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Backyard Fiesta!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CreateYourBowl #CollectiveBias

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

It’s that time of year when we love to get outside in the backyard and host family and friends, we hosted a fun Backyard Fiesta this week, turning your regular backyard BBQ up a notch!

When I think fiesta, I think yummy Mexican food, and bright, beautiful decorations.  We decided to go with a summery colour scheme of red, orange, and pink.  The party turned out colourful, fun, and delicious just like we had hoped so here’s how we put it all together.  Hopefully you’ll be inspired to host your own get together this summer!

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

We set up our backyard fiesta under our pergola, and my girls pitched in to help…along with my sister’s dogs who we were doggie sitting.  😉

Since we were under the pergola, I thought it would be fun to use some pretty papal picada -the beautiful Mexican paper banners.  I made my own out of tissue paper, using scissors and few different hole punches.  They’re really easy to make, and add so much to the decor.  It was a little breezy for our party, but even blowing around a little they sure were gorgeous.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

We used a little twine to string them up over the table.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

On the table, I used some orange fabric as a runner, and then layered on a few cutting boards for all the yummy food.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

At the place settings we used these cute donkey pinatas, filled with candy they’re a “sweet” take-home gift for guests.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

On the table, we used some really inexpensive centrepieces.  I used old tin cans spray painted gold as the containers, and filled them with some flowers from my garden and bright orange, red, and pink carnations.  They were bright and fun and perfect for a fiesta.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

I also used some OLD EL PASO tin cans -from the delicious re-fried beans and green chilies we used for our taco bar.  I planted them with some cactus, and they added a real Mexican touch!

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

Off to the side we set up a little drink cart.  I made strawberry lemonade, by just adding some strawberry puree to lemonade -yum!

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

My fun little plastic donkeys had to make an appearance.  They’re just from the dollar store, but such a fun touch for a fiesta.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shopAnd since it was a hot sunny night, some water in pretty bottles.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

Now on to the menu!  I wanted a casual feel, and guests to be able to help themselves, and eat and talk and eat and talk the night away.  So, I set up the taco bar down the centre of the table.  It was so delicious, that we really did sit and eat and talk, and eat and talk and eat again.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

From the grill, we had some grilled peppers and mushrooms, along with grilled chicken and steak.  We used a little OLD EL PASO taco seasoning for a dry rub on the meat, and it was simple and so, so good.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

I also added lots of fresh veggies, like tomato, avocado, shredded lettuce, limes, and cilantro.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

I made some guacamole, and we had some chips too.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

We also had some OLD EL PASO rice, and re-fried beans, along with bowls of sour cream, salsa, caso cheese dip, and my homemade baked beans.  It was the perfect backyard menu, and fun being outside together grilling.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

We also had OLD EL PASO Tortilla Bowls -the only soft tortilla that stands up on it’s own.  They were easy to fill, and easy to eat. They were delicious, and sure cut down on the usual mess of taco night.  I highly recommend them, and they’re also available in mini size.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

I picked them up at Loblaws in the Mexican food section, so look for them there.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

And OLD EL PASO  Tortilla Bowls aren’t just for tacos, we also had them for dessert!

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

I set up a fun ice cream sundae bar, with delicious Mexican inspired toppings.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

The bowls made amazing ice cream bowls, especially after we fried them and coated them in cinnamon sugar!  They were crunchy and sweet and the perfect way to enjoy ice cream with grilled pineapple.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls and Grilled Pineapple Sundaes

Ingredients

  • OLD EL PASO Tortilla Bowls
  • oil for frying
  • cinnamon sugar
  • 1 pineapple
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Begin by cutting up your pineapple into spears, and then place in a zip bag with brown sugar. Seal and shake to coat the pineapple in sugar, set aside until ready to grill.
  2. Heat oil to 375 degrees, and place tortilla bowls in oil one by one, turning as needed and frying until golden brown. Immediately when the bowls are removed from the oil, sprinkle all over with cinnamon sugar, so that it will stick.
  3. Grill pineapple on the bbq.
  4. Serve the cinnamon sugar tortilla bowls with ice cream, grilled pineapple, and other toppings. Enjoy!
http://www.lifeisaparty.ca/2016/backyard-fiesta/

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

Along with the cinnamon sugar tortilla bowls and grilled pineapple, we had a few other yummy additions: coconut and vanilla ice cream, toasted coconut, caramel sauce, and sprinkles.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

It was a great way to finish off our fiesta.

Backyard Fiesta -Red, Orange, and Pink beautiful decor ideas, and menu, including recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Sundaes #shop

With an amazing Backyard Fiesta like this one, life really is a party!

Geometric Pineapple Art

DIY Geometric Pineapple Art: A tutorial for Inexpensive art work, made with a dollar store wooden canvas, scrapbook paper, and Mod Podge -Pattern included.

This summer I’ve spotted lots of pineapples in home decor, and I’m falling in love with them.  I especially love the bright colours I’ve been seeing them in.  This geometric pineapple art is a really inexpensive DIY art piece, perfect for a fun, colourful bit of summer whimsical decor.

This month for the #12MonthsOfDIY challenge we got to work with Mod Podge, and that’s what I used to create this piece. #MayModPodge

DIY Geometric Pineapple Art: A tutorial for Inexpensive art work, made with a dollar store wooden canvas, scrapbook paper, and Mod Podge -Pattern included.

I started out with a wooden canvas, from the dollar store.  I applied a little stain to the unfinished wood, I used a stain wipe, and they’re great because you can use one and re-seal the package for another time.  They’re easy to use, with no brush to clean up, just be sure to wear gloves -or wrap your hand in a plastic bag if you have no gloves, like me.  😉

While your stain is drying, you can started cutting out your triangles.  Use the pattern I’ve supplied here -you’ll need about 35 for the bottom, and about 22 for the top.  I used different shades of green and pink, but any colour combo would work -traditional yellow, or maybe teal?

DIY Geometric Pineapple Art: A tutorial for Inexpensive art work, made with a dollar store wooden canvas, scrapbook paper, and Mod Podge -Pattern included.

Once the stain is dry, use your carbon paper (remember your teacher using these when you were a kid, to make worksheets before the days of photocopiers?).  Just tape it onto the wooden canvas, and tape the pattern on top.  Use tape instead of just trying to hold it so that it doesn’t move at all when your tracing with it.  Now, using the pattern, go over all the lines with a sharp pencil, and using a ruler to transfer the pattern onto the wood.  Once you’ve traced it all, remove the carbon paper and the pattern, and the pineapple grid should be on the wooden canvas.

DIY Geometric Pineapple Art: A tutorial for Inexpensive art work, made with a dollar store wooden canvas, scrapbook paper, and Mod Podge -Pattern included.

Now using the pattern as a guide, Mod Podge each triangle onto the wooden canvas.  Use a brush to apply Mod Podge underneath the paper as a glue and over the top of the paper as a sealer.  The triangles aren’t equal on all sides, so take care to line them up properly on the grid pattern.  Don’t worry too much if there’s a few gaps, or if things don’t line up perfectly, it won’t be that noticeable when you’re all finished.  I just applied the sealer top coat to the pineapple and not the wood around it, since I like the matte finish of the stain.

DIY Geometric Pineapple Art: A tutorial for Inexpensive art work, made with a dollar store wooden canvas, scrapbook paper, and Mod Podge -Pattern included.

I used a bit of glitter paper in mine for a little added sparkle.

DIY Geometric Pineapple Art: A tutorial for Inexpensive art work, made with a dollar store wooden canvas, scrapbook paper, and Mod Podge -Pattern included.

This little pineapple art piece has summer written all over it!

DIY Geometric Pineapple Art: A tutorial for Inexpensive art work, made with a dollar store wooden canvas, scrapbook paper, and Mod Podge -Pattern included.

With inexpensive DIY Geometric Pineapple Art, life really is a party!

Now it’s time to see the rest of the #12MonthsOfDIY Mod Podge projects from my Canadian Blogging friends!

From the top left, they are:

How To Use Mod Podge – A Beginner’s Story from Vin’yet Etc.

Painted Florals On Glassware from PMQ for Two

Geometric Pineapple Art from Life Is A Party

DIY “Home” Wood Sign from Love Create Celebrate

DIY Filing Cabinet Makeover Using Vintage Book Pages from Woman in Real Life

Handy DIY Two Month Receipt Organizer from Time with Thea

Decoupage Foot Stool from Fresh Crush

Make Lace Decoupaged Garden Containers from The DIY Mommy

Paper Flower Lamp Shade from Brooklyn Berry Designs

Easily Upcycled Photo Frames from Sustain My Craft Habit

Kate Spade-Inspired Mug from Mommyzoid

Window Map Art from New House New Home

12MonthsofDIY-May-Mod-Podge-DIY-Craft-Ideas

And don’t forget to play along with us my showing us your own Mod Podge projects on Instagram, #12MonthsOfDIY and #MayModPodge, and following all the host for a chance to be featured!

Hospitality

We’re in month 5 of our “Year of Feasting”.  The challenge, to host 12 feasts in 12 months, has been a lot of fun.  It’s forced us to be intentional about seeing friends, old and new.  It’s been a lot of fun having a party every month.  And we’ve found ways to make sure it didn’t break the bank, like using a lot of what we already had, planning the menu according to what’s in season and on-sale, and asking friends to contribute with a dish sometimes.  I have to say it’s brought us a lot of joy, and been an excuse to reconnect with a few people.

Challenge A Year of Feasting

This month looked a little bit different than previous months.  It was a much bigger party, in a way.  And it’s got me thinking about hospitality and the gift of making people feel welcome and preparing a special place for them.

I am on the planning committee of my church’s women’s getaway team.  Every year we plan a weekend away at a conference centre outside of the city to be together, and reconnect with God, and as a community.  The committee itself is a lot of work, but truly a lot of fun.  Working with other women to put together an event like this really is a privilege, and seeing our hard work pay off with a great event makes it all worth while.  We start planning about 6 months in advance to make the event happen.  This year I was in charge of decor.  I know it might seem a little trite, a little insignificant, a little church lady-ish but to me it’s a chance to be an atmosphere architect.  I have found over the years that the best way to make people feel like you made a fuss over them, is to make a fuss over them.  So we work with a tiny budget, but big ideas to try and create something really special.

This year I had the privilege to work with Lucy from Craftberry Bush who attends the same church with me, to create the most amazing giant paper flower decorations.

How to make giant paper flowers

A few of us worked for days, and days making flowers from paper -you can see how to make them in the video tutorial I put together.  They’re easy to make and inexpensive too, they just take a while.  So for many an evening I sat at my dining room table with my glue gun and a cup of tea making flowers.  It was truly a labour of love.  And the results were better than I imagined.

Giant flower wall

Our getaway space is big, and camp-y, and hard to make feel cozy, warm, and special.  But I think we did it.  Lucy created the most amazing flower backdrop, with some of her amazing watercolor flowers, and our giant paper flowers.  We added cushions and throws, and a coffee bar, and snack bar, and candles, and flowers, and all our love.  In the end it was beautiful, but more than that it was welcoming, and hospitable, and special, and intentional.

Giant flower wall 2

And since those are all of the values driving the Year of Feasting, I thought that sharing this experience with you would be a perfect fit.  Because whether we’re hosting 100 women for the weekend, or our family, or a few friends, in many ways it comes from the same place.  We want to open our homes, our hearts, our selves up and invite our loved ones in.  We want to make room for them, to fuss over them a little, to go to the trouble of making them feel welcomed, and of making them feel loved.  We are the atmosphere architects of our own homes.  For the getaway we did a lot of prep and work, but it’s really the heart attitude that’s important, and the heart attitude is even more important than the pretty decor, or matching colour scheme, I promise.  People can feel if you want them in your space -homes and hearts alike.

Snack table

Years ago, I was invited over for a party at someone’s house.  It was potluck, everyone was asked to bring salads and desserts.  The hosts provided the bbq.  They served hotdogs -simple, cheap, easy to find hotdogs.  There was no colour scheme, or decorations.  We sat in the backyard and ate hotdogs and salads but it was such a great party.  We connected with old and new friends, we felt so very welcomed, and loved.  It was a life lesson for this girl.  It’s great to go to lots of trouble and fuss over people, and create something truly special.  But…hospitality is really more about your heart opening to others and welcoming them into your space, and into your life.

Women s getaway decor

I think entertaining is one of my “things”…it might not be your thing.  I’m not a soccer mom, I don’t love to read, I’m not amazingly organized.  Perhaps you are?  We all have different things we’re really good at.  I get excited about tablescapes, and colour schemes, and menus.  And maybe that’s not your thing.  Cool.  But, hospitality is a little bit different than entertaining.  Hospitality is about a feeling, an attitude, a way of being.  I think hospitality is about open doors, to our homes, to our lives, to our hearts.  Hospitality is about inviting other’s in, and making them feel they are welcome.  It puts your guests at ease, and makes them feel like you’re sincerely glad they are with you.  I wonder if it’s a practice we can all work on?  In fact, entertaining without hospitality is probably really missing the mark.

Women s getaway decor 2

So, I hope you’ll join in on the Year of Feasting with me -feasting on food and friends.  What ever that looks like for you is just fine with me.  You might be having a party a month like I am, or you might just be trying to be a little bit more intentional with hospitality.  You might be doing a theme and a colour scheme, and a fancy menu, or you might be serving hotdogs.  It’s all good, truly.  It’s really more about opening up our homes and hearts to our journeying partners, the ones we do life with, about connecting, and encouraging, and sharing good times, and hard times.  It’s about being together.

With hospitable hearts, life really is a party!

How To Make Giant Paper Flowers

How To Make Giant Paper Flowers: see how to turn regular paper into beautiful and inexpensive flowers, from large to small in a video tutorial. This diy is perfect for a wedding, shower, or home decor.

If you’ve ever wondered about making giant paper flowers for yourself, or for a special event and worried that they’re too hard to make, let me reassure you they’re not, and show you how to make them.

I’ve made these a few times, and although time consuming for sure, they aren’t difficult or expensive to create.

To make your own giant paper flowers, all you need is some paper and a hot glue gun.  You can use any paper to make them -for these we used regular white paper, craft paper, pink copy paper, scrap book paper, and some old book pages.  You can easily make these to fit any colour scheme, so they’re great for decor, or for a special occasion.

So here’s how I made them:

These really are a lot of fun to create, and a chance for you get really creative with all kinds of different petal shapes, centres, and paper choices.  And there are also lots of different ways to use them.  In case you missed my post yesterday, here’s the beautiful tablescape I created with them on my patio -you can read all about it here.

How To Make Giant Paper Flowers: see how to turn regular paper into beautiful and inexpensive flowers, from large to small in a video tutorial. This diy is perfect for a wedding, shower, or home decor.

How To Make Giant Paper Flowers: see how to turn regular paper into beautiful and inexpensive flowers, from large to small in a video tutorial. This diy is perfect for a wedding, shower, or home decor.

With inexpensive and easy to make giant paper flowers, life really is a party!

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