I love this party idea for a girls’ night out.  A friend of mine hosted an Oscar party for just the girls a few years ago and it was a winner!  Because the Academy Awards are always held on a Sunday evening (technically a school night), I like a more casual approach and wouldn’t require guests to be red carpet ready in terms of attire.  But if your crew loves to be dressed to the nines, by all means, go for it!  

A red carpet to greet your guests is still a must whether you’re going casual or formal.  Party City has 15ft and 40ft options here

red carpet

Once your guests arrive, have each of them fill out their own Oscar ballot.  Click here for the printable version of the one below.


You can’t celebrate the movies without popcorn!  Offer several different flavors like cheese, caramel and cinnamon and set it up buffet style like the one below.  You can actually download this printable party kit here.  My favorite item is the popcorn cones with bow ties!

popcorn barimage credit: Bird’s Party Shop

A candy buffet is a brilliant idea for an Oscar theme because it requires no time in the kitchen.  The presentation possibilities are endless but I like the simple one below for this adult party.  Don’t forget the Junior Mints!

candyimage credit: life in yellow

Keep the beverage choices simple with a signature drink.  It wouldn’t be the Oscars without champagne and when I found this recipe called ‘Red Carpet-tini’, I knew I’d found the one.

red carpet tiniimage credit: Taste of Home

If you have any movie memorabilia around the house like film reels or prints, add it to your party decor.

movieimage credit: Shindig Events

At the end of the evening, tally up who had the most accurate predictions from their Oscar ballot and award that person the grand prize. You can include movie passes, theater candy or a DVD of last year’s Best Picture winner.

prizesimage credit:  Linen, Lace & Love

You can also put together “swag” bags of goodies for the rest of your party guests.  Make the one below by following the DIY steps here.

goodies bagimage credit: Studio DIY

More “nominated” ideas:

If you want to make your own popcorn, I found some unique recipes here.

To give your party a different twist, check out this Oscar PJS & Pearls theme – love!

Bingo is always a fun game to keep people engaged in the show.  Print these 2014 Oscar Bingo cards and you’re good to go.

Be sure to visit my Oscar Pinterest board for more inspiration.

Weekend Bits – Links I Love

Halloween quote

Halloween is less than a week away and I can’t wait!  In between watching World Series games (Go Royals!), I want to catch some of my favorite scary movies to start getting into the spooky spirit of things.  You ready to get your scare on too?  Here are the 31 scariest movies of all time.  Sweet dreams . . . mwahaha!

The little ghosts and goblins will have more time to trick or treat this year since Halloween falls on a Friday night.  Make sure everyone has a safe, fun time by spending just a minute to go over this Halloween safety guide.

Carb haters be darned, here are 15 pasta recipes to make this fall.

When preparing to entertain, we all stress over making sure the house is spotless but here are the 5 things guests really notice when they come to your home.

From “poisoned” apples to “broken glass” cupcakes, I love this round up of the 10 best Halloween desserts.

Skip the pumpkin guts and try one of these 17 no-carve designs for your jack-o’-lantern.  My favorite is the matte black with glitter.

Happy Sunday!



Weekend Bits – Links I Love


Baseball fever is at an all time high here in my hometown of Kansas City.  Our beloved Royals are making an unbelievable run in the playoffs for the first time in 29 years.  29 years people!  If that doesn’t give us an excuse to celebrate, I don’t know what does.  So I’m leading this week’s favorite links off with this baseball themed party idea.

Need a break from your skinny jeans?  Boyfriend jeans are as comfy as they are chic.  Here are 3 ways to wear them.

Cool autumn nights call for fire pits and s’mores.  This round-up of 15 s’more recipes takes the tasty treat to a whole new level.

You know how you see jeans and sleeves rolled perfectly in the store but when you get home, you struggle to replicate the look?  Well now you, too, can tuck, tie, roll and twist your clothes like a stylist.

My favorite pin of the week will make you want to take your jewelry out of the box and incorporate it in your home decor instead.

Go Royals!


image: The Kansas City Star

Weekend Bits – Links I Love


Bring on the pumpkins, mums and hay bales! I’m ready to decorate for fall and I usually start with the front porch.  Looking for inspiration, I found this round up of 22 different ideas for your porch (including my favorite pictured above).  Placing a hay bale vertically to add some height is brilliant!

Destroyed denim is crazy popular right now but striking the right balance to avoid the grunge look can be tricky.  This post shares 10 ways to dress up up your denim.

If you are/were a Sex and the City fan, you’ll have fun reading these 50 things you probably didn’t know about the show.

The fall season brings out the baker in me much to the delight of my family (not my waistline-ha!).  I can’t wait to try out this delicious looking chocolate chip banana bread.

Who knew lipstick blots make very cool DIY artwork?  My favorite pin of the week would be easy to replicate…use your favorite lipstick shade to blot, then outline and frame!


image source: Pottery Barn

Weekend Bits – Links I Love

As a kid, were you ever afraid of jumping off the high dive or riding the tallest roller coaster at the theme park?  I can remember climbing to the top of the ladder for the high dive at the public swimming pool and then forcing everyone behind me to get off the ladder so I could climb back down (talk about embarrassing!).  But when I finally got my nerve up a few years later and forced myself to take the leap into the water, it was absolutely exhilarating!  My lead off link this week is a post written by a friend of mine and she shares how she’s coming alive by embracing fear.  This is a must read!

Coffee, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways… I just added 5 more and they’re in delicious dessert form.

Don’t worry, be happy!  Here are 10 Fascinating New Psychology Studies Everyone Should Know About Happiness.

Try something new with your scarves this fall, learn how to tie a scarf like a french girl.

I love when big name designers collaborate with stores like Target and Kohl’s to bring high end looks to us common folk.  Starting tomorrow, you can shop designer Altuzarra’s fall collection at Target.  Use this roundup link of the collection to make your wish list.

Make it a great day!

Weekend Bits – Links I Love

This morning I can feel the fall season creeping in since it’s a crisp 61 degrees here in Kansas City as I write this.  However, yesterday morning it was close to 90 degrees at this same time.  Herein lies the challenge of the seasonal wardrobe transition.  But there is hope; here are 10 September style tips to get your through the month.

I would say my iPhone usability skills are fairly average but I’m taking it up a notch after reading “21 things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do“.  #2 is my favorite.

Staying on the subject of smartphones, can an app really make you happier (especially if it’s not Candy Crush or Bubble Witch)?  The Happyness app helps you optimize the best part of your day.  This link shares the details.

Here is some new ammo in the “eat your vegetables” battle you face with your kiddos (or yourself). Here are 8 genius ways to fix veggies.

Losing weight is probably the number one reason people begin to eat healthier but this article reminds us of 5 other great reasons that have nothing to do with the scale.

If you’re looking for a good laugh, here are the 30 most horribly awkward baby photos of all time.  I’m dying at the 4th picture from the top!

Happy weekend!


Weekend Bits – Links I Love

It’s Labor Day weekend so you know what that means…SALES!  Oh yeah, I guess it also marks the official end of summer but I don’t want to think about that just yet.  My needs are simple this weekend; I want to shop and hang out at the lake.  To get your shop on, start with this post that highlights some of the best sales along with some super cute picks.

Soon your jewelry box may include a bracelet that doubles as a charger. Yep, you read it right. It’s called a QBracelet and the metallic accessory juices your phone while you wear it.  Check it out here.

As a Kansas City native I thought I had explored almost every inch of the city.  But after reading about this local blogger’s favorite spots, I found one or two more to try!  And thanks to the Twin Stripe blog for highlighting our fair city.

And one more shopping link because that’s the kind of mood I’m in.  Here are 50 pairs of fall booties and they’re all under $50.

Toast the end of summer with this Bella bella bellini cocktail that has only 94 calories a glass and 3 grams of sugar. Cheers to that!

Happy Labor Day!

A Golden Birthday – Wonka Style!

Your golden birthday happens only once in a lifetime when you turn the age of your birth date.  My daughter, who explained the concept to me a few years ago, turned 11 last December 11th.  So the pressure was on to put together something golden.  And what could be more golden than the ticket that defined Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?


The invitations might have been my favorite part of this theme.  What kid doesn’t want to find a golden ticket in a candy bar?  Luckily I found this amazing graphic designer on Etsy who can customize a wrapper and golden ticket for you (click here for details).  The golden ticket that you tuck inside the wrapper is the actual invitation with the party details. Make sure you buy the candy bar you plan to wrap before you order so that you know the dimensions you need the template to be.  I had the wrappers and tickets printed at my local UPS store and then my daughter hand delivered the chocolate bar invites.

When party guests arrived, we had a bubble machine (from Party City) on the porch and a speaker tucked away playing tunes from the movie (Oompa Loompa, Pure Imagination, etc.).  I also would have lined my walk with lollipop balloons like the ones below had the ground not been frozen (curse of the winter birthday).

lollipop-balloons7image: the House that Lars Built

Remember the contract from the movie that each child had to sign before entering the chocolate factory (and the words got smaller and smaller)?  As each party guest arrives, they’ll get a kick out of signing the same agreement (assuming their parent isn’t an attorney).  Find the template here and then mount in on a piece of cardboard.contract1
We decorated our basement ceiling with colorful paper lanterns and fake candy.

paper lanternsimage: The Little Big Company

The pièce de résistance is the candy buffet.  Vibrant, festive and not to mention, delicious, it’s all about the chocolate and candy.  We had a chocolate fountain set up with lots of treats for dipping.

candy bar

There are so many fun options for games but here are the four that I used:Wonka games

1. Golden egg – wrap a golden egg (raid the Easter supplies if you need to) in multiple layers.  Play music from the movie and have the party goers pass the golden egg.  When the music stops, whoever is holding the egg unwraps 1 layer.  The person that unwraps the golden egg wins a prize.

2. Laffy Taffy pull – Purchase 1 Wonka’s Laffy Taffy for every 2 children. Break them into teams of 2. Each team will tug on opposite ends until the taffy rips.  The team with the longest stretched out piece of taffy wins the prize.

3. Release Veruca Salt from the Blueberry – Purchase a pack of purple balloons. Put folded pieces of paper into each purple balloon with only one having a picture of Veruca Salt and blow them up. At GO, everyone will start sitting on the balloons to pop them. Whoever finds the balloon with Veruca Salt in it turns her back to normal and wins the game.

4. Augustus Gloop donut eating contest – Have two helpers hold a string with a donut strung on it.  Each child gets a turn to eat their donut without using their hands.
Other great game ideas: Violet’s bubble blowing contest, Burping contest, Wonka trivia

Party Favors: I used the adorable idea below as my inspiration for our party favors and filled their bags with gold chocolate coins and plenty of Wonka candy.

gold thank uimage: BellaGrey Designs

For more Wonka party ideas, visit my Pinterest board.

Weekend Bits – Links I Love

kindnessDoes anyone else internally cringe a little bit when someone calls them “nice” or “kind”? I’ve been labeled with these attributes fairly frequently throughout my life and for some reason it has driven me CRAZY.  Crazy, like it makes me actually want to run out and do something mean (not really, but kind of).  I think it’s because, in my mind, words like nice and kind translate to boring.  But my lead off link this week, makes a strong case that your level of kindness is tied to your happiness index.  And who doesn’t want to be happy?  So here’s a quick read on why it’s important to be nice.

The little black dress gets all the glory but it’s lesser known sibling, the little white dress, also deserves some attention.  Here are 12 must-have LWDs with endless styling combinations.

My family could eat Mexican food at least twice a week so I’m always up for trying a new salsa.  This peach, crab and avocado salsa is next on my list.

Give your dining room wow factor by following these 7 decorating essentials for that space.

I had to share this next link when I found it. Here are step by step instructions for DIY confetti tape. Add a little happiness to your packages!

Happy weekend!

image: erinjaneshop on Etsy


Weekend Bits – Links I Love


I have to admit that I haven’t seen the first Sharknado let alone Sharknado 2.  But I do have to tip my hat to the silly pop culture phenomenon that has taken the summer by storm (pun intended).  I found the image above in one of my favorite links this week and couldn’t resist.

Our pool days are numbered but we still have a couple of weekends left to enjoy the water.  If you’re hosting or attending an end of summer pool party, you’ve got to take a look at this roundup of the best pool party food (including a link for the watermelon shark above).

You don’t have to push your maxi skirts and dresses to the back of the closet for the fall and winter seasons.  Here are 20 style tips that make these comfy dresses work all year long.

This is my favorite pin of the week and it features a gallery wall of framed silhouettes.  Short of hitting an artist’s booth at some craft fair, I wasn’t sure how I could create my own silhouettes to frame.  But after some searching I found this simple DIY that looks like a cinch to follow.

How many times have we heard that we need to drink more water?  And how many times have you thought “Are all the trips to the bathroom really worth it?”?  Looks like it’s still a yes. Here are 6 things that happen to the body when we don’t get enough water.

With fall right around the corner, we’ll be trading our shorts for jeans before you know it.  This denim guide helps you find the right fit for your figure.

Happy Weekend!

image: National Watermelon Promotion Board