Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bridal Shower: Food

Looking for some ideas to serve at a Bridal Shower? Here is what I did for the one I threw for my Best Friend. The theme was "Love is Sweet" so we served sweets and treats.

I didn't take very many pictures so hopefully it's enough to give you an idea. We did cheesecake bites, brownies, cream puffs, s'mores bars and a chocolate fountain. Items to dip, strawberries, bananas, pretzel rods, rice krispie treats, and marshmallows.

It was the perfect touch for the love is sweet theme. So much good stuff to eat:)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bridal Shower: Decorations

I love throwing parties. However I always seem to skimp on the decorations. Here are the few things that I did for my best friends shower I threw a few weeks ago. The colors were yellow, brown and purple. 

The theme was "love is sweet" so I wanted that somewhere on display. Above the dessert buffet was this banner. (kind of hard to read)
 To make this you need thread, doilies and a writing utensil (I used colored pencil). Fold doilies in half. Glue to thread where you want them placed, and hang up to be admired! I love how this looks. I'm going to hang onto it and hang it up around Valentines day.

For the dessert bar we just used purple tulle around it to add some color.

We had a candy buffet so above that we made some of these pom pom balls. So easy to do! Take your tissue paper and fold accordion style (We used 8 sheets, 1 Pack). Tie fishing string around the middle Start fluffing out. I love how they looked! It added so much to the party and only cost about $3 to make and like 20 minutes!
 With the invites I sent out a recipe card to be filled out. As people walked in there was a bowl for them to place them in. Also one of the other games was on this table. The fabric is just pinned to the wall with a thumbtack. The edges are folded in so you don't see the raw edge. I would have hemmed it, but I want to do something else with this fabric.
The burlap banner was so easy to make and so CHEAP! Lips is her future last name. I'm in love with Burlap!!! Post to come:) This also doubled as a gift, how cute for them to take pictures with or even to use to decorate at the Reception!

I forgot to get a picture of this, but on the front door there was a WELCOME sign on the front door that the letters were horseshoes. (Doubled as a gift!) They are having a western themed reception and moving to Prescott, AZ. I thought this would be prefect for them. As a bonus it was on clearance at Joanns for like $7!!! WHooo!

What is your go to party decoration???


See more about this shower

Friday, July 27, 2012

Patriotic Pizza Part 2

Remember my post earlier about the Patriotic Pizza I was testing for a red, white, and blue family potluck? Well for the real deal we decided to step it up a notch. How about a nice American Hero Pizza? Like Captain America???
How fun would this be for a Super Hero Party or just for a fun lunch for your own super hero! I used the same ingredients as here. I used my son's Captain America shirt to get the order everything goes it.
 The Hubs dis a great job at the star don't you think? I was originally going to cut out a star and use it as a stencil, but forgot. I think it turned out great! 
The family was impressed with our creativity!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Bridal Shower: Invites

My Best Friend is getting Married!!!
I can't believe it, it's so exciting. Amy and I have known each other forever! Literally! At least for me since she is almost a year older than me. Our families have been friends since before we were even thoughts in our parents minds. I am so happy that she has found her eternal companion!

With the excitement of her getting married, I get to throw her a bridal shower! I love throwing parties! Amy is the only girl in her family so growing up I was like a sister to her. So as her Sister I want this party to be over the top. (My over the top and your over the top are most likely different. My over the top is probably your thrown together in a few hours.)

The shower is tomorrow so I have been SUPER busy getting things ready. It is looking awesome! Can't wait. So to get you as excited as I am, here is a look at the invites I made!

She decided she liked the colors Yellow and Brown for her Bridal Shower. It seems a little baby shower-ish so to make it less baby I found some coordinating paper with purple. So the colors are going to be yellow, brown and purple as the accent color.

I love how they turned out. I made 40 of them and between paper, envelopes, and recipe cards it was less than $10. Gotta love it!

We are doing a door prize at the shower. Sent with the invitations was a recipe card. Guests were asked to fill it out and bring it to the shower. We'll randomly pick 1 or 2 and that guest will win a prize! Who doesn't need more recipes? And better yet who doesn't love prizes?!?! Hopefully there is a lot of participation.
 I found the recipe cards at Michaels, regularly $1 on clearance for $.50, plus I had a 15% entire purchase coupon. I bought 3 so there would be a variety of design. Artichoke, lettuce, and mushrooms. At first I didn't really like them, but they are kind of growing on me.

 All the paper was bought at Joanns for 5 for $1 plus 20% off because they were doing college discount! Love it!

Stay tuned for the rest of the Bridal Shower Details!!! Hopefully I'll get right on them and not post pone it too much.


See more about this shower

Linked to these parties
Pink Paper Paradise

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Swap Week: Homemade Cards

Today's swap idea is one that I'm pretty sure I have mentioned before. Card swap! We make a homemade card, and bring all the supplies for everyone to make that card.  So we leave with a bunch of different cards. I love doing stuff like this, it is so much easier and cheaper to make stuff mass produced. It has been so much fun and I have learned so many fun techniques.

We try to have a theme like masculine, Birthday, brides and babes, Christmas, Thank you, blank cards, etc. We have even done gift bags.

My own personal goal is not buying anything. It's great because my stash of stuff I'll never use is dwindling! Each card doesn't have to be the same. Like I did here, the layout is the same, but the paper is different. Great for getting rid of scraps.

I have become really good at making cards, the hard part is giving them away. I don't give cards out as much as I make them. Plus everyone in our swap group makes such cute cards I don't want to give them away!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Swap Week: Freezer Meal Swap

I hope you are enjoying swap week as much as I am. Today's swap is freezer meals! It seems all over the place you see once a month/week cooking and freezer meals. I did it myself too. You can see that post here.

A friend of my suggested a freezer meal swap. I had thought about hosting one, but since I had so many swaps going on I was holding off. It has been nice. We have only met the one time, but are already in the midst of planning another one hoping to do it once a month.

There were 11 of us involved. So we made 11 of one recipe enough to feed 4 people. This gave us enough to have 2 weeks worth (assuming you do a date night every week or eat with the parents etc.) There was a lot of variety! We also decided that we'd provide tortillas, bread, or noodles that went with it. We tried for just doing crock pot meals too to make things easier, but really what ever you decide.

I hope you love this idea as much as I do! Give it a try with your friends. It has been so nice to not really have to worry about making dinner. Just pop it in the slower cooker. Serve with canned veggies or a salad and your family will be happy. Can't get any easier!

Here is a list of the foods that everyone did.

  1. Cilantro lime chicken tacos
  2. Chicken Chili
  3. Machaca Beef (for tacos)
  4. Teriyaki Chicken
  5. Buffalo Chicken- I add shredded carrots in mine
  6. Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
  7. Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini-
  8. Taco's (Precooked) With Tortillas and Cheese
  9. Chicken Enchilada/Tortilla soup with chips and cheese
  10. Chicken Alfredo
Someone actually ended up cancelling last minute so we had prepared an extra one so we did like a white elephant and exchanged our extra, it was kind of fun and silly.

I hope you enjoy! Let me know how it goes! ~CJ

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Swap Week- Recipe Swap

This is day 2 of swap week, you can see day one here.

Today I'm going to tell you about a fun recipe swapping idea I started the beginning of this year. A group of us get together once a month and bring a recipe to share with everyone. We bring some already made for everyone to sample. Then they get to take a recipe card so they can make it on their own.

There are usually around 10 of us on most nights. It has been so much fun. The first time I did it I was explaining to my Husband what a recipe swap was. His reply was, "It's a freaking buffet, I wanna go!" Since half the people that come are family he usually gets a sample too.

We usually have a theme which makes it a little easier to come up with something. Here is a list of the themes we have done so far.

  • Appetizers
  • Breakfast
  • Pasta
  • Side Dishes
  • Crock Pot
  • Salads- (This month)
Future ideas
  • Main Dishes
  • Dessert
  • Beverages
  • Secret Ingredient (the month before we'll each submit an ingredient and then randomly choose one.) 
  • Christmas Recipe
  • Snacks

That is the line up for the rest of the year (if everyone agrees). It has been so much fun on the plus I now have a bunch of awesome recipes! Give it a try with your friends, Let me know how it goes.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Swap Week- File Folder Games


I'm finally prepared enough to start swap week! Which just realized is crazy since I'm throwing my best friend's bridal shower this weekend!!! It's ok I'll manage. I don't want to put this off any longer.

The first swap I want to tell you about is a file folder game swap. 12 people participated and we each did 2 different games. We did this in 2 parts to make it a little easier. We each made 12 of 2 games and then swapped. It was a lot of work, but so worth it! The kids loved it! (***I did not make all of these, so I may not be able to add a link to all of these sources. I will do my best.)

To start off some things I learned about making file folders...
- Print out the pieces that do not attach to the folder on card stock. Yes it's laminated, but it still needs the extra thickness.
- If doing a swap and making a bunch, start with plenty of time. They do take time to make, very tedious!
- Cheapest place to laminate is Teaching Stuff. Ask to sign up for their membership program it's FREE and makes it cost way less! It was cheaper than using contact paper, someone in the group had their own lamination machine and this was still cheaper.

Plan of Salvation- This is a nice churchy one and good for FHE. Just matching up the pieces.
Let's go on a picnic- This is a little game. You each are an ant and are racing to see who can get to the picnic first. We haven't played this one yet. I'm trying to come up with something to use instead of dice.
 Chick Chick Boom Boom- LOVE this one. This was one of my favorite books growing up so I find it fun. Would be fun to use while reading the story too.
Counting Ladybugs- Counting the dots and matching the number, both spelled out and the number.
Race Car Counting- I did this one. Matching the number with the dots. What I like is the colors are different so really you could do numbers or color matching. I tried doing a magnet, but it wasn't strong enough. Any tips or something other than velcro it's so noisy.
Sequence Cupcakes- Arrange the cupcakes from smallest to largest
Dino Egg Match- Match the egg with the same color dino. This one is kind of tricky because some of them are really similar colors for a kid.
 Decorate an easter egg- (not sure if link is correct) This one is one of my favorites. She used some type of thick double sided tape so the pieces stick anywhere you want.
Down on the Farm- Fun for teaching animals. Match the head with the tail.
 Search for Shapes- Not sure where this one is from, I couldn't find it anywhere. It's fun though. Spin to see which shape to go to. First one to finish wins.
Achy Breaky Heart- Match the colors together
Heart Counting- Match the number with the same amount of dots.
 Heart Patterns- Not sure of the source. Match up the shapes that have different patterns on them.
Noah's Ark- Either fill up the ark with the animals or put opposite velcro on the same animals and pair the animals together. I think I might add a piece of velcro on the boat because not everyone fits in the windows.
 Don't Eat Pete & Tic Tac Toe- This is a twofer! On the left is a tic tac toe game. Since it's laminated you can just use a dry erase marker. The right is don't eat pete!
Shape Sorter- A bunch of different objects, match the shape with the object.
Match the Shapes- Yep just like it says, match the shapes.
 Snakes and Laddes- Based on the childrens game.
Family Garden- LOVE this one! There are slots for the carrots and beets to go into. So fun!

I hope this list gives you some ideas of some great file folder games. It is so much easier to mass produce. Gather up a few mamas and have them do this with you. I bought the file folders at Dollar Tree 10 for $1. Some people found them cheaper at Wal-Mart, but I think it varied by store. Cost for laminating was like $10-12 for all 24 games.

Have fun! Your kids will thank you:) Come back tomorrow for another swap idea.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Swap Week Postponed

I'm so sad to do this! Swap Week will be postponed to next week starting July 16th. My computer is being a little annoying right now and isn't really letting me doing anything besides facebook, and even then sometimes it wont load. I'm hoping to get this problem fixed soon, until then count on a ton of swap ideas the week of July 16.


Monday, July 9, 2012

So you think you can't craft

Sorry! I know I promised swap week this week, but something very exciting for me has come up. I was somewhat featured on The Married Life.

She is doing a So you think you can't craft challenge and asked for people to submit simple projects. She choose my date jar! I'm so happy right now! You can read about it here.

The Married Life
Swap Week will start tomorrow! So excited to share this with you! ~CJ

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Swap Week Introduction

I know we have all heard of Shark Week, well next week on crafts by CJ it's Swap Week!

I have been participating in a lot of swaps lately. My husband thinks I'm nuts and has a hard time keeping track of what it what. This is my little introduction  to get you as excited as I am. If you don't already follow my blog you are going to want to, so many ideas are coming to you in one place!

Here is the line up...
File Folder Swap 
Recipe Swap
Freezer Meal Swap
Card Swap
Busy Bag Swap

See you next week:)
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