Tag Archives: party

Two Scoops are Better Than One.

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If you’ve ever read this blog in your life, you know that I am constantly surrounded by pregnant women.  My girlfriends are now at the point of considering babies, not preventing babies, or frantically preparing for the arrival of their babies.  And when it comes to work, there isn’t but one male on our entire list of employees.  But there’s a whole host of fertile Mrytles walking around up there on my unit, that’s for sure.  And even if you’re like me, shaking your head fiercely back and forth and making a stank face when someone points to you and makes the ‘you’re next’ comment, you can’t help but get excited for all these little blessings about to enter the world.  I’m definitely excited to meet all these babies and happy for all the expectant parents too.

And when you’re happy, you must party.  You just have to.  But throwing showers for five girls can be hard.  But if your mothers-to-be are two peas in a pod, take that opportunity to honor them together. And if it’s North Carolina hot (and it is) then have an ice cream social.  And call it “Two Scoops are Better than One” since you’ve got two babes to celebrate and run with it!

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So there’s a picture of our spread.  We found those cute ice cream cones online for $4 each on Amazon (steal!)  And we made a simple paper doily banner with pink and blue letters that spelled out the name of our theme. 

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What’s an ice cream sundae without toppings galore?  We used mason jars to store them all, and put them in an old beverage crate to keep them contained.  And just so there’s no confusion, we made little tags to identify them ;).

DSC_0995One of the coolest things  we found for this party were these awesome printables online.  It had pinks and blues and some more unisex colors and they were absolutely perfect for this party.  And they were free!

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We had a great beverage bar too, complete with sweet tea, Orange Fizz Punch, Cheerwine Punch and water.  And of course, the ever popular stripey straws.  Of course I believe a good spread and good decorations are necessary, but that takes a real backseat to the good company.  And these girls always bring their A-Game.

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 Congratulations Mamas!

You had me at “Bacon”

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I don’t know about you, but I don’t venture out much when it comes to cooking.  There’s a safe place between chocolate chip cookies and baked chicken.  Branching out isn’t easy, and it most often means you don’t even know where to start to find what you need.  It is a little unnerving to wander through the grocery store looking angrily (let’s be honest) for an ingredient I cannot find because I’ve never used it before.  And maybe this seems a little simple to you guys because this ingredient isn’t uncommon, but I could not find pitted dates for the life of me this week.  And I was so frustrated I wore a blister on my foot stomping around two different stores, true story.

Why dates, you ask?  Only for a recipe that rocked my socks.  Bacon-wrapped dates, exactly.  I had them recently at a cookout and it practically changed my entire outlook on the world.  You know how it is, when you go to a potluck event and you make something delicious and sure to please?  It’s nice to be the one that brings the most delicious thing, the thing that people have to have the recipe for.  But it’s also nice to be the one that discovers the most delicious thing and get the recipe for yourself.  So thank you, Christine, where ever you are and in whatever way we are connected through mutual friends, thank you for the game changer.  Yeah, did you hear me? 

 

Bacon.  Wrapped.  Dates.

 

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 Simple enough.  Buy a bag of Sun-Maid pitted dates and your favorite bacon.  Cut each bacon piece into thirds (width wise) and wrap around the date, secure with a toothpick.  Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 35 minutes.  Eat it!

A shower that doesn’t bite.

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I don’t know about you, but a Sunday afternoon baby shower 1-3pm floating just is not my kind of thing.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that necessarily, but I just don’t get down with those kinds of affairs.  I like to throw my showers at night, and on a weekend day.  I think it allows people to feel a little less buttoned up and free to party.  Baby showers don’t have to be totally proper!

And as cheesy as it might feel when you’re planning, people DO love to play shower games.  They don’t have to be fancy either; I’ve played many games of bingo at showers I’ve thrown and attended and I’m always excited to be involved in some activity.  But even more than being involved, people like the opportunity to win a prize.  A prize will drive people do crazy things, and that makes for a lively party.  At the last shower, we played bingo while our mother-to-be opened gifts but that’s only meant for one part of the shower.  I like to have games meant to be played while people mingle.  I think I found one of my new favorites.

 

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So how do you play?  Literally all you have to do is pick up an ice cube and drop it in your drink and let the games begin.  When the ice cube melts, your plastic baby  will eventually float free.  At that point, you’ve won…and all you have to do is yell “My water broke!!”  At this party it was a mad dash to the finish line with a little cheating involved from some but everyone seemed to enjoy it.

I bought the plastic babies from Party City and they were super cheap.  I did try the whole “boil your water first to make clear ice cubes” thing that I saw on Pinterest.  As you can see from the image above, that was not a successful endeavor.  Save yourself the step.  I did come up with this little poem and used a frame I had at home to make it look cute:

“Take an ice cube and drop it in your drink,

Faster than you know and before you can blink,

Your baby will be out right before your eyes,

Be sure to yell, “My Water Broke” to win your prize!”

 

Happy partying yall!

 

April Showers!

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Happy Monday!!  I can hear you grumbling all the way over here.  Cut it out!  I’m making a return to this blog after a long hiatus due to multiple party planning endeavors.  Don’t sweat it though, I’ve returned with some awesome DIY projects and ideas 🙂  I don’t think it shocks anyone to find out that I love to throw a party.  And more importantly than that, a good party.  It’s pretty easy for me, all I have to worry about is making it beautiful and providing good food, my friends provide the excellent company.  Lucky me. 

Lately, there’s something in the water at work and there are five, count ’em, FIVE pregnant women.  I’m happy to report I drink Mountain Dew and I’m not one of the five just yet.  We set out to throw a sweet shower for our very southern friend, Bobbi, and her little girl we’re dying to meet.   And since it’s well documented that I hate the blue-brown, pale pink color restrictions of the traditional baby shower, we went with an “April Showers bring May Flowers” theme.  We used lots of purple, wildflowers from the local Farmer’s market, and plenty of vintage, Southern-inspired items. 

When you decorate for a party I think it’s important to create moments, or areas of interest throughout your home to draw people in.  I always start with this perfectly situated area of my front porch, out of the way of people trying to get in the house but very noticeable for all party guests.

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I desperately wanted clouds and raindrops somewhere, but my internet search for ideas wasn’t terribly fruitful.  There was a light bulb moment eventually, and this was the result.  I’m so happy with how this version turned out.  I used patterned scrapbook paper to make raindrops to hang by purple baker’s twine from these popular tissue paper poofs.  I’ll tell you right out, I used to make these poofs on my own, start to finish.  But it’s absolutely not worth the headache.  Party City makes kits with three poofs per package for $10 and its not much cheaper to make on your own.  Buy the kit and save yourself some trouble.  I suspended the poofs from Command hooks and added some flowers beneath to maximize on the theme.  My friend had the idea of adding rain boots filled with flowers and I must say, it was brilliant!

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We added another vignette in the foyer with some vintage finds.  The old window frame needed a little TLC but not so much that its charm would be lost.  We adorned it with a handmade paper rosette garland secured with raffia ribbon.  It’s always nice, too, to show off the invitation somewhere.  More often than not, it’ll be the first time it’s seen by the guest of honor…so it’s special.  Wood slices, lace trim, a few live flowers, and a sweet bird’s nest complete this nook.

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It’s important for there to be some form of repetition throughout so your theme is realized.  I also used some wood slices, a birdhouse, and more live flowers to create a small scene atop a vintage stool from my grandfather.  Its sweet!

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Like I said, I like to create moments for the guests, and I want them to find something each time they look a new direction.  There’s a perfect spot in my kitchen for another tall display, so we created more clouds and raindrops.  It’s also pretty smart to ground your decorations in some way if it is hanging from the ceiling like this.  We chose a vintage tin and mason jar to house more wildflowers and a pretty crate to close the gap between the counter and ceiling displays.

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With all parties, it’s always nice to leave with a little something in hand, and I ain’t talking about a plate of leftovers covered in tin foil.  We made treat bags for all the guests and repeated the purple, raffia and lace effect for each, storing them in a milk crate until our guests were ready to depart.

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We also used this sweet pink parasol and mason jar full of flowers to create another vignette, inviting guests to sit and eat in the living room.

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While these “moments” are special, what’s really key is the spread.  The food table can be a statement all its own, and it should be.  A lot of our food kept with the Southern theme too: coconut cake, sweet tea, lemonade, punch, cucumber sandwiches, pimento cheese sandwiches, banana pudding, and ham biscuits for example.  Food and decorations, people will remember…make them remember in a good way.

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Let’s take a closer look.  We added more wood slices to elevate important items, and hid some flowers and nature-inspired things along the way.  Never miss the opportunity to add a little whimsy, and tuck it into some unanticipated places to get the most mileage out of your decorations.  Give your guests something interesting to look at!  I prefer classic white dishes most of the time, but in this case its nice to throw in some other colors and patterns on your dishes to give it that collected, vintage look.

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I also like to place items strategically so there is no front or back of the table and there’s no one area where all the best things are concentrated.  I like things to be pretty all the way around!  I used vintage wooden crates to give the table more visual appeal and different levels of interest for the eye.  One box housed the mason jars we used for drinking glasses.  Now that’s as down South as it gets!  And since one of the shower games had to do with drinking, it only made sense to give it a space on the table.

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 Weird?  Yes.  Fun?  Also yes!

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So as you can see, I froze plastic babies in ice cubes and each guest was allowed one cube to float in their drink.  If your ice cube melted first, you yelled “My water broke!” and claimed your prize.  Which leads me to the beverage bar.  I absolutely love it.

DSC_0741 I wrapped a purple and white chevron ribbon around each dispenser, completing it with a chalkboard disc with the name of the drink transcribed, hanging from a raffia bow.  Simple and pretty!

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And of course, the plates and napkins must be themed too!

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But the key thing you need to remember when you throw a party:  make sure you have people to make it happen,

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make sure you shower the mother-to-be with gifts from the heart,

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and make sure you celebrate a new life with your friends!

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Hope you all have a great week! Stay tuned for future posts with DIY tutorials for the things you see in this blog!

Here’s to 2014

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Happy New Year guys!  I hope you had a great time celebrating the start of the year ahead with some of your favorite people.  I know I did, but I’ve only got the greatest set of friends on the planet.  I’m really looking forward to 2014 but this year has huge shoes to fill if it’s going to top 2013.  I have so many special memories to look back on!

I’ve done so many things I never thought I would do.  I ziplined, I attended my first college football game, I made it a point to pay it forward, and I took a different promotion at work in the hopes of growing as a person, peer, and nurse.  So many things I tried were completely out of my comfort zone, like this blog for example.  I was afraid nobody would read my blog.  I was afraid people would read my blog and hate the shit out of it.  I was afraid people would think I was an ass for expecting them to read it.  And then I was like, DUH, I want people to read it, and of course people think I want them to read it.  Otherwise I would be writing in a diary.  Hellooooooo.

But you guys have surprised me, by taking any interest in this blawg at all.  Some of you are tried and true friends, some of you are new friends trying to figure me out, some of you are strangers.  Whoever you are, I thank you for reading and I hope you’ll keep coming back in 2014.  I also have to thank you for helping me keep up with my New Year’s Resolutions.  Since I posted it all on the blog, I  assumed someone would know if I couldn’t complete my resolution and I was held accountable.

So just to recap the past year I did something for someone else and something I’ve never done at least once a month.  Here’s what it looked like:

January:  I took my first solitary road trip & I made a memory box for a new nurse and old friend

February:  I first experience with sushi &  I made a  batch of cupcakes for Valentine’s Day to show my coworkers how much I love them

March:  I went on my first zipline tour & I helped make breakfast for my bride-friend and fellow maids on the big day

April:  I tried a new recipe once a week & I donated all my old bridesmaid/prom dresses

May:  I played the Powerball lottery (and lost) & I sponsored a friend in her megatriathalon

June: I painted pottery for the first time & I bought a cookbook as a Creative Pay it Forward gift

July:  I tried on (and bought) my first pair of cowboy boots & I found an obscure concert T-Shirt for D

August:  I had my first experience at a tattoo shop & I gifted a tattoo to my friend for a job well done

September: For the first time ever, I celebrated a cancer diagnosis & I threw a party for my coworkers and friend

October:  I attended my first Pearl Jam concert & I helped throw a 40th birthday party for a friend

November: I actually worked up the courage to karaoke & I made a scarf for a friend’s Creative Pay it Forward Gift

December:  I made my first donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank & I helped throw a party for a friend’s 30th.

I’m hoping for Resolution Success in 2014 too.  This year, I want to focus on taking care of myself…physically, emotionally, and mentally.  I’m really lucky that I am healthy and well, but that’s fleeting…and I know it.  I figured I need to start trying to maintain what I’ve been blessed with.  Now this isn’t your typical, “I’m going to join a gym and I’m gonna lose weight!!” kind of resolution so don’t misunderstand me.  Although D has joined a gym and I plan to go with him and I’m not thrilled about it.  This is a, “go get your eyes checked-use the massage voucher you got two years ago on your birthday-drink more water-run in your running shoes-slow down and smell the roses-don’t fill every second of your life with something to do” kind of resolution.  Wish me luck!  I hope you too, are successful in obtaining your goals for 2014.  Happy New Year!

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Put on your Party Pants!

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Well, I’m posting to tell you I have survived our annual Christmas party.  D and I have parties on a pretty regular basis, but our Christmas party is my favorite…even over our birthdays.  Everyone seems to be in such a good mood and ready to celebrate with their friend-family, and our house is done up for the holiday.  Years ago, D and I committed to throwing a party at least once a year that was different than our other house parties.  It seemed liked the perfect time to give back so we decided to charge an “admission” to our holiday party.  We’ve chosen a different charity every year, and asked our friends to help us make a donation worth talking about.  While I know all donations are important no matter how big or small, it feels really great to all work towards something together.

Our first year we chose Operation Christmas Child and our friends put together 22 boxes full of goodies and all the checks it required to mail them across the world.  The next year, we donated to Toys for Tots.  Our friends were so generous that I had to have someone’s help getting everything out of my car and into a donation center.  It gives me warm fuzzies to think a child somewhere could be loving on the dolls and teddies we collected.  It’s important mentally and emotionally for a child to have something of comfort they want in what may be an unstable living environment.  But having what they need is critical too, so we chose the Second Harvest Food Bank as our charity for 2013.  Considering that 1/6 adults and 1/4 children in North Carolina face hunger and malnutrition, we knew we should help out.  And again, our friends came through in a major way.  My gosh, I love these people like family.

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So there it is.  Together with our friends we collected: 92 cans, a box of macaroni, a box of cereal, peanut butter, oatmeal…and one Barbie.  As good as I try to be about communication, I led one of our guests to believe that we were collecting for toys in addition canned goods.  Not to be unprepared, he brought both.  Oops.  Thanks JOHN!  John plays guitar in the same band as D, and is an avid reader of the DLHW (can I do that?).  He has been telling me he wanted to contribute to the blog.  I didn’t know how serious he was or if he was joking but you gotta do something housewifey to be on this blog.  And if this ain’t housewifey, I don’t know what is!

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John makes this awesome bean dip and he agreed to share it here with all of you.  It’s so dang good and he informed me that if I used Staci to mix my ingredients, my attempt at the dip would be perfect.  That’s right folks, this metal band guitarist knows all about Staci and discussed her by name without prompting.  HA!

I also decided to make hot chocolate for this little party.  My friend Michael asked, “How many packets of Swiss Miss did you have to open to make all this hot chocolate?”  The answer was zero because it was homemade…and delightful.  And not to ignore my theme this year, I picked up some navy and white paper straws to sip from.

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I’ll take our donations today and turn them in and I hope it really helps somebody, somewhere.   As simple as it was, I have never collected or donated a canned good ever.  What was I thinking?! I hope everyone has fun this holiday with your friends and family, and if you can, try to remember people who are not as blessed as you.  Merry Christmas!

Boob Voyage (Pt. 2)

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The stage was set, now all we had to do was wait for our guests and guest of honor!  Everything was smooth sailing as long as those damned balloon streamers stayed put.

The first vignette people would visit would be for “Sarah’s Love Notes,” a station in the foyer dedicated to writing down some encouraging words in case she needed a little pick-me-up or as a reminder of how much she means to us.

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Erin and I cut black & white baker’s twine and pink scrapbook papers ahead of time so it would be less time consuming for the guests.  Each little note was wrapped up with twine and placed in this keepsake box, decorated with 3D flowers and scrapbook paper.

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We made sure to bring the papers to work too, so people who weren’t able to attend could still write a little note.  The hospital never sleeps, so somebody had to work on the night of the party.

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We wanted to make sure the inside of the box was just as pretty as the outside so we decorated there too.  In case you can’t read my handwriting it says:

Sarah,

If you’re feeling down & blue

Here’s what you need to do:

Read a note from your crew!

We’ll stand by you tried & true,

Always there to see you through,

No matter what your boobies do!

Now it was time for food, drink and games.  As we mingled, Erin and I directed the girls to the other stations.  The next station was for the Word Game.  Each girl collected two bead necklaces to wear.  We used my old chalkboard platter to write down a list of forbidden words.  If you heard another guest using any of the words, you got to take one of her necklaces.  At the end of the party, the person with the most necklaces won.  In our haste, we forgot to take a picture of this station, so I jacked this from a friend!

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It got a little violent towards the end, but they meant well!  I’m happy to report there were no injuries sustained.  Good thing because we were off the clock!  We were trying to get a picture of most of the group when the riot broke out over the word “boobies.”

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The “Mad Lib” vignette was next.  In this game, you were to write down your name, the body part on the opposite sex you like the least, and the reason why.  Later we would read them out loud, replacing the written body part with the word “boobs.”  The funniest entry would win a prize.

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It was quite revealing;  I found out most people hate boobs because they’re crusty, hairy, smelly, and because they hang off the body like tails.  Sounds like these girls need some soap, a razor, and a better bra.

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Each of the prizes contained tons of candy, a Starbucks gift card, and a coffee coozie with a breast cancer awareness ribbon embroidered on it.  All good choices for the nurse in your life, ahem.  Sarah had some prizes too.  Lots of coworkers put together care packages that included jewelry, journals, devotionals, comfort food, blankets, Bath & Body Works stuff, robes, cards, and other “feel good” items.

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All in all, the party was great and it was my “do something nice for someone else” resolution for the month of September as well as my “something new” resolution.  I’ve NEVER really celebrated a diagnosis before, and it felt really really good.  It was nice, for a change, to focus only on the good in a situation.

I know some of you have probably read these posts and still don’t get why we’re celebrating at a time like this.  And yeah, maybe it is a little weird but it just makes more sense to us to celebrate the power of knowledge and the gift of an early diagnosis than it would to succumb to the “what-ifs” and the anxiety those things cause.  We’re not saying we don’t worry at times, but we’re acknowledging that we want better for ourselves and our friend.  So, farewell!  TA TA to the ta-tas…and Boob Voyage!  Here’s to your health!

**Happy to report that our prayers were answered and Sarah is recovering!**