Happy Memorial Day

From our military family to yours, remember the sacrifices from our past and current U.S. Armed Forces, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, National Guard, Reservists, and the Coast Guard. They defend our rights, our borders, our liberties. They make it possible for you to walk down the streets without fear. We thank you all.

Drink Of The Week - Ice Bars & Ice Martinis

Yes, today is a twofer D.O.W. I couldn't help but to share these absolutely amazing creations from the ice artist that is Don, if I could afford it, I would have a luge at every party...

Drink Of The Week - Bing Cherry Mojito

Treat your Memorial Day guests with this tasty punch from Martha Stewart...recipe serves 12.

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed lime juice, about 9 limes
3 pounds Bing cherries
18 ounces best-quality black cherry or plain vodka
1 (750 ml) bottle sparkling water

1.  Bring sugar and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool completely. (Makes about 2 cups syrup.) Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 month.
2.  Put lime juice into a medium nonreactive bowl. Halve and pit cherries; add to lime juice. Stir in syrup. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (up to overnight).
3.  Stir cherry mixture and vodka in a large serving bowl. Fill 12 glasses with ice. Spoon 1/2 cup cherry-vodka mixture into each glass. Top off with sparkling water. Serve immediately.

Think Inside The Box/Real Party Invite Sneak Peek

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I'm a fan of clever invites, and to me, the ultimate ones are those you can't slap up on a fridge, i.e. in a box. Yes, if you can't hand-deliver, the postage can be a bear. But you know they won't be easily misplaced, and oh, the possibilities! And I can't say it enough, I'm always excited by a clever invite, because it means there is a great party in store. Case in point, the boy's upcoming soccer party box invite 2box soccer invites Thankfully we'll be secretly passing these out at school and hand-delivering the rest. I'm so in love with the green bubble masking tape that I found in Michael's dollar section(!!!). Even cooler because Washi tape is the latest in packaging, but alas, it is a bit pricey! My boxes, a score from Packaging Specialties. Reader Celebrity Mommy wrote me asking for some help with baby shower invites; check out her final results, loving those pretty pinwheels and butterflies! She found her boxes at PS too! So, in honor of our invites, I would like to share some more ideas to get your party started!For Paris Hilton's perfume launch, the planners extraordinaire from the Gospel According To Party Confidential, sent out tiaras tucked in a black velour pouch that was tied with a pink ribbon and attached to the invitation. gumball bx inviteA candygram from Inchmark Journal would be a perfect invite. pinwheel box invitePinwheel baby shower invite from The Hostess. Lemonhead box invitePretty invites sit on a bed of Lemonheads. ribbon box invitePretty boxes stamped with the couple's monogram. Halloween box inviteThis invite has a mask I bet the recipient could wear. pink candy box inviteWedding invite has pretty details, down to the baker's twine. cupcake in a box inviteGuess what's inside this company's invite to their first anniversary bash? Yup, a cupcake! Even the outside of the box is spells out 'ONE'. kite box inviteAn invitation to a kite-flying birthday party where mama sent a kite to each guest to decorate and bring. pencil box inviteTell me you do not love this bridal luncheon invite from Gourmet Invitations, filled with a personalized pencil and questionnaire for each guest. carousel box party inviteThis beautiful invitation comes inside a decorative box that was delivered inside of yet another decorative box. fork box inviteAn invite to a 40th birthday party invites guests to an evening of fun. moving box inviteMoving announcements feature packing accoutrement as filler...clever, clever! pistachio box invitePeek under those pistachios and you'll find the invite to a dinner party, try not to snack! bug box inviteThis clever mom uses tiny specimen boxes with slips of paper and plastic insects inside to beckon guests to her son's spring themed party. bug tube inviteAnother bug-inspired invite from Nounces Designs...she even punched airholes in the top. Hee. Las Vegas box inviteThe pièce de résistance; this beautiful Las Vegas themed invite included three layers, hand-sparkled in gold, hand-cut and hand-folded gold tissue paper, real poker chips and the card included the reservation details, all wrapped up in a black invite box.

Fiesta Friday - One Smart Cookie

It it graduation season again, and it's time to break out of the luau theme...again. Do you have a smart cookie graduating this year? Well then, let the world know with a cookie-themed soiree!

With the dessert table as the new black this party season, use your skills to set up a cookie buffet as part of your party setup. Since I'm not about reinventing the wheel, here's a repost of last year's cookie buffet post with fresh updates.

Who could resist a milk-and-cookie graduation send-off? And note all the different ways the confections are displayed, from apothecary jars to buckets, just make it special with labels, ribbons, the possibilities are endless.
shot glasses on a cookie trayRepurposing shot glasses and cake platters, sheer genius at this wedding.
Toast and Tables cookie buffetOver at Toast and Tables, a beautiful spread where they served milk out of vintage glass containers.
Rebecca Thuss cookie buffetAnother inspired spread from Rebecca Thuss; I love the personalized cookie envelopes.
b.a.s.h.ful Events cookie buffetb.a.s.h.ful Events put together a lovely spread for a baptism, check out the labels on the bags and the cookie tags.
Cookie buffet instead of a wedding cakeA beautiful buffet at took the place of the wedding cake at this ceremony.
Milk and cookies baby showerYes, I can't get enough of this baby shower spread at Most Likely Late, this is the second (third)time I've blogged about it.
cookie buffetA beautiful spread by Nonpareil Magazine, they even share downloads. Hmm...note to self, must find recipe for checkerboard cookies for race car party and tie them in ribbon, just like this.
cookie buffet 2No need for crazy elaborateness; Pretty ribbon and tags, Chinese takeout boxes with personalized labels make a beautiful setup at OMG's baby shower.
milk cookies buffetA very lovely milk and cookie party from Juicy Bits. Can't you just see this done in your graduate's school colors? A. Party's Style shares great DIY tips for her little one's 1st birthday.

OK, all this wasn't enough to inspire you? Take a deep breath....milk carton favor boxes 2milk carton favor boxes
...because I die (Rachel Zoe style) over these milk carton favor boxes from Paper Crave via The Sweetest Occasion. Use them to send home all those extra cookies that you know you can't eat yourself! Yes. I. Must. Do. This.
Living Locurto cookie labelsOne Smart Cookie labelsNeed more few freebies? Over at No Fuss Fabulous, she shares a free download for placecards while Living Locurto has free downloads that would make great stickers on your guests' treat containers.

10 Ideas For Pizza Dough

Real Simple pizza dough collageThe May issue of Real Simple (both online and print) really 'rises' to the occasion with these inventive recipes, from smoked salmon pizzettes to grape and pine nut dessert focaccia. All you need for each recipe is a pound of plain or whole-wheat pizza dough. Mmm...already ripped out of the mag and into my idea binder.

We Go Wednesday - Walla Walla, WA

Yes, it does exist...I know, it's where Wile E. Coyote ordered all of his stuff from the Acme Company. I can assure you, there is no factory that makes jet-propelled roller skates or rubber bands for tripping road runners. However, the State Penitentiary is there. They are blowing up in the wine world. They grow the world-famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. Oh, and I went to college out there. So did my husband.

We returned there this past Mother's Day weekend for a series of meetings hubby had to attend at his alma mater. So, it gave me some time to return to the old stomping grounds. Well, not all of them, most have been replaced by wine shops. Why wasn't it this cool when I went to school there? Back when it was called Walla Walla College?
I used to work here, the college bookstore, well now it's called the University Shop. In fact, when I went to school there, this was not the original building, it used to be across the street which is now a parking lot. Yes, sing it with me, 'they paved paradise and put up a parking lot....ooh la la la'. Except it wasn't paradise because we all moved every piece of furniture, t-shirt, school supply by hand into this new building.
Another place that didn't exist when I was at school there...a shiny new admin building. Back in my day, it was condemned. Asbestos, a horrible smell, and stairways so narrow and twisty, you had to lay against the wall if someone was trying to pass you. Now, it's all poison-free!
We hit up the farmer's market...nothing unusual. Overpriced ices, $3.00 each. Watching the boys trying to eat ices, priceless.
Also that weekend, an annual tradition, the Balloon Stampede weekend; at 6:30 a.m. every morning, about 40 hot-air balloons take flight across the city, in addition to other events and happenings. We were too exhausted to go to evening events, and no one was spazzy enough to wake up to see the balloons take off except for me. Of course.
A cool mural on the side of one of the buildings...I know it's 'famous' but I don't known the name.

Tuesday Tip - $50 CSN Giveaway!

*****************THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED******************************
When I was contacted by Jason from CSN Stores to host a giveaway, I was too excited. With over 200 stores, they carry just about anything you need for your home from top to bottom, from recessed lighting to flooring and everything in between. Of course, since this is a party planning site, I just had to make my wish list for summer entertaining...what's the stadium pan for? Our soccer and race car parties of course!CSN $50 giveawayOK, you've seen what I want, now it's your turn. For a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to any of their 200+ stores here's what you need to do.


1. Take a gander around the CSN Stores site and tell me your wish list, what do you want/need to have? Come back here and leave me a comment.

2. One Entry Each - Tweet and/or Facebook about this giveaway, make sure and leave the link in your comment
3. One Entry - Add my button to your blog and leave the link where I can find it
4. Two Entries - Become a Facebook fan or let me know that you are
5. Two Entries - Become a follower/email subscriber/RSS subscriber/Twitter follower(@NotJustAMommy) or let me know that you already are
6. Three Entries - Share this giveaway on your blog and leave the link in your comment
(For example, if you have your mandatory entry and blog about the giveaway you should be leaving 4 comments)

Contest ends Tuesday, June 1 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Winner will be chosen by and contacted by email, and posted sometime Wednesday. Winner has 48 hours to respond, otherwise an alternate winner will be chosen.

Fiesta Friday (On A Monday) - Fiesta Inspirations #5

Another exciting bevy of unique parties...oh how I wish I could do each one!
Facebook is taking over the world and this bat mitzvah at Setting The Mood. Clever alert - instead of table numbers they used the client's favorite apps as table assignments.

A wine-trolley wedding? Guests at this multi-venue traveling trolley event were treated to a picnic lunch, some wine tasting, bocce ball games, and a stop at a wacky wig wearing winery, then capped the day with a lovely that's a location wedding!

A phenomenal orchard wedding from Ruffled; Clever alert - instead of a candy buffet, they had a greenhouse inspired room to display the sweets in drawers from a vintage apothecary furniture and in trays that were placed on shelves, amongst potted plants and flower crates.

Guests at Puddin Pops Designs' red party donned capes and filled baskets with treats on their walk to grandma's house.

A Wii party from Poca Cosas any kid would love; goodies included tournament shirts, team passes and a very inspired cake!

Another video game party, from Gesch Who's Got A Blog! Arg, she did those chocolate mustache pops I soooo wanted for my friend's 'Stache Bash. See how cute they are? And the kids took the cutest photos with them

An inspired 'Feather Her Nest' shower from Grey Grey Designs...clever alert - peeps dipped in chocolate with chocolate sprinkles at the bottom for "nests."

A white palette allows the colors in Nesting Instincts' pretty first birthday party really pop...well, plus it's Dr. Seuss, and can you ever go wrong?

More Seussness from Multi-Purpose Wings...clever alert - her flower mums are made from recycled T-shirts. This gal is a candy melt queen...remember her monster party?

F is for fabulous...I can't get enough of The Purple Pug's Grover party, and as a child of the 70's, the Street and I go way back. Clever alert - a rock candy tree chandelier, little shopping baskets, rock candy/yarn curtain ties, and an abacus. Hee.

Jessica Kettle's Puppy party. Love it, love it, love it! A cake covered in Cocoa Puffs is my kind of shindig.

This bowling party from Gordostyle features handmade bowling pin pins and chocolate coin medals.

A pretty shower from Craig & Whitney; I love how she incorporated the different actions in the book as party details. Clever alert - check out the pom pom tails on the water bottle labels.

Another tome-inspired party for a picnic and movie-viewing party from Jac o'Lyn Murphy.

A derby-inspired soiree by Save The Date For Cupcakes would translate beautifully for a pony/Western themed party. Clever alert - mason jars sitting on top of spearmint gum packs.

Need more inspiration? My last Fiesta Friday is strawberry-themed, and I added some more goodies to it.

Need even more inspiration? Check out Fiesta Inspirations #1, #2, #3, #4.
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