Monday, June 28, 2010

{REAL PARTY} Retro Surfer Party

Today's feature is the most adorable summer theme, a Retro Surfer Birthday Party! It was featured on Hostess with the Mostess and designed by I Love Parties for a little boy's 2nd birthday. I'm crazy about the tropical, vintage details! There's so much to love about this party!

The guests were given custom bags for filling with beach-themed favors,

like coloring books and crayons, sunscreen with custom labels, sunglasses, personalized
surf wax, hibiscus lollipops, pineapple jellies, and coconut chocolate bars!

On the cake table the hostess included faux surf magazine covers with images of the birthday boy and mini trophies.

Homemade banana cake with edible surfboard imprint!

How amazing are these shark cupcakes?

The food table also included surfboard sandwiches, sand cupcakes with beach sign toppers, toy vintage buses,

as well as wave and surfboard cookies!

Adorable signs were everywhere, from this hand-painted surf sign,

To this custom-printed, retro design for the drink table.

Ordinary fruit drinks were themed and given names like: Mellow Yellow, Blue Hawaii, Green Room Juice, and Sunny Delight.

But the fun doesn't stop there!

Coconut Bowling!

Wow, there are just too many awesome details to be contained in one post! For more images and descriptions, go here. Kudos again to I Love Parties for some crazy creativity. Totally wicked party, dude!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Princess Bride-al Shower

I'm a sucker for movie-themed parties, not to mention it's where I got my start in party-planning. I love how you can interpret aspects of a film into a party design! And since there are almost endless films to act as inspiration, it's a never-ending challenge! One example that has been on my mind for awhile is a Bridal Shower based on The Princess Bride, (Princess Bride-al Shower?) Maybe it's the bride's favorite movie, or maybe you just want to interpret this cult-classic love story into a fun theme - I've got the ideas right here!

The film has some great comedic moments, but the chief storyline is that of the love story. Focusing on the elegant, romantic aspects of the film, be prepared for lots of royal details!

Sources: chandelier, The Princess Bride, blue cupcakes,
medieval hall, white horses, black mask, blue damask invitation,
Reese's - I'll explain my idea for these below, crown votives,
blue damask, candelabra, tiara cake topper

A special venue could really make this event, but if a castle banquet hall or other historic
setting isn't available, (understandable) recreate the medieval look with candelabras or
wrought-iron candle holders. As many pillar or taper candles as possible, the better!
Another idea is to use fabric to create a small pennant or full-length banner using medieval coats-of-arms and patterns.

I have always loved Princess Buttercup's blue lace dress she wears later in the film as a Princess, and I thought it would be so pretty to replicate that in blue damask:
Damask invitation

Damask cupcake wrapper

Other ideas:

I love these tiara tea lights!

Black mask place setting

The black fabric masks could be really cool as napkin rings or on place settings as featured above. No need for fancy store-bought masks, black felt or cotton with eyes cut out would probably look more realistic anyway.

How cool are these sword food picks?

Reese's Cupcakes via Bakerella become Princess Buttercup's Cupcakes! (Buttercup-cakes?...too much?)

For table settings, use goblets and fancy dinnerware with gold chargers. A real must to include is favorite quotes from the film featured throughout the party in fancy frames or propped up on folded card stock:

"That day she was amazed to discover that when he was saying "as you wish,"
what he meant was "I love you." And even more amazing was the day she
realized she truly loved him back."

"This is true love - you think this happens every day?"

"I will never doubt again"
"There will never be a need."

"Wesley and I are joined by the bonds of love, and you cannot track that,
not with a thousand bloodhounds. And you cannot break it, not with a
thousand swords."

"Move? You're alive. If you want I can fly."

"Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses rated the most passionate, the
most pure. This one left them all behind."

What a fun way to send off the bride-to-be for her
Happily Ever After!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I've Been Featured!

Thanks so much to Gina at Coffee, Chocolate, and Chic Chaos... for the shout-out! Check out her adorable blog here!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Camp-out Party

Today's party inspiration is a round-up of all things camping! I love camping, and it's such a fun theme for a child's birthday! Outdoor sleepovers are always fun in the summer, but so is a party where you bring the outdoors in, and you can create a great camp-out with just a little creativity!

I love this Indoor Camp-out Inspiration Board created by Kim on The Celebration Shoppe - check out her original post for lots of great, indoor camp-out ideas! The tents featured here are weatherproof for outdoor camping, but if your event is indoors, how fun for overnight guests to actually create their own "forts" to sleep in!
  • If your event is outside, there's not much you need to do create the effect of the outdoors - you're in it! If yours is an indoor event, however, real wood and greenery are definitely ideal, but artificial ferns, moss, rocks, and other craft store finds work just fine.
  • Another, unique way to create the outdoor effect is with green feather boas. I'm a big believer in them for recreating vines, forest canopies, anything, really!
  • When a real fire isn't an option, don't you love the realistic look of that glowing artificial fire? Follow these helpful instructions to make your own!

And, of course, it would never be a camp-out without s'mores! You don't even need a fire for some of these ideas!

S'mores 3 Ways:
1. Traditional Snack - with a lovely presentation as a favor or dessert table take-away. S'more supplies can sometimes get a little scattered and messy too, so why not create a personal s'more station? Thanks to Simply Creative Insanity for this great idea.

2. As a cupcake! Yes, this fabulous treat features all three elements: marshmallow, graham crackers, and LOTS of chocolate! Check out Bakerella for instructions and more scrumptious images.
3. If you're a brownie person check out this recipe for 3-layer S'more Brownies from the Food Network! Takes s'mores to a whole new level !

Wondering what all of these ideas can look like together? I came across this Camp-out First Birthday at Daisy Dreaming and WOW! You would never know this savvy party-planner had never been camping, because she nailed the details!

From the fire pit cupcakes (which look SO NEAT when combined with the flame from a birthday candle),

to the camp treats in tin pails resting on wood rounds,

and adorably clever "marshmallow ghost stories",

to the greenery and camp lanterns as table decor,

and home-made greenery arrangements,

to the rustic signs giving directions all over the party,

and "Camp Micah" favor bags,

...believe me, you owe it to yourself to check out the rest of the images and details here!

And for great invitations and party supplies, go here.

On a side note, for those who are unaware, Donna over at Party Wishes is hosting a giveaway of some of her party supplies for her absolutely fabulous Mad Hatter Tea Party! Check it out, it really is to die for! I have been eyeing the decor from this party forever, and YOU could score some of it, but you have to hurry and enter, because the giveaway ends June 27th! Good luck!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fourth of July Decor Inspiration

Part 2 of my July4th Inspiration - decor! There's something so charming to me about vintage and DIY July 4th decor, perhaps because it hearkens back to the simplicity of our American roots, which is why I love some of the vintage decor ideas pulled from Country Living and DIY decor from Martha Stewart.

{click to enlarge}

I just love these confetti rockets! Festive, easy to make, and fun for everyone. Plus, they're weather-friendly. These were featured on Tip Junkie - check it out for lots more patriotic decor ideas!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

{REAL PARTY} Bee Party Inspiration

I'm not a fan of fact, they terrify me, but they are so iconic of warm weather and of the honey they produce, that it's such sweet and adaptable theme for spring or summer gatherings! I have seen so many adorable parties featured around the little bee, like this bee themed birthday featured on The Creative Party Place, that I may have changed my mind about bees! (Well, a little bit!)

How cute are the yellow and white paper lanterns and paper poms? It really creates the effect of buzzing bee hives!

Tissue paper corsages for each of the party guests!

Love the yellow "honey pot" flower pots and fresh, white flowers! Daisies would be beautiful too.
And the game prize..... guessed it!

I'm particularly fond of the combination of yellow and white, rather than yellow and black, which keeps the details warm and sunny.

And how about the custom details of this first birthday party featured on Imprintables?

From the food labels,

to the birthday cake, the whole dessert table and honeycomb backdrop , everything features the happy little bee. (It's so much easier to love a bee when it's this cute!)

It wouldn't be a tribute to the bee without a few honey-infused sweets, like this honey popcorn in paper cones!

An obvious, but fool-proof favor idea would be jars of honey.
Image courtesy of Martha Stewart

These cupcakes are absolutely amazing! They're topped with hexagonal "honeycomb" sugar cookies, filled with honey in the center, and complete with candy "bees"!

Of course, this theme could easily be adapted for a baby shower or even a bridal shower! For just such an example, just check out this chic B is for Baby Shower featured on Hostess with the Mostess!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Custom Inspiration Board: Lakeside Wedding

I was recently contacted to create a custom inspiration board for an budget-friendly, intimate wedding by the lake, and I'd love to share some of those ideas with you! The bride's colors were yellow, brown, and orange with a country feel and I loved finding DIY decor ideas to fit that theme.

{click to enlarge}

Resources: sodas, bouquet,mason jars, chalkboard sign, pennant flags, aisle decor,
sunflower centerpiece, couple on dock, cupcake tower

  • I used sunflowers combined with orange gerbera daisies in the floral arrangement since both translate well into silk flowers as an economical alternative to fresh flowers. (I've got some great ideas and inspiration for later this summer involving sunflowers!)
  • For aisle decor I used those flowers again arranged in terra cotta pots hung from crooks along the aisle. The bride already had a galvanized tub as part of her supplies, so to tie in that look, you could also use small metal pails for the arrangements.
  • For an outdoor venue I love mason jar lanterns, which add a natural, country glow and are both economical and easy to assemble. You can find an easy tutorial here. In the inspiration board I also included a pennant flag banner, which adds so much color and charm and is nearly as easy to create.
  • I included a chalkboard slate which is a fun idea for food labels, table numbers, directions to the ceremony, or whatever you like! They're inexpensive and so versatile.
  • To go easy on the budget, I suggested a cupcake stand over traditional wedding cake, which is actually a growing trend anyway. These cupcakes also happened to be in the bride's colors.
  • I included an image of colorful sodas in the galvanized tub, which is embellished with ribbon. Jones sodas, which are fairly inexpensive for a small guest list, are a fun addition to a summer reception and can be personalized here.
  • For favors, I suggested simple chocolate bars wrapped in matching scrapbook paper and a computer or hand-printed message.
There is just something so sweet and beautiful to me about a simple, intimate wedding when elaborate, expensive details are exchanged for comfort, good times, and celebrating with loved ones. After all, that's what it's really about!

On that note, be sure to check out this lovely Backyard Wedding featured on Once Wed! Though created for a summer wedding, these colors and ideas could also be great for a fall wedding!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fourth of July Recipes

Here is part 1 of your July 4th Inspiration - recipes, courtesy of my favorite holiday planner, Martha Stewart! I, for one, get excited every year when grilling season comes around and fresh summer produce begins to make an appearance, but I also feel like that excitement is met with lots of summer kickoff BBQ's and the same menu every time. It's great, but by the time July 4th comes around, I'm ready for some variety. For example, everyone knows that watermelon is a summer staple, and you may like it just the way it is, but you don't have to serve it that way! Here are some delicious and unique patriotic recipe ideas (and a few old favorites if you're looking to keep things traditional) for your own Independence Day celebration!

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