This post is the second in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out yesterday’s post: “Natural Green & White Holiday Party + Free Printables“)
A good garnish will take a simple boring beverage (take, water for instance) and make it something special. I like most of my garnishes to be simple to make, because who has time to spend on creating intricate and fussy drink garnishes? Not me!
To make your water glass pop or to give a festive twist to a Vodka and Soda on the rocks, try adding cranberries to your ice-cube tray and making cranberry ice.
There is actually one or two steps in this ultra-easy DIY because cranberries will float the the top of your ice cubes and look pretty silly in your drink unless you take the time to freeze in steps. Why not just throw cranberries in a pitcher? They’ll all float to the top! The ice cubes will float as well, but it will look more evenly distributed throughout the pitcher.
This doesn’t need to be perfect. I had a few cubes where I didn’t layer quite right and the berries poked out of the bottom a bit. It still looked festive in the water pitcher!
When discussing this DIY project with someone else I found out that not everyone has ice cube trays! Some people have super cool machines that will MAKE ice for them! (AMAZING.) But, you will need ice cube trays to make this project work. I like the idea of trying out the large cube trays (like the ones in the above picture) or a spherical tray to make a festive ice ball!
Photos from this project was from a recent Holiday Styled Shoot collaboration between myself and Suzannah of Create/Enjoy and Macey from Motormouth Studio. Check out my main post with links to DIY projects & recipes: “Natural Green and White Holiday Party + Free Printables”
This post is the first in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot!
Each holiday I like to mix it up when it comes to decorations. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the type of person that has a set of decorations that I’ll use year after year. Don’t get me wrong… I keep all my decorations and I try to utilize many of them each year. I do however like to change color schemes, decor placement and gift wrap ideas throughout the year.
My good friend Suzannah from Create/Enjoy came to me with the idea of creating a very simple and natural holiday scene for a collaboration between our two blogs and the hardware and gardening store Orchard Supply Hardware. I was beyond thrilled to work on a new-to-me holiday style. Macey from Motormouth Studio was kind enough to photograph our styled shoot and her photos show how beautiful this simple dinner party showcases natural holiday elements.
We stuck to a general colorscheme of black and white with the natural elements of green, red and brown woods to create this look. One of the best parts of using natural elments in your holiday decor is that you can incorporate a variety of colors and textures into your event. Orchard Supply in Tigard, Oregon helped us find just the right natural elements to create this look including gorgeous 15 foot natural garlands, small potted trees and a beautiful rosemary bush shaped into a christmas tree and in a clay pot. They also helped us create many of the DIYs that I’ll be featuring this with some painting & hardware supplies!
Suzannah even created a festive array of party appetizers just for this event! She’ll be sharing the paleo-approved, dairy & grain free appetizers on her blog soon. I’ll be sure to link to her recipes on this post as they go live!
I’ve really been into hand drawn elements in many of my parties lately. So, when we decided to go with a very natural look, I kept imagining hand-drawn pinecones on the menus. I created a printable set for this party and am offering it free to readers!
Directions: To use the printables click on the downloadable item and save to your computer. Print on white cardstock and cut out for use! I’ve uploaded both a PDF version with two items per page for you to print and hand write your menus/invitation information. I’ve also uploaded JPG version that you can open up in a photo editing program (such as Photoshop or PicMonkey.Com) and add your text in digitally.
(Cool arrows on photos via Freepik)
It is almost Halloween… can you believe it? I’ve been prepping for our annual Halloween party and have been so swamped with preparations that I haven’t really had the opportunity to sit down in front of my computer for any extended period of time. If you are feeling just as swamped as I am then you might need a few last minute Halloween decoration ideas! Hey, you may even appreciate getting some for free.
Using vintage images, I created a few Vampire Portraits that you can print off and put in frames around your home. How do I know what a vampire looks like in a portrait? Well that is easy! Vampires don’t show up in mirrors or film of course. These vampires sit in front of the camera to produce eery images of people without descernable bodies.
My favorite time of year is quickly approaching. Besides obsessively checking Brooklyn Limestone to see what Stephanie’s Halloween theme will be this year, I’m busy planning my own annual Halloween party. I’ve even got some Halloween posts up my sleeve for BEFORE the big day this year! I might have already thrown a small Halloween get-together over Labor Day weekend just so I could have some fun goodies for you.
Before I get to the new Halloween goodness (which will begin in October) I wanted to share a few of my favorites from the past few years. I’ve thrown a Halloween party each year since 2008. It has been the highlight of my year nearly every year. (The birth of my son pushed Halloween 2011 to second place, but it sure was close since I had a cute little baby to dress up as well as a fun party!)
This year we are going a little bit more pop-culture with our theme. I’m actually having a bit of a hard time trying to figure out all in the little details for the party. But, I’ll be sure to give some hints closer to the big day. Look forward to lots of fresh Halloween posts this upcoming October. I’ve got a Fang-tastic party with great DIY details and free printables that I can’t wait to share! And, as October approaches, I’m going to be going back through some of my old parties to share some DIY details that never made it into the posts above!
I’m a firm believer in party favors. I like giving small gifts to either enjoy during the party or to remind guests of the party after the fact. I try my best to avoid cheap items that are just going to add to the landfill so try to opt for reusable, useful, or edible favors. When creating crafts for the 4th of July themed Meet & Make at West Elm in Portland I knew I would be doing some sort of party favor. I opted to do a useful & fun party favor that can be used at the end of a great party—a sparkler!
I created fun printables to decorate one or a handful of sparklers to give guests. They coordinate with my free 4th of July party circle printables. They also look pretty fun with the DIY Dye Painted cloth napkins I shared earlier this week.
Supplies: (Links below are affiliate links. Purchases with affiliate links help support this blog.)
Ohhh… the party circle. This must be my favorite printable party item EVER. They are so versatile. I often use mine for cupcake or food picks, ways to decorate glassware, bunting, and more. There are a zillion free and inexpensive printable party circles out there that can help give some flair to your next party. Make free printables your own by using scrapbook papers, glitter, stickers and other such items.
I created the printables for a 4th of July party for someone who likes touches of Americana, but not too much of it.
Supplies: (Links below are affiliate links. Affiliate link purchases help support this blog.)
Voila! Easy peasy. If the edges of the paper are sticking out too much for you then you can use glue sticks to help keep the pages together.
Click each link to download!
A really easy way to transform a table is by customizing the table linens to match your theme. For my Forth of July Meet & Greet event at West Elm I wanted to teach attendees a way to customize fabric napkins in a way that doesn’t end up being overtly patriotic so that they might be able to use the napkins throughout the Summer. I chose to teach a DIY Dye Painting craft that creates fabric napkins with almost a water color effect. I liked the effect so much that I chose to create matching printables with the watercolor look too complete the party. Stay tuned this week to see the free printables. (sneak peek here!)
Supplies Needed: (Links are affiliate links. Affiliate link purchases help support this blog.)
*Please be careful working with dye. It wil dye your furniture, clothing, etc. It is very important to protect your space and be careful when painting with this dye. If you are worried about getting it on your hands then use latex gloves to protect them!
Hey… did you know Mother’s Day is SUNDAY? Yea, the thousand and one posts about it on social media and the blogosphere reminded me too. I actually mailed out my gifts this year BEFORE Mother’s Day. (Though, likely, they will still be late.) A serious accomplishment for me nonetheless.
I do have good intentions. I actually love all the ideas that come up right before Mother’s Day on all the blogs. I think, “Wow. Next year I am totally going to do that.” Then the year passes by and it is suddenly May 5th. And, while I am sipping on my margarita I inevitably realize that another Mother’s Day is approaching and catching me unprepared.
If I am this terrible at remembering Mother’s Day—and, I’m a mother—I really can’t be terribly upset that my husband completely forgot that Mother’s Day is this upcoming Sunday and might have planned to be at a Timber’s game. I’m guessing my two-year-old hasn’t planned to make me breakfast in bed or created me a stunning card creation. (slacker)*
I thought I’d help a hubby out and share my favorite picks for Mother’s Day. While being a mother is gift enough—and all that jazz— I sure do like a well-thought-out gift.** This momma doesn’t have expensive tastes, loves a sense of humor, and appreciates thoughtful/useful (yet still fun) gifts. Maybe, just maybe, you haven’t figured out a gift for your momma (or baby mamma) these gift ideas will be helpful for you as well.
*While my husband’s memory is not made for remembering holidays and such… he shows me every day how much he loves and respects me. I like to rib him a little about his forgetfulness, but seriously, he is awesome. The kid is a total slacker though.
** Anyone who knows me knows this is a joke. Sure, I like a pretty little gift as much as the next person. But, I cherish things much higher than baubles. Happy Mom’s Day out there to everyone who made it this far in the post!
Happy Cinco de Mayo! I am a little sad that it fell on a Monday this year. I’ll be working all day and most the night tonight. But, I’m hopeful to fit a margarita in somewhere.
I’m currently loving this printable by the Lovely Lauren if A Fabulous Fete! I saw it on her Instagram a month or so ago and fell in love. I thought it was the perfect reminder! She was kind enough to make a printable out of her work and sent it to me just in time for today! I’ve already posted it in front of my computer at work.
Get your own “Know when to give up and have a margarita printable” by Lauren of A Fabulous Fete (Only $5!)
Love Lauren’s style and want more for your Cinco de Mayo celebration? Check out these greatCinco de Mayo free printablesfor drink stirrers and flags!
How are you celebrating today? Are you kissing someone Irish, wearing green, or enjoying a tasty dish of Bangers & Mash? I’ll be celebrating by whipping up a cocktail with an Irish twist!
This past winter I was sent the book Savory Cocktails by Greg Henry (affiliate link) for review. I’ve been making my way through the book getting creative with drinks such as a Perfect Martini and Salad Bowl Gin & Tonic. Enjoying the tart and refreshing combinations of herbs and liquor. As I was working on creating a cocktail in honor of St. Patrick’s Day I wanted to find something that would pair well with Irish Whiskey, so I picked up the Savory Cocktail book looking for ideas.
While I can drink a bourbon with just ice, for me Irish Whiskey has a bit more of a bite to it and I wanted something that would smooth out the flavor while keeping its notes of honey and citrus. (Not all Irish Whiskeys are the same… so, I may still discover something I can drink sans mixers.) That is when I stumbled upon Henry’s recipe for Clove-Infused Honey Syrup… the combination is PERFECT. It is smoky, rich, smooth, and sweet.
Recipe from Savory Cocktails by Greg Henry shared with permission
“Place the cloves in a small, nonreactive container and lightly crush them with a wooden muddler. Add the warm water and honey; stir to combine, then cover and set at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Taste the syrup; add more honey if you feel it is too strong.
When your syrup has the taste you want, pour it through a wire-mesh sieve lined with a double layer of damp cheesecloth; discard the solids. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Makes about 1 cup.”
There is nothing quite like a great holiday dessert.
This dessert recipe is perfect for a holiday dinner for two— or you can make a larger batch and serve it at a holiday bash! I love how the baked custard creaminess of this dish makes me want to sit in front of a fire and cuddle up close to someone special. The eggnog, cinnamon, and molasses cookie crumble makes it taste like the holidays. I created this eggnog custard from a seriously delicious eggnog I found at Whole Foods Market called Traderspoint Creamery Grassfed Eggnog.
Eggnog custards are by no means an original idea. A simple google search will yield several delicious recipes. My recipe breaks down the process down to the simplest, easiest recipe that still yielded a delicious result. I upped the difficultly and the taste just a little with the custard toppings. But, if you are looking for a quick, easy dessert to wow your loved ones then this eggnog custard is a great base!
Serves 2 — Approximately 1 hour (though, most of that is oven and cooling time)
Only top the custards with toppings right before serving. Serve at room temperature for a thinner custard. Or, chill in fridge for a few hours for a thicker custard. Both are delicious!
Did you know Portland had a Macy’s Parade? Well, they do! The day AFTER Thanksgiving… you know the day, Black Friday, Macy’s brings the fun from NYC to the streets of Portland. All the fun of you don’t even have to get out on Thanksgiving Day!
When I was a child I was in pageants. As a tiny beauty queen I was usually in parades rather than getting to watch the parade on the side lines. One of our family stories is something that my grandmother told over and over again.
She used to say that after I spent the morning smiling and waiving from an elaborate parade float, I was upset to hear that the parade was over.
“Did you enjoy the parade?” she asked.
“No,” I’d complain, “I didn’t get to see it!”
Years later I learned to appreciate both the opportunity to be in a parade and to watch the parade. But, because of that story, I’m excited to see what my son think’s of his very first parade. Really makes me wish my grandmother were here to see his face too.
I typically avoid going out on Black Friday. Sure, the sales are AMAZING. But, crowds and I do NOT get along. However, my son is now 2 1/2 and the idea of him experiencing his very first parade is just too good of an incentive. I can’t wait to see how his eyes light up when local bands march through, floats ride by, and as he see’s Santa.
The Portland Macy’s Parade takes begins at 9 AM on Davis Street, makes it’s way down Broadway, turning at Alder, making its way down 4th Avenue, and finishing on Flanders Street one hour later.
The 2013 Portland My Macy’s Holiday Parade will feature 25 inflatable floats, local middle and high school marching bands, nearly 650 costumed characters and much more! A new red “Believe” Santa’s Mailbox float and Yes Virginia costumed characters have been added to the line-up this year. (If you haven’t heard of the red Believe Mailbox, and the Yes, Virginia campaign, then hop on over to Macy’s website to read about their commitment to give to the Make a Wish Foundation.)
The parade will conclude shortly after Santa dashes in his sleigh past Macy’s, heading directly from the North Pole to his Portland holiday post in Macy’s Santa-land, which opens at 11:00 AM. Santa-land is open November 29 through December 24 on Level A of the downtown store.
Winners get the opportunity to sit VIP at the Macy’s Holiday Parade– in the perfect position to see all the action! And, I’ll be there with my family to celebrate alongside you! I have a limited amount of VIP seats to award.
*Winners must be able to attend the parade in Portland on November 29. The prize is only for the VIP tickets and does not include any additional expenses. Please read the guidelines in the Rafflecopter below and enter to win!
Not in the Portland area? Well, no worries, you can still watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade (or attend if you live in NYC!) on NBC from 9AM to Noon EST. Or, follow along via twitter at #macysparade! And, I’d still love to know…