A Crazy Wedding Find

I was actually looking up how to do an awesome way to display cut fruit.  A friend needed some assistance, so I went looking for inspiration.  I stumbled on something that may thrill some brides looking for cheap wedding ideas.  Maybe, maybe not.  But I gotta pass on a cheap party idea when I find one.  Enjoy this link to HOW TO CATER YOUR OWN WEDDING RECPTION.

Cute Bridal Party Idea or a Great Girl’s Night

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Here is a suprising celebration that could be a wonderful idea to get your bridal party on the same page, and have a blast doing it. As I was reading my Flylady daily digest this morning, I was thrilled to read a “flybaby” testimonial. One of the ladies had purchased some calendars and pens and clingies from the flyshop. The suprising and delightful part is what she did with them.

As her family and friends (I would assume this is a rather intimate gathering) got together for a casual meet and greet, she passed out numbered index cards to each guest. On the index card, next to each number each woman wrote her favorite color, favorite birthday she ever had, favorite past time, favorite collectible, favorite animal, favorite season. Then each person signed the card. If you have five guests, each guest should receive 5 cards. Fill out each one and then hand a card to each person at the table. Then, explain to the guests that you plan to use these as jumping off points for celebrations, craft and gifts ideas.

This woman then went on to present her friends with calendars and pens and stickers. They all got a big kick out of learning about each other and chatted their time away with each other in grand fashion while sipping sodas and nibbling on chips and salsa.

One thing I have done in the past with my calendars is I’ve been very deliberate about the one I use most often. My central calendar, so to speak, (yes the old-fashioned kind you write on) hangs in my kitchen. The one I picked out this year looks like this.  It can be purchased at Calendars.com.  Click on the pic.

Pretending to be Normal Central Calendar.

I write my bills on it as they come in the mail along with balances. I also put stickers (shiny ones always) everyday that I workout. This gives me a quick visual as to whether I am on track with my fitness plan.

What a great gift to give each other, and yet another cheap party idea! Love it.

Cool Confetti: Who knew?

Confetti and parties, such a lovely combination.  As I was researching a bit for this confetti blog entry, I found so much more information than I ever could have imagined.  So, I am going to run through a few ideas for using confetti for weddings primarily, but use your noodle, and I am sure you can get so creative with what I am about to share.
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This particular entry is inspired by a bride on a budget,  Because she was having trouble making he tables look fab without having a lot of cash, she decided to use circles cut from paper in three different colors.  Brilliant.  Big color impact for  little coin, you gotta love that. 

Next, I found a site that sells confetti of every size and shape, and oh, yes confetti cannons. 

BUT WAIT!  What would a confetti blog entry be without a confetti launcher youtube tutorial.  Holy cow, this dude shows the mechanically inclined how to construct their very own confetti cannon.  How cool is that!  I am not suggesting you try this.  I just thought, hmmm, super cool.  If I share this with hubby, I wonder if he would make one for me.  Hey all you bar owners, maybe for your New Year’s Bash?  Hmm.

So that’s my confetti wisdom for the day.  Party on.

Gooseberry Patch: Where I Met My Heroes

I’ve been jumping out of my skin to share this with everyone, and now is the time.  I met Jo Ann Martin & Vickie Hutchins, co-founders of Gooseberry Patch at the Country Living Fair this Summer in Columbus, OH!  (Did you hear me screaming?) Of course my camera weirded out, so my picture with them turned out purple, but thank Gooseberry, I got the autographs.  

See my autographed copy of Coming Home with Gooseberry Patch! BTW: Crustless Pumpkin Pie on Page 32 is the Bomb!  I have already made it three times since getting the cookbook this summer.

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Proof that I was in the presence of my Heros!

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The only picture that turned out well in the bunch. The line to get in!

  If you’ve read my blog, or know me at all, you have to know that I LOVE Gooseberry Patch.  I could get all weird and make a list of 100 reasons why, but I’ll keep it simple and try to keep myself from looking like too much of a fanatic. 

While Gooseberry Patch offers a mail order catalog that is too cute for words, I’m in LOVE with their cookbooks.  Why?  Because every recipe I have EVER made from their books (I have a few) has turned out great.  Each one is simple to make, and doesn’t take you to some crazy part of town searching for strange ingredients that you have to spend time learning to pronounce. 

 Last year, I received Cook’n with Gooseberry Patch.  What is this?  Cook’n is software that you load via CD onto your computer.  What does this software do?  Oh my, let me tell you.  There are a few pre-loaded Gooseberry Cookbooks from which you can hand click your recipes for the week.   Then print on your little ol’ menu for your family and boom,  you know what’s happening each day for meals.  BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…before you  print out the grocery list, you can take off the items you already have in your pantry.  Let me tell you, this has saved me loads of cash on my grocery trips, and even more mental energy in avoiding the whole “what’s for dinner?” conundrum.  Here’s the glorious part.  You can even enter your own recipes.  So say you wanted to cook your mom’s famous chilli one night.  No problem, enter it in one time (takes maybe 3 minutes tops) and click it over to Monday.  Dude, all the ingredients will be on your grocery list and you just go to the store, and its fabulous.  No more guesswork or freaking out.  Love that! DVO is the company that makes this software (another fabulous company) and they offer other recipe dowloads so you never run out of goodness in the kitchen.

Gooseberry Patch also offers calendars and the cutest gifts and kitchen/service ware you could ever want to see.  Be sure to check out the Gooseberry Patch website. when fulfilling that Christmas list because you can definitely pick up some unique items that will please both the recipient and your budget.  Gooseberry Patch carries items like the Hostess Twinkie Baking set.

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Make your own twinkies! Yeehaw.

And remember my cake ball post?  Yeah, they have a pan for that. 

It’s always awesome to find a company you can feel good about supporting, and Gooseberry Patch is definitely one of those companies.  Women who are making it happen, and having a good time doing it.  Thanks Jo Ann and Vickie!

Halloween Party: Last Minute Decorating Inspirations

I thought I’d throw in a few pics of what I have going for my Halloween Party and a couple of ideas to help with any last minute brain malfunctioning.

Halloween Hydrangea

Hit the road or the garden. Find some dried whatever, and haul it in. Nothing like FREE.

 

Pumpkins

These have got to be getting cheap. I've been watching those prices drop at Walmart. Pick up a few for last minute if you're desperate.

 

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Print Out some letters on card stock, cut them out and string them on ribbon or string, or whatever you have. EASY I will admit I bought this one last year, but I did feel kind of stupid bc this is pretty easy to make!Don't forget to label your food. If you're not the best chef, well you'll look like one. It's all in the presentation anyway. Cheap, quick, big bang for littel buvk. Love that.

 

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Red alert. These labels are on sale at select Dollar Tree stores. 8 in a pack. 2 of each kind!

I have a party lights post where I use these little individual battery powered led lights you can find in the wedding section at walmart.  If you put a bobby pin through the loop at the top it will rest perfectly at the mouth of the bottle.  I’m not puttin liquid in bc I am a big chicken.
Halloween Display

These little boxes can be found at Hobby Lobby. 3 for about $8. If you have a coupon all the better. Just hang on wall and put whatever you have inside!

Remember, you could just buy some different colored light bulbs too.
Here’s a last minute rundown of cheapie stuff you can use.
  • sticks
  • spider web
  • candles
  • silver trays from dollar tree
  • balloons
  • streamers
  • pumpkins
  • pics of guests and placed in cheapie frames from dollar tree.

Now get Crackin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cake Balls: Take Two

Halloween Cake Balls

Spooky AND tasty, oh and of course CHEAP!

The first time I made cake balls, I made the cake, threw it in a bowl and mixed in the frosting.  THIS time, I made the cake, let it cool, frosted it, and chilled the cake.  THEN, I shaped the cake balls.  I actually shaped little ghost shapes for the Halloween Party.  The shaping part was easy.  The not so easy part was the white chocolate melting.  I tried microwaving white chocolate chips, and it was a fine balance to keep them from seizing up.  Needless, to say that didn’t work.  Next step, using the baking chocolate verison in a double boiler.  Still not as thin as I would have liked.  Then I remembered.  I needed to add a little bit of butter to the chocolate and a teensy bit of cream for a more ganache like consistency.  Voila!  Cake ball magic.

These will probably not grace the pages of Living, but dang, they’re good.  I may still thin out my chocolate enough and add some food coloring.  These goblins need faces.

 

I’m committed. Project Halloween is underway.

I am, after all, the cheap party chick.  So how could I not, throw another Halloween Party?  This will be the third annual.  And I am going to PROVE that you can do this totally on the cheap, and have it ROCK!  It shouldn’t be too hard to prove, because my Halloween party is going to have to be on a budget, but I’m here to tell you, it can be done.

Halloween Party The First Intallment.

Halloween Party The First Intallment.

 

This picture is from the first Halloween Party I ever hosted.  Good times, good times.  We had a haunted house in our basement and did mostly potluck.  Believe me, follow this blog for the next month, and I will show you, step by step, how to pull off a cheap Halloween Party that will make you the superstar of the neighborhood. 

 

 

 

Another Round One picture of our Halloween Party

Another Round One picture of our Halloween Party

Each week until Halloween, I will allow you to see the inside secrets of how I pull off a Halloween Party on a budget.  If you’re thinking of hosting a Halloween Party this year…Do It!  Just check in with me, and I’ll be with you every step of the way, from planning  to party day.  My first year we had nearly 100 guests in our house!  And there was no freak out, only fun.  You can do this.
Last year's Halloween Party.

Last year's Halloween Party.

See those smiles?  They are easy to achieve.  I can help you do that on a budget.  Don’t worry, I am on one myself.  Especially this year, but does that exclude me fromhosting a bad butt Halloween Party?  Heck no.  And it shouldn’t exclude you either.  You can so do this. 

Next blog installment:  The date!  Beware my blog is going DARK.