Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Cup Party

So the World Cup games have been huge this year, thanks to our amazing USA Soccer team!  So if you are wanting to throw a party to watch the finals, which I think is July 11th 2:30pm Eastern on ABC, then you may want some inspiration.

I found this great website with an awesome layout for a World Cup party.  She even has printables for you to print out.  Check it out at: 

So I love that this party isn't the regular soccer plates and napkins.  Black and white are the obvious color themes with the added in green for the field.

Placemats in the design of a soccer field is brilliant!  But I LOVE the table's centerpiece....

Grass with little soccer cookie men!  Awesome!

I also love these flags in the hotdogs.

Here is another party that I thought was more grown up.  Again, using wheat grass on the table for texture is a great idea...especially when you can add in little soccer balls.  If you can't find some to buy, just purchase some golf balls and paint some of the divits black.

This is a great idea for cupcakes.  Just purchase a "grass" icing tip and green icing and make some grass.  Add on a candy or fondant soccer ball and you've got a huge hit!

These may even be easier....just ice the cupcake white and pipe on some black lines!

Some other ideas may be to use pennant flags in the team's colors or with different world flags on them.  You also may want to decorate with some referee jersey's and some real soccer jersey's.  If you want a large centerpiece, you could always purchase a trophy for the table.  To welcome your guest, you could line your walkway with soccer cones and then offer each of them a referee whistle as well as a megaphone!

You can keep food very simple by cooking hot dogs and  hamburgers or ordering pizza or a 6ft. sub.  Then just offer chips, fruit, nachos, soft pretzels, veggies and some Gatorade to thirst their quench and you'll be all set.  You could offer each guest some Gatorade in a squirt bottle with their names on them to keep.

Make sure you remind your guest to wear a soccer related jersey or shirt for the party!

Do all of this and you'll score big with your friends!

Friday, June 25, 2010

4th of July Celebrations!

So 4th of July is only a week away, are you ready for it?

One of my favorite things about this holiday is seeing how much people get into it with decorating their house, parades, BBQ's, ect.  I adore how much we all love our country and are proud to display our American Flag...for some reason it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

So, decorating your house...this I LOVE!!!  I mean, why not?  We decorate for Christmas, at least this time of the year it is not freezing outside while you decorate.

I "heart" this idea of making curtains for the entry of your porch.  And, of course, bunting is always classic!  But bringing it all together are the red flowers and red Adirondack chairs!

I also love how they took material to swag all over their makes such an impact!
You can purchase really good quality material, bunting, flags, ect. at this website.  I just did and their product superseded my expectations!

This was also a great idea...pennant banners.  I love all the different fabrics and designs, while still sticking to the red, white and blue theme.

The tablescape!  Well, usually you can find foods that repeat the red, white or blue theme and those foods create your tablescape.  Check out that dessert in the glass container...beautiful!

I also love this table runner, placemats and napkins.  Crisp and classic!

This was just too nostalgic for me to pass up!  I love the barn, flag, tablecloth, red truck and even the sunflowers!

Now this a very inexpensive way to create centerpieces for your table...flags in a sand bucket!  And all the tableware is red and blue.  If you think about it, all the summer holidays are patriotic: Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, ect.  So why not invest in some red, white and blue outdoor dishes, serving trays, ect.  You will use it over and over again!

Again, I love the flags in the sand bucket but I especially love the swagging fabric and paper lanterns!

Now this is fun!  I love the shape of the jars, but also the chalkboards and color of the drinks!

So food is all things summer!  From seafood to BBQ!  The traditional 4th of July cookout consists of hamburgers and hot dogs, fried chicken, ribs, potato salad, baked beans, pasta salad, corn on the cobb, watermelon, strawberries and blueberries, cornbread, lemonade, sweet tea, beer, apple pie, and, of course, a flag cake or trifle!

I love a trifle...a layered dessert.  It just looks so beautiful.  This, however, is made out of jello, I think?  Either way, it looks delicious!

Activities...well, this is where I get nostalgic!  I love the traditional games like 3-legged races, potato sack races, waterballoon toss, pie eating contest, tug of war, corn husking contest and watermelon seed spitting contest, ect.  Any of those combinations make for a great time!  Just add some patriotic music and some sparklers, and you're set!

Now who doesn't love a Kid's Bike Parade?  A kid parade is very easy to organize.  Just tell your neighbors when it's going to happen and talk to your police department or HOA about closing off that road.  The kids can walk, march with instruments, ride bikes, scooters, skates or wagons.  And, it's always fun to have a grand find a neighbor who has a motorcycle or golf cart to lead the parade!

Fireworks...the best part!  So fireworks usually begin around 9:30pm, just after dark.  One of our favorite things to do is bring food that is red, white and blue.  So we always pack watermelon or cherries, popcorn and blue soda!  Make sure you pack bug spray, blankets, sparklers, glow necklaces, ear plugs for kids, jackets, some music and your 3-D fireworks glasses!  That's right, there are glasses you can purchase to watch the fireworks like you're on acid!

I hope you have a great day celebrating with your family!  Enjoy the food, fireworks, parades, cook outs and time with your loved ones!  And remember why we get to celebrate this day, because, on July 4, 1776, our forefathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain and giving us personal and religious freedoms!  Thank you forefathers!  
Cheers to the "pursuit of happiness"!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Twins 2nd Beach Party

Typically I have double the party budget for the twins birthday since there are two of them; however, my husband is so sick of me spending money on parties that he challenged me to do this one without spending money (except on food).'s the result of my challenge, just goes to show you that parties don't have to be expensive if you can get a little creative!

I decided to do a theme for a party that I already had resources for.  Since we have a sandpit in our backyard and a kiddie pool, I thought a beach party would be the simplest way to go.  

So first I got some cardboard boxes and painted this sign to let the guest know where to go.

So we set the pool up next to the sandpit so it would seem like a real beach to the kids!

My neighbor had given me these fishnets and sea creatures, so I draped them over our beach umbrellas in the sand pit.  I already had sand castle kits and beach blankets so it worked out great!

Tablecloths felt too formal, so I just used beach towels!  They worked great!

For favors, I used sandwich bags, stamped on a beach ball, printed a thank you beach ball (a friend has a color printer) and wrote each kids name on the bag.  Inside they had "goldfish" crackers, lollipop ring, push pop, and an assortment of beachy great like flip flop necklaces, ect.

I also had these paper pompoms from a previous party, so I just threw them up there.  I rarely throw away any party stuff for this very reason.

Once again I grabbed some cardboard boxes and used them as surfboards.  Thank goodness for spray paint, however my forearms were sore for days!

The surfboards were a great backdrop for the gift opening area.  I always have extra seats beside the birthday boy/girl for the gift giver.  It makes giving and thanking so much easier!

My neighbor also gave me these beachy stamps.  So the kids had a blast painting....

...themselves!  Oh well, you can't ask a lot from 2 year olds!

My neighbor also gave me these hibiscus tattoos.  The kids loved them and thought they were really powerful stickers!

Now for the food!  Once again I printed the banner from my friend's color printer...easy peasy!  Then I used beach towels for the table cover and threw on some beach balls, sand pails and sand toys.

The cupcake picks I printed and stuck to my craft popsicle sticks.  I also filled a jar with sand toys and placed the cupcakes on top of that to give the table more dimension.

I cooked these cupcakes in silicone cupcake holders....they worked wonderfully and the color really stands out.  Then I iced 1/2 with white butter cream and dipped it in crushed graham crackers for a sand effect.  Then I piped blue butter cream icing on to look like water.  After adding a Swedish fish and mint to look like a beach ball, I was done...quick and painless!

Ice cream cones!  I had a bin of ice that held the ice cream, then I offered cones and sprinkles.  "Swimming" in the sprinkles were candy fish rings.

When I think of beachy food, I think of crabs, shrimp kabobs and scallops....but this was a kids party so I needed to be more simple and creative.  Here's what I came up with....

Tuna submarines!  Sounds beachy huh?

Octopus hotdogs!

You just cut them 3/4 of the way down to give them 4 legs, then you boil them and they come out curly.  Add mustard eyes and smile with a toothpick and you're done.  I also crushed up saltine crackers and added a little blue food coloring to give the bottom of the ocean effect.

Sea Shell pasta salad!  It's actually a bacon ranch pasta, but all you have to do is switch out the pasta and you've got something that goes along with your theme!

I cut up a lot of summer fruit and put them in buckets with shovels as spoons.  Then we had pretzels and chips and salsa for the adults.

You can't have a beach party without goldfish!!!

Oh, and for the adults, we served cold beer or Pina Colatas!!!

The kids drank "Liquid Sun Rays" or lemonade, and drank "Ocean Water" which was water with a little blue food coloring.

So the kids had a blast!  They played in the sand, water, painting, and got tattoos!  We listened to a Kids Beach CD, however, you could also play your old Beach Boy's music!  They ate yummy food and we all had a great time!  Later dudes!