Tag Archives: decorations

Dessert Party

29 Sep

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Hello everyone. I had a birthday this month. (Shout out to all September borns!)

Initially I wanted to have an intimate gathering. A cooking party, one where a chef comes and demonstrates while the guests follow and prepare the gourmet meal they then indulge in. I soon realized this was well above my means.

What I did instead was just as good. I had a dessert party! A dessert beach party to be exact! Yup, a party where the entire menu is dessert. I also had the fortune and pleasure of being able to have it at a beach house. Dessert, sand, ocean. Pretty perfect.

INSPIRATION
The inspiration for my party was…wait for it…. “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic” a.k.a MLP FIM. Yes, this adult over here is a huge fan of the series. I’ve been a fan of My Little Pony since the original series back in the day. I’m sure most people are vaguely aware that the series has been revamped quite a few times but I have to say that this current version (Generation 4 or G4) is the best! But I digress.

I knew I wanted a party inspired by them but having MLP FIM plates, tablecloth and loot bags would be a bit much even for me. I decided to have a more abstract interpretation of the show.

On the show, the ponies are always having a good time and throwing some kind of party usually put together by resident party planner and my favourite character Pinkie Pie. For this reason I chose pink as the colour of my decor.

At their parties the menus almost solely consist of dessert. Hence my idea to have a dessert party!

THE PARTY
Every shindig I throw together no matter how big or small how casual or fancy I have a party plan. This is where I put together important bits of info to guide me as I plan. Sometimes it’s written, sometimes I put it in my phone and sometimes it’s just in my head but the point is that it’s there.

PARTY PLAN

WHAT: Birthday- Dessert Party

WHEN: September 6th 2014

WHERE: Beachhouse at X location

WHO: Insert guest list here

THEME: MLP FIM /Dessert

MENU: Insert menu here

ENTERTAINMENT: This is where you decide how you keep ypur guests bustm. Anything from an iTunes playlist to a game of monopoly to a performance by a belly dancer goes here.

BUDGET: Arguably the most important part of the party plan.
My budget was $100 US

Wait…what! An entire party for 25 plus persons feeding them dessert!(easily the most expensive part of any meal) for $100 US! No way!

Yes way. I am the poor party girl. I entertain and live fabulously on a budget!

HOW: I decided to do it potluck style. I asked each guest(or couple) to bring a dessert. That way each person only spent money on one dish but put altogether we had quite a spread.

THE LIST
This is my menu
1) Strawberry Trifle

2) Chocolate Trifle (ended up being baked chocolate mousse cake)

3) Brownies

4) Blondies

5)Cheesecake (one with strawberry and the other with cherry topping)

6)Coconut mousse

7) Ambrosia Salad

8) White chocolate chip cookies

9) Strawberry Strudel

10) Ice Cream

11) Fruit Tarts

12) Coconut Loaf

13)Chocolate Bread Pudding

14) Jello

Additionally we had tuna, cheese and cucumber sandwiches as well as fishcakes for those who wanted a break from the sweetness.

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Fruit tarts

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Blondies being sliced

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Some of the desserts

Of course there were drinks. From juice to coke wine, rum and vodka(birthday cake flavoured!), tipsy gummy bears and jello shots!

DECOR
As I said pink was the colour of choice. In an effort to stick to my budget coupled with my lack of time and energy to DIY, I had very minimal decorations but I think it worked out just fine.

1) Triangle flag banners
I bought three of these 9 foot long card banners. They were pink and white with alternating patterns of polka dots and stripes. I got them from a craft/toy store and they werw very inexpensive.

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The banners

2)Flowers
I usually get flowers from my supermarket. They are reasonable and there’s a decent selection. To save money, you could buy 2 or 3 flowers and either add some bulk with foliage from your garden or leave them just so for a minimalist look. This is what I usually do but I got crazy and bought a full bouquet with pink being the main colour of course.

3)Table
I bought a dirt cheap plastic tablecloth in flamingo pink. Not wanting to hide to beautiful dark wood table entirely my sister folded the tablecloth lengthways into 1/3’s and made it into a table runner.

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Table runner and flowers

4) Balloons
What a controversial decoration. For years I considered them tacky. A six year old birthday? Yeah. A high school dance? Fine, maybe. A wedding or a conference? NO!
Now I don’t feel that way at all. All over the net I’ve seen some seriously tasteful balloon decorations. Also, if you like balloons..use them! They are cheap, fun and instantly say “party!”.
My sister and mother got me three regular latex balloons filled with helium( they don’t last as long as heluim balloons) for my welcome home which happened 5 days earlier. They still had a little life in them so I tied them to the gate of the beach house so guests could find us.

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The balloons on day 1(sorry no party pics of them)

5) Candles
More for the ambience than decoration. I got a Glade candle in Coral Lagoon scent. Glade, BBW and similar brands are cheaper alternatives to fancy schmancy pricey designer candles.

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Glade candle

ENTERTAINMENT
Music
My sister’s bf set up a laptop and speakers and hooked it up to the TV. He had a playlist going most of the evening but later in we switched to YouTube requests and karaoke. Fun times!

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The entertainment system and me being a total creep in the window.

Hula(Hoola) hoop
Oh yes, inspired once more by MLP FIM. In their land Equestria, technology doesn’t exist and the ponies entetain themselves with old fashioned passtimes like apple bobbing and ball bouncing. I had 2 hoola hoops and later on in the evening some of us retreated to the sand and had a serious hooping session. I won!
There was also a beach ball (for those who couldn’t hoola hoop)

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View from the beach where the hoop-off took place.

THE CAKE
Half of my budget was spent on my cake. I love baking but who wants to have to make their own birthday cake? I ordered a dark chocolate mousse on chocolate sponge. It was topped with thick white chocolate curls and sliced strawberries. It was pure, smooth chocolaty evil. And we loved it!

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Decadence

I had an old fashioned “birthday song singing, speech giving cake sticking” It was touching.

That’s it in a nutshell. Another birthday well spent with excellent company. I have to admit I had been feeling really down in the days leading up to and on my birthday. This happened to me last year as well (I hope it doesn’t become a regular thing). By the end of the night I felt better and for that I am grateful. (especially after that hooping sesh!)
Wishing everyone an awesome day!

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Happy Holiday-The Late Edition

1 Jan

Hey there everyone, Happy Holidays! This includes Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and really any other holiday observed around this time of the year.

Boy did I have blogging plans for this season, I was going to post about decorating for Christmas, about homemade Christmas gifts and frugal ways to enjoy New Year’s eve. But alas, the hustle and bustle got the better of me. When I wasn’t too  busy I was too tired to even turn on my laptop.

Therefore I’m going have to do an all in one post..

First off Christmas decorations

In our home, we love to decorate for any reason but most especially Christmas! We always get a “live” tree. We do use baubles and the shiny round run of the mill ornaments in between as fillers but most of our decorations are one of a kinds (to us) collected over the years.

There was once a time when I wished we could magically eliminate our old decorations each year and buy an entirely new batch with a different colour scheme each year, but somewhere in my early 20’s I think I fully appreciated the meaningfulness behind each and every “personal” decoration. There is stuff on there from the 70’s right up until now. My mother even has a decoration which once belonged to her mother (back in the 50’s and 60’s).

In addition to meaning and sentimental value etc this is far more affordable than purchasing a new set of decorations every year or so which many of us very well do.

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The tree by night.

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A lighted view of the tree. Here you can see: a mask, a stuffed giraffe, a mini snow white book (bought on my first trip to Disney World 22 years ago), a Pinocchio decoration bought from a toy store in Italy, 2 Sponge bob ceramic decorations (my sister’s fav cartoon) a shiny red apple (bought in the big apple) and much more.

Next, Gifts

This can really rack up the cash and for a poor party girl like myself that just won’t do. My advice is;

1) Make a list and check it twice- A lot of the time we find ourselves giving gifts to people that we don’t really want to or need to. Stop this! I hope that doesn’t seem mean spirited but if I don’t see or hear you for the entire year there is no need to spend a small fortune on a dust collector for your home. Revising your Christmas list alone will cut your spending.

                          2) Make it or Bake it- That’s right, homemade gifts are from the heart and when properly thought out are cheaper than many commercial items.

Maybe jewellery making is your hobby; buy some beads and go for it,  maybe you love to bake; cookies or cupcakes are a neat idea. Perhaps you have a green thumb, give your friends and family a small potted plants for gifts.

As mentioned, plan your homemade gifts budget carefully or you could end up spending more doing this than just buying ready made stuff. Crafty items and baking supplies can be very overpriced so do some wholesale purchasing and bargain hunting.

That said, no matter the cost, a homemade gift will have that personal touch ready made stuff doesn’t.

Lastly, New Years Eve

What to do?

I’ve had my time of going to fancy all inclusive all night long parties, where your dress and shoes cost more than the overpriced ticket to the event. But I no longer care much for that scene, nor do I deem it affordable, not every year at least. I would say for the past 5 years or so I’ve been doing new years on a budget.

Some ideas :

                  1) Going someplace(free) to watch fireworks (did that 2 years ago)- take a bottle of wine, a few glasses and some snacks and make a night out of it.

                    2) having an old school house party where everyone brings something-throw on some music or movies and have a chill night

                    3) just hanging out at home with my immediate family (my mother and I are doing that this year) and watching the countdowns all over the world.

                    4)  Going to church- A lot of persons I know believe in starting each new year off this way

                    5) Nothing at all-Completely fail to acknowledge anything different about this night and carry on as usual (this also works quite well)

Well I know it was rushed and late an concise but that’s my 2 cents worth on the holiday season this year. I will leave with you a few pictures of our Christmas decor and a wish for a truly blessed and awesome and successful 2013………………….the best is yet to come.

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The Dining Table with our party spread laid out

ImageA close up of the tablescape; Glass jar filled with assorted red ornaments, miniature Christmas trees, small apothecary jar filled with red decorations small red candle holder and hanging from our chandelier, more red ornaments tied onto ribbon. All of these things were reused from previous years.

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This was on the coffee table in our porch 3 candles, a red glass ornament and one huge silver spray painted pine cone on a gold charger. Simple but effective.

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Last but not least; Patronus (yes inspired by the Stag that was Harry Potter’s patronus). Last Christmas my sister bought me a ceramic reindeer. This Christmas I wrapped him in some LED lights and placed Santa on his back.

Here is looking forward to lots more blogging in 2013. Have an awesome day and year!

 

 

 

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