GIVEAWAY: Free Brochure Printing from Worth $55

by Jillian Leslie on

I've never done a giveaway like this before, but because so many of our readers own their own businesses and need promotional materials, I'm really excited to offer this giveaway from UPrinting.

UPrinting is a leader in socially responsible online printing and will be giving away free brochure printing worth $55 to one of our lucky readers!

I've used UPrinting to print my business cards and I've been super impressed. In fact, I found them because the graphic designer who designed my cards wouldn't let me get them printed anywhere else.

Here's what you win:

  • 50 printed brochures
  • 8.5" x 11"
  • 100lb Paper Gloss
  • With Folding (Half Fold, Trifold/Letterfold, Z-Fold, Roll Fold, Accordion Fold)
  • Outside and Inside Printing
  • 2 Business Days Turnaround
  • Free shipping
Take a look at some of the beautiful brochures they've done...

To enter the giveaway, just “like” on Facebook, then leave a comment saying you did just that. Easy!

We’ll pick the winner at random on Thursday, September 1st at 10:00PM (PST).  Any entries after that won’t be considered, sorry.  We will use to generate our winner and will notify you by email. This giveaway is limited to US residents 18 years and older.

Disclaimer:  This giveaway is a paid post sponsored by UPrinting.

FREE Pirate Birthday Printables from B. Nute productions

by Jillian Leslie on

How sweet! Betsy from B. Nute productions designed these adorable Lil' Pirate birthday printables (invitation, "ahoy" banner, and favor tags) and is letting us give them away for FREE. Thank you, Betsy!

We see a lot of pirate parties on our site, so if you're thinking of this theme for your son or daughter, these printables can definitely help take your party to that next level. See how cute they are...


Pirate birthday invitations

"Ahoy" banner

Pirate favor tags

To learn more about Betsy and see her whimsical and vintage designs, check her out at B. Nute productions.



PARTY ON A BUDGET: A Pink Parisan Patisserie Birthday for $74

by Jillian Leslie on

Ooh la la! I saw Heather L's Pink Parisian Patisserie Party and I was swooning -- all that pink, all those treats, all those fluffy pom poms!


Then I noticed the budget... $75! Can't be done, I thought. But I was proven wrong. Here's how Heather pulled it off...

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I LOVE to throw a party!  I have so many ideas running through my head, it can get overwhelming at times.  However, I get a reality check every time I think about actually implementing all of my crazy plans when I remember the “B” word – BUDGET. 

As a stay at home mom of five, with a hardworking husband who has recently started his own business, I feel that it is my job to keep a very strict budget when it comes to party planning – but still make those in my life feel special and spoiled!  Over time, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks for creating a fabulous party on a budget.  Here are a few ways I saved money but still managed to get the look of a more extravagant party.


 Use what you have, borrow what you don’t!  This is my favorite tip, and I cannot stress this enough.  For this particular party, my daughter wanted a cupcake/bakery theme.  As I was thinking of ideas for the party, I realized that a French bakery theme would be cute – especially since my daughters’ shared bathroom is decorated in a pink/black Parisian theme. 

I simply borrowed some items from their bathroom – like the metal Eiffel tower, a small painting, a cute poodle, and much more!  I also pulled many things from both daughters’ rooms.  If it was pink or black, I grabbed it =) 

Eiffel Tower borrowed from her daughters

Stuffed poodle borrowed from her daughters

I had a ton of tulle on hand (that I have kept since my 12 year old daughter’s fourth birthday!) so I used tulle on everything.  For NO money, I had instant party décor.  As you are deciding on a theme, think about what you have in your house that matches your colors – maybe there is a red bucket, a cute aqua shelf, or a pink bird cage that would look just PERFECT dressed up for your party.  Additionally, borrow what you can – for my Paris party, I borrowed several serving plates/platters as well as both tablecloths I used. 


Don’t plan your party during a meal time.  I purposely planned our party for 2:00 – 4:00 pm.  I knew that I couldn’t afford to serve a huge spread of food, so I kept it light and simple – and it was perfect for little tummies! 

I served cupcakes (baked at home using boxed mix and canned frosting that I piped on to look more “professional”), sugar cookies I baked and decorated myself, marshmallow pops (I already had the marshmallows and just purchased pink candy melts with a coupon), a little candy, and some grapes and pretzels to balance out all the sweet stuff.  I already had the grapes and pretzels on hand for my kids’ lunches, so I only had to purchase a few items.  Our drinks were inexpensive “Shirley Temples” made with Sprite and grenadine. 

Homemade sugar cookies

Homemade marshmallow pops

The kids had plenty to eat and most even took some treats home with them.  If I had served lunch, I would have busted my budget for sure.


Start planning early.  I always start planning my parties well in advance.  One reason for this is that I just can’t help myself – I’m always looking forward to the next party =) 

The main reason, though, is so I can start looking for items that are deeply discounted that go with my theme.  You can find cute buckets, frames, serving pieces, scrapbook paper/supplies, etc. on major clearance at craft stores if you know what you are looking for.  It might be on sale six months before your party, but if you know your theme ahead of time you can purchase it at a great price.


Use party printables (reasonably priced ones).  In my opinion, cute party printables really do make your party.  However, you have to factor in the cost of purchasing them as well as printing them.  If you purchase a very expensive party printable package and then go to the office supply store to get it printed (or use up all of your own very expensive ink!), you might be shocked at how much of your budget is gone.  Shop around, and find a reasonably priced printable package.

Inexpensive printables

I was able to find a great one for my Paris party for only $10!  Even if you can only afford to get one printable item, such as cupcake toppers/party circles, print a bunch of them and use them everywhere.  Other than cupcakes, you can use them as favor tags, to dress up store bought party hats, or even glue them to ribbons and have them hanging from your chandelier.  For my Paris party, my very talented mom embellished the already adorable banner that I printed, and it looked like a million bucks!

Embellished banner


Do it yourself.  People tell me all the time that they “can’t” make things, or they “aren’t crafty.”  Well, let me tell you – if you have a small budget, you’ll figure it out quickly =) 

Every single party I do, I make most of the decorations.  There are SO many tutorials out there in blog land – just Google what you are looking for and you are sure to find instructions on how to make it.  Everything might not be perfect, but my kids don’t care – and they are SO proud to tell their friends, “My mom made that!” 

For this party, I wanted a beautiful floral arrangement for my front door, and while I do consider myself pretty crafty, I am NO floral arranger – at all!  But, I was determined, so I purchased five bunches of flowers at the Dollar Tree and played around with them in a door bucket I already had until I achieved the look I liked.  I tied a little ribbon and tulle around it, stuck in a party sign (and a cute little poodle) and voila! I can only imagine how much I would have paid a professional to design that bucket for me.  Certainly more than the $5 it cost me =)

Home made flower arrangement to welcome the guests


Home made hair flower party favors

Here is the breakdown of the cost of my party.  (My mom purchased the adorable little macarons from Trader Joe's as well as some of the candy):

  • Printables/printing - $15
  • Paper goods - $12
  • French cupcake tags (used as party décor) - $4
  • Flowers (from Dollar Tree – five bunches) - $5
  • Candy - $6
  • Poodles (party favors – purchased from Oriental Trading) - $15
  • Craft supplies - $9 (I already had many supplies on hand, such as ribbon, glue, tulle, rhinestones, etc.)
  • Baking supplies - $8 (had some on hand, only needed to purchase candy melts and some extra canned icing)
Total spent:  $74

Just amazing, Heather! Thank for sharing all your smart tips. It shows that with a little ingenuity, you can add lots of special touches without spending a fortune.

If you haven't already, check out the rest of Heather's chic party.

The Winner of our $50 Gift Certificate Giveway to Jilly Bean Kids is...

by Jillian Leslie on

Meredith! Congratulation, you were the 68th person to leave a comment "liking Jilly Bean Kids. Hope you buy some amazing stuff! My personal favorite are the gabled boxes.

Thanks to everyone who entered. Please check out our newest giveaway - Win a $75 gift certificate to The Party Works for all our party supply needs!


DIY: How To Make Paper Baby Shoe Favors

by Jillian Leslie on

Clemens B's sister-in-law created these amazing paper baby shoe favors for her baby shower, and now she has created this easy tutorial with a FREE downloadable baby shoe template.

To create these shoe favors, all you need are scissors, glue, paper, embellishments, and some good cutting skills. That's it!




To learn how simple they are to make and download the baby shoe template, head to A Blog by Clemens Designs.

Also, to learn more about Clemens, check out her Clemens Designs vendor page.

And for all you Brazilian out there, please check out Clemens' sister-in-law's online store, elo7.


TRENDS: Unbelievable Cake Pops on Catch My Party

by Jillian Leslie on

To me, cake pops are one of the best ways to say "wow" at your party. They're fun, delicious, bite-size, and so darn cute.

We've seen some incredible cake pops on our main site,  so I thought it was about time I showed them off.

(Click on each photo to see what party that cake pop came from.)

We've just launched our new party vendor directory where you can find all the amazing hand-made items you see on our site. If you're looking for gorgeous cake pops or other splendid desserts, take a look at these amazing bakers and dessert designers.

FREE Back to School Banner by Amy Mattes Designs

by Jillian Leslie on

Need to add a little punch to your back to school party? Or how about something to hang up the morning your kids head back to school?

We're giving away this adorable "back to school" banner from Amy of Amy Mattes Designs.


"Back to school" banner

"Back to School" banner

To learn more about Amy, please visit her blog, Amy Mattes Designs.

Looking for more back to school printables? Check out our new free printables page. I know there will be something you like!




GIVEAWAY: Win a $75 Gift Certifcate from The Party Works

by Jillian Leslie on

Have you discovered The Party Works yet? Well, if you haven't you are in for a treat!

The Party Works sells all kinds of kids party supplies, cake decorations, baby shower supplies, and favor supplies in every theme imaginable. Seriously they've got everything!

Take a look at some of their most popular themes...

Super Mario Brothers Party Supplies


But they've got so much more... decorations, favors, and even costumes!

You can outfit your entire party with this giveaway (plus there's free shipping on orders over $60).

To enter the giveaway, just "like" The Party Works on Facebook, then leave a comment saying you did just that. Simple, so go for it!

We’ll pick the winner at random on Thursday, August 25th at 10:00PM (PST).  Any entries after that won’t be considered, sorry.  We will use to generate our winner and will notify you by email.


TRENDS: Back to School Parties

by Jillian Leslie on

I can't believe it was almost a year ago that I showed off these back to school parties. Time is definitely speeding up.

I can already tell fall is just around the corner with the days getting shorter. I have mixed feelings this time of year. I'm sad the summer is winding down, but I always get excited for what's to come.

Here are the wonderful back to school parties we've seen recently on our main site. I'm always blown away by the talent!

Love and Sugar Kisses' Kindergarten Rocks  - How fabulous is this cake and all the girly details! This party was for a daughter and a goddaughter so check out the sweet photo collage of the girls through the years.


Staci G's Sending J to K - Great apple cupcakes, such a sweet send-off note, and the photo of the big kindergartener on his way to school is just precious!

Kiesha's Bus Stop Breakfast Bar - A great breakfast bar, with easy breakfast foods, to send kids in the neighborhood to school on their first day. The labels are wonderful and using large clips as label stands -- genius!

Nikole S's Back to School Bash - The back to school cupcake toppers are too cute, plus I'm a sucker for any sort of DIY blackboard signs.

I can't wait to see more of your back to school parties! And remember, if you need FREE back to school printables, we're your place!


I Made My First Trip to HomeGoods!

by Jillian Leslie on

Long story short... My daughter loves piano, so my husband found a used keyboard on Craigslist. We picked it up in Manhattan Beach (about 40 minutes from our house) and there's a HomeGoods nearby. My husband, being the kind, generous, and patient man that he is, hung out with my four-year-old, while I got to shop.

It turns out that HomeGoods is owned by the same people as TJ Maxx, where I went a few weeks ago, so it was no surprise that they had many of the same items, but much much more. The store is heaven if you love parties, entertaining, and decorating. I felt infinitely creative just walking through the door.

Here are some of my favorite finds...

Perfect for a baby shower or tea party $12.99.

Mod cake plate $12.99.

Great for serving water on a long table or putting flowers in. $5.99 each.

Each tea pot was $9.99. You could dress these up for an Alice in Wonderland tea party.

I've always wanted one of these to add lemon and basil to my water. $16.99.

You can't tell from this photo but these are huge. $7.99 - $14.99

I'm always looking for a new cake stand $14.99

One of my white essentials. $12.99

Silver is more expensive, but I thought just one. $19.99

Beehive drink dispenser $19.99

So many good finds at HomegGoods. If only there was one closer to our house... Actually, maybe it's a good thing there's not. :)

What are your favorite finds at HomeGoods?