Grandma’s 90th Birthday Party!

While growing up I spent the majority of my summer months with my grandma. I was a little too old for day care and both my parents worked full time so I was kinda happy to spend my summer nights in Chalfant, PA sleeping over my grandma’s house. She’d stay up late, she had a computer, she had “card night” and all the women from the neighborhood would come over and curse and smoke up the whole house, and she’d bake and cook delicious meals, so it was really no problem!

Just a week ago, on July 12th, we celebrated her 90th birthday and it was an honor to be able to help put the decorations and stuff together. We had an awesome photo booth in awful lighting, amazing catered food, and a slideshow.

The night before the party my incredible Aunt Maureen put together a lunch/dinner for all of the out-of-town guests that were arriving the day before the party.

I was able to see my grandma and my Aunt Patty

DSC_0230

I was also able to see my Aunt Edith

10492586_813666458657261_1865000967021421741_n

And I was able to see my cousin Sandy and Pam that I haven’t seen for almost 6 years since I’ve lived in LA,  but I wasn’t able to get a picture of them on Friday night.

The invitations went out via SNAPFISH! and I really loved using this old black and white photo of my grandma. It looked really timeless and beautiful.

DSC_0472

We wanted to do a 1920’s themed photo booth with head pieces, pearl necklaces, cigarette holders, and the guys had gangster hats! It would have turned out GREAT if I hadn’t forgotten my light umbrellas! Here’s a few shots of my family and my gram’s friends from the photo booth:

DSC_0262

DSC_0263

DSC_0272

DSC_0280

DSC_0297

DSC_0281

DSC_0305

DSC_0304

Some of the photo booth attendees haven’t seen me since I was “this big”… and you know what I mean!

I was in charge of the decorations. We had gotten some ideas from the catering company that had done some events before us at the same venue. They made balloon chandeliers, so we made balloon chandeliers and besides the fact that we lost a few balloons before the party even started, they still turned out really pretty.

DSC_0255

We also got 10 flower vases from my local thrift store in Brick, NJ, at Destiny’s Thrift Shop, for $10!

DSC_0247

We hot glued each vase with a layer of burlap and then a layer of lace over top of the burlap. We didn’t want the centerpieces to be too formal which is why we used mini roses and mini tulips. We didn’t want giant roses and tulips to overtake the centerpieces.

We also put a tin can on each of the tables with a tag that said, “90 Reasons We Love Annette! Share a story or a memory that you have with her!” I wasn’t able to get a picture of the cans on each table at the party so I took a picture when I got home. We got about 20 or so responses and they each made me cry!

DSC_0468

DSC_0471

During the party my Uncle Dick told a story about growing up with my grandma:

DSC_0351

DSC_0352

My Aunt Maureen was able to read a few of the cards that people had left in the “90 Reasons We Love Annette” tins. So hilarious!

DSC_0382

My grandma blew the candles out!

DSC_0400

DSC_0404

DSC_0407

The cake mimicked the invitations which was pretty cool. My grandma had a really awesome time which was a lot of fun to see!

DSC_0340

My grandma and her two younger sisters.

My grandma and her two younger sisters.

DSC_0390

DSC_0393

DSC_0318

The party was definitely a success. The food was delicious and if you’re looking for an amazing catering company in the Pittsburgh area, please contact 2 Ladies & a Gentleman! The slideshow was a hit,  and my gram was able to walk around and socialize with the guests at each table.

I had such a great time at the party and I’m glad that everyone who came enjoyed themselves as well! Hope you guys liked the pictures!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

UPDATE: Country Theme Graduation Party Ideas

I’ve been racking my brain to the maximum extreme trying to come up with some more creative ideas for my sister’s country themed graduation party in June. If you missed my first post about it and some of the ideas I had, you can catch up here. I’ve told a lot of my coworkers about the country western themed fiesta to see if maybe they had any good ideas that I can steal use. One of my coworkers mentioned to me that there is a website that has cheap party decorations for pretty much any theme. It’s www.orientaltrading.com. I’ve never heard of this site and I was soooo excited once I checked it out. I have multiple things in my online cart that I’m just waiting to pull the trigger on but before I tell you about those I wanted to let you know that the invites came in the mail and I’m starting to send them out little by little. And what I mean when I say little by little is that I’m waiting for my mom to get me some of the addresses for some of the people that I can’t find on http://www.whitepages.com. Blah! I also got this cute cowboy boot stamp for the back of the invites on clearance at Michaels this week.

20130501_183843

I think it adds the perfect touch considering the invites say absolutely nothing about country themed anything which I kinda regret now.

 Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 7.02.38 PM

I saw these country western photo props. I was thinking about cutting out mustaches and stuff and hot glueing them to a stick so that people can use them in the homemade photobooth that I mentioned in my other post. I was kinda dreading it but now I feel fantastic that I don’t need to do any of that and this comes with more awesome stuff than just mustaches.

 Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 7.04.50 PM

Another item that popped out at me was this luau table skirt that I think would still fit in with a country theme party considering it is basically faux hay. I think it would look nice with a white table clothe with a thick strip of burlap running down the middle. We’ll see.

Getting extremely excited as the days and weeks get closer to the party!

———————————

UPDATE!

To see how the country themed grad party turned out, along with pictures from the photo booth, click here.

Country Theme Graduation Party!

My sister is graduating high school in a little over a month and I’m in utter disbelief. I can’t believe she’s about to go to college and about to turn 18 and be an adult.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is one of her senior pictures that I took recently.

Graduating high school means there’s going to be a graduation party! I’m helping my mom with the planning. I ordered the invites on Thursday night and we’ve decided that it’s going to be a country themed party because my sister loves cowboy boots and cowboy hats and all the country music and country boys and pickup trucks and what not. I’m not a fan of any of that but I love all the rustic decor. My mom is taking care of all the food and catering and stuff and I’m taking care of all the decorations and a homemade photobooth! I’m super excited about the photobooth actually. I wanted to share my progress with you guys and let you in on some of my ideas so you can let me know if it sounds stupid or if there are ways to improve them.

——————————————————————–

First things first! Every grad party needs one of those photo memory boards with pictures of the graduate at all different ages. I’m thinking that instead of putting together the typical board I’m going to hang a few different layers of twine on the wall and use clothes pins to hold the pictures. I tried to search for something that was similar to what I want to do and all I came up with is this…

IMG_1623

I want to do something like this but with the twine not so droopy. I got the twine and the clothespins and did a small test run just to make sure the pictures stay put and they do! So hopefully that will work out.

——————————————————————–

Another thing that I’m super excited about are these cool jar beverage spout things. I’m not sure what they’re called but I figured they’re perfect for lemonade or iced tea or even some kind of wine spritzer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I got them for $10 each at the Christmas Tree Shop near me and they look very rustic and country to me and considering I’m going to be using mason jars for flower vases and utensil holders I think it’ll go together very well.

——————————————————————–

I wanted to make it a very feminine color scheme so we’re using a pink, a light pink, and gold as our main colors. I painted these mason jars and I think the colors look awesome together.

20130427_183452

Normally people use their high school colors but my sister’s high school colors are black and blue which are very harsh to me so we’re going a little girly.

——————————————————————–

As for the photobooth, I got some really awesome ideas from Lovely Indeeds blog post which you can find here. I’m going to be using streamers in all the colors I mentioned previously and I’m going to add tissue paper pom pom kinda things that will hang from the ceiling.

Streamers7

This is what hers looks like and I love how easy it is to put together.

——————————————————————–

And lastly, for now, is this awesome milk can I found at Christmas Tree Shop.

MyCollage_1

This is my before and after picture. Before it had all these tropical looking flowers so I took some acrylic paint in a brick red color and painted it. I had to do a few coats but while doing my last coat I added some crimson red and some gold streaks which you can’t really tell from the picture. I’ll try and take a better picture at some point but I figured this would be an awesome flower vase that I can load with sunflowers. I may decorate the can a little more but I’m loving the color of it!

So, that’s it for now! Please help me with some more awesome simple ideas or ways to improve what I’ve already got.

Happy Sunday!

EASY & CHEAP ways to organize sports equipment!

I read somewhere that 25% of Americans with a two car garage can no longer fit their cars in that garage anymore. I unfortunately don’t have a garage but I can only image the reason someone wouldn’t be able to fit their cars into their garage is because it may look a little something like this:

All that junk all over can definitely prevent you from being able to utilize the garage to, I don’t know, maybe park a car in it! Today I’m going to give you a few tips on storing some sporting equipment you may have or that your kids may have. Remember, vertical storage is key!

One inexpensive way is to use a garbage can for all the tall equipment like hockey sticks, baseball bats, ski poles, oars, lacrosse sticks, and whatever else you may be into. Don’t use anything that doubles the size of the garbage can, as it may tip the can over. This is a great way to get everything off the floor of the garage or from leaning up against the walls and into one place.

Keep balls from scattering all over the floor by keeping them all in a mesh bag, tall plastic hamper, or even a big duffel bag. I found a link to some really cheap mesh ball bags here. Also, keep a basketball/soccer ball pump somewhere near the bag of balls so you’re not running around looking for one when you need it. Nothing is worse than flat balls.

-If you or your children play a lot of sports I think it may be a great idea to have a duffel bag for each sport. Pack a duffel bag with your baseball bats, balls, helmet, and cleats. That way when it’s time to go to baseball practice you just grab the bag, throw it in the trunk, and you’re on your way. You can set up a vertical shelving unit to store all of your duffel bags.

-Scooters, skateboards, helmets, and knee pads can all be stored in a box or bin.

-Hang all of the soccer cleats, roller blades, skates, etc on hooks. Tie the pair together by their laces and make sure every pair gets their own hook for easy accessibility.

-OR, if you have a couple hundred or thousand dollars look into specialty racks that will store multiple skis, snowboards, bikes, fishing poles, etc. It may be pricey but it’s a more permanent solution.

I hope some of my tips help you get your garage back!

Happy Labor Day!

More ways to save money & be organized!

If you’re like me, when you get a gift bag with gifts in it, the only purpose that the bag serves is to keep everything together until you get it home. Then once I get home, the bag gets thrown in the garbage because I just don’t have anywhere to put it or don’t ever suspect that I’ll have the need to recycle it. WRONG! Do you know how much money you could save by keeping all of your gift bags and reusing them? And by buying Christmas wrapping paper after the holidays? It’s crazy! Preparing for situations before they happen will save you a lot of money in the long run. Don’t just chalk up the money for a new, pretty, frilly gift bag! Just keep the ones that you get for your birthday and Christmas and recycle!

(Sorry for the awful pics. I took these with my phone instead of my camera)

Keep a storage container with your left over bags and gift boxes!

Do you know how hard it is to find gift boxes in the summer time or any time other than Christmas? It’s very difficult, believe me! Keeping your extras really saves money and the time it would take you to search for them! Not only should you save gift bags and gift boxes but save your shoe boxes also! It’s so easy and cheap to decorate a shoe box into a pretty little gift box.

With all the Christmas bags and just random little bags I’ve gotten in the past year, I don’t think I’ll need to purchase any for awhile.

Right now, Target has these storage containers 2 for $9 and Amazon has a gift wrap storage bag for $12.99 and it’s also eligible for Amazon Prime Free Two-Day shipping!