Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What will it BEE party "HEADS UP!"

For anyone wanting to throw their own "Bee" party - just wanted to give you a heads up! Lots and lots of bee items/decor now available at Hobby Lobby! :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Perfect Blend - a Tenth Anniversary Event

Parties are so much more exciting to plan when a theme is involved, but there seemed precious little out there in the party world when it came to finding a theme for a tenth anniversary celebration. So I put on my creative thinking cap and came up with my own idea! Celebrating ten years of marriage is an awesome achievement, and I wanted to focus on the idea of two unique personalities and tastes "blending" into one fun couple - thus - "The Perfect Blend" began to take shape.

The invitations announced that this was to be an evening of cocktails & appetizers, coffee & desserts. In addition to this concept of "blending", I also wanted to incorporate the traditional colors (silver and blue) and anniversary gift/themes (tin, aluminum, diamonds) involved in a tenth anniversary, so you will see many of these sprinkled throughout the decor, activities, favors, etc.

The Invitations:

The invitations were sent in round "tins" tied with blue gray ribbons. I wanted to include something special with the invitations to help build excitement before the event so I made simple stemware charms for each couple (the letters corresponded to the initial of each couple's last name). They were instructed to bring these to the party for the purpose of helping distinguish whose cocktail glass belonged to whom.

The invitation itself was in a circular booklet form, tied together with more blue gray ribbon. It announced the theme and the purpose of the evening - celebrating two unique personalities blending into one "zesty" couple! Details (date, time, etc.) were included as well of course.

(Tins were purchased at Walmart and most of the pieces/charms for the stemware were purchased at Hobby Lobby).

The Decorations:
As I mentioned before, the colors were a mixture of blues and silver in honor of the traditional tenth anniversary colors. Tin/Aluminum/"diamond" accents were used in many different aspects of the decorations as well.

Tin cans were one of the items that served a purpose not only as a decoration (because I just had to dress them up a bit for the occasion - after all, it is not often a tin can gets to be part of such an auspicious event) but for activities as well.

The menu cards were printed with the anniversary couple's official wedding date on the top and bottom of each (note this date differed from the actual party date as they were traveling during that time and decided to celebrate later in the year). Look closely and you will also see a very faint monogram of the couple's last name printed on the background of each card. The cards were then wrapped with ribbon in two different shades of blue and accented with tiny rhinestones (symbolizing diamonds).

Even the menu card holders played a part in the festivities - I found some of these made from aluminum that were a light blue in color. You'd better believe I snapped those babies right up!! :) And they were amazingly inexpensive - see for yourself (this link is for the medium ones - whereas I purchased the small ones):
In place of a regular tablecloth, I draped the table with a dark blue fabric and used chalk to write "his" and "hers" in free hand different style fonts on opposite sides of the table (thus creating a "his" and a "hers" side for food items). Items that marked "his" tastes were place on that side of the table and the same was done for the "hers" side.

Instead of a fabric runner down the middle of the table, I used aluminum foil (thus incorporating more of the traditional aluminum theme). I drew the couple's monogram lightly into the foil up and down the "runner" using a toothpick. I also wrapped small glass votives with aluminum foil and cut out hearts in each one and set these on the foil runner.

In the center of the runner, I placed the "blend" cards. These were suggestions for blending the food items on the "his" side with ones on the "hers" side of the table to come up with different culinary concoctions. For example: he likes rib eye and she likes blue cheese and port. His side held rib eye skewers (called slenders) and her side held a plate of blue cheese with port sauce in a separate vessel. One of the blend cards suggested pairing these two for a new taste: rib eye with blue cheese and port wine sauce.

Likewise, the cocktail area had a simple sign posted showing "his" and "hers" beverages of choice and then a blend of the two creating different types of cocktails.

The Activities:

This particular couple was not a "games" type so I kept it simple with two main activities:
A "tin" of reasons why we like this couple... was an activity offering guests the opportunity to list reasons why they enjoy the anniversary pair so much. They could then slip these into one of those double duty tin cans I mentioned above for the anniversary couple to read and enjoy later on. :)

How well do YOU know YOUR spouse... was an activity checking how well each member of a couple really knew his/her spouse. Each husband/wife would answer a set of questions related to their marriage or spouse and then at the bottom list their own responses to the same set of questions. Later in the evening, they switched with their spouse and checked to see if their responses matched those of their spouse.

The Food:

As I mentioned before, this was an evening of cocktails and appetizers/coffee and desserts. Individual tastes were respected as well as combined for a new twist. For instance - a running joke with the couple is that when she pulls out some chocolate for dessert and offers her husband some, he might refuse, point to his beer and say he is already having his dessert. Young's Double Chocolate Stout is apparently one type of beer he really enjoys so when I found a recipe for chocolate stout cake, I just knew what had to be done for "his" side of the dessert table. Yep, you guessed it - a yummy chocolate stout cake using Young's and which he now claims is his favorite cake.

And for the "hers" side, a mixture of dark chocolates. Combine the two desserts and you have "Chocolate Decadence"...Mmmmm!!!

The coffee served with dessert was also a combination of the pair. A French roast for him with hints of dark chocolate for her and named "Never Summer" blend (both enjoy the cooler autumn and winter months). Want to try some? Here's a link: Mandy of Homesteading Roasters was SOOO great - loved doing business with her!!! :)

The Favors:

Recipe Cards and Cookie Cutter: Near the cocktail service, I placed a cookie tin/sheet with small recipe cards for "Ten Fulfilling Years of Marriage" and attached heart cookie cutters to each card. Every guest couple took one of these home.

Monogram cookies: So much fun to decorate with swirls of blue/gray frosting surrounding a white "F" for the couple's last name!

"Tins": Each contained the same coffee that was paired with the evening's desserts (see "The Food" for a description). Circular emblems emblazoned with the evening's theme and peppered with rhinestones (diamonds) were attached to the tins which were tied with silver/gray ribbon. (Ribbon was purchased at Walmart. Tins were purchased at Michaels.)

Stemware charms: Each couple also took home the stemware charms they had received in their invitations and brought for use during the party.

So there you have it - in somewhat of a nutshell - the makings and trappings of a tenth anniversary party. I hope this leaves you with a smile and some inspiration of your own... :)


The Perfect Blend - A Tenth Anniversary Party

The party is over! So now I just need to post the pictures and details. Stay tuned for more in the next couple of days...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Monogram cookies

Extra cookies from another party, whip up some icing, experiment with decorating tubes and tips and voila! Monogram cookies! Not professional by any means - but not bad. Think we'll use them for the upcoming tenth anniversary party we are designing - throw them in with the other party favor items as an extra...