Monday, December 17, 2012

Carnival Birthday Party

Forgive me that this is from July, but it turned out way too cute not to share. We celebrated my nieces 8th birthday at a condo on the beach so we were pretty limited on space in the room. Her mother and I knew everything need to be quick and easy to eat since the kids were running back and forth between the room and pools. I noticed a lot of Carnival Themed parties on Pinterest that seemed relatively easy to put together yet still very cute. Below are a few pinspirational posts that helped me put together this party.

If you know me, then you know I figured out every way possible to cut costs during the planning of this party. The most expensive items were the cake (which was only $30 thanks to Groupon) and the old fashioned Coke bottles.

I used pop corn tubs as goodie bags stuffed with rock candy, candy buttons, strips of button candy, silly straws, glow stick bracelets and mustache props for pictures. I was only able to find the strips of button candy and rock candy at Cracker Barrel which were a little pricey for me. I found the carnival style suckers at Big Lots for cheap (less than a buck a piece) and wrapped the stand they came with in red wrapping paper that doubles as a cake pop stand.

As far as the identifier stands, ice bin, drip trays and drink dispenser, I was able to borrow from the catering department from my work. I think the little details such as the food labels, ketchup and  mustard bottles, old fashioned coke bottles and popcorn containers are what made the carnival theme stand out. I designed a simple template in Photoshop for the identifiers and printed on blank business card sheets. Even though the party were all girls, they LOVED it and heard many of them raving that it was the best party they've ever been to. Needless to say my niece was the coolest chick in school for quite some time.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Office Gifts

Searching for an inexpensive Christmas gift for a co-worker or neighbor? Look no further. I struggled searching for co-worker gifts for both male or female that wouldn't break my bank. Below are a few crafty gifts I put together in less than 24 hours that my co-workers absolutely loved.
These are the "booze bouquets" for the males in the office. It was nice because I was able to customize each on based on their favorite liquor and candy. I bought the beer mugs, filler and Styrofoam from Dollar Tree. I was extremely surprised to find such good quality beer mugs for only $1.  The mini liquor bottles ranged from .99 to $3 at the liquor store. Candy was about a buck a piece and I already had the kabob skewers and glue gun. With just a little research and pinspiration I was more than satisfied and impressed with how these turned out plus they were a hit with my co-workers!

Now we all know how picky women can be with just about everything so I had to be careful when deciding on a gift for my female co-workers. After searching for hours on Pinterest for affordable DIY gifts, I was immediately pinspired by an adorable sock and nail polish kit. I mean what women doesn't use nail polish, socks or nail clippers?
I decided to to add a few minor touches to mine. The total cost for each for each was less than $10.
Mason Jar (Dollar Tree) $1.00-- Socks (Target) $2.50--Nail Polish (Walmart) $3.00
Clipper/Nail Filing Kit (Walmart) .98
I added burlap squares and mini Christmas tree ornaments for the final touches. The ladies loved them!
Now this last DIY gift is probably one of my favorites. Under the Pinterest category, Holidays & Events, Hot Chocolate Kits seemed to be very trendy this time of the year. I was able to find this simple, latch jar from the Dollar Tree along with the ingredients except for the Hershey's Peppermint Kisses (Walmart) and Kahlua. The presentation of the gift is perfect for the holidays and most everyone I know always appreciates a cup of hot chocolate.
I hope I made your holiday gifting a little easier. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!