Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Spooky Spider Eggs + More Scary-Good Treats!

halloween deviled eggs recipe

Who knew that black olives could make for such a spooky topper to deviled eggs? These Spooky Spider Eggs are the perfect appetizer for Halloween parties! Just slice up some olives to use with your own favorite deviled egg recipe – or even store-bought apps if you’re pressed for time!

halloween tombstone cookies recipe

I’m loving the combination of these Tombstone Cookies & “Dark Chocolate Graveyard Pots de Creme” for an impressive ending to a Halloween dinner party!

Make-it-Quick Tip: Use instant chocolate pudding mix topped with crushed chocolate cookies or Oreos (remove the creamy middles first) for the “graveyard pots”. For the cookies, try store-bought wafer cookies or Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies, which have a nice “tombstone” shape.  (more…)

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Pink Your Drink {Cocktail Recipes}

pink cocktail recipes

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so you’ll most likely be seeing a lot of PINK over the next few weeks! Whether you’re planning a Pink Party of your own or simply raising a glass to someone special, here are a few cocktail recipes that will have you toasting in the signature color

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CHAMBORD PINK-TINI {pictured at top}

Ingredients:
1 oz Chambord
1.5 oz honey vodka
.5 oz lime juice
3-4 raspberries

Directions:
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass or crushed ice-filled rocks glass. Top with more crushed ice. Garnish with raspberries.

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pink cocktail recipes

(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Khaki is the New Blue

khaki and blue party theme

I’m just loving this khaki & blue party that Noel Culbertson put together to celebrate her husband’s birthday and recent promotion! The color palette is so crisp & chic… this look would also be gorgeous for a wedding or engagement party, or any nautically-themed celebration.

Read on for all the details, as told by Noel…

khaki and blue party theme

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“My husband went through the grueling six week induction process upon being promoted to Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy. The process culminated just before his birthday, it seemed only natural to celebrate both. (more…)

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Berry Sweet Shower Theme {Inspiration Board & Party Ideas}

berry sweet girl baby shower

Here’s a peek at the inspiration board for a baby shower I’m styling in November. As you can probably guess, mom-to-be is having a girl! Chocolate-dipped strawberries and a pink & red palette were requested for the event, so I’m tentatively calling this theme “Berry Sweet“.

Pictured at top: Camellia Tissue Paper Pom Set; Boughs of Whimsy gift wrap (the “inspiration piece” for the theme / will be used throughout the party); Rectangle Mod Pink/Red & Red Disc beaded curtains (for table runners &  decorative accents), pink drinks with YUM! Stirrers; cupcakes by Whitney Burke; and sparkling Pomegranate Champagne Cocktails.

berry sweet girl baby shower

Pictured above: Digital mockups of concepts for the accent table arrangements – utilizing oversize red blooms, metallic fuschia vases embellished with gift wrap, pink swirl lollipops, and white mitsumata branches adorned with small red blooms and paper “leaves”. {Ruby dahlias in white vase pic by Floral Art(more…)

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Woodland Forest Party Theme – Part 2 {Creatures & Crafty Details}

woodland forest party theme In continuing with the Woodland Forest party theme ideas, here are a few cute critters, scrapbook papers, and embellishments that would make for great “guest stars” and party decor!

Pictured at top: adorable tweet & felt plushies by Etsy shop SleepyKing… Butterscotch Tweed Fox ($18), Belchick – The Mischevious Squirrel ($22), and Douglas Fir – “the little bear with freckles” ($24).

woodland forest party theme

Pictured above: This whimsical Woodland Trail Mobile features a tree stump, bear, bird, squirrel, and bunny… and the colors can be customized to match your theme! (…could also double as a special gift for mom-to-be – $82 at GiftsDefine.com) And pint-sized Pet Pals would make for charming additions to woodsy-themed table centerpieces! ($18 each)

Pictured below: I’m planning to use this playful Friendly Forest collection by Colorbok to create DIY placemats, napkin rings, and drink charms, and also to embellish vases and party favors…

(more…)

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Woodland Forest Party Theme – Part 1 {Woodsy Elements & Toadstools}

woodland forest baby shower

I’m in the midst of planning a Woodland Forest themed baby shower for a friend next month, and I gotta tell you this theme ha been so much fun to brainstorm! There are tons of different elements that fit with a forest theme – from nature-inspired elements such as wood, bark, moss, acorns, rocks and toadstools (all covered in this post) to cute “woodland creatures” like squirrels, owls, bunnies, hedgehogs, and more (see post #2, coming soon).

Here are some woodsy & toadstool-inspired items I’ve found so far that would be a good fit for this theme (which would also work well for a first birthday party or autumn get-together!)…

woodland forest baby shower

Starting with the image at top: flexible Birch Bark ($4.99); Moss Cobble Balls* ($3.99 – $22); 11.5″ Moss Bunny Topiary ($8.99); 12″ Wood Tree Stump ($19.99); 8″ Wood Tree Stump* ($11.95); and flexible 20×10″ Moss-covered Tree Bark ($11.99).

*I’m thinking that one of the medium Moss Cobble Balls + the 8″ Wood Tree Stump would make for super cute DIY tree centerpieces! (more…)

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Timeless Paper: Gorgeous Place Cards

creative wedding place cards

Creative place cards are always a great way to play up your party or wedding theme, and Etsy shop Timeless Paper offers countless – and extremely stylish! – ways to do just that.

These intricate place card designs cost about $1 each and range from peacocks and butterflies to nautical, flora, and more. You can even have a completely custom shape created for a $30 fee.

creative wedding place cards

Pictured above: Peacock, Suitcase, and Airplane place cards.  More favorites are pictured below, starting with the lovely Butterfly, Butterfly (tent-style), and Love Bird (tent style) designs… (more…)

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Entertaining Accessories: Everything Aviary

bird themed entertaining accessories

Bird motifs have always been great design inspiration…even when it comes to home entertaining! Here’s some proof from cool brands like Danica Studio, Dwell, and Shinzi Katoh…

Pictured above and below: Aviary Apron, Placemat, Napkin, Oven Mitt, and Table Runner (all from Danica Studio).

bird themed entertaining accessories

I’m also loving these adorable, porcelain Birds of a Feather Napkin Rings (such a fun way to dress up any table!)… (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Butterfly Enchantment

butterfly party theme

This gorgeous butterfly-themed first birthday party was created by Patricia, Christina, and Shacia of Charm Event Design and is chock full of adorable & “enchanting” details like butterfly-adorned centerpieces and party favors, a butterfly activity table, butterfly-shaped PB&J, and more! (This theme would translate beautifully for a baby or bridal shower too!)

butterfly party theme

Here are all the fun details, as told by Charm

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“Our latest Butterfly Enchantment Party was a first birthday celebration themed with a fall inspired color pallete of rich oranges, deep plums and reds. (more…)

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The {Modern} Giraffe-Inspired Nursery

giraffe nursery theme - inspiration board{click image to view larger}

When Tara from StrollerTraffic asked me to create a style board and design tips for a new nursery trend she was researching, it sounded like a fun project, but I got even more excited when I found out what this new trend actually was… because it just so happened to be my favorite {wild animal} already – the giraffe!

Since there’s so much cute stuff out there, I had a hard time making decisions (nothing new!) – so I ended up with 2 boards instead of 1.  You’ll find all of the nursery design tips + product links for Board A (pictured above) – over on StrollerTraffic.com, and Board B with product links/info is pictured below. (more…)

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Free Printables: Cirque du Bebe {PINK}

French Circus Baby Shower printables

The original Cirque du Bebe Baby Shower featured lots of electric blue & yellow, but this theme would be fabulous in a bright pink & yellow palette too!

French Circus Baby Shower printables

For those of you that would like to host this theme in honor of a new baby girl, I created new versions of the custom prints & party signage with all of the blue areas swapped out for hot pink.

You’ll find downloadable versions of each of the different PINK party signs below – including framable prints in 4×6/5×7/8×10, a 22×28″ poster, drink menu, place cards/buffet labels, and paper patterns for wrapping vases, embellishing party favors, etc. Please read the Important Note at the bottom of this post before downloading. (To download the BLUE versions instead, click here.) (more…)

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Free Printables: Cirque du Bebe {BLUE}

French Circus Baby Shower printables

Want to host your own Cirque du Bebe Baby Shower? Many of you have asked about this, so here’s a little something to help you get started…downloadable versions of all the prints & signage from the original party!

French Circus Baby Shower printables

The files include: framable prints in 4×6/5×7/8×10, a 22×28″ poster, drink menu, place cards/buffet labels, and paper patterns for wrapping vases, embellishing party favors, etc. Please read the Important Note at the bottom of this post before downloading. (To download the PINK versions instead, click here.) (more…)

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Martha Stewart Living: October Highlights

Martha Stewart Halloween and Fall Ideas

I’m absolutely in love with the October cover of Living this year… partially due to the fact that I’m in the midst of planning a Woodland Forest baby shower for a friend and loving all things toadstool right now, but this is also just such a clever idea – and something I personally haven’t seen done with pumpkins before. It would make such a cute tablescape for Thanksgiving, too – or really any sort of Fall party!

Here’s a peek at some more highlights from this issue of Living… starting with a few extremely crafty face masks:

Martha Stewart Halloween and Fall Ideas

This next shot is pretty clever… “incognito” birdwatchers! (more…)

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Sam the Cooking Guy, Steak Salad Recipe, & San Diego Restaurant Week

Sam the Cooking Guy + Fresh Express

Sam Zien – known to most as “Sam the Cooking Guy” – and his super-fun cooking classes are a local favorites here in San Diego, but you can also get a taste of him on his Discovery Health show (nationally), his own show (certain markets), and in his first cookbook – Just a Bunch of Recipes.

He also recently hooked up with Fresh Express to help promote their new line of Seasonal Salads, and hosted a little get-together at his house last week to give a personal demo of what you can do with these salads… delivered in his signature funny, laid-back style of course!

Sam the Cooking Guy + Fresh Express{photos courtesy of Shawna Parks}

Sam whipped up 3 different types of salads, which we happily taste-tested: steak & goat cheese, spicy grilled shrimp, and a Mediterranean spinach salad with roasted tomatoes (plus a fabulous Pesto Pizza appetizer!). All of the recipes were quick & easy, featured minimal dressing – and, most importantly – tasted super DELICIOUS!

Here’s the full recipe for the Steak Salad (pictured above). (more…)

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Pink Ribbon Trio Centerpiece

pink ribbon centerpiece

In continuation of the Pink Party series, here’s another centerpiece idea that’s both simple & chic. Swap out your favorite flowers and paper patterns to customize this idea for your own party!

pink ribbon centerpiece

Here are all the DIY details… (more…)

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Eeerie Edibles: Cockeyed Cuckoos, Spooky Stew, Tombstone Trio & More

creative halloween recipes

The special Halloween Tricks & Treats issue of Better Homes and Gardens that’s currently on stands is totally packed with the TONS of great ideas for Halloween! I picked up a copy this weekend and was instantly smitten with several of the ideas – especially the Gothic Gala (great adult party), Magic Show (cute kids party), and Eeerie Edibles articles.

5 favorites from Eerie Edibles are pictured above and below. Are these Cockeyed Cuckoo sandwiches adorable or what?! Made from meatballs and marinara atop ciabatta rolls, plus cream cheese & black olive “eyes”, sweet pepper “beaks” and “brows”, and snipped chives or shredded carrots for the “feather tops”. Genius!

creative halloween recipes

This Spooky Stew is super cute too… individual servings of shepherd’s pie topped with whipped potatoes piped into the shape of a ghost. Green caper “eyes” add the perfect finishing touch! (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Baby Gender Reveal

baby gender reveal party

I’m so excited to share this new Real Party from Sarah {of Jack and Izzy} with you… it’s such a creative & fun way to for parents-to-be to celebrate their big news! Here are all the details, as told by Sarah…

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“On Friday afternoon, Garret and I had our 20 week ultrasound, and we got to find out the sex of the baby. I was SO EXCITED! I had been counting down the days, hours, and minutes until we would know if we were having a boy or a girl! Since it was such exciting news, we had our family over for a “Gender Party” on Friday night for the big reveal.

baby gender reveal party

These were the invitations I sent out, and the whole inspiration for the party decorations came from this design. I searched high and low for some kind of giraffe pattern in yellow and orange. These were blank Giraffe Greeting Cards from Rock Scissor Paper, and I printed the “Boy or Girl?” strip and adhered it to the front.

The inside read, “Come be the first to know!” and it gave all the times and details. (more…)

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Gallery: 17 Frightfully Good Cupcakes

Easy Halloween Cupcakes

I’m loving the designs in this 17 Frightfully Good Halloween Cupcakes gallery from BHG for 2 reasons: 1. They’re clever & creative. 2. Most of them seem pretty simple & easy!

A few favorites pictured above, {clockwise from top left}:
1. Peeking Monster
– would actually be great for Monster birthday parties year-round, too… and could even be modified for a dinosaur theme!
2.Who’s There? – also great for an Owl Theme baby shower or birthday party… might even be cute without the coconut.
3. Witch Feet – definitely modifying this one to “Santa Feet” for Christmas!
4. Green Goblin – cutest goblin I’ve ever seen!

Easy Halloween Cupcakes

(more…)

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Spider Cupcakes & More Cute Halloween Treats

halloween recipes for kids

Attn: Sweet Tooths – Did you know that there’s an entire website dedicated to “crafty recipes” starring m&ms, Snickers, Dove Chocolate, Twix, 3 Musketeers, and MilkyWay?! BrightIdeas.com is exactly that… and there are oodles of fun treats on there for all sorts of occasions.

In honor of the sweet-&-spooky holiday that’s right around the corner, here are some favorites from the Halloween category…

Pictured at top: Midnight Moon Cake, Vampire Bites (New Moon party, anyone?), and bite-size Pirate Brownies. Pictured below: if there ever was a time to describe a spider as “darling”, these Spider Cupcakes are it!

halloween recipes for kids

These Night Owl Cookies are pretty darn adorable too…(modify the colors for an Owl Themed Baby Shower!) (more…)

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Pink Your Drink {Cocktail Glasses}

decorate cocktail glassses

If you’re hosting a Pink Party in October (or any time of year), chances are good that you’ll be serving up some pink drinks, so here are a few ideas for adding an extra splash of your signature color to the outside of your drink!

Adorning stemware & glasses with fun details like ribbon & rhinestones only takes a few extra minutes, but it really elevates signature drinks to the next level and adds such a fun element to the party.

decorate cocktail glassses

The DIY Details: (more…)

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Modern Housewares: Alice Supply Co.

alice supply company

For the first time in my life I’m thinking that toilet plungers and dustpans would actually make for great gifts! This change of view can be  credited solely to Alice Supply Co. – whose fun, hip designs for garden hoses, buckets, brooms, & more just might change the way you look at housework…(at least a little bit!)

alice supply company

The prices are affordable too, making these great gift ideas for new nesters, the college bound, and recent college grads…. or maybe even that teen living in your house that could use a little “encouragement” getting the chores done!

Pictured above: Dustpan & Brush Set ($16.50); Chip Cheery Garden Hose ($38), and Modern Plunger ($18.50) – all at Delight.com. (more…)

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Planning a Bridal Shower… and Doing It Right! {Tips from The Office Stylist}

hostess

Guest editor Sayeh Pezeshki from The Office Stylist is here with her top tips for planning a bridal shower, and doing it right!

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“As an office stylist and online boutique owner, life can get pretty hectic. I have to keep track of everything both with my styling projects as well as with the running of the store. Without checklists and organization, my life would be a complete mess!

So, when my friend announced she was getting married, I knew that my detailed & organized approach towards my business would definitely help with throwing her a fabulous Bridal Shower, and thought that my approach could also help others when they are introduced to the very same task.” keep reading… {full article in Entertaining 101}

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Asian Inspiration: East Meets Guest

Asian wedding ideas

Sometimes when you’re browsing the web for ideas, that magic moment happens when you stumble on something that you just absolutely LOVE. I experienced such moment when a recent search for something completely unrelated landed me on this stunning, almost “magical” East Meets Guest reception theme from Brides. Honestly don’t you just want to jump right into the party?

This look would be also be gorgeous for a bridal shower or milestone birthday

Asian wedding ideas

The eclectic mix of textiles – boasting Indian, Indonesian, AND Japanese- inspired prints – give such a rich, artistic feel to the tabletop. I also love paper fans cinched with button mums… and the use of thin tubular vases for the tall portion of the centerpieces – a great way to add height & drama to the design without discouraging cross-table conversation! (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: “Pretty in Pink with Southern Charm” Baby Shower

Southern charm pink baby shower

Today’s Real Party feature comes from Jaclyne of Heavenly Blooms and features loads of thoughtful & charming elements like handmade invitations, sparkling pink drinks, mini Georgia Peach Pies, a traditional Southern “Charm Cake” and an elaborate “Beauty Bar” for guests to enjoy. Read on for all the details, as told by Jaclyne…

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Southern charm pink baby shower

“When my best friend was pregnant with her first little girl, Kate, I knew I HAD to throw a baby shower… throwing parties and details are just part of my nature! However, this was her second baby, and having thrown quite a large shower for her first baby I wanted something a little more intimate and focused on the Mommy.

I didn’t want to do a “traditional” baby inspired shower, so I came up with a Southern theme instead. My inspiration was customized to a few of the guest of honor’s favorite things, such as the movie Steel Magnolias, southern food, the color pink and being pampered. The baby shower was held on a hot, humid August day so even the temperature coordinated with our “Pretty in Pink with Southern Charm” theme! (more…)

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Eye Candy: The Flower Bar by Floral Art

wedding and event centerpiece ideas

Florist websites are such a great place to look for centerpiece inspiration – especially when they’re as creative and visionary as Floral Art! This Los Angeles-based company has an impressive events & weddings portfolio, but my favorite part of their website is The Flower Bar….

wedding and event centerpiece ideas

On The Flower Bar, you can search the most artistic & gorgeous flower arrangements by style, type of flowers, or color. Planning a sunny yellow wedding? Want to see some cool ideas for getting creative with hydrangea? Browse away! Here’s a screenshot: (more…)

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Audrey’s Pink Birthday + DIY Bubbles

pink first birthday party

Abby from Style Me Pretty recently created the most adorable Pink Birthday Party for her daughter Audrey’s first birthday! From pink balloons & cupcakes to pink margaritas for the adults, you can check out all the pink-a-licious details over at Cookie magazine.

She’s also generously offered to share the DIY tips for these adorable Bubble Tin Favors with us, so read on for all the how-to info, plus a downloadable template for the labels and a few more detail shots from the party!

pink first birthday party

***** (more…)

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DIY: Pink Ribbon Dessert Buffet

pink ribbon dessert buffet

Here’s the entire Pink Ribbon Dessert Buffet we recently created in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (coming up in October), which features the marshmallow pops and centerpiece posted earlier this week.

The goal was to keep this dessert buffet creative & visually appealing, but easy to recreate, so all of the treats are very accessible and easy to make… either store-bought or semi-homemade.

pink ribbon dessert buffet

LOTS more images + DIY Tips for this buffet are below… and – as usual – the basic concepts can be modified to fit any color palette or occasion! (more…)

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DIY: Marshmallow Treat Pops

marshmallow treat pops

Several people have asked about the marshmallow pops pictured in the Pink Ribbon Tree Centerpiece DIY (posted earlier today) – so here are the details on how to make these fun – and SUPER easy! – little treats, as well as the display tray pictured above.

I first discovered the marshmallow pop idea on Kim’s Lollipop Party feature. She used chocolate and rainbow sprinkles on her marshmallows to mimic the look of Bakerella’s adorable cupcake pops… a genius shortcut, especially when you’re pressed for time!

Here are the DIY details: (more…)

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DIY: Pink Ribbon Tree Centerpiece

pink party ideas - pink ribbon centerpiece

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is right around the corner, we’ve got some new “Pink Party” ideas coming your way!

Maybe you know someone that’s walking in the 3-day & wants to celebrate afterwards, are planning some sort of fundraiser yourself, or want to host a little get together for a very deserving someone. Whatever the reason – this is obviously an important topic that affects the lives of so many people in one way or another, all throughout the year.

So, first up is this Pink Ribbon Tree Centerpiece. This was a really fun piece to put together, and you can definitely tailor this project to other occasions as well! (i.e. silver & white for a Winter Wonderland party, orange and black for Halloween, and so on…)

pink party ideas - pink ribbon centerpiece

Read on for all the DIY details… (more…)

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C is for…Cookie Monster Party!

Cookie Monster party ideas

Is this Cookie Monster cupcake by Nick^D & his friend Abby the cutest thing ever, or what?! I’ve been inspired to throw a Cookie Monster themed party every since stumbling upon it earlier this summer. This would be such a fun theme for a kids birthday party – or even a baby shower for a fun-loving mom-to-be!

I hope to have an excuse to host a party like this soon and really go all out with it… but until then here are a few ideas to kick things off:

Cookie Monster party ideas

Pictured above:

Make cute CM-themed cups using blue paper party cups, “googly eyes” (available at most craft stores), and half of a small chocolate chip cookie or cookie sticker.

Use fuzzy turquoise blue marabou feather boa to dress up centerpieces, party favors, vases, etc. (For a baby shower or girl’s birthday party  it would even be fun to get blue chandel feather boas for the guest of honor and/or for guest photo opps! (more…)

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