Fiesta Friday - Fiesta! Fiesta! 2012

Next Saturday is Cinco De Mayo, and if you need a little inspiración dulce, check out these fabulous fiestas...

Cinco De Mayo parties Skippyjon Jones

Top of the list is Grey Grey Design's Skippyjon Jones Birthday Fiesta featured on the Hostess Blog.  Seriously, taco garlands? A sombrero hat cupcake stand? Gianormous wall hangings? Oh, Ms. Brittany had it all!

Elements Of Design In Party Decor - Rhythm

My elements of design in party decor post generated lots of buzz; I also received several emails for more in-depth ideas about why these ideas 'work'. By no means am I an expert with years of design under my belt.  But as you work on more events, you start getting 'the eye'...something doesn't look right, something's missing...and you'll keep playing around until you get what feels right to you.

Thus, I'm inspired to do a mini series using all eight principals of design (check out the post to see what I'm talking about); so far we've got balanceemphasismovement, repetitionproportion, and today is rhythm. You create rhythm when one or more elements of design are used repeatedly to create a feeling of organized movement.

Elements of design rhythm rainbow backdrop

I am in serious love with this rainbow backdrop created from Gwynn Wasson Designs featured on Design Dazzle.  The repeated use of pom poms definitely give you the feel of the rainbow's color flow.

Tuesday Trend - Neon, Fer Sure!

It's not just for awesome 80's parties...neon is taking over as the new party black! Remember, it's about accenting with neon colors...too much and you'll give your guests a headache!

neon wedding table
Cheery table featured on Calligraphy By Jennifer

Martha Stewart fluorescent neon graduation
Florescent graduation fête from Martha Stewart

day glo neon bottle how to
Neon vase how-to from Maché

neon wedding
Chick wedding inspiration from Brooklyn Bride

neon gift tags Knot & Bow
Gift tags from Knot & Bow

Neon party Hello!Lucky
Yikes! How did I forget this neon birthday party from Hello!Lucky, I pinned it a while ago to inspire this post...the moment I saw the sticker confetti on the walls, I was in love!

We Go Wednesday (On A Monday) - Chocolate Box/Molly Moon's Homemade Ice-Cream

Chocolate Box Today's Mama Seattle
If you live in Seattle and you haven't been to Chocolate Box, you are missing out! Check out my Today's Mama post on our chocolate and ice-cream adventures! Mmm...sipping chocolate...

We Go Wednesday - Trophy Cupcakes/Cupcakes Take The Cake Meet Up

Trophy Cupcakes Cupcakes Take The Cake Jennifer Rachel

Whenever there is an event at  Trophy Cupcakes, I'm there.  Even better, Rachel from the world-famous Cupcakes Take The Cake was coming.  Oh yes, I was there. Be warned, you may want to put on your eatin' pants...this post will add 5 pounds..

Nothing says sweet awesomeness like watching owner Jennifer Shea toasting marshmallow topping with a mini blow torch...

Trophy Cupcakes Cupcakes Take The Cake mini cupcakes

We sampled lots of mini yumminess and their newest flavor, Chocolate Hazelnut. Mmmm.....and specially made just for us, mini Hi Hat cupcakes! More on them a little later.

So, I may have eaten too many...but they are so small, you don't realize you've eaten six of them.  I did take some home to share with the menfolk, so yes, I managed to stop long enough to think about them.

Trophy Cupcakes Cupcakes Take The Cake hi hats cupcakes

So the highlight of the day was watching Jennifer dip meringue-topped cupcakes into luscious chocolate ganache.
Trophy Cupcakes Cupcakes Take The Cake Jennifer hi hat dipping

OK, here we go...
Trophy Cupcakes Cupcakes Take The Cake dipping hi hats 2

Oh yes...

They are a bit time consuming which is why they are only offered seasonally, and don't come in minis, so if you live here, I suggest you high-tail out to grab a few before they go back into the Disney vault...wait, that's movies...
Trophy Cupcakes Cupcakes Take The Cake mini hi hats cupcakes

If you are an adventuresome sort, Bakerella has a fabulous post on making them with a link to Martha's meringue recipe. Aren't they so pretty?

And guess who won the raffle drawing? Why yes, I did! A gift card for a dozen cupcakes, paper straws, pinwheel toppers? Yes, please!

Tuesday Tip/Tutorial - How To Create A Facebook Cover With Picasa

You don't need mad graphic design or Photoshop skills to create a fun Facebook cover.  Of course, if you have mad graphic design or Photoshop skills, you may go grab a cup of java.  For the rest of us, there is an easy way to create a cover collage of your favorite pictures.'s mine...

How to create a Facebook cover in Picasa 4
I'm going to show you how easy it is to do in Picasa.

How to create a Facebook cover in Picasa 2

Click on CREATE, then drop to PICTURE COLLAGE.

How to create a Facebook cover in Picasa 3

Under the SETTINGS tab, go down to PAGE FORMAT and open ADD CUSTOM ASPECT RATIO.

For the dimensions, enter 851 and 315, these are the dimensions for the Facebook cover. Give it a name, like Facebook cover and click OK.

How to create a Facebook cover in Picasa
You're all set! After you select your photos to collage, change the PAGE FORMAT to your new Facebook collage setting. As usual, you can move and change photos just like you would for any other collage setting.

You can play around with the settings like the grid spacing, add text, whatevs!

Now, if you do have mad skills, check out these and more cool covers from Social Media Examiner.

Fiesta Friday - Seattle Inspired Baby Shower + Other Rainy Parties

Before I launch into the fiestas....the winner of my Sticker Mule giveaway....
Entry #19 Waxela S.!

Didn't win this time? That's OK, you know I always have more fun giveaways on the horizon...

Seattle themed baby shower
As soon as I saw this adorable party featured on StudioDIY, I fell in love.  1. Because it's Seattle themed 2. I live Seattle adjacent and 3. how sweet are all the details? From custom designed ABC cards representing our icons (H is for Husky! B is for Boeing!) to raindrops and umbrellas and a cake with the city's skyline, I love all the sweet touches.  Go and visit for more pictures and details!

And speaking of raindrops on roses, if you are thinking about a April Showers Bring May Flowers theme, which would make a lovely birthday party or literal shower theme, check out a few precipitation-based parties at my Today's Mama many fun ideas and crafty goodness.

Spa Week 2012

Spa Week 2012 is almost here...from April 16 - 22, luxury spas nationwide will be offering fabulous, full service spa treatments that may run hundreds of dollars for only $50! What? I know, that's bananas! But it's true.

For most of us, it's an last full spa experience with a body wrap, facial, the whole kit n kaboodle was over 4 years ago, and I believe it was because my birthday fell on Mother's Day.    It's my happy place I go to in my mind when I've had a rough day.

But next week, you don't have to wait to enjoy...hundreds of spas are participating, just visit Spa Week and enter your city in the green search box at the top of the page and check the "$50 Treatments" box. And you probably shouldn't wait, at this price, you know spots will be filling up fast.

Don't believe me? One of our Seattle spas is offering a 50 minute diamond microdermabrasion facial with organic oxygen mask and lip plumping.  I don't know what all that means, but if you are into that type of intense treatment, it would normally run you $153.  Plus, you are getting the full spa treatment!

 I was recently invited to do the very hard and dirty job of experiencing one of their Spa Week treatments at the Penterra Spa in the Heathman Hotel, read all about it over on Today's Mama...and I enjoyed every minute of it.  Yes, those are my little piggies, I guess you better skip over to find out what happened to them.  They have a special offer for my readers if you are here in the Seattle area, so you don't want to miss out.

Don't forget to sign up for their newsletter, they are always sending out great information on health and beauty, promotions and giveaways. Sitting in my inbox right now is a giveaway from their spring sponsors, ranging from $500 in cosmetics to a 3 night stay and spa treatments at a Miami Beach hotel!

Earth Day 2012 Party Ideas

Earth Day cardboard themed party

Earth Day is April 22 and there are so many creative ways to celebrate without adding to your carbon footprint. I know, the idea of having a party for Earth Day seems counterintuitive, but check out my Today's Mama post with creative parties that take the guest of honor's love of cardboard and trash to a whole new recycling level! Talk about BYOB...bring your own box.

Earth Day party One Charming Party

One Charming Party collaborates with Paging Supermom for free downloads and literal green party ideas like an ombre veggie tray.  I love the compost pudding in baby food jars.

Earth Day newspaper wrapping party

Check out last year's post full of sustainable and reusable ideas...

Tuesday Tip - Jellybean Soda Cups

Jellybean soda cups | Not Just A Mommy

There is an abundance of jellybeans out there and it's all on clearance in after-Easter sales.  Take advantage and snag you a few bags for cheap (I found mine in the bulk section of a grocery store for .25 a pound!) to make these cute favors for your next party....jellybean 'soda' cups!

Check your local restaurant supply store (I go to Cash & Carry) for the cups and lids, add your favorite jellybeans (if you are feeling a little crazy, make them all one color), top off with mini marshmallow 'foam' and a licorice 'straw'.

Oh yes, they will be the boys' birthday favors and may even pop up at a few other events...especially since I had to buy the cups and lids in a 50 pack.  But they were ridiculously cheap, and the candy will keep. I saw this idea in a Donna Hay magazine a few years ago, and finally got my hands on the cups and lids.
jellybean soda cup mini marshmallow foam

jellybean soda cup licorice straw
I know, you are running out right now...go ahead, we'll wait.

Tuesday Tip - Why You Should CityPASS

Pacific Science Center giant guitar Seattle
OK, so my Today's Mama post may sound like a shameless, sponsored post, but it's not. If you live in a city that has a CityPASS, like Atlanta, Boston, San Fran, or even my hometown of Houston, you can save up to 50% on attraction tickets. Check us out on our Seattle CityPASS, where we went to the Space Needle, did an Argosy cruise and more!

Oh, and don't forget my Sticker Mule Giveaway ends tonight! Enter to win $100 credit to make some serious stickerware.  Don't underestimate the power of stickers, check out the post for some great ideas.

We Go Wednesday (On A Thursday) - Emerald City Comicon

Emerald City Comicon 2012 sign
I've been waiting many years to get my geek on at the ultimate Seattle geekfest that is Emerald City Comicon.  Hubby always seemed to be gone to watch the kids, but this year, he was home and it was on. It was perfect timing because this year is the 10th anniversary. I took the boy because he is way into comics and stuff than the little one.

Now, I took a ridiculous amount of photos because there was just too much to see.  I'm not THAT blogger who shares all 263 photos, I'll just share some of the awesome and hilarious highlights...

Emerald City Comicon 2012 this gal, who is walking on full stilts...

Emerald City Comicon 2012 sign GI Joe Cobra Commanders
...and those guys...

Emerald City Comicon 2012 Ghostbusters guys
...or these guys...

Emerald City Comicon 2012 Star Wars Darth Maul
...and these folks...

Emerald City Comicon 2012 Ice King Adventure Time
...and the Ice King from Adventure Time, the boy's favorite TV show..

Emerald City Comicon 2012 monster cast molds
...and these things...

...and these hot people...well, she's hot...

...and this guy...

Emerald City Comicon 2012 Isaac Hannaford Halo
...and Isacc Hannaford otherwise known as one of the conceptual artists for the boy's favorite game series, Halo. We were so slow when we walked up to his table and saw him drawing, we thought he was just another dude drawing stuff.  He even said he wasn't doing anymore commissioned work but he would love to have us come back the next day.

The boy was like "Those drawings are really good".  Then we saw the the magazine cover art, then we looked at him, and then we were like "Wait a minute...".  He has no signs up besides his name and his drawings, and that was so cool and humble at the same time. Or maybe he is so awesome, those who know him, know him and the rest of us are losers.  Meeting him was the highlight of the boy's day.

This guy from my favorite cartoon growing up, Battle Of The Planets....

...incidentally, I never saw this program in English, we were down in Panama when I was younger and it was dubbed over in Spanish. I did understand it, but it doesn't translate as well.  I almost purchased this DVD set but when he said $50, I got over it really quick.

Emerald City Comicon 2012 The Oatmeal
The Oatmeal's table...that's his mom...she and I and his sister go way back...yes, I know celebrity family members, thank you very much!

Emerald City Comicon 2012 Geek Chic
Loved the Mustache Monocle from Geek Chic...and yes, those are wooden weapons to your right...

Emerald City Comicon 2012 Star Wars Kinect
...and the boy got to try out the new Kinect Star Wars.  At that time, it had not been released in stores yet.

These people....

 ...are waiting to see people like...

We had an awesome time, let me tell you, there was so much going if you live out in the PacNW, it's a must...the costumes alone make it worth the trip.

Trophy Cupcakes lemon cupcake
And no trip to Seattle would be complete without a visit to Trophy Cupcakes.  I took this picture just for you all who always say I'm never in the picture.

And this is just a picture of our cupcakes...just because...
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