The pulse of the party is its' theme.

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!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Baby Girls Birthday Non-Party

So, we did not get to do a party for baby girl this year. I had ideas and I had plans, but my sweet little girl decided she wanted a big gift instead of a party.....well she probably would have liked to have both, but my wallet did not agree. We ended up getting her a super comfy, super nice, mattress set. Really one of those things that you have to pay up for. Hopefully she will have for many many years to come. She will also be moving into an apartment this year, so perfect timing for this gift.

But how can I let my baby girl wake up on her birthday and not have some sort of celebration? I of course did my paper signs and hung a birthday banner., it dawned on me, this will be my last year doing "teen" signs. How time flies. I decided to go out and buy her a comforter for her new bed. I wanted her to have something to open up on her birthday. I don't know how much of that is wanting them to have a good birthday and how much of it is me wanting to hang on to their youth :)

Since we weren't having a party....I had the idea for us to all have a nice family dinner at Wildfire. She could invite her boyfriend my son would bring his would be so grown up. Well the boyfriend and girlfriend had work, so it turned into just a nice family dinner with the hubby and kids. We don't get many of those anymore, so I was fine with that. We had a lovely time, they brought out desert with a candle and then we headed home.

It takes some time getting used to having adult children. All of those parties we used to have. I wish I had more pictures. Shame on me.....I forgot my camera on this day as well.
Well, no cool pictures or cool party ideas to post on this one......but sometimes, it is just about spending the time together. I hope she will remember that when she thinks back on her birthday.......well, that, and how comfortable that crazy mattress is!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Audio Monkey Graduation Party

So after years of helping out with school projects and making last minute cupcakes, my days of having a child in school are just about behind me. My oldest just graduated from college and I could not be more proud. He took a few detours along the way, but once he found his calling, he went after it head on. I am also proud to say that a week after graduating he landed his first job on an Emmy nominated court tv show. Not too bad. I wish him much success and of course had to throw him a party to celebrate!
I mentioned before that I got the idea for this party from the Steez picture of a monkey wearing headphones. I purchased a copy at target for my sons room a few years back, as I used to call him my little monkey head when he was a baby and he was going to school for Audio, the picture just reminded me of him.
We decided to have a small BBQ at our house. I had a limited budget on this party, so I got myself ready to craft! I made the invitations myself with note cards I purchased at the Swoozies
going out of business sale. I stocked up and it was great having them on hand for this very reason. I think they came out pretty good.

Here is the Steez picture I mentioned was in my sons room. I moved that into the living room and placed over the fireplace as a focal point. I made my own little banner and attached it to the monkeys. Sticking with the audio theme, I drew some headphones on there and added a little graduation cap to the monkey on the bottom. I took my color scheme from the monkey picture. The paper balls are from Martha Stewart. I had these left over from a baby shower. They are super easy to make, and people always comment on them. Fun and easy decoration.

Ahhhh, my personalized banner making. Now that I have my new paper cutters, this project was much easier to tackle. I added the monkey and the school logo.

I keep a ton of card stock on hand. I had some that went with my color scheme and I used twine to tie everything together. It also gives off a more natural vibe.

Here is the finished product. Below the banner I placed stuff from the graduation ceremony. I had his cap and the programs from the ceremony along with his degree.

I wanted to display some pictures from the ceremony for everyone to see. Rather than doing the typical poster board thing, I had this idea to hang them on the same twine over the buffet, so that everyone could see as they went by the table. I did not have any clips, so I just used a hole punch and strung them in chronological order. Since we only had two tickets to the graduation, this was a nice way to share the day with everyone at the party.oh was my attempt at making homemade monkey bread. I had this idea that I was going to bake homemade favors for everyone to take home. What goes with a monkey theme? Monkey Bread! Well, I have to admit, I had never had monkey bread before. I came out just fine, but was way to time consuming for me. I thought I would try mini loafs of banana bread, but that also took a lot of time. I was kind of disappointed as I had started to make the cute little favors bags.

These were the supplies needed for the favor bags. I thought the paper lunch bags went with that natural look and we already had them at home. You just use scalloped craft scissors to trim the top of the bag. I made little tags to glue on the bag. Used a hole punch and the twine to tie up the top.

One of the finished favor bags. Too bad my baking skills were not up to task. Would have been nice. With this idea off the table, I tried to come up with something else that went with my audio monkey theme. Duh, what do audio monkeys eat? Simple, easy, Bananas!

I used the tags I made for the favor bags and just tied them to a couple of bananas. I wrote the name of the event along with "Thanks a Bunch!" How cute is that? I put them on a little table near the door, so people could take on their way out. This was also an appropriate snack as my son and some of his friends are vegetarians.

Back to the decorations. I used card stock and ribbon to make these vase covers. I absolutely have to have fresh flowers when I throw a party. Who doesn't like flowers? It is an instant decoration. Making these covers for the vases, just personalizes the event. I went with sunflowers as they fit in with my color scheme and they had them in bulk at Costco. They have such a great deal on flowers at Costco!

So, this monkey theme had to be subtle and not something a 2 year old would have. I found this cool table cover at Target. I think it gave off a jungle theme without being goofy. It also matched the new plant we bought for our deck. I also, placed extra bananas around the party as decoration. Subtle. These were my attempt at party picks for the cupcakes I made. With my limited budget, I decided to make these cute chocolate banana cupcakes I saw online. The picks were more time consuming than the monkey bread, so I only made a few. Just as well, I like the look of the cupcake on its own!

I loved the way the cupcakes turned out. Just made chocolate cupcakes and then added a little banana extract to the frosting. I placed a dried banana chip on each one. My mom also brought some banana bread and brownies, so we had a nice little dessert bar going on.

My husband did all the grilling and my daughter helped out with the salads. We had veggie burgers and veggie skewers among the other BBQ fare. Yummy Sangria was a big hit as well.

So, I am a little behind the times with the whole downloading music thing. I wanted keep my monkey theme going with some monkey music. I burned my very first cd and every song had a monkey connection......This Monkeys Gone to Heaven by the Pixies....Shock the Monkey, Peter Gabriel.......Last Train to Clarksville, by The Monkees.......just to name a few.

I was also able to get my hands on the sold out Musical Monkey. I love this dancing monkey. I found it online and it was sold out everywhere. I found one at a store in SanFransico and they shipped it out to me. You just plug him into your ipod and he dances along to whatever song you have going. He also has speakers, so he is not just cute, he is useful.

Here my son and his girlfriend enjoy a little dance from the musical monkey.

That's it for the Audio Monkey Graduation Party. I was very happy with this theme. It was just enough without going monkey crazy or coming across as childish.

I had a great time and hope my son did too!