Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm a Sucker for Presentation

In my new found addiction of pinning on Pinterest, I kept stumbling upon adorable mason jars with paper straws.  I knew it had to be a part of my next party.  Not only is it super cute, but a green alternative to the plastic cups I usually use. Bonus!
And to up the cuteness factor, I added name labels.  I thought about tying tags on the jars like the ones I used on Thanksgiving, but I was stuck on the chalkboard look.   So I went on a quest to find chalkboard contact paper at the store (no time for online shipping).  No luck, but my local hardware store had black contact paper.  Why couldn’t that work?  I wasn’t going to keep the contact paper on the cups when I put them in the dishwasher anyway.  So for about $2.50 I bought a yard of black contact paper.  Yes, you could buy it by the yard!  Gotta love the local hardware store!  Grabbed a white marker from Michaels for about $2.  I used a 2 inch hole punch for the labels which covered the fruit impression on the jar perfectly.  I was afraid the bumpiness of the fruit impression would bother me, but it didn’t.  Yay!  I’m a sucker for cute presentation.  Another cute idea for the mason jars was to punch a hole in the jar lid for the straw to go through, but I decided against it because I didn’t have it in me to go the extra step and thought it would be a pain for refills.
Seriously, how cute are these?!!  Yes, these are the things that excite me.
It’s funny, I usually don’t do things that cause me more work (ie. more dishes), but using the glass mason jars actually made for less clean up.  Since they were glass, people kept track of their cups instead of just grabbing another one.  I love that I can feel good about using the mason jars over and over and can use them for other things too.  For about the past year or two, I’ve also been using a large drink dispenser for my water rather than water bottles.  Cute and green, love it! 

I kept the decorations and the menu simple.  Popped up a fabric Happy Birthday sign, with two colored Angry Birds flanking the sign done by the birthday boy himself.  That was his must, the sign had to have his birds.  Gotta love him.  

Then I used the same faces from the Party Animal blog I used for the goody bags at the kids' party for balloons.

As for the poor family has been subjected to the same menu for the last few years.  Hey if it works, don’t fix it.  It’s just too easy! 
  • chicken chili
  • hot dogs
  • veggies and dip
  • chips and salsa
  • pita chips and hummus
  • lemonade
  • water
This year I got crazy and added apple slices and caramel dip,  strawberries and apple cider!
Here's what makes this menu so easy.  The chicken chili is a crockpot recipe, dump the ingredients in and walk away.  And my new secret weapon, a steamer for the hot dogs!  We caught on to the steamed hot dog from the Home Depot hot dog stand.  My kids are Home Depot hot dog snobs.  For a while, it was seriously the only ones they would eat.  So a couple years ago, I asked if I could buy a pack of their hot dogs from their hot dog stand.  They sold me a 30 pack!  Yehaw!   The funny thing was that I did the hot dogs for the kids and all the adults went bananas over them.  (Koegel skinless hot dogs by the way.)  So ever since, they have become a staple at my parties.

So your party doesn't have to be over the top to be yumbo-rific and cute.  Keep it simple and keep your stress down.  ENJOY!

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