Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Tea ( Part 2)

Seeing all the amazing tables at the Christmas tea, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Each table had its own unique personality, reflecting the styles of more than 100 women.
The following are just a few of my favorites. I really wish I took pictures of each table.

More pictures of some gorgeous tables are up on my Facebook page.

What a clever way of adding some style to clear plates

I like how this host used silver with touches of gold

The beautiful place setting was set on top of scalloped edged cake boards

The silver branch in the silver urn was stunning

I was completely in love with the contrast of the subtle tones of the nativity scene and the big, glittery star

This table reminds me of the children's book series Fancy Nancy

This table used origami birds and stars

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Tea (Part 1)

Christmas Tea at my church is a wonderful annual tradition that I was so blessed to take part in for the first time this year. More than a thousand women gathered this weekend to kick off the season with tea and friends for the afternoon.

I (along with dozens of other women) signed up to host tables for the tea. Hosting a table required us to provide all the plates, cups, glasses, etc and decorations for our table. I am still amazed at all the beautiful and creative tablescapes (which I will share in another post).
Shopping for my tableware, decorations and linens were so much fun and I did it on a budget. I found some amazing deals!
- white salad plates from HomeGoods: A set of 12 plates $10
- all purpose goblets from Crate & Barrel : $1.50 each
- butter knives : A set of 6 for $5 at Ross
-teaspoons: a party pack of 12 was $10 at Ross
- satin overlays from efavormart.com : $ 7.99
- cloth napkins from efavormart.com- 5 pack for $ 2.79
-tea cup saucer rental was $.40 per set at my local party rental company

I hosted two tables, one for my personal guests and the other for women who signed up to attend through the church. The church provided each table with a plate of scones, tea, cream and sugar and each guest was asked to bring a plate of tea sandwiches or sweets to share. The treats the guests brought were collected upon arrival and distributed to each table.

We started the afternoon with a service in the sanctuary that included singing and a reading of A Cup of Christmas Tea. The service was followed by the tea where the men of the church served as our butlers.

I had a red and silver theme for both tables. My centerpieces were inspired by the mod table tree centerpiece on Hostess with the Mostess.

My awesome husband folded and ironed the napkins. Didn't he do a great job?!

Tea sandwiches and sweets await my guests coming from the sanctuary

Monday, November 22, 2010

KID PARTY: Red & Aqua Oliva Carnival birthday

My daughter Catelin just turned 4 and we celebrated with an Olivia /carnival themed party. The place we were having the party had several themes to choose from and my daughter chose their carnival package. We decided to add Olivia the Pig into the mix since she likes the show and book series.

You know those times when you have something in mind then you see someone else with a similar idea and the light bulb already shining in your head shines even brighter? Well, this was one of those times. I was already planning the party then I saw this post from Kara's Party Ideas on a wonderful Olivia carnival party by Emma's World. I liked everything they did for that party. Then I saw a post on Hostess with the Mostess of a red and aqua Ni Hao Kai Lan party and fell in love with the color scheme. I was totally inspired by both parties and combined the ideas to make a red and aqua Olivia the Pig carnival party. Whew! Try saying that with a mouthful of cake.

We kicked things off with a red and aqua invitation

The adorable circus tent cake was made of two layers of white Oreo crumb cake, two layers of chocolate Oreo crumb cake, Oreo cream cheese filling and covered with marshmallow fondant by the amazing Cupkits Edible Creations.

The treat table included cotton candy flavored lollipops, white chocolate crunch lollipops, Oreo pops, licorice, yogurt covered pretzels, sour cherry slices and dipped apples.

I have been waiting for an occasion to make these "popcorn" cupcakes and I think they turned out well considering this was my first try.

At another table, we had a fruit tart that we decorated with a red mini bunting banner. It's a free download over at TomKat Studio and matched our theme perfectly.

For something with a little less sugar, we gave out animal crackers in small snack bags with a bag topper thanking the guests for coming.

Happy birthday to my baby Catelin!

More pictures of the party can be viewed on the Facebook page

Photos by Lollipops and Paper & Cupkits Edible Creations

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Almost Christmas Tea Time

Every year our church holds a Women's Christmas Tea to kick of the holiday season. This is my first year to participate and I will host two tables. I've already been shopping around for my supplies and I must say, I've found a new love for ALL things tea!

I really like this idea for a centerpiece

I am in love with this damask Christmas table from Plum Party and may use it as inspiration for my table.

Aren't these invitations adorable? Our church provided us with invitations but I like these from Birthday Boutique .

As part of the celebration, each guest is asked to bring tea sandwiches or sweets to share. I found some great tea sandwich recipes here. These holly shaped tea sandwiches at Taste of Home look delicious.

How cute are these teapot tape measures for favors from With This Favor ?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

KID PARTY: Hello Kitty

My friend Emerald asked me to make some lollipops and cupcake picks for her daughter Emma's first birthday last month. She did such a cute job I really can't take credit for anything.

I made white chocolate Hello Kitty lollipops and round hard candy lollipops with personalized stickers

Look at the cute centerpieces she made using the lollipops

The cupcake picks matched the frosting almost exactly and cupcakes were yummy too!

photos courtesy of Emerald Yu

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DIY: Treat bag toppers

My son's baptism is this weekend and we are giving out Jacob's ladders as favors. His name is Jacob and the toy has a Biblical reference so we thought it was a perfect fit.
I bought the ladders from Rhode Island Novelty and they came individually wrapped in tissue paper. I wanted to package them in bags and attach a tag explaining the toy's history and also thank our guests for joining in the celebration.
Recently, I've seen a trend in favor packaging- bag toppers. After this project, I've realized it really is easier than cutting out a tag and attaching it to a bag with ribbon. I may just convert to using these all together. I also like them because it gives a more professional, pulled together look to the treat bag. For this project I used cello bags but I heard they also work with plastic sandwich bags.
This is a great way to repackage and seal bulk candy and small toys. There are several sites that offer downloadable templates for bag toppers but I decided to make my own. If you don't want to design your own label, cutting out pretty scrapbook paper that coordinates with your theme would also work nicely.

The back of the label

The front of the label

Here are some cute bag topper ideas I've found on other sites

Christmas candy bags from Stitchin' N Stampin' on Paper

Just in time for Thanksgiving from Yapha Stamping

I love these from the Celebration Shoppe

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween with kindergarteners

For my daughter's class party, I decided to do two edible activities with them. We did marshmallow Frankensteins and spider Oreos. I mixed a little food coloring with water so the kids could paint the marshmallows. The black food coloring I used to color my chocolate for Frankenstein's hair and face turned our grayish but I think they still turned out cute.

The spider Oreos were also a good counting exercise for the kids because they had to show me that their spiders had eight legs before they could eat them. I opted to use pretzel sticks instead of licorice to cut down the kids' sugar intake.

For the Frankensteins you will need:
lollipop sticks
green food coloring
melted chocolate ( either milk chocolate or white with black coloring)
For the spiders you will need:
Oreos ( double stuffed works best)
thin pretzel sticks ( broken in half)
melted chocolate( to stick on the eyes)
M&M's or Skittles ( for eyes)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Witches Wands

For my daughter Audrey's Halloween class party, we made chocolate covered pretzel sticks that we will call witches wands. With pastel sprinkles they can be fairy wands. These would be great magic wands for a Harry Potter themed party too.

I used Accent the Party's free printable circles and orange ribbon to wrap the wands. It was so great that she offered a witch hat & wand design!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Jack-O-Lantern Pops

My daughter Cate and I made these happy face jack-o-lantern pops for her class party. I used a free printable circle from Skip to My Lou and yellow ribbon to finish them off.