{GIVEAWAY WINNER} Social Couture Napkin Rings

We have a winner!

The winner for the Social Couture Napkin Rings is commenter #:
That means…. 
Congratulations, Heidi you are the winner! 
Please e-mail me at jenni@awellcraftedparty.com to claim your prize! 
*The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen.*

{DIY} Cherry Blossom Branches

If you are a fan of the Love in Blossom photoshoot that I featured a while back…
 (and that was featured on Hostess with the Mostess)
then you were possibly waiting for these DIY posts!
**By the way, if you use any of these DIY projects I’d LOVE to see pictures!**
Well…with no further hullabaloo…
 ~*~
DIY Cherry Blossom Branches
 Cherry Blossom BranchesSupplies:
Branches
Pink Tissue Paper cut into 1 inch squares
Pen or Pencil
Hot Glue

Step One:
The project works best if the tissue paper is cut several sheets of paper at a time and not as a single sheet— 5 layers of tissue paper work best. 

 
Fold tissue paper squares on the diagonal. And then fold again similar to making a paper snowflake. 
Round the straight side of the now triangle piece of tissue paper. 
Put a notch in the center of the of rounded edge. 
 Step Two:


Separate the tissue layers and twist around the end of a pen or pencil.
Step Three:

Placing a dab of hot glue on the branch attach the tissue paper to the branch using the pen or pencil.

 Continue placing the tissue paper on the branches twisting the blossoms around the branch.

Notes:
Branches can be purchased on-line or found in your own backyard. 
***There are similar projects featured on both the Martha Stewart and Good House Keeping websites. I certainly wasn’t the first person to think of this, but I do like how my project turned out.**Sources:
Blossom Tissue Paper: from www.paper-source.com

BIG THANK YOU

to Hostess With the Mostess for featuring this DIY
and to Capturing Grace Photography for taking such beautiful photos!
 

{DIY} Ribbon Wall Backdrop

If you are a fan of the Love in Blossom photoshoot that I featured a while back…
 (and that was featured on Hostess with the Mostess)
then you were possibly waiting for these DIY posts!
**By the way, if you use any of these DIY projects I’d LOVE to see pictures!**
Just e-mail me at Jenni[at]awellcraftedparty.com
Well…with no further hullabaloo… 
 ~*~
DIY Ribbon Wall Backdrop
Supplies:
Several Yards of Various Widths of Satin Ribbon in you color choice
Curtain Rod and Brackets
Hot Glue
Blossom Confetti

Step One:
Attach curtain brackets to wall approximately 8 feet from ground. Put curtain rod on brackets. If you do not wish to attach brackets to a wall then you can suspend rod from ceiling.

Step Two:
Measure lengths of ribbon so that they are 5 inches longer than what you need to reach  curtain rod to floor. Use a slip knot to attach the ribbon to the rod with the 5 inches of ribbon hanging behind the longer ribbon. Vary the lengths of ribbon while attaching to the rod.

Step Three:
Attach blossom confetti randomly on lengths of ribbon using a dab hot glue to attach. 

 

Notes:
My 8-foot ribbon wall required 100 yards of 1-inch width ribbon, 50 yards of 3-inch ribbon and 30 yards of 3/8-inch ribbon. Strips of linen or lace would also work very well in this project. Purchasing ribbon in bulk helps make this project more cost effective. Also, save the rolls the ribbon come on because you’ll be able to save most of the ribbon used on this wall for other projects.

Sources:
8-foot curtain rod and brackets— Ikea
Ribbon— www.papermart.com and www.paper-source.com


BIG THANK YOU
to Hostess With the Mostess for featuring this DIY
and to Capturing Grace Photography for taking such beautiful photos!

{REMINDER} Social Couture Giveaway ends TOMORROW!

Don’t forget to enter to win these fabulous grosgrain napkin holders from Social Couture!
The winner will receive their color choice of napkin rings–perfect for any upcoming summer parties!
Color choices include: 
 lemongrass, coral, navy/white, red/white, pink/white, lime/white, navy/pink/white (new), green/navy/white (new)
This awesome giveaway ends TOMORROW NIGHT! 
to enter! (It is super easy!) 

{DIY} Cherry Blossom Confetti

If you are a fan of the Love in Blossom photoshoot that I featured a while back…
 (and that was featured on Hostess with the Mostess)
then you were possibly waiting for these DIY posts!
**By the way, if you use any of these DIY projects I’d LOVE to see pictures!**
Just e-mail me at Jenni[at]awellcraftedparty.com
Well…with no further hullabaloo… 
 ~*~
DIY Cherry Blossom Confetti

Supplies:
Blossom Paper Punch
Tissue Paper in shades of Pink

Step One:
Punch several layers of tissue paper with blossom punch. 

Repeat until you have as much confetti as needed.
 

Note: The confetti can be used on tables,
but also to shower the bride and groom with as they leave for their honeymoon.
Sources: 
Craft Punch: I used one that is no longer being made… but, you can find a great cherry blososm punch at the Scrapbooking Warehouse website!
Tissue Paper: You can use any tissue paper for this project but, I got mine at Paper Source 
BIG THANK YOU
to Hostess With the Mostess for featuring this DIY
and to Capturing Grace Photography for taking such beautiful photos!

{DIY} Blossom Chopstick Holders

If you are a fan of the Love in Blossom photoshoot that I featured a while back…
 (and that was featured on Hostess with the Mostess)

then you were possibly waiting for these DIY posts!

**By the way, if you use any of these DIY projects I’d LOVE to see pictures!**

Just e-mail me at Jenni[at]awellcraftedparty.com
Well…with no further hullabaloo…
 ~*~

DIY Cherry Blossom Chopstick Holders

I’m a big fan of chopstick holders. I have a whole collection of really adorable ones that I use whenever setting a table with chopsticks. So, for this party I wanted to have some fun DIY holders that could also serve the purpose of a place card. These blossoms are made from just printing out a free printable and following some simple directions.

Supplies:
Cherry Blossom Printable PDF

(Click the Above Link to Get the PDF)
Pink Cardstock
Scissors or Exacto Knife
Hot Glue & Glue Gun
Pen or Pencil
Calligraphy Pen

Step One:
Print the Cherry Blossom PDF on pink card-stock.

Step Two

Cut Out blossoms and stands using scissors or Exacto Knife.

Step Three

Fold stands on dotted lines.

Glue the solid dot to the empty dot on the opposite side of the stand.
This will create a triangle shaped stand.

Step Four
Use the calligraphy pen to write guest’s names on each blossom.

Step Five

Curl the edges of the blossoms using a pen or pencil.

Step Six

Glue each blossom to a stand at the flower image on the stand to the back of the blossom.
Rest chopsticks on the Cherry Blossom Chopstick Holders.

Note: If your do not like your handwriting you can add text in each blossom within an Adobe Reader, Illustrator or Photoshop.

BIG THANK YOU

to Hostess With the Mostess for featuring this DIY
and to Capturing Grace Photography for taking such beautiful photos!

{Mommy Monday} Nesting Projects

If you know me (or possibly if you read my blog regularly) you would know that I am a *little bit* of a control freak. I like my lists, my calendar and organization. One of the hardest parts of being pregnant for me has been losing some of the control I’m used to having. (And, I suppose that it is good that I have been going through this now as I am sure to have even less control adding someone else into my life.) Thankfully the last few months have given me back a little bit of my ability to handle tasks and complete many of the items on my to do list. Unfortunately… I don’t have a date and time of arrival so I’m working with lists that have no firm deadline!

35 Weeks— only 5 weeks til my due date!

Today I’m 35 weeks which means the little guy can arrive (full term) anywhere from 2-7 weeks from now. That is a huge span of time! I’m hoping to finish all my many projects and have everything cleaned, packed and ready to go in just 2 weeks. YIKES! This means of course I have been working overtime on getting things done. The nursery is SO close… and I can’t wait to photograph it for you all to see!

Oh, and the Nesting thing isn’t a joke… it totally hit me that I need to CLEAN and ORGANIZE everything and that I HAD to get it done before the little guy came into our lives. I will sometimes wake up at 3 in the morning just to work on a project or reorganize the bathroom. Our closets have never looked better in 5 years of marriage! I’m hoping this instinct stays with me after baby gets here!

* Read on for the projects I’ve been working on!*

Projects I’ve been working on:

Chalk Board Storage Boxes for all the Baby Clothes

Using spray paint chalkboard paint I sprayed the outside of three large (room-coordinating) plastic bins. After the paint dried I used chalk to write the various sizes of clothing… this way I don’t have to have EVERY item of clothing we’ve received in his drawers as soon as he gets here. So far I have clothing spanning from 0 to 24 months and find that this is a great way to organize everything. I also think it’ll come in handy as he is getting older because I can rotate the smaller sizes out and continue buying clothing ahead of time and storing in the bins. And, someday…when he is older and not growing as quickly I can convert the boxes to toy storage by just erasing the chalk and re-labeling!

Ikea Spice Racks turned Book Shelves
Source: flickr.com via Jenni on Pinterest

I came across the above photo on Pinterest and knew that I had to have some in the nursery. I love how the racks make it possible to see all the covers of the little guys books. They add a small extra element of art to the room and LATER when he is older he’ll be able to look up and choose the books he wants to read with much more ease.
The spice racks were seriously cheap at Ikea ($4 each!), but came in an unfinished wood color. All of the furniture in the little guy’s room is white so I wanted to make sure these matched as well. Enter in my trusty cans of spray paint. After just a couple of coats of white paint the shelves were ready to go!

Making the Mobile
I really wanted to make the mobile for the nursery. I had several that I was choosing from… check out these amazing handmade mobiles:
Image Credit Top Left Clockwise: Martha Stewart, Lil Sprout Creations on Etsy, Jordan Fereny on Project Wedding
My favorite was actually the really pretty strips of vellum sewn together, but I couldn’t find vellum in the colors of his room and I wanted to get the project done so I went with my second favorite… of course a mobile by Martha! I’ll be putting up a post in the next few weeks detailing how I made the mobile. Here is the finished project…well, except that I did lower it a bit.
(excuse the mess in the rest of the room…a work in progress people!)
Robot Paintings

I’m not the most amazing artist, but I can draw a mean little cartoon. I really wanted to add some of my own art into the room so I decided to create 4 different robot paintings using the coordinating colors of the room. I bought 4 square canvases and painted each with a color that I want featured throughout the room. I then painted a different robot in white on each of the canvases. I think they turned out pretty cute… my favorite is the blue painting! These are just photos from my phone, but plan on having full room photos soon.

Birth Plan and Nurse Gifts
We are SERIOUSLY hoping to do this thing naturally. We also have a few specific requests that we are hoping won’t be too much for the birth plan, but regardless plan to add them. So, as we are printing off copies for the nurses that will attend to me (a screaming lady with control issues) we are hoping to make the whole process go easier and show our appreciation by also giving the nurses small gifts. I honestly was surprised that my hubby went with me on this one (why spend more money?)… but, he was totally on board and even helped me pick out items for the gifts! We filled little buckets (found at target in their $1 section) with goodies that we thought the nurses could use or would enjoy. We opted out of adding things that could melt because we plan on putting all our bags in the car waiting for labor to begin. Each bucket has cookies, gum, candy, iced latte packs, small note cards, and a pen. I finished off each bucket with a cellophane bag, ribbon and a printed out thank you card.

These are just the projects related to the house and baby! I’ve also been working on a few birthday  projects for some of the lovely people in my life. I’m excited about sharing some of those projects over the next few weeks. I’ve actually been so back logged on projects/recipes/parties that I have a lot of catch up to do on the blog. I’m working hard today getting some posts together so that you can catch up on all the things going on over here. Who would have guessed that summer would be SO busy!

What projects have you been working on lately? I’d love to see some of the items you are creating and will totally visit your blog or check out the photos if you add a link in the comments! 
~*~
Also, don’t forget about entering our current {GIVEAWAY}

Happy Birthday!

Today is a very special day… 
It is the day my Mom was born (a few years ago, of course)! 
Photo of me and my mom at my wedding 5 years ago
Happy Birthday Mom! 
I hope your last year as just a mom was awesome… 
and I hope that your first year as a grandmother is even more awesome!
I love you and am sure glad you were born!

{GIVEAWAY} Social Couture

I am REALLY excited about this giveaway! 
When Lisa from
contacted me with the opportunity for a giveaway…well, I think I squealed a little.
Social Couture is one of my favorite places to look for party inspiration and supplies. I have a few party supply items that I absolutely love that have been dropped into my mail box from Social Couture! 
The plum textured runner, hardwood chopsticks and a few other often used items sitting in my entertaining closet are from their site… so, I have NO problem introducing you to the Social Couture site and offering you this fun giveaway opportunity!
{ABOUT THE SITE}
From their website: 
 “Social Couture is an on-line store for home decor and entertaining products.  We provide imaginative party decorations and inspired tabletop ideas, so that throwing a festive party needn’t be such a production and an expense for our customers.  Our single, pre-packaged goal is to deliver a high quality themed party complete with decorations to centerpieces to napkins & plates in an effort to simplify and elevate our customer’s lives.  Our customers will only need to consider their occasion. Once an order is placed a prepackaged theme party will arrive in a box and the entertaining preparation is complete.  The contents of prepackaged box, delivered to the doorstep, can easily be blended into our customer’s style, dining rooms, menu choices and lives.  In an effort to further offer simplicity and choice to our customers, Social Couture also offers a wide variety of other high end party supply products from dinnerware, glasses, flatware and votives to music and unique entertaining products.”
I love that you can choose a pre-designed theme, 
such as the following theme “Girls Night Out,” 
or you can pick and choose products that will coordinate with a theme you already have in mind.
Oh, and another thing I love about their site?
They have customizable PRINTABLE parties available for less than $15… 
like this adorable French Circus theme printable party!
{THE GIVEAWAY}
Social Couture has offered a giveaway for a set of their  
grosgrain napkin rings in the color of the winner’s choice!
  (PERFECT FOR SUMMER PARTIES!)
Pictured Pink and White Grosgrain Napkin Ring
The Red and White Grosgrain Napkin Ring
The color combinations available include: lemongrass, coral, navy/white, red/white, pink/white, lime/white, navy/pink/white (new), green/navy/white (new).
Napkin rings in use in the “Preppy Party” Social Couture Package
 These lovely little napkin holders were also recently featured on House Beautiful!
 {THE RULES}

To win the Grosgrain Napkin Rings of your color 
choice please read the following rules: 

*To win you must have an address from the United States for shipping considerations.*
The contest will run from today (July 8) 
to the end of day (MIDNIGHT PST) Friday, July 15, 2011. 
A winner will be chosen then and announced on Saturday, July 16.
I will contact the winner via e-mail if an e-mail address is given or available… if not the winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner will be chosen.
~You have SEVERAL opportunities to win these napkin rings! ~
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST FOR EACH ENTRY!  
{Entry Opportunities}
1. Leave a comment telling me which color combination you would choose and what kind of party you would like to use it for! ( If you need some inspiration then you should check out the Social Couture site and see some of the AMAZING parties they have predesigned! 
(If you already do then please leave a comment telling me so!)
3. “LIKE” Social Couture on Facebook 
(Give them a shout out that you came from A Well Crafted Party!)
4. Follow A Well Crafted Party on Twitter   (If you already do then leave a comment telling me so!) 
5. Follow Social Couture on Twitter
That is 5 different opportunities to WIN! 
Remember to please LEAVE A COMMENT on this blog post for EACH entry you have completed! 
 

{LINKS} More ways to save money by upcycling and sewing

If you saw the blog yesterday then you saw that my very own *mommy* sent us a fun guest post about saving money by upcycling clothing with a simple, yet fun sewing project.
Well, her sewing bug certainly hit the mark with me and I have been a huge fan of upcycling and creating something from nothing for most of my life. (At one point in my life there was a desire to become a clothing designer. I even made a logo and tags that I sewed into everything I created!)
Photo of a pattern I created for a dress I recently made
As this is one of my biggest hobbies I thought I’d share some links to blogs that I follow that feature upcycling or DIYing fun clothing as well as some links to favorite tutorials. 
*If you have any favorites that I am missing I’d love for you to leave a link in the comments!*
LINK #1
To start let me put up a link to a project that I love because I did it! I turned some old tablecloths into a dress for my 27th birthday. Total cost for entire dress $0! Oh, and I made the pattern and did all the sewing and fitting myself so I got to feel incredibly proud that it didn’t fall apart during my night out! Unfortunately I did not create a tutorial for this… 
but, it is proof that I’m totally obsessed with this DIY clothing craze!
Me in my handmade birthday dress.
Close up of my hand rolled fabric flowers.
LINKS 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Next up are four of my FAVORITE blogs for finding fun sewing or upcycling projects. They are in no certain order as I find equally amazing ideas from all three sites!
2. Grosgrain— Oh dear… I LOVE THIS SITE! She is kind of amazing. 
The great things at this site: a month full of FREE PATTERNS, a Frock by Friday , Embellish your Knits Month and a ton of daily inspiration.

3. Sewing in No Man’s Land— Some of the most beautiful sewing I’ve seen in a long time and she shares patterns all the time.
She makes me want a baby girl SO bad. I want to make all the adorable little outfits that she makes for her little one. But, thankfully for me (and my little boy) she also has patterns for women
and adorable little boy pjs!

4. Yours, Mine & Ours— This chic is totally cool. She is all about Free Piling (finding FREE clothing) and thrifting and creating outfits for herself and her family.
I’m really into her outfit posts and her tutorials on how to take-in clothing or alter clothing in ways that make them more palatable to your style and closet.

5. Chic Steals— All kinds of DIY awesomeness. The author of this blog has a funky style with a fashion background and I love seeing all the amazing stuff she DIYs.
6. Made— Okay, this site isn’t just about fashion… there are a ton of amazing posts for parties, home improvement, recipes… etc. BUT, I do love her tutorials and patterns as well. Oh, and it helps that she sews a ton of cute things for BOYS! She even participated in CELEBRATE THE BOY with a TON of tutorials, guest posts and more. Love, love….LOVE this site.
LINK #7
I collect ideas… before the creation of Pinterest I had a file on my computer of photos, tutorials and links that was ridiculous to try to weave through and even harder to post about after losing all of their original poster information. So, I’m a little obsessed about Pinterest and use it ALL the time. 
(If you don’t have an account yet and want one please e-mail me 
and I will try my best to get you an invitation PRONTO.) 
One of my boards on Pinterest is called Sewing and Upstyling and it is where I collect projects that I want to work on or happen to think are pretty awesome. I update it (and my other boards) pretty often so feel free to check it out or follow it! 
Here are a couple of my favorite projects from the board (at the moment):
Upcycled T’s turned into bibs from u-createcrafts.com

Reusable Sandwich Bags from wewilsons.blogspot.com
gDiaper insert tutorial from SeeKateSew.com

Are there any amazing sites/projects/tutorials that you think I’d like that I’m missing from this list? Also, what money saving projects are you working on right now?

{Mommy Monday} Saving Money by Repurposing Clothes

I know… it is Tuesday, again
My excuse this time is that yesterday was Independence Day… 
(How was your 4th BTW?)
Doesn’t that equal Independence from blogging? No, really… 
I wanted to post yesterday but I woke up and realized that I’m 34 weeks pregnant which means that my little man is considered full term in just 3 short weeks and is due in just 6. So, instead of following my carefully planned out to-do list (which included working on posts) I ended up spending all day working on the nursery and hospital bags. I did get a bunch done though and feel like I can breathe a little bit easier today. Too bad that feeling of ease didn’t help me sleep last night.
But, enough about me. Today I have a guest blog post from a very special Mommy.
MY MOMMY!
Me, my mom and my hubby-taken with my iPhone
She spent some time crafting a post about one way to save money after having a kiddo— although, this will work on saving money even if you don’t have kids. This is something she’s been doing for YEARS and is currently gaining huge popularity with the in-crowd. I’m currently following SEVERAL different bloggers who do this very thing and blog about it. 
What does she do to save money? She re-purposes clothes! 
Check out what she says about up-styling and re-purposing clothing to help save a few buckaroos.
~*~
Hello. My name is Carol and I am Jenni’s mom. When Jenni suggested that I do a blog post I was honored and well, a little nervous. I mean, what could I say that would be of interest to anyone? 
Carol with Jenni (ME) and her sister Heather
Several pieces of advise about being a new mom come to mind: 
—sleep when the baby sleeps (you will need it), 
—it’s ok for a baby to cry for a few minutes while you take a shower (a shower when you are stressed is a way to wash away the stress and gain a new outlook)
—dirt will not kill a child (it didn’t me or you) 
—even junk food is OK once in a while for dinner (we all need our little treats in life and babies/kids are no exception). 
However, how to put that in a blog post was escaping me and I figured that is all stuff that others will tell her or she may learn on her own anyway. So, I was left with my one favorite piece of advise that has served me well. 
I do need to give you a bit of background as to how I learned this particular piece of advice.

I married Jenni’s dad when I was very young and I truly believed that love would conquer all problems. Hah! I was so naïve! We had 4 children in 5 years and money was tight! I had to learn how to cut corners and save in every way possible and in some cases that wasn’t enough. So I learned to re-use things. Re-using and re- cycling things saves so much money as well as the environment. 
Sister (Heather), Carol and Jenni (ME)
The item I am going to show you how to make came about right after Jenni’s birth.
Eating for two was my motto the whole time I was pregnant with Jenni. I ate everything in sight. There was a running joke in my family that everyone had to get to the table before I did or there would be nothing left. Seconds, thirds and midnight raids to the fridge were my life for nine months. Consequently, I gained 90 pounds! 
NONE of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit after she was born. 
I was MORTIFIED that I had to wear a maternity dress home from the hospital after she was born because nothing else I owned fit me! 
In desperation I looked for clothes that I could “make” fit by letting them out.
I finally took a pair of my husband’s jeans and an old skirt that no longer fit my waist and fumbled my way through making me a skirt. I was so happy with the results that I hit the thrift stores looking for more jeans and skirts to give makeovers to!
READ ON for DIRECTIONS on how to make a fun new jean skirt and MORE

What you need:
—One skirt or dress (I used a dress that I loved the colors and the skirt but the top of the dress showed too much for me to be comfortable.)
—One pair of jeans (I used a pair that had shrunk to the point that they were too short.)
—Sewing machine 
(This can be hand sewn but it takes MUCH longer and the results are not as durable.)
{STEP ONE}

Cut the skirt off of the top of the dress. If you are using a skirt then cut the skirt off at the waist band.

{Step two}
Cut the jeans off just below the back pocket. 
{Step three & four}
With right sides together pin the skirt to the jeans. And then sew the jeans to the skirt paying particular attention to not catching the front pockets of the jeans in the seam.

{Step five}

Iron the seam toward the jeans and turn right side out.
Done!

A new addition to Mommy’s wardrobe! This also works for dresses and jeans that toddlers outgrow.
So many things can be re-purposed and re-used if you just let your imagination run wild. I can think of four or five ways to re-purpose onsies and receiving blankets! (Maybe that’s the next blog post?)
Well, it’s been fun and I hope to see you again in the future! 
Remember, don’t throw it away, re-use it in a fun new way!
~ Carol
~*~
Thanks mom! 
So, how do you save money with regards to clothing? 
Check back later today for links to some of my favorite sites that focus on re-purposing or re-styling clothes as well as some links to great projects I’ve found!

Edit: Later may have to be tomorrow… I’m turning in for the evening!

{Friday Finds} Last Minute Indpendence Day Ideas

Now, I know some of you have been planning your Independence Day celebration for a while now…
 (and, I’d love to see pictures!)
But, this holiday always seems to sneak up on me. I’ve been searching for some easy, last minute ideas that I can incorporate into this year’s celebration. I thought I’d share some of the fun things I’ve come across in case you are like me and haven’t planned a thing or even if you are just looking for that final touch to complete your party!
You can find all the inspiration that I’ve been collecting on my Pinterest Board: Independence Day.
Don’t have Pinterest!?!
E-mail me and I will invite you (until I run out of invites)… have Pinterest?
Follow me and I’ll Follow You right back!
Some of my favorites from the board:
Image Credit: Seaside Creative
I love the colors of these free printables from Seaside Creative. Emily, the designer, actually caught my attention with them by e-mailing me the link. I’m pretty sure these will make an appearance in my upcoming celebration! Check out her site for some great inspiration, free printables
and to see her great shop!
Photo Credit: Bakers Royale
Don’t these strawberry treats look AMAZING!?!
I think these are a must do for this year’s celebration (and SO easy).
Although, I’ll be doing it without the vodka infusion.
I found these through Tip Junkie, but they originally belong to Bakers Royale.
Image Credit: Home is where the Boat Is
While almost EVERYTHING about the “Home is Where the Boat Is” party is AMAZING this is one of my favorite details. I love how they garnished drinks with watermelon stars and blueberries! I originally found this party through Entertain Exchange!
Photo Credit: Fiskars
I {LOVE} streamers. They are such a fun, inexpensive way to decorate for parties. But, I really love when someone does something CREATIVE with streamers. These star punched streamers from Fiskars would add so much to a party. I also really like the star punched paper plates that are also featured on the Fiskar’s Fourth of July post!
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart
Oh, and of course you can’t forget about the plethora of inspiration found on Martha Stewart’s website! I love how these are just re-purposed cans yet they look so fantastic filled with tasty snacks. The paper is provided as free clip art on the site and can be used throughout any part of your celebration.I’d love to know if you’ve found any GREAT Independence Day inspiration. Any big plans for your weekend?

{Outfit Post} Maternity Swimwear

When you are pregnant in the summer then you figure out ways to stay cool. I hit the pool… daily. 
I got a pink maternity tankini Old Navy bathing suit from a thrift store and sewed in a new lining. 
Heck yea to only spending $10 on a bathing suit. 
I felt fabulous in my bathing suit. Guess there is always a first time for everything.

Well, until a young 20-something whispered to her boyfriend, “Oh my gosh, I’m the skinniest person here!!!” Me and my pregnant hormones almost let loose on the little lady.
Happy for ya sister…but, you need to just think those things instead of saying them aloud.

Outfit: 
Pink Maternity Tankini from Old Navy (Thrifted)
Sunglasses via Target
Pink iPhone case is an Otterbox

{REAL PARTY} Patriotic Crab Boil

So, this upcoming weekend is  
Independence Day Weekend
and, I totally forgot.
(Pregnancy Brain?)
Summer holidays have always been hard for me to get into as much as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Valentine’s Day…Maybe because it feels like all of summer is a good excuse to throw a party I don’t really feel the need to do it on the same day as everyone else. 
  Yep, I’m a Summer Party Crab. 
I do however like Independence Day (even if I don’t often do a BIG shin-dig)…
Which is why last year I thought it would be fun to throw a Crab Boil around the holiday and spice it up with a few patriotic details so that I didn’t feel like I wasn’t celebrating at least a little. 
And, since the holiday is creeping up on me again this year I thought I’d share the photos with you just in case you needed some last minute party inspiration. 
 (If that is you then check back tomorrow for some {Friday Finds} chock full of Independence Day 
inspiration including FREE PRINTABLES!)

~*~ 
Patriotic Crab Boil
Each guest got a hand painted bib along with their silverware.
The bibs were a bit too small for most guests. But, were cute anyways.
I kept most of the decorating quite simple… a few red and white streamers really brought it all together.
The adorable printables were found FREE at Hostess with the Mostess!
No plates needed for this feast! The buckets were filled with rolls.
I wrapped boxes of sparklers up with fun homemade wrapping papers and created Thank You Tags to finish off the favors.
The aftermath… but, hey! I didn’t have a ton of dishes to do at the end of the night!

 The Details

 
Really, I didn’t do a bunch for this party. That is one of my favorite parts of a Crab Boil.

—Decorations—

I put up red and white streamers around the party areas and our porch area.
I also used the Hostess with the Mostess printables to designate the refreshments area.
Using Illustrator I created a few printables of my own
including some wrapping paper and thank you tags for the favors.
My favorite part was the table… To protect the table I put down some wax paper and then covered the whole table with white butcher paper (seriously the best party supply purchase I’ve ever made). I then added the bibs and silverware packs to each place setting. The bibs and silverware wraps I just free-handed earlier that day. I added galvanized buckets of rolls down the center of the table and ramekins of butter and lemon slices at each place setting…. and that is it!
The main attraction happened at dinner time when I dumped the food on the table!

—The Food—

I did a simple crab boil (and, to tell you the truth… at the last moment we decided to save some money and went without the crab and instead did shrimp and clams). I have two really big pots and I filled them with red potatoes, onions, lemons, corn on the cob, sausage, shrimp and clams. They steamed beautifully with a little bit of white wine. I also added in some spices to give it a bit of a kick.
(Check out this recipe from All Recipes or this one from Martha Stewart)

Well, I hope you enjoyed this {REAL PARTY} post and I hope it shows you can throw together something fun and celebratory even at the last minute. 
It can be simple and simply FUN at the same time.
We are always so happy when having friends over to our place!

What are your plans for Independence Day this year?

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