Friday, September 22, 2017

A League of Their Own Party

My last monthly dinner was a League of Their Own theme, and it was a ton of fun! It is such a fun movie and a super easy theme to pull off.  Play the movie in the background during a girls night dinner or just use some of these ideas for a future baseball theme party.  I had fun creating the details for this party especially the place cards, wine decor, and favors.

Invite:  Just like the movie, I centered my party around the Rockford Peaches team. I created the invite on PhotoShop in pink and red like the uniforms of the players adding their logo and some other baseball graphics.

Decor:  Baseball decor is always easy to throw together, but I wanted to add some specific League of Their Own items as well.  I used a pink tablecloth and set out red card stock to create diamonds as a table runner. 

My centerpiece was a vase filled with baseballs and peanuts.  I added a Rockford Peaches pennant that I made out of card stock and a skewer.  Alongside the vase, I created a sign to highlight one of the most well-known quotes from the film, Jimmy Dougan's "There's No Crying in Baseball!"

I purchased a plain red baseball cap for $5 on Amazon, and printed the Rockford Peach "R" logo to place on it. I didn't want to ruin the hat, so I didn't glue it, but just dented the hat a little and set it on there.  Worked perfectly.

I used my Cricut cutting machine to cut out baseball stitching to fit my plates.  To help them stay affixed to the plate until serving time, I used small pieces of scotch tape.

For place cards, I made a baseball card for each guest. I found images of the real Rockford Peaches online, and then used Photoshop to swap out the Peach's face with the face of my guest.  These were hilarious, and some really looked like they matched up perfectly! I created the design surrounding the photo to look like the originals with the GPBL logo, each guest's name, and a baseball position.

My husband and I recently finished making a baseball shelf for my son's bedroom (a shelf with baseballs below it to hang hats on), and since we hadn't put it up in his room yet, I decided to use it in my decor.  I turned it over and set some more Rockford Peach pennants I made on it.  I also printed a copy of the original Rockford Peaches to place in the middle.

One of my favorite touches for the party I came up with was the wine charms and Line Up card.  I cut Rockford Peach uniforms out of card stock to create wine charms. I used PhotoShop to design a baseball line up to assign my guest's a uniform number.  This number became their wine glass for the evening.

I always have fun designing wine labels to go with my themes, and this party was no exception.  I matched the baseball card design I created for the place cards, and created wine labels with baseball cards.  I swapped out Geena Davis' baseball bat for a white wine bottle in one, and Madonna's wave became a raising of a red wine bottle in the other! Makes you chuckle, right?

Menu:  It would be easy to serve hot dogs for any baseball theme, but since this wasn't a kid party, so I didn't want them to be my main dish.  We started with an appetizer of mini pigs in a blanket that I called "Dougan Dogs" after the Rockford Peaches' coach Jimmy Dougan.  I created menu cards in the same design as the invitation.

For the main dish, I served "Betty Spaghetti" with a Vodka ("Hooch") Sauce after Marla Hooch and Betty "Spaghetti" Horn from the film.

Along with the spaghetti, I served "Mae"-ple Glazed Carrots after Madonna's character "All the Way Mae."

Store-bought breadsticks became baseball bats to go with the spaghetti.

To represent the Rockford Peaches as a team, I served a Peach Cream Cheese cake.  You could easily do a cobbler or peach jello, but this dessert wasn't too hard to make.

Favor:  As a take-home gift, I gave each guest Peach Ring candies.  I made clear baseball pouches to put them in.  To make the pouches, I cut circles out of a clear plastic table cloth (you could probably use thick sheet protectors although I haven't tried it with those). Then I hand sewed the red baseball laces on using embroidery thread.  This did take some time to sew all them.  Once I was done with the red, the black around the edge was stitched with a sewing machine leaving a small hole big enough to stick the peach rings through. My mom helped me get the black sewn and then hand-stitched closed once the peach rings were inside. (Thanks Mom!)

This photo shows how I displayed them.  It was a bit hard to see the stitching with the reddish/peach candy, but peach went with my theme, so I did it anyway.  I think these would be really cute with white mints in there.  Then the lacing would really pop.

Only half of our normally monthly dinner "team" could make it, but we had a fun evening. Oh...and check out my Rockford Peaches shirt!  I ordered it off Amazon because it went with the theme, but I also just think it's a cool shirt I'll wear often.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Almost 40 & Fabulous -Sex and the City Style!

I am late in writing this post, but I hit the big 4-0 at the end of this month--the first of 5 close girlfriends from high school who will become 40 this year.  I decided to theme our August monthly dinner "Almost Forty & Fabulous" to have fun with this milestone.  When I think fabulous 40s, I think Carrie Bradshaw and her group of friends from Sex and the City, so this became the inspiration for the decor and food.

Invite:  I designed the invitation on Photoshop.  The fonts I used were Trojan Pro and Olivier.  For added fun at the dinner, I asked the ladies to bring a fashionable accessory that they don't use/want anymore. My friends brought jewelry, purses, or hats that we exchanged at the end of the night.

Decor:  Black, pink, and glittery gold was the palette of colors I went with -- sophisticated, yet flashy -- just like the Sex and the City ladies.  I adorned the center of my table with a table runner I made out of card stock.  I used my Cricut cutting machine to create a Manhattan skyline and glued it to pink paper with an added glitter border.

For the centerpiece, I placed a laptop computer with a simple quote about friendship from Sex and the City to represent Carrie Bradshaw and her job as a column writer.  I also set out a Cosmopolitan magazine, a pearl necklace, and mini purses as these are items the Sex and the City ladies love.

I cut out glittery high heels to place on pink napkins.  Shoes are one of the girls (especially Carrie's) addictions on the show, so I wanted to make them as snazzy as possible.

The Sex and the City girls are all about martinis, so I had to add those to my decor.  I found mini plastic martini glasses at Party City, and sawed a slit in the top to be able to hold a business card size piece of card stock.  I trimmed the bottom of the glass with part of pink boa and created a card to match my invitations with each guest's name on it.  For those of the guests that will be turning 40 this year, I also added a silver glitter tiara to the top of their card.

On the beverage table, I created a simple backdrop with foam board and bright pink poster paper to look again like the New York skyline.

Cosmopolitan martinis are essential to serve at a Sex and the City party, so of course I served these at our dinner.  For martini glass charms I borrowed Barbie doll high heels from my daughter and tied one around the stem of each glass with ribbon.  Simple and easy, but perfect for the theme.

I always serve wine at my monthly dinners, so I made Sex and the City themed wine bottle labels to serve for those that preferred wine instead of a martini.  I found quotes and a photo from episodes where wine is mentioned in the series and patterned a label around those.

Menu: I designed my menu around each of the four main characters on the show.  The characters typically meet for brunch or lunch, and Carrie often orders salads.  With this in mind, we started the evening with a simple salad - romaine lettuce, slivered almonds, mandarin oranges, and a dressing from Trader Joe's called Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette.  I bought a high heel shoe cookie cutter and used it to cut wontons in the shape of high heels. I baked them and then added them to the top of the salad for fun.

Next, I served sushi that I ordered from a local restaurant.  You may or may not remember the Sex and the City episode where Samantha decides to she going to make her own sushi and then surprise her boyfriend by laying naked on the table and placing the sushi on her body. To represent this episode, I cut out a female body from construction paper to place on my platter and lined the "body" with sushi to represent this episode.  When I brought the platter out, it was an instant conversation piece and those girls that were familiar with Sex and the City definitely got it.

Our main dish was in honor of Miranda who always orders Chinese take-out on the show.  The restaurant even knows her order when she calls.  I made the dish on the left which was called Garlic Beef and Veggie Ramen.  The dish on the right was a frozen meal from Trader Joe's.  Both were amazing!  The Trader Joe's dish is called Shiitake Mushroom Chicken.  I also served fried rice from Trader Joe's.  I served the two dishes in Chinese to-go boxes I purchased at Michaels to match Miranda's take-out concept.

For dessert, I served chocolate and vanilla pudding.  In the Sex and the City movie when the girls go to Mexico on Carrie's "honeymoon, Charlotte is terrified of eating the food/drinking the water, so she brings pudding cups to eat at every meal!  She wants to avoid diarrhea, or as she calls it, "poopkipsying" in her pants.  I served our dessert in a martini glass, and tried to make it sophisticated by placing the pudding in a diagonal and adding a raspberry on top.  Simple, but yummy.

Favor:  As a party favor for guests, I made origami pink and black Chanel purses.  I used card stock which is not super easy to fold nicely, but I was trying to avoid spending more money to purchase origami paper.  Ribbon was used for the handle and I placed velcro on the inside to hold the purse closed.

Inside the purse was a York Peppermint Patty.  I thought of these to pull in the New York theme, but I think the purse would also have been cute with the chocolate gold coins.

It was a fun night as we celebrated becoming Forty and Fabulous Sex and the City style!