Party: Movie Night

I recently put this party together for a friend, who wanted to host an outdoor movie night.  I love movie night parties as they’re one of the easiest parties to host and they’re typically good for most age groups.  And when you can have it outside on a nice summer night, it’s even better!

Hosting a movie night party doesn’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of time to prepare, especially if you stick with typical concession foods like popcorn, hot dogs and candy.  As far as showing the movie outdoors, you’ll need to attach a projector to a laptop and have an area where you can  hang or drape a white sheet up to be used as a screen.  That’s pretty much it ….. super fun and super easy!

Mini Chalkboard Signs

I love knowing that every object has its own little home and I love the idea of using chalkboard signs to help keep things organized.  I’ve had these clothes pins and wooden rectangular signs for a while, but have just recently decided to turn them into something useful — mini chalkboard signs!

The signs are 3″ x 2″ and the clothes pins are 1 3/4 ” in length.  All you have to do is apply 2 to 3 coats of paint to the wood (leaving a little border around the edge if you like) and attach the clothes pins to the back sides using a hot glue gun.  This is a really quick, inexpensive and simple project, and everything you see here can be found at Michael’s.

Speaking of Michael’s, I was there a few days ago and saw these adorable wooden elephants.  I thought of my little niece, who has the Zutano elephant bedding, and thought a few little elephant chalkboard signs would be a fun addition to her nursery.  Instead of using black chalkboard paint I went with the gray (also from the Martha Stewart line at Michael’s), and this is what I ended up with….

I thought about outlining the elephants with some orange paint, which would give them a very modern and fun look.  In the end, I couldn’t decide which I would like better…. I kept them as is and figured the paint could always be added later.

Anyways, I liked the elephants so much I decided to make one for myself….

Perfect for my basket of bills and other time sensitive material!

Cool Treats – Honey Dew Popsicles

My kids love popsicles and although they’re one of the easiest things to make, we used to never make them because of the time it’d take to wait for them to freeze.  I don’t know about your kids, but it’s all about instant gratification with mine!  So when I saw the Zoku Quick Pop Maker last summer, I had to give it a try.

We’ve had the Zoku for two summers now and my kids and I are still lovin’ it.  The popsicle below was inspired by the “Summer Morning” recipe from the Zoku Quick Pop book.  The recipe called for honeydew, lime juice, basil leaves and sugar, but since I didn’t have any basil on hand, we made ours using honeydew, lime juice and some mint leaves — it was a fantastic and refreshing treat.

My two favorite things about the Zoku:  1.)  I don’t have to make the kids wait half a day to eat a popsicle they’re craving to have “now” (the pops are frozen and ready in about 10 minutes) and 2.) I love that I can use freshly blended fruits and make the popsicles as sweet as I want (or in my case, don’t want).

Below is another popsicle I  made a while back using pureed watermelon, lemon juice, pureed honeydew and a few little chocolate chips.  I love all the different types of pops you can make with the Zoku and the kids love watching it freeze right before their eyes!

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

If you don’t have an ice cream maker (or don’t want the extra chore of pulling one out), then this will be perfect for you!  It only requires that you have a food processor or blender, and that you have frozen strawberries and some heavy cream on hand.  The best part? It only takes 5 minutes to make (maybe 10 minutes if you include clean up time)!  How great is that????

I printed this recipe from the internet a year or two ago and just tried it for the very first time the other day.   I wish I’d tried it earlier because it was bursting with strawberry flavor and was delicious, not to mention it was a breeze to make.

5 Minute Strawberry Ice Cream

10 oz frozen strawberries

2/3 C heavy cream

1/4 C sugar*

Directions:  Add the sugar, half  the cream and half the strawberries into the blender or processor and process until it’s roughly chopped.  Add the remaining strawberries and cream and continue to process until it’s smooth.  You can enjoy it immediately or pop it into the freezer for a bit (that is, if you have the discipline to wait).

* The original recipe called for 1/2 C sugar, but I find that most recipes are too sweet and always end up reducing the sugar when I’m making it for my family.

My daughters love helping me make this and can barely wait to eat it all up afterwards!  Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as they do!

Recipe adapted from Pamela Euless-Barker

A “Fairy” Adorable Cake

My friend Jill (The Uncommon Cake)  made this lovely cake for her daughter’s birthday.  It was so cute I had to share it with you!  Unfortunately, I only had my iPhone on me so the photo doesn’t do it much justice.  Everything on the cake was simply adorable, including the sparkly fairy dress and wings.  And if you could’ve tasted it…..mmmmm….. the top tier was a lemon raspberry cake and the bottom was a carrot cake.  I couldn’t resist and had to give both a try — both were delicious!!!

Party: Flower Themed Luncheon

Here are some images from a “Welcome Home Baby” luncheon I recently put together.

What’s not to like about finger sandwiches and sweet little treats?

For party favors, I stayed with the flower theme and purchased some sweet-smelling Alyssum.  I transferred them to small terracotta pots and presented them in 2″ boxes which were jazzed up using printed polk-a-dot paper, twine and a simple tag.  They were great as both table decor and party favors!

Bye-bye Sharpies!  These little matching cup labels were a much nicer way to help guests identify their drinks.

And of course, here’s the invitation I designed that got things rolling…..