Friday, December 14, 2012

Win a Target Gift Card & Holiday Goodies!

***Congratulations to Elena Istomina!  You've been chosen as our lucky winner!
Please check your inbox for details!***

Who's ready for a giveaway?

Just in time for the holidays, I've partnered up with Apartment Guide to give one lucky winner a $50 Target gift card as well as one of my favorite holiday hostess gifts from this post I shared earlier in the week!


If you missed it, it's worth taking a peek!  There are some fabulous gift ideas there, and Apartment Guide offers tips on how to decorate and host a holiday party to make your guests feel at home.

In addition, if you’re ready for a whole new space or looking to move, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you search for the perfect apartment community.  Be sure to check them out!

Now, how about a little giveaway fun?

Enter for your shot at winning the goodies in the Rafflecopter box below, then cross your fingers and toes for good luck!  

I'm rootin' for ya!  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure Statement:
Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partner with bloggers such as me to participate in blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any products and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


Monday, December 10, 2012

10 Fabulous Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

'Tis the season for holiday parties and spreading holiday cheer!

It's always nice to have a little gift in hand for the hostess, but it's not always easy trying to find the perfect gift!

I've partnered up with Apartment Guide to help you choose just the right present for your favorite "hostess with the mostess."

See Apartment Guide's list of the 10 best housewarming gifts to ensure you are always on the party invite list, and take a peek below for my top 10 picks for fabulous hostess gifts that any gal will love.  

Chalkboard Mania! 

best hostess gifts
photo source
best hostess gifts
photo source
Chalkboards are a hot trend right now, and when used the right way, can be pretty classy!

Slate coasters allow guests to mark their own drinks at the party, and the slates are easily wiped clean for use as the next shindig.

The hostess will love jazzing up a simple snacks with a gorgeous slate tray.
Use chalk to mark cheese flavors, to label toppings for a DIY S'mores station, and so much more.
The possibilities are endless!

  Say it with Silver

best hostess gifts
photo source
best hostess gifts
photo source

Hand-stamped silver pieces from Beach House Living on Etsy are enough to make any girl smile.

These holiday spreaders or vintage cheese markers are timeless and beautiful!

Life of the Party

best holiday hostess gifts
photo source
 TableTopics are a super fun way to add some life to the party and get guests chatting and mingling.  Available in several different themes, you're sure to find the perfect set for your favorite hostess.

Mix it Up!

best hostess gifts
photo source
best hostess gifts
photo source


 Hostesses are always delighted when guests bring something to share, so cocktail mixers are always a good gift choice.

At less than $5 each, throw in a couple of these festive crackle flutes.
They are so festive and fun!

Classic and Cool

best hostess gifts
photo source
best hostess gifts
photo source

You just simply can't go wrong with white serveware.
It goes with everything, and it's timeless.

Cake plates aren't just for cakes!  
Your hostess will love getting creative and using them to take her party apps to new heights.

And a chip and dip plate?  No party is complete without one.  :)

That's a Wrap!
best hostess gifts
photo source

 These cake plate clings are new on the market, and any hostess will want one of every print, color, and style!

The clings adhere right to serveware, they're washable, they're reusable, they're customizable, and they're adorable!

Hopefully these fabulous hostess gifts have got your wheels spinning and you know exactly what you'd like to get your favorite hostess.
Also be sure to check out Apartment Guide's tips on how to decorate and host a holiday party to make your guests feel at home.

“Like” Apartment Guide on Facebook, follow @AptGuide on Twitter, “circle” them on Google+ and follow them on Pinterest for real-time tips and updates on how to make the most of your small space. 

ApartmentGuide.com
  

Disclosure Statement:
Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partner with bloggers such as me to participate in blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any products and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Birthday Cake Surprise!

Think this is mashed potatoes and gravy?
Take a closer look...it's CHEESECAKE...
 
...and it gave my kiddo a big surprise for his birthday!
 
 
My baby boy turned 18 on Sunday.
 
He's a Thanksgiving baby and he has to be one of the pickiest eaters on the planet.
 
He hates Thanksgiving food...especially mashed potatoes...but he loves cheesecake...
so as soon as I saw this idea from SheKnows.com, I knew I had to make it for my Zach Man!
 
It's just cheesecake topped with caramel sauce and chopped chocolate,
but it looks just like mashed potatoes and gravy!
 
I had asked Zach countless times what kind of birthday dessert he wanted me to make him (he doesn't like birthday cake, either), and he finally just told me to surprise him.
 
Boy, did I ever!
 
This looks so much like the real deal that Zach could barely bring himself to taste it.
 
Here's a little peek at the fun we had with it: 
 
video
 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Celebration and Free Gift!

Today is a big day!

Today the Passion-for-Parties Printable Shop turns one year old!  I'm so excited!  :)

It's also National Button Day!

To celebrate these special occasions, not only am I sharing with you free printable "Button Tree" Christmas cards, I'm also offering 20% off all items in the shop!

This has been one incredible year, and I just can't thank you guys enough.

I won't get too mushy on ya, but I just need to say one thing.

I have always wanted to design stationery, and I had hoped that my designs would be something that you all would love, but I never imagined how fulfilling this would be!

The notes of joy and excitement that I get from you about how I helped to make your celebration so special is probably one of the most rewarding things I could ever experience.

So, from the bottom of  my heart, thank you.
 
 
But that's not all!
 
As my gift to you...and to celebrate National Button Day...please enjoy these free downloadable "Button Tree" Christmas cards!

Free Printable Christmas Cards
 
These printable Christmas cards are super cute, and look a absolutely adorable when you get crafty with them.
 
Add buttons for dimension, and glitter for sparkle, or mount onto larger paper to add some fun doodles and artwork.
 
The possibilities are endless...have fun with it!
 
P.S. One last note.  I don't want to tell you what to use your 20% discount on, but this Hot Cocoa Party is HOT right now and soooo stinkin' cute!
Be sure to check it out!  :)
 
 
 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Guest Post ~ Halloween Party Trends


Today, Nicole Steeger, Marketing Manager for GigMasters.com has stopped by to share a guest post about Halloween party trends. GigMasters is the #1 event booking service that guides party planners and hosts to the right entertainment and vendors for any event. GigMasters combines the efficiency of the web with the personal touch of a private event planner. From bands and DJs, to balloon twisters and photographers; GigMasters can help you find the life of your party!
 
Photo courtesy of Celebrations.com

Over the years, GigMasters has provided entertainment for thousands of Halloween parties and events.
Since 2008, bookings for Halloween events have increased 85%. The rise in popularity of this holiday encouraged me to dig deeper into Halloween party planning. I wanted to know the latest and greatest planning trends for this spook-tacular holiday (so I could share them with you)!
Here’s what I discovered:    
·         85% of people reported that they make their Halloween party an annual affair.
·         Halloween isn’t just for the kids anymore – 47% of hosts throw an adult only party, while only 43% of hosts invite both adults and children. Only 10% of hosts plan a party that is geared towards just the little ones.
·         Having a great costume is important – 53% of people said that they plan their costume months in advance and spend over $50 on their costume. 16% of people say they don’t even have a budget; they will spend whatever it costs to have a fabulous costume.
·         Fortune tellers, magicians and DJ’s are the most popular entertainment selections booked for Halloween parties.
·         The majority of party hosts (64%) say that they get their costume and party decorations from Party City. Oriental Trading was a close second at 33%.
Overall, it seems as though Halloween lovers are really going all out when it comes to planning their ghoulish gatherings. It’s likely that we will see the popularity of this holiday continue to grow. Happy Halloween!
What Halloween party trend surprises you the most? What trends are you seeing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
GigMasters' report comes from an analysis of Halloween parties planned from 2008-2012 along with a recent survey of clients who used GigMasters to search for Halloween entertainment.
 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Giveaway! Happy Everything Celebration Platter and Attachments

The countdown is on!  In just a few short days, our kiddos will be heading back to school.

Being the party girl that I am, I see this as an opportunity to celebrate!

Not only did I put together a cute little "School Rocks" back-to-school party, I immediately pulled out my "Happy Everything" mini platter from Coton Colors and excitedly adorned it with my adorable little school bus attachment

  
Walking by this pretty little display on my tabletop brings a smile to my face.  It's so "cheery!"

What I like even better about my Coton Colors platter is that in about another week I'll take off that cute little school bus and replace it with my pumpkin attachment to celebrate the arrival of Fall...

 
...and then replace it again with a birthday cake to celebrate my son's birthday!
 
 
Isn't that the neatest little thing?
 
Changing the attachments is so easy, too!  There is a heavy-duty velcro tab on both the platter and the attachments, so you just peel off one attachment and replace it with another.  Easy peasy!
 
And there are over 40 attachments to choose from...from major holidays to fun things like footballs and BBQ's, Coton Colors really has something for all occasions.
 
I'm also in love with their little glass ornaments.
This one is going with my niece on her first day of kindergarten to give to her teacher as a gift.
 
 
 
Don't you just love it?!!
 
We thought you would, so Coton Colors is generously giving one lucky winner their very own
"Happy Everything"  mini platter (a $47.95 value),
along with two attachments...the pumpkin and the birthday cake (valued at $14.95 each)!
 
Enter for your chance to win these high-quality celebrating pieces below,
and don't forget to visit Coton-Colors.com to check out their other fabulous goodies!
 
Congratulations to Dawn Fortner, entry #89!  You are our lucky winner!  :)
 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Exclusive Tiny Prints Discount Offer!

If you’re anything like me, a handwritten envelope with a super cute address label in your mailbox fills you with excitement!

Sound familiar?

Well, why not give your party guests that same, fun feeling?

TinyPrints.com can help you with just that!

Not only do they have the most adorable little invitations ever, they sell matching address labels to go with them!

It’s like they saw right into my heart…incorporating themed details into every aspect of party planning…right down to the address labels.

And they’ve got something for everyone…girls, boys, teens, even men gearing up for the big game!

Take a peek at just a few of the styles they offer:

Tiny Prints discount code

Awesome, right?  Well here’s what’s even more awesome.
TinyPrints is holding a special sale, EXCLUSIVELY FOR PASSION-FOR-PARTIES.COM FRIENDS!

For a limited time, all  Passion-for-Parties.com readers can save 25% off their ENTIRE PURCHASE!

That’s right, anything and everything that strikes your fancy qualifies for the discount!
Remember this is an exclusive sale, so the discount code will be distributed privately.

To claim your code, please e-mail me here, then head over to TinyPrints.com to get your goodies!

Happy Shopping!


Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY Wine Rack ~ "Craft Wars" Pop Craft

We really should title this post “How to Make a Wine Rack from Silverware, Pie Tins, Footballs, Acorns, and Turkey Basters,” since those are the crazy items that Nikki and I were given in the Pop Craft Challenge of our episode of Craft Wars!

We have gotten so much feedback about our projects since we appeared on the show, but this cute little wine rack has definitely been a fan-favorite.  (It was one of our favorites, too)!

In case you missed the show, you can catch us in action on iTunes, but we thought it would be fun to give everyone the step-by-step how-to for creating one of your own!

My favorite thing about this wine rack? It's multi-functional!

Use the chalkboard to leave yourself reminders or to write a little note, come home after a hard day, hang your purse on the hook & grab a bottle of wine to relax, and those turkey baster hooks make the perfect holder to hang your corkscrew so that it's always handy!

Here's a shot of Nikki with our finished product as she pitched it to the judges.  With only one hour to craft it, we were super excited with how it turned out!  There are a few changes we'd recommend given more time, so be sure to read the notes below.


Craft Wars DIY wine rack
Materials:
  • Plywood (You’ll need two pieces cut 20″ x 30″.)
  • Jigsaw
  • Trim (On the show we used 1″ x 2″ trim, but at home I actually just cut “trim-like” 2″ strips of plywood, and it worked just fine!)
  • Chalkboard paint and paintbrush
  • 1 yard of fabric to cover frame
  • 1 yard of batting (At home I used scraps of quilt batting I had left over!)
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Cordless drill, 1/4″ drill bit, and screws
  • Clamp
  • Silverware (On the show we used a combination of 4 spoons and 2 forks. You can see in the picture above that at home I just used 6 spoons.)
  • 3 turkey basters
  • 1/2 yard of fabric to cover turkey basters
  • Spray adhesive
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Felt (This is for covering the back. You’ll need a piece about 18″ x 28″.)
Directions:
1. Cut two pieces of plywood 20″ x 30″. Paint one side of one piece with black chalkboard paint. (Be sure to give it at least two coats of paint! I’m not sure if it made it to air, but judge Stephen Brown of Glitterville commented on our poor paint job during his critique!)

2. Cut 2 pieces of trim to 30″ long. Cut 2 pieces of trim to 15 3/4″ long.

3. Cut 4 strips of fabric about 9 inches wide. (I just left them the length off the bolt…about 40″ from selvage to selvage.) Cut 4 strips of batting the same size.

4. Staple one piece of batting and one piece of fabric to the back of each piece of trim. (If you watched our episode closely, you’ll see we didn’t use batting there. We wanted to, but again, that whole "only have an hour" thing! I included it here because the judges called us out on it, saying it would have looked nicer, and I agree)!


5. One by one, screw trim to the plywood base. Then wrap batting and fabric around to the back of the piece and staple in place. A few notes here:
  • Layer the two pieces of plywood together, with the chalkboard painted surface at the top. (The reason for two pieces of plywood? This is very technical….our screws were too long and would have stuck out the back if we just used one layer!)
  • Use the clamp to hold all three layers together (the two pieces of plywood and the trim). It will makes things much easier!
  • Make sure your paint is completely dry! Your fabric will end up on the plywood background while you screw the three layers together and you don’t want it to end up with black spots on it!
  • I did the two long sides first, then the top and bottom.
  • The long sides are easy…wrap them right around to the back. The short sides take a bit more patience to get the mitered corner effect!

 
6. With a cordless drill and 1/4″ drill bit, put a hole in the very top of each piece of silverware. (Note: On the show we actually used a drill press. That was so much easier! If you have one or know someone that has one, use it!)

7. Using a clamp to keep your silverware in place, and a lot of muscle power, bend each piece of silverware twice, each time at a right angle, so it looks kind of like a zig-zag.



8. Screw silverware to the plywood. (If you look in the finished picture, you’ll see we staggered our silverware. I liked the look of the bottles facing alternating directions!)



9. Cut squares of fabric to cover the bottom of the turkey basters. The squares should be roughly 10″. Give them a coat of spray adhesive, place the turkey baster right in the middle, and start wrapping it up. Tuck the ends of the fabric inside. (The spray adhesive won’t actually stick the fabric to the turkey baster, but it will help the fabric stick to itself, which makes getting nice, neat folds in your fabric much easier!)



10. Use hot glue to adhere the covered turkey basters to the bottom of the plywood base. (Be careful what you hang on them! Let’s face it…the hot glue is not going to hold very much weight! Ideally, you could screw a dowel to the board first, then put the turkey baster over that to give it much more stability, but remember….we only had one hour!)



11. Use spray adhesive to adhere a large piece of felt (18″ x 28″) to the back of your wine rack!

12. Add a few bottles of wine and enjoy!

If you guys decide to give this DIY a whirl...which many of your have mentioned...we'd LOVE to see pics!
 
Any comments or questions that have along the way, feel free to post here and we'll get them answered for you.  Be sure to come back, share and tell us all about your experience!
 
P.S. Nikki has this DIY up on her blog, too, so please stop by and show here some love, as well!
 
Once again, thank you guys so very much for your support!  We appreciate each and every one of you and we wouldn't be here without you! xoxoxo
 
 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Craft Wars: Our Time Has Come!

The moment we've all been waiting for is here:  This is the week that Nikki McGonigal of Nikki, in Stitches and I go to battle on TLC's Craft Wars!
We have a BIG week planned to celebrate, from the actual airing of the show, to a LIVE online party that you are all invited to, a GINORMOUS giveaway that you do not want to miss, and even a DIY tutorial for a project that we made on the show! 

You won't want to miss a second, so grab your calendar and mark the dates listed below...you've got lots of fun in store! 


1.  Tomorrow night, Tuesday, August 21st, Nikki and Jen will appear on the season finale of Craft Wars!  IMPORTANT:  There are TWO episodes airing tomorrow night.  We will be on the second episode that airs at 11:00PM EST/ 10:00PM CT.  We know it's late, so set those DVRs, or squeeze in a nap so you can stay up to watch! 

2.  Thursday, August 23rd, a LIVE online party with Nikki and Jen!  Join Nikki and I for an online party via Spreecast!  The party will take place right here in the video box below, and it's so easy to join in the fun!  Just come back here at 8:00PM EST/7:00PM CT, and sign in using this link.  You will be able to chat back and forth with us, ask questions, and even get on camera with us, if you want to!  It is going to be so much fun, I hope you join us!  For more info about how a Spreecast works and how to join in, Nikki's put together some Spreecast instructions that will give you all of the info you'll need. 




(If you don’t see the Spreecast box it’s probably because you’re reading this through a feed. Click this link to view it right on the Passion-for-Parties.com blog).

3.  How does a giveaway worth $950 sound?!!  Cathie Filian, one of the producers of Craft Wars and the incredible talent behind CathieFilian.com is hosting a contest to celebrate the season-ending of the show.
Cathie is generously giving away $800 worth of amazing craft supplies, but that's not all!

Some of the amazing Craft Wars competitors are jumping in on the fun and adding some prizes to the pot, for a grand total of $950 worth of crafty goodness!  For full details on how to enter, click here. 

4.  And last but not least, Friday, August 24th, Nikki and I are sharing a DIY for how to make a project that we made on the show! Yep, we can't tell you what it is just yet, but we can tell you that you are going to LOVE it!  It's one of our most favorite things that we created!  Tune in Friday for the full details!

Oh, one more thing...
Nikki and I are super excited to take part in some interviews and TV appearances to help promote the show.  To keep up with the fun, be sure to follow us on Facebook:

Passion-for-Parties.com

You can also learn more about me and my experience on the show in this interview that I did with my local newspaper.


Well, I think that covers it!  Got your calendars marked? 

We can't wait to hear what you think about the show, we hope that you'll join our party on Thursday, we wish you big luck in the giveaway, and we both thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your continued support.  You're the best and we wouldn't be here without you!  xoxoxo


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Win a signed copy of Pizzazzerie's new book & a Target Gift Card!

Courtney Whitmore, the creative mind behind the party blog, Pizzazzerie, and the author of the top-selling book, Push-up Pops, has done it again!

Her newest book, Candy Making for Kids, has hit the shelves and it is destined to be another smash hit!


From bright, colorful pictures to easy-to-follow instructions, this book will have kids and adults alike chomping at the bit to make the candy creations that are tucked inside.





And just in time for the holidays, you'll find some super cute Halloween and Christmas projects to make with your kiddos.

So fun!

Ready for the giveaway?

Not only are we giving away an autographed copy of the book to one lucky winner,
we're also giving away a $25 gift card to Target so you can shop for project supplies and get started right away!

Enter below for your chance to win.  Good luck!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c51f2c0/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Christmas in July Sale!

It's Christmas in July and we're celebrating BIG!

For one day only, take 30% off ALL items listed in the shop!*


Sale begins tonight at 12:00AM EST and lasts until 11:59PM EST tomorrow, Friday, July 27th.

Enter code "JINGLEINJULY" at checkout to claim your discount.

Scope out the goods in our shop here, so you can be all ready for the sale!

If you're not sure what to pick, here's
a peek at some of our hottest selling items, along with some goodies just added to the shop:









And lots more!

Once again, here's a direct link to the shop:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/passforparties?ref=si_shop

Happy Shopping, and Merry Christmas!!!  ;)

*Excludes custom orders.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DIY Flip Flop Wreath


Once warm weather rolls around, flip flops are pretty much the only shoes you'll catch on my feet.  I just looooove them!  They just scream summertime, to me. 

So, when I came across a bin at Jo-Ann filled with these fun, bright colored flip flops for only a dollar, I knew I had to snag them!

I raided my ribbon stash for some fun coordinating ribbon, and this super cute flip flop wreath is the end result!

Soooo stinkin' cute, right?

And what an adorable prop for a summer party, pool party, or even a flip-flop themed party!!!

Here's how I made the Flip Flop Wreath:

I started off with a wire wreath form that looks like this:


I played around with the placement of the shoes until I had them where I wanted them, then I used wire to secure them to the form.


Next, I cut my ribbon into strips (you can play around with lengths until you have the look you're going for), and tied them to the wreath form to fill in the spaces between the flip flops.



It takes some time to tie all of the ribbon on, but it's ooooohhhh so cute when it's finished!

Add some flower sprigs, a bow, or a cute little homemade sign across the middle of the wreath and you've got yourself a masterpiece!  :)


And since I am a party girl, after all, I immediately started brainstorming ideas for a flip-flop-themed party.

Start off with adorable little flip flop invitations like these (available here in our shop)


Then add some cupcakes topped with cute little party toppers like these (available in our shop here)


Have everyone come wearing their favorite flip flops, then set out some fun craft items along with some inexpensive flip flops like these, and have everyone decorate their own pair.
Hand out prizes or certificates for the most colorful, most creative, most outrageous, most sparkly, etc.

You'll have an activity and a party favor all tied into one!

Serve up some of these great little flip flop cookies, and you've got yourself a party!


(Photo Credit:  A Little Loveliness)

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