4456ab62684ae17244d576b2248ea70ce95c1b08c858edf677 Not Just A Mommy: 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010
DEAR READERS AND NEW VISITORS....MY BLOG IS HAVING A FEW TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES,THE CIRCLE WITH THE DASH WHERE A PHOTO SHOULD BE. I AM SLOWLY GOING BACK RELOADING THEM!

4.30.2010

Fiesta Friday - Fiesta! Fiesta!

I know, I'm already two weeks behind with my Cinco De Mayo post since it is next Wednesday. That's OK, you can never have too many ideas! At least Sunday's D.O.W. had your beverages covered, and here are some amazing parties and ideas to make your fiesta muy fabuloso!
Sandra Lee Cinco De MayoThe 70/30 queen has a very doable spread in her latest magazine issue. I love how she tied mini bottles of tequila to the napkins. She has some intriguing recipes...I question the Sopaipilla Cheesecake Squares, because I'm not too sure about cream cheese in crescent roll dough.

After I watched her make a face after sipping one of her own cocktail concoctions, I take her recipes with a grain of salt. Plus it just sounds bad. If anyone makes this, let me know how it turns out. I could be wrong...
vellum mobileSaw these beautiful vellum mobiles at P Is For Party and coincidentally it's making the blogging rounds when I came across the tutorial. Can't you just see these hanging over your party in festive red, yellow and green?
Mailing a pinataYou Are My Fave sent a piñata through the mail...yes, just like that...I know, you are going to do that next year!
beer margaritaMissed this doozie for my margarita post, but you can never have too many...check out this Beer Margarita recipe from Couture Parties. Read the directions carefully, DON'T add the whole bottle of tequila, unless it's that kind of party.
TomKat Studio Cinco de Mayo circlesAs always, the fabulous TomKat Studio has a free download for your festivities.
Paper & Cake Cinco De Mayo partySpeaking of downloads, Paper & Cake has the hookup with their downloable pack, with everything you need, invites, cupcake picks and wrappers, nacho tray, lanterns, the works!
Paper Source paper bannerLoving this banner from Paper Source, easily tailored for any event.
tissue paper centerpieceMy kind of decor - dollar store finds and an easy tutorial for these great candleholders from Entertain Exchange.
margarita cupcakeMmm...margarita cupcakes with lime buttercream frosting....
Top Party Ideas Cinco De MayoA plethora of ideas at Top Party Ideas...
Social Couture Cinco De MayoHola Social Couture! You never let me down, this tablescape is perfect, a few sombreros, clusters of flowers and the hard-working candelabra I've seen featured in at least 3 of their other parties.
Parties That Wow collageIn The Gospel According To Parties That Wow, Jonathon Wong takes creativity to the next level with projects like the Adobe Taco Station (yes, that is a strawberry pot) and Patron Candles, personalized for each guest.

4.29.2010

Every 100 Followers Meri Meri Giveaway

****THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**** Meri Meri cupcake set giveawayThe comments have been tallied, and the randomly chosen comment for our Bumpkin Bears and Friends giveaway belongs to Val -'I have been a follower of Bumpkin Bears for a while now...' Congratulations! But never fear loyal readers, I have another giveaway to easy the pain.

It's time for another Every 100 Followers Giveaway, I'm up to 203 followers now, thank you, thank you! Of course I have lots of people who subscribe through email and feeds, so this giveaway is about you too!

I heart Meri Meri, from their stationery to their partyware, and I'm sharing the love with you by offering up their latest cupcake set, Eat More Cake. Complete with 24 cupcake liners and assorted toppers, it's sure to make your next soiree fantabulous!

How To Enter - You must first be a follower, email or feed subscriber. If you aren't, I guess you better to join in on the fun!

1. Leave a comment on this post about anything party planning; your upcoming events, favorite party tips, a link to your favorite place for party inspiration (besides me of course!), I would love to see how your minds work when it comes to putting on an event. Include in the post if you are a blog follower, email or feed subscriber.

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES (LEAVE A COMMENT FOR EACH ONE)

2. Become one of my Facebook fans (or leave a comment that you are one...I'm thinking about having giveaways for just my Facebook subscribers...)

3. Blog, Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway and leave the link in your comment

EXTRA CREDIT ENTRY - HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING?
4. I occasionally yammer about my boys' upcoming birthday parties this summer, can you name one/both themes? Leave one comment on each theme.

Sorry, open to U.S. and Canadian residents only, giveaway ends Sunday, May 9, 11:59 p.m. PT. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by email.

4.28.2010

We Go Wednesday - Ramblin' Jacks

A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of attending a going-away/deployment party in Olympia for a dear friend. His wife hosted the event at local hot-spot, Ramblin' Jacks. It's a great space for private parties. They have an amazing menu of food choices where you can choose from different packages and have it served to your guests buffet style. We had different varieties of fire-roasted pizzas and salad, a to-die-for crab dip and fresh bread. Even the cocktails are amazing; I hear their signature drink, the Ramblin Rita, is da bomb. Alas, someone had to drive us home. Next time...For dessert, a tasty treat! Godspeed and hurry back home!

4.27.2010

Tuesday Tutorial - Inkspot Workshop Glass Magnet & Handprint Tiles

Inkspot Workshop glass magnetLooking for some more Mother's Day project ideas? I just had to share this amazing and super-simple tutorial from Inkspot Workshop at Oh My! Handmade Goodness for making your own glass magnets. Cha-ching! Just found our gifts for all our grandmas, we have 4 sets! I'm hoping to find larger glass tiles and have the boys draw pictures instead.
handprint tilesAlong the same lines, I wanted to share the tile handprints we've done for auction items when my boys were in preschool. If you still have little ones (each boy was about 3 years old), their handprints will fit perfectly. If you have older kids, they can paint a design on the tile. And don't limit yourself, channel your inner child and make a creation of your own!

Be warned, these are NOT trivets or dishwasher-safe, I can't vouch for how well the sealant works. They are just for decor.

Supplies Needed:
6 inch white bathroom tile (from your local hardware store)
acrylic paint of your choice
glass pebbles (optional if you are just painting a picture;I found mine at Michael's)
clear surface sealer for crafts (mine is Design Master Super Surface Sealer)
foam brush
your favorite super-glue (I use Gorilla Glue)

1. Get your workspace and/or kids painting-ready.

2. Wipe off your tile with a wet sponge, and let dry.

3. Instruct your child to keep their hand open and put a generous squirt of paint into their palm. With the foam brush, paint their palm, making sure to get into every nook and cranny.

4. Position their palm over the tile in the desired location, then gently press their palm onto the tile. Make sure they don't wiggle and DON'T let them smoosh their hand on, it will smudge the handprint. The beauty of it is, if it doesn't look the way you want, you can always wipe off the tile and try again.

5. Let the paint dry, then spray with the surface sealer. Once that is set, add your pebbles on with the super glue.

6. If you want to hang them, attach a large washer to the back. I'm not that brave, mine sit on my counter.

Tada!

Tuesday Trend - Love In A Container

Sometimes we live a little far away from our loved ones. We wish we could blow out the candles with them on their birthdays, share a just-because treat, or hint, hint, a Mother's Day surprise. Take the old 'Cookies In A Jar' idea to the next level with these ingenious ways to send your love across the miles.
cake in a canLove, love, love A. Party Styles' Cake In A Can! Wouldn't you love to be on the receiving end of her fondant creation?
bread in a jarHow about using a large jam jar like these from Delicious Days...imagine how pretty it would be if you made a layered creation?
pie in a jarYes, even a pie can be had...single serving jars take all the guilt out of eating a 'whole' pie by yourself. Check out the full tutorial at Our Best Bites.
pie popsSpeaking of pies, no they aren't in a container, but these pie pops are ridiculously cute and with careful packaging, I bet you can still send them.
cupcake in a jarOf course I couldn't forget these cupcakes in a jar I've blogged about before....

4.26.2010

My Baby Shower Guest Post At My Insanity

One of my blogging heroes, Kendra at My Insanity, is increasing her insanity with a baby due any day now, and needed a few guest bloggers. Apparently she has way better things to do than sit at her computer for hours.

Check out my clothesline baby shower post over at her fabulous site. Take a peek around, she has so many amazing tips, party inspiration and everyday ramblings, a girl after my own heart!
And speaking of fabulous sites you need to check out, thank you shout outs to Entertain Exchange for featuring my airplane party....and being one of the feature parties at Catch My Party!

4.25.2010

Drink Of The Week - Margarita Madness II

margarita collageI so loved last year's post on margaritas; so many ways, so little time. Here are a few more to get your Cinco De Mayo party rockin' this year....

Prickly Pear Margarita - courtesy of My Sweet And Saucy, serves 6
3 1/2 cups crushed ice
3 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
3 oz frozen limeade
6 oz tequila
4 1/2 oz. Cointreau
3 oz. prickly pear cactus juice
3 tbs sugar
garnish - lime wedges and kosher salt

1. In a blender, add all of the ingredients and pulse it until the ice is completely blended. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
2. Rub some of the lime around the rim of the glasses and then dip the glasses into the salt. Pour in the drink and garnish with a lime.

Jalapeño Margarita - courtesy of Food Network; makes one pitcher

thin slice jalapeño
handful of celery leaves
6 ounces fresh lime juice
spoonful of confectioners' sugar
16 ounces tequila
8 ounces orange liqueur

1. Pulse first four ingredients in a blender.

2. Mix with the tequila and orange liqueur in a pitcher; chill.

3. Serve on the rocks in salt-rimmed glasses.

Watermelon Margarita - courtesy of Food Network, serves 4
1/3 cup Cointreau
1/4 cup Triple Sec
3/4 cup tequila
4 ounces seedless watermelon, small diced
garnish - salt, lime

1. Pour salt in a shallow dish for dipping the rims of the glasses. Dip 4 martini glasses in water and then dip the rims in salt. Place in the freezer to frost, about 30 minutes.

2. In a martini shaker shake together the orange-liqueur, Triple Sec, and tequila. Remove glasses from the freezer.

3. Fill the bottom of each glass with the diced watermelon and pour alcohol mixture over the top, dividing evenly among the glasses.

4. Slice lime into wedges and squeeze into glasses. Serve immediately.

Cucumber Margarita - courtesy of Coastal Living, serves 4
12 slices fresh cucumber
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
4 oz Cointreau
6 oz tequila
6 cups ice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
garnish - lime slices

1. Combine cucumber and next 4 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.

2. Pour into glasses then top each serving with a tablespoon of Grand Marnier, and garnish with lime.

4.23.2010

Fiesta Friday - Who Lives In A Pineapple Under The Sea?

If you know what today's title is, then you must have a Spongebob Squarepants aficionado in the house. My sister wants to do Spongebob for my nephew's birthday this summer and is looking for some inspiration.
Spongebob Squarepants invite collageGet The Party Started
A message-in-a-bottle invite is a perfect way to invite guests for upcoming fun. Start by saving up and cleaning empty plastic water bottles. Print out your party info, age the paper, then add to the bottle along with a little sand and shells.

Looking for a paper option? Check out Tiny Prints, Birthday In A Box's personalized invites, custom designed invites from ART by NIKA, or print them yourself .

Setting The Scene
Hang up fish netting on the wall and attach shells and dried starfish (found at local craft stores)and plastic sea creatures like sea horses, crabs, and lobsters, etc. You can also create your creatures out of cardboard or construction paper.

Cover your tables with blue tablecloths and decorate them with sand, faux pearls and seashells. Paint and decorate unfinished wooden chests to resemble treasure chests and fill with candy coins, necklaces and other loot for a sweet centerpiece.

Set a bubble machine in the corner of your party space for a more underwater feel.
Loving Craig & Whitney's underwater feel with the balloons and fishies hanging from the ceiling!

The Munchies
There are so many treats that keep with the underwater theme - you could serve fish sticks and popcorn shrimp with seashell-shaped pasta. Try your hand at Hot Dog Octopuses (Ocotpi? Octopodes?) with tropical fruit skewers. Dish up Krusty Krab Cakes (crab cakes) or break out the grill for Krabby Patties (hamburgers).

Serve Chex Mix that includes Goldfish crackers, Swedish Fish and other gummy sea creatures in an over-sized fish bowl.
fish sandwichUse fish cookie cutters to cut out your sandwich of choice, or set up pre-cut bread, cheese and deli meat slices.

Set up a buffet for guests to create Beach In A Cup - layer vanilla pudding, crushed vanilla wafers, whipped cream and gummy creatures in clear tumblers, and top off with a paper umbrella.
Spongebob Squarepants party foodA montage of pretty cakes and cupcakes to inspire you...flickr user Pink Apron's too cool cake and cupcakes....2 Blue Dog's Spongebob sits on a Krabby Patty with a brownie center...Maki Cakes' Spongebob is fondant galore. Make your cupcake into a yellow submarine using roundabout sleeves. A Pail of sand and under-the-sea cake from FamilyFun. For our SBSP party a few years ago, we made Krabby Patty cupcake toppers for our party using vanilla wafers, chocolate covered cookies and red and yellow icing.
pineapple upside down cake collageI love Pineapple Upside-Down cake, it's my specialty. Step it up a cute twist on this classic. Use Nordic Ware's mini cake pan where it bakes up them the shape of a pineapple. Need to feed your cupcake fix? FamilyFun has a easy tutorial for the cupcake version even the kids can help out with. Only Paula Deen could turn them into biscuits. Oh, this cupcake has an ice-cream center...mmm.  I bet you wish you lived near a Trophy Cupcakes so you can experience their version; vanilla butter cake with a caramelized pineapple bottom, topped with a brown sugar buttercream and a maraschino cherry. I bet with a little practice you can come up with your own version using a pineapple cake mix like Duncan Hines'.

What To Do
At our SBSP party, we made an Aquarium In A Bag - guests added foam underwater creatures to the "sea" foamie sheet, inserted into the bag, then added oatmeal for sand and a handful of real shells.aquarium in a bagyCreate FamilyFun's mini ocean with shells, sand, oil and water; this is perfect for little ones still fascinated with water motion.
Spongebob Squarepants burger relayI am loving the Krabby Patty Making Relay Race from 4 Krafty Kidz. She made buns from Styrofoam balls and all the patty fixings from various materials like tissue paper, felt and construction paper, and even gave the kids squirt bottles filled with real sauce!
Spongebob Squarepants favor collageSend Them Home With A Smile
Fill a beach pail with fun goodies like a plastic shovel and other beach toys, Spongebob crayons, candy seashells (you can find molds at your favorite craft or candy-making spot) and a bottle of bubbles.

Make each guest a small sponge-painting kit. Include dry sponges cut into shapes and a small container of tempera or craft paint, and wrap the kits in cellophane with pretty toppers like these from Ciao Bambino.

How amazing are these flip-flop Rice Krispies from The Celebration Shoppe? She even graciously shares a full tutorial.
Pineapple craft bagCheck out this creative gift bag and its tutorial from Julia Bettencourt, I just love paper art.

4.22.2010

Roundabouts Cupcake Sleeves

In my search for Fiesta Friday inspiration, look who I stumbled across....Roundabout Sleeves are the perfect way to create designer cupcakes with very little effort! Imagine the 'ohhs' and 'ahhs' at your next party.

4.20.2010

Tuesday Tip - Bumpkin Bears & Friends Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED


Before I jump into today's tip, I wanted to give a couple of thank-you shout outs. My airplane party was featured over at Everyday Celebrating, a wonderful place for great party tips and inspiration. A few years ago, her airplane party stayed stuck in my mind and came into play for this party. I almost did her airstrip using Christmas lights, but we were worried about it around the food and the little one pulling them off. Her airplane photo op inspired our pilot's license, mama doesn't have painting skills.Tabletops For Tots featured my Down On The Farm party, and I'm so tickled to have discovered her, although it does me no good because I don't live in her area. She does party rentals for kid-sized tables and chairs! I've always rented smaller tables and chairs for home parties, but they aren't as cute as her products. You would be surprised the amount of space adult sized tables and chairs take up when you have lots of children to entertain. Plus, have you ever seen a 3 year old try to climb up a folding chair?

OK, off we go....you all know my love for finding new inspiration and places to get lost in. Through a party planner's version of 6 Degrees Of Kevin Bacon, I discovered and am thrilled to share with you Catherine Young of Bumpkin Bears & Friends, a British Bear Artist from Belgium. Catherine specializes in producing high quality one-of-a-kind hand crafted artist bears that are designed to be adopted and loved for a lifetime. Oh look at their faces, aren't they absolutely adorable?Bumpkin Bears and Friends collageShe also specialized in art and paper goods...check out her post on the lovely woodland baby shower she designed the invites for. And speaking of which.......some lovelies from her Etsy print shop. She is graciously giving one of my readers the chance to win a 6-pack of her Friends For Tea invites, perfect for your next party or baby shower. They are 4x6 cards printed on beautiful thick quality cardstock with pink envelopes and packaged in a cello bag.
HOW TO ENTER
1.
Hop over to her Bumpkin Bears & Friends shop,
come back and leave a comment of your favorite item!
ADDITIONAL ENTRIES (LEAVE A COMMENT FOR EACH)
2. Become a follower of her Bumpkin Bears & Friends blog
3. Follow Bumpkin Bears & Bears on Twitter
4. Sign up for her newsletter - send email to catherine@bumpkinbears.com
5. Become a fan of my shiny new Facebook page
6. Post about this giveaway on your own blog, Facebook Page and/or Tweet about it
(leave a seperate comment with the link for each media)
For example, when you visit her shop, blog, Facebook and Tweet
about us you should have four seperate comments.
Giveaway ends next Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. PT, winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by email.