Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cookie Exchange Party Prep

Here is the basic info I have gathered about hosting a cookie exchange party... 

1. Get the invites out early so people can plan!
2. Host it at the beginning of December when people's schedules haven't gotten crazy yet. 
3. Try to do as much ahead of time as possible - you want to enjoy your party too! 
Now down to the nitty gritty - 
I designed these invitations which explain everything for the party and I placed the paper invite inside the pocket of an apron. (I made each person an apron but you could buy them one, or just leave that part out...) 

It asks each person to bring 5 dozen cookies packaged in half dozen sets so that each person (there will be 8 people, including myself) can take home a half dozen of each type of cookie and one to share at the party! 

I am giving away prizes so that people have a little more desire to pull together something marvelous! I figured packaging, taste, and overall wonderful would be great contests. 
The aprons were a bit of work but I am so excited to have all my guests show up in their holiday baking attire so we can all feel like Mrs. Clause for an afternoon. 

My menu so far will be simple - 

Soup and bread for the lunch and then a few little appetizers that are mostly salty things to counteract the cookie tasting! 

One of the appetizer/treats that I will serve will be the super EASY Pretzel Hugs.

1 Bag of Checkerboard Pretzels
2 Bags of Hershey's Hugs
1 Bag of Holiday (Red and Green) M&M's 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees 
Lay the pretzels out on a cookie sheet and place one unwrapped Hug on each pretzel. 
Place in the oven for about 4 minutes (or less - they melt pretty quick)
Once you pull out of the oven quickly place one M&M on top of the melted Hug for a black and white and red and green masterpiece! 
These look wonderful and taste GREAT!

I will keep the updates coming and for sure will show the pictures after the party is over. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and gratitude! 

Happy Holidays! 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday How To's from Anthro!

Anthropologie's Store Display Manager gives her tips on how to bring a little Anthropologie flair to your holiday decorating and traditions.

I LOVED this article and I am so excited for Christmas, I just can't stand it!

With this up-coming Cookie Party I have to have my house ready to go for Christmas before the first weekend in December! I am gathering ideas from everywhere I can muster and can't wait to get started. I will share ideas as I find them - most will be truly "Newly Nesting" fashion, low cost, simplistic, and so chic!

My favorite part of the article was the tip about making your glass ornament balls look old fashion by putting a drop of bleach (with an eyedropper) in side the ornament and swirling it around so it takes off some of the color. This will give you that old, heirloom ornament feel. If you are feeling really brave - you could try spritsing the tops of the balls with black or dark brown spray paint so it looks even more used!

I think I will be trying this for sure!

Let me know how you are decorating for Christmas!
Top two pictures are from Pottery Barn and Bottom Photo is from Crate and Barrel

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thank you, Merci, Gracias, Köszönöm, Takk, Grazie, Arigato, Dankscheen

Thank you {in all the ways I can say it!} to all those who commented on my Baby Shower post and for the awards I received! It means so much to see that people appreciate my hard work and effort. I mom keeps trying to convince me that I need to go into business doing parties but I don't think that is the route I want to take. Although I LOVE being able to share my ideas and attempts at throwing parties with all of you!

Award #1 comes from Michelle over at Sweet Mady's Paper! First of all I must say that she has very good taste in names because she named her daughter Madelyn! (We spell it differently but it is still a wonderful name!) Her blog is a lot of fun to read because she has three little ones and is a designer. Go drop by and check out all her fun ideas for the holidays and just spicing up regular, every-day life. Now I get to award 7 other bloggers who I LOVE:

1 - My cutest cousin Elli over at The Adventures of Elli!

2 - I can't go without recognizing my Mom who got me into this whole blogging thing... Karin with The Style Sisters.

3 - Linda at Restyled Home

4 - Today's Creative Blog.

5 - Screaming Meme.

6 - Kyler and Hillary.

7 - All Because Two People Fell in Love.

And this second award was given by both Pink and Green Mama as well as my Mama! ~ Pink and Green Mama is an Elementry Teacher turned Stay-at-home Mom and she has got some great Ideas you should be sure to check out! ~ As for My Mom, well hopefully you all know her by now, she is always the first person to post a comment on my blog and I am proud to say that I am following in her footsteps as a woman as well as (hopefully) a mom! I love getting ideas from my Mom's blog and then talking with her about all my up-coming parties and hers as well! She is a great bounce board for creative ideas! Go... check them out!

Now with the award I need to list 6 things that make me happy:

1 - Laughing my head off with my Husband!

2 - Cooking sweet smelling meals that afterwards my Hubby and I get to sit down and enjoy by candelight (can you tell we are still newlyweds!)

3 - Feeling this little bebe inside of me streching and moving around.

4 - CHOCOLATE!

5 - Planning a party that goes perfectly! And a party in which everyone has a marvelous time!

6 - Photography.

And I now award this Kreative Blogger Award to... {drum roll.........}

Amy with Stem Parties!

The source from which I got a TON of inspiration for my latest party and I am sure I will continue to feed off of her creative vibe!

~

I must apoligize for not giving my thanks earlier and dropping off the face of the earth after I give all the party details - however, right after the party is was time to pack up our house and move to a new apartment! All the better for the little baby (newer carpet, less bugs, newer everything, really!) So since moving we have now lost our free internet... I admit, we were moochers off our neighbors, you could only get the connection to work if you sat on a certain spot on our couch but hey, it worked and it was free! I am not sure what we are going to do without the internet now but I can guarntee one thing, less blogging. I will try to do my best to update it once a week where possible. {We typically go over to my in-law's for Sunday dinner and they have wireless internet so I can update there!}

Things in life are coming together though - - we had our Ultrasound... you will have to wait for another post to find out the gender of our little one!!! I have a collage I put together to announce it. We are getting the baby's room (slowly) put together which is VERY exciting because everything is so bright and colorful with big fun shapes! I will post pictures when things start to look more put-together.

Some things to look forward to - Holiday entertaining tips, Cookie Exchange Party and even some top secret recipes from my family's Thanksgiving feast! Oh and I will include pictures of our family tradition - cutting down our Christmas Tree!