Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Party: Snowflakes

For the past several years, our good friends have a holiday party to celebrate the season with good food and friends.  This year, I helped with the decor and had a blast!  We provided a few desserts (like some delicious peppermint patty balls) and asked the guests to bring a dish to share.  The colors were blue and white with pops of red.  We hung puffs from the ceiling and placed small snowflakes throughout the house.  A fun find was a felt snowflake table runner we used on the coffee table.  This small touch of snow was on sale and perfect for tying the rooms together!
 The main activity for the party was a cookie bar.  We made simple sugar cookies and frosting and had guests decorate their own.  Because the party guests were all ages, this was a big hit!  The kids loved it and the parents appreciated having something festive for their kids to do.
 We sent each family home with a bag (or two) of homemade puppy chow.... the snack, not the real thing.  It was a delicious and inexpensive small thing to say thank you for coming.  We used blue cello bags with red ribbon tied around them.  I found a bag of little wooden white snowflakes in the craft section at Michael's and hot glued them on to tie into the snowflake theme.
We had a great time planning this gathering and a great time attending!  Guests enjoyed the casual atmosphere, good food and friends!  It was a perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

What are your holiday party plans?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Shower Sunday: Blackberry Pie & Cocoa

I love baby showers!  They are so fun and the themes are endless.  My sister-in-law is expecting a baby girl and we were so excited to plan her shower.  The inspiration for this shower came in the strangest form - dessert!  Kaysee loves blackberry pie and the colors were perfect for a baby girl shower.

All of the decorations came together perfectly!  We kept the decor simple with lots of small things making a beautiful tablescape.  The home decor of the hostess just so happened to fit perfectly.  Purple napkins, raspberry pink and purple M&Ms, red and purple mugs, fun pink & purple tissue paper puffs and a soft, purple blanket draped over a white tablecloth for a pop of color and texture to the table.
For drinks, we again kept it simple.  For an evening shower (7:00-9:00pm) in November, hot cocoa was the perfect warm beverage.  We had four flavors of cocoa (regular, dark, mint and salted caramel), three flavors of marshmallows, whip cream, sprinkles and crushed candy canes for toppings. Delicious!
Our inspiration was blackberry pie - so obviously, that's what we served for dessert.  Delicious at any temperature, we made the pies earlier in the day to avoid a time crunch.  They were delicious!  Serving only one dessert choice made the menu simple and delicious.
We kept our activities simple, too.  I don't know many moms-to-be who really enjoy the typical shower games.  They can often be awkward for guests, too.  We had three activities - the first two were as close to "shower games" as we got.
This final activity was harder than I anticipated!  We each wrote down wishes for Addison and Kaysee collected them for her memory box.  This activity would only work for moms that want to remember by keeping mementos.  I printed out extras for people who were not at the shower to fill out.
 Finally, we included a "station" for addressing your thank you card.  Even if you say you don't, most guests do like to receive thank you cards from the mom-to-be.  This makes it a little easier for mom.
Overall, it was a great shower!  It was small, but beautiful - fun, but simple.  
We're so excited for Baby Addison to arrive!
It's in the small things!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving: Pie & Puzzles

Do you ever feel like you're being torn this way and that for Thanksgiving?  Everyone wants you to eat turkey and watch football at their house!  We have a large extended family - and it's hard to navigate the maze of Thanksgiving dinner plans.  So, we kept it simple.  Pie and puzzles after everything else...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Card Creations - Beautiful Fall Colors

A creative design piece of Circle River Creations is handmade cards.  Once a scrapbooker, always a paper crafter - I love making cards.  I love only having a small canvas to work with and finding fun, unique and creative ways to use paper and other embellishments.

Below are some card creations I recently designed.  I love fall and with it fall colors!  These are a different twist on fall colors with pink added in, but I love them!

Even with cards, it's all about being creative and small things making something great!  Three simple ribbons, folded and stapled to a card adds depth and a splash of texture.  Making a collage out of stickers that may not look right standing alone - a small thing, into something great!

Be creative today!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Birthday Party: Sweet 16 Glow Party

This party was so much fun!  Brianna worked on a fabulous menu which was perfect for teenagers!  A handful of small things to eat made for a delicious platter to choose from - gorgeous, uniquely designed cake (by Brianna), fruits, meatballs, chips & salsa and mini cupcakes.  It's amazing what glows under black lights! Add tonic water to your favorite punch and you have a fluorescing beverage!
For activities, we kept it simple.  In my book, food counts as an activity!  But there was also some fun music and a dance floor covered in black light glow, a simple ring toss using glow bracelets and spray painted bottles, a canvas painting activity using neon paints (so it looks okay in the light, too!) and a make-up station that included fluorescing face paint and neon nail polish.  Simple, but fun and teenage-friendly!  
All of the guests were given glow bracelets and necklaces as well as a take home "Sweet 16" Candy gift.  We wrapped mini Mike & Ike packs in fluorescent paper and added cut out 16s to pop.
We covered the windows with cardboard and paper to keep the light out and used as many black lights as we could find.  Other small things included cutting glow sticks and splattering the inside of glass jars, using extra fluorescent paper pieces as confetti for the tables, using highlighters to write notes on the white paper, and white table clothes added to the overall glow.
A great party is all about the small things!  
Miss S, we had the best time creating this special party for you!  Happy Sweet 16!

Glowing Details

Here are the glowing details of the Sweet 16 Glow Party!  Each guest received one or tow glow bracelets and/or necklaces when they arrived.
 In addition to their glow bracelet, the guests left with these Sweet 16 Candy Bars - the Birthday Girl's favorite candy wrapped in fluorescent printer paper (it doesn't have to be expensive to pop)!
 This was a Pinterest idea made our own - cut open a glow bracelet and use as decor!
A party isn't a party without food.  And food can easily become part of the decorations.  It's a great way to make the most out of your budget.  Everything becomes one small piece of a great party!
Be Creative!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween: Cocktails & Carving

For the last few years, we have planned a family-friendly Halloween party.  This year, my sister decided to throw a adult party!  It was so awesome!  Here are the fun invites I designed.  We ended up going with the first.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween: Pumpkin Party

This year, our family halloween party took on the look of a pumpkin!  Pumpkin everything - and shades of orange, purple and green.  Here is our simple evite we sent using Pingg.
The games this year were very minimal and simple.  We had the annual "Guess How Many?" and bean bag toss.  We also did bowling using fun pumpkin faced pins I picked up at Target for $5.  We had a pin the face on the pumpkin.
 Our snacks were fabulous, but simple!  As usual, we asked everyone to bring a snack to share.  But our host provided snacks added a pumpkin touch.  Juice boxes wrapped in orange crepe paper and glued on pumpkin faces.  Cuties and peach cups with faces drawn on.  We also provided some candy snacks and doritos (touch of orange).
The main activity for the party was pumpkin painting and decorating.  The kids had a great time.  We provided the paint and inexpensive decorating kits from Oriental Trading.
 My favorite part of all of our Halloween parties are the costumes.  Our family dressed up like tigers and a zoo keeper.  Elle, our daughter, loves tigers - it was so much fun!
 We sent all the kids home with a simple party bag with some pumpkin candy, pumpkin gumball, coloring book and tattoos.  A simple way to send people off and say thanks for coming!
You don't have to spend a lot of money on parties - it's okay to ask people to bring a snack to share and the company is the most important part!  A great party is in the details - the small things.  Be creative with your next party!  It's never too early to start planning or dreaming of the next!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Inspiration Board: Glow Party

How cool is this?  One of the new trends out there for teenagers are glow parties.  Dress code?  Anything neon or white - add a black light (or twenty) and you have a party on your hands!  Here is the inspiration board for a Sweet 16 party coming up in November.  Check back for pictures!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Owl Pillow Box

Inspired by Kerry's Paper Crafts, this project was so fun and turned out fabulous!  To start, you'll need one pillow box (any color).  We got ours from Oriental Trading Company.  Next, cut 15 small circles (feathers), one orange heart (feet), one orange triangle (beak), two ovals (wings), two larger white circles (eyes) and two small, darker circles (pupils).  Start near the bottom of the pillow box, add the feet and three layers of feathers.  Add the beak, eyes and tuck the wings behind the eyes.  Fill with a fun treat (we used trail mix) and give to a friend!
So simple, my two-year old daughter was able to help assemble these fun owls!
It's in the small things!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Inspiration Board: University of Washington

For a casual birthday dinner, a college team theme is perfect!  Inspiration comes in many ways - the inspiration for this party came from Husky tickets and yellow plates.  The hostess already had yellow plates and her husband was headed to the game the next day.  Lots of purple and gold!  
Whatever your inspiration - be creative!  And remember - it's all about the small things!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Shower Sunday: Owl Shower

This gender neutral baby shower came together with oranges and reds to balance out the blues and greens.  The inspiration for the shower theme came from the baby's nursery and bedding. Simple, classy and colorful!  And you can't go wrong with owls!  
The shower was held on a Friday evening and dessert and drinks were the big draw.  You can't go wrong with the classic combination of chocolate and fruit.  Mommy is vegan so all the food was, too!  Look at this gorgeous spread!  The reds and browns really popped!
The centerpiece cupcake tower helped tie the party together.  Guests were asked to paint ceramic owls to be used in decorating the baby's nursery.  The owls came from Oriental Trading Company and were the perfect touch.  It's all about the small things!  I spray painted the owls brown before the shower and outlined the eyes in white and painted the beak orange.  My pre-painting sample was placed atop the centerpiece for a nice, small touch of theme.
I'm not a huge fan of shower games that involve Momma and her belly.  However, I love it when guests have an opportunity to share some parenting wisdom or tips.  With a little twist to that, since Mommy and Daddy are "wise owls" already for baby #2, we asked guests to give advice to baby.  They wrote on small leaves and stuck them to a canvas with a tree painted on it.  After the shower, I modge-podged over the leaves and hung it in the nursery!  So fun, with lots of advice ranging from "Dream Big" to "Brush your teeth" - definitely a repeat for future Baby 2 showers!
The guest book was really a book!  I bought a fun book about owls (It's all about the small things!) and asked the guests to sign the book as a start to Baby's library.  Love this idea!
At the end of the night, we sent guests home with a "It's Been a Hoot!" owl treat box.  The boxes were also purchased from Oriental Trading Company and were decorated using circles, ovals and hearts!  This idea came from Pinterest and was so fun and easy, my three-year-old helped assemble.  They turned out cuter than imagined and we filled them with trail mix.

It's all about the small things!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Color Palette Inspiration

As the mornings turn crisp and the summer fades to fall, this color palette inspires creativity.  I love the blackberry and plum combination - perfect for a fall wedding or maybe a baby shower!  Yes, I think that's it.  Whatever your inspiration - be creative!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Shower Sunday: Duck Baby Shower

When Neyssa was pregnant with her first, we decided to have a duck-themed shower.  This gender neutral theme was perfect for a Mommy who was waiting to find out if Baby was a boy or girl.
The food was simple, but gorgeous.  The centerpiece was designed by Brianna and added such a fun touch to the party.
It's all about the small things.  Check out the duck-shaped pineapple!  Simply use a cookie cutter to cut a shape with your own theme!  We also placed rubber duckies throughout the house.
For games and activities, we didn't want to do anything that involved Mommy and her belly.  When guests arrived, we gave everyone a pacifier necklace and each time the words "baby" or "due date" were said, the necklace was stolen by the person who heard it!  It ended up being super fun and it's amazing how you can space out, forget and get caught! The guest with the most necklaces at the end of the party, got a $5 gift card.  Simple and easy for any party.

We also gave words of wisdom to first-time Mommy - with each piece of wisdom, the person added a design to the canvas.  This canvas now hangs above baby's bed!  A fun activity for everyone.

It's all about the small things!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shower Sunday: ABC Baby Shower

]My baby shower was ABC themed!  They got the idea from the nursery bedding.  Neyssa, Amy and Brianna were the hostesses.  It's always the small things that make the shower theme shine.
The banners added a personal touch and added height to the decorations.
The favors were cookies packaged in small block abc boxes painted yellow.  Even the plates and cups had small alphabet stickers on them!  It's all about the small things!
All of the food was labeled with letters - so fun!
The food was delicious and perfect for a lunchtime shower.  

Games: Baby Themed Scattergories
Menu: Soup, honey ham, veggies, fruit, salad, mac 'n'cheese, cupcakes
Favors: Letter cookies presented in ABC Block boxes