countdown to the new year

Thought I'd repost a birthday party I did in 2008 since the theme screams New Years. You can read more about the party here.

I'm planning to head out to Ikea on Wednesday to grab some more clocks so I can rework this idea with a different color scheme for our New Years celebration.

I also plan to do this if I can gather all the clocks I need
and give this as a take home favor

Having lived in South Carolina for a time as a missionary for my church I have come to love the Southern ways. Black Eyed Peas on New Years is a memory I have from my time there and I love the idea of sharing that tradition with my friends here in California.

creative party place - i was featured

I got a little after holiday gift today when I opened my emails...

The kickball party I put together for my daughter Megan was featured over at Creative Party Place. You can check out my party along with an adorable polka dot party here.

A big thanks to Shannon over at Creative Party Place for sharing my kickball shindig.

On a more personal note - hope everyone enjoyed a lovely holiday. I have enjoyed time spent with family and friends this Christmas and am looking forward to this week with my husband on vacation from work. Our schedule includes a few trips to Disneyland (thanks for the passes Santa), a trip to the snow with extended family, some house cleaning (not fun but oh so necessary after the whirlwind of Christmas) and I'm hoping some days spent at home relaxing in jammies.

After our little stay-cation it's back to school for the kids and work for the husband while I get back to my normal routine. As for party planning I have a Spring Formal to decorate for in April so I'll be scouring books, magazines, blogs and more searching for ideas. The theme they gave me was...Old Hollywood. I welcome any and all ideas or links to ideas so please do not be shy about commenting.


excuses, excuses

I have been missing in action in a big way. I can't even promise that I am back fully yet but I'm working on making a comeback. We have had illness upon illness that I believe I have mentioned before...mono x 3 kids, flus, nasty colds that linger forever that make your head split and light your lungs on fire when you cough (can I please just get rid of this?), etc., etc. My home feels like the sick ward of a hospital.

Throw into the mix a 15 1/2 year old daughter with permit in hand that begs to be taken out driving. Every spare minute she wants to be out on the road and my nerves are only capable of handling so much. If I survive her learning to drive I plan to throw the biggest "I survived" shindig known to man. Teenage driving is not for the faint of heart.

Plus Christmas festivities abound. We have hit a few parties, holiday concerts and dinners as time and health have allowed while trying to decorate our own house with all it's Christmas trimmings.

For those interested in checking out the fireplace decor read on...

I have weird theme issues when it comes to holiday and party decorating. I have to have a story in my head or a reason why the decor looks the way it does. My thoughts for this years decor was our family gathering around the fire on a cold winters night, cuddled up to read our favorite books. I can hear all the "aaah, how sweet" comments now. It makes you gag I know but I have to have a story.

Here is the fireplace mantle decorating breakdown...

Garland. I tend to take my abundance of cheap crapola and layer it with some nicer stuff just like I did for Halloween. Here I used the super cheap, doesn't really look like living greenery, green garland. I found mine at Michaels. I layered it with a more expensive garland that was priced at $30. Yikes, too big for my budget. But, yes Virginia there is a Santa and he made the good people at Michaels mark down the garland of my dreams by 50%. I can handle $15.

I also added snow because nothing says "stay in and read by the fire" like a bunch of the cold white stuff. We've got no real stuff here in sunny Southern California so my snow was imported in from Michaels (I'd like to add that I am in no way affiliated with Michaels I just spend all of my husbands paycheck there) Need snow too? It comes in a bag ready to be thrown around your home making a big gigantic mess that doesn't just stay on the mantle. It's fun really. Your kids will love you. Go get some.

It's Christmas - we need stockings. I pulled our snowflake ones out of the box and hung those puppies up grinning that they matched my cold theme and were green (I decided to stick with an all green, white, silver color palette) To add the reading part of my theme to the stockings I painted cheap brown kraft cardstock stencils white to add each of my children's initials to their stocking.

I wanted the letters to be a glossy white but spray painting them wasn't working for me - too much curling of the stencil. To solve the problem I ran a quick coat of white craft paint over each stencil and then once dried I spray painted my high gloss white paint over them.

To add more of a reading vibe I ripped out pages of an old dictionary (hit your thrift stores people) and cut out a square to back each stencil. I'm a sucker for details so I searched for words that fit with my theme. Check me out...

"arctic"...brrr, cold. I think I want to read by the fire

"family circle"...it would be so much nicer to read by the fire with my family

"chimney sweep"...hopefully the chimney sweep cleaned out our fireplace so we can read by it. Ok, so that one is a stretch but the words chimney sweep made me happy and they seemed to fit the theme in a Mary Poppins celebrating Christmas type of way.

"jingle"...it's Christmas, we people jingle all the way this time of year.

You were impressed with my attention to detail weren't you. In your mind you have crowned me the queen of detail haven't you?!?! I'm guessing my crown is going to be yanked from my head rather quickly when you take a look at my dictionary page "flowers" My idea was to add some more reading theme goodness to my mantle by throwing in some paper "flowers" but take a look at this little beauty. Something about that word doesn't scream the holiday to me. (Click on the picture to supersize if you can't read the word)

Add some more stencils to spell out joy
and add a 6 because there are 6 of us in family and we all like to read by the fire on a cold winters night - see how I stick to my theme?

There you have it. Hopefully I can get my sick, teen age driving stressed self back to blogging more regularly to bring you more of our Christmas decor and other party related jive.