Basic Party Planner

plannerIt seems as it if was ages since I posted here. I have been busy with my family, a new job, and an extra hobby: writing. Designing is still my passion and now I get to do it on a daily basis at my new job. Therefore, I have decided to stop with wedding stationery design and keep only my line of greeting cards in Etsy.

One thing that still gives me tons of pleasure is party planning. After using my party planning template for so long, I have decided to style it and share it with you all.

So here it is, my Basic Party Planner [PDF].

planner screenshot

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Animal-Free Circus Cupcake Picks

On one of my latest challenges, I signed up to bake cupcakes for my daughter’s daycare summer party. The theme for this year was the circus. I love going to the circus but I’m personally against the use of animals in their acts. I wanted to reflect that in the cupcake picks for the party, but everywhere I looked on the internet for circus clipart it included lions, elephants, etc. The solution? I drew my own clipart and digitalized it. Here is one of my drafts and the proud results. I came a bit later to the party and guess what? All my cupcakes were gone!!!

circus clown

20130608_063812   20130608_063822

Pack and Go: Picnic Foods

Ready to enjoy the sun? This calls for a spontane picnic! Check out these two yummy menus and be ready to have your little party under the sun…

Mediterranean menu
This menu is really summery. Fresh salad, bread and Mediterranean side dishes such as olives.

  • A bottle of rosé wine
  • A thermos can filled with water, ice blocks and fresh mint
  • Salmon salad (combine mixed lettuces with fresh pasta and smoked salmon, make a dressing of olive oil mayonnaise with capers and fresh chopped dill)
  • French bread
  • Tzatziki sauce
  • Fresh olives
  • Bread sticks wrapped in prosciutto
  • Cubed cheese
  • Strawberries and cream cheese

Fiesta menu
Many different tastes: salty from the tortilla chips and sweet from the tomatoes.

  • Mexican beer with lemons or limes
  • Tortilla chips
  • Fresh guacamole
  • Hot or mild sauce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Serrano ham filled with cream cheese
  • Mini dried chorizos
  • Seedless grapes
  • Melon salad

More Star Wars and Food

To continue on one of my most visited posts, here are some more Star Wars gadgets for entertaining and parties.

Han Solo in carbonite ice tray.

Lightsaber candle holder.

Princess Leia and Darth Vader aprons.

Assorted stencils for sugar or cocoa.

Star Wars hot beverage tins: Vader’s Dark Side Roast, Hoth Cocoa and Yoda Dagobah Green Tea.

From Around the Net

I’m amazed at all the cool things you can find on the web that makes entertaining out of the ordinary. Here are the latest finds…

Perfect for cocktail parties and environmentally friendly, stainless steel straws!

Teapot on a stand, no more accidents while serving hot beverages.

Are your guests unskilled with chopsticks? Here is the solution, a chopsticks and clothespin hybrid.

No more fights over who gets the bigger pizza slice. The scissors are long enough for large pizzas and the attached spatula guarantees perfect slices.

Avoiding food poisoning and tough meats… win-win! The spatula reads the temperature and has an alarm for when food is ready.

Keeping your fingers or nails intact with the stainless steel finger guard.

Sweet ‘Mallow

Part of my sweet pregnancy cravings have been marshmallows, so inspired by my sweet goodies, here are some ideas to feature marshmallows at your next party.

The favorite of many at the campsite, s’mores. Chocolate and roasted marshmallow sandwiched between two graham crackers.

Marshmallow lollipops, dipped in strawberry glaze.

Another of my favorites, mini marshmallows over hot chocolate.

Marshmallow slices as cupcake decoration.

Peeps marshmallow bunnies on lollipop sticks are inserted on a base of wheatgrass to make a spring centerpiece.

Marbled hand made marshmallows are presented on cellophane bags as favors.

Roasted marshmallows atop a very loved side dish: mashed sweet potato casserole.

Marshmallows dipped in chocolate with toppings such as coconut shavings, pistachio or cookies, serve as sweet appetizers.

Knight in Shining Foil

Aluminum foil is a work horse when it comes to entertaining. Here are some special uses!

  • Keep rolls and breads warm
    Wrap your freshly baked goods in a napkin and place a layer of aluminum foil underneath. The foil will reflect the heat and keep your bread warm for quite some time.

  • Bake a perfect pie crust or turkey
    Covering the edges of homemade pies with aluminum foil prevents the crust from getting overdone and burning. Also covering the legs of a whole turkey prevents them getting cooked before the rest of the bird.
  • Create special-shaped cake pans
    By forming a shaped mold with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, you can make heart shaped cakes, tree cakes, etc.
  • Make a barbecue drip pan
    Make a disposable drip pan slightly larger than the meat on the grill out of a couple of layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

  • Soften up brown sugar
    Wrap a piece of hardened brown sugar in foil, bake it at 300F (150C) and it will become powdery again.
  • Make a pastry bag
    Form a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil into a tube and fill it with free-flowing frosting.
  • Clean your barbecue grill and pots
    Crumple up the foil and use it to easily scrub off the burned food.

  • Keep the oven clean
    Lay a sheet or two of aluminum foil over the rack below to catch drippings. Do not line the bottom of the oven with foil; it could cause a fire.
  • Make an impromptu platter
    Just cover a piece of cardboard with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Tricks of the Trade

If we had a kitchen tool for every task it would be a lot easier to entertain, but if you are like me and don’t have an industrial kitchen or storage space, here are some tricks that may help save time and space…

  • No rolling pin, no problem, use a wine bottle
  • Use a 2-ounce (1/4 cup) ice cream scoop to portion the perfect size for sliders
  • A squeeze bottle can hold ketchup in the summer or squirt fun shapes of pancakes
  • Bundt cake molds are very multi use, you can make an ice block with is pretty shape (works better with small ones), insert a chicken in the opening and use it as a vertical roaster and the shiny variety can hold candles
  • Talking about candles, turn a champagne glass and you will have a very chic candle holder
  • Chopsticks for Asian food are also great to level flour and sugar
  • An egg slicer also does the trick for mushrooms, strawberries and mozzarella

For the Basketball Fanatic

Looking for nice ideas for a bachelor party (vrijgezellenfeest) in the Netherlands? Or maybe for a children’s party? Professional basketball player and fitness coach Mike Nahar offers sport clinics that are ideal for basketball fans. 

mike nahar

The professional basketball clinics of one and a half hours are meant for any group and any level and no basketball experience is necessary. Great way to stimulate team building and have fun! He also offers special training sessions for small groups to improve the technique and moves for your position and become a better basketball player. And of course for the bride or groom that wants to look on their best at their wedding he offers personal training.

Nights in White Porcelain

I love funny, cheeky bowls and plates to serve food at my parties and my favorites are when usually plastic items (not too enviromentally friendly) get turned into pretty white porcelain containers that you can use over again (most of them are dishwasher safe). Here are my favorites…

Fondue for one
Fries cone
Egg crate
Frikandel holder
Milk container
Fruit baskets