DIY Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Pom Poms

by Jillian Leslie on

I had never seen fabric pom poms before until I saw these gorgeous ones Victoria L made for her Pinkalicious Party. What I love about them is the added level of sophistication it brings to her party decor.

It turns out they're not hard to make, and you just need a few supplies. But they can be a little time consuming depending on the size of the pom pom, so be warned. :)




To see the whole tutorial, check out this post on Victoria’s blog vixenMade.

Thank you Victoria, these are just beautiful! And if you haven't seen Victoria's Pinkalicious Party you are in for a treat!

If you make some fabric pom poms please send photos, I’d love to show them off.


FREE Halloween Party Printables from Squared Party Printables

by Jillian Leslie on

How "wicked" would this new FREE collection of Halloween party printables from Zoila at Squared Party Printables look at your upcoming Halloween party! I love all the modern accents mixed with traditional Halloween fair!

The collection includes: invitations, party circles, favor tags, treat boxes, and a "trick or treat" banner. So cute!



And here's a sample of the actual printables...




Thank you, Zoila for this super collection. Those pumpkin faces are quite cute!

To learn more about Zoila see all her great designs, check out Squared Party Printables.

If you use these printables at your party, please add it to our site so I can show it off.

GIVEAWAY: Win a $50 Gift Certificate from Live Smile Celebrate

by Jillian Leslie on

My friend Laura from Live Smile Celebrate is giving away to one of our lucky readers a $50 gift certificate to her shop. Laura makes the most wonderful printable invitations, birth announcements, stationary, and party goods. Here are examples of her recent designs.


To enter, just “like” Live Smile Celebrate on Facebook, then leave a comment at the end of this post saying you did it. Simple!

Thank you, Laura, for doing this giveaway with us.

We’ll pick the winner at random on Thursday, September 15st 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.

FREE Arts & Crafts Party Printables from Sugarsticks Parties

by Jillian Leslie on

Arts and crafts parties are some of our most popular on our main site. So how wonderful is it that Ivona from Sugarsticks Parties has created these adorable FREE arts & craft party printables for your next kid's birthday or playdate. And what kid doesn't love to get crafty???

The set includes an invitation, favor tags, and a blank placemat for drawing.





Thank you, Ivona, for this crafty collection. To see how Ivona used them and get some great ideas, check out her blog, Sugarsticks Parties. And to learn more about Ivona's company and see more of her designs, check out her Sugarsticks Parties vendor page.



DIY TUTORIAL: Mini Lemon Tartlets

by Jillian Leslie on

Nicole W doesn't just throw incredible parties, she also makes incredible desserts.

When Nicole offered to put together a tutorial on how she made the mini lemon tartlets from her Secret Garden Baby Shower, I got very excited. Take a look at this photo and you will see why... just gorgeous!


Here's how Nicole did her magic...

You will need:

  • Prepared pie crust dough
  • Lemon Curd (either bought or homemade).  I've done it both ways.  When I made my own, this was the recipe I used from Food Network.
  • Roll out pie crust
  • Use a 3.75" wide flower-shaped cookie cutter to cut out mini crusts
  • Place the crusts gently in a lightly greased mini-muffin tin
  • Fill halfway with lemon curd, being careful not to overfill
  • Bake at 375 for 18 minutes, or until the pastry starts to turn a golden color

A special note on pie crust...

This is the recipe I always use for my pie crust: Single Crust Pie Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • Approximately 7 Tablespoons ice-cold water/vodka mixture
Pie crust is fussy stuff.  It can so easily turn into an incredibly hard and chewy mess.  You have to have an exquisitely gentle touch when combining the ingredients.  Gluten can develop so quickly and make your pie crust absolutely inedible.  To prevent formation of the gluten, we do things like use ice water, put the flour in the freezer, put the shortening in the freezer, barely mix the dough with the lightest touch possible, never re-roll the dough.

The magic bullet, however, came courtesy of Cooks Illustrated.  Flour needs water to develop gluten, so if you replace some of the water with another liquid (in this case vodka), the gluten can't develop!  Brilliant!  I'm still gentle when handling my pie dough, but it can take so much more abuse if you just replace about 1/3 of the water with vodka.  It doesn't have to be an expensive one, and the alcohol bakes out.

I buy exceptionally cheap vodka in a giant plastic bottle for cake decorating and making pie crusts.  And yes, I did get the one named Borg so that if I ever did decide to drink the stuff, I could wake up the next morning nursing a headache and saying "I was annihilated by the Borg."  </geek moment>

I had no idea you were a geek, Nicole!  Thank you for putting together this tutorial. My husband could eat that entire plate of tartlets.

As I mentioned above, Nicole makes fantastic cakes and desserts so please check out her other parties. Also, to learn more about Nicole check out the custom wedding accessories she designs as her day job. :)




FREE Halloween Printables from Clickable Party

by Jillian Leslie on

Krysten at Clickable Party has done it again! She has designed this "spooky faces" Halloween printables collection that is both cute and scary, and we're giving them away!

The collection includes everything you'd need for your Halloween party: invitations, a "Happy Halloween" banner, an 8x10 "welcome" sign, party circles, cupcake wrappers, water bottle labels, favor boxes, tented cards, mini cards, favor bag tags, and bookmarks. Told you it had everything. :)



Here's just a sample of the great printables you can download...









Thank you, Krysten, for this spooky collection!

To learn more about Krysten, please visit her blog, Clickable Party and also check out her shop where you can buy more of her fabulous printables.


S'mores Bars for Labor Day

by Jillian Leslie on

My neighbor, Paula, made these incredible S’mores Bars based on my Labor Day food post. How insane do these look??

s'mores-bars-3 They were delicious and very very rich, no way you could eat an entire bar yourself.

Paula's plan is to serve them with ice cream to lighten up the richness. She said they were fun to make, easy, and would be a great recipe to try with kids. Thank you, Paula, for the treat today and for the gorgeous photo!

The Yummy Labor Day Food We've Made So Far...

by Jillian Leslie on

Earlier this week, I posted the recipes I wanted to try over Labor Day and tonight my husband, David, and I got cooking. Here's what we made...

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic-Basil Vinaigrette

We purchased these tomatoes at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market so it would be hard to go wrong with this dish. Clean and fresh flavors, with a little bit of sweetness from the balsamic and the tomatoes. This was the dish I kept eating.


Grilled Corn with Basil Butter-Oil

Basil on corn is actually a flavorful combination and the butter-oil with the infused basil was delicate and not too overpowering. But next time I will chop up the basil even more so it doesn't look like seaweed. :)



Grilled Chicken with a Homemade Rub

David wasn't in the mood for steak, so instead I purchased these air-chilled chicken thighs and with a blend of homemade spices we grilled them. Because of the fat under the skin, the grill kept igniting, hence the burnt skin, but these were delicious!! David couldn't stop eating these.


Tomorrow I'll bring you the S’mores Bars my neighbor, Paula, volunteered to make. They're setting in her fridge right now (my mouth is watering while I write this). I'll post photos tomorrow.

I'd love to know what you ate this Labor Day. Hope it's delicious!

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