Category Archives: Entertain

Entertain / Food & Drink

Sweet 16 Spa Sleepover Party

November 20, 2017

This post is sponsored by OLLY, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

Well, I’m officially old, I have a 16 year old. Ya, that happened. I’m all about a good birthday party to celebrate another year of life on earth. I teamed up with OLLY again and Denali invited 5 of her bestie girlfriends over for a “spa” themed sleepover. Encouraging healthier hair, skin and eating seemed like a good way to kick off turning the big 16!

We set up the guesthouse, so that the girls could have a fun night all to themselves. And actually, this was one of the easiest parties I’ve ever put together. I kept the food simple and the gift bags were a cinch to throw together. We just set of them up with a projector for watching movies and I bought a pack of charade cards, which they ended up playing with for a good couple of hours.

In keeping with the spa theme, I tried to provide snack that were on the healthier side. I set of a “spa water” station with fruit, cucumbers and fresh mint for the girls to add to their water. For movie snacking, I put out a big bowl of kettle corn and a pretty platter of berries, dark chocolate and nuts.

I filled little cosmetic bags with face and hair masks, hair ties and clips, and tweezers. Then I wrapped a cute fuzzy eye mask around the outside of the bag. The girls all treated themselves to a face mask while they watched movies.

In the morning, I served the girls raspberry banana smoothies, lots of fresh fruit and little individual Creme Brulee French Toasts.

Spa Themed Sweet 16 Birthday Party

OLLY Girl Multivitamins are already a part of Denali’s daily routine. These yummy, chewables are made especially for girls 12-17 years old. OLLY Girl Multivitamins support strong bodies and bones, immune system health, and energy production. They are formulated with biotin to help with hair and nail growth and work for the inside to support clear, healthy skin. It’s really never to early to start pampering your skin and hair.

Now, who’s going to throw me a spa sleepover party? I NEED one in a bad way. Doesn’t this feel like something you’d like to do with your girlfriends, even if you turned 16 a couple decades ago?


Entertain / Food & Drink

Brunch Block Party

May 31, 2017

Brunch Block PartyBrunch Block Party

During Southern Californian Summers, we often try to do all our outdoor activities early in the day before it really heats up. So, to kick off the Summer I’m all hosting a Brunch Block Party. Move over BBQ get-together in the heat of the day, I think getting an early start is a great idea. Plus, who doesn’t love brunch food? It’s the best of breakfast and lunch. Here’s the menu I put together, I kept it simple and seasonal. I’ve teamed up with Pier 1 Imports to throw this fun Brunch Block Party. There’s a little for everyone. Keep reading, I’m sharing all the recipes.

Brunch Menu

  • Grapefruit Sage Mock-Mimosa
  • Mint Mojito Iced Coffee
  • Faux Gourmet Donuts
  • Pineapple and Cinnamon Yogurt Dip
  • Nectarine + Macadamia Nut Salad
  • Green Chili Corn Bread Waffles
  • Cheese Board + Fresh Cherries

Brunch Block PartyBrunch Block Party

Our house has a fantastic, huge front porch. Lately, we have been spending a lot of time out there. It’s very shaded and really has so much space for entertaining. I recently re-painted a vintage sofa my mother-in-law gave me. I replaced the cushions with some white and grey pillows from Pier 1 and it’s like a brand new piece of furniture. I also added two slings, which my kids are loving, but they also provide 2 more places for folks to sit. This porch is the perfect spot for a neighborhood block party brunch. With lots of shaded area and plenty of room to spill over onto the front yard, it’s a great space for hosting a crowd. Plus, the best part of outdoor entertaining, is that all the mess stays outside!

Brunch Block PartyBrunch Block PartyBrunch Block Party

I picked up a few outdoor entertaining essentials from Pier 1 Imports to make out front porch feel I little more like another room in our house. I few great pillows, a pretty lantern, some really cool melamine serving dishing and a touch of peach with some fun linens, and now it’s our favorite room in the house.

  1. Cheese Board
  2. Long Serving Tray
  3. Bowls with Ice Filled Bottoms
  4. Grey Lantern with Rope Detail
  5. Peach Window Pain Napkin
  6. Peach Coasters
  7. Large Round Serving Tray
  8. Grey and Jute Outdoor Pillow

I love wood grain and marble, it’s such a pretty combination. But, who wants to be hauling heaving dishes and trays in and out of the house. I love these melamine serving pieces from Pier 1. They are modern, minimal and just plain good looking dishes AND they are totally unbreakable. Probably my favorite new outdoor entertaining item is the grey wood grain serving bowls. Not only are they pretty, but you can fill the bottoms on the bowls with ice and they keep your food chilled. How cool is that?

Brunch Block PartyBrunch Block PartyBlock Party Brunch

Ok, let’s start with the drinks, because I’m pretty sure a party is only as good as the drinks that are served. Since it’s brunch, coffee and mimosas are a must. I love a twist on something traditional, so I came up with a fun Grapefruit Sage Mock-Mimosa and too keep everyone cool, Mint Mojito Iced Coffee.

Grapefruit Sage Mock-Mimosa

  • 6 cups Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 liter Ginger Ale
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage
  • ice
  • grapefruit slices and sage leave for garnish

Start by making the sage simple syrup. In a small pot, place the water, sugar and sage. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. I like to leave the mint leaves in the syrup as long as possible. When you are ready to serve the drinks, stain off the sage with a fine metal sieve. Store the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

In a large pitcher, combine 6 cups grapefruit juice, the sage simple syrup and the ginger ale. Stir and serve poured over ice. Garnish glasses with a fresh sage leaf floating on top and a slice of grapefruit on the rim on the glass.

And if you want to make it an adult version, champaign can easily replace the ginger ale.

Block Party Brunch

A party isn’t a party without some sweet treats. So I created some faux gourmet donuts. Ya, I’m making this a thing. Bakersfield is a great place to live, but we do NOT have a fancy donut shop. You know what I’m talking about – the $3 donuts that come in fun flavor combinations with pretty icing. So, I decided I’d make my own. I bought a dozen plain buttermilk cake donuts at my local grocery store. Then I mixed about 1/4 cup boysenberry syrup with 1 cup of powdered sugar. I microwaved it on high for 30 secs. stirred it again and then dipped the donuts in the frosting and sprinkled some dried rose petals. Ta-da – instant gourmet donuts.

But hey, if you have a fun donut shop, pick up a dozen, and serve them at your brunch. I guarantee your guests will be pleased and it will save you sometime.

To balance out the donut situation, a yummy green salad is always a good idea. I mentioned it earlier, but these grey wood grain melamine bowls are pretty darn cool (literally). You can fill the bottom part of this bowl with ice and not worry about your salad getting warm or wilted outside in the heat.

White Nectarine and Macadamia Nut Salad

  • 3 white nectarines
  • 1/2 cup whole macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz. log of herbed goat cheese
  • a bag of mixed spring greens
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/3 cup oil oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by making the balsamic salad dressing. In a large mason jar, add the lemon juice, zest, vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously to mix. Store in the fridge in an air tight container. Allow the dressing to come to room temperature before serving, if the olive oil is too cold it will become a solid.

Toast the macadamia nuts in a dry frying pan until they are golden brown. Toss the spring greens, sliced nectarines, macadamia nuts and cherry tomatoes. Dot the salad with small spoonfulls of  the goat cheese. I chose to serve this dressing on the side and allow guests to put as much or as little as they wanted.

Brunch Block Party

Brunch Blog Party

This easy recipe is my take on a brunch dish I had the last time I was in Maui. Fresh, ripe pineapple wedges were served with a yummy sweet cinnamon yogurt dip. When I saw delicious ripe pineapples on sale at the grocery store, I knew this recipe needed to be on the menu. And the mini version of the iced melamine bowl was perfect for keeping this yogurt dip icy cold.

Pineapple Spears and Cinnamon Yogurt Dip

  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 cups vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Cut pineapple into long spears or wedges for dipping. In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, brown sugar and cinnamon. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Green Chili Cornbread Waffles

This final recipe is one that I’ve wanted to share here for quite awhile. I love the idea of a savory waffle. There is no need to turn on the oven and heat up the house with this recipe. Did you know that you can cook corn bread in a waffle iron? Well, you can and it sure does make cute bite sized corn bread.

Green Chili Cornbread Waffles

  • 1 can of chopped green chilis
  • 2/3 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 2 boxes of Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • chopped chives or green onions
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cojita cheese

Start by cutting the bacon in 1/2 inch pieces. Fry until crisp, drain on a paper towel. In bowl, mix together the green chilis, corn, Jiffy Mix, eggs and milk. When the waffle iron is hot, spray with nonstick spray and cook the waffles according to your waffle iron’s instructions. Top the warm waffles with chives, bacon and cojita cheese.

Brunch Block Party

Aren’t you ready for some fun Summer entertaining? Head to you local Pier 1 or shop online for all your outdoor entertaining essentials.

Brunch Block PartyBrunch Block Party - Pink Grapefruit Sage Mock-Mimosas and Mint Mojito Iced Coffee

This post is sponsored by Pier 1 Imports, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 





DIY / Entertain

Wild + Free Birthday Party

October 6, 2016

Wild and Free 5th Birthday Party

This last weekend we celebrated Olivia’s 5th birthday.  How is my baby 5? She’s a wild women and definitely has a free spirit, so I chose a sweet, boho camping themed party for her and called it Wild & Free. I’ll take any excuse to set up a teepee and play with flowers.

Wild & Free Boho Camping Birthday Party Dessert Table

I put my Cricut machine to work for this party. I cut 3D paper flowers, gold feathers for the paper cups and “Wild & Free” lettering for the little banner hanging on the teepee and also for the sign above the dessert table.

3D Paper Flowers


I was lucky to have my super talented mom in town the week before the party. She makes AMAZING cakes. She made the most adorable birch bark log cake with handmade sugar paste flowers for Olivia. I actually would have loved to have had this for my wedding cake. It turned out so cute.

Birch bark birthday cake with sugar past flowers. Wild & Free 5th Birthday Party

I think I’ve decided fresh flowers are so much better then balloons when it comes to decorating for a little girl’s party.  I played with some really fun colors and textures to create some wild and free arrangements. (House of Flowers, my local florist sourced all the gorgeous blooms and foliage for me.)

Peach and Pink Fall FloralsWild and Free Boho Teepee

Buffalo Check and Pink Flowers

I’m a huge fan of renting kid-sized tables and chairs for parties. Number 1 – they are stinkin adorable and number 2 – kids are more likely to actually sit down and eat in one spot (I’m always trying to reduce the mess situation).

Wild & Free Boho Camping Party Wild and Free Boho Camping Themed Birthday Party.Wild and Free Boho Camping Themed Birthday PartyWild and Free Birthday PartyArrow CookiesPeach and Pink Florals

This might be the cutest pinata I’ve ever made. And I’ve made a lot (between my 3 kids, I’ve thrown almost 30 themed birthday parties). I took a square box and cut down the sides to triangles and then taped them together. Then I fringed the whole thing and added simple gold triangles and a few paper flowers.

Teepee PinataWild and Free Birthday Party Olivia is 5

I kept the food pretty simple. On the dessert table we had cake, arrow sugar cookies, fruit skewers with arrowheads and the sweetest little macarons from De Coeur Bakeshop (they are Olivia’s all time favorite treat). And then I also made 3 different savory hand pies and a big veggies and dip tray. I made Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese, Creamy Chicken Taco, and Ham and Cheese (for the picky eaters) hand pies.

Painted Macarons

As part of their take-home treat, I set up a trail mix station. Guests could fill little baggies with all their favorite ingredients.

We also played “pass the parcel” and every decorated their own arrows and birch branch walking stick with feathers, yarn, and paint pens.

It was a really fun party. Often, by the time the party arrives, I’m just too tired to enjoy it. But, everyone was very relaxed and 5 year old really can entertain themselves quite well. So, I got to sit back and enjoy the festivities.

Trail mix station.



Let’s have a Nautical Themed Party

April 17, 2013

I’m still having fun with this Nautical theme. When I was deciding on a theme for Olivia’s 1st Birthday, it was between a Nautical theme and the Scooter theme that we went with. Oh, I’ll find an excuse to have my nautical/beachy party, don’t you worry. And now I have this party mood board to reference in the future.  

I like this coral and teal/aqua color combo, it’s a little ways from the traditional red and blue.  It’s feminine and soft, perfect for a little girl or a sweet baby shower. The little lifesavers tied to the napkins and party favors might be my favorite idea – so simple and clever.

And don’t forget that I’m Ask a Crafty Person over at Whimseybox.  So head over that way and ask your toughest DIY Dilemmas.

DIY / Entertain

Lavender Sachet Favors

April 16, 2013

Yesterday I shared a couple prints that I put together for our Church’s Women’s Retreat. Today I wanted to show you one of the fantastic favors we made for the event. We hand made 120 lavender sachet’s for the attendees to put on their pillows their first night there.  These are made just like my Lavender Sachet Business Cards (so head to that post for the full how-to instructions). I think they make a pretty great party favor as well.

I designed a yard of fabric with one of the theme verses for the weekend and then had it printed at Spoonflower. And I found a really cute grey and white anchor fabric to back the sachets in. I’m carrying one in my purse to give my a relaxing burst of scent when I’m digging for my keys or sunglasses.  But, these would be great in your dresser drawers as well.

I’m a details person. I think parties and events are just that much better when all the tiny details have thought and meaning put into them. Wouldn’t you like to receive this little treat as a favor?

Entertain / etc.

Let’s have a Circus Party

April 12, 2013

I’m having fun with this circus party theme. Make sure you check out yesterday’s recipe for Homemade Cracker Jacks, it’s an inexpensive and delicious party favor.  I’ve gathered up a few unique party decorations and favors to go with this playful theme.  I love hunting out far-from-generic for parties.  
Be sure to check out these creative bloggers and etsy sellers. They’ve got lot’s of great circus party ideas.  

Entertain / Food & Drink

Circus Birthday Party – Homemade Cracker Jacks

April 11, 2013

Recently a friend is threw a BIG Circus Birthday party for all 3 of her kids at once.  I love this idea, it’s one party to plan, prep for and clean up after.  Pretty brilliant, right?

Yesterday I shared with you the fun DIY for Greatest Kid on Earth Badges that I made for each of them. And I also shared that we used Minted‘s Greatest Circus Party Decorations to help out.  Minted has the BEST party decor guys.  Party favors can be put together in no time at all with their glassine favor bags and Greatest Circus Scalloped Stickers.  I simply filled the bags with homemade cracker jacks and sealed them with sticker.  

Homemade Cracker Jacks
6 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt butter, stir in sugar, syrup and salt.  Boil 5 minutes without stirring.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla, then stir in baking soda.  Pour over popcorn and mix well to all kernels are coated (you can add 1 cup dry roasted peanuts if you like).  Spread onto two cookie sheets and bake 1 hour at 250 F.  Stir every 15 minutes.  Cool completely.  Store in airtight containers.  
We also ordered the fun Flag Stickers, and the fantastic custom bunting

This is my mom’s recipe and it never fails me. Be warned though, it won’t last long. Once you start munching on this sweet treat, it’s hard to stop. It’s always a party and holiday favorite.  

DIY / Entertain

Circus Birthday Party – Greatest Kid on Earth Badge

April 10, 2013

A Circus themed party is a classic right?  It’s great for boys or girls, there’s animals and it offers a fun bright color palette.  I made these “Greatest Kid on Earth” badges for 3 special birthday kiddos to wear to their circus themed party recently.   
And don’t these Birthday Badges go great with Minted’s Greatest Circus Party Decor.  I also added a little of the extra pleated ribbon to our circus animals.  I think they look pretty festive and happy.
For the full tutorial on how to make these and a free download of the badge front, head over to Minted‘s blog, Julep. I’m sharing this birthday DIY there.  
Come back tomorrow for a DIY Circus Themed party favor.  How does Homemade Cracker Jacks sound? 


Let’s have an Easter Party

March 30, 2013

I know this is a little last minute, but I’ve been trying to post this post all week.  We’ve been out camping all week, and I’ve tried to find wi-fi.  But I just didn’t have the time our access.  Oh well, it was nice to be off the grid for awhile. And although Easter is just a couple days away, I’m glad I put this post together. Because I think these are really timeless Easter decorations that I’ll want to remember for future Easters.  

Happy Good Friday!  I am so grateful for the sacrifice my Savior made for me.  What a unimaginable GIFT!

And for more Easter and Spring fun, check out my pinterest board.


Let’s have a St. Patrick’s Day Party

March 1, 2013

I’m having fun searching out some fun St. Patrick’s Day party finds.  I love the color green, in every shade, but this minty hue is particularly pretty.  Last year, I played with this gold and mint combo for St. Patrick’s Day.  And for this St. Patrick’s Day, I think I’ll stick with this beautiful, soft pairing.
Do you enjoy my “let’s have a party” series that I started this year? I’ve shared a New Years, Valentines, and Football themed round ups. I certainly have fun putting them together. I try to pick items that are affordable and unique. And as an etsy seller myself, I also try to include some handmade etsy finds and some DIYs.
Oh and for more St. Patty’s Day fun, check out my Pinterest Board.