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Felt Food Christmas Cookies

Rock Climbing Gem Party

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

When my daughter Paige turned 12, she decided she’d like a rock climbing party to celebrate.  We had an amazing time rock climbing with her friends, and then invited them all back to our house for a “Paige Rocks” celebration.  We used the idea of rocks to inspire a rock/gem/jewel/geometric themed party.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

The party was amazing!  I didn’t want this post to get lost in all the amazing fall and Christmas posts the last few months, so I’ve been saving it until now.  I hope you love it as much as we did!

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

We started out at our local rock climbing place and the girls got to climb for a few hours together.  Paige loves rock climbing and had an amazing time getting to do it with all her friends.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

After the rock climbing was done, we headed back to our house with some tired, hungry and excited girls.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

We set up the dining room for our guests to enjoy some “rock” inspired treats.  (This was before the big dining room make-over, if you’re wondering why it looks so different now.)

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

I made a lot of the decorations with my Cricut machine.  Including the paper 3-D shapes that we used throughout the party as decorations -you can find the free cut file for these here.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

I adjusted the size a few times to make some bigger and smaller ones.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

Each girl, had a special place setting waiting for them.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

I used inexpensive muslin bags for the party favours, and customized them with each girl’s name, so they doubled as placards.  To make the bags, I used iron-on gold vinyl and cut it out with the Cricut machine.  They were really easy to make and the girls were very impressed.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

Each bag was to hold a little gem necklace -which was the perfect little party favour.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

I also used my Cricut to make the straw gems.  I embellished gold paper straws by gluing on a cut out gem.  I was able to buy an inexpensive gem cut file that had two layers, for a few dollars in my Cricut Design Space.  I cut the top layer out of glitter yardstick, and layered it over another piece of cardstock in the party colours.  These little gems turned out so well, I loved them and so did the girls.  I was so impressed with what my Cricut was able to do.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

I used the same cut file to create some vinyl adhesives for my candles.  I used gold vinyl, and cut the top piece and then put several onto glass dollar store candles.  They looked amazing, and were very easy and inexpensive to make.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

On the table we also used lots of scattered rocks, gems and crystals.  We collected some rocks on our walks, and found some fun gems at the dollar store.  We also made some pretty crystals out of borax.We liked this tutorial.  We worked on them over about a week, and added some gold paint to some of them too.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

We also added some pretty pink flowers, and some geometric gold candle holders.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

Over in the entry way, I used a few more of the vinyl gems I cut out on the Cricut machine.  They looked great on the mirror, and easily peeled off after the party.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

I also sewed some geometric bunting.  Again I used the Cricut and cut out some simple geometric shapes out of different colours of cardstock and in different sizes.  I used my sewing machine to sew them into a pretty garland –see my tutorial here.  I made a few and used some over the console table too.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

I made the geometric shaped honey comb decorations, by cutting round ones before they were unfolded -I love how these turned out and they’re so simple to make.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

The main attraction of the party was the beautiful rock themed dessert table.  We had so much fun putting it together and the girls just loved it.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

The backdrop was made with a simple branch attached to the wall that we hung more of the geometric garland and shapes off of.  The vinyl wall decals were cut with the Cricut machine too.  I used the same gems and layered the vinyl with white on top and, pink and aqua the party colours underneath.  We also made “Paige Rocks” out of the vinyl.  These all looked amazing for the party, and were easy to remove afterward.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

The metal geometric shapes were some I used as Christmas decorations, but worked perfectly here.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

All the party desserts were rock themed, which was so much fun.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

The cake was made the week before –you can see how easy it was here, and I just put it in the freezer and took it out the morning of the party.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

Paige loved the succulents, so we incorporated the into the party flowers, and just added some pretty rock candy to the cake to tie it into the theme.  It turned out so, so pretty.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

I served some fruit in cute little paper cups.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

The rock themed candy was pretty fun to find.  We had classic rock candy.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

I also found this fun rock popping candy, that the kids thought was amazing.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

And to go with the gems, some candy rings.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

One of the prettiest treats of the day, a beautiful plate of donuts.  They sure looked great with their little gem pics!

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

Over on the other side of the table, more treats.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

We made regular rice crispy squares, and cut them into cubes and dipped half on a diagonal into coloured chocolate.  They were simple, looked great, and were so yummy.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

We also made some dirt pudding (chocolate pudding with crushed oreos) and topped them with candy rocks, and served them in little mason jars.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

I wanted to offer some chips so I picked up a party mix and served them in these sweet little takeout boxes.  I wanted them to match the party, so I used some more of the vinyl decals and added them to the boxes.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

We also made these agate slice rock lollipops.  We used this tutorial to make them out of crushed up candy.  They weren’t too hard to make, and looked amazing.  The tricky part was trying to find colours that we wanted and flavours that went together well.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

This party was a huge success.  If you’re considering something similar, I have one little bit of advise.  The rock climbing place also had a party room, and we considered renting it to keep things all in one place, but I’m so glad we didn’t use it, and set everything up at home.  Hosting part of the party at home meant that we could make it really, really special.  I could set up everything ahead of time, and the 15 min. drive back to our house was no problem at all.  The girls faces when they walked in and saw it all made it all completely worth while, that’s for sure, and I never would have had time to make it quite so magical if it wasn’t at home.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

This is one of those times where the smile on the birthday girl’s face says it all.

Rocking Climbing Gem/Jewel/Geometric Party -rock climbing party with diy gem decor, rock themed dessert table, and favour ideas

With a Rock Climbing Gem Birthday Party, life really is a party!

Harry Potter Family Movie Night

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

Over the last few months, my daughter Paige has been reading the Harry Potter books.  So we’ve started watching the movies together as she finishes each book.  Over the Christmas break we enjoyed the first three together, and last Saturday we made a Family Movie Night out of the fourth Harry Potter Movie.  It was so much fun, that I wanted to share it with you and possibly inspire a Harry Potter Family Movie Night of your own.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

We didn’t have anything planned Saturday, and those are sometimes the very best kind of Saturdays.  I knew we were planning to watch the next Harry Potter movie, since Paige had finished the book and when I was out shopping that week I noticed a package of Bean Boozled  Jellybeans -they’re just like Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans, so I picked them up on an impulse, thinking they might be fun for movie night.

You know how much we love a theme around here, so I mentioned to the girls I’d picked up the jelly beans, and asked if they’d like to turn it into a family party.  The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, of course they loved the idea of making it into a family party.  And so, our Saturday was filled with creating our little Harry Potter party.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

They decorated the living room with a few Harry Potter inspired things.  They added Harry’s luggage pile and owl Hedwig, along with a broom for flying -not exactly the Nimbus 2000, haha, but close enough.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

We were inspired by the scene in the first book where all the school letters come flying out of the fireplace, and added some letters on fishing line to our fireplace.  On the side chair, is Harry’s cloak of invisibility.  And up on the mantel, a favourite quote “Mischief Managed”.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

We often make homemade pizza for family movie night, so we enjoyed that with a salad for dinner, and ate in the living room watching the movie.  To go with our pizza we made our own Butter Beer, and it was soooo good.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

To make the Butter Beer, we combined a little bit of vanilla cream soda in the bottom of the cup with some butterscotch sauce, and stirred well to combine.  Then we topped it with more cream soda.  We added whipped cream to the top, and another drizzle of butterscotch sauce.  It was kind of like a soda float, so good.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

For our dessert, we made some golden snitches out of Ferrero Rocher chocolates.  We used the printable wings from here, and hot glued them to the wrappers.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

We also ate the jellybeans.  This was so funny.  We put them all into a little bowl.  You know that sweet smell you usually get when you open a bag of candy?  Well it was certainly missing here, since the vomit, grass, and dog food jelly beans were mixed in there too.  We took turns choosing one and seeing what we got.  It was so funny to see some of the reactions to a first taste.  And also funny to see who refused to play anymore after one round, haha.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

My girls spent most of the day before the movie working on their wands.  They used inexpensive chopsticks as the base for each one, and then added dimension with hot glue.  Some of them also had beads added, and polymer clay details, or beautiful marbles.  Once they were done, we painted them.  They turned out so, so well.  I think they were their favourite part of the day.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

The girls also made some costumes for us.  They made the sweetest little doggie Hogwarts uniform for our dog Oscar, out of felt.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

And for the rest of us, school ties to match our houses.  We had all taken an on-line quiz before to see what house we belonged to.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

This was such a fun night, and I know we were making special memories too.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

It was almost all stuff we had around the house.  I think the only thing I had to buy was the package of jelly beans.  It’s a reminder to me that sometimes all we need is time enough to create something fun.  Often our weekends are busy, or full of errands and jobs to do, but there is something special about a Saturday with no real plans,and all the possibilities it holds.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

As we say around here a lot, life is what we make it, so we may as well make it a party, and this is the perfect example of that.  May your life be marked with great celebrations, some as simple as an amazing family movie night.

Harry Potter Family Movie Night -home made wands, decorations, butter beer recipe, golden snitch chocolates, and every flavour jelly beans.

With a Harry Potter Family Movie Night, life really is a party!

Spice Cupboard Organization

Spice Cupbard Organization: Easy ways to get the spice packages organized and easier to find.

Today I’m taking part in The DIY Mommy’s Organization DIY and Decor Challenge.  Christina asked us to get organized for the New Year, and it was just the challenge I needed to take on my Spice Cupboard.

For ages I’ve been meaning to get this cupboard under control.  It’s full of spices and when we’re cooking or baking and need one, it often meant pulling out all the little packages and searching through everyone until we found what we were looking for.  I often buy spices in the little envelope type packages, because they’re cheaper, but they are hard to store, and hard to find when you’re looking for one specific thing.

Here’s how I tackled the project:

Buying some spice jars, and labeling the tops should help us be able to find everything quickly and easily in the future.

Spice Cupbard Organization: Easy ways to get the spice packages organized and easier to find.

With everything all sorted into baskets, and no longer falling out of the cupboard, my husband is so happy!

Spice Cupbard Organization: Easy ways to get the spice packages organized and easier to find.

What area of your house could use a little re-organizing heading into the New Year?

With an organized spice cupboard, life really is a party!

Reflections on a Year of Feasting

Yearoffeasting college

Last year in January, we challenged ourselves to a year of feasting.  It really came about as part of our desire to reconnect with some old friends and have a little more fun.  It all started out with these questions in mind:

What if parties were more than just a stressful event that left you worrying about the menu, and the decor, and the expense?  What if parties were more like get-togethers where you actually had a chance to re-connect and connect with old and new favourite people?  What if they were the occasion where real community was created in your life?  What if feasts became the place of joy, and laughter, and even tears sometimes because they were all about creating a space to really do life together?  What if they weren’t all about colour schemes and the perfect menu, although there might be a little of that on occasion too?  What if our hospitality really was us making room in our lives for our people, our tribes, our family, our friends, our peeps?  What if we created the time and space to really be with people, and we did it all over delicious food?

So how did we do?

I have to say it was a great success!  Here’s a little recap of all our feasts for the year.

 

January

We kicked things off with The Toast Party.  This party just might have been the best of the whole year.  It was a whole lot of fun, and deliciousness.  It was a bit on the quirky side, since the entire menu for the night was toast, but that was for sure part of the fun.  My guests were invited to bring their toasters, and their favourite bread.  We sat down together and ate toast, toast, and more toast with every kind of topping we could think of.  I highly, highly recommend this one.  Toast parties should be the new fondue party.

Toast collage

 

February

For February we had a little party for two, A Romantic Night In.  The menu was amazing, the decor so pretty, and the company, well my favourite. 😉

Valentine s day night in 10

 

March

In March, we had the most beautiful Spring Brunch for Easter.  We invited some really old and dear friends and had such a lovely time.  I loved all the details in our spring table.  We used some real tried and true recipes, and had time to really enjoy our guests.

Spring woodland Easter table 1 2

 

April

In April, we celebrated my youngest daughters birthday.  We had the great joy of going on a cruise with our friends for spring break in March, and we had so much fun that Maddie wanted to re-create the experience for her birthday party.  We had a fun Cruise Themed Birthday Party, and invited her friends.  The invites were cruise tickets, we had an elegant three-course lunch in the formal dining room, and finished it all with karaoke.  It was so much fun, and Maddie loved it.

Cruise party collage

 

May

May looked a little bit different.  I was reflecting on Hospitality and the art of making people feel welcome and special.  I shared how I was a part of a team that hosted a women’s getaway with my church, and some of the details of how we worked together to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

How to make giant paper flowers

 

June

In June we connected with some old friends again with a dinner party.  The menu was pretty simple -charcuterie board in the kitchen to start, flank steak salad, and the guests brought dessert, so I spent a little extra time on the table.  I love how turned out, and we had a great evening catching up with some old friends.

Summer pink gold and geometric tablescape

 

July

In July, school was out, and we met some friends at the beach for a Summer Beach Campfire Picnic.  I know I keep saying how great each party was, but this one was a real favourite of mine too.  The decor was so simple and pretty, it was so fun to roast hotdogs on the beach, and we had a great time with the kids in water.  It was so much fun we vowed to do it again before the summer ended.  We didn’t make it back to that beach, but we will for sure do it again next summer.  Perhaps it will be an annual event.

Beach campfire lunch 5 2

 

August

In August, we had another beautiful dinner party.  My husband cooked -ribs, cornbread, corn on the cob; a classic end-of-summer bbq.  With him cooking, I had time to set another really pretty table, and shared a few tips on how I do it on a budget.

Rustic casual table 1 2

 

September

In September my oldest daughter Paige turned 12.  We had a special rock climbing party planned for her school friends a little later in the month, but couldn’t let the special day go by without a celebration.  We invited our family and closest friends for a Pasta Bar.  This was such a great party.  Our guests loved the menu and getting to build their own pasta.  We had three sauces, three kinds of pasta, and all kinds of toppings.  It was a wonderful day of celebrating, followed by a great time walking in the forest, playing in the river there, and enjoying the last long warm days of summer.

Pasta bar 5 1

 

October

By October, it felt like we’d done a lot of entertaining -because we had!  We made October a little easier by ordering pizza, and picking up some donuts, and eating in the kitchen -for an Easy Fall Party.  It was an easy menu, and gave us time for some fun with pumpkin painting and games.  It was a lot of fun, and good to remember that we can still entertain, even with take-out.

Fall party 18 1

 

November

In November we had some friends over for a Christmas Dessert Party.  The baking was easy, we were excited to be in our newly decorated dinning room, and it was fun to do some holiday entertaining.

Christmas dessert party 2 2

 

December

In December I hosted a Christmas Fondue Party.  The food was so good, and I love a party where you can be a guest too, since everyone is cooking for themselves.

Fondue Christmas party 13

What did we learn from our year of feasts?  What we already knew really -that there’s nothing better in this life than building loving, caring community.  We loved connecting and reconnecting with our people.  We enjoyed preparing something special for them, enjoying a meal together, and the rich, rich conversation that happens around a dinner table.  We were reminded by them who we were, and what we love, and what we’re about.  Was it a challenge each month to throw yet another feast?  At times yes, but it was also often the highlight of the month.  Like most good things, it was a lot of work, but it was certainly worth the effort.  And, without reservation, I highly recommend the challenge.

We had so much fun feasting this past year, that we wanted to do it again, and invite some more friends to join in.  This year the year of feasting will focus on the seasons, with four feasts -one for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  Some of my blogging friends will be joining too, and I hope you will choose to play along.  Could you host four great feasts this year to reconnect with family and friends?  Our first feast will be for Spring this March.  We’ll keep you posted on the details.

With a year of feasting, life really is a party!

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