Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fourth of July Party Ideas

Like many Minnesotans, we enjoy spending our weekends up north at our cabin. With the sun shining and the lake in the background, this became the perfect location for my Fourth of July party.

I decided on Pear Tree Greetings’ Sparkle in the Sky 4th of July Party Invitations. Their patriotic red, white and blue color scheme became the inspiration for the décor and many of my 4th of July party ideas.

4th of July Party Invitations -- Sparkle in the Sky

My backdrop consisted of a leftover pallet, which I transformed into an American flag by using spray paint. This is a great craft project in which the kids can be included as well! My nieces helped paint the stars onto the American Flag pallet and had a blast doing it. Our cabin also has many antiques, which I was able to include within the décor. An old lantern, mason jars, Coca-cola glasses and wooden sewing organizer added the vintage touches that were needed.

4th of July Party Ideas

Keeping with the traditional theme, we served “Juicy Lucy” burgers, corn on the cob, watermelon and baked beans. The burgers were placed in individual wooden brown baskets lined with a colorful napkin. Corn on the cob was displayed on a bright white serving tray using leftover skewers, which can be found at any local grocery store.

4th of July Party Ideas

Pear Tree Greetings also provided an exclusive 4th of July printable, which included food tent labels, mini tooth pick flags, cupcake toppers and a party banner. These are the little details that really make a party come together. While it is great to use them for their intended purposes, I decided to utilize them in different ways. The cupcake toppers became a holder for sparklers and the mini toothpick flags were wrapped around birchwood paper straws. Food tent signs were clipped to the wooden baskets that held the burgers, and became nametags for the gift boxes. The gift boxes were filled with candy and stickers for the kids to take home. Using the party banner and leftover skewers, flags were added to the gift boxes.

Free 4th of July PrintablesFree 4th of July Printables

Dessert consisted of mini cupcakes, cookies and ice cream sandwiches dipped in red, white and blue sprinkles. Once again, using the party banner provided by Pear Tree Greetings, the mini cupcakes were topped with homemade paper pinwheels! These are extremely easy to make. Just follow my DIY pinwheel tutorial here.


I hope you enjoyed some of the 4th of July party ideas provided and you are able to incorporate a few of them into your own party. Remember to think outside the box and utilize items around your own home to make your event a success!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Featured Event - Adult Birthday Beer Tasting Party

I had the privilege of working with Pear Tree Greetings as a guest blogger this week. They featured Suburban Event's Adult Birthday Beer Tasting Party on their blog.

Check it out here!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Trendy and Unique Gift - Birchbox

Some people are just difficult to buy gifts for. Whether it is a gift for a wedding party, graduation, Christmas or just a birthday, I have the perfect solution for you! Not only is this the gift that keeps on giving, but it is trendy, modern and exciting to receive in the mail each month. BIRCHBOX!!!

What is Birchbox you ask? Each month you receive a box that contains about five samples from the leading beauty and fashion companies within the industry. You can update your own Birchbox profile online that will gear samples towards your personal likes! Once you have sampled the items, you can purchase the full sized bottles through the Birchbox Shop.

My husband gave this to me for Christmas this past year. I'm as giddy as a school girl when my Birchbox arrives in my mailbox each month and I absolutely love trying all the new and exciting samples.

Here is what I received in my most recent Birchbox:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Adult Birthday - Beer Tasting Party

My husband was turning 30 years old and I wanted to do something a little different than our annual BBQ with friends and family. One of Jeff’s hobbies is brewing his own beer so I came up with the idea of having a beer tasting party! Guests were asked to bring a 6-pack of chilled specialty beer within particular categories that the birthday boy prefers.

The menu consisted of your standard and yummy bar food. I used brown craft bags to hold the soft pretzel bites and mini clothespins to close the bags and add some detail. Another great tip is to use small chalk board signs to indicate different dips or food. I’ve found that guests love this because they don’t have to ask you what everything is. Using an apothecary jar, I filled up peanuts and added a pop of color with the bright red popcorn boxes. The best thing you can do when planning a party is utilize all the space you have available (including the drawers)! Of course the table wouldn’t be complete without a great sign and a beer growler filled with wheat stalks. 
With the help of crafty friend Jodi, we cut out large letters from cardboard boxes spelling “CHEERS,” spray painted them a burnt red and hung with clear fishing line. Hanging in the corner was a chalk board sign with the steps on how to proceed with the beer tasting. This was probably one of my favorite items of the entire party! Little details such as coasters attached to the beer classes saying, “Bottoms Up” and signage for each type of beer helped me stay organized throughout the event. 

Lastly, a party would be complete without some dessert! Cupcakes with liners added another pop of color and cake pops with flag toppers added the detail. I made the cake pops my “easy” way and created a tutorial here.  

Hope you all enjoy the ideas and maybe you can incorporate them into your own parties! More pictures of this beer tasting party can be seen on the Suburban Events Facebook Page. A special thank you to Party On! Designs who offers personalized party supplies and decor!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DIY - Cake Pops

Have you ever attempted making cake pops? If you have, it was probably the first and last time you have ever made them! Cake pops are tedious and time consuming if you ask me.

You can thank me later, but below is a quick and easy way to make cake pops. You will ask yourself, "Why didn't I ever think of that!?"

  • Donut holes
  • Candy melts
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Sprinkles

Step 1: Melt the candy melts according to the directions on the package. Optional - you can add 1 teaspoon of shortening (such as Crisco) to keep the candy melts from hardening too quickly.

Step 2: Dip the end of the lollipop sticks into the candy melts (about 1"). Then insert the candy coated lollipop stick into the donut holes. This acts as a glue to adhere the donut hole to the stick.

Step 3: Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to harden the candy melt.

Step 4: Dip the donut hole into the candy melts until the outside is fully coated.

Step 5: Top with sprinkles while the candy melts are still wet.

Step 6: Place the opposite end of the lollipop stick into a piece of cardboard or styrofoam in order for the cake pops to dry. This also allows the any excess candy melts to drip off the cake pop.

Not only is this easy but you can do about 50 cake pops in under and hour! Enjoy!

Monday, April 15, 2013

DIY - Spring Time Picnic

Recently, I was approached by Party On! Designs to provide event planning ideas for their customers by utilizing products they sell.  This particular company sells personalized party supplies and decor so you can plan your own unique event! I waited in anticipation for my first "box" of goodies to arrive. Not knowing what would be in the box, I became extremely excited about what I would be creating for my first project!

The box contained the following items: recycled berry boxes and wooden utensils

Let the brainstorming begin! What could I make with these two fun items? For those of you who live in Minnesota, you know that the winter weather is still in full force. All I am waiting for is spring to hit! With spring in mind, I decided to use the berry boxes and utensils for an exciting kid's picnic.

First thing is to making these utensils pop! Ombre is very popular right now and this is an easy tutorial on how to add a little pizazz to the wooden utensils. 

Materials needed for ombre utensils:
  • Wood utensils
  • Paint brush
  • Masking Tape (or painters tape)
  • Two colors of your choice (try and stick to the same color family... I chose red and light pink)

Step 1: Use the masking tape and mark off the handle for where you will be painting.

Step 2:  Pour out the paint for the two colors you have selected (make sure to leave a little space between the two will see below why we did this).

Step 3: Paint one end of the utensil with the lighter color and the other end with the darker color. Leave the middle section unpainted.

Step 4: Combine your two colors until you get the desired hue. Use this mixture to paint the middle section of the utensil.


It is picnic time! Using leftover fabric for my basket liners, I wrapped up a few PB & J sandwiches, some goldfish and veggies to fill my berry boxes. Using mod podge and glitter, I made initial tags to personalize the picnic basket for each child attending.

Don't forget about dessert for the picnic! I whipped up some angel food cake parfaits and tied the ombre utensils to the glasses.

The possibilities are endless for what you can create with berry boxes. Check out Suburban Events on Pinterest for other berry box ideas!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Winery Bachelorette Party

Not into the "clubbing" scene downtown and still want to get together with your favorite ladies to celebrate your last days of single life? Try a winery tour!

My bridal party planned such an amazing Winery Bachelorette Party with some of my closest friends. We rented a bus, visited three local wineries in Minnesota and ended at my house with some food and of course more wine! Check with the wineries for cost of tastings - some are free and some cost $10+. We also played a game where each of my girlfriends brought me a bottle of wine and I had to guess which person brought each wine! Super fun and I got to keep the wine - BONUS!!

If you are looking to keep costs down, try to find an alternative than renting a bus because they can be expensive. Have a couple friends volunteer to be sober cab, or better yet, have your future husband and his friends cart you around (good luck trying to convince them).

Another option, would be to have a winery tour in the comfort of your own home! Start by going to your local liquor store and ask them for different wine recommendations from all over the world. You can find great tasting wines for under $15, which will help keep costs down.

Transportation: Valley Limo & Coach
Wineries: Cannon River Winery, Crofut Family Winery, Morgan Creek Vineyards 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DIY - Wine Crate Card Box

Want something different than the typical card box at your wedding? So did we and our rustic wine themed wedding helped determine the style of our card box!

My husband loves to brew beer and I love wine so this was a joint project! Thanks to my personal handyman, he built me a big wine box out of leftover scraps he had in the garage. I then had my sister-in-law design a brewery logo which I transferred onto the box.

I found a tutorial on pinterest about transferring the logo onto the box and taa-daa!

Brianna Colleen Photography

Monday, March 18, 2013

Save the Dates

This past September, I was recently married. I was lucky enough to marry someone with a sister who graduated in Graphic Design! She was able to take one of our engagement session photos and include all of the necessary information.

My husband and I are a goofy and fun loving couple and we wanted to reflect that in our save the date. Afterall, the save the dates set the tone for your entire wedding. I also do not think it is necessary to send out save the dates. However, we were getting married during a very busy time of the year and wanted to give everyone enough time to plan ahead.

Lets begin with where I got his idea. I am an avid "pinner" on Pinterest and found two Save the Date cards that caught my eye. These reflected so much of our personalities, it just seemed perfect!

copyrights Jill Thomas Photography & Paper Divas

Combining these two "pinspirations" this is how our save the dates turned out. We decided to go with a full size magnet from Pear Tree Greetings.

copyright Suburban Events

The most important thing to remember when making your save the dates, is that you want these to reflect your personalities. Who ever said save the dates had to be traditional? Have fun with it!

Photographer: Brianna Colleen Photography
Jeff & Molly Save the Date Design: Jodi Suedbeck

Friday, March 15, 2013

Personalized Napkins

Sometimes it is the little details that your guests remember at your events! My sister hosted a wedding shower for me this past summer and ordered these personalized napkins from Pear Tree Greetings. I love how you can upload your own photos, messages or even choose the color of the font! Your options are truly endless.

The best part, was that I had leftover napkins from the shower and was able to use them at our wedding!

Brianna Colleen Photography

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

French Inspired Bridal Shower

My friend is planning a French inspired bridal shower for her future sister-in-law and I asked if I could help. The first step was to go onto Pinterest and work my magic! The couple visited France together so it holds a special place in their hearts, which is why my friend wanted to plan a party around it. 

There are so many great ideas for planning a "Paris" or "French" themed event. Check out my French Bridal Shower pinterest board for all of the great inspiration I gathered (my favorite is suspending umbrellas from the ceiling)!!

Copyright Justin Lee Photography

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wedding Decorations - Family Wedding Photos

There are many ways to incorporate your past and present family members in your wedding. One of my favorites is to display family members' wedding day photos at the ceremony or reception site.

I ended up buying thrift store frames, spray painted them silver (or whatever color coordinates with your wedding colors) and made copies of family member's photos. Although I don't have any photos from my reception, here is a cute example from Style Me Pretty.

Style Me Pretty

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

DIY Wedding Decorations - Love Story Sign

Many times when you attend a wedding you do not know the milestones of the couple. I came across this pin when planning my wedding and loved the idea of sharing those love story milestones with your guests. I'll be honest, some of the dates may have been "modified" due to my declining memory, but they were close enough (and no one even knew)! Plus it adds another personal touch to your event.

Suburban Events

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

DIY - Photo Booth Sign and Props

I absolutely love the idea of a photo booth at events! It can truly show ones personality and goofiness  in a snapshot.

Photo booths can be expensive and it was definitely not in our wedding budget. Luckily, our photographer was amazing, and brought a plain white backdrop to the reception. With the help of my friends and bridesmaids we got to work and made some props! Pinterest was a great resource to find free photo booth printables and inspiration to get you going.

I absolutely adore Oh Happy Day blog and they provide a ton of free photo booth printables!

Since we had the rights to all of our wedding photos that were taken throughout the day, we didn't do the printable photo booth pictures. Instead, we posted them to Facebook and SlickPic (facebook does not load the high resolution photos but SlickPic does).

Here are a few of our favorites!

Brianna Colleen Photography

Brianna Colleen Photography

Brianna Colleen Photography

Monday, February 11, 2013

DIY Wedding Decorations - Bar Signs

One of my worst pet-peeves when I go to weddings, is when you have no idea what is complimentary at the bar. Not only do you feel cheap by asking, "What's free?" but you just feel rude asking. There are more polite ways of asking what is available at the bar such as,"What is complementary?" or "Are there any hosted drinks?". Nonetheless, I still hate asking.

There are many options to let your guests know what is available. Here are a couple examples:
  • The bartender can place the wine or beer bottles on the bar top (which typically indicates those are hosted)
  • Make a note in the program that says, "Join us after the ceremony for complimentary wine and beer."
  • When your host and hostess greet your guests, have them point to the bar while letting them know what is hosted
  • Have the bartenders tell guests what is hosted prior to them ordering their drink (this does not always happen)
  • Create a bar sign
We decided to create a bar sign with the complementary items and framed them to make it look more appealing. I found a bar sign on Weddingbee that I thought was perfect!

Here is how our bar signs turned out!

Brianna Colleen Photography

Thursday, February 7, 2013

DIY Wedding Programs

Everyone wants their wedding to be unique - to the smallest details. Check out the wedding programs we had for our ceremony (thanks to my personal graphic designer).

If you are having problems deciding on the readings you want to include in your ceremony, here are a few tips:
  • Look to your pastor/priest for guidance
  • Research the readings your parents or grandparents used
  • Ask friends that have been married
  •  Google (love google!)  

    Graphic Design: Jodi Suedbeck

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    Featured Event - Spa Theme Party


    Suburban Events' Spa Theme Birthday Party was featured on the Pear Tree Greetings blog.
    To plan your own Spa Party, find all of the details here

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

    Super Bowl Party - Free Printables

    Looking for some last minute details to jazz up your Super Bowl Party this weekend? I found these great free printables for the big game from Simply Creative Designs! It includes cupcake toppers, tented food labels, water bottle labels and banners.

    Simply Creative Ideas

    Consider making a football party photo booth if you want to get the kids involved! Hostess with the Mostess had this DIY project on how to make your own referee backdrop and provided free printables

    Hostess with the Mostess

    Still need more game day ideas? Check out Sububan Events' Pinterest page for more decorating ideas, free printables and recipes to please the crowd.

    Enjoy the party!