Category Archives: Fiesta Ideas

Party ideas, theme ideas, planning, loot bags, decorating, food and fun!
Ideas para fiestas, ideas para temas, planearlas, decorarlas, comida y regalos!

Simple Thanksgiving table setting

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It’s very hard for me to do anything simple and modern looking.  It just is.  I love to look at trendy simple things: clothes, home decor, scrapbooking pages, patterns….anything.  And I love it.  But when it comes right down to it, it’s impossible for me to duplicate that look in anything I touch.  It starts out simple, but very soon another element creeps in, an extra detail here or there, some brighter color sneaks in….and soon whatever I’m working on is full right up with all sorts of visual junk!  Yes, I am a messy person, and it usual shows up even in my “designing” (art, decorating, crafting,  junk making, whatever you want to call it).  It’s hard to stop myself.  I know, I know,  I’ve heard: Art is knowing when to stop.  And I agree.  And I guess that’s where the line between crafty and artist is drawn.  All this to say, I felt rather proud of myself for creating (in my mind) a simple modern-looking Thanksgiving table setting this year.  It was excruciatingly hard to hold back and not add more and more, but I forced myself and getting some new simple dishes from Ikea helped (and a time crunch helped, too).

Last year’s Thanksgiving table here was more like what I usually do.  This year I tried a new color scheme, and I must say I liked it.  I just loved the bright colors (that is normal for me) what wasn’t normal was the more simple decorations.simple modern Thanksgiving table setting by dennasideas.com - Page 008A plain white cake stand, a dried gourd (from Guatemala), a couple of small pumpkins and pomegranates, a few candles, a bunch of purplish carnations and a few green flowers.  Yes, it did involve a shopping trip to IKEA for a few things: new blue dishes, a couple of blue candles, purple table runner, purple juice jug and purple serviettes.  I had lots of orange things already in my stash 🙂  simple modern Thanksgiving table setting by dennasideas.com - Page 007No time for place-cards this year, just a few plain wooden leaves from Walmart.  I did print out some Thanksgiving things on kraft paper, but we didn’t really use them…..they were to make a thankful paper chain.  We were thankful without the craft.  The rest of the photos were taken under the dining room lighting so the color looks kind of weird….simple modern Thanksgiving table setting by dennasideas.com - Page 006 simple modern Thanksgiving table setting by dennasideas.com - Page 003I quickly crammed all the flowers into an orange bowl (and left the other non-color-coordinated flowers in the kitchen).simple modern Thanksgiving table setting by dennasideas.com - Page 002simple but pretty, I thought.  And yes, that is an old fashioned jello mold!simple modern Thanksgiving table setting by dennasideas.com - Page 004For that old fashioned, traditional touch.  I enjoyed it, even if few others did!  I had made one awhile ago, from an old recipe, then totally lost the recipe!!  So this was kinda made from my memory: grated carrot, crushed pineapple, orange gelatin (jello), and a cup of plain yogurt.  Does anyone have a recipe like that?  It would be nice to have the exact amounts!simple modern Thanksgiving table setting by dennasideas.com - Page 001My daughter the turkey, I mean, my daughter cooked the turkey this year!  She did a good job, though we had a few nervous moments 😉

There was a kids’ table this year, with a few Snoopy treats…very simple (not like the other Peanuts kids’ table)Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.com - Page 016When the younger kids couldn’t take the wait for supper, we gave them a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving meal.  It’s what Charlie Brown and Snoopy served in the classic cartoon: buttered toast, pretzels, popcorn and jelly beans!  (It’s starting to be a tradition!)Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.com - Page 015Another food that is now a Thanksgiving tradition around here is Guatemalan enchiladas!  I think this was the day after Thanksgiving, though traditionally they are served on Nov. 1st in Guate.  (It was a short weekend with family, so we had to cram a lot of food into it)Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.com - Page 018 Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.com - Page 017Mmmmm good!!  I’ll have to post the recipe someday…. 🙂   And so that was our little Canadian, American, Guatemalan Thanksgiving!!

 

3D Cookies for Valentine’s Day

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3D Cookies for Valentine’s Day

How do you say Happy Valentine’s Day to those you love?  Flowers, candy, cards, or some even bigger display?  Or do you prefer to do something special together?  Or is it one of those days that just slips by?  I saw a funny “quote” the other day.  It was a photo from Star Wars and the caption was “I’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day Han’s style….Solo!”  Maybe that’s more you 🙂

We don’t make a super big hoohaw about Valentine’s Day, a few special things, like maybe chocolate or sometimes flowers.  I’m usually in favor of homemade or home-printed Valentines.  (OK, I admit sometimes I put way too much work into the “homemade” Valentines that the kids take to school.  But this year, I put in 10 minutes of work on a printable, and then they are on their own, I’m just too tired,with a been there, done that  kind of feeling).  Anwyays, I came up with a brilliant idea that I think will make a memorable Valentine’s Day for us this year:  The kids are in charge of making and serving supper for my husband and I.  Sounds a tad dangerous, but I intend to enjoy it!  We’ll see how it goes…3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 003

After having said that, I admit I did make a few Valentine’s cookies.  I had the dough in the fridge and a few more M&Ms from the last couple of posts! 🙂  And I had these cute letter cookie cutters to try out!  (A fun gift from a friend)  So here goes a little tutorial for some fairly easy, but attention-getting cookies.

Ingredients:  chocolate cookie dough and candy melts (I use Wilton brand) and letter cookie cutters (or just freehand it) and small heart cutters.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 015Amor= love in Spanish 😉  Galletas=Cookies!   Cut out letters and a bunch of small or medium hearts for bases.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 014Bake and let cool…..cool!3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 013Melt up some red and white candy melts and get ready to pipe them out of baggies with only a tiny corner snipped off…3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 012Squeeze strings of candy melt out while moving back and forth over all the letters.  Repeat with next color.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 011Then pick up each letter and break off the extra bits of candy melt off the sides, this is really easy and works well.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 0103D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 009Line up the letters and the bases, some letters need two hearts for their bases.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 008Use some more candy melt to attach the bases, I used dark cocoa candy melts (only took 3 melts)3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 0073D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 006Holding the letters in place for about 5 seconds was mostly enough to balance the letters, but if necessary, prop them up for a bit…3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 005The candy melts set up quite quickly.  Here’s the bird’s eye view:3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 004And there you go!  The letters are quite sturdy and just so fun looking!  Great for a Valentine’s Day centerpiece.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 002Oh wait!  Since you have the cookie dough out, and maybe a few extra cookies baked, go ahead and decorate some more for your centerpiece.  Here’s how I did it with Nutella and M&Ms using the same idea from the other day’s post:pixel Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 020 pixel Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 019 pixel Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 018 pixel Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 017 pixel Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 016 candy valentingecookies by dennasideas.com - Page 019The kids wanted to cut out some Os and Xs for hugs and kisses, so I used up the last of the red M&Ms on these:candy valentingecookies by dennasideas.com - Page 016And here’s one for you from me (sorry it’s not edible but I’m all about digital stuff)happy valentines day from dennasideas.com

I’d love to hear from you if you try out some of my little cookie techniques! 🙂

Mini pumpkin pie cheese appetizers

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Mini pumpkin pie cheese appetizers

I forgot to post these yummy bites in October….so thought I’d post them in time for our southern neighbor’s Thanksgiving.  Funny thing, I was thinking that this weekend was USA Thanksgiving, but just found out it’s next weekend.  Happy Thanksgiving neighbors!!   But….I just received a flyer in the mailbox yesterday for Black Friday sales…..what’s up with that?  This is Canada….Thanksgiving was in October and we….don’t…..have……black…….friday!!!  I don’t appreciate retailers pushing something like that on us!!!  And that’s my rant for today.  Ahem….denna's ideas:  mini pumpkin pie cheese & cracker appetizers for Thanksgiving

Back to these bites of cuteness….in my Thanksgiving preparations I came across this mini pumpkin pie idea and couldn’t rest until I had tried making them!!  (Honestly, I spent weeks obsessing about making them, weird, eh?)  I found these precious pieces of “pie” here on SHEKNOWS with a how to.  They were so cute….but I couldn’t find most of the specialty crackers to make them with.  I did find triangle shaped Triscuits, but had to improvise with the rest of them.denna's ideas:  mini pumpkin pie cheese & cracker appetizers for ThanksgivingI found little pretzel stix in a snacky party mix from the bulk food section at the grocery store for the pie crust edge.  I picked them out and saved them for these appetizers.  The rest is super easy:  Cheddar cheese wedges for the pumkin pie.  Cream cheese (whipped or softened) for the whipped cream, piped out of a plastic baggie with the corner snipped off.  And a triangle Triscuit cracker for the bottom crust.  Assemble with dots of cream cheese to keep everything together.  I found that after I refridgerated them for a few hours the bottom crackers were starting to soften up, so I would suggest assembling these last minute.  They didn’t take long at all…..if you have your crackers in the right size!denna's ideas:  mini pumpkin pie cheese & cracker appetizers for ThanksgivingI completely skipped putting on a crust at the back….and they still looked fine.  I found that if I used a whole Triscuit, the wedge of pie was quite large….maybe too large for a kid’s appetizer.  So I carefully tried to cut down the Triscuit crackers…..kinda worked, but I was forced to eat up all the ones that just crumbled and cracked up!  (quite a few)  The big ones were reserved for Dad, and the rest of us ate the bite-sized ones.denna's ideas:  mini pumpkin pie cheese & cracker appetizers for ThanksgivingAnd where does the pumpkin come in, you ask, (all you pumpkin haters out there!) um, it doesn’t.  This is a case of food imitating…well, uh….food!!  I don’t know why so many of us have a fascination for food that disguises itself as some other food, but there it is.  I know I’m not the only one.  And I know there are lots of “haters” out there who find this idea awful and plain wrong.  And that’s ok.  Just beware…..next time you see a slice of pumpkin pie……beware……..beware the food look-a-likes……denna's ideas:  mini pumpkin pie cheese & cracker appetizers for Thanksgiving

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” party

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“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” party

I love Snoopy and Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang!  I remember looking forward to watching their specials on TV when we were young.  (I also love pumpkins) so it was easy to come up with the perfect theme for a fall birthday party for my son.  I haven’t watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” for years, but I remember how Linus made me laugh, trying to wait all night in a pumpkin patch.  So this party started with a little pumpkin patch.  I had made some fondant pumpkins for cupcake toppers, and so there  were still some just sitting around, waiting to form a pumpkin patch for Linus."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall birthday party.Add in a “great pumpkin” and some more chipboard Peanuts characters (from last year’s kids’ Thanksgiving table)….."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin birthday party.I had found some little packets of tissues with Snoopy on them, so they were a bit of a favor at each place…."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall birthday party.There were some other cute and fairly easy pumpkin ideas that were fast enough to put together for this party.  My sister told me about using mandarin oranges as little pumpkins…."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin birthday party.Just peel them and add “stems” from celery, or in this case, stems from spinach leaves!  And a bit of cilantro for leaves around the pumpkins.  And then a jelly bean favor for each kid, this idea I found here on Parenting.com.  I happened to have some red tulle (no orange!), so wrapped the orange jelly beans in it, then added pipe cleaner for a stem (and to hold the bag together) and some green curled ribbon for the tendrils.  Didn’t take long to put together."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall birthday party.The orange tablecloth and birthday banner I had saved from last year’s Garfield party"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall birthday party.My preschool nephews were visiting, so I was trying to think of ideas that they could help out with for this party….baking!!  Let’s make some birthday brownies!! (from a box!!)"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.You could always add a pumpkin puree swirl into the chocolate brownies, that would be finger lickin’ good!  (or pumpkin and cream cheese!! ahhhh!)  Another idea that turned out great to do with the little kids was to make a birthday poster.  First I drew a picture of Snoopy with a Sharpee marker on posterboard, then covered it up with white paper and painter’s tape.  Then let the kids at it with paint daubers (bingo dabbers?)"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.A fun idea even the youngest can help with!"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.After painting is dry, peel off the tape to reveal….Snoopy!"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Then an older kid colored the words in with black marker so they’d stand out a bit.  Posters, bday banner, favors, centerpiece, check!!….bring on the food and the party!

A happy pumpkin with a jack-o-lantern face from Papa Murphy’s pizza…..it’s the season for those, and they were just right for our pumpkin theme.  We love Papa Murphy’s pick up and bake at home pizzas!"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Time for pizza!"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Pumpkins! (oops, that’s from something else!)"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Linus’s pumpkin patch moves over to the birthday brownies…."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Make a wish…."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Happy birthday!  Check out some more pumpkin ideas…"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Here are some more pumpkin food ideas that I’ve worked on in the last few days, and they’d be perfect for a  Charlie Brown pumpkin theme.  My mom told me about some cute pumpkin cheese-balls that she saw, so I tried them out….Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.How to: mix up softened cream cheese with spices (garlic, onion, paprika, pepper, season salt, or whatever you like) and some grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese.  I also added chopped sun dried tomatoes.  Let sit for a few moments in the refrigerator to harden a bit, then pull it out, divide into two chunks, cover with plastic wrap and shape into 2 balls.  On top of the plastic wrap, mark the lines on the pumpkin with a back of a knife.  Return to fridge.  Later, before serving, take off the plastic and roll the cheese-balls in crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips (Doritos!) and add the stems from some bell peppers.Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.The stems were easy to cut out….cut out from the pepper, along with the seeds, then cut right at the base of the stem, it kind of just popped off….Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.crushed Doritos…I added paprika, but don’t do that, it dulled the color….Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.When you press in the stem, it helps squash it into a pumpkin shape…Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.I took a knife and re-made some of the indentations on the sides….Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Such cute, tasty little guys!Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.And one last pumpkin idea….we just loved this one!  I found a video on how to make these adorable pumpkin buns, by Hani, from Haniela’s.  She has all sorts of great how-to videos for lots of yummy eats!  She made these in just an hour.  My first time to try took close to an hour and a half, but the next time was faster….and really, 35 minutes of that time is letting the buns rise, so really they’re pretty quick to make!  And so adorably pumpkiny!!  (Click on the link above for her video and recipe! you can do it!)  You can make large ones for hamburger buns, how fun is that??Pumpkin shaped dinner buns for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Make the dough and cut….Pumpkin shaped dinner buns for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Let rise, add egg wash and sesame seeds, Pumpkin shaped dinner buns for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Bake for about 12 minutes…Pumpkin shaped dinner buns for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Add a stem and there you go!!  I didn’t have the big pretzel sticks, so used several small skinny ones.  I’ve also seen photos with pecans as stems!Pumpkin shaped dinner buns for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.I just love those pumpkins!!  All pumpkins, I guess.  We had a lovely day out at a pumpkin (and everything else) farm and I had such a great time!  Love photographing pumpkins!"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Hope you got some ideas for your next fall party…oh, I just saw that It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is on TV tonight….pumpkin memories!! 😉

Lalaloopsy Party for a sweet little girl

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Lalaloopsy Party for a sweet little girl

The day of the party (post) is finally here!  After a lot of thought, and a bit of prep, the Lalaloopsy and Hello Kitty Cute-as-a-Button birthday party actually came together.  Here are some photos of some very budget-friendly DIY ideas for decorations, food and activities at a sweet little girl’s party.  It was supposed to be a sewing party, but no sewing was actually done by anyone!!  Buttons were the big inspiration for this party. Buttons and a crazy brightly-colored curly-haired doll….paper button decor at a Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 022A button paper punch from Martha Stewart supplied a whole bunch of cute buttons for party decor, as confetti scattered on the table, and as wall decorations and even ended up on the juice cups!   {The table runners (in turquoise and in yellow) were part of Ikea’s summer line.}  Here’s the Lalaloopsy doll that also inspired the party and the party color scheme.  Her name is Marina Anchors, with her little pet whale and dressed in a cute sailor suit.  I found a perfect turquoise metal bicycle for her.  Her friends Hello Kitty and Pink Sock monkey took a ride with her.

I did a photoshoot of Marina and her friends and made up a digital invitation.  If you would like a copy to use for your little girl’s party, just let me know!!  They can be emailed or printed out as 4×6 photos.  lalaloopsy party invite by dennasideas.com - Page 075

For place-mats at the table, I made up my own Lalaloopsy coloring page using some images I found online.  Did you notice that her eyes are black buttons?  And the sock monkey has button eyes, of course.  I know a lot of people think that the button eyes are a bit creepy, but they fit so nicely into the cute as a button party idea….
Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 024There are lots of sewing party and cute-as-a-button party ideas online (Pinterest) that I found.  You can look at my Lalaloopsy and Cute as a Button party idea board here.  I loved the idea of using embroidery hoops as wall decorations at the party.  I decided to use scrapbook paper and wrapping paper in the hoops.  It was a little tricky squeezing the paper in some of the hoops, but it did work out.  On one pink page, I printed out the title “Tasya is turning Sew Seven” (the Sew Seven title was an idea from the Sweet Designs blog, and a few other sewing party ideas).Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com l - Page 007
Here’s some wrapping paper with a doily….Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 026And a few paper buttons were added on some of the hoops and on the wall.  Hmmm, how to arrange these hoops on the wall….should I set them out on the table and arrange them….?  It was easier than that….
Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 025Using sticky tak, everything was strategically arranged on the wall to cover up every mark and ding possible!!  I just followed the places I wanted to hide…..right above my old sewing machine.  That’s why there are buttons scattered randomly around.  Pretty clever if you ask me…..that’s how I work, my motto long being Necessity is the Mother of Invention.Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com l - Page 005I pulled *all* my sewing stuff (a very small collection, as I am not a sower, but just terribly fascinated with it all).Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com l - Page 006Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 018Add a little baker’s twine to the machine!!  It’s in the party colors, too.  I had seen a lovely banner to make on the Raising Up Rubies blog, and I really really wanted to make one, but at the last minute (as with a lot of things) ran out of time, so my daughter made a few for a small scalloped edge below the sewing machine and it looked very cute.  Made from paper doilies and cupcake wrappers.  Click on the blog link for a tutorial!Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 023The morning of the party, I decided to do a little craft with the b-day girl’s photo…..on a canvas on an easel.  I was so pleased with the way it turned out!  It was super easy, too. I’ll try and get a post done of this little DIY craft…Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 014

There were a few other photos displayed….Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 020

Along with some vintage handkerchiefs that belonged to my grandmother.  They seemed to go with the sewing theme…Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 027

Another awesome decorating idea, which was super easy, super budget-friendly and super fast was this paper plate button banner.  My older daughter and her friend whipped it up for me very last minute (like, guests were already inside the house!!)  Paper plates + punched paper circles + glue stick + hole punch + ribbon= party banner!!!Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 019One of my favorite ideas was another last minute brain wave, when I brought down my vintage sewing basket and realized that the inside lining was perfect party yellow!!  I decided to line the top tray with yellow cardstock and set the mini cupcakes right into the sewing basket!sewing basket on dessert table at a Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com I have already posted about how to make button cookies here, and they made it to the party, too.  The day before the party, they were sent to my daughter’s class packaged in little bags that said “I’m Sew Blessed to have you as my friend!”  They make perfect party favors, too (but I didn’t actually get enough made for party favors…)button cookie favors for a Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com I put the buttons in a jar…for the sewing machine dessert table….they were my favorite dessert at the party!Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 011Then there was a cute sewing button cake.  Here’s a step by step how to for decorating the cake.  It was very quick and easy…even the little doily banner.  It seemed like a good idea at the time to use a cake mix…..bleh!denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesSo here’s how the display turned out:Lalaloopsy party dessert table  by dennasideas.com Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com Lalaloopsy party table by dennasideas.com Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com

Mason jars with cupcake wrappers over the top and a blue paper button, for the very pink lemonade:mason jar drinks for kids at a Lalaloopsy or Sewing Party by denna's ideas.com

My Lalaloopsy girl was wearing a pink dress and eyelet pinafore that my mother sewed for me, oh, years ago!!  I used to wear it to school….without blue curly hair, though.Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 035

Here’s where Hello Kitty makes her appearance at this party!!  She didn’t want to be left out.  Super cute plates from Target…
Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 010Giant sized coloring pages, also from Target, were used to last-minutely add some wall decor…just right to cover up the annoying thermostat….Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 013And here is where my big splurge comes in….I’m usually pretty good about DIYing my party stuff from dollar store supplies, but I found THESE.  These pink sparkly purses with big bows.  There were 6 of them and they were on sale!!!  So I guiltily bought them and saved them for the party…for the party favor bags.  In the end there were going to be more guests, so I went back to Claire’s and found some more matching little backpacks and purses.  They were pink and purple plaid.  I had not wanted to invite Purple to this Pink and Red and Yellow and Turquoise party, but she ended up sneaking in anyways.  She would have looked cute in the button cookies…oh well.  So the purses were tied onto the backs of the chairs…party bag purses at a Lalaloopsy & Hello Kitty party by dennasideas.com l - Page 002Filled with a few treats and candies…not too many as the purse was the big favor!!  (the colors in my photos are so wonky!!)Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 016There were a few more last minute decorating ideas that actually happened…like this poster cloud that had to appear to hide a big decal on the wall….with pink sharpie stitches running around the edge and a doily and more paper buttons to disguise the nail sticking out….Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 017My sister had given me this adorable fabric for Christmas, with little paper dolls on it!!  So last minute it was taped to the lampshade and pinned onto a pillow….(with safety pins of course!!)Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com l - Page 003Hmmm, that other pillow….I guess I did actually sew it, about 10 years ago, with my Mom supervising me on her surger….!  I suppose I do occasionally sew things, with a lot of supervision, but in between projects, I actually forget how to sew.  And still can’t get my machine’s tension right!Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 028There was also this cute flower arrangement on the table….like a cherry sundae made of flowers!  There’s a how-to right here under budget-friendly flower arrangementdenna's ideas: how to make a budget friendly ice cream Sundae flower arrangementLalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com

Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com We had the table set with the coloring place-mats and crayons in mason jars so the girls could color right away as the first activity.crayons by dennasideas.com - Page 001 denna's ideas.com Lalaloopsy partyLalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 034

And then came lunch!!  The food was Lalaloopsy themed and you can see the recipes and how-tos here in my previous post.denna's ideas: pasta salad, party food for a Lalaloopsy party denna's ideas: pasta salad, party food for a Lalaloopsy or Hello Kitty  party denna's ideas: party sandwiches for a Hello kitty party or for a Lalaloopsy girly party

After lunch I wanted to play “Button, button who’s got the button?” but wasn’t sure exactly how it was played…so I invented my own version, with the girls hiding buttons in their fists, and the next one guessing and keeping the button if guessed right.  It worked!  Another game was the one where you get lengths of yarn, and must tell something about yourself while you are winding the yarn around your finger.  That worked to get the girls telling some things about themselves!  Oh yes, and a button craft!!  I had wanted to do a sewing craft, but it just didn’t work out.  So we made cards with a stamped mason jar and there were lots of buttons for the girls to choose from to fill their jar…lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 006lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 004lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 003I had some stamps with phrases, so the girls could choose to add Thank you or Happy Birthday or Happy Holidays.  Most of them chose Thank you.  The girls were quite creative with their cards, and decorated the envelopes, too.  After the party was over, I found my daughter’s card…Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 012It says Thank You Mom for my Birthday, with adorable misspelling!!  How cute is that?  So wonderful to know that she was happy with her birthday party! 🙂Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 033The girls had a laugh making “lalaloopsy eyes” heh, heh!Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 032And trying on Hello Kitty glasses!!denna's ideas.com????? denna's ideas.com denna's ideas.comIt was a lot of fun!  Here are a few last ideas for a Lalaloopsy themed party.  One of the snacks could have been Froot Loops (loopsy, get it?)  I had found the perfect box. a Birthday Edition with hearts in with the loops….since that’s our birthday tradition, sugary cereal of their choice for the birthday child…Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 015Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 031And then there were some really cool spool of thread pops that I saw in several places on pinterest, made from marshmallows and fondant and candy melts, that I started working on…but I wasn’t pleased with them, the marshmallows were too weirdly-shaped for my liking, so I didn’t finish them….and we totally didn’t need any more sugar!!  (I never put the candy melt “thread” on the “spools”)lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 002 lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 001As you can probably tell, I do a lot of things last minute for my parties.  Not to mention that the whole house has to be tidied up before the party, too.  It all adds up to a lot of work!  I’m grateful for my family’s help!  My oldest daughter especially helped me get a lot of the last minute decorating done.  Seems like I don’t stop decorating ’till the 2nd or 3rd party guest arrives… Ah well, Lalaloopsy party has now come and gone, good thing I still have my little dolly around to brighten my days!
Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 030

Party food for a Lalaloopsy and Hello Kitty themed party

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Hello party food!!  I put more thought and effort (and sweat—eww, gross, but true!) into the actual food for this party than I usually do.  I’m talking about real food, other than the dessert stuff!!  And when I say sweat, I mean it, because I spent a couple of hours over a hot stove top boiling pasta!  It’s easy to make colored pasta, and I found 2 shapes that fit our party theme perfectly:  scoobi doo (that’s what the package said!) and farfalle (bows).

denna's ideas: pasta salad, party food for a Lalaloopsy party. How to color pasta!When you are boiling the water for pasta, just add some food coloring to your salted water.  I started with pink…some pink and some red food coloring….for the bows.  I just boiled them for a bit more than the time that was on the package, so for about 14 minutes.  The first batch was a light pink color.  Instead of draining the pasta, I fished it out with a slotted spoon, so that I could save the water.  I added more red food coloring to make a second batch of darker pink bow ties.  When the pasta was cooked, I added just a bit of olive oil so the pasta wouldn’t stick together when it cooled off.  I was pretty pleased with them!!  I saved some little bows to top the round jam sandwiches that we served the girls, for a cute “hello kitty” look.  I had wanted to cut out the sandwiches to look like hello kitty’s face, but don’t have a cutter for that!!denna's ideas: party sandwiches for a Hello kitty party or for a Lalaloopsy girly party

I made 2 batches of the scoobi do noodles (I’m sure they have another name, but I don’t know what it is!!) and made one orange and one yellow.   These noodles really look like the lalaloopsy doll hair!  I had thought of mixing this pasta in with the bows, that’s why I didn’t do any pink “hair” but didn’t end up doing that.  I made 2 different pasta salads, one with a vinagrette dressing and veggies, and the other one with a creamy yoghurt dressing and cheese and ham.  I thought that would kind of cover the bases….here are the recipes I used:denna's ideas: pasta salad, party food for a Lalaloopsy or Hello Kitty  partyHello Bow Pasta Salad ingredients:

farfalle pasta (bow tie) colored 2 shades of pink

little cucumbers, sliced (the ones used for making pickles)

cherry tomatoes sliced in half

a bit of chopped parsley (optional)

Italian salad dressing

I’m not giving measurements, because it’s easy to guess, depending on how much salad you want to make.  I didn’t need very much, so about 3 cucumbers and a handful of cherry tomatoes.  I made extra bow ties for garnishes.  Here’s the Italian dressing recipe I used, I found the recipe on Food.com here.  I didn’t need very much for the salad, so I saved it and a few days later, used it as a marinade for some baked potato fries, good!!

Italian Dressing Recipe:

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced onions
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder  (I used less)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
3/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in blender and process 2 minutes. Don’t skip the blender and just stir it or shake it or it won’t be as good.

Chill at least 3 hours. It’s best if you make it a day ahead as it just gets better with age.  Mix into your pasta salad a bit at a time.
denna's ideas: pasta salad, party food for a Lalaloopsy party
For this next salad I kind of followed the recipe for She Sells Seashells pasta here on Food.com.

Lalaloopsy Hair Pasta Salad:

ingredients:

2 colors of curly tube pasta

cubed mozzarella (I think cheddar would be better!)

diced honey ham

a few chopped green onions

For the dressing:  (approximately)

6 ounces plain yogurt
4 ounces ranch dressing
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

salt and pepper and dill to taste and a pinch of onion powder

Mix ingredients for dressing, add to pasta.  Then stir in ham, cheese cubes and green onion.

I think this salad could have used a bit more dressing!  I mean, I think I put too many noodles into it!

The salads turned out super-cute and quite tasty, I thought.  I don’t usually make salads, it’s not really “my thing” so I don’t think I’m very good at it.  The adults who tried the salads said they were good, the little girls……well, I wasn’t over-expecting!!  Some of them tried the salads, and a few of them actually ate the salads….so there were leftovers for the next day…yay!!  I forgot to get a shot of a pink plate full of salad and bow tie sandwiches, too cute!  Oh well, the food matched the Lalaloopsy/ Hello Kitty theme quite well!

Oh, by the way, I got the idea for coloring the pasta from this cool blog article called The Lorax Dinner Makeover.  I would love to add a cheesy sauce colored bright aqua to those colored pastas!!  But I thought that that might be just a bit much for the little girl party guests!!  😉

How to make an easy Lalaloopsy Cake or Sewing Party Cake with Sprinkles

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How to make an easy Lalaloopsy Cake or Sewing Party Cake with Sprinkles

Sprinkles make for fast and fun cake decorating.  I personally don’t like to crunch on them, but most kids don’t seem to mind.  And did I mention that they make cake decorating fast and easy?  There are so many colors to choose from!!  For this easy little cake, I used mostly pink sprinkles with a few orange and yellow ones mixed in.  It matched the colors of the Lalaloopsy theme  we were working on.

To make this really easy on myself, I used a cherry flavored cake mix to make a two layer 6 inch round cake.  That was very silly.  I wasn’t pleased with it AT ALL.  Homemade cakes are just as fast and easy to make, and they hold their shape better, and seem to crumb less.  I was pretty ticked off working with that spongy pink cake!!  😦

The icing was homemade, nice and thick so it covered the weird cake fairly well, though there were a lot of crumbs…..  After the cake was iced, I used some strips of paper towel to wrap around the outside (gently pressing down to flatten out any lumps of icing) of the cake, and tied with a ribbon, just to hold it.denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles

denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesSprinkle on the sprinkles!!  I had to gently tap them down, since the icing was so thick and not at all gooey.denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles

Carefully unwrap:denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles

The extra sprinkles that had worked their way down the sides were kind of cute, so I just left them, and the ones that sprinkled themselves around the bottom of the cake.  I even added a few more.

I wanted to add a pink sewing measuring tape that I had found.  I didn’t want the vinyl (ok, fiber glass, since you’ll see it in the photo!) tape to touch the cake, so found some wired ribbon to tie around the cake first.

Hmmmm, how to attatch the vinyl measuring tape?

Buttons on toothpicks!!  I was surrounded by button crafting things anyways….lets add more buttons to everything, even the cake!  I measured where I wanted the tape to fold around the cake, with the birthday girl’s age at the front of the cake.  Then I cut the tape and used my handy dandy Crop-A-Dile II hole puncher to make a hole in each end of the tape.denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesThen cut a toothpick in half and hot glued a button to each cut end.  Rather deadly looking!denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles Hold the tape measure up to where the ends will be and …..oops, forgot to mention, I had to cut slits into the yellow ribbon first of all, because it didn’t look like the toothpicks were going to jab through without making a mess of the ribbon.  Then pin the toothpicks in to hold up the measuring tape.  It worked well once I had everything figured out….denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesNot much of a yellow bow, I know, but it was the back of the cake!!denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesThe front of the cake looked really sweet!!  I had made some fondant buttons the same way I made the button cookies, the day before so that they were fairly hard and ready to be plunked onto the cake.  Hmmmm, something else, something else….what could we put on top?  I had wanted to do a number candle, covered in buttons and rhinestones, but had forgotten to buy one.  How about a super cute lace doily bunting?  I love putting little buntings on cakes and they look so sweet and festive!!  Done in 7 minutes.  See the how-to here.denna's ideas: easy DIY papel picado cake buntingdenna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesOne Lalaloopsy sew sweet, cute-as-a-button Sewing cake ready in almost no time at all!!!  To make it really Lalaloopyish, it would have been cute to add a few of the mini Lalaloopsy doll figurines….didn’t even think of that until this very moment….denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesI added the cake to our little dessert buffet which was set up on my vintage sewing machine.  (Ever since my husband gave it to me, I’ve been longing to use it as a dessert table!!! heh heh!!!)denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesdenna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesMy own little Laloopsy doll was pretty pleased with her pink cake!
denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinkles denna's ideas.com :cute as a button cake