Sparkles & Spirits – a wine tasting and jewelry party

Over the summer I hosted a fun girls' night out wine tasting and jewelry party. Karen, a friend of mine from back east, is a rep for Traveling Vineyard – they send you five bottles of wine, along with recommended food pairings. You have the wine and food ready to go, and your wine guide will walk your guests through the tasting, explaining the characteristics of the different wines and how the food pairs with them. In my case, my wine guide was over 2000 miles away, but she did the tasting over speakerphone and it was fabulous! Karen and I were a little unsure of how the long-distance tasting would go, but it was surprisingly easy to do. It helped that Karen is very good at what she does and made it fun for all of the guests!

I paired the wine tasting with a Chloe + Isabel pop-up shop. I set up a display of jewelry so my guests could shop, snack, and sip – not a bad way to spend an evening. I had fun creating little printable Chloe + Isabel-themed wine glass tags and setting up the table with wine and food pairings - thanks, as always to Pinterest for the inspiration. 

If you're interested in hosting a Traveling Vineyard wine tasting, contact Karen – I promise you and your guests will have a wonderful time! And if you'd like to host a Chloe+Isabel pop-up shop of your own, either locally or long-distance, email me and we'll get the ball rolling! You can earn tons of free jewelry just in time for the holiday season. 

First Communion Invitations - New in the Shop!

One of the most popular categories in my Etsy shop at this time of year is First Communion invitations. I love designing items for these pretty spring celebrations, and I really enjoyed creating custom designs for my own son's First Communion a few years ago. 

I've had some pretty, simple silhouette invitations in the shop for a few years, so this year I decided to update them with a few different options of watercolor backgrounds and a modern calligraphy script. I love the way they came out, and the background is super simple to modify for customers who want different colors. You can check them out here, and I can create cupcake toppers, thank-you notes, and other printables to coordinate with these themes as well.

Easy and Budget-Friendly Lavender Chevron Birthday Party Theme

My daughter's birthday was in August, and this year she requested a small family birthday party, which was just fine with me! That gave me an opportunity to focus on some cute details without stressing over a big, expensive bash. 

girls'  chevron maxi dress

Maggie's favorite color is lavender, so we used that as our starting point. She asked to get a comfortable maxi dress to wear for the party, and when I came across this dress on Lolly Wolly Doodle, we decided to purchase it and use a chevron print in the decor too.  If you're looking for cute girls' clothes, whether for a party or not, I recommend checking out Lolly Wolly Doodle's website and Facebook page - I love supporting another mom-owned business, and they have a fantastic success story about how they grew their business! They'll monogram their items very inexpensively, so that adds a cute personalized touch.

I designed a simple invitation that we emailed to the family - similar to this chevron invitation I'm now carrying in my Etsy shop - I'm able to customize it for whatever color scheme my clients need, so it's a really versatile design.

We set up a little drink and snack station within easy reach for all of the little cousins, and decorated with some inexpensive and cute tissue paper flowers, crepe paper streamers, and a banner I designed to coordinate with the theme:

I got the chevron paper drinking straws from this Etsy shop - I loved that it was another Etsy seller from Arizona, and she has tons of color options and other cute items (treat bags, washi tape, twine) that are perfect for parties.

Rather than ice cream, Maggie wanted a make-your-own sundae bar like Luke had for his birthday party earlier this year. 

It was a very relaxed get-together and we all had a great time - and I had a happy eight (!!) year old.


Origami Yoda Birthday Party

origami yoda birthday party ideas

For my son's 10th birthday, he wanted to have his first sleepover. We agreed to a small gathering of just a few of his friends, and decided on an Origami Yoda theme, since that book series was one of his current favorites and the boys love anything Star-Wars related, so we had a lot of options for this one! 

I gathered all of his Origami Yoda books for inspiration for the invitation and decor. Using the black background and lime green as an accent color, this was the invitation design:

Origami Yoda Birthday Party Invitation
Origami Yoda Birthday Party decor

 

If you have a 10-year-old boy in your life, you can imagine how much he cares about party decor ("seriously, Mom, centerpieces?!") - Luke really just wanted a fun time with his friends, but I couldn't help but do a little something to make it fun and festive. And even he admitted it was "cool." I didn't fuss too much, but I got my assistant to create some tissue paper pom-poms in the black and lime green color scheme. I set up a (short-lived) display with the Origami Yoda books and another book Luke had, so that the boys would have them for some activities...

origami yoda birthday party
origami yoda birthday party decor

 

With Luke's birthday falling right after Christmas, I always luck out with decor if I can work green or red into the theme. I picked up these sparkly clusters of plasticky fake leaves, completely unsure of what I was going to do with them. I threw them into little vases with pebbles and bunched up foil tissue paper from Dollar Tree, and in about 10 seconds I had some fun centerpieces - I also ran metallic wrapping paper across the dining room table, which was where the boys would be hanging out. Fun and functional, as it protected the table from the coming mayhem.

origami yoda birthday party decor

Because we agreed that this would be a very small gathering, I was able to purchase nicer favors than I can when we have a big crowd, and in this case, the favors were going to double as the evening's activities as well, I got each boy (and of course Luke's little sister!) a pack of this origami paper from amazon.com. Make sure you shop around for this kind of thing - I had seen it for double the price at Michael's and was so glad I checked Amazon! I also got each guest a fine-tip black Sharpie, a silver Sharpie, and a roll of fun colored washi tape - some of Luke's favorite origami tools. You can get the Sharpies and washi tape at any discount store, office supply store, or Michael's, but also check Etsy for some really cute, fun washi tape patterns. We put the goodies in a white lunch bag with stickers I designed, along with some origami folding instructions we got from the Origami Yoda website. The boys went to town, making all kinds of fun and crazy creations. Evidence of the fun:

We concluded the crafty part of the evening with an epic (their word!) paper airplane making contest, and then moved on to pizza and make-your-own ice cream sundaes. The boys then wound down with a showing of Star Wars and happily crashed for the night. This was such a fun party, and I love how intent the boys were on their projects – it kept them busy and content for hours – hooray! If you have a child who is around this age, check out the Origami Yoda book series - a big hit for them!

Linking up here - click the image below to link to lots of great ideas and inspiration!

The Idea Room

Fairy birthday party

One of my favorite birthday party themes that we've done for my daughter is her fairy party. I designed a cute fairy invitation, with a pink watercolor background and silhouettes: 

For the cake, I bought the delicious chocolate round cake from Costco and just spruced it up with a bunch of sprinkles and a topper I designed to coordinate with the theme. We placed it on a dessert table decorated with a banner and tissue paper pom-poms. I purchased fairy wings, tutus, and wands for the girls to wear at the party and take home as favors (comment below if you want the source - great prices!). It was fun, cute, and a great memory for my daughter!

fairy themed little girl's birthday party

First Communion Invitation and Party

It's a busy time of year for my Etsy shop - I always do a lot of invitations and party printables for people celebrating their children's First Communion. Check out the invitation and party I did for my own son's First Communion last year. I went with a simple, clean gray design for the invitation:

And for the party, a table setup including wheat and grapes (a little Catholic symbolism there) and a fabulous cake by Lucy at Pretty Sweet Desserts (chocolate and salted caramel buttercream!) that she designed to coordinate with the theme:

We had a barbecue lunch catered and invited close family and friends - a perfect way to celebrate Luke's special day!

Elmo and chevron birthday party

One of my favorite projects from the past few months was a super cute Elmo-themed birthday party package that I designed for an old friend from college. What made this project even more fun was that this particular friend is exceptionally crafty and creative, so I created items to her specifications and was very excited to see her ideas come to life!

She wanted to incorporate an Elmo theme with a bright turquoise chevron, which was a fun and unexpected background for this adorable party for her daughter. Check out these cute invitations:

charlotte's elmo chevron invitation and birthday party invitation for web.jpg

And my favorite touch, these centerpieces....."This party is brought to you by the letter 'C' and the number '2'"

All in all, it looks like this party was a success - fun and cute for the birthday girl and kudos to her mom for the great ideas!

princess party: the wrap-up

The princess party I mentioned a few weeks ago was a success! We did a small family party on Maggie's actual birthday, and she had so much fun that she was confused when I told her we had another party with her friends coming up on the weekend. For her family party, I made the cake (with a little help from the birthday girl herself). I'm not much of a baker, so I used a butter cake mix and added a cup of sour cream — it makes it a little richer, and it was so good! I iced it with a white chocolate icing, using one of the Cake Mix Doctor's icing recipes.

IMG_4551

If you're like me and don't bake much, her books are such a huge help! The recipes are simple and come out great. Having said that, I have found it virtually impossible to produce a cake that actually looks good (I just have no luck!), but at least it tasted good. And Maggie was thrilled with the "princess sparkle sprinkles."

IMG_4590

The family party was low-key and fun, and then I got to work on the "kid" party. I created a cute little invitation design (the princess image came from here) and sent it in an email instead of as a paper invite (I was running out of time, and wanted to give everyone a little notice!).

maggie's invitation for web(I took the specifics out for this post to keep the internet crazies from knowing too much)

I printed out princess and knight images with the kids' names on transfer paper and ironed them onto inexpensive t-shirts for favors - they were a hit! Here's Maggie wearing hers at the party, and one of the boys' shirts:

IMG_4619_2

IMG_4611_2

We ended up having the party at a local restaurant. It's a small place that happens to be owned by my dad and brother-in-law, so we picked  a low-traffic time, set up the back room with tables wrapped in white paper (from Michael's) and crayons, and played "pin the kiss on the frog" (from Wal-Mart!) on the patio. It was lots of fun.

IMG_4616

So that's the princess party in a nutshell. Anyone else seen any great kids' party ideas lately?

I've added this post to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family. Go over and check out all of the great tips!

Luke’s Pirate Party

Luke's fifth birthday party proved to be quite the event. He has only had relatively small parties up until this year, so for this one we let him invite a big group of friends for a pirate-themed party at a local pizza place. I had so much fun coming up with the invitations:

luke's bday invite draft

I was originally going to send actual paper invites, but time got tight so I ended up dropping the image into an evite. I found the images here and also used them to make iron-on transfers for Luke and Maggie's shirts:

IMG_3570

and used them to make goody bag tags too.

I just recently came across this blog with some wonderful party ideas — wish I had found it before planning this party, but I've definitely bookmarked it for future ideas.