April 27th, 2009 |
Give an old favorite recipe a new look…
I love, love, love this idea from Food Network….everyone has their own version of a Mexican layer dip….but wow your guests by updating the presentation.
Use small glasses as the vessel to create these individual dips. Use a white, rectangular plate – place the dip and a stack of tortilla chips on it – and you have an instant update to one of my favorite snacks!
April 26th, 2009 |
Cinco de Mayo (otherwise known as the 5th of May) is a day to party and to celebrate, and also a good time to get a taste of Mexican culture. If you can gather some festive drinks, colorful decorations and try your hand at some traditional Mexican food….you can throw a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta!
If you’re going to throw a fabulous party, you’ll need to decorate. Colored paper flowers, paper lanterns, and strings of white lights in the trees are a great way to liven up any party in a hurry. Pinatas are a traditional decoration and are a fun activity for kids at the party. The most important thing when decorating for Cinco de Mayo?! Use color! There is nothing mild about the Mexican culture – many homes and businesses in Mexico are filled with vibrant colors such as turquoise, fuchsia, yellow, red, purple and lime green.
Here are a couple of tips for decorating:
- Buy solid color paper plates, napkins and cups using a combination of the Fiesta colors.
- Hang Sombreros on walls, and use them during the party for a Cinco de Mayo Mexican Hat Dance.
- Buy piñatas to hang from tree branches or to use as a centerpiece for tables.
- Burn chunky, vibrant candles all night.
- Drape white lights in trees surrounding the party area.
- Have colorful, wood maracas at each place setting – tie them together with raffia and attach a placecard.
On to the south-of-the-border menu – begin with icy cold margaritas and quacamole, a warm bowl of chicken-tortilla soup. For the main course, set up a taco bar with colorful bowl of toppings – cheese, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and peppers. Serve up some grilled corn with cheese and lime on the side – yum! And for dessert – try mixing a little margarita mix into white cupcake batter. Decorate with a slice of lime on top – very festive!
Images: party (detailsdetails.com), margarita (williams-sonoma.com)
April 25th, 2009 |
Now that the days are getting longer, and the weather is getting nicer – people are starting to socialize out on their driveways watching their kids ride their bikes and draw with sidewalk chalk. These nice days are still few and far between….so when you have a good one – enjoy it! Extend your day by inviting the neighbors back to your patio and serve up Patio Lemonade (via Hostess with the Mostess) and Shrimp Shooters.
April 24th, 2009 |
For 135 years, the Kentucky Derby has been everyone’s race – from the dapper men and beautiful women, all in hats and sipping on frosty mint juleps, to the laid-back crowd who picnic on the in-field on fried chicken.
The Kentucky Derby is more than just a race — it’s an annual society event. Since the first Derby in 1875, the race has become steeped in traditions ranging from specific food and drink to proper Derby attire.
One of the best part’s of The Kentucky Derby is enjoying a lovely day outside. Although you will be glued to the TV to watch the actual race – bring your party outside to enjoy the rest of the day in the garden. Set up tables with bright linens, and centerpieces that are loose and colorful. Serve a buffet of traditional southern food – fried green tomatoes, bourbon-marinated pork tenderloin, fried chicken, and blackberry & toasted pecan cobbler for dessert.
No matter how you decide to celebrate the Derby this year – there is one tradition that everyone must do: you have to serve the official drink: Mint Julep. The cocktail consists of bourbon, mint and sugar syrup, and is traditionally served in a silver julep cup with a sprig of mint.
If you want to organize a friendly wager for the race – check out these tickets from Plum Party.
For those ladies lucky enough to actually attend the Derby, the biggest question leading up to the race isn’t in regards to who is going to win….it’s all about what outrageous hat they will be donning that day! It’s about color, extravagance, and definitely a touch of drama!
Images: garden (fineartamerica.com), flowers (artfool.com), race (kentuckyderby.com), invitation (ashleybrookedesigns.com), mint juleps and food (southernliving.com), hats (latimes.com)
April 23rd, 2009 |
I love this idea from Simply Stated…..what a great centerpiece idea for Mother’s Day, a baby shower or little girl’s birthday party!
What You’ll Need:
- Sharp scissors
- Drinking straws
- 2 boxes of wheatgrass (sold in flats or boxes at health-food stores and flower shops)
- 12 to 16 gerbera daisies
- A pencil
For such a creative look – this is so simple to put together. Cut the straws to match the height of the grass. Then snip the daisy stems so they are slightly longer than the straws, and gently slide each stem into a straw. If the straws are too narrow for the stems, slit the straws from top to bottom. Poke holes in the soil with the pencil. Stick the straw-sheathed flowers into the holes.
Don’t forget to lightly water the soil to help the flowers stay fresh!
April 23rd, 2009 |
Yellow – one of my favorites! By pairing it with different colors, it can take on so many different lives.
Pair it with pink, orange, turquoise – it becomes a bit of a fiesta! Placed with black & white – it is bold. Nestled between sky blue and pale green, it is the ideal palette for a baby shower.
This season – I am seeing a ton of yellow and pale grey mixed together. It’s somewhat of an unlikely pairing, but is really attractive! I like it especially in the home. Grey is a great neutral backdrop that gives you the opportunity to change up your pop colors seasonally. This season….I hope you will choose yellow!
Images: pillows (styleathome.com), little girl (ba-reps.com), yellow dress (jcrew.com), place setting (theknot.com), patio set (crateandbarrel.com), gift (carolynroehm.com)
April 22nd, 2009 |
May Day is a celebrated tradition all over the world. Celebrated on May 1st (half way between the spring equinox and the summer equinox) the traditions surrounding May Day vary by country. The common theme in most celebrations – the use of flowers!
May Day is a wonderful opportunity to gather your loved ones, your children’s friends or the neighborhood for an outdoor celebration. The most popular activity on May Day is to decorate a tall pole with brightly colored ribbons or streamers. The pole is usually carried in a parade and then placed in the ground at the center of a party. People then dance around the May pole, holding the ends of the streamers or ribbon in their hands.
It’s a colorful day – and a great exuse to be outside!
Images: floral dress (bodenusa.com), cone favor (rebeccathuss.com), may day pictures (via flickr.com)
April 21st, 2009 |
Simple and sophisticated, this rolled napkin will make a stunning companion to any placesetting.
You can accessorize your napkin roll with a ribbon tie, a napkin ring, or even a piece of twine with a placecard attached to it.
Perfect for a luncheon, bridal shower, or special dinner party….I hope you will try this napkin roll at your next party!
Image via The Knot
April 20th, 2009 |
April 22, 2009 marks the 39th Earth Day celebration. Celebrate by planning a day of activities that will encourage your children to learn about planting and recycling, followed by an alfresco dinner with friends.
If it’s true that you are what you eat, then you might want to take a look at the food you are picking up at the grocery store. The average meal travels roughly 1500 miles before it’s consumed – why not try to plant and eat organic food from your very own garden?! It’s not only better for you, but it’s better for the earth.
Invite the neighborhood kids over to help you plant a vegetable garden. It’s a great way to get everyone together and to teach kids how they can make a difference. Have your garden mapped out before the kids get there – separate the kids into groups, and assign them a vegetable to plant. Check out these great chalkboard stakes at Crate & Barrel – they are perfect for identifying what’s what!
Send the kids home with a plant of their own to nurture – you can plant them in small terracotta pots or a wooden box.
Earth Day is a great time to teach kids about the importance of recycling. Reuse. Reduce. Recycle. Talk to your kids about why it’s important to recycle – that making new things from recycled ones takes less money, less energy and less of the Earth’s resources. Talk to them about how they can make a difference, and help you to recycle at home.
After a day of activities with your kids, invite your friends over for a nature-inspired dinner alfresco.
Set your table using eco-friendly linens (which you can find plenty of these days!) and use bamboo or cork serving dishes. Use natural elements such as birch candle holders, twigs and plants as your centerpiece. Try bringing in some other garden elements to your table – such as attaching a butterfly on to your placecard or favor box.
Menu ideas for Earth Day may include creating only foods you do not need to use energy for. This is a great way to remember the importance of the day. You can barbeque, create pasta salads, and make vegetable platters with home made dips….ranch dip with sour cream, french onion dip, bean dip are all popular.
Have all of your guests, young and old, leave their mark in your newly planted vegetable garden. Have each one write their name on a rock and place it into your new garden. It will be a wonderful reminder of good friends and a great day!
Recycle Images (via inmagine.com)
Dinner Images: girl (inmagine.com), table setting (rebeccathuss.com), butterfly napkin (estiloweddings.com)
April 18th, 2009 |
Calling all caped crusaders:
It’s time to celebrate superhero-style!
This bright and fun invitation from Tiny Prints inspired this superhero party! Offered in different color combination’s for girls and boys – it sets a festive tone for what’s sure to be a party worth talking about!
Start your party off with face and hand painting.
Paint bats, Superman S‘s, stars and lightening bolts, and other superhero symbols on the hands and cheeks of the kids. (Be sure to use the specially formulated face paint found at most craft and art supply stores.)
Create a make-your-own cape station, so the little heroes can use their creativity to make themselves a superhero.
Have blank capes already cut out, and with a ribbon sewn as a tie around the neck. Set up bowls of felt letters, symbols (such as stars, lightening bolts, circles, flowers, hearts and triangles), and glue sticks on a table….and have the kids alternate between decorating their cape and having their face painted. Check out this template at Martha Stewart for some easy-to-cut shapes.
Once the kids are dressed in their capes, give them a little time to run around and watch their capes fly. End your party with a Bam! Pow! Boom! by having a superhero scavenger hunt. Hand out paper bags decorated with superhero stickers. Enlist another adult to help toss superhero supplies (Green Lantern rings, stickers, action figures, comic books, rubber balls) into the air for the kids to gather. Have all of the children help you count to three. On three, throw the contents into the air and watch them grab as many items as they can at the speed of light.
This action-packed party is sure to be one event your little superhero will never forget!
As the tiny heroes head home after a fun afternoon of crime fighting….hand them a pink superman-style cookie!
If you are looking for superhero capes to buy for your child – check out BabyPop on Etsy, Plum Pear Apple Designs, or the Polka Dot Patch Boutique.
Images: superhero invitation (tinyprints.com), star cupcakes, balloons, star in the sky (flickr.com), cape project table (cookiemag.com)