St. Patrick’s Day Brunch

St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to be all about partying, it can be a *mature* adult brunch too. I set up a cutesy brunch tablescape, perfect for sipping mimosas.

I found a green clover/flower-y table runner and topped that with green and white candles. The center piece was a light green plant and I added a sparkly clover to it. I added a few strands of greenery as well.

Each place setting got a green plate, green cocktail glass, clear water glass and champagne glass. I folded white cloth napkins on each plate and topped them with mini champagne bottles.

In the background, I used my light curtain and cut out clovers in dark green, green glitter and gold glitter. I taped those up in a random pattern.

TO BUY
Table cloth ($20)
Green candle ($10)
Table runner ($15)
Plates ($0.50 x 4)
– Green cocktail glasses (Salvation Army – $1 each)
Cloth napkins ($10)

BUDGET: Under $100


Astrology Cocktail Birthday Party

This is a birthday party for the astrology lover! We had six guests – everyone chose a cocktail from the Mixology of Astrology recipe book, brought ingredients and glasses, and then presented to the group. Of course we did a taste testing after each one.

DECOR
I tried to keep it simple and choose a blue color scheme. I got some moon/star balloons and then normal blue/teal and white balloons. I made a banner that said “PARTY LIKE A PISCES” and paired it with a pom pom garland.



DRINKS
We set up a counter area to present your cocktails with chairs in a semi circle for the “audience”. Each person presented a drink from their sign and told the group how to make the cocktail. Here are the six cocktails/signs that we did:
– Aries: Michelada
– Libra: Hot Toddy
– Scorpio: Death in the Afternoon
– Sagittarius: Classic Panama
– Capricorn: Whiskey Sour
– Pisces: Blackberry Sage Smash

We did three drinks and then I presented the birthday girl’s birth chart in PowerPoint projected onto the TV. I went over the basics of astrology, her top three (sun, moon and rising) and how all of our signs interact.

TO BUY
Mixology of Astrology ($13)
Moon/star balloons ($6)
Pom pom garland ($5)
– Drink ingredients (each guest to bring)
– Glasses (each guest to bring)

BUDGET: $20-50 for the host

Red Wings 30th Birthday Party

Since we can’t go to any sporting events, I decided to create one at home for a 30th birthday party. I did my best to bring Little Caesar’s Arena vibes to a living room.

DECOR
I hung up red curtains and put a “happy pucking birthday” banner across it for photo opportunities. I hung up red string lights, put up a big Red Wings poster and got a bunch of red, black and star balloons for around the room. I also found some Red Wings specific balloons to scatter around. We had red overhead lights and played songs that are typically played during a Red Wings game.

To add some personal touches, I got a string light to hang up photos and placed the remaining photos on the wall. I also got big 3-0 balloons because they are a must have.

FOOD
We needed all the stadium food that the world has to offer. I served Little Caesar’s pizza, hot dogs and got a big bag of popcorn from a local movie theater. I covered the “bar” area with a NHL table cloth, plates, napkins and cups. I wanted to get some larger stadium cups for beer – I found these and printed stickers out. I made the stickers in Word using the Red Wings logo and added a birthday hat. You can print them out on water proof sticker paper.

ACTIVITIES
We watched the game obviously – if you can do it outdoors, it would be cool to use a projector for a larger screen. We also did a raffle. Usually it’s a 50/50 raffle, but we let the winner have 100% of the pot. Everyone put in money to buy tickets and then we pulled the winner after the second intermission.

TO BUY
Red curtains ($9)
– Banner – cut out of glitter paper ($0)
Photo string light ($9)
3-0 balloons ($10)
Red Wings specific balloons ($3)
– Red, black, star balloons ($20)
NHL party pack ($25)
Stadium cups ($12)
Sticker paper ($11)
Raffle tickets ($4)

BUDGET: > $200

Red Hot Galentine’s Day Party

Another year, another Galentine’s celebration! This year, my theme was “red hot hotties” showcasing some of our celebrity crushes and spicy candy. I tried to keep the colors bright red and pink. A contrast to my pastel theme last year.

TABLE TOP
I got glitter paper from Michael’s and cut out a bunch of hearts. I hung them in between my light curtain and sprinkled some on the table. I got these super cute heart plates from Target and put one at each place setting. Everyone also got a “roses are red and so is my wine” napkin on top, a ring pop and valentine’s bracelet. I also gave each person little plastic wine cups, placed heart cupcake papers inside and filled them with different candies. Down the middle I put some purple string lights, a few jars with red/pink roses and white candles on top of a simple cream table cloth.

WINE TASTING
I decided to do a red wine tasting this year to go with the red theme. I asked everyone to bring a different type of wine (Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Syrah, etc.) Then we did a blind tasting and used a tasting card. On the card, I put a little description of each wine type and boxes to rate the taste, color, aroma, etc. We had to guess which wine was which and got to see what our favorite was. Each person got a larger wine glass for water, a stemless wine glass and tasting sheet/pen.

GAMES
We played the game We’re Not Really Strangers. You pull cards that ask deep questions and everyone answers. We did one card per round of wine tasting. I also put a little heart cut out of each person’s high school crush under their plate. We played a game where each person had to say clues throughout the conversation as if they were that person. The first person to have their crush guessed correctly won a face mask! The person that brought the winning wine also got a prize face mask.

FOOD
I got a bunch of spicy snacks – flaming hot Cheetos, cinnamon lip candy, etc. I also tried to find as many pink/red/purple foods as possible. I put the chips in little individual plastic heart cups so people could just grab them and go. For the main appetizers, I got typical sleepover food – bagel bites, pizza rolls and pigs in a blanket.

TO BUY
Light curtain ($18)
Table cloth ($20)
Heart plates ($3 each)
– Clear wine glasses
– Wine napkins
We’re Not Really Strangers ($25)
Valentine’s bracelets ($2)

BUDGET: ~$150-$200

Krampus Beer Tasting

Another season, another tasting! We gathered as many Christmas/winter themed beers that we could find and set up a tasting with friends. We used the below scoring sheet to rate each beer on whether it was “naughty” or “nice”. Usually I make a key at the top outlining what you should look for in a beer. This year, everyone filled out their own key on what THEY personally thought made a beer naughty or nice. For example, I thought naughty beers were dark, boozy and/or had a unique flavor (like dill). Nice beers were light and had simple or sweet flavors. We also added a line guessing if Krampus would enjoy the beer. Then you can debate amongst yourselves on that and if the beer is naughty or nice in general.

For the decor – I wanted it to be a little bit darker since it was a Krampus event. I used a black/silver skull table cloth, black taper candles and then put silver-y Christmas decor down the middle. I used the actual beer cans as decor too since they all have cute festive labels. Each person got a paper star plate, pen/marker and Christmas glass to taste out of.

TO BUY:
– Table cloth ($15)
Taper candles ($8)
Bottle brush tree(s) ($5)
Star lights ($20)
Silver pom pom garland ($6)
– Christmas glasses ($5 – Salvation Army)
Star plates ($9)
– Beer ($12-$30)

BUDGET: less than $100

Small Business Saturday in Detroit

We did a little day trip to Detroit for Small Business Saturday. We started off getting coffee at a local shop – we chose Dessert Oasis, but there are a bunch of places to choose from. Some of my other favorites are Ashe Supply Co., Astro Coffee, Great Lakes Coffee and Madcap.

Across from Dessert Oasis is a little park with benches and cute holiday decor. We drank our drinks there for some festive vibes. Next door is a cute pet shop, City Bark, where we got some good cat gifts.

Next we walked over to Campus Martius park to see the tree and all the holiday decor. They have little photo op spots that are fun to take pics in. Usually they have ice skating, but it’s currently closed due to COVID.

After that, we needed some beer. We stopped by Batch Brewing Company. They have a huge outdoor area with a roof, fires and big heaters. We got a few beers here and enjoyed the warmth. Next, we got lunch at The Congregation. It’s a restaurant/bar/cafe in an old church. We didn’t get to sit inside, but peeked in for the cool views. They have good sandwiches and drink options. They had heaters and fire pits. We even got a s’mores kit to use in one of the fires.

Next, we did more shopping! We went over to Midtown and checked out City Bird, Nest, Third Man Records and Nora. All are really cute local shops – great for gifts, especially MI themed gifts. We then got some beer related treats at 8 Degrees Plato and Founders (growler/howler pickup).

Detroit has so many local shopping and dining options – it’s hard to choose! It’s fun and feels good to support all the local places, especially right now.

ITINERARY:
– Coffee at Dessert Oasis
– Gift stop at City Bark
– Photo ops in Campus Martius
– Beer at Batch Brewing Company
– Lunch at The Congregation
– Shopping at City Bird, Nest, Third Man Records and Nora
– Beer pick up at 8 Degrees Plato and Founders

Basic Budget Thanksgiving

We hosted a small Thanksgiving dinner party this year. I wanted to use things that I already owned for the table to make things easier and more affordable. I stuck with the typical orange, yellow, red color scheme with pumpkins and a couple turkey nods.

I used a yellow table runner and topped it with mini pumpkins, orange mums and candles. I got a bunch of pumpkins throughout the fall season from Michael’s and Target. I placed larger ones throughout the house and room for a full fall vibe. I used old clear jars for the flower vases and got the candle holders from Salvation Army. I really love the orange glass one in the middle. My favorite candles were these color drip taper candles – as they burn, more colors appear. There’s red, yellow and blue – which mix to create different color drips down the white candle.

For the place settings, I used my typical hard plastic plates in orange and placed them on top of glass white plates. You could use the plastic for apps/dessert and the glass for actual dinner. I just liked the look of the orange better than white. I found cute turkey napkins in the Target dollar section – I liked these because they weren’t overtly TURKEY – just a few with other fall items. I placed some leftover orange dried flowers on top of the plate/napkin with silverware on the side of each plate. I used yellow cocktail glasses for drinks and fall colored wine goblets as water glasses.

As a backdrop, I used my light curtain over the window and made a garland that said “I yam grateful”. I got a bunch of these leaf garlands and hung them around the house.

Our menu was pretty basic too. We deep fried a turkey, made mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, roasted asparagus, vegetarian stuffing/gravy and biscuits! We did a cheese board and made a baked brie with a Michigan cutout on top for our appetizers. For dessert we had pecan pie with pecan beer from Epic Brewing.

TO BUY:
Table runner ($12)
– Pumpkins ($3)
– Flowers ($7)
Color drip candles ($4)
Orange plates ($4)
– Turkey napkins ($3)
– Dried flowers ($10)
– Yellow cocktail glasses + water glasses (Salvation Army – $4)
Light curtain ($18)
Leaf garland ($8)

BUDGET: $75

Fall Engagement Party

A friend got engaged and wanted to have a party near Thanksgiving when all of her family was in town. So here’s my late fall take on an engagement party!

I tried to incorporate classic fall/Thanksgiving items with the usual glitzy bride decorations.

The host wanted it to just be dessert and drinks so we served warm cinnamon donuts and cranberry champagne! I put a diamond ring cupcake topper in each donut.

I garnished the champagne with cranberries and lime slices. I got plastic champagne glasses, but obviously go for glass if you can afford it. I used mod podge glue and gold glitter on the bottom of each glass to spruce them up.

We served the donuts on gold heart plates with customized wedding date napkins. I covered all tables with Mr. & Mrs. wood confetti and white pumpkins. I mod podged the stems of the pumpkins to match the glasses.

We put out a side table with slips of paper for guests to write down wedding tips for the couple. I made these in InDesign – the top says “Wedding tips for the soon to be Boyles”. I found free heart and ring graphics online. I printed them out on brown kraft paper from Michael’s. We got customized pencils with their initials and wedding date. Guests took home their pencils as another save the date!

Finally, no party is complete without large letter balloons spelling out something important – in this case I DO. I also got a customized banner with their wedding hashtag. We hung up photos of the couple on fairy lights. A super cute, yet easy night to plan!

TO BUY:
Diamond ring cupcake topper ($7)
Plastic champagne glasses ($7)
Gold heart plates ($6)
Customized wedding date napkins ($25)
Mr. & Mrs. wood confetti ($6)
White pumpkins ($7)
Customized pencils ($18)
Custom banner ($12)
I DO balloons ($12)

BUDGET: $100

Outdoor “How Did You Die?” Halloween Party

2020 is the year of outdoor parties so Halloween was no different. We had a small party at our house and made sure to have social distance rules and individual food and drink items.

I decided to make it a theme because our friends always have trouble coming up with costume ideas. I chose “how did you die” and everyone had to come dressed as a dead person of some sort. We had everything from a Karen (death by society) who killed a Starbucks worker to some “dead beets” to someone who was electrocuted. I made a headstone for each person at the party and put them around the backyard. I bought craft foam boards, cut them into the headstone shape, painted them gray and then used black paint/marker to write on each one. I also made a banner that said “graveyard party” and we used a fog machine to give the real graveyard vibe.

I used a bunch of string lights throughout the yard for decoration and to provide actual light. I got orange, purple and white. I also moved my light curtain outside as well. We placed heaters outside and in the garage.

We made a bunch of different areas to hang out to spread people out.

BONFIRE: We put chairs and blankets around the fire. I put together little s’mores kits using plastic bags, mini Hershey bars and pumpkin spice marshmallows.

CONCERT: We were trying to emulate a Halloween event we attend every year that has cover bands. We made a schedule and played bands up on our projector throughout the night. I left an area for people to stand and put some chairs around too.

GARAGE: We set up a little cocktail bar in here with a “Pick Your Poison” banner. We put glasses out with cocktails already poured so people didn’t have to touch things to pour them up. One cocktail was based around Pumking whiskey with pumpkin spice creamer. The other was vodka based with egg whites, lemon and cinnamon. We also put out some pre-made whiskey and cider shots. We provided a bin for people to place dirty glasses.

I then set up a COVID safe game area. We had a large table with plastic cups. Everyone received their own cup with their name on it. We put out clean ping pong balls with a place to put dirty ones. We left out hand sanitizer and wipes to disinfect anything that was used.

For food, we put a spooky charcuterie board on sticks that were wrapped in plastic wrap. I chose darker foods and orange stuff – cheddar cheese, pickles, purple grapes, blackberries, etc. We also made eyeball deviled eggs and placed them in mini bowls wrapped in plastic wrap. Other individual desserts included caramel apples, popcorn balls and cupcakes. We got little bags of Halloween chips as well. We didn’t really need plates since everything was served individually. I did put out some napkins I had from last year that said “Boo!”

We played a cake walk game with alcohol. We put a bunch of different things in numbered paper bags – some were good (a whole bottle of spiced wine, good shots, pumpkin beers) and some were bad (gross beers, wine coolers, bad shots). We played the Monster Mash and everyone walked in a circle until the music turned off. Whatever bag you were in front of is what you had to drink.

We also had a costume contest. Everyone voted via their phone for the best costume. We then chose the other prizes like funniest, most creative and scariest costumes.

Halloween Wedding Dinner Party

I got to plan a dream party combining my two favorite things – weddings and Halloween. This couple opted for a smaller home version of their wedding because of COVID. I set up a little dinner party in their living room.

I wanted the overall vibe to be “elegant spooky” – I used the color palette of gold, silver and black. I threw in some purple, orange and red for good measure. The bride did want to include some traditional “cutesy” Halloween elements as well. The main theme was “Till Death Do Us Part.”

GUEST TABLES
The main focal point of the party room! Each table got a black/gold skeleton table cloth topped with small silver/black spray painted pumpkins, fall flowers and tea light candles and black taper candles. I spray painted a bunch of wine bottles and jars (to save on costs) with silver and black paint. They were used to hold the flowers and candles.

For the place settings, I used my favorite black plastic plates, black cloth napkins topped with gold plasticware wrapped in gold ribbon with orange dried flowers. I used glasses to create depth on the tables – champagne glasses (with black rock candy in each), clear water glasses and a variety of cocktail glasses. I made little candy bags for the favors. I got some “fancier” Halloween candy (pumpkin Dove chocolate, etc.) that had pretty wrappers. I filled cute plastic bags and put a sticker on each.

SWEETHEART TABLE
The bride and groom got the same place settings with a few enhancements. I gave them the biggest cocktail glasses, special Mr. & Mrs. champagne glasses, a spiderweb table cloth and a skeleton couple statue. I put some flowers, taper candles and a bigger pumpkin on their table too. The groom made a red and black balloon arch to go over the table.

KIDS TABLE
I wanted this to be more light-hearted, but still match the rest of the party. I got a black plastic table cloth and stuck some Halloween stickers to it. I chose some paper plates and cups to match the adult table colors as well.

WALL DECOR + PHOTO BOOTH
I got some crepe paper and made a little photo booth behind one of the couches. I hung white string lights around the room and put a “till death do us party” banner across the fire place. I also made a little guest book table with a white pumpkin and markers for people to sign.

TO BUY:
Table Top
Guest table cloths (2 x $15)
– Pumpkins (Farmer’s Market) ($30)
– Wine bottles/jars ($0)
– Black taper candles ($8)
Tea light candles ($10)
– Fall flowers (Farmer’s Market) ($25)

Place Settings
Plates ($12 total)
Napkins ($18)
Plasticware ($10)
Ribbon ($3)
Dried flowers ($17)
Champagne glasses ($11)
Water glasses ($25)
– Cocktail glasses (Salvation Army)
Rock candy ($14)
Plastic bags ($3.50)
– Candy ($25)

Sweetheart Table
Table cloth ($10)
Skeleton couple ($6)
Mr. & Mrs. champagne glasses ($13)

Kids Table
Table cloth ($3.50)
Plates ($3)
Cups ($3)

Other Decor
– Crepe paper- purple, gold, white ($10)
String lights ($35)
Till Death banner ($17)
Guest book pumpkin + markers ($20)

BUDGET: $385

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