halloween porch decorations

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I had so much fun putting together this year's Halloween porch decorations!  I knew I wanted it to be fun and kid friendly.  Both Izzy and Sam have given it their stamp of approval so I think we have a winner!

My old striped back patio curtains were pulled out of storage and hung up.  They're so fun up here!  To keep them tied back, I used some rope tied around the pillars.  

The trick-or-treat banner is a DIY that I found in a BHG magazine.  Rain or humidity don't stand a chance!  The black pennant is cut from black non-adhesive shelf liner, white letters from white adhesive shelf liner, and the orange fringe is made out of orange plastic flagging tape.  All found at my local home improvement store.

The paper lanterns are just plain awesome.  I found mine at the Paper Lantern Store.  They're cheap and make a big impact.

All in all, the cat door hanging is still my favorite.  Click here to see my full tutorial.

SOURCES:  DIY cat door hanging (click here for tutorial) . DIY banner . paper lanterns . hanging bats from Target - no longer available (similar here) . striped curtains (similar here) . door mat


What type of Halloween porch decorators are you?  Scary or festive?  I love both!!!  I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween!


birthday party for a guy

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

This past weekend we celebrated my husband's 40th birthday!!!  Forty is one of those milestones that has to be celebrated, and giving Mike a fun party with friends was a great way to do it.  

I'm completely on board with e-vites.  They are my favorite way to send invitations.  You get to track them, guests can easily RSVP, and you can quickly send updates and party reminders.  I found mine at Paperless Post.

When creating the theme, I kept it all about him.  A backyard BBQ party was his request so I went with it and incorporated things he loves.  His drinks of choice are bourbons and whiskeys so the centerpieces are combinations of old liquor bottles filled with simple greens.  I didn't think about it at the time, but they ended up being the best conversation starters as they guys all had thoughts on which ones they preferred or wanted to try.

Since we were having BBQ, I wanted to stay with the traditional checked tablecloth, but gave it an updated feel with black and white.  We rented folding chairs so we could have plenty of seating.

Speaking of BBQ, I forgot to get a photo of it, but instead of spending our time at the grill, we ordered in BBQ from a local restaurant.  If you're in the Houston area, we ordered from Rudy's.  Our order included everything.  Drinks, cups, plates, cutlery and napkins.  Such a time saver!  All we had to have ready the day of was the alcohol.  Serving it up in a big tub of ice is the easiest way to go.   

For the birthday cake, Mike's favorite is German Chocolate Cake.  I used a boxed german chocolate mix for the cake and then used this recipe from Simply Delicious for the Dulce de Leche frosting.  You guys.  It was amazing!!!  A fancy take on german chocolate cake.

We had kids at the party so we needed entertainment.  I made some corn hole boards (I've always wanted a set), and the kids loved them.  Even if they did spend more time tossing bean bags at each other than in the hole, ha!

Now, the next source of entertainment kind of makes my eyes bleed a little.  But, there is nothing kids love more than a bounce house.  It was the easiest entertainment ever.  Period.  

The party went into the evening, and I snapped a photo at the very end so you could see how pretty the strings lights looked.  Such an easy thing to add to an outdoor party to make it feel special.

Happy Birthday to you, Mike!!!  You're a far better friend, husband, and father than I could have ever asked for.  I am truly blessed to have you in my life.  All of my happiness is owed to you.  I love you like crazy.

SOURCES:  e-viteschecked table cloth . folding chairs (local rental) . string lights . large galvanized tub . dulce de leche topping recipe . number cake topper  . corn hole board (DIY)



40th birthday party planning

Thursday, October 13, 2016

My husband, Mike, turned forty last month!  We're both in shock 40 happened so quickly :D This is one of those milestones that has to be celebrated.  We were going to have a party for him a few weeks back, but a couple of days before the weather forecast didn't look very promising for an outdoor party, so we rescheduled for this weekend.  Weather seems to be cooperating, and I'm super excited to finally be able to celebrate him!

Guys are hard.  Hard to buy for.  And I was also expecting it to be hard to party plan for one.  For his 40th I knew it most definitely couldn't be girly, but I still wanted it to be really special.  Keep your guy and his likes in mind when planning and you really can't go wrong.  Here's what I'm going for:

CENTERPIECES:  Mike's drinks of choice are bourbon and whisky.  I loved the look of the bottles so I've always held on to the empty ones.  Well, my hoarding has finally paid off!!!  I'm going to fill them with greens from the yard for a simple centerpiece.

TABLECLOTHS:  He requested a BBQ for his party, so in keeping with an outdoor BBQ theme I wanted to do the tablecloths in plaid, but instead of going the expected red and white route, I went with black and white.

INVITE:  I am completely on board with online invites.  They are so stinking convenient and I love that you can schedule email reminders, updates, etc.  The one I used is from Paperless Post.

FOOD:  Like I mentioned above, he requested BBQ.  We're going to bring it in from a favorite restaurant and keep it easy on ourselves.  Done.

BIRTHDAY CAKE:  His favorite is German Chocolate Cake, so German Chocolate it is!  Don't try to introduce anything else, just give the man what he wants.

GAMES:  He isn't much for games himself, but we are welcoming kids to this party so having something around for them is a must.  Cornhole is always a hit with kids, and I've been wanting a set for years, so I made some for the party.  And because there is NOTHING more entertaining for small kids than a bounce house, we rented one.  Yes, it's big.  Yes, it doesn't fit in with a "theme".  But who cares!  Happy Kids = Happy Parents.

I'll be sharing the actual party with you next week!  If you guys have any other suggestions for throwing a guy approved party, leave them in the comments and I'll include them in the party post.  Hope you all have a great weekend!



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