Green and Gold St. Patrick’s Day Tablescape

Wether you’re Irish or just Irish for the day, St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate. My daughter is 5 and loves to celebrate all holidays, big and small. When she recently asked me what we do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I was a little stumped. I told her that we wear green, but I felt like that was an inadequate answer considering that our family’s heritage does include quite a few ancestors from Ireland. I decided that we needed to make things a little more festive around our house for St. Patrick’s Day. I also teamed up with 8 other bloggers to share ideas for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Visit all of the blogs to explore different kinds of holiday inspiriation for everyone’s favorite day to be Irish. You can also enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a $1oo Visa gift card. May the luck o’ the Irish be with you!

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I’ve included links to products I’ve used in this project for your convenience. If you purchase a product using my link I earn a small commission that helps me keep the blog afloat so I can keep sharing my ideas and offering free printables. Thanks for your support!

Green and Gold St. Patrick’s Day Tablescape

To make my family feel special for St. Patrick’s Day, I styled a fun green and gold St. Patrick’s Day tablescape in our dining room. I wanted them to know how lucky I felt to be their mom and wife! A balloon garland, a quick centerpiece, individual Irish soda bread loaves, and printable cards at each place setting did the trick.

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For a simple centerpiece, I filled a gold basket with some small honeycomb tissue decorations and a paper clover garland I purchased at Target. That’s it! Nothing fancy, but it brought some great color and texture to the table.

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The balloon garland looks fancy, but it’s also fairly easy and inexpensive to put together. I admittedly have a bigger balloon collection than most people, so I had an assortment of different greens as well as gold and white balloons available. You can search for tutorials on how to make a garland using a balloon decorating strip like I did this time. Alternatively, you can save yourself some trouble and purchase a kit like the ones I love to use from One Stylish Party.

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Each place setting featured little details like a shamrock coaster that was really just a foam shape that I purchased in a pack from the dollar store. Personalized tent cards let each member of the family know how lucky I am to have them (download your free printable version below). Irish soda bread is one of my favorite traditional recipes that I remember my grandma making each year. I used her recipe and made them into individual loaves instead of the usual big ones. They looks so pretty wrapped up on each plate.

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If you’d like to use these place cards on your own table, you can download the free printable with 16 different version for husband, wife, son, daughter, friend, etc. Click here for your file.

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St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop

Now go check out the 8 other bloggers participating in this St. Patrick’s Day blog hop and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a $100 gift card. I hope you’re inspired to create your own St. Patrick’s Day celebration for friends or family.

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Lucky You Party by Elva M Design Studio | Top of the Morning St. Patty’s Day Breakfast from Happy Family Blog | Lucky Me I have You! party by The Party Porch | Festive Holiday Breakfast from Giggle Home Furnishings | Shamrock Drink Station + Pinch Me Punch from Legally Crafty Blog | St Patrick’s Day Celebration from AK Party Studio | Follow the Rainbow Treasure Hunt + Pot of Gold Pancakes & Parfaits from Jolly and Happy | Lucky Charms Sweet Cart from Pretty Twinkle Party | Green and Gold St. Patrick’s Day Tablescape by a la Mo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bright Classroom Valentine’s Day Printables

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I’m sure classroom Valentine’s Day celebrations take many forms these days. My daughter’s kindergarten class has decided that the holiday is really about spreading love and friendship, and I agree! I’ve never been big on the romantic side of the holiday myself. As a kid, I loved getting little gifts from family members and exchanging cards with my classmates. I want to pass those fun traditions on to my kids.

We really do try to keep the sugar-consumption under control as much as possible, so I love non-candy ideas for classroom gifts and treats. This year we decided we wanted to share a small Valentine’s Day gift with the friends that make school days a little brighter.

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I’ve included links to products I’ve used in this project for your convenience. If you purchase a product using my link I earn a small commission that helps me keep the blog afloat so I can keep sharing my ideas and offering free printables. Thanks for your support!

Maybe I’m easily impressed, but I went to a Taylor Swift concert a while back and I thought the flashing light-up bracelets that they handed out to the audience were so cool.  Granted, I don’t get to too many big-name, stadium-sized concerts these days, but the effect that the lights made when synchronized to the show really made an impression on me. My 5 year old also loved the bracelet that I brought home to her even though the lights only lasted a few days. With that as our inspiration, we chose these colorful light-up flash bracelets to gift to school friends for Valentine’s Day. I like that the bracelets have an on/off switch and the battery life is over 8 hours. The battery can also be replaced if you really wanted to. The bracelets come individually wrapped in a clear package that’s perfect for adding a bag topper to… no need to purchase any extra bags or packaging!

I designed 2 versions of the bag topper for you to use with the bracelets.  “You make my days so BRIGHT” and “You make my heart LIGHT UP” both work great for the light-up bracelets, but they could also work for heart sunglasses, glow sticks, or glow in the dark stickers.

Have fun spreading love this Valentine’s Day!

Just click on the version you want below to get the PDF printable file free for personal use. Print, cut, fold, and attach to your bags with double stick tape or staples.

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Dream Board Inspirational Printables

 

View More: http://sarahtolson.pass.us/tinyprintscollab

Now that we’re a couple of weeks into the year, how are your new year’s resolutions holding up? Maybe you’re better than I am, but I know that when I’ve set resolutions they never last very long. However, if I set intentions based on what’s important to me, I find that they guide me through the new year in a positive way. I’ve shared before that I like to chose one little word for the year that I can keep going back to. This practice along with creating a dream or vision board helps me stay on track with making progress towards my best self.

When I shared the details from my New Year’s Dream Board Party, I also put it out into the world that my word for 2017 is CREATE. I fell in love with this word for its versatility. Creating is something that I’m passionate about, but the word is also a reminder that I have the power to create a life I love. Besides the obvious party projects that I want to create, I also want to create different kinds of art, precious memories with my family, healthy habits, and new work opportunities.

View More: http://sarahtolson.pass.us/tinyprintscollab

Viewing a visual representation of your intentions on a daily basis really helps to set them in your mind. Dream Boards are such a great tool for this! Be sure to include words, quotes, and images that will remind you of your intentions for the future. And the good news is that creating a dream board does not need to be done on January first. It can be done any time of the year, so don’t feel like you missed the boat or that you need to wait for another fresh year. If you think you’d like to make a dream board for yourself, I want you to have the printable inspirational cards that I designed for my party guests.

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I found that printing these on 4×6″ photo paper at home worked really well. You can also just print the one you want on cardstock or regular printer paper. If you want to get fancy (or you just don’t have a color printer at home that you love) you can send the file off to be printed wherever you usually like to print your photos. Even if you don’t want to make an entire dream board, these inspirational prints would look fabulous in a frame.  Pick the one that speaks to your intentions, pop it into a 4×6″ frame, and place it somewhere you’ll see it each day.

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Enjoy these free printable inspirational quotes centering around the words create, dream, happy, family, love, and shine. Just click on the image you like to bring up the pdf file.

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FAMILY

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shine

2 Holiday Hostess Gifts for $50

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Are hostess gifts required? Probably not. Are they nice to receive? Most definitely! With all of the social events going on during the holiday season it doesn’t hurt to be prepared with a few thoughtful gifts that would make any hostess smile. I shopped around IKEA and found the makings of two pretty fabulous gifts for $50 total. For a nice touch, scroll down to the bottom of this post to download the free printable 4×6″ prints that coordinate with the gifts.

I’m so proud of my friend and fellow party stylist Kylie of Made by a Princess. She co-hosted the very first Meet, Greet, and Tweet event at IKEA San Diego earlier this week and it was a huge success. Some of my favorite local bloggers and business owners came out to this first-of-its-kind event. Kylie asked me to be one of the stops on the scavenger hunt in the paper department. My theme was gift giving/wrapping, and IKEA provided me with a $50 gift card to show how that amount could be used for products around the store.

It was surprising that $50 actually stretched into 2 complete hostess gifts. As I shopped, I was inspired by the reds and silvers of the Vinters collection for 2015. The first package I created is a holiday drink gift that includes a silver wine bucket, 2 red champagne glasses, a bottle of a yummy mulled apple drink, cocktail napkins, and a matching bar towel. The second gift is baking themed and it’s perfect for holiday cookie making. Along with an oven mitt, timer, measuring spoons, and holiday cookie cutters, I also include a print of my favorite recipe for No-Fail Cutout Sugar Cookies in a double-sided frame stand.

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This 3 pack of ribbon was perfect to decorate both gifts. In the wine bucket I also added a string of 12 battery operated twinkle lights among the red paper shreds to up the sparkle factor. The effect was really pretty against the bottle and red glasses.

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Enjoy these free printable 4×6″ prints that fit nicely into the double-sided IKEA Tolsby frame. The recipe is especially nice in the frame because you can stand it on the kitchen counter while you’re baking. Recipe ingredients are on one side and the instructions are on the flip side.

Make Spirits Bright
Cookie Recipe

Have fun showering your host or hostess with a little extra love this holiday season!

 

 

Trick or Treat Halloween Printables

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I just realized that despite the 100 degree temps in Southern California we really just have a little over 2 weeks before Halloween. This realization lead to some quick decorating around the house yesterday and a last-minute photo session so that I could get these free halloween printables into your hands. Just in time for you to whip up some treat bags and toppers for Halloween parties and classroom celebrations.

This mini printable package includes treat bag toppers, 2″ party circles, and straw flags. The bag toppers are pictured on yellow striped goodie bags (5″ x 7.5″) from Bakers Party Shop, but they would also look great on clear cello bags. The party circles can be used as stickers to seal treat bags or attach them to a length of a decorative straw to use them as cupcake toppers. Of course the straw flags are cute on patterned Halloween straws, but they can also be attached to wooden party picks and stuck into sandwiches, cupcakes, etc.

Check out the images below for some inspiration and download the printables at the bottom of this post.

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Download your free Trick or Treat printable package here. If you create something fun with them, I’d love to see your photos… tag me @partyalamo on Instagram, FB, or Twitter. Happy Halloween!

Love Watercolor Printables

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Love is in the air! At least it is in my house where I couldn’t wait until February to decorate for Valentine’s Day. The heart-filled holiday has always been a favorite of mine. This year I chose a color palette of deep red, fuchsia, and magenta. For my mantle I crafted a yarn pom-pom garland, painted some $1 wood heart frames from Michaels, and designed these love themed watercolor prints.

As my Valentine gift to you I want to share these 8×10″ love prints as a free download for personal use.  I printed mine at home on heavy linen paper, but cardstock would work great too.

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Just Add Sunshine Inc. made these rustic clipboard frames for me and I love them for displaying photos and prints. So easy to switch things around and keep my decor fresh. The curvy gold frame is an unfinished wood frame that I purchased from Cut It Out LLC and painted with metallic gold acrylic craft paint.

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Right click on the images below to download the linked 8×10″ prints. Print, frame, and hang them for quick and easy Valentine’s Day decor.

XOXO

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Holiday Cookie Decorating Party Printables

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I’ve been baking Christmas treats in my kitchen and I’ve even attended the first cookie exchange party of the year already. Decorating cutout sugar cookies is one of my favorite holiday traditions. If you don’t already have a favorite sugar cookie recipe, I shared my tried and true recipe for No-Fail Sugar Cookies last year. For 2014 I created a printable party collection that’s perfect for a holiday cookie decorating party. As my gift to you, these adorable, sprinkle-adorned printables are available to download for free over at We Heart Parties.

Holiday Cookie Decorating

In addition to the printable package you can find over at We Heart Parties, I also want you to have this coordinating printable recipe card for the No-Fail Sugar Cookies. It’s perfect to give to your friends and/or party guests so that they can recreate the cookie decorating experience with their loved ones at home. Tie it to a seasonal cookie cutter or a container of sprinkles for an easy and fun party favor or hostess gift.

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Have fun with your dough, icing, and sprinkles. As always, I’d love to see pictures if you use my printables. You can tag @partyalamo in your social media posts or send me an e-mail. Merry Christmas from my family to yours!!

 

Lacing Card Busy Bags + Free Printable Labels

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Last week I posted about a Busy Bag Swap that I recently attended. This week I want to share a quick tutorial on my contribution and a free printable label to go with it.

After spending too much time on Pinterest I decided that I would make lacing cards. But not just any lacing cards… I wanted to make rainbow lacing cards. And never mind that the Pin I found was hand drawn on a piece of cardboard from a recycled cereal box. I had grand plans to design a cute printable rainbow and use my fancy new cutting machine to perfectly cut out 20 of those bad boys (including the holes for lacing) out of cardboard and out of card stock with the rainbows printed on it. In my mind these 2 layers would match up perfectly and I would glue them together and be done with it. They would be gorgeous!  People would want to know where they could buy them!

Why do I have to complicate everyting???

I’ll spare you all of the painfully frustrating details and just tell you that my lofty plans for the perfect rainbow lacing cards were a big, fat failure. After a lot of wasted time and materials it became clear that hand punching pre-cut foam shapes was the way to go! Way less complicated and still very cute. But just so I didn’t leave my simpler version completely uncomplicated I had to take it a step further and create a printable sticker to label the busy bags. I’m sharing that printable label with you below so that your busy bags can look effortlessly (ha!) put together.

The most important thing is that the kids like this activity and lacing is great for developing fine motor and visual perception skills.

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These busy bags would also make excellent party favors for birthday or holiday parties. You could find foam shapes that fit the theme or colors of your event. Because I was making these for a large group of both boys and girls I made bags with different shapes and didn’t worry too much if a little boy got a sparkly pink crown with his basketball. You can see below how they can easily be grouped for a princess or sports themed party though. If you’re feeling ambitious you don’t even have to be limited by the pre-cut foam shapes you can find at the craft store. You can trace and cut your own shapes too. Just remember that the simpler shapes are much easier to follow when lacing. I think the butterflies that I chose might have been a bit too complex of a shape. The sports balls and heart shapes work perfectly for little hands though.

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An unexpected byproduct of this craft was some pretty cool foam confetti. Here are some iPhone shots that I shared on Instagram:

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Foam Lacing Card Busy Bags

– 1 plastic sandwich zip-top bag per busy bag
– 6″ craft foam shapes (3-4 per bag)
parachute cord 325 in coordinating colors
Lacing Card Labels printed on sticker paper (optional)
– standard round hole punch
– lighter
– scissors

Directions:
    • Use your hole punch to punch holes around the permitter of the foam shapes. I recommend leaving about 1 inch between holes while following the lines of your shape. Don’t make the path too complicated for kids to follow.
    • Lace the parachute cord through a sample shape to see how long you should cut your lengths of cord. Make sure to leave room for knotting and a little extra wiggle room for lacing.
    • Once you’ve determined the length of cord, cut the amount you’ll need.
    • Knot (or double knot) each length of cord on one end. Melt the other end using a lighter to seal it up. This gives the kids a stiff end to work with when lacing and ensure that the cord won’t unravel.
    • Cut your sticker labels and place one on the front of each plastic zip-top bag and then package your foam shapes and coordinating lacing cords in the bags.

 

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