A birthday party for a little girl

I’ve been voraciously reading everything over at designskool recently. I especially love her posts about things she does with her kids, like this birthday party. As the mother of an almost-two-year old girl, I’ve thought about birthday parties and how to do something fun and memorable while avoiding trashing the planet with balloons and bags full of plastic junk.

Her idea of a flower arranging party was so cute, and gives the kids something to do and something to go home with. I also liked the paper decorations she had up which are way cuter than balloons. If you wanted to do a no-gifts party (is this too mean?) you could ask the guests to bring a few flowers instead of a gift.

Here’s a few other ideas I had along these same lines- a craft that kids can take home.

1) A fairy garden. Each kid gets a plant in a clay pot or so, and there are supplies for creating the garden- some fairies, little flowers, recycled bits and bobs like buttons, etc.

2) Cake decorating, possibly with fondant. Each kid gets two cupcakes with basic white frosting (one to eat and one to take home), and there is a supply of different colored fondants, and possibly some instructions for different characters. Or just let them use their imaginations.

3) Fimo jewelry. Each kid gets a necklace made of leather or string (like embroidery thread braided together or so), and there is a supply of different colors of Fimo clay and various stamps and jewels for embedding on their creation. You could also do Fimo dollhouse creations, like food etc., but since not everyone would have a dollhouse this might not be ideal for a party.

4) Bead necklaces.

There are so many different fun little crafts that you could turn into a party for little girls.


How to make shrink film wine charms


When my sister got married I was looking for an inexpensive but classy way to mark guest’s wine glasses. I came up with the following design using printable shrink film paper.
First, I scanned in the part of their wedding invitation that I wanted to include on the tags. Then I created a PowerPoint file with some test tags with different fonts and image sizes to see what I liked best. The dimensions I ended up using were: tag size 2″ x 4″, image size 1.5″ x 1.5″, font: 40 point Edwardian Script.
Once I had selected the right parameters for the tag I created a template with 10 tags per sheet and then used the template to make the final tags. I entered each guest’s name on a tag and printed them out, then used scissors to cut out each tag, and cut the corners off the tops of the tag. I used a hole punch to punch a hole in the top of the tag, then baked them for a few minutes, and Voila! Wine charms!
I used two pairs of needlenose pliers to attach a jump ring thru the hole and then put a wine charm ring through the jump ring to attach the tag to the glass.
These were relatively easy to make and were a hit at the wedding. They were a fun little keepsake for guests and they made it easy for people to keep track of their glass.

PM me for extra tips!

Bringing a Little of Your Vacation Home with You, Part II


One thing you can do to try to recreate food and drinks that you had on vacation is to search online for specific names of foods, drinks, and/or restaurants.  If the restaurant will let you photograph the menu (or take it home), you can use this to search online for those things you’d like to recreate and, if you’re lucky, you might find a recipe.  Some restaurants might even have recipes or cookbooks of their recipes that you can buy.

When my husband and I were on Maui we went to Mama’s Fish House.  This restaurant is right on the beach, and it is my favorite restaurant in Hawaii.  The menu includes all of the best foods (especially seafood) from the island, and the restaurant has a long history that you can feel.

The first thing we did there was order drinks, and I ordered “The Relaxer”.  I feel relaxed just saying that.  It’s a mix of pineapple, coconut, chocolate, and vodka.  When I got home I wanted to be able to relive that feeling of being at Mama’s, so I did some searching online and found the recipe on the blog, “Lick My Spoon”, which I reprinted below.  I made this drink for a summer party and it was a big hit.

On the same trip we also stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Kapulua, which was incredibly decadent.  We were on our honeymoon so staying there was definitely a splurge for us.  We whiled away our days by the pool enjoying their fabulous drinks.  Below are photos of their drinks list.  My favorite was the Makai Fresca, which I hope to recreate at home sometime soon.

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The Relaxer:

Ingredients (makes one drink)

1 oz. Bols Dark Crème de Cacao
1 oz. Coco Lopez Crème de Coconut
1 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. milk
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, cut up and frozen (or you can substitute with 1/4 cup pineapple juice + 1/2 cup ice)


1. Pour half of the Bols Dark Creme de Cacao into the bottom of a tall glass.
2. Blend together everything else and pour over the Dark Creme de Cacao so that it swirls up the side of glass.
3. Top with a little umbrella toothpick and try not to drink too fast because you’re going to want to.


Budget Wedding Idea: Books as Centerpieces and Favors

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The only flowers that I had at my wedding were my bouquet, my matron of honor’s bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres for both sets of parents, and a small bouquet for the hall table.  Even this small amount of flowers was almost $500!  Ah, weddings.

So instead of having flowers for centerpieces at the tables, we decided to have books, which also doubled as the favors.  We chose a theme for each table based on our interests and tried to match them with the guests.  Our themes were wine, Disney, cooking, Hawaii, Pacific Northwest Travel, running, and Paris.

Our guests LOVED this.  They still talk about how much they “loved the books”.  We just put together what we thought was an interesting selection of books on a particular topic, having one extra book for each table, and tied a wide ivory ribbon (I learned how to tie a bow here, and this was the ribbon we used) around the stack.  We tried to keep our spending to an average of about $10 per book.  People enjoyed going thru the books and picking one out, and it gave everyone something to talk about.

We were able to assemble the stacks of books the weekend before, so on our wedding day our vendors just had to put one stack of books on each table.

Of course, in keeping with the theme, our place cards were old-school library cards.  We put a pocket for the card inside each book, so that people could put their place card in their book and keep it as a reminder of the day.