Saturday, July 31, 2010

Christmas in July - It's a Wrap

{I actually meant for this to be a gift wrapping series, posting a new idea each week in July-- an ode to Christmas in July. But seeing that it's July 31st, I had to, uh,"wrap it up" a bit}

I love beautiful presentation as much as the next person, but I'm the first to admit that gift wrapping is not my forte.  A present stuffed into a gift bag is about as fancy as it gets.  Add some tissue paper and that's REALLY fancy. And if wrapping paper is involved, it's pretty much a miracle if I'm able to wrestle a ribbon onto the box... Ribbon and I do not get along. 

So I've been trying to remedy the situation.  Here are a few easy ideas that are fun and virtually ribbon free:

::Art Wrapping Paper::

First, I enlisted the help of my graphic artists to create some original wrapping paper~

I picked up a bolt of white paper from a local restaurant that uses it to cover their tables.
You can also use a large paper roll that goes with kid's art tables & easels.

I'm all for creativity, but I try not to make more work for myself.
Therefore, I armed the artists with washable crayola markers

wah lah!  Doesn't even need ribbon or a bow to dress it up. 
In this form it's even okay to write on the present itself.

and if you happen to have an aspiring picasso, even better!


::Initial Tag::

Another easy way to dress up a present is to cut out the recipient's initial out of decorative paper or cardstock~

This is especially good for children's presents and eliminates the need for a card.
'Cause lets face it, even if they can read, the card just ends up getting tossed aside.

I free-handed this one, but if I have a lot of presents to wrap (think christmas), I'll break out the cricut.


::ECO Bows::

A great way to upcycle plastic bags, magazines and scrap material.  These take a bit more time, but it's an easy project while watching mindless tv-- America's (apparently) Got Talent works for me!

::plastic bag pom-pom::
tutorial via creature comforts

::felt bow::
tutorial via how about orange

I tweaked the tutorial a bit by using felt instead of magazine pages. For the felt bows I only used 7 strips of felt due to the thickness of the material (I omitted the 2 shortest strips). I twisted and stapled each strip. It was easier for me to stitch everything together with a little thread, but a hot glue gun would also work to attach the stapled strips together. Also, this "pattern" is very forgiving, I didn't measure anything out... just guestimated lengths and it still came out pretty nicely.


::A few more fun ideas from Martha Stewart::

 very cute and also a great way to use up all the "odds & ends" of baking cups leftover from various parties.

not only is yarn easy to work with, but the color combos are endless and it's reasonably priced.  Loving the look of that fuzzy yarn.

i love that it's simple, yet eye catching

cloth, repurposed paper, even leaves.


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Everything Tastes Better on a Stick

I don't know if it's been scientifically proven, but I've a theory that if you put food on a stick, there's a greater chance it will be eaten-- Food on stick = Fun!

Check out these great photos by sweet paul for Parents magazine.  Love the vintage-circus vibe--

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Funny Lil' Man Sighting

So we go out of town for a few days, and what do we find when we return??? Why our Funny Lil' Man Party has been featured on several fabulous blogs!  In the words of 4 year old Smarty Pants-- "Wow! That's so cool!"

There are so many wonderfully creative people with incredible ideas out there... and these are some of the very people that inspire and motivate me. It's a huge, huge honor to be featured.  If you haven't already checked out these amazing sites, then what are ya waiting for??


Monday, July 26, 2010

Lovely Finds~ Modern Bird Studios

What a cool way to turn a nice photograph into a modern work of art~

Hope you're having a wonderful Monday!

Friday, July 23, 2010

TOMS Wedges

I love TOMS shoes and have blogged about them before.  But Wedges???  Be still my heart!

With a $5.00 off coupon code and 5% back @ TOMS Shoes on Ebates... Not a bad deal!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Funny Lil' Man Party!

This weekend we celebrated Happy Vee's 2nd Birthday with a Funny Lil' Man Party.  The perfect theme for my funny and joyous little guy!  It was a warm day, but the kids and adults had a nice time.  I tried to keep the party planning simple but, as usual, I got side-tracked by a bunch of fun ideas... The Mister knows better than to question.  He just shakes his head and carries on.  Smart man!

::The Invitation::

see here for more detail

::The Setting::


{close-up of the "tie lanterns}
{the children's table}
children's dishware from target
i think they have the market on cute melamine

{the birthday banner}

::The Food::
I would've preferred an outdoor food table, but with the heat, we decided to keep the food indoors~

kids: homemade turkey & chicken salad sandwiches
adults: roast beef, italian & turkey sandwiches from jersey mike's
caprese soba pasta salad
green salad

the mustachioed cupcake trays worked well as sandwich platters

just for kicks, i put this framed photo of happy vee on the buffet table and stuck on a paper mustache.


{make a tie craft}
more details on the mustaches, spectacles & lips here

{photo ops}

{other activities}
since the kids are on the younger side, i didn't have set games.

they were free to play on the swingset/slide.

i also set up a table for making bubbles,
a small tub filled with water and rubber ducks for them to splash around in,
and lots of these for them to kick around....


{ice cream and cookies}
the ice cream was pre-scooped the night before into baking cups.
it made serving dessert easy and no one was left with the inevitable last scoop of melted ice cream

{homemade cookies}
soft chocolate chip & snickerdoodles cookies
more detail on the vintage tags here

::The Favors::

{chocolate lollies for the adults}
mustache mold and premium dark chocolate from bake it pretty
{children's favor bags}
beach ball
salt water taffy
mustache lolly
sidewalk chalk
I also sent them home with the melamine plate & matching cup
salt water taffy from trader joes
my, are these good!

Happy Vee enjoying his new toys
more detail on the "tie" shirt

That was fun, but I feel like I've been planning birthday parties for several months!  Time for a little break... or actually, time to finish up some projects that have been on stand-by!

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