Friday, March 30, 2012

Easter Egg Hunts!!

These don't just have to be for the kids anymore!!  Watching the little ones hunt for eggs is adorable, making room for loads of oohs & ahhhs, and plenty of sweet photo moments.  Now hide a few eggs for the grown-ups with some worthy stuff inside, and just watch the competitor in everyone come out!!  These can be geared at any age group, and be super fun for all.

First, some simple ideas for any age.  I have 3 children, and most plastic egg packages come with 6 different colors.  To avoid the fight of "They got more eggs than me!!, " on Easter morning the Easter Bunny would leave 2 colors of eggs in each child's basket, along with the number of eggs they had to look for.  This way everyone had specific colors that belonged to them, so no fighting over eggs.  As kids get old enough to avoid the hurt feelings, add in a few special eggs, like glitter or multi-colored, on top of the regular ones that contain bonus prizes for a little extra excitement.

At my grandmother's, my cousin always put on a hunt for the kids, but instead of candy-filled eggs, she hid fun non-candy items.  Okay, there was a little candy involved, but mostly little toys or books.  She placed a colored dot sticker on each item, and just before the hunt, gave every kid a coordinating sticker on their hand.  Everyone only got what was intended for them, and everyone got the same amount.  Worked like a charm, and as the kids got older, so did their items.  When my daughter went to college, her items included things like a travel laundry hamper and Ramen noodles!!

Adults sometimes need a little more motivation than purely candy.  Money is always a big draw for the older crowd, including teenagers.  The majority of the eggs can contain change, which can add up quickly if you're a good enough hunter, and put the big bills in just a few eggs.  Throw in some candy here and there for a little variety.

Another idea is to have everyone bring a bag of candy and $5, pool the money, and put special "You win!!" notes in some of the eggs.  The fewer winners, the bigger the pot.  And to save yourself some work, make stuffing the eggs part of the festivities before the hunt!!  You just need a couple of volunteers that don't want to hunt to hide the eggs for your group.  Kids are great for this.

I would love to hear any of your ideas or traditions for Easter egg hunts.  Comment here, or share them on my Facebook page.  Happy hunting!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

April Fool's Fun

April Fool's Day- the perfect excuse to be silly and have a little fun.  A good laugh lifts your spirits and brightens your day.  Hopefully even if the joke was on you!!
Here is a bit of inspiration for some "foolish" fun...
This party table is full of gags just waiting to be discovered.  The best part is that most of this stuff can be found at the Dollar Store, so lots of festive for very little cash!!  You, of course, HAVE to start with Whoopee Cushions in the seats.  Probably not well hidden enough for your guests to fall for it, but a great favor for them to take home and try on their own unsuspecting friends. 

The cup full of mini-M&Ms on each plate not only matched the polka dots on the centerpiece, but also contained it's own surprise. To eat dinner, the cup needed to be moved out of the way, but guests had no idea that each cup was missing it's bottom!!  Once picked up, the candy spilled out onto the plate.  

For added fun, the little cup had a water squirting ring on top, and a fake lottery ticket attached.  I wrapped the tix in colored paper and wrote "Good Luck" on each, but this would also be a great place to write names and double them as place cards.  It is attached to the cup simply with a colored paper clip.  

Under each place setting was a colorful maze placemat.  I copied mazes from the internet, but for this particular theme, I took a thin black permanent marker and made an extra line towards the end, blocking the path to the exit.  If you are careful, it isn't obvious at all, and then there is NO WAY OUT!!  This should keep your guests busy for a little while.  It said "Answer on back" in the corner, but when it's turned over, it just says "There is no escape...  HA-HA-HA!!  April Fool!!"

A classic gag is switching out the salt and sugar, so how could I resist?  I filled one shaker with each, then added the question mark to make them wonder.  

A couple of other things that I added were odd-flavored Jellie Bellies, and fake spilled wine, which I made pretty easily with nail polish and a plastic cup.  As an added bit of decor, I found a great quote, printed it out, and framed it for the table.  


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Great ideas for crafty moms, scout leaders, room mothers...

I loved doing crafts with my children when they were younger.  Sadly, they outgrew it.  Not me!!  If I could get them to sit down and join me, well, that would be a glorious thing.  Maybe that can be one of my wishes if I meet a leprechaun this St. Pat's, !!  Oh well, someday my grandkids will craft with me again. 

While researching some St. Patrick's Day craft ideas, I stumbled onto  
This site came in very handy when I used to be my daughters' Girl Scout leader.  Free printables, including crafts, mazes, color pages..., plus all of the instructions you need to complete the projects.  


This adorable shamrock garland would be an easy decoration to make, and at very little cost.  Thank you Someday Crafts for blogging about it.  You can find the tutorial at Bless This Mess.

I would absolutely love to see your creations- crafty, edible, or otherwise!!  Head over to my Events DEE-signed facebook page and upload your pictures.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Taste the Rainbow...

Rainbows are often seen in a lot of St. Patrick's Day pictures.  The end of the rainbow IS where a leprechaun hides the pot of gold!!
These treats are adorable, fun, and I am betting absolutely delicious!!  
The link gives instructions for making these as shots using vodka, but they would work just as well as jigglers so that  the kids can enjoy them, too.  My favorite part about this treat is the cherry stem sticking out of the top.  Pretty & functional!!

And now, cupcakes!!  I made these last year for St. Pat's, but too late to use them in a blog.    
The cupcakes above were made by me, but you can get the instructions from the Family Fun website.  The shamrocks are green gumdrops.  To shape these, first flatten the gumdrop.  Sprinkle sugar on them if they get too sticky to work with.  Once flattened, you can cut them into the shapes you need. 

Recently, I saw a picture of what must have been pudding.  (There was no caption with the picture, so hard to tell for sure.)  They had made different shades of pudding (my best guess, add food coloring to vanilla) and layered them in clear plastic cups for the rainbow effect.  I would top this with a golden coin!! 

Another snack idea I love are these fruit kabobs.  Pretty, tasty, and healthy.
                                Rainbow fruit kabobs.

All of you Pinterest addicts may recognize the Skittles Vodka below.  I looked at a few different blogs about this project, and this one was the most detailed and easy to follow. 

For the kiddos, I would stick with different flavors of kool-aid. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Cocktails

March makes me think of St. Patrick's Day, so when I needed to pick a featured party for the month, I settled on cocktail parties.  First I picture shamrocks, but then my brain immediately jumps to green beer!!

I will be working on a more kid-friendly party blog for my next post, but for today, I promised my Facebook friends some cocktail party inspiration.   

Number 1, you should have GREEN BEER available.  Depending on your group, it could be a huge hit, or after the first cup, no one will want to bother with it anymore.  Regardless, it's a simple thing to do.  All you need is a cheap bottle of food coloring, beer, and clear cups or mugs.  Drop a tiny drop of the green food color in the bottom of the glass, pour in the beer, and voila!!  Super simple!!

For those not really into beer (if anyone would dare to admit that on this day), APPLETINIS are the perfect color.  The most basic recipe is just 2 oz. vodka and 1 oz. Green Apple Schnaaps. Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice, and strain into a chilled glass.  If you can find green Pop Rocks, these are awesome for rimming the glass.  

MIDORI (melon-flavored liqueur) is also a perfect color for St. Patrick's Day.  It tastes great mixed with sour mix.  (The stuff used for Margaritas.)  Throw in the tequila, too, and you have MELON MARGARITAS.  Yummy!!  Sure, tequila is more "Cinco de Mayo," but hey, it's green!!

Corned beef & cabbage is the popular food for the holiday.  I found this CORNED BEEF & RYE DIP online today.  FYI, I haven't tried it myself yet, but it sounds good and I hope to get a chance to make it this year.  If you give it a try, please tell me what you think.  There were a couple of other recipes on the same page, but this one looked the tastiest to me.  

A few things to make sure of:
      -Have LOTS of ice.  If you have ice left over after a cocktail party, then it's a win.  If you used the very last piece in the very last drink, you got lucky!!
     -Cocktails need cocktail napkins.  They keep the drink dribbles at bay, and they can add a little color.  For St. Patrick's Day, you can go with all green for everything, or choose to use every color of the rainbow for some variety. Rainbows are a big deal with leprechauns!!  (A future post will contain some really fun rainbow ideas!!)
     -Make sure you have some finger foods available, too.  People will need a little something in their bellies so that the drinking is less likely to take an ugly turn. 

     -Most importantly, make arrangements for all of your guests to get home safely.  Drinking & driving ruins the fun for everyone.    

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Superbowl Yum-Yums !!

     This year it's most likely me and a couple of teenagers watching the game at my house on Superbowl Sunday.  (Unless, of course, they get a better offer than hanging out with Mom.)  That doesn't really call for lots of decorations or plans, just lots of food!!  I am going to make game boards, but we'll see if they are in the mood to play.  (I always am!!)

     Our snacking staples are generally Little Smokies, Rotel Dip, a veggie tray (for the appearance of "healthy" on the buffet), and maybe some sort of dip in a bread bowl.  Hot wings are a favorite, too, but we have to order out for those.  This year, I want to try some new food, and this is a link to the recipe that looked the most scrumptious to me:

    I LOVE hot wings, and we've almost always got some cooked chicken in our fridge already, making this a perfect recipe for me to try.  These sound yummy, I love that they are baked instead of fried, and rolling them into balls is something my kids might actually help with.

     For dessert, I'm kind of feeling like some plain and simple cupcakes.  Maybe brownies.  We'll see.  If you are feeling like putting a little more effort into your sweets, try one of these:  

football party
                                                      COCOA KRISPIE FOOTBALLS 

Football Strawberries for a Football Party!

     Both of the kids still living at home with me are football fans, but not for either of the teams playing this year.  I personally am looking most forward to the commercials, the half-time show, and "The Voice" that will be on after the game is over.  (Woo-hoo!!)  I hope everyone finds something they can enjoy about the game.  It's a great excuse for a celebration, and I live for those.  

     I would love to hear the new recipes you are trying this year, or even your absolute, can't-do-without-it old favorites.  Maybe I can try one of your recipes next year!!       


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So Many Reasons To Party!!

Just when I thought all of the hustle and bustle of "the holidays" (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's) was over and I could relax a little (but never completely.  I am a mom!!), I got my Oriental Trading Company catalog in the mail.  I opened it expecting some Valentine's Day inspiration, but got way more than that!!

To double-check that I didn't miss any, I went to one of my favorite holiday places on the web, Holiday Insights.  They have a page for the major holidays, but even better, they also have a page for bizarre and unique days.  This list is for the person (like me) that wants an excuse to celebrate every day of the year!!  There is even more info than this, like birthday stones and signs, holiday recipes, and so much more.

So anyway, after researching, I see that 4 events are happening even before February 14.  (Five where I live, but only because my town has a huge Mardis Gras Pub Crawl, and it's on the 11th this year.)

Jan. 16:  Martin Luther 
                King Day 
(actual birthday- 15th) 

Jan. 23:  Chinese New 


 Feb.  2:  Groundhog Day

Feb.  5:  Superbowl Sunday


 Feb. 14:  Valentine's Day

    Feb.21: Mardis Gras
                (Fat Tuesday)

On top of that, the Oscars are on tv Feb. 26, and Leap Day happens this year on Feb. 29!!  Plus, for all of you superstitious people, a Friday the 13th!!  There are so very many reasons to get together with your friends and have some fun.  With all of those days coming up, there is plenty of subject matter for me to blog about, so I had better get to researching and writing.  Be blogging at you soon!!      

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy 2012 !!

Happy new year!!  The end of 2011 was a bit of a disappearing act for me on the blog.  I do apologize for that to anyone that actually noticed.  I let other things get in the way.  Important things, mind you, but still.  One thing I do realize after much deep thought (okay, daydreaming at my other job) is that this party planning business makes me happy, and I need to dedicate time in life to the things that truly make me happy.

So, my business resolution for 2012 is to step up my game.  I vow to put some sort of effort in every day, no matter how small.  I also promise myself to let people know that I plan parties.  Self-promotion feels strange, like bragging, but I realize that it shouldn't.  I will now look at it as sharing something that I love!!

Some of my blogs this year may be just like this one.  My thoughts and discoveries on this journey that I began.  Don't worry, though.  I will make every effort to write the "interesting" blogs, too.  You know, the ones that teach you something, or just show you something new.  Those are the ones that draw my attention into opening them and reading.  These "wordy" ones can just be for my own piece of mind, and maybe for a person or two out there going through a similar time in their life.

Once again, Happy 2012 !!  Make the most out of everything you do, and never forget to enjoy every minute of it!!