Monday, May 31, 2010

Patriotic Treats

To celebrate Memorial Day, one of the things I did was make patriotic red, white and blue treats for my sis-in-law Drew's partay.

Let's take a look:

Red, White and Blue Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Pretzels - These make great party favors. Dip your pretzel rod in melted chocolate and roll it in red white and blue sprinkles. SO good. But it is kind of disappointing when you get past the chocolate part. Then it's just a regular pretzel. Sad face.

Individual Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry Shortcake Parfaits - This was SO easy and adorable. Layer angel food cake, cool whip, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

The best part of the treats that I made is that none of them involved baking at all! Besides assembling the goodies, the most time consuming part of the process was melting the chocolate.
Definitely try and make some of these for 4th of July, they were more than worth the short time it takes to make them.

Some other delicious treats:

Our version of Sangria... which was basically just dumping in cheap white wine, club soda, triple sec, a few tablespoons of sugar and fruit chunks until it tasted good. Considering I lost count of how many glasses I had, I can tell you it was goooood. Add a red white and blue straw and you have yourself a partay:

The spread:

In addition to the below, there were several dips, baked brie on toasted baguette slices and all sorts of yummy goodies.

And the cutest Patriotista (totally made up that word), my niece Brooke:

Umm - TJ Maxx for $9.99, thanks for making THE cutest American flag baby outfit EVER:

Look at this scandalous open-back top complete with the ruffled star spangled bloomers.

With her pretty mama, my sis in law Drew (Mr. Fo's sister):

and with Aunt Jackie Fo... don't we look so related? The fair skinned blue eyed red head with the dark haired Italian. It's clear we do not share the same blood ha. But family is family, right?! The little red head wasn't having it at this point, I think this was .5 seconds before she had a meltdown. Maybe she thought her outfit was too risque? Very conservative that Brookie.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A lovely lake wedding

I know you have heard me talk about one of my BFF's Michael before. Well this past weekend I helped him with a wedding he planned for one of his lake neighbors. Yes, lake neighbors. Michael and his partner Pen have a fabulous little house on the lake that they are lucky enough to use as their weekend retreat. It is the cutest house with the most fabulous view and it has been in Pen's family for years.

Michael is not an event planner, but he really should be. He's got an eye for decor and the work ethic to go along with it. Basically he is extremely talented and freaking hilarious, and we should be business partners. But we should not be business competitors, because he is better than me. Hence the business partners idea. Seems fair, right?

So here is some of Michael's fabulous work and ideas that I was lucky to be a part of this past weekend.

The bride walked down this beautiful pier. Michael, being the fantastic genius that he is, draped the pier in a really light colored netted fabric that almost looked like cheesecloth. It was the perfect material for the outdoor setting.

Pen, Michael's partner, is a great sewer (is this even a word?) and monogrammed these pennants with the initial of the grooms last name. These were hung strategically on the pier. Honestly, if you were the bride, wouldn't you want to walk down this aisle?! It was so beautiful with the lake being right there. That said, my hair really isn't conducive to heat and humidity, so it wouldn't personally work for me, but for all you ladies with perfect hair, I say go for it.

See the mason jars below at each pennant? Michael hung these on the railing with a wire that was attached to a nail that he put in on the other side of the railing. These were filled with blue hydrangeas. You cannot believe how beautiful this looked! I mean how does he come up with these things?! In my next life, I want to be a gay man so I can come up with ridiculously fabulous and amazing ideas. Do you think that could happen? Pretty please?!

Flower arranging is another one of Michael's many talents. Take a look at the centerpieces he casually "threw together." How beautiful is the sea of flowers below?! I wish I could sleep on a sea of flowers like this. Don't you?!

The flowers were used as the centerpieces on the table under the tent. They looked great on the long rectangular tables.

Here's lovely cake table where another one Pen's monogrammed pennants was displayed.

And here is the master at work:

Here is Michael and Pen's weekend view from their porch. Not bad, right?
I love these guys! (And not just becuase they have a sweet lake house.)

Wish me luck - tomorrow I am working my first big event, a fundraiser for a non-profit in town. Yea to my new life!! I am loving it so far!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Curious Pearce Party!

FINALLY! After several nagging (love you guys!) emails from friends, I have found the time in my supremely busy schedule to post the Curious George/Curious Pearce 1st birthday party pictures.

Pearce is my best friend Kalle's son and he is SO precious! He is such a curious little boy, so that's how the theme came about. I talked about this party here.

First up - the birthday boy:

With his beautiful mama Kalle... He just woke up from a nap but was ready to partay as soon as he saw all his adoring guests:

See what I mean - he was totally raging in his Curious George gear:

Here was one of his favorite presents. He needed a little help on the slide from Grandma, but he was having the time of his life. As a side note. I cannot emphasize how small this slide was. I can't believe someone is small enough to slide down it without breaking it to 50 pieces. (Like I would have done. Not that I thought about testing it out or anything.)

Heyyyyy.... (that was supposed to be "The Fonz") ... Check out Mr. Cool in the baby aviators our friend Leighton gave him. Ladies, watch out for Pearce. He's a heart breaker.

Note - His t-shirt says "Curious Pearce." Personalization is key people.

Let's talk decor...the colors were red, yellow and brown.

As if people were unaware who the party was for, we made sure they knew they were at the right house with this front door sign:

A little story about these letters. My usual cutter was not around (that would be Mr. Fo of the steady hand). So while I am trying my very best to cut these letters out of foam, Kalle innocently says "Aww, that is so cute, you are trying to make them look childlike since it's a kids party!" Insulted, I say, "Umm... No I'm not Kalle. This is just the best I can do, but thanks. I did not mean to cut them as though a 7 year old had done it but it's always good to recognize your skill level." That's the last time I freehand cut anything. (Note: Clearly the bitterness about that comment has not subsided)

My favorite part was the mantel decorations. Let's let the pictures do the talking:

Let's just state the obvious here ... Is Curious George not the cutest monkey you have ever seen? I want a Curious George party for me! Curious Jackie! It has a nice to ring to it. After all, I do cut like a 7 year old, so it's fitting.

Anyways... back to the mantel. I bought the 5 frames from the dollar store (Total: $5. Math Whiz) and spray painted them red. I then printed out Curious George pics and one Curious Pearce pic for the large frame. I made the ribbon garland using Banana, Circle and Monkey die cut shapes I purchased from Little Extras. This is a GREAT site for scrap booking supplies and die cut shapes. They have every shape you can think of! I used the extra to scatter around the food table as confetti. I also found the curly ribbon at the Dollar store. I wasn't looking for it, but I saw it and knew I could use it somewhere. I think if you find an item you love but don't have a specific idea for it's use, buy it anyways. Once you have the decorations in place, the creative juices will start kicking in and you will find a place to use it.

For the outdoor tables, I kept it simple.

I found this awesome Curious George wrapping paper at Party City and knew I would find a use for it. This added a lot to the backyard tables and was ideal for a kiddie party. No mess to worry about - just toss the "tablecloth!"

Let's get to my favorite topic, the food. Kalle and I brainstormed a menu that would be cute for a kids party but would fill up the adults. There were several banana themed dishes. George would approve.

Note... the napkins were rolled by my father in law - Best napkin rolling I have ever seen Art :)

Pearce's Curiously Delicious Menu:

Grilled Cheese
Veggies and Dip
Chocolate Covered Bananas on a Stick
Banana Pudding
Banana Daiquiris

I cut the PB&J sandwiches out in circles using different size circle cookie cutters. (Note: All of my food labels are crooked in these pictures! I blame the little rugrats running around ;) )

Look at this banana pudding Kalle made. OMG. It's so good you can't believe it.

Cupcakes with cute George toppers. It's like he's welcoming you to the cupcake. "Eat me! I'm cute!"

The Daiquiris were delicious. Here is an important lesson I learned: While vintage paper straws are adorable, they are not conducive for drinking a thick daiquiri. I was thinking cuteness, not practicality. Whoops.

My favorite party food of the day...Bananas on a Stick:

These were SO cute. Kalle just froze the bananas for a few hours and then dipped them in melted chocolate. We put them out right before the party started. To get these to stand up, I bought Styrofoam blocks from Michael's and spray painted them red. I put some crinkly red shredded paper (best stuff EVER btw) over it to cover up the Styrofoam. Then we stuck the sticks right in the foam! Note that Styrofoam works much better than floral foam for something that has weight on it... like a chocolate covered banana.

Here's the birthday boy enjoying his first dose of real sugar. Yes, that's correct. Kalle is what you might call a "health nut." I am surprised she ever sets foot in a grocery store and doesn't just hunt and scavenge for her own twigs and berries herself. But it pays off, she looks fantastic and I'm sure her insides are the picture of health. Unfortunately, poor P will never know what a fruit rollup or cheetos will taste like (until he comes over to Aunt Jackie's... muahahaha). Suffice it to say, Pearcey eats more along the lines of organic graham crackers from Trader Joe's as opposed to cupcakes with frosting on it. So take a look at this guy as he experiences the joys of sugar for the very first time.... here's pretty much how it went:

Well there you have it. The cutest monkey and the cutest 1 year old make for a pretty cute party.

Have a GREAT WEEK everyone!