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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Soiree: Mocktini Party

A Mocktini Party!

Perfect for a hot summer night and it's family friendly. My husband and I choose not to drink alcohol so this works out awesome for us. And is a ton of fun! Plus, you don't have to worry about a designated driver or anything. =]

The Invite: Buy some drink umbrellas from a party store or Wal-Mart. Type out a little invite with the date, time, place and any other special instructions. Roll it up and tie it on with some cute ribbon. Hand deliver. If you need to mail some of the invites, use a cut out of a martini glass. It's a fairly basic shape. Or if you have access to a personal cutting machine, here is a cute martini glass svg file. And e-vites are always an option too. Shoot your friends a cute, simple email invitation and you're good to go!

Decor: Go light and cheerful. Celebrate summer. Some strings of white lights and drink umbrellas are a must! Flowers and other plants will add a fresh, light feeling to the atmosphere. Or better yet, hold your shin-dig in your backyard.

Prep: Find three or four recipes you'd like to try. Go ahead and Google "Mocktinis". There are lots out there. One of my PERSONAL FAVES. There are a ton just on alone. You could easily find everything you need there. Then, head off to the grocery store to get the ingredients.
You can find cheap martini and margarita glass at your local Dollar Store, if you want to go that route. We invested in a pair for my husband and I and it's a fun, little detail. But, whether or not you want to buy them for all your guests is up to you. If you opt not to, I suggest plastic drink cups.

The Party: As people start arriving, let them know the drink options. It might be easier to have a batch of each kind already mixed up. If not, mix up the drinks and start handing them out. Socialize and chat with your guests, you're supposed to enjoy your parties too! Offer a second round of drinks after everyone has had a chance to finish the first round. Same with a third, and maybe fourth, depending on your supplies. Between recipes, keep a cooler of water that you can rinse your blender in. It'll make clean up easier.

Clean up: Rinse the blender and put it in the dishwasher, same with glasses. Or throw them all out if you opted for plastic/paper ones. Clean up the plants and the lights. Ta-Da! All done!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fanciful Friday: Vinyl Flower Garden

I LOVE this vinyl flower garden. It's my favorite vinyl project I've done. And it's completely mine. I designed all the flower heads and stems and everything. It's so rewarding to see the finished project and to be so thrilled with it. I'm in LOVE. I put this up in our half bath, but it would look adorable in the kitchen too. I had a hard time deciding where to put it, but I already had a super cute quote up in the kitchen and was afraid I'd over do it.

This item is available through my Etsy shop.  Message me to set up a listing.  Check it out!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday: Love Tickets

A quick and easy way to keep the romance alive! Give the love of your life some lovin' to redeem at a later date. If you need to adjust the tickets, feel free to do so. Photoshop or even paint will do the trick. Or make your own with the ticket template I found HERE. Scroll down just over half way and follow the instructions that accompany the template. All of these tickets here are original creations (with the exception of the ticket template) and may not be used or sold for profit. Thanks and enjoy!

Go enjoy a romantic evening... how many tickets can you use in one night?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Nilla Wafer No-Bake Cheesecake


30 Vanilla Wafers for every 12 cupcake liners
1 stick (1/4 lbs) of butter
Fresh fruit to garnish cakes
Jell-O No-Bake Cheesecake (use only the filling)
Rolling pin
Cupcake pan and liners

Microwave wafers and butter for 30 seconds. Put into a zippy bag and use the rolling pin to crush the wafers. When all the wafers are crushed, push the mixture into the bottoms of the cupcake liners. Mix up the cheesecake filling according to the directions on the box. Layer the cheesecake over the wafer crusts. Chill for 1 hour. Garnish with fresh fruits and enjoy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Soiree: Game Night

My husband and I enjoy being able to entertain our friends. However, sometimes we get tired of doing the "big productions", as he calls them. On these nights, we call out the ever-popular game night. Yep, it's that simple. If we think about it ahead of time, we'll send out an invite, but if not we just shoot out a few text messages and phone calls. Sometimes, spur of the moment parties don't lead to a huge turn out, but those are some of the most fun nights because it gives you a chance to get to really know your guests better since there aren't so many of them. Big game nights are a lot of fun too though.

The prep is easy. Step to your closet and pull out those board games. We always invite our friends to bring their favorites or any new ones they have. The rule of thumb, you can't have too many games to choose from. If you don't play some of them, just bring them again next time. Not a big deal.

We also usually do some easy treats. A pan of Betty Crocker brownies, a roll of ready-made cookie dough, something like that. Or ask your guests to bring something. It's a simple night. Remember that. And have fun!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Fanciful Friday: Word Frames

A friend of mine did this on the main wall of their apartment and I fell in love!  I had to do it.  She got her frames at DI and Goodwill and found some larger ones.  She then went and had her vinyl cut at a store in the mall.  I don't remember how much she paid for it, but I remember it was more than I wanted to pay for mine.
So, originally I did mine out of tracing paper and card stock.  I printed out the letters on the computer in a font I liked, and then taped the tracing paper and the paper I printed on.  I then used an exacto knife and cut the letters out.  I used a ruler to ensure straight, more professional looking edges.
I then cut my card stock to fit my frames.  I used StudioTac (it's a graphic designer's amazing friend and sold at art stores, it is kinda expensive though) to stick the tracing paper on the card stock.  StudioTac is a whole bunch of little sticky dots, so you could see it though the tracing paper.  I liked that it gave my letters some texture.  It also ensures that all your corners are adhered and stay that way.
Then I put the card stock in the frames and hung them on the wall.  It stayed like until I got my Cricut and some vinyl...

Then, I decided to update the look a little (and I saw my friend's again and fell in love all over).  I cut out the letters BACKWARDS on vinyl with my Cricut.  I cleaned the glass well.  And then stuck the letters on the glass.  I cut them out backwards because I didn't want the letters on the outside of the glass.  I wanted them in between the glass and the wall.  I glued the glass to the very edge of the frame with Tacky Glue (you could use gorilla glue if you're worried about the strength of the hold, but I haven't had any problems with them).  I left the backing off the frame so you could see the wall.  And then I added the knotted ribbon to the small frame.  Then I hung them back where they were. Perfection.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday: My Little Cuppycake

Today, take a bit of time out of your day and make some cupcakes!  Everyone loves cupcakes!  Get the kids to help out.  Whether you just use a cake mix and let Betty Crocker do the dirty work or whether you make your own cupcakes from scratch is totally up to you and what your day allows.  When the cupcakes come out of the oven, set aside one or two.  Let the kids go to town and decorate the remaining cupcakes.  Decorate the ones you set aside special for your Honey!  Leave cute love notes in the frosting or use their favorite candies.  Not hard, you entertained the kiddos, and you have dessert for tonight!  I'd call that a good day.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Almond Strawberry Salad

This is such a light, delicious, yummy, and healthy salad.  Perfect for summer time!  It's awesome, I HIGHLY recommend it!


3 cups of fresh spinach
1 cup fresh sliced strawberries
1/4 cup almonds
1 Tbs cider vinegar
1 Tbs honey
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
In a bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds.  In a jar, mix honey, sugar and vinegar.  Shake well.  Pour over the top of the spinach mixture.  Serve and Enjoy!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Fanciful Friday: Beautiful Wreaths

Here are two wreaths I made.  I have one hanging in our living room and just love how it helps brighten up the room a little.  I love the way they turned out.  They are so colorful and happy!  It's so warm here and sometimes flowers have a hard time not getting scorched.  I still get my flower fix and I don't have to worry about too little water and too much sun  Enjoy! 

The best thing about these wreaths:  They are all Dollar Store items!  Well, except the ribbon and the beads, both of which I already had on hand.

The wreath that has flowers all the way around it has a floral styrofoam ring base.  The flowers I cut off the bunch with wire cutters, leaving about 1 1/2 inch stems on each flower.  I just used hot glue to attach the flowers to the ring  I poked each steam into the styrofoam, pulled it back out and then squeezed hot glue into the hole and reinserted the flower stem.  Work your way around the entire ring.
I thought about hanging it with a ribbon, but I didn't want to detract attention from the flowers so I just cut a notch in the back of the ring at the point where it stuck out the most.  It was perfect and sat on the nail just right.

The reed wreath I used the same technique as with the foam, except I stuck the stems between the reeds and hot glued them there.  For the ribbons, I hot glued the ends behind the flower heads and then just wrapped them around the top of the reed and secured them with hot glue behind a flower head on the other side.

For the ribbon flower, I took the end of a roll of ribbon and hot glued it to the wreath then I looped the ribbon to make the petal.  Put a small dab of hot glue at the spot on the ribbon where it crosses back over the end of the ribbon to secure it to the wreath.  Continue with the same process until you have enough petals to make your flower.  I just hot glued the beads to the ribbon to cover the ends and all the hot glue.  I did make an effort to put the sides with holes not facing up.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday: Sometimes Cliche Works

This Thoughtful Thursday is kinda lame, but only because it's so cliche.  But, I often find that I'm trying to find unique and special ways to fan the romantic flame that I often overlook the simple, yet effective, little gestures that still say "I love you!"

Today, get your sweetheart a flower.  Go get a single-stem rose from the grocery store or Wal-Mart.  Pick a small bouquet from your garden.  Pick a handful of dandelions.  Whatever you can manage.  While dandelions aren't the most desirable flowers the effort still says, "I was thinking about you."  Now if your sweetie absolutely detests dandelions it's probably best to skip over that option.  Just take a few moments from your day to do something that will let your sweetheart know you love them, you are here and that they were on your mind.  See, easy peasy.
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