The invitation: Send hot-pink note cards with details written in silver ink. When each guest RSVPs, ask for her birthday and write it down.
The Decor: Start with variety of pinks like the creamy pink in the dinnerware and fuchsia, and browns from chocolate to taupe. Set up a small bar with sparkling water, your signature cocktail and a few non-alcoholic choices. Now is the time to break out your linens to set your table. Scatter tea lights in silver holders across the table, and down the center of the table decorate with votives and small, tight bouquets of pink flowers like peonies or carnations in low glasses or these silver mint julep vases. Use these classic and simple silver frames as great place card holders. For a great conversation starter, print each person's birthday and a birthday fact for each frame. Hang a cluster of brown paper lanterns from luna bazaar, or these paper flowers from Martha to brighten up your space.
The Menu: As guests arrive, offer appetizers and your signature drink, the Pink Halo. For dinner, serve a light family-style meal like grilled chicken and spinach salad. Afterward, honor your birthday girl with a decadent treat. How about serving these pink Gerbera daisy cupcakes or this Pink and brown cake from both from Pink Cake Box.
The Music: Yes, you have to play 50 Cent's "In Da Club", but try some other birthday songs like Stevie Wonder's "Happy Birthday", Pet Shop Boys' "Birthday Boy" and Loretta Lynn's "Happy Birthday".
Check out these cute flip-flop invites from Paper Source. The flip flops are connected by a hot pink string through pre-drilled holes and with two attached plastic pink flowers.
If I haven't said it enough before, I so love Social Couture. I've ordered from them a few times, and just love my goodies. They have a great Hawaii Five-O Luau party featured. Purchase the complete party set with everything shown here. It includes all of your tableware, even tea lights for the votive holders and coconut shell candles. Add to your table these bamboo vases filled with your favorite tropical flowers.
Wait for the "ohs" and "ahs" as you serve guests with these pineapple wood trays, perfect for your island treats.
If you are having a kid-friendly party, set up a bar serving fruity "mocktails". Make sure and have lots of umbrellas and plastic picks to dress up drinks.
A great party idea: set up a few craft stations where young guests create tropical flowers from tissue paper and pipe cleaners, make their own flower leis by threading and alternating paper flower punch-outs and short pieces of straw onto yarn, and translate their name into the Hawaiian version. We did this at our Aloha Party for the end of school, and the kids loved it. Since the Hawaiian alphabet only has 12 letters, you have to make substitutions. Check out Hawaiianshop.com for directions.
Send them home with a flower lei coiled into a cocktail glass, palm tree stickers and sunglasses all wrapped in cellophane and tied with a pretty ribbon.
Oh, and I just had to share this picture of my boys at their luau-themed VBS, it just seemed appropriate. Mine are the only ones not wearing their personalized hats, and not singing.
Well, that's all I need to go and get one. Plus, the boy thinks it's cool, and if it gets him to eat healthier, I'm all for it. It comes with a very handy book with all kinds of lunch menus, tips for picky eaters and other suggestions to make the $30 price tag worth your while. Plus, it's not made of toxic plastics, and a waste-free alternative where you aren't adding to the growing pile of sandwich bags, and other items in single-use packages. Plus he thinks it's cool. You can purchase all types of colors and other options at online stores like Online Organizing, but this is the only retail store I found that carries them in our area.
Oh, BTW Bootyland is a very cool store, they do consignment, and have lots of wooden toys, books and other kid doodads. Underneath the stairs is a little playarea, that everyone seems to beeline to.
Next to Bootyland is the most interesting store I've been to in a while, Whimsy Home Decor. The windows are filled with bright flowers, sequined covered fish hanging from the ceiling, triangle-shaped chairs and glass sea-creatures. We had to go in. They have the coolest stuff. Decor like ceramic ice-cream cones turned upside down and "melting", a spilt wine-glass with wine "pouring" onto your table, and light fixtures that at first glance look like martini glasses sticking out of them are just a few of the oddities that this store has to offer. Their website isn't fully up and running yet, so check back.
I was at Wal-mart late the other night, hoping none of my friends would see me. I've always hated Wal-mart, especially since I've been avoiding it like the plague, but with rising costs, much like getting my eyebrows waxed, it is a necessary evil. True to form, there were 10,000 people in line, with two shopping carts each, filled to the brim, and of the 25 registers, 4 were open. But where else am I going to find 2-pack glue sticks for 25 cents or a 5 lb bag of meatballs for $7?
Did you say Costco? Screeeeeshcrshh....you're breaking up, I can't hear you......so, anyways, I'm walking past a delightful bin full of Frocs...(Wal-mart's Croc version) that are 50% off, so making them $4.50. A full bin of them. A FULL BIN! After nearly gagging on the sight of so many, I mentally file that away for later. Bigger problems are on the horizon.
Let's see, should I stand behind the women with 7 kids, where only 4 are wearing shoes and eating food out of the cart, or behind the grandparents paying with a gazillion coupons, and can't figure out how to use the card reader. Hmm...I think I'll take the overweight lady in the wheel-chair who has been dragging her cart behind her, screeching at someone a few aisles over in the magazine section and is now waiting for help out to her car. I'm dying a slow death. Oh look, barefoot children coming out of the bathroom. At least pick up some damn Frocs and put them on their feet.
So just today, I received my new Hanna Andersson catalog. Why and how I'm on their mailing list is a mystery of the ages. But that's not the issue. What is the issue are these....
Why, why, why, why, why, why, why are they faux-fur lined? Why? Thought you were getting away from them with the weather turning cold, didn't you!!!! Did someone walking through muddy snow go, "Do you know what would be perfect right now? Shoes I can hose off...wait a minute, if we add fur...." But how will you hose them off? you ask. If you asked that question, you mercifully don't own a pair. How did the shoe world's version of cockroaches become fur-lined? I mean that in a good way though...they can be found almost everywhere on the planet and should never be seen in the light.
They are recyclable, odor-, skid- and fashion resistant, so hey at least they are doing good for the planet, right? I have friends who swear by them, never seen without them. Unless you are under the age of 5, those bad boys should not leave the garden. For pete's sake, Jo-ann Fabrics have their own Frocs. I intensely dislike this footwear. I won't call them shoes, because that would insult those hard-working, eco-hating shoes like fabulous leather boots or your favorite kicks.
Like the low-riding pants that show off your tramp stamp and shorts where the pockets are longer than the shorts, this is a painful fad that shows no signs of stopping. Now, they have been extended into the winter months. The boots aren't so bad. At least there are no holes for those damn trinket-button-things. Seriously people, really? Could they make the shoes any fuglier? I can just see the wheels turning....do you know what these ugly-ass shoes need? Some ladybugs, rainbows and a smiley face.
The President, has been seen wearing them WITH BLACK SOCKS. Black socks people. And we all know how forward and fashion-conscience he is. He might as well been wearing brown sandals with white socks. No wait, that would actually be cooler.
The kit includes a How-to Guide, a T-shirt for the birthday child, wristbands, temporary tattoos, activity booklets and achievement certificates for 10 kids. There are five free themed party packages you can download invites, banners and thank-you cards after you receive your kit. For example, the cowboy theme helps your local animal shelter.
Oh, I had to share this beautiful paper line from smock paper; letterpress stationary and invitations sustainably printed on bamboo paper. They’re actually the very first print shop in the U.S. to offer printing on luxury bamboo paper! Over at HWTM there is a giveway happening, a $100 shopping spree to enter to win your choice of products like this Horsey set of 10 cards or this Kurai cherry blossom wedding invite.
-Have him racing to lunch with Bestever's car lunch bag.
-For the too-cool kid, this biker lunch bag also compliments the messenger bag and school backpack.
-How cute is Target's bunny lunch bag that does double duty by unzipping into a place mat?
-Land of Nod's Answer the Bell lunchboxes come in barnyard, solar system or garden, and have side pockets for utensils.
-Laptop Lunches believe the simplest and healthiest foods look more enticing when tucked inside little compartments.
-It looks like a purse! The Fancy Stripe Lil Pocket lunch bag is made of canvas-like material covered in clear plastic and the heart on front is a small pocket - great for storing a note from home.
Looking for tons of ideas to put in your lunchbox? Check out this Parents article.
-Made of quality polyester, budding paleontologists will dig Crocodile Creek's backpack.
-The Agatha Snail bag series from Miquel-Rius includes this small knapsack/backpack.
-Send your preschooler with PBK's animal bags, just big enough for a snack and a special friend.
-L.L. Bean's rolling original book pack has a retractable T-handle, has a variety of color options and can be personalized.
-How about Athalon's Fusion backpack that comes in graffiti?
Make a stunning display by filling tall containers with water and submerge a few tulips, cymbidium orchids or amaryllis. I've done this with tulips.
Using cool earthy colors—lime- and apple-greens, this beautiful centerpiece was made by removing the stems from Annemarie roses and hydrangeas, and piled the blooms in low bowls.
A double-duty centerpiece: guests, whose names appear on gift tags instead of place cards, may sit where they like at this table.
Unique and eco-friendly: landscape centerpieces. Lose the tree though.
Check out these totally doable options from the knot.
Purchase small, square, glass vases (I've found similar ones at our Dollar Tree) and nest a smaller vase inside.
Fill the space between both vases with sliced limes and add purple hydrangeas to the vase.
Another use of square vases; packed tightly with fresh grass and white roses and wrapped in white ribbon.
Centerpieces of green hydrangeas, roses, and kale in green silk–wrapped vases are interspersed with green apples and key limes in clear glass vases.
As long as you can find them good homes, a bowl of goldfish with coordinating marbles or pebbles can be a fun addition.
Pow! Zoinks! Feel the message with the comic appetizer plate (also available in Yum and Mmmm!) . Send guests a subliminal message with this fun dinnerware and its matching glasses. Toast to good health with this Cheers set of six wine glasses and wine quote coasters.
While looking at one of my favorite party supply site, Plum Party, I saw these cute monster plates, and they are a perfect jump-off to a Halloween party or a birthday for the little monster in your life.
Send out these Pretty Ugly postcards as invitations.
Set the table with a black tablecloth, the plates and bright napkins and matching cups. Turn a few Uglydolls into centerpieces by tying balloons to them.
Serve these monster fingers and toes or mini bread monsters.
Get inspired by these creepcakes from Flickr user KellyLWatson.
Have guests make Melissa & Doug monster puppets.
Send guests home with these cool monster eye marbles.
But the name thing caught my eye. I know these kids will never see the inside of a public institution, but don't rich kids still beat each other up? I totally hoped they would stay on the G-train and name their kids like Georgia and Geoffrey, or some other disgusting alliterated name. But no, I think they are sending shots out to the islands where they must get the good weed from, because the first one is named Kingston. And not one of them have dreadlocks.
Where is CPS when you need them? Future abuse by peers just can't be permissible by law. I'm just imagining Zuma coming home everyday with his mom's designer clothes ripped (I'm sure by then she'll have a boys' line) weeping that the kids keep calling him Zima and laughing hysterically when he tries to correct them.
Yeah, I bet it will probably be Brit-Brit's boys meting out the punishments, those kids didn't stand a chance.
For more children standing in the line that has run out of lollipops, check out this list.
10:30 to 10:40 Homeroom: the kids played while we waited for all our friends to show up.
10:40 to 10:55 Art: Magazine collages and origami pencils. Each child had four pieces of paper that were written things like "Blue" "Circles", etc. etc. and looked for these items in magazines. I punched holes down the sides to tie them together as a book later in the party. The older kids folded origami pencils, which I found in my FamilyFun magazine.
10:55-11:00 Clean-up and snack set up
11:00-11:10 Snack time: Great ginger cat cookies from Trader Joe's, grapes and juice boxes.
11:10-11:30 Recess: We took a nice walk around our neighborhood.
11:30-11:45 Free time and toy clean-up
11:45 Circle time - I read If You Take a Mouse To School by Laura Numeroff.
11:50ish - Pass out goodie bags and pack up for home. I stamped paper lunch bags and filled them with letter stickers, a pencil, a granola bar, crayons and a small color/shape boardbook.
Set your timer to keep everyone on track, just like in school. It's amazing how fast time passes, especially when moms are gabbing and kids are playing.
Our teacher was having her first baby and we moms got together to throw her a surprise baby shower with a fairy-tale feel. The secretary called her down to the office, while we snuck the entire class out to the teachers' lounge, then had her sent over. She was quite surprised and touched. The kids were bursting at the seams trying not to tell her.
The Class Gift - We purchased fabric markers and various sizes of onesies, and during lunchtime, had each child personalize one. At the shower, we hung up all 24 of them all along a clothesline.
The Decor - We had to be cost-effective: from the supply closet, our tablecloth from pink butcher paper and the boys' craft was made from posterboard and construction paper. I used my own stuffed animals as balloon weights, and since I have like a gazillion craft items, I brought those as well as fairy tale books from the library. Of course, I had the purple and red napkins and plates, because you never know when the time would come for them. I loved the little purple and pink pacifiers on the table, made from hot-gluing two peppermint Lifesavers together and a gumball. Why all the apples, you ask? Duh! Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, get it? One mom graciously purchased balloons while others contributed the juice and cupcakes.
The Crafts - The boys created their own crests; I cut the shapes from the posterboard, various strips of construction paper, and lots and lots of die-cut shapes like stars, lions and dragons. Each boy personalized their crest, then they hung them around their necks with yarn. It was quite a hit. The girls made fairy wands from foam stars and wooden dowels, and decorated them with sequins and ribbons. The kit was a score from Party City, a set of 20 for $2!
The Ensemble - Every princess in a fairy tale has to have her appropriate attire. Our princess was adorned with a foam crown decorated with giant gemstones, a pink feather boa, and her "throne" was covered in a pretty polka-dotted material I found at Joann's. She also had her own wand covered in sequins and glitter.
The Food - The MTB does not like cake, but loves her pie, and since we are so accommodating, one of our moms baked a strawberry-rhubarb pie. Which, as my first time having that flavor, it was quite tasty. The kids had cupcakes and apple juice, and a few brave ones had some pie as well.
Looking for ways to stay organized and a place for everything, and everything has it's place? Here are some colorful storage solutions for your kitchen.
Keep your bread fresher and longer in this stylish bread box.
This 3 oz airtight container will keep anything you put in fresh and dry.
Check out this portal bin, Reisenthel's Carrybag, a practical tote to corral loose items at home to lug up and downstairs.
Secure open bags of chips and crackers with Spectrum's magnetic clothespins.
Cluster small items to find things faster with these cute square MeeMepop! trays, that are stackable and stain-resistant.
French Bull has a staggering array of products in eye-popping and coordinating designs. Both the set of 3 multi-dot canisters and the mosiac storage container set are 100% melamine, dishwasher safe, high heat resistant and shatterproof.
These double wall nesting baskets are not only ideal catch-alls in the kitchen, but are eco-friendly.
Made of soft brushed twill, I'm so loving these cushioned storage cases. A protective layer of polyester padding inside and out will protect your fine china and stemware. The various sizes are designed to hold everything from dinner plates to cups, and each piece has an ID slot on the front to hold a preprinted label.
Get inspired: check out the Fine Living channel's "All-Girl Getaways" to find out what it takes it takes to have an organized, successful and exhilarating mini-vacation.
Beaches is running a limited time Beaches Friends Forever Getaway. BFF events include beach yoga and seaside Pilates classes and chartered snorkeling, not to mention the fact that you are laying on a beach all day with a coconut drink in your hand.
Holiday Golightly is a group travel planning for girlfriend getaways. The website is so user-friendly, you can decide what type of getaway you want, browse by destination, theme or activity. It has lots of great tools like an airport spa directory. Because if you are going to have a lay-over, might as well squeeze in a manicure.
Pink Veil provides an all-in-one bachelorette party service for handling everything from finding places to stay, eat, and party, even handling the awkward money situation that comes with asking everyone for their money. They specialize in visits to LA, Vegas, and San Francisco.
What's hot: themed tours. For my winos out there, Women & Wine is for those looking for trips specializing in wine-country destinations around the world. Take your book club on a tour of Greenwich Village, a magnet for American writers for years, where the likes of Henry James, Edgar Allen Poe, and Jack Keroac roamed.
At Wallter, they have unique wall decor that have easy, no fuss installation with peel-away 3M adhesive backing. that can go up on almost any interior wall or door. However, some applications, like this set of five fish paintable wall decor, is permanent. I love the fact that you can paint them to match your decor, and what kid won't love to touch and explore them?
Wall decals are all the rage right now, from phrases to entire scenes. I like Wall Candy Art's season tree kit that contains tree parts for 1 (65" tall) or 2 (45" tall) trees, 28 leaves, 2 birds, 2 butterflies & 4 flowers. Now you can turn over your wall just like your wardrobe.
One of my favorite places to play around at is Design-Her-Gals, a wonderful place to personalize everything from door hangers to magnet cards. You can create a "gal" who looks like you and dress her with a boundless array of fun accessories, like a latte or your guy. As you can see, my gal is clutching her Martha magazine...
Fun and Sassy Designs have an array of designs that I just love, especially the children's stationary. Be the coolest kid on the playground with your own calling card. Hey, you gotta start networking now!
When elite fashion designers like Kate Spade and Vera Wang jump on the paper bandwagon, you know their impeccable eye to detailing won't disappoint. Check out this baby announcement and bridal announcement.
Ridiculously cute and modern, Polka Dot Design does it all, from invitations and announcements to custom stationery & stickers. They have an entire collection for you pet lovers.
Other fun sites to check out; Expressionery, Wedding Paper Divas,
Paper Source. Both Papyrus and Paper Zone have retail stores. Lucky me, I live near both, and can (and have) spend hours at each.
Check out the full article "Poodles, Pirates and Paint!"
Parties Outside the Box have several types of pink poodle invites. This Pink Poodle Puppy invite comes with personalized envelopes.
Order this party set from Birthday In A Box or Oriental Trading Company.
I am loving the pink poodle coin purse, and if you are so inclined not to sew your own, check out these poodle ears.
And aren't these cupcakes just the cutest? Serve with pink sherbert punch or pink lemonade and strawberries. You've got to check out the article for the full recipe, along with the directions for the poodle ears and cuffs.
Lots of pink and black balloons and streamers are all you would need to round out this oh-so-chic party.
Purchase retro-style scrapbooking paper and solid-color scrapbooking paper. Use a stylized font to print out party info onto the solid color, then cut the retro paper into various geometric shapes, glue several of the shapes together and place the party info onto the shapes. Or check out a variety of invitations from Impress in Print.
Make sure the invites having everyone gathering at least 15 minutes before your scheduled bowling time; it takes a few minutes to get shoes, balls and everyone to the assigned lanes.
A great party accessory and favor - provide guests special shirts. Dress up discount-store plaid and striped button-up shirts with felt bowling appliques. Simply cut the bowling ball, 2 pins and the larger circle behind them from felt, iron double-sided fusible web onto all the pieces, then iron the appliques to the shirts.
And of course, I had to show some cupcakes. Get inspiration for your party; these marshmellow pops would look great on any cupcake, then check these out from Pink Cakebox, and Flickr user Ambjer. The bowling ball and pins cakes are courtesy of Amy's Tasty Treats.
Don't forget to have all the guests sign a bowling pin for a keepsake.
OK, so I must have been under a rock or something, because I was doing laundry and catching up on one of my recorded programs, "The Soup", which helps me keep up on my weekly pop culture news. Apparently, last week, He of the Silver Hair, Anderson Cooper sat in for Regis on "Live with Regis & Kelly". How I did not know this before is a whole 'nother story, 'cuz apparently I missed the beginning of the biggest feud since Biggie and 2Pac.
"The Soup" showed the clip of AC deliciously carving up Ali Lohan and her mom. He just said what we were all thinking. I have watched their show "Living Lohan", barely, only because I thought Lindsey was going to be on. Sadly, no one famous is Living anything on this show. And heaven help him, AC left no stone unturned. My favorite quote (although there were just SO many) is a toss-up. It's either " 'Allegedly a 14-year-old girl, looks to be about 60… I say that with concern and love. She allegedly wants to be a singer and or actor-slash-performer of some sort, striptease person, I don’t know.' " or when Kelly Ripa says " 'They're obviously a multi-talented family, the kids sing, and they perform…' ", he snarks " ' Yeah, sure, maybe that's in the episode I didn't see. ' " Ah, AC, you silver-haired silver-tongued devil.
So, I guess mom and dad are all mad, but hey, can you really get pissy when you do a reality show, have cameras follow you 24-7 for a crappy show? Lady, lightening doesn't strike twice...hey that should be the name of this show "Lightening Doesn't Strike Twice If The Other Child Has No Talent, No Matter How Hard You Try". Unless of course, you are Papa Joe Simpson, Kit Culkin, or the parents of the Olsen twins. Wait, does Ashlee Simpson have talent?
And speaking of questionable parenting skills, did Joe Jackson put out a parenting book? Everyone seems to be checking it out from the library. I did see the episode where there was a faulty outlet, a fire, fire department, and drama, while mom is unreachable, and totally nonchalant when they're like "uh there's a fire at your house". I personally would have flipped out and bee-lined for home, even if there is a house full of people. But, then again, I do care about my kids.
One of my favorite books is written by Danny Seo, THE celebrity eco-stylist, often called the "Green Martha Stewart". So you know, I'm all over that. He has a great book called Simply Green Parties, the first in his Simply Green series. This book has great ideas; making invites from recycled makeup compacts, making your own pinatas and tea lights from oyster shells, even how to make those magazine scent-strips into paper flowers.
I love the Pebble Potpourri project, because I feel the need to buy a bag of river rocks when they are a $1 at Michael's. He suggests to toss them with a fragrant essential oil of your choice, and display in a serving dish in the middle of the table so the natural scent perfumes the room.
I'm a little green, because I've done two of his party tips before I even read the book: flavoring water by adding strips of fruit or veggies, like cucumber and apple, and using Twizzlers as drinking straws.
I love to find uses for brown lunch bags. Puppets are a given, but I've used them as goody bags, stamping them and using scraps of paper and ribbon to dress them up. Or dig out your stash of glitter, glue, foamies, etc. and have the guests do the work of decorating their goody bags.
At one party, we received small cloth drawstring bags that my kids love to fill up and play with. It's a great way to cut down on the waste of those ubiquitous plastic treat bags. Check out these cloth drawstring bags.
Take advantage of an online service like Evite instead of using paper invites.
Hang onto all the gift bags and wrapping paper gifts come in. The bags are usually in pristine condition and can be regifted, and the wrapping paper can be used when doing fun projects and crafts.
Instead of using cut flowers, try something more sustainable like potted plants that double as party favors. I did this with potted orchids as place settings for a spring luncheon.
Stock up on reusable party goods like these durable plastic tumblers and these melamine divided plates.
If you must use disposable cups, have a Sharpie handy for personalizing. We do this anyways with the kids because they are always drinking out of each other's cups, and we don't have to keep getting them new ones.
Serve food that doesn't require plates and utensils but can be placed on a napkin like, wait for it CUPCAKES...(I'm so cool and green, it's eerie) and other finger foods.
Another good investment is reusable party decor. Use a fabric banner and silcone baking cups like Wilton's Silly Feet. Have a white tablecloth that guests can sign birthday wishes on year after year. Instead of balloons, decorate with Chinese lanterns.
Kiwi Magazine's tag line is 'Growing Families the Natural and Organic Way'. Their online magazine has a great article "Eco-friendly Kids Birthday Party Ideas" with many ideas that I've seen or have done myself and never thought of them as green. Touring a local orchard or farm, planting seeds and flowers in a friendship garden, breakfast parties, and having a talent show are all activities that are healthy and helps kids become more socially responsible.
If you are lucky to have a place like our Creation Station, it is quite an experience. They are a blend of retail and recycle, diverting materials from landfills and using them for creativity in their studio. Kids can build, discover and explore to their hearts' content, using recycled materials. It's a great place to host a birthday party and a wonderful opportunity for a discussion on the need to reuse and recycle materials that may not degrade.
Started in Cape Town South Africa, the only Scratch Patch in the US is here in Seattle. It's another great party location for a organic and educational celebration. Guests arrive at the Scratch Patch; they take off their shoes and find a comfortable place within the room's 2 tons of tumbled gemstones, then "scratch" (dig and explore) for whatever catches their eye. The deluxe party package includes a medium cloth bag (bag hold +/- 38 stones) and a organic healthy snack bag for each child.