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Set Sail for Shakes & Sundaes! {A Nautical Ice Cream Bar}

This post is sponsored by California Milk Advisory Board.

Did you know that there’s such a thing as National Hot Fudge Sundae Day? Seriously – you can google it! And also… it’s TOMORROW. Personally, I think any day is a great day for a hot fudge sundae, but if someone wants to give me a good excuse to enjoy one, then that’s just fine by me. ;)

So, in celebration of National Hot Fudge Sundae Day – and of July being National Ice Cream Month in general – California Milk Advisory Board asked me to create a family-friendly Milkshakes & Sundaes Bar, featuring delicious ice cream made from Real California Milk. I always love a good party theme, and thought a nautical twist felt especially fitting for summer, so I invite you to scroll on down and Set Sail for Shakes and Sundaes with me today!

I hope this post inspires you to set up an ice cream bar of your own, which can mean anything from styling out a full table to utilizing just a couple of your favorite quick ideas for a simpler get together. Either way, I’m giving away all of these Nautical Ice Cream Printables for free, which should make recreating this look even easier. Download the signs, labels, banner, and other paper details right here.

Set Sail for Shakes & Sundaes! {A Nautical Ice Cream Bar}

Set Sail for Shakes & Sundaes! {A Nautical Ice Cream Bar}

How to Set Up a Nautical Ice Cream Bar

The first thing you’ll need to do is map out the basics:

1) flavors of ice cream made from Real California Milk
2) mix-ins and toppings
3) serving vessels

For a shakes and sundaes bar, I’ve found that it’s best to keep the ice cream options simple. Serve just 2-3 flavors so that you have plenty of room for toppings & mixers. In addition to cups and sundae bowls, it’s always nice to include ice cream cones for the people that love them… like me! ;)

Set Sail for Shakes & Sundaes! {A Nautical Ice Cream Bar}

I found the plastic bowls pictured above at Target for .79 each. They’re technically kids bowls, but perfectly sized for ice cream sundaes! Wooden spoons were customized with patterned paper on the handles (except for the one design I had that already matched). Bottled toppings like flavored syrups and hot fudge got a quick makeover too, with ribbon + printable papers & labels.

This station is equipped with everything you needs to make milkshakes, floats, ice cream sundaes, and even an Ice Cream Sundae Milkshake (!) like this one:

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Retro Fun for Grown Ups: A Cocktail Milkshake Bar!

This post is sponsored by California Milk Advisory Board. California dairy farms produce 20% of the entire nation’s dairy supply, and 99% of them are family-owned! Learn more about them here.

As the saying goesI scream, you scream, we ALL scream for ice cream”  – and that includes the grown-ups! And being one of these ice-cream-loving-grown-ups myself, I was super excited when California Milk Advisory Board asked me to design a Cocktail Infused Milkshake Bar for them, in celebration of National Ice Cream Month (July). That’s right, folks… this table is filled with everything you need to make those tasty milkshakes that we all know and love, but served up with an adult-friendly kick!

Retro Fun for Grown Ups: A Cocktail Milkshake Bar!

Retro Palm Springs Chic + Kitschy Fun
I really had some fun with the styling on this theme and hope it makes you happy too… flamingos – check, kitschy cow figurines – check, rainbow sprinkles – check, boozy milkshakes – CHECK! There are lots of FREE Ice Cream Printables for you do download here as well. Speaking of which, I just couldn’t resist channeling a little Kelis for the occasion… ;)

Retro Fun for Grown Ups: A Cocktail Milkshake Bar!

Download this milkshake sign + lots more fun designs below!

Retro Fun for Grown Ups: A Cocktail Milkshake Bar!

How to Set Up a Cocktail Milkshake Bar

When it comes to a make-it-yourself station of any kind at a party, it’s important to keep the elements organized and functional for your guests. I started by dividing the table into 3 clear-cut sections: SCOOP (the ice cream made from Real California Milk), SPIKE (the mixers), and SHAKE (the blender). Giant ice cream cone balloons served as fun signs!

Retro Fun for Grown Ups: A Cocktail Milkshake Bar!

I made these balloons from punch balloons + printable ice cream cones. The cones are attached to the balloon with 3D glue dots, and since punch balloons come fitted with a rubber band at the top, they are naturally quite convenient for hanging.

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Simple & Creative Outdoor Movie Night Ideas {+ Free Party Printables}

This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola®. Did you know you can order your own personalized Coke bottles online now? Correct name spelling at all! ;) Learn more here. #ShareaCoke

We’ve done a few movie nights in our backyard, and they’re always super fun! We use a big projector screen that was originally purchased for work presentations… it’s SO much more fun to use as a makeshift movie theater though. ;)

If you’re hosting friends over for a movie night, create a festive atmosphere with a cute little snack table display. I mean, what’s a movie without popcorn and drinks, right?! And if you’re a sweet tooth like me, then candy definitely needs to be in the mix too.

For the real showstopper though – make your guests feel extra special by serving personalized Coke bottles with their names on them! Display the bottles in an ice-filled beverage bucket with a little “STARRING” banner so that it makes them feel like the true stars of the party, which is how your invited guests should always feel, right?! You can download the little banners and the rest of my Movie Night printables for free below.

Simple & Creative Outdoor Movie Night Ideas {+ Free Party Printables}

Since popcorn and movies go hand in hand, the highlight of my snack table here is the mini popcorn buffet! I filled red and white striped bags with fresh popcorn (which should be done pretty close to serving time), and added some cute glittery gold heart stickers to the front.

I also designed a little POP of Flavor Sign and some coordinating Flavor Labels for the seasonings. At first I was just going to leave the seasonings as-is, but the bottles looked SO much cuter once they were wrapped. Well worth the extra effort! (I bought these popcorn seasonings here.)

Simple & Creative Outdoor Movie Night Ideas {+ Free Party Printables}

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Nautical Bridal Shower Drink Station + WIN A TRIP for 2!

Hello, friends! I’m SO excited to share today’s post with you for a couple very specific reasons…

1. #ShareaCokeContest with a BIG prize
First of all, it comes with a fun contest and perhaps one of the greatest contest prizes ever… someone is going to WIN (2) United Airlines Tickets to visit friends & family (and #ShareaCoke with them in person!) + a $500 Visa Gift Card. The approximate retail value of this prize is $1700. See full details & contest rules at the bottom of this post.

2. SIPS AHOY
And secondly, it’s full of playful DIY ideas for a Nautical Bridal Shower Drink Station, complete with scoop-your-own Coke Floats and the new personalized Coke bottles, which you can now order online. These custom bottles are such a fun way to make someone feel extra special! Case in point: even though this is a styled inspirational shoot, I used the name of my close friend that’s actually getting married this year, and she teared up when she saw the bottles, which were customized with her name and “The Bride”. ;)

P.S. You can also download all the printables that I designed for this drink station for free! The download links are directly below the last image. Here we go…

Nautical Bridal Shower Drink Station + WIN A TRIP for 2!

I wanted this drink station to feel equal parts playful and glam. Gold sequins and metallic accents added the perfect touch of glam, while fun elements like nautical rope, oversize plastic rings, and casual script fonts kept things light and fun.

The personalized Coke bottles were front-and-center on the table, and were further customized for the theme with little “sailor knots” tied around the neck of each bottle to symbolize “tying the knot”. The ribbon used for the knots was gold and white, so there’s a hint of glam in them as well. ;)

Nautical Bridal Shower Drink Station + WIN A TRIP for 2!

I displayed the bottles in a vintage wood basket decked out with nautical rope, check fabric, and DIY flowers, which I made by pulling individual petals off faux hydrangeas & hot gluing rhinestones and beads in the center. (You can make TONS of smaller flowers out of one faux hydrangea stem this way!)

To add symmetry to the table and include a variety of drinks to sip on, I placed beverage dispensers on both sides. Each dispenser was decked out with various trims, an oversize faux flower, and a script paper word. The paper words came in black, so I spray painted them red and blue to match the table.

Nautical Bridal Shower Drink Station + WIN A TRIP for 2!

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I’m excited to share a brand new set of free printables with you today! This paper collection is from our recent Pet-Friendly TAILgate Party with Petco®, which you can check out in full detail here. All of the printables are set up on 8.5×11 sheets for easy printing at home. You can download all of the […]

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Hi, there! Rachel here, from RV Parties, with the latest installment of Parties in a Pinch: Where to Save and Splurge. If only we had unlimited budgets when party planning… but alas, in most cases there’s a cap to what we can spend. I’m here today to share a few tips for hosting a party […]

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