May 30, 2011

Throw a Memorable Memorial Day Bash

It's not too late to have a memorable Memorial Day party. Here's some advice from Colin Cowie on how to have the perfect Memorial Day event from food to decor!

Recipe of the Day!

In honor of Memorial Day and the first entry for 'Recipe of the Day' I bring to you...

Picture courtesy of Coordinately Yours

Fruit Flag Pizza!


1 pkg. Pillsbury refrigerator sugar cookie dough, thinly sliced (use about 1/2 pkg. for 10" pizza pan)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (4 1/2 oz.) frozen whipped dairy topping


1 pt. strawberries (or other berries such as blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
2 bananas, sliced
2 to 3 kiwis, sliced
1 (8 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drain and SAVE juice


1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. pineapple juice

Press cookie dough into pizza pan to make crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool. Whip cheese and topping and spread over cooled crust. Overlap fruit in a ring for example: First ring strawberries, then pineapple, sliced kiwis, bananas and other berries as desired.

FOR GLAZE: Boil the ingredients for one minute. Spoon over fruit, especially bananas.

Chill before serving. Makes one fruit pizza.

Recipe from ENJOY at your next party!!

Backyard decorating

When you're hosting a party, it's not just about the inside of the party that should look decorated; the backyard should look decorating too! Sometimes simple decorative pieces like sofa pillows, throws, small decorative pillows, lamps, and the like can attribute to the decor of your backyard during a party. One of my favorite places to find great backyard decor items is Cost Plus.

Cost Plus often have wonderful sales so be sure to check them out!

May 29, 2011

Cake of the Day!

Hmmm...Candy heaven? Yessss, I think so! Today's Cake of the Day comes from Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop located in Hoboken, NJ! You may recognize the name of this shop as the owner, Buddy Valastro, is also on the popular TLC Show, Cake Boss. In the show, Buddy and his chefs create unique custom cakes in an attempt to make Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop a household name.

May 27, 2011

Cake of the Day!

The sun is shining bright so that must mean Summer is approaching! Pink Cake Box Cake Today's Cake of the Day comes from the Pink Cake Box. This birthday cake was in honor of Jimmy Buffet.

"Wastin away again in margaritaville
Searching for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that theres a woman to blame
But I know its nobodys fault"

Enjoy the long 3-day weekend!!

May 26, 2011

Karen's Fantasy Bachelorette Party Pt. 2: Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice

In Part 1 of my Fantasy Bachelorette Party I discussed just HALF of the things I would incorporate for a Bachelorette Party I was hosting and that leads me to Steps 5,6, & 7.... Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice.


Step #5: Decorations & Party Favors

For the main event, the in-house Fun & Games portion of the night, there would be a designated room in which all the ladies would meet for the fun & games and usually a hotel room or reserved meeting room would be the best location. The second the ladies walk into that room the "Fun & Games" experience should immediately hit them, so I would make sure to have several Bachelorette Party favors in the room amidst the decor.

Damask and polka dot patterned balloons, napkins, dishes, bows, vases filled with pink flowers, pink & black paper lanterns, pink & black votive candle holders and jewels scattered across tables would be just some of the decorations I would incorporate in the room. You can find all of the pictured decorations at Party City!

Step #6: Sexy Delights

The second the ladies walk in adult beverages would be nicely displayed on a separate table. But, not any old plastic beverage cups, but cute personalized glasses much like the ones below.

Pictured: Lolita "Who Needs a Man" Glass from Beverage Factory

"Who Needs a Man?" Wine Cooler Recipe

* 4 oz. Red Wine
* 2 oz. White Grape Juice
* 1 oz. Lemonade
* 1 oz. Club Soda
* Serve Over Ice

What's a Bachelorette Party without guilty pleasure ;-) Pink Lingerie cupcakes that is!

Cupcakes like these from Two Parts Sugar located in Orange County would also make their way to the food and beverage table.

Step #7: FUN & GAMES!!

What is a Bachelorette Party without fun & games, right?! Depending on the level of comfort the bride-to-be has, there are several ways in which you can have fun & games, whether totally wild or mildly conservative; at the end of the day everyone is sure to have a good time.

BUT, since this is MY FANTASY, fun & games = A WILD TIME ;-)

For my fantasy Bachelorette Party I say skip the male dancers! INSTEAD, I would have just enough poles at the party and would hire a certified pole dancer to come in and teach us how to work the pole! Talk about so much fun and you learn something new :-) They are called mobile pole dancing lessons; they come to you. Check out Shake, Rattle, & Pole! If you want it to be a little more "spicy" hire a "strip tease" dancer and have her teach the girls how to dance strip tease!

Of course, you cannot veer away from traditional fun & games, so click here for a list of Top 10 games I would play at the Bachelorette Party!


Feel free to contact me for ideas and tips! Also, grab the book "How to Host A Hilariously Fun Bachelorette Party" a full book of ideas, decorating tips, recipes and more.

Thanks for reading :-)

Favorite Party Item!!

Trying to dress up your food?! I found just the answer to make your food look, well, uh, DIVALISCIOUS!!

Lavish Bliss Boutique sells super cute food trays for any occasion! "Jazz up a table for any gathering with a Diva Tray. Whether you use it for a birthday party, wine night, family pizza night in front of the tv or Girls' Night In, your tray will surely stand out! This tray measures 14" x 18" "

I'm sure Beyonce would approve ;-)

May 23, 2011

Cake of the Day!

I absolutely love cakes that are easy to replicate! This is the cutest most colorful cake. To make one similar all you really need is cake mix, butter cream frosting, a bag of Skittles or M&Ms, Gold coin chocolates, and a knife to carve the cake into a 'U' rainbow shape.

Don't forget to TASTE THE RAINBOW ;-)

May 22, 2011

Karen's Fantasy Bachelorette Party Pt. 1

Pictured: Party City Damask & Polka Dot Wedding Party Supplies

So, I have yet to plan a Bachelorette Party, but I know all the things I would do to make it fabulous. Since I have no personal pictures to describe how this event would take place, I shall grab pictures that best convey my ideas.

Here we go!

When I think of a Bachelorette Party I think of sexy meets classy meets fun! So the colors and patterns I would use during the party would be hot pink and black to show sexy, damask patterns to show classy, and polka dot to show fun! The picture above gives a good representation of how the Bachelorette Party would look!

Step #1: Choose a location

This would be the best part of the planning because destination is key.I would try to choose a destination that can allow all the girls to just relax and have fun and conveniently attend. Places like Scottsdale, AZ, Palm Springs, CA & Las Vegas, NV would be my top 3 choices and preferably in a Starwood Property that has convenient nightlife near by as well as relaxing day time activities. The first place that comes to my mind is W Scottsdale with their Spa Suites.

The great thing about having a suite is that it can serve two purposes: one, it can be a place for guests to sleep in and two, a location to have the pre-game and Bachelorette Party activities at. But, we'll talk more about that later....

Step #2: Guest List & Invitations

Traditionally, the ladies you invite to the Bachelorette Party are the ladies apart of the Bridal Party, but many do invite all their girlfriends whether they're actually in the wedding or not; it is the Bride's choice so I would be sure to ask her preference. Once the list of girls are in, out go the pink, black, and damask and polka dot patterned of course! However, mine would not be sent as a traditional envelope and card, I would send the invite in a picture frame!

To make a similar frame, you will need the following from Michaels:

-Wooden memory frame
-Styrofoam paint brushes, one as a circular shape
-Acrylic paint (hot pink for the base, white for the polka dots)
-Damask patterned ribbon
-hot glue gun and glue stick

1st: Paint the frame with the Styrofoam paint brush using the hot pink acrylic paint-let it dry.

Next: Pour the white acrylic paint into a bowl and dab the circular Styrofoam paint brush into the bowl. Gently brush off excess paint on the side of the bowl and proceed to press the circular Styrofoam brush onto the now hot pink frame. Make as many circles as desired. Allow paint to dry.

Next: Take your hot glue gun, and around the inner rectangle part of the frame, glue the pearls.

Then: Take your Damask patterned ribbon and tie a piece of it into a bow. With your hot glue gun, secure it onto the middle top of the frame.

Last: Create a paper template of the Bachelorette Party invite and insert it inside the frame.

Frame complete :-)

Step #3: Create an Itinerary

It's not just about crazy nights during a Bachelorette Party, especially if you're making it a weekend long thing. So if I were planning one, I would be sure to include both day and night time activities. Examples for day time events include: Spa Day-massages, pedicures, manicures, the works! Local sightseeing of the town that includes breakfast and lunch stops at popular food places. It has got to be something that everyone can enjoy.

Examples of night time events would include a limo or party bus-that is a MUST. To find competitive prices on different limos and party buses go to where they supply you with several quotes from different limos and party buses around.

From there it's a night out on the town to dinner and a fun bar or nightclub! Basically FUN is the itinerary!

Step #4: Bachelorette Party gear

Like I stated in my latest blog, Karen's Fabulous Frugal Wedding Tip #2: Custom Bachelorette Shirts, when you're having your Bachelorette Party, EVERYONE around needs to know that you and your bridal party are the showstoppers for the weekend. Custom bachelorette shirts should be worn during the day, making sure that the bride-to-be has something on her to stand out (ie: crown, sash, buttons, garter, veil).

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Fantasy Bachelorette Party!

May 20, 2011

Cake of the Day!

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it."--Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

It has been such a positive week that this cake from Cake Food was too fitting to be the Cake of the Day!


May 18, 2011

One for You, One for You, and ONE FOR YOU!

As we continue our lesson on activating touch (feelings) we have learned that the weather/temperature in which you host a party can impact your guests' experience. Now, let's focus on how activating touch (feelings) specifically impacts little kids.

Remember looking forward to getting a pencil pass from your teacher?! Getting that pencil pass in your hand made you feel liberated; you were special enough to receive a pencil pass to pick a pencil in the Principal's Office-such an honor! Well, kids yearn for that same type of gratification at parties, so the best way to activate touch (feelings) is through games accompanied with prizes!

A pinata is one of the greatest games to be played at a child's party. As soon as they feel that bat in hand it is game time! Talk about instant gratification too for all guests at the party the second the pinata explodes-everyone feels like a winner.

Click here for a list of other games you can play at a child's party!!

I hope you now have a better understanding on how to activate touch (feelings). Stay tuned for our final part in Lesson 1; activating hearing!

Cake of the Day!

I always love to come across talented individuals and Stacey Dewyke is one of them. These amazing, couture cupcakes were created by Stacey Dewyke as she makes custom cupcakes for any occasion. Who needs to buy a real handbag, fondant Chanel will do just fine ;-)

May 17, 2011

Activating Touch (Feelings): What's the Temperature?

Would you have a picnic in the rain? If you did, how would that make your guests' feel? Think of some of the thoughts that come to mind when you think of rain....are those the same thoughts you would want to equate to a picnic? Probably not, one of the ways in which you can successfully activate touch (feelings) is the temperature/weather in which you hold certain events. When I have the sun touching my face on a warm summer day and the grass in between my toes, it ignites positive memories, positive memories that would make a picnic on a warm summer day that much more meaningful.

Below is a picnic party in which they successfully activate touch (feelings). Check out the picture below courtesy of The Party Dress!

May 16, 2011

LESSON #1- PART 4: Activating TOUCH (Feelings)

Utilizing the five senses at your party takes some work to implement and depending on the type of party, you may not be able to incorporate all of the senses into the experience. My goal is to have you uncover senses you can incorporate at your next party/event that you haven’t even thought about-one of which is activating touch (feelings). Activating the fives senses at a party/event you're hosting can trigger powerful thoughts and memories and this can be a great way to create positive, memorable experiences for your guests.

This week we will discuss Activating TOUCH (feelings). How does your party feel to your guests when they step inside? There are four kinds of touch sensations that can be identified: cold, heat, contact, and pain. The ways in which these can be activated at a party are endless so I will provide you with tips and party examples in which touch (feelings) was successfully activated!

May 13, 2011

GRADUATION Cake of the Day!

Be sure to pay homage to the school you are graduating from by having a graduation cake incorporating your school colors, mascot, graduation year, your name and any other celebratory images!


May 11, 2011

GRADUATION Cake of the Day!

Today's Cake of the Day comes from Red Envelope. Not only does Red Envelope specialize in gifts and treats for Graduation, but other special occasions as well. The above Cake brownies will be a hit at your Grad Party!

May 9, 2011

Creating a Custom Graduation Cap

With about 1,000+ college grads sitting in one room, it is next to impossible for your loved ones to find you during your graduation ceremony. Why not standout, while making a statement on your graduation day?! Custom graduation caps are the way to go.

You will need the following to make the above graduation cap:

(1) Graduation cap
(2) Fabric glue (Michaels or JoAnn Fabric & Craft Store)
(3) 1 pound bag of The Big One rhinestones (Michaels )
(4) Pencil
(5) Permanent marker
(6) Glitter
(7) Stencils (optional)
(8) Acrylic paint

To make:

1st: Take your stencil (or by free hand) write out whatever word you would like to appear on the top of your graduation cap. Be sure to use the pencil to lightly write the word. *Note, make sure that you figure out the front of the graduation cap and position your choice of a word so that it is readable for anyone who will be viewing it from above.

2nd: Take your permanent marker and trace around the OUTSIDE edges of the word if it is in cursive, outside and in between if it is regular alpha writing.

3rd: Take your acrylic paint and proceed to paint inside the word-allow to dry.

4th: Take your fabric glue and trace it along the permanent marker marks.

5th: Sprinkle glitter onto the glue you just traced along the permanent marker marks-allow to dry and then remove excess glitter.

6th: Spread fabric glue along a section of the grad cap.

7th: Place rhinestones one by one onto the section of the grad cap with fabric glue. Continue this process until the entire cap is filled with rhinestones. *Note: for corners where the rhinestones may not fit, use smaller rhinestones to fill in the space.


May 8, 2011


Graduation is around the corner and it is one of the most important times in a person's life. It is the stepping stone to the future and is a time to celebrate all the hard work put into school for the past couple of years. This week we will focus on all things GRADUATION from decorating the perfect grad cap, to prepping for a memorable grad party I will get you all ready.


May 6, 2011

How to make a Candy Jar!

Whether it's the end of the school year and you want to say thank you to that one Teacher's Aid who really helped you out, or you're getting ready to transfer at work and you want to give something to let your colleague know you appreciate them, a small little gift can go a long way; a personalized candy jar!

You will need the following items in order to create this candy jar:

-Cracker jar from Target
-Alpha letter adornments from Target or any craft store like Michaels
-3 bags of candy; (pictured: 1 bag of chocolate M&Ms, 1 bag of Mike & Ike's, 1 bag of Gummy Bears)
-Hot glue gun or super glue
-Assorted color ribbon

TO MAKE: Take your cracker jar and with your first bag of candy pour it into the cracker jar until a third of the jar is full. Continue that same step with the two other bags of candy. At the end, there should be 3 visible layers.

Next, choose an alpha letter adornment that represents the first name of the person you will be giving this candy jar to. Position the letter at the middle of the jar's lid; glue with the super glue.

From there, position ribbon around the bottom lid area of the jar and tie it into a bow. Candy jar complete! Accompany the candy jar with a nice card/note.

EXTRA! EXTRA! If you want to give just a little bit more than a candy jar here's a unique idea. Obtain 2 movie tickets to accompany the jar. Make the 3 layers in the jar popcorn, hot tamales, and milk duds (typical move theater treats). This makes for a simple yet creative gift!

May 5, 2011

Cake of the Day!

For all those unaware,the 137th Kentucky Derby will be occurring this weekend. As you have seen in my last blog about my Going Away Party Kentucky Derby themed, it's all about horses, BIG HATS, horses, big hats, and HORSES AND BIG HATS!

Today's Cake of the Day was Kentucky Derby themed and comes from Wildflowers. A Day at the Races was the theme for this special 50th birthday celebration and the party included all sorts of Kentucky Derby elements. The horse paddock was created out of sugar and decorated with a sugar rose vine. A sugar replica of the derby trophy, a jockey's cap, and a saddle complete this cake vignette.

You can find Wildflowers up and down the East Coast and beyond!

May 2, 2011

How to Plan a Cinco De Mayo Fiesta

Are you ready for one of the biggest celebrations of the year where sombreros, margaritas, and tortillas are the norm for the day! It's time for CINCO DE MAYO!!

#1 Invitations

Sending out festive invitations is always the best idea and your local Target or Party City will have these on stock, however, there is a quicker and still creative way to invite your guests to your Cinco de Mayo Fiesta; send them an EVITE. Evite has premade Cinco de Mayo invitations so this requires little effort from you. Simply pop in the email addresses and you're set!

#2 Decor

Decoration must haves are included, but not limited to: Fiesta table cloth, maracas, sombreros, pinatas, Fiesta colored paper lanterns, festive designed lights, Fiesta colored streamers, napkins, plates, and cutlery in Fiesta colors, and Fiesta colored margarita cups. There are always sections in Party City dedicated to Cinco de Mayo decorations, but you can also try Oriental Trading Company (pictured above) for some even more unique decor.

#3 Food & Drinks

It's time for some south-of-the-border tasty fun! Food & Drink must haves include, but are not limited to: icy cold margaritas & coronas, chips & salsa, quacamole, a warm bowl of chicken-tortilla soup, 7-layer dip, chilli, quesadillas, chicken wings, and burritos and tacos. Since tacos are more of a main course, set up a taco bar! Use colorful trays to separate all the toppings – cheese, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, olives, and choices of salsa. For dessert have churros & sopapillas! Click here for specific Cinco de Mayo recipes!

#4 Entertainment

I for one would love to bring actual professional Mexican dancers to my party, BUT, to save some money, select a station on Pandora or simply download traditional Mexican music from Amazon or iTunes!

I hope you are now ready to plan your next Cinco de Mayo Fiesta!