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Thursday, January 28, 2016




Plaid wrapping paper, plaid fabric, plaid scrapbook paper and a little creativity was about all it took to pull off this PLAID PARTY!  You know I love a good theme and this one proved to be a lot of fun.  Check it out!

It's my dad's birthday.  Dad always wears plaid shirts, so I thought...why not go with plaid as a party theme?  I asked all the guests to wear plaid to the party. I scoured my fabric stash and found lots of different plaid fabrics, most of them looked a little Christmasy, but that didn't bother me. I purchased some plaid wrapping paper on Christmas clearance and some plaid craft paper and got to work.
(This theme would be perfect for Father's Day as well.)


PLAID TABLE
It was a dinner party, so I needed a festive plaid table.  I didn't own a plaid tablecloth big enough to fit my table (seats 14), so I used wrapping paper.  One large strip down the center and 2 strips down the sides.  My plaid fabric worked perfectly to use as chair covers.





PLAID DECOR
In the center of the table, I placed some pails of hydrangeas.  I used fabric scraps and jute to tie around the pails.  The pails were placed on top of silver candle holders.  Leftover plaid Christmas ribbon was looped in the center.





PLAID PAPER  
Using a few different styles of plaid scrapbook paper, I made a Happy Birthday pennant banner with my Cricut.



I also cut pennants to place under each glass dinner and glass salad plates.  I absolutely love using glass plates.  They're so easy and fun to make them fit your theme.  Place anything flat underneath them and it's instant color.







Leftover scraps of paper made perfect mini pennants for the place markers.  Glass votive holders held licorice bites, my dad's favorite candy.
Black coffee stirrers were threaded through the pennants to make flags.  I secured each flag with a glue dot in the bottom of the votive.












PLAID CAKE


Using wood skewers and baking twine, I made a little pennant banner for Dad's cake.  
DAD was spelled out with letter stickers.  Notice dad's gifts were in plaid packaging, of course!





I made a simple 2 layer dark chocolate cake with chocolate cream frosting and chopped Hershey's Chocolate stuck on the top.  I placed a wide plaid ribbon around the cake.  I'm thinking I need to place ribbon around every cake I make...it totally hides all imperfections!


PLAID COOKIES
I tried my hand at making plaid shirt cookies.  I used a t-shirt shaped cookie cutter and royal icing, but AH said they looked a bit like slices of bread.  Really?




PLAID PHOTOSHOOT
One big roll of plaid wrapping paper was taped on the wall for a fun backdrop.  A few leftover pennants were made into another banner and hung over the paper.  Of course I made all the guests (who are really family members that have to put up with me--) get their pictures taken.  How could you not take pictures when everyone looked so festive in their plaid shirts?  (How did dad get away with wearing argyle instead of plaid?)




PARTY GAME
My nieces LOVE to play games, so I had to have a party game for us to play!  This wasn't plaid related, but a really fun game that you MUST try the next time you have a large group get together. Click here to check it out!  Plastic Wrap Ball Party Game





And that about sums it up.  What do you think?  Think you could pull off a plaid party?
Let me know if you do.  I have some plaid pennants to pass on...and a bunch of fabric and wrapping paper (if you're local).



   






Want to see another birthday party we had for my dad?
Click here for our Basketball Party! 
It's full of puns and fun and I think you'll love it!



Linking up to: TatertotsandJelloLinkPartyPalooza, SundayFunDay, 
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I saw this game on Facebook awhile back and knew that we had to try it out!  It's the perfect game for a lively crowd.  No skill needed, except the ability to roll doubles...and apparently that can be a bit tricky?!




Object of the Game:  To roll doubles for a chance to unwrap the plastic wrap ball to get to the prizes. 




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Monday, January 25, 2016

If you've read my blog before, you know that dark chocolate is my absolute favorite!  Actually, any chocolate seems to call my name, but especially dark.  My addiction is a bit of a problem, so I have to have a good reason to make chocolatey treats.

Reason #1:  I was sent this amazing dark chocolate in the mail from Chocoley.
Reason #2:  My New Year's Goal of limiting sweets lasted maybe 3 days?  I can't start up again until I make 'something' with this incredible chocolate! ( I guess I could just eat it straight from the package...hold on...yep, that's good, too.)
Reason #3:  It's the perfect treat to give away for Valentine's Day. (Yes, I know it's January, but one can celebrate Valentine's Day early, right?)





Actually, this Chocolate Chow Mix can be made for any occasion--President's Day, Groundhog Day, Tuesday, Friday...  Just be sure to package immediately-- otherwise, you'll end up eating the entire thing by yourself. (Not that I've experienced that...)



Chocolate Chow Mix
Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients:
-1 lb. Dark chocolate    I used :Bada Bing Bada Boom Dipping & Coating Gourmet Compound Chocolate




  •  -4 cups Chex cereal
  •  -2 cups mini marshmallows
  •  -2 cups crushed powdered donuts


  • Directions:
    In a large bowl, combine cereal, marshmallows and donuts. Mix gently.



    Melt chocolate.
    I used a double boiler, but you could use the microwave.
    If using the stove top, do not let the water touch the bottom of the double boiler. Only let the water simmer.  Stir chocolate until melted and smooth.



        If you must use microwave, melt on medium heat for short periods being very careful not to overheat the chocolate.




  • -Remove from heat, then stir melted chocolate into the cereal, marshmallow and donut mixture. 






  • -Spread mixture on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
  • Let the chocolate harden on the counter for 30-60 minutes. (if you can wait that long.)












  • Once cooled, break into small pieces.
  • Seal in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve or bag up to give away.




  • I made some little printable tags to attach to these treats.  Perfect for Valentine's Day.








    I used red striped cellophane bags and red baker's twine. (found at Target.)






    Click here for your printable tags.




    Happy Valentine's Day!







    Did you see our Pun Filled Donut Party?

          


    *I was sent product from Chocoley to write this post. All reviews and opinions are my own.

    Linking up to: TatertotsandJelloLinkPartyPalooza, SundayFunday,
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    Saturday, January 9, 2016

    It's a party post for you!
    Take a look at this retirement party we had for the Children's Pastor of our church.


    Our beloved Children's Pastor (Pastor Mary) just retired in December...and guess who was in charge of the party?  Yep, me!  Actually, truth be told...I volunteered! 

    I so adore this wonderful lady (she has a pretty great husband, too), that I just HAD to throw her a great retirement party! She has been an instrumental part of my life and my children's!

    THEME:
    Because the party was in December, we went with Christmas colors of red and green
    and the party theme was (you know I have to have a theme!): GIFT. 
    What a 'gift' Pastor Mary has been to us.

    The party was held immediately after our Sunday morning church service.


    FOOD:
    One very talented church member was in charge of the food.  A brunch buffet.
    We asked many people to bring in egg casseroles to add to the menu of sausages, potatoes, fruit, and Swedish Cardamom rolls. (We attend a Swedish church that always requires good Swedish food.)  Coffee and juices were served as well. 







    (Don't those Swedish cardamom rolls look amazing?!  And don't you just love those fruit towers?  Remember seeing one displayed with vegetables in this post?)







    DECOR:
    If you've read my blog before, you have seen me decorate the Family Center of our church many, many times.  Click here or here or here for a refresher.
    This time was a Christmas theme and I made sure I had a ton of volunteers to help me!


    I typed up all the things we needed to do and taped the lists on the wall.  When the helpers arrived, they chose a task and got to work!  We crossed off the items as we finished.  It took us 3 hours to do everything.  Not bad!



    CENTERPIECES:
    Cedar branches from a tree in my yard and evergreen branches from another pastor's yard, added great texture to the center of these round tables and to the stage. 


    The green fabric tablecloths belonged to the church. 
    We had to have 'gift' centerpieces to go with our theme.  I ordered 50 small boxes online, and asked all the volunteers to arrive with a roll of wrapping paper, scissors and tape.  Everyone started assembling boxes and wrapping them. It looked like we had Santa's workshop happening!


    Once the packages were wrapped and tied with thick, wired ribbon, we drilled four holes in the top of the boxes for the balloon sticks to be inserted.





    Some of the volunteers spent 2 hours blowing up balloons! 
    I ordered the balloons and balloons sticks online from here.  A hand pumper was very useful!
     I wanted a party atmosphere and it had to be kid friendly, so of course we needed balloons, and what better way to display them than sticking straight out of the packages? 



    One friend, brought in a box of adorable Christmas ornaments to add to the greenery.  We also placed a few mini candy canes in the greenery and some gold, curly-wood fibers to add a little bling.


    Drinking glasses were placed upside down on the tables.  During the meal, water pitchers and coffee carafes were added.  The head table had name tags for the special guests that were invited.


    Did you notice these little coloring books and crayons on the tables?
    I created these activity books for the kids.  The books were filled with word searches, crosswords and coloring pages that all related to the events that Pastor Mary had organized over the years.  I asked another friend to assemble them for me...since I apparently forgot how to use the special functions of a copy machine?! 

     

    When we were finished decorating, the place definitely looked ready for a party!
     


    SPECIAL TOUCHES:
    A few weeks ahead of time, we asked all the Sunday School and Youth Group kids to make Pastor Mary an ornament.  The ornaments were gathered and used to decorate a Christmas tree.  The kids signed their names and wrote little notes on their ornaments.  Many of the ornaments were 'gifts' to go with our theme.  During the program, a child presented the tree and explained who made the ornaments.  We called it the Pastor Mary Tree.
    See the quilt displayed?  Our church's Quilting Group sewed up a beautiful quilt for our pastor as well!  Gorgeous!

     

    One of my friends made The 'Mary Tree' look amazing with lots of thick ribbon and a few balloons!  The wood M was painted by a few of the teen girls. LOVE!

    The quilt in the above picture is a T-shirt quilt, using many of the Summer Day Camp T-shirts that our pastor had worn.

    HOMEWORK:
    I gave all the church members 'homework' to write a letter to our Children's Pastor and locate pictures of Pastor Mary during the 19 years she served at our church.  The letters and pictures were printed out and assembled in a scrapbook.  Former pastors and church members were emailed the 'homework', inviting them to participate as well.  Many followed the theme by writing what a 'GIFT' Mary has been to their families. 
    Money was collected to donate towards Pastor Mary's gifts. Gifts included baskets of her favorite things (coffee, chocolate, watercolors, etc.) and money to go towards an upcoming trip to Italy.

    SLIDESHOW: 
    A young couple in our church created a slideshow and put it to music.  Pictures, video clips and even some quotes from the submitted letters were used.  Everyone enjoyed the video!

    PROGRAM:
    Another very talented friend of mine coordinated the retirement program.  She was able to get a list of our pastor's favorite songs, special items she loved and special people that she would like to be a part of the program.  Using all that information, a lovely program took place filled with kids singing, families telling stories and many gift baskets being presented.  The slideshow was also a big part of the program. 


    I seated Pastor Mary front and center so she could enjoy the program.

    To go with the 'GIFT' theme my AH (Awesome Husband) opened the program with a few gift jokes.
    Here's my favorite one:

    Why did the package get straight A's? 
    Because it's 'gifted'!  (Ha ha. Yes, they were all a little corny like that.)



    Our Children's 'Kids Players' performed a song for Pastor Mary.

    The Children's Ministry Team wrote a poem and recited it during the program.


    Many families thanked Pastor Mary and presented her with gift baskets.


    Pastor Mary had a few things she wanted to share with everyone.


    At the end of the program the kids gave Pastor Mary a hug and took a balloon from the centerpieces home with them.

    A very successful retirement party...even though we didn't want her to retire!
    A HUGE thank you to all who helped pull off that event!


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