Saturday, December 20, 2014

Favorite Things Birthday Party


...these are a few of my favorite things.
It's a Favorite Things Birthday Party.
 
 
 
My daughter recently turned 14 and we decided to have a little Favorite Things Party with a few of her 'favorite' friends. 

Have you ever heard of a Favorite Things Party?
Instead of bringing a present for the birthday person, all the guests bring multiples of their favorite things to give to each other.
 
 
 
We kept the party small with 3 friends. (Perfect size for no feelings to get hurt!)Each friend brought 2 of their favorite things in multiples of 3.  We asked that the gifts stay under $5. a piece.  The gifts could be wrapped or not.  Each party guest handed out their gift explaining why it was one of their favorite things.
(You can do this on a bigger scale with many friends, by drawing names to see who gets each gift.)
 

The girls oohed and ahhed and were so excited to receive their friends' favorite things.  And in case you were wondering, here's what 14 year olds like in the $5. or less category:  fuzzy socks, hand lotion, lip gloss, eos, necklaces, Bath & Bodyworks hand sanitizer, scarves and stretchy gloves.
 
 

I kept the décor of the party simple with golds, whites, brown paper, burlap and sparkle.  These wrapping paper cones are simple to make. 


      
Use styrofoam cones of various heights and roll wrapping paper diagonally onto the cones, securing with straight pins.
The table was decorated with a white tablecloth covered with a runner...which was just a sheet of brown wrapping paper with gold polka dots.  White tulle and gold ribbon ran down the center of the table.

Having a December birthday means the Christmas tree must match the birthday décor, right?  Of course!  White lights, burlap and a star garland made out of old sheet music helped to decorate the tree.  Many gold and white ornaments along with a few rustic balls and metals cones completed the look.  I also just happen to have a huge amount of angel ornaments that have been gifted to me over the years.


 
 

Mini trees decorated with white and gold ribbons flanked the buffet table.  Gold tablecloths covered every surface including the wall.  Sheet music star garland was hung as well.


 
 
For dinner we served my daughter's favorite meal.  Lasagna, salad and garlic bread.  My daughter's favorite cake is yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  I baked up mini sizes for each guest and displayed them in these beautiful Christmas bowls.
 

Each cake was sprinkled with the 'snow' effect...aka powdered sugar.  The guests were thrilled to have their own little cake to themselves.

 

Snow pails filled with white stretchy gloves were put at each place setting as well.
 
 

At a Favorite Things Party you must do the guest of honor's 'favorite things'.  My daughter made a list of every activity she wanted to do with her friends.  One by one they tackled the list.
Creating gingerbread houses was #1 on the list!

 
 
Other activities included:

-ornament making (The girls painted glass ornaments with their own designs.)
-ping pong tournament
-making s'mores
-making hot chocolate
-board games
-making marshmallow stirrers-- click here.
-flashlight walk around the neighborhood
-movie watching with popcorn
-and Christmas karaoke!

                        


In case you were wondering, it was a sleepover...hence the reason for so many activities!


In the morning we served breakfast with my daughter's favorite...pancakes.
 
 
and a donut hole tree!

(Make these easily by sticking toothpicks into a Styrofoam cone and attaching donuts to the toothpicks.)





The Favorite Things Party was a hit! 
(I'm thinking I want a Favorite Things Party for myself!)















To see more of my daughter's birthday parties:

10th Movie Party-- Still searching for these pics!

Click here to see my daughter's 11th Blinged Out Bowling Party


Click here to see my daughter's 12th Candy Cane Party


Click here to see my daughter's 13th Oh Deer! Party




Linking up to: Rustic&Refined Table Link It Party,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cocoa Cups of Cheer Gift


Cocoa Cups of Cheer for you today. 

Dark peppermint chocolate, snuggled in a mini red solo cup, complete with stirring spoon and tag.
Stir these chocolate spoons into a hot mug of milk and they make a delicious cup of cocoa!

Not only are these little gifts quick and easy to make, they'll have you humming 'Have a Holly Jolly Christmas..." all day long!

First, gather up your supplies.
-Mini red Solo cups. (Find at party stores and some grocery stores.)
-red plastic spoons
-white poms (optional)
-red curling ribbon
-small cellophane bags
-hot glue
 
 


To make the chocolate you'll need:
-one bag of dark chocolate chips
-1 tsp of peppermint extract
-3-4 candy canes crushed





Hot gluing white poms to the ends of red plastic spoons is completely optional...and may be ridiculous, but I think it totally looks 'Santa-fied' so I did it.



Directions: 
-Melt a bag of dark chocolate chips over a double burner on the stove.  (You could melt chips in the microwave, but be careful they don't scorch.)  On stove, bring  chocolate to a gentle boil.
-Once completely melted, stir in a tsp. of peppermint extract.  (Use more or less depending on how strong you like it.)
-Pour chocolate into the mini red cups.  Fill about 3/4 full.
-Insert spoon into each cup.  (The spoon will stand up on it's own.)
(If chocolate is too runny, wait a few minutes for it to harden.)
-Crumble a few candy canes into small pieces and sprinkle the pieces on top of the chocolate.
-Let harden in refrigerator, or on counter.
-Once completely solid, gently hold bottom of cup and pull spoon at the same time.  Wiggle the cup a bit, and the chocolate should come completely out of cup attached to the spoon.  Place back in cup.
(***This allows the recipient to easily use their gift without getting frustrated that the chocolate won't come out.)
If you have trouble wedging the chocolate out, warm the bottom of the cup a bit with the heat of your hand or a hot rag.  Most come out very easily.



Place each cup inside a small cellophane bag and tie on a tag with curling ribbon.



 

Click here to print out your own tags.

 

Make a few or lots! 
This batch was sent to our church's preschool staff.



Be sure to save one for yourself! 
They're pretty yummy!



 
 
May your Christmas be full of snow and cheer!
Merry Christmas!














For more quick gifts:

See my punny Christmas gift ideas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Rosemary Wreaths with Printable Tag

May your days be merry
and bright...
 
Rose'Merry' that is.
I've crafted up some simple rosemary wreaths for gift-giving.

I love the smell of rosemary.  It's so fresh and comforting.
These wreaths are a sweet little gift to put on top of packages or give alone.  They're amazing in the car, too!

It just so happens that I have an out-of-control rosemary 'bush' growing in my yard.
It's a bit thick, big and overgrown, but perfect for making wreaths.



You could easily make these wreaths with fresh (tiny) rosemary stems purchased at a nursery, as well.
 
To assemble, you'll need lots of rosemary stems and green-colored, light gage wire.
(I used florist wire.)




Begin by cutting small pieces of wire...about 3-4 inches long.
Overlap the rosemary pieces, wrapping the wire around the ends to hold it together.  Every time there is a loose end, wrap it up in wire.


You'll want to gently shape the rosemary stems into a circular form.  Some stems shape easier than others.
(Just sayin...)
 
 
Don't be afraid to use lots of wire to hold the stems together. 
Thankfully, the green wire disappears into the wreath.
 
 

Sometimes the stems form a circle perfectly.
(I just love when that happens!)

Other times, they just don't like the circle shape,
so...don't force it.
(Of course, I know this tip from forcing a few wreaths to behave...snap!)

 
 
 
Print out the Rose'Merry' tags and attach them to the wreath.
Cut them down to any size, hole punch and tie on with a ribbon.
 
 
 
 

Add a festive ribbon for hanging.

 

The wreath will keep for about 4 days. 
After that, it completely dries out and starts to shed...although the smell is still amazing during and after the shedding, you'll want to gift the wreath very soon after you create it.


Have a very rose'merry' day!











Linking up to: LilLunaLinkPartyPalooza,