Monday, December 31, 2012

 Happy Monday and HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE!!! This year I'm featuring our own celebration for our own family with you all. Since our girls were little we have "rung in the New Year" at 9pm PST...which is midnight in New York. As the kids have gotten older we have incorporated a "Family Dinner" into our celebrations and this year was our biggest dinner to date so I wanted to share it with all of you!
 The color palette was silver and white. I already had the silver "chargers" and the white dinner plates. The white dinner plates are a wonderful investment if you ever give dinner parties or family dinners. They coordinate with everything! The rest of the items I either already had in my cupboard or bought at discount places such as Marshall's and Goodwill. 
 The "tray" in the center is really a picture frame! I just "framed" silver paper and then added the centerpiece which is just a round tube vase half filled with plastic "crystals" I had leftover from a wedding and a silver taper candle. 
 The favors were SO easy. I just used regular paper Party Cups and set one into a smaller glass so I could get an even line. Then I drew around the top of the glass to give me a line to cut down onto as well as "scoring" the paper cup so it would fold easier. Then I just cut even slices down to the line, trimmed off the lip of the cup and then folded the pieces down into the middle. I used double stick tape to seal them after lining them with a square of silver tissue paper and Hershey Kisses and then tied on the white curly ribbon. Easy peasy and it cost less than a buck a favor and took about 30 mins to do. 
 The numbers were a last minute find. If you have been watching my Facebook tips then you know my tip today was to add numbers to the glassware for your party so when I happened upon these number tiles I just knew they would fit into our tablescape perfectly! The kids were completely thrilled by them!
 We used the common space in our complex which still has it's Christmas Tree up. Once all the candles were lit and we had the light of the tree it was just beautiful.
 This simple banner hung over the fireplace. It took me about 10 minutes to do using white cardstock and alphabet stickers. Super easy and super cute!
 Whenever possible, remember your space includes overhead as well as in front and to the sides of your guests. Leftover paper lanterns from a different wedding with little mirrored tiles glued onto curly ribbon hanging down were the perfect touch for our room.
 For one of the more popular details I just used lemon juice and large crystal sanding sugar. Just dip the glass edge upside down into a bowl of lemon juice and then into a bowl of the sanding sugar then pour the bubbly in! We had kids at this party so we used plastic champagne glasses and filled theirs up with Sparkling Apple Juice instead of the Champagne that filled ours. The big silver bells were gifts for the kids too. At the end of dinner we "rang" in the New Year with them!
 A little indulgence was on the menu tonight. Crab and shrimp cocktail kicked off the celebration in high style!
 Next up was a Tri-tip. I wanted a meal that would be easy to make with very little preparation or cooking time needed. Because of the complicated tablescape I knew I didn't want a complicated dinner.
 It was done to a perfect Medium-well in just under an hour which was perfect timing for our sides as well.
 Two types of baby potatoes, carrots, onions and parsnips roasted in butter and garlic for an hour while the Tri-tip roasted as well. They cook at the same temperature so all I had to do is put them in the oven and let them roast so no slaving over a hot stove before the party which was wonderful!
 You may have noticed a bit of a "comfort food" theme here as well. What a great way to ring in the New Year than with a family favorite. This is my mom's 4 cheese Mac and's famous in our family and treasured since she hardly ever makes it. Some kinda good, that's for sure! This was the perfect side dish for the kids as well as the perfect main dish for the one vegetarian in the family.
 Remember I said easy? Cupcakes are the super easy way to have dessert without going to great complicated lengths to get it. These French Vanilla cupcakes took 20 minutes to bake earlier in the day. A quick swirl of white buttercream and then top them off with pre-made sugar snowflakes and a sprinkle of that large crystal sanding sugar and they were good to go! I just made them in the silver foil wrappers so they would match our color palette to perfection.
 As the night went on we enjoyed the candle light, our family and the champagne. It was so nice to have soothing music in the background, good food and this beautiful tablescape to enjoy all evening long.
After ringing in the New Year with the kiddos we adults sat back and enjoyed the time together. This is the advantage to having dinner around 7-8pm and then celebrating the same time New York celebrates. Once the kids are in bed the grown ups still have time to hang out with each other and just enjoy the last of the Champagne and the last of the old year.

Happy New Year to all of you out there enjoying spending this time with Cherry! Stop on by our Facebook page, , on a daily basis for tips and tricks and come on back here next Monday for another Party Plan.

Have a GREAT 2013!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

 Happy Monday! Yes, many people have birthdays right around Christmas time. You can go two ways with a Holiday time party...either make the party as Un Holiday as you can or just go for it and give over to the Holiday theme! Today we are going to celebrate a party that gave itself whole-heartedly over to the Holiday theme in a big wonderful way!

 Miss Lyla was turning Two! Her Mama, Christine, is such a long time friend that they are practically family. I am "Aunt Cat" and Tory is her "cousin" and I was the first person to hold her when she was born. So, yes, we've known each other a LONG time! So I was pleased as punch when she said it was ok to feature Lyla's adorable party here on the blog! She did such a wonderful job on the party that we just knew we had to share!

 Just because you are going "Big" with a party doesn't mean you can't still have it at home. As people walked up to the front door they were greeted with this banner on the garage door! What a cute way to set the theme and the expectations of their guests!
 But nothing is as cute as the way they dressed up the walkway to the front door. These wooden penguins are just cut out with a jigsaw and then painted. They look complicated but the most complicated thing about them is the cutting out! SO adorable! Adding the mylar balloons that look like Peppermints was just brilliant! The perfect touch. 

 As I mentioned, they took the Holiday theme and ran with it..right down to a mini Christmas Tree on the welcoming table! What a great detail! Remember it's all the little details that make a great party. 
The party was held indoors to outdoors so they set up tables both inside and out for their guests. This way no one table was too crowded at the same time. If you place all of your food/drink tables in the same area it can get backed up and your guests may get a little impatient with that wait. So, if you have the option, break up the food tables to keep the lines shorter.
 Banners are easy to make and easy to dress up when you have the great idea of adding garland! Just pieces of scrapbook paper with punched circles and letters make up this banner but when you add the garland it goes from good to great!
 You don't have to be a chef or baker to have a great party. There are lots of easy toppers and wrappers for simple cupcakes that make them look as cute as these do for Lyla's party!
 Smashed peppermints on the edge of the cups takes a regular hot chocolate to a new level! Just wet the edge of the cup and dip into the crushed mints and then let them dry. Once you pour in the hot cocoa and some marshmallows you have a totally cute display!
 Ok, so the cookies are complicated. The good news is that you don't have to do them yourself! There are lots and lots of places in town and online that can do these up for you...just display on a holiday colored plate and you're done! 
 The dessert table works on many levels. Not only are there many treats to choose from including the cupcakes, cookies, cake balls and candy canes, but they are accessible from all the way around the table. This means quicker service and no lines.
I mentioned how easy it is to embellish things with the store bought cut outs...well, here is another way to do it. Make blue jello, stick in a gummy fish while it's setting up in the little plastic cups and then use just a bit of tape or glue to attach the penguin. Of course, if you are into DIY you can make the penguins but chances are you can find pics that you can use easily as well.
As I mentioned, the details make the party. From the tower of marshmallows to the chocolate dipped pretzels to the red striped paper straws and flags, this party has all the details that really pull the theme together.
Hot cocoa in the crock pot, cups right next to it along with the other trimmings makes for a really fun hot chocolate bar but notice how she took it one step farther by adding the red icicle garland and the ribbon and bows!
The outside table got the treatment too! Layering the themed table cloth over the solid one completely covers a basic picnic or folding table as well as gives a nice background to the food bar placed on top! But we love the extra details of the hanging snowflakes and the candy cane striped patio posts. What a great frame for their food table!
Themed favors are always fun but they are not always this incredibly cute! The kids loved these blow up penguins and I have to say, as an adult, I would have loved one too! This is one of the advantages of finding a theme online that has all the available add on's for the party pack. 
Miss Lyla was her own "detail" that added to the party. You won't always be able to dress up to match your theme but there are plenty of artists out there on Etsy who would love to help you try! We love the matching penguin knitted cap to go along with her personalized shirt.
And speaking of the cute this is for your kid for his or her birthday...a personalized shirt that not only matches the theme but also shows it was made just for them. After they outgrow it you can either frame it or make it into a pillow for their beds. Cute! 

Happy Birthday again Miss Lyla! We love you and think your party was just SMASHING!

As always you can get daily tips and tricks on our Facebook fan page!

See you all next week with some great ideas for New Years Eve!


Monday, December 17, 2012

 Happy Monday! Today we present the second of our Christmas Wedding Plans. This one is more traditional. When you think of a Christmas Wedding the palette that comes to mind is Red and White. So we thought we'd share some obvious as well as not so obvious choices for your Wedding Day design.
 Snowflakes are often used with a blue and white palette but why not use them in your red and white palette instead? The white shows up beautifully like snow against velvet.
 One of the newer trends is to use Christmas trees right in your decorating plan. This invitation is beautifully elegant and is only about $1.50 each! What a lovely way to set your theme for your guests!
 Onto the ceremony! We love these rose topiaries that would look just gorgeous placed along your ceremony aisle. Just one every 3 rows would make quite the statement!
Choosing red for your bouquet flowers doesn't mean you are stuck with red roses. While roses are very elegant they are also a bit expected. Why not tuck other red flowers in the bouquet with the roses? We love the way they created texture with the tulips they mixed with the red roses for this Bride.
And don't forget your Groom! A red tie or ascot against this white vest and black tails makes a romantic statement for his outfit.  
 Why not take your first kiss as Husband and Wife in front of the Christmas tree? How lovely would this be at the head of your aisle? Indoors or outdoors a beautiful tree as your backdrop would be perfection!
 Have an attendant stand at the entrance to your ceremony and pass out these little bells. The instructions say to ring the bells as the couple walk back down the aisle as well as a way to prompt them to kiss during the reception. Another nice way to add a bit of Christmas into your ceremony!
 For the doors of the church or the door of your reception hall this rose heart swag would be a lovely way to welcome your guests to your celebration. 
 Chances are there will be several serving tables around your venue. If you are celebrating inside a home there will be side tables and perhaps even a mantle to decorate. In a Hall there will be your food, cake and drink tables and maybe even a bar surface to add a bit of detail to as well! Mix it up, while sticking to your color scheme of red and white, with arrangements made from flowers, cranberries, even using greenery to create color and texture to your space. 
 You can even extend that to your tables. While this arrangement is primarily red and green the crystal of the bowl and the white tea lights surrounding it on the white table cloth keeps it within your color palette.
 Every year I see this arrangement, or one very similar to it, in one florists ad or another. Why not take advantage of these great sales prices to make these arrangements fit your wedding budget! A few of these down the wedding party table as well as one in the center of each guest table would be elegant as well as cost effective. Teleflora has a similar one this year for only $62 each! What a deal!
 You can add a bit more Christmas very easily by wrapping your chairs up like gifts. A simple square knot made from wide red ribbon with a bit of Christmas greenery and a small ornament dresses each one right up for your celebration.
 You can even use ornaments on your tables! These adorable ornament place card holders are only a few dollars a set and how cute they would be on each plate!
 One of the cutest details that I found were these 12 Days of Christmas Table Numbers! How cute to use this wonderful Christmas tradition as part of your day!
 And if there was ever a perfect time to give out wrapped favors, a Christmas Wedding would be that time! White wrapped gifts, or just white boxes, tied with bright red bows make a simple elegant statement. Make a gorgeous display for your guests so they can take one home at the end of the night.
 Or place a wrapped gift in the center of each plate to add a bit more color and decor to your tables. I love how the mini ornaments have been sprinkled on and around the plate as well to help give a bit more color and texture as well.
And, finally there is cake. This buttercream confection from Cat's Cakes is decorated with sugar Poinsettia flowers. The real flower is toxic so if you choose to use real on your cake make sure that your Caker places the flowers into food safe container picks before adding them to the cake. However the chances are good that a sugar flower costs the same as the real flower so why not play it safe and wow your guests with the sugar version?! The perfect centerpiece for your cake table and addition to your Wedding Day!

Next week we will be spotlighting a very special birthday party! I can hardly wait to share all the really cute details of this birthday party for a 2 year old!

As always you can join us for our daily tips on our Facebook Page!

See you then!