It’s A New Year…Time For A New Me!

The end is near!

2014 is just around the corner and I’m ready for all of the things that the next year has in store for us, personally and professionally. So many doors have opened and opportunities have presented themselves this year, I’m so incredibly optimistic for the next year…and the years beyond.

My friends and I have been through a lot this year…good and bad, full of lessons and adventures. So to celebrate the freshness of a new year, we had a New Year’s Eve party with the theme “New Year, New Me 2014” and it was one of the most jovial nights I’ve enjoyed in a long time.

I absolutely have to use the word “jovial” because we laughed, long and hard, for about 2 hours straight with all of the stories that we told each other. Maybe animated, facetious, or jocund? Yeah, I had to look those up…

Hosting an intimate NYE event is not really that hard. Especially for me…I’d much rather spend an evening with family and friends than be out partying it up in the streets.

A homebody event planner. Go figure.

The decor and colors of the shower were based on a set of party printables that I won in a giveaway from Cupcake With Character. I love bright colors and was excited about incorporating the color scheme. It wasn’t the usual print that is usually associated with a NYE party and I was totally OK with that. So I picked the traditional black and gold, for timeless elegance, and the not-so-traditional, hot pink and turquoise, for spunky fun!

My husband said it looked like two parties hanging out together.

For our party, we centered it around a wine tasting. We had a delicious stash from Mirassou Winery. The 2 wines we enjoyed were the Sunset Red and Moscato. To accompany the wines, we snacked on pepperoni pizza, Teriyaki chicken sliders, and Colby jack and cheddar cheese. For the one friend in attendance who didn’t actually drink, we had punch and water; the recipe was one that I’d previously used at a baby shower and was a big hit. We also had tulle poms/swizzle sticks provided by Fizzy Party and they are so much fun to have in your glass!

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The dining table set up was of hot pink and turquoise plates, with black napkins and champagne-colored bands. Each place setting consisted of a personalized goblet, filled with Rolos and almond Hershey’s kisses, as well as an inspirational keepsake. The table scape was a gold sequin runner that was centered in the table, and dressed up with recycled wine bottles spray painted gold and trimmed in turquoise glitter ribbon. The flowers were left over from another event and the gold sprays I found for $1 at Michaels.

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The dessert table was (obviously) our (my) favorite party of the party. The printables got to strut their stuff on the dessert table. The banner was customized for our theme and hung with gold glitter ribbon against a black backdrop. The sweet stuff on the table was a simple menu of fresh strawberries with cream cheese dip, jumbo white chocolate  s’mores, wedding cake cupcakes, and a popcorn bar.

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The popcorn came from Sweet Noshings, which is a local candy store/popcorn corner/coffee bar.

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It is The. Best.

We got to nosh on Peanut Butter and Chocolate, Honey Butter, Cherry, and Spicy White Cheddar and Cheddar Cheese mix varieties of popcorn. The other element on the table was a gift box for all of the guests. The gift boxes contained a bunch of goodies from Mirassou and included a over a dozen different recipes (which can be made with the various Mirassou wines,) a wine charm, a stemless wine glass, and a brochure about the fabulous winery.

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The gift boxes were also personalized with each guests’ name. They were tied with white and gold twine, and held a countdown clock cookie, made by the awesome Jess Add Sprinkles, and a tag I created, which said “It’s time for a new you!” All of the ladies were impressed with her art…they didn’t know it was a cookie, and they loved it!

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We also had some fantabulous cookies that Kima’s Konfections sent to the party, but they didn’t get to be on the table because of the ice storm that we had. And by ice storm, I mean that we got 1/4″ of ice and the city shut down. Even though they didn’t make it to the shindig, I was still able to get them to the guests. I mean, how could this beauty not be shared with them?!?

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We also had a photo booth set up and staged it with a huge 36″ balloon from Party On! Designs. Again, Icemageddon 2013 prevented us from getting helium, so hubby volunteered to blow it  up. I told him how big it should be and he did as I asked, which freaked me out. I have a phobia of popping balloons and the bigger it got, the more I tried to run away. But it looked incredible with the party and decor! I used gold spray paint and painted “2014” on it and a few of us took pictures with the “globe.”

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All in all, we had a great time 🙂 The weather outside was frightful, but my friends were so delightful!

This party is perfect for throwing an intimate NYE gathering or just a girls night in. Very budget friendly, the wines run under $10 a bottle, and taste wonderful!

If you want to opt for something sans alcohol, think spa night, movie night, or even a game night! We brought in 2012 with a Wii party with our friends and it was a blast!

Celebrate life! Cheers to a New You and a Joyous and Prosperous New Year!

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Concept and Styling: Creating Awesomenessity!

Printable Collection: Cupcake With Character

Recipe Cards and Gifts: Mirassou Winery

Clock Cookies: Jess Add Sprinkles

2014 Cookies: Kima’s Konfections

Tulle Poms: Fizzy Party

36″ Balloon: Party On! Designs

Gourmet Popcorn: Sweet Noshings

Photography: Lyndsi Metz Photography

awesome tag

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A Royal Welcome

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting a Pretty Little Princess themed baby shower for a little girl making her way into the world.

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For this event, I was fortunate enough to be able to work with Holli from HoneyBash Celebration Shop and to say she is a life saver is not enough. She is probably the most patient person ever…if I had to deal with me, I would have screamed! But she’s just awesome like that! I was asked to do the shower in the colors of pink and purple, with a touch of bling, so I was able to select one of the packages from her shop to use for the party. She definitely made me realize the value in using other people’s talents to bring an event together and I will definitely be partnering in the future 🙂

Most of the paper items in the party (banners, signs, food labels, and cupcake toppers) were designed by Holli and embellished a bit by yours truly; I constructed the fans and floral arrangements.

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Just a little crystal bling to make them fit for a princess!

 

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For this baby shower, I did all of the desserts, set up the candy bar, and even got to use some of my culinary talents on the food table; I make a mean pasta salad.

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The guests were welcomed with an opportunity to write well wishes for the mom-to-be. The book had to be fitting for a little princess…

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Before the shower started, we actually had a guest making balloon animals for the kids. Talk about a hit! She casually mentioned that she could make some to keep them entertained…I was trying to get one myself!!

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After everyone was full and content, we started the games. There were the traditional games with a twist, and some unique ones. We played:

  • Don’t Say Baby: This game is usually played with clothespins or necklaces and the object of the game is to take them away from someone who says “baby” or crosses their legs during the shower; the person with the most at the end of the shower wins. For this shower, we played with a “twist.” Four guests were given crowns at the beginning of the shower, but everyone was playing. If the crown wearer said “baby” or “Jazlynn,” they had to forfeit their crown. The four people at the end of the shower who were still wearing crowns all got prizes.
  • Guess the celebrity baby: People have to guess which celebrity’s baby picture was in the collage. The most correct guesses wins.
  • Baby animals: The correct name for the baby version of the animal has to be identified. Guests have 60 sec to identify them and the most correct guesses wins.
  • Baby Picasso: The guests have to draw their best rendition of a little princess on a paper plate; the plate has to be on their head and they have 90 sec to draw.
  • Never Have I Ever: The guests have to confess what they’ve done in this PG-rated version of Truth or Dare. If they’ve done something, they have to put change into the baby bottle piggy bank and all of the money is used to start the baby’s first savings.

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All in all, it was a success! We laughed, played, had a great time, and I made some new friends! Wishing many congratulations to the parents-to-be!

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Thanks also, to my amazing photographer Isaac! He’s an all-around great guy and wonderful friend 🙂

 

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Decor, Styling, Desserts: Creating Awesomenessity!

Printables: HoneyBash Events

Photography: Isaac Singleton Photography

Double Trouble

At the end of December, I had the pleasure of hosting a double birthday party for my nephew and niece. He turned 7 on the 6th and she turned 5 on the 26th. Of course they wanted completely different themes…Spiderman and Barbie Princess. We scheduled the parties for the 21st…and then I caught the flu. We rescheduled for the 28th. Then other people caught the flu. Turnout wasn’t the best, but I planned to do something for the kids anyway. It really wasn’t their fault that their favorite aunt ended up battling contagion.

So here are some of the pics from the party. Again, special shout out to the hubby and my cousin who turned our garage into a wall from New York City and a scene from the Amazing Spiderman…

A month later, our garage still looks like this. I can't take it down...

A month later, our garage still looks like this. I can’t bring myself to take it down…

These were the invitations. I also learned to wake up first, as I left these on the floor when I was done and the following morning almost destroyed them all…

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Gift bags FULL of Spidey stuff…silly string, puzzles, Spiderman tattoos, superhero bracelets, those grow-in-water Spiderman towels, coloring books, candy…

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I think the pasta was my favorite just because it turned out so vibrantly!

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And the cake!

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Barbie Princess Meaghan got to have all of her pink stuff. I love that little girl. The color pink, not so much.

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The girls even got their royal goblets. Those were a hit, even with my dad who wasn’t supposed to have one.

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That’s not the birthday girl in the middle…

All in all, it was a nice time. The kids that were able to make it out had a good time and I think the adults might have more fun than them. Next year, I’ll get my flu shot on time *sigh*

Make It Awesome!

Sugar and Spice, and Everything Nice…

The pictures are in!

In early December 2012, I had the honor of hosting a co-ed baby shower for parents expecting a sweet little girl. The theme was Sugar and Spice; the colors were pink, bronze, and chocolate; mom, aunt-to-be, and almost everyone there are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I was just thankful they didn’t opt for pink and green… 🙂 Mom’s style is very simple and minimalistic and I was thrilled that she loved the way that everything was set up. It was a small challenge for me, only because I like a lot of stuff and for things to be full and busy, but she was very pleased. The best compliment was that the shower guests walked in and said they immediately recognized her taste and style.

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We had close to 80 guests and I must admit, despite all the pink, I had a blast! The guests were wonderful to attend to and we enjoyed hours of laughter. The shower was held at the Westin Beale Street. We played some of the traditional games and threw some newer ones in the mix, just for the guys…

The Westin catered the shower and the guests enjoyed 4 types of spicy chicken drummettes, coconut shrimp with peach mango salsa, ginger chicken salad on crisp wonton, BBQ shrimp shooters, and pulled pork and chicken nachos.

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So the games…

The running games of the day were the traditional Don’t Say Baby, Guess the Celebrity, and Guess the Number of Candy Hearts. Instead of using clothespins, all the guests were asked to wear pink pearls as an homage to one of the sorority’s traditions.

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The celebrity’s baby pictures were set up for the guests to postulate over. Can you guess who any of them are? I had to look them up again before the shower and I put the thing together…I counted the candy by hand and learned a very important lesson in the process: use bigger candy.

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The first active game on deck was Shake Your Groove Thang. The object of the game was to be the first person to get all of the golf balls out of the box. Pure hilarity ensued. The dad-to-be had some moves on him, but he didn’t win. The guys were such good sports about participating and I really appreciated that. My husband told me later that men don’t like coming to showers because women have a tendency to make them play silly games. Oops. I just wish I had a copy of the video…

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Next we played the traditional shower games…match the baby animals, unscramble the baby related words. One lady knocked it out of the park! We also found out that she was a new mom, and she graciously proceeded to school myself and the audience on exactly what a layette is. I shall henceforth refrain from calling it the footie pajama body suit thing…

This table was busted for Googling...lol

This was not the table was busted for Googling answers…lol

We also played the game where you had to bring out your inner artist by drawing your most fabulous rendition of a baby. On a paper plate. Whilst said plate is atop your head. I played this game at a bridal shower and rocked it! I didn’t even bother to submit my attempt to the mom-to-be…I left it to the real artists.

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A true pack of Picasso’s I tell ya!

After all these games concluded and the prizes were awarded for the guessing games, the guests got into the dessert station and prepared to watch parents-to-be open the gifts. The dessert station consisted of a candy bar and cupcakes made by myself: chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, banana with honey cinnamon frosting, apple spice, pumpkin spice, cinnamon spice with butter cream frosting, and ginger spice; I can assure you that it was no easy feat making sure all of them made it to the shower.

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There were so many gifts. They and their baby girl are blessed to have so many people to love, care for, and support them…we ran out of room on 12’ worth of tables!

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That little girl doesn’t even know she hit the shower jackpot!

All in all, everyone had a great time. I truly enjoyed working with this family and wish them all the blessings they can handle with their little girl, who made her way into the world on December 28th. Welcome to the world baby girl!

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And I extend a special and truly sincere thank you to the wonderful photography team of Lyndsi Metz Photography. They are truly an amazing and supportive couple! It’s not everyday that the photographer volunteers to shake his groove thang in front of strangers!

As always, I have to thank the hubby who was there to support me and decided to have a little fun himself and agreed to bust out some baby shower mood music. I really love that guy 🙂

Make It Awesome!