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Preview: stem * fabulous parties start here *

stem * fabulous parties start here *





Updated: 2018-02-21T08:20:53.261-06:00

 



Thanks and See Ya?

2011-06-15T12:45:31.597-05:00

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Let me start with Thank You! Thank you to all of you who have commented or sent me personal emails during this hiatus. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the kind words and loving thoughts!

What started out as a little break has clearly become much longer-lived than anticipated. Funny how the weeks go by, isn’t it? To that, I’ve come to realize that there are only so many weeks in a month, days in a week, etc. I know you all know what I’m talking about! I think party people are some of the most over-committed people I know because we can’t ever turn down a creative adventure!

But, since there is only so much time in a day, and I’ve been dealing with things for awhile that necessitated that I take more of that time to take care of myself, I’ve had to make some decisions.

A lot of you know that Stem has been my side gig for some time now. I’ve yet to make the leap from leaving my full-time job. Were it just those two, I would have kept up that pace until I got the nerve to leave my job. Then a funny thing happened…I fell in love. (It’s okay, my husband is very understanding.)

Yep, I fell big-time, head over heels, goo goo gaga if you will over Operation Shower. Most everyone reading this realizes by now that I’m the Chief Event Planner for Operation Shower. As my love and responsibilities for it grew and my own personal issues reared their ugly heads time and again, it became clear something had to give. And, while I hate to give up Stem and any personal aspirations I have for it and what it could become, when it comes to me or the joy on the moms’ faces at an Operation Shower event, well, it’s kind of a no-brainer. (And a little selfish on some level because of the joy I get seeing them and I still get to plan parties!)


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The good news is Operation Shower is gaining more and more momentum!!! I don’t for one second forget to be grateful for many of you for making that happen. So many of you have been so supportive and continue to be, and I am forever grateful.

I may be back here one day. Who knows? It’s still pretty hard to hold back on whipping up some random project to post, but I have to remind myself that sometimes you make hard choices for the greater good. No doubt about it, Operation Shower is the greatest, most rewarding thing in my life. (Family/friends not included…settle down.) I am honored to be a part of it and honored that so many of you have followed me there with your support. I hope you continue to do so. (I mean, stick around...upcoming showers are full of help from some of your favorite party girls..seriously..good stuff!)

For you I have big thanks and big love.

Party on,
Amy



Go To The Source

2011-03-10T19:09:54.251-06:00

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PaperSource has a growing collection of DIY printable invitations just in time for Spring. These floral beauties have me longing for warmer weather to gather the girls outside for a simple Spring Brunch!
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I also love the simple, whimsical yet classic approach Paper Source designers take to children's parties and baby showers. There is just something so right about the simplicity.
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Someone have a baby so I can do carousel striped hanging mobiles. Or, do I feel a new Operation Shower theme coming on??? Hmmmm.....
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Lovelies from Just Lei

2011-03-08T07:07:00.183-06:00

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Several months ago, a sweet reader sent me an email asking for advice. It was such a treat last week to get some pictures from her about what she's been up to since.

Nothing much. Just the cutest, happiest little garden party. How much do we love those flower poms at each place setting?
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Lucky little Leiah got the playground party any little girl would want!
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Not to be overlooked, a cute pirate party was in order for the party dudes.
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Thanks again for sharing, Alanna. Wishing you continued success!

For more info and pictures, visit Just Lei for yourself. You're gonna want to see the cake that went with the cute garden party for sure!



I Can't

2011-03-03T09:54:50.455-06:00

.I can't pick a favorite from the new issue of Nonpareil magazine inspired by fashion..I can't find the words to express how incredible every issue is, actually..I can't possibly do these justice, so will just show you some glorious inspiration..I can't wait for you to head over and see the rest of the issue for yourself and find all the fantastic resources behind these beauties. ...........I can't wait for the next issue![...]



Paper Pick Me Up

2011-02-28T05:25:00.111-06:00

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Excuse the lack of posting. We're experiencing some family health issues here in our world.

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These bright and cheery floral crafts from Paper Source are definitely what the doctor ordered for a bright pick me up!

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Hopefully these images will brighten your day as well!



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G_ME ON!

2011-02-21T16:29:50.049-06:00

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Lost in an endless spiral of blogs, I ran across some Scrabble-inspired wall tiles. Couple that with the fact that the Mr. and I always have a game of Wordfeud going on our phones and it seemed logical to see what else was out there.
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Wouldn't you know it? The fabulous Dawn has it all right here from this old post that still reads just as relevant today. Just look at the cupcakes she posted about for starters!
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A quick search on Etsy turned up more scrabble goodies.

Drink charms...
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and coasters are just the tip of the iceberg!
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Whether you buy or DIY some of these, here are some simple ideas on how to have a fun night in with friends. (Have I mentioned I am a total game nerd? T_ue st_ry.)



A Perfect Pair {Contest}

2011-02-10T09:21:29.045-06:00

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Ahhh, Valentine's Day. A day to celebrate with wine and chocolate. Or, as I like to call it, "every day."
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To celebrate the Valentine’s season, Santa Rita Wines has paired up with Ghirardelli Chocolate to thank some special Facebook fans.
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What is better than wine and chocolate? Free wine and chocolate!
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Fans will randomly be selected to receive a Santa Rita/Ghirardelli gift basket full of goodies. Simply go here and become a Facebook fan of Santa Rita Wines for your chance to win.
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Deliciously simple! Good luck!



Sunshine Farms Gets A Whole Lot Sweeter!

2011-02-26T10:06:18.931-06:00

.One of the biggest treats of this blogworld is the opportunity to make friends and hopefully meet them in person and work together one day. Operation Shower holding events all over the country is allowing me to do just that and I have to say, it is FUN! One such instance is the sheer pleasure and honor of working with Marie from Sweets Indeed. You know her work. She is just as amazing as a person as she is as a designer. She's gone above and beyond helping with so much more that just desserts. She's now a huge Operation Shower cheerleader and networker. Thanks, Marie!I know what you really want to see though is her work. I can't blame. Girl is GOOD! ..Isn't it stunning? Just look at all the hand cut out work alone! Those mini cupcakes in egg cartons, the mini banana pudding, the gorgeous cookies...it's all just too much! ..I love how Marie took the printable elements that Jenn of Hostess With The Mostess designed and used them to embellish her sweets area. Superb collaboration! ..Loving that old wine rack used to hold caramel corn cones. Great reuse! ..Click on the pictures to enlarge, because you will want to see all the detail on that fondant cow and those amazing cookies!..Miniature pies for the shower weren't enough for Marie. Nope. She worked with her vendor to create pies to go for all the moms! Check out all of Marie's vendors below for all the sweet scoop!..Thank you again, Marie. You helped take this event to another level! Thanks to all of your fabulous vendors who donated as well!Vintage prop pieces: Found Vintage RentalsSouthern Banana Pudding Dessert Shots: Vanilla Bake ShopStrawberry Cheesecake Fudge: Jewel of the LionMini Cupcakes: HeavenscentFondant Cow: Half Baked Co.Decorated Cookies: Rizza RaglinMini Pies and Take-away pies: Porch PiesSweets Indeed provided the popcorn and all decor, etc.[...]



Welcome To Sunshine Farms

2011-02-02T09:08:31.845-06:00

.The most recent Operation Shower event, "Sunshine Farms", was a smashing success. This shower was held at The Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on January 25th.There are so many pictures to share that I will break this down into a couple of posts! Click on any picture to enlarge!Today's posts will focus on some of the decor. You will want to come back tomorrow though for the adorable sweets station by none other than, Sweets Indeed!Let's get started!When guests entered they immediately saw a veritable bounty of gifts in our "Gift Garden" and "Raffle Ranch" areas...Don't you love that signage? A big thank you to Hostess With The Mostess herself, Jenn, for doing all the printables and graphic design for this shower and for coming out to help!..(An exhausted but excited pair...Jenn and yours truly).The Gift Garden included diapers, adorable and cuddly items from Cloud B and the most lovely handmade blankets for each mom, made by a local mom and her teenage daughter. Thank you, all!..Thanks for having such great Raffle Ranch handwriting, Andrea! Don't you love that little chair by Jennifer Delonge? Kirby Ink created a special "Sunshine Farms" print for one lucky mom, too..Sun setting on set up day over the 14th green at Torrey Pines...The next morning. Get ready...here we go!..Heavenly Blooms went above and beyond in donating all the gorgeous florals you see. When they all arrived in boxes it was a stunning sight to see. Thank you, Jaclyne!..Centerpieces were a mix of pails with kid sized garden tools, toy wheelbarrows filled with hay and fresh veggies and florals with mini haybales. We mixed all of that with basic black and white linens donated by Celebrity Weddings, runners made from burlap, sushine yellow plates, mason jars for drinking glasses and Jenn's fabulous printables. (Details of printables to come soon)..Don't you love these aerial shots? All photos are by my friend of over 25 years, LeeAnn Widyn. Widyn Photography is based out of Dallas, Texas so if you live there, check her out. She's amazing.....Thanks to our friends and partners at March of Dimes and Kmart for everything you do and everything we do together! Additional thanks to The PGA TOUR, Farmers Insurance, Ashford University and AT&T..Okay, that is post #1. I promise there is so much more to come. To see all the photos, head over to Operation Shower's Facebook page and become a fan while you are there![...]



Beautiful Be Mine On A Budget

2011-02-01T07:10:37.373-06:00

.Sorting through all of the Operation Shower photos today to share with you all, and while I do, I had to share this adorable Valentine shoot and garland tutorial sent in by The Busy Budgeting Mama. Isn't it precious? ..Once again The Busy Budgeting Mama shows us how to create a lot of cute for a little cash. ..She even posted this sweet tutorial to show everyone how to make their own garland at home. I love the mix of the cut out hearts, circles and inexpensive doilies...Heart doilies are one of my favorite budget Valentine's day decor items. Love it when old is new again! ...Sophia sure seems to be pleased with mom's work!..Pop over to see more photos and all the 411 on how to recreate all of this yourself for your own Valentine's party. ..Thanks for sharing![...]



Coming Soon!

2011-01-31T09:56:14.596-06:00

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See this adorable, happy mom-to-be? She was one of our special guests at "Sunshine Farms" Operation Shower event last week. I love that smile!
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I cannot WAIT to show you all the pictures and share all the details and talent behind this shower. All the pictures should be in soon so do come back for more Sunshine Farms, ya hear?!
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Photography by my talented friend, LeeAnn, of Widyn Photography.



We LOVE these Operation Give Thanks for Valentine's!

2011-01-27T09:31:00.707-06:00

.All New 2011 Custom Printables From Some of Our Favorite Party Sites for Operation Give Thanks! We’ve once again teamed with some amazing party printable talent to bring you sets specially designed to benefit Operation Give Thanks.For a small $5.00 donation, you can download these simply incredible sets for Valentine’s Day. For as little as $5 you can kick off an amazing Valentine's Day party and give back to some deserving military families at the same time! Big kids or little kids...there is something for everyone with these sets. Just follow the links to the respective sites to download and donate. Or, donate here! Take a look at the amazing sets by Paper & Pigtails and Bird Crafts. Paper & Pigtails...perfect for a Girls' Night In! . . .. . . Bird's Party can Bee Mine anytime of year! ...... .In case you don't know... What Is Operation Give Thanks?Operation Give Thanks is a nation-wide fundraising campaign to help Operation Shower continue our mission to throw amazing baby showers for military families to ease the burden of deployment. We are often asked how to best help Operation Shower. We decided that since Operation Shower gives back to our military families through parties, so can YOU!.We are asking people across the nation to host parties, big or small, to raise money for Operation Shower. Already hosting a party for a holiday or special event? Why not simply ask guests for a small donation to Operation Shower’s Operation Give Thanks while you are it? What a wonderful way to express your gratitude and thanks at this special time of year — and have fun! .Our long-term goal is to reach every military base in the nation. Our short-term goal is to raise $50,000 through Operation Give Thanks to enable us to shower over 200 more moms-to-be! That’s right, if you raise $250 for Operation Shower, that helps us to throw a full amazing baby shower with gifts for a military mom to be whose spouse is deployed!Donate Now!Huge thanks to Paper&Pigtails and Bird Crafts for creating these sets for us. Don't forget, you can still download the 2010 sets here. Many are still perfect for your next party! [...]



Cool Baby Products to Go Ga Ga (Goo) Over

2011-01-17T15:16:13.004-06:00

That is a really lame title for some really cool, funny and hip baby products.

Egg2Cake seriously has some of the cutest, most entertaining things for new moms or moms-to-be.

A clever mom dictionary with all kinds of funny terms is just the start.

Mama needs her sleep and so does baby.
This might be my favorite though. A feeding and diaper log that is so much cuter than your spiral notebook because, let's face it....nothing is cute about diaper changes.
Visit Egg2Cake for these and many other clever and cute baby products.
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Can you tell I'm in baby land getting ready for the Operation Shower event in San Diego next week? I can't wait to share more on that event very soon! Please pardon the sparce posting until then!



Spotlight: Paper & Pigtails

2011-01-13T09:05:50.312-06:00

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Have you seen Paper&Pigtails new site? Isn't it dreamy? Love the large photos!

Know what else I love? This adorable Night Owl sleepover set coming soon. Aren't those mattresses just the cutest?
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Stop in and see Kori's new digs and be sure and hit The Shoppe for your next party!



Groovy Kind Of Love

2011-01-11T07:11:00.475-06:00

.Just when you think you've seen everything, something like this comes along and makes you think "why didn't I think of that?" and "Abigail is lucky she is so awesome because I'm tempted to not like her right now." Maybe that last part is just me.That would be Abigail of Paper&Cake and creator of this totally groovy printable collection that is perfect for a birthday, sleepover or a Valentine's full of love and peace...I mean, really, have you ever? This looks like a preteen or teen dream party. The bold colors and graphic designs just pop off of that white. Why not throw a Valentine dress-up party for the little girls in your life? They would LOVE you for it...Birthdays, too, of course. I mean Paper & Cake has already done so much of the work for you. The treat bags alone are almost too much for me to handle. ..You add in popcorn boxes, toppers, that to die for banner, labels and everything else in this collection and you've got quite a fantastic flashback happening here. .Visit Paper&Cake for even more pictures and to get your own Peace Love printable collection. Word has is that Abigail and I will finally get to meet in San Diego for the Operation Shower event coming up and that if a mere 3 people leave her a comment on her blog or Facebook page saying they saw this here, that she will volunteer to cut my meat for me at dinner. I realize that makes sense to no one else but Abigail so trust that it is the funniest thing you have ever or will ever read. : ) [...]



What Is Your Intention?

2011-01-05T10:21:50.987-06:00

.Far be it from me to start rushing through this year already, but it is time to start thinking about Valentine's Day. Don't blame me. Blame the calendar. ..Luckily Better Homes and Gardens has such lovely eye candy for us all that it makes thinking about the next holiday already a liiiiitle more bearable. ..All of these are simple and yet simply delightful ways to add a little love to your space. Now then, it's never too early to talk about that, is it? Speaking of a New Year. I made one sweeping "intention" this year. (Last year I banished the word "resolution" in favor of the more optimistic and zen-like word "intention!")My intention this year is to simply spend even more time doing things that really matter. I'm still defining what all that means to me, but I do know it encompasses giving even more, spending more time engaged in physical activity, spending more time reading, being more aware of food sources, taking more time for myself, spending more time having dates with my husband, spending more time on spiritual things. See how tricky I was? I made one "intention" that can cover so many things. In my head it makes it less overwhelming! Don't wake me from my delusion. I simply want to spend more time doing things that matter. What is your intention this year? [...]



Posh In A Pinch

2011-01-03T07:03:00.379-06:00

.Being a fan of Mad Libs, being silly, colorful kid parties and Ashleigh herself, I am pleased to share this fun Mad Libs Pajama Party from Posh Parties, LLC..With awesome invitations from Lindi of Love The Day, the colorful scene was set!..The addition of colorful paper lanterns and layered table runners (how smart is that?) gave the girls a fun room to create their sand art...A local performing troupe led the girls in silly songs and sayings. A great reminder that sometimes just keeping it simple is really the best way to go. Kids just love to have fun and be kids and I think this idea is just adorable...A rainbow cake to match the invitations? Yes, please. ...The day was capped off with what else? Colorful favor bags filled with the crafts the girls created and their own Mad Libs book to take home...Check out Ashleigh's post here to see what else the girls were up to and to find all the resources for the party.Thanks for sharing, Ashleigh, and good luck with the new blog![...]



Cheers!

2010-12-29T15:24:34.635-06:00

.It's never too early to start on that New Year's Resolution. You know...THAT one. The one that makes gyms crowded from January 2nd - mid-February. Lucky for us though, Crystal Light has some delicious cocktail recipes that you can enjoy this New Year's Eve with a fraction of the guilt! .Let's let our eyes do the work here. . .Note the non-alcholic version for a fun option for all ages. . .A champagne punch? Yes, please. Pass the bubbles.. .Make a batch of this and serve in your favorite beverage canister. Have ice nearby so it doesn't get watered down...like it will last that long!. .Admit it, you feel a little fancy anytime the word "martini" is involved, don't you? The addition of fresh fruit is always a nice touch, too. .If you think about it, you would really be doing your tastebuds and your waistline a favor by whipping any of these up this New Year's Eve. How can you argue with that? .Now, about those lines for the treadmill in January. Just stick it out. You'll have the gym to yourself again in a few weeks. .Cheers!Amy.Not a sponsored post from Crystal Light and I received no compensation for this. I just like to drink delicious things! [...]



The Giving Continues...

2010-12-27T08:30:22.849-06:00

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The Giving Madam, a military mom herself, has created another set of FREE New Year's Eve printables to benefit Operation Give Thanks.
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Simply pop on over to her site, download, print and play! Like all of the other lovely printables for Operation Give Thanks, these are totally free. We'd love it if you'd consider a small donation to Operation Shower in exchange.
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If you use these or the ones by Love The Day be sure and share pictures with me. Love to see these ladies' work in action!



Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

2010-12-23T17:09:18.889-06:00

.I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season before I head out for a few days...I mentioned the "tablescape" here and thought there was no better way to wish you all the very best in each of your homes than to share a few scenes from ours this year. .....I also mentioned I went through a "lush" phase (no, not the too much wine drinking kind of "lush") this season. I typically skew more modern and Christmas is the time to bring out the peacock feathers and that color palette. Just felt like mixing it up this year and going a bit more rustic and wintery with hints of lime green. Twas a nice change of pace!Speaking of... as the pace of the holidays leaves many of us frantic and worn out, I hope you each take time to relax and enjoy every minute of it....Soak it in. 2011 is on it's way. I don't know about you, but I plan on making it the best year yet! Cheers,Amy [...]



Simply Adorable

2010-12-22T10:36:34.991-06:00

.Lovely Brandy, of Simply Creative Insanity has post two back to back fun posts showcasing her talent.I'm riffing on her gift card tree for a gift I'm giving next week, in fact. Thanks, Brandy! ...And the snowman...doesn't he look so cute perched above the cupcakes? Adorable!...More pictures and details found on Brandy's blog so be sure and stop by for all the action. [...]



Wrapper's Delight

2010-12-21T07:01:00.975-06:00

.Need some last minute gift wrap ideas? Maybe this will help you look at old things in a new way...This year I decided not to go buy a million dollars worth of wrapping supplies and attempt to use only items I already had on hand. You got me, it's still paper. but at least I tried to be "green" and not go buy new things as I'm oh so tempted to do...Disclaimer: I did buy the little reindeer (he was so sparkly...I HAD to) and the brown kraft box, but that's it. The rest is an assortment of goodies from my huge stash of things combined together to make a festive and fun Christmas...With the goal of keeping it funky, I used elements such as kraft paper, paper lunch bags, burlap, decorative tape and red and lime green gift wrap torn to get that perfectly imperfect look...I really like how this torn paper look turned out. And those white paper flowers? Those little Martha Stewart goodies have been in my stash for two years now. That is why I love clearance finds. You never know when you might need them!..So, go for it. Don't worry about everything being perfect. Mix it up this year! Gift wrap is a great place to experiment with the unexpected.So, I've shared. Now then, what is your gift wrap "theme" this year?[...]



Operation Give Thanks: Free New Year's Eve Printables

2010-12-20T07:15:00.150-06:00

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Sweet and talented, Lindi of Love The Day, has created a gorgeous collection of New Year's Eve free printables to benefit Operation Give Thanks. You're gonna want these!
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I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Lindi at the last shower at Walter Reed, as she generously donated her time and talents to help make the day extra special for some very deserving military moms-to-be.

I am so glad that she decided to donate her time again in creating these free printables. I bet you are, too!

The printables are completely free, but we ask if you choose to use them, that you consider making a small donation to Operation Shower to help us continue our mission of honoring the sacrifices military families make by producing and coordinating unit-wide baby showers and "showers in a box" for pregnant or expecting military families in a deployment or high stress situation.

Happy New Year, indeed!



How About Awesome?

2010-12-16T14:49:03.068-06:00

.How About Orange has been killing it lately (and by "lately", I mean "always") in the DIY Tutorials. I love these for the holidays and I'm going to let these do the talking for themselves!...... [...]



Vintage Winter Forest Part Two

2010-12-15T07:17:00.043-06:00

.Wanted to share some more images from the Vintage Winter Forest holiday party I recently did. You saw the dessert area here. Now for the tablesettings.As mentioned, the scene was set with the gorgeous salad plates from Head of the Table. I can't recommend Kim's service enough for those of you lucky enough to live in St. Louis! We are so lucky to have this great resource for rental items that are beyond the average commonly found....I had fun making this wreath "chandelier" to hang from the center of the room. By taking a grapevine wreath and adorning it with battery operated lights, some faux garland and other holiday items, you can create a great focal piece that makes a statement and stays easy on the budget! The possibilities to personalize this are endless, too! ...One of my other favorite elements was the bar signage created by simply wrapping foamcore boards in gift wrap, cutting out letters and making them sparkle with some glue and glitter. A great way to make an impact on a blank wall when affixed with removable 3M wall mount stickers. (Ignore the upside down "B", please...act like it was intentional and funky!). This is a great trick to use that you can customize with any party by changing out the gift wrap and the wording!..Thanks again to Kelly for the feature and for all the sweet words here and on Facebook about this party!Happy holidays!Amy [...]