4456ab62684ae17244d576b2248ea70ce95c1b08c858edf677 Not Just A Mommy: 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
DEAR READERS AND NEW VISITORS....MY BLOG IS HAVING A FEW TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES,THE TRIANGLE WHERE A PHOTO SHOULD BE. I AM SLOWLY GOING BACK RELOADING THEM!

7.31.2008

Yes, I do love my Pottery Barn

Yesterday, we decided to visit dad at work in Seattle. He's just a few minutes up the road from my mecca, University Village. So we had some time to kill (read: I planned)before lunch, and couldn't wait to see what the Land of Nod and PBkids had to offer. I am a yuppie at heart. I would totally have my house done in Nantucket Blue if I could afford the outrageousness. But you do get what you pay for, and that furniture can be handed down for generations. I'm all for paying a little more, if it means I'm not buying a new bed for the next 100 years, not like our boys' bunk bed, bought about 5 years ago, and might as well been built with toothpicks and duct tape.

But my practical voice is always yelling "We can find it at Target". But it won't be the same. It's not. So, I get what I can afford and buy the wooden and felt food, send some items as gifts, and get the few baskets I know I won't find anywhere else and are totally worth the price.

But it pained me not to buy up this Star Wars bedroom stuff. My oldest LOVES Star Wars. And when I say love, I don't mean like how you love your best-fitting jeans. He wants to grow up and help George Lucas make Episodes 7, 8, and 9. He is going to become a filmmaker, just so that he can make more of these movies.

But as much as I would love to nurture his creativity and send his obsession into the stratosphere with this room decor, I simply cannot bring myself to spend $59 on a set of twin sheets, or $69 on a duvet cover and since we have bunk beds, I would need two sets. The decorative pillow is $24 and isn't even available until mid-September. The Luke Skywalker poster framed in wood and plexiglass is $199. Not to mention the lightsaber (not to be confused with the plastic one we have, that the blade coll apes on itself like those little Russian nesting dolls, retail $7.99) is made of wood and is going for $69. Luckily, my kids know that whining is not an option, but for a nanosecond, I imagined whining to my husband about this. He would simply look at me like I was on the pipe, and my nanosecond is over.

Yes, I know that Tar-jay has their own version, but I'm sorry, it is NOT the same. The PBkids' one are soft and beautiful, 95% cotton and 5% organic cotton, and you know they'll last forever. The Tar-jay ones are ghetto, 70% polyester, and feel like you are putting the kids to bed on one-ply toilet paper. I am a bedding-snob, if you are going to spend a third of your day in something, it should feel somewhat decent. You can find nice quality sheets at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Marshall's, etc. for the same price at other stores, so there are no excuses. I broke and purchased their Spongebob sheets, and the first time I washed them, the elastic snapped. But the boys love those sheets, and they have tons of blankets on their beds, so no bed-burns for them.

I suppose if they really wanted the Tar-jay sheets, I would probably get them because they are about $20, and they would be just as happy. I guess that's what parenthood is all about, making your kids happy. And compromise. Sigh.





7.30.2008

Color Party - Then I said what about Breakfast at Tiffany's?

blue_baby_shower_inviteI love parties, if you haven't noticed, and since I was unable to go to my sister's baby shower, this is dedicated to the one I wish I could have done. I love aqua/Tiffany blue and brown together, they feel so fresh and modern, so Holly Golightly. Thus, an inspired Breakfast at Tiffany's brunch. Here are some great ideas using these colors as the theme.

The invites - Courtesy of tiny prints

The atmosphere - Hang a cluster of inexpensive paper lanterns or tissue pom poms from the ceiling.

Have tea lights in baby food jars and serve blue M&Ms or Jelly Bellys in glass baby bottles.

Create a centerpiece of white flowers in blue gift boxes wrapped with wide, white ribbons, stack those on other wrapped boxes, and trail strands of pearls all over them and the table.

Or if you have several small tables, try this martini glass centerpiece. You can find giant martini glasses and large rhinestones at craft stores like Michael's.

Ask guests to bring their presents wrapped in shades of blue for an impressive display.

Much like jewelers set off diamonds on black velvet, set off white china on velvet place mats. Cover a 15" square of foam core in velvet and scatter your own fake diamonds everywhere.

Tie brown napkins with a coordinating ribbon and bottle at each place setting

Burn a CD for mood music. Include the Supremes' "Baby Love", "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns 'N Roses, Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" "Always Be My Baby" by Mariah Carey, and of course "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot.

tiffany_blue_cupcakesThe food - Danishes are a must, along with traditional brunch fare.

Set up a lovely tea service with assorted breads and crackers and light salads.

And, it is never too early for cupcakes. This dazzling cupcake tower is from Pink Cake Box.

Tie blue and cream ribbon on the stems of champagne flutes and serve mimosas (make a non-alcoholic version with ginger ale).

What to do - No self respecting MTB wants anyone to guess how wide she is. Have a Polaroid camera out for guests to snap candid shots and write well-wishes for the mother-to-be. Ask each guest to bring a photo of herself as an infant. String the pictures along a wall with a clothesline and numbered pins, and have everyone write down guesses as to which pin is holding whose photo.

The favors - Just what every gal needs, a soak in a tub while eating cookies; each guest will receive a baby bath confetti tin and a personalized baby carriage cookie from beau coup.

7.29.2008

Where have I been?

So, my step-daughter and I are looking for appropriate shorts for her at Marshall's, that are not hoochie-phi-hoochie short, which I guess is next to impossible because that is all that there is for her age group. I've always had boys to shop for, and our biggest problem is having too many blue/brown/black/tan shorts. Even the little baby girls have the skirts with the little matching diaper covers. I mean shorts that tiny are cute when you still measure your age in months.

I'm not too much into trends, for one, I don't buy myself new clothes that often, it's hard keeping growing boys in shoes and pants (my 7-year old is tall, wearing a size 10 (adjustable waist pants) and size 2 shoes), so I'm not too worried about my clothes. I will rock the same outfits over and over again. Two, I'm 5'11, and the local stores don't really carry the "trends" that will fit me. Gap Online is my only hope, since their clothes run tall. Three, I can't wear just any and anything, you have to shop for your body type, which is why we were buying new shorts. She wants to wear what the kids are wearing, which is fine, except her father nearly had a stroke when she wore shorty-shorts. She's tall too, and some things that look great on short people (I have a friend who LOVES her shorty-shorts but she's like 5'4), don't look so great with 10 miles of leg. Plus, she's 14 and, no that's it, she's 14. And beautiful, so her father can only think about what he was thinking about as a boy at that age. Hence the stroke.

So we did find shorts, but when we got to the register, I nearly had a stroke myself. I saw a Dooney & Bourke Emma bag in orange from last summer. And then I looked up and behind the register were the Coach patchwork Christmas bags, (and I think they are quite ugly), but I hate Coach anyways, because we have an outlet here, and 2 year olds are carrying them. I like to not be like everyone else, so I love my DB bag that I have, because I rarely see other people having the brand. But when I saw they carry it at Marshall's, a quick Google search informed me that you can find them at TJ Maxx as well. I got mine at Nordstrom's, and it was the biggest purchase I've made for myself in years. There was like an ID check just to have them bring it from behind the glass. I actually have two, but they are only canvas, I couldn't bring myself to purchase all-leather because I am a SAHM and my non-paycheck side was screaming at me. I will have this one one day.

When did Marshalls, Ross, etc. etc. started carrying such big-name stuff? Has it been that long, or have they finally trickled down to our area? I would expect it from Nordstrom Rack, another favorite store of mine, which I have spent many an hour digging through shelves. Don't get me wrong, if it's good quality, I don't care where I get it from, but I am secretly a label-snob, when I can afford it, and if I get a designer label for like 80% off, I'm all over it. I'm all about quality, what good is spending $10 on a shirt and it dies the first time it hits the wash, or ponying up $30 for a shirt that will last for years? Since the little one's clothes are hand-me-downs from brother, they have to last. So I do Osh-Gosh and Gymboree (and we have outlets out here too!) But I won't go any higher than that. It's kid clothes for pete's sake, they aren't wearing clothes that cost more than mine.

7.28.2008

Mmm...cupcakes

So, one of my favorites sites, the knot, has a new gallery on cupcake displays. I'm so excited about the exciting trend of cupcakes in place of the traditional wedding cake, or any event of your choice. Although this trend has been around for years, it's now picking up speed, and the number of cupcakeries is growing. When Sex And The City did an episode with Miranda and Carrie eating cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery in NYC, it was on. Even the Girls Next Door are always talking about Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills.

For years, I've only served cupcakes at my parties, because there is always someone piping up that their piece is too small, or they want the piece with the flower on it, etc. etc. I've been telling my friends for years, but some of them just don't listen. Plus, there are so many fun options and ways to be creative. With the explosion of best-sellers like Crazy About Cupcakes and Hello Cupcake!, it's hard for me not to do the "Told You So"dance.

Back in March, Our Lady Of All Things Handmade did a Cupcake Week, from whom I learned about our own local gem Trophy Cupcakes when the store's owner was featured on the show. Now, I'm addicted to those cupcakes, and whenever we are in Seattle, we have to stop there. It also has party supplies and books. And the Wallingford Center is so charming; it's a renovated schoolhouse, and a has a play area right next to Trophy Cupcakes (evil, I tell you, pure evil genius!)

Speaking of which, we've been to Cupcake Royale, which was all hype because they were way too dry. My goal this summer is to hit the other cupcake locations we have, including New York Cupcakes and Dahlia Bakery.


Speaking of Martha, of course, I have to show her most popular version; white cupcakes crowned with fondant hearts cut with a cookie cutter and imprinted with the bride's and groom's first initials. Mounted on a cupcake tower, it's an impressive site.

Over at Wilton's, check out Cupcake Fun website and if you can get a peek at the book, even better! FamilyFun has their ideas broken down by theme, even by alphabet letter, like this yellow jacket cupcake.

Cupcake Envy is by far my favorite site to to visit. Some of their extremely creative creations...
















Speaking of more inspiration, a search on Flickr will yield lots of fun treats. Check out Hello Naomi's cupcake collection which include everything from Pac-Man to Ice-Cream cupcakes.

For a decadent way to display your creations, try this laser-cut cupcake wrapper from Estilo Weddings. Easily assembles to slip your favorite cupcake or candy-filled cup into a marvelous display. Prices start at $12.00 for a package of 12.

For everything cupcake, take a stroll over to the blogs Cupcakes Take the Cake and 52 Cupcakes.

7.26.2008

Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolli, lollipop

So as I mentioned in a previous post, the Ming & Aoki clothing line launch inspired me to do a Candyland/Sugar Party. There are so many fun ideas to choose from....

Invites
Print out party info on round labels and stick them on swirl pops. Or wrap the info around a candy bar. Just remove the paper labels, and replace it with your invite.

Decor
Start with a white palette, then accent with the guest of honor's favorite color or pull a color from their favorite candy. Or just make it a rainbow of colors.

Add these peppermint candy balloon lanterns, and Celebrate Express's Candyland tableware.

Fill a small glass container with flowers, then nest it in a larger container. Fill the gap between the containers with small candies.

Sprinkle your table with little candies like Red Hots and M&Ms.

Wrap large styrofoams balls in colored cellophane paper and twist the ends to resemble giant wrapped candies. Hang them everywhere with fishing line.

Activities
Gingerbread men aren't just for Christmas. Set out bowls of frosting, and an assortment of candies to decorate the cookie.

Candy Jar Guess - have each guest guess how many candies are in a jar that you display on a table. The closest guess wins the jar.

For the older crowd, go retro with Twister, Limbo and potato sack races. Winners could receive this splurge of a Candyland lunchbox or steal the idea by passing out the mini lunchbox pails of candy from Target's Dollar Spot. Or just fill a clear cellophane bag with your favorite candy and tie with a pretty ribbon a la My Awesome 80's party. (See how I worked that in there?)

My Goodies
What little girl wouldn't want this adorable treat box, also at Celebrate Express. I love candy favors, especially candy buffets, I would do them at every party if I could afford it, I love all the different ways you can display luscious treats, therefore I have to show these...

Check out the knot's edible favors section, there are tons of candy favor ideas. Yes, it's a wedding planning site, they are events too, right? Some of the best ideas I've seen come from weddings; it's the one time people can be over the top, and that's just up my alley. It's fun to make the ideas more practical, kind of like how no one wears the clothes straight off the runway. So raid your local grocery store aisle, or buying in bulk may save you some duckets. Check out Candy Warehouse, or Candy Crate.

If you are fortunate to live in New York, Houston, or Orlando and can afford it (parties start at $625(!!!!) for 10 kids), Dylan's Candy Bar is the ultimate sweet spot. The Candy Kids package includes candy card invites, a candy craft activity, balloon bouquets, candy treats, birthday cake & signature ice-cream, multi-colored paper goods & tableware and party professionals. Sorry, no gold brick. Although from what I've read, it's the rich kids' version of CEC.

7.25.2008

Cutest baby in the world,(second only to my own) or people have no manners

I just received his birth announcement today, ok, look at that face, couldn't you just eat him up? This is my nephew Alejandro, born June 28, 3:18 p.m. CT. If you remember, I posted about his birth. And his birthday is so easy for me to remember, because my son's birthday is on the 27th.

My sister says he has changed so much in the first month, and I'm like yeah, I know. I feel like such an old pro, I forget all the wonder and excitement of the firstborn. By the time you are on number 2, you are so busy trying to keep up, you don't get all the one-on-one you did the first time around. I have her excitement not only keep me from being jaded, but also to remind me why we aren't having anymore.

So, what's with the title you ask? Well, the announcement wasn't the only thing I received today. I also picked up Party Confidential - New etiquette for fabulous entertaining by Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison, yes they of The Gospel According to Party Confidential. I've been waiting patiently for the library to acquire it, and couldn't wait to read it. It's all about party etiquette, your job as a host and guest, and everything in-between. And I'm not crazy, because I know my mom raised me with some sense about politeness and being respectful of other people's time and money.

I love receiving baby announcements, because it seems to be the only thing left of the old traditions that people actually adhere to. Pretty much the buck stops there. Take for example, inviting people to an event. Maybe it's just me, but if I take the time to think of you, create you an invitation, and put a pricey stamp on it, the least you could do is RSVP in a timely manner. No one does that anymore. Or I'll call/email a week before, no response. By then, I figure you aren't worth my time, and cross you off my future-guest-list. And dear me, they actually have the balls to show up. But what's even worse, is you RSVP, and then don't show up, after I make up a gift bag, make enough food and a place setting for you. Especially, if you could have had someone else there. Completely forgot? I mean people, how many computer calendar programs are there? I don't even use those, I have a dollar-store calendar that I write stuff down in...Susie's party 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Done. This book has reaffirmed my belief that someone somewhere believes in bringing the hostess a gift, like flowers. Now, the correct way is to send them the day before so she doesn't waste time at the party putting them in a vase. My gang isn't that formal, we just show up with something but I believe that it's a thank-you for slaving away at what ever awesomeness you have in store for me that night.

And I still send thank you cards for birthday parties, I may write them out, but I have the boys sign them.

And if the invitation is only addressed to me, I can't bring the kids with me. If the invitation says "no kids please" I will not harass the hostess to bend the rules, and make her feel bad about it (which happened at a friend's shower a few months ago).

I try hard not to be the last guest to leave, unless I am pulling my weight by helping to clean up.

I'm not a wall-flower, there is nothing a host/ess hates more than constantly checking on someone to make sure they are having a good time, because someone is pouting in a corner. Get over it, what are you, five? If you didn't want to be there, you should have declined.

I'm done now.

7.24.2008

Why do I suddenly like Kelly Ripa?

So, I'm watching the WE channel show "Hope and Faith", mostly because I love Faith Ford, who played Corky Sherwood on "Murphy Brown". I love "Murphy Brown" because I love Candice Bergen, and I'll watch her do ANYTHING! When she did "Will & Grace" (who the character Karen Walker called 'Candy') and "Sex and the City", they were my favoritest episodes. So, anyhoo, now that I'm done play Six Degrees, just dated myself, and have also shown that I watch way too much TV, back to my original thought.

So, on "Hope and Faith", Kelly Ripa plays, wait for it, a washed up soap star. For an out-of-work-living-with-her-sister former star, she has banging clothes and wears nothing but stilettos. It helps that she's petite and in kick-ass shape. Ah, and when that tasty morsel of a husband of hers also stars... I occasionally tune into Regis & Kelly, plus she's hawking Tide and Electrolux. Which I guess she gets alot of flack for, since no one believes she even knows how to run an appliance.

I think it's because I'm having strong, self-made woman withdrawals, because Kimora Lee Simmons's season 2 of Life in the Fab Lane is over. I love her, she is so deliciously over the top, and just plain crazy, which is how I can be at times. Even though she piggie-backed on her rap royalty ex-husband Russell Simmons's Phat Farm clothing line, she doesn't strike me as the type to just let others do the heavy lifting. That's how I want to be, parlaying my talent into a multi-billion dollar industry. Um, I don't have a muti-billion dollar company to get me started, but I'm working on it. Plus, her daughters now have their own clothing line. Now that's the way to share the wealth, although the $40,000 a month support that he pays for both girls also helps.

And on that note, the fashion show they had to showcase the new line has inspired me to post a Candyland themed party, coming soon!

7.23.2008

Real Party - Party Like It's 1989

80s_style_feetIt's time for another shameless shout-out for another fabulous party I've thrown, the Awesome 80's party for my birthday last year. I may be getting older, but I still want a party damn it and it rocked, and even inspired a few more decade parties. For full details, check out My Award Winning Awesome 80's Party 80s_party_pictures
Guests in front of the prom wall; the munchies; it's hard to do karaoke when you are full of alcohol; me and Rose (it was her actual birthday on party day); working hard on the 80's quiz ( I think his outfit was blinding him)

7.22.2008

Take Me Out To The Barnyard

So, a friend of mine just called, and after we were done ranting about ungrateful husbands, we started talking about what to do for her daughter's upcoming birthday, and one of the options is a petting zoo. So, since I'm up still, I'm looking for ideas to pass along. I would have had my magazines to browse, there is a great party in one of them, but they are being held hostage at another friend's house.

What's great about this theme is it can be expanded to fit every taste. Ask guests to dress in overalls, plaid, bandannas and other farm gear. Try a John Deere theme from Celebrate Express, then check out the official site Green Fun Store for more unique items and ideas.


How about dedicating your party to your child's favorite barn animal? Over at Simply Bovine, everything is dedicated to who else, the cow! Drink Purple Cows and read Click Clack Moo - Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin. Pig parties are also a favorite. Serve Jell-O during a "Pig-Out Contest", where guests must hold their hands behind their backs and eat cubes of Jell-O from bowls. Clean up and read If You Give A Pig A Party by Laura Numeroff


Check out Fine Living Network's videos on Barnyard Petting Zoo for creative ideas on invitations and activities.

Have a rootin' tootin' Cowboy/Cowgirl Hoedown party. Have guests take caricature pictures as party favors like this prop from Party 411, then decorate their own paper vests. Play horseshoes, and have a Lasso Throwing contest. Serve up lots of good grub like BBQ, cornbread, corn on the cob and baked beans. Serve Chex Mix and call it chicken feed. And for authenticity, serve food on pie tins.

Party Like a (Camp) Rock Star

It's mid-July, which means that for those of us with kids, we are most likely knee-deep in VBS (Vacation Bible School for the uninitiated) or some form of camp. And the summer juggernaut that is making every teen/tween swoon is Disney's Camp Rock. I can't go anywhere without seeing those Jonas Brothers plastered onto some kind of item. Tar-jay seems to be the exclusive carrier of everything from acoustic guitars to bedding, or maybe it seems that way because I'm there way too much. Jonas who?? Hello, they've done Oprah!! So of course, what would be more appropriate than to have a camp-themed party?

Check out Celebrate Express's party packs, guitar pinanta and goody favor packs for one-stop party shopping.







Party City also has an extensive section, at least ours does. But if you are like me, trying to save a little coinage, mix and match your supplies with solid colors. Have a few items to set the tone like invitations and stickers, but use solid color plates and napkins.

Decorations
Depends on if you go with the color of the party supplies (pink, purple and teal) or with the Camp Rock logo, which is red and yellow. Either way, lots of streamers and balloons in your color scheme is the easiest way to go. At a past party, I went to the local thrift store and purchased old 45's and used silly-putty to put them all over the walls, which would work for this party as well. Inflatable guitars and microphones (we find ours at Party City) scattered around will inspire even the wallflowers.

Activities
Obviously you can watch the movie, or you can get them really moving. Break out the karaoke machine and lots of tunes and have them sing and dance the night awau. Have a dance and talent competition, or even host a sleepover. If you have it, break out the game system and play Guitar Hero. Since camp always involves a craft, a smaller group can decorate rock star T-shirts. Go to your local craft store and load up on sequins, crystals, iron-ons, and fabric markers.

Remember your age group, Pin The Tail and Musical Chairs is NOT happening.

Party Menu
Feel free to cheese it up in the food department with lots of camp foods. Trail mix and s'mores make great snacks; have a hot dog/hamburger buffet, with sides of beans, corn on the cob, mac and cheese etc. served on plastic cafeteria trays. If you are feeling even more creative, make guitar-shaped cookies. And if you just HAVE to have a tricked-out cake, try this one at FamilyFun.

Goody Bags
I'm just not a fan of the pre-packaged party sets, like the one pictured above, since I can make the same set and spend less. For a younger crowd, you can purchase the stickers, but use musical-themed items like pencils and notepads. Some teens may view goody bags as kiddish, so save money by sending guests home with some of your decor items like the inflatables, or any crafts they make. Burn your music CDs and send them home with a copy of the party music.

Ok, so in the spirit, I couldn't resist looking at real campy-camp stuff too. Be warned, this is not for the faint of heart, these ideas actually involve taking the kids outside.

I love the Kids Party Fun site because they list tons of themes and great ideas for each one. Check out the Camp Out Party. And over at FamilyFun, the Backyard Camp-Out may be a little more managable. Then check out their cakes, a camp fire and a camp-out.

7.19.2008

How About A Round of Applause

bitter breakup cakeSo, the Rihanna song "Take A Bow" (stuck in my head and constantly humming) is the latest song of the break-up-and-get-gone genre that always strike a chord in every woman and a man or two. We've all been there, Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" was the chant last year, and of course the bitter woman national anthem "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morrisette or is it "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor? It depends on if you feel like leaving the key in the mailbox, or use it to scratch up the car.

My all-time favorite bitter song is "Love Stinks" by The J.Geils Band, but Adam Sandler's version in The Wedding Singer, the pain rendered in that song is PRICELESS! The other great song is the one he wrote for Linda when he was in love, and then finished after they broke up ("I can't believe I found a love that's so pure and true. But it all was bulls****. / It was a goddamn joke / And when I think of you, Linda / I hope you f**king choke") Ah yes, hell hath no fury, be it a man or a woman.

So, anyhoo, it got me thinking about my past breakups (mercifully not many and no crank calling or destruction of property) and the ultimate breakup, the divorce. Shanna Moakler (pictured above) former Miss USA, and Oscar De La Hoya's baby mama, threw herself a divorce party when her marriage to blink-182 drummer Travis Barker failed, and in of all places, Las Vegas. I think the cake says it all. Well, she should have known, though, having your own reality show is a ticket to Divorce Court, duh, one is an accident (Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson), two is a pattern (Shanna and Travis), three is just a hot mess (Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra).

Nothing says emancipation from a crappy marriage like a party. I'm all for it, and I hope, God forbid, if my time ever comes, my friends throw me the biggest, tackiest party ever. I didn't have the pleasure of a bachelorette party, so the cosmos must be balanced.

A little search reveals that this trend is growing in popularity. Divorce parties seem to be the rage, after all, we have parties for every other event in life, why not the ending of your marriage? The average wedding in the U.S. is about $28,000, so I guess the circle is complete. Filling this untapped market back in 2003, Christine Gallagher's guide includes party themes, food ideas, even divorce party etiquette.

Get the party started with these postcard invites, so guests know to wear their eatin' pants.

Break out this break-up pack, complete with shades for those cryin' eyes and a voodoo doll.

Catch those assorted-Hostess-pastry crumbs with the Single Again! napkins and dessert plates

Appropriate activities that do not include fire or stalking: watching a plethora of break up movies like Waiting To Exhale, First Wives Club, Kramer vs. Kramer (not Seinfield smart-ass!), and my personal favorite War of the Roses; hoping that Brangelina break up and can't find anyone hotter than themselves to hook up with (aren't those two just movin' on up in the Hooking Up With Hotter and Hotter People ladder...love you guys, I'm so open for adoption too!).

7.18.2008

Color Party - They Call Me Mellow Yellow

My step-daughter wants to have a Pink Party for her birthday, which got my creative wheels turning, and of course I'm excited to see how many color themed items we can use. Make a splash with your own signature color party. Go kitschy and use the hue in every detail! Puff Daddy's White Party is synonymous with the Fourth of July, and Oprah is famous for her black and white Legends Ball. Now, you may not be able to host your party in St. Tropez (Puffy) or have a 3 day extravaganza (Oprah), you can still throw a memorable party.

Yellow is the color of sunshine. It's associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. So it sets a perfect palette for summer engagements like weddings and showers, Sunday brunch, and garden parties.
Partyware

Mimosa utensils pack of 24
Yellow damask beverage napkins
Melamine 12-piece set from Target





Menu Ideas

I love candy buffets, and this one from Our Lady of All Things Handmade is part of a Daisy shower.

In their book, Party Confidential, event planners outlined their too-cute party with deviled eggs served on a clear Lucite tray with marshmellow Peeps. Presentation is always key!







Signature Drinks


Offer guests a signature drink like this Lemon Cream martini or the Yellow Bird pictured above.

Have non-alcholic choices as well like old-fashioned lemonade with lemon twist garnishes.




Party Favors





Send guests home with Petit Fleur yellow buckets, set of 4, filled with the yellow candy of your choice, or try this sunflower floating candle

7.17.2008

I Scream, You Scream...

So, I was standing in the checkout aisle at the local grocer's and this eye-catcher, well, caught my eye! bon app├ętit’s August issue made me want to go buy 10 buckets of ice-cream and sauce. Check out the online version for all the summer goodies they have for more drool-worthy pictures.

For the past couple of summers, I have hosted ice-cream socials, where guests each brought toppings to share and we let the kids make any type of sundae they could imagine. We set up a buffet outside on the picnic table with all the fixins like brownies, bananas, whipped cream, and the kids and wasps just love it! This year, we just have too much going on this summer to host at this point, although the urge may hit me later this summer. An ice-cream social is a perfect summer event, so I've gathered some wonderful ice-cream ideas for your own chilly soiree....
So, over at paper + cup you can make personalized wooden ice-creams spoons!! I love events when they they pay attention to the small details, and how neat are these spoons. They are marketed for weddings, (50 piece min. order), where you can print your names, wedding date, etc. Maybe something like "Enjoy the summer" or "Thanks for coming", neutral enough to use year after year.
Consider this serving set to display your mix-ins and toppings in style.
A great girl's night in idea; create ice-cream based on the ladies in your life with eCreamery's online custom ice cream & gelato shop, that let's you choose your own flavors, mix-ins, packaging, even your own ice cream name. For the highly creative, Our Lady of All Things Handmade has this wonderful Minty Chip Sea Turtle turtle that would make any ice-cream party proud.

If you are fortunate to live near a Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop, some do catering and host birthday parties there. And if you are really, really lucky and live in Vermont, you can visit their factory. Luckily I live no where near there, otherwise I may never leave!!


7.15.2008

For Emily

Today is the one year anniversary of my wonderful friend Emily's passing to breast cancer. It hurts still to think about her, and the wonderful husband and children that were left behind. She wanted to make it to her 30th birthday last year in June, and she did, and it meant so much for us girls to celebrate it with her. She always talked about making it, and none of us would even fathom that she wouldn't. But she was prepared, making cards for the kids to open on their birthdays, and Christmas, and when they grew up and started families of their own, and giving us our private assignments to carry out for her. We are the Ya-Yas, a group stronger because of what she was going through, and what we were going through together, forever bonded by the bitch sessions about our lives, our crazy parents and our families, and how they made us who we are. Our anger at her sometimes because we couldn't tell her how we really felt, because we didn't want her to remember us that way. My 2 a.m. ramblings because she was the only person I knew who was not only awake, but had her own to share. Our relationship with our friends have different levels, some things you can only share with certain ones, because you know they will keep the secret to the grave, and would never question or judge your feelings. Others, you hold at arm's length, because they would never understand, or would see you differently. She and I could yap about the mundane, and all of a sudden talk about who was going to get her vast stamping collection after she was gone. So many promises to keep, and yet, I'm a failure because so many I couldn't, because I was scared and didn't know how to do them. Aren't you supposed to fulfill the wishes of the dying? I'm the weak one of the group, we have the strong ones who selflessly make up for my short-comings, and to them I am grateful. Because that what friends do, and they will never know how much I look up to them, because in them I see her.

Ok, Emily is totally laughing at me now, saying "What the hell is that, man?? Seriously..."

Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk - Susan G. Komen Foundation

7.14.2008

The sun is like our crack













So, on Sunday I took the kiddos to my favorite local park, that has a huge playground and a water play area. We who live in the Seattle area don't see the sun for long stretches, and when it's out, people flee to the parks like lemmings over a ledge. It tickles me to no end to see all of the delightful winter whites (and I don't mean the outfits) trying to lay out and color up before the next week of rain is upon us. Don't get me wrong, people have a right to dress anyways they want to, I don't know your story, maybe you didn't get to the store for a decent bathing suit and all you had left was a faded Disneyland shirt and your husband's old shorts. I understand. I'm not judging. I have friends who have to pre-tan before they actually lay in the sun so they don't burn. I appreciate that, because the rest of us don't enjoy watching white skin turn red. It's like watching lobsters in a boiling pot. I people-watch. If it were a sport in the Olympics, I would be a gold-medal winner. I love to see who's wearing what/how/why and mentally judge them in my head. No, she did NOT wear those sandals, with those toes like that?? Yes, I said before I don't judge. I don't judge outloud.

So, I'm watching all the white walk by, and I wonder, with all the Desert Sun Tans that are as plentiful as Starbucks here, that more people don't tan during our rainy seasons? We used to live in Cali, and I grew up in Houston, and NOBODY is white, orange yes, but not white. I don't care how old you were, everyone was tanned. So it always amuses me when my friends complain how white they are and need to go tanning, and I (wink wink) chime in that I don't need to go, got my own built-in tan you know. I'm sure they are sick of that joke, but I like to mess with them on many occasions, but that is another story, another post.

Yes, I know, tanning is bad, will eventually kill you with skin cancer and wrinkly skin, but throwing pasty white skin into the sun and watching turn it burn can't be good either. Doesn't turning red mean you are in bad shape already? I say pre-tan, if you are going to kill yourself, take your time and do it right. And for the love of pete, put on like SPF 1000 will ya? I slather my boys up, because sun damage can happen to all skin types. Ok, I'm off the soap box....