Friday, September 2, 2011

Gifts that Give

When I was planning my wedding a few years back, I was stumped on what to provide for my guests as their wedding favors. A wine bottle topper? A baggie of mint candies? A cute little sugar cookie shaped as a cake or the letter M? The more I thought about it, I realized that my guests didn't NEED anything, in fact I didn't want to waste money on items that would possibly break, get thrown out, or taste terrible. So I decided on a gift that gives, a donation in my guests honor to Misericordia Heart of Mercy. Since my husband is a lover of anything football, we decided to treat our guests with mini footballs imprinted with Misericordia's logo and our wedding date. On the bottom of each personal menu, we explained our donation and our family's connection to Misericordia.

I love the idea of having party favors be actual gifts that can make a positive difference in somebody else's life. There are hundreds of non-profit organizations out there that rely on donations to keep their charity running, so pick a cause that is important to you and let your guests know that a donation has been made to that particular charity. Consider donating to an adoption agency at baby shower, a local human society at a zoo themed party, or milk or chickens to children and families in 3rd world countries at a farm themed party. If you are stumped on what you can give, I have lots of ideas for gifts that give and would love to help you out.

So when it comes time to throw your next party or event, instead of filling treat bags full of trinkets or hitting the Internet for bulk candies and little baggies; give a gift that will make a difference in the lives of others. After all isn't it better to give than to receive?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gracie Bug is Turning One!

From the time Grace was born I began planning her first birthday party, call it a sickness, I call it passion and a slight obsession. As I began to brainstorm ideas, I fell in love with a ladybug themed party; I mean how are those little red, black-spotted bugs not adorable? With the theme set, I was now on the hunt for the perfect location and couldn't think of a better place than a local park. If you know Grace, there is nothing this little girl loves more than the park.

Theme...check. Location...check. Now it was time to focus on all of the fun ladybug details, my favorite part of planning this party. The color scheme for the party was red, black, and a touch of lime green. For the tables, I alternated between two different ladybug designs. Half of the tables were covered with black table clothes and accented with a ladybug balloon centerpiece; while the other half were covered in red table clothes with black polka dots to resemble a ladybug.

The dessert table displayed handmade ladybug party hats, lime green wrapped boxes which served as a display to our red and black polka dotted ladybug cupcakes, and Grace's personal ladybug smash cake.

The "Big Bugs" were given a treatbag full of candy while the "Little Bugs" were given a treatbag full of ladybug crayons and a ladybug mini coloring book. Both were adorned with a personalized thank you tag that matched the invitations. Aside from the park, there was a ladybug pinata and since it was the middle of August, a refreshing water balloon fight :)

Last but not least, Gracie Bug's party outfit was a red tutu covered in black polka dots with a personalized onesie and matching ladybug hair clip, all found on Etsy.

I had so much fun planning this party and despite the heat, it was a fantastic party!


-Most items were purchased at a local party store and Michaels.

-Ladybug pinata came from Birthday Express.

-Ladybug coloring books came from Birthday Direct.

-Invites, gift tags, tutu, onesie, and ladybug crayons were purchased through Etsy.