My New Favorite Site for Mother's Day E-Cards is Ojolie

by Jillian Leslie on

My new favorite site for Mother's Day e-cards is Ojolie.

The cards are both beautiful and understated.

Here's what the artist/owner of the site, Frederikke Tu, says about her work:

"Our ecards are my work of passion, taking weeks of painstaking - but fun and satisfying - work and attention to detail to complete. First I hand paint many parts, and then the scanned images are combined with Flash animation to create a visually stunning story."

The ecards are not free, but for a 1 year subscription it will cost you only $10.

My favorites are definitely the animated origami cards, but so many of the them are absolutely gorgeous.

Origami e-card

Origami Cranes e-card

Flutter e-card

Pigeongram e-card

How to Throw a Sex and the City Themed Party

by Jillian Leslie on

Now that Sex and the City 2 is premiering on May 27th, I thought it was time to write about how to throw your own Sex and the City 2 themed party.

First off, you can always start old school.

  • For drinks serve cosmopolitans, Manhattans, Long Island ice teas, or appletinis
  • For food, Chinese food and sushi are two show favorites
  • Send fancy invitations and ask your guests to dress as their favorite character
  • For atmosphere, put out boas, scarves, gloves, sunglasses, flower pins, and jewelry
  • To create a NYC backdrop, hang twinkle lights and blow up some pictures of the New York City skyline
  • Play the show DVDs, the first movie, or the movie soundtrack during the party
  • Play the Sex and the City trivia game

But now to make it more current, add some Middle Eastern flavor.

  • Serve some middle eastern dishes like hummus, tabouleh, falafel, baba ganoush, and kebabs
  • Decorate with sand, blow up palm trees, and toy camels
  • Provide colorful scarves for your guests and have a belly dancing contest
  • Create a game to see who can point to Abu Dhabi on a map
  • Get "Team Aidan" and "Team Big" t-shirts made to give out as party favors
If you have any other ideas, please share.  And if you have a Sex and the City 2 party, let me know.  I'd love to write about it here in my blog.

Just 21 days until opening day... but who's counting.

What is a Cricut?

by Jillian Leslie on

A bunch of users have mentioned using a Cricut to add details to their parties.  So of course I had to ask, what is a Cricut?

It turns out it's a pretty cool electronic cutting device to cut out shapes and letters for scrapbooking and craft projects.

Here's what one looks like.  No computer necessary.

They seem to range in price from about $100 to $350, but where it can get even pricier is when you add in the cost of the cartridges you need to make the cool shapes.  These run anywhere from $25 to $80 each.

So the question is... is it worth it?

And the answer is... if you are a "crafty" person, yes!   There's really nothing like it.  Take a look at some of the things you can do with a Cricut.

In fact, they even have a new food Cricut for cake and cookie decorating.  Check out this cake.

Kind of cool, right?

The Best Cinco De Mayo Margarita Recipes

by Jillian Leslie on

Since it's almost Cinco De Mayo, I thought a couple margarita recipes are in order.

Here are a few of my favorites!

Traditional Margarita courtesy of Drink of the Week

Take a cocktail glass and rub the lime wedge around the rim, dip rim in the salt.

1 1/2 oz. Tequila 1/2 oz. Triple Sec 1 oz. Lime Juice or Sweet & Sour Bar Salt Garnish - Lime Squeeze

In a shaker with ice combine Tequila, Triple Sec, & Lime Juice. Shake well a strain into the cocktail glass.

On the Rocks - Fill a salted bucket glass with ice. Build this 'Maggie' right in the glass.

Frozen Margarita - Blend ingredients with a scoop of ice, serve in a salted large stem 'Margarita' glass. Frozen Fruit Margaritas can be made by adding a scoop of fresh fruit (strawberries, peaches, pineapples, etc.)

Cadillac Margarita courtesy of Drink of the Week

1 1/2 oz. Gold Tequila 1/2 oz. Cointreau 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier 1 oz. Lime Juice Bar Salt Garnish - Lime Squeeze

Rim a margarita or highball glass with lime and coat with salt. Next, fill the glass with ice and set aside. In a shaker with ice combine Tequila, Cointreau, & Lime Juice. Shake well a strain into the glass. Float the Grand Marnier on top, and squeeze the lime and drop it in.

Frozen Strawberry Margarita courtesy of Food Network

3 cups strawberries 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur 1/3 cup fresh lime juice 3/4 cup tequila  (preferably anejo) 2 tablespoons honey pinch of salt

Puree ingredients in a blender. Add 3 cups ice and blend until smooth. Divide among 4 stemmed glasses. Garnish with strawberries dipped in sugar.

Watermelon Margarita courtesy of

4 cups watermelon, seeded & cubed 1 6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate 1/2 cup tequila, your pick 3 tablespoons sugar & lime wedges for garnish

In a large zip-lock bag- place watermelon cubes inside & freeze for 8 hours. Take out your watermelon bag & get your blender ready.  In the blender combine half of your watermelon cubes, limeade & tequila. Process until smooth. Repeat with the remaining half.

To garnish: Place the sugar in a wide, shallow bowl. Moisten the rim of a margarita glass with a lime

Arizona Margarita courtesy of Drink of the Week

2 oz. Tequila 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice 1/2 oz. prickly pear juice 1/2 oz Cointreau Kosher salt Ice Lime slice for garnish

Shake liquid ingredients with ice in a martini shaker. Strain out ice before serving. Serve in margarita glasses rimmed with kosher salt and garnish with a lime slice.

Chambord Margarita courtesy of Drink of the Week

Tequila 1/2 oz. Triple Sec 1/2 oz. Chambord 3 oz. Margarita Mix

Combine all ingredients in an electric blender with 1 cup if ice. Blend for 30 seconds. Serve in a margarita glass. Garnish with a lime

Cherry Sling Margarita courtesy of Drink of the Week

1 1/2 oz. Agavero Licor De Tequila 3/4 oz. Cherry Blossom Sling Margarita Mix (substitute equal parts of Cherry & lime juice) 4 oz. Sparkling Water

Add all ingredients in to a Collins glass filled with ice. Stir and garnish with an orange wedge.

Blueberry Lime Margarita courtesy of Food Network

2 cups ice 1 cup frozen blueberries 1 cup blueberry nectar 1/4 cup seltzer 2 tablespoons frozen limeade 1 tablespoon lime juice 3 ounces tequila, optional 1 lime wedge Coarse salt

Combine ice, blueberries, blueberry nectar, seltzer, limeade, lime juice and tequila, if using, in a blender and blend until smooth. Rub rim of 2 glasses with lime wedge and dip in salt. Divide the margarita between the prepared glasses and serve. smooth. Rub rim of 2 glasses with lime wedge and dip in salt. Divide the margarita between the prepared glasses and serve.

Enjoy!  And Happy Cinco De Mayo!!!

How to Throw a Birthday Party for your Dog (or Cat)

by Jillian Leslie on

I just stumbled upon Tail Waggin' Celebrations, which is an actual party supply store for dogs.

If you want to throw your dog a party, this is your one-stop shop.  They've got invitations, dog party hats, cakes and treats.

They've even got supplies for cat parties too.

If anyone throws a party for your dog or cat, I'd love to feature it on our homepage in our Party of the Day and blog about it.

Amazing Wedding Cakes designed by The CakeGirls, Cake Alchemy, and Merci Beaucoup

by Jillian Leslie on

Today was the first day I saw an episode of  "Amazing Wedding Cakes" and now I'm hooked.  It's on the WeTV cable network and there are some seriously cool cakes on this show.

So here are the three cakes that were featured in today's episode.  My favorite is the Barcelona cake, styled after Gaudi's most famous building in Barcelona and created by Cake Alchemy in New York.

But the other two, like this turntable cake by the CakeGirls in Chicago, aren't too shabby.  (When I looked at the CakeGirls website I saw that they recently had a fire that destroyed their studio.  My heart goes out to them.  You can read more about it here.)

And check out the incredible flowers on this traditional cake by Merci Beaucoup in LA.

If you love weddings and cakes (like me), this is the show for you.

Some of my Favorite Kid's Party Favors on Etsy

by Jillian Leslie on

Having gotten a lot of kid birthdays on our site, I thought I'd write about some of my favorite party favor ideas on Etsy.

Recycled number crayons from ivylanedesigns.  I thought these were cute, original, and not too expensive at $20 for 30 crayons.

Recycled number crayons party favors

For an all-girl slumber party, hair bows with a thank you note from FavorMyParty can't be beat.

Hair bow party favors

An idea for those with an unlimited budget... super hero capes from Custom Kids.   At $10 each, these get pricey, but they're cute and original.

Super hero party favor capes with customized initials

Crayon keepers to take to restaurants or on trips.  Here's a mini one from bowssosweet that holds four crayons for $2.50 -$3.00.

Crayon keeper party favors

Cute personalized children's bracelets for $3 each from stargazinglily. Depending on the bead choice I think these could work for boys and girls.

Children name bracelet party favors

And finally, to go with something simple and sweet, some gorgeous, individually wrapped cookies from FunFavors at $2.00 - $2.50 a cookie.

Festive and fun sugar cookies

I hope this has inspired you to go beyond bubbles and superballs.  But then again, bubbles and superballs can be pretty fun too.

Birthday Party Bash - A New Game for the Nintendo Wii

by Jillian Leslie on

We've been getting a lot of new birthday parties on the site, so I thought this was a good time to write about Birthday Party Bash, a new game for the Nintendo Wii.  I have not tried it yet, but since my husband is big gamer (and is trying to turn my daughter, who just turned three, into one too), I'm sure we will own it soon.

It's exactly what it says, a virtual birthday party for up to twelve people.  It has party games such as Pin the Tail, Hot Potato, Present Frenzy, Balloon Popper, Musical Chairs, and Sack Race.

There are also ten different girl and boy themed party rooms including: pirate, glamour, sports, princess, construction, stuffed animals, monsters, magical forest, army men and music to choose from.

And when it's time to cut the cake, guest can enjoy a lively rendition of  "Happy Birthday" with a virtual cake on screen.

According to one reviewer on Amazon: "This is basically a series of mini-games for kids with a birthday party thrown in as a way to connect everything. It's certainly cute, but definitely not a 'birthday party in a box' as is suggested.  I would not advise chucking out all your big party plans and inviting some of your kid's friends over to celebrate with this game."

Sorry parents, the planning continues...

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