Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Favorite Things Party

This year, my friend Dabney suggested that we host a Favorite Things party as a Christmas gift exchange. It was such a huge hit that we decided this party theme needs to happen more than once a year. :)
I'll start off by explaining how this party works. First, you think of something you love that's under the given price range (our limit was $7). For example, I absolutely love Tyler Canldles...specifically the flavor/scent called Warm Vanilla Oak. You should probably go get one right now it's that amazing. Ok, so once you've thought of your favorite thing you go and buy the allotted number (we asked everyone to bring 4 gifts). At the party each girl gets a turn to describe their favorite thing and then she draws 4 names and those lucky girls get her gift. So everyone leaves with 4 different gifts. Fun right!?
  Because of the holiday our decor was relatively easy. We just added a few snowflakes and some signs to Dabney's already fabulous Christmas decorations. I may have made these snowflakes back in November (don't judge) because I live in a tropical climate and will do pretty much anything to pretend that "the weather outside is frightful." As it should be at this time of year in my very strong opinion. :) Here is a great place to find some simple instructions and patterns to make your own snow. If you like more of a challenge, try these.
 Continuing with the snowflakes we served these cutie cookies. If you like to bake cookies I highly recommend Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook. Fantastic. As the hostesses, we provided the sweet treats and drinks. Dabney made sure there were plenty of amazing drink options. From spiked cider to egg-nog and coffee, everyone was sure to find something they liked...or in my case 3 or 4 somethings.
 As guests arrived we asked everyone to write their name on 
4 slips of paper and place them in the basket. 
We also designated a table for everyone's gifts. 
It was fun to watch them pile up and made for some very cute pictures.
 As a party favor we gave the girls some homemade soaps in these bags 
which also served to carry home all their goodies in.

 One of my favorite things about this party was that we asked guests to also bring their favorite appetizer with recipe cards to share with everyone. I came home with so many great new things to make and serve at my next dinner party. 
Everyone had such a great time and we can't wait to do it again.

Maybe next time we can make it more specific and do a Favorite Kitchen Things 
....or Summer Things!? 
I can't wait. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

PomPom Tutorial

First decide what size PomPom you want. Using your hand, like I did, will give you one with a 2" diameter (approx.) depending on how much you spread your fingers. For a smaller version use a serving or dinner fork. Begin by wrapping yarn around your fingers (or fork) between 20-50 times. The bigger your Pom the more times you'll need to wrap. Once you've finished wrapping, cut an extra piece of yarn to tie it all together.

 Slip your extra piece of yarn between your fingers (or fork tines) somewhere around the middle and tie a tight knot. This does take some practice to do alone (using your teeth helps) so making these with a friend may be helpful. :) Once you've cinched the center good and tight, slide the whole thing off your fingers (fork).

 Taking your scissors, simply (and carefully) cut open all the loops you just made. Even thought you've cinched it tightly in the middle, be sure not to pull too hard or your strands will end up uneven. Holding the yarn the way I did in the picture may help!

 This step may not be necessary in smaller Poms or if you are using a poofier (did I just make that word up?) yarn. Basically you're separating the strands of yarn to fill out your PomPom. This is another step to take your time doing. Pulling too hard may pull a strand completely out. Holding on tight to the other side will help with this. 

Repeat the last step on the other side, and then trim up any stragglers to even up all sides of your creation. I also roll the PomPom around between my hands to muss it up and make it even fluffier.

 It's soo FLUFFY!! :)

I've used these guys in garlands, vase fillers, wreath making... so many things. They would be precious in a baby's room, and I bet you could even use them as ornaments. Hope this was helpful, and I'd love to see what you used your PomPoms for!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mama's Little Pumpkin

Our sweet friend Autumn is having a baby...in like a week!!! :)
Unfortunately, the day of her shower all three of her hostesses got the stomach bug. 
What the what!?!
She was such a good sport about it and luckily we didn't get her sick.
So, here's a sweet and simple shower for her little pumpkin.

We served all the best fall treats... Apple cider, caramel apples, pumpkin cupcakes, and donut hole acorns. Our favors were pretzels topped with a Rolo and a pecan!

The decor included the cutest diaper cake ever thanks to Heidi!

I love that you can't even tell Autumn is 8 months pregnant!
We love you girl and can't wait to meet your sweet Darcy.

A Little Mister Party

A bow-tied theme baby shower for a sweet baby boy!

Two Little Monkeys

This next party was a super fun monkey themed first birthday party for twins Seth & Ava.

One of the first things we knew we'd have to have is a banana split bar. 
I found several great sundae dishes at Goodwill that we used as serving pieces. 
The bananas in this picture are bean bags made from felt for a 

Mom wanted party hats for the kids to take pictures in while eating their smash cakes. 
After perusing Etsy, I came up with this little design and used this pattern. 
Here is a post on how to make the pom-pom toppers. 

Door wreath! :) 

We used a chalkboard to decorate near the favors table. Favors for the kids were Hershey's "Monkey Bars," and the adults all received banana bunches and recipe cards for bread. I little idea I found on Kristen and Alison's blog LullabyLubbock. Love them. 

The mantel decor included this super simple fabric strip garland. 
Use any colors to customize it for your event AND because it's fabric you 
can use it again and again.  Here's a tutorial.

Every kid's party needs BALLOONS!!! :)
The balloon swag was made by tying balloons together and wrapping them around a string.
For the precious centerpieces we placed balloon sculptures in jars filled with banana candies. 

 A column in the kitchen was perfect dressed up as a tree for our little monkeys!
In the smaller pictures you can see some of the decor and the toss game.

Last but not least, here's some of the food we served at the party...
Monkey Bread, Banana Pudding, & Monkey Cupcakes and Cookies.