Drink Of The Week - Oscar-Inspired Cocktails

Having an Oscar-viewing party? Get ooh's and aah's when you serve a cocktail inspired by a Best Picture nominee...
Oscar cocktail 2Avatar; Cool Blue Martini, courtesy of Epicurious, serves 2
3 oz gin or vodka
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 teaspoon blue Curaçao
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, strained
garnish: 2 lemon twists

1. Combine all liquids in an ice-filled cocktail shaker with ice, strain into 2 Martini glasses and garnish with twists.Oscar cocktail 4District Nine; Alien Cooler, courtesy of Mass Live
1 1/2 oz julienned cucumber
1 1/4 oz premium vodka
3/4 oz Veev ( or other acai berry liquer)
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
club soda
garnish: cucumber slice

1. Place the julienned cucumber in a 10-ounce tall, narrow tumbler.
2. Add ice, vodka, Veev, lime juice and simple syrup then fill the glass with club soda.
3. Stir to mix, then garnish with a cucumber slice on edge of glassOscar cocktails 3Inglorious Basterds; Lady In Red, courtesy of Mass Live
1/2 oz pomegranate juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 oz Remy Martin VSOP
1 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
garnish: candied ginger and pomegranate seeds

1. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the pomegranate juice, lemon juice and simple syrup. Measure out 1 ounce of this mixture, then reserve the rest for another use.
2. In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add the 1 ounce of pomegranate-lemon syrup, Remy Martin VSOP and the ginger liqueur.
3. Shake, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of candied ginger and several pomegranate seeds.Oscar cocktail 1Up; Celebration Ice-cream Float, courtesy of Mass Live
Italian sparkling water
1/4 oz orange syrup (such as Torani)
vanilla ice cream

1. Fill a tall glass with sparkling water and the orange syrup.
2. Mix, then stir 1 teaspoon of the ice cream into the soda until frothy. Gently top the soda with a scoop of ice cream.Oscar cocktail 5Up In The Air; The Aviation, courtesy of Mass Live
1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
1/3 oz blue curacao
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
garnish: lemon peel

1. In an ice-filled cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all liquids.
2. Shake well, then strain into a chilled martini glass; twist a lemon peel over the surface of the drink to add a few drops of lemon oil.

Sarah + Abraham Paper McLovin'

It's here, it's here! Remember the post on my latest paper crush Sarah + Abraham? Our personalized order just showed up and I'm so tickled pink. They are just the cutest, and a great pick-me-up because my allergies are kicking my a** and I fear I may overdose mixing and matching drugs trying to get through the day.

The boy thought they were cool too, and earned his seal of approval. Usually he gives me the eye roll when mama's party-obsess-muchness kicks in, even more so since these are going to be our thank-you cards for his June birthday party. Yes, I know, I'm in meetings. Don't judge.

The envelopes are part of the order and match the shirt, and since we are having a soccer party of course it would be in green. Actually chartreuse. Oh yes, I will be going back, and go check them out, the Stock Up and Save deal ends tomorrow!

Fiesta Friday - Rainbow Bright

new Rainbow BriteDid you know they are revamping Rainbow Brite? Back in the day, I had the full tricked out room...curtains, ruffles, bedspread, the works. I watched the show obsessively. I knew the song, all the characters, I even wished to wake up one morning blond with a star-shaped mole on my cheek.

So I'm not sure how I feel about the new look...must they put their hands on everything? I mean, without the widow's peak, and her head and hair 1/3 the size of her body, is it still her? I get Transformers...we have the technology to make it look cooler than the cartoon. Please, please, do Voltron! When they did the live action of He-Man years ago, it was cheesy, but I still watched it.

But why Rainbow Brite???? These dolls are a skirt-hike away from being Bratz. Does anyone like the 'new' look? And I mean those of you who watched it originally, not as some Nick At Night retro flashback special. Jeez...could they try to make me feel any older?

Anyhoo, this post derailed somehow. My point was to segue way into St. Patrick's Day and a few ideas for your own party, you know, rainbows and all...I'm so going to have to use some of these ideas for our upcoming 'Kiss Me, I'm Irish' party.

rainbow decor

Taste the rainbow with Skittles vodka; fruit kabobs; I heart both the Colorburst cupcakes and rainbow pancakes; wow your table with a candy centerpiece.

rainbow food collageLots of fabulous details at this rainbow party; a cute rainbow mobile would be pretty hanging over the table; MOMA strips and block coasters; fun rainbow paperware; how fun are these curved glasses?

Have Your Cake And Mail It Too!

fake postcard cakeOK, I have seen it all now...have you seen this fake postcard cake from Tangbaby's Etsy shop? It's sturdy enough to mail, and imagine the look on the recipient (and mail carrier's) face when they receive this gem? I love it if she could only make it in cupcake...

We Read Wednesday - Wishful Drinking

Wishful DrinkingI like to read. I don't get to very often, not anything deeper than Entertainment Weekly. Now that the boy is in swim lessons, I can get a little quiet time while waiting. On my list of reads, Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. Yes, Princess Leia.

But she is also an accomplished author, you may remember from back in the day the movie Postcards From The Edge, with Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine? Just turn on Lifetime, I'm sure it will be on. Anyways, that movie was based on her semi-autobiographical book. Did you know she's the product of famous parents, when her dad left her mom for an even bigger star? Kinda like if Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston had a kid first...

It's the book cover that caught my eye first, but who knew Carrie Fisher was funny as an author? I mean she plays bitter perfect, remember When Harry Met Sally? Now that I've finally finished the book I see why. She tells her story of being a bipolar alcoholic, electroshock treatment, famous husbands including one who left her for a man, a friend dying at her house, not being able to wear a bra in Star Wars, and living next door to her mother. I would tell you more, but it would spoil the fun.

Tuesday Tip - Sarah + Abraham Stock Up And Save/Giveaway

Sarah Abraham calling cardsOK, so my latest obsession is Sarah + Abraham; they are all about personalized children's stationery and art prints. I stumbled across them recently, and I'm hooked.

They are having a Stock Up And Save deal now through the 28th on their stickers, note and calling cards. It's too early to get the boy's soccer invitations done, we are having a location party, and I kinda gotta make sure I can book it first. Apparently they don't book June birthdays yet(!!!), so I had to settle on ordering flat cards as thank you notes.

And I LOVE the calling more fishing around for receipts to jot down phone numbers...oh is that just me? I actually ripped off the part of a deposit slip once. I think we are a little old for them now, boo.

Incidentally, they are hosting a giveaway with olliegraphic on their sister site Oh My! Handmade Goodness for a fabulous stationary package worth over $250; 4 winners will get their choice of various paper goods and a grand prize winner will receive a custom package!

Tuesday Trend - Jersey Girls/Double Dipping

dip collageFirst it was The Real Housewives of New Jersey, next, it was Jersey Shores, and I just saw the commercial for the latest incarnation...wait for it...Jerseylicous. You heard it hear first.

And speaking of double dipping into the idea pool, it's not just for strawberries and schmos at the chip/dip bowl...Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Mary Janes; Perch mason jars; color block tank; Land's End snap tote; dip cups; dye-dipped sweater

Fiesta Friday (On A Monday) - Holy Party, Batman!

Batman party collageThe bat signal went out; my friend C needs inspiration. Like myself, she only has boys and of course we can't seem to shake the super hero party, and Batman is the obsession of the moment. That's ok, it can still be stylish, especially since pretty much all of these ideas can be adapted for any crime fighter.

Luckily for her, I'm always bookmarking inspirational ideas...

Setting The Scene
How great is Creative Stirrings' great tabletop where she wrapped presents as Gotham City buildings. Clever napkin tip - scallop napkins to look like bat wings. Disguise ordinary water bottles as Super Water with a simple change of the label.

The Munchies
For the menu, go crazy with a bat cookie cutter. Make bat Jell-O Jigglers from grape Jell-O, bat rolls with pizza dipping sauce, and serve Bat Cream Sandwiches. Make bat cookies, sandwich softened ice cream between two and refreeze.

What To Do
Keep them busy with a cape-decorating workshop like at Ambrosia Girl's super hero party. Each child was given a package that included a cape, mask, and a stencil of their initial to trace onto felt; check out the free download patterns at Living Locurto.

To make it more Batman themed, make black masks with initials in yellow like Cookie Monday's party. For those of you with serious sewing skills, check out My Tiny Sweet Cheeks for making pretty sweet capes.

Send Them Home With A Smile
Loving these bat bean bags from Roots and Wings Co, perfect for a bean bag toss or for party favors.

I seriously heart this ridiculously cute Batman envelope treat bag from Just Jenn (which she also provides the pdf), but these bags sewn by Green Jello with personalized name tags are coming in a very close second.

Not enough? OK, check out my last superhero party post....

Drink Of The Week - Milk Martini With A Cookie Garnish

Not a recipe today, a concept so ridiculously easy yet stylish that I can't wait to try it out; a fab idea for any type of party when you want the glam without the alcohol. Image from The Boastful Baker.

Goodie Two Shoes

I love inventions designed to keep kids busy using their imaginations. Video games and DVDs have their place, but sometimes you want to smarten them up, not send them into a coma. And certainly when they are too young to use devices on.

These boxes from Goodie Two Shoes are perfect for children up to age 7 and are filled with crayons, felt-tip pens, stickers, dot to dot, glitter glue, play dough and other educational and fun toys.

Even though the main focus is FUN, their goal is back-to-basics; kids learning to occupy themselves with basic toys and craft items while enhancing the development of fine motor skills, visual perception, mathematical and concentration skills.

Fiesta Friday/Real Party Redux - Ladies' Spring Luncheon

Over at Maddycakes Muse, they are hosting a fabulous Spring table contest and I thought I would get in on the action. A few years ago, I hosted a Ladies' Spring Luncheon and I decided to redo it with a few tweaks!

I totally wanted to use wheatgrass but didn't have the time to grow it. But for our Easter brunch, I'm definately going to use it. So, I thought dried split peas would make a great substitute with the unfinished birdhouses I painted.
spring luncheon tableI used my existing leaf plates, and added my recently purchased fruit bowls; I just love them so!
spring luncheon table2I love things that do double duty - potted primroses serve as placecards and favors...
spring luncheon table3 I've been collecting mason jars for drinking glasses, so I thought adding a flower drink stirrer would make it more pretty.
spring luncheon table4
spring luncheon table5

Real Party - Chinesentine Playdate

I was trying to combine Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day but I guess that only works with celebrity names. Last week's playdate was a celebration of both...
Chinese New Year ribbon dragon
Chinese New Year ribbon dragon 2We made dragons...candy heart valentines
candy heart Valentines 2...and candy-heart valentines.
TomKat cupcake toppersWe dined on yummy cupcakes with cute toppers from TomKat Studio...chocolate dipped cookies...I dipped sugar cookies in chocolate and sprinkles...watermelon hearts...and to balance out the sugar rush, watermelon Valentines....heart cups...and strawberry milk in jazzed up cups.beary sweet Valentine bagsWe sent our 'beary special Valentines' home with a bag of gummy bears and Teddy Grahams. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, and fun for all!

We Go Wednesday - LUSH

Business first. Sorry about not posting sooner for my Entertaining Pack giveaway winner, it was #9 comment from Buttons and Bows and she's already been contacted.

Ok, that's done, now on to my latest adventure...on our way to the Seattle Monorail this weekend, we passed by a store in Westlake Center that I swear I've never seen before, even though it was right by the entrance which I've gone through countless times. I think I've always had mommy blinders on because they said they've been there three years.

LUSH specializes in making highly effective, 100% vegetarian (and over 70% vegan!) hand made products for bath, hair and body that are loaded with fresh, natural ingredients and minimal preservatives. And how out of the loop am I, they have stores worldwide! What attracted me first was the store's amazing smells. And once again, how have I missed them? Especially since I'm a body stuff fiend...scrubs, washes, balms, lotions, potions, sprays, you name it, I've got it.

Smelling blood in the water, the attendant falls upon me and beckons me to a sink where she drops in the largest bath bomb I've every seen and it fizzed up like a new bottle of bubbly. She has me feel the water, silky soft, and hooks me in. It was the Honey Bee bath bomb and OMG it was a little piece of heaven when I sat in the tub today.

Since I'm all about scrubs she also had me try the Buffy The Backside Slayer. Why would I make that up? I had to have it, just on name alone. And it too was yummy to use and smell! They have online ordering but if you live near one, get thee to a store...I'm sooo going back. Not a paid endorsement, unless they see this and want to send me something.

Tuesday Tip - Don't Throw A Party At CEC/Spring Table Contest/Customized Inspiration Board Service

Isn't the title ridiculously long? I know, had to get your attention because I'm back up for air; I'm chairperson for our school's Valentine's Day Bingo, which was last Thursday night and it was AWESOME; a long 4 day weekend starting with our glorified playdate Friday (pix coming soon), my brother and his wife flying in late Friday night, nephew's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese (yikes!) Saturday, and the rest of the weekend sight-seeing the wonder that is Seattle. They just left late last night.

FYI on party planning; don't do a party at the Cheese. It sounds convenient with a host and all, but it's chaos, chaos, chaos. There are a thousand kids running around, trails of tickets flying behind them, clutching buckets of coins, waiting in line at the popular games. I had to go to my happy place; eating Trophy Cupcakes while picking Martha's brain for all her fabulous ideas while we are on the beach in the Bahamas.

Plus, they do a joint singing/cake eating/conga line so all the parties have to cram up front at their respective tables, and I swear there was like 10 parties going at once, and the music is blaring, and trying to squeeze past other guests, hosts bringing food, cutting cake, crying kids, opening presents, someone dancing in a large mouse suit, scary animal mannequins on stage leading a thousand kids in a chorus of "When I say happy, you say birthday, HAPPY...BIRTHDAY" "I can't hear you...when I say happy, you say birthday"...

So I'm happy to be back in the quiet that is now. And clearly I missed a few things. For example, fellow mom party blogger Maddycakes Muse is having an Easter Tablescapes/Spring Parties contest for fabulous prizes, being judged by even more fabulous judges like Amy from Stem Parties, Monique from Enchanted Expectations and Kara from Kara's Party Ideas. And since they've all thrown eye-popping soirees, you know expectations are high; no pressure though, it's about creativity and originality. Biggest isn't always best, right? Grand prize - a $100 shopping spree to any Etsy shop!

I'm thinking about redoing and submitting the tablescape I did a few years ago for my Ladies' Spring Luncheon. I was a novice then, it had good bone structure but I've learned a few new tricks.

And speaking of a few new tricks, another amazing idol of mine has thrown her hat into the customized inspiration board ring...Chris over at Celebrations at Home wants to be your virtual party planner. If you don't live in the Metro Richmond area, you can still have her get your party started with her latest service. Some of you don't have hours to spend searching for ideas to put together a board. Wait, no? Oh, must be just me. Well, who needs clean clothes and hot meals anyways?

Tuesday Tip - Giveaway McLovin'

Psst...I don't know if you noticed but I'm having a giveaway of my own...button in my sidebar...I mean, you know you need cuteness for your next party...jump on that!
Handmade Guru is having a Bathgasm (giggle!) giveaway, 5 very yummy conversation heart bombs for a totally romantical night for two, or a night of relaxation for yourself. Giveaway ends Sunday.

The Shopping Mama is hosting a Go Red For Macy's $25 gift card in support for the Go Red for Women campaign to spread the word about heart disease. Giveaway ends Sunday.

Ending Tomorrow -
The Stylish House is celebrating her first blogiversary with an amazing giveaway; a $200 Pottery Barn gift card.

Buttons And Bows is hosting a Holey Donuts giveaway, 4 boxes of their latest creation, low-fat donuts! I know, I'm a bit skeptical too, sounds too good to be true, but go see for yourself.

Ending Today -
Over at You Have More Than You Think, a $50 Amazon gift card giveaway is afoot. Even faster, it ends tonight!

Last Minute Valentines

Not so much for me, since I've been working on these forever and finally finished them, but if you had an evening to focus, could get them done lickety split.
candy sundaeThese awesome candy sundaes are for our teachers...and for those people wondering why there was a crazy lady mumbling to herself while digging through the bulk candy section, picking out all the white taffies, this is why. Here is the tutorial I followed from JesseKate's so fun and easy for a gift or tabletop decor.candy IpodYeah, I already blogged about our iPod valentines, but they are so worth another mention. Just candy boxes, mini peanut butter cups and this download. Dino cello toppersThese dino toppers are a download from the amazing Celebration Shoppe; I just filled our bags with leftover Halloween candy, Play-dough from an after-Christmas sale score and cookie cutters from Wal-mart! C'mon, a six pack of cutters for $2? Totally worth the degrading trip there.
watermelon ValentinesWe are also having a glorified playdate this week for both Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year and one of the treats we have to make are these watermelon Valentines, perfect for a school party if you are allowed bring treats from home with an added healthy bonus!Cupcake liner ValentinesHow fun are these Valentines, a collage of ribbon, pretty pictures and flattened cupcake liners? You probably have everything you need in a craft drawer.
Katherine Marie PhotographyStart eating through the candies and hang onto your Valentine boxes because you can totally recycle them into the cutest snack totes evah! I so heart her site, her pictures are breathtaking, and makes me yearn for a not-so crappy camera of my own.

Drink Of The Week - Medal Cocktails

No matter what place your favorite athelete ends up, you will always be a winner with one of these 3 cocktails at your next Olympics party!

Edible powders are found at bakery/cake decorating stores. Your local craft store probably has it in the cake decorating section. Each recipe serves one and is courtesy of

Gold Cocktail
2 1/2 Stolichnaya Elit vodka
1 1/2 oz coconut Rum
garnish: 1 tsp shredded coconut, edible gold powder

1. Coat bottom of martini glass with gold powder.

2. Combine remaining ingredients into a shaker with ice and strain into gold-coated martini glass. The gold powder should float to the top. Sprinkle extra powder to deepen color and garnish with coconut flakes.

Silver Cocktail
2 oz rum
2 oz cupuacu puree
splash of fresh lime juice
garnish: lime wedge, edible silver powder

1. Coat bottom of martini glass with silver powder.

2. Combine remaining ingredients into a shaker with ice and strain into silver-coated martini glass. The silver powder should float to the top. Sprinkle extra powder to deepen color and garnish with lime wedge.

Bronze Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Kahlua
2 oz Monte Cristo 12-year
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
garnish: coffee beans, edible bronze powder

1. Coat bottom of martini glass with bronze powder.

2. Combine remaining ingredients into a shaker with ice and strain into bronze-coated martini glass. The bronze powder should float to the top. Sprinkle extra powder to deepen color and garnish with coffee beans.

Every 100 Followers Giveaway!


Every 100 followers giveawayI so meant to do a giveaway back when I reached 100 followers...but time got away from me, so I'm backtracking. I usually do giveaways on Tuesday, but I just couldn't wait.

My goal is for every 100 followers to host something fabulous. I'm already at 135, and I know a lot of you are email subscribers, don't be afraid, join my merry band of stalkers, so another giveaway can be on it's way!

So, on to the fun! Just in time to get you back on track for spring entertaining, today's giveaway is a party must. It includes two Spring Flowers 1o 1/4" serving trays, a 20-count pack of 100% recycled beverage napkins from Green Style and 3 yards coordinating grosgrain ribbon. No, the grass is not included.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post sharing a favorite springtime event. Hosting an Easter brunch? Going to a friend's Leprechaun hunt? Having a Spring Cleaning Swap? Share them! I would love to hear your ideas! It may inspire a future post.

Want additional entries?
1. Share this giveaway on your favorite social network; blog it, Tweet, Facebook, the works. Each one is an entry.
2. Become a new follower for another entry.
3. Already a follower? Let me know, that's another entry!

Make sure and leave one comment for each entry you are submitting.

Giveaway ends next Saturday the 13th at 11:59 p.m., winner will be chosen by and contacted by email so make sure you leave your email address in your comment if you don't have a profile. Sorry, open to U.S. residents only.

Fiesta Friday - A Rose By Any Other Name...

rose decor collageNo, this is not inspired by The Bachelor, although I love all the ways shows like The Dish and The Soup make fun of it by constantly playing the song "On The Wings Of Love".

No, it was this little gem from Martha's latest Living magazine, abstract rose prints. And she makes it sound deceptively simple; cardboard, a wine cork and a stamp pad right?

I wonder if my friend named Rose would let me do a rose-themed party? I found some inspirational pieces, and they are not just for Valentine's Day...Martha's rose napkin...rose cupcakes from FamilyFun...Masanori Umeda rose chair...Pier 1 red rose pillow and tufted rug. I'm still loving these paper flowers...blogged about them awhile back, still haven't the chance to make them...rose tabletop decor
Now, we go for the gusto...Ceremony Magazine's absolutely gorgeous and rich spread of crimson and gold...and the pièce de résistance, David Tutera's stunning black and white barbecue birthday party; the over-the-top elements included an umbrella chandelier, and hibachi-grill flower arrangements.

Fiesta Friday (On A Thursday) - Fiesta Inspirations #3

If you haven't heard, I'm a fan of unique party themes. When you're on the party circuit as I am, you have to keep outdoing yourself. It's a hard job, but someone's gotta do it! I mean, (see sidebar) Trailer Park Pride, 'Stache Bashes, and Ugly Sweater parties don't fall out of the sky you know.

I had to share some of the most clever themes I've seen in awhile! I love it when a passion translates into an amazing party!

Blue shoe showerA bridal shower inspired by the bride's wedding shoes...hey they inspired J.Lo to write a song. Need those straws? Psst...they have them at Garnish. Must. get. some. soon.
popcorn partyA drive-in inspired soiree who's main attraction is popcorn and the painting of.
Parenting Backward partyHost a backward party where balloons hang upside down, guests eat on the floor and party games are played backwards - "Pin The Donkey On The Tail".
subway themed partyHow much fun would it have been to attend The Indigo Bunting's subway party? Ah...I can just smell the subway.
Martha Stewart wacky partyMartha's Wacky party has guests wearing silly wigs and mustaches and eating not-food treats. Check out my post for some other wacky food ideas.
Dexter inspired cupcakesAwesomely inspired cupcakes for a Dexter season premier party...and here's a party to go with them.
Pink GNO tableJamee always knows how to set the mood; aren't her giant lipsticks and perfume drink bottles AWESOME???? Sure hope she shares where she found everything...they are a must have especially for Sex And The City 2 party. Hmm....
The Bachelorette cupcakesI don't watch the show, but Entertaing Life's The Bachelorette party sure inspires me to see what the fuss is about! Love all the details, from the potential suitor cupcake toppers to the hot dog stand, the show's running theme.
One Charming Party American Girl partyCheck out this American Girl party from One Charming Party; authentic touches included activities like bread and jam-making! One Charming Party Raggedy Ann partyAlso there, check out some more doll love with their Raggedy Ann party; I could just die over the bright colors and details...pause, because I just channeled Rachel Zoe, and I need a moment...

Check out more unique theme parties in Fiesta Inspirations #1 and #2.
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