The pulse of the party is its' theme.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Katies Communion!

Just a quick post on another event gone by. My niece Katie made her First Holy Communion this year. It was of course a very special day. I am so proud of her for getting through all of her religion classes and understanding the importance of God and Jesus in her life. It just made the whole family so happy to see her go through this rite of passage. She is growing into a fine young lady. Now I know the importance should be placed on the religious aspects of the day. But this is a party blog and with every Holy Communion comes a family celebration. I was so glad to be a part of the process.

Step One: The Dress

My goodness Katie was the best little model, she must have tried on 20 dresses, although I think we all knew this was the one as soon as we saw it. She seemed to know it too! Her smile seemed to get a little bit larger when she saw herself in this one. Of course, taking after Aunt Bitsy, the favorite was also one of the most expensive. But what's a mother to do? She had to get it. It is hard to see your daughter looking so beautiful and say no. The veil, shoes and gloves completed the look and Kate was ready for her big day!

The Decor

Well, Aunt Bitsy cannot let a celebration go by without adding a little something. My sister planned a lovely luncheon at a local country club after the ceremony. A nice way to avoid a mess at your own home and since you don't make your first communion everyday, it adds a little something special. They did a great job with F&B. I don't have many pictures as I was there as a guest and my future sister-in-law was the photog of the day. (maybe I can find some more pics later, would love to show the cake and centerpieces my sis ordered) Oh well, I was able to order a personalized banner, centerpiece and some mints with little crosses on them for little expense. Oriental Trading and Shindigz are two of my favorite sites for supplies. Beau Coup is also a good one for fancier favors and things.

The Church

Doesn't she just look Angelic? Remember I only have a few pics taken with my phone, so not the best, but Katie was just a doll. All those curls and the dress!

Katie was scheduled to make her communion with a couple of other girls. It was a nice mass and when the time came for Kate to head up to the alter, she did a great job of remembering just what to do. I have to say, I got a little choked up. I remembered my own communion and my children's. These kids grow up so fast!

Well, like I said, quick post. That's all I got on this one. God Bless you Katie Pie! You did a great job.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

1st Birthday Party UP!

So, I have been kind of lacking in my posts lately. Not that there have not been any parties, I just not have been the host. I thought I would get around to posting a couple of parties that were not hosted by me, but were super important and super cute just the same. (I may have assisted in a small part of the planning as well!)
First up, My nieces very First Birthday Party!!
Her parents wanted to go with a balloon theme, taking the idea from the movie UP! which has a character with the same name as my darling little niece.
Her mom did a great job of putting it all together.
Pictured above is baby girl in her 1st Birthday Diaper Cover. So Cute. The website Etsy was the provider of many of the items for the party, including the diaper cover, onesie and the adorable tutu she is wearing below. Awwwwww!

Adorable Birthday Tutu!!

You all know I am a big fan of making banners myself. For this party,her mom had already arranged for a friend of hers, who I believe sells on Etsy as well, to take on the project. She did a great job and they came out really well. My pictures are not the best. Hopefully you can see how she tied in the balloon theme.

A really nice touch at this first birthday party was the lovely photo montage that her parents put together. It was a nice look back at babies first year. It was accompanied by music and played on the tv during the party.

You can still get your party basics at good old Party City. Balloons and some balloon themed decor was quick and easy.


In keeping with the UP theme, we found some samples of making your cupcakes look like balloons. Cupcakes were ordered from my favorite Creative Cakes in Tinley Park. We added the ribbon to the bottom to create the look of balloons. With the extra cupcakes, we placed the pics that came with the banner package. They looked so cute and were delicious!


A big trend in first birthdays is the smash cake. Most bakeries will throw one in with a larger cake order. This one was supposed to have polka dots on it, but the squiggles kind of look like ribbon on a balloon. It was just the right size for baby to dig in and enjoy.

Happy Birthday Ellie!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Harley Davidson Fathers Day

Geez, where have I been?

It has been awhile since I have posted anything on here. Guess I was too wrapped up with my event planning classes to actually plan any events!

Have not done much. Have to dig up some photos from my nieces first birthday. I didn't host it, but it was a cute UP Balloon theme.

So, I had some family over for a little Fathers Day BBQ the other day. My dad is all about Harley Davidson. The night before the BBQ, I was kind of feeling bad for not putting as much effort into my get togethers lately. Then, as I was wrapping yet another Harley Davidson gift, I noticed the logo and thought it would be cute to turn the logo in to a Fathers Day message for my Pops. Not bad for a last minute idea! Just some poster board, craft letters and some markers.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Shutterfly House Party

I have been so busy with school and work, that I have not really had much time to plan any parties. My new career path has taken me to a bunch of really cool events, but working behind the scenes for other people. I have not really taken on any of my own events yet, but am up for some internships with planning companies. We will see where this road takes me. In the mean time, I was lucky enough to be selected to host my second House Party. This time the party was for Shutterfly. I absolutely love Shutterfly and have used it for years. I actually made my thank you cards from my wedding on Shutterfly. When I found out I was selected as a host, I was very excited as I knew the value of the party pack my guest would be getting. My party prize package came in the mail about a week before my party. Included in this package were balloons, tote bags, sample holiday cards, a dvd, Werther's chocolates and carmels', and prize codes for guests to order a free photo book and free christmas cards. I think I was selected to host this particular party because I have ordered photo books from Shutterfly in the past. The package also came with a little easel to display my books. Here are the ones I had made for my dad and mother-in-laws birthdays as gifts. You can also see, I had the dvd going in the background so people could learn about Shutterfly photo books if they wanted.

Here I hung the balloons they sent me with a pretty Christmas ribbon strung up with all of the wonderful sample cards that they sent for display.

Close up of the photo book covers. They were both for milestone birthday parties.

This party was supposed to set the tone for holiday gift giving, so I set out the ever popular Pottery Barn reindeer dessert plates. I love that whole line and try to pick up pieces after Christmas on sale.

Blurry picture, but just an example of the open house set up. I set up a little help yourself beverage and pastry area.

I was so busy helping people set up their shutterfly accounts, I did not take many party pictures. Here my sis checks out one of the books, while mom uploads pictures.

The card samples were so cute. I can't wait to put together my Christmas cards this year.

Everyone seemed to be getting into the process. I hope that everyone had a good time and will be able to make some cool gifts and cards for the holidays.

Everyone went home with a gift bag. House Party provides everything, so there is nothing for guest to do but try out the product. Each bag was filled with the party pack favors, along with directions on how to make a photo book and other helpful tips.
I can't wait to put together my photo books and I really can't wait until my next House Party!
Want to apply for your own? Go to
Until Next Time....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

70th Square Dance Surprise Party

So, my husband casually mentioned that his moms 70th birthday was coming up. Along with his brother and sister, they were trying to come up with ideas to celebrate. Well, of course I wanted in on the planning! We went over a few themes and locations, but due to my MIL's busy schedule, we ended up with a Surprise Party at our house. I tried thinking about things I know my MIL was into.....she is always traveling, doing things with her grandkids, but for the most fun.....she square dances! I love it. There was my theme..... I of course got started by going around the house and finding things I already had to fit my theme. I wanted it to be hoe down without being hokey. Above are some of my supplies. I decided to use the bandanna theme throughout as I had a box full of them from my days of chemo. How nice to put them to good use. I also checked out some square dancing websites and came across the square dancer silhouette. I bought a bunch of black poster board from the dollar store and drew out the template above. I used the dancer silhouette throughout the party as well.
I started my set up days a head of time, so I would not be doing things last minute. The idea to hang the bandannas as a decoration came from Country Living. We did not have many photos available, but what we had, went above the cake table attached to some twine to give off the country vibe.

My fireplace has become a favorite spot for my homemade banners. For this one, I downloaded a hoe down font and started cutting. Gingham scrapbook paper behind smaller dancer silhouette's were glued on. Still was missing something, so I glued on some shiny stars that I had in my party supply box. Doe-Si-doe!!

Close up shot of the dancers I drew and cut out for the banner.

Here I cut out larger dancers to go along the wall.....I wanted it to look like they were spinning around the room.

My girlfriend lent my her cowboy boots to use as vases. I also tried to tie the gingham ribbon on things throughout the house to carry the theme around without being too overwhelming. It is also a pretty cheap way to can get a spool at Micheal's for a buck or two.

I used both ribbon and twine on different centerpieces. This one I just wrapped a vase with a bandanna and tied with ribbon. Sunflowers and daisies seemed to say barnyard dance to me.

The bandannas were strung on twine and then hung around the inside of my deck. I wanted to hang from the trees in the yard like I saw in country living, but I knew most people would be on the deck, so I improvised.

You have to keep a good flow throughout your space when having a party. I have had way too many traffic jams by keeping everything in the kitchen. We set up our bar on the deck so that people would have to go outside for their drinks. Seeing as this is where we set up the was also a nice way to get people outside to listen to the music.

When limited on space, it is always nice to set up additional seating areas for any overflow from the main party room. We set this up in the family room and sure enough, it was filled with the younger guests before we knew it.

Hay bails that would usually be out front with a pumpkin and scarecrow in the fall, added a nice barn dance feel to the entertainment area on the deck.

Loved the cake! I gave them a print out of the silhouette I was working with and asked for a bandanna pattern on the side. I was worried about it looking like a little boys cowboy party, but Creative Cakes came through once again and did a great job. Notice the contrasting blue bandanna I placed underneath? no? well, those are the little details I go crazy for!! Look how it picks up the blue in the writing on the cake :)

Found these bandanna mints on line. Worried that they might be hokey, but I just put them on the entry table and took my chances. Hurray, they were a hit.....who doesn't like a mint after dinner or on the way home from a party?

Speaking of having something on the way home from the party.....You know I Love to give out favors at a party. I had a few ideas, but when I saw these little boot cookies at the bakery, I knew I had to use them. I made the sign above with some scrapbook paper that looked like wood.
"give you the boot" ha ha....get it?

YUM.....note to self......remember to order extra cookies for myself next time! I gave the bakery the gingham ribbon to tie in my theme.

Yes, those are fake flowers.......Big no no for me, but it seemed like a waste not to put them out somewhere. I found a pitcher and put them out on my kitchen water needed. I have a shot of the computer as I had planned to burn a special cd for the party before we decided to go with live entertainment. I downloaded a top 10 square dancing list along with some Neil Diamond......ok, Neil does not really do square dance, but MIL loves him, so sometimes you have to step outside of your theme.

I was so glad not to need the downloaded music. Our live entertainment was a big hit. They set up on the deck and played oldies from the birthday girls era. I stole this idea from a friend who had guitar player at his cocktail party. If you can swing it, live entertainment really adds something special. Luckily these guys were in my budget. (Helps when your dad is part of the act!)

Here are some of the guests enjoying the music out on the deck. I kept the sliding doors open on both sides of my deck so that people inside could hear the music as well. I thought this was a wonderful party. My MIL has some wonderful friends and I think everyone had a wonderful time. I was technically not the host of this party, so I kind of took a backseat.
It was nice that my hubby and his siblings came together to plan something special for their mom and I was glad they let me do my thing to help out.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Febreze House Party!

OK.....So I am in LOVE with House Parties! I was recently chosen to host my very first party.....Febreze! I did not even know what a House Party was a couple of months ago. My friend Jenny and I were talking about parties and how much I like having them and she brought up House Party. She knows some people who have had them and thought it was something I would like to do. If you are not aware of what they are, let me see if I can explain. Different products put on a House Party. You apply to be a host. If you are chosen, they send you a bunch of free stuff to give out at your party. It is the simple.....I thought, you don't have to sell something? What is the catch? No Catch.....well, it is marketing for the product.....everyone chosen has a party on the same day and then posts pictures of the party on
I applied for a couple of parties before I got the Febreze one. Jenny's friend got a free Kuereg coffee maker. They just had a Playstation one, so there are some good hostess gifts out there. Speaking of Jenny, she was also chosen to host the Febreze party, so we joined forces and being our first party.....kept it small and simple. As you can see, you get some party supplies as well......we did an afternoon coffee get together for a few friends. I put out some pastries, coffees, lemonade....put on my Febreze apron and was ready to go.

Here are some of the products that I got from Febreze. I was surprised by how much stuff they sent. House Party also hooks you up with party ideas and favors for your event.

Jenny brought over some of stuff, so nobody walked away empty handed. You can see I printed out some of the Febreze signs off House Party for my display.

I had gift bags from the dollar store.....put those out, so guests could make up their own favor bags.My daughter and her friend checking out the products. My favorite was the scented luminaries......we decided to raffle a few of those off, so that we could keep some for ourselves!!

My bff Lil won one of the luminaries! Look at the excitement!
I have applied for a couple of more parties. They have a Tequila one the weekend of my sisters birthday, so I am thinking maybe a Margarita shindig for her if I get that one! What a fun thing to add to a get together you are having. Spend time with friends, get free stuff and sharpen up the old hosting skills. Right up my alley!