Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Halloween Decor

I'm so proud! I love everything I've put up this year and most of it came from the Dollar Tree and Target. Two of my favorite spots. Now that I've been off work (waiting on this little baby to arrive) I've had some spare time to get my Halloween decorations set-up. I know it's a little early, but with the baby arriving any day I just wanted to have everything in order. Hmmm...I think they call that nesting.

This is my entryway table and mirror. I went with a black and ivory theme for this table.
The silver and ivory pumpkins are from Target. The "Bat Motel" sign --$1 at the Dollar Tree along with the black crow that I attached to the silver pumpkin! The two glass candleholders were also $1 each at the Dollar Tree. And the Trick or Treat sign was $5 at TJ Maxx.

Moving on to my living room sideboard. I went with the more traditional black and orange here...

I got these frames from the Dollar Tree and spray painted them with a glossy black. I then purchased some halloween themed scrapbook paper at Michael's (nothing to cheesy though). I picked out some fun fonts on, one is called Chiller and the other is called Circus Ornate, and printed the words "Boo", "All Hallow's Eve", "Spooky", and "31" on the scrapbook paper. Such a thrifty little project and I really like the way they turned out.

Oh, and I got the apothecary jar in the background at TJ Maxx for $8 and filled it with bags of candy corn from the Dollar Tree.

I also got this gorgeous glittered pumpkin at Target. I think it was $6.99. I did see a tutorial on how to make these on Martha, but I don't think $6.99 is a bad deal without having to put any work into it. I put my lovely glittered pumpkin on a candlestick that I picked up at, where else? The Dollar Tree!

And here's the full frontal...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Boredom and freezer recipes!

As of last Thursday, I have been off of work based on my midwife's recommendation. I'm due on the 30th, but I have been extremely swollen. It's only been a total of 3 workdays and I'm already a tad bored. I would have thought that with all of this spare time, I would have dove right into some projects, but I suppose being the size of the great pumpkin along with being tired is not conducive to accomplishing a lot. Oh well, I'm making the best of it and getting things done little by little. in my boredom, I decided to make several of my favorite recipes and freeze them for when our little boy arrives. That will just make things so much easier and I won't be forced to live on hot dogs and egg sandwiches that my fiance likes to make. They're quite tasty, but I still need some variety.

So, I made two recipes out of Giada's cookbooks. The first being turkey meatballs with marinara--YUMS! He can just whip this out of the freezer, defrost it and pour it over some pasta. Here are my meatballs:

The second recipe is Italian Bean Soup. It calls for refrigerated cheese tortellini, but they were out at the market, so I settled for mini cheese ravioli- I'm sure it will be just as tasty!

Here the pancetta, garlic, carrots, and onion are sauteeing:

And here is the end result:

Doesn't this look delish? It is!

Ok, now onto to some business projects. Shortly I'll be posting the cupcake toppers inspired by good friend's upcoming nuptials. See you all soon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Will you be my Bridesmaid?

I don't think I've mentioned it on here yet, but in March of next year, Mr. P and I will be getting married in Vegas. The baby will be almost 6 months old by then and we're taking him along. All of our family and friends will be joining us and we're very excited!

Although I would love to pick out bridesmaid dresses and do all of that fun stuff, I just don't feel it's fair to ask my friends to pay to come to Vegas and then on top of that pay for a bridesmaid dress, shoes, hair, makeup, etc. I do, however, want them to know how important they are to me and how excited I am for them to be part of my big day. With that said, I decided to make Will you be my honorary bridesmaid?cards.

Just another little DIY that I had fun with! I hope they like them. I'll be handing them out at one of the girls' birthday dinner tomorrow night. Pics and tutorial listed below:

I designed the card in PowerPoint and printed two per page on off-white textured card stock that I got at JoAnn's ($1.80 for three sheets).

I used my little Cricut paper cutter to cut the cards out and then tied them with a wide wired ribbon that I picked up at JoAnn's ($4.99).

I also printed out individual "For _________ (insert bridesmaid's name)" tags on the same textured cardstock. After cutting them out with the paper cutter, I used a tiny hole punch and inserted a very thin black ribbon ($1.29 also at JoAnn's) to hang these tags from the cards.

Here is the finished product! I think they turned out pretty good--especially for costing only a little over $8. Whatcha' think?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How exciting!

One of my favorite blogs (that I read daily of course) is Creative Parties & Showers and lo and behold my "Oh Boy" baby shower was featured on there yesterday.

I feel honored to be featured on Shannon's blog, especially so early in my little business' history. If you don't already check her blog out daily, please do, there are so many goodies on there.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dr. Seuss Preview

Let me start off by saying that I have been so antsy to open my Etsy shop, but I'm trying to be patient and build up my inventory so that there will be several items to choose from when the day finally comes. Right now the shop is in limbo with a tagline that says "COMING SOON". I'm getting close though!

Anyway, I wanted to share this preview of a Dr. Seuss baby shower I'm doing for my friend Nicole's sister-in-law. She will be doing her nursery in this theme, so it all ties together perfectly. I'm a big fan of consistency! I'm calling this a preview because I will have more pics to show you after this weekend with all the little details of the shower. I can't put the Dr. Seuss items in my Etsy shop for obvious copyright reasons, but at least I get to share them with you here. Hope you enjoy!

Here are the food tents. I used a font called Grinched from . And, yes, Nicole is actually making green eggs, well, green deviled eggs.

These are the water bottle wraps. And as I'm sure most of you know, these are so simple to make. I cut them out in the dimensions of 8.5 x 2.25 and they fit almost all standard size water bottles. To secure the wraps, I made personalized "Casey's Baby Shower" stickers to tie into the Dr. Seuss theme.

This idea actually came from another blog(and please forgive me, because my pregnancy brain is not letting me think of the name of said blog). These are "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" cupcake toppers. They won't actually be on top of the cupcakes because that's where the blue hair(cotton candy) will be, but these circles will affix to the front of the cupcakes with some help from glue dots.

And last but not least, my absolute favorite...the favor tags! Nicole is using evergreen seeds in a burlap bag as a favor, which is such a cute idea to tie into this poem from the Lorax--read the favor tags carefully. LOVES it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Blogrolls and Barbies

One of my daily guilty pleasures is scrolling through my favorite blogs on Google Reader. I must say that if I don't get to do this, I feel a little out of whack. I'm hoping that many of you lady bloggers do the same, that way I don't feel so bad about taking at least an hour and half out of each day to do this. Anyway, as I was scrolling through today I found a link to another blog that I had yet to see. I love it when I find these gems. One Charming Blog is definitely getting added to my Google Reader addiction. They have the most adorable Vintage Glam Barbie Party. Here is just one picture to show you what I'm talking about:

Check out more pics on One Charming Blog. Now back to my Google Reader!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I can't get enough of Martha!

I really wanted to wait to do this post until at least September 1st, but I just can't seem to get these Martha Stewart Halloween images out of my mind. For me, decorating for fall ranks right up there with decorating for Christmas. I just get so excited. There were so many ideas on Martha's Website, but I had to narrow it down for this post. I'm going to show you my three favorites.

My ABSOLUTE favorite-- Glittered Pumpkins

I can't wait to make these! See how here

Favorite #2-- Shimmering Pumpkins

I think I will definitely be attempting these too. I have high hopes-we'll see how much spray painting I get done with a new infant come October. As you can see, I'm all about the pumpkins. I think that's just more my style than witches and bats. I like the pumpkin theme because you get more bang for your buck, since you can keep them out through Thanksgiving. See how to make these here. And you could even use gold or copper metallic paint if that's more your speed.

Favorite #3-- Candy Jar Treats and FREE printables!

We all know that everyone LOVES a candy buffet. This one's great for Halloween and on top of that, free printable labels from Martha. She must love us as much as we love her! Get your free printable labels here

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The nursery

Be forewarned- this is not a party post, but since I have baby on the brain lately, I just wanted to show you a few things I've put together for our little bundle of joy's nursery.

So, as you can see, we will be naming him Dominick. I got these foam letters at Michael's. They were 70% of and ended up being $.60 a piece and go perfectly in the room.

I created this sign with a little help from Microsoft Word and placed it on some scrapbooking paper in an Ikea frame.

And I love these little jars. I bought them at Walmart for $2.97 a piece and made the little tags with the same scrapbook paper that's in the frame. So cute!

Ok, that's all the baby stuff for now, but I can't promise that there won't be more later.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Inspired by Pier 1

On a recent trip to Pier 1 I found gobs and gobs of things that gave me inspiration for upcoming parties and design ideas. I'll share a few of the pics I have as inspiration for one grown up party in particular. The party that I have in mind for this won't be happening until spring of 2010, but in my opinion, it's never too early to start planning. But's a secret, can't share too many details in case by chance the guest of honor is reading this.

I just love the idea of mixing this peacock feather motif with a zebra print. The colors are gorgeous...just perfect for a big-girl event! I have lots of ideas for this one, so stay tuned...

Cherry Girl Sneak Peak

I have a few parties in the works, but the one I'm focusing on at the moment is for a little girl named Avery. Avery is going to be 4 in a couple of weeks and her mom told me that she just loves cherries. So what better way to celebrate her birthday than with a Cherry Girl party. Lots more info and pics to come. Here is a sneak peak...

Oh Boy, it's a baby shower!

Last Sunday was my baby shower for our little boy that will be here shortly. It wasn't a surprise, so of course I made all of the decorations, which was so much fun for me. My mom threw the shower, but she knows how much I like to put these parties together, so she gave me free reign with the decor. As you can see from the pics, I made an "Oh Boy" banner, food and beverage signs, table confetti, water bottle wraps, cupcake toppers,favor and game signs, napkin rings, and candy vessel signs.

The invite came from TinyPrints
I put one on display in a frame that I got from Ikea and matted it with paper to match the rest of the decor.

One of my good friends, Nicole, had the cake made. It was delicious and matched the onesie that I had on the banner.

One of my besties, Ama, flew in from Atlanta to surprise me (that sneaky little thing) and my hormones got the best of me. It caused a chain reaction and soon the whole room of women was in tears.

For the games we had a diaper bonanza, which I explained in a previous post along with a baby word scramble and Celebrity Baby matching game. My mom put the folders together with the games, a pen, and the envelope for the thank you cards, so that the guests could fill out their addresses in between the games. A lot of people are anti baby shower games. I completely understand why. It is time consuming, especially when you know it could take over an hour to open the gifts, but I also think it's fun for the guests to have interaction and win a nice prize at the end of the game. We had simple prizes, but they were certainly well liked. Each of the winners took home a Target gift card(who doesn't like Target?) and tahitian foot scrub from Bath and Body Works. The foot scrub was fitting because the prizes were placed in little blue boxes with baby footprints all over them.

Cupcake toppers that I made with cardstock and coordinating paper.

The favors are mini anti-bacterial hand gel from Bath and Body Works. Everyone loved them. There were a few left over, but you can never have too much hand sanitizer as a new mommy! We put the favors in a little blue tub that I found in the $1 spot at Target. I made the sign and attached it to a paint stick.

It was such a nice day and I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family in my life.



Love you all!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shoooo Weee!

It has been such a busy weekend, two baby showers back to back and only seven more weeks til I'm a mama! I can't believe it! I'll be sorting through mounds of baby stuff in the next several days and trying to get the house ready for the new bambino!Anyway...just feel like I'm neglecting my little blog so I wanted to post. I do have lots of pictures from the showers and am working on my next party. I hope to have sneak peeks up on Saturday. The theme of this one is "Cherry Girl" and it's just adorable. Can't wait to share with you.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thirsty Thursday

For this first ever Thirsty Thursday post I wanted to share my favorite party punch recipe. I use it all the time at various events and everyone LOVES it! It's called LUAU PUNCH, but can be re-named depending on the theme of your event. And I swear it is the easiest punch to make ever! The recipe is as follows:

1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
1 (6 ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, semi-thawed
2 liters lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage

Put these three ingredients in a punch bowl and stir. Voila!

With me being preggers right now, I'm thinking non-alcoholic drinks, but don't you worry there will be plenty of libations to come that involve alcohol.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Branding my Business

I think I mentioned in my first post that I was in the process of getting my little venture Soiree Design up and running. Well, so far so good, but I wanted to try to take you along this journey with me. Crazily enough I have a bachelor's degree in Business Administration/Marketing and I love all aspects of branding. One of the first things I felt was important was branding my business, unfortunately with any small start-up business, my budget for branding is, well, small. But I am really excited about how Whitney at Whisker Graphics was able to turn my ideas into something I feel really proud of. She did an excellent job and was able to accomodate my small budget so I wanted to give her a shout out!

My Business Cards

My hangtags and product labels

Whitney also created by Blog header along with my Etsy header and avatars.
Check out her Etsy Shop for more designs.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Oh Boy! Sneak Peak

Here is my first Sneak Peak Saturday Post...just a little taste of the "Oh Boy" baby shower that I'm working on. The pics are of the Diaper Bonanza that I have put together for this shower. What is a Diaper Bonanza? Well I'm glad you is a wonderful element to add to any baby shower, no matter what the theme.

Enclosed with the shower invite guests will find a little card explaining the Diaper Bonanza to them. This card will say something like this, "There will be a raffle at the event for a gift basket filled with wonderful things that anyone would love to take home. The price for entry is one package of diapers or wipes(any size). Please join in the fun and help ______________ (insert guest of honor's name) stock up on the necessities!" This of course is in addition to the gift that each guests decides to bring, but both mom and the winner will go home with something great.

Create a small table just for the Diaper Bonanza. As guests arrive with either Diapers or wipes give them a ticket, like the kind in a large roll that they sell at Walmart, and have them write their name on the back (this is much easier than calling out numbers). Have the guest place their ticket in the ticket jar. Towards the end of the shower announce the winner of the raffle.

The gift basket that I'm creating for this shower is a Spa Day basket filled with all kinds of goodies from Bath and Body Works such as lotions and scrubs, a small Yankee Candle, and scrubbie gloves. More pics of this to follow. You can create the basket it any way you'd like and you can even tie it into your theme! I've done these Diaper Bonanzas for most of the baby showers I've done and the mom-to-be couldn't be more grateful for all of the diapers and wipes she receives.