Christmas DIYs

A couple Christmas crafts from years gone by…

Miniature Forest:

IMG_6198 IMG_6211To create this classy miniature forest I rolled stiff packing paper into various sized cones, painted two with a rusty gold, and, after peeling the scales from large pine cones, attached them with a hot glue gun, starting from the bottom and moving up. The white fir trees are made with soft fuzzy yarn from a craft store, using a paintbrush and Mod Podge. I slowly worked my way upwards layering the soft yarn… I then used a small piece of wire, added beads onto it, looped it, and pushed it through the top of the cone for the finishing touch!

Ornaments:

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After printing sheets of vintage Christmas carol tunes and lyrics I went to work tearing them into thin strips and, using our trusty Mod Podge and paint brush, glued them onto large ornaments, covering the entire project with a thin layer of glue and sprinkling glitter on them to add a touch of festive charm.IMG_6248

 

If you look closely this year you’ll see I even added our names and the date as a fun heirloom to keep for the years to come =)

 

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Merry Christmas to you all!

 


Mini Shoot Prop & Home Decor

This Autumn I had the pleasure of assisting and experiencing my friend’s start-up photography business with a mini-shoot in the grass =)

We decided to try out some props for her business and are pleased to say it was a success!
This little black “hello” pumpkin was the perfect piece for our holiday cards, and not only that, but a wonderful little token to greet guests arriving for the holidays.

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They are all so cute! Even if sister can’t sit still, the pictures turned out perfectly =)

Happy Holidays

Season’s greetings at your front door <3


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Thank you TheAnchoredNest for your beautiful handiwork and Dwell Richly Photography for the stellar photos!


Christmas Soirée

Reflections of a Christmas Soirée

Last year I hosted an intimate family dinner party complete with deep-fried appetizers, sparkling fruit drinks and a white elephant gift exchange.

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The highlight of the evening was most definitely the adorable chalkboard wine charms by CharlieChalkDesigns. Selfies taken by glamorous cousins graced Instagram and Pinterest.

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Evergreen tree lit with memories and DIY Ornaments from years gone by.

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A touch of etiquette that I would like to adopt in the coming year is the giving of a gift for the hostess. Knowing how much work goes into making a memorable event for everyone makes even the smallest token of appreciation a generous way of letting those you love know how much they are appreciated. CharlieChalkDesigns graciously gave us this beautiful wooden “joy” ornament that will be treasured throughout the years to come.

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We hope you had a Very Merry Christmas!


Peter Pan 1st Birthday Party

DSC_0238DSC_0244DSC_0290DSC_0194Peter Pan.
Peter Pan was a dream party theme of mine. One I’ve been planning for a long long time. What, you don’t plan your children’s birthday parties while they are in utero? Or sometimes before they are even conceived? Oh that’s just crazy me, huh?
This was the kind of plan you secretly and quietly put together little by little in the back of your mind all the while questioning whether you could ever pull off that super magnificent kind of magic–we are talking pixie dust here! Flying children! Pirates! Mermaids! But the idea of it is altogether too delicious and so one night you gather the courage and reverently whisper to your husband, “wouldn’t it be so cool if we could turn our backyard into Neverland?” Luckily he’s the kind of guy who loves big ideas (& big eyed girls) so we jumped right into planning & I have to tell you…we had so much fun. So so much fun. We were humming “You Can Fly” for months as we plotted how to deliver Neverland and one heck of a 1st birthday party for our little Huck.
P.S. Doesn’t it seem like just a minute ago we were celebrating this?

I have to give complete invitation credit to Bry-Man as he took just a few pointers and ideas I’d been thinking of and then completely ran with it. Barley (or Pero) soaked sheets of his own design featured a map of Neverland on one side and the party details on the other.
“Whether Pirate, Mermaid, or Fairy ye be, whether Indian, Lost Child, or Croc…come in your best Never-Wear, on past the stars to Skull Rock”
Invites were folded & tied with gold bakers twine & fastened with a glittery gold wax seal. Oh we’re Fancy Huh. Our hope was that our smallest guests would get a little taste of Never-magic in an envelope & start to get excited about playing along right away.
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We borrowed Grandma’s back yard…a pretty perfect Neverland canvas to begin playing with, and set up Mermaid Lagoon, The Indian Village, Hangman’s Tree (Lost Boy’s Hideout), Pixie Hollow, & Skull Rock.
DSC_0251DSC_0205DSC_0229DSC_0231DSC_0278It really wouldn’t have been complete without this sign & one of my very favorite parts of the party to boot. Thank you to my talented amazing brother & sister-in-law (Mine For The Making) for executing it so perfectly.
DSC_0236DSC_0237love. love. love.

The grown up hang out area was more classically Peter Pan themed. We used his signature colors of green & red with touches of shimmery gold and red feathers…magic baby. Speaking of babies…the party area was also completely “Huck-ified”. A first year banner with a picture for each sweet little month, A 1st birthday chalkboard poster featuring all of his stats & faves (a little hope designs), a picture of him dressed like “Michael” during the Indian Village Celebration scene in the Disney movie, and a big fat chocolate cupcake with his special number on top.
DSC_0218That awesome green & gold tassel garland is from Silverlake Sisters. Loved it.

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DSC_0227DSC_0225DSC_0194Enough with the decorating and on to the festivities, yeah?

We asked guests to use the side entrance…where they were met by this:
DSC_0286World’s best uncle. 
I mean, he put on green tights for us…right?
He stood ready with his little burlap pouch of fairy dust (gold glitter) to sprinkle on the costume clad kids and asked them what their happy thoughts were, at which point they got to enter/fly through our “starry sky” (a tunnel Bry made from PVC pipes, black tarp & gold stars-no picture! Oops!) wiiiith the music from the movie playing (think of a wonderful thiiiiing…) and ended up in our little Neverland. Magic. Magic. Magic.

First stop? Indian Village.
DSC_0216Another special thank you to a pretty incredible niece who personified “Tiger Lilly” for some fun Indian games at the end of which, each little brave received a warrior title (my favorite? Adilyn’s ‘Little Red’) complete with a feather in their hair.
DSC_0215The feather bunting below was from Lynn’s Mix and we rather liked it on our teepee.DSC_0206Next the boys & girls were divided for more Neverland adventures. The boys were whisked away to Hangman’s Tree where they made their own swords (paint sticks cut & glued together, colored with markers) and had pirate fighting lessons.
The girls journeyed to Mermaid Lagoon where they got to meet a real mermaid (squeal!), get their faces painted, & made little Mermaid dolls.
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When the little Mermaids were nearly done, and the lost boys had just finished their pirate fighting lessons, a real pirate appeared Arrgh! (Thanks Grandpa!) The lost boys & girls fought bravely and in the end when they had that codfish pirate by his throat, he gave up the location of the first clue to a pirate treasure hunt…the first clue was behind his pirate flag at Skull Rock!
All of our Never-kids excitedly raced around the yard reading clues & hunting for treasure!
DSC_0277The clues…DSC_0331“I provide water, skinny and long, find a clue here & you can’t go wrong”

The final clue led them to a treasure chest full of gold or errr gold candy that is.
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DSC_0298DSC_0296DSC_0295Again, magic I tell you.

About this time, we sang Happy Birthday to the guest of honor, watched him stuff his face with cake (SO cute-really he devoured it. Without any help. Way to go Champ!) & settled in for our feature film. Guests filled their plates with yummy sandwiches, fruit, & cake and then set up “picnic” areas while Bry had some quick help putting up the movie screen (a white shower curtain really does the job quite perfectly).
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DSC_0204Kids grabbed sack dinners (juice box, cheese stick, clementine orange, & a defrosting uncrustable to keep it all cool) and made their own little front row up close to the screen.
Watching my little Wendy, Tinkerbell & their sweet little cousins fly around with their arms outstretched right along with the movie? You guessed it…maaaagic.
DSC_0199(popcorn & red vines…movie staples)

Oh! And because I didn’t know where to fit it in up top…we had a few fun things for the grown ups while the kid festivities were going on…
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DSC_0220Plenty of snacks & drinks.
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And a little Peter Pan/Huck trivia quiz, winners of which received Peter Pan Peanut Butter.

My top 3 “Happy Thoughts” from this magical day?
3. My very awesome, very in character helpers. Mary was THE coolest Mermaid I have ever seen-so talented! She does parties you guys! Among other things she is a pretty darn awesome Anna (Frozen)! Check out her FB page HERE. Thank you Michael for donning tights on your last free day before boot camp! And thank you Tori for sharing your 18th birthday with Huckleman! Thanks for being a grumpy pirate grumpy grandpa! You guys were incredible!
2. All of you wonderful friends & family we got to share the magic with!
DSC_0284DSC_0303DSC_0283Tinkerbell costume from Zibdi

DSC_0266DSC_0193DSC_0198Including this goober…aka “little red”
DSC_0264aaaand my number one favorite part was the special little man we celebrated. Love you Huck-a-roo! Happy 1st Birthday!
DSC_0289Huck’s Peter Pan costume is from Lucinda Fabrics.
Stay tuned for a post highlighting party details & sponsors!


Witchs’ Brew Soup, a halloween recipe

witchs' brewHang on to your black pointy hats! This yummy little brew will please big witches and little witches alike! We had a magical time making it–and you will too! To make this work you have to be a little bewitching…gather any odd shaped glass bottles/jars and fill them up with the ingredients below. After I set the set the stage, I invited my excited little witches in, tea-aged piece of paper (ancient recipe) in hand, and we started spelling. They were tickled by the ghoulish ingredients and by the rhymes I kept making up before each step as I “read” from the recipe:
“black cats, mummies, & zombie stitch, the next ingredient must be added by the littlest witch”
“In the sky is a great full moon, now we each stir the soup with a big wooden spoon”
“when we’re done with this soup we’ll all share, bat wings must be added by the witch with dark hair”
Oh they gobbled it up! And the soup too :) We cozied up and watched Hocus Pocus while we filled our bellies!

Witchs’ Brew Soup Recipe:
Mouse Bones
Spooky Pumpkin
Frog Bellies
Crushed Spiders & Spiderwebs
Bat Wings
Mummy Juice
Crushed Bugs
Blood & Guts
Zombie Eyeballs

Or you know….

Witchs’ Brew Soup Recipe:
Mouse Bones (1/2 onion diced+4 cloves garlic minced)
Spooky Pumpkin (1-2 carrot sticks diced)
Frog Bellies (1 can kidney beans-drained)
Crushed Spiderwebs & Spiders (Salt & Pepper)
Bat Wings (1 box Farfalle “bow tie” pasta)
Mummy Juice (6 cups chicken broth)
Crushed Bugs (1 tsp dried oregano & 2 tsps dried basil)
Blood & Guts (1-28oz + 1-14oz cans diced tomatoes–AKA 1 BIG+1 LITTLE)
Zombie Eyeballs (1 bag frozen cocktail meatballs)
2 tbsps Olive Oil
*Parmesan Cheese for topping

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions & carrots and saute until onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften-about 5 minutes. Add garlic, dried seasonings, salt, pepper, and cook 3 more minutes. Add the chicken broth & diced tomatoes then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add the bow tie pasta & kidney beans. Continue to simmer until pasta & vegetables are soft. Serve & top with Parmesan cheese (I like tons! And a little garlic knot on the side too!)
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Woodland Theme Origami Owl party

Autumn is definitely one of my favorite times of the year, with the weather finally starting to turn, the crisp morning air, richly colored leaves, everything pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin… am I right?

So when my friend told me she was hosting an origami owl party, I jumped at the opportunity to light some cozy cottage candles and decorate with some cozy fall decorations. =)

 

Look at these most adorable felt acorns! They got lots of attention, tiny, soft and cute, something about this combo makes women swoon. ;)  Courtesy of Iva with TheDwartRam

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After I decided on a place to hang them, I sewed through the original hanging yarn to make them into a garland. They slid easily along the yarn and hung perfectly with our cozy decor.

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You have to take a look at her holiday pieces. I’m in love with the Halloween spider and glittery Christmas acorns!

 

 

Who? RianCityRusticMetals, that’s who! ;)

Handcrafted metal art, like this cute owl candle holder, was the perfect touch for our little party, mixing Autumn & Owls into one. I love so many of their phenomenal pieces, like the shimmery fall leaf and cute lil’ bat!

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I love how this candle holder can be used either way, the one side is a bit more rustic and the other has a touch of glam, with a silver shimmer that catches the light.

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Birch straws are my favorite… the contrasted white & black wood is just so inviting! My mom couldn’t believe that they were made of paper until she felt it herself, exclaiming, “But they look like real wood!” I concur. ;) GildedBirch provided them–a fitting name for these little beauties. Definitely saunter over for a look at what else she has to offer.

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Take a peek at our Pinterest page for some delicious food & drink ideas. Like tiny pancakes, chai tea & meringue mushrooms!

 


Asian Themed Bridal Shower

Our eccentric bride-to-be, who loves the vibrant and stylish Asian culture, has visited both China and Japan in the past couple of years and is excited to incorporate some of its eclectic charm  into her new home.

Encouraged to come dressed up, the MOB also provided additional silken clothing pieces and brightly colored hair accessories for a truly cultural experience.

 

Phenomenal Pompoms hung fashionably from the ceiling. With glittery gold and shimmery champagne, it added an extra special touch of class to our party.

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The party would not have been complete without a burst of Origami cranes, don’t you agree? The perfect backdrop for photos of friends. The bride-to-be sat in front of it for our “how-well-does-the-couple-know-each-other” interview too.   =)

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Party favors were chopsticks along with these precious, tiny wishing stars, each containing a special message inside. We also included instructions on how to refold the stars once our guests have read the message, strung on with thread to a ribbon for each guest to take home.

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Extra special 15% discount off of any of the items in this store! Just enter the word “2ENTERTAIN” during checkout & enjoy this offer till the end of 2014.

 

 

Classy cranes attached to ribbons lit up our cocktail bar, where we provided a light variety of cold & sparkling sake with written instructions for fruity cocktails & mixed drinks.

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We wanted our Origami crane decals to be mobile, so the BTB could take them with her to their new apartment and eventual future home… So we applied the decals to the back of the glass photo frame and cut scrapbook paper to fill in some color. We just loved how they turned out!

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Dinner is served! We pulled together quite the collection of Asian-inspired dishes to serve a delicious spread of sunumono, mochi, sushi rolls, edamame, barley tea and the like.

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Fun and Games!

 

I’m not sure what to call this lively game; the MOB has kept it alive at several showers throughout the years.

Here’s how to play:

The guests sit in a circle. In the center of the circle are a few wedding attire accessories along with a dull pair of small scissors and  a small “gift” that is wrapped and tied with yarn a couple dozen times.

A box, with two alphabet blocks inside, is passed rapidly around the circle like Hot Potato. Each guest rolls the two “dice” one time, keeping the “dice” inside the box.  The goal is to quickly roll a matching pair of letters that was previously selected (we chose the letter H). The box keeps getting passed until someone rolls the correct double letters.

When the double letters are rolled, the guest runs to the middle of the circle, puts on the wedding attire as fast as they can, and begins to cut through the string, unwrapping the gift–but only one layer at a time. In the meantime the box is still being passed around circle and the “dice” rolled. As different guests each roll doubles, they get to run up and take the bridal attire off of the person in the center and put in on themselves, and then take the scissors and begin cutting though the yarn revealing a new layer of the gift…until the next person rolls doubles!

This continues until the last layer has been unwrapped and the prize is revealed. We had a pebble wrapped inside to trick the winner–who then received a lucky bamboo plant as their real prize.

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Pass the Edamame:

We  gave everybody chopsticks and had them line up in three teams. At one end of each line there was a small bowl with three edamame beans inside. There were three empty bowls on the opposite end of each line. The teams had to pass the bean from one end of the line to the other using only their chopsticks. Easier said than done, especially when you have other teams haggling you ;). The winning team is the one who gets the three beans into the empty bowl first.

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With the beautiful fall weather approaching, there comes one catch… the mosquitoes. I decided to try out a new mosquito repellant this year, Gold Canyon Candles, it’s by far the most enjoyable way to ward off the little buggers!
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I bought two Citronella candles for my front porch this past month, because even though the the weather has begun to cool down and it is now tolerable to step outside,  I would make a mad dash from the door to the car due to the many mosquitos waiting for me on my front porch!
These Citronella candles are beautiful, they are filled to a slightly lower level than the original candles so they won’t be blown out by the wind. And although I’m not opposed to the smell of Citronella these are much more beautifully scented.  I used them when I had a yard sale this past weekend, and it added a nice touch to help me relax and wind down after a hectic weekend of cleaning house. =)


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