Tag Archives: party

Top 10 Favorite Dollar Tree Purchases

I love the Dollar Tree. Can I get an amen? But not all Dollar Tree purchases are equal. Learned that one the hard way. After years of hits and misses, there are certain items I will always buy from the Dollar Tree. So, today, I want to share my top 10 favorite items I will always buy from the Dollar Store.

1. Storage Bins.

I mean, aren’t these on everyone’s list? $1 for a storage bin. Round, square, tall, short, small, large, and in all colors of the rainbow. I don’t feel like I need to say more. They even have canvas type storage bins if you aren’t feeling the plastic. I organized my kid’s entire closet with pink and blue dollar tree bins. Your next organizing project needs these. Go. Now.

2. Hair Accessories.

Brushes, combs, bobby pins, metal free hair ties, and elastic headbands are some things I always buy from the Dollar Tree. You can’t beat the price. And as fast as us girls go through hair ties and bobby pins, saving a few dollars each time really adds up!

3. Greeting Cards.

Quality greeting cards for such a steal. All these pictured were 2 for $1 and originally between $2.25 and $2.75 each! I stock up whenever I’m at the Dollar Tree. It’s so nice to save money on every greeting card and still be able to buy a quality card for every gift I give

4. Gift Bags.

Speaking of gifts, you can save even more money on your gift-giving by purchasing your gift wrapping at the Dollar Tree. Not just any gift wrap, but the gift bags and tissue paper specifically. I haven’t been as impressed with the quality and value of the wrapping paper but the gift bags and tissue paper are unbeatable! And the selection is impressive. From weddings, to showers, to birthdays, to babies, to generic colors, Dollar Tree has a gift bag for every gift at a steal.

5. Door and Wall Hooks.

Living in a small space, door and wall hooks are a space and sanity saver! (Relating? Check out some small space living and decorating tips here). From hanging towels, to space-saving tricks, to hanging play pots on my daughter’s play kitchen, to kitchen cabinet storage, to extra places to hang backpacks, I use these in every room.

6. Helium Balloons.

If you are going for a cute feel to your decor, then these are unbeatable. $1 a balloon ranging from solid colored stars and hearts to designs that are event specific with messages such as “Happy Birthday”, “It’s a girl/boy”, “Happy Anniversary”, etc. to Disney character designs like Frozen, Minney, Mickey, and more. Tons of options and a great price make this one of my first stops for any helium balloon needs I have.

HERE’S A TIP: Take a look at the balloon list in-store and get your balloons filled fresh, right then, to get the longest-lasting balloons.

7. Disposable Party Supplies.

Tablecloths, utensils, plates, napkins, straws, severware, etc in almost any color. Dollar Tree has it all in a one-stop shop at dollars less than most other stores. I love the square shaped plates for a more unique twist. Straws in a fun pattern or color are always a nice addition and, at $1 for 24, very affordable. And they have the tiniest, silver colored spoons and forks that are the perfect addition for an hors d’oeuvres party. Pop a mini fork into each meatball on a platter of meatballs or a mini spoon into a shot glass of soup topped with a crouton and you instantly step up your presentation.

8. Kid’s Crafts.

Stickers, coloring kits, pom poms, pipe cleaners, glitter glue, balloons, puzzles, and the list goes on. My favorite purchase in this category are the stickers. My 3 year-old cannot get enough stickers. Anyone relate? And thanks to the Dollar Tree I can now afford to supply her never ending need for stickers…Frozen stickers currently lol. They even have  play packs with princess stickers she can stick on and take off the included backdrop for a more interactive experience.

HERE’S A TIP: Anytime I need a little time to get something done I simply pull out my kid craft bin, all stocked from the Dollar Tree, and let my toddler pick out a few fun supplies to play with and explore. She is occupied and using her creative, little mind in a productive way, and momma can get dinner or a little cleaning done. Thank you Dollar Tree.

9. Mailing Supplies.

Small mailing envelopes, small boxes, and packing tape are so affordable at the Dollar Tree. Whenever I need to mail a package, I almost always stop by the Dollar Tree to grab my mailing supplies.

10. Glass Dishes.

I was complimented on my “Pottery Barn Emma dishes” a few months back. Imagine the surprise on my guest’s face when I told them that my dishes are actually Dollar Tree dishes that I bought 7 years ago.  I have seen the same or similar dishes at my Dollar Tree as recently as this week. It’s worth checking into your local Dollar Tree if you’re interested. 12 bowls and 12 plates for $24. Hard to beat that compared to the actual Pottery Barn 16 piece set for just over $140 on sale right now. Even if this style isn’t your cup of tea, they have a ton of options from plain white, to colorful, to floral, etc. At $1 a piece, why not?

HERE’S A TIP: Don’t see what you want at your Dollar Tree? Shop their website. A huge selection and free shipping to store make it hard to beat! (FYI: I already checked to see if they had the dishes I posted about above. They don’t have them listed on their site. They do have some similar bowls here, but are currently out of stock. As I mentioned before, it’s worth checking in store if you’re interested).

That completes my top ten favorite Dollar Tree purchases. What are some of your favorite Dollar Store purchases? Any that you hate? Let me know in the comments below. If you haven’t already then please subscribe to get updates on all my latest money-saving tips and DIY ideas. If you like this post, then please give it a like so I know to do more like this one.

Have an idea for a post you’d like to see? Drop me a comment in the comment section below. I’d love suggestions from you!

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Shark-Themed Party and Mini Shortcakes

Baby A turned 1. O. N. E…ONE! And just like every mom when her precious baby’s first birthday looms, I found myself wondering how it was even possible that he joined our little family almost a year ago?!?! After recovering from the shock, I turned my attention to planning a first birthday. How could we celebrate baby A and his first year of life?

I began thinking through what we could do to celebrate. Here is a summation of my thought process. I started by asking myself how we could host friends in our little apartment? We could have the party outdoors! How could we do something outdoors in the July desert? We could have it in the morning at the pool! What theme goes well with a pool party? An underwater theme! And it just so happened that A just got a new pair of shark swimming trunks. Sharks.  And just like that it was decided. An early-morning, shark-themed birthday party.

Next was the menu planning. Early morning party = breakfast food. Breakfast is easy, affordable, and has so much presentation potential. I focused on strawberry shortcake in different forms and added in fresh fruit and an egg casserole to complete the menu. Easy to prep the day before or morning of and so good!

One sheet cake of strawberry shortcake is all I needed to make the smash cake, mini cakes, and trifle. I simply baked a sheet cake of strawberry shortcake. I “cheated” and used the gluten free bisquick mix and recipe right on the box. So easy and delicious! 

I used round cookie cutters to cut out A’s smash cake and the mini shortcakes. 

The mini shortcakes were topped with a dollop of jam and then cream cheese frosting, a fresh strawberry slice, and shark fin cupcake topper made by the awesome Sonora Handmade

A’s smash cake was simply outline in piped cream cheese frosting and filled in with jam on top both layers and then lightly frosted on the outside to get a naked cake look (and also lock in the moisture). And topped with a laser cut number “1” also made by Sonora Handmade.

I crumbled up the leftover shortcake and topped with the leftover strawberry jam, strawberries, and whipped cream in a glass bowl to get a quick and easy trifle.

Three different presentations out of one recipe.

The decor was a mix of things I had and a few things I picked up. I used galvanized buckets, linens, and severware I already had. I purchased sharks (which doubled as party favors), plates, napkins, forks, and straws from the Dollar Tree. I also picked up some balloons for the backdrop from Party City. Cut out a few shark sillouhettes from blue bags. And, lastly, I added in fresh flowers. Fresh flowers are always such a nice touch for any party and I scored all the greenery and flowers for this party for $10 total from Trader Joe’s!

What do you think? I was pretty pleased with how everything turned out and how budget friendly it ended up being. It was such a precious time with friends celebrating our sweet boy.

Any ideas or traditions for celebrating first birthdays? Please share them in the comments below! If you haven’t already, feel free to subscribe to get all my latest DIY and money saving ideas. And, if you enjoyed this post, give it a like so I know to do more like this one. Up next week is an easy decor set-up for your next dinner party. 

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DIY TACO FIESTA…on a budget (including recipes!)


One of my husbands most favorite things on this earth are tacos…specifically my barbacoa tacos. So when his birthday came around it was an easy decision to make tacos for his birthday lunch. The kids and I planned to meet him for lunch at his work with the tacos in tow. He was excited! What he didn’t know was that I had also set up a surprise lunch with some of his friends and co-workers. Surprise!


I made a few decorations throughout the week…hiding them on the porch. It’s been over 100 degrees here so I knew he was not going to be going out on the porch lol. I made some avocado piñatas, a faux chalkboard sign, picked up a few fiesta looking linens from goodwill, and used some old Voss glass water bottles to hold some fresh sunflowers I picked up.

I needed to be able to set up the whole table in a matter of minutes to avoid being caught (which I almost was!). I laid down a white curtain as the table cloth, laid a fiesta looking blanket (goodwill for $4) and hand painted pillow cover in bright fiesta colors (goodwill for $2) over the curtain to give a pop of color, hanged a party sign (“hooray” sign from target for $5) on the front of the table, and then added the table top decor of the faux chalkboard, flowers, and avocado piñatas. Easy. Easy. Easy.

HERE’S A TIP: Cloth linens easily dress up your decor over the cheap, plastic ones but they can cost so much! So look around your house and secondhand and thrift stores. What can you repurpose as a linen from what you already have or for only a few dollars? I’ve used everything from a curtain to a sheet to a blanket to cheap fabric and it makes such a big difference!

The avocados were an easy DIY using two bowls, paper mâché, and streamers and tissue paper. There are plenty of DIY tutorials out there so I won’t waste your time. Rather,  here  is my favorite link. A couple notable differences: Instead of balloons I used two bowls covered by Saran Wrap (since I already had Thor on hand = free), and instead of a brown seed I used gold foil to make the seed similar to the avocado piñata sold by Urban Outfitters here.


The faux chalkboard was a last minute attempt to DIY something that resembled a chalkboard for cheap. My chalkboards are being borrowed right now so I wanted to make due with something I could make fast and cheap. I grabbed black foam board and pom poms from the dollar tree, glue, a gold pen I had on hand, and stencils and got to business. I have to say I was pleased. For $2 I had a pretty good centerpiece that matched so well and made the area so much more fun!


The sunflowers were a bulk purchase from Costco. $10 for 12. They add so much color and height to the table.

HERE’S A TIP: Instantly add a sophisticated touch by using fresh flowers and/or greenery. It doesn’t have to be expensive though. What bushes and trees can you use in your or a friend’s backyard? What plants are on clearance in your local nursery? What bulk flowers are available at a discount cost? I’ve used all of those for different events and loved the results of every one of them.


I wanted some tall, thin vases to keep the height of the flowers and also to be able to hold the heavy stems up. After looking around at what I had, I came across some old glass water bottles I had stored for such a time as this! Perfect and free! I turned them around so the writing faced the back and you’d never know they were old water bottles.


Lastly was the food. I wanted a catered feel to the table so I chose some foil food containers from the dollar tree. We had meat, corn tortillas, rice, beans, chips, taco toppings of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream, and donuts for dessert. Delicious and about $50 to make it for a group of 20 people ($2.50 a person!).


So, I am not a cooking blog but I thought I would quickly share the easy recipes for the food to make this a one-stop shop blog for your future fiesta. It isn’t perfect (I usually eyeball it when I make it) but hopefully it helps! 

Barbacoa: a chuck roast or London broil, box of beef stock, can of chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce, 3 garlic cloves, 1 white onion sliced, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 3 Tbsp chili powder, 2 Tbsp cumin, salt, pepper. Combine all ingredients except the meat in a slow cooker, add meat, if meat isn’t covered by the sauce then add water until covered, and cook in a slow cooker for 10-12 hours on low or until cooked thoroughly and falling apart. If possible, cook on high for the first 3-4 hrs for the most tender results IMO.

Beans: 4 cans of black beans, drained, rinsed, and warmed in a pan with some of the cooked barbacoa juice and salt.

Rice: basmati rice, box of chicken stock, can of tomato paste, and can of stewed tomatoes. Bring stock to a boil, add in tomato products and a cup of the cooked barbacoa juice, salt, and lastly add the rice. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and let simmer 20 mins or whatever time your rice directions say. 

Chop up the toppings. I had pre-made salsa, chips, and corn tortillas for convenience but made my own quick version of guac. For the quick guac, mash 3 avocados and add a few spoonfuls of some pre-made salsa, dash of salt, and Tbsp of mayo (weird but trust me…soooooo creamy!). Mix thoroughly.

That’s it. You’re done! Easy right? What do you think? Any ideas you have for a great fiesta party? Let me know in the comments below. 


And, as always, feel free to subscribe if you haven’t already to get all my latest blog posts. Also, like this post if you want to see more budget friendly party ideas in the future. Until next time…

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Americana Themed Party Decor on a Budget

11722120_10153505240071672_3090114973966614293_oY’all…you like that southern slang right? But seriously, I am inspired by some dear, southern friends today on the blog. I recently had the opportunity to decorate for a one year anniversary celebration of the youth leader and his wife at our church. Not only was I excited to celebrate all they had done at the church, but I was also excited to celebrate them becoming our good friends over the past year. Now, these two are Georgia peaches so I definitely wanted the party to have a Georgia country vibe. I took that into an Americana feel (I mean I was still feeling very patriotic after the Fourth of July) and ran with it. I had a budget of $100 and a lot of ideas running through my head. I can’t wait to share what I came up with you!

Without further ado, here is what I hope you can use as inspiration for an Americana themed party complete with DIY “how to”s and money saving tips for your own party no matter the decor you decide on.

imageFirst, I started by creating a ton of rag garlands in our party colors. I used some affordable material in our red, white, and blue color scheme to create my own DIY, budget friendly, country rag garlands. It cost me about $18 to make them all.

To make the garland, I purchased one yard of four different patterns (about $16). I then cut my material into one inch strips. Taking each strip, I folded each one in half with the pattern facing me and placed the folded edge about 2 inches above a long piece of twine (from Dollar Tree) like so: image Be sure the twine is the length you want your garland to be. Then I simply wrapped the two loose ends of my folded, one inch strip around the back of the twine and through the folded edge above the twine like so:

imageimageimagePull from the bottom of the strip to tighten and start with your next strip. I bunched some strips really close together on some garland strands and left them about 6 inches apart on others to give the different garland strands some variety. I hung some on borrowed pallets (donated to our youth group for free by a local home improvement store) and others above the food tables to add a real country, summer feel.

11264855_10153505240066672_2074573162746211750_nNext, I made banners with words on them by cutting small triangles out of material, using paint and stencils (you can use whatever you please to match your party) to add the letters, and gluing those triangles onto twine (again from the dollar tree). So easy! I splurged on this material because I loved the striped pattern. All in all, it cost about $14 to make all my word banners but you could easily do it for about $5.

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imageI used plastic table clothes (from the Dollar Tree) covered by a thin, natural linen material (from Wal Mart for $2 a yard). I love cloth tablecloths but needed the ones for this party to feel more rustic. The natural linen was perfect and so affordable! I added two rolls of burlap about 4″ wide purchased from the Dollar Tree down the center as a runner, fresh flowers from a friend’s garden in mason jars (from Dollar Tree and old ones I already had), and some homemade wood cuts to finish off that rustic feel. Cost me about $24 for two food tables, a cake table, and a punch station.

imageFor the card area I hung twine from a pallet and added clothespins to hang all the cards from. I love displaying cards like this. It really makes the one or ones we are celebrating feel so loved when they see all their cards up front and center. Clothespins were $2 and the rest (twine and pallet) were from left over supplies.

imageTo add height to the food table, in addition to large wood cuts (homemade so they were free), I also made my own tiered server for $3! Simple glue the bottom of martini glass to the top of one plate and the top of the martini glass to the bottom of another plate. So simple and yet it adds some great height to any table! I got my plates and martini glass from the dollar tree.

11745404_10153505240061672_1268914120188250075_nFor the drink station I used an old spool to display the punch and cups. I found this spool in our church attic. It had been used for electrical cord. I added in a pallet, a circular plastic tablecloth (from dollar tree), a burlap tablecloth (just a yard of burlap from wal mart for $3) and fresh flowers from my friend’s garden to create a whole new station to add to the decor feel.

imageAdd in a few flags and checkered paper from the dollar store and you have a completed Americana themed party. I also purchased plates, forks, cups, serving trays, and napkins from the Dollar Tree which added to my expense list but with what I saved by making all of the party decor I was able to easily get those supplies and still come in under budget.

What do you think? Let me know what ideas you were able to use for your next party and don’t forget to check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. Next up will be a DIY door hanger. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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DIY Faux Bird’s Nest…perfect for your home decor or next party theme.

wpid-wp-1424986403666.jpgI am in the process of helping create some “woodsy” decor for an upcoming baby shower. One of the projects on my “to do” list was create a bird’s nest out of some supplies supplied to me by my MIL. I managed to come up with a rather quick and easy way to create a bird’s nest on a budget and wanted to share that DIY with you today.

To get started you will need:

1. A foam wreath 7.8in wide x 1.9in.

2. Spanish Moss

3. Natural Moss or preserved moss and/or leaves

4. Hot glue gun with glue

5. Small paper plate (big enough to cover the hole in your foam wreath but not bigger than your foam wreath).

6. Decor for your nest. I used a bird, eggs, and burlap flower.

To make your wreath, you will need to:

1. Cut your foam wreath down the middle. You want it to be about 1 inch tall when laying flat. Cutting the foam was a slow process for me. The foam is very delicate and breaks easily. The key is go slow and apply as little pressure as possible.

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wpid-wp-1424986425700.jpg2. Next, you want to carefully stretch out your Spanish moss to make a moderately thick rope about the length it would take to go around your wreath. You can make one long rope or two or three shorter ropes. I made three shorter ropes like the one pictured. I found that easier to glue on that one big rope.

wpid-wp-1424986468222.jpg3. Glue your moss rope(s) directly onto the smooth side of your wreath (so the cut side  becomes the bottom of your nest). Generously drizzle glue on the top of the wreath and push and hold your moss rope onto the wreath over the glue. Don’t get stuck trying to make it perfect. As long as it sticks that’s all that matters. Once glue has dried, pull at your moss to get it to fold over the outer edges and attach around the outer edges with a dallop of glue as well. don’t worry about the inside just yet. We will get to that.

Here’s a picture of the moss glued to the top:

wpid-wp-1424986501777.jpgHere’s a picture of the moss being stretched and glued to the outer sides:

wpid-wp-1424986535495.jpg4. Now fill in those areas needing more coverage using your filler moss which can be anything from the left over spanish moss scraps to natural moss, preserved moss, and/or preserved leaves. I mixed a few of these together to get my filler moss. Just dallop some glue on the bare area on the wreath and push on a pinch of the filler moss. Using different moss in different colors adds texture and interest to your nest and really gives it a real life look. Here’s a picture of my spanish moss scraps mixed with my greener preserved moss.

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wpid-20150226_124122.jpg5. Now we finish off the inside of the nest. Glue the bottom of your paper plate to the bottom of the nest. This allows you to apply a bit more of the spanish moss, natural moss, preserved moss/leaves to the center of the wreath, fill it in, and complete that real nest look.

Here’s a picture of the plate attached to the bottom of the nest:

wpid-20150226_124103.jpgAnd here’s a picture of me filling in the center of the top of the nest after the plate had been attached to the bottom:

wpid-wp-1424987290217.jpg6. Now it is time to add your wreath decor. For mine, I attached a bird, eggs, and a little burlap flower, but your options are endless. You could put some simple robin blue eggs for a country chic look or even use foil covered eggs to hold your candy during the Easter season. Let your imagination run wild and personal preferences play into this.

wpid-20150226_123744.jpgWhat do you think? Don’t forget to share what ideas you come up with to decorate your own DIY nest. Check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

And here are a few pics of how the nests were used at the recent baby shower. It’s a girl!

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Lilly Pulitzer Party Theme…on a budget

150749_10152938984396672_2571961327879828316_nBaby C is 1! What an exciting time it was to celebrate with friends and family. But, oh man, what an exhausting month December was. Between Christmas and Birthday party planning, I think my husband, baby, and I were ready for a relaxing and non-eventful January. Now that everyone is rested up and recovered from December I wanted to take some time to share Baby C’s party details, DIY ideas, and budget break down.

First off, what do you do for a baby’s first birthday? I had no idea. I had never thrown one before. I decided to go with a floating birthday party all decked out in traditional party decor but with a Lilly Pulitzer twist.

Why a floating party? I decided on a floating party to give everyone freedom to come and go as they pleased. The constant change up in the party guests made for a fun time. I also decided on a floating party for budget reasons. We had invited about 50 people by the time it was all said and done. 50 people! A floating party allows snacks instead of a whole meal. Snack foods such as donuts, popcorn, fruit, veggies, pimento cheese dip, crackers, cupcakes, and punch are acceptable forms of “nutrition”. Grazing food if you will. Plus, they are all budget friendly and quite tasty.

Why traditional decor with a Lilly Pulitzer twist? I decided on traditional, old school decor for simplicity and budget reasons but wanted to spice it up. Plain wasn’t what I wanted for Baby C’s first birthday. Happy, colorful, and girly were my brainstorm ideas. What encapsulates those ideas better than Lilly??? Still, Lilly can be very pricey so I was hesitant. After a bit of looking around, I was able to find some free Lilly Pulitzer binder cover downloads for free in various well known Lilly patterns from this website. Free! That decided it for me. A trendy, chic, happy, girly yet age appropriate birthday party on a budget? Yes please!

I used the free printouts to make DIY invitations, banners, letter “C” cutouts, a number “1”, and framed pictures. Here are a few pictures of the Lilly details I was able to add…for FREE!

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Lots of fun using the paper designs everywhere I could think of. The letters are cut out of foam and the Lilly design modge podged on. The number 1 is a painted wood cut out with a Lilly design modge podged onto the front. Easy and simple yet such a fun detail. The banner was so easy. I just cut out a bunch of triangles and glued them onto ribbon. The picture “mattes” are simply cut out out to frame the picture inside. That simple. And, let’s not forget these Lilly additions were free!

Let me take you on a tour of all the stations we had at Baby C’s party. Because it was floating I wanted to have different stations to keep our guests entertained and moving around mingling. After some brainstorming, I came up with 5 stations that would help keep our guests flowing and entertained.

Our first station was the coloring station.

20141219_125549At this station guests young and old were invited to color a picture for themselves, Baby C, and/or someone they loved. This station was by far the most popular amongst the little ones. The coloring station included construction paper, crayons, polka dot can to hold the crayons, stamps, ink pads, stickers, bubble gum, a Lilly memory board filled with pictures of Baby C over the past year, an engineer print of one of my favorite pics of Baby C, farmed picture of Baby C, and a photo album to hold all of the pictures made for baby C. I simply covered my coffee table with a plastic table cloth and arranged all the supplies on the table. Most everything was purchased at the Dollar Tree except for the following: Stamps are from Target’s $3 section, Bubble gum was on sale at Target ($2), polka dot can is from Target’s $1 section, ink pads are from a local art store ($1 each), picture album from same art store ($1), engineer print is from Staples ($3),  memory board from ebay ($11). This station also included a DIY Lilly banner made for less than $1. Total for this station was $29. The memory board was a birthday gift for Baby C that I wanted to display since it matched the decor, the stamps and ink pads were already purchased for myself (I use them a ton!), and the polka dot can was from Baby C’s room. Total I spent just for decor not already owned and not a birthday gift for Baby C…$12.

Next was the sign in station.

20141219_125556At this station I used a foam board from dollar tree and modge podged one of my favorite pics of Baby C onto the center. I also purchased some trendy pens in complimenting colors from Target’s $1 section.  I had everyone write a note of well wishes or a prayer for Baby C. This way she has not just a documentation of who was at her first birthday but also a heart felt note from each guest. Total cost for this station was $3 (+ modge podge I already had).

Next was the gift station.

20141214_180531A Lilly Pulitzer banner and letter “C” above a bench already in our living room made the perfect gift station. To save a little money, I cut the letter “C” out of Dollar Tree foam board and modge podged one of the FREE Lilly Pulitzer binder covers onto it. Viola. Total Cost for the gift station was $2.

Next was the picture station.

20141219_09380720141219_093857You all, this was so fun. Whenever there was a lull in the party, I would just send the guests over to the picture station to make some fun memories. Easy. All I did was use a plastic table cloth, taped it to the ceiling in a bare corner, and taped tissue cut outs onto the plastic table cloth for decor. I added some fun props and boom, picture station complete! Table cloth, tissue paper cut outs, and props are all from the Dollar Tree. Total cost was $9.

The picture station also doubled as the background for Baby C’s cake eating. She didn’t really eat any cake but I loved the cute background and pictures we got anyways.

150749_10152938984396672_2571961327879828316_nAfter taking pictures, the guests ended their party journey at the food station.

20141219_125531I wanted this area to be bright, fun, and inviting so everyone would naturally gather here. Above the table were paper lanterns and streamers. On the table was a white table cloth covered by a pink one. For decor I used framed pictures of Baby C with those free Lilly print outs framing each picture, a Lilly number “1” modged podged with another free Lilly print out, a DIY Lilly banner, and a Happy Birthday banner. After this picture was taken I also added pink letters spelling out Baby C’s name to back of the table. In all the excitement I forgot to snap a picture of the completed table. My apologies. Lilly banner was a DIY, the Happy Birthday banner was a sale find at Target ($2), Paper Lanterns were also a Target sale find (under $1 each), straws, again, were a Target sale find ($2 a pack), the number is from wal mart ($1.49), frames (I spray painted them), streamers, cups, napkins, plates, silverware, and tablecloths were all Dollar Tree buys, and serving platters were all already items I had. Decorations and eating and drinking items, total, cost me $32.

Food: I purchased one bag of mini, powdered sugar donuts ($2), one box of popcorn bags ($3), cupcake supplies (I made my own from this website) ($10), punch (one 2 liter of lemon lime soda, one pint of pineapple sorbet, one can pineapple chunks) ($5), water (free). The remaining food (pimento cheese, cheese ball, crackers, fruit, and veggies) were all brought by family. So food cost me $15 with the remainder items being brought by family.

Total cost of the party for 50 people would be $90. For me, since I had some of the supplies already and some “supplies” doubled as gifts, it was $73 total for a party serving 50 people.

What do you think? Have your own ideas? Then please share with us any budget friendly ideas and fun themes you have for your own DIY party. Check back soon for some fun Valentine’s Day decor ideas to spice up your home on a budget.

And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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Deck the Halls…for a fabulous party! A DIY Wisdom Tree That Adds Something Special For Almost Any Occasion

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Whew, what a busy holiday season. On top of the usual decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping, cooking, (you get the gist) add on a wedding shower and an engagement party and then you, my friend, are living my past month and a half. What a whirlwind but oh, was it fun. After my long hiatus from the world of blogging, I wanted to come back and share some of the fun and festive ideas from the parties. My first fave is one I used for both the wedding shower and the engagement party. Here it is:

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I call it the “Wisdom Tree”. The idea is that guests can write down words of wisdom and well wishes and hang them on a tree for the guest of honor to read and take home at the end of the party. It makes such a sweet and unique gift. This could even work in place of a guest book at a wedding. The options are endless. Here are a few steps to get you started:

First, choose your “Tree”. I chose a Christmas tree to go with the Christmas theme of the wedding shower. Other tree ideas include manzanita branches, a Bonsai tree or a jewelery tree stand.

Secondly, choose your “ornament”. This is what your guests will write their words of wisdom and well wishes on. I chose little paper tags shaped like ornaments. They looked so perfect hanging on the tree.

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Thirdly, set out a card letting your guests know what the tree is and how it works. It could be as simple as a few words or a cute little poem. For my theme, I chose to put my simple instructions on a star to sit atop the tree.

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Lastly, set out pens for your guests to use.

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All done! Such an easy yet meaningful addition to your next party. Let me know all about what fun ideas you add to the “Wisdom Tree.”

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