where have you been all my life

Hello!!!  How have I not seen this company before?!?!  I love every product that Garnish has. I want to plan parties around boxes, cups, bags, etc - is that so wrong?  

Don't all reasonable people see a great cardboard beverage holder and immediately have the plans for a picnic pop in their head?  I refuse to believe I am the only one this happens to - I know there are people out there right now that started planning a party the moment they saw the picture above.

No you say?  Well what about now...

or now...

or now...

Look at some of these great ideas

Even more ideas can be found here.  Don't forget to check out their blog also.

i guess this is...getting personal friday

Ryan has been getting a bit of press around the internet as of late.  In my daily searching for party ideas I have stumbled on his marriage proposal a few times see HERE and HERE and HERE.  I love that all the articles refer to him as geeky and a nerd, or was it dork?  Whatever it is 3 cheers for dorky, geeky nerds :)   Funny that it's just making the rounds now since he posted pics of the proposal in 2006.

Is this not so cute and creative?  The real ring was hidden inside the Lego diamond he created

The set up my mom and I put together in the backyard of my parents old home.  Private and romantic - just what my brother wanted.

Perhaps I need to start looking for Lego party ideas and invite my little bro over for a celebratory dinner.

Congrats Ry - we're proud of you!

Just added...found a video here

pardon me for getting personal

Today is my wedding anniversary and my husband is out of town with our two oldest girls serving as a chaperon for a youth girls camp - how much fun do you think he is having with 30 or so giggling, screaming, not sleeping at night teenage girls?!?!  I better have a quiet room and Tylenol waiting for him when he gets back.

Anyway, the point is I'm missing him so now you all have to sit through my Ode to Derek - lucky you!  I'll keep it party related if that helps.

I knew Derek was the perfect husband for me in October 2004 (actually, I knew he was perfect for me years before that when I married him but October 2004 cemented the deal)

We were holding our 8th (I think) annual Halloween party - a pirate theme, Pirates of Port Royale.  It was the day of the party and I told him a delivery would be coming by with some props for the party.  Not out of the norm so all is good until the truck pulls up.

The delivery truck pulls up and it is huge, I mean really huge.  I'm in the backyard doing some party prep when Derek comes back and nicely says, "Do you have plans for getting this stuff in the backyard?"

"Just use the gate." was my brilliant reply.

"Denise, do you know what you ordered?  Come out front." said without any anger.

Out front I go (a little irritated that the husband can't seem to handle the simple task of unloading the truck and bringing things to the back yard) and it is then that I realize that I am a complete idiot.  I had ordered a boat, three carts, 5 full sized barrels and other party odds and ends.  Not small prop sized things mind you - but the real deal, life sized jive.  See for yourself...

exhibit A - boat (for decor and photo op)

exhibit B - old market carts (for serving the buffet)

exhibit c - barrels (for cocktail tables)

exhibit d - odds and ends (deck pillars, bar stools, crates, and who knows what else - the prop place makes me lose my mind and go crazy.  I cannot be held responsible for my actions while I'm at the prop rental warehouse)

As I stand and stare blankly at the multitude of pirate paraphernalia in my yard ready to cry I turn to my husband with the "I'm so sorry, what are we going to do" look but he has hit the road, jumped ship, escaped from Alcatraz. He has hit his limit and is going to blow (or so I thought)

Derek had quietly gone to the garage, grabbed some tools and had proceeded to the opposite side of our front yard (away from the way to small to get anything through it gate) There he had dug out our landscaping - yes, you heard me right.  He had carefully removed bushes and flowers.  Once the landscaping was removed my still not yelling at me husband began taking down our fence - the one that is nailed and cemented into the ground.  Then he (and the delivery) guys brought everything to the backyard and asked where I wanted it set up.  Once it was all in place Derek set the fence back in place as best he could without nails (we still had to get the jive out of there once the party was over) and asked what else needed to be done.

He is the man of my dreams!

Not to mention that he did all this and still didn't react negatively when the live chickens I had borrowed from a farm showed up.  I mean come on...all little villages that have been plundered by pirates have live chickens in the marketplace - we had to have them.

Maybe he was just still feeling happy about the 45 bottles of root beer he had to drink a few months prior that I needed for our invitations.  That's why he was being so nice.

In all seriousness - I love him and appreciate the fact that he goes along with all my crazy ideas. He has become my best party sidekick and I look forward to many more years of parties with him by my side.

Happy Anniversary Derek!



Perfect lighting for a bowling party - check it out here.

Encourage your party guests to hit the thrift stores for vintage bowling shirts.  My husband and I each have sweet bowling shirts that I found during a trip to San Francisco last year - there were bowling shirt galore in the thrift stores.

tom selleck, i love you

Mustaches are every where - I seem to see stache related stuff on most of the blogs/sites I visit. I definitely want to plan a party where these hairy lip worms come into play.  I'll have to research all the stache stuff floating the www and combine it all in one post but for now enjoy these cute chalkboard napkin rings.

more 80's jive

Looking for prizes to give out at your 80's party?  Honestly, PacMan IS the 80's as far as video games go.  For party entertainment have a video game contest - did you save that old Atari system?  The winner can take home this PacMan potholder - hello yellow munch mouth.

you spin me right round, baby right round, like a record

Planning an 80's party?  I always am in my mind - I can't wait to actually have the party and invite real people.  

Here is a totally rad favor idea for all your tubular friends...

recordable discs that look like vinyl.  Love it!  Burn some of your favorite 80's tunes onto these and send everyone home with some musical memories.

alien attack

Here is a fun centerpiece and a way to bring flowers/plants into a space age party theme.
These little pant wearing prickly plants make me happy.  You can find them here.


Love this inspiration board found over at Snippet and Ink.  What a great way to go western - simple, clean, modern - love it!


I am dying to post photos of a beyond cute carnival wedding that I found today at Amor.ology. Every time I try to download pictures my mac freaks out.  Here is the one picture that did download from the many I tried to post...

That's just your sneak peak.  Head on over here to see a visual feast.  Everything about this wedding screams fun - how can it not when a ferris wheel is involved?!?!

Be sure to check out the rest of Heather's blog - what a talent!  I guess I'll be spending a good part of my day now soaking up her creative genius as I scour her blog - will my housework ever get done?


add some "pop" to your fathers day table

Last week I bought some Dad's root beer to add to my Fathers Day table for my husband, the root beer lover.  I was so excited to see the quick, cute addition that Kristi over at 2Clever made for her root beer.

These labels add just that little something extra to the bottle to make it look like you've gone the extra mile for good ol' dad.  Directions found HERE.

marvelous mini

Bakerella...you have done it again.

I realize that these tasty treats are for Father's Day but they would be equally adorable for a mini party.   Who can resist little things...puppies, kittens, little food that can be devoured in a bite?

For the how to on these click here.


once upon a time

My family reads - we read a lot!  

My oldest daughter dreams of working at Borders just so she can smell the books - weird, huh?  But really she loves the smell of new books.  You should see her face light up when she steps into a book store and takes a deep breath. The other indicator of her love of reading  is that she was supposed to read 900 pages this semester in her advanced high school English class but instead she read nearly 2000 pages for the semester (that's not counting the required books she had to read - the 2000 pages were her free reading)

The husband just got a Kindle for Father's Day (yes, I gave it to him early) so that he could have 1000's of books at his fingertips.

We all spend time each day reading and loving it so imagine my thrill when I saw this table top design today on Once Wed.  The table was designed by the creative folks at Flush Designs

The book pages vase has me grinning from ear to ear.  It reminds me of the lamps I saw in an Anthropologie display a few months back that I have been wanting to recreate.

I love all those pages of words displayed so beautifully.

Back to the table...this idea can work not only for a wedding but would also be great for a book club dinner, a book release party, a book lovers birthday, teacher appreciation luncheon, graduation party - do you see the possibilities?!?!?

Now I'm off to snuggle on the couch with a good book.

last post for tonight - i promise

Love these!  Can I possibly get married again (to the same perfect man of course)?  I want these as my place cards.

a "sweet" chandelier

I am now obsessing over Once Wed.  There are so many fun, new, creative ideas. I continue to find photograph after photograph.  Check out this little object of desire...

a DIY Rock Candy Chandelier - I know, right?  It's awesome.  Directions can be found here. This would be a great addition to a candy/dessert display.  Its also beautiful enough to serve as decor throughout a party area


Yes, this and this are perfect - and now they are filed here and in my too easily distracted brain.


DIY...under the sea

I found this DIY napkin ring today and I love it.  The red coral would add just the right punch of color to a beautiful neutral colored beach themed table.  You can find directions at Craftstylish.

sippin' cider through a straw

photo via Oh Happy Day

I fell in love with these straws when Jordan posted them at Oh Happy Day for her old fashioned soda bar post.  If you haven't seen that post head over and check it out - adorable!

Today she posted the link for these fun straws.  You can find them at Kikkerland.


thumbs up

This party idea is along the lines of the staring contest party I posted about yesterday.  I found these....
while browsing the Paper Source website.  

Wouldn't his be a fun head to head competition?  Go all Lucha Libre and serve a mexican fiesta to your guests.  


never underestimate a balloon

I'm not big into balloon decor for parties but I fell in love with the balloon ceiling used for this Winter Wonderland party that I found at P is for Party.

Did I say yet that I'm loving the ceiling?

I was also excited to find Christi's blog, P is for Party.  Christi is a fairly new blogger so if you haven't visited her before stop by and tell her hi.  She has some great ideas and parties to share.

can i be invited

to this lovely outdoor party?

via Wide Open Spaces

you looking at me?

I love this party by Studio Number One that I found over at Cup of Jo.  I love a fresh new idea for a party

I am so planning this for my friends as well as for my 15 yr old daughter - what a fun end of school party.  I can only imagine the competition that would ensue between all the 15-17 yr olds.

Love, love, love new ideas!


take a bite out of these

For me the thrill of parties tends to be in the planning and not the actual party itself - I love the planning.  I love the party too but I get the most enjoyment out of letting my imagination go wild and coming up with creative party ideas or finding others creative ideas and incorporating them into my own parties.

I have been focusing my energies on the planning of a New Moon release party the last couple of days.  I love searching the internet and finding ideas but after so many hours spent searching the beloved computer I'm starting to find the same ideas and websites.  

So I was beyond excited when I came across a new idea that I hadn't found yet.  Check out these cookies that I found at Baking Bites.  I love them!  

I don't think I'm going totally vampire for the party - I just want some subtle vampiry-ness so I love the simpleness of these cookies - they're not so over the top vampire.

For those not big on Twilight these cookies could be made for a number of other party themes - Halloween being the obvious one.  These cookies would look great on a Halloween dessert bar.

This find has given me a renewed desire to continue to dig through the internet in hopes of finding even more ideas that I haven't seen yet.


fathers day

Wouldn't this be a cute way to fold your napkins for a Fathers Day feast?  Find the directions here.  You could also hit up Goodwill, The Salvation army or other thrift stores in search of old ties and incorporate them into your table decor.

movie madness

We all know I love a good party based on a movie or book.  My favorite movie/book themed party to throw is hands down Harry Potter - gotta love the wizard.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to move past my muggleness and throw a party for the movie this summer.  Part of me wants to wait and go big for the last movie.  My last HP shindig was for the final book release a couple years ago and part of me thinks it may still be too fresh in peoples minds.  Any thoughts?

But Harry Potter is not the only thing I'm here to wax philosophical on.  Let's move on to Twilight.  Is it evident yet that I'm not really into serious Academy Award winning movies? Bring on the fantasy and let me create a party based on it.

With two teenage daughters sharing my space you can only imagine the Twilight jive I have occupying my home.  There are at least 10 Stephanie Meyer books keeping residence on book shelves in our home - 4 of them being copies of Twilight - 3 of them because everyone has to read the book at exactly the same time and the 4th because my husband forgot to bring one of the copies with him on a family vacation (after we, the girls, begged him to read it) so of course we had to buy a 4th book.  The cool thing is they are all signed by Stephanie Meyer

The Host book signing where they allowed us to get copies of all her books signed.   

Surprisingly happy girls considering we spent hours waiting to get our books signed.

I'm getting seriously side tracked - back to parties.  So here are my thoughts...hold off on Harry and the crew until the last movie and focus my party planning skills on the November release of New Moon.  I've been wanting to throw a soiree in honor of Bella and Edward for awhile and this November seems to be as good a time as any.  I have to say I love that the movie is being released in November as opposed to a Summer release date - November is a more vampir-y month, don't you think?

While doing some planning and research I ran across this blog today, Tara's Twilight Party. I was excited to find her blog and got an extra bit of yippee when I noticed on her side bar that she had a list of other sites that were Twilight party focused.  I love me some good inspiration.

If you have any good Twilight ideas please feel free to share.  I'm still undecided on a direction to take for the party - do I go vampire?  How about modern like the Cullens home?  Do I set the scene in a meadow?  Do I fly myself and a hundred of my closest friends to Forks and have the bash there?  So many choices.  I'd love to hear what others have done or what you would do if you were throwing a Twilight party.