Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Celebrate Everything!

Darcy Miller has spent the last twenty years learning about and covering celebrations and weddings for Martha Stewart making her the expert above all experts when it comes to entertaining so when I heard that she was putting all of this experience into a book, I was ready to throw a party!  Darcy and I first met many years ago and I'm so thrilled that she pours her art and her heart into parties of all shapes and sizes.  She radiates enthusiasm and seems to celebrate every moment of life!  Today we are celebrating the release of her new book, Celebrate Everything! In honor of her book launch, I asked her four quick questions that I hope will help you be a hostess with the mostest!  

How do you stay organized when planning for an event? 
- Everyone has their own systems—I wish I could tell you that I have it down! For some people, keeping online records is fine and for others it’s using a notebook. I’m all about writing things down—I have checklists everywhere! Sometimes I’ll think of things during the day and put it in the notes section on my phone or email myself. If you have a thought, writing it down not only helps you keep track of the ideas, but to remember them, too.

Do you have a signature element to your entertaining?
- I have a few! I love to personalize everything. I love to incorporate photos, especially of the guest or guests of honor in unexpected ways: wrapped sweets, menu cards, tooth pick toppers, napkins, etc. I always say that if there’s ever an excuse for cakes and sweets, it’s at a party, whether themed in a color palette or based on the guest of honor (e.g. candy from the decade in which he or she was born). And of course I will find any excuse to sprinkle some confetti on the table, in the envelope invitation or in a favor bag. Lastly, I use my own illustrations to personalize the decor—whether it’s a doodle of the person whose party it is, wedding bells for a bridal shower or a drawing of stork holding a new arrival at a baby shower.

What are your favorite celebration resources? 
- Part of the fun of putting parties together is curating your favorite things. Whether it’s looking in a craft store (retail and online) or through Etsy, there are so many options out there today that. In my book, CELEBRATE EVERYTHING!, a big part for me was sourcing everything I used by page and by category so that you can see lists of everything from my featured cakes and sweets to craft supplies from my favorite sources. I also feel lucky to collaborate with such talented experts whether it’s a cake baker or a stationer. Of course, the one thing about writing a book is that once it goes to print, you continue to find new sources all the time…that’s what my Instagram is for!

What is the biggest mistake you have ever made as a hostess and what can we learn from it?
- I guess the one thing that I try to keep in mind is not getting so caught up with the details that you don’t enjoy the party itself. When I got married, I hired a planner to help me the last couple weeks and basically turned off. Whether it’s your wedding or a small dinner party at home, try to be as organized ahead of time so you’re not rushing everything. I always try to give myself a false party date—pretending it’s a week or two before it actually is—to avoid a scramble.

Check out these amazing confetti recipes from the book:

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pixelated Gamer's Birthday Party

My darling son is turning 9 and, after I got over the tears of him growing up too fast (9 is half way to 18 which is when he will leave for college!!!) I set to work planning a small celebration with him.

We started by working on an activity and theme.  He wanted to have a game truck at the house and that sounded easy enough!  I made a call to Games2U and found out that their service was perfect for us.  They sent a truck that allows 12 kids to play monitored and appropriate games for their age.  They enhance the gaming experience with laser lights and coaches to help them improve their games! (This isn't sponsored - I just loved what they did!)  They also offered laser tag which kept the boys running around and burning off some extra energy!  It was a hit!

I have a few major pet-peeves but the biggest one is seeing plastic water bottles with just a few sips taken out of them all around the house so, to solve the problem with this sleepover, I ordered these cute personalized joystick water bottles that doubled as their party favors!

In addition to ordering pizza, I set out this pixel themed candy bar.  It was such a blast to set it up with my son!  He loved working on it.  We ordered lots of bulk candy and various shades of greens and brown.  I even included some veggie chips in the hopes that some might choose that....only one did!  The bar is made up of these amazing plastic bins (only buy half of what you need and use the lids as containers too!).

After a long late night that my husband and I took turns monitoring, we ordered donuts for the boys before the parent's picked them up.

"Game Over" seemed the perfect phrase!

Happy Birthday JR!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Everything You Need for a Spooktacular Halloween!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites


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