Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Party planning on a budget

I was SO honored when Jillian of asked me to write a short article on how I planned Emily's Parisian party on a budget of less than $75.  I'd love it if you'd check it out and leave me a comment over there =)  Here is the link: CATCH MY PARTY

Thanks for letting me share!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Random thoughts...

Things have been so busy around our household for the past few weeks!  I am really just trying to keep up.  I have so many random thoughts - so I figured I'd just put them into one blog post =)

  • If you have been following "So You Think You Can Dance," you know that the AMAZING Melanie Moore won.  Well, guess what?  We KNOW Melanie!  She graduated from my daughters' dance school just last year.  There was a huge pep rally/viewing party at the high school she graduated from, and the girls and I were there to see her win.  SOOOO exciting!!!!

On a (not so) funny side note, right as they were getting ready to announce the winner, like seconds before, the live feed we had went out!  Literally, they said, "And the winner is...." and then the feed was gone!  It was SOO stressful!  Once it came back on, we saw Melanie crying, and it took a second for us to realize that she had won!  Craziness!!!!

This past weekend, there was a meet and greet with Melane at our dance school.  I think Carter was more excited than anyone.  He has been watching Melanie all these weeks and totally knows who she is.  He saw her across the room while we were waiting to talk to her, and he said, "There's Mewanie!!!!"  Then he said, "She's CUTE!!!"  Haha!  When we got up to her, he was a little shy, but as you can see in the picture below, he was all smiles.  We are just SO PROUD of Melanie - she is so humble and sweet, not to mention an amazing dancer!  We are going to see the SYTYCD tour when it comes to Atlanta.  Can't wait!!!

  • I have been listing on ebay like a madwoman!!!  I have 50 auctions up.  I am exhausted, but I sure do need the money so I keep plugging away!  If you want to take a peek at what I have listed, you can go here.

Part of what I have listed - so much stuff!!!
  • I can't figure out HOW to store all of these tissue poms I made for Emmy's party.  I really don't want to get rid of them, but what the heck do I do with them?  Any ideas?  I really need them OUT of my dining room.  My poor husband.

  • We started school a week ago, and I sure do miss my girls - but not nearly as much as Carter misses them!  I wish it was summer again.  Boo.

  • Speaking of school, it's back to packing lunches again!  Not my favorite job, I will admit.  Mainly because I feel like I pack the same things over and over again.  I am sure my kids are sick of sandwiches!  I would love some new ideas for lunches - if you have any for me, please leave me a comment.  Emily loves for me to send her notes to school.  I decided to find some silly jokes to put in her lunch box, instead of the usual boring "Have a good day!" notes I had been sending.  I wrote out a few today to put in her lunch this week. 
  • I am about 80% done with Lindsey's room.  We are redoing it in an aqua/pink/black color scheme.  It's turning out REALLY cute!  This is about the time with every project that I start slacking off.  I don't know what's wrong with me - I think I get overwhelmed or something.  The only things I have left to do are pretty labor-intensive, so I guess I just keep doing other things and avoiding getting it done.  I am going to try REALLY hard to get some things done this week!  I can't wait to share it.

  • My mom is a collector of all things vingtage Raggedy Ann.  She has an AMAZING collection!  She is trying to downsize a little bit, so she wants me to help her sell some of her stuff.  I am pretty overwhelmed by this task!  I am going to try to list on ebay, but do you think I'd do better on Etsy?  Thoughts???

If you know anyone who collects vintage Raggedy Ann items, please send them my way!!!
  • Am I the only one who has laundry draped all over my house every day?  I hope not.  There are not enough hours in the day.

  • Dance starts today for both Emily and Lindsey.  They are both in the Performing Company this year.  Things are about to get real busy, real fast!

That's all I've got for today - if you've made it this far, thank you!!!  Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Emily's Pink Parisian Patisserie Party!

Well, we survived it - all the last minute planning, running around, and late nights were worth it.  Emily had an absolute BLAST at her Pink Parisian Patisserie Party!  This was such a fun theme to put together.  Honestly, I wish I'd had a few more weeks months to plan it, because I had about a zillion more ideas that I didn't have time for.  This was truly the very latest I've ever planned a party.  I'd been pinning ideas for a little while, but since our summer has been so crazy busy with dance for both girls, I ran out of time to do all of my usual DIY touches.  Still, I think it turned out very cute, and several girls said it was the best party they'd ever been to, so that made me feel good.  Of course Emily loved it and thanked me a million times - she is such a sweet girl!!!!  (Side note - I apologize for some of the pictures - my photography skills are seriously lacking sometimes, and I couldn't get the lighting right for many of these.  My dream is to have a professional photographer come to one of my parties so I won't have to stress out about it!).

Click on collage to make it larger

First up - my BEAUTIFUL eight year old birthday girl - Emily June! 

I mentioned that we were doing things last minute - well, the day before the party, I realized that Emily had nothing to wear (I know - the horror!).  We were able to find the pink sparkly skirt, but then needed a top.  I didn't have high hopes as we went into GAP Kids, when all of a sudden Emily shouted, "There's a poodle!"  It couldn't have been more perfect for our party!

We welcomed our guests with a pink shabby chic birdcage tied with balloons (which popped because it was almost 100 degrees here in Georgia - ugh!) and a door bucket filled with silk flowers from the Dollar Tree - total cost - $5.  Not bad!

I have to back up, and start this party with the cookies - because they were truly the most labor intensive part of the WHOLE party!  I had never made decorated sugar cookies like this before (of course I've made them, but not with royal icing and not this intricate), so I enlisted the help of my friend Jessica - who is the cookie QUEEN!  Just check out her cookies on her blog - and she taught herself and has only been doing it for a short while!  Amazing!!!!! Anyway, I wanted to throw in the towel MANY times, but Jessica talked me through it and encouraged me.  They were not perfect (far from!) but I got a lot of compliments on them, and best of all Emily loved them!

This theme was made much easier to pull together at the last minute because probably 90% of what I used were things that we already had.  The girls' bathroom (that I've been "working on" for about three years - no that is not a typo) has a very cute pink and black Parisian theme, so I snatched a bunch of items from the decor in there.  Also, Lindsey's room has many pink and black elements, so I borrowed a few things from her room as well.

{Napkins from Sur la Table}

Some specifics about the dessert table - the table cloth was the same one I used for Emily's "Night Owl Pajama Party" birthday (click here to see pictures from that).  The pink hatbox was one we have had forever, and I thought it would be perfect to display marshmallow pops designed to look like little cupcakes.

Cupcakes were mom-made, and from a mix - my trick is to pipe the icing on with a piping tip and they look much more professional ;)

In addition to the cupcakes and marshmallow pops, we had some macarons from Trader Joes.  They come frozen, in a pack with half vanilla and half chocolate.  Unfortunately the vanilla ones were all broken, but the chocolate ones were delicious and very "Parisian!"

We also had a little bit of candy - rock candy and Sixlets.  Did you know that they sell Sixlets at Party City in a variety of solid colors, to match your party?  I didn't know until I saw them last week!  Perfect when you are looking for a difficult color to match your theme.  The tags on the jars came from a fabulous Etsy seller, Sirius Fun (here).  They were absolutely adorable!  I used them several places throughout the decor.

I used the Starbucks Frappucino bottles (purchased at Target) for the drinks, with paper straws from Etsy purchased here.  Emily requested Shirley Temples to drink, so my hubby obliged by mixing up individual drinks (and later that night, I caught him drinking one too - haha!!!).

I guess this is a good time to mention the printables - I purchased them on Etsy from Stockberry Studio (here) and I loved them.  They made all the difference in tying everything together.

Speaking of printables, once again my mom was on banner duty - she took the printable banner I purchased and glammed it up - BIG TIME!  It was GORGEOUS!!!  My mom is so talented.

My mom also helped me make a bunch of tissue poms - they were gorgeous and I don't want to take them down, even now!

Talk about using what you've got - the temporary "curtains" are simply an extra shower curtain I had, that I decided to just cut in half (major props to  my mom who watched me do that and didn't say a word when I plopped down on the kitchen floor and cut a perfectly good shower curtain in half - she knows I'm prone to doing crazy things for a party).  I wanted to cover the ugly outdated wallpaper and make the background look more "Parisian" so the curtains did the trick!

The girls ate their cupcakes in the dining room, which I decorated to go along with our theme as well.

Favors were fabric hair flowers, which Emily helped me with - she was a master at covering buttons by the time we got done - and more marshmallow pops.

I mentioned in my first post about the party that we had a little "twist" in mind when planning this.  Well, Emily absolutely loves books - and she loves writing stories.  So, her original idea was to have a "dance party/cupcake party/book party" - and I had to think about how to pull that one off for quite awhile!  Finally, we decided together that we would write a story, about a little girl in France who had seven sisters (there were seven girls at the party) and who wanted to open their own Patisserie.  In order to do that, they had to learn to make the "best cupcakes in all of France," so they consulted an old woman in a nearby village.  Long (LONG) story short, the woman had them do a series of activities to learn how to have the best cupcakes - they had to take care of an abandoned poodle (we "found" them and then decorated their beds with lots of rhinestones), they had to learn to decorate beautiful cupcakes (we had a cupcake decorating contest), they had to do something "fun" to relax a bit (they played BINGO with Parisian themed bingo cards) and when it was over they had a fun dance party to celebrate!  I know this all sounds a bit random, but trust me - the story tied it all together.  And best of all, Emily and I wrote it together, and planned out every detail together - what wonderful memories =)  Here are a few pictures from the activities:

Of course, they also got to take home their poodle and poodle bed, along with their decorated cupcakes.

If you've made it this far, you must really like reading about parties - haha!  I know this was long, but there were so many details and I wanted to document all of them.  I hope Emily reads this someday and realizes how lucky I feel to be her mom, and how much fun we had planning parties together.  She is definitely my partner in crime as far as parties go, and I LOVE spending time with her!

Happy birthday, sweet Emily June!  I love you to the moon and back!!!

Sharing this party here:

The CSI Project


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