Tag Archives: party

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First I had to keep it a secret because I didn’t want to spoil the surprises for anyone. Then I had to keep it a secret because I didn’t have time to edit the pics off my camera.  The life of a blogger, sheesh!  This is going to be the world’s longest post, but I don’t want to split it up into 2 or 3 posts so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy as I take you through our evening.

My sisters and I have been talking about doing a Pinterest Party for… forever.  We are all on Pinterest, pinning this and that, following each other’s boards, experimenting, etc.  We wanted to throw a party where everything was inspired by the things we saw on Pinterest: we would cook Pinterest recipes, decorate with Pinterest decor & give gifts of DIY Pinterest.

Finally Natalie pulled the trigger and said, “My house, be there!”  So last Friday night we finally had our Sisters Only Pinterest Party!  I will try to link you to our “pins” that inspired all this merriment.

Natalie & I worked on the decor earlier in the week.  Our goal was to keep the decorations, foods, gifts, etc. fun but still simple & inexpensive.  So we used picture frames we already had and printed out the Pinterest logo (which they so willingly provide on their website) to fill them.  I created a simple “Welcome to our Pinterest Party” sign that sat on the main table along with some pretty PInterest inspired vases that Natalie pinned.

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And see all those little “p’s” on the table?  I just used a template from Avery for 1” circle labels then used my 1” circle punch to cut them out.  Instant Pinterest confetti!!  We spread them all over the room.

At each place setting Natalie placed a little card of her favorite Pinterest quotes. 

The food, oh the food!  When you combine 6 girls who love to cook (and eat) you are going to get one crazy good meal.

We started out with appetizers from Adrienne and beverages from Andrea.  The appetizers were bacon wrapped jalapenos with a cream cheese filling. Oh...my...goodness.  I could have eaten the whole plate.  But those other 5 couldn’t keep their hands off of them either, darn it.

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Andrea made not one, but two beverages:  a blueberry lemonade and a pear sangria.  Both good to the last drop and I can’t wait for summer so I can enjoy them again and again.

 

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Then there was the main course by Natalie: grilled spice rubbed chicken, veggie couscous and grilled asparagus (which we forgot to serve, oops!).  Really tasty, but also really easy to put together. I don’t have her pins for those, maybe she’ll share later.

Each of us brought a small gift for each of the other sisters, which of course, was inspired by something we had pinned on Pinterest.  My gift was hand dyed ombre tea towels, inspired by this pin:

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I hope to share that project with you soon!

Natalie made 3 little presents (cheater): a little bracelet made with embroidery floss, a paint-chip bookmark and lavender salt & sugar scrubs.

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Here is a group photo of what the rest of the sisters made:

I’ll try to point them out to you separately…

See the dainty little ric-rac ring and button bobby pins?  Amy made those, inspired by these pins:

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The mug was hand stenciled by Andrea, a project I have meaning to do and just never got around to.  Now I don’t have to!  She was inspired by this pin:

Source: designmom.com via Erin on Pinterest

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Adrienne created the hot cup cuff with the most amazing fabric! I’m not exactly sure which pin she was inspired by but it might have been this one:

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The last gift was from Angela and you might not be able to tell what it is from the photo above.  Just below the mug you will see a pink-ish rectangular item.  Know what that is?  It does this:

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Clever, no?  She used this pin for inspiration:

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After our little gift exchange, Amy presented her sinfully delicious dessert, which somehow I didn’t get a picture of.  Must have been the food coma.  But I’m pretty sure she pinned it here:

Source: annies-eats.com via Amy on Pinterest

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They were sweet, salty, buttery… all the things a dessert should be.

It was a fun night of sharing, gabbing, eating and just being sisters.  We plan to have more Pinterest Parties in the future, this was just the trial run.  But it was so much fun and I look forward to the next one!

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There is a baby coming soon in our family!  My sister Natalie is expecting her first baby in just about 1 month and so it was time for the baby shower.  Truth be told, I started planning this baby shower...uhh... well, I think I started the day her and Michael got married.  I like to be prepared, sue me!

First let me say, I did not pull this off on my own.  This shower was a HUGE undertaking, from the planning to the execution, and it was a group effort:  myself, my sister Laura, my sister-in-law Chris, Natalie's mother-in-law Jill and Natalie's good friend Megan.  These gals helped every step along the way and to them I want to say a big THANK YOU.  There are others who played a large role in the details, more on them later on.  But you know who you are, so many thanks to you too!

There were a lot of pieces and parts to this shower so rather than flood this post with a kazillion pictures and links I will split it up into several different posts so keep your eyes peeled this week for the "rest of the story."

So today, I'm going to give you a little peek into how I go about planning a party.

STORYBOARDS

One of the best tips I can give you when in the planning phase of an event is to put together a storyboard of your ideas.  I knew from the beginning I wanted the shower to be Japanese themed because my brother-in-law is half Japanese and therefore my little nephew would be Japanese too.  Additionally, this shower was a joint-effort between his family and ours so celebrating their ethnic roots was important to me.  Now, when I am in the brainstorming phase of  a party I allow my brain to go a little crazy.  Some of the ideas are good ones, some of them are just weird.  But even a weird idea can morph into something brilliant if you allow it "simmer" for a bit.  That's where the storyboards come into play.

I started collecting little pictures of as many "Japanese" items I could find in stores, internet, you name it.  I also began noticing colors and color themes that were catching my eye.  Eventually,  I took the-best-of-the-best of these ideas and started organizing them into the storyboards you see here.  Not all of the ideas were realized at the shower, but they helped to keep me on track when I went shopping, was ordering things online, etc.  And since this party was actually given by 5 different women, I was easy to give each gal a copy of the storyboards and say, "OK, here's what it needs to look like, now run with it!"  And they did!

Looking back over the storyboards, now that the party is over, I am so pleased that we were able to incorporate so many of the ideas.  Some of them were literal translations.  For instance, those mochi ice cream balls you see above, we were able to have those for dessert instead of a big ugly sheet cake from the local discount grocery store with that funky blue frosting that you are never quite sure if it's made out of real food or not... yeah, you know what I'm talking about.  Other things were more of an "inspiration" for something we translated in our own way, like the main courses.  We had originally planned to serve teriyaki bowls and sushi but after meeting with the chef we were able to serve other Japanese inspired dishes that were more creative and entirely yummy.

So that's where it all started:  a Japanese themed party full of color and good food.  Can't wait to share more details with you!!

So... I've been a little busy,  as I'm sure you noticed by the lack of attention here.  Sorry about that, but it was for a very good reason!  My sister's baby shower was this weekend and it was a huge undertaking and it was tons of fun.  So to tease you just a bit, here are some sneak peek photos of the event:

All the details coming next week, I promise!!

I am oddly fascinated by this recipe I saw today on picky-palette.com.

Walking Tacos by picky-palette.com

You HAVE to dash over to her site and read about this recipe.  I wish the Superbowl wasn't already past or I would have tested it out on my brothers.  Next year, next year...

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photo by Jessica Cole Photography

It all began with this little guy:

Hudson came to greet us all in December of 2009. His mommy is Bree, my buddy and co-instigator.   It was right about this time that we started planning his first birthday party, because we are crazy like that.  And if  one of us is planning a party, the other is by default included.  This makes for some exciting adventures!

When Bree and I plan a party we begin with Brainstorming phase. During the Brainstorming phase, we are allowed to throw out any idea, no matter how crazy or bizarre. Laughter is the hallmark of this phase, we can both come up with some wild ideas!   After we have tossed around all of the brilliant, mediocre and hilarious ideas in our brain, we move on to the next phase, Research. We scour through websites, blogs, magazines, cookbooks, etc., looking for that perfect party-theme.

That's what lead us to this article: Mr. Man Party from Hostess with the Mostess. I am going to stop and do a little shameless name dropping here. The Hostess with the Mostess website is the creative goldmine of Jenn Sbranti, formerly of my hometown, alumnus of my alma-mater Faith Christian High School and in fact, I was her JV Volleyball coach, the poor girl.   Anyway, HWTM had featured an article on a party by Christiana Brian, a Mr. Man Party.  At that point, Bree and I knew we just had found the theme for Hudson's 1st birthday party, except we changed it to a Little Man Party, since their last name is "Little", it was just too good to resist!

With inspiration from HWTM and our own ideas thrown in for good measure, we started 2011 off with one fun party.  That of course required a custom designed invitation from Wedding Tulle, which handily is owned by Bree.  Bree came up with this quirky and fun invitation that let everyone in on the party theme right off the bat.


BTW: All of Hudson's photos were taken by the amazingly talented Jessica Cole.

We tried to fit in as many "manly" props, foods, and decorations as we could.  That's where these came in:

Chocolate Mustaches!  We could have bought them, but like I've said before, homemade is better.  And cheaper.   I made them with melted down Dove chocolates.  And they were yummy.  And I was bathed head to toe in chocolate by the end of the day.  Not a bad day.


Next came the ties!  Bree and Brandy (another party conspirator!) picked out a bunch of beautiful patterned papers and made ever so many ties for banners, gift bags, etc. Aren't they adoreable?!



Then there was the food! Bree and Dan created a menu of "mini man food" such as mini sliders, popcorn chicken, hot dogs in a blanket and for the littlest of men, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.


Our good friend Ashley Park of Wooden Spoon Catering made the lovely cookies, mimicked after the patterns on the ties. Thank you Ashley!!


Then of course, there was the birthday cake and matching mini cake by Mickey's Cake Creations, again modeled after the patterned papers used throughout the party.


As for entertainment, what's more entertaining than a photo booth for your party? Bree printed out a variety of mustaches and glued them onto sticks for props along with signs of good wishes and happy birthday for Hudson. Here you see LeiLani and I sporting our cool 'staches.

And the birthday boy... well, I think he liked it!


We had so much fun, and we hope the guests did too. Thank you to everyone who helped with planning, constructing, cooking and cleanup (Bree's Kitchen Crew, you know who you are!). Hudson-buddy, your Auntie loves you and can't wait to see what kind of party-craziness your mommy has planned for me next year!