Entertaining with Mason Jars from Aladdin

*I was sent product by Aladdin, via Mom Trends, to show how entertaining with mason jars can be easy and fun.  They weren’t wrong.  Plus, I had a blast.  All opinions are mine. Throw a pajama picnic for your best gals with gossip mags, drinks and yummy food. I think I am about to commit blogger blasphemy.  Are you ready for this?  I am not a fan of Mason jars.  What?!  I know.  I can hardly believe it myself.  There is nothing wrong with mason jars.  They just aren’t my cup of tea.  I was apprehensive, to say the least, when I opened up a big box from Aladdin filled with their newest Mason jar entertaining collection.  But as I started to peruse all their products, I found myself excited.  For the most part, these jars are plastic (which is huge considering we are currently building an outdoor space for my family to hang out this summer) and the colors are bright and fantastic.  Aladdin wants people to know that they can entertain with ease with this new collection, found at Wal-Mart.  So I decided to gather some girlfriends for a relaxing girl’s night in.  A pajama picnic is what we would have.  What the heck is that?  We all wear pajamas, we order in dinner, and the host provides yummy drinks and a dessert.  Easy.

A super simple girl's night in: pajama party picnic.I can certainly get carried away when it comes to entertaining.  But I made sure to keep it simple this time.  I set up the one table I would need early on in the day so that I wouldn’t be rushing during homework and bath time for my kids before my friends arrived.  I didn’t leave that fruit water out all day but wanted to take a photo in better light for the purposes of showing the set up to you.  From this shot you can see three of the different products Aladdin has out right now.  The beverage dispenser is SO fantastic!  The jar on this one is glass, which I really prefer in a dispenser.  And that teal color is going to be perfect for all my summer entertaining.  You can see the mason jar drinking glasses and reusable acrylic straws and then the extra-large, hot pink mason jar that I decided to use for flowers.  There were a ton of other great products but in an effort to keep it simple, I decided to not use them all.  My favorite product, however is a double walled mason jar cup with a handle and lid.  It is now my cup of choice for my ever-present ice water.  It doesn’t leave water rings!  Its genius.

Entertaining doesn't have to be hard.  But it should be colorful. As you can tell, I like to mix colors.  So I loved that there wasn’t a set of matched jars in the box.  Mixing colors keeps it feeling relaxed and casual.

#spon I love a good beverage dispenser.  Don't you?  For me it HAS to be a glass jar like this one from @aladdinpmiAs I said, I didn’t want to get carried away but I did add some strawberries to the water.  Crazy, I know!  It really took so little effort but I felt like it was a nice touch and would make my guests feel like I really put some thought in to the preparation.

Put our a super simple beverage bar so your guests can serve themselves. For the drinks, I wanted to make sure we had all our bases covered.  This was a weeknight so I knew some of us wouldn’t want a drink.  But you never know what kind of day people have had.  I’m a people pleaser so it is just as easy to set out some fun options and let the guests have exactly what they want.  I’d been dying to try the Nekter cocktail mixers so I thought this was the perfect time.  They are perfect to mix with alcohol, but you can also just drink straight or mix with club soda.  It was delicious!  It was so fresh tasting and vibrant.  I will be getting that again!

Use scrap leather to cut out drink markers.I used some leather scraps that I had to cut out some quick drink tags.  We could have gone by the color of the cup but who wants to have to remember that? :) I just tied them on with some scrap fabric and I was done.  Super quick and totally in keeping with the theme of easy entertaining.

Add fresh flowers for a pop of color.Since Trader Joe’s has the BEST prices on flowers I picked these up to add another color and some height to the table.  I used one of the super sized Aladdin mason jars as a super easy vase.  I think the bright pink of that jar goes perfectly with the bright yellow of the flowers.

Colorful plastic mason jars make for fun entertainingWith that little bit of prep work done ahead of time, all that was left was to relax with my friends.  We poured our drinks, Erika picked up some dinner on her way over and we were set.  They either arrived in pajamas or put them on once they got here and we enjoyed each other’s company and some reality TV.  I can’t think of an easier way to entertain your girlfriends.

Go check out the rest of the Aladdin Mason jar entertaining products at Wal-Mart.  They will be perfect for all your summer and everyday entertaining.

*Thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to keep Cupcakes and Cutlery going.  These gals would have been drinking out of plain old glasses if not for Aladdin.  Boring.

Stay Wild Mini Party at Alt Summit

My team for our urban jungle themed mini party at #altsummitI was super lucky to get to decorate one of the mini parties at Alt Summit this year!  And I had a fabulous team of ladies to work with.  I always love to collaborate with Lauren but was super excited to get to create something fun with Jenny and Alexandra as well.  Aside from the fun (and immense stress) of planning the party, I am so grateful for the quality time that I got to spend with this rad group of ladies.  Jenny and I have been online pals for ever but getting to hang out with her (and room with her for the second year in a row) was so much fun.  And while I met Alexandra last year, I truly loved getting to know her better during party set up.

cool concrete centerpieces and custom calligraphy panels at our min party at #altsummitWe couldn’t have pulled off this party without the help of Holly of Paisley Petal Events.  She is a local SLC gal who I had met at a blogger event years ago.  She was more than willing to help us in any way we needed.  We shipped tons of stuff to her house including the neon sign (that got damaged in shipping and needed to be fixed – she handled all of that like a pro!).  She also made the concrete block table centerpieces for us.  There is no way we could have shipped those without it costing a million dollars.  She also came by to drop it all off to us at the hotel and then spent ALL day Friday with us setting up.  She even recruited Toni to help us out on Friday too.  I can’t thank her enough for her generosity.  She’s amazing!  See that rad lettered banner?  That is all Lauren’s handwriting.  My favorite printer, Direct Edge Media, printed a few of those out for us and they turned out SO amazing don’t you think?

diamond honeycomb with moss on chain link fence from stay wild mini party #altsummitGiven that our theme was urban jungle, we wanted to take it a little bit to the streets.  Make it a little gritty.  We HAD to have chain link fence.  And I blew my own mind when I added the moss to the honeycomb diamonds.  You may remember from my list of goals for the year that I mentioned that when I am around other creative ladies I sometimes get really self-conscious and implode.  I get paralyzed and can’t make decisions.  This totally happened here.  I was able to shake it off a little bit after the moss.  I loved how it looked and felt like it was a small victory for myself.

Stay Wild - custom suckers and prints for our party guestsWe were super lucky to have a few amazing vendors on our side who were beyond generous with their product and time.  See my full post on Lollipics here - but how freaking cool are those suckers?!  And the mini Stay Wild art prints feature more of Lauren’s handwriting and were very popular.  These were printed by Stationery HQ.  Email Chris Hernandez if you want to know more about having your own prints done! (chernandez@printhq.com).

Custom neon sign by Endevour Neon for our #AltSummit partyOh yeah.  And we had this custom neon sign made.  The coolest ever.  I’ve always loved neon signs and after seeing how easy it was to order something custom, I am certain I will have one in my house some day.  And when you check out all the other amazing work by Endeavour Neon you will want one too!  Their customer service was BEYOND!  We held a contest during our party and the very lucky Allison ended up with it.  I’d like her to know that if she needs me to take care of it while she’s whenever she vacations, I would be happy to.  And if you want to order one for yourself, just email Andrew at endeavourneonsigns@gmail.com.

Top your own cheesecake bar at our urban jungle mini party #altsummitI wish we could take credit for this fun cheesecake bar idea but it was decided on by the Alt team.  The mini cheesecakes were just several bites in size and there were a ton of toppings to choose from including a salted caramel sauce.  AMAZING!  I love interactive food displays and the fact that this was dessert related made it even better!  None of my photos really show the amazing hand made paper garland that Jenny made by hand.  There is a very small section attached to the cheesecake bar sign.  Isn’t it the coolest?!  I don’t know how she managed to get it all done.  It was magnificent.  It went across one whole wall in the room!

DIY animal keychains at our urban jungle mini party #altsummitWe also provided an easy craft for the party guests to do.  Since we were the “wild” room, we knew that mini animals were a must.  I didn’t end up with one of these keychains and I’m pretty bummed out about it.

Alexandra Hedin and me at our mini party #altsumitSo yesterday I mentioned a lot of other gals that I adored.  But today I need to pay a little attention to Alexandra.  She’s amazing.  Not only is she one of the most enjoyable people that I have ever met, she is smart and witty and ambitious.  She’s always put together but ain’t afraid to get down and dirty.  I love her sense of humor and am lucky to know her.  SO glad that we did this party together.

Lauren and I enjoy our wine, this party was no exception.If you look past our heads, you can see more of Lauren’s amazing calligraphy skills.  We had these prints printed by Direct Edge Media also and then just popped them in gold frames to hang at the party.  If you don’t follow Lauren you simply must.  She’s got the most amazing styling talent I have ever seen.  You know those people who’s instagrams you just don’t believe because they are too perfect?  She is not that person.  She has a natural talent for surrounding herself with beauty and finds it in the little things.  I am lucky to have found her online.  She has become a trusted friend and I wish her all the success she can dream of.  She’s going places you guys.

Alexandra Hedin and Jenny Batt at our mini party #altsummitWe did a lot of laughing before, during and after the party.  How darling is Jenny?! (on the right).  Jenny works harder than anyone I know.  She is ridiculously creative and business savvy at the same time.  I look to her for advice all the time and trust her immensely.  She creates content that makes the entire internet community gasp with awe.  She is the nicest person, funny and crazy supportive.  This is just a nutshell.  I could go on about Jenny for days.  In a nutshell she is “crazy awesome” (I’m pretty sure Jenny coined that phrase).

My urban jungle mini party decorating team at #altsummitThis party was an amazing opportunity to create a fun atmosphere for Alt goers.  It was a lot of work but a great exercise in collaboration from afar (2 of us in SoCal, 2 in Seattle and the party was in SLC).  I couldn’t have asked for a better team and hope we all get the chance to play together in the future.  I’m sure that I can get the band back together for the right price. ;)

Lollipics Custom Suckers are the Coolest!

Rad custom suckers by Lollipics!  #staywildaltSo I’ve been back from #altsummit for a week now.  And I’m still exhausted.  I’ll have a full wrap up for you in the next week or so but I am super excited about these custom suckers we had at our mini-party so I just had to share these now!  Right as we were beginning to plan our party, I found out about this great new company via Lindy called Lollipics.  They can take just about any image and make it edible and put it on a sucker.  We knew we were featuring Lauren’s calligraphy (although these suckers are using a font since we couldn’t get Lauren’s writing done in time!) all through the party so the idea of having rad black suckers with her writing on them, (all edible!) was such a fun idea!

Custom suckers by Lollipics at the #staywildalt party #altsummitHere is what they looked like at the party.  Aren’t they awesome!  The company was super generous with us and sent us enough for all the party guests.

Cool custom suckers by Lollipics perfect for party favorsI managed to snag a few to bring home for my kids and decided to take a few more photos of these awesome suckers.  The white area is essentially a very thin layer of fondant printed with edible ink.  So amazing, right?!

Custom suckers by Lollipics.  Great for party favorsOf course my son was more than willing to test them out for me.  They were cherry flavored and SO yummy!

The coolest party favors!  Custom suckers by Lollipics.Hurry mom!!!!!  I need to get my tongue on this thing!

Great custom Lollipics suckers for weddings or parties! Our party theme as “urban jungle” so we felt this “stay wild” sentiment was really good and used it throughout the party in several ways.

Kids love suckers.  Perfect party favor idea!  Custom suckers by Lollipics!The ink sort of just disappears when you eat it.  My son thought it was so fun and immediately started asking me what else we could put on the suckers.  I told him anything we wanted!  Aside from the suckers being super cool, the company is freaking amazing.  They have top-notch customer service and a quick turn around time.  I will definitely be using these again!  Will you be at the upcoming Snap conference?  Lollipics will be there too!  I’m so excited I found this company.  Make sure you let me know if you end up using them for anything.  I’d love to see the creative things you come up with!

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#HonestTurns2 with a Party

Honest Company 2nd Birthday Party #HonestTurns2It was a cold, rainy night.  The idea of heading up to Los Angeles for an event in this kind of weather normally would have taken me too far out of my comfort zone (freeway driving, rain, I couldn’t wear my pajamas) and I would have flaked out.  But the event was for The Honest Company and I was intrigued.  My boys and I were invited to attend their 2nd birthday party.  I was familiar with the company but associated them mostly with baby products.  It knew it would be a great opportunity to find out more about what they stand for as a company, what else they offer in terms of products and well, the kids love the idea of Los Angeles (where all the Disney celebrities are).

Party Time at Honest Company #HonestTurns2The party was really amazing.  As were the Honest Company offices where the party was held.  The design was cool, all the people were crazy friendly and it was created to be family so I wasn’t worried (well, a little worried) that my kids would break something.  The party was divided up in to three rooms, food and mingling, face painting and balloon animals and a playroom/showroom.  I think you can tell a lot about a company from their offices.  Their message was visible for all to see in a cool way (that rad printed wall – and on the stairs not pictured), the design was organic and modern (which is mimicked in their packaging and overall aesthetic) and I even spied a ping-pong table in the break room (there is a sense of playfulness throughout the office and the employees).  While they are serious about what they do, they are totally personable.  And aside from their celebrity status, they are just like us – parents looking to provide safe, quality products for their families to use every day.

Made to order beignets station at Honest Company #HonestTurns2Oh and can we talk about the Made-to-Order Beignets station for a minute?  That is the first time I have seen this at a party and it was awesome.  You know those moments when your kids do something and you think, I couldn’t love you more than I do at this moment right now?  Well, my oldest son took a bite of a warm, fresh beignet and gasped.  It sort of freaked me out for a minute due to his food allergies.  I thought, well, shit.  Is this going to be the first time I have to epi-pen him?  Am I going to end up ugly crying on E News?  So I grabbed him and asked him if he was ok.  He looked at me and said, “My mouth has never been so happy.”  Looks like someone might have his mama’s sweet tooth after all.

Rad party decor at Honest Company #HonestTurns2The decorations were super fun!  The kids were celebratory immediately upon seeing all the bright colors and huge balloons.  I hoped there weren’t any long pokey things around because my youngest son was pretty much dead set on trying to pop the balloons with confetti in them.  To make it “confetti rain.”  I didn’t hate the idea.

boys first photo booth #HonestTurns2And the boys got to have their first photo booth experience…

Boys first photo booth at Honest Company #HonestTurns2I only let them do one set of photos.  These things can be addicting and I didn’t want them hogging it for the rest of the night.

Photo booth fun at Honest Company #HonestTurns2But of course I had to jump in for at least one picture.  The backdrop was made from gorgeous paper flowers created by Bloom Box Designs.  You all know I love to throw a party so it was cool to see an event so well done.  From the event staff to the decorations and catering, they totally nailed it.  And if you asked my kids their favorite part of the party it would totally be the face painting/balloon gal.  She was very talented.  My oldest asked her to come to his birthday party.

Fill your own gift bag with Honest products #HonestTurns2The Honest Company was VERY generous with their favors.  They gave me a tote bag and told me to fill it up with whatever products I wanted.  I didn’t want to be greedy but I didn’t even know that they made some of these things!  I took my time going through their product line while the kids played on an indoor play area (a permanent structure in the office since the co-founders often bring their kids in with them).  While I knew they had diapers, and wipes, I had no idea that they had a full line of cleaning products (dish soap, laundry detergent, cleaning towels and more), personal care products (detangler, shampoos and conditioner, sunscreen and more) or even health and wellness (vitamins and immunity boosters for the whole family and more).  I am very excited to introduce these products in to our daily routine.

Stroller collab with Honest Company and Baby Jogger via Honest Company Collective #HonestTurns2And have you heard about The Collective?  Honest partnered with an array of baby focused companies to collaborate on limited edition products.  Check out their site for the full line but they include things like this stroller, swaddling blankets with Aden and Anais (which were a favorite of mine for both of my kids), a diaper caddy, a crib and this rad diaper bag.  I asked Jessica about the collection and LOVED what I heard.  They looked to companies that put out a great product and like-minded in their aim to create non-toxic, natural products for design loving families.  The diaper bag, for instance, was something that Jessica ran across while shopping at the Brooklyn Flea Market.  Instantly she knew LayerXLayer would make the perfect uni-sex diaper bag and the collaboration talks began.

Jessica Alba of Honest Company #HonestTurns2Co-founders Jessica and Christopher Gavigan both spoke briefly about the company and how excited they were to be celebrating their second birthday.  I have to tell you, I have not stopped thinking about this company since I left the party.  Both were so passionate about what they do and it is infectious and makes you want to support their dream.  Christopher seems well-versed in legislation and extremely knowledgable from a product standpoint.  And this is not a vanity project for Jessica.  She knows her stuff.  And when she said that while she loves the environment, she loves her family more – she had me.  But I was so far off.  While that is a main focus for them, that is not all they are about.  I am grateful to have gotten a chance to get to know the brand better.  I loved what I saw and am excited to become even more familiar with their products.  I was taken by surprise at how responsive my Instagram followers were about my Honest Company posts.  Seems I might be a little late to the party.  A lot of you already know about their commitment to quality, safe products.  So tell me, what is your favorite Honest Company product?  Are you a Member?

Thank you for having us, Honest!  Congrats on creating an amazing company and watching out for our family’s health and wellness.  For more info on the party search the #HonestTurns2 hashtag.

Do you like me on Facebook?  Come on over and check out the rest of the photos I took from the event.  And see my event recap over on Savvy Sassy Moms.

A Spy Themed Kid’s Birthday Party

Balloon garland for birthday partyYou might be looking at this photo thinking, “that doesn’t look like a spy party!”  And you would be correct.  My youngest celebrated his birthday right after Christmas and this year I wanted to keep the party really small.  Since I only get two chances a year to throw a kid’s birthday party, I usually go crazy.  But seeing as this birthday is so close to the holidays, I decided to do it different.  This year we had only family and a few of the neighborhood kids, who would have probably played together that day anyway.  And while my son wanted a spy party I didn’t have the energy to get too themey.

spy party invitations with invisible inkSo instead of throwing a traditional spy birthday, we threw a spy birthday party disguised as a regular birthday party.  Genius, right?!  I just put together a really simple invitation and then since we only needed to give out a few, I bought each kid an invisible ink pen and wrote a secret spy message on the back.  I know it is hard to see but the message just told them that there was a secret spy component to the party and to get ready for some fun in the secret lair.  This killed two birds with one stone, easy decorating and a happy spy obsessed kid.

gallery wall for kids birthdayThe decorations in the house were kept to a minimum.  Aside from the balloon sign and marbled balloons from the first image in this post, I only decorated one other wall in my house.  This wall will eventually be a super cool gallery wall with all of our fave artwork.  But since it was blank I decided to put up a temporary gallery of the birthday boy.  I had these photos printed from Pinhole Press.  They are actually vinyl so they could have been stuck right on the wall!  But because I knew they weren’t staying, I put them up with washi tape.  And this is the first wall you see when you enter the house so there was no doubt we were celebrating a fifth birthday.

Disguises for kid's spy partyThere were just a few ways that I made sure this party was spy themed.  In an empty area of the kitchen I put up the “Disguise Department.”  I gathered all the dress up items that my kids already had and then picked up a few more things to round it out.  Since I knew about the theme for a few months, I was able to get a screaming deal on most of this right after Halloween.  I mean, a good spy uses disguises, am I right?

disguises at kid's spy birthday partyI’m not sure what these people are disguised as but we had a really fun time at the party watching how the kids put themselves together.  You guys.  Stick on mustaches with kids will never get old.  But stick on eyebrows and sideburns are hilarious too!

sticker name tags for the spy partyI created super easy name tags for the spies to wear.  There was no real reason for them to have these name tags.  But my son’s, when they are playing spies, make us go by an agent name.

spy lair for kid's birthday partyI knew that I wanted to have a spy lair in the backyard.  Since I have the most amazing friend who is a printer I decided to take a photo of this area in the backyard and have him print it, life-size, on a banner.  This would disguise their secret spy area.  The day of the party was soooo windy and I was worried we weren’t going to be able to use it.  That is why my husband’s bowling ball bag is right there (omg, did I just write that? Yes, my husband has his own ball and shoes…nerd).  Totally takes away from the amazingness of the banner but we didn’t really want it to fall on the kids.

birthday-boyThe birthday boy had a great time and all the kids loved playing in the “lair.”

kid's spy birthday partyI wanted to keep the party really free-flowing so I just set out a table and put out all the spy toys we had and the spy kits I had picked up from the dollar store.  Since most of these kids play together anyway, I knew they would come up with their own games to play.  My niece was the oldest kid there and she is a natural leader.  She took it upon herself to give out spy assignments and decide who was good and who was bad.  It all went really smoothly.  I had one other activity (a shooting practice) for the kids but it was far too windy for it.  Boo.

mini mylar balloon garlandYou may remember these balloons from a post I did before Christmas.  They are reusable so I used them again for this birthday.  I’m obsessed with them.  And these marble balloons that I found at Party Lab.  And I added a yellow finger-knitted garland for a pop of color.  I had made them for my Christmas tree so just grabbed one to use here too.

Easy party food for kid's birthday partyI kept the food really simple.  We had the party in between meal times so it mainly needed to be snacky. I made caramel corn and a bread salad (hopefully Kristin will share the recipe soon!) and my neighbor made some chocolate chip cookies.  Now let’s talk about the cake!  Kristin humored me and made a cake similar to one I had seen on pinterest.  I LOVE how it came out!  I’m pretty sure every single person at the party asked about it and my son thought it was so cool!  I topped it with a topper by Little Cat Design Co available at Sweet and Saucy Shop.

pinhole press custom beer labelsPinhole Press also makes labels for bottles.  I freaking love this picture of the birthday boy so I decided to make a quick label for the beer at the party (while this is a kid’s party, I always have some drinks for the adults too.  Grandpas like beer.  Grandmas like wine.  Super easy).

boxed water is better for partiesI also had juice for the kids and some Boxed Water.  Here’s the thing, most people at the party had never seen Boxed Water before.  The kids chose to drink water over the juice which made me super happy.  And that never happens at a party!  It was a total conversation starter and the boxes are recyclable.  So rad.  And they just look super cool.  This is a MUST for your next party!  Buy them here.

cake time at kid's birthday partyThen we sang.  Here you can see the marbling on the white chocolate on the cake.  It tasted amazing too.  Kind of hard to take this kid seriously, right?  And I’m not sure why my kid’s always end up without shirts…

present-openingNext it was time to open presents.  Some kids remained in costume.

favor-bagsThen it was time to grab a favor and head home.

spy disguises for favorsIn the brown lunch bags I gave each kid their own disguise kit including mustaches, eyebrows and a pair of sunglasses.  It was super simple but seeing how much fun they had with the stick on stuff at the party, I knew it was a good decision.

party aftermathThis party was super easy to put together and the kids had a GREAT time!  As long as my kid’s let me have a little say with their party themes I know I can throw a party everyone can be happy with.  And how great is that shirt by Prefresh!?  Not sure why it isn’t on my child…

How do you give your kid’s the party they want while still having fun with it.