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Why Were Taking a Break from Featured Parties + Stepping Up to the Plate All Over Again

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved inspirational quotes, but there’s one quote in particular that I’ve been leaning on heavily lately. I first stumbled on it in a random quotes tin that I bought somewhere way back in the day – pre-kids, pre-social media, and even pre-HWTM. (Told you it was way back in the day!)

Anyways, the quotes that fill this little round tin are printed on rectangular pieces of sticker paper about the size of a fortune cookie slip – and on one of these tiny slips, in simple black type, are the following words:

“Home run hitters strike out a lot.”
– Reggie Jackson

These 7 simple words have been an enormous sense of comfort to me personally lately, and I stuck it to the foot of my computer monitor, where I definitely can’t miss it, just to be safe:

Why Were Taking a Break from Featured Parties + Stepping Up to the Plate All Over Again

Of course I had to beautify it up for you a bit more in the opening image. ;)

What a great reminder, though, that struggles and failures are a part of every journey in life – and that even the people that achieve incredible success – like the baseball greats that are remembered for their shining moments and not their strikeouts – do, in fact, experience them. (and in pretty decent volumes, considering the example!)

This reality of life is something we all probably know, somewhere deep down in the corners of our mind at least, but it’s really easy to forget. Like, REALLY easy – especially when you’re dealing with what feels like a pretty sizable struggle – or dare I say it – an actual failure – yourself. But we don’t have to let these swings-and-misses define us, OR be the last chapter of the story. We DO, however, have to stop and take a deep breath, adjust our stance, and rethink our plan.

And that’s exactly what’s happening with me right now.

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If I spilled every single thing that’s currently running through my mind onto the screen, this post would be 10 miles long. (Plus I kinda prefer to do that kind of sharing across the table from a friend with a good bottle of Pinot!) So while I can’t go into every detail, I will tell you that things are going to be changing in a big way here at HWTM, and the first noticeable change will be in our blog content, so I’d like to share a little insight as to why…

Long story short: I’m exhausted. The end.

Just kidding… kind of. ;)

In all seriousness, we’ve enjoyed many years of sharing incredible party inspiration with you guys, and to this day I can genuinely say that I still get excited by the amazing creativity that floods our inbox. You’d think I’d be desensitized to it by now, but that’s honestly not the case.

However, you can only do things a certain way for so long, and I don’t want to be someone that just continues to do things for the sake of doing them, or that doesn’t know when to let go of something that’s just. not. quite. right. anymore – no matter how well it may have worked at one moment in time… OR how badly you want it to work.

Personally, I can relate to both of those examples right now.

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Parties in a Pinch: Homemade vs. Store bought vs. Custom

Hello again! Rachel here from RV Parties with the latest installment of Parties in a Pinch. Today we’re looking at my favorite thing: SUGAR. Really, no party is complete without it!

When planning a party, every hostess has a limited amount of time and money. Savvy decisions must be made about where to spend them to make the biggest impact. We’re going to look at a few different treats today and compare how much time and money each option takes homemade, store-bought or custom ordered. Prices for all items are estimates for a dozen.

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Parties in a Pinch: Homemade vs. Store bought vs. Custom

CUPCAKES

Option #1: Homemade – $3 to 5

Homemade cupcakes are a great economical option, and if you are handy with a piping bag, you’re in pretty good shape. You should budget at least an hour and a half to bake and frost the cupcakes, plus more time if you are planning on doing any more extensive decorating. I’m terrible at frosting cupcakes and they always sink in the middle when I bake them, so I leave this one to the pros!

Best for: The budget-savvy hostess who is skilled with a piping bag and has extra time to bake.

Option #2: Store-bought – $6 to 8

Many grocery stores sell cupcakes at prices much more reasonable than the cupcake shops that have popped up everywhere. While they’ll probably do a better job frosting than the average person, it may be a struggle finding ones that match the theme. Your best bet may be to find some plain white ones to dress up!

Best for: The less crafty hostess who needs cupcakes quickly and doesn’t mind if they don’t match perfectly.

Option #3: Custom – $36 to 48

Chances are, there’s an adorable cupcakery just a few miles from you. If so, it’s likely you can walk in and find something that fits your color theme quickly. You can also place an order to get something in your exact colors and theme.

Best for: The hostess who needs treats that are perfectly coordinated to the party and doesn’t mind paying for them. 

Any way you get cupcakes, you can always dress them up with cupcake wrappers and toppers. Our Etsy shop sells a wide variety of printable decor and we love to have custom made fondant toppers made to match our theme!

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Dog Days of Summer Puppy Party {Party on a Dime #1}

As we previously mentioned, 8 talented party stylists were recently challenged by Balloon Time to design/host a real celebration using just one of their helium tanks + a budget of $100. The grand prize? A $5K donation to the winning stylist’s charity of choice! Now that the contest is over, we’d like to share each party in more detail with you over the next couple weeks, as they are all so unique and have some really great budget-friendly ideas… which we could ALL use, right?!

So, first up is the grand prize winner herself – Norene Cox of Party Pinching! For her entry, Norene styled this clever & colorful Dog Days of Summer Puppy Party, which benefited The Beagle Freedom Project. Congrats, Norene! And thank you for allowing us to share your adorable celebration. :)

Make sure to check out more of the party’s photos, along with recipes & tutorials for some of the treats seen here (including those famous ‘pupcakes’), over on Norene’s blog! Plus, check back for all of the other Party on a Dime contestant features.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Darling DIY beagle balloons with Sharpie-drawn faces & paper ears
– Clever Mike & Ike candy ‘popsicles’ on the cupcakes + popsicle shooters
– Paw print Oreos + a fondant beagle topped cake adorned with Necco Wafers
– Ice cream cone squeak toys for the dogs + ‘adoptable’ stuffed dog party favors

Dog Days of Summer Puppy Party {Party on a Dime #1}

Dog Days of Summer Puppy Party {Party on a Dime #1}

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Hostess INK Turns One! {+ Weekend Birthday Sale}

There’s more to HWTM than party inspiration! Did you know that we also design and sell custom-printed party invitations, holiday cards, and party decor?

Our online store is called Hostess INK, and even though it’s actually my favorite thing that we do at HWTM, it’s also something that I rarely talk about it here on the blog… why is it so much easier to give shout outs to other people’s work than to talk about your own stuff? I’ve wrestled with this my entire blogging career.

Well, I have a great excuse to reintroduce (or introduce!) you to Hostess INK today though… because we celebrated our milestone first birthday this week! Yep, one full year of “inking pretty parties” as we like to call it over here – by offering a variety of coordinating paper details to add a designer touch to your celebrations. Our products are personalized, printed, die-cut, and shipped directly to your door. I would be so appreciative if you’d take a little peek and see what we’re all about. :)

Added bonus: Weekend Birthday Sale!

Use the promo code BIRTHDAY30 for 30% off your entire order – today through Sunday, Oct 12.

Hostess INK Turns One! {+ Weekend Birthday Sale}

Our themed party collections feature a variety of different, yet coordinating paper elements. What you see in these pics is just a small sampling – the full collections are much more extensive, and everything is sold á la carte so you can get just what you need.

Hostess INK Turns One! {+ Weekend Birthday Sale}

Quality is important to us, and we’ve put our heart and soul into this venture – from being meticulous about the design details to being picky about the paper and printing quality. We design and customize every single order right here in San Diego, but the printing and shipping is done by our (extremely reputable) printing partner in Memphis, TN – on the exact same fancy-schmancy equipment that the really big guys use!

Hostess INK Turns One! {+ Weekend Birthday Sale}

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If you’re looking for something new to serve at game day get-togethers that’s creative, but also totally doable, look no further! These Cheeseburger Turnovers feature a tasty golden crust, lots of cheesy goodness, and a surprise pickle chip inside for added flavor. They encompass that great comfort food appeal that we all love – especially […]

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CHEERS to new experiences! Last month, I designed a cocktail party for Fisher-Price® that was hosted in a different sort of venue than I’m personally used to… right smack in the middle of their tradeshow booth. This was at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas, so there were a decent amount of logistical hurdles […]

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