Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

As the year comes to an end, I just wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU! 

Your support, enthusiasm and loyalty are so important to me and make this journey all the more meaningful.

This is an amazing adventure, and even more special because I get to share it with you!

Stay tuned for lots of fun things to come...2011 is going to be our best year ever! 

In the meantime, have a safe and happy New Year's Eve.  CHEERS! 


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Bee-Day Party!

Gender reveal parties are such fun!  What a great way to celebrate a baby on the way!

Serena of Rylie Boo Events submitted this cute little party that she recently styled for a gender reveal. 

I'm totally loving the cookies...and the cake is just precious!  Take a look:











Great pics, Serena!  Thanks so much for sharing with us!  :)

And in case you were wondering...the cake was BLUE inside.  IT'S A BOY!  :)

Vendor info:
Printables and styling: Serena Baker, Rylie Boo Events
Balloons: Polka Dot Market
Cake and cake pops : Decadent Delights
Onesies – T for Ty
Confetti and banner – PigCastle
Cookies – The Cookie Jar

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Eve Party Munchies

Hi there!  :)

I'm back from a much-enjoyed little break, just in time to share with you some yummy munchies to help you ring in the New Year!  :) 

I've picked out a few party faves that would make great celebration nibbles.  To view the recipes, just click on the name of each snack.











Photo courtesy of MyRecipes.com





















Don't these all look scrumptious?  Makes my mouth water!

For more yummy ideas, visit my Party Food page here.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year!  :)

PlatesAndNapkins.com Designer Party Supplies



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Homemade Advent Calendar


I just love things that are unique and personalized, so when I saw the idea for this homemade advent calendar from The Girls at Eighteen25, I knew I had to try it!

My kids are teenagers now, so they don't get very excited about advent calendars anymore...until NOW! 

This 24 pocket shoe organizer advent calendar is big enough that I can tuck special goodies for all four of my kids into each pocket, and it's stuff that they'll actually like!  Soooo much better than the cheesy calendars with a piece of fake chocolate behind each door!

My favorite part about this?  It can be used year after year!



To make your own, simply spray paint some clothespins (I used pistachio green) and hang numbered tags on the outside of each pocket.

UPDATE!  FREE printable labels for this project are now available here.

Print out the numbers on white cardstock, then cut them out with a 2 1/2-inch scalloped punch.  Use a glue stick to adhere some festive wrapping paper to 4x6 index cards, then stick the numbers in the middle like this:



Now just tuck personalized goodies inside each pocket and you're good to go!

Each day, after the kiddos retrieve their goodies, move the number to the inside of the pocket so they'll be able to see how many more days until Christmas.



Such a cool idea!  Be sure to visit The Girls at Eighteen25 for more fun projects!

Find supplies for this project at Target.com.




Friday, November 19, 2010

Fall Themed Party

Want to make a big impression with a little budget?  

This fall themed party is for you!

With just a few inexpensive items...ribbon, mini pumpkins, fresh flowers, crepe paper and balloons, you can create a beautiful party space.  

Take a look: 



Not bad, right? 

And it was all so easy to pull together! 

Glass votives and vases from the Dollar Store housed some gorgeous fall flowers...




Mini pumpkins adorned the room here and there for a splash of the season...





And pretty ribbon in fall colors was cut into lengths and taped to the wall behind the cake table...(this is one of my favorite decorating ideas right now)!



Gold balloons and crepe paper hung from the ceiling to add a little depth to the party room, and I used a little bit of the crepe paper and left over ribbon to create a fun little garland for the table.



And last but not least, the birthday cake. 

This party was for my sister-in-law's 50th birthday celebration, and she is a big dachsund fan.

I decided to make her a two-tone, two-tier chocolate cake to match the party's color scheme, and top it off with a custom chocolate doggie cake topper.

She loved it!




And, if you're craving some eye candy, "like" us on Facebook to see the entire party photo album.

PlatesAndNapkins.com Designer Party Supplies





Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10 Things that Every Party Girl Should Have on Her Christmas List

Hello, party peeps!  :)

The countdown to Christmas is on! 

And since you've got so much to do to get ready for the holidays, I thought I'd help take a little pressure off of you by showing you what should be on YOUR Christmas wish list this year

Here are the Top 10 Things that Every Hostess with the Mostest MUST Have...
(and WHY you must have it...for those of you that are forwarding this list to the lucky folks that drew your name this year) 

Click on the titles of each item for more details...then get your forwarding finger ready!

1.  Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

A stand mixer might seem extravagant to some, but it is an absolute necessity for the multi-tasking party girl! 

Time is of the essence when we're in party mode, and a lot can get done in the three minutes that it takes for a cake batter to mix, right? 

And, I saw a segment on TV about what  and what not to splurge on, and they said mixers were definitely a splurge! 

That's right.  We NEED one!  :) 


2.  A Nice, White Cake Plate


You need this for many reasons, but here are two biggies:

First, white is versatile and can be used for any theme, so if you invest in one nice plate, you're all set!

And secondly, this piece adds height and dimension to a table.  Tablescapes are a lot more visually appealing when items are sitting at different levels. 

Use the plate to not only showcase fabulous cakes, but virtually anything!  This will definitely become your party "go to" item! 


3.  Wine Glasses

 

I'm not a wine drinker and I learned the embarrassing way that this is no excuse to not own wine glasses! 

It was quite funny to me that I had plastic Solo cups to offer my wine-bearing guests, but it certainly wasn't very classy. 

Learn from my mistake and have some wine glasses on hand. 

They even make drinking punch look sophisticated.  :)

4.  A White Platter

Yep, here we go with the white again, but I'm tellin' ya...it works! 

You can use it for everything!  In fact, you will, so you may want to add two of these to your list. 

Being the perfectionist that I am, I always like two for symmetry on the table. 

5.   A Good Camera

 
As far as I'm concerned, if you're going through all of the hard work to throw a shindig that will knock their socks off, you darned well better have pics to document it! 

I absolutely LOVE my Nikon.  It takes fabulous pictures despite the inabilities of the person behind the camera!  (Yes, that would be me).

It takes such great pics that you will be taking pictures of everything!  This will be your new best friend!  :)



6.  Bose Sound Dock


Ohhhh yeahhhh!!!  Now we're talking! 

I'm a firm believer that my best work takes place when the music is cranked on HIGH! 

My Bose has amazing sound, and can handle the loud volume that tends to result in me starring in my own little show in my kitchen. 

Crystal clear music, I'm telling you.  And it really does help you become more productive.  Get one. 

7.  Bakerella's Cake Pops Book



Well, if you're gonna be cranking out the goodies while you're jamming to your Bose, you're gonna need some good things to create!

These cake pops from Bakerella are definitely good things.  {Wow, I just completely sounded like Martha Stewart}! 

Seriously, make them.  You will be addicted!

8.  Perfect Party Food














And here are some more good things.  Lots of them.  Over 600 pages worth. 

The best thing about this amazing cookbook?  Every recipe has do-ahead instructions! 

Yep, every single recipe can be made ahead of time, getting you out of the kitchen come party time and actually allowing you time to enjoy your party!  Woohoooo!!!  Love it!

9.  A Fondue Pot


I also love fondue pots.  And so will you. 

They are sooo easy, another great time-saver tool for party girls! 

Just pour your fondue into the pot, heat it up, and it will keep everything good and yummy for you while you enjoy your soiree! 



10.  Keurig Coffee Maker



And last but not least, this magnificent coffee maker! 

Not only does it brew steaming hot cups of coffee in a flash, it brews them individually so that each cup is exactly the flavor and strength that each person wants. 

Perfect for party guests, but even more perfect for YOU!

After all of that hard work planning your party, you deserve to sit down and enjoy a nice cup of coffee!

-------------------------------------------------------------------

So there you have it! 

Now hit forward and send this to your lucky loved ones so they can get busy on your wish list! 

Send it to your party friends, too!  Everybody wants to be the Hostess with the Mostest! 

Happy Celebrating!
Jen

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Easy Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

Does your Thanksgiving "To Do" list seem never-ending, no matter how early you start your planning?

I know mine does! 

There's so much to think about...organizing the menu, shopping for food, cooking, cleaning the house before everyone comes over...and of course you need some gorgeous decorations to set the mood! 

Let BHG.com help take a little bit of the pressure off of you with these super easy, incredibly pretty decorating ideas that you can whip up in no time.

Seriously!  These are ALL do-able and EASY...and they'll give you the "wow" factor you're looking for...with time to spare.  :) 

How nice will that be?!!

Click on over to BHG.com for pics and how-to's. 

Happy Celebrating!  :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Treats

Want a little something fun to serve to the kids this Thanksgiving? 

I've found some really cute ideas to help you out with that!  Take a look:


Of course you all know I'm a sucker for cake pops, so the little turkeys had me at hello.  (Or "gobble").

But how great are the little pilgrim hat and Indian corn cookies? 

And I love the fruit kabob turkey!!!  Whip up some fruit dip to go along with it and you've got a fun snack that's festive and healthy! 

Follow the links below for instructions.  Happy Celebrating!  :)

Turkey Fruit Gobbler Source:  Family Fun
Pilgrim Hat Cookies Source:  Woman's Day
Corny Cookies Source:  Family Fun
Turkey Cake Pops Source:  Bakerella

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Cake Pops

In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to add a little spookiness to the cake pop craze.  Here's what happened:


Aren't they FUN?!! 

I think they all turned out pretty cute, but I just adore the little mummies!

The kids loved them, too...they disappeared like magic.  :)

Want to know how to make some for your little goblins?  Find the details over on the website




Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fabulous Zebra Print Cupcake Stand ~ Green Party Goods Review

When Carole of GreenPartyGoods.com asked if I'd try out one of her eco-friendly cupcake stands, of course I was thrilled!



Not just because it would give me an excuse to bake cupcakes, which it did.

And not just because the zebra print cupcake stand is beyond adorable, which it is.

But because I respect whole-heartedly what Carole's company does.

GreenPartyGoods.com is fully aware that many celebrations use disposable products that are destined for landfills. 

Since the earth is suffering as a result of the way that we consume our resources, Green Party Goods decided to embrace a new, eco-friendly avenue for celebration products. 

They provide environmentally friendly party goods that are both sensible and stylish.

All of GreenPartyGoods’ products meet at least one of these criteria: recycled, re-useable, biodegradable, sustainable, or organic.

Awesome, right?!! 

So, let's talk about this cupcake stand that I tried out. 

It arrives in pieces like this:



As soon as I laid hands on it, my first impression was QUALITY! 

The cardboard is very sturdy, it is printed on both sides, and it has a smooth, glossy finish that can be wiped clean. 

I'm already excited because that means I'm going to get more than one use out of this thing! 

Next up was trying to put it together.

Instructions were included, and in a matter of MINUTES, this non-technical girl had this stand fully in tact.  Super easy!

The base just slides together like this:



And the layers slide on like this:





...and construction is complete!  Seriously.  It's that simple. 

Isn't it awesome?  I thought so, but I decided to jazz it up just a little bit more. 

Carole was nice enough to send me some double sided tape and ribbon, so of course, I wanted to put it to good use!



Wow!  That looks FABULOUS!!! 

Here it is topped with a cake...(sorry for the crooked pic)...




...and here it is being put to full use...(photo courtesy of my client who put this together on-site)...



Doesn't it look amazing?!!

So, in review, here's my opinion of the eco-friendly cupcake stand from GreenPartyGoods.com.

It is an absolutely, positively, MUST BUY item!!! 

It is sturdy, durable, easy to put together and beautiful once assembled. 

I cannot wait to check out more items GreenPartyGoods, and it feels great shopping with such an Earth-friendly company! 

Now it's your turn!  Hop on over to GreenPartyGoods.com to check out all of their eco-friendly party supplies.  Come back here and let me know what you think!

Happy Shopping!!! 

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