Hip Hip Hooray

I've been checking the kid's party blog Hip Hip Hooray for ideas for a future birthday, I may or may not already be planning!  Hey, only half a year left to think about what to do! 

How adorable are these inspiration boards for an "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" Party?

Check out cute ideas for little kid parties here.


Cooler Cover Tutorial

Remember the awesome cooler covers Martha came up with for her party?  Remember how we almost spent at least $40 buying buckets for the drinks?  Instead we paid about $5 for thrift store bedsheets to make these great covers?  What a money saver...and they're pretty good looking too! Martha was awesome, and sent over some before pictures and some detail shots.  She created these the night before, on the fly, so we don't have step-by-step shots.  I think you'll get the idea though!

I said before they were pretty dingy and I wasn't lying!

NOT a pretty sight.  So here are the steps.  Note that the bed sheets we picked up were 2 single sized sheets.  They made 3 covers and could probably make 2 more!

Materials: Bed sheets (or fabric), 1/4" elastic, sewing machine, accessories (optional)

1.  Measure across the base of your cooler at it's widest point.  Add enough for your seam allowance + 3. inches.  For the height, measure from the base to the top, add seam allowance + 2 inches.  Cut out your rectangle from your bed sheet (or whatever fabric you decide to use).

2.  Fold your rectangle in half (hamburger style, if you will...) and pin right sides together.  Sew your side seam.

3.  Hem the top and bottom.

4.  Attach the elastic.  Martha used 1/4" elastic.  She pinned the elastic to the inside, near the hem and stretched it as tight as she could while she sewed on top of the elastic.  This will create the gathered effect.

5. Slide over the bottom and ta-da!  You're halfway there! So simple!

Now your lid shape can vary.  All three of these had different lids.  One came off completely, one was hinged and the other was hinged but had two doors.  Here are a few pictures to show what she did for each of them.  You're going to basically do the same thing that you did for the base on the removable lid and the hinged lid, except you'll sew on elastic to hold it in place on the underside of the lid (see below).

This last lid was the hinged double door kind.  Martha created a pillowcase type sleeve for this one, with elastic on the end to hold it in place.

You can also sew the base cover and the lid cover together on the sides so it doesn't slide around.

Martha also added handles and attached snaps on some flowers and the lids.  She can remove the flowers and wash the covers!

Finished, they look like this:

These would be great for an end of the summer/Labor Day party!


"Heavenly" Cupcakes

First I will tell you that there is nothing nutrionally good about these cupcakes.  But secondly I will say they are soooo worth it.  Everything in moderation, right?  Try these out for your next party...they are a definite winner.

Heavenly White Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cupcakes
1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c water
1pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1/2 c butter

Combine ingredients and scoop into cupcake liners.  Fill about half full.

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
dash of salt
white chocolate chips

Drop a tablespoon of filling into each cupcake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool and frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting.  Then pass out from their goodness.  Enjoy!


Martha’s 24th Anniversary of her 26th Birthday

We had the big party on Saturday and it went really well.  There were about 5 million things I had planned on doing that I just ran out of time on, but I still thought it turned out fabulous.  The party was mostly outside where the pool and the "Tiki Room"are located.  The Tiki Room is already so well decorated, we didn't think the outside needed a whole let of decor.  We kept the decorations mostly to the food table inside.  We used the colors of their outdoor space as the jumping off point.  We also were serving authentic Mexican food (50 lbs. of yummy carne asada + homemade tortillas!) so we also wanted to have a bit of Latin flair for the party.  Here is the invitation as a refresher:

I thought that the bunting on the invitation looked similar to doilies.  So I picked up some doilies from the dollar store and dyed them in food coloring.  I think they looked really sweet.  I dyed 50 of them but only had time to put up one little strand of them.  I also made a quick birthday banner using scrapbook paper and ribbon.  I hung different colored ribbon from the ceiling and made a few tissue poms as well.


Martha and I went to the thrift store and picked up some vases and plates in our colors and style scheme.  We then glued some of them together to create cake stands and used the rest as flower vases.  I made two different kinds of cupcakes.  I wish I would've taken a more detailed shot of the cupcakes.  They were both delicious!  The first was a Key Lime Coconut cupcake.  I liked this one because it was so different from any cupcake I've ever had.  Tart and limey!  The recipe was from here.  The other cupcakes we call "Heavenly Cheesecake" cupcakes.  I got the recipe from my friend Jess.  I had so many compliments on them.  I will share the recipe sometime this week!  They are out of this world yummy.

I had really wanted use doilies to put around the cupcake wrappers, as seen here, but again, I just ran out of time!

Martha suggested we use coolers for all the drinks.  The coolers were pretty dingy and beat up though.  My Dad and I were going to pick up some metal buckets to use instead.  The buckets would have been around $20 each...pretty pricey for a party!  Martha came up with a brilliant idea.  We went to the thrift store and picked up some sheets that coordinated with her outdoor space.  Then she created these awesome cooler covers!  I seriously think this was the best idea of the whole party.  So clever!  And they look pretty cute too.  I'll try and get a quick tutorial up this week.  They were really fast to make and seriously look so much better than the yucky coolers.  Plus they're removable and washable!

I was kind of all over the place trying to get things ready, visiting with people and entertaining Rilo so I didn't get as many photos as I wanted.  I should have taken a picture of the fantastic food we served and of the awesome Tiki Room.  I was also hoping to do a "photobooth" with sheet as the backdrop, but by the time I was ready to take the pictures it was dark.  And since I've never once used my flash (I prefer natural light), I tried to take some pictures with the flash, and what do you know?  It doesn't work!  Photobooth FAIL.

But all-in-all, it was a success!  So glad Rilo and I were there to celebrate with Martha and to see family!


Party Sneak Peek

This has been a fun, but exhausting trip!  Rilo and I are headed back to Chicago to see Adam.  We can't wait to see him!  I'm going to hold off on editing all the pictures until I'm on my iMac but here's a quick picture from the party.  I have pictures, recipes and possibly a semi-tutorial for you this week.  And if we can help the house recover from the party, I might get a little house tour up as well.

Happy Monday!

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Party Lights

These Cable and Cotton lights are perfect.   I want them in every color!  You can order the lights in premade color sets or create your own to fit your needs.  I am hoping to have a little outdoor dinner party when we return home to celebrate us coming back and to celebrate my then belated birthday.  I think these would be lovely for the event!


And it just dawned on me, just before I hit "post" why these look so familiar.  My freshman year of college I had lights that looked like these, in earthy tones of green, cream and white.  I had completely forgotten about them!

Max Wanger’s Wedding

Even though my wedding has long been over, I still love to browse some of my favorite wedding blogs for inspiration.  I just stumbled on Max Wanger's wedding via Once WedMax is a fantastic photographer...you may have seen his images around the web before.  Of course, his wedding is amazing.  I just love the creative and personal details.  All of these images were taken by Our Labor of Love. 

I adore this style of invitations.  And the fabric covered swing is perfect.

This setup doesn't even look real to me.  It is gorgeous.

Potted succulents as favors.

{images via Once Wed via Our Labor of Love}

I'm definitely storing away these ideas for future parties and events!  I have a few friends who have asked me to help plan their future weddings, so I am crossing my fingers they meet someone soon!  There are 5 posts up documenting this wedding...click here to check out the rest of the photos!

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Tiny Party

Love Armelle's Tiny Party she threw for her little girl.  Everything at this party was, well...tiny.  So cute!

I love a well-thought out party.  I know I still have a long time until Rilo's first birthday, but I am keeping ideas stored for next February!  Happy happy weekend to you!


Jessica’s Graduation Party: Part Two

Bear with me because part two is more for family and friends in attendance.  Here are the pictures of some of the guests.

Chef Dave and his assistant, Shane.  Love that little brother of mine.

I was coveting her darling baby bump the whole party!  She is the most beautiful pregnant lady!