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TRENDS: Woodland & Fairy Themed Parties on Catch My Party

by Jillian Leslie on

Another trend we're seeing a lot of is woodland and fairy themed parties.  What's so great about them is they're versatile.  They can be for a boy, girl, or even an adult, and there's something earthy, yet magical about them.  Here are some great examples:

(Click on the pictures to see more of these fabulous parties.)

An Enchanted Fairy Tale Party

This party for two cousins (ages 3 & 5), was based on the Hans Christian Anderson's tale "Thumbelina," and had actual frogs in the centerpieces.


An Enchanted Fairy Tale Party

Ella's Enchanted Wood Fairy Party

Lots of handmade items at this magical party including Ella and her sister's fairy costumes.


Ella's Enchanted Wood Fairy Party

Magical Forest Dinner Party

With some branches from the tree outside, $20 thrift store decorations, and a great menu, this was the perfect adult birthday dinner party.


Magical Forest Dinner Party

Through the Woods to a Party we Go!

For a family that lives in the woods, what better way to celebrate their son's 1st birthday.  (We love the family tree filled with everyone's baby photos.)


Through the Woods to a Party we Go

Stay tuned, more themes to come...

TRENDS: Unique Party Themes on Catch My Party

by Jillian Leslie on

We get some unbelievable parties on our site and are constantly blown away by the level of creativity. So here are some very unique parties we've seen recently.

(Click on the pictures to see more of these fabulous parties.)

Around the World Birthday Party

The children each got a passport and set off to visit every continent on the planet.


Around the World Birthday Party

Top Secret Military Mission Birthday Party

Target practice, battle gear, and an actual mission.  What could be cooler for a seven-year-old birthday?


Top Secret Military Mission Party

Retro Toy Party

Put away the video games.  It was time to go "old school" with some Dick and Jane books, Slinkies, spinning tops, and sock monkeys.


Retro Toy Party

Meet the Puppy Party

There were treats for the humans and treats for the dogs, and we couldn't tell which looked more delicious.


Meet the Puppy Party

Lauren and Simon's Llama Wedding

Yes, they're at a real llama farm and those are real llamas at their wedding.


Lauren and Simon's Llama Wedding

Tiny Two Birthday Party

Everything was tiny at this party (the invitations, the food, the drinks, the favors) but we couldn't get over the tiny town.


Tiny Two Party

We hope these parties inspire you like they inspire us.

I'm Loving The Idea of Using Inside Furniture for Outdoor Entertaining

by Jillian Leslie on

I just saw this post on my friend, Chris Nease's fabulous blog,  Celebrations at Home and love it.

She calls it "bringing the inside, out" (as opposed to "bringing the outside in") and what a great idea -- taking your inside furniture, like a chest of drawers, a desk, or a coffee table, and using it for an outdoor party.


Chests and desks used for outdoor entertaining.


A coffee table used as a bar.

It definitely adds a "cool" factor to your party and it's practical.  No need to rent tables, just use what you have.  In these economic times, you can't beat that.

Chris has some more great ideas.  Check them out here.

Photos: desk 1, desk 2, chest 1, chest 2,

TRENDS: Popular Party Themes on Catch My Party

by Jillian Leslie on

I thought I'd periodically write about party trends on the site, so here are some of the most popular party themes we've seen recently.

(Click on the photos below to see these fabulous parties on the site.)

RAINBOW THEMED PARTIES

I love how bright and cheery these parties are and I'm really digging the rainbow cakes.  Plus it's easy to incorporate colorful candy at a sweets table with this theme.


Buggie's Rainbow Party


Georgie's 4th Birdie Birthday


Katie's 8th Birthday


Rainbow N Ruffles Party

CIRCUS THEMED PARTIES

What's great about circus parties is the number of elements you can pull from like clowns, games, circus tents, peanuts, popcorn, and cotton candy.


Circus Comes for Nicky's 2nd Birthday


Greyson's Circus First Birthday


Jacob's 2nd Birthday


Carter's First Birthday

SPORTS THEMED PARTIES

To keep things interesting, you get to add some (hopefully) friendly competition to a sports themed party, and of course banners, pennants, trophies, and sports drinks work great here.


Obstacle Course Birthday Party


Wii Tournament Party


Slam-Dunk Sports Party

PRINCESS THEMED PARTIES

Having a three year old daughter myself, anything "princess" hits close to home.   I think the key here is playing up the fantasy with costumes, crowns, wands, and of course, loads of pink and purple (great fun for DIY moms).

And if you can have a "real live princes" show up, you're golden!


Tutus & Tiaras!


Princess tea party


Sofia's 4th Birthday Party


Nikki's Princess and the Frog Royal Celebration

BIRDS NEST THEMED PARTIES

I love what these parties represent: nesting, hatching, and spring.  This is definitely one of my favorite themes for a baby shower right now.


About to Hatch Baby Shower


How "Tweet" it Is


Feather Her Nest Sip-N-See

Stay tuned for my next TRENDS post on the most unique themes we've seen recently on the site.

My New Favorite Online Craft Store -- Save On Crafts

by Jillian Leslie on

I'm loving Save on Crafts.  It speaks to the DIYer in me begging to come out.

I browse through the site and think about all the crazy things I could do here:

I could make a cool sweets table with the apothecary jars.

I could make some great centerpieces with the birdcages and silk flowers.

I could string twinkle lights all over my backyard to set a really awesome mood.

I could make a great cupcake tree.

I could hang up some homemade pom poms.

I could even throw some ecofriendly confetti at a wedding... or just because.

So much to do, so little time.

SPOTLIGHT ON: An Insanely Awesome Picnic Engagement Party

by Jillian Leslie on

I fell in love with Morgan + KTs Picnic Engagement Party the first moment I saw the pictures.

What speaks to me about it is that it's homemade, low key, beautiful, fun, and all about love.  What could be better?

[caption id="attachment_1817" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The party theme."]

I asked Katie, from NSW Australia, how she created it, and here's what she said:

What was your inspiration for the party?

I can't remember my exact inspiration for the party but I know it was just coming out of winter and I wanted to get outdoors and into the sunshine! Also a lot of our friends were also having night time engagement parties and we wanted to do something a little different.

We wanted to create a laid back picnic feel, where people could dine on the grass, enjoying the sunshine and where we could spend a lazy Saturday afternoon with our friends and family. Unfortunately the weather didn't co-operate for us and we ended up having to bring in shelters and no-one really 'picnicked' on the grass (instead on chairs) but we had fun just the same.  I created a mind map for the event and starting listing all the ideas that came to mind when I thought of a picnic party - and it kinda grew from there.

Here is what i wrote on my blog: “simple a little country (to compliment our wedding which is being held in the country) picnic style a red & orange colour theme and a M+K= <3 theme (which many of our guests cleverly used too!)

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Can you describe all the different things that went on during the party? You can find a lot of info on this on my blog: www.alittlebirdtoldmeso.blogspot.com (under wedding) I have listed all the things we did in seperate posts.

Food: Morgan's cousins acted as servers and brought out trays of yummy food. For mains we served chicken ceaser salad and anglo-asian lamb salad in noodle boxes (which were left over from another party) It was YUMMY. Also yummy was the home made lemonade which was drunk out of straws with flags which guests were asked to write their name on.


Homemade lemonade in jelly jars.

Games: We set up lawn boules on the grass, random balls and I'm pretty sure Morgan put some cricket equipment out too. The homemade twister quilt was also a fun game for kids and adults alike.


Homemade Twister sign


Homemade Twister game in action.

Another easy 'game' was leaving buckets of chalk on the driveway to help keep our littlest guest occupied. They loves it and created a whole 'hopscotch land' and covered the rest of the driveway in M<3 K!


The kids played with sidewalk chalk

Photo booth: We hung a sheet between two palm trees, put our camera on a tripod, created some felt mustaches from an online tutorial and had guests take silly photos of themselves. It was a lot of fun and we got some of the best shots of our guests from here. I plan on scrapbooking them with notes from the guestbook.


Homemade photo booth complete with mustaches.

Guestbook: We hung some twine between some palm trees and cut simple squares out of scrapbooking paper which were pegged onto the twine. We also used the line to display some of our favorite engagement photos.


Wishes were strung on clothes lines.

Quiz: We gathered everyone together and made a silly quiz of our relationship. The idea was that at least one guest knew an answer to each of the questions and guest had to mingle to find the answers they didn't know. The answered were then read out and lead into the speeches. (there was also a small prize for the winner)

Speeches + toasts: Speeches were a special part of the day. Also a very special was the part where Morgan's dad prayed over our marriage, relationship and wedding preparation while all of our friends and family joined in.

What were the most fun things to design and create? I had a lot of fun sewing up the twister quilt. And love the idea how this can one day become a family heirloom and picnic tradition - we have used it a lot for picnics since!


Homemade Twister quilt

Also fun was making the chalkboard signs and flag straws, cupcake toppers, framed signs and any paper related crafts.

What activities were the most fun for your guests and you during the party?

The guests all commented on the food actually, particularly Morgans mum's berry pie. :)
And I guess the photobooth were a lot of guest had fun hanging around and being silly.

And for the kids it was the chalk on the driveway!

And we really loved getting to sit down together the morning after the party, at breakfast, and reading over all the guestbook notes from family and friends. There were some really funny responses!

What was your budget?

Hmm wow. As our party was about 7 months ago I can't really remember that one.

But I do know some hints as to how we kept costs down.

Having a party at home was definitely a money saver because it meant no hire costs. We were also lucky enough to borrow all the chairs from church and the 'circus' tarpaulin from a friend. So don't be afraid to ask friends and family if you can borrow.

Instead of buying an 'engagement cake' we opted to make our own cupcakes, which were actually just simple packet mixes (although we made our own icing) - they took about 5 hours worth of icing but were worth it.


Homemade cupcakes and cupcake toppers.

We also made all our own food - a joint effort from my mum, Morgan's mum and aunt, sister, cousins and myself. It was a lot of work but meant we didn't need to hire a caterer. And cousins helped serve so Morgan and myself could enjoy the party.

Signs were made from scrap wood and left over chalk board paint from another project. And other objects, frames, tables, glass jars were brought in from around the house.

We made the invitations ourselves and found lots of free tutorials online for eg. the envelope labels, mustaches, Martha Stewart banner:http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/article/click-print-banner so keep a great eye out for free printables and ideas.


Homemade invitations.

How long did it take to put together?
I can't quite remember this one either. I think a 2-3 months?
What's your wedding going to be like?

We are having a Spring time wedding in the Hunter Valley NSW with an outdoor ceremony followed by a garden party and then a reception at a closeby vineyard. We want to day to be fun and a reflection of us and most importantly our relationship with Christ and his plan for marriage. So you can expect lots of handmade touches, fun music, games and untraditional twists.
We are also planning to keep our friends and family (they mean a lot to us) quite involved - we will be getting married by Morgan's uncle and close friends will play music etc.
Morgan and Katie's wedding is in November and she promises to share her wedding photos on Catch My Party.   As soon as she does, I will add them to the blog so you can see them!
Can't wait, Katie!!

Top Chef Masters Wedding Wars

by Jillian Leslie on

I love "Top Chef Masters," so how psyched was I to watch last week's episode and see that it was "Wedding Wars."

I wish I could have tasted the food.  How many times have I been to a wedding where the food was just adequate, or not even that great.  What would it be like to be at a wedding and eat food prepared by awesome chefs?

The desserts made by Govind Armstrong where quite impressive, but I have to say I was happy when Jody Adams won the challenge.  She seems modest and hard working, no showboating, which I like.

But I've got a couple questions... How do they pick the couple to feature on the show?  Are they foodies, because based on the episode they didn't seem like it.  And what's it like to have a reality show filming at your wedding?

Even though I think of myself as a slight foodie, I'm not sure I'd welcome the cameras, even for the free food.  Any thoughts?

The City Cradle's 30 X 30 Project

by Jillian Leslie on

Vicky of the City Cradle blog has a goal.  She wants to throw 30 parties by the time she turns 30.  She has until March 2011 to do it, and so far she's thrown 6 (way ahead of schedule).

On her blog she shares everything that goes into the planning of her parties, from inspiration, to design, to the actual event.  And what I love about her posts are all the details and DIY projects she includes.

Plus, you can see by her designs how beautiful, warm, and unique they are.  You'd never know she does this on a budget.

Her six parties so far:


A Coffee and Tea Tasting Bridal Shower


A Pinwheels & Pearls Girl's Birthday Party


A Mother's Day Brunch


A Bird's Nest Baby Shower


A Spring in Bloom Party


A Roast and Toast Housewarming Party

The other impressive thing about Vicky is that she also has twin babies!  You can check them out on Tuesdays when she adds her Tuesday Twin Snap.  Adorable.

Cake Pops -- My New Obsession

by Jillian Leslie on

Can you believe I've never tried a cake pop?  I know... the insanity.  And yet, I'm obsessed with them, and with the blog Bakerella where it all began.

For those of you late to the game, like myself, you might be asking what's a cake pop?  Well, it's just crumbled cake combined with frosting, rolled into balls, covered in chocolate, with sticks attached.  Simple, but oh so delicious, and incredibly cute.

Many of the parties on our site feature them, because they look so great on a dessert table.

Here are my favorites from Bakerella.

And here are two variations on the theme from Bakerella, macaron pops and pie pops.  Genius.

If you want to make any of these above, check out the Bakerella blog because every pop comes with detailed directions.

I can't promise they will look as beautiful as these, but I bet they'll sure taste good.

My Favorite New Designer Party Shoes a.k.a. Shoe Porn

by Jillian Leslie on

Given that I just did a post on how to throw a Sex and the City 2 themed party, I've had shoes on the brain.

Since I can't afford a new pair of Louboutins, I can at least look.  So here are a few of my favorite designer shoes for spring.


Christian Louboutin Very Jaws 140 Slingbacks


Valentino Floral Organza Sandals


Alexander McQueen Metallic-Leather Strappy Sandals


Lanvin Sunbeam Snakeskin Pump


Emilio Pucci Leather Multi-Strap Sandals


Jimmy Choo Private Patent-Leather Sandals


Fendi Chain-Trimmed Suede Sandals

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