Boston Strong

Okay, so last week, my sister and her kickball team were required to dress up for the week’s big game. Now, if you’ve ever played in a kickball league, you know it’s usually a complete and total mish-mash…guys, girls, newly graduated coeds, us old folks, etc. so trying to coordinate an outfit that 20 people can whip up in a few hours is a monumental task. But my sis’ team came up with the perfect costume…honor those lost in Boston by dressing as marathon runners. The only consistent thing her team would need is of course, runner bib numbers. -And that’s where I came in.

I wanted to be respectful #1, but I also wanted to celebrate all that is Boston…all that we know it for…and love it for. Here’s what I came up with:

bostonbib-1 bostonbib-12bostonbib-13 bostonbib-14 bostonbib-119 bostonbib-118 bostonbib-117 bostonbib-116 bostonbib-115 bostonbib-113 bostonbib-112 bostonbib-111 bostonbib-110 bostonbib-19 bostonbib-18 bostonbib-17 bostonbib-16 bostonbib-15 bostonbib-114

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which one’s your favorite?

pamela

Just a little Wine for your Wednesday

One of my mom’s tennis ladies reached the big 6-0 year milestone on Valentine’s day, so my mom asked if I would make customized wine labels for her celebration. Personalized wine labels are a great way to dress up the typical wine bottle gift, and are perfect to give not only as birthday gifts, but as housewarming, hostess, or holdiay gifts as well.

As the birthday girl is an only child, I created the first label to poke fun at the stereotype most associated with my “no sibling” counterparts.  Undivided parent attention = you guessed it…spoiled:)  You’ll see that I tried to describes not only the wine, but the birthday girl herself… (she’s a petite, outgoing, chic little thang.)

only child

Since most of the ladies celebrating were all big in tennis, we had to go with a doubles theme for one of the labels.  For this description, I used terms that are associated with both partner tennis and wine.

doubles

The final label was all about the aging process.  I mean…what’s turning 60, if your friends don’t point out that you’re old??!! 60′s the new 30….except it’s not.  It’s 60…and it’s old.  (Totally being sarcastic here.)  Here’s my final politically correct label.

antique

We chose to stay with a color palette of red, pink, and white to stay true to the Valentine’s day theme.  If you like any of these labels, I’ll be posting to Etsy soon, so you can purchase your very own!

pamela

My Man’s Bouquet

sock introMy week’s been a crazy one, so I’m playing a little catch-up here, but I wanted to share a gift idea that’s easy to create for your special someone come next Valentine’s day (or any day of the week in between).

Valentine’s day gifts for girls are super simple. I mean your choice really boils down to…flowers, chocolate, jewelry, or teddy bear. Since I’m a flowers girl myself, I wanted to create a little bouquet for my beau. Unfortunately for me, roses don’t evoke the same emotion from a man that they do from a woman.

I’ve seen bacon roses done before, but I figured it’d be just a bit too icky (and smelly) to let pig sit out all day, so I ended up going with mock “sock” roses for my bouquet.  Now I know what you’re thinking…socks??!! But hear me out…because there’s a company called, Happy Socks, that have the most fun-loving, spunky, all around good-time socks. I’d like to think that happy socks to men are like flowers to women.  So here’s how to make your very own sock bouquet.

1

Step 1: Lay out your first sock.

2

Step 2: Fold the toe of the sock upwards.

3

Step 3: Insert the stem parallel to the opening of the sock.

4

Step 4: Roll the base of the sock up so that it is parallel to the opening of the sock.

5-6

Step 5: Wrap floral tape fairly high up the base of the sock, then some clear duct tape to secure it to your stem.

Step 6: Finish off your flowers with a few paper leaves.

photo

Voila!

pamela

Conversation Hearts

Over 100 years before the age of AOL, Facebook, Twitter, and the like….conversation hearts (originally called motto hearts) were one of the go-to ways to say, “I Love You” without physically saying, “I Love You”.  They were the text messages, the pokes, and the tweets of yester year.  Nowadays, with over 6 billion sold around Valentine’s Day, conversation hearts are still going strong.  While they have since retired the phrases, “Fax Me,” and “Page Me,” they continue to feature, “Tweet Me” and “Text Me.”  So essentially they serve the purpose of leading your special someone on a social media maze, whereby after an hours’ worth of searching, you can finally summon the courage to tell them you love them…via email.  Here are my 14 ways to repurpose those conversation hearts for your event…successfully saving the, “I love yous” for actual conversation.

14. Vases.  Adorn your flowers with a conversation heart filled vase for an extra sweet touch.

vases

13.  Pinata. Liven up any party with a conversation heart pinata filled with…you guessed it, conversation hearts.

pinata

12. Candy Toss.  Instead of rice, think about tossing Conversation Hearts for your Valentine’s Wedding.

candy-toss

11. Beauty.  Send a little “I Love U” message to your groom when he goes to put the ring on your finger with these conversation heart nails.

beauty

10. Cake. Easy to make Conversation Heart Cakes for a Valentine’s Day Birthday celebration.

cake

9. Cookies.  Send someone special these little envelope cookies sealed with a conversation heart.

cookies

8. Cocoa.  Instead of marshmellows or sugar cubes, crush up conversation hearts for your hot cocoa or coffee.

drink

7. Place Cards.  Write a question or message on these conversation heart place cards to inspire a little dinner party conversation.

escort-cards

6. Favor Packaging. Dress up kraft paper packaging with cute conversation heart tags.

favors

5. Games. Keep the youngin’s busy at your next event with tic-tac-toe games using conversation hearts.  Feed them and entertain them all in one!

games

4. Ring Pillow.  Personalize your conversation heart ring pillow with a fun message to your bride.

ringpillow

3. Signs.  Allow guests to fill out conversation heart signs with their own personal message to the happy couple, snap a picture, and make a wedding memory scrapbook.

signs

2. Wreaths. Create shapes out of conversation hearts to use as centerpiece items or chair wreaths.

wreaths

1. Balloons. Announce the big day with a conversation heart balloon invite.

balloons

Happy Valentine’s Day!

pamela

Dinner Party Guest Etiquette

table-mld108166_vert

I love a good dinner party. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t.  Sam (my boyfriend) and I had the pleasure this past week to catch up with long time friends (John McConnell and Alessandro Gionfriddo).  We adore their company and looked forward to a great evening of wine and food.  Alessandro is the most exquisite chef.

Here are a few guidelines I like to follow as golden rules to being gracious guests.

gift

1.  Always bring a host gift.  We always ask what can we bring and, of course most people say, “Nothing, just yourselves.” While they probably mean it, it’s always appropriate to attend with something in hand.  I keep a stock pile of easy-to-grab items such as extra wine, candles, petite boxes of goodies, or even useful cooking materials (olive oil or balsamic). It’s good to have a variety so you can bring the appropriate item.  (Doesn’t look good to bring a bottle of wine to someone who may be in recovery). I keep these items in my office near the gift wrap with plenty of gift bags and tissue paper available for easy wrapping. -This cuts down on an unnecessary stop at the store, or even saves time because of a last minute party invite.

2.  Be aware of dress attire.  There’s nothing worse than showing up to a casual dinner of DIY taco night wearing a three piece suit.  You are usually safe in any situation wearing nice jeans, dressier shoes, and a button down for men, or heels, beautiful top, and pants to tie it all in together for women (not everything has to be dresses and skirts ladies, although I love a knock-out pair of legs walking into any party).

3. Try everything that is prepared. You may not have to like everything, but it is polite to be an equal opportunist. Pay a compliment to the chef! (Unless of course you are deathly allergic.  No one has to die for the sake of being polite).

4. Don’t overstay your welcome. Make sure and take a clue from the host.  If conversation lingers and the host is cleaning items that may not need to be cleaned, it’s probably time to make a gracious exit.  The fifth wipe down of the kitchen countertops probably doesn’t mean they are OCD.

2

thank you cards can be found at: http://riflepaperco.com/category/thank_you/c35

5. Send a thank you note in the mail.  Take note of the address of the party so you may send a quick little ‘thank you’ note.  Text and emails have become so impersonal.  Nothing says grateful like a hand written note stamped and sent through the good ol’ modern day p0ny express.  I keep a box of blank notes in the office already stamped and ready to be filled out after a memorable night with friends.  It’s unexpected, genuine, and a sure way of being invited back.

Hope this was useful!  Happy dining party people!

dell

Wedding: Superbowl Edition

So the groom-to-be wants to add a little of his football into your wedding??!  Don’t fret ladies…here are 12 ways to incorporate his beloved sport into your big day without disrupting what you’ve envisioned since you were the age of 5.

#12: Table Numbers. Replicate Score Board Table Numbers for some football flair.

table number

#11: Escort Cards.  Display your escort cards on a bed of grass to create a mock field.

escort

#10: Wedding Seating.  Don’t worry about bride-side or groom-side at your wedding, have guests sit wherever they like.  Everyone will know what “side” they’re on with these handmade Team Bride and Team Groom Foam Fingers.

team bride groom

#9: Will you be my Groomsman?  What better way to pop the question than with a Groomsman “draft.”

pop question

#8:  Save-the-Dates. Try these cute Jersey Save-the-Dates on for size.

save the date

#7:  The Entrance.  Give him a helmut and call out his name…it’s time to run out of the tunnel!

entrance

#6: The Exit.  Any good entrance needs a grand exit.  Pom-Poms and Penants for all!

exit

#5: Wedding Pose.  Score big on your special day and capture it with a few slant-and-gos.

pose

#4: Photo Booth.  Give your guests something to cheer about with these one-of-a-kind football photo booth props.

photo props

#3: Programs.  Make sure your guests know the game plan with these playbook programs.  We don’t want anyone “dropping the ball” now do we!

program

#2: Wedding Cake.  Combine your Groom’s Cake and Wedding Cake into one!

cake

#1: Garter Toss:  Don’t just toss…launch your garter with a little help from the pigskin.

garter

pamela

Superbowl Bash

My family’s crazy into football, so hosting Superbowl Sunday is pretty much Pryor Family Tradition.  Don’t think for a second though that the degree to which you’re a football fan has any bearing on whether or not you should throw the big gameday bash.  If not for anything else, take the excuse for a little Sunday Funday, and host a party of your own.

First things first…the grub.

1-6 SUPERBOWL

  1. 7 layer dip.  A sure fire crowd-pleaser.  Try these individual portion sizes to avoid the dreaded “double dip”.
  2. Crab Cake Sliders.  A Maryland twist to the traditional slider.  Must-haves for all you Raven’s fans.
  3. Pigs-in-a-blanket.  Nothing says America like football, hotdogs and crescent rolls.  Try a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper for an extra “kick”.
  4. Meatballs.  Another notorious addition to any football menu…meatballs.  Dress them up with flagged toothpicks that feature your team’s colors.
  5. Chili Bread bowls.  Set up a Chili bar complete with all kinds of toppings (maybe a little avocado, fresh cilantro, or some crumbled cornbread) for a buffet style treat!
  6. Pretzels.  Soft pretzels scream stadium food…just pure football staples if you ask me.  Get creative and pair your pretzels with a variety of dip options.  Real Simple has some great ideas…www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/popular-ingredients/great-dips-pretzels-10000001644617/index.html

Now for dessert…

7-12

  1. Turnovers.  Not a traditional football treat…but the play on words is too hard to “pass” up (we’ll save the turnovers for you 49ers fans.)
  2. Field Cookies.  Every tailgate needs a few girly football cookies for good measure.
  3. Hamburger Cupcake.  I mean how cute is this?  Even I can handle that icing job.
  4. Popcorn Bar.  Sweet and salty late-game snack.  Create a popcorn stand, and couple yours with fun toppings.  I recommend cinnamon sugar, dried cherries, caramel corn, or go Maryland-style with a little Old Bay.
  5. Chocolate Dipped Chips.  You can pretty much dip anything into chocolate these days.  Another salty sweet crowd pleaser.
  6. Pretzel Rings.   Show your team pride and adorn these little pretzel poppers with your team’s colors.  Follow this recipe to make your own:  http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/appetizers-and-snacks/superbowl-pretzel-rings/

Time to wash it all down…

13-18

  1. “Possession” Tags.  No better way for guests to claim possession of their drink then with personalized name tags.
  2. Drink Flags.  Bring out the inner cheerleader with these “go team” drink flags.
  3. Numbered Glasses.  Have your guests pick their favorite player’s number for easy drink identification.
  4. Varsity Sock Koozies.  Great little DIY way to reuse those old socks you have lying around. 
  5. Purple Haze.  Can’t call it a Raven’s Party without some purple passion.
  6. Referee Koozies.  We can all agree that this was the year of the refs.  RIP Replacements.  Follow this link to snag a few of your own: http://www.mypapershop.com/064107/football-party-drink-holders.html

Round it out with a little detailing…

19-24

  1. Clipboard Invitations.  Get creative with your invitations!  Clipboards double as great invites and party favors!
  2. Penalty Flags.  So simple, yet so memorable.  Yellow napkins labeled as penalty flags…perfection.
  3. Free Printables!  Want to deck out your drinks?  I’ve included 3 sets of drink/straw tags below for your use.
  4. Photo Booth.  Create a fun space that your guests can snap a few pics!  Pom-poms are a plus!
  5. Commercial Scorecards.  Initiate a bit of crowd interaction by creating comment cards for your guests to rate the commercials.
  6. Time-Out Tags. Fun little tags to put on a late-night snack, party favor, or coaster.

Countdown to your kick-off begins.  GO RAVENS:)

pamela

free printables

On the First Day of Christmas…

Here I was spending the first Christmas with my boyfriend of 10 months.  Although very excited, I was very anxious about the whole gift exchange thing.  How much is too much?  How much is not enough?  Should I go sentimental?  Romantic?  Nostalgic?  Or was it better to stay safe, and just give him something on his wish list.  The possibilities were endless…and thus, exhausting.

After much thought, I decided to be a little creative, put a twist on an old classic, and essentially give him E. all of the above.  How’d I do it?  Well, I took the ol’ carol, The 12 Days of Christmas, and made it into my 12 Days of Gift Giving.  Starting on December 14th and every day thereafter until December 25th, my carol went a little something like this:

day1

The key is finding a word that rhymes with me…it’s the only essential piece in the entire Christmas Carol.   I’m obsessed with Starbucks Chai Tea…and Ryan (the BF) always drinks mine, so it’s a thing for us.  Not your thing?  Below are some suggestions if you’re in need of inspiration.

  • Give the cheese lover some crackers and brie.
  • Feeling Generous? Then hit the mall for a shopping spree!
  • Find your Holiday Spirit, and try an ornament for the Christmas tree.
  • Wanna Get Away?  I’m envisioning Capri, a boat on the sea, or maybe a little sightsee!
  • Skip the tea, how ‘bout some Doughnuts and Coffee?
  • A sports fanatic can appreciate a golf ball and tee.
  • Or get daring, and give that special someone your house key!
  • Of course, the default is to give them something for free.  Kisses for Free.  A week’s worth of laundry duty…free!

Now that you’ve established the rhyme, the rest is all about making the numbers work.

day-2

Two is a great number to use for something the TWO of you can do together.  Think movies, concerts, and as in my case, a comedy show!

day-3

On the third day, I took Ryan out on a date to 2Amy’s, a gourmet pizza place for three mini pizza pies.  Another suggestion:  If you’re on a budget, don’t be afraid to gift redeemable hand-made coupons.  Give them three home cooked meals.  Three hours of the remote control.  Three 15-minute shoulder massages.  Or you could always go big with the Three Karat Diamond.  Just saying.

day-4

I have these sheets made of a fabric they call jersey that are supposed to mock the feel of a worn in t-shirt.  AMAZING. So amazing, that Ryan likes to steal my pillows.  I’m sorry…he likes to BORROW my pillows.  So essentially, this gift is really about me reclaiming what’s rightfully mine.  For your 12 days of Christmas, four’s a good number to splurge on books, movies, ties, or maybe even a four-piece grill set.

day-5

Every day doesn’t have to be about something expensive.  I went with lotto tickets.  You could go with candy bars, gum, chapstick…anything stocking stuffer-esque.

day-6

What guy wouldn’t want a 6 pack of his favorite brew?  I paired my six-pack with tickets to a cooking event that features his beer in every dish.  You could couple yours with a trip to the brewery, or a beer brewing kit so he can make his own six-pack at home!  Or get creative and give him “6-pack abs” with a month’s membership to your local gym.

day-7

Seven for me was all about satisfying the sweet tooth.  Can’t go wrong there.

day-8

I tried to mix up giving him tangible gifts with gift experiences, so on my eighth day, I made him eight shooting targets and combined it with tickets to the gun range.   My targets featured: Abu Nazir (for all of you Homeland Fans), the Pittsburgh Steelers (Ryan’s a Baltimore Boy), and a whole host of other inside jokes.  A fun suggestion for 8…give ‘em an 8-ball, and take a trip to get your palms read!

day-9

Nine was a real stretch for me.  Washington, DC’s a city known for its museums, so I knew I wanted to gift a fun local experience…I just had to be creative with my gifting.  Since I had my heart set on the Newseum, I was hoping it had nine levels…it has seven.  I was praying it was on 9th street…it’s between 5th and 6th. I needed 9 galleries, it has 14.  So we’re just going to have to choose the best 9 exhibits and leave it at that.  Sometimes the numbers just don’t fit…and it’s at that moment when you shove the square peg into the round hole.  (Even if you have to break the toy.)

day-10

Ryan and I single-handedly (I guess that would be double-handedly) keep Chipotle in business.  We heart Chipotle.  Gift cards are always a good bet when you reach these higher numbers and don’t feel like breaking the bank.  If you’re not feeling Chipotle, consider a gift card for song downloads.

day-11

Ryan’s a big movie buff, so naturally, Netflix is essential to his wellbeing.  Subscriptions like these are definite go-tos if you’re strapped for cash, as you can stretch the spending over the length of the gift.  If you’re not into movies, try a magazine subscription or a “something-of-the-month” club.

day-12

I closed the show with a briefcase to match the luggage he uses for business trips and such.  To my surprise (and by sheer divine intervention), the briefcase had 12 pockets.  Other suggestions?  Maybe a 12 day vacay or a 12 month scrapbook calendar.  Remember, it’s the thought that counts…Happy gifting!

pamela