Excuse our mess!

Thank you for being patient while we pivot our online presence to focus on sharing articles, recipes, and tips for social parties and home entertaining.

I am in the process of redesigning the format and cataloging a LOT of material for you. It’s been an incredible learning experience for me and I can’t wait to see the final product.

Hopefully I will have some of the major kinks ironed out soon and be able to get some new material published.

With gratitude,

Sarah

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Stargazing Party Ideas

stargazing party

I love the night sky! I love to find the constellations, watch meteor showers, and learn mind-blowing things about space. Last Friday was Space Exploration day and this Friday there will be a lunar eclipse. What better way to celebrate than by hosting a stargazing party?

I hope to pass my love of space to my son, so we started our star gazing with a little preliminary education for little and big minds alike. For budding astronomers, the ABCs of Space is a great book with progressive learning stages. My latest find is The Universe in Bite-Sized Chunks which is perfect for my busy schedule right now.

space books

We set up a comfy space to watch the stars and enjoy food and drinks.

stargazing party ideas

constellation stemware

For soft lighting in our stargazing set up, I made a constellation paper lantern with a metallic sharpie.

stargazing lantern

moon stars inspiration

We used the guide and star maps mentioned below and were able to see lots of wonders in the night sky as we sprawled out on our stargazing pillow fort.

Here’s some tips on how you can host a stargazing party this summer.

1. Location, Location

There are many ways to host a stargazing party, but when it comes time to watch the night sky, the most important thing to do is pick the right location. Choose a spot that is as free from light pollution and obstruction as possible. If you are in a highly urbanized area, you can always plan a get together out of the city, close to water, or perhaps even a rooftop.

2. Be prepared

Provide your guests with star maps and try to find as many stars as you can in plain sight before using binoculars or telescopes. Spotting satellites and planets, and finding constellations together is fun for everyone.

When you are ready to use a telescope, this is a great beginner set that is easy to transport and comes with an attachment that allows you to take photos and videos with your cell phone.

beginner telescope stargazing party

3. Start with the Big 3

In the summer, there are three bright stars that almost everyone can spot on a clear night. Finding these helps get everyone oriented and is the perfect starting point. Mr. Printables has a FREE star gazing guide and summer constellation map.

summer star map

Here are some other ideas for a space exploration or stargazing party that I am over the moon for!

If you’re looking for stargazing party foods, try making some sparkly space cupcakes. I made simple star-shaped sugar cookies, but if you’re a craftier baker than I, you could attempt this adorable black velvet nebula cake from SprinkleBakes.com or these galaxy star cookies from Blyss Cookies.

 

For space themed parties, this beautiful lantern looks like a little bit of galaxy.

galaxy lantern

This table runner from Design Sponge that is embroidered with constellations and these plates from West Elm would make for a beautiful dinner party before stargazing.

And the full moon martini from jojotastic.com is pure genius!

full moon martini

For party favors, you could make this quick constellation gift bags that I made.

stargazing gift bags

Or send your guests home with these galaxy lollipops!

galaxy lollipops

Happy stargazing everyone! Please share your stargazing party pictures and experiences with me. Be sure to check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas too!

Sarah

 

National Mac n’Cheese Day

I just found out that here in the U.S. we celebrate National Mac N’ Cheese Day! Who doesn’t LOVE mac n’ cheese? Nothing beats the creamy goodness of these delicious bite-sized portions. Celebrate the day with this homemade recipe. You won’t regret it!

mac3

This is one of my favorite recipes for pleasing a crowd because everyone loves them! There is something about homemade mac n’ cheese that is hard to resist. These keep and reheat really well, but they don’t last long when served so you might want to whip up a few batches!

Mac N’ Cheese Bites

Makes about 4 dozen bites (when using a mini cupcake pan)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. cooked whole wheat elbow macaroni (whole wheat makes a markedly superiour texture for these)

2 T. butter

2 T. flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 cups shredded SHARP cheddar (plus about 1 cup for sprinkling on top)

2 oz. cream cheese

few dashes worcestershire and hot sauce

paprika, salt, and pepper

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400F

Whisk the butter and flour in a large pot over med-high heat until smooth. Reduce heat and slowly add milk; bring to a simmer to thicken. Add 2 cups of good aged cheddar and everything else but the egg. Remove from heat.

Add the cooked pasta and egg to the creamy sauce in your pot. Stir until evenly coated.

Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick spray. (This is enough for 2-24 cup pans if you have them).

Spoon the mixture into the pan and top with additional shredded cheese. Bake about 15 minutes or until desired browning (I like mine with crispy edges).

Allow to cool 5-10 minutes until they maintain shape when removed.

mac2

Happy Mac N’ Cheese Day! Enjoy!

National Mac n’Cheese Day

I just found out that here in the U.S. we celebrate National Mac N’ Cheese Day! Who doesn’t LOVE mac n’ cheese? Nothing beats the creamy goodness of these delicious bite-sized portions. Celebrate the day with this homemade recipe. You won’t regret it!

mac3

This is one of my favorite recipes for pleasing a crowd because everyone loves them! There is something about homemade mac n’ cheese that is hard to resist. These keep and reheat really well, but they don’t last long when served so you might want to whip up a few batches!

Mac N’ Cheese Bites

Makes about 4 dozen bites (when using a mini cupcake pan)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. cooked whole wheat elbow macaroni (whole wheat makes a markedly superiour texture for these)

2 T. butter

2 T. flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 cups shredded SHARP cheddar (plus about 1 cup for sprinkling on top)

2 oz. cream cheese

few dashes worcestershire and hot sauce

paprika, salt, and pepper

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400F

Whisk the butter and flour in a large pot over med-high heat until smooth. Reduce heat and slowly add milk; bring to a simmer to thicken. Add 2 cups of good aged cheddar and everything else but the egg. Remove from heat.

Add the cooked pasta and egg to the creamy sauce in your pot. Stir until evenly coated.

Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick spray. (This is enough for 2-24 cup pans if you have them).

Spoon the mixture into the pan and top with additional shredded cheese. Bake about 15 minutes or until desired browning (I like mine with crispy edges).

Allow to cool 5-10 minutes until they maintain shape when removed.

mac2

Happy Mac N’ Cheese Day! Enjoy!

Delicious Summer Drinks

Looking for a healthy alternative to all those sugary drinks this summer? These refreshing summer beverages are packed with flavor without all the empty calories and unnecessary additives.

1. Limoonada

If you’re planning on hosting any event this summer, try the following recipe and I promise you will wow your guests. It doesn’t look that fancy, but it sure tastes amazing!

Limoonada recipe

Limoonada is a version of lemonade from the Middle East. The notable differences are that it is refreshingly less sweet and includes the seductive addition of orange blossom water. (Shhh…this is your secret ingredient!)

Middle East lemonade

I’ve posted the full recipe here.

2. Cucumber-Mint Infused Water

Naturally flavored water is one of my favorite beverages. The combinations are endless and the results are both healthy and packed with flavor.

Cucumber and mint make a crisp water that is thirst-quenching and cooling. It is especially great to pair with spicy grilled dishes.

Add fresh mint and cucumber slices to water and refrigerate for at least an hour.

cucumber mint water

3. Iced Tea with Fruit

Instead of adding a bunch of sugar to your chilled teas, try adding sliced organic fruit and let it sit for at least four hours. You can sweeten with just a little bit of honey if you prefer, but quality tea and organic fruit make ALL the difference.

best iced tea

I’m in love with all the Harney & Sons teas. I made this iced tea with their Blood Orange tea and sweetened it with strawberries and oranges. Get yours here!

delicious iced tea

4. Pineapple-Jalapeno Fizz

Want something a little bubbly and maybe even spicy? Are you doing Taco Tuesday (or in my case, Taco EVERYDAY)?

pineapple fizz

Infuse water with fresh pineapple and jalapeno. I like to add just a touch of rich dark honey to mine and refrigerate it overnight. When you are ready to serve, mix it with sparkling water. It is a perfect non-alcoholic beverage for the summer.

I hope you enjoy! Please share your feedback with me. I love to hear from you!

Sarah

summer drink recipes and ideas

On Trend – Unicorns

It would be impossible to do a trend report this year and NOT talk about unicorns. They are showing up everywhere from Starbucks to decor to beauty products. The trend is characterized by vibrant pastels, shimmering pearly finishes, rainbows, and, of course, lots of glitter!

Unicorn birthday party

Unicorn parties are HUGE right now for birthdays and baby showers. This unicorn birthday party from TheIcedSugarCookie.com is a great example of all the whimsical, soft, and sugary goodness of a unicorn party.

unicorn party foods

Although incredibly sweet,  these unicorn macaroons are way beyond my level of expertise. However, the cupcake and cake toppers here are an incredibly easy way to turn ordinary cakes into magical unicorns.

unicorn cake

unicorn cupcakes

For party favors, these adorable unicorn necklaces are inexpensive and come in gold or silver. If you’re feeling crafty you can make easy unicorn gift bags.

unicorn party favors
u9unicornnecklace

unicorn gift bags

And while we’re talking about getting crafty, I posted the easiest tutorial on how to make these adorable unicorn party lanterns here.

Unicorn paper lantern

While it’s perfectly acceptable to go over the top with this theme, I do love the idea of incorporating unicorns in more subtle and sophisticated ways like this lamp from jillianharris.com.

unicorn decor

Another great example is this statement wall from bloglovin.com.

unicorn decor stencil

Even more minimalistic examples are this shirt and framed art.

unicorn shirt

unicorn printable

Finally, if you do host a unicorn party think about including a ‘pin the horn on the unicorn’ game. You can get one here or make your own and let the guests decorate their own horns!

unicorn party games

Don’t forget to connect and show me your unicorn party pics!

Love + lots of glitter,

Sarah

Incredibly Easy DIY Unicorn Lanterns

I started feeling a little crafty while working on my latest Tuesday Trends article (spoiler alert: it’s unicorns lol). I love good dollar store hacks and these paper lanterns are just that. Not only are they inexpensive, but they only took minutes to make!

All you need is:

  • White or pale colored paper lantern
  • Markers
  • Craft paper
  • Assorted fake flowers

Unicorn party supplies

First, draw some simple lashes on your unicorn.

Unicorn party crafts

Make some unicorn ears and a horn out of craft paper.

unicorn horn

Attach those with a hot glue gun. I glued the horn to the opening of the lantern and made two little folded tabs on the back of the ears to help keep them in place.

Once those are done, add your flowers. Voila!

Unicorn lantern

Simple. Cheap. Quick.

I hope you enjoy your unicorn lanterns!

Love + Whimsy,

Sarah

DIY Unicorn Party Lantern