How to Have a Dirty Dancing Viewing Party

How to have a Dirty Dancing Viewing Party*This post is in conjunction with Netflix #StreamTeam. Each month I share how my family and I are enjoying what’s playing on Netflix. And since every member of my family is addicted to television, we watch a lot of Netflix.

While Netflix creates tons of original programming (if you haven’t watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt yet, stop what you are doing and go watch it. It’s freaking hysterical and my fave new show) they also have tons of your older movie favorites. Just this past weekend my oldest son and I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off together. It lead to a discussion on how much cursing is in that movie…oops. And he handled it really well so it was really fun to get to share one of my favorite movies with him. One of our favorite ways to explore Netflix is to look for themes that tie certain movies or shows together. In the case of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, she totally reinvents herself after coming out from 15 years in a bunker. Jack Black’s character makes some wonderful self discoveries in School of Rock and Baby comes to Kellerman’s a shy, unworldly girl in Dirty Dancing and leaves a confidant woman in love with great abs.

Life gets super busy but I think it is really necessary to have girl time and get together with friends. Here’s how to have a Dirty Dancing viewing party where your girlfriends can come over, chill out and you can talk about how you all have reinvented yourselves over the years or how you want to in the future.

Don’t make it stressful on yourself. Doing just a few special touches will set the right atmosphere and get your friends excited. Create a simple postcard for Kellerman’s Resort as the invitation. Just find a photo of a resort online, print it out and handwrite the info on the back!

I remember owning this soundtrack and listening the heck out of it. But you can also find some different versions of the songs like this version of “Love is Strange” by Wings.

You KNOW you must have a watermelon cocktail. This watermelon sangria bar is the perfect idea!

If you want to have your guests dress from the movie, there are some really easy outfits to recreate. This tulle skirt look is a fun take on the ballet skirt she pairs with a ribbed white tank for dance rehearsals. Or there is always the long cuffed jean shorts and tied white button up look or shorter rolled jean shorts paired with a coral bodysuit. But don’t make your guests dress up if you think it will stress them out. Themed dress up usually stresses me out.

There is not need to go all out and redecorate your house for one night but how amazing is this watermelon print!

You may remember a post for a while ago where I went to a Dirty Dancing themed party. It was super casual and I DID put Baby in the corner of these rice krispy treats. And check out the Hungry P”eyes” that Kristin brought to the party.

And while you don’t have to send your guests home with a favor, these orange blossom-thyme suckers would be perfect with a little tag that said “I had the thyme of my life.”

See, so easy and so fun!

image credits: Kellerman postcard . watermelon sangria . tulle skirt outfit .  watermelon print (no longer available but this one is similar) . krispy treats with baby in the corner . orange blossom-thyme suckers

Also check out Turbo and Princess Diaries 2 for shows your younger kids will love!

Thank you for supporting the brands, like Netflix, that let me watch television and bring you fun posts.


How to Host an Awards Show Viewing Party

Easy Award Show Viewing Party Tips.Do you love awards show season as much as I do? I LOVE pop culture and one of my majors in college was TV/Film so you know I love my celebrities and all that goes with it. Today I’m going to show you How to Host an Awards Show Viewing Party. I keep it really simple because I like to enjoy my get togethers too. If you focus on a few details ahead of time, you can show your guests a great time and get to be part of the party fun.

Tips for throwing an Awards Show Viewing Party.To start, I know that baking is NOT my specialty. I’d like to blame my oven (which does run hot, btw) but I know that some of the fault lies with me. I always pick up a few store-bought cupcakes, because who doesn’t love cupcakes? Then I just use some edible gold stars to make these feel a little more “Hollywood.”

Keep food simple at an awards show viewing partyI serve SUPER simple recipes, that can be made ahead of time, and I choose things that aren’t fussy. This Sweet and Salty Movie Mix snack took about 2 minutes to make. And this delicious King’s Hawaiian Bread crostini snacks couldn’t be easier and can be made in savory versions too. I had never thought about using half a Sweet Roll in this way before, but it is SUCH a great idea! Don’t forget to check out all the award show recipes over on the King’s Hawaiian’s special award show party planning site!

Red tulips in a unique vase are a great focal point for your table.Awards shows are usually all about glamour. And to me, red is a must have color. I picked up a few bunches of red tulips at the market and created these pretty arrangements. One of my weaknesses, in the whole realm of entertaining, is flower arranging. What works for me is using really interesting vases and one type of bloom. On the flip side, using drinking glasses or jars and splitting up a bouquet of flowers works wonders as well. You can place these smaller arrangements around the table to add pops of color where you need it.

Cocktail themed candy for an Awards Viewing Party.I have kids so they are usually included in most of the things I do. But awards shows do not interest my kids. They love a football party. But don’t understand why anyone would watch an awards show. They usually go play at the neighbor’s house when I have people over for awards shows. So that means I don’t really have to include them in the party food. Which means that I get to go a little more adult-friendly with my spread. Cocktail themed candy is a great thing and perfect for an awards show party. These colorful, sophisticated lollipops by Quin come in standard fruity flavors but also in wine flavors, like the one with Pinot Gris, shown on the right. And champagne flavored Jelly Belly’s just make sense.

Edible confetti for cocktails.Of course you should keep the champagne flowing through out your shindig, but also serve a signature cocktail like this Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail. People love to try new cocktails but sometimes don’t take the time to make them for themselves at home. Now is your chance to be creative and share your favorites with your guests.

Award show viewing party tip: Edible confetti for cocktails.To make it extra fun, add edible confetti! Edible confetti is super versatile and you can use themed hole punches or even cut out letters to write your own messages.

How to throw an Awards Show Viewing Party.Watching the awards show is the main activity of your party, of course! But you simply HAVE to play awards show bingo (which you can find around the web) or have people guess the winners on their own ballots. The prizes can be super easy and inexpensive. Here I picked up a small succulent and used a paint pen to write “winner” on one of the leaves. Pick up a tray of delicious gold candies to send home with the winner. Or let them take a tiny party home with them by gifting this confetti pop.

Do you host awards show viewing parties? Or do you watch them alone on your couch with popcorn and booze? There’s no judging. There is no wrong answer.

Host an awards show viewing party, share the details with King’s Hawaiian and you can win prizes! See the official rules and read more about it over at

This post was sponsored by King’s Hawaiian. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me help you solve problems and plan fun events. 


Iced Tea Bar for

Set up an Iced Tea Bar for your next baby shower.My latest post for is up! Head on over to their site to see how I set up a refreshing iced tea bar and what flavorings I used. Hint: they aren’t your average flavors…

Ice Cream Float Bar

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. *Tillamook sent me coupons to purchase the ice cream for my son’s party. How cool is that?!

For the last few years we have kept our kid’s parties small. Gone are the days of my over the top kid’s parties. But I still like to make them special and memorable. That often means trying to do things a little bit differently. Most parties serve ice cream and soda. So this time I decided to set out an ice cream float bar. It was a total hit.

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. I’m mess averse so I didn’t want to set this out for the kid’s to do themselves. The kids range in ages from way too little to scoop their own ice cream to old enough to know that if they scoop their ice cream themselves they can get crazy. I brought out all the ingredients in the kitchen and recruited my sister-in-law to help me make them for the kids. I went to Bev Mo to buy all kinds of flavored sodas and picked up one 2 liter bottle of root beer. Because root beer floats. I picked up some standard flavors for the Tillamook ice cream including vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. And picked up one odd ball flavor – mint chocolate chip, in case anyone wanted to get crazy. We brought in the kids two at a time and they got to pick their flavors. There was lots of mixing.  Let me tell you, that blue cream soda was a hit. I had one taker for the banana soda and everyone skipped the pineapple.

Set up an Ice Cream Float bar for your next kid's party.I had forgotten to purchase the straws with spoons on the ends but the kids still really loved them. We had monster faces to add-on their straws and they were all set. They loved comparing the colors of their floats.

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. You can easily set up a float bar for an adult party too. Along with the flavored sodas you can also set out some Irish Cream, or other flavored liqueur.

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. Don’t be dumb. You don’t need me to give you the steps to make a soda float.

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. This chocolate ice cream + strawberry soda number was delicious.

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. Thanks to all the artificial colors the soda gets super foamy and bright. Yeah chemicals!

Ice Cream FloatI bet you want to go make yourself a float now, don’t you.

Thank you, Tillamook, for providing me the ice cream for my son’s birthday party. And thank YOU for supporting the companies that give me free ice cream and allow me to share cool things with you.


Best Champagne Punch Recipe

Best Champagne Punch Recipe.This is the best champagne punch recipe. The only one you’ll ever need. It is my family’s go-to celebratory recipe and we’ve been serving it for years. But if you get the chance you really should serve it to your friends out in the middle of the desert. All images via Tammy Mendoza.

Photo shoot out in Palm Springs.Since we were headed out to Palm Springs to shoot some new head shots, we thought it would be fun if we shot a recipe post while we were out there. This is the type of stuff that is so fun for a creative person. So often I have these big ideas in my head but the logistics to pull them off are a little bit too much for one person, or on account of family time constraints. I was SO excited to be able to sneak away with Tammy and Lauren and get to do something totally different.

Champagne and the desert. Two of my favorite things. We found this gorgeous little spot to set up in and got the bottles popping.

Best Champagne Punch RecipeAnd then started assembling the ingredients. This punch is pretty citrus-y so its refreshing and flavorful.

Add the champagne.What I love about champagne punch is that it works well for a crowd and because of all the other ingredients, you don’t need to splurge on the good bubbly. A super cheap bottle is perfect. And since this is SO yummy, you will need to make several batches. Know that going in and have several batches prepped ahead of time.

Slice citrus fruits for an easy garnish for your punch.Usually the garnish is some citrus slices. If you want to get crazy, you can add fresh raspberries. The pop of pink is a really fun touch. And edible flowers would be even more lovely.

Champagne in Palm Springs.Although this is a punch and your natural instinct might be to run towards your standard punch bowl, you should change things up a bit. I like to serve this Here I decided to use a vase to serve the punch in.

Make champagne punch and serve it in something other than a punch bowl to keep things interesting. I love to use things for something other than their intended purpose.

Delicious citrus champagne punch.But if that’s not your jam, simply make several batches and serve them in mismatched glass jars. Empty wine bottles are perfect for this. And this is a great way to make sure that all your guests can get their beverage quickly without having to wait for the ladle.

Best champagne punch recipe..How gorgeous is this?! It really makes me want to throw a whole desert party.

Fur coats and champagne punch in Palm Springs.

Best Champagne Punch Recipe
Best champagne punch recipe. Citrusy and refreshing, this punch is perfect for all your festive gatherings.
Serves: 3 quarts
  • 1 can (46 oz.) Pineapple Juice (cold)
  • 1 bottle (28 oz.0 Club Soda (cold)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) Frozen OJ Concentrate (thawed)
  • 1 bottle Champagne or Sparkling Wine (chilled)
  • 1 lemon or lime, finely sliced for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries for garnish (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients, stir and serve.
  2. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon or lime.
  3. Can be made the night before but wait to add the club soda and champagne until ready to serve.
  4. Should at least plan to double or triple the recipe. It is a crowd pleaser.

All images by Tammy Mendoza of Dez and Tam Photography 

*I did not create this recipe. Years ago, before blogs and Pinterest, when you found a recipe you liked, you wrote it down and emailed it to all your friends and family. The source for this recipe is long gone. If you know the source, please share! I like to credit when credit is due!