Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter - The Napkin Fold

I love dressing up a table for guests. It's like putting on your Sunday best or the appetizer to the food.
This adorable bunny napkin fold is perfect for your Easter celebration. For a less formal addition sprinkle some colorful jellybeans on the plate around the bunny. Your guests will enjoy a little dessert before the meal.

Any full flower will work in this napkin fold but I definitely agree with BHG that a daffodil works well for a spring table.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter - Nests

As with spring, Easter is a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings for my family. A bird's nest with eggs inside is a warm and fuzzy image of that. This very easy project would be perfect for your Easter table. (especially the kids table!) Have fun with it and try different colors of string. For a more realistic approach try using tan/brown twine.

the celebration shoppe

edible nests

Both of these edible nests are a great addition to an Easter celebration or baby shower!
The addition of the bird house at the top of the tier really adds to the presentation of the nests below.
The Chinese noodle nests are a great project to do with your kids. Snacking along the way IS allowed!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

Picture taken by Lisa Flory

This my be cheating a bit with putting pretzel rods in this category of treats on a stick, since you eat the stick, but they are yummy and a stick nonetheless. 
I have been making chocolate covered pretzel rods for both of my girls birthday parties since they had their first birthday. I've thought of not making them but the guests tell me how one of the things they look forward to are the pretzel rods!
These treats are VERY easy to make and they are an instant crowd favorite. 
1. Buy a bag (or 2,3,4...) of pretzel rods. (I prefer Rold Gold pretzels)
2. Buy Almond Bark chocolate - white and milk chocolate are sold at most grocery stores
(chocolate wafers would work as well and they come in a rainbow of colors)
3. Buy sprinkles of any color and shape
(it is a horrible crime if you do not have some sort of sprinkles in your kitchen) 
5. Cover a baking sheet with wax paper
6. Follow the instructions for melting the chocolate on the back of the package
7. Dip the end of the pretzel rod into the chocolate and swirl around until you have a nice coating.
(I use a spoon to help cover a larger portion of the pretzel rod)
8. Lift the the pretzel rod out of the chocolate and swirl again to remove the access chocolate.
9. Sprinkle with desired sprinkles or drizzle with a different color or type of chocolate
10. Lay the chocolate covered pretzel rod on the wax covered baking sheet and put into the refrigerator for approximately 10 minutes.
11. After the chocolate has set after being chilled you can package them in clear bags for gifts, put them in your cookie jar or use them in your next party.
You will inevitably have some broken pretzel rods that I have nicknamed "niblets". I cover these with chocolate and sprinkles as well and my girls (and husband) devour them in no time.

One of the great things about this treat is you can customize them for whatever theme or color scheme you would like. I have made Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, and every color you can think of chocolate covered pretzel rods. If you can think it up then you can make it.

Your guests will thank you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Amazing Cake Pops

While browsing some of my favorite blogs I came across something called cake pops and this website www.bakerella.com. Intrigued I went to the site and instantly fell IN LOVE with this lady and her sweet invention. It is exactly what it sounds like...cake on a stick! There area A LOT and I mean A LOT of ideas that you will want to incorporate into your next party. She keeps coming up with new and adorable cake pops and I admit I have not attempted to make these yet but it is on the long list of things I will try this spring.
Today's post is mostly eye candy and the link to bakerella's site on how to make these cute cakes yourself. 
Enjoy and have fun with it!

How to make bakerella's cake pops:  red-velvet-cake-balls

These pops are perfect for the upcoming holiday. Stick a few into Easter baskets or host an Easter Egg hunt party and add these to your dessert buffet!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Frozen Treats on a Stick

As a kid there was nothing better than my mom making a frozen purple Kool-aid popsicle on a hot day. Isn't it amazing how the little things your parents did for you created such a lasting memory?
These fun ice cream pops have a little surprise in the center that will make a lasting impression on any kid big or small. For the recipe go to confetti ice cream pop .

Country Living

Miniature baking tins take an ordinary juice popsicle to extraordinary.  Have fun with different juices to bring a rainbow of color to your table.

 Country Living

This Kiwi Ice Pop looks refreshing and sneaks a little fruit in your bite too! These would be great additions to a bridal or baby shower or any party being thrown this spring and summer.
Kool-Aid popsicles are still a hit at my house and these new takes on an old favorite will be too.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Treat's on a Stick

Pictures from Hostess with the Mostess

I LOVE food on a stick. Whether it be dessert, appetizer, or even entree I think it brings a little "wow" factor to the party. How can you resist something cute and miniature on a stick that is delicious and can fit into your mouth in one bite? This week I will show you many yummy creations on sticks and hopefully open a whole new world of treats to you.
 I first saw this idea of a Marshmallow Pop on Hostess with the Mostess. This is an INCREDIBLY easy treat to make. The sticks for the pop can be found a most any craft store. (I get mine at Walmart or Michaels) Buy some marshmallows, white or dark chocolate (I prefer to use almond bark), food coloring (if you want to change the color of the chocolate), and sprinkles.

Begin by inserting a stick into the marshmallow. Melt the chocolate and add any desired food coloring to the melted chocolate. Mix until you have the color you want. Insert the marshmallow into the chocolate and twirl around a bit to get the coverage desired. Lift the marshmallow and twirl to get any access chocolate off and then sprinkle. You can even add an M&M on top as done in the picture above. Put them in a glass tumbler filled with water (stick pointing down) and sit in the freezer for 2-3 minutes. This allows everything to set.
These are perfect treats for parties but also for favors, gifts for friends and family, or simply to satisfy your own sweet tooth. 
Picture from tasteofhome.com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Green and White - The perfect pair

Table by Amy Atlas

The focal color in this dessert buffet is surprisingly not the white. What better way to draw attention to a color than surround it with another! The small bunches of green flowers on the buffet table draws the eye in to the rest of the eye candy...the food!

Picture from kahunabay.com.au

The same concept taken to decorating a bedroom. The focal color again is the minimal amount of green used  as accent. This achieves a calming affect which is especially desired in the place you sleep.

When thinking of a color pallet, whether it be for a party or home, approach it from less is more perspective. You will be amazed at your result.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Refreshing Green

Picture from the dailygreen.com

The refreshing smell and taste of limes and lemons are something I enjoy throughout the year. These yummy citrus fruits do double duty for me at parties as food and decoration.

Picture taken by Lisa Flory

This was a centerpiece I put together for my father's retirement party. After the party I sent some of the fruit home with people who helped out and I am sure they were used in pies, drinks, and other delicious creations. 
Picture from gardenpartysisters.com

Sliced limes used as a vase filler is a great accent to the equally beautiful yellow flowers. This is such an inexpensive way to add some color and cheer to your party. So next time you're at Costco do not be intimidated by the big bags of limes. You now have endless ways to enjoy them!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wheat Grass Decor

Picture from www.intimateweddings.com

I have recently become a big fan of using wheat grass as centerpieces and other decor for parties. You might recognize this vegetation best at your local pet store but it's vibrant green color is perfect for adding a touch of nature to your occasion or home. I will be helping to create wheat grass centerpieces at the baby shower I am helping to host this spring. Cream colored terracotta pots will hold lush wheat grass and butterfly stakes. This will be a very whimsical element to the tables.

Picture from lifeoftees.wordpress.com

Picture from hostessblog.com

This is sure to be a hit at your next Super Bowl party and little (or big) football fan's birthday bash!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Green Birthday Dessert Buffet

Buffet created by Amy Atlas

In honor of St. Patrick's day I am dedicating this weeks idea's to the color green. Green symbolizes new life to me and as spring is right around the corner this is the perfect time draw some attention to the color.  
This buffet was created by the talented Amy Atlas for a joint birthday party. The bags hanging from the tree centerpiece are filled with the birthday boy and girl's favorite candy and cookies for guests to take home. I LOVE the idea of having individual containers holding popcorn as opposed to a big bowl with a scoop. I will definitely be using that idea in upcoming parties.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Color Variations for the Candy Buffet

A rainbow colored buffet of candy will bring out the inner child in all of us. At some occasions that is not the reaction you might be going for. This all white candy buffet looks delicious and calming all at once. This would be perfect for a wedding or any formal affair.

Picture from "The Knot"

Blue and green are the major contenders on this buffet with a few other colors used sparingly. By using shades of a few colors you still accomplish the fun/whimsical affect and achieve a strong decorative statement.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Labels Get Creative

Picture from www.thoughtfullysimple.com

I am an organizer at heart so putting labels on anything (but people) makes me a very happy person. Most candy can be easily identified just by looking at it.  So you may wonder why a label is necessary? It's not necessary but primarily a nice accessory. It is a chance for your creativity to shine and (for me) satisfy the inner organizer.
For most labels all you need is some card stock paper, ribbon, glue or double sided tape and a printer. There are endless options of companies who specialize in making beautiful labels for you but I say give it a try yourself first. You may be pleasantly surprised with the result!

Picture from www.etsy.com

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Candy Vessels

Picture from www.amyatlas.com

I'm going to have to pace myself with the ideas this week because there are so many great one's!  I need to spread them out over several days and not overwhelm you in one. I have just discovered the event planner that is Amy Atlas and all I can say is WOW! The candy buffet above has all the perfect elements in my opinion. It has an array of colors, it is organized in away that doesn't seem overwhelming, and the height variations force you to take it all in as opposed to just seeing jars of candy.

Clear jars are the perfect choice when you want to display candy. The jars holding the Malted Milk Balls can be found at both Target and Walmart! I use them to around the house to hold sugar, cookies, crayons...anything I want to have displayed. More decorative jars (apothecary jars) are great to use as well and can be found at Pottery Barn and Michaels to name a few. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Candy Buffet's

Picture from budgetdreamweddings.com
One of the latest trends that I keep seeing is the candy buffet. What kid or adult does not enjoy walking into a candy store and being overwhelmed by the colors, smells, and lure of sugar? These buffet's are showing up at every occasion and in many different forms. This week I'll be sharing some whimsical, casual, and classic candy buffet ideas and the many ways to display and label the sweets. Enjoy the eye candy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fall Themed Place Cards

Picture found at www.izzywedding.blogspot.com
I'm fast forwarding a bit by jumping to the fall season but I couldn't pass up theses ideas to share with you. 
This is a very simple idea that gives a stunning presentation.  A shallow container holds moss that can be acquired at your local florist, random branches gathered from your backyard, hot glue, and card stock paper is all you need. If you wanted to print inspiring quotes on the leaves instead of seating assignments this would be a great centerpiece and conversation starter.

Picture found at Martha Stewart
This idea is a nod to my father who spent most of my childhood raking these little bits of "character" (as I like to call them) from our yard. For those of you who do not know what this is it is a gum ball (or sweet gum spur) that falls from a sweet gum tree. 

Picture found at www.theknot.com

For a destination wedding or party this idea is a winner. Envelopes with foreign destination stamps on them is a ingenious idea.  Use this at a Retirement party in hopes that the retiree will enjoy his free time traveling the world!
The one thing I hope you have gotten from these place card ideas is how easy they can be to make, inexpensive, and such a creative element to your party.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Summertime Fun Place Cards

Picture from www.bravobride.com
This has to be my favorite place card idea. I LOVE the beach and this makes me want to just wiggle my toes in the sand right now. Things you will need are drink umbrella's, card stock paper, a shallow tray, some sand, and a cylinder form to use to bend the card stock into chaise lounges. This fun place card idea is perfect for any occasion, just don't forget the suntan lotion!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Springtime Place Cards

Pictures from www.brides.com
With warm temperatures around the corner (fingers crossed!) and St. Patrick's day approaching, I thought these pinwheel place cards were fitting. A shallow container of planted wheat grass holds the pinwheels in place. What a great party favor for your guests as well. (Especially the young ones!)

Picture from www.theknot.com
This easy and edible place card simply requires any fruit you like, paper and scissors. You can substitute the apples for pumpkins for a fall occasion or red apples for a Christmas celebration. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Creative Place Cards

Picture from  http://corriehaffly.wordpress.com

Picture from Glorious Treats

I've recently been asked to help throw a baby shower for a dear friend expecting a little girl this summer. I mentioned the idea of having baby themed cookies act as place cards. Who doesn't love something cute and sweet all in one package? One of the expectant mother's friends suggested having the sweets do double duty and act as the party favor as well. What a cost effective and delicious accent to a party!