Dazzling Under the Sea party ideas that will make a splash!

If you read my post on dressing up your backyard party, you know a theme can help you make party-planning easier, and tie together the whole look and feel of your event.

Themed parties are popping up everywhere these days, and right now, Under the Sea  is one of the most popular. (It’s a personal favorite for me—’The Little Mermaid’ is still  one of my all-time favorite movies!) So, if you’re thinking about throwing your own, and you’re looking for some under the sea party ideas, I’ve gathered a bunch of options for color, food, decorations, and activities/crafts.

Preppy whale party via Kara’s Party Ideas | Mermaid in the ocean party via Kara’s Party Ideas
Under the sea mermaid party via Hostess with the Mostess | Ocean ONEderland via Eleven Cupcakes
Dazzling under the sea party via Events Inspired by Love

The thing that works about each party featured above, is that they chose a color palette and stuck to it—you can see the colors in all the details of the party.

Using a specific color palette is an easy way to infuse a theme throughout your party (party planning like a pro tip #4). You can go all-out and match your food and drink colors to your decor, or keep it simple with a colored table cloth with color-coordinated paper plates and napkins like Eleven Cupcakes did with her Ocean ONEderland party.

To create your own palette, start with a shade of blue—this can range anywhere from a minty-teal to a bold, intense blue—and then add on from there. The ocean is full of tons of colors, so why not use them? Have fun adding a pop of red, orange, pink, or even purple to your shade (or shades) of blue! Read More »

Color Mixer | an ‘under the sea’ party palette

Later this week, I’ll be sharing a bunch of tips for throwing an Under the Sea themed party—including color palettes to tie the whole thing together. This sophisticated blue palette is just one of many options, and just part of the fun, so make sure to check back for the rest!

Thinking about throwing an under the sea themed party? Start the inspiration with color palettes #color #underthesea #party

Photo courtesy of Events Inspired by Love


A stress-free party planning checklist (and a free printable!)


Download and print a super-helpful party planning checklist | #partyplanning #freeprintable

PHEW! Carter’s 3rd birthday party was last weekend, and WOW is there a lot of stuff to remember when you’re planning a party!

Download and print a super-helpful party planning checklist | #partyplanning #freeprintable

My pre-checklist scribbles!

I wasn’t big on hosting parties before Carter was born, so I’m pretty new to this. But even so, being my 3rd time around on this kid’s-birthday-party thing, it’s about time I came up with a checklist to help me keep everything straight. Especially because I’m a die-hard fan of spreadsheets & lists!

Lucky for me, our resident party planner, Elizabeth, was gracious enough to help me come up with a party planning checklist with everything I needed to do before the party. And lucky for you,  she offered to let me share it with all of you as a free printable!


Download and print a super-helpful party planning checklist | #partyplanning #freeprintable

Let me just tell you how crucial this checklist was as I was trying to keep track of all my to-dos! Not only did I actually remember  to do all the little things I normally forget, but I didn’t even wait until the last minute. Serious growth!

And, for once, all that energy I normally spend on stress, I could put toward enjoying Carter’s party. Because after all, your first-born only turns 3 once!

Download your free printable party planning checklist, and then check out Elizabeth’s 6 super-helpful party planning tips to get you off & running.

Happy stress-free party planning!


Color Mixer | a summer color palette

We’re kicking off a new series all about our favorite colors. After all, we love color around here and we want to share that love with you! So, every few weeks or so, we’ll post a new color palette that will hopefully leave you feeling inspired. This week, we’re starting with summer.

These are some of my favorite summer colors, especially for parties, because they’re so bright and fun—and, not to mention, on-trend! I just love the watermelon feel of the pink and green mixed in with the orange and yellow.

A bright summer color palette! #summer #colorpalette

Photo courtesy of A Subtle Revelry

Happy Summer!

Not just for plants: a DIY cake stand made from terracotta pots!

A creative DIY cake stand made from terracotta pots #terracotta #claypots #cakestand #diy

It seems like every store I go into lately has a plethora of terracotta pots just waiting to be put to use. Since they’re so inexpensive and readily available, I wanted to find a creative, alternative use for them.

I racked my brain for creative DIY ideas that could involve terracotta pots: Something to hold utensils? No, that’s just a container for something different–a little too obvious. An ice bucket? No, still just another container… And finally, when I stopped thinking about pots only as containers, it hit me. A DIY cake stand!

This project was super easy and looks fantastic! You’d never guess there’s a couple terracotta pots under that white and gold :)

Read More »

Friday finds | summer party

This week, I shared a ton of ideas for your next summer shindig, with my outdoor party series. Now, it’s time to wrap it up with a few fun summer links from around the web. Happy Friday!

Fun summer party ideas! #summer #party     Fun summer party ideas! #summer #party

Fun summer party ideas! #summer #party     Fun summer party ideas! #summer #party

clockwise from top right:


In case you missed the outdoor party series, you can find them here: part 1part 2part 3, and part 4.

Backyard gone glam #4 | fun outdoor party activities

We’ve come to the fourth and final post of our backyard gone glam series! Today’s post is all about fun outdoor party activities that will keep guests entertained and dress up your backyard party.

Any great party has some killer details that put it above and beyond. These details don’t have to be big, sometimes it’s the little things that really make a difference!

Here are some extra party details to add to your next outdoor festivities.


Add games or activities

Looking to up your outdoor party game? Check out these ideas make your backyard go from drab to glam. #outdoorparty #party #backyardparty #summer #backyard

Fake tattoo station (Tattly) via Green Wedding Shoes | Lawn Scrabble via Constantly Lovestruck 
Yard Twister via You + Me

Games, activities, or crafts make great icebreakers. They give guests something to do other than mingle and eat (not that there’s anything wrong with those things!). Read More »

Backyard gone glam #3 | summer party food ideas

Today is day 3 of our backyard gone glam series, and it’s definitely the most mouth-watering! Check out these awesome summer party food ideas that can dress up your outdoor party.

The one thing you can guarantee your party guests will paying attention to is your food and drink. Here are some of the best ways to impress your guests!


Create a festive tablescape

Looking to up your outdoor party game? Check out these ideas make your backyard go from drab to glam. #outdoorparty #party #backyardparty #summer #backyard

Sunday juice bar via Style Me Pretty | Taco bar via 100 Layer Cake 
Dessert table via 100 Layer Cakelet | Backyard bonfire party via A Beautiful Mess

Setting a table specifically for appetizers, the main course, drinks, or dessert is a great way to allow guests to have easy access to your party treats, but it’s also an opportunity to dress up your space!

Play with your color palette, different sized plates or bowls, and try setting things on a box or crate for varying height. Read More »

Backyard gone glam #2 | more outdoor party decorations

We’re back with the second post in our backyard gone glam series, with even more creative ideas for outdoor party decorations!

Yesterday, I shared part 1 of setting the scene at your next backyard party. There are so many ways to do it, I couldn’t fit them all in one post!

Here’s the rest of the best ways to set the scene at your party.


Create spaces within your space

Looking to up your outdoor party game? Check out these ideas make your backyard go from drab to glam. #outdoorparty #party #backyardparty #summer #backyard

Outdoor hangout in the shade via Wedding Chicks | S’mores party bonfire seating via Style Me Pretty
Blankets for lawn seats via You + Me

Designating spaces for guests hang out, eat, or play games can be a great way to transform your space. Or, set out some blankets and invite them to create their own seating area. Read More »

Backyard gone glam #1 | outdoor party decoration ideas

Welcome to the first post in our backyard gone glam series! This is part 1 of a week-long series on how to dress up your outdoor party, and today we’re talking about party decoration ideas.

For years, I’ve obsessed over photos of outdoor parties and weddings, and how people seem to completely transform their outdoor spaces. Well, I’m finally getting the chance to try my hand at transforming my own space for my 30th birthday party, and what a difference a few things can make!

I had thought it would be pretty difficult to make a big impact, but I’ve been doing a lot of research over the past few months, and it turns out that there are some fairly simple things that can really do the trick!

Even though I’m taking cues from weddings, engagement parties, and other big events, I found these things can be easily adapted to smaller and more intimate parties (without having to spend a fortune).

This week I’ll be sharing some of the best ways to dress up your space for your next outdoor party or get-together.

Let’s get started!


Add outdoor lighting

Looking to up your outdoor party game? Check out these ideas make your backyard go from drab to glam. #outdoorparty #party #backyardparty #summer #backyard

clockwise from top left: Bright fringe lights via Domestic Fashionista | Paper bag party lights via Martha Stewart
Fairy lights via A Darling Affair/Steven Michael Photography
Colorful hanging paper lanterns via Wedding Chicks | Mason jar lights via Bourbon & Boots

Lights set a theme, tone, and mood—and there are so many options! Candles, tiki torches, market lights, paper lanterns, twinkle lights… I could go on and on.

Get creative with color to create a playful daytime space that transforms into something magical once the sun goes down.


Choose a theme

Looking to up your outdoor party game? Check out these ideas make your backyard go from drab to glam. #outdoorparty #party #backyardparty #summer #backyard

Lemonade party via Holly Viles Design | Beer tasting party via Mochatini | Burger party via Cardstore Blog

Giving your party a theme—and infusing it into the decorations and menu—is a great way to make planning easier and to create a cohesive look.

Even a theme as basic as a color palette or a staple food item will help you narrow down your decorations and food.

Read More »