Blog Parties

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Mantel

Can you believe that Summer is almost here?  Hard to believe when today's weather here in SoCal has been more like winter.  Cold and windy.  But it is suppose to get back up to 86 degrees for Memorial Day. 

Doesn't Summer start on Memorial Day?  At least we are start getting in the Summer frame of mind come Memorial Day. 

I wasn't going to have a party this year, but my extended family decided for me that I would.  So I guess I better get my act together and get things ready.  That means throwing together a Memorial Day mantel.

Do I have one ready yet?  Those of you who have been following my blog very long know that I am a procrastinator.  So I don't have anything ready yet.  Hopefully by Monday I will.

But until then, I thought you might enjoy seeing last years Memorial Day mantel.  I'm sure this years will probably look almost exactly like it.   I have updated my thoughts, just the pictures are from last year. 

The best part of Patriotic decorating is that it can go from Memorial Day to the 4th of July.   Nothing says Summer to me more than Patriotic decor.

I'm not the greatest fan of Summer. Only because it is simply tooooooo hot.  I don't do hot very well.  Here in the Inland Empire of SoCal it gets upwards of 110 degrees at my house in the Summer.  Luckily we have a pool.    And air conditioning.  Just wish I could afford to run the AC all Summer long.

I'm just thankful that we don't get much humidity here.  I've been to the South and the East in the Summer.  I don't know how all of you can stand it. 

What I do like about Summer is VACATION!!!!! And I am getting my first Summer vacation in a week.  I can hardly wait.   I so need a vacation.  The only bummer is that I am not going anywhere this time.  I'm too poor.   Can you hear those tiny violins?   And gas prices are just too high.  I know they have come down some, but gas is still $4.35 a gallon in my neck of the woods.  Ouch!

I seem to have an obsession for lanterns this past year.  This one came from Ikea. 

I made the fan medallions last year. I just keep changing out the middle part. I picked up the patriotic stickers from Joann's last year as well.  I seem to have misplaced them this year.  Hopefully they will turn up in one of my holiday boxes.  Just not sure which holiday I last used them.  I guess I could look back through my blog to figure it out.  But that is too much work.  And you know how I hate work. 

The vintage white ironstone pitcher was a thrift store find. The flags were from Target's dollar spot last year. I haven't even been to Target in a couple of months.  Can you believe it?  Me neither.

I'm still loving the chicken wire frames that I did last year. You can read all about it here.

The blue lantern I've had for probably 20 years. It normally sits on the window sill in the boys bathroom. It's getting pretty rusty now from years of being in a wet climate.  Speaking of the boys bathroom, I so need to redo it.  Maybe I will get it done while I'm on my staycation.  But don't hold your breath. 

I didn't feel too bad when I skinned the books as I only had to pay 10 cents a piece for them.

Here is another fan medallion that I spruced up with a patriotic sticker.

Since the mantel is in honor of Memorial Day, I thought it appropriate to place this flag case on the mantel.

The flag is my hubby's. It is from his Father's funeral. His dad was a veteran and is buried at Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. It's a beautiful cemetery. And it has a fabulous view of the ocean as well.

When we lived down in San Diego we used to visit the cemetery every Memorial Day to place flowers on his father's grave. I love how the Boy Scouts place flags on each of the graves for Memorial Day.  I really should refold the flag so that the stars are straight, but again, too much work. 

I placed larger flags from Michael's in this thrift store vase.

Here is another of my chicken wire frames. It's great for changing out prints for the different holidays or themes of my mantel.

And another fan medallion with a patriotic sticker.

I printed out this Memorial Day image I found on the Internet. I just googled vintage Memorial Day and clicked on images and wall-la, I found it. Pinned it on with a small clothes pin I found at Walmart in the office supply area. I found even tinier ones in the craft/fabric section.

Last year when I did my mantel I had not heard of Pinterest.  Not even sure if it was around then.  Now you can find lots more Memorial Day images on Pinterest.  

I got this lantern last year from Big Lots. It was $5.00. Such a deal. They also had it in blue. But I knew that I already had a smaller blue lantern to use.

I think having a banner makes the mantel look more complete. But I'm too lazy to design my own. Luckily for me, there are those of you out there that like to and are even willing to share with us that don't. And for FREE! How I love you.

I found this freebie at Cakes likes a party blog.

Plus she even gives you a second one for 4th of July. And it's free as well. A 2fer.

Don't you just love free? And don't you just love this banner?

So there you have my Memorial Day mantel from last year. 

This years mantel will most likely be almost exactly the same.  I may change up a few things.  I'll try to get it down this weekend & post photos.  But since I'm a last minute person, you probably won't get to see any photos until after Memorial Day.

Besides, I have to clean and get ready for my Memorial Day pool party and BBQ.  The down side of having a party.  The upside is that I get to see my grand niece again.  

What are your plans for Memorial Day? 

Linking to:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope that all of you are having a Happy Mother's Day.  The above photo is of me and my mom at the beach back in the 50's.  Yes, I am that old.

Some of my fondest memories of my mom are at the beach.  I'm lucky to still have my Mom and to have had such a wonderful relationship with her my whole life.  Not that it has been all perfect, no relationship is, but I have been so blessed that God gave me such a wonderful Mom.

I love you Mom!

And Happy Mother's Day to the rest of you.    Now go do something for your mom, or for yourself.

Here is a video that I thought you might enjoy.  It is geared towards Father's, but the greatest thing a Father can do in raising his children (especially daughters), is to love their Mother.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Party

I can't believe how fast time is flying this year.  It's already almost been a week since I had my Cinco de Mayo party.

This was the first time I have ever hosted one.  Not a party, but a Cinco de Mayo party.  And we had it on the 5th of May.  Go figure.

Here are some of the tissue paper flowers I made.  I kept putting off making them until the morning of the party.  And wouldn't you know that I forgot to take photos of the small single color ones I made for my outside tables.  In fact, I didn't take any photos of my outside tables.  Can you believe that I am a blogger that forgets to take photos? 

I also don't style my photos.  Keeping it real folks, keeping it real.

Nachos was round one of our Fiesta.  The Fiesta plates & napkins came from Dollar Tree.  The bright colored cups came from Sam's Club.  All the plastic silverware came from Walmart.  All my brightly colored plastic bowls came from Dollar Tree or the 99 Cent Only store. 

The beverage dispenser was a new purchase from Sam's Club for $19.99.  I really liked this one as it has a tube for ice to keep the beverage cold without watering it down.

The plastic margarita glasses are from Party City.

The blue tin pitcher that the tissue paper flowers are in came from Michael's.  Purchased with a coupon of course. 

I did make the colorful table runner.  Well, it isn't actually a runner.  I was going to make a runner, but got too lazy.  I had purchased a yard of fabric from Hobby Lobby on sale.  I ended up just turning under each edge & placing in the center of my table.  Hey, it works for me.  

Remember last week when I posted about making the punched tin napkin rings.  Here is how they look when done.  My sister in law was the one who wrapped the silverware in the napkins & then she just wrapped the punched tin strips around everything.

If I had more time, I would have made them more round and perfect.  Who am I kidding?  I would have done the same thing since I am a procrastinator and I wouldn't have had time to make them perfect.  Obviously!

And another thing while I'm thinking about it.  Why do I even bother buying napkins.  No one but me seems to use them.  I found most of the napkins still wrapped in the napkin rings once the party was over.  Oh well, at least I try to be a nice hostess.

You can tell, I didn't style this photo either.  Picture taking was my after thought.  I was too busy trying to get everything ready and food on the table.  You are lucky there are any photos.

Now we will move outside. I had wanted to hang those paper banners that they have hanging in Mexican restaurants.  I forget what they call them.  But the real deal is expensive.  I did find this cheaper version at  Party City.  I wanted them hanging all over my backyard.  Problem is, even though this is the cheap version, it was still out of my budget to get more than one.  Plus I had no idea who I was going to string them across my yard.  And lack of time always gets in the way.  So I had to settle for just this one.  I clipped it to the edge of my retractable awning.  It is actually brighter than the photo.  I guess it was the time of day and the angle when I took the photo.

Here is where all my time went decorating.  This area was our "Photo Booth" for the party.  I spent a couple of days making the crepe paper garlands.  All of my crepe paper came from Dollar Tree and 99  Cent Only store.  The 99 Cent Only store had the more vibrant colors.  

One day was spent making the fringey ones (single colored ones).  I pretty much just followed the tutorial over at Oh Happy Day blog.   I had a lot more of the fringey garlands that I didn't have time to hang.  I guess there is always next year. 

I took the day before the party off so I could complete all my unfinished craft projects (which was everything needed to decorate).  But all I got accomplished was sewing the ruffled garlands (multi colored).  Took me most of the day to sew.    I fell in love with the ones I found at MADE.   I just knew I needed to make some for my party.  However, mine didn't turn out quite as fabulous.  I used my friends sewing machine, but it was having issues that day.  I was too lazy to dig out my machine, and my friend lives right next door and has a room dedicated to sewing (lucky girl).  

My ruffles started coming undone by the end of the day (dang wind).  But they did  brighten up the joint. 

And again you can tell I didn't style my photo since the serape hanging on the back of the bench looks a mess. 

I have  this 3 tier planter that was void of real flowers.  So the morning of the party I whipped up these tissue paper flowers.  They remind me of going to Tijuana when I was a child.  Too bad I didn't have a burro to go with the flowers.  That would have made my photo booth fabulous.  Smelly, but fabulous.  

I think this is my favorite photo from the party.  You get a better look at my ruffled and fringey garlands.

We actually ate food all afternoon.  We started with round one which was nachos.  Then we moved on to round two which was homemade chicken & pork tamales my hubby made.  They were pretty yummy.  I usually don't like tamales, but these were pretty good.  Plus my sister in law made a killer green sauce.

Round three was taco bar.  We had carnitas, carne asada and chicken fajitas with all the trimmings.  Plus beans and rice.

Final round was dessert.  Hubby made some dessert tamales with chocolate inside.  They were OK.  I personally only like milk chocolate or white chocolate.  These were made with semi sweet chocolate.  I'm not really a fan of semi sweet.  But I gave it the old college try.

And then there was some strawberry covered cake that someone brought that was a hit.

Luckily it was warm enough to go swimming (for the adventurous).  Everyone else who wanted to get wet, went in the jacuzzi.  And no, I don't have any photos.

People started to leave and I almost forgot about my photo booth.  I did get some of my guests to venture in for some photos.  

The first ones in my photo booth were my niece (on the right) and her best friend and best friend's baby.  

I was obsessed with finding Sombrero's for my party.  You can't have a Mexican Fiesta without Sombrero's.

I first found some at Hobby Lobby for $3.00 each.  But then when I went to Dollar Tree, I scored them for a buck a piece. $1.00 each!!!  And they were more colorful.   Of course, I took back the ones to Hobby Lobby. 

The old men (my brother and hubby) at the party weren't afraid to get their photos taken half naked.  Chippendale dancers they are not.  That is the only thing great about being old.  You don't care what people think of you anymore.  At least most of the time. 

My hubby is trying to get our dog Cookie to wear a Sombrero.  She was having none of it.

My son did a better job at getting her to wear the Sombrero.  Bread always does the trick with Cookie.  Bread is like Catnip to her.

I never did get a photo of me, or my other son in the photo booth.  My plan was to do so after everyone left.  But my hubby and his friend decided they would help me by taking down the garlands before I was ready for them to come down.  Plus they ripped them as they were taking them down.

MEN!  Why do they help when you don't want their help.  And not help when you do.  MEN!

This is my niece's husband.  My niece didn't come as she had just had a baby.

My neighbor & good friends chillin's.  I love that they wore their ponchos and let others use them for photos as well.  They also provided the serape on the bench as well.   I did take a photo of them with their mom and dad, but my friend doesn't like everyone seeing her photo.  So I was a good friend and didn't post it here. 

We had about 26 people total at our party.

The neighbor girls from across the street getting into the spirit of Cinco de Mayo.  I had cut out a bunch of mustaches to use for the photo booth.  I was going to glue them to sticks, but all but one mysteriously disappeared.    Everyone just kept taping the one mustache I had to their face.

More friends.  You can tell we had to pull a couple of the kids from the pool to take their photos.  The Dad was getting into character so much that his youngest son didn't know who he was and wouldn't go to him until he took the mustache and poncho off. 

Isn't he the cutest?  Love the crooked mustache.

Do any of you remember Hobo Kelley from the 60's?  When ever I see these huge sun glasses, that is who I think of.  So when I found some at Dollar Tree, I had to get them for my photo booth.  

Finally it was time to do the pinata  (I have no idea what key to push to get the squiggly line above the "n" in pinata).  My friend who lives next door made the pinata from a Mylar balloon left over from her son's birthday party and some party hats I had on hand.  She already had all the tissue paper.  So this pinata was basically free.   Isn't it fabulous?  Better than any pinata you can buy at the store.  

And was it ever sturdy.  Most pinatas break after the 2nd kid whacks it.  But this one lasted for all 6 kids that stuck around.  In fact, the last kid (the 12 year old), had to smack it a bunch of times to get it to break.

 It was filled with candy (most of which was left over from Easter), streamers and some cheap toys as well as some glow bracelets.  I bought a bag of candy and toys from Walmart for $6.00.  I thought that was pretty cheap.  The glow bracelets were left overs from last Halloween from Dollar Tree (yes they still worked) and some I got at Michael's for a buck.

I gave each kid a paper bag to put their loot in.  Each kid's bad was half full.  

Afterwards, everyone used the broken up pinata as party hats.  I can't believe Cookie is actually wearing a hat without having to be bribed with bread.

All in all it was a fun party.  I didn't get everything done that I had planned.  But then, I never get everything done.  But what we had was more than enough.  Everyone had a good time and a full tummy.  And best of all, no one got Montezuma's revenge the next day.

I hope you have enjoyed my first Cinco de Mayo party.  I just wish I had taken photos of the tables outside and of the rest of the food.  I was just too busy cooking, eating and visiting.  But then, that is the most important part of a party.   Having fun!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Mantel

I know that it is now Ocho de Mayo. But I never got the chance to share my Cinco de Mayo mantel prior to Cinco de Mayo.  So I am doing so now.

I've never decorated for Cinco de Mayo prior to this year. 

And I have never had this much color at one time in my house. I'm more of a black and white kind of girl.  I'm on color overload.  I love it! 

I first found some old frames in my frame stash and spray painted them blue or orange.  The green lanterns came from Target.  The plates & this mask came from Hobby Lobby.  The red & green bottles were originally found at a foreclosed house my hubby was cleaning out.  He put them in the backyard where I found them covered with dirt and grime.    Hubby cleaned them out for me using soapy water and some BB's.  

This mask came from Dollar Tree.  I don't know why I thought masks had anything to do with Cinco de Mayo.  Maybe it's the feathers.  The blue candle holders came from Tai Pan Trading last year or the year before.  The small red bottle was found in the backyard.  

The Cinco de Mayo banner was a free printable from Cakes likes a Party blog. 

I need to learn how to make my own.  But why should I when there are so many fabulous free printables out there in blog land? 

These candle holders came from Target's dollar spot.  Love the colors.  

I did make the colorful flower wreath.  All by myself.   And no, I did not take photos while making it.  Pretty easy as far as wreaths go.  I just spray painted a Dollar Tree wreath blue.  I already had a couple of the wreaths from Dollar Tree sitting in my garage. I then hot glued on different colored flowers and some Dollar Tree ribbon on the back to hang from. 

All my flowers came from Dollar Tree and/or Michaels (on clearance). I paid $5.00 total for all the different flowers.  I probably spent $10.00 total including the spray paint.   And I had enough of everything to make a 2nd wreath (larger) for my front door.  Which I haven't taken a photo of.  So 2 wreaths for $10 bucks.  Fast, easy and cheap.  My 3 favorite words when it comes to doing a craft project.  

And that my friends is my first Cinco de Mayo mantel.  Now I just need to buy a new plastic storage bin to store all my Cinco de Mayo stuff in.  And then find room in my attic for the box.  Not an easy task I'm afraid.  I might just have to purge something in order to make room.  Hard to do for a hoarder like me. 

Tomorrow I will share photos of my first ever Cinco de Mayo party.  Lots more color to come.