty backyard wedding.  Don’t worry you’ll get to see how cute it was soon.  When we returned from our 12 hour drive I had a strange amount of energy and got us unpacked so quickly.

After getting bags unpacked and put away so quickly I just had to share with you a few of the things I did to make it such a quick and smooth process.  I did a quick search and there are a lot of packing lists and checklists, but not many that will help you unpack quickly.  I’ll give you plenty of tips and tricks today, plus a free unpacking checklist to help you get it all done quickly.

How to unpack quickly from a trip, packing and unpacking tips, travel tips

1. Dump out all of your laundry right in your laundry room

No matter if you wore all of your clothes or not, washing everything that has been in your suitcase will give you a fresh, clean start.  Dumping it all out on the laundry room floor makes it easy to sort and start laundry right away.

2. Have a ready made meal for dinner

I highly recommend having a quick frozen meal ready to throw in a skillet or the oven once you return home.  You will definitely not feel like cooking after traveling.  Having something ready to go makes your life so much easier.  A great option is one of those one skillet Voila frozen meals.

3. Sniff Sniff

If you have gone on a road trip you most definitely will need to air out your car and make it smell nice again.  A simple way to do that is to place a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oil on it in your car for a day or two.  It will smell so nice afterwards.

4. Put your suitcases away right away

There’s nothing worse than feeling like it takes forever to unpack because your suitcases are left out.  If you get them put away right away the trip is visually over and you’re ready to get back into your routine.

5. Clean your house before you leave

Picking up big messes, making beds, and cleaning out the refrigerator before leaving for your trip will make unpacking so much easier.  Plus, coming home to a clean house is so much nicer than walking into a mess.

6. Keep separate bags

Keep toiletries and chargers constantly packed in a separate bag.  All you’ll have to do to unpack is take the bag out and put it away. No need to put everything inside of it away.  This means you’ll have a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, phone charger, etc. but they’ll all be grouped together and packing and unpacking will be a breeze.  All you will have to do is throw a toiletry bag in your suitcase and not have to fish out everything you need from your medicine cabinet.

7. Take care of the car

If you are taking a road trip, schedule an oil change or car detailing within a few days after your arrival.  Set this up before you leave to help you get back into your routine.  This will also take care of any car issues that may have come up on your trip.

8. Set a Timer

For procrastinators it may help to set a timer once start unpacking.  Have a time limit will help you get motivated to get everything out and put away.  Give yourself a prize if you need to for finishing unpacking before the timer goes off.

9. Don’t repeat

When unpacking, be sure to put like items together.  One way I do this is to put everything that needs to go back upstairs on the bottom step. This way I’m not running up and down the stairs a bunch of times, but can take everything at once.  If you use a central location to unpack, like your laundry room, you can even just make piles of items by which room they need to go back to.

10. Enlist Help

You probably didn’t go on a trip alone, so you shouldn’t be the only one doing all of the unpacking.  Get your husband, kids, or hey call a neighbor if you need to to help you.  Having someone sorting laundry while someone else is cooking dinner will make the unpacking go much faster.

Now that you’ve gotten some great tips, feel free to click on the image below to print out a quick cheat sheet to help you unpack.  I highly recommend just posting this in your laundry room or central unpacking area as a reminder.

How to unpack quickly from a trip, packing and unpacking tips, travel tips

Do you have any other unpacking tips?  If so be sure to leave a comment so I can reply.  I hope you get to go on a great adventure this summer! I’m sure it will be a breeze to unpack with these tips when you return home.



FREE Printable Father’s Day Cards

Well, Father’s Day is only about a week away.  If you weren’t sure when it is, it’s this Sunday June 18th.  Isn’t Father’s Day always so much harder than Mother’s Day to make special?  Dads are just hard to buy gifts for in general.

I’ve got you partly covered today with a few Father’s Day cards that you can use in a pinch if you need something to give your Dad.  Super easy to just print out on cardstock, cut out, sign, and place in an envelope for your Dad.

Here are a few Father’s Day gift guides that you might find helpful if you are still in need of a gift.  Mine from last year, this one from Jones Design Company, or this one that’s a full grilling gift guide.  My husband personally has a few items off the grilling gift guide and he loves them!

Either way, if you get a gift or you don’t you’ll need to write a special little note for your Dad.  Feel free to print off any of the cards I designed below.  There’s one for an awesome dad, a hard working dad, and the world’s greatest dad.  Just click the picture to download the card.

Free printable Father's Day Cards, awesome dad father's day card, green and blue father's day card

Free printable Father's Day Cards, hard working dad father's day card, blue and orange father's day card

Free printable Father's Day Cards, greatest dad father's day card, camoflauge father's day cardI sometimes find that cards in the store are either super vague or way to mushy for my taste.  These cards are pretty simple, but give you lots of space on the back to write something specifically for your dad.  Card prices are out of control! I hate the idea of spending $4-$5 on a card, it’s ridiculous!  These are free!

Be sure to click on the images above so you can print out your free Father’s Day cards.  Then all you’ll have to do is add your personal message to the back and pop it in an envelope.  Either attach it to a gift or give the card all on it’s own.  These would also be great to give along side a gift card if you plan to go that route.

What are you planning on getting your Dad, husband, or grandfather for Father’s Day?  I already have quite a few ideas for my husband, but he reads these posts so I won’t be giving him an spoilers.  I hope you have a great rest of your week and your Dad has a special day on Sunday!


Party Color Scheme-Summertime Lemonade Stand

It’s another round of Party Color Schemes on this Friday.  Today it’s more of a fun summertime tradition for kids than a party.  However, using some party accessories you can take this lemonade stand to a whole new level.

Did you ever set up a lemonade stand in the summer time when you were growing up?  I remember doing it when I was in second grade during my mom’s yard sale.  I made $46.00 from that lemonade stand and thought I was so rich!

Coming across this color scheme instantly screamed lemonade stand to me.  It may have helped that there were actual lemons in the picture, but I just love the combination of colors to jazz up a basic lemonade stand.

I also love the addition of the green color in this color scheme.  It gives you a great option to offer a limeade drink at your lemonade stand.

Now that you have a great color scheme to center your whole lemonade stand around, try one of these custom lemonade stand DIY’s.  They are super cute and not that difficult to make.  Plus, they are customizable to whatever your lemonade stand needs are.  You could also use this idea as a place for pretend play, costume parties or puppet shows with the kids.  I’d recommend busting it back out again in the winter and setting up a hot chocolate stand.


I love that these stands just use a few simple things like paint, crates, and few pieces of wood.

Here’s how I’d accessorize the lemonade stand.  Doing so will really take it over the top and tie in all of these great colors.  Who knows putting in a little party decorating effort might get you more sales and increase your income.

  • Add some garlands in the blue signature color like this, this, or this
  • It never hurts to accessorize with real lemons and limes to bring in the yellow and green colors
  • Add some fun cocktail napkins for your patrons, bonus if they have lemons on them
  • In addition to lemonade offer a sweet treat like lemon cookies, candies, or cupcakes
  • Serve lemon or limeade in these awesome lidded clear cups.  There’s even a size perfect for kids.
  • Use green straws to tie in the green from the color scheme.  These from Shop Sweet Lulu are on sale right now!

Now you have the color scheme to get started, inspiration for making your own lemonade stand, and sources for all the decor you need.  Your over the top lemonade stand is going to make you some big bucks.  And look cute while doing so.  We have a community garage sale this weekend, and I’d love to set one of these guys up in front of our house.  Will you?



Summer Party Inspiration for Your Backyard

It’s been so long since I’ve been here with you!  I’ve been doing a little traveling, gearing up for a baby, house projects, and settling into summer.  This month my daughter is in a preschool summer camp, so I’m hoping to be here with you a lot more!

Let’s kick off summer together with some summer party inspiration shall we?  Don’t you just love summer?  I think casual get togethers that last longer into the night are so fun and create that special memory of summer.  Give any of these parties a try and put your backyard to use.  Here’s a round up of inspiration to get you started.

Picnic Party

I love the idea of doing a mid-day playdate picnic party.  Invite all the friends over for a backyard picnic.  You’ll be amazed at how much less of a struggle it is to get kids to eat when having a picnic outside.  Here are some great ideas and inspiration to host this red an white gingham filled party.

Theme ideas:

  • Use a red and white gingham paper as your invitation
  • Package food in individual boxes for each guest.  Wrap in red and white twine to tie into
  • Ask everyone to bring a picnic friendly food (that way it’s less work for the host)
  • Have kids make an ant themed craft project
Summer party themes, picnic party, backyard picnic playdate, backyard party, picnic food

Use to go boxes for individual picnic lunches. via Paper Mart

Summer party themes, backyard picnic party, picnic invitation, red gingham invitation, mason jars

via Etsy

Backyard Field Day

The kids don’t get to have all the fun during summer!  If you don’t have kids, I highly recommend hosting an adult only field day.  The biggest tip to make this party go smoothly is to be organized and put one person in charge.  The person in charge should be a neutral party so there isn’t any favoritism.  Here’s how to host this fun, competitive summer party:

  • Organize guests into teams
  • Have them compete against each other with backyard games and classic field day competitions
  • Have the neutral party or referee keep track of points to see which team wins at the end of the party
  • Award prizes to the winning team
  • Be sure to provide refreshments to keep your competitors fueled up.  I’m sure adding a summer cocktail will make things even more interesting!

I love this blog post from The Creative Bite.  The games they used for their family Olympics would be perfect for an adult field day party.

Camping Sleepover Party

This is such a great idea for summer time when the weather is warmer and the sun stays up until 9 pm.  If you have a kid’s birthday in the summer, try a camping sleepover birthday party.  Kids will think they are so cool sleeping outside in the yard in tents.  A few pointers to hosting a camping sleepover party:

  • Set up tents with plenty of blankets, cushions, and pillows
  • Provide some late night activities for guests like telescopes for star gazing or flash lights for ghost stories and shadow puppets
  • I’m pretty sure that s’mores are a requirement for a camping sleepover party.  Be sure to stock up on chocolate and marshmallows, then break out the fire pit.

I hope these three fun Summer party ideas will get your creative juices flowing and help to put your backyard to use.  Which party do you want to try?  What’s your favorite way to celebrate summer?


Celebrating everyday!