Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Shoe box Swaps - Halloween Swap

We're going to be hosting swaps from time to time. We thought we'd kick it off with Halloween since it's just around the corner and the goodies will be needing to be shipped at the perfect time for Halloween. There are a few simple steps, "rules" if you will, to play along:

1. Send an email to withandwithout AT gmail DOT com, indicating you want to join this swap. Include:

Your Name
Your Address
Your blog address (if you have one)
A description of likes/dislikes to give your swap partner some direction

(This information will only be sent to your swap buddy)

2. Send the email no later than September 9. Swap partners will be assigned by September 10. You MUST ship your swap by October 10.

3. Swap items must fit in an average sized shoe box. We don’t want people going too crazy but want to have enough room to fit some cool loot.

4. This is a Halloween swap. Everything you send needs to somehow tie in to the theme. Whether it be colors, actual Halloween items, whatever, just make sure they tie together somehow.

5. Again, cut-off to sign up is September 9. Please send us an email before then.

6. Please read #2 again. It’s important you stick to the ship date to not ruin the fun for your swap partner.

7. Have fun!!

Feel free to invite anyone you’d like. We don’t have a cut-off and would love to have as many participants as possible. We have created a Flickr group that we would love for you to join. This will enable us to share pictures of all the great things we receive through the swap and have discussions about the group.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or leave a comment! We look forward to swapping with you!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Back to School

I substitute at my daughters school, and have found I have an amazing amount of respect for the job that teaching professionals do day in and day out. For the start of each school year I check the list required for school and buy extras when I find them on sale. I also add a disposable camera, gift card to develop the film and a sweet treat. Here is what I did this year.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Roaring Good time!

Each year Laurel and I do a half birthday for our kids. We both gave birth to winter babies and like the chance of seeing how the other half the year celebrate. This is the fourth year we have done this.
We planned a Dino Party. The invites jaw even moved! We had cupcakes, Dino Snacks, bug wings, dino scales, and swamp water. We went and saw Ice Age 2 at the dollar theater, had lunch and then went to the Dino Park. For activities we did volcano's, dug a dino out of an egg, build habitats for the dinos in the eggs, and built our own dino's.
It was a great day and a quick easy party to put together!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fall Themed Dinner Party

Summer will soon be coming to an end, giving way to crisper, cooler air, shorter days and richer scenery. Which also means the end of BBQ season is well upon us. This month we’ve put together some ideas to throw a warm, elegant dinner party focused around the new season. Fall, to me, just begs for a dinner party. The warm colors that lend to beautiful, regal decorations, the chilling air that allows for cozy sweaters, warm drinks and comfy home temperatures, the crisp smells of autumn and the food – the fall food – the perfect mix to get together with a group of friends and spend an evening mingling, cooking and enjoying delicious, hearty food.

Below are our ideas to help anyone throw a successful party.

A tip for any successful party:
If this is the first party and your guests are neighbors or business associates, keep it a little more low-key. If you are having fun and your company knows you’re a party-throwing freak, feel free to go all out!

Of course they’ll have to be hand delivered, but tie an invitation to a caramel apple or attach it to a stick and put it in a gourd or small pumpkin.

You could wrap the invitation around an apple or wrap it in leaves and tie them off with raffia.

For traditional, paper invitations (the kind you could even send through the mail), fall colors and the things that represent autumn (scarecrows, pumpkins, leaves, etc.) are easy to get on paper to make simple, cute invitations.

If you preferring buying invitations, following are some sites that have numerous options (or ideas if you do want to make your own):

Mulled Cider or Hot Cider would be a great before or after dinner drink

Use the cooling weather as an excuse to serve a favorite soup instead of the traditional salad before dinner.

Autumn is the perfect time to serve a hearty stew or pasta as a main course.

A tart or crème brûlée would be a perfect dessert

Wine and cheese are a great pairing for before or after dinner while guests visit and relax

Other great food ideas, as well as fall party tips can be found at the following sites:

Deep, regal shades of color will create an ambience of fall throughout your house and tie your decorations right into your party. Gold, burgundy, chocolate brown (even a tan depending on your other choices), eggplant, forest green, burnt orange, mustard are all excellent fall shades.

A centerpiece of a cornucopia with real or plastic colorful vegetables on top of a deep colored table cloth or runner

Ceramic dish with a variety of gourds or apples as small table decorations (whether on the dinner table or the areas surrounding the table), or on the serving table if you have one

Sunflowers are always a nice touch for fall floral arrangements

Handmade or printed place cards rested on top of small gourds or apples at each setting

Small pumpkins and gourds in bunches in a line down the center of the table keep it simple and don’t take much room

Party Favors:
Instead of sending your guests home with just leftovers, consider a simple, understated gift as they head for the door.
Carmel or candied apples (decorate the stick with a fall-colored ribbon)
Leaf wine glass charms

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Patriotic Party

Yes, it's always party, party, party around my house!!
This week it was a patriotic themed party for our city's local Roy Days. I sent out cute easy to make envelope pocket slide cards, made easy cupcakes with sprinkles and flags, colored table clothes, cute bowls with homemade salsa and chips, handmade apple pie (cuz whats more America than that?) Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Chicken, and made my favorite baked beans. Yup.. party, party, party.

Lemon & Lime Swap (pt 2).

I am telling you.. if you have found our blog you need to get in on this! The swap Kim sent me was great! I will definatily use all the stuff I got and it was a lot of fun shopping for stuff to send her!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Lemon & Lime Swap

We decided to do a friendly, little swap this past month. Something to just keep in touch and have some fun. This is all the awesome loot that Kim sent to me. She did way awesome and made me feel like a schmuck because she did such great stuff. She was very creative and thoughtful with the items she sent. I look very forward to using all of them. Yes, even the Jello even though I'm no longer a Utahn.

If you're out there and interested and joining us the next time we do one of these, to have some fun and get & give some cool stuff, drop us an email and we'll make sure you get included. Because really, what's more fun than getting awesome stuff in the mail??