Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fiesta: Food, Family, FUN!

I've shared images of the cake and those fabulous paper flowers photographed up there.

Can we talk about how awesome it was to spend our first family cookout of the season celebrating the expectant arrival of our newest bundle of joy?  There was food.  

Good food.  

An authentic buffet from the mom-to-be's (M2B) favorite restaurant in the area to be exact.

There was yummy Mexican soda.

M2B loves the soda!

There were cute little ones... including my deliciously adorable nephew.

There was family.

There was a bump.

There were obligatory photos of the cute bump.

There was the news of what we were having...

During our shopping trip in search of party supplies, I found the perfect pinata.

I wanted to avoid the baby themed pinata but I thought the donkey pinata was too much; it just wasn't cute enough.  As we were checking out, I saw the gift box pinata and knew it, with its tissue paper bow, would be perfect!  I filled it, hung it and the parents-to-be got in place to have a swing and find out what we're having.

Care to take a guess?

IT'S A...???

Tune in tomorrow to watch the video and see the pics!


Monday, May 30, 2016

Maya Mondays - Never Free.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Fiesta: Making Store-bought Look Couture

In the best interest of time and energy, Ryan and I decided to take an afternoon and check out the fiesta party stash at Party City.  We strolled the aisles, purchased statement decor and pulled a fabulous party together without compromising on style!  I've compiled a list of tips to help you make store-bought decor look couture!

1.  Large-scale Decor!

Think BIG!  We purchased a large party pack.  It included the sign photographed above, several banners.  We used the fiesta sign as a photo backdrop and focal point in the space.  We hung the banners over head to create an ambiance fit for the winds that blew that day :)  I would normally use cardstock to make banners but the package offered a variety of banners and came ready to hang!  SCORE!  Other ideas and tips for large-scale decor include:

- Using scene setters as photo or feature table backdrops
- Hang ceiling decor over feature tables
-  Create wall cover to unify the space

2.  Think outside of the box!

Just because the package says the purpose of an item is one thing doesn't mean you can't (and shouldn't) consider other uses!

We hung one banner on the table to create a unique and colorful table skirt!  We also got packs of mini sombreros for guests to wear, they were a hit!

Sure, they were adorable as little hats but I loved how they looked as a cake topper!

Other ways to think outside of the box include:

- Paper wall hangings (priced at less than $1), make great cheap decor!  Glue them to dowels and add them to centerpieces!  Cover jars to unify the candy buffet!  Place them on top of boxes wrapped in coordinating colors for instant LARGE decor that's customized for your theme!

- Use clusters of decor to create beautiful backdrops.  Poms, balloons, wrapping paper, plates, anything in multiples hung on the wall will make a huge impact!

3.  Cluster!

Don't scatter your decor all over a large space and expect to make a statement!  Think strategically and place decor where you want your guests to look.  For example, tissue poms are sold in packs of three.  Rather than hanging them all over the space, Hang them over a feature table or as a photo backdrop to create a HUGE impact using just three poms!

The key to store-bought couture is to have a purpose for every item you purchase.  Be intentional and edit.  Too much is too much.  Strategic placement is more important!  Focus on details where your guests can have time to appreciate them - centerpieces (guests will be eating and sitting there for some time), sweets table (guests will look closely for what sweets they want), favors (they will leave with them and inspect the treats at a later time).

I will leave you with images of our store-bought decor at [fabulous] work:

Stay tuned!


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fiesta: Easy Centerpiece Ideas

Ryan and I took a quick shopping trip to Party City and Target for some fiesta party decor to incorporate into our plan and, particularly the centerpieces.  If you're looking for an easy way to create the perfect fiesta centerpieces, here are a few tips to be sure your arrangements are unique, fabulous and affordable: 

1.  Sombreros

Seriously, what's a fiesta without sombreros?  

We purchased a large colorful sombrero and placed small arrangements on top.  We also purchased paper sombrero wall decor for $.29/each from Party City and glued them to dowels to add height.  We also considered using some of the mini sombreros in the centerpieces but it was windy and they wouldn't stay put.

2.  Canned Goods

I purchased several cans of jalapenos and enchilada sauce on clearance for well under $1.

The cans made the perfect containers for floral arrangements, straws, and buffet supplies.  They gave the casual atmosphere and polished and theme-appropriate container that you can keep and use in future products or recycle; one-time or long-term use without the worry of breaking the bank?  Sounds perfect to me!

3.  Live plants!

A healthy mix of common Mexican flowers and plants looked great throughout the space. 

You can purchase fresh cut flowers from your local grocery in theme-coordinating colors, cacti from your local garden center, or any of the following Mexican flowers that have significance to the culture:

- Dahlias: the national flower since 1963
- Marigold:  the flower used to decorate tombs of the Aztecs
- Calla Lillies: became popular after Diego Rivera featured them in paintings
- Roses:  the blooms play a significant role in the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe

How cool would pepper plants be placed in a jalapeno can?  OMG!  That would be awesome!

4.  Cultural references

While all of the decor elements we've covered are nods to Mexican culture, you can bring it all together by using references to some of the following things:

- Maracas
- Clay pots
- Mexican blankets
- Pinatas and more!

Visit your local thrift store in search of small pieces that tie in with the theme for  discounted price!  Ryan used party streamers to create the fringe embellishments on the jars.  She even placed maracas into some of the potted plants.

These gender reveal centerpieces were a hit and guests were happy to take them home!


Friday, May 27, 2016

Fiesta: Mexican Paper Flowers

You probably didn't realize all of these tissue paper poms you've been seeing all over blogland practically originated in Mexico.

Yep, those poms you've seen hanging over dessert tables and used as room decor have been a staple in Mexican culture for years!

That is one of the images I sent to Amalia as inspiration for one of the feature decor elements... I wanted to frame the cake with paper flowers.  UGH, can we just take a moment for the drama and the colors and the texture of the paper flowers?


Don't they resemble the beautiful folklore dresses of those Mexican dancers?  Mexico is known for its art - sugar skulls, pottery, jewelry, baskets, paintings, dolls, embroidery, and more - it's truly a crafter's paradise!  Paper flowers are beautiful and I knew they'd really help to bring the theme together.

Can I share some quick updates with you, my beloved Islander?  I had a lot going on during this time.  I had a major plumbing issue, I was in a bad car accident and I was in the process of moving... as in out of our house and into another.  I know.  No tears. No drama.  Just take the update and move on with me.  Like, now.

So, with everything, I couldn't give this party the handmade elements I wanted to.  I had to make store bought seem couture.  I bought two items from Oriental Trading and both of the items incorporated Mexican paper flowers!

1. This door frame set of flowers was awesome and came in three pieces - one for the sides and one for the top of a door frame.

The park was windy on the day of our event so I wound up hanging the top (and largest) piece over the cake.  I used one of the side pieces over the main entrance and removed flowers from the remaining piece to scatter the individual paper flowers throughout the space. 

2. The other item I ordered was the adorable Mexican flower straws.  They arrived ready to assemble and added an element of fun and whimsy to the drink station!

Check out our fabulous pieces in action at the event!

Can you see the small paper flower under the cake stand?  It was a great touch!

I found canned goods in the Mexican food aisle of my local grocery store and used them to hold centerpieces and other buffet items.

Don't the straws look great paired with the yummy Mexican sodas? 

If you're looking for fabulous and affordable fiesta decor, consider incorporating the paper flowers and be sure to check out Oriental Trading's selection; it's great!


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 ...

© Shipwrecked on Fabulous Island. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.