Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is one of my family's favorite summer movies.  We must have seen it at least 4 times this summer alone, and you can often hear my husband and I quoting lines from this movie.  Since I love this movie, I thought it would make a super fun monthly dinner theme...and I was right!  This was so much fun to put together.

Invite:  I designed the invite playing with some of the lines from the movie to include in the text.

Entry:  For the entry I made a R.O.U.S. (Rodent of Unusual Size) out of a trash-bag. I stuffed it with a pillow and a blanket and tied a zip-tie  to make the head.  The eyes and ears are cut out of cardstock and taped onto the bag.  For the tail, I detached the hose from my husband's ShopVac. Easy and cute.

I also made a simple sign with cardstock and foam board to welcome guests.

Table Decor:  I had so much fun decorating my table with iconic items or lines from the movie.

The Battle of Wits makes an easy centerpiece.  I bought decorative glasses from the dollar store and spray-painted them black and grey. I painted a wine bottle black, found a large rock, and placed a white napkin on it to represent the tablecloth from the Battle of Wits scene in the movie. I filled a small bottle with powdered sugar and made an Iocane Powder label.  Added a simple Battle of Wits sign, and that was it.  It was a super inexpensive and easy centerpiece.

Some close-ups of the centerpiece.

I think the place setting had a couple of my favorite details of the theme.  My mom helped me make these Dread Pirate Roberts' head-wraps with black fabric.  They are pinned and tacked/tied with thread - no sewing involved!  The mask I cut out of cardstock with my Cricut.

The second favorite detail I came up with was the napkins I shaped into swords.  I bought grey dinner napkins, unfolded them, refolded them along the long edge, and them cut off the end to look pointed.  The hilt I cut out with my Cricut.

I set the napkin swords along the tops of each plate.

For placecards, I used the famous line of Inigo Montoya, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die." Instead of his name, I put the guest's name and a fill in the blank.

I made wine charms to represent different characters/sayings/events in the movie.  I had the shrieking eels, the Brute Squad, twoo wuv, iocane powder, stormin' the castle, the Dread Pirate Roberts, and the 6 fingered man.

These are the wine labels I created for the evening.  A little Inconceivable Cab for guest's to take "Sips of Insanity" and an "As You Wish" white.

Above the side table, I quickly made this simple "As You Wish" banner for added decor.

For a little snack as guests were waiting for the meal to be ready, I had two appetizers.  The first was just a bowl of peanuts.  Fezzik is one of my favorite characters in the movie, and I love his rhyming throughout. "No more rhymes now. I mean it!  Anybody want a peanut?" has me giggling every time.

The second appetizers was MLT sandwiches. MLT's = Mutton, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwiches (the mutton in this case is turkey).  Billy Crystal as Miracle Max cracks me up in the movie, and I didn't think we could have a Princess Bride dinner party without serving MLTs. Since I didn't want it to be my main dish, I made bite-size sandwiches as an appetizer. I used sword toothpicks for added fun just because it went with the overall theme of the evening.

For the main meal, I made the three dangers of the Fire Swap.  First was the R.O.U.S.  To make these Rodents of Unusual Size, I grilled some thick round steaks and then added cardstock ears on toothpicks and set them on a tail also made of cardstock.  They don't look super fancy or professional, but they got the point across and gave us all a laugh.

Here's a look at one of the R.O.U.S. steaks close up.  I guess they look more cute than scary, but...

The second danger of the fire swap is the Flame Spurts that erupt from the ground.  For this, I served red, yellow, and orange peppers sliced to look like flames.  These are seasoned and then baked in the oven so that we could keep the shape.

The third danger of the Fire Swamp is Lightning Sand.  This was just a simple brown rice.

I centered the dessert around the Princess Buttercup character.  I mean, who doesn't love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, right?  This peanut butter cup cheesecake was very good, but very rich.  It has an Oreo cookie base, a peanut butter cheesecake with some pieces of Reese's in the center, and then of course more Reese's on top. If you like peanut butter, then this is the dessert for you.

Favor:  For a parting gift for guests, I bought chocolate covered almonds and put them in little jars.  I designed a tag for Miracle Max's  Mostly Dead Revival Pills to stick on the front.  Pretty simple, and easy to put together.

All in all, we had a lot of fun Stormin' the Castle and laughing at parts of the movie playing in the background.  Another great party with a fun theme!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Lovin' Country Music

Love country music?  Then this might be a great party for you.  This is a slight twist on the typical cowboy/rodeo theme party because all the decor, food, and favors centered specifically around country music songs.  While country music fans would be able to pick up on all the references, I included some popular country songs that even non-country lovers out there would know. (Non-country lovers do exist, right?)

Invite:  The invite is an example of pulling in titles of country songs.  I included classics like Hank Williams Jr.'s "All my Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight" and George Strait's "Check Yes or No" as well as newer hits like Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party".  The fonts are Duality, Bleeding Cowboys, and Docktrin.  I found them all free online.

Entry Decor:  I made a simple sign on poster board with the lyrics from Luke Bryan's song, "You Can Crash My Party Anytime".  I placed my daughter's cowboy boots and an old pair of mine on the floor next to this poster as well.

Decor:  I borrowed an acoustic guitar from a friend to set on my table.  I grabbed my cowboy boots and put a vase inside with red roses. 

My parents have these large black music notes for a concert organization they are involved in, so I borrowed them to put next to the boots.  A brown tablecloth completed the look.

I had so much fun making these place cards.  I found CD cover photos of various country music albums and used PhotoShop to replace the artist's face and name with those of each of my guests.  We got a kick out of looking at all of these! I put the printed covers inside a CD case to make it look real. The red or black bandana underneath was the napkin for the meal.

Here's mine.  Thanks for loaning me your body Carrie Underwood!

I created my wine labels using references to popular songs. For the red wine it was Chris Young's "Gettin' You Home."

For the white wine, the song was Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine."  I cut up some strawberries for guests to put in the wine.  It was quite tasty.

I went to the local Guitar Center and purchased some plastic guitar picks in various colors to use as wine charms. My husband drilled a small hole in them and then I used twine to attach them to my mason jars.

Menu:  Who doesn't love fried chicken?  Or should I say, who doesn't like their chicken fried?  One of my favorite country bands is the Zac Brown Band, so I had to incorporate their song into my party somehow.  It became our main dish.

One side was corn on the cob which went with Tim McGraw's song "Where The Green Grass Grows."  I made all the menu cards to match my invitations, and served each dish with the menu card so guests knew the link.

Slices of watermelon to go with "Watermelon Crawl" by Tracy Byrd.  It's such a fun song to dance along with and watermelon is an easy side dish.

I served biscuits with honey butter to round out the meal.  This went with Kasey Musgraves' song "Biscuits" and Lady Antebellum's song "American Honey".

My favorite part of the meal was the Texas cake complete with signs for all of George Strait's "exs".  I printed off an outline of Texas and just used that to cut an 11"x 13" cake.  I used the pieces after cutting to create the pointed tip of Texas.

Favor: I wanted a fun favor that wouldn't be too difficult or expensive to put together. I found these silly tattoos on Amazon.  Then I used PhotoShop to create a pocket with the sheet music for Jason Aldean's "Tattoos on this Town" and the same image (with lyrics) that I created for my menu cards.

Here another idea I was considering before I decided on the tattoos.  Use Runaway June's song "Lipstick" for a bridal shower. Have your tag read, "Glad (bride-to-be's name) found somebody "who ruins (her) lipstick not (her) mascara" and give each guest a tube of lipstick.

This was a super fun party to put together and would be perfect for any country music fans.  Hope you enjoyed the details!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Shark Week!

Shark Week (at the end of July) is such a popular week on Discovery Channel, and I knew it would make a fun theme for a monthly dinner.  I had a lot of fun carving sharks out of food and coming up with ideas for this party.

Invite:  I stuck to the basics with the invitation. I stayed away from actual sharks as I didn't want a scary "real-looking" shark on it or a cartoon one.  Blues, white, and red was the color scheme I went with for this party and invitation.

Decorations:  The table was simple with a blue plastic tablecloth, an easy centerpiece, and handmade scrapbook paper decor.

For the centerpiece, I purchased a net from Michaels.  (FYI - the net was $7 (pre-coupon) for that little piece!)  My kids already had the shark puppet that I put around a candle.  The fins are just two pieces of grey felt sewn together and set over an empty vase.

The placecards I made with my Cricut.  I found a shark silhouette image and added each girl's name to the center.  I welded two of the sharks together and then put a scrap of red paper in between them before gluing.

I love my shark bookmarks that I used for my napkins. I made them a bit larger than I normally would for a bookmark so that they would be big enough to fit a red napkin in the mouth.

I really like how they turned out.

I made wine labels to play with the theme.  The Great WHITE shark for my white wine, and the hammerhead shark "Drink Red and Get Hammered" for the red.

I made some silly wine charms playing off names of types of sharks -- nurse shark, pool shark, loan shark, etc.

My daughter helped me make this simple shark banner. I cut the pieces with my Cricut and my daughter glued them onto the twine.

Menu:  We started with a green salad with yummy toppings - grilled corn, tomato, and bacon.  I cut sharp white cheddar cheese into shark fins.  I used the end of a mustache cookie cutter to cut them out instead of trying to do it by hand.

For the main dish, we had chicken, pesto, and roasted red pepper sandwiches.  I had a shark cookie cutter made by a local cake shop which I used to cut sourdough bread into sharks. Then we added slices of deli chicken meat that we cut with the shark cookie cutter as well so it would keep the look of the shark. Then we just added the other ingredients and grilled them on the stove.

I carved a shark head out of a watermelon which was fun.  It took a bit of time, but it came out cute and wasn't too difficult.

I also carved a cucumber into a shark for my "shark infested" veggies.  I served yellow squash, carrots, and asparagus that I cooked in the oven.

For dessert, I made white cake cupcakes with shark fins on top and a strawberry glaze inserted into the middle.  When guests bit into the cupcake, the strawberry glaze was a fun little surprise.  I didn't get a photo of the inside of my cupcakes, but this is a photo from Cupcakes and Cashmere, where I saw the idea. The shark fins on the top are just cardstock I attached to a toothpick.  I stuck them in right before serving, so that they did not get greasy from the frosting.

Favor:  I love these favors!  I made them using a template I found online and then just cut them out using my Cricut. Then I just had to fold the box and glue all the pieces to it.  They do take a bit of time to make, but luckily I only had to make 8 of them.  I put a celephane bag inside with goldfish crackers for each guest.  Cute huh?!

I hope you enjoyed reading about this party as much as I enjoyed planning it.  Thanks for're "Jawsome"!