DIY: Easy Food Platters


There are so many tutorials out there for fun, DIY platters. I wanted something that I hadn’t seen before, was inexpensive, and could be used on a table or as a passed hors d’oeuvre platter. I decided to create these fun DIY Platters out of cutting boards so that the area the food goes on would be completely food safe.

To make these platters you’ll need:


I chose to only do one side of my board so that if needed I could use the opposite side as an actual cutting board. But, you could choose to do both sides! 




Instructions:

  1. Tape off the center area of the board with painters tape. I wanted thick strips of gold on each side, but enough space in the center to artfully arrange the hors d’oeuvres. If you are using a very large board then  you might want to cover the center with paper and tape that down instead of wasting a bunch of tape.
  2. Spray the board with the spray paint following the instructions on the can.
  3. Once the paint is dry, remove the tape. Voila! You have yourself an easy, inexpensive platter that will show off your food nicely!


My boards are still holding up after several hand washes. I recommend that you dry the board immediately, or possibly add a sealant, to avoid water spots on the paint.






If you liked this post then check out these posts from the same party feature!
Modern and Chic NYE Party on Pizzazzerie

Follow along this week and next for more of this party, first featured on Pizzazzerie.com! I’ll be featuring a tasty cocktail, an appetizer recipe, a few DIY projects, and some DIY party tips for your NYE party!

A BIG thank you to my NYE party collaborators— 
Check out their blogs!
Photography: Macey of Motormouth Studios
Event Styling: ME! of A Well Crafted Party
Menu: Bee of The Spicy Bee and Kate of Fork and Vine
Venue Styling: Adi of Garden of Edlen
Model Styling: Sarah of The Confessions of a Product Junkie
Models: Sarah, Carter, Kate, Will, Adi, Matt, Kayla of Fit Life Forward and Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking


*Occasionally links on this blog are affiliate links that help support this blogger. This is a for-profit blog.  To read my Advertising Guidelines please click here.


Our Second Christmas: X and a flute

X on Christmas evening listening to his Grandad play his flute. Photo taken by my lovely SIL.

I hope you all had a very, merry Christmas. We sure did! (I’m sure I’ll come back over the next couple of days to tell you about all the frustrating things that happened over the holidays. A toddler with a home full of visitors—while trying to adjust to a toddler bed and teething— is a story all on its own.) We had lots of fun with gifts this year because he enjoyed opening the presents and playing with them. The little man actually only got a pair of pjs (that he wore on Christmas eve) from me and his daddy. But, he opened nearly 30 gifts from his aunts, uncles, odd parents, and grandparents… they went a little crazy over him. But, we sure did appreciate it and he loved every second of it.

My absolute favorite memory of the year was the evening of our Christmas celebration when X’s grandad played Christmas music on his flute. X was SO good! He did his best not to touch the flute, only gave in to temptation once or twice. He stood right in front of his Grandad with a look of pure awe on his face. He’d clap at times. He sang. He’d sign “more” when the music stopped. And, then, he looked around and did the above expression and looked at us all like we should join in on the fun! If I had just been able to use the above image for this year’s Christmas card! It would have been PERFECT! The flute experience was amazing, and hilarious. X’s uncle shot a video of the fun as well… enjoy!

Linked up to these parties:


and  then, she {snapped}thankfulthursdays}

DIY: Festive Appetizer Plate Upgrade


I try to use real plates and glassware at many of my parties so that I am not wasting paper goods or spending extra money on plates and napkins. (Don’t get me wrong though… I love a pretty paper item!) However, sometimes using my plain white plates at every event gets boring. I don’t want to go out and buy a ton of new dishes at every event… so, I came up with an easy and non-permanent way to upgrade my party dishes.

To upgrade your appetizer plates or glassware in a festive, non-permanent way you’ll need the following:

— Plates/glassware of choice. I used white dessert plates that I bought at HomeGoods for little money!
— A Sharpie in your color choice (I used gold)




Instructions:

  1. Using your sharpie, draw around the edge of the plate in a simple design. I usually sick to something like dots or lines to just give a little pop of a design. Keep your design at the edge of the plate, or away from the rim of a glass. Sharpie markers are not food safe.
  2. You’re DONE! Told you it was easy. The sharpie will last throughout the party. To wash the marker off let it sit with dish soap applied directly to the marked area for about thirty minutes and wash off.



If you want the marks to be permanent then you can cure them in an oven by putting them in a cold oven and then letting it get up to  350˚ F, leave for half an hour then turn the oven off. Let them sit in the oven until cool. I like to then leave them unused for 24 hours. Using a pen made for writing on porcelain, like the Porcelaine 150 pen, will garner more permanent results than a Sharpie.


If you liked this post then check out these posts from the same party feature!
Modern and Chic NYE Party on Pizzazzerie

Follow along this week and next for more of this party, first featured on Pizzazzerie.com! I’ll be featuring a tasty cocktail, an appetizer recipe, a few DIY projects, and some DIY party tips for your NYE party!

A BIG thank you to my NYE party collaborators— 
Check out their blogs!
Photography: Macey of Motormouth Studios
Event Styling: ME! of A Well Crafted Party
Menu: Bee of The Spicy Bee and Kate of Fork and Vine
Venue Styling: Adi of Garden of Edlen
Model Styling: Sarah of The Confessions of a Product Junkie
Models: Sarah, Carter, Kate, Will, Adi, Matt, Kayla of Fit Life Forward and Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking


*Occasionally links on this blog are affiliate links that help support this blogger. This is a for-profit blog.  To read my Advertising Guidelines please click here.



{Recipe} Blinis with Crème Fraîche and Caviar

This is a guest post featuring one of the delicious hors d’oeuvres that was pictured in the Chic & Modern New Year’s Eve party featured on Pizzazzerie.com. This is part of a Portland Blogger’s Collaboration photo shoot and post series. Read on to see a recipe for a delicious (and easy!) party appetizer: The Blini with Creme Fraiche and Caviar.

Continue Reading…

{Recipe} Rosemary Bliss Cocktail

This is a guest post featuring one of the delicious drinks that was pictured in the Chic & Modern New Year’s Eve party featured on Pizzazzerie.com. This is part of a Portland Blogger’s Collaboration photo shoot and post series. Read on for a tasty Rosemary Bliss Cocktail Recipe!

Continue Reading…

Holiday Cooking Tip: Power up your Pepper

For the past two years my friend Joan and her husband Brandon have used Alton Brown’s Power Pepper trick to pepper our potatoes. They are always in charge of the turkey and the mashed potatoes each year… and, while they loved the taste of fresh ground pepper, they hated how much effort it took to grind enough pepper to properly pepper the potatoes.
Then… they saw Alton’s trick of attaching a drill to a pepper grinder and never looked back! They took the lid of the pepper grinder off and attached their drill to the rod that spins the grinder. Then, holding the grinder firmly in one hand, they pushed power. Not only did everything get properly peppered… but, they got to play with power tools in the kitchen. WIN WIN.

 

{Real Party} It’s the End of the World!

This year’s birthday “theme” was “It’s the End of the World!” Do I think the world is ending today? Nope. Did I have a blast planning an End of the World themed party… YOU BET!

This was absolutely my favorite birthday party to date. I didn’t have to clean or cook! Myself and about 28 of my friends went to The Original— a Dineraunt here in Portland, OR. The food was SO good (hello, donut burger sliders—YUM), the drinks were great, and the service was really wonderful.

I’ve put together some of the images taken from that evening, along with some DIY tips that you can incorporate in many different themed parties.

Invitations: If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times… the invitation sets the tone for the entire party. I wanted everyone to know that we’d be having cocktails and yummy food. But, I also wanted to relay the message that this was going to be a FUN party. My favorite part of the invite was the little dino reminder. It had a glittery eyeball and a message reminding guests that the party was on 12/12/12 on the back. People could hang them on a tree, the front door, or their fridge!


Decor: The Original has such a hip, fun decor already that I knew I didn’t need much to make this party stand out. And, I’d never suggest to anyone to bring in a ton of decorations to a restaurant. (See my post on hosting events at a restaurant here.)
So, for decor at this party I made little flags, glittery dinosaurs (they were at the last end of the world!), some “fortune tellers,” and a few activities. I sprinkled the tables with the items. I then used the favor bags as part of the table’s centerpieces. Balloons and party hats finished off the party space. I loved how bright and celebratory everything looked!

Activities: I tried to keep the activities simple for the party… I didn’t want to annoy other guests or anything. But, I still wanted some activities that guests could do because not everyone knew each other and activities are a great way to break the ice.

I made little “Draw Your Future Action Figure” sheets for people to “tell future inhabitants of earth what your action figure should look like… don’t want to end up with short little arms like T-Rex!” I the fortune tellers (or cootie catchers) and small talking cards with bucket list items.

Mostly everyone chatted and enjoyed the food… but, it was fun picking up the action figure sheets at the end of the night!

Photo by Bee of The Spicy Bee, Instagram @thespicybee
Favor: I filled bags found at Oriental Trading with all sorts of goodies just in case the end of days is upon us. The favor had the following items:
  • Beer: “The end is near… time for a beer!”
  • Chapstick: “If I’m going out… I’m going out MAKING OUT!”
  • Chocolate: “The first end of the world would have been much more enjoyable with chocolate.”
  • Mints: “Just because the end is MINT to be… your breath doesn’t need to be so stinky!”
  • Bubbles… well, because Bubbles are fun. 

I didn’t take many photos… but, I loved seeing the Instagram photos that everyone took! I was really fortunate to have so many people with cameras and/or camera phones in attendance or I’d barely have a photo to post today!

Check out these awesome instagram accounts! 

DISCLAIMER: I was in no way compensated for my opinion on The Original. Just my opinion from this experience.


{Free Printables} New Years’ Eve Party Printables

I’m excited to share the printable collection I created for the Chic & Modern New Years’ Eve party I did in collaboration with several Portland Bloggers. I wanted to bring in some fairly traditional New Years’ Eve colors (black, white bright magenta, and gold) and add in a touch of wood to make the party pop a bit. I’m pretty much in love with how these printables turned out and am so excited to share them with you!
 
Head on over to the New Year’s Eve Printables 2013 collection I’ve posted on Scribd and download your New  Years Eve printables now! 
 
  • Printable Instructions
  • NYE Party invite
  • NYE Subway Art
  • NYE Party Circles/Squares (can be used as decoration or cupcake toppers)
  • Food Labels for “Savory Snacks” and “Sinful Sweets”
  • Fortunes for the New Year Drink tags in black, pink, and wood. Also, a print for the back of the tags.

***As with all of my free printables… this collection is to be for Personal Use only. Please do not post a link directly to the downloads on your site/social network, but rather a link to this page. If you use the printables I’d LOVE to see photos of your event (not required, but really appreciated!) Thanks so much! ****

Follow along this week and next for more of this party, first featured on Pizzazzerie.com! I’ll be featuring a tasty cocktail, an appetizer recipe, a few DIY projects, and some DIY party tips for your NYE party!

A BIG thank you to my NYE party collaborators— 
Check out their blogs!
Photography: Macey of Motormouth Studios
Event Styling: ME! of A Well Crafted Party
Menu: Bee of The Spicy Bee and Kate of Fork and Vine
Venue Styling: Adi of Garden of Edlen
Model Styling: Sarah of The Confessions of a Product Junkie
Models: Sarah, Carter, Kate, Will, Adi, Matt, Kayla of Fit Life Forward and Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking

 

Loving all these free printables and want to fuel more free printable designs?

Cups of coffee are appreciated!

 

Sizes



Featured: Chic & Modern NYE Party on Pizzazzerie

I’m super excited to announce that a little New Years’ Eve Party collaboration I worked on is now live on one of the COOLEST party blogs on the block. Pizzazzerie.com is featuring the Portland Bloggers‘ NYE collaboration. Check it out and then come back this week and next for lots of fun additional posts, free printables, and DIY treats from the shoot! 

And, a BIG thank you to my NYE party collaborators!
Photography: Macey of Motormouth Studios
Event Styling: ME! of A Well Crafted Party
Menu: Bee of The Spicy Bee and Kate of Fork and Vine
Venue Styling: Adi of Garden of Edlen
Model Styling: Sarah of The Confessions of a Product Junkie
Models: Sarah, Carter, Kate, Will, Adi, Matt, Kayla of Fit Life Forward and Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking

Friday Finds: 24 days of Free Christmas Downloads

OMMMMMGGGG…. this is awesome.
check out this amazing series featuring FREE Christmas downloads from designers.
Some of my favorites (so far) include the bold christmas gift tag printables from Lemon Squeezy and the calligraphy tags from Sweet Muffin Suite.
Oh, and there was a feature last year too!

Tips for Hosting a Holiday Party

Ahhh…. the holidays! It is time for mistletoe, eggnog, cozy sweaters, sparkly dresses and PARTIES! I love the thousand excuses that the holidays give us for celebrating. Basically from October til February it is party central in my brain.

There is no end to the different types of parties that are thrown during the holidays. And, whether you are having a cookie exchange or an elegant cocktail party there are a few simple tips that can make hosting a holiday party less stressful and much more fun. The following tips are items I try to keep in mind when hosting events during the holidays.

1. Schedule well— Yes, the holidays are the time for parties…. which means that your guests will probably have other holiday parties to attend as well. You might have a few to attend yourself. I had a couple of good friends plan a holiday party (and invite people) just to find out that one of them had a company holiday party to attend. You don’t need to plan your event around everyone’s schedules (but, you might wanna check your calendar first) but, there are a few simple things that can ensure you and your guests a less stressful event.

  • Plan in advance…. like WAY in advance. Give a lot of notice and a few reminders if you know you want to have an event. Send out invitations at least 3 weeks early if possible.
  • Plan the event at a day and time that will be more accessible to your guests. There are going to be a ton of holiday events on the Friday and Saturday evenings in the month of December. If your event lends itself to a different time or day, try an afternoon party or a fun happy hour type event on a weekday. Or, set up an open house so that people can come and go as needed.
I used the white christmas lights and garland throughout my partyscape!
2. Use your holiday decorations in your party decor! No one wants to take down an entire Christmas tree and all the trimmings because it doesn’t exactly fit with their party theme. And, many venues will have holiday decorations up. Work with it! All the baubles and decor items that are already up can actually help save you a buck or two on the overall party while still keeping the mood festive. Move items around and restyle them to make the space extra special.
3. Limit Yourself! It is easy to go overboard with any party, but especially holiday parties… I make myself set a strict budget and limit myself on the “projects” I am doing for the party. A few ways to limit yourself and still have a successful holiday party include:
  • Do signature drinks! Instead of having a full bar or a crazy array of beverages choose one to two specialty drinks and serve with water and another popular non-alcoholic option. This is for parties with or without alchohol…. there are a lot of fun non-alcoholic specialty beverages that can be made into a delicious signature drink. Not only will you save a lot of money on beverages if you do signature holiday drinks, but you can also have some fun and make the drinks truly memorable. One of my favorite signature drinks that I’ve made in the past are the “Bubble Machine” and “Ginger Jenni” drinks I made for last year’s birthday celebration.
  • Only make a couple of food items… I am such a fan of homemade food for parties. But, spending two days in the kitchen is certainly not stress-free. If I am having an at-home holiday party I either buy at least half of my food pre-made (cheese, veggie, fruit trays are awesome for this– just take out and put on a different platter!) or ask a few guests to bring items. Having the holiday party in a restaurant? No worries! Let the restaurant do the work for you!
  • Limit myself to three DIY projects. This is the hardest part for me because I love putting DIY details into an event. Typically, I  choose to DIY some paper printables for the party, a favor, and a centerpiece item. I always want to also DIY my outfit, all the party decor, and the food and drinks… but, then I go crazy.

I hope these tips will help you in planning your holiday event.

 

 Check out my guest post of
 “Tips for Attending a Holiday Party over at Simple Moments Stick!

Today is my birthday!
Yep, my favorite day of the year… and since it is 12/12/12,
 it is also a day I’ve been looking forward to for YEARS.
I’m throwing a little birthday bash this evening
(Party etiquette says you don’t throw your own birthday parties.
But my hubby, friends, & family forgive this little etiquette misstep because they know that getting to plan a party, for me, is a gift in itself! Thanks y’all! )
Follow along my day and see lots of pretty party pictures by checking out my instagram feed @jennibost or follow the hastag #121212jennibday 

Happy 12/12/12!

Want, Need, Wear, Read– My Wish List

Typically around this time of year I am thinking so much about what I want to do for other people that I get a bunch of messages from my family and friends asking me what is on my wish list. This year was no different.

And, while of course there are things I want (I like things)… very few items come to mind when people ask that question. I’m just happy to celebrate with people, especially this year. It has been a long, tough year and I just want to spend some good quality time with people I care about.

However, my sister and mother never, ever take that as an answer…. if you follow my Pinterest boards you might have seen me go a little online window shopping crazy with my wish list. Sorry about that!

A blogger I follow posted her Want, Need, Wear, Read list and I loved it…. so, I am mimicking her a tad and putting up my own list.

Want: I really want to get some pretty barware. I am in love with the twig barware kit and glass bottles with wood stoppers from West Elm. Seriously… check out that jigger! Lovely.

Need: Oh dear, oh dear… I need new underwear and bras SO bad. Pregnancy and nursing did a number on my body. I’d like to throw out all that I have and replace them with some pretty new things from Victoria’s Secret or something similar.

Wear: This area is always my biggest wants… I love things I can wear. Makeup, perfume, lipstick, shoes, purses, accessories, clothing. I love it all. Two things that are big on my want list are a pair of cute rain boots (Target) (I live in Portland, after all!) and a nice looking camera bag (Jo Totes.)

Read: It has been so very long since I have read something longer than a blog post. There are a couple of books I want right now. But, I’m also craving a magazine subscription or two. BUT, the one book I want the most right now is the 2013 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition. I wouldn’t mind the short story and novel edition too!

What is on your Want, Need, Wear, Read Wish List!?

Happy Thanksgiving: A Look Back at Thanksgiving 2011

I haven’t always been a big fan of Turkey Day. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoying eating good food and getting together with family… it was that all of the other holidays overshadowed the day and made it last in my book. However, the last five years we’ve been able to spend Thanksgiving with a wonderful group of friends that I am over-the-moon thankful for! I don’t know if it is my age (starting to actually understand what thankfulness means) or this particular group of people… but, I love this holiday now!

I have so many different things to be truly thankful for, especially this year. We’ve had to depend on our friends and family to get us through a very tough year. There have been huge ups and huge downs that has made this year an especially memorable one. I’m thankful for my family, my husband’s family, my old friends, my new friends, MY SON, and the many memorable moments of the year.
Last year we celebrated as we will this year. It is going to be different with a toddler wondering around… I can’t wait to see how he likes all the tasty Thanksgiving dishes!
What a cutie in suspenders!
YUM! fooooooodddd
Our beautiful hostess!
Me enjoying an Apple Cider Margarita
Little bug was only a couple months old here and only his Oddmom can get him to go to sleep!

How do you spend your Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving… I hope that you are able to spend time with those you love, reflect on the things you are most thankful, and eat a ton of great food!

Writer’s Block: Thanksgiving Links

My brain is blank at the moment. I’ve been writing a ton lately…. and, today, two days before a HUGE deadline, my brain is fried and I can’t think of anything to write. I don’t know if I am overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work I have, if I have too many ideas to focus on one, or just have good-old-fashioned writer’s block. But, I’m blocked.

So, head on over to these awesome people’s sites who are nice and prolific.

Thanksgiving Posts from Around the Web:

  • Sarah Hearts has adorable FREE printables for your Thanksgiving wine.
  • A really adorable fox is sharing a What to Wear for Thanksgiving post over at Creature Comforts.
  • Hostess with the Mostess is sharing mini baked goods (not to be confused with Hostess brand that is going out of business) for the Thanksgiving season.
  • Glitter and Grace and The Kinas show fun ideas for dressing up and down for the Thanksgiving meals you’ll be attending.
  • Cute Fall decor and great thanksgiving food ideas from the Friendsgiving post from A Beautiful Mess.
If you are looking for other free Thanksgiving Printables or Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas then check out my posts from the past:
Have a good day. And, if my brain shows up over the next few days then I do have some items to share with you. I just need to get them out of the piled high file folders of ideas that are cluttering up my head.
Do you have any Thanksgiving inspiration to share with everyone? I’d love to see it in the comment section! I’ll post the links on my Facebook page throughout the week!
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