4th of July Tabletop Ideas

Just because you are having a casual 4th of July barbeque, it doesn't mean that you can't have a fun and festive tablescape.  Here are some great ideas we found to make your Independence Day sparkle a bit more.  We especially love the chair covers made of napkins and yarn from Midwest Living.  Please be sure to click on the links for all the details.  Happy Friday!

Fireworks blast

Celebrate with a Bang

Party Menu

Cupcake Themed Birthday Party

We recently helped a friend style her daughter's 2nd birthday party.  The birthday girl's Mom made adorable invites out of scrapbook paper and we took it from there, centering the entire party.  She had left over paper which we used for the majority of the decor.  With that, the party ended up being a handmade birthday party inspired by the look of the scrapbook paper.  We didn't want the scrapbook paper to go to waste and it was a good way to save some money.  You will find that we always take the oppurtunity to save a few bucks. The bunting, food signs, and the welcome sign were all created from the scrapbook paper.

Cupcake liners were placed on a wire along with the welcome sign that greeted the guests as they entered the party. Such simple and unique thing to play off of the theme.

Instead of serving a cake, guests were able to chose between two desserts, cake push pops and a build your own cupcake station. Everyone was able to pick which type of frosting and toppings they wanted, pleasing guests both young and old.

Dara found the centerpiece idea from Pinterest which fit perfectly with the theme. The centerpieces were made to look like hot air balloons using a cupcake in replacement of the basket. Scrapbook paper, cupcake liners and ribbon were used to adorn the balloon.

Baker Love

When we first saw a creation made by Connie Cupcake on Best Friends for Frosting, we gasped.  We headed directly to her link to see what else she had to offer and we were not disappointed.  Her work is simply stunning and we think that by the end of the post that you will have a crush on her too.  We just wish she was a little closer.  Although, Toronto is not too far from Metro Detroit. 

From the Blue Sea

In the Nest

Posh Tiered Cookie


Deluxe Donuts


Dara recently purchased a popsicle maker and I have been dying for her to make some.  We have been finding some pretty yummy looking ones.  Be sure to go to the links for recipes. More popsicles please!

Smashed Berry-Lime-Coconut Ice Pops

Coffee + Kahula Popsicle

Mango Mojito Pops

Spring Blossom Bouquet Popsicles on Family Fresh Cooking blog.
Spring Flower Popsicles

Cereal + Milk Popsicle

White Sangria

We love a light and refreshing drink during the warm summer months.  One of our favorites is sangria.  Try out this delightful and crowd pleasing recipe that we have used several times.

White Sangria
3 T. sugar
3 shots of triple sec
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 peach, pitted and cut into wedges
1 green apple, cored and cut into wedges
1 bottle of your favorite white wine
1 pt. raspberries
lemon-lime soda

Combine sugar, triple sec, lime lemon, peaches, apple and wine into a large pitcher.  Chill sangria overnight.  To serve, spoon some fruit into glasses.  Pour sangria and top off with soda to taste.  Garnish with raspberries.

Makes 8 glasses

Cheers!  Happy Friday!

Yellow + Pink Inspiration

We were inspired by the color palette of watermelon + lemon when we saw this invite designed by Fig 2. Design Studio.   These colors evoke thoughts of spring, summer, and sunshine.  What’s not to like?  

Image of Pink Stripe Treat Bag

Zest Pitcher

meyer lemon macarons - top view

Gardening + Planters

We love outdoor entertaining.  Do you?  It's always casual and relaxed and the outdoors becomes your decor.  Our eyes have been drawn toward planters lately.  We thought about putting some ice in a planter as a different way to hold cold drinks.  What do you think?  Would you try it?

Row 1: Hayneedle, Twisted Metals
Row 2: Wayfair, Smith & Hawken, Clean Air Gardening


One of our favorite flowers is the lilac.  The beautiful lavender blooms and the fragrance makes us happy.  There is a lovely place in Michigan called Mackinac Island that has an annual Lilac Festival in June that we will some day get to.  Until then we thought what a wonderful theme for a spring time party.  Here is some lovely lilac inspiration.  Please visit the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival site for further information.  This year the festival is taking place June 8-17.  There is also some great information on their site about the care of these lovely flowers.

Row 2: Cupcakes Take the Cake, Layla Grace

Cake Stands

We are obsessed with cake stands.  We are always on the hunt for something that adds a special touch to a dessert table and cake stands allow your desserts to stand out.  We also use cake stands as decor around the house.  Here are some of our cake stands along with some other lovely ones we hope to someday have.  

Ok, we know this is not a cake stand, but wouldn't this look cool on a dessert table?  Dara found this cake carrier at a local antique shop.

Woodland Cake Stand handmade ceramic wedding decor in white

14" Love is Sweet  Wood Wedding Cake Stand Platform   $59


Summer is almost here!  Here in Michigan this usually means heading to your cottage or favorite camping spot, and having cookouts and campfires.  To us campfires = s'mores.  Yummy! 

We found these amazing marshmallows from Whismy & Spice that make our mouths water.  Wouldn't this be a great way to give your s'mores a bit more sophistcation and  flavor.

Cardamon Marshmallows

Expresso Marshmallows

Rose Vanilla Marshmallows
Rose Vanilla

Birth Announcements

Receiving birth announcements makes us smile.  It's better than receiving a bill in the mail, right?  It's so much fun choosing a birth announcement to welcome your new little one, because there are few times in your life that you get to do that.  Here are some super cute birth announcements that we found.  Have fun selecting a birth announcement that reflects your family and your love.

This little deer announcement from hello! Lucky is just too sweet.

Darling Fawn Birth Announcement

This announcement/shower invitation from The Baby Gardner has such an adorable vintage vibe we are loving.
stork invitation
This birth announcement from A Day In May is so fresh and classic.  Oh yes, and we have a little obsession with letterpress.

Baby 1

5 Party Planning Tips

Whether you are managing a household or a project at work or both, all of us are busy.  We are all looking for ways to simplify our lives.  Here are some easy to follow tips to make your party planning a wee bit easier. 

Pick a theme and stick to it.  It will make your planning easier if you already know the direction you want to follow.  Picking a theme will help you choose the invitation, décor, food and so on.

Start preparing as soon as you can.  Start by shopping for décor, non-perishable food items and anything else you may need. 
Start cleaning the house 3-5 days prior to the event.  We try to clean one room a day to split up the work load.  Another strategy is tackle one cleaning task a day.  Such as dusting all of the rooms or cleaning all of the bathrooms or vacuuming all of the rooms.  Try to set up the décor and buffet or dessert table a day or two ahead of time.  This too will help you to avoid the last minute rush.  

When I RSVP to a party I always ask if I can help in anyway.  I usually have at least one person who offers the same for me when I am planning a party.  Whether you have a friend who can pick up some things for you at the store or know someone who is crafty and can make bunting or have a friend who has beautiful penmanship who can address the invitations.  If someone offers to help, let go of your pride and accept.  I know that I never regret accepting the extra set of hands.  When I am part of creating someone’s party I feel more a part of the party and you get that warm feeling of helping someone out. 
IMG_1638 copy-2

4.  FOOD
Prepare the food early too.  If there is anything you can freeze ahead of time, do it.  If there is anything you can chop ahead of time, do it.  Set out all of the serving dishes along with serving utensils then label with a "sticky note" what food will be served on it.  This will ensure you to have the right amount of serving pieces you will need.

I have to admit I am a worrier and my mind never seems to stop, but once the party starts it’s out of my hands and I have done all I can do.  I sit back and have a cupcake or a glass of wine and watch my family and friends enjoy themselves and that makes all the work worthwhile. 

Do you have a party planning tip you would like to share?  Let us know.  We would love to hear from you!

via Dandee

Rapunzel Birthday Party

My youngest daughter decided on a Rapunzel themed party for her third birthday.  So we got started planning right away.  I found some adorable printables from Stacy’s Sweet Stuff.  Stacy has many super cute designs on her Etsy shop, so be sure to check it out.

We made a braid out of yarn to hang in the foyer.  It was an inexpensive project that we did over the winter, when I couldn’t get the girls outside.

  We decided to put lanterns on the dessert table to also tie in with the theme. 

We love to save a penny when possible.  We found some free printables from family.go.  Dara put them together and we used them as centerpieces.  Another way we saved some money was to use some things we already had.  My daughter had some figurines from the movie, so we put those on a table as well. 

My oldest daughter came up with the wonderful idea to put up the “Snuggly Duckling” where the buffet was. 

Amelia loved her party and we had a blast adding the special little touches for her.