October 31, 2010

Halloween Playdate

I don't think there is anything cuter than a bunch of babies dressed in adorable Halloween costumes!  So it seemed like a no-brainer that I should throw a Halloween Playdate.  The challenge - maternity leave was over, and I didn't have much free time.

I tried to keep it really simple and baby friendly - nothing too scary.  I mainly stayed with black and orange, and happy pumpkins and such.  I curled black, orange, and white ribbon and hung it from the ceiling at the edge of each room.  I also hung ribbons and small pumpkins from the chandelier that was over the food table.


The party was between meals in the afternoon.  I decided to just do desserts to keep it simple.  If I were to do it again, I would have had another table with snacks.  I think a lot of people skipped lunch and having substantial snacks would have been better.  Lesson learned! 
  • Cupcakes
  • Worms in dirt (just chocolate pudding, crushed oreos, and a gummy worm)
  • Chocolate spiders
  • Fruit Kebabs
  • Halloween Oreos
  • Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips
  • Pumpkin Pie (from Costco)
  • Candy!

I also had a small spread out for the babies (who were mostly between 5 and 9 months):

I didn't have time to make any personalized labels for the soda bottles, but I found these premade labels from Party City for $1.99, and they worked great (it probably would have cost me more to make them). 
My favorite part was the skull and bones ice that I made with these ice trays

I spread blankets on the floor, and I spread my son' toys around the blankets for the babies to play with.  I also set up a coloring station for the older siblings.  I printed free Halloween coloring pages from the Internet and I put crayons in a pumpkin treak or treat pail.  The best activity of all was seeing the kids all together in their costumes.

June 28, 2010

Twighlight Bachelorette Party

The bachelorette of honor's only request for her Bachelorette Party, was that she wanted to be able to include her under-age-21 sisters in the festivities.  That meant no bars, and a relatively tame evening.  One of the hostesses figured out the perfect solution for the Twilight-loving bride-to-be.

I have to admit that I never read any of the Twilight books, and I had not seen all of the movies.  Luckily, two of the other hostesses knew more than one ever needs to know about Twilight, and Google helped educate me as well.

Blood Inspired Drinks

When I came across this party featured on Hostess With the Mostess, I could not contain my excitement.  My favorite part of the decor from the featured party was the drink and food signs, so I tried to design some.  Then, out of nowhere, the wedding photographer sent me a copy of a beautiful picture she took (and edited) of the bachelorette with her soon-to-be-hubby, and I could not resist.

The picture screamed Twilight, so I found a way to include it in all of the labels.  (Because I want to respect privacy, I covered the best part of the photo, which is their vampire eyes.  You will just have to trust me that it looked amazing).

As an extra gift to the bachelorette, I had an 8x10 printed of the picture of the happy couple (without Twilight quotes or names of drinks).  


We made a drink menu so that everyone could easily identify the drinks.  We marked alcoholic drinks "positive" and non-alcoholic drinks "negative."  We also used red font for the alcoholic drinks and white font for the non-alcoholic drinks.  We made sure to tell each of the under-age guests about our system, so that they knew which drinks were off limits.  Finally, we filled a large drink bucket with sodas and labeled the bucket "For the Humans."
We served blood shots after dinner (we made them by mixing punch, pomegranate juice, and vodka, but we also made a non-alcoholic version for the minors without the vodka), to toast the bride-to-be.  
For dinner we served the Twilight-obvious:  Italian food. We made the food ourselves, and it was two of my favorite things:  cheap and easy. 

  • We served bruchetta and olive tapanade (both from Trader Joe's) on premade crustini from Whole Foods as an appetizer
  • Salad
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Pizza (we made assorted frozen pizza from Trader Joe's)
  • Pasta
  • Cupcakes (one of the hostesses made three kids of cupcakes, one to represent each team:  Edward (red velvet with white frosting and bloody red drips of blood), Jacob (chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and choclate sprinkles), and a final team named for the groom-to-be's first name (decorated in a theme that was very personal to the groom-to-be). 

For the decor, we stuck to black and red.  We set up a long table underneath some trees in the corner of my yard to feel like we were in Forks (where Twilight takes place).  We strung white lights in the trees to evoke the white lights from Bella and Edward's wedding.  We rented black tablecloths and black chairs.  I then created a faux runner out of boas. 

One of the guests owned this cut out of Edward (the bachelorette's favorite), and it was a true source of entertainment throughout the party. 

The bachelorette made it very clear that she did not want a stripper, and that she didn't want to play any games that would be inappropriate for her sisters.  We went back and forth about whether we should bother to play any games.  We finally decided that we would have one game - "Pin the Penis Onto Edward."  We would play the game towards the end of the night, but during the party we told guests to make and decorate a penis.  Making the penises ended up being one of the best parts of the game.

The other great part of the game was the result of an awesome plan B.  The hostess in charge of getting the Twilight poster for the game couldn't find a poster of Edward.  She improvised and got a poster of Jacob, Bella, and Edward, with Bella front and center.  Because Edward was off to the side, we changed the game a bit, and guests had to pin the penis to Bella's mouth.  I think that actually made the game much better (we all got a lot of laughs out of it).  

Not only was there a winner for the penis pinning game, but the bachelorette also picked out the top three penises, and the artists won prizes as well.  

May 24, 2010

Breakfast at T's

When it came time to decide on a theme for a bridal shower for a good friend whose favorite color is blue, who is an avid movie lover, and whose first name begins with a "T" - the decision seemed obvious - Breakfast at Tiffany's!

There are so many great ideas out there for Breakfast at Tiffany's weddings and showers, and I had so much fun putting this party together.

The theme was introduced with these invites made from folded cards I found at Paper Source. The "pool" color at Paper Source was a nice match for the Tiffany's theme.

The Menu

You can't have a breakfast at Tiffany's theme without serving breakfast, and who doesn't love brunch? We made most of the items ourselves, and everything came out great!
  • Bagels and Cream Cheese
  • Lox, Tomatoes, Red Onion (for Bagels)
  • Hash Brown Frittata
  • Baked French Toast
  • Cheese Blintzes
  • Mushroom Quiche and Spinach Quiche (from Costco)
  • Croissants with Butter and Jam (from Costco)
  • Scones (from a local bakery)
  • Yogurt and Granola
  • Israeli Couscous with Apples and Dried Cherries
  • Cucumber Salad (from Brent's Deli)
  • Whitefish Salad (from Brent's Deli)
  • Edible Fruit Arrangement
We also made sure to greet each guest with a Bellini. It was a great way to get everyone started in a good mood!

The Decor

I used linens to bring in the Tiffany Blue color, and kept things simple with white accents. I also used white linens on the cake table and present table for a bit of contrast.

For the centerpieces I used glass containers I found at a discount store, and filled them with Tiffany Blue glass stones. I then arranged white hydrangeas and roses in each vase.

I originally planned to purchase favor boxes that look like the Tiffany's boxes (they were filled with white Jordan almonds), but after a logistical detour, I found these boxes at a local Party City, and I filled each one with M&Ms that matched the party colors. They worked really nicely with the theme, and were a less obvious choice. I made Tiffany box themed signs out of folded cards from Paper Source and ribbon. Each item on the buffet was labeled so that guests did not have to wonder what they were putting on their plates.

For dessert we ordered cupcakes to match the party colors. We also filled martini glasses with different candies. One of the hostesses decorated a cupcake stand with white lace to evoke a wedding dress.

For games, of course we played my favorite game - the paddle game. Always a hit! We also set up an area for guests to write wedding advice to the bride, and the guests then placed their advice in a Tiffany's box. We read some of the funnier and more sentimental peices of advice out loud. Finally, we played the timer game. (Basically, you set a timer to go off, and whosever present the bride is opening when the timer goes off, wins a prize).