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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

{Etsy Shop} Christmas Holiday Yarn Pompom Garlands

I am not one to put the cart before the horse.  I like my Halloween to be followed by Thanksgiving and my Thanksgiving followed by Christmas and so on and so forth.  However, I do know that holiday shopping and decorating has started for many of you.  That being said, this will probably be my last Christmas-y post until after the Thanksgiving holiday.  LET THE TURKEY'S HAVE THEIR DAY!!!

You all know that I am crazy about yarn pompom garlands, it all started here, and I haven't stopped making these poofy babies since!  Every year, I've made some type of garland for my own holiday parties, but haven't really offered them in my shop.  That's all changing today, because, you can now choose from five NEW holiday yarn pompom garlands that are in my shop!  Yaaaaaay!!!  Be sure to check out the sweet offer for my readers at the end of this post.

I made all kinds with different themes in mind....


This one would be AWESOME for a very classic Christmas!  Can't go wrong with red, white and green, right?



How about Hanukkah?  I really love the blues in this garland.....and it works well for a Winter Festival or dare I say......a FROZEN themed birthday party.  Elsa would be proud.


For a more cheerful Christmas color scape, I made one with Cherry Red, Grass Green and Evergreen colors. 




For something more playful, I made two with bright colors.....I love the Cherry Red, Grass Green and Iced Aqua colors in this garland!



This one happens to be my fave!  I love pink!!!  So, a touch of pink to the cheerful pompom would work out great for a bright and colorful Christmas scene for your home!


I'm offering a sweet deal on all yarn pompom garlands in my Etsy shop. Use the code POMPOM15 at check out and receive 15% off your purchase of any yarn pompom garland over $20!  This offer will expire on Friday, November 21st - so act fast.





Thursday, November 13, 2014

{Gratitude} 5 Tips to Writing Thank You Notes



There's something about November and the onset of the holiday season that makes ya start thinking about gratitude.  When I am out and about, and come across a cute pack of thank you cards I will always grab them to add to my 'collection'.  I loooove stocking up on thank you cards and sending little notes to family, friends and associates who go out of their way to do really nice stuff for me.  We live in a world where it's so easy to just send an email or text.  However, there really isn't anything more thoughtful than sending a handwritten note.  So, with the season of thanks and giving at hand, I thought I'd share 5 tips to writing thank you notes.

1.  Make it timely - Although I am certain anyone would appreciate being thanked for whatever reason at any given time, it's best to do it in a timely fashion.  If you're sending out thank you notes following a party or event, the note should be sent out as soon as possible and no later than a month after the event.  If you do end up sending it later, just be sure to express your apologies for not sending a note sooner.

2.  Be prepared - Have pretty stationary, note cards, stamps, envelopes, pens that work and updated addresses at the ready.  Write your notes under good lighting at your desk or  find a nice comfy place on the couch with a lap desk and get to writing.  Also, being prepared does NOT include having pre-written thank you notes, IJS.

3. Stick with a Basic Template - Short and sweet wins the race.  Have a basic format but stay sincere and personable.  If  you have a good amount of notes to send, say after a big event like a wedding or shower, you'll want a basic thank you note that expresses your gratitude.  Be sure to mention the gift, how you plan to use it, if you enjoy it .  If it's not something you really are fond of, you can simply say you appreciate the gift giver's thoughtfulness. 

4. Do not mention money - If you're writing a card to thank someone for sending you money or a gift card there is no need to mention the dollar amount.  It's in poor taste to do so.  That being said, you can simply express your appreciation for their kindness, hospitality or generosity.

5. Take your time -  Slow and steady ALSO wins the race.  Pace yourself and take your time while writing and putting your thoughts onto paper.  If you find yourself getting tired after writing a good amount of cards in one sitting - feel free to take a break.  It's better to err on the side of caution than to air on the side of caution.

Hope these tips were helpful and that you take a little time out to send a note of thanks to someone you are absolutely grateful to have in your life!





Thursday, November 6, 2014

{Real Parties} Tickled Pink Baby Shower


Here's a sweet shower I recently hosted for my own stepdaughter at my home.  We'll soon be welcoming baby Mackenzie into the world very soon.  What's exciting about her birth is that she is the first girl in our family since my daughter was born and we are all just 'tickled pink' by it.  So, it's only fitting that I hosted a shower that reflects our sentiments!  A tickled pink shower is PERFECT for welcoming a baby girl into the world!  Read more about this party below.


PARTY ELEMENT THAT INSPIRE:
  • Wire frame dress form decorated with a small tutu.
  • Shades of pink hanging decor (tulle pompoms, paper lanterns and ribbons)
  • Glitter paper bows and stickers
  • Embellished wood monogram for baby















I'm not kidding, my October was jam packed with activities and projects.  I knew that this shower was going to be my last and final event to finish up my whirlwind month.  So, I like to think of this shower as a lesson in how to whip together a party in less than six hours!  I was in charge of decor, but my stepdaughter's in-laws and mother were tasked with handling the meal and games for the shower.  While I already knew exactly how I was going to decorate the party, it wasn't until the morning of the shower that I realized I hadn't purchased a thing!  Luckily I only needed to buy a few items because most of the decor was already in my party inventory. 

I woke up early that morning and ran to Walmart to get my wares.  I'd previously scoped out what I wanted from a trip to the store earlier that week when I dashed in to grab some yarn.  Luckily, all the items I wanted were readily available and plentiful - we all know how Walmart can be.  Sometimes if you don't grab it when you see it, it could be gone when you go back!  I walked out of there with, plates, cups, napkins, plastic utensils, glitter paper, stickers, tulle, ribbon, my monogram letter, cupcakes, candy, a few gifts for baby and a curtain panel!  I must say within two hours, I had just about everything I needed to decorate the space and I pulled this shower off without a hitch. 

Theme
For the theme we decided on Tickled Pink....I mean, c'mon - wouldn't you be too if this was the first girl in the family in almost a decade?  SQUEAL!!!  In all honesty though, my stepdaughter fell in love with the Summertime Cool Out I shared over the summer and wanted to do that idea as a Ready to Pop theme.  I'm sure that would have been lovely - but ready to pop has been done so many times.  We needed to step it up a notch.  I thought that tickled Pink was perfect and I'm glad she agreed.

DecorAll, I knew was that everything needed to be pink.  Pink, pink, pink everywhere! So, I put my little worker bee, Thing 1, to work and had her make a bunch of pink tulle pompoms, I grabbed some lanterns from my party stash and added satin ribbons in different shades of pink to tie to the bottom of the lanterns.  Since this party was right after Halloween, I got to reuse the beadboard backdrop and the Marshmallow Cobweb cake that (luckily) no one got a chance to eat (guess who forgot to order the darn cake for the shower and just got lucky?).  We added little pink melting chocolates to it and a few toppers that I made with my Cricut and voila!

In my head, I thought we would absolutely have to have pink bows, stuffed animals and feathers (for the tickled part, hello????)  Little hairbows are always darling on baby girls using that glitter paper from Wal-mart and my trusty Cricut Explore, I made a BUNCH of glitter bows and added baby themed sticker embellishments to them.  I also made a monogram M for Mackenzie that will hang in her room.  My mother was kind enough to help me with this task and I love how it turned out.  We simply traced the letter onto a piece of scrapbook paper, glued it on there, adhered ribbon around the edge and decorated with sticker embellishments! Simple, easy, affordable. 

Other decorative elements I used where teddy bears; you cannot go wrong with stuffed animals for a baby shower.  I just used some of the teddy bears I had from the Teddy Bear Picnic I styled last year and added a few more to give as gifts!  Tying a pink ribbon around a few allowed them to match the color scheme.  Using a little wooden doll cradle that I keep on hand for baby showers, I placed a few of the bears into the cradle with a soft blanket and set it near the gifts table in the living room.  I found a few feather boas in my party stash and used those around the room - feathers tickle and since we were tickled pink...... 

The sweets table was covered with a pink ombre curtain panel that I got from Wal-Mart for less than $10!  SCORE!  Using my own printables, I created paper toppers for the cupcakes and the cake (I also had a banner, favor tags and a sign, but pressed for time, they didn't make the cut).  There was still candy left from the Little Miss Spider party that fit into my table design and found a few more inexpensive bags of candy at Wal-Mart.  I filled up my glass jars and decorated them to match the theme.  I also used a wire tabletop dress form that I love to use for my little girl parties.  I found a small dress up tutu at Five and Below and just pinned it to the dress form.  It was a perfect addition to the table!  Now I can use this idea for other girl-themed celebrations I coordinate.


Activity


My stepdaughter's sister-in-law led the games for the shower.  I agreed to grab a few prizes and picked up 10 items from Five and Below and put them in pink and white candy stripe bags that I sealed closed with fancy custom labels from OnlineLabels.com.  One of my favorite games for baby showers is where you measure a length of ribbon to determine how big around mommy's belly is.  We were a little worried she might kick everyone in the knee who guessed too large but - she was a very good sport about it!  We also had prize random prize drawings every few minutes so that everyone would have a chance at winning something. This was an idea that I got from my grandmother when she threw my baby shower for my daughter!

FoodMy stepdaughter's mother and mother provided the meal and drinks for the shower. Nothing is easier for a baby shower than good old fashioned pan lasagna and salad! 


FavorsI keep favor boxes on stock in my party inventory.....or I'll make them using my Cricut.  I was just so short on time the day of the shower and didn't have enough small boxes.  So, I was lucky to find the cutest little brown kraft paper boxes at Wal-Mart. I didn't have room in the budget for anything too fancy to give away as favors.  So, I had Thing 1 wrap butter mints in tulle, place them in the boxes, and tie a tulle bow onto each.  We placed them in a pink chicken wire basket and dressed it up with a satin bow and placed the basket on the fire place mantel near the prizes and gifts!
I'm not always in favor of having to 'rush' to throw a party.  Even though, I knew this event was on the horizon, with a hectic schedule, I was glad that I had enough party items and helping hands on deck to make this shower for my new littlest grandbaby and her mom & dad a success!

FYI -I did NOT get paid by Wal-Mart or Five and Below for this post - but I tell you they saved my hide and time  for this shower!




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