Drink Of The Week - Shinsei Sangria

Shinsei SangriaWe interrupt today's D.O.W. with late-breaking news. According to my latest EW mag, they are cancelling Ugly Betty. Boo. Well, actually I stopped watching it awhile ago, it started getting boring and crazy. Even Wili couldn't keep my interest. Just like Grey's Anatomy, stopped watching that too, when Meredith 'died' and yet came back with only chapped lips. Yet it and it's painful spin-off are still on? But they cancelled Pushing Daisies, which I loved, loved loved. Yeah, the people at ABC are definately on something.

OK, I'm finished. Now as I was saying, you could easily blow your party budget with this punch, but hey, it serves 18 and perfect for a Chinese New Year party. Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine.

3 pears, sliced
3 oranges, sliced
6 Granny Smith apples, sliced
24 canned lychees, drained
1 1/2 pineapples, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 750-ml bottle vodka
1 750-ml bottle Sauvignon Blanc or other dry, citrusy white wine
1 750-ml bottle sake

1. In an airtight container or large bowl covered with plastic wrap, combine all of the ingredients except the ice and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

2. Strain the mixture into a punch bowl, discarding all of the fruit except for the lychees. Add enough ice to chill the sangria to serving temperature.

3. Serve in ice-filled white wine glasses.

Fiesta Friday - Eye Of The Tiger

Sorry about the was just too easy to pass up. February 14 marks the beginning of Year Of The Tiger, and there are so many amazing party ideas for your own Chinese New Year celebration!Year Of The Tiger party collageOK, bits and pieces first....sushi and sake-inspired invite from Madi & Company; Japanese incense kits from Beau-coup would be so pretty as a parting gift; make your own sweet fortune cookies from a piecrust. How about using a silk-brocade coin purse to hold the details of your soiree? Can one ever be tired of making paper fortune cookies? I love how she used coordinated paper; Martha's floral balls.

Design*Dump Asian BirthdayI. am. in. love. with. this. birthday. party! I am drooling over the details of design*dump's absolutely amazing party for her 8 year old daughter, inspired by a purchase made a few years back. That is so my kind of party because I'm always buying stuff thinking 'you never know when you'll need it'.
There is just so much eye candy at Bridal Bubbly's bridal shower. No detail was missed, from the stunning bamboo centerpieces to a pond structure with real goldfish, down to the fortune cookie garnishes on the glasses and mini bamboo steamer favors.

In Good Company Asian inspired tablesBe inspired by these two beautiful parties from In Good Company's Good News 13; both spreads feature great party decor, and give lots of tips and ideas for activities and fab favors.

Asian dinner tableSaffron 59's simple white table is elegant with gorgeous flower centerpieces and red lanterns.

Not enough? Check out last year's post, Chinese New Year's...and come back Sunday for an perfectly themed D.O.W.

Fiesta Friday (On A Thursday) - Can We Fix It? Yes, We Can

With so many holiday parties coming up, I'm a little burnt out on them, so I'm taking a break at least until tomorrow. For those of you with kids under the age of 5, you know Bob The Builder. He is quite popular with his fun world of construction, thus today's post. No Bob in sight here, but if you have a fan, let me tempt you with some great parties from around the Web that have been burning a hole in my pocket.Banter & Frolic construction partyLoving the colors from Banter & Frolic's very cute party pack.Blue Eyed Blessings construction partyI keep seeing these toolbelts everywhere and they are just screaming to be used...just ask Blue Eyed Blessings who made perfect favors for her party.Paper and Cake Construction partySadly, Paper & Cake's Under Construction download is currently out of stock, but I sure hope they bring it back!Couture Parties construction partyCelebrity fabulousness from Couture Parties' construction party; check out the decor elements that includes real construction tape, cones and traffic signs, and loving the gable box favor boxes, they look like a workman's lunch box.Cohabitot construction partyLook at the party activity...painting their own buildings! Alan's mom at Cohabitot saved up lots of boxes, ordered mini paint rollers and let them at them. She had lots of other actitivies planned just in case, but they were having too much fun!Design*Dump construction partyI know it's billed as a Lego Party, but Design*Dump's party has so many amazing details that 'feel' construction. Or maybe that's just me. And I'm so jonesing over her favor tins.Juicy Bits construction partyAnother party that I just heart is over at Juicy Bits; look at those cookies, and how she used trucks to hold the snacks, and real hardware as weights, and the sign stands....ok I'm stopping.

We Go Wednesday - The ID

Seattle IDIf your town/area has an international district/Chinatown/Little Italy, etc. you are a lucky person. They are the best places to find bulk party supply items for an Asian themed party...hint, hint Chinese New Year is coming up! Seattle has the ID (Chinatown/International District) and I LOVE going there.

My favorite place is the Uwajimaya market which sells EVERYTHING Asian. Need take-out boxes in bulk? Check. A Hello Kitty! fanatic? Lots of it. Anime in the native tongue? The bookstore is bursting at the seams. I'm coveting the paper wooden umbrellas that are a fave at weddings; you've seen them opened and hanging from the ceilings, and heaven help me if I don't figure out a way to decorate some kind of gathering with them.

They have a ridiculous amount of origami paper, slippers, gold-covered knicknacks, bamboo steamers and woks of every size. And speaking of bamboo steamers, wouldn't they make an awesome gift holder? Martha even uses it as a pie carrier? I get lost there. Sadly, my family does not share my excitement and spent their time running around outside watching the street performers. We are hoping to make it out there for Chinese New Year this year, it is going to be amazing!

Tuesday Tip - Treasures For Tots Giveaway/Valentine's Day Stuff

Treasures for Tots giveawayToday is all about fun goodies for Valentine's Day. First up: my current obsession with felt brought me to a wonderful website, Treasures For Tots, chockful of great and easy craft ideas and great tutorials. In fact, she is hosting a giveaway for two sets (12/set) of handmade pink and red felt Valentine Fortune Cookies along with cute Valentine take-out boxes to hold the cookies!

You know you are still looking for something for your sweetie that does not involve chocolate. Who needs to wreck their resolutions so early on?

Speaking of valentines, this is what we are working on for our own....iPod Valentines

For some reason, after the holiday I buy the boxed sets for super cheap saying 'aha, I'm set for next year. I'm going to tone the craziness down and not make them'. And then I see some awesome ideas and get sucked in. Now I have a tub full of valentines that I will probably never use.

I've been dying to make these Valentine iPods from last year. They have passed the 'coolness' test from my 3rd grader, so those are for his class. I figured the red, pink and yellow for the girls and orange, green and blue for the boys. For some reason, they STILL make a big deal over colors.Fruit/Sundae Valentine Collage

The little one was going to send these fruit tags. I keep talking about them, I love them so; I was even going to go in a take a survey of everyone's favorite fruit. But then I saw these free treat bag downloads from Celebration Shoppe, and coupled with Play-Doh, a cutter and 2 pieces of candy, are just too cute to pass up.Valentine's Day treat bag downloads I was a bit tired last night finishing the iPods, and printing and cutting out toppers, so I'll share them next week.

And speaking of freebies, check these out over at Twig & Thistle...brownie and goodie bag templates that you just print right onto the bags! I know, your head is spinning with the possibilities right?

Need more creative cuteness? How much am I looking for the dessert glasses to make these candy sundaes for our teachers? JesseKate Designs has a great tutorial for them. I may have to make a *gulp* Wal-mart run.

The Celebration Shoppe

I've been a big fan of The Celebration Shoppe for some time now. I don't know why, but sometimes I tend to get a little selfish about sharing some of my favorite blog hangouts, because then EVERYONE will know them. It's like that special hangout spot you don't tell your friends about because it's just yours and you don't want them showing up. But sometimes the cleverness is just too much and I have to share.

Her blog is chockful of great party tips and ideas, but it is her party shop where all of the magic happens...Celebration Shoppe Train packCelebration Shoppe princess packCelebration Shoppe I DoHer latest creation...hint, hint, come back for tomorrow's Tuesday Tip and get your own free slice of dinosaur heaven.Celebration Shoppe Dino packAnd look what they are working on and coming soon to their shoppe...Celebration Shoppe Pea In A PodGosh, I wish one of my friends would hurry up and get pregnant already, multiples would be perfect.

Drink Of The Week - Pink Passion Martini

Pink Passion MartiniA fabulous drink for Valentine's Day, even more special since I introduced the bubbly that is Asti Spumante this very weekend to a special person...and you know who you are!

Recipe courtesy of Cool Springs Wines & Spirits, and serves 1.

3 oz Asti Spumante
3 oz sparkling pink lemonade
1 dash of sweet and sour

1. Add all ingredients into an ice-filled martini shaker.
2. Shake and serve in a martini glass; garnish with a raspberry or pink edible rose petal.

I've Been Featured At Stem Parties

OK, so apparently neither Martha or Oprah are returning my calls; I guess they have their own event planners. But here's the next best thing; my shamelessly-promoted-and-much loved felt owls have inspired a feature over at Stem Parties!

I know right? Who would have thought that constantly talking about them this week would catch anyone's attention?

BTW, if you haven't been over to see Amy's site you should, she's done so many fun and amazing parties. Thanks again for the shout-out!

Fiesta Friday - Who Are You? Who? Who? Who? Who?

pink felt owlsBecause I love my little felt owls and can't stop talking about them, I thought that doing yet another post on them with a owl-themed Who Loves You? Valentine's Day party would work. And it's my blog and I can do what I want.
paper heart curtainHave a sewing machine? These pretty heart garlands from Inchmark are party-perfect decor. Here is more pretty party decor from Mary Had A Little Party.
pink owl treatsLoving these heart-shaped gumdrops with a pretty topper. Bakerella-inspired owl pops are fun treats or a great favor. You can package them or other treats with pretty labels like these from Blah, Blah, Blah, Blog. I love these owl cupcakes! They would make a great treat for the kids to decorate as a party activity. Of course you have to make these owl masks, how fun are they? Oh yeah, my little owls can also be a craft activity. I think the one with the circle eyes is more child-friendly.
pink owl Tiny PrintsHand out these pretty Valentines as thank-you cards.Living Locurto heart download 2Living Locurto heart download You know I love the freebies, and Living Locurto has bookmarks and mini-cards to download that make lovely parting gifts.

S'more Love

s'more treat collage
Thanks to a fabulous post from fellow party lady Divine Party Concepts and this fun recipe for S'mores In A Bag in my latest FamilyFun mag and my love of s'mores I've decided to take a peek at what the blogosphere has to offer. And let me tell you the s'more variations are endless!

I could see myself eating these cookies all day; Baked Perfection has a fabulous recipe for creating your own sugar-induced coma. Martha also has her own fabulous cookie version and makes ice-cream s'more-worthy.

Don't let the torch scare you, Smitten Kitchen uses it as a secondary option for browning her s'more pie.. But how fun is a recipe that lets you break out the heavy equipment? S'more pops? Can you ever have too many? These s'more brownies from Betty Crocker sound ridiculously easy, I may have to try. Easy peasy s'more snack mix or s'more cupcakes would be perfect for your next party. How cute are these S'more Smoochies? They come in all kinds of fun toppings!

Tuesday Tutorial - Felt Owl

felt owl setWhile brainstorming some night-owl ideas for a upcoming slumber party, I stumbled across a Martha gallery of craft winners featuring these miniature felt owls. No directions, no clue. A little more digging brought me to Charlotte's Fancy's site, and armed with a little more direction, I was obsessed with making my own owls.

The catch is, there are no existing templates for all the pieces. I had to stretch the creative muscle a bit and after a bit of trial and error made my own but I can at least share the length estimates. Since Valentine's Day is coming up I thought pink owls would be perfect!

4" styrofoam ball
24 mm google eyes
4 9"X12" pieces of felt (3 in your choice of colors and one in brown for beak and ears)
glue gun
tacky glue (I use Aleene's)
nickle (for stabalizing) felt owl suppliesOne owl's face is made of two layers; the larger layer measures 4" X 3", the smaller is 3 1/2" X 2 1/4". The feather measures at 2 1/4" long. The head covering is a cone, cut from a corner of the felt, sides measuring 4" and I made the curve came from a small plate.felt owl feathersUsing my templates, I cut out feathers in tan and hot pink, and working from the bottom up, glue them on in staggered layers almost to the top. coveringMake the layers for the owl's face, head covering and cut a feather out of brown for the beak.covering owl body with felt feathers 2owl head piecesGlue the pieces together, but don't round the corners off the cone of the head covering yet, that comes later.felt owl headpieceThe ears are triangles about the size of the feathers. Hot-glue the corners together to create a pinch. felt owl earsOk, now the fun comes in. You'll have to hot-glue the ears on the head first before you layer on the owl's face, but only after you figure out the placement where everything will go. This includes rounding out the corners of the cone. Once you're sure where you want everything, a few dabs of hot glue will work. I hot-glued a nickle underneath because the owl keeps rolling.finished felt owlFor the second owl, the beak, ears and feathers are the same. There are two sets of eye patches, the larger circle is 2" and the smaller is 1 5/8".owl feathers cut outSince this owl doesn't have a head covering, you'll need to cover up the whole owl in feathers; assemble his eyes and then play around with the placement of his eyes and beak, because that will determine where his ears go. Hot-glue those on first with a little pinch on them so they don't lie flat.felt owl 2 eyesfelt owl 2 topHot-glue on his beak, then the eyes and you're set!felt owl 2 sidefelt owl 2 frontYou will definately see a few at future parties, he's actually easy to make once you get the templates figured out. As you can see, I also made a white one since the boy is all about Harry Potter and wanted a snow owl of his own. white felt owlIf you want to plan a party around your new creation, check out my previous post for throwing a hootenanny!

The winner of the Martha Stewart contest and original inspiration for these felt owls is Kangaroopals; she has an Etsy shop full of these cute critters, for those of you who want your own and not have to sit there and cut out oodles of feathers!
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