Class Reunion

July 1st, 2016

 

“Schools out for summer!” Remember all the lovely styles of the 80s and 90s, well when we thought we had style but turns out none of us knew what we were doing. Hanging out at Wal-Mart until all hours and blaring our bass speakers with the windows rolled down because there was nothing else to do at that time of night. We’re all full of high school memories that are so fun to share. And now the question may be…will you be attending your high school reunion? Are you ready to see who has changed, who hasn’t and who has made a name for themselves, or not?

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Hopefully your class reunion won’t have you wearing your jeans backwards like the photo above. I never did understand that. It definitely didn’t look comfortable. Or perhaps the stirrup pants when they would give you a major wedgie .

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 If you’re planning a class reunion, InvitationBox.com has some great invitations to send out to your fellow classmates, whether this is a formal or last-minute event. Choose an invitation with your school colors and begin planning a totally fun and reminiscent night for all to enjoy.

 

Check out the above class reunion invitation and others at InvitationBox.com!

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Big Independence Day Events

June 29th, 2016

July is probably one of the best months to be an American—the days are long and sizzling, happiness is in the air, and fireworks are finally here! Independence day celebrations are around every corner, but there are some that stand out from the rest. Ahead, bucket list-worthy July 4 festivities well worth the crowds.

Fireworks at Centennial Park in Atlanta

No matter what your holiday goal—amazing food, enough live music to make your ears ring until the next 4th, or a festive beverage (or five)—Atlanta has got plenty entertainment come Independence Day. Of course, the fireworks are the real reason to brave the heat past dusk.

Kaboom Town in Addison, Texas

You can expect all of the usual Independence Day excitement at this celebration just north of Dallas, but make sure to stick around for the fly-by’s from the World Class War Birds—vintage military air crafts.

Dinner Cruise Near Navy Pier in Chicago

If you’re looking for something a little quieter, but still want to take in an awesome fireworks show, a dinner cruise near Chicago’s Navy Pier should be on your to-do list. There are a number of cruise liners to choose from for your holiday float—check out Odyssey Cruises, Spirit Cruises, Shoreline Sightseeing, and Valara Yacht Charter, to name a few.

Go Fourth on the River Extravaganza in New Orleans

Combine the French Quarter, fireworks, live patriotic music, and fireworks cruises, and you’ve got what could be the best Independence Day plans ever. If you’re visiting New Orleans this July 4, make sure to take a ferry to Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World; here you can actually see how the city’s vibrant parade floats are made.

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks in New York City

If there ever were a Fourth of July bucket list item, this might be it. Thousands of people perch around New York City’s piers and rooftops to catch a glimpse of the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks show—the United State’s largest pyrotechnic display. The show takes place off the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge—plan you seating accordingly, and grab a place early!

Let Freedom Sing in Nashville

Music stars come together to celebrate the nation’s birthday in the most perfect of places: Music City. Sheryl Crowe is the 2016 headliner of this year’s Let Freedom Sing celebration in Nashville, joined by Maddie & Tae, Erin McCarley, Andrew Combs, Ruby Amanfu, and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.Don’t miss one of the nation’s biggest firework displays. It’s all free!

AmericaFest in Pasadena, California

For this incredible party, the Rose Bowl Stadium fills up with people in red, white, and blue. This year is the 90th anniversary of AmericaFest, so get your tickets early. In the past, spectators have been treated to a motorcycle stunt show, plus crafts and inflatable rides for kids. Go for the festive food, stay for the huge fireworks show that starts at 9 p.m. Military (with a valid ID) can receive up to four free tickets. Regular tickets run $13, and kids under 5 get in free.

Capitol Fourth Celebration in Washington, D.C.

On Independence Day, the East Lawn of the capitol lights up in celebration of the nation’s birthday for the annual Capitol Fourth. The entertainment is always top-notch—some previous acts include Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Little Richard, Tony Bennett, Dolly Parton, The Bee Gees, Little Richard, and Steve Martin. Pro tip: If you’re looking to steer clear of the Washington, D.C. crowds, check out the rooftop party at Embassy Row.

Tahoe South’s Lights on the Lake in South Lake Tahoe, California

Lights on the Lake was named on of the best Fourth of July celebrations by the Today Show and the American Pyrotechnics Association—and for good reason. The fireworks can be seen all over town, but the event website shares some of the best viewing spots. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, take a helicopter ride and take the sights in from above.

Wawa Welcome America in Philadelphia

The Welcome America event is far more than an awesome fireworks show (although, it is most definitely that, too). Leading up to Independence Day, the event makers take an opportunity to celebrate Philadelphia, holding local food events, concerts, and movie nights. There’s also a storytelling event, called Go 4th and Learn, sharing a series of historical tales focused on Independence Day.

Independence Day Organ Concert in Washington, D.C

If you’re looking to take in some tunes outside of the big bash on the East Lawn of the capitol building, head to the annual Independence Day Organ Concert at the Washington National Cathedral. You haven’t heard Star Spangled Banner until you’ve heard it played on an organ.

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Kid’s Spa Party

June 23rd, 2016

If there’s one thing kids love to do, it’s play ‘grown-ups’, where they get to stay up late, eat cookies in bed and watch scary movies.  Let your child experience the spa just like you do on occasion, as they get spoiled and pampered all day, with their best girlfriends! Even let them drink punch out of wine glasses (perhaps plastic ones if you don’t want to use glass).

Kids spa parties are all the rage right now for ages 5 to tween.  There’s really nothing better than getting your nails done, a fresh pedicure and your hair made up…and it makes the kids feel like a movie star at the end of the day!  You can create your own at-home spa for your guests, or stop by a local spa or salon that offers kids spa birthday parties, complete robes, towels, face masks and plenty of nail polish and pretty scents!  If you have a girly-girl in your family celebrating a birthday, choose a spa day for the birthday girl and all of her friends!

Spa parties are pretty low-key if you plan it right.  Taking the kids to the spa is a great way to let someone else handle the party atmosphere.  Simply send out some adorable kids spa party invitations, bring the girls and giggles and they’ll provide the pampering.  After the girls are finished getting pampered, give them colorful cake pops, which are easy to eat with freshly painted nails.  Party favors are also super easy with flip flops to wear home from the salon, a nail manicure set or their own bottle of sparkly nail polish and a nail file.  Be sure to take pictures of the girls getting pampered, too!

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Ideas for End of School Year Teacher’s Gifts

June 21st, 2016

End of School Year Gifts for Teachers

Your child’s teacher spends about 6-7 hours a day with your child. They prepare them for a successful life, help them and encourage them.  End of school year teacher gifts are a small way to say, “thank you” for all they have done for your child.

The end of school year can be busy and you may not have time or money for an extravagant gift. No worries, there are end of year teacher gifts that will show them your appreciation.

What to Give and What to Avoid

When giving a teacher gift, there are a few guidelines to follow as to what to give and what to avoid. The guidelines below are what teachers say themselves about end of school year teacher gifts:

  • Gift certificates to a spa. Preferably one that is close to teacher’s house. Some teachers live further away from the school and commute to work. A simple thing such as a pedicure will make their day!
  • Gift certificates to a popular book store. Teachers love to read as much as that they encourage your child to!
  • Simple gifts for daily use. You can give the teacher plant holders, ceramic baking dishes, or baskets filled with goodies.
  • Gift cards to a fun store. You can also give some gift cards to a fun store, like a bath and body works card.

What to Avoid

  • Money. It is very tacky to tip a professional person, especially a teacher. Besides, the school district may have rules about them accepting tips.
  • Anything “for teacher”. Every teacher has the “teacher” knickknacks on their desk. They tend to get so many that it just creates clutter in the classroom. Things that say “world’s best teacher” tend to repeat themselves from teacher to teacher and classroom to classroom.
  • Scented items. Your favorite teacher may have a specific preference for smells and not what you prefer. They also may have allergies.
  • Religious items. You never know what your teacher’s beliefs are unless your child goes to a religious based school.
  • Edible gifts. Make sure before you give edible gifts, find out if there are any food allergies or if your teacher is on a special diet.

Destination Weddings

June 17th, 2016

Destination Weddings

When you’re getting married, all that matters is love and being with that one special person that you’ll be spending the rest of your life with, no matter where you are.  I thought I’d share a little bit about destination weddings and their growing popularity over the past few years.

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A destination wedding can be a whole week long event for the bride, groom, their family and friends. Many destination weddings included but are not limited are the Bahamas, Hawaii, Europe, a cruise, and so much more! The bride and groom will pick a favorite or interesting location for their wedding and typically will honeymoon there after. This also gives your guests a vacation after the wedding too! When planning a destination wedding, keep in mind that depending on your guests budgets, this may be a minimally attended event. However, the most important thing is to celebrate your love with your closest family and friends. You can always have a separate reception upon your return for the guests that could not attend your event.

The best thing to do is send a save the date card at least 8 months prior to your wedding, because guests need time to plan and save money for this type of event. This save the date should include your wedding info, location and any travel information you have gathered. Many brides and grooms will include a separate card with their save the date with a wedding website, hotel and other accommodation information. The more information you can give your guests ahead of time the better chances they will be able to attend. Theme are always nice when choosing a save the date and it can go along with your style too.

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When planning a destination wedding, it is always good to familiarize yourself with the area, culture, transportation, passport info, marriage license info, etc…  When planning your vital details like the cake, flowers, decorations and dress try to be consistent but remember that you don’t have to go over the top. If your scenery is beautiful, you can go simple with the decorations. Also remember that if you’re in 110 degree weather a huge princess dress may not be the most practical (and you will have to take it on the plane)! Remember to hire a local photographer who can really capture the essence of your day and location…they will be treasured for years to come.

Tags: destination wedding, destination weddings, luggage tages,planning a destination wedding, Save the Date Cards, save the date inserts, Save the Date Invitations, wedding ideas, Wedding Invitations, Wedding Planning

How to Dress for a Wedding

June 16th, 2016

Dress Code for a Party & Wedding

Sometimes you get an invitation that has unusual dress code term on it and you wonder, what in the world does that mean? Well, below I have prepared a list to get the jist of what it means most of the time, although you may come across one that no one knows and you just have to wing it.

The invite says: “White Tie”

This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes (think military ball).

He should wear:
A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest, and a bow tie. Black, formal shoes and black socks.

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The invite says: “Black Tie”

This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair.

He should wear:
A tuxedo. A black bow tie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes are also suggested.

She should wear:
A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown in a dark, neutral color like brown or black. The bride, wedding party, or friends can help answer questions about this.

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The invite says: “Formal” or “Black Tie Optional”

The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie. This means that a tuxedo isn’t required but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate.

He should wear:
A tuxedo or a formal dark suit and tie.

She should wear:
A long dress, a dressy suit, or a formal cocktail-length dress in a dark, neutral tone like brown, gray, or black.

The invite says: “Beach Formal”

This suggests an elegant beach wedding — so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand, and water). Anything you’d wear to a nice restaurant on a summer day is appropriate.

He should wear:
A summer suit with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants or khakis, and sandals.

She should wear:
A formal summer sundress at tea- or knee-length with flat sandals. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday.

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The invite says: “Semiformal” or “Dressy Casual”

Depending on the time of the event, you’ll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal colors for an evening affair; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding.

He should wear:
A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day.

She should wear:
A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top.

The invite says: “Casual”

Generally, casual means anything goes. That said, jeans, shorts, and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they’re specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume business casual to be on the safe side.

He should wear:
Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo.

She should wear:
A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse, something she can wear to church possibly. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday.

When planning your event, if you need to include a dress code requirement, feel free. This will make sure all guests feel comfortable, fit-in and nobody is the main focus except the bride and groom. Don’t be afraid to get creative with what you call your dress code, just make sure your guests are aware of what it means.

Tags: business casual, dress code, dress code on an invitation, dress code on party invitations, dress code on wedding invitations, dressy casual, formal attire

Let’s Have an Inflatable Party

June 10th, 2016

Let’s Have a Bouncy House Party!

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Inflatables are the best playground for your children and their friends. They can slide, bounce, and climb while remaining completely safe.  Bouncers are inspected when they are put together, and typically have inflatable safety rails and posts. Here are just five of the reasons that children adore bounce houses.

 

Fun with Friends!

When you throw a bounce house party, children can invite multiple friends and be entertained for hours. A lot of places now you can rent one all day! A bounce house is usually huge and can accommodate multiple children at a given time, unless otherwise posted. Many have obstacle courses inside, and kids can compete with their friends.

A Lively and Merry Appearance

There are so many different bright and vibrant colors on the bounce houses. Manufacturers produce these bouncers in a variety of colors, many of which are ones that children naturally are drawn to. Some of the original bounce houses were circular or square in shape, while some resembled homes, hence their “bounce house” moniker. However, nowadays, you can find a variety of shapes and colors There are animals, birthday cakes, and princess castles.

Playing Games Inside

Kids don’t have to just jump around in a bounce house. You can play organized games in the house, as well. There is a wide range of playground games that are made even more interesting inside a bouncer. Some of them have built-in basketball goals and come with squishy balls! Picture children playing “tag” or “Marco Polo” in an inflatable. Not only is it more enjoyable to skip around the bounce house than running across pavement or grass, but it is also much safer. Children don’t have to worry about bumps, bruises, and skinned knees. The ground is soft and cushion-like, and there are padded sides that form a secure boundary around the play area. Just be careful when jumping too close because there is always that chance of bumping heads!

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Physical Activity

Another thrill that children get out of bounce house activity is the physical aspect. Kids love to move around, and physical activity has added health benefits. When kids play in the inflatable for hours on end, they are giving themselves quite the cardio workout. The wholesome exercise experience also gives them an excuse to burn off excess energy. Instead of sitting around inside playing video games, these children will exhaust themselves and will more than likely sleep for a restful eight hours that night.
Being Outside

Many kids would rather be outside playing.  Playing outside in the sunshine provides kids with vitamin D, and they get to breathe in the crisp, clean air. A bounce house party gives kids a very good reason to join their friends outside and participate in wholesome play. When it gets humid out, some bounce houses may even come with added pieces, such as water slides! You can actually construct your own miniature water park with inflatables and throw the coolest summer bounce house party ever! I know one year we took my son’s play slide and attached it to one of his inflatable pools and he loved sliding down into it over and over.

 

 

Baby’s First Birthday

June 9th, 2016

Baby’s First Birthday!

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For those who have children, we have all watched our babies hit those milestones. First time rolling over, first time sitting up and walking, first time saying “mama” or “dada”. It all makes our hearts flutter when these things occur, but let’s not forget we get to plan a first birthday! To tell you the truth, I think we as parents get a lot more enjoyment out of it than our children do. They usually have no clue what is going on, except when they take a bite into cake for the first time, then they dig in!

 

When it comes to planning a first birthday, sometimes it is hard because your child hasn’t been around long enough to really make friends, so inviting people you know with babies is a little easier, I know with me it was.

When to throw it

You want your friends and family to be able to attend the party, so if baby’s first birthday falls on a weekday, the weekend before or after is a good bet. Plan the party for after naptime, so he or she’s well rested, because having a screaming over tired baby will not be a great party, I promise you. Limit the bash to a couple of hours rather than an all-day affair. Hold the party in a venue that has a private quiet space, so if baby needs a breather or gets fussy, you can take him or her there.

How many to invite

If it’s going to be intimate, the party might include grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a few baby friends from your play groups or classes. If you want to go all out and have a huge bash, invite extended family, and friends.  The size of your party ultimately depends on your own preferences, as well as your budget—obviously the more people you have, the more food, beverages and space you’re going to need. Begin with your must-invite list: those that mean the most to you. If you can add to your head count, keep going.

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Where to have it

If you have a big enough home and want to save some cash, throwing the party at your house could be a good option. Hosting the event at home means guests can hang out longer and baby has a place to nap if he or she gets tired. Plus, baby might be more comfortable in familiar surroundings. Booking a restaurant or even a children’s play space could be costly, but the big advantage is that you won’t get stuck with cleanup. You don’t have to do anything at all.

Otherwise, why not head to your favorite park? You can set up food and decorations at a picnic table (and some parks have barbecue grills). Plus, there’s already a play structure there to occupy the kids—just make sure that you have enough adults to keep an eye on them. Check with the local parks department to see if you need a permit or have to make a reservation for the space. Of course prepare for bad weather with it being outside, maybe have a back-up plan?

How to choose a theme

Does baby have a beloved elephant toy he or she sleeps with every night? Try zoo animals as a birthday theme. There are so many to choose from: Circus, Farm, Dr. Seus, Hot Wheels, etc… Or you can take inspiration from the season whether you’re having an indoor or outdoor party.

How to budget and DIY

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on baby’s birthday party, DIY is your best bet. Bake your own cake, have the party at home and shop at closeout stores (they often have great toys and stuffed animals for low prices). If you’re making your own cupcakes or treats, you can turn decorating them into an activity for guests. For invites, have Invitations Box do them for you!

http://www.invitationbox.com/1st-birthday-invitations.html

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What to serve

When planning the menu, take into consideration whether the party is going to be mostly adults or if there are going to be kids of all ages coming too. Definitely have baby’s favorite food on hand. Foods and snacks that are healthy and can be eaten on the go are also good choices. Be sure to note on the invitation whether you’ll be serving a full meal or just snacks and birthday cake, so guests know whether to eat before they get there. Double-check if anyone has eating restrictions or food allergies.

What to give as party favors

At the end of the day, it’s customary to send kids home with favors. You can give away fancy swag bags or keep it small with little harmonicas or a bath toy.  Want to set up your own photo booth? When it’s time to hand out the favors, give the goodies to parents first just in case they want to remove a few items or candies.

Organizing a Lemonade Stand

June 8th, 2016
  1. Location is Key!

We’ve heard it before but location is important and somewhere that has a lot of traffic is best. Consider setting up your stand on a busy street corner (away from turning cars of course), near the neighborhood swimming pool (ask the staff first) or another highly visible area. The place where we currently live would not work because it is a short street with very little traffic and our street is next to a busy road so maybe a park or somewhere where a lot of children go would be better. Make sure you get the proper permissions because just recently, some kids opened a lemonade stand and were ticketed for operating a business without an occupational license or paying taxes on their earnings. Poor kids!

  1. Decorate It!

You may not have the materials to build a stand, and the only thing you have is a card table with chairs but you can still make it stand out.  Make it pop with some bright fabric, tassels, streamers, etc… Put a big sign showing what you are selling and how much! This is simple but it gets someone’s attention with the pom poms and banner.

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  1. Advertise

It can be pretty hot sitting around waiting for people to come, especially if you aren’t set up in a place with a lot of traffic. Teach your kids about marketing and the power of advertising by creating door flyers, posters and posting on social media.  We took a walk around the neighborhood and hung them on our neighbor’s door.  Now, everyone knows when to come by for a refreshing glass of lemonade. Make sure to put location, time and contact information if they have questions. You could edit these from Invitation Box so that they say lemonade stand instead of birthday.  http://www.invitationbox.com/neutral-kids-birthday-party-invitations.html

  1. Be Creative

You can actually sell more than just lemonade. Consider selling cupcakes, homemade rice krispie treats, lollipops, bubblegum or even popsicles on a hot summer’s day!! You can print out a blank menu and put it in a picture frame, then use dry erase markers to mark down items and prices. This way we can reuse it and change what we offer and the price as needed, or you can use a chalkboard.

  1. Use Great Quality!

Don’t skimp on the quality, you want to make good lemonade to keep people coming back, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend days squeezing fresh lemons to have the best lemonade, you just need to make sure that what you are serving tastes good.  I have used Country Time Lemonade before, but you can add fresh strawberries to it to give it that little extra flavor that makes it so tasty!

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  1. The Price is Right

Don’t be afraid to charge a little People don’t buy the lemonade from you, they buy them from your kids, because they are cute! Honestly, who can resist a lemonade stand?!? We usually sell our lemonade for $0.50, but occasionally we’ll sell it for $0.75 and the extra stuff is what we will price higher.  This is also a great opportunity to talk to your kids about money, supply and demand and cost vs. profit.

  1. Share the Wealth

Now that you’ve priced it right, advertised and have given your stand some killer curb appeal make sure you spread the wealth and share.  We like to add a charity component to our lemonade stand and let the kids pick a charity they would like to donate half of their earnings to.  Now your kids might be trying to raise money for a new bike or toy that they have been wanting, that is ok, but try to teach them that money can help those in need as well. Not only are you teaching them about earning and saving money, but you are showing them the importance of giving and helping others.  It’s a great experience to see how excited they get to help others. First-grade students at Hillside Elementary School in Allendale, NJ raised money and awareness of childhood cancer causes, primarily for research into new treatments and cures, and to encourage and empower others, especially children. That is a great example of giving!

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  1. Be Friendly and Courteous

Talk to your kids before hand about what good customer service looks like.  Remind them to use their manners and be friendly and polite.  Not everyone wants lemonade, which I don’t know why they wouldn’t, considering your children are so darn cute, but if they don’t teach them to say thank you anyways!

  1. Have a Goal in Mind

Before you set up your stand set a goal to keep everyone on track.  This also helps them feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when they reach the goal. Your goal can be as simple as “we’ll set up for an hour” or “we will sell 100 glasses of lemonade.”  If you are raising money for a particular charity or event your goal can be more monetary focused, but either way having a goal is key to a successful stand.

  1. Have Fun

Now that you’ve planned and created an extraordinary lemonade stand don’t forget to have lots of fun! Be a kid!

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Having a Memorable House-Warming Party

June 2nd, 2016

A house-warming party is a special party traditionally held soon after someone gets moved into a new home. It is a time for hosts to present their home to guests, post packing, to allow their guests to tour and see their new accomplishment. It is usually informal with drinks, music and light refreshments. Some people choose to invite family and close friends, some even choose to invite the neighbors so you can get to know one another.

It is usually custom to bring gifts, to help decorate the host’s new home. This usually consists of plants, picture frames, or maybe a bottle of wine for all to enjoy. Hosts usually invite guests at least a few weeks ahead of time, so of course invitations are expected.

http://www.invitationbox.com/housewarming-invitations.html

It is important to have some refreshments out so that your guests won’t go hungry and him helps them relax more in the company of other strangers, because I am sure not everyone is going to know each other. Or you can just have a potluck and ask everyone to bring something since you just got done getting your house together, the last thing you want to do is cook for who knows how many people.

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White Peach Sangria Recipe with White Wine, Blueberries, and Strawberries.:

Here are some gift ideas for your hosts as well!

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This is a great idea for a guest book, or letter, I should say!

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A couple of ideas for decorations

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