Real Party: New Year’s Eve Dinner & A Winner!

Happy 2013 Blogland!
The holidays were a whirlwind. After Mia’s 1st birthday party, we were pulled into the whirlwind that is the holiday season, and time just flew.  I am barely catching my breath!
What a magical thing the holiday season is with a little one!  
Just a few quick shots of the a-maz-ing dinner I was lucky enough to eat on New Year’s Eve…
This was a rare baby-free night out for Dan & I. Our friends Patty & Dan (another one!) hosted a small dinner party.
On the menu?
Pork Porchette
Bacon brussel sprouts
Green salad
Mashed potato bar (not pictured)
 Yum, Yum, Yum.
I made a deliciously rich flourless chocolate cake for dessert.
Thanks for the amazing dinner Patty & Dan!
Happy New Year everyone!
And, thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway from BoomBoom Prints!
I used random.org, and the winning entry is…
Entry #10, Reiko!
I’ll be contacting you to coordinate getting your print!

Bachelorette Party Basics

I have attended, or helped to throw, many many bachelorette parties.  And they’ve been pretty darn fun if you ask me.  I’ve gotten it down to a science at this point.
My latest Tablespoon post was full of ideas and recipes for throwing one.
Check it out here.
The perfect bachelorette party has a few key elements. These can be tailored to any group of girls…adjust this list to an at-home party vs a night out on the town, a nonalcoholic party vs a boozy bash, etc. 
Here is my recipe for the perfect bachelorette party:
1. Fun food and drinks
Millions of appetizer and drink recipes here. Great place to start your planning.
2. Something fun for the bachelorette to wear
You want her to stand out!  My favorite simple, non-embarrassing ensemble involves a feather boa & tiara. 
Though you can go the traditional route and have her don a veil.  (We decorated this one with some colorful fabric flowers.)
Or an embarrassing handmade t-shirt. ;) (All in good fun of course!) 
3. A little game
This post explains my favorite bachelorette party game. 
4. Dancing!
5. Party Favors
My favorite? Ring Pops! Fun and easy.
And that’s it!
Here’s 2 bachelorette parties I’ve shared here in the past that had all the necessary elements: (check them out if you haven’t seen them already!)
Since I’ve been all about disclosure lately… here’s a picture from own (a million years ago).
Yes, my friends made me wear this embarrassing shirt around Las Vegas.  (I cannot believe I am sharing this!)
Happy Friday Everyone! 

Real Party: "Full House" Sip & See

My friend Deb has 2 boys, which I introduced to you here and here
And now they’ve added a girl to the mix. The family is complete, with 3 Kings and 2 Queens, aka a Full House
Combining this with Deb’s love of Vegas, we had the perfect theme for her Sip & See!
We had so much fun with this theme! 
 Drea made several huge red and black party poms. 
Lindsay sewed cards together to make a long banner that we strung around the room. 
 We had several full house hands displayed on little stands throughout the room. 
(These stands have been busy lately: they were originally used at my wedding, and more recently at the pinwheel 1st birthday party).
And I made a few little signs with the new baby girl’s photo to put in my favorite Ikea frames. 
One said: “Deb & Daniel have a full house!”
The other said: “Watch out Deb, there’s a new Queen in town!” 
 I made napkin rings out of playing cards, which we displayed in embellished vases.  Lindsay found the perfect paper plates at a Diddam’s.
Lunch was simple. We had several different kinds of sandwiches. 
And we gave them fun poker-themed names! Drea made the mini card picks with a dab of glue and a toothpick. 
On the side we had chips and a few salads.  
I thought about making some kind of cute stickers to seal the bags of chips, but decided to use a playing card instead. So easy!
Desserts were Lindsay’s cherry cheesecake layered treats (stay tuned for a recipe!), and Drea’s red velvet cupcakes (aka Queen of Hearts Cupcakes). Yum Yum!
We bagged up some red licorice for party favors. Lindsay folded and punched cards to seal the bags. 
Thanks to the party crew: Lindsay, Drea, Leslie, & Jeani
And congrats to Deb on another baby. ;)
What a fun day! 
Photos by Lindsay Little and me.

Real Party: Superbowl XLVI

As always, our friends Katie and Casey hosted the Super Bowl party, which included the 2nd annual Chili cook-off.  This is such a fun day! (And I don’t watch a single minute of the game! — who has time between sampling chilies, tending to baby, and catching up with friends?)
The house & yard looked great as always.  I love all the bright colors Katie used in her decor. 

There were lots of yummy desserts too.  I had a delicious s’more with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup…to die for! 

The hosts, and the winners of the chili cook-off!  
Please note the homemade spoon trophy by Casey. ;)
The first annual Chili Cook-off can be found here
And a previous Super Bowl party hosted by Katie and Casey can be found here.

Fall Party

I am recovering from a baby shower yesterday.  I can’t wait to share all the details of the shower we threw for our friend Leslie. I think you’ll love it! 
Here’s something to hold you over until I am back on my feet (note to self: throwing showers while in one’s 3rd trimester is tiring)…
A fun idea for a fall party!  Here’s your hint:
Click here for all the how-to details. 
There’s been lots of fun stuff happening over at Tablespoon lately…party ideas, must-try recipes…head on over!