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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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Free Thanksgiving Printables Blog Hop (+ Grateful Mod)

I know that many of you probably don’t even have your Halloween plans figured out yet, but our 2014 blog hop crew is here with a head start on Thanksgiving! Don’t worry though, we just wanted to make sure you had ample time to put some of these fun creations to use next month. And if you’re still in need of Halloween printables, make sure to check out last month’s post! ;)

This month, I’m highlighting a modern Thanksgiving party collection that I originally designed for an Operation Shower fundraiser a while back. That fundraiser is over, but I still love this “Grateful Mod” collection… it definitely leans more playful and modern in style, but also utilizes a pretty script font for a dash of formal as well. Scroll down for a quick preview of some of the collection elements + links to the 7 other Free Thanksgiving Printables. Enjoy!

Free Thanksgiving Printables Blog Hop (+ Grateful Mod)

Here’s an alternate (and easier!) centerpiece I made from the patterned paper included in the collection. Check out the DIY tutorial right here:

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3 Outfit Ideas For Your Holiday Photos {Advice from a Photographer}

Hey everyone! Jen here of Jen CYK Photography! Growing up, holiday cards would come in the mail for my parents with hand written notes. A few of the over ambitious folks would include their yearly newsletter, but most kept it pretty simple. Then one year the trend shifted, and pictures began to come with the cards! Nowadays, it’s not just a snapshot from your point and shoot camera — professional pictures are actually the go-to for most families! (You might be able to guess that I like this trend.)

One of the most common questions I get is “What should we wear?!” So today, I’m here to share Three Outfit Options for Your Holiday Photos that photograph well and make you & your family look and feel your best!

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3 Outfit Ideas For Your Holiday Photos {Advice from a Photographer}

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Game Day Cheeseburger Turnovers Recipe + Football Party Inspiration & Free Printables

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 on a crisp fall or winter day – in a toasty little snack that fits right in your hands while you’re kicking back on the couch. How convenient. ;)

I used the brand new Garlic and Onion Flatbread Mix from Krusteaz® to make the dough for these turnovers, and you can watch our video below to see how they’re made, or check out the full written recipe right here. And of course, you can always modify the filling recipe to your own taste!

And while you definitely don’t need to throw a party to enjoy these, I couldn’t resist including a few football geared party ideas and free printables too. They’re all very budget-friendly… and you might be pleasantly surprised at how far you can go with a simple roll of white duct tape. ;)

CREATIVE HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Kraft food trays lined with referee stripes for a little game day flair
– Minimalist “football field” table cover made from artificial grass + white duct tape
– DIY football mason jars and chip bags + a printable yard lines inspired banner
– Chipboard YUM letters spray painted gold & displayed atop embellished wall cubes

Game Day Cheeseburger Turnovers Recipe + Football Party Inspiration & Free Printables

Use the aforementioned white duct tape to make “football laces” for standard mason jars. No need to be perfect – it’s just about conveying the general idea! And then fill the jars with dark soda or iced tea to reinforce the idea of a football. For the finishing touch? A party flag, of course! {You can download these party flags at the bottom of the post.}

Want a creative way to serve your turnovers? Try lining the bottom of simple brown food trays with “referee striped” paper…

Game Day Cheeseburger Turnovers Recipe + Football Party Inspiration & Free Printables

You can also use duct tape to make “football laces” for small brown kraft bags. Then fill them with your favorite snacks or party favors…

Game Day Cheeseburger Turnovers Recipe + Football Party Inspiration & Free Printables

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Everyone knows one of the best parts of Halloween is the candy, but there are a few obvious downsides of letting our kids (and ourselves – let’s be honest!) chow down on a bit too much sugar. On that note, I’m excited that Shana Rosenheck from POMP Party offered to share a few quick & easy recipes that will add […]

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A while back, I shared a Toy-Inspired Royal 1st Birthday Party with you that we created earlier this summer. We also posted a few fun extras from the party soon after – like this mess-free glittered forks DIY and lots of free printables – but got sidetracked with other projects and deadlines before we could get […]

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