Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Punchbowl Party Planning Site

Once upon a time I was given a one year free Premium account at due to the nature of my blog. Well, I'm still using it and would be remiss if I didn't let Shin-Dig-It readers know that clicking here will get you your own FREE Premium Account at Punchbowl. The catch is, you have to act quickly!!! Here are the details:

Punchbowl Software, Inc., developers of the start to finish party planning site, announced that anyone who creates a new user account before 11:59pm PST on December 31, 2009 will receive a FREE Punchbowl Premium account upgrade. Valued at $29.95 (1 year subscription), Punchbowl will give away up to 10,000 Premium accounts by the end of the year. Punchbowl Premium provides users unlimited access to invitation and eCard designs as well as the ability to send advertising-free eCards and invites for one year. "Our site traffic has doubled in the last three months," said Matt Douglas, CEO of MyPunchbowl. "This is our small way of saying thank you for a fantastic year."

To claim your FREE Premium account, sign up for Punchbowl before the end of 2009.

** While I did previously receive a free Premium account from Punchbowl, this post is not being compensated. It is simply to pass along information that Shin-Dig-It readers might find beneficial. Any traffic receives following the provided link only goes to show how much interest my readers have in said company, and that my readers know how to plan a good party. OK, maybe I'm guessing on that last part, but I believe in you! **

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Safe and Bright Holiday Decorating House Party

The House Party Company did it again!

I was selected to host another House Party Event, this time sponsored by UL (Underwriters Laboratories). The whole idea this time was to have a wreath decorating extravaganza while sharing safety tips that are especially important to remember this time of year. So, I invited my neighbors over for some festive fun. And, boy was it ever that!

I couldn't believe the size of the box containing the party pack when it was delivered! It was so exciting to open it up and inspect all of the contents. Included were: 15 individual 12" wreaths, 15 strings of UL certified lights, several packets of mini ornaments/decorations, a bunch of ribbon, and magnets with safety decorating tips. I purchased some additional decorative items at Dollar Tree including decorative birds, more mini ornaments, silk flowers, pine accents, pine cones, bows, and jingle bells. I also provided cinnamon sticks from my own supply. I set it all up on a table in the party room.

And although I hadn't begun decorating for Christmas yet in my house, I arranged a few painted wooden decorations around the room to get us all in the spirit. A little Christmas music, some munchies, and a few friends made for a completely enjoyable afternoon!

One of my guests is a seasonal florist, and has a great talent for turning ribbon into beautiful bows. She made and shared several bows for us. I may yet enlist her help in turning the rest of the leftover ribbon into bows for future use!

The kids at the party (including my own) were eager to join in the fun. With a little help in winding the light string around the wreath, they got right to work making their own creative wreaths. This one was made and proudly displayed by my daughter.

While decorating, we shared different holiday traditions that we each found special. From Christmas Eve road trips, to weather-inspired fun, there was no end to the engaging conversation. We did also manage to discuss the safety tips that were listed on the magnets, such as reminders about having smoke alarms on each level of your home, and the importance of turning lights and decorations off before bed. (My husband took some left-over magnets to work and handed those out too.) To go along with that, I downloaded a "Safe or Unsafe" quiz from the House Party site. When posed with a question like "You took the family out to pick out your Christmas tree. After three hours of 'too big, too small, kinda lopsided' you found the perfect tree. And, 'hurray!' the cut end of the tree didn't even have any of that sticky stuff on it that always gets all over the rug." you would of course answer "Unsafe" The reason being, "You can tell that a tree has been freshly cut if the cut end of the tree is sticky with resin and when tapped on the ground, few needles fall off. The most important factor in tree safety and fire prevention is freshness, so choose carefully." (source) It is such useful and practical information, you'll want to read more from UL when considering safety at home all year round.

I managed to snap a picture of only a couple of the finished wreaths amidst all the fun.

Here's wishing every Shin-Dig-It reader a safe, fun and memorable Christmas season!

** As customary with hosting a House Party Event, I received the party pack for free. However, this summarization was written of my own volition because I love to share theme party information. **

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Wreath Design Fun

I recently had a Christmas Wreath Decorating Party. Here, my 3 year old shows off the wreath that I made. Come back later for a full write-up on the party. It was so much fun!

And check out more of today's WW here and here!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

And the winner is...

It's all yours, Toni! Congratulations!

Toni's comment earned her a FREE PREMIUM account at Punchbowl!

If you're in northwestern Indiana, you'll enjoy perusing Toni's blog where she is also known as Cheapo McFrugalpants. Follow ItsToni on Twitter so you don't miss out on those great local deals. Heck, even if you're not in northwestern Indiana (I'm not, and I still reap the benefits of her updates!), you'll be entertained and maybe learn a thing or two about being frugal, because her tips and advice know no boundaries.

Right now, Toni has TWO giveaways going on for the Chicagoland area. Enter by 9:00 PM CST on Thursday, October 22, 2009 to win FOUR TICKETS to see Disney Live! Rockin' Road Show and enter by 7:00 PM CST on Sunday, October 25, 2009 to win FOUR TICKETS to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus! You can count on Toni to get you hooked up with some great promotions!

If you meant to enter the Punchbowl account upgrade giveaway on my blog, but just never got around to it, I hope you learned your lesson! (just kidding)... don't despair! They are currently offering the upgrade to premium for $10 off the regular price. Now, go and get your party started!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Reminder: Punchbowl Party Planning Site - GIVEAWAY!

Come on guys, don't delay... enter now to win a Premium Account at Punchbowl. Just in time for Halloween, too. Punchbowl has lots of ideas for your Halloween party. Did you know that Halloween falls on a Saturday this year?

Be sure to enter on the GIVEAWAY post, not this one. :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Me, 35 years ago today!

Check out more Wordless Wednesdays here and here!

Also, enter my GIVEAWAY here!

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter House Party

After the much lauded Domino's American Legends Pizza House Party I threw this summer, I was very excited to get a chance to host another party through the House Party website. This time, it would be sponsored by I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. No joke! How does one have a party based around butter (or "non-butter" as the case may be)? Well, it actually took the form of a bake sale planning party. What a cool concept! As President of my daughter's school's PTO, this opportunity fell into my lap at just the right time. Our PTO is launching some new programming and events, and a bake sale was a good start to fund our efforts.

The party pack that came in the mail contained enough material for 15 guests. My party ended up being much smaller, so there was plenty of stuff go around. Each guest got a tote bag with the ICBINB logo (and another one tucked inside the bag, too), a refrigerator magnet/notepad, a recipe booklet, 6 $1.50 coupons for ICBINB sticks, and entries for a sponsor-related contest to use and to share with friends. To this, I added $1.60 Nature Valley Nut Clusters coupons that I had received from Pssst... that I was supposed to share with friends. I also added a pen (that I got free from CVS with all of their back to school shopping deals!) to go with that fridge magnet list, and a Zobmondo coupon and AMC theaters popcorn coupons that I still had leftover from the Domino's House Party. Not a bad little reward for people coming together to plan a charitable bake sale!

I gave the guests a baking-related word search to do as people arrived. I also had a jar of chocolate chips on display for the guests to study and make a guess as to how many chips there were in the jar. EVERYone who took a stab at it guessed in the mid-300's. Well, except for my three year old who guessed that there were FIVE chocolate chips (we need to work on those counting skills, sweetie...). In reality, there were 700 chips in that little jar. The guest with the closest guess won the prize, which contained two coupons for free ICBINB and an ICBINB butter dish from the sponsor's party pack, and a candle holder with season-appropriate scented candles for it and hand lotion... you know, to moisturize after all of that baking and washing up. The supplements were things that I pulled out of the stash of things I've gotten for free with deal/coupon shopping.

In the midst of the bake sale planning, we enjoyed some light refreshments - cheese and crackers, chips, chocolate chip cookies the size of your head (!) and lemon squares. To make things interesting, I prepared one batch of lemon squares with real butter and one with ICBINB. I asked my guests to take part in the butter vs. ICBINB taste test, just for grins and giggles. My guests actually uttered the line "I can't believe it's not butter!" afterwards. And so, yeah... maybe I prompted them just a little to actually say the line... but the consensus was that the lemon squares I baked with ICBINB were better than the ones I baked with real butter!

In the picture, the ICBINB batch is in the foreground, real butter batch in the background. And now, a few notes about my baking experience. Working with ICBINB was just the same as using real butter. The real test was tasting the crust of the lemon squares. The ICBINB crust allowed easier removal from the baking pan, but the real butter crust actually crumbled less when biting into the squares. One guest thought the lemon flavor was more enhanced with the real butter squares, but she still preferred the ICBINB batch. I'm the type of gal who buys what is on sale for most things, which includes ICBINB from time to time. I was glad to have done a side-by-side comparison for this product.

And while we didn't actually set a date for our bake sale yet, we did talk about a lot of school related projects and camaraderie was enhanced. We have some details to check on and some avenues to pursue, and we'll be well on our way to having our "better bake sale." What fun!

While you're here, don't forget to enter my Giveaway for a Premium Account at MyPunchbowl! I reviewed MyPunchbowl here. Check it out!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Punchbowl Party Planning Site - GIVEAWAY!

Not too long ago, I posted about my in-laws' 40th anniversary, and how I used Punchbowl to do all of the party planning. I have exciting news for you, dear blog reader... the very cool and upbeat folks over at Punchbowl have generously offered 2 lucky Shin-dig-it readers a year-long upgrade to a Premium account! The regular price for a Premium account is $39.95, and offers you more design choices and other party planning amenities. If you use Twitter, you can also receive updates from @Punchbowl. They are always able to supply you with a reason to celebrate!

To enter the contest, you need to leave a comment on this post with your email address (only so that I can contact you if you win) and your name. And while you're at it, let us know your favorite reason to celebrate! All entries must be received by 6:00 PM EST on Monday, October 6, 2009. Two winners will be picked by random number generator and will be notified by email. If no contact is made within a reasonable amount of time, I reserve the right to choose another winner.

Good luck!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shindiglet: Family Movie Night & Bedtime Moments

Shindiglet - Like a grand shindig, only a much smaller to-do. There are times, when even a small group of people getting together creates an occasion for celebrating with a theme. And if it is within my power, I always try to make that happen.

A family movie night, for me, is such an occasion.

On weekends, my little family unit (the four of us) likes to kick back and relax and enjoy some family entertainment on the ol' boob tube. Lately, we've been watching the Pink Panther cartoons that I remember watching as a kid. I'm loving the fact that my kids think they are hilarious! My memories take me back to when I was young and I went with my family to the drive in. Before the movie started, we would be treated with a cartoon, sort of like an appetizer. All of us kids (there were always so many of us in one car... never failed!) used to guess which cartoon would be shown. Would it be Tom & Jerry or The Pink Panther? And which exact one would it be? The beach episode of Tom & Jerry where Tom tries to impress that sleek white girl cat? The Pink Panther episode where PP wants everything painted pink when the man is obviously a fan of the color blue? The occasional Ant & the Aardvark? Ahhh, those summertime moments of anticipation! So fast-forward many... ahem!... a few years later, and I get to see my kids rehashing the simple plot lines that make the Pink Panther so timeless.

All of this reminiscing has gotten me all nostalgic. In my ritualistic, daily blog hopping earlier this summer I landed on a contest over at that focused on special bedtime moments between parents and children. I guess that sentimental mood back then got me thinking about special bedtime moments, and how our children just grow up so darn fast (second grade already!!). It hit me that these are the days my children will remember when they're my age, and hopefully they'll look fondly upon them. I want to give my kids those Pink Panther memories! I want them to drift off to sleep in a home where they have fun and bond over family time! Goshdarnit, I want tons and tons of special bedtime moments!

Did I mention that I won that contest over at No? Welllllllllllllllllllllll... let me tell you all about it! Mir, the very pretty blogger over yonder had partnered with GoodNites to sponsor this contest. All I had to do to enter was to write about a special bedtime moment I had experienced. I recalled the bedtime story "Love You Forever" and how it always makes me emotional when I read it. You can get the details at and spare me the blubbering from rehashing it now. :) I cannot tell you how excited I was to learn that I had won! When the prize arrived in the mail, I was like a kid at Christmas, going through all of that loot! Included was a beautiful LL Bean tote bag, a nice, warm, fuzzy throw blanket, two Moleskine journals, a $50 gift card for Borders, and a $100 gift certificate. Wowee!! Family movie night just got cozier! To top it all off, won a sub-contest with GoodNites as the blogger who generated the most entries to the GoodNites website's Special Bedtime Moments contest. With that win, Mir earned $1,000 worth of bedtime books that she had donated to her local county library system's outreach program. Having even the tiniest part of getting books into the hands of people who can appreciate them is just plain delightful.

To bring us back full circle, I'm currently planning a shindiglet for an upcoming family movie night. With a subtle nod to and GoodNites... I think we'll watch 'Bedtime Stories.'

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

40th Wedding Anniversary Party

I had the great honor to organize and implement a 40th wedding anniversary party for my mother and father-in-law this summer. My sister-in-law is busy planning her own wedding, and so I donned my party planning hat and started thinking about themes!

My research quickly uncovered the fact that the 40th anniversary is the Ruby Anniversary. My in-laws just weren't the types that desire to be lavished with rubies, so I figured out ways to play up '40' and used 'ruby' as a color accent instead.

In order to get the event off the ground on relatively short notice, it was imperative to do the invitations electronically. Fortunately, I had just been given the opportunity to upgrade my account to Premium at Punchbowl. If you are not familiar with, it is a great resource for party planning from invitations, to managing what dishes your guests are bringing, to posting pictures of your event when it is all over.

The first order of business to give Punchbowl a whirl, was to design the invitation. I could choose from plenty of very pretty designs and styles, with good prompts for all the necessary information. Previewing the design was simple, and editing my information was just as intuitive. I had a lot of fun tweaking the details of the design, too. My in-laws' wedding colors were yellow and light blue. I added a splash of red to the design, too, remembering that this was the ruby anniversary after all! Having gathered in my research (thank you, Google!) that the Nasturtium is the 40th anniversary flower, I added a photo of a pretty yellow Nasturtium to the invitation. Wow! I was so pleased with the look. It was pleasant and classy, which is just the impression I wanted to convey.

When I was satisfied with the design, I moved on to discover more of the features Punchbowl offers. I was thrilled with the option to add a potluck contribution manager. Since this party was just for family, and was to be held at my in-laws' backyard during the summer, we opted for a cookout celebration. The guests would be bringing dishes to share. I had already envisioned the menu. We would be grilling marinated chicken breast and steak for steak sandwiches, as well as having pulled pork. I also made spaghetti dill salad and deviled eggs. My sister-in-law made a fruit salad, brought the celebratory cake (decorated, once again, with yellow, blue and a splash of red) and supplied the beer and soda. Based on the number of guests, I selected the type and number of other dishes that the guests could choose to bring. I was really impressed with this feature! I did have to play around with it a little before I figured out that you need to remember to click "submit" or it won't save the numbers or prompt the guests to look at this section of the invitation online.

At last, I was ready to send the invitation. Punchbowl allows you the opportunity to add a specific message to all of your guests, just one, or a different message to each guest - whichever way you want. This is helpful if you want to suggest to your aunt to bring her acclaimed baked lima beans dish, and your uncle to throw a couple of folding tables in the back of the truck, too. Very cool! As the RSVPs came in, I was able to edit the online invitation to update the number of guests expected on the potluck page. Again, I had to play around with this feature, but finally realized you have to click up in the "Note" section to update this information.

An easy to manage to-do list is another great feature on this site! This was very handy for me, as I was planning this event the same time I was planning my Dominos American Legends Pizza House Party.

The party itself went swimmingly! Everyone contributed such great food, and it wasn't your run-of-the-mill cookout. I wanted my in-laws to feel special, and I think they did. My in-laws have three children (my husband being one of them). To pay homage to their 40 years of marriage, their three children and I each made a list of 10 things we love about them, totaling 40 things. The list ran the gamut from touching to funny, the youngest citing such things as "You never gave me a curfew." And one that I contributed was that "Our kids love coming to visit them, and that it was only partly because there is a playground next door." My husband tugged the heart strings with things like, "By loving us and showing us that you care, you proved that love is truly the light of the world and we are all meant to carry it on to others." My sister-in-law remarked on all of the family vacations they had made over the years, and how the family time would be cherished forever.

But that wasn't the only tribute that we paid to to their anniversary. In the week leading up to the party, my husband scanned the pictures from their wedding album and enhanced them with a photo editing software. Some of the photos had been damaged in a flood many moons ago, and some had yellowed over time. They looked great, and were viewed in a wonderful slide show presentation at the party set to the music of their song. My mother-in-law in particular was truly touched by this gesture.

As a final tie-in to the 40 theme, the children each gave the couple of honor a $40 gift card for someplace meaningful to them. And although I didn't think of it at the time, I later thought a gift card to Ruby Tuesday would have been appropriate!

Later, in a thank you note, my mother-in-law said, "Thank you ever so much for the special anniversary celebration. The food was so good, our wedding pictures put to music was wonderful, and your things that you admire in us were so touching. We truly felt special and so loved. As we grow older, we find that having family is our greatest blessing."

When all was said and done, I was proud to be involved in the event, and glad to have shown such a wonderful couple that they have done well in their life together. And... I can't wait to throw a Golden Anniversary party for them!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Domino's American Legends Pizza House Party

So, say someone offers you a gift card worth $75 at Domino's and asks you to sample their new line of pizza - American Legends ("the classic American flavors without the road trip"). Now, say that all you have to do is invite over your friends so that they can sample the new pizza, too. Wouldn't you go for it? I sure did - and what a fun time it was indeed!

It all started several months ago when my sister-in-law forwarded me an email from announcing a French Cocktail Hour party. Prospective hosts need only apply online (easy and free) and the houseparty computers would select a set amount of hosts via a cross-comparison of applicants against the sponsor's (in that case, the French Government) marketing needs. Although I had applied for that house party, sadly, I was not selected to be a host. But did that stop me from applying for other house parties? No way! The very next party I applied to host was the Domino's American Legends house party. This time was I selected? You betcha!

From start to finish, my experience with the house party was superb! They have an internal national party blog that allows you to hear from other party hosts as well as getting information directly from the site. I received timely emails with information on what was coming up next in the party planning process and tips to get the buzz going about my party.

The house party site has the added functionality of inviting all of your guests online, making it a breeze to spread the word about your party. I did have one person who I needed to invite in person, and the site made that so easy, too. What fun it was to watch as my guests responded to the RSVP and left messages on the party message board (also built in to the site).

Once my party was customized to my taste, and the invitations were issued, I began the theme development of which I am so fond. How to play up the theme with the food? American Legends combined with legendary food tastes brought me to the challenge that I issued to my guests: to bring a food or drink inspired by a legendary American person or place. Being an Elvis admirer myself, I had notions of fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches... or a spin-off of that in a banana & peanut butter dessert pizza. Yes, that is what I would make! Well, to make that long story short, the brownie "pizza crust" broke as I was turning it out, so I just cut them up into squares and forewent the Elvis connection. Brownies are an all-American dessert, so I cut my losses and just went with that. I did, however, stumble upon a fantastic recipe for a non-alcoholic mint julep. The recipe is based on the beverage served at Disneyland. See that? I combined the legendary drink of the Kentucky Derby with the legendary all-things-Disney and got myself a two-fer. It was delicious to boot! In honor of Hawaii (American legendary paradise), I also cut up a fresh pineapple.

And that brings me to the variety of the Domino's American Legends line of pizzas. Are you stuck in the typical pepperoni pizza rut? Domino's has the answer to your problem. Are you ready for this? They have the Honolulu Hawaiian, Philly Cheesesteak, Buffalo Chicken, Memphis BBQ Chicken, Cali Chicken Bacon Ranch, and Pacific Veggie. Whew! We enjoyed one of each on the hand-tossed crust. Let me tell you, folks... Domino's reputation has skyrocketed in my opinion! You do not want to miss the Memphis Chicken BBQ. It is sweet and smokey, and totally to die for! It was my personal favorite, and not only because it made me think of Elvis (OK, yes, Elvis was smokey and sweet, but it was the Memphis connection that made me think of him initially. Come on folks!)

So, feeling that the food was covered, I wanted to add a few other details to bring the theme out even more. I turned to the public library for help. I took out several books on the subject of American Legends. This included: "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", biograpies on Judy Garland and James Dean, a tourism book on Hawaii, and a foodie book about New York. I added a couple from my own collection, including a book on Elvis (of course!), and one about the Kentucky Derby. From the house party site, I downloaded and printed out a top ten list of popular American travel destinations. I set copies of this list around the sitting area with the books. So for a casual shindig, I was feeling pretty satisfied that the theme would be developed.

A couple of weeks prior to party day, house party sent me a party pack which arrived via UPS. I got quite a kick out of the fact that it was shipped in a Domino's pizza box. How fun and odd to see the UPS man delivering pizza! Inside the box were several goodies. There was a Domino's pen and notepad (good for making party planning to-do lists), Domino's pizza coupons, free popcorn coupons for AMC theaters, and coupons for Zobmondo games. To my delight, there was also a free Zobmondo "You Gotta Be Kidding" card game for us to use at the party. Squee!

Party day happened to be the same day as the scheduled community-wide yard sale, in which I had hoped to participate. The good Lord must have known I was trying to do too much, because that morning it was raining cats and dogs. The yard sale being rained out did provide me the luxury of having plenty of time to get the house tidied up and in order. This was good, because I had planned a backyard bash, but had to change it to an indoor party. It was just too wet outside.

Let me share with you another cool facet of my Domino's experience. I love coupons. I ordered my pizza early via the phone instead of online just to make sure the large order could be handled adequately and would be ready on time. I explained about the house party promotion and asked about the online coupons. We hashed things out with no problems, and I managed to take my $75 gift card from the Domino's/house party promotion and get 12 pizzas instead of six thanks to the coupon deal. Lesson here is always, ALWAYS look for coupons and ask the salespeople if they can work with you to use them to the max. There was even enough left on the gift card to throw in a 2-liter of soda. Sweet! It was such a weird thing to see my husband and brother-in-law carrying in so many pizza boxes at one time. But we were a good sized crowd, and we were hungry! Late afternoon found us welcoming our guests, which numbered about 30, to our humble abode with smiles on our faces and feasting on our minds.

I had printed out cards with the names of each American Legends pizza that I placed aside the appropriate pizza box so that everyone knew what each one was. It was surprising how much fun everyone had just talking about the variety of pizzas and what we all liked most about them. The most popular AL pizza was the Cali Chicken Bacon Ranch. On the house party site for the Domino's party, most people indicated that the Philly Cheesesteak was the most popular at their parties. Here in southcentral PA, we are cheesesteak connoisseurs, and while it was delicious, it didn't quite taste like what we thought of as cheesesteaks. Where was the cheez wiz? Heh! One of my guests remarked that all of the pizzas were delicious but only the pepperoni and the cheese variety were actually pizzas. Her Italian background wouldn't let her identify the AL line as pizzas.

The "You Gotta Be Kidding" game had several of us rolling on the floor it was so funny. With questions like "Would you rather dig in someone else's nose to get out a booger or have someone else dig in your nose to get out a booger?" you can imagine the amusing discomfort that took turns on everyone's face. Groans and laughter did abound, nonetheless.

After several hours of pizza-fueled fun and games, the party guests dissipated, managing to roll home after having so much to eat! There was even some pizza sent home with guests, we had such a bounty. When it was all said and done, I figured it cost me all of about $20 to throw this party. That was for the soda and munchies. What a bargain! Many thanks to Domino's and house party for a wholesome and terrific event to be a part of! We couldn't have been happier! I am totally aching to host another house party. If you've never checked them out before, go at once to and sign yourself up. And hey, if you get selected to host a party, don't forget to invite me! *wink*

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Big things in the works

I promise you I've not abandoned this blogging thing! I actually have several shindigs I'm currently working on right now, and it has severely cut into my blogging time. I will try to post some details soon on the "American Legends Domino's Pizza Party" I'm hosting, 4th of July Sillybration in our neighborhood, as well as the 40th Wedding Anniversary party my sister-in-law and I are planning for her parents. Summer is known for keeping people busy, and you'll get no argument from me on that statement! Until later...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

I'm honored to have been awarded the "One Lovely Blog" Award by Cascia over at Healthy Moms. Thank you very much for the nod!

There are so many lovely blogs out there, and I'm passing this award along to some that I've discovered in my blogosphere travels...

Here are the rules: 1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. 2) Pass the award to other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

FairlyOdd Parents Party Thank You Cards

Instead of using a lot of references to the FairlyOdd Parents on the thank you cards, I opted to personalize them with photos instead. I used publishing software to do the design in postcard format. For each note, I chose a picture taken at one of the two parties the guest had attended. There were a few thank you cards needed for people who weren't at either party, but had given gifts. For those, I chose one good picture of both of the birthday girls and arranged them on the front of the postcard. A simple 'thank you' was also printed on the front of the cards. They were four per page, and I printed them on card stock. After trimming them, I wrote the thank you messages on the backs, and had my oldest sign both of the girls' names. I used Fairy stickers to embellish the front with the pictures, so that the effect was fairies and butterflies flying amid the party pictures. Sometimes simple does just fine!

Wordless Wednesday: Teacher Appreciation Luncheon Dessert

for other Wordless Wednesdays, click here and/or here

Shindiglet: The Before-the-Party Party

Shindiglet - Like a grand shindig, only a much smaller to-do. There are times, when even a small group of people getting together creates an occasion for celebrating with a theme. And if it is within my power, I always try to make that happen.

A before-the-party party, for me, is such an occasion.

I planned to make a lunch for the family members coming to the FairlyOdd Parents Bowling Party. During the lunch, we could open gifts from them instead of toting more stuff to the bowling alley. What started off as a light lunch, soon became a shindiglet!

Inspired by the Magical Tablescape post over at Party Planning Mom, I envisioned a fairy theme spin-off of the FairlyOdd Parents theme we'd be ensconced in later. My girls were turning seven and three, and pink and green fairies (nod to Wanda and Cosmo's colors) seemed to be the perfect focal point.

Since this was to be a smaller affair, with the main party following it, I wanted only to provide a few key decorative accents. We have a green woodland fairy that sits in our kitchen, so I snagged her to reign supreme as the table centerpiece. Some silk floral stems softened her up a bit. I found a few ceramic fairies at the Dollar Tree that surrounded the woodland fairy tucked in between the flowers and leaves. The green forest bed (a square of green felt) looked very pleasant atop a pink table covering. This picture was taken a few days before the party, as I was planning it all out.

Two shades of green crepe paper were draped from the chandelier to the corners of the room to give the effect of a luncheon under the shade of a big tree.

The table setting was very simple. Every enchanted forest has flowers, so we had a floral napkin with pink utensils. We used a floral napkin spread open as the placemat, a pink plate with a white doily on it, and had a tiny pink cup filled with pop rocks which, when later added to the pink lemonade, became fairy punch (although my girls couldn't wait, and drank the pop rocks straight up!). This great drink idea came from the Magic Tablescape post previously mentioned, as did the idea of putting cotton candy into the drink cups to munch on before the lunch was served. The girls loved it!

For lunch, I served cold cut sandwiches, cheese & crackers, fruit salad, deviled eggs, pretzels, and for dessert, birthday cake, of course!

We lit seven candles for the oldest child and sang Happy Birthday to her, then repeated the process with three candles for the youngest. We ended up not having enough time to open presents before the bowling party, so we waited until afterwards. What a great day spent with family & friends!

FairlyOdd Parents Bowling Party Summary

After a few weeks of the everyday chaos of life, I'm finally settling in to wrap up the details from my daughters' FairlyOdd Parents Bowling Birthday Party that took place in early April. It was a day of Fairly Odd fun!

Let me begin with the cake... er, non-cake, as it ended up. Since we had to be portable, given that the party wasn't being held at our house, we opted for cupcakes. I had originally envisioned a fishbowl cake similar to this photo that I found online.

Tailored to the FairlyOdd Parents fishbowl, this would have been perfect. The car ride over to the bowling party worried me, though. So I scaled things waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back and made these very simple cupcakes. They made it to the bowling alley without any issues, and were gobbled up with no muss or fuss.

As for the venue itself, we couldn't have asked for a better site. We had plenty of room to set up the goody bags and the cupcakes, as well as room for the presents that the guests brought. The kids and adults could share the same lanes, with programmable "bumpers" to appear when it was a child's turn bowl. The bumpers block the gutters so there are no gutter balls. The cost included pizza, chips, a soda, and an ice cream cup for each guest. They also provided all of the plates, napkins, etc. It was a great deal!

There was plenty of time allotted for bowling. In addition to the bumpers, there were also light-weight bowling balls to make it more appropriate for children. Most of the kids still had trouble maneuvering the ball. To aid this situation, there were these wheeled devices that allowed them to push the ball instead.

My girls had a great time, I enjoyed myself, and the rest of the adults were still smiling when it was all over. If you're considering a bowling party for your child, I highly recommend it. We're not regular bowlers at all, so don't let that stop you, because the kids always love it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wa-hoo! I actually won a Giveaway!

John Hughes has to be one of my all-time favorites when it comes to movies - his are all sooo good. When I saw a DVD of Pretty in Pink giveaway being hosted by Roseann over at The Social Frog, I entered right away! 

Today, I was notified that I won! Yay me! :) This is the first time I've won a blog giveaway of any kind, I was so psyched!!!

Now, the way it goes with me is when I'm blogging, I'm thinking party-planning. So with Pretty in Pink also on my mind, it didn't take long for visions of a prom-themed party to enter my head. (my girls are both too young to even be thinking about proms yet!) Perhaps next year's Valentine's Day Ladies Tea will have a prom theme. Do you think I could get my guests to show up in old prom dresses? There is soooo much potential there! :)

So thanks again, Roseann, for the giveaway, and for unintentionally inspiring a wicked future party!!

Wordless Wednesday: Birthday cards in the mail!

see more wordless wednesday posts here and here

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fairly OddParents Birthday Party Goody Bags

It took me most of the day to get it done, but my Tackle for this Tuesday was to create and print all of the necessary tidbits pertaining to the goody bags for the girls' quickly approaching birthday party. I used a Publishing software on the computer and printed some things onto card stock and the rest onto regular white paper. Here is what all of the supplies looked like after printing, but before sorting, cutting, and attaching.

I used my paper trimmer to cut everything apart so that all of the edges would be clean. Here is the finished product with the contents laid out for picture purposes.

I picked up pink and green gift bags from AC Moore, on sale this week 3/$1. Score! Each bag is labeled with each guest's name alongside the gender-appropriate fairy. The green card stock is the TV show's theme song lyrics (those really get stuck in your head!). The big page is a foldable fortune teller with a Fairly OddParents theme. Do you remember those things from elementary school? You fold them up in just the right way and you can use your hands to open and close it, at last revealing the answer to whatever question you asked it in the beginning. Sort of a poor man's magic 8 ball. There is an Air Heads candy which has a picture of Cosmo and Wanda on it. This was my soon to be 7 year old's idea, as the Fairies float in the 'air'. The packet of pixy stix has a picture of two pixies from the show on it. I bundled several green and pink straws together with a fairy wand and tied them with green fiber. I wasn't sure what I was going to do when I bought the straws, but it turned out cute, I think. I found one store in all of my shopping that had Fairly OddParents stickers, and I bought the only three packets they had!

Because Cosmo and Wanda regularly take the form of goldfish in Timmy's room, we had to have Goldfish crackers. A picture of the Fairy goldfish was attached to help make the mental connection.

Similarly, a picture of Chip Skylark (singer character from the show, famous for singing the song "Icky Vicky") was attached to the packet of mini Chips Ahoy cookies. The Fun Dips were tossed into the mix, not for any Fairly OddParents significance, but just because my birthday girls really wanted them included. :) Oh, and there is a coloring sheet that will also be included in the Goody Bags, but they're off being photocopied at the moment.

On the back of the bag, I listed 10 Fairly OddParents trivia questions. The answers were attached to the bottom of the bag. Since this party will be at the bowling alley, I didn't need to plan any games, but I thought a little trivia was a fun idea.

I had lots of fun planning this party so far. Now all that is left is making the cake!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
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