Last Minute Holiday Party Planning Tips

Happy Holidays everyone and to all my Christmas lovers —

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Today I wanted to share a quick post of my TOP 5 LAST MINUTE party planning tips. As I get older, I realize that I really want to get more into entertaining. Last year I hosted my first holiday party, Ugly Christmas Sweater theme. This year I’ll be celebrating my friends 30th birthday and everyone has such hectic schedules so we’ll hang out then. Still in all — let’s get to the tips!

As always, be sure to click the highlighted links throughout this post for related posts and links to purchase items/similar styles featured.

Continue reading “Last Minute Holiday Party Planning Tips”

Planning for 2017: Traveler’s Notebook Set Up

Welcome to another edition of my Planning for 2017 series. I’ve shared quite a bit of reviews throughout this series. In this edition I wanted to share how I set up my Traveler’s Notebook which is often referred to as a Fauxdori. Click here for my entire Planning for 2017 series.

As always, be sure to click the links throughout this post for related posts and links to purchase items/similar styles featured.

Continue reading “Planning for 2017: Traveler’s Notebook Set Up”

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

With just two days to Christmas I hosted my first holiday party on December 23rd. The party was initially set for 7pm, but with the torrential rain in the area there was lots of traffic so my guests didn’t arrive until around 8pm which was fine. I had a hour to cook the meat for my tacos and finish getting my table together. Thanks to the help of my best friend, by the time the rest of my guests arrived, everything was ready to go.

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My tablescape was nothing fancy, but I am quite the stickler for symmetry. I didn’t grab a picture of the table before the soda was added, but the plates have cups with my guests names on them and then in front of the ceramic tree was my impromptu taco bar. The only thing I would’ve liked to change about this was to have a tier system of some sort, but using what I had, I liked the way it turned out.

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Then there was my dessert table.There were brownies, crumb cake, and ugly sweater cookies. As for drinks there was hot cocoa and rum chat along with fireball. My friends were great at chipping in and bringing something. I was too full from the tacos so I’ll be enjoying the desserts later on.

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I love how the sweater cookies turned out even though my friend didn’t add frosting. The initial plan was to decorate the cookies together to see who’d make the best design, but she decorated them which was fine.

With an evening party and my guests arrive an hour past what was scheduled, I was concerned as to what we’d actually be doing. At first I was putting the finishing touches to the tacos then we ended up sitting around and talking for a few hours. It was great. Good food, great convo, and great people. We rolled from one topic to the next and I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends.

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Cheers to my first holiday party and cheers to many more to come.My goal next year is to make a Steelers themed ugly sweater. Click the links below for my party planning process and the details to my hideous sweater. Merry Christmas!

Last Minute Party Planning

Tomorrow is my UGLY SWEATER CHRISTMAS PARTY! After lots of cleaning and running around trying to buy everything, I’m pretty much ready. I love how my sweater turned out, I’ll be posting that tomorrow, but still I have more things to get. First let’s start with my tablescape.

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I decided to break out my Christmas dishes that were my mothers for this occasion. Being that it’s a smaller party, I don’t mind washing the dishes. From what you can see, my table is pretty bare and empty. Let me say it’s quite boring. I know it’ll come together once I set up my taco bar and the other appetizers. For now this is the basic set up. The pan will hold my turkey meat for the tacos. The bowls will hold the cheese, salsa, sour cream, and lettuce.

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I purchased everything from Target in two different shopping trips. I’m still not done shopping. I have a small list of things I still need to get. I want another box of hot chocolate, another container of sour cream, whip cream, and bottled water. Thankfully my friends are more than happy to bring things for the party so I have friends baking, one bringing appetizers, and another bringing drinks.

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Now let’s move on to my hot cocoa bar, which is more of a sweet treats table. I have my hot chocolate and mini marshmallows ready to go. I was going to lay out the hot chocolate packets, but I decided to put them in the cups instead. The middle bowl will hold the marshmallows. The dessert plates are self explanatory and the plate with the doily will have brownies. There’s also ugly sweater cookies and crumb cake.

I want to give  a sweet treat to go for my friends, but I haven’t gotten around to that. Time is winding down, but thankfully I’ll have time at work to pull everything together. I didn’t get much cleaning done Monday night, but I got everything done today so when I come home from work it’ll just be placement of the food.

I’m not sure about the photo booth simply because I haven’t prepped for it, but I could put one together with no problem. I just don’t have a backdrop, but I’m thinking of just using wrapping paper for that. On Christmas Eve I’ll be sharing how everything looked and my whole experience with my first official holiday party. I can’t wait to share with you all. Happy Holidays!

Plan With Me: Christmas Week

Welcome to another plan with me. In this plan with me edition I’m planning for CHRISTMAS WEEK! When it comes to planning for a holiday there’s like a competition of who will create the best layout and planning should not be stressful. Planning should be fun and to each its own. Also the spreads do not have to incorporate the traditional red and green. It’s amazing to see all the different Christmas kits in other peoples spreads. Last week I did a winter wonderland theme, which I loved, but this week I’m ready for full out Christmas. Check out the full look of last week below and click the pic for sticker details.

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Moving on to this week, I used a set from Fabulously Planned along with stickers/washi from Michaels and Hobby Lobby. I featured this kit from Fabulously Planned in a happy mail post (click HERE for that) and I used another set from Fabulously Planned the week of December 7th-13th.

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It took me a little bit longer to create this layout based of the positioning of the washi and the number of full boxes that  had. I ordered the sampler sheet along with the full box sheets. As usual, I wanted my middle section completely covered and with a sampler sheet you get more of a variety. I will say that with this kit from FabulouslyPlanned that I’m not a huge fan of the icon stickers. There were a lot of cleaning icons which I know I won’t be using a lot of. I’d rather have had more TVs, some trash cans, or even more decorative stickers. Still love the kit, just not a huge fan of the icons.

After placing my stickers I realized that I had a lot more to add after I took the picture before the ink. Monday through Wednesday are definitely going to be busy from work to cleaning and last minute shopping. Plus, I’m having an Ugly Sweater Christmas party on Wednesday so I have a lot of prep for that.

Overall I love how the spread turned out and I can’t wait to add to it throughout the week. As for stickers featured in the pic, click the links below:

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Check out my detailed plan with me video below and be sure to click the links above! Enjoy & MERRY CHRISTMAS!

DIY Christmas Cards

For years I have been doing outreach with my church to a local nursing home. The ministry that I work with provides a church service once a month for the residents from November to May. With any holiday we make gifts for the residents and for the holidays this year we’re providing care packages including lap blankets and toiletries. A lot is handmade such as the cards for every occasion. This DIY is just for that.

I wanted to create a card that would be easy enough for me to duplicate 50 times. Yes, I create anywhere from 40 to 50 gifts per occasion. I usually strive for 50 just to round it out. For this card I didn’t have any white card stock on hand so I used what I had which was photo paper. Lists to items you’ll need are below, plus links:

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I based my design off a card design for kids that I found online (CraftyMorning). The lights were to be from fingerprints, but I decided to mix and match the colors and draw them in myself. The loops were easy to draw, I then added little squares up and down and then on top I made a tear drop shape for the light. Another design you could do is draw the lines straight down on the card and then draw circles and they’ll be ornaments instead of lights.

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I did draw the lights on the glossy side and on the back I put a scripture, but you could put whatever you want. I then took one of the stamps, which I had received from Hobby Lobby, and I stamped in various spots. Some were messier than others in dealing with glossy paper, but I love the overall look.

So far I only have 10 of these done and 40 to go, but it’s not as time consuming as it looks. Have fun with it, make as many loops or non loops as you’d like. The great thing about DIY cards is that you have complete creative freedom and you can customize any way you want. Happy crafting!

Planner Gift Guide For Beginners

If you are a planner addict trying to pass on your obsession to your friends, what better gift to give than a planner package. The following items are all that are needed to get create a new planner addict. If you have a friend that is interested in what you obsess over yet doesn’t know where to start, this package is a simplified way to show them yet not overwhelm them.

The basics to the planner gift guide for beginners are:

  • planner
  • pens
  • washi
  • stickers

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Sounds pretty basic and generic, but if you’re a planner addict you know that those four categories are extremely broad. Let’s start with planners. I currently use the Me & My Big Ideas Happy Planner, but there’s the Erin Condren Life Planner, Plum Paper Planner, Filofax, and many more. The key to purchasing the planner for a friend would first be price. You don’t want to waste your money on a design they wouldn’t particularly use. Ask them and show them options before making a purchase. Whether it’s vertical, horizontal, hourly, or a personal size, you can find a planner for that. Keep in mind the future planner not so much your personal preference.

If they are into vertical I’d recommend either the Happy Planner or the Plum Paper Planner since they are cheaper yet offer similar details like the Erin Condren Life Planner. Yet if you’re a planner addict, an EC planner addict in particular, then you can easily give a planner away without breaking the bank. Click below to purchase the planners mentioned:

Next up are pens. A lot of buzz worthy brands in the planner world range from Staedtler, Sharpie, Papermate, and Frixion. Simply put, you don’t need a fancy pen to get to planning, but I personally would not recommend the Papermate Inkjoy (100 1.0M). Instead, I really like the Papermate Flare pens because they do not bleed through and there’s a great color selection. Click below to purchase the pens mentioned:

Washi is a really easy one. There’s so many that you can buy, but I think that for a beginner a role of washi in multiple colors, not so much print, would allow them to create different designs. In addition, they’ll really get a feel for the product. Washi is great and easily removable. There’s thin washi, thick washi. Giving a variety to a planner addict is ideal, but a tube of washi similar to what’s sold at Michaels would be ideal. If you can’t get your hands on a tube you cold give  a set of thin along with a design you know they love. Below are links to some of my favorite styles of washi:

Lastly, STICKERS! Now this is where it can get overwhelming for a beginning yet an addict becomes a hoarder. I would recommend buying stickers from local Michaels, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, Five Below, Dollar Tree, etc. Buy functional stickers along with stickers they can use to decorate. When buying washi, you could even go as far as buying stickers to coordinate with the washi you picked out. Don’t go too crazy, just give them options. The cheapest route to go is if you can get your hands on any of the Darice/Creatology $1 sticker books. Great for decorative purposes.

You can also gift them an Etsy e-gift card with lists to your favorite Etsy shops and stickers you’d think they like. This time of year it’s hard to get stickers by the date, but as a new planner they should get a feel of what type of stickers they’d want to get. Below are 5 of my favorite etsy shops:

When it comes to packaging this, I’d suggest a nice gift bag. It’ll be big enough to fit the planner along with a clear storage box to hold all the washi, stickers, pens you purchased them. To add the final touch, decorate a layout or two to show your friend different ways to decorate. As one of my friends called a planner a “glorified sticker book,” you can show your friend just how functional it can really be.