Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm still kickin'

I can't believe it's been a week since I've last post... man oh man, am I slacking!

These past few weeks have been nothing but busy! We FINALLY found our house (wooohoooo!) - so we've been busy with inspections, negotiating, shopping (OK, that's not real hard work, but still...) and so much more! We also had friends in town over the weekend, and I went shopping with a friend whose wedding I'm in... whew - hard work I tell ya!

Do you ever wonder what life would be like if we didn't have to sleep? I've been thinking about that a lot lately... well in between thinking about a million other things - like what I'd like to accomplish within in the next 8 months (can you believe it's April already..... geesh!), what to blog (I'm having a hard time getting inspired lately.. big bummer), and of course, I've got house stuff on the brain. It's like my mind is going a million miles a minute - there's no stopping it!

Anywho... I just wanted to update you all on what's goin' on in my life. I hope to have some fun, creative ideas up soon. We close the 23rd of April and I'm getting my own office in the new house (I can't even begin to explain my excitement for this!)... hopefully that will inspire me beyond belief! Hopefully. :)

I hope you're all having a fabulous week!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another Easter idea... love these cupcakes!

It's getting late, but I saw these Easter basket cupcakes on Family Fun and just had to share because they're SOOOOOO adorable... and look delicious! Click here to find more Easter ideas - from crafts, to desserts to printables - amongst a million other ideas!
What you'll need to make these cupcakes:

- 1 dozen cupcakes
- 1 bag of jelly beans
- 2 cups of white icing
- Sweetened coconut, colored with green food coloring

1. Frost each cupcake with your white icing. Create an arch with a pipe cleaner or piece of licorice and press into the sides of each cupcake.

2. Shake the shredded coconut in a bag, adding food coloring to get the color you desire. Mix vigorously. (I hate coconut... I wonder if I could substitute white chocolate shredded and dyed with green food coloring - would that work!?)

3. Place a pinch of your coconut on each cupcake. Add a few jellybeans to finish complete the nest.

4. Tie a piece of ribbon around your pipe cleaner to complete the look.

... Voila - your little edible Easter basket cupcakes are complete! Bring these to your Easter dinner and watch your family and friends indulge in your cute little Easter cupcake creation!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Two cute nest ideas for Spring!

FIRST - don't forget to sign up for the Favor Affair giveaway I posted about here!

Have you checked out My Insanity's blog? There is definitely some great ideas on there... I strongly suggest you take a peek! While checking out her (Kendra) site, I came across this super cute idea for little nests - and the best part is they're 100% edible. MMMmmmm!! Curious? I was! Here is how you make these adorable little nests for your Easter gathering or just for a Spring snack!

OK - these are made just like rice krispy treats - only instead of the rice krispies, you use the chow mein noodles. After making your mixture, use a large-sized muffin tin to mold your nests. (Because this can get quite messy, Kendra suggests using some greased plastic bags on your hands.) When you are molding your nests, make sure you make a little divot to place your eggs in! If you work quickly enough, you should be able to take these out of the muffin tins and reshape them to make them look more natural - just make sure they aren't too hard! The last thing to do - add your small egg shaped candies! Seriously... how easy is that? I'm impressed.

How cute would these be for a little garden party, too? Or a birdie-themed shower or party? Garden-themed party? Place cards? There's seriously so many cute ideas that I could go on and on - but I won't!


OK - so I had to share this idea with you all, too. This idea was found on this other super cute blog, Someday Crafts by guest blogger Stephanie Lynn from Under the Table and Dreaming. This idea is adorable for Spring in general, but to go with our nest theme from above for Easter (and Spring), I thought I'd share the post. This is a super easy projects that shouldn't take you too much time... but turns out adorable.

To make these you will need:
- Yarn
- Fabric stiffener
- Balloon

First, cut your yarn into 6-8 inch strips. You will need many, so it's best to have these pre-cut before starting the project.

Next, blow up your balloon and place it with the tied end down in a bowl (see image below).

Then, pour some of your fabric stiffener (Stephanie Lynn used Plaid "Stiffy" brand, which can be found at your local craft store in the sewing section) into a cup and add about 5-6 pieces of yarn. **Make sure you use enough fabric stiffener to completely cover your yarn strips.** Let the yarn strips sit for a few minutes, to ensure they're completely saturated.

After your yarn strips are completely saturated, place one strand at a time on the top of your balloon, overlapping pieces (See pic below).

Repeat until your balloon is completely covered.

When your yarn is completely dry (Stephanie waited 48 hours), turn your balloon over, takethe bowl off, and gently release the air out of the balloon. If there's any residue from the fabric stiffener left over, Stephanie recommends using spray paint to cover it up.

Your last step - figuring out what decor you want to place inside to show it off! I love the idea of putting candles in it... how cute!

Now, go check out these cool new blogs - I'm sure you'll love them as much as I do!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Giveaway Sponsored by Favor Affair

I was recently contacted by Favor Affair about sponsoring a $25 giveaway for them! I'm a lover of all things favor related, especially cute and creative favors! Favor Affair has a huge selection to choose from - whether you're looking for a favor for a birthday party, your wedding, a children's party, a bridal or baby shower or a Girls Night Out theme; they something for every event.

It's super easy to enter into this giveaway... and multiple ways to win! First, you must be a follower of Simply Stunning Ideas to qualify, so if you're not become one today! :) Next...

1. Check out Favor Affair's web site and comment which favor is your favorite, or which favor you see using at your next event!

Additional ways to enter...
- Promote this giveaway on your blog. (Attach the post link within the comment)
- For each new follower you bring to the blog, you get an extra entry. (Have new followers
write your name in a comment. Each new follower's comment is one extra entry for you!)

The giveaway will end March 29th at 12 midnight. I will be choosing one winner at random using the number generator and contact you by email. If your email address is not on your blog, please leave it in your comment. You will then be contacted by Favor Affair with your e-certificate.

Best of Luck!

Adorable Cupcake Idea!

OMG! I saw these cakes and absolutely love them! I think one of the main reasons I love them is because they would be so perfect for a ladybug themed party - which I would love to throw someday for a little girl's birthday. Martha also shows you a way to make these into butterfly cupcakes, too! Uh... too cute, right?!

Anyway, Martha gives you all the details you need to know to make these adorable bug-themed cupcakes.

To make these yummy, adorable cupcakes you will need:
- Cake
- Icing
- Cupcake liners
- 5 small bowls
- 5 tints of food coloring (or the colors that match your party theme... ahem, red and black for a
lady bug theme!)
- Serrated knife
- Small offset spatula
- Gumdrops
- Licorice strings
- Pastry bags, couplers and round tips

Prepare your cupcakes and your icing. Martha offers up a recipe for a one-bowl chocolate cake, Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing or Simple Sugar icing. Divide icing into 5 separate bowls and tint each bowl a different color.

1. Using your serrated knife, cut the domed top of the cupcake off, making sure it's even. Cut that top part in half.

2. Use your spatula to cover the flat top cupcake with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of your colored frosting.

3. Before frosting is dry, gently press the domed cupcake halves on top (with the flat part facing down), positioning it so one of the ends touch each other to represent the wings of the bug.
** To make the butterfly wings, attach pieces with the cut side up and the rounded edges touching each other in the center (the domed shape will create angled wings).

4. Chill cupcakes until the frosting is firm and the "wings" are secure. About 30 minutes.

While the cupcakes are chilling, you can create the heads of your cute bugs.

5. Cut the licorice strings on a diagonal into 1 1/2 inch lengths. Use a toothpick to poke holes into the gumdrop to create the antennae. Insert the pointed edge of the licorice into the holes.

6. Use extra frosting to use as "glue" to secure the heads onto the cupcake bodies.

7. Decorate wings and bodies as you wish. Frost wings with color of your choice then pipe spots, stripes or any other cute ideas you may have!

I just love these! Seriously, how cute would they be for a Ladybug themed party, a Garden-themed party or a Butterfly-themed party? Even a baby shower! I just can't get enough. Hopefully I'll have a reason to make these soon! :)

To see other cute little Spring recipes from Martha, click here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fun flower favors!

Like I've mentioned before in previous posts, I'm signed up to receive daily emails from the Martha Stewart Weddings site with daily tips ranging from gift ideas, shower ideas, favors, decorating tips and so forth. One of the recent topics was flower and plant favors for your guests.... and man, were some of the ideas cute! I've plucked out a few of my favorites to show off, and hopefully inspire you!


This is a great idea if you plan on having bundles of flowers at your next event. Purchase some small bags, twist-ties and some extra water and allow your guests to choose some stems to bring home. To make it more personal, get a message, your names or a monogram printed on the bags.

I think these are soooo purdy! The little pouch has a Dahlia bulb so your guests can plant their own flower! To get a tutorial on how to make this cutie, click here.

I love these little planted daffodils... but I especially love how they're planted in those cute little boxes! Guests are also able to take these home and plant them for their own enjoyment.

A new outlook to a dessert buffet, how about a flower and plant buffet! This is too pretty, has to smell great and keeps you and your guests waistlines smaller! :)

I think this would be great for a bridal shower. Give each of your guests one of these to take home and enjoy - I'm sure they'll love it!

These little cuties are tulip bulbs wrapped up and waiting to be planted. Those little flowers poking out - yep, they're paper cutouts! Not only cute as decor for your party (spring garden party, anyone?!) but an adorable favor for your guests to take home. Who wouldn't like a tulip? I know I would!

I think this is a cute idea! Inside the matchbook is some seeds to plant. What a great way to personalize your favor while making the earth a little prettier!

Another cute little take home for your guests. Include directions on the plant you choose and how to properly plant and care for it! This is great for an outdoor and nature themed wedding!

To view more flower and plant favor ideas by Martha Stewart, click here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Surprise Party!

I couldn't blog about the surprise party I was planning for my cousin (the same cousin I planned the pink and orange party for two weekends ago) because she sometimes reads my blog. Because I'm not friends with a lot of her friends, I decided that it would be perfect to host the party at a restaurant/bar in St. Paul. I invited some of our family (my siblings, her parents, brother, more of our cousins, etc.) and figured that would also be a good location since no one would have to worry about paying for parking and it was more central than a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis.

Anyway, her favorite color is purple... and I'm LOVING dark purple with green right now, so I chose that as the color scheme. I didn't plan on doing anything too extravagant with the decorating, since it was at a restaurant and I didn't know how much I could do, so I choose to create an elegant centerpiece with some smaller centerpieces. In addition, I made some cupcakes and brought in some candy to put in some green-tinted martini glasses. I was going to do a favor for each guest, but couldn't really decide what a good one would be since most of us planned on going out afterward. I didn't want people to have to carry anything around with them. I looked for green or purple colored mints, but couldn't find any. Bummer.

The party turned out pretty good - I was really pleased with the way the decor turned out. I love how most of it was from the dollar store (the green tinted martini glasses, the small square vases, cylinder vases, river rocks and fake flower petals), TJMaxx (the purple cake stand and tall square vase) and HomeGoods (other cake stand). What I was quite disappointed with was the turn-out, however. I sent the invite out on Facebook so that her other friends could invite other friends I didn't know (and because I didn't want to send out invites by mail to people I didn't know), and 23 responded they were attending, with another 20 possibly attending. 11 people showed up. And the majority of those people were our family members. Oye. Oh well I guess!

Here's a look at how the party came together...

Here's the invite I created for the Surprise Party.

Here's a view of the whole table scape. The tall square vase and two cylinder vases were filled with water, along with black river rocks on the bottom, fake purple flower petals and floating candles. The smaller square vases are filled with black river rocks and green candles.

Here is a close up for the main centerpiece. The small vases had purple ribbon tied around them to correspond with the green candles, and the large vase had the green ribbon to correspond with the floating purple flowers. Initially, this centerpiece was suppose to be placed on the table where my cousin was sitting, but I thought it would take up too much room and get in the way of dinner and conversation. So it was placed on the dessert table.

Here's a closer look at the cylinder vases (these were suppose to be on separate tables from the main centerpiece, but since that ended up moving to dessert table, I placed the cylinders there too... just at the table ends. These are also the cupcakes I made! I dyed the vanilla frosting purple and had cute green present cupcake liners.

A closer look at the cupcakes and cupcake toppers I made for the event. The ones with the purple backing said "Happy Birthday" and the ones with the green backing said "Chelsie's 25th"

The other side of the table. The cupcake stand on this side is dark purple - I bought it from TJMaxx on clearance for $5! The green-tinted martini glasses were filled with green jelly beans (not shown in this photo) and Good n Plenty's.

Another view. Here you can see the green jelly beans in the other martini glass.

Well I hope you enjoyed viewing this as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cute idea for the Kiddo's

I seriously think I could peruse Martha Stewart's web sites all day and never get bored! Today in my inbox (I subscribe to her daily wedding inspiration ideas, but often the ideas are useful for all types of events), I find Martha's idea of luggage tags as favors for a destination wedding. I was intrigued. While the link was actually broke (whon, whon), I decided to take a look at other ideas.

This idea for an "I Spy" game is great for those wedding where children are invited. It keeps the kids occupied and having fun. And better yet, they get to document parts of your wedding that you might otherwise miss. Here's what you need for the "I Spy Scavenger Hunt":
  • The "I Spy" card for each kid who might be interested in playing the game (Martha offers a downloadable template here, but you can make a card of your own to customize it to your wedding)
  • A disposable camera
  • A pencil
  • A prize for the winner
How the game works:
Each kid will receive a card, a camera and a pencil (or, if you have a mixture of older and younger kids, try putting them in teams so the older kid can help direct the younger one). Have the children take photos of each item they "Spy" on the their printed list. The first child, or team, to complete all of the "I Spy" tasks, wins!

I think this a great idea for any event - not just a wedding. It would be great for a barbeque, Easter, Mother's Day event, a Fourth of July get-together, etc. Just customize the card to your event, and voila - you've got entertainment for the kids... and you'll get to see what they come up with for pictures of your big event!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Rustic Wedding to Love

OK - I saw this 'Real Wedding' post A LONG ago and just loved it pieces. Then I totally forgot whose blog I saw it on - have you ever done that?!?! :) Anyway, Whimsy and Wise Events posted about this wedding today and I fell in love all over again!! I'm not a total nature buff, but I love how this wedding turned out. So simplistic, but so beautiful. I loved how they utilized so many nature-elements into their day - from the table numbers, to the colored pencils to the centerpieces and flowers. Simply. Gorgeous. One of the things I loved the most about this wedding was the bridesmaid dresses.... one main reason is because they are dresses the girls can wear again (I'd certainly wear that dress again if I were a bridesmaid in this wedding!). I hope you enjoy this wedding as much as I have! If you're interested in seeing more of this gorgeous wedding... click here to go to the Green Wedding Shoes blog.

So pretty! Their photographer was amazing!

One of my favorite elements - the bridesmaid dresses

So rustic! :)

Every element pulled together so nicely... and so rustic-ly!

More of the reception area...

What a beautiful dessert buffet!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Easter Giveaway - Going on NOW!!!!

Don't forget to sign up for my first-ever giveaway!!! Win yourself some cute Easter supplies! Find the details for it here.

Pink and Orange Birthday Party...

So... I'm pretty pleased with the way the Pink and Orange Fondue Birthday Party for my cousin's 25th birthday turned out, although, I wish we could have incorporated more decor into it. It was kind of thrown together last minute and on a smaller budget. AND to be honest, with everything on my plate lately, I didn't work on it as hard as I should have- I actually wasn't there to even help assemble everything... I know, I know... bad cousin, bad party planner! Everyone seemed to enjoy it though... and I enjoyed having my first "party" behind me. There are a ton of things that I'm still learning, so with that said, here's what it turned out like. Suggestions, comments, ideas for future plans are welcomed... and encouraged!

Here's the food table - there were cupcakes, veggies, crackers, meat and cheese, cheeto's, pretzels and more!

Here's a closer look at the cupcakes - notice my cute cupcake toppers!?!

I loved this little bucket holding the silverware. Only thing that would have made it cuter - an orange ribbon instead of the pink one.

Here's the main table - notice we had already been eating so it's a little messy!

Here's the drink table. The table cloth looks purple, but it was actually pink.

A yummy drink with fresh fruit! Delicious!

A closer look at the cupcake toppers I made. There was another design, too, but I didn't get a close-up of that one

A closer look at the food tents (sorry, poor picture quality)

A look at the goody bags (My cousin actually bought a pinata and filled with candy - nothing like acting like a kid again). Here's the loot I took home.

I hope you enjoyed peeking at what my first party turned out like. On to the next...!