We’re All Going Back to School!

So, I’ve been seeing these awesome first day of school printables everywhere…

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check this out:

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See, this cutie belongs to someone over at Bombshell Bling.

Swish Printables has some free BTS signs over on her blog.

Sunny by Design designed some classic BTS goodies too.

And then Dime Party Diva goes and makes these amazing First Day of School chalkboard posters!

But I’m a little jealous. I don’t have any kids to dress up and give one of these signs to. My mom wasn’t crafty like that when I was growing up.

No pictures on the first day of school. Just a hug and the repeated command to keep my brothers out of trouble.

Might I add, that was an impossible mission, but nevertheless…

So as I sat in my office (that I’ve been in the entire summer) I thought, ya know…I want one of those signs.

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Stop judging me.

Everyone gets to enjoy their first day of school and I’ve had SO many of them…

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Yes, I have been here for 9 years! My friend was taking these pictures of me and cracking up laughing. But you have to join in and have fun while you can. So on August 25th, I will celebrate my 9th First Day of College!

Then I made some more because I figured I probably wasn’t the only person coveting these milestone signs…

So, for all you educators out there, I present the Educator’s First Days of School!

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Head over and download the file. It has a sign for every year and if you’re feeling a little randy, give some to your teacher friends and make them join in on the laughs.

And if you’re making a career out of teaching, feel free to laminate the printable so that you can update it every year!

The artwork isn’t my original creation, but the funny is, so please keep these for personal use only :)

Have a wonderful school year and Make It Awesome!

 

Like Molasses

tired

I’m tired.

I love my little business and what I get to do, but I am worn out. I’ve been missing out on posting on the Motivational Monday series…not out of angst or frustration but just because I’m tired, and quite frankly, have enjoyed the “quiet.” I know many people in the blogosphere don’t know me, but I work a full-time job, (was) teach(ing) taekwondo part-time, am a multiple-ministry leader’s wife, and have this little gig.

I tell people all of the time that when things get hard/frustrating/dissatisfying, that it might be time for a change. That a breakthrough is coming. I feel like my feet are stuck in a cold pot of molasses. I know a small part of my conundrum is being afraid to step out on faith and take a leap into the next phase of my life. We’re working toward making that happen but for all of my frustration, I’m still afraid of change.

With all of that going through my mind, I wanted to take a moment to encourage you (and myself) and ask that we remember these things:

Life is too short to be unhappy.

Life is too short to not make a difference in the lives of others.

Life is too short to hold grudges against people.

Life is too short to be angry about things that you’re unable or unwilling to change.

I looked up some verses to encourage myself when I want to give up and I hope that they encourage you as well. There is a printable at the end of the post and I will certainly print it out to hang in my office. Whatever you’re going through, stay encouraged.

Wash the molasses off and take some steps forward.

Trouble really doesn’t last always.

 

All American Summer

This is a sponsored post for Mirassou Winery

There are so many opportunities and reasons to celebrate the military and the freedoms that we are able to enjoy are due entirely to their service and the sacrifices they make. With Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, and Patriot Day on the calendar, we celebrate and honor them throughout the summer. I recently teamed up with Mirassou Winery to throw a small gathering to welcome summer, to honor our military service members and to acknowledge that it’s a lot more than just a day off work. table16 For the decor of the table, I framed printables that I found at HMH Designs…they were kind enough to offer them for personal use here. table23

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table6 Being from the South, cookouts are a big part of our summers and Memphis is the BBQ capital of the world! For our Memorial Day party, we chose the theme “Welcome to an All-American Summer” to celebrate the day with our family and friends. When hosting a cookout, the meat is the star! Our table consisted of side dishes and desserts to go with the main items. On the table: hot dogs, cole slaw, pita chips and hummus, s’mores, pasta, fruit trifle, strawberry cupcakes, and cheesecake; there was chicken, steak, bratwurst, and corn off the grills. table22

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table7 In addition to the cookout, we hosted a small wine tasting featuring wines from Mirassou Winery. Everyone knows there’s nothing better than enjoying a glass of wine in the evening to end a blistering summer day! wine1 To do the tasting, we had a selection of four wines and tasting mats with pairing instructions, which make the whole process super easy! On the mats were food suggestions and taste profiles of each of the wines. Head over to their Facebook page to download your own wine tasting kit! wine7

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wine30 To make the table runner, I printed out the flag with all of the states which I found at Southern Charm and the star I found by Pixabella. I simply printed out the quantity I needed and strung them together. In addition to the wine, we had bottle openers, wine glass charms, beads and the mats themselves as party favors for the guests. My favorite part of the package was the “Bright Tips for Home Entertaining” guide…I couldn’t wait to dive into the book! wine16 I love their recipe cards because Mirassou offers recipes that pair with their wines, as well as, recipes that use their wine as an ingredient…it’s a win-win! Find the recipes here. taste20

wine5 Whether you’re hosting a gathering for friends this summer or in honor of our national heroes, fire up the grill and grab some bottles of Mirassou and have the best summer yet!

 

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Styling and Display: Creating Awesomenessity!

Wine and gifts: Mirassou Winery

All-American Summer banner and food signs: Painting Paris Pink

Patriotic fabric garland: Lillypaul Designs

Red, white, and blue cupcake poms: Fizzy Party

 

(It’s Still) Spring Fling Giveaway

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The weather is beautiful and we still have a little time before we’re hit with the wrath of summer heat here in the South!

We’re teaming up with some awesome party people to celebrate the changing of the seasons with a fun Spring Fling Giveaway! And what’s even better … the winner gets to pick 2 prizes! Woo hoo! Creating Awesomenessity has teamed up with some awesome businesses and blogs (Go check them out. I promise you will want to!) The full list of sponsors can be seen on the Rafflcopter widget below.

Cupcake With CharacterPlay Party Pin, Freebie Finding Mom, Danya Carey Photography, One Inspired Party, Cupcake Diaries, Catch My Party, Cloudy With A Chance of Wine, Bird’s Party, Mom Spark, Yesterday on Tuesday, Dime Party Divas, Prints For Events, Design Dazzle, Punk n Pie Couture, An Alli Event, B. Lovely Events

SPRING FLING GIVEAWAY

May 16, 2014 at 12 a.m. EST to May 23, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST

Open Worldwide

Prize: 1 winner will choose 2 prizes: Canon Digital Camera, iPad Air, Wooden Swing Set or $300 PayPal cash.

Eligibility and Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. This giveaway is open to individuals 18 and older. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to adhere to all laws, which includes payments to any governing tax body.

Winner Selection: The winner of the giveaway will be selected in a random drawing through Rafflecopter from among all eligible entries received throughout the promotion period. The random drawing will be conducted within 48 hours of the closing of the giveaway by Pretty My Party or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified by email at hello@prettymyparty.com. Potential winner must accept the prizes by email as directed by Pretty My Party within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as deliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively “the Prize Claim Documents”).

Rafflecopter Disclaimer: This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat, LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer or endorse this promotion. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy.

Social Media Disclaimer: Entrants should understand that they are providing their information to the sponsors of the giveaway and not to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Google+. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with any of these social media sites.

Disclaimer: This giveaway is blog sponsored and is in no way associated with any of the brands and/or products listed above. If there are any questions, please email hello@prettymyparty.com.

PLEASE USE THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM BELOW TO ENTER

The more entries you complete on the Rafflecopter form, the higher your chances are of winning. If you don’t have time to fill out all of the entries you may come back and complete any entries that you may have missed. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy DIY Washi Tape Frame

The hubby and I are attending SoFabCon14 this weekend and we have these challenges that we have to complete to be entered for a chance to win some pretty amazing prizes.

I’m learning so much but I really hope I win the prize pack!

So I just wanted to take a moment to share this DIY craft with you…a 1 min washi tape picture frame!

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Like, seriously one minute…

We entered the crafts room and I was like oooh glitter! Oooh ModPodge! Oooh washi tape! I was sold when I saw purple chevron washi tape.

Follow these simple steps to make your customizable frame:

1. Start with a clean, simple frame. I had a wooden one available. The amazingly encouraging words were supplied by the conference :)

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2. Select your washi tape. This step is the best! You can pick any style tape that you want…to match any theme or decor :)

3. Place 4 strips of tape along each length of the frame. Done and done!

Just to take it a little further, I embellished mine with paper flowers and buttons.

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These are SO simple and easy to do! You can make them to fit ANY theme!! Have fun and make it awesome!

Strawberry Shortcake and Friends: Orange Blossom Birthday Party

I loved Strawberry Shortcake when I was growing up. I loved the way my little doll smelled and I even had a Strawberry Shortcake motorized bike when I was in the 5th grade. It went about 3 mph, but man I loved it! So to see the whole gang coming back for this generation, I’m so geeked!

I had the pleasure of throwing a 4th birthday party for a friend’s daughter who loves Strawberry Shortcake and her friends. But in wanting to do something a little different, we decided to put one of the friends in the spotlight and threw an Orange Blossom party!

If you’re not familiar with this character, this is Orange Blossom:

image from Cartoonito

image from Cartoonito

She is described as Strawberry Shortcake’s main friend. Cartoonito says that Orange Blossom always solves any problem with a smile and loves being helpful. She runs Berry Bitty City’s town market, Orange Mart, which has everything you could need!

So, to the party! Wanna see some pics? Yes? Yay!

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For food, we had the simplest of menus: pizza, fresh fruit, an orange punch, and water. I felt a little guilty about the amount of sugar that was on the dessert table, so I tried to sneak someone with a smidge of sustenance in…

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I just love those sunflowers…they make me smile.

For all of the food labels, I edited a printables set from BellaGrey Designs, customizing it to the menu. I used the cupcake toppers to make the medallion on the straws by simply punching holes opposite to each other and sliding them onto the straws. For the water bottle labels, I used an image of Orange Blossom herself (not part of the printables set) and the same graphics for the cupcake toppers.

We even had an orange tree :)

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My husband was laughing as he helped me assemble them. I asked what was so funny, to which he replied, “these oranges look like pumpkins.” I looked at him with a straight face and said, “they are pumpkins…I’m just hoping the kids don’t notice…”

My improvisation can be found over at Oriental Trading…lol

After the kids ate, we went and played a few games. I found a list of Strawberry Shortcake themed games here. I improvised them a little to accomodate my age group and their energy levels. The kids were able to “pick” their oranges from the tree for one of those games.

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I had the kids move their orange from the starting line to the finish. Without using their hands or feet. It was hilarious…scooting and laughing everywhere! Of course, the one boy at the party came from out of nowhere and beat everyone. He earned himself first dibs on the dessert table, after the birthday girl of course!

The dessert table had the kids wide-eyed with expectation. Moms were saying to let them have as much sugar as as they wanted. I’m not brave to take all of that energy home…

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…steamers are your friend…

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For the gift baskets, I used berry boxes that I found over at Think Garnish and embellished them with an orange bearing the child’s name and green ribbon. I filled them with an orange, a bag of candy, crayons, and notepads, bubbles, or silly string; for the seals on the candy bag, I printed the cupcake toppers onto sticker sheets.

 

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I worked with several party friends to put this all together…they shared their talents to make it such a beautiful success. I informed mom that her party was hosted by all parts of the country…thanks ladies <3

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The birthday girl was so excited!

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She was so happy that she sat with me during that entire church service the next day <3 I’d say that shindig was 4 year old approved! Happy birthday darling Kelsey!

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Styling, Photography, and Sugar Cookies by Creating Awesomenessity!

Printables and Banner by BellaGrey Designs

Candy/Baking Cups by The Pretty Party Shoppe

Bubble Gum Necklaces by Autumn Lynn’s Chocolate Sins

Marshmallow Pops by Sweet U Off Your Feet

Sparkle Sticks (with the Marshmallow Pops) by Painting Paris Pink

Chocolate Covered Oreos by 4 Kids Cakes

Rag Garland and Yellow Table Runner by Cupcake With Character

Paper Tassels and Sparkle Table Confetti by Tutus & Bowties Events

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A Winner is Brewing

Good morning!!

I hope you’re having a great day…I finished my coffee not long ago, so the world around me is a little more secure on this dreary Monday morning :)

I just wanted to write a quick post and let you know about a giveaway getting ready to launch over at Cupcake With Character. It’s called a Bake and Brew Giveaway! The winner will take home:

  1. A chrome Kitchenaid Mixer,
  2. A Keurig coffee maker, and
  3. Mindy Cone‘s newest book, Party Food for Girls!

I can’t wait to enter. A girl can never have too many Kitchenaid mixers…

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Cupcake With Character is still looking for a few more sponsors to enter. The giveaways she hosts usually hit a minimum of 70K entries and that’s where it pays off for you! A $25 sponsor fee will get exposure to you and your blog/business/shop from new fans all over the world.

One of my most supportive clients and repeat customers came from someone seeing that their friend liked my page through a giveaway and she’s been around, shopping and supporting,  for a year <3

This sponsorship is not limited to event planners.  If you are trying to grow:

  • Facebook,
  • Pinterest,
  • Google+,
  • Email subscriptions,
  • Blog following,
  • LinkedIn,
  • Twitter, and/or
  • Instagram,

Then this is the opportunity for you! Get in while the getting’s good!

Sign up HERE!

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How Do You Measure Success?

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Motivational Monday. I’ll have to talk more about that later…

But after the weekend I had and after seeing this picture from the Because of Them We Can campaign, I just had to take a moment to chat with you…

The FLOTUS was quoted as saying “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

Photo credit: Eunique Jones

Photo credit: Eunique Jones

I really wish that more people would understand that.

And for as broke as I am sometimes, I know that I am blessed tremendously when I not only know these words but practice them as well.

We had the TN State Youth Conference this weekend and I can’t fully express how blessed I was…how proud I am of our youth and how they conducted themselves. I publicly commended all of their parents on how they’ve been raising them right and allowing them to grow into who they should be.

I. Am. So. Proud.

So while I can’t stop bragging on them, there were certainly negative experiences with some of the other youth in attendance. I encountered young ladies behaving provocatively, kids displaying poor sportsmanship, being disrespectful, inconsiderate, and just plain mean. If you know me at all in real life, one of my biggest pet peeves is “bad kids.” But in reality, I know that the majority of that behavior comes from a lack of discipline and having a consistently positive role model.

I’m glad that I can be a positive role model. I think it’s important since I’m one of the youth counselors for our church and that bears a great responsibility in molding our future generations. Knowing that the kids are looking to me, watching, and emulating me, makes me want to be a better person overall. Working with them over the last few years has really made me understand that “actions speak louder than words.”

So while society walks around talking about the failure of the generations coming behind us, I truly hope that they are doing more than just talking about it. I understand that we can directly influence every child/teen/young adult on the planet, but the ones you can influence can (and will) influence those around them.

So while I do aspire to have a financial success, I know there is much more value in measuring my success by the difference I am able to make in the lives of all those around me, not just “my” kids.

I understand that a genuine smile can make the difference in the life of a stranger who may feel invisible.

I understand that a sincere hug can make the difference in the life of someone feeling alone and unloved.

I understand that a closed mouth, an open heart, and open ears can make the difference in the life of someone needing a friend.

I understand that making money and investing in my community is a long-term investment with generous rewards.

This is the kind of success that I hope to have at the end of it all.

Go out and make a difference…even if it just starts at home.

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Purple on Purpose

What color are you wearing today???

I’m wearing purple. I usually am, if I’m honest about it… But today I’m wearing it for Purple Day, in recognition of Epilepsy Awareness.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition which causes seizures. That sounds bad enough in itself, but it can get much, much worse from there. Read more about this condition here.

My dear friend Susan is the founder of the Epilepsy Warrior Foundation. She is an incredible support system for people and their families living with, and fighting through, this condition. Even when she can’t be there physically holding hands, she rallies members of the community to make sure that people have their needs met, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I truly admire her strength and tenacity.

I met Susan as part of a party planning group on Facebook. Random, I know! But I met her in that group because Susan is also a party planner. She owns Party With the Warriors, a little business she started out of her love for hosting parties. She’s not a “party girl” in the negative sense of the word, but all of the money that she makes from the parties goes to help fund the Foundation.

I told you she’s admirable!

But I’m not going to steal her thunder… Susan recently had a styled shoot done in preparation for Purple Day and I, along with many of my beautifully talented party friends, contributed to make the shoot awesome and ready for the world.

Creating Awesomenessity's contribution :)

Creating Awesomenessity’s contribution :)

Head on over and check out the Purple Day shoot and learn a little more about the Epilepsy Warriors Foundation.

No matter what you’re going through, fight on!

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