Friday, December 21, 2012

5 and Below - The Gift Hack.

Have you seen my Christmas hacks from last year?  Well, check them out (here) because I show you Pottery Barn Knockoffs at Walmart!  This year, however, I have another FABULOUS FRUGAL FIND for all of you:
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this store.  I typically shop for socks, nail polish and candy.  Well, UNTIL Deb told me about their game section.  I decided to check out their deals and it was the JACKPOT!!!!!

If you're looking for affordable and fabulous deals or last-minute gifts, you MUST check them out!


Monopoly Crazy Cash 
Walmart - $18.77
Target - $24.99
5 and Below - $5.00

Chutes and Ladders
Walmart - $11.99
Target - $7.79
5 and Below - $5.00
Twister, Life, Connect4, Candy Land and so many others for $3.99!  I stocked up for Christmas!


Check out these cool speakers that are elsewhere for much more than $5!

Phone Accessories

Gloves designed for touchscreens!!

Fun cases, nifty holders, colorful chargers and more for $5 or less?  HellooOOo stocking stuffers!

Video Games

Babysitting Mama

Radio Shack - $19.99
Sears - $49.90
5 and Below - $5.00!!

I bought this game for Munch because it comes with a plush doll and the video game for only $5!  You place the wii remote inside the doll and use the doll to play the game; she will LOVE it!


There are all kinds of brand name toys! Here are just a few and ALL are $5 or less.  Matter of fact, they are other places for a lot more!

Hurry! Save your money and RUN to your local 5 and below! They have craft sets, books, Redskins gear, decor, makeup, decor and so much more!!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Retro Party - A Hair How-To.

Islanders, please join me in welcoming Dani from!!  She attended mom's 50th birthday party and her hair was fabulous! I invited her to the island to give us all a quick how-to. Go, Dani! Go, Dani! 
So of course I was mortified to see that I was not featured on the island this morning and I was NOT having that.  So now, I got a spotlight, how do you like THEM apples, my dear?!

Onto business!  I originally wanted to rock the "Grease" themed pink satin jacket with the black pants and heels, with the scarf around the neck and oh yeah...the hair!  But as luck would have it, I didn't have the time (nor the patience) to find my outfit on such short notice (since I waited until the last minute).  So, I improvised and without spending any money (well, I spent money, but I didn't have to because everything I ended up wearing was in my closet lol).  So, I had the outfit, but what was I going to do with my hair?!  I knew I wanted Victory Curls from the beginning, but I had NO clue that's what they were called...that's when the internet became my new BFF!  I quickly found the correct name and tons of videos to help me perfect the perfect curl!
Here it goes:

1. I made sure that my hair was already "straight" i.e. bumped with a curling iron, because I wouldn't be able to do it with my natural curls.

2.  I had my brown gel in-hand and a smoothing brush to tame the beasts called frizzies and fly-aways!  Before applying anything I parted my hair to one side (my right side) and re-bumped the top section of my hair where the victory curls would go so that it was "fresh" (btw my hair was not freshly washed...the curls hold better when you have some oil to it).  I used a gold, big barrel curling iron so that my curls would be easy to roll into place.  Break the TOP section of your hair (keeping the part that you already made) into multiple sections and after each curl is bumped, pin each one and allow it to fully cool.  Allowing the curls to cool will help it hold better!

3.  Starting on one side (started on my right),  Un-pin each curl.  Gather all of the curls in that section, lightly comb the section together (creating one big curl)  and roll the curl from the bottom, all the way up.  Be sure to roll the curl AWAY from your face, until it is sitting neatly on the top of your head.  Once it was positioned where I wanted it, I began to pin the curl from the BACK so that you couldn't see my bobby/boppy (sp) pins.  Pin your hair as needed...each hair type is different and may require extra pin-age!  FYI, I like BIG victory curls, so make the barrel of the curl as big or small as you'd like.

4.  Once I finished my first victory curl, I repeated the same steps on the other side, again, making sure to roll AWAY from my face.

5.  Once both victory curls were in place, I applied the brown gel (or whatever works best for you) to my edges and I used my smoothing brush to slick my edges down even more.  Once they were tamed I used the smoothing brush again to smooth the sides of my hair down and into a tight pony tail.

6.  Once my hair was in a ponytail, I broke the ponytail into sections and bumped each section with my curling iron.  To give my hair the full and bouncy look I combed through each section LIGHTLY to loosen the curls up a bit...the loose curls add a more vintage look that I looooove!

7.  Lightly spray your hair so that it's held in place and you're done!
Thanks, Dani, for the fabulous write-up. I can't wait to try my own variation of this style in the near future!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Retro Party - The Penny Candy Buffet.

Penny candy... O, penny candy! 

Mommy used to LOVE when she got a nickel because it meant she could take a trip to the store for some penny candy.  When we decided to celebrate her birthday with a retro party, I knew I had to incorporate her childhood love for penny candy into the decor...

How awesome is it that The Dollar Tree has all of the retro candy (in its original packaging)?? 

Candy buffet tip:  save time by planning your candy buffet layout in advance!!  I pulled my candies out of their packages and assigned them to jars.  Doing this ensures there's enough candy to fill the jars, helps with jar spacing and makes set-up a breeze! 

Here's the before set-up at my house:

Here's the after:

Pennant banners are ALL the rage and I love that Party City has color-coordinated pennant banner kits that can be personalized with stickers. I've used this SAME package for 3 events (with more to spare!).  Mom's sign read, "Lisa's Sweet Shoppe"

Banner tip:  When you don't have a wall behind your feature table, use the front of the table to hang your sign.  It will have the same effect :)

On the table, I provided bags for guests to collect candy.  Sheena designed custom labels for me.  That's right, as usual, she came through for me and really helped eliminate stress!!

Aside from the banner and the favor bag labels, the only other printable was a frame on the sweets table:

Now, let's get to the yummies shall we?!

In addition to the wax bottles, Double Bubble, Sugar Daddies, Sugar Mamas, Sugar Babies, Tootsie Rolls, Twizzlers, Fire Bombs, York Peppermint Patties and so much more, my favorite baker, Misty, made some cake balls to look like candies:

I asked my mom for her favorite cake flavor and she responded that she loves yellow cake with Duncan Hine's chocolate frosting.  Misty used Kit Kats and M&Ms to cover the frosting and topped it with a mini-mom!  It was a special cake with her favorite flavors just for her.  My favorite part? The boobies, lol:

The cake we served guests was 3-tiers and fabulous.  I had it designed to match her outfit. Isn't it gorgeous?

It was a sweet event for a sweet woman who I'm PROUD to call my mommy.

My mom is always hosting and giving and cooking and DOING for everyone else.  It was such a joy to finally work for her.  She has this vibe about her that makes everyone love her.  A heart as big as allll of Georgia and a smile as warm to match.  She has been a great example of mommyhood in my life and I'm grateful to have her share that love with Munch... One way to best describe her is in Munch's Valentine's cards last year:

To my mom she wrote, "Grandma, I love you. You make the best salads."

To my dad she wrote, "Pop-Pop, I love Grandma.......... and you too."


As usual, Munch sums it up best:)


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Retro Party - The Party Timeline.

It doesn't mean I'm not grieving... It just means that I need something to help me function... I find myself staring at Munch and almost brought to tears at the thought of something happening to her.

Before I cry, let's get to the Retro Party rundown.

Finally, the day had arrived.  My dear mommy's party was upon us and I was ready to groove... Read on to hear more of how we brought the 50s, 60s and 70s to life with a structured timeline!


The invitations asked guests to wear their favorite attire from any of the eras.  I was the party host and kept my outfit 70s chic with a thrift store jumper and Party City wig... Total? $28 (including the $8 lipstick). Party read-ay!

Guests came ready to party too:

The Hustle Instruction

Do you see those costumes? Are you getting the party vibe? We kicked the party off with The Hustle dance instructions.

Mom wanted people to have a dancin' good time.  I knew line dances were the way to go.  I didn't, however, realize that my mom's list would go back to the original line dances...  Matter of fact, I wasn't prepared for mom to take my suggestion and turn it into a party element - to learn the popular line dances by era...  Thankfully, my amazing co-workers pulled together to teach me some of the older line dances.

At the party, the DJ looped the song's intro while we reviewed the steps:

My dear friend, Sheena, and her hubby, Dom, provided the lesson.  It got everyone in the mood to GROOVE!

After the line dance, I arranged for the DJ to play a few(like 4) popular songs from the 60s and 70s then then a line dance.  The order of line dances went like this:

The Hustle
The Electric Slide
The Cha Cha Slide:

The Cupid Shuffle

For each of the line dances, we had a leader in the front demonstrating and announcing the moves.

The Birthday Song

I had a cake made to match Mom's poodle skirt and even had a sweets table with all of her favorite retro candies (we'll talk more about that tomorrow):

We sang happy birthday... Then, the DJ played "Rock Around the Clock" and a few 60-second snippets of 50s songs.  

The Re-Introduction

While guests enjoyed swing music, mom changed into her party dress and I handed out flashlights.  I had all of the guests form a soul train line, channeled my inner announcer and said, "AND NOW RE-INTRODUCING MY 50 AND FABULOUS MOMMY, ALICIA!!!!"
The lights were turned off and the DJ dropped the song, "Flashlight."  Can you imagine?  Guests had their flashlight swirling and my mom started the soul train line by wiggling in her sparkle dress, leggings and boots.  We had SO much fun!

Costume Contest

After the Soul Train line, we had everyone compete for 2 big money gift cards in a fashion show.  I had contestants line up, pose for a picture then head down the walkway towards the judges.  Check out some of the photographer's pics:

We identified the finalists but the judges needed some time to deliberate.  

While the judges finalized their decision, the DJ started playing, "Big Girls Don't Cryyyy" then remixed it with the Big Girl Wobble!  I taught guests (those who didn't already know) how to do the line dance and it was another amazing party moment!

Winners were chosen then we opened the dance floor with an awesome mix of the latest hits.  We partied into the night!

I gave my sweet mommy the party she always wanted without the stress. We had great food, great costumes and great fun!

Sounds like this party planner could finally rest easy!

Tune in tomorrow for the sweets table details!    


Goodwill Finds: The Magnolia Wreath

Happy Friday, Islanders. I wanted to share a thrifty find from a while back.  Ugh, I love my local Goodwill Outlet.  Oh, and yes, you saw ...

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