Month: April 2014

Easy Ways To Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space For Entertaining!

Some of the best places to entertain and relax in the warmer months are your own front porches or back patios.  There are many ways to bring comfort and functionality into your own outdoor spaces that don’t take a lot of time or money.  Now that it is getting nicer out it’s the perfect time to spruce up your own space whether it’s for you alone, or for 100’s of guests you will be entertaining at your next celebration.

Before you get started, determine how you will be using your space. Will the space be used to eat dinner or have your morning coffee on? Are you utilizing the space for a birthday party or special event?  Once you decide how you will be using it you can then establish the layout that will work best for your area. For instance, you could have adequate space for a dining table, a nice lounge area, and much more, but it all depends on how you will be using the space and how many people you foresee enjoying your spot.

Once you have determined your needs you can start incorporating the furniture you currently own, or buy new if the budget allows. Of course, you could always do a fun DIY if you are so inclined like below.  Photo Credit: Pinterest pinned by Anna Haines Quigley.

 A little spray paint can completely transform furniture you currently have. Just be sure to use the right exterior or outdoor paint that is proper for the material you are updating.

If your budget and space allow for it, reimagine it as a room without walls. This should help you to focus in on the area you want to use to make an intimate gathering space that is ready for entertaining. Include seating elements of lounge furniture, wicker sofas, umbrellas or other features for shading, and by all means if you have the space and the budget a fire pit is a fire pit. There is nothing that will end an outdoor party faster than cold weather, or rainy weather so factor that in so you can keep the party going.

Adding a water feature instantly creates a calming tranquil environment.

Check out this DIY Pyramidal Pots Water Fountain from Martha Stewart. You need 3-“display” pots and 2-“support” pots. You will also need some foam sealant to plug the drainage hole of the largest pot, a pump in the base pot, and that is really about it. You can check out the entire tutorial here and begin to enjoy a serene outdoor water feature in your own yard.

The outside of your house can look just as pretty as the inside and one inexpensive way to make a pretty impact on your home is to paint your front door! It is one of the It is one of the easiest makeovers you can do and it is guaranteed to leave an unforgettable first impression.

Happy entertaining!

Photo Credit: Pinterest pinned by Anna Haines Quigley,Rancho Reubidoux, Pinned by Stacey Lambert, Martha Stewart, iometro.blogspot.com

Author:  L. Fulton-EventsbyL

 

Easy Breezy Entertaining Ideas

Great ideas for entertaining are a dime a dozen which is a blessing but can also be challenging to determine which ideas you are actually going to try. If you are having a tough time selecting your menu for your next gathering go with individuals and minis of some of your favorite things. You can’t go wrong with bite sized treats!

Start the party off right with some spicy shrimp and siracha bloody mary shots from The Shabby Creek Cottage. Yum, and super easy too! For the cocktails you just mix together vodka with tomato juick and bit of Siracha, salt and pepper. You could easily make this in advance had have chilling and ready to pour as the guests arrive. Make ahead items are always a plus when it comes to entertaining.

Make your salads a “little” extra special by serving them in rocks glasses like the ones above from My Baking Addiction. Offer your guests these little refreshing arugula salads topped with strawberries, goat cheese, and almonds. Dress it with a homemade poppy seed dressing and enjoy!

Once you have assembled your menu test it. The day of the party is not the time to try out new recipes you found on Pinterest. If you are going to be serving a recipe you have never made before, be sure to try it out beforehand.

Picture found on bhg.com

If you are entertaining at home make your house party ready. Make sure the bathrooms are sparkling clean since this is the area that your guests will get a nice close look at your home. If the weather is cool be sure to make space to hang guest’s sweaters and/or coats so that as they arrive you are not scrambling looking for a spot to store them.

Décor is another important decision that has to be made when putting together any soiree, wedding, anniversary, or anything worth celebrating. Centerpieces are a major decision since they will be looked at the most by guests seated at the tables, and with a little planning they can be utilized as conversation starters as well. This can be a great advantage if you are hosting an event where people are not necessarily oh so familiar with one another and can help ease any unwanted tension that could occur.

These fire and water centerpieces are a nice variation to traditional floral center pieces. They are a really easy DIY via Martha Stewart. Seriously this is a DIY that would be impossible to screw up. All you need is 2 glass vases, one larger, and one smaller, floral adhesive, and food coloring. They are really beautiful and create a unique ambiance that can’t be beat.

If you are on the fence about choosing flowers or candles, do both with this fun combo from Martha Stewart. Simply place a candle in a tall vessel, and attach a flower outside of each with some raffia to match the flower.

Don’t forget to have a well thought plan of attack ready for your clean up! Once the table has been set, guests arrived, food has been served and thoroughly enjoyed by all of your guests, you will be so glad you did and now you can breathe!

 

Happy entertaining from Photo Booth of the Stars!

 

Author: L. Fulton-EventsbyL

Celebrate Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day which is a day for action and here are some easy ways you can take action every day of the year from Photo Booth of the Stars.

There are many collaborative projects taking place around the world in an effort to rally for a safe, stable climate and a planet where our children can survive and thrive.  You too can make a difference within your own home and here are some green ways for you and your family to celebrate and take action from Scholastic.

  1. Be car-free. Walk or bike to school — not only is it good for the body, it’s good for the environment too!
  2. Make a bird feeder or house. Use a milk carton, a large water or soda bottle, or a pine cone.
  3. Create recycling bins. Cut out pictures of plastic bottles, paper, and aluminum cans and glue them to the bins. Practice sorting together!
  4. Make positive promises. Fill a journal with resolutions for how your family can help the earth. Decorate it with photographs, poems, and pictures.
  5. Grow something. Plant a seed, sprout, flower, or tree in a pot, garden, or backyard.
  6. Spread the love. Make and decorate Earth Day cards using recycled materials. Include an Earth Day celebration tip, and send them to friends and family.

These are great suggestions to celebrate Earth Day any and every day, not just one day out of the year. If it is not feasible to go car free for you living situation than consider cutting back by organizing a carpool, or taking a train once or even a few times a week. Just leaving your car at home two days a week will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 pounds per year according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. That’s pretty incredible!

Recycling is really important since the average person wastes about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year. Donate or recycle your used electronics. If you have any old computers, cell phones, televisions or any other electronic devices whether working or non-working, if they aren’t being used recycle them.


A really easy way to reduce your energy use around the home is to unplug electronics when you are not using them. Electricity is still used to power home electronics while the products are turned off, so simply unplug them and that will reduce the energy use within your home.

Using reusable bags is another great way to go green. Keep some of them in your car so when you go grocery shopping they are there with you ready to go. When you get home and unload all of your goodies and put them away, slip the bags back in your purse, or leave by your keys, or the door so you remember to put them back in the car.   It’s such a pain when you arrive at the store and have the uh-oh moment when you remember you didn’t bring the bags. Hate when that happens!

If you are looking to find a volunteer opportunity within your community head on over to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and see what is going on around your neighborhood!

Happy Earth Day to you from the Photo Booth of the Stars!

Author: L. Fulton-EventsbyL 

Photo Credit: My Several Worlds, Catch My Party via  Wanessa Carolina Creations, goodhousekeeping.com, inspirationlaboratories.com

 

Not Your Average Easter Eggs!

Easter is coming quickly and if you need some last minute Easter egg DIY and dying ideas Photo Booth of the Stars has scoured the world-wide-web for you and put together a fun and festive round up of egg ideas you will want to try!

Let’s kick it off with these mosaic Easter eggs from Say No To Sweet Anne!  All you need to do is get together your eggs either hard boiled or blown out, whichever you prefer, egg dye, mod-podge or good old fashioned glue, and a paint brush.

Dye one egg with your color and leave one plain white for the back ground.  Crush the shell of the colored egg and glue the colored “mosaic” pieces it onto your white egg until it is covered to your liking.  Viola!  That is it!  It really couldn’t get much easier than that and so unique to have mixed into your Easter décor.  Click HERE to check out the entire step by step tutorial.

We found these flocked Easter eggs at Tried and True and fell in love with the color palette.  All you need is some glitter flocking powder, glue dots, or double sided tape and some scissors.  Place the dots or tape onto your hard boiled eggs in whatever style or patter you so choose.

Then simply press the egg into the pressed powder and wipe away any excess with a paint brush.  Wonder if cookie sprinkles would have the same effect on the tape?  You can head on over to the whole tutorial HERE.

Perhaps you would like to try something a little more personalized like these sticker stenciled eggs from Spoonful.  This method requires you to put your eggs in a dye bath by dissolving food coloring paste in 1 cup of hot water in a mug or small bowl, then stirring in some vinegar. Place your store bought or self-made stickers onto your eggs and let the egg bathe in the dye.

Do not remove the sticker until the egg is completely dry or the dye will likely run and no one wants that.  You can check out this full tutorial HERE.

If you are a fan of rustic décor than these au natural dyed Easter eggs from Free People are perfect for you!  The colors come out in these soft and muted tones that we are loving at Photo Booth!  You may even have all of the ingredients you need to make these right inside your own kitchen.

Here’s what you need:

Eggs — hard boiled or fresh (2 yellow onions

1 head of red cabbage

Vinegar

Flowers

White or nude pantyhose

Twine or twist ties

Source: Natural Dye Easter Eggs | Free People Blog http://blog.freepeople.com/2014/04/natural-dye-easter-eggs/#ixzz2zAl3drhA

For the dye you fill 2 pots with water and put the chopped onion in one and the chopped cabbage in the other.  Let this simmer for 20-30 minutes, strain, add a little vinegar, pop the egg in and let them bathe for about 30-35 minutes.

Check out the full tutorial that include a nice little diagram to give you an idea of the colors that each dye should present HERE.

 

Happy Easter to you all!!!

 

Photo Credit: SayNoToSweetAnne, Triedandtrueblog, Spoonful, Freepeople

Author:  L. Fulton-EventsbyL

Best Party Hacks Yet!

Before you throw your next party and start planning what to serve for drinks, the menu, and what décor is suitable for your event, take a look at some of these amazing party tricks and hacks so you and your guests will have the best time ever.

Bottled water is something on hand at any function and one way to really spice it up is by taking off the boring old labels that it comes with and replacing it with your own theme coordinated labels.

The Robins Nest has a great tutorial on DIY wedding water bottle labels that includes the really cute template for you.  The labels would be a wonderful for baby showers, birthday parties, family reunions, or any celebration.

All you have to do is customize the template to your needs and either print them yourself or have them printed.  If you are going to be placing the bottles in an ice bucket a great tip is to cover each label with clear tape before you attach the water bottles so that your ink will not run and you will avoid the paper from turning into mush.

 

Instead of having printed labels you could also glam up a water bottle with a festive duct tape, or use Washi tape to give the bottles some pizzazz!

Save yourself time and money when you are planning your next out door event, cook out, or even road trip.  Instead of buying a back of ice to toss in the cooler, just freeze balloons filled with water and you are ready to go!  They look so festive when placed in hurricanes as shown above!

This is brilliant for throwing a party at your home!  Turn you washing machine into an extra cooler and have ice cold drinks ready for action when the others have run out.  This is a great tip especially if you are entertaining in a small space.

Getting ready to send out your wedding invitations, or party invites?  Do not lick the envelopes, yuck!  Just take a little water on a foam paintbrush or cloth and wipe it along the edge, seal, and send.  You don’t need any fancy envelope glue, water will do!  If you want to eliminate the envelopes altogether just use post cards.

If you have been stressing out over all of the planning details and you happen to get a horrendous zit, grab some Listerine and dab a little bit on the blemish.  While it will not magically clear your zit, the swelling will go down and make it easier to hide with cover up.  At least your photo booth strips will not pick up on a 3D mountain coming out of your cheek while you were posing in the photo booth rental.

 

Mmmm!  Refresh your guests with some cotton candy bubbly at your next event.  Fill a pretty glass with some cotton candy and pour champagne over it.  If you are hosting a kid friendly event make them one with lemon lime soda.  They will love it!

Photo Credit:  The Robins Nest, Formal Fringe, A Subtle Revelry, Pinterest pinned by Lianne Petrucelli, Her Cincinnati

Author:  L. Fulton- Events by L

Host a Death and Taxes Party This Month!

We all know April is good for April Fool’s Day and Tax Day.  Photo Booth of the Stars loves a good reason to host a party and one superb reason to celebrate is having your taxes filed and over with until next year.  Here’s some ideas that will have your guest lists wanting to Save The Date rather than dread tax day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invite and Delight like to celebrate this date with a Death and Taxes Party and share some unique ideas for hosting this type of theme party over at their blog.  Their idea for taxes inspired invitations are creating fake refund checks made out to each of your guests.  You can include the party details on the back of the invitations complete with a note stating they must attend the party in order to receive this year’s refund.    You can check out more of their ideas here.

Décor and photo booth prop ideas can include money confetti that you could easily get from your local brick and mortar store.  Communizine suggests running the dollar bills through a shredder and scatter it about in places that need some pop.  It can represent all of the hard earned money Americans’ make that gets ran through the shredder every year.  Patriotic decorations are great décor items since it is our civic duty to do taxes, so anything American themed will provide the perfect touches to your party.

Of course each and every party needs some fun theme inspired games and here are some festive ideas for entertainment from Communizine:

Pin the Tail on the IRS Commissioner

This is a Tax Day take on the classic children’s party game “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.” This requires a little creativity on your part: get a picture of current IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman and blow it up to poster-size. Draw or glue a picture of his head onto the body of a donkey, grab something that works as a tail, and blindfold your guests as they attempt to stick a pin in him.

Have a “Most Ludicrous Write-Off” Contest

If your Tax Day Party guests have already filed their returns, tell them in advance that you’re having a bizarre write-off contest and to bring in evidence of the weirdest thing they’re trying to use as a tax write-off. You might be surprised at the creativity of some of your friends and their tax lawyers.

Have a Tax Day-Themed Movie Marathon

If you and your friends aren’t into the kinds of party activities described above, consider inviting just a few people over to have a Tax Day movie viewing party. Since you’re about to have to cut a check to the government, use as many movie coupons as you can to save money on your Tax Day movie purchases. Watch films like Wall Street, Rounders, and Boiler Room, movies where money plays a leading role and the name of the game is doing whatever it takes to get more of it. That oughta put you and your friends in the perfect mood for Tax Day.

These tips and ideas should be able to get you Death and Taxes Party up and running!

Author:  L. Fulton-EventsbyL

Photo Credit: Sweet Designs – A blog by Amy Atlas and Hostess with the Mostess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Tips To Host An Eco-Friendly Party

There is something that organically happens once spring finally comes and the weather starts to become pleasant.  People seem to act a little nicer, smile a little more, eat a little healthier, and exercise a little more.  Along with taking extra care of yourself, now that we finally get a chance to go out and enjoy the outdoors let’s take a little extra care in our planet as well.  So, to celebrate the fact that we get to go out and enjoy this wonderful Earth we are going to share some amazing tips on how incorporate a little green at your next party or event.

As if planning a wedding, baby shower, bbq, graduation party, or any event isn’t hard enough you also have to worry about all of the clean up after the party ends.  It is always amazing to see how much waste comes from throwing a big celebration and it’s never fun having to sort through the waste to separate the recycling, or to clean up your possibly trashed yard.  Stop the waste by hosting a green event.  Choose one or more ways that you would like to go green at your soiree and be sure to make it clear on your invitation so everyone can get in on the green action.

Keep in mind that not everyone may understand, “Please join us for our eco-friendly wedding reception.” Include specifics and ideas like homemade gifts only, or reusable gift wrap only to give your guests some guidance.  They can wrap in newspaper, paper grocery bags, and so much more.  Here are some really creative, and easy ways of eco-friendly gift wrapping that we found on good old Pinterest.

These bright and cheery reusable cloth napkins from Hen House Linens make a fun eco-friendly gift wrap that any guest would be happy to receive.

These DIY washi tape boxes are easy to make and are definitely reusable.  You could re-use these boxes to put your scarfs, makeup, photo booth photo strips, and any kind of nick knacks you have laying around the house.  We love this idea from Homey Oh My.

Don’t forget about the favors.  Choose a nature related favor like seedlings, or the seed papers that guests take home to plant.  You can find the ones above on Naturefavors Etsy Site.  They also have heart shaped birdseed favors that are adorable!

These DIY soy wax candle favors made using recycled materials, natural ingredients, and are also budget friendly.  The complete DIY can be found on Ruffled.  Not only are they green but you can completely customize the scent of your candles which makes them so special and personalized.

Remember the whole part of throwing a party, or having a celebration, is to enjoy it.  So if you are stressing out about hosing an eco-friendly party, just chose one element to focus on and stick to that.  A little goes a long way when preserving the earth and if we all just do one thing to help out it adds up.  Cheers to your Green event!!!

Let Love Grow Wedding Favor Seed Kit Photo Via Etsy AproposRoasters

Author: L. Fulton-EventsbyL

Easter DIY’s, Photo Booth Props, and More Fun!

Photo Booth of the Stars is ready to celebrate Easter and share some festive, cheerful, and fun Easter Celebration inspiration with you today!

These DIY Easter Photo Booth props come in a 16 piece fun prop set for only $3.95.  You can get the PDF pintables via Chela Williams.

Check out this tutorial via Country Living for these simple and adorable easy bunny years that are sure to make your photo booth rental hop!

If you are posing for the photo’s this Easter, then you have to get these Chickadee Glasses.  They are only $4.95 via Maro DesignsOr you could turn this into a fun DIY project for you and your loved ones during your Easter egg making session.

Give your traditional neon dyed Easter eggs a makeover this year.  Here is a great little cheat sheet from McCormick.com to help you make some fantastic colors you won’t find in your old Easter egg kits.

There are so many great tutorials you can find to design you eggs.

Feeling adventurous?  Try these foiled eggs from Martha Stewart and we bet you will make quite a statement at your holiday party.  You can check out the whole tutorial and try your shot at them here.

 

Make your own Minion Eggs!!

Don’t forget about the teens, they should get in on some of the fun too.  While they may not be interested in the Easter egg hunt, any teen girl will be happy receiving a nail polish Easter egg.  We found this inspiration on Mache.  It’s a simple way to get the older one’s into the spirit if only for a moment.

Let these flour bunny tracks from The Larson Lingoleave an impression that your family will never forget.  They will be so surprised to see that the Easter Bunny came and dropped off their baskets when they spot these!

 

Kick up your dinner rolls by taking a pair of scissors and trimming out two ears and poking two little eyes into them to make a bunny roll like this Pinterest pin via Christine Perkett.

 

Add some festive Easter décor for around the house, office, or as party décor.  This easy as could be topiary used jelly beans to make.  You can find the tutorial over at Crafty Sisters which uses a foam ball, a dowel rod, clay pot, jelly beans, some moss, and another small piece of foam to hold the rod up.  Just try not to eat all the jelly beans so you have some left for the topiary!  Head on over and make one of these guys here.

 

This nest cake Via Gooseberry Patch is made by hollowing out the center of a cake, and add m&m’s on top.  You could use either chocolate covered chow mein noodles, or even coconuts covered in frosting instead.

So, now you have your photo booth props, Easter egg dye ideas, party décor, and a yummy looking cake to make!  Go on and host an Easter themed party this year, or if it is your tradition, then freshen it up this year and try some new ideas.

 

Author:  L. Fulton-EventsbyL

 

 

Brunch Wedding Receptions – The New Normal

When planning a cocktail party, or special event everything seems to be “catered” around dinner.  Couples planning weddings often have trouble deciding what time to start the ceremony.  There is a dilemma of starting events too early because then there is the worry of people being too hungry and having to wait for dinner to start, or if it’s too early will guests want to cut out early because they feel they have been tending your event the entire day.

One of the best things of living in 2014 is that you are allowed to re-invent the wheel and make your own rules.  Guests appreciate the surprise, refreshing, new take on tradition.  Everyone strives to make their event or wedding better than the last and one way to leave your guests talking is to shake things up and make it exciting. You no longer have to follow the standard wedding day timeline and host a dinner affair.

Take a tip from conferences being held around the world and are providing lunch and breakfast services that will leave impressions on guests.  Instead of the old breakfast buffet, chefs and their teams are working closely with event planners to develop menus that are creative and fresh.  You can find servers roaming trade show floors delivering attendants food delivered on trays that are attached around their necks, much like you would find a hot dog vendor at a ball game.  In lieu of hot dogs they deliver delicious smoothies, parfaits, and more to attendants.

The old classic brunch has always been a crowd pleaser and is becoming more popular lately because it is a bit more budget friendly to host a daytime wedding rather than dinner or afternoon, and it is something fresh.  Serving breakfast options at dinner is also showing up more and more.

We came across a wedding on Taste As You Go for a couple who just love brunch and planned their entire reception around it.

Stephen and I love brunch — it’s our favorite meal and something we look forward to every Sunday. That’s why, when it came down to planning our wedding reception, it made perfect sense to plan a brunch reception. Especially since our wedding ceremony was scheduled for late morning.”

Instead of having the typical open bar they hosted a bloody Mary bar set up for guests which included beef jerky, celery, garlic-stuffed olives, pepperoncini, pickled green beans, and radishes.

They also had a Bellini and Mimosa Bar that the Photo Booth of the Stars gives 5 stars to!  Who doesn’t love a strawberry or peach Bellini!   Kudos to this couple!

For their appetizers they offered a selection of light hor d’oeuvres suitable for any time not limited to brunch which included:

  • Ahi      Tuna Sashimi Tataki with Mini Mirin Rice Cakes, served with Wasabi Drizzle      and Pickled Ginger
  • Beef      Tenderloin Crostini
  • Filo-Wrapped      Asparagus with Pesto
  • Fresh      Fruit Skewers with Yogurt Dip
  • Mini      Pretzel Bites with Mustard
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped      Melon
  • Vegetable      Spring Roll Shooters with Duck Sauce

What do you all think about having a late morning wedding opposed to the standard dinner schedule?

Photo Credit:  Brian Samuels Photography,  Mel Barlow, Pinterest pin via Tamara Rittershaus,  Brian Samuels Photography, and Brian Samuels Photography

Author:  L. Fulton-EventsbyL