Thursday, June 27, 2013

4th of July Porch Party, Part 2

Wow, y'all!

There was such a positive response to the 4th of July Porch Party that I posted yesterday, that I thought I'd share some more fun details with you today.  

By the way, if you happened to miss yesterday's post (gasp!), you can check it out here
and remember to enter to win $50 from Shindigz.com while you're there!  :)


A 4th of July Porch Party is the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day without a lot of fuss, and in a really casual, comfortable way.

Simply throw some pillows on your porch rockers,
drape some tablecloths on your porch tables (or just set up a card table and add a nice covering),
and throw together a few patriotic snacks.

That's all there is to it!

In addition to the ice cream/milkshake station that I showed you yesterday,
here are a few other goodies that I threw together.



Take the recommended shortcuts below and this whole celebration will be SO easy!

Mini Strawberry Pies


These little pies are absolutely gorgeous, and couldn't be easier to throw together!

Shortcut Secret:
Simply cut up your strawberries, mix them with some store-bought strawberry pie glaze,
and spoon them into mini pre-made pie shells.

Star-Spangled Brownies


Shortcut Secret:
Bake your favorite brownie mix (or even use pre-made brownies from the grocery store), 
drizzle them with some canned white frosting, and top with red, white, and blue sprinkles.

Summer-Fresh Fruit


Shortcut Secret:
Take advantage of the fresh fruit of summer, no work required!
Cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are perfect choices.
Serving them in festive partyware like these little party cups adds a festive flair.

Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salsa


Ok, so this is the one treat I served that requires a little bit of work.
Mix fresh blueberries, chopped strawberries, and chopped apples, then toss them with a spoonful of sugar and a spoonful of your favorite fruit preserves.
That part's easy.
The work came in when I decided that I wanted cinnamon-sugar star-shaped chips to go along with it.
Not hard, but a little time consuming.
Use a star cookie cutter to cut flour tortillas into star shapes.
Brush with melted butter, then sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 7 minutes.

Shortcut Secret:
Buy pre-made cinnamon-sugar pita chips, or still make your own, but just cut the flour tortillas
into triangles and omit the cookie cutter step.

A quick note about this salsa:  
I made this the night before the party.  The "white" apples turned pink,
and the strawberries didn't look very pretty anymore.
When I make this again, I'll make it just a few hours before I plan on serving it.

Here's what it looks like shortly after it's made:


And just because I like them,
here are a few random shots from our Porch Party.

Sprinkles are for more than just decorating desserts, and I was dying to get some neat shots 
of our sweet model's Converse sneaks!




Notice my work buddy in the background...




Hope you've been inspired to create some 4th of July fun of your own!

And once again, don't forget to enter our Shindigz.com giveaway going on here.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

4th of July Porch Party and a Giveaway!

When Shindigz.com contacted me and asked me to try out some of their products, 
I knew right away what I wanted to use them for...

A 4th of JULY PORCH PARTY!


After all, what's more American than an ice cream sundae on a summer day...enjoyed on your front porch?!!

With a few festive items from Shindigz, I was able to throw together a fun, casual get-together
that anyone can easily pull off.

Using their sundae glasses, star confetti, and some American flags
I set up a DIY milkshake station.

To keep things super simple, I made the milkshake mixture ahead of time, and kept it in the freezer until we were ready to serve it.  Easy peasy!

You could also freeze the glasses ahead of time to get them nice and frosty...perfect for a hot summer day!




Keeping with the red, white, and blue theme, cherries, blueberries, and sprinkles were just the toppings we needed for our milkshakes.

Super cute gingham napkins were used as a table runner, of sorts, 
and anchored our sundae glasses on the table.

The star confetti was really fun to play with!
I added it to the straws to give them some patriotic pizzazz, 
and I also used them to decorate the toppings crate.

Of course, I scattered some on the table for good measure, too.  :)


Using some chevron wrapping paper as a backdrop and the foil starburst decorations from Shindigz,
I transformed a section of the porch into a patriotic photo booth.

Such fun and a super easy way to add a festive feel to the party, and the photos make great keepsakes!


And what 4th of July is complete without sparklers
Shindigz sells them in packs of 8 and they're so affordable!

If you have a cake or cupcakes at your celebration, these would make excellent cake toppers, 
otherwise, they're lots of fun to play with!



Now, how about that giveaway?!!!

Not only was Shindigz generous enough to give me some of their goodies to try,
they want to give some to YOU, too!

Shindigz is offering a $50 gift code to one lucky reader, 
and it could be YOU!

The gift code can be used toward anything on their website, so shopping will be so much fun!

To enter, simply leave a comment in the Rafflecopter box below 
telling us your favorite way to celebrate summer.

Good luck!  :)

***This giveaway has ended***

Congratulations to Heather S.!
Instructions to claim your prize are waiting for you in your inbox!  :)




Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Our Graduation Party Recap

Your child's high school graduation.

It's something you have 13 years to prepare for, yet somehow when the time arrives, you feel anything but prepared.

Just the mere thought of your soon-to-be graduated baby can rocket you to tears, and you find yourself wondering how this day arrived so fast!

You've spent their entire lives up to this point smothering them with love and being there for them every step of the way, and now, somehow, some way, you need to learn to let go.

Whew!  It's more than a mama's heart can take, I tell ya!

In the end, though, we survive, and for a while, start to breathe again.  (Until the day we ship them off to college)!

Here's a pic of me with my grad:


His cousin also graduated this year, so we decided to host a joint celebration.

They graduated from different schools, so we dedicated a table to each of them which boasted their own school colors, then tied them together with a joint photo wall.



Throughout the party, there were always people crowded around the photo wall, reliving memories and talking about the journeys our grads had as they reached this point in their lives.

It was a really special, personalized touch!

This idea would also be great for milestone birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings.

I created little customized favor tags that we attached to pillow boxes filled with mints.

These created a nice, inexpensive keepsake for guests to take home with them to commemorate the occasion.



I also made each of our grads their own special cake.
I was too busy to get nice, staged pictures, but you get the idea.



Each cake was topped with a custom cake topper that I designed...



...and had a surprise inside...


...their school colors!

The party was such fun, and a great way to celebrate these amazing kids and their accomplishments!

We couldn't be more proud!  :)






Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Custom Invites & Cards from Cardstore.com

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for stationery, so when Cardstore.com contacted me to review their custom invitation process, of course I jumped all over it!  

Here's what I created...isn't it adorable?!!  So festive!


I have to tell ya, before I ever popped over to Cardstore.com to create my invite, I knew that I wanted to create a 4th of July invite.  

However, once I arrived onto their website, I wasn't so sure anymore.

Their selection of custom invitations is just amazing, and I fell in love with so many designs!  I suddenly wanted to have 50 parties!

Look how cute...

Finding the perfect card or invite is so easy, too.

The website is fun and easy to navigate, and options like adding Facebook photos or having Cardstore.com mail your invites for you make the entire process super convenient!

So, hurry on over to Cardstore.com today to see for yourself!


Happy Shopping!  :)





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