Friday, July 24, 2009
Harry Potter v Voldemort rap battle
I love these auger shells!
I would use a real leaf in the real version.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The birthday party for my Granny was a success! All of the residents and any family that they had visiting enjoyed it very much, and most importantly, Granny loved it. I met my $25 challenge by a mile, thanks to some great bargain finds. I ran out of time to buy things before I ran out of money. If I had known the deals I would find, I would have gotten way more flowers and tumblers and lanterns on my first trip to the stores! The decorations were not what I originally had in mind, and if I were to do it over again, I would get lots more paper lanterns and would have had one of the maintenance people use a ladder to hang them from the ceiling (which was my original plan). But there were no maintenance people readily available and the ceilings were higher than I anticipated, so I ended up only using 4 lanterns and putting them on walls. The residents appreciated and enjoyed the decorations so much, that people started asking what the special occasion was at the mere sight of the flowers on the tables! Although it was not aesthetically what I wanted, it was even better than I imagined in terms of being fun for the residents and for Granny. It did not take much--those old ladies sure know how to party! And I can say "old" without meaning any offense--all but 2 of the guests were over 90 years old! If I make it that long, I will consider "old" a compliment! How cool to be surrounded by so many years of experience and wisdom. It was a very fun day and although it wasn't what I originally had in mind, I think it turned out just great.
Here's the hallway area where tea time is held. It's outside of the main dining room and there is a cute little old-fashioned ice cream parlor that they open at snack time, too.
So here's the money part:
pink crepe paper steamers from DollarTree $1
6 bushes of brightly colored fake flowers from DollarTree $6
5 bright tumblers 75% off at party store $1.62
paper plates and napkins from DollarTree $2
3-tier Martha Stewart cupcake stand from BigLots $1
roll of pink kraft paper from party store $1
These are the things that I used that I had already:
tape, scissors, plastic forks and spoons, ribbon to hang the lanterns
And here's the party!I could not do to-the-floor table covers because most of the residents use wheelchairs and they tend to get in the way, so I covered the top of each table with pink kraft paper and put a couple streamers on the end. Each table got a colorful tumbler with bright flowers and I put a few on the ledge behind the tables as well. They are only $1 a bunch, and the tumblers were on clearance at Card and Party Outlet . They turned out to be about 30 cents each!! The guests took the flowers back to their rooms.
Although I am usually not a fan of artificial flowers, I like to use them in situations like this because they do not wilt and die and they can brighten up the room without any maintenance on the part of granny or the other ladies who took them back to their rooms. The guests beginning to trickle in.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Today is the big day of Granny's 97th birthday and $25 nursing home birthday party challenge. So far, so good on the $25 challenge. The party changed a little when we decided to bring Granny home for dinner. So instead of doing the party around the dinnertime in the dining room at the home, I'm sprucing up their daily 2:30 tea time. They have a snack cart and open the little ice cream parlor every day at 2:30, and the more independently mobile residents come down to have some snacks and drinks and visit with each other. There are usually family members who are visiting there, too.
Yesterday, I was shopping around for some last-minute items and my brother suggested I go to a store called Deal$. If you like DollarTree, you will swoon in Deal$. I spent over an hour in there, no joke. It is a DollarTree company, so there is all the usual stuff you find in DollarTree, still at the $1 price point, but then there are other things in there as well, up to $5. Nothing in the store is above $5. And it's not all junk, either. Because of the higher price point, they have a lot of name-brand closeouts and overstocks along with the off-brand products. Love it!
Happy Friday y'all! Have a good weekend!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
First, the inherent challenges:
1) Granny, as fabulous as she is, is turning 97 years old. She's had 96 birthdays and is not into making a big deal of herself. She is not a fussy or elaborate person at all. She is a very laid-back lady. She is gracious and fun-loving and will love and appreciate anything I put together, but I want to create something that is perfect for her and will not overwhelm or embarrass her.
2) This is the big one! The party will be at the nursing home where Granny lives and will have to fit into their schedule and their routine. Since Granny doesn't get around so well (that seems to happen when you're pushing 100 years old), I'm choosing to have her party at the nursing home so she does not have to go out and about and have trouble getting around. Plus, I want to include all of her new friends that live there. But...I don't know how many people that will entail, their cognitive and physical abilities and limitations, and any other restrictions there may be.
3) Her birthday is July 17 and I will be getting into town late in the day on July 14.
So that's a fun set of challenges to work with, but I'm upping the ante with a challenge of my own--I want to do all the decorations, paper, flowers, favors, etc for $25 or less.
Just for fun, here are the rules I'm setting for myself:
1) The $25 doesn't include the cake or any other food.
2) It's $25 to spend, not the estimated value of the products used (for example: sometimes on TV shows or for magazine articles, they'll use 25 of something that they purchased in a pack of 30, so they'll only count the per-item price of those 25 things in their total)
3) I'm not including sales tax in the $25, but the sales tax in my hometown is 10% and the sales tax where I live is 6.5% or 7%, depending on which city/town you're in.
4) I can use things that I or my dad already own as part of the party.
So there are my rules and my little challenge for myself. I'm going to get details on rules, guidelines, etc from the nursing home today and ask Granny what she wants the theme to be. Right now I'm thinking garden party with butterflies, 50's sock hop or beach bash. Details to come!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Just a quick post. Here's what I am wearing to our 4th of July parties today. Actually, it's an approximation of what I am wearing--the closest I could find pictures of. And the super-cute enamel rings are just for pretend. I wish I had them, but I do not (sigh). Kate Spade has a bunch of really cute jewelry out for the summer, including some with a caning design and some Mayan-inspired pieces. LOVE this!
Happy 4th, y'all!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I decided not to do flowers on the tables because 1) while he certainly would have appreciated them, BB's not a big flower guy 2)we needed bug candles on the tables and 3) there were storms in the forecast, so I didn't know how long the party would actually be set up outside and how fast we would have to break it down to get everything in the house. So I did a couple fun, masculine and waterproof decorations, the main ones being 2 18" orange I's in the 2 planters flanking the front entrance of the house. They were my favorite part and what do you know--I didn't take a single picture of them!!! Oh bother. Hopefully, they'll still be in OK shape next time I go up there, so I can take one then. I put big cintronella candles on the tables and small citronella votives in
miniature galvanized tubs on the highboys.
The neighbor loaned us the sweetest tub for wine. It wasn't orange and blue, but was the perfect size and unique and handmade. The galvanized went with the other items I had out. I also wrapped the orange plastic flatware in big white paper napkins and tied them up with orange, blue and white ribbon in a 12" round galvanized tub lined with an orange cloth napkin we had at the house. And...no picture again! That didn't get put out until the dinner was delivered, so I didn't think to take a picture while we were setting up. For the snacks, I put the loose plasticware in cups with some napkins and plates. Here they are--not as exciting as the dinner stuff.
I did a couple very simple arrangements and used a little beargrass, which I don't usually do, to make it look more festive and echo some of the ribbon streamers I used in other places.
I did a little table with cards and pens, asking people to leave words of wisdom for the graduate. Towards the end of the night, his friends left some messages that were...um....less-than-wise.
I did a couple little I's for the back porch. They were in flower containers.
Some crazy-lady Wisconsin and Michigan fans (my cousin and MIL) were trying to change the letters, though :)