Category Archives: Let’s Party

Dirty Shirley Temple Recipe

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I have been in love with Shirley Temples since the first time my dad ordered me one when I was a little girl.  I mean whats not to love, an adorable and sweet little 7-up , a splash of grenadine, topped off with a perfect little cherry.

Maybe my 35th birthday had me subconsciously reaching for something that made me feel young again. But as much as I wanted to make Shirley Temples, I found myself wanting to “adult” it up a bit with vodka.  Maybe I am ok with getting older, emphasis on maybe.

As I planned my birthday party I found several great recipes for a dirty shirley but most of them required way too much effort for this working momma. I wanted to try out my own recipe but all I had at home was a can of lemon Sanpellegrino and didn’t want to run to the store for 7-up. Man I am glad I stayed home. Sanpellegrino is pretty much the only soda I ever buy and that 17% lemon juice always makes it a great “mixer!”  The incredible bite of tart lemon really compliments the sweet grenadine and fruity vodka. Topped with a gorgeous cherry and you have a drink worthy of the title dirty Shirley.  This drink is crazy refreshing.

I hope you love like I do.
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Dirty Shirley Recipe

An adult take on a childhood favorite, a Shirley Temple. The darling sweetness of the pomegranate, cherry, and grenadine are perfectly complimented by the tart citrus in this delicious libation.

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Total Time: 5m

Ingredients

  • 1 quarter lemon
  • 1 quarter lime
  • 1 oz pomegranate vodka
  • 1 oz cherry vodka
  • 12 7/48 oz can lemon (Limonata) Sanpellegrino
  • a splash or two, grenadine syrup
  • maraschino cherry

Instructions

  1. Fill 16 oz cup half way with ice, squeeze the juice from 1 quarter lemon and lime over ice.
  2. Add vodka.
  3. Add lemon soda.
  4. Add a splash or two of grenadine syrup.
  5. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

Cheers,

xoxosarah

Lets Flamingle- a Tropical Flamingo Themed Party

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In honor of my birthday week I though I’d share my 35th birthday party inspiration; a Tropical Flamingo party.

I have been obsessed with flamingos for almost a decade, it all started on a shooting party in an Arizona dessert. My stepmom Sheri had packed up a box of potential targets including a glorious pink lawn flamingo.  But as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to save it.  I smuggled him out of harms way and stashed “Felipe” in my suitcase.  Felipe the flamingo become my beloved mascot, I even named my apartment “the Flamingo.”
In 2008, Felipe was kidnapped and held for ransom. I unfortunately never saw him again.  But his memory lives on in my heart.

Here is what you need to throw a fabulous tropical Flamingo party.

Decor

Start with a whole flock of flamingos.  But not just any flamingos, go with the original Don Featherstone flamingos, they have the best details.
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I finally decided to try my hand at a balloon arch after drooling over several amazing arches on The House That Lars Built.  You can check out the one pictured above on Wedding Chick or there is a great tutorial on A Beautiful Mess.

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I am in love with this tropical flower backdrop on Blitsy.  Perfect for a D.I.Y photo booth.
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No tropical themed party would be complete without  a pineapple flower centerpiece.

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Menu

I have loved Shirley Temples since I was a little girl but since this is my 35th birthday, not my 5th, I decided to “adult” it up for my party by serving a Dirty Shirley.  Here is a great recipe from The Solstice Table. 

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For an appetizer try this tropical bruschetta.
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For the main course I will be serving Kahlua pork, coconut rice, and Hawaiian mac salad.
For Dessert try coconut cream pie shooters or a gorgeous coconut cake like this one.
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Invitations

Check out these adorable invitations from Carlson and Co on Etsy.

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Happy Flamingling!

xoxosarah

My favorite new cake trend: Drip Drizzle Cakes

Some call it a drip cake, others a drizzle cake.  I like to call it a drip drizzle cake, I must be conjuring up my inner Snoop Dog. Whatever its name, I am completely obsessed with this hot new cake trend.

I mean, whats not to love, you take an already amazing cake and then drip drizzle your way to beyond amazing. The best part of these gorgeous drip drizzle cakes is all the crazy toppings; donuts, Japanese pocky, bon bons, macarons, flowers, lollipops, fruit, marshmallow, meringue, cookies, truffles, candy, or mini bottles of Jack, the possibilities are endless.
new cake trend drip drizzle cakes

1.  Mudgeemade
2.  Sugar by J Cakes
3.  Fork to Belly
4.  Sugaretal
5.  LifeofPieAmsterdam
6.  Cakes by Cliff
7.  Dessert Stomach
8.  Lapechefraiche
I’m definitely going to have a drip drizzle cake for my upcoming 35th birthday.  Now how to pick a design?!

xoxosarah

Rainbow Sprinkle Bridal Shower

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This invitation by Ink obsession Designs on Etsy was the inspiration for my Rainbow Sprinkles Bridal Shower.

For the decorations we used a clear umbrella, tucked a few tissue fans up inside, and dangled a strand of paper hearts like rain drops.

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For the favors we made our own rainbow sprinkle mix and bottled them up.  Here is a gorgeous tutorial on Something Turquoise.

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D.I.Y. Custom Sprinkle Mix Favor by Something Turquoise

If you would prefer to buy pre-made sprinkles
here is a cute mix by KreativeBakingShop on Etsy
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I really wish I had pictures of the food, but it was 3 years ago, before blogging so Ill just fill you in on the Menu:

  • Rainbow fruit platter, complete with “cloud” fruit dip
  • Rainbow fruit tarts
  • Tulip sugar cookies with pink royal icing
  • An assortment of Quiche
  • bagel and cream cheese bar
  • pickled asparagus and cream cheese wrapped in ham

Here is a cute example of the gorgeous fruit plate my sister-in-law, Suzy made for the shower

Rainbow Fruit Tray

Rainbow Fruit Tray from Makoodle.com

I used “Hello My Name is” name tags for the food labels.  I found these cute labels from EmDashPaperCo on Etsy

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“Hello My Name is” from EmDashPaperCo

 

I was completely spoiled, sprinkled, and showered with love and amazing gifts. It has been fun reminiscing about such a great day.

Happy Friday!

xoxosarah

Vintage Carnival Themed Wedding

In honor of my 3rd wedding anniversary, I’m celebrating with a whole week of wedding posts. Im kicking it off with a photo tour of my vintage carnival theme and giving my advice on how to enjoy your wedding day.

The benefit of being a bridesmaid a few times before actually getting married myself was that I saw first hand just how stressful a wedding can be and how often the bride doesn’t get to enjoy her day.  I really wanted to enjoy my wedding so I came up with a game plan to combat what seemed inevitable.

First, I made a list of the most important priorities that I wanted from my wedding day, for me it was

1. To marry Juice…the whole point of the day right?!

2. I wanted to have fun

3. I wanted my guest to have fun

I kept this list in mind the entire wedding planning process and referred back to it when making budget decisions or dealing with a problem.
The other problem I saw with other brides  was that they had too many things to do to really just relax.  Since I love to plan parties and usually keep control of the reins the entire time, my solution to this one was really tough. But I hired a “Day of Coordinator” anyway.

For me this was by far the best money ever spent!  I got to do all the fun details building up to the wedding and then Leslie Price and Ashley Wilson took care of vendor coordination so I wasn’t bombarded with calls from the florist, baker, chairs, tables, and tent deliveries, the Photo Booth set up, the caterer, and overseeing the setup/decorating of our wedding site.  They nailed it and took care of a few details I didn’t have time for; they made adorable little activity kits for the children at our wedding,  picked up the wedding cake knife that I had totally spaced, and popped popcorn for our send off. I was especially happy they boxed up a few pieces of cake for Juice and I to enjoy later.

My wedding day was amazing even though it was far from perfect. It rained and poured all morning, with the weather reports showing a 90% chance of rain during the ceremony for most of the day and the generator powering our music cut out just as the flash mob portion of our wedding dance started.  But I just held on to my list and knew that rain or shine, music or not, I was going to marry my love, dance, and have fun.

Here are some of my favorite details from my vintage carnival themed wedding:

  • Liberty Park with Ferris Wheel
  • Invitations with carnival tickets included
  • Hand crocheted doilies everywhere, lovingly made by my extra mom Sheri
  • Pinwheels adorned with ribbons, pom-pom fringe, and ric-rac for flower girls
  • Vintage umbrellas rented from Bella Umbrella
  • Vintage blue Ball jars for vases
  • My grandparents cake topper
  • My adorable wedding cake
  • Circus tent curtains
  • Cupcake garland
  • Billy balls painted blue for my bouquet
  • Bow ties from theBellandtheBeau on Etsy
  • Popcorn, gelato, cotton candy, and lemonade bar
  • Acoustic stylings of Trenton McKean 
  • Photo booth and props
  • Flash mob dance to Hall and Oats You Make My Dreams Come True

Here is the photo Tour

vintage carnival wedding Ferris wheel vintage umbrella

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vintage carnival wedding Ferris wheel vintage umbrella

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Vintage umbrellas from Bella Umbrella

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Our fabulous ring bearer

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My grandparents wedding cake topper and my beautiful wedding cake.

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My extra mom gave me this beautiful vintage table cloth and crocheted this gorgeous doily.

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Trenton McKean

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You Make My Dreams Come True

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Check out the cupcake garland my amazing bridesmaid April Vandertoolen helped me make.

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I hope you enjoyed my wedding photo tour. I’d love to hear what you would put on your own wedding priorities list.

Photography credit for all of these wonderful photos goes to Cat Palmer

The Perfect Tea Party Bridal Shower

If you are currently looking for inspiration for an upcoming shower or birthday party, you have come to the right place because I have put together the perfect tea party shopping list.

Last spring I had the honor of helping my dear friend and boss Starla with her daughter Kylie’s bridal shower. Since I adore them both I was really excited to help.

I wanted the event to be whimsical, bright, fun, and a little eclectic.

The food for this shower was a sight to behold; fresh salads, an assortment of delicious tea sandwiches, veggie shooters, hummus shooters, chocolate and pistachio mini bunt cakes, mini lemon cheesecakes, chocolate covered strawberries, and beautiful candy dishes filled with hand crafted caramels and marshmallows.

To continued the eclectic, whimsical vibe I added edible butterflies and canapé flags to many of the dishes.

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Edible butterflies from SugarRobot on Etsy

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Truly Scrumptious canape flags

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Lavender and Vanilla Caramels from Calabasas Candy Co, cucumber sandwiches, and chocolate covered strawberries.

(Since working on this post I have had an intense desire all day to make cucumber sandwiches for dinner. I’m not sure how My hubby Juice or little O.J. would take it but these were so delicious, I might just be willing to risk their disappointment.)

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Truly Scrumptious plates

For the decorations we gathered up miss-matched tea sets from friends, family, and a few stops at the thrift shop. We then pulled an old collection of books from her bookshelves, covered them with craft paper, and added a little lace and ribbon as part of each table centerpiece. About a week before the event Star planted pretty little flowers in a handful of the extra tea cups and had them ready to go the day of the event. To finish off the centerpieces we added large goblets, hot water, and tea flowers.

I also used one of my favorite tricks; micro flower arrangements. We used 2 dozen roses and a “garden bunch” to create 12 mini flower arrangements in gorgeous champagne glitter votive holders. There were flowers everywhere but we didn’t spend a fortune.

All the tables were covered in white linens and then layered with different crocheted tablecloths and mismatched doilies.

Star’s big back yard was the perfect space to add in giant lavender and mint balloons strung with lace.

We strung a large glitter “All You Need Is Love” banner across the front of her Pergola along with an eclectic butterfly garland.

and added delightful little paper butterfly cake toppers to all of the flower arrangements.

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my balloon guy, John with Balloon Architects

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Butterfly Caketoppers from Kiwitinicreations on Etsy

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Champagne Glitter Votive Holder as a mini vase from SweetHeartsStudios on Etsy

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Free to Fly Butterfly Garland from Julamade on Etsy and All You Need is Love Banner from ThreeLeafPaperie on Etsy

The ice tea bar was the perfect solution to having a tea party on a HOT spring day.  Darling paper straws and delicately hued lavender and mint sugar cubes were the sweetest addition to a fabulous, ice cold, glass of tea.

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Iced Tea Bar

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Colored Sugar Cubes from TrioArtisanDesigns on Etsy

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The Perfect Tea Party Paper Straw Combo from Twigsandtwirlsllc on Etsy

For the favors we filled pretty little paper bags with cookies for later and finished them off with hand stamped “thank you” doilies.

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Cookie for Later Favor with these Hand Stamped Doilies from OhJoyGypsy on Etsy and these Favor Bags from theStationeryRoom on Etsy

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As promised here is the perfect tea party shopping list:

Truly Scrumptious Plates

Truly Scrumptious canape flags

Butterfly Paper Caketoppers

Free to Fly Butterfly Garland 

Lavender and Vanilla Caramels

Champagne Glitter Mini Vase

Colored Sugar Cubes

Paper Straws

Hand Stamped Doilies

Favor Bags

All You Need is Love Banner

Edible butterflies 

My balloon guy

I hope this list saves you time and helps you throw a gorgeous tea party.

xoxosarah

Hello Baby, a Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower

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Hello Baby Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower

It has been 24 years since the last girl was born into the Dawson family. Needless to say, us girls are seriously outnumbered.  So it’s no surprise that all of us ladies were more than a little giddy when we found out our Niece Jessica is expecting a girl.   And especially thrilled to throw her a baby shower.

What better theme to celebrate a little girl than a Kate Spade inspired baby shower complete with: polka dots, stripes, gorgeous flowers, black and white, gold, hot pink, all punctuated with a little sparkle and sass.

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This gorgeous cake is from Swirly Girls Bakery in Daybreak, UT.

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This Hello sign is from HelloHeidiWallArt, Which I usually have hanging in my kitchen but loved the idea of Hello Baby so I used it for this fun shower along with a d.i.y. floral BABY sign. I just cut out the front of these paper mache/ cardboard letters , painted them black, and then filled in each letter with an assortment of pink silk flowers and a little hot glue.

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Have I mentioned how much I love a fruit pizza bar?!!!

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Hello Baby, a Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower

Hello Baby Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower It has been 24 years since the last girl was born into the Dawson family. Needless to say, us girls are seriously outnumbered.  So it’s no surprise that all of us ladies were more than a little giddy when we found out our Niece Jessica is expecting a girl.   And especially thrilled […]

Ingredients

This recipe has no ingredients

Instructions

This recipe has no instructions

 

 

kate spade baby shower

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If the last time you had sherbet punch was 1992 like me, you need to make some and be quick about it.  It was even better than I remembered.

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I decided to do pink nail polish as the favor, but about choked when I saw how expensive most nail polish is.  Luckily I shopped around and found just what I was looking for at Walgreens. How cute are all these different shades of pink?! I just added a cute tag and a little bow.

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Here are a few more pictures of the invites and address labels. I did bleep out my actual address, if you want to leave me love note, you can always leave me a comment.

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kate spade baby shower

“She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.”

-Kate Spade

 

I thought it was the perfect quote for all little girls, and big ones for that matter, to remember to sparkle.

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One of my favorite things during the shower was the realization that almost every single gift was wrapped in coordination with the theme; pink, polka dots, & stripes.   It was definitely a sight to behold.  It made me smile knowing the invitations totally conveyed the theme enough that all of these ladies go it and just ran with it.

I am also dying over these amazing pictures my awesome nephew Alec took at the shower. It was a huge stress relief to have his help.  I am totally blown away by his talent and really excited to see what he does with it.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

xoxosarah

Heartbreaker Pancake and Pajamas Party

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photos by Mary Clark, DMC Studios

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photos by Mary Clark, DMC Studios

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photos by Mary Clark, DMC Studios

Heartbreaker Pancake Pajamas Party

My little two year old Oliver Jack has been stealing hearts since the day he was born.  He has an incredibly charming disposition, a knowing smile, a contagious giggle, and a sense of humor that continually surprises me.  His favorite game starts with him letting out a ferocious roar, followed by  the most earnest question “you scared Momma?”  He tenderly, reassuringly pats my arm and says sincerely “its ok Momma!”  He then mischievously wrinkles his nose and lets out a wild roar, starting the game all over again.

I can’t say the last two years have been easy; the sleep deprivation, the boogers, the messes, the lack of personal time and personal space, the money, oh and there was that vomitous road trip.

But I can say unequivocally that Oliver Jack is the most delightful, magical gift I could have ever hoped for or imagined. He brightens my day with more love than I knew possible.  Oliver acts as though I am the greatest person in the world. Which makes me want to reach higher and maybe one day deserve such adoration.

So happy Birthday Oliver Jack. Its been an amazing, wild two years and I look forward to our many adventures ahead.

To Celebrate his birthday we threw him a heartbreaker pancakes and pajamas Party.

I figured there won’t be too many more birthday party themes where I get full artistic license so I went with hearts, it totally works being that he was actually due on Valentines Day and will forever be the best Valentine.

Heartbreaker Pancake Pajamas Party

For the cake I made my favorite Guinness chocolate cake, cream cheese frosting, and I used heart shaped macaroons from a local bakery as part of the caketopper.  I created the “Heartbreaker” with a Silhouette and black glitter cardstock.

Heartbreaker Pancake Pajamas Party

The pancakes and pajamas were plentiful as promised.

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I didn’t get a picture of the basement but we turned the family room into a blanket fort lounge. The kids loved it.  Juice added an eye screw in 3 different walls, about an inch from the ceiling. He then strung a nylon rope through each, creating a triangle overhead.  We hung a sheet up on each side of the triangle and then one on top, using clothes pins to secure it to the rope and where each of the sides met.  We also used clothes pins to hang twinkle lights.  We filled it with all the pillows we could find.

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The mimosa and bellini bar was a huge hit. I made peach, pineapple, and a berry puree and grabbed a few bottles of champagne.  For the fruit puree I used this recipe by Giada as inspiration.

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How cute are these heart straws?!!

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I cant believe I didn’t get a picture of the pancake topping bar.  But it was filled with fresh fruit, a couple different kinds of syrup, and whip cream.

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For the french toast shooters I added a dollop of cream cheese whip and drizzled in a little Golden syrup.  I could eat Golden syrup on just about anything. Its especially great if you do not love Maple like me.   You can pick up Golden syrup on Amazon or World Market.

These egg scrambles were a super easy crowd-pleaser.

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One of the things I love about a pancake and pajama party is that you can use any color scheme you want or no color scheme for that matter.  There is something so comfortable and fun about everyone in pajamas, eating delicious pancakes.

Oliver had a blast with his little friends and was sufficiently spoiled.

I’m highly considering implementing an official “very merry unbirthday,” for each of us just to have more excuses to throw a party, well that or having more kids. 😉

Party on!!!!!

xoxosarah

Valentine’s Day Candy Kabobs

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I’ve been obsessed with candy kabobs for several years because they are crazy cute and yummy to eat.  But I have never gotten around to making them myself until now.  They are a great party favor or Valentine. I love that you can totally color coordinate your kabobs to match your party theme.

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sticks    ( I used these rock candy sticks from Amazon but you could use kabob skewers)

paper straws     (optional)

scissors

tags

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favor bag

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an assortment of gummie candy:

  • licorice
  • cherry hearts
  • sour belts
  • licorice wheels
  • Lifesaver gummies
  • Jollyrancher gummies

Cut the paper straws in 1/3 and slip on to the stick. I found it helpful to line up the candy I wanted to use in the order I wanted to use it.   I tried to coordinate between big and little to make it looked balanced.  The cherry hearts were a little gooey so I decided to just use them as the topper. I used pretzel stick favor bags but they were a tight squeeze with the licorice wheels so I will definitely rethink those next time.

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Top off these adorable candy kabobs with a little ribbon and a tag.

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I hope your Valentine’s Day or Party is a sweet as these kabobs.

xoxosarah

Big Game Little Work- How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party

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How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party

I am the queen of over doing it and the master of the small details but sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to make football shaped cookies and cold cuts in the shape of a football stadium.

The good news is that most people wont mind, especially if you feed them well.
My favorite go to appetizers are: Hummus Flatbread Shooters and Veggie Ranch Shooters.

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Big Game Little Work- How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party

How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party I am the queen of over doing it and the master of the small details but sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to make football shaped cookies and cold cuts in the shape of a football stadium. The good news is that most […]

Ingredients

This recipe has no ingredients

Instructions

This recipe has no instructions

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Big Game Little Work- How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party

How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party I am the queen of over doing it and the master of the small details but sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to make football shaped cookies and cold cuts in the shape of a football stadium. The good news is that most […]

Ingredients

This recipe has no ingredients

Instructions

This recipe has no instructions

Throw some beer in an ice filled sink DSC_0319lowres

or some wine in a bucket

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Pick up some delicious cookies, I got these at the Popshop DSC_0419lowres

Pick up a fabulous meat and cheese tray, some olives, and crusty bread from your favorite deli, i got these at Tony Caputos 

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There you have it, Big Game, little work!!

xoxosarah