Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This Ain't Yo Mamma's Streamers & Balloons!

I am constantly trying to think of ways to reinvent the typical party decor. No offense to Party City or to the patrons of PC but I walk down those aisles of luau plastic tablecloths & the tissue paper fanned centerpieces...and think "no ma'm" (quote from a friend Wendy that says it so perfectly the words here do not adequately describe the feeling behind it ;p). Let's stir the margarita mix, shake up some cocktails...(I never was good with sayings any ways) and add a little NeNe Leakes attitude to it...

Old School = Streamers twisted, strung across the room & Balloons placed at the ends

New School (Parties for Pennies Way) = Cool lanterns made with streamers & balloons

I'm gonna give you the dessert before the veggies. Here's the final product:

The materials are things you probably have in your house. If you don't have them, it cost me under $5 for the whole kit & kaboodle. 


* Streamers (color of your choice)
* Balloons (color of your choice...I did corresponding colors w/ the streamers)
* Roll on dot scotch tape
* Scissors
* I used dental floss to hang them from the chandelier but you can use whatever you have or desire

Step 1: Blow up the balloon (want me to go over that one more time or you got it? :p jk)

Step 2: Take the Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller and make a circle around the base of the balloon.
(helpful tip...blow the balloon up to where it's pretty tight. I tried to do the first balloon somewhat loose and it ended up like this..)

Poor little shriveled up ruffly thing! :-( 

Step 3: Take the streamers & along the adhesive line, pleat them.

Step 4: Once you have a circle, make another adhesive line around the original one. (Helpful hint - Make it almost in a swirl so that the transition from each circle doesn't require you to cut the streamer)

Step 5: Continue to do this all the way to the top of the balloon. 

Step 6: Once you've reached the top, cut the streamer.

Boom, Boom, Pow (hopefully that won't literally be happening to your balloons...)

Here's a little makeshift table that I set up to go along with the balloons. My white plates are already over at Mike's house, so I had to go with styrofoam plates. Oh well. 

I used the same streamers to make a plaid design on the table. For the napkin "rings", I also used the streamers to make pink flowers. Here's how you can do that...

Start with one folded end of the streamer.

Then pleat the paper, like you did with the balloons, and loosely gather it around the original "bud." Take a twist-tie & secure the base of the flower. You can also use floral wire or tape...this was just all I had. 

Use the remaining portion of the twist tie to secure to a strip of the green streamer. 

Wrap this around your napkin & tape.

Here are a few more shots of the NYMB&S...

What do you think? Do you have any creative ideas of what to do with streamers & balloons?

I don't know about you but I'm suddenly getting a huge craving for Bubble Yum Watermelon gum!!!! :-) Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Babies on the Brain...

This week is a little cu-raze-ee for me. The Dove awards are in town so my schedule has been even more packed than it usually is. I was going to show you this fun idea for cheap lantern-like decorations but I have only been able to squeeze 20 minutes to work on my blog this week. So sad.

Someone once told me that no ideas are new. I halfway believe this. More on my philosophy regarding this later. I know. You can hardly wait. :p So...since my time is so short this week, I thought I'd share some really great ideas for baby showers from Real Simple magazine. A couple of my girlfriends have brand new babies...Joy Presley & Rachael Bailes...so I have babies on the brain.

Cheap & unique...library card invites for their "Great Expectation." (Gotta love baby shower themes for their pure cheesiness ;p)

How about a "She's Ready to Pop" baby shower? Here are some ideas of things to utilize -

Pop Rocks
Balloons (ofcourse - cheap & easy)
Soda Pop
Bubble gum

"Bun in the Oven" 

Timers as favors
You can save money by using a lot of kitchen things you already have

The little Peanut

I like this purely b/c I would include Nutter Butters somehow & they are sooo good! :-)

Peanuts are also super cheap & you can use them for decor. Like this -

Do you have any creative ideas for baby showers? Share, share! :-)

I'm sorry for the lack of newness in this post. I'll be back next week! :-) 

P.S. I can't wait to share some of the fun details of my wedding reception party! We're trying to go very cheap & it's gonna be fun. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What to do when you're throwing a party at someone else's house...

My life is a little ca-ray-zee these days. I got engaged at the end of January. Just (literally...yesterday) confirmed wedding plans which will happen to take place around July 30th...of 2011. Yeah...like a little over 3 months from now. And we're doing our own DYI wedding reception in our (soon to be our) backyard for about 150 people or so. Insert calm Heidi smiling here.

When one of my best friends Kauri asked me to throw a Pampered Chef party for her (www.pamperedchef.biz/kaurithecook) I said...Absolutely. That's what friends are for. :-)

Problem one - My kitchen in the house I rent is like wee big. We decided that this would be an easy problem to solve, however. Just have the party at my hubster to be's home. It is a nice open kitchen area but still a little half-finished.

Problem 2 - Since I don't live there yet, all my entertaining paraphernalia would not be available unless I transported it all over there.

Side Note: The love of my life had 2 dining chairs,  3 plates, 3 bowls and 3 small dessert plates. :-) See what I had to work with. :p

Here is how it all turned out -

These were some appetizers to go along with the PC meal Kauri cooked us. I did some bread, fruits, veggies, hummus, cheese slices & the most heavenly pastry wrapped brie with apricot jam & almond round! 

Oh my goodness...I am so in love with the Brie. I do have to say that for sake of time, I picked it up from our local Fresh Market. It was not cheap...$10.99. Almost worth every cent. Do you have any ideas of how to make a cheaper version of this? I would imagine you could use crescent rolls but once you add the price of the brie, apricot jam & almonds, I'm sure it would add up. Let me know if you have any ideas! 

For the flowers, I just used two old mason jars. 

See the runner in the pic above? Can I let you in on a secret? 1) It was free 2) I think this is what I'm going to do for runners for my wedding reception 

That is an old coffee bean bag that I got from a local coffee house here in Atlanta. I asked them what they did with the old coffee bags & they said, "nada...you want them?" I only took a few, but I'll be back! ;p I cut one back down the middle & along the seam & voila - a free table runner in less than 5 minutes. 

I forgot to take a picture of what I wrapped the silverware in. Remember the post about outsmarting Pottery Barn? Well, the rug came tied at two ends with this really cool fabric-like ribbon. Since it was just chillin at the future hubsters house, I used it for a napkin ring. Sorry...shame on me for forgetting.

Above is something I didn't forget. 

I wanted my guests to have a way to tell their glasses apart. I didn't have any of my fun scrapbook paper or craft supplies at Mike's house. I did find 

1) A Trader Joes Bag
2) A black sharpie marker & a pencil
3) Scissors
4) An espresso cup

So, I used the espresso cup to trace circles on the trader joe bag. I cut the circles out then cut a slit up one side of the circle until the middle. I wish I had had my hole puncher b/c I think it may have been easier but it didn't take me much time at all to cut a circle in the middle of the circle where I cut the slit.

Then I wrote a different letter on each "wine glass jewel" to spell out P.A.M.P.E.R.E.D C.H.E.F. It was really fun, free & the guests had fun trying to figure out what it said & if their initial was represented.

Overall, I survived having a party at someone else's house & picked up some good penny-pinching ideas along the way. Plus, my old roommate surprised me! That is her to the left. I think she has pretty cool hair. :p Love & miss her already. 

Here are a few more snapshots of the day...

Have a great week...and coming next week, or the next...how to party with Trader Joes bags! :-) 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Party Crashin...Ashley & Jeff's Bridal Shower

I literally wish I could've crashed this party! The look of the food is mouth-watering, the setting is classy but fun and the penny-saving ideas are fabulous. Not to mention that one of the masterminds of this party is one of my best friends, Jenny Haddad. (She's the one in that cute green shirt...isn't she so pretty?) 

The couple in the middle are Ashley & Jeff (Jeff is Jenny's brother). Aren't they going to make some adorable babies? They're both just awesome people & I'm so excited for their upcoming nuptials. 

Speaking of awesome...Heather Ruark is on the far right in the pretty pink scarf & is possibly the sweetest person on the planet. 

Do you think you're looking at a restaurant? Nope. It's Nancy Ruarks sunroom! Don't be deceived by the looks of it to think they spent a ton of money. Here are some fun frugal ideas -

The runners were fabric they got from JoAnns (JoAnns always has coupons & really good prices). They used pink ribbon to tie in another color & the ribbon they got at Hobby Lobby when it was 50% off. 
The card in the tea cups is scrapbook paper used for the guests to write a special note to Jeff & Ashley. 

I love this pic below...

I'm assuming that is Jeff's cup. :p A hint of masculinity in the midst of pink & paisley. 

Look at this spread...

Tortellini Salad, Tea for guests

I love these little deserts that go along with the colors! (Brownie points if you noticed the middle treat was one we talked about on a previous post. Imitation Petit Fours)

These are the favors (& no they don't all have Ashley's name on them :p). Jenny printed two note cards for each guest with their own name on it. Isn't that a great idea? 

Here's another smart money saving idea. Jenny doubled up...not double dipped. She framed these beautiful pictures of Ashley & Jeff as a shower gift but also used them as decor. 

I'm so proud to call Jenny my friend! (It's not just because of her mad party planning skills, either!) 

Way to go! Anyone else planning or is already done with a bridal shower? Any ideas or tips? 

How to outsmart Pottery Barn....

Let's be honest. Who doesn't love, or at least like, Pottery Barn? Even the most "modern" decorators I know still admit that their eyes do a happy dance when they enter a Pottery Barn store. That happy dance slows to an Eeyore saunter when those eyes catch a glance of the price tag. Yikes. 

But...I came, I stared and I outsmarted PB! 

(Side Note: This is not about parties but a penny saving tip I thought I'd throw in for free! :p) 

First of all, PB was having a HUGE sale on their rugs this past weekend. My man (soon to be hubby) & I have been looking for several rugs to grace his hardwood floors for quite some time & have been (pun warning, pun warning) floored at the prices. PB had very reasonable prices for an 8x10 rug & so we jet-setted over to the Beverly Hills of Atlanta (Lenox) to clothe that naked floor. 

Still...an 8x10 rug is not something you can purchase by scraping up the bottom of your coin jar. That is when our sales guy went full-fledged into 50 reasons why we must also walk out with a rug pad. He had valid points so I decided to take a look at the prices. Surely it can't be that bad. How about only $20 away from $100? (Which is about 1/2 of what the rug was!) Those 50 reasons became just a blur. 

We brought the rug to Mike's house & I discovered something awesome. Something that I wish I could wave in front of the sales guys face & smile. (Not really...he was super nice but maybe I can get a little snooty when I figure out a penny-pinching plan) 


(Sorry it's so small)

It is left over cabinet/drawer liner!! We weren't sure what to even do with this but NOW...

It is our new non-slip rug pad! :-) It is great. It keeps the rug in place perfectly & there was enough backing on the rug that we didn't really need thick padding. 

Drawer liner - Bed Bath & Beyond $9.99 (with 20% coupon off)

And we only needed the remnants. 

Heidi = 1 Pottery Barn = 0