How to Host a Fun & Easy Ladies’ Morning

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #DunkinatGiantEagle #CollectiveBias

Have you been beyond busy the last couple of months?  With a new writing project, our big yard improvements and the usual busyness of family life, my head has been spinning.  I have been running here and there with no end in sight.  And in what often seems like so much chaos, I needed some time to slow down and connect with friends.  So I threw together a fun and easy ladies’ morning get-together.  And when I say “threw,” I am being literal.  I did this whole thing quickly and simply because that is all I could tackle right now.

And do you know what?

It was simple.  It was easy.

And it happened!

Plus, it was so much fun . . . and exactly what I needed.

Here is how I did it and how you can, too!

Pick a Simple Menu

While there are times for baking everything yourself and setting up fun food and beverage bars, for this little party I needed something more practical.  And that is where the new bottled Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee came in!  I thought this would be the perfect treat for a ladies’ morning.  Served alongside baked goods, the iced coffee took center stage at our casual breakfast!

Even though I was going simple on my menu, I still wanted to offer choices to my guests because in my world of menu planning for a party, variety equals fun.  Here is where I was able to do it.  I offered four flavors of Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee:  Original, Mocha, Espresso and French Vanilla.

Each bottle is a refreshing beverage with a smooth, flavorful coffee taste . . . one that can keep you going throughout your day.  I drank the French Vanilla and it was delicious!  Whether you’re enjoying Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee at breakfast or any other time of day, it will give you that boost to help get things done.  And we all could use that!

Go Store-Bought and Pre-Made!

There wasn’t time to do any baking last week.  So in keeping things ultra simple, I bought prepared breakfast foods from Giant Eagle.  It was perfect!  Between the iced coffee and baked items, Giant Eagle was my one stop shop for this little gathering.   Entertaining becomes less difficult when you only have to run to one place for all your needs.

I served plain and asiago cheese bagels, biscotti, nut bread and muffins.  Can you tell I was going a little more savory than sweet?  If you’re serving bagels, don’t forget to have butter and a toaster available.

Send Text Messages to Keep Invitations Simple

Since we are not planning a formal soiree but rather a casual get-together, text messages are completely fine to use to invite your guests.  I texted friends the evening before saying something like this:  “Things have been crazy busy lately and I would love the chance to slow down even for a brief time and connect with some friends.   If you’re free, stop by tomorrow between 9:30am and 10:30am for some Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee and savory carbs.”  One run to the store and several texts later, our fun was underway!

Shop Your House to Create a Cute Buffet

You may be amazed what you can come up with to put on the buffet if you just walk around your house.  I used my galvanized bucket for the iced coffees, a reclaimed wine barrel tray for my food, a bird cage for added decor and my refinished tea cart to hold everything.  I also found this cute circle banner to add “a little pretty” as a backdrop.  Do you have old birthday decorations you could repurpose and reuse to add interest to your tablescape?

Keep Set Up Easy

When time is precious, don’t worry about pre-plating everything on different platters.  Line a tray with a napkin and put all your food in one place.  It will look bountiful . . . plus you’ll have less to wash afterwards.

If you’re using a big tub for the iced coffee like I did, don’t try to fill the whole thing up with ice.  Place an overturned bowl at the bottom and put a plate on top of that.  You’ll need a lot less ice!

Once you have your set-up complete and have arranged the food and drinks, don’t forget to start a playlist to set the mood for your party.  Decide whether you want something relaxing or more upbeat.  For our ladies’ morning, I played beautiful instrumental music . . . it was warm and inviting.

I love it when things look good, taste great and are stress-free.  All of this allows me more time to focus on connecting with my guests.  For this ladies’ morning, everything was kept simple but it was perfect for a busy hostess and her friends.

Wondering where to pick up Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee?  Here is where you can find it at Giant Eagle:

Do you need to carve out time to connect with friends?  Keep things simple and yummy with Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee and already prepared foods from Giant Eagle.  Click this link to find a store around you.  

 

 

 

 

How To Build An Awesome Baked Potato Bar

You all know it is hard for me to resist a do-it-yourself or build-you-own style food bar.  I love them!  I love how they appeal to a variety of tastes and can be customized to each person’s own opinion of greatness.  Maybe it just comes from having (or being) a picky eater, but I love when you can add your favorite toppings to whatever you’re eating.

I created this baked potato bar for my kids’ joint family birthday party.  The weather was perfect so I set up everything outside.  We had tables for 30 people on the driveway (which of course I forgot to take pre-party photos of!).  But here is the buffet, bonus kids’ food station and drink area.

Baking the Potatoes:  After washing about 70 medium sized potatoes, we pricked them with a fork.  Then, my daughter and I rubbed them with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.  Once wrapped in aluminum foil, we baked them in crock pots (along with one roaster oven from my sister in law).  For the crock pots, we baked the potatoes for about 8 hours on low until tender.  (You can also bake on high for 4.5-5 hours.)

Baked Potato Bar Toppings:

  • Guacamole
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Green Onions
  • Salsa
  • Black Beans
  • Lightly Crushed Tortilla Chips
  • Pickled Jalapenos and Carrots (most commented on!)
  • Bacon
  • Cubed Ham
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Ranch
  • Hot Sauce

We rounded out our meal with grilled chicken, bean salad, watermelon and dinner rolls.

I also served hot dogs and baby carrots for the kids.  Just in case . . .

I used our Lemonade Stand for the beverage station, serving blue punch and assorted flavored waters.

 

 

I love outdoor parties!  Don’t miss my Jedi Knight ready to strike in the photo above.

Happy Birthday, kiddos!

Have you tried a baked potato bar before?  What are your favorite toppings?

How to Make a Delicious Waffle Bar Your Guests Will Love

How to Create a Delicious Waffle Bar Your Guests Will Love

 

If you are looking for a fun and easy breakfast idea, look no further.  This waffle bar is it!  It requires only basic prep work before your guests arrive and the build-your-own style menu is fun for all.

A couple weeks ago, I hosted a Norwex Party with friends and family.  Are you familiar with Norwex?  It is a company that makes products for cleaning your home (and more) . . . all chemical free.  You only have to add water to their cloths and they clean whatever you are tackling.  My favorite is the window cloth.  Wet the Enviro cloth, wipe the glass and then rub dry with the window cloth.  Amazing!  My windows have not looked this good since we moved in.  (Want to learn more?  Here is my friend’s link.  If you happen to place an order and wouldn’t mind, please add a note to your order that you are coming from Kristen’s blog.)

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Back to waffles!  I was searching for something fun for my guests to enjoy after we heard about the Norwex products.  Since our party started at 10am, I thought a delicious waffle bar would be the perfect treat.

A waffle bar worked well for several reasons:

  • Options are fun.  Guests can pick and choose, having complete control over what they put on their waffle.
  • When hosting a direct sales type party, your guests can come to the buffet when they are ready.
  • If you are using a Belgian Waffle Maker, you can only make one waffle at a time.  Having guests trickle in to the buffet table after they have placed their order or asked their questions, makes a belgian waffle bar very doable.

I love our Belgian Waffle Maker!  I received it as a bridal shower gift oh so many years ago and have used it many times.  If you’re shopping, here is one nearly identical.

Toppings to Make Your Waffle Bar Delicious:

 

 

Mmmm, toppings!  I wanted to offer healthy and sweet tooth options for our waffle bar.  I did have a couple guests tell me they tried a little of each topping just for the experience.  Oh, how I love them!

This is what I offered:

  • Three sauces (chocolate, caramel and maple syrup).
  • Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pecans, chocolate chunks, crushed Heath Bar, chopped Kit Kats, colorful sprinkles, ICE CREAM and whipping cream.

Waffle Bar Logistics:

I would have loved to have a pump from which my guests could get the batter (like they have in the hotels), but that would have added significant cost and isn’t something I’ll make enough use of in the future to warrant the expense.  So a clear glass pitcher worked just fine.  I put the pitcher and the measuring cup on their own plate to help keep things neat.

Many belgian waffle makers come with a measuring cup so you can pour the proper amount of batter on the griddle.

Presentation & Creating a Pretty Table:

If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know that I am always talking about creating different levels on your buffet table to create visual interest.

By using a turned over drawer, a wire basket (filled with a linen-wrapped box), cake pedestal, empty frames and fabric garland, I not only created different levels but also different textures.  This turns a table into a tablescape.

The frames are cheap garage sale finds, now boasting many colors of spray paint under the current light and dark blues.   The fabric banner was something I made years ago for our Peter Rabbit party.  Check this tutorial to learn how to make the fabric banner in three steps.

Let’s talk ice cream . . . my favorite topping for belgian waffles.  I didn’t want to have a gallon of ice cream sitting on the table making a mess as it dripped all over my blue checked fabric.  My solution?  Decant softened ice cream the day before into my galvanized tin ICE BUCKET.  Not only did it look great, but it held up very well during the party.  (Store overnight in the freezer.)

Signs can be another way to add fun and interest to your table top.  I tied in Norwex cleaning with my waffle bar by framing this text, “Now, you’ll love cleaning a WAFFLE lot.”

More fun:

Because our party was focused on cleaning and I had several guests who did not know each other, I asked my guests to fill out a name tag and write the cleaning task they enjoy the least.  It was fun to hear the answers.  We even had one person who really loves to clean.  Say what?!

For beverages, I served strawberry and cucumber infused water, two juices and coffee.

Yum!

How do you like our Waffle Bar?  What is your favorite topping to put atop waffles?  

Shop this look:

Easy Ideas for a Spring Picnic Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #PureLife40pk #CollectiveBias

Easy Ideas for a Spring Picnic Party - Celebrate Every Day With Me

With spring’s arrival, I am beyond eager to get outside and enjoy the new season.  Blooming flowers, warmer temperatures . . . and no more snow.  What better way to celebrate than to throw a spring picnic party!  Today, I am sharing fun ideas for hosting your own spring picnic.

For this party, we’ll be keeping it easy and economical without forfeiting a pretty presentation.  Each guest will receive their own picnic box with everything they need inside, topped with a bottle of Nestlé® Pure Life® Water.  It’s all ready to go.  Let’s take a look!

How to Throw a Spring Picnic Party

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1. Choose an Easy Menu

There are times when I want to make everything on my party menu.  But then in the midst of my chaotic kitchen and racing heartbeat over cooking failures, I am reminded that is perfectly okay to purchase pre-made food.  There are many things to consider when entertaining; preparing a difficult menu should not be one of them.

For this picnic party, I kept things very simple.  My menu included chicken salad with crackers, clementines, sliced bell pepper, kettle corn, cookies and a bottle of Nestlé Pure Life Water.  I made nothing from scratch and it all tasted fabulous.

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2. Be Economical by Buying in Bulk

One thing I love doing for parties (and everyday life as well) is buying in bulk to save money.  Whether it is for produce, meat, paper products or bottles of water, we regularly purchase items in large quantities.

For example, my family drinks a lot of water.  Whether we are toting bottles to ballet or basketball, having a meal on the go or keeping a bottle on the nightstand, Sam’s Club is the place from which we buy all our cases of water and it has been that way for years.  Staying hydrated is important to my family.  As the weather gets nicer and we are more active outdoors, Dan and I will be sure that our entire family is getting plenty of water.

If you shop at Sam’s Club, don’t miss the great value with Nestlé Pure Life Water.  They added 5 more bottles for the same price as the 35 pack!  The water is pure, great tasting and filtered through a 12-step quality process. Did you know that Nestlé Pure Life Water is enhanced with a unique blend of  minerals to ensure great taste?  We love it.

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Fun & Easy Ideas for a Spring Picnic Party (12b)

For my spring picnic party, not only did I pick up a case of Nestlé Pure Life Water, but I also purchased many other items in bulk to divvy up into the picnic boxes in order to be more economical.

3. Give it a Pretty Presentation

Even though we are keeping things simple, there is no need to give up a cute presentation.  For this picnic party, I used an assortment of containers to package up the meal.  From carry-out picnic boxes and food containers to wooden spoons and an assortment of treat bags, this meal is ready for my guests to pick up and go.  And it looks great!

Here is how I packaged the food inside the box:

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Yummy chicken salad in plastic containers and round garden crackers in small glassine bags.

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Colorful bell peppers in clear favor bags, tied with baker’s twine.

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Clementines placed in flower-baking cups.  Doesn’t it give a fun, spring look?

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Kettle corn in a clear favor bags.

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Coconut-pecan cookies in polka-dotted treat bags.

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Yellow napkins in keeping with my spring colors and wooden spoons, along with a sticker for the outside of the box.  (Grab the printable below.)

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The brown box alone was a little dull, so I used tissue paper to line the inside of the box.  White tissue paper gives it a clean, fresh look and it is an inexpensive option.  (Just cut two pieces to fit the length and width of the box, and fold the paper over to give the top a crisp edge.)

Now for the outside of the picnic box: 

I like the idea of untying . . . well, just about anything.

When you have to untie or unwrap items you’re about to eat, it creates the feeling of something special, making this ordinary picnic box feel like a gift.  I used yellow and white baker’s twine to tie up our boxes.

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I tied a half knot around the box, then placed a bottle of water on top.  With the water in place, I finished by tying a bow (keeping it easy for my guests to untie).

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The Nestlé Pure Life Water bottle has the perfect ridge under the label for tying the twine around the bottle.

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Of course, I needed to add a little more picnic inspiration.  I created these cute “Let’s Picnic” stickers and put them on the side of the picnic box.  Download the printable here. (Print it on sticker paper and cut out.  If you would like the SVG file, please email me.)

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Are you ready to picnic?

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A delightful party to celebrate spring!

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Here is where to find Nestlé Pure Life Water at Sam’s Club.  (Available in select Sam’s Club stores, ask your Club Manager about getting Nestlé Pure Life Water in your store if it’s unavailable.)

Fun & Easy Ideas for a Spring Picnic Party

 

The good weather is here.  It’s time to get outside, stay hydrated and celebrate spring!

For more information on Nestlé Pure Life Water at Sam’s Club, click here or connect with Nestlé Pure Life Water on Facebook or Instagram.  

 

Make Spring Entertaining Easy With This 6-Ingredient Sandwich

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #SandwichWithTheBest #CollectiveBias

Make Spring Entertaining Easy with This 6-Ingredient Sandwich - RECIPE

When you think of entertaining, do you only think of complex, gourmet meals?  Friends, it does not need to be that way.  Today, I am sharing a 6-ingredient sandwich that will simplify your spring entertaining, allowing you to prep with confidence, add a cute presentation and enjoy your guests.

I love the opportunity to have a friend or two over for a simple lunch.  As a busy mom, I find that time with other women and mothers is invaluable.  It renews, encourages and rejuvenates.  Lunch with friends?  Yes, please.  Now, when it comes to lunch for spring entertaining, I like to look for lighter menus that are simple, yet tasty.  And of course, a pretty presentation.

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The 6 Ingredients Needed For Our Spring Sandwich:

  • Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse™ Oatmeal
  • Hillshire Farm® Thin Sliced Honey Ham
  • Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise
  • Thin Sliced Pepperoni
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Tomato

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I love the fact that this sandwich is easy to make.  One quick run to Walmart for my ingredients and I was set.  If you are serving these sandwiches for family or friends, set up a little assembly line.  You’ll be done before you know it!

I made these sandwiches a couple hours in advance, wrapped them in deli paper, added a little plastic wrap to the open side and refrigerated.

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Make Spring Entertaining Easy with This 6-Ingredient Sandwich - RECIPE) (1)

I wanted a hearty and delicious bread for my sandwich.  Farmhouse Oatmeal made by Pepperidge Farm® is perfect.  It has a “fresh from the oven” taste and is really what set this sandwich recipe apart.  Pepperidge Farm breads are slow baked and crafted from a small batch recipe with flavorful ingredients.  Plus, the bread is double-wrapped for freshness.  I loved it!

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The second ingredient in this sandwich is Hillshire Farm® Thin Sliced Honey Ham.  Hillshire Farm® slow roasts their meat for hours making it taste better than other lunchmeat.  Plus, it contains no artificial flavors or by-products.

Now, I like a meaty sandwich.  Don’t be afraid to layer up the deli meat.  One 9 oz container made four sandwiches for my luncheon.  The meat is double-sealed for freshness so use as much as you need and re-seal . . . And you better believe that crafty-me will be saving those containers for a future use.  😉

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The next three ingredients keep the simplicity going.  Add thin slices of pepperoni, fresh spinach and a juicy slice of tomato.

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Looking delicious!  But we’re not quite done.  One last ingredient.

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Spread Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise on the other slice of bread.  I bought the 20oz squeeze bottle.  Seriously, I don’t think my husband or kids could make a mess even if they tried with this “Squeeze with Ease” bottle.  It was wonderful!  I was able to squeeze the mayonnaise precisely where I wanted it with zero mess.  Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise is made with real, simple ingredients (cage-free eggs, oil and vinegar).

If you want to crisp your sandwich, you could also use Hellmann’s® on the outside of your bread instead of butter for a perfectly grilled sandwich.  Or switch things up by combining Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise with other flavors like sriracha, soy, wasabi or maple.

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Make Spring Entertaining Easy with This 6-Ingredient Sandwich - RECIPE) (2)

Ready to take a bite?  Before you do, let’s give it a pretty presentation for our guests.  You will need deli paper and baker’s twine.  I used standard weight, dry wax deli paper that measured 15in by 10.75in.  It was perfect for the size of the Farmhouse Oatmeal bread.

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Fold a lip of the wax paper inward as shown above and place your sandwich in the corner of the paper.

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Pull the wax paper over the top of the bread, folding another lip underneath so that your paper lines up with your crust.

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Cinch the length of the paper on the side of the sandwich and begin to fold over the sandwich toward the right side.

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As you are folding the paper over, double check that your front edges are lining up.

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Tuck the excess of the paper underneath the sandwich.

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Slide the baker’s twine underneath and tie in a bow.

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Now on to lunch!

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This pretty table made use of soft colors, a variety of textures and fresh flowers to celebrate spring.

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A simple menu is all you need for a fun ladies’ lunch.  Easy sandwiches wrapped up pretty, fresh fruit, cookies and pink lemonade.  Your guests will enjoy the meal and time together.

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Here is where you can find products in Walmart:

where to find

 

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It was a delightful lunch!  How do you keep things simple for spring entertaining?  Click here for more delicious recipes and inspiration.

A Skate in the Woods ~ This Year’s Gingerbread Party

A Skate in the Woods- This Year's Gingerbread Party (63a)

I love our annual Gingerbread Party!  It ties so many fun things together:  tradition, creativity, family and candy.  Today, I’m sharing the photos from our little party.  I really wanted the tablescape to feel like a skate in the woods.  You know, that picturesque frozen pond where the local kids with the striped red and white scarves gather to skate on the ice.

It sounds so lovely . . . and scary.  Would I let my kids skate on a pond of unknown ice thickness?  Probably not . . . .

Anyway, grab your hot cocoa and take a look.  May you find inspiration for your own winter gathering, gingerbread party or sweet tooth.

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When I plan a Gingerbread Party, I like to offer a large assortment of candy for the imagination.

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Each year, I waver back and forth on whether I will make the gingerbread or buy a ready-made kit.  This year, I opted for the kit.  But when I make my own (which is much more tasty and delicious), I use a cast iron mold.

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How to Save Money for Your Gingerbread Party:  Host your party in January.  This will allow you to buy the majority of your candy the day after Christmas for half the price.  If I am using kits, this is also the day I purchase those.  It saves so much money!

 

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We decorated the houses up at the counter which was covered with a piece of white kraft paper.

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What do think?  If you like this party, check out our Valentine’s Gingerbread Party.  

How to Throw an AMAZING Coloring Party

This post was sponsored by Colorwear as part of an In-Home Party Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

 

How to throw an AMAZING coloring party with Colorwear tshirts

Are you a bit stressed?  Do you need a little time to slow down and unwind with friends?

You all know I love any excuse to throw a party.  And today, I am sharing an amazing party that will have you and your guests relaxing and unwinding while getting your creative juices flowing.  Grab a pen and paper to start jotting down an invite list because we are gathering friends for a coloring party.  Not only will we come together for a time of creative fun, we will also be sharing lives, encouraging and inspiring one other.

Don’t we all need that?

So let’s get to it!  I have some great tips for throwing an amazing coloring party . . . from what to color and the food and drinks, to a thoughtful way to send the ladies off with their new artwork.

How to throw an AMAZING coloring party with Colorwear

First Things First:  Color Something Super Fun

I am new to the adult coloring craze and let me tell you, I had no idea what I was missing!  I loved coloring as a kid but now as an adult, I am finding coloring to be relaxing and satisfying.  Even after spending just 10 minutes adding colors to a series of lines and shapes, I find myself feeling more focused and my usual speed of go-go-go is slowed to a peaceful, unrushed pace.

In the midst of how busy we all are, I wanted this party to be a place where each of us could step out of our busy days and take a couple hours to unwind.

And that is what we did.  However, we did not color just a piece of paper from a book.

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No, we colored Colorwear t-shirts, a new product line released by The Mountain® that creates wearable art through personalized and colorable t-shirts.  And I love the assortment of shirts they offer!  They have 175 designs by popular adult coloring book artists such as Valentina Harper and Angelea Van Dam.

Some of the designs include Mandalas, animals and pets, aquatic scenes, gardens, holiday themes, inspirational quotes and fantasy scenes.  There really is something for everyone.  Plus, did I mention that the products are environmentally friendly?

One thing that I found challenging at first, but then completely loved once I let my imagination and creativity rule was that I could choose whatever colors I wanted to color my butterfly.  There were no rules.  It was fun and became a therapeutic escape from stress.

In addition, my guests and I enjoyed coloring something that wouldn’t sit in a book when finished.  This is artwork you can wear yourself or give as a gift.  It is practical, yet fun!

Save some $$ on your party by signing up for the Colorwear Newsletter.  You’ll get 25% off your order!  And don’t miss the contest at the end of the post for your chance to win a Colorwear pack!

To color our shirts, we used Tulip fabric markers and many of the ladies commented how much they liked the markers and how long they were lasting.

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Think about Party Set Up

When preparing for your coloring party, consider where you’ll set up a space for the ladies to color.  I hosted the party in my dining room.  There, I knew I could accommodate my guests, serve food and drinks and display the t-shirts for the ladies’ selection.

I organized the Colorwear T-shirts by size on a portable rack.  (I also think a laundry line strung across the room could be super cute!)  If you haven’t pre-arranged for your guests’ size and choice of design,  be sure to provide a nice assortment of sizes and images.

Even though I was fully aware that my friends wouldn’t be getting marker everywhere (unlike my kids), I still decided to cover my table with white craft paper.  It made me feel creative.  The white blank canvas across the table was undistracting for the fun we were about to have.

With the shirts, comes a mini shirtboard to be placed inside the t-shirt and used as the coloring surface.  It protects the fabric on the other side from fabric markers bleeding through.  It is reusable and can be wiped clean.  I placed the shirtboard at each place setting along with a set of markers for my guests.  And if you want to dress up the place setting, add coiled ribbon to the markers’ packaging.  It gave a more festive and playful look.

Don’t forget music in the background.  Create a playlist that is relaxing and inspiring.

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Serve Colorful Food & Drinks

When planning your menu, keep your foods simple and colorful!  Your guests will enjoy a little break to munch so be sure to offer a few healthy selections as well as something sweet.

Here is what I served:

  • a rainbow fruit platter with dip (cream cheese and marshmallow fluff)
  • a moist lemon bundt cake with lemon glaze drippings
  • cubed cheese with painted tip fancy toothpicks for added color
  • assorted mini-cupcakes
  • individual servings of colorful vegetables in ranch dressing

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My backdrop sign was string art that I had fun making before the party.  If you decide to recreate the sign, just know that using a varying color of embroidery thread on a cursive font will look blurry in all the photos you and your guests take.  Go with a single colored thread and consider skipping the cursive.  Just looking out for you, here!

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For the drinks, I wanted to serve fruit-infused water as well as sparkling beverages.  I chose a pink sparkling lemonade and tropical punch spritzer.  I also pulled out my stemmed water goblets instead of everyday glasses.  Fancy just makes it feel that much more special.

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Don’t Forget a Colorful Centerpiece

I didn’t want to pour big bucks into a centerpiece but I did want it to be colorful.  I cut daisies from the garden and simply arranged them in three vases (remember odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye).  The color came into play when I added drops of food coloring into the vases.

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Get the Coloring Party Started

Chat and relax.  Color.  Listen to great music.  Share stories.  Share lives.

We talked about work and family, about hilarious recent experiences, new apartments and kids harrowing weeks at camp.  It was very enjoyable to be spending time with each other and doing something tangible and relaxing.  The t-shirts were such fun to color . . . something different and unique.

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Send Your Guests Home With Some Love

When it was time to leave, I had a bag ready for the ladies to put their Colorwear shirts and markers in to take home.  The little note on the bag was just a little expression of how much I value these ladies and the color they add to my life.

My party was about two hours long.  In planning your own party, know that not all your guests will finish their designs.  One of the moms texted me the next day to tell me that she stayed up until 1am finishing her t-shirt.  Now that is coloring love!

After our party, my kids asked if they could color a few of the extra t-shirts as gifts for their Grandma’s birthday.  How could I refuse?  What a perfect gift idea from a child to have personalized coloring on something so practical!

Here is my finished design.  I love it!

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Would you like to host a Colorwear party?  Be sure to check out their website for inspiration and don’t forget you can get 25% off your order by signing up for the Colorwear newsletter.

Here is your chance to win one of 20 Colorwear Prize Packs!  The contest closes August 25, 2016.

Colorwear Prize Pack Giveaway

I-C will randomly select 20 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes. Open to US residents only.

 

Setting up for a Snowy Gingerbread House Party

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Every year, we host a gingerbread house party for our children and our youngest niece and nephew.  In years past, it used to be quite a few more kids building houses, spilling icing and eating way too many sweets.

But as they have grown up, the older kids have “graduated” to spending the night on Thanksgiving for games and Black Friday shopping.

Don’t worry – I still buy plenty of sweets for the older kids, too.  In fact, each one tells me something they want me to have on hand.  It used to be 100% candy, but over the last couple of years, the 20-something’s have been asking for veggies and humus.  Well, I guess that is what happens.  They are growing up {wipe tear}.

At least I will have the youngest generation to build and decorate gingerbread houses with for many years to come.

Gingerbread House Table Setting

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This year, I decided to try something a little different:  a snowy gingerbread house party, where most of the candies were white.  It was a fun change and the white cotton candy was definitely a hit for snow.

Thinking of throwing your own party?  Here is what I did.

  • I bought pre-assembled houses.  Most years, I make my own gingerbread houses with a mold.  They are, by far, my favorite to eat, but making multiple houses is quite time consuming.  This year, I went easy and bought the houses.  The best of part of buying a kit is that the glue/icing comes ready in a pouch.

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  • In addition to the candy on the table, each child had chocolate bars for windows and doors and one chocolate/peanut butter tree.
  • The kids went to the table with a bowl, picked out the candy they wanted to use and then took it back to their house to start decorating.

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It was such fun!  Maybe next year, I will try rainbow-themed gingerbread houses!

If you liked this party, be sure to check out our Valentine Gingerbread House Party.

Does your family make Gingerbread Houses?  What is your favorite candy to decorate with?