DIY Independence Day Party: How To

Photo by: M.D. Creekmore

Happy Independence Day everyone! Well, almost. With July 4th quickly approaching, we’re all getting ready for some good food and awesome fireworks. So if you’re planning a last minute party for friends or family, we’ve got some simple and budget-friendly party ideas just for you!

 

While decorations may not be the most important item on your list of party planning to-dos, many can be made from things you already have around the house, making them practically free! Architectureartdesigns has forty awesome decoration ideas for your home, whether you’re planning a party or just want to show off your American pride!

Photo by: Kerrie Kelly

Architecture Art Designs is a website dedicated to bringing you fresh inspiration on Architecture, Design, and Art. Featuring inspiration for both indoors and out, as well as DIY projects, Architecture Art Designs is your one stop shop for everything creative. For more information, visit:
architectureartdesigns.com.

 

As we all know, some holiday party foods can be quite expensive. Fortunately, Independence Day is one of those holidays where BBQ or the classic hamburgers and hotdogs makes the perfect party meal. Get the grill master of the house to cook up some great food, and set up a quick table with all of the fixin’s. For some easy side dishes, check out epicurious.com. Below we have a simple recipe for some awesome Gazpacho Salsa from Jill Silverman Hough, a great compliment to any 4th of July party.

Photo by: Nigel Cox

Featuring recipe databases, message boards, and a variety of culinary-themed articles, Epicurious is the perfect website for food enthusiasts. Owned by Condé Nast Publications, Epicurious’ recipes are chosen from professional chefs, home cooks, and back issues of the Condé Nast magazines. For more information, visit: epicurious.com.

 

Gazpacho Salsa

Yield: 5 cups

Ingredients: 

6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions: 

Whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika, coarse salt, and pepper in large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and toss to coat. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Toss to blend before serving.

 

Are you looking for the perfect summertime drink that also makes the perfect Independence Day party beverage? Rollingout.com has compiled the five top cocktails for the 4th of July! Featuring beautiful reds, whites, and blues, any of these top five drinks is sure to be a hit with all of your guests.

Photo by: Danielle Canada

Rolling Out brings you the latest in black news, entertainment, celebrity videos and more. Rolling Out has the scoop on everyone and everything you need to know. For more information, visit: rollingout.com.

Obviously you’ll need some entertainment for the kids, especially if you have several younger children running about. When the sparklers run out, surfnetkids has some simple 4th of July party games that are perfect for all ages from the youngest children to adults.

Photo by: SurfNetKids

SurfNetKids was created by Barbara J. Feldman who loves receiving and sharing the best educational tools and activities for kids of all ages. For more information, visit: surfnetkids.com.

 

Send your guests home in style with one of our seeded star favors! Get the set of red, white, and blue (pictured below) as the perfect Independence Day party compliment. Our seeded favors are eco-friendly, and they actually sprout and grow! Get yours here.

 

Beat the Heat: 5 Unique Tips for Staying Cool at your Summer Wedding

It’s summertime, one of the most popular seasons for weddings. Unfortunately, it’s also the hottest season of the year. The biggest concern this summer is keeping your guests safe from the heat. We’ve pulled together five unique ways to keep your family and friends cool during your outdoor summer wedding.

 

1. POOL PARTY RECEPTION

We found this great summer wedding idea from popsugar.com. Invite all of your friends and family to a poolside reception after the ceremony. Tell all of your guests to bring bathing suits and pool inflatables, and grill up some hotdogs and hamburgers as a budget friendly reception.

Photo by: Anals + Dax via Style Me Pretty

Popsugar.com is an online resource that features all the latest celebrity news. Created by in-house staff writers for a predominantly female audience, popsugar.com brings the lastest trends in fashion, beauty, fitness, and more. For more information about popsugar, visit: popsugar.com.

 

 

2. ICE CREAM SUNDAE BAR

Who doesn’t love ice cream? We found this perfect summer wedding treat off of popsugar.com. Pair your favorite ice creams with a variety of fruits, nuts, chocolates, and more. Add some cute mason jars and vintage spoons as the perfect compliment to your rustic-themed wedding. Have your guests treat themselves before and after the ceremony to stay cool in the summer sun.

Photos by: Jose Villa Photography via Style Me Pretty

Popsugar.com is an online resource that features all of the latest celebrity news. Created by in-house staff writers for a predominantly female audience, popsugar.com brings the lastest trends in fashion, beauty, fitness, and more. For more information, visit: popsugar.com.

 

3. MISTERS

This idea from tahoeunveiled.com, is a bit unique and takes a bit of planning to pull off elegantly. Put up misters to keep your guests cool during your ceremony and reception. You could set up a couple of misters near the reception area or in trees, but be careful. Putting your misters too close to your guests might leave you all soaked and unhappy.

Photo by: Tahoe Unveiled

Tahoe Unveiled was created for brides planning a wedding in Lake Tahoe and features florists, wedding planners, and caterers. For more information about Tahoe Unveiled or Lake Tahoe, visit: tahoeunveiled.com.

4. HYDRATION STATION

This idea may not be the most unique, but it’s definitely a great idea, especially during the hottest parts of July and August. This idea is from offbeatbride.com. Use traditional lemonade or iced tea or spice it up with some fun fruit drinks. Try mixing water with different fruits and even herbs for a unique pop of taste. The Yummy Life has some unique ideas for naturally flavored water. Get them here. You might want to add a little sugar for a bit more flavor.

Photo by: Off Beat Bride

Offbeat Bride began as a promotional website for author Ariel Meadow Stalling. The website grew into a wedding blog with approximately a million viewers every month. For more information about offbeatbride, visit: offbeatbride.com.

5. UMBRELLAS/PARASOLS

This idea from estateweddingsandevents.com is a unique way to get your guests involved. Order parasols or umbrellas in bulk quantity. Choose just one color or a variety to keep your guests cool and safe from the harsh summer sun. Umbrellas and parasols are also great photo props. Whether staged or candid, you can be sure that all of your wedding photos will be unique and memorable.

Photo by: Green Wedding Shoes

Estate Weddings and Events provides rentals for weddings and other events. The Estate Weddings and Events website hosts a variety of venue information. For more information about Estate Weddings and Events, visit: estateweddingsandevents.com.

A Nature-Themed Birthday Bash

Photo by: The Carrie Murray Nature Center

Are you planning a special birthday? Why not try an outdoor or nature-themed party? Easy to do on a budget (you can repurpose things from around the house or outdoors), nature-themed birthdays are perfect for children of all ages. We’ve pulled together some decorations, games, food, and even party favor ideas to make your party extra special!

Decorations for a nature-themed party are easy and usually pretty cost-friendly. This wooden cupcake stand idea from Parents.com was created from paper-covered soup cans and wood rounds. The rest of the table was decorated with twigs and leaves from the backyard. The mushroom cupcakes in the picture below are also featured on the Parents.com website.

Photo by: Amanda Kingloff and Taryn Mohrman

 

Parents.com is the home website of Parents Magazine, parentsAmerican Baby, and FamilyFun brands. Parents.com is focused on bringing young mothers and families the information they need to live fun and healthy lives. For more information, visit: Parents.com.

 

Nature-themed parties provide built-in games and activities. Send your party guests on scavenger hunts, or ask them to go outside and draw the things they see in the backyard for their “nature book.” Hostess with the Mostess has several nature-themed party ideas, with food, decoration ideas, games, and more. At the party featured on the Hostess with the Mostess website, party guests planted their own nature gardens.

Photo by: Jen CYK Photography

 

Hostess with the Mostess is a website that is hostessfocused on bringing readers modern ideas through a daily blog and online community. Hostess with the Mostess brings you DIY projects, tips for hosting parties, and party planning tips. For more information, visit: HWTM.com.

 

Another fun idea at a nature-themed party is to set up a trail mix station. Party guests are given bowls, brown paper sacks, or anything else you have around your home and make their own trail mix. This idea is especially perfect in the case of food allergies. No one has to do without, because they can hand pick what they want to eat. Kojo Designs features step-by-step instructions on creating a trail mix buffet with helpful tips and pictures.

Photo by: Kojo Designs

Kojo Designs was created by sisters Kirstin and Jordan. Kojo Designs provides DIY projects for everyday, not just special occasions. For more information about Kojo Designs or Kirstin and Jordan, visit: Kojodesigns.com.

Don’t forget to send your party guests home with fun and memorable party favors! Here at Nature Favors, we have the perfect party favors for any nature-themed birthday party. Pictured below are our seeded party favors. Our seeded favors actually grow and come with pots, soil, and personalized favor tags.

Photo by: Nature Favors

5 Easy Memorial Day Party Ideas

 

Photo by: Square Cafe

Memorial Day is less than a week away! For those of you with family in the military or who are simply celebrating the holiday, we’ve got a few ideas to help you plan a fun, outdoor party. And since we know that things are tight this time of year, we’ll help you plan on a budget.

1. Make it a BBQ. BBQ parties are a fun, easy way to get family and friends together. Pick up some hot dogs, hamburgers, and all of the fixin’s for a simple and budget-friendly meal. Meals.com has some great tips for grilling!

Photo by: meals.com

Meals.com is an online recipe website dedicated to bringing you the best from Nestle kitchens. Chris Garboski and Jenny Harper are the meals.com experts, working together to create and maintain the meals.com website. For more information, visit: meals.com.

2. Spice up your beverages. Try out some new drink ideas this Memorial Day. Instead of the traditional soda or iced tea, try a patriotic margarita or some kid-friendly lemonade. Babble.com has some fun and simple drink ideas for your Memorial Day BBQ.

Photo by: Jane Maynard

Babble.com is an online magazine that was created by Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman and employs top bloggers on the subjects of child-raising and parenting. The site was acquired by Disney Interactive Media Group in 2011 after the site reached more than half a million readers each month. For more information, visit: Babble.com.

 

 

3. Create your own decorations. Party stores are fun, and they have some great stuff, but they can also be expensive. Pick up some supplies from your local craft store, and you can have the double pleasure of showing off your crafting skills and keeping a little money in the bank. Redfin.com has six quick and easy Memorial Day DIY decoration ideas that are perfect for an outdoor BBQ.

Photo by: The Rustic Pig

The Redfin Blog is a website dedicated to providing you with the latest real estate news, pop culture and celebrity homes, and Redfin news. For more information, visit: Redfin.com.

 

 

4. Plan some fun activities. Nothing makes a BBQ more exciting than a bunch of fun, outdoor games. For the adults choose some card games or create a sports tournament, and for the kids set up a kiddie pool or sandbox. For more games and activity ideas, visit Punchbowl.com.

Photo by: Megan Fenno

Punchbowl was founded by Matt Douglas and Sean Conta and is dedicated to bringing superior designs for events and celebrations. Punchbowl provides a Party Planning platform and a Digital Greeting Card service and tries to create user-friendly products. For more information, visit: Punchbowl.com.

 

5. Send your guests home with favors. Themed gift favors are a great way to let your guests know you appreciate their attendance and to help them remember the special day. Pick up some of our seeded star gift favors to send home either with all of your guests or just the kids.  They’ll love watching their gift grow! Pick up reds, whites, and blues to make this gift even more festive!

Cinco de Mayo Party Planning Tips

Cinco de Mayo is almost here!

Photo by: dreamstime.com

A Little History
Cinco de Mayo is a day set aside each year to celebrate the Mexican heritage and to commemorate the Battle of Puebla, in which the Mexican army defeated the French in the Franco-Mexican war.

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated predominantly in the United States and regionally in Mexico on May 5th.

Source: CVSFlags.com

To help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style, we’ve compiled some of the best food, drinks, decorations, and even party favors.

First, the food. Great food makes any party shine, and Recipe Girl has some great tips and recipes to plan the perfect Cinco de Mayo party.

Photo by: Recipe Girl

Lori Lange, founder of RecipeGirl.com is a former elementary school teacher. Recipe Girl hosts over 2,700 original and adapted recipes. For more information, visit: recipegirl.com.

 

You can’t have a party without something sweet, and what’s better than M&M filled mini cookie piñatas? We found this fun, and simple, sugar cookie recipe at SheKnows.com.

Photo by: Sandra Denneler

 

 

 

Sandra Denneler, a SheKnows Expert, is an art director at Wichita State University. She creates edible art, and she and her husband, Eric, have two children, Gus and Bea. For more information about Sandra and She Knows, visit: SheKnows.com.

 

 

 

 

Next, the drinks. Anyone who mixes drinks could tell you that you have to find the right combination of juices and alcohol to make a drink shine. Too much of one or the other and you’ll end up with a hot mess.

The Invitation Shop has recipes for six popular Cinco de Mayo cocktails with the proper mixing directions.

Photo by: The Invitation Shop

 

The Invitation Shop specializes in creating custom party invitations, as well as favor boxes, decoration tips, and general party planning help. They have invitations and party planning tips for weddings, graduation, Christmas, 4th of July, and more. For more information, visit: theinvitationshop.com.

 

 

 

No Cinco de Mayo is truly festive unless you have some awesome decor. MarthaStewart.com has an easy DIY tissue-paper decoration project.

Photo by: MarthaStewart.com

 

 

MarthaStewart.com hosts more than 20 years of recipes, articles, videos, and crafts. For more information, visit: MarthaStewart.com.

 

 

Once your party is over, you’ll need something to give your guests to remind them of the fun they had. Our Blooming Garden Party Favors double as table decorations and as favors for your guests. They come in several colors, but we recommend green, red, or white to commemorate the Mexican Flag.

Photo by: Nature Favors

Planning a First Holy Communion – Tips and Tricks

The season of Holy Communion celebrations is quickly approaching, and if you’re planning a party for a child celebrating their First Communion, you may be wondering where to start. We’ve got you covered. From the wording of invitations and food ideas to party favors and the perfect punch recipe, we’ve got some tips and tricks to make planning the special day that much easier.

Designed by: Diana Gray

Diana Gray is a digital artist from  Northern California. She and her husband, Barry, create and sell invitations on Zazzle. They have been creating invitations for many different events since 2007 and are willing to create personalized designs. For more information, visit www.dlgray.biz.

 

Have you ever wondered which is the right way to word your Communion invitations? Every invitation creation website has a different version, but if you decide to make your own invitations, the possibilities are endless. Invitations, Etc. has First Communion wording for invitations, announcements, thank you notes, and more.

(Click photo to enlarge.) 

Invitations, Etc. is a website that has information on social invitations. They provide all the
information you might need, such as: wording, addressing, etiquette for brides, hosts, and guests, and even how to print your invitations.

 

Food for a First Holy Communion can range from hamburgers and hotdogs in your backyard to a catered meal in a fancy hotel or reception hall. It’s really up to you to decide how formal you want to make the event. If you decide to go the more simple route, Tasty at Home has some great food ideas for an outdoor backyard reception.

Photo by: David’s Soundview Catering

Located in Stamford, Connecticut, David’s Soundview Catering provides business and social catering services. They have menus for everything from hearty breakfasts to formal sit-down dinners. For more information, visit www.davidscatering.com

 

Continuing with the simpler outdoor theme, we found a white punch recipe on Food.com that is perfect for your Communion reception.

Photo by: Pamela

 

Food.com was founded by Troy Hakala and Gay Gilmore in 1999. It is based in Seattle and offers several tools for its visitors from categorized recipes to the “My Grocery List” app. Food.com currently houses over 475,000 recipes. For more information, visit Food.com.

White Holiday Punch

Total Time: 40 mins
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins

Ingredients:
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon almond extract
6 (2 liter) bottles carbonated lemon-lime beverage
*2 (1/2 gallon) cartons vanilla ice cream

Directions:
1). Mix sugar and water in saucepan
2). Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
3). Remove from heat, add evaporated milk and almond extract and let cool.
4). Chill until serving time.
5). Combine milk and mixture and lemon-lime drink in punch bowl just before serving.
6). Add and stir ice cream to break ice cream up into small pieces

*For a thinner punch, use less ice cream.

 

Photo by: Nature Favors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here at Nature Favors, we have the perfect party favor for your First Communion party guests. Our eco-friendly seeded cross favors add a great finishing touch to the day. The seeded crosses come in several different colors and the soil and pot are included.