Thursday, April 22, 2010

Community-Friendly Earth Day Celebrations!

Planning an earth day party for this weekend? Don’t forget to keep your local community in mind. Earth Day is the perfect time to support local artists and farmers. Buy your fruits and flowers at a Farmer’s Market, and keep your eyes open for small gifts and d├ęcor.  Farmers Markets are great places to find hidden gems like quilts and linens for decorating, or homemade jams and jellies for including in a gift basket.


Other Earth-friendly ideas: 
  • Don’t spend tons of money on elaborate bouquets of imported flowers. Instead, go for inexpensive bunches of wild flowers (2 for $5 at my local market). Unwrap several  bunches and place in painted white pails for centerpieces. Keep smaller bunches wrapped in paper (just like at the market!) to give out as favors or tuck in a note card and use as place cards.

  • Speaking of favors, fill cute and inexpensive Eco-Bags with a local jam, a bunch of flowers, and a packet of easy-to grow vegetables (for your area) to encourage your guests to grow their own vegetables.
  •  Food: instead of using paper plates, have a fondue party! set out trays with items for dipping, and don't limit yourself to fruit or bread. There are many other ideas for fondue.
(Photo from the Daniel Island Farmer's Market website)




Unfortunately I'm a little late on the Earth Day Bandwagon, but hopefully this gets your creative juices flowing!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New faces around the office...er... blog.

Hello everyone! I'm Dani, and I'm a long-time friend of Nicole's, who also has the party planning bug. I tend to be quite crafty, and I love the homemade touches that can make an event unique to the people attending (and hosting!). Since Nicole will be quite busy with her wedding plans, I'll be popping in every so often to keep up with ways to customize your parties and events, and possibly with a few crafty touches for Nicole to think about for her wedding, too!

I love to travel and find new ways to have adventures, even if its in my hometown. You can keep up with my adventures and a few of my party ideas over on my own blog, Sweet Adventures.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Buried Easter Treasure

Every year, I take it upon myself to put together Easter baskets and some form of a "hunt" for my 3 nephews. They are getting older now so I collected some more sensible items such as t-shirts, sandals, and juicy flavors of gum. I planned on finding fun resusable bags to put everything in, but checked all my typical shopping places (Target, Walm-Mart, Marshalls &  Michaels) & came up dry! So suddenly, Easter arrived and I had a whole bunch of goodies and no way to present them! In desperation, I found 3 empty shoe boxes and was struck with an idea. What if I turned the typical scavenger hunt into a hunt for buried treasure? I drew up a map of the yard and marked it with three X's... handed each kid a shovel... and instructed them to work as a team to find each box because they couldn't open them until they discovered them all. It was a great new twist on a family tradition and I think it livened things up for older kids. And it totally made it seem like I purposefully "forgot" to buy bags!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another great quote

"There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate."
~Robert Brault

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Party Idea: Super Bowl of Ice Cream

alias: Super Bowl Sundae Party
(see how creative I got there?)

I realize that Super Bowl Sunday has long since past but this year I had a genius idea for a party and it was completely snowed out... or to clarify, everyone else was completely snowed in!

I'm such a typical girl when it comes to watching sports - I sit through the game for the funny commercials and cheer for the team with the cutest color combo. I've given football a chance and even listened to a variety of explanations as to how (and why the heck) it is played. It's just not my cup of tea... unless of course there is plenty of sugar added!

So this year I planned to have an ice cream social party while anyone interested (including my adorable girlfriend) could watch the game. Each guest was instructed to bring their favorite ice cream flavor and a topping of their choice. We would then feast like kings on the frozen buffet wonderland. Now please envision me screaming to the heavens and cursing mother nature for blasting us with so much snow here in Maryland that we were literally confined to our homes for days on end.

Well... there's always next year! And feel free to borrow the idea yourself! Perhaps it can become a new American tradition!
A perfect addition to the Super Bowl snack table - an Ice Cream Toppings Bar!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Late-Night Martinis

Sometimes you just need a strong drink in a fancy glass to liven up a party. Check out Martinis at Midnight for countless unique recipes! I believe the best way to choose one to try is to close your eyes and point... and let the martini fate take over!


Or you could always go with the tried & true standbys - Cosmos & Extra Dirty 

When hosting a martini party, make sure you are armed with more than enough glasses. Unfortunately those darn things have a tendency to get broken more easily... and when the liquor is flowing it doesn't help! You don't want to have to start serving these lovely drinks in plastic cups.

Also, don't be afraid when certain recipe elements run low. Some of the best martinis I have ever tried were discovered by throwing together whatever we had - including butterscotch schnapps, sweet & sour mix, and pineapple/orange juice (but probably not all in one glass).

And here are a few vodka recommendations from yours truly:

Stoli (short for "Stolichnaya"... but who wants to pronounce that after having a few?) is a high-end Russian vodka. It mixes well with practically everything because it doesn't have a harsh taste at all. Let's put it this way... if I was FORCED to take a straight shot of vodka.. I'd go with this.

 





Skyy is a fair-priced and very popular vodka. I prefer to use this in cosmos and apple martinis - something that has a bit of a bite. And the bottle is really pretty, so you can keep it for decorating or upcycling projects! 









Burnetts is a very affordable vodka, but doesn't taste as cheap as it probably is. Also, there are PLENTY of flavors to suite anyone's fancy. One of the most well-known right now is Sweet Tea vodka (which is nifty because you can add it to lemonade, pineapple juice or even water for a quick cocktail). I think out of every brand of vodka, these flavored versions are the best. 




Friday, January 29, 2010

Peace of Cake

Could anything BE more fitting for this blog? This cake mold is perfect for any party moment that requires something sweet in the form of good vibes. Find it at FredFlare.com