head diy Design Fanatic: March 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tips for Planning A Graduation Party

It's getting to be that time of year again and it's time to start planning. What am I referring to?
 Why, High School graduation parties! 

Many are thinking about planning a graduation party it right now. How do I know that?... Because photos of our daughter's graduation party on Pinterest are getting "pinned" all over the place!  

Thought I'd post a few of both of the parties we threw for our daughters in 2010 and 2011.

Besides making a guest list, choosing a menu and invitations, here are a few of my tips for planning a graduation party:

1. Pick some vibrant colors for the party.

My oldest daughter chose purple and green for the colors for her graduation/birthday party.

2. Plan on buying some beautiful flowers.

A few days before the party buy some beautiful flowers that co-ordinate with the party colors.
Here I used some simple and inexpensive  bouquets from Trader Joe's and put them in small container inside the painted terra cotta pot.

3. Contrast your colors.

Here I used a bright purple tablecloth to make the desserts and jellybeans stand out.

4. Plan for a spectacular dessert table. 

Use boxes covered in wrapping paper to raise the goodies in the back of the table. Use labels to let your guests know what the items are.

5. Cover the wall behind the main table.

If your wall color behind your dessert table or banner doesn't go with the colors of your party, hang a white sheet on the wall behind the table. Wish I had done this for my oldest daughter's party.

6. Plan on making some fun desserts for your guests. 

Everyone loved the cake pops and cookies at my youngest daughter's party. I got a kick out of seeing the tall 18 year old boys/young men eating the dainty looking flower cookies. At one point during the party there were about 6 boys all standing next to the table with them in hand. I am still kicking myself because I couldn't get to my camera fast enough to take a photo!

7. Make a photo mobile for the guest of honor. 

Include all the photos of him or her on their first day of school for every grade. Throw in some photos of them with their siblings and best friends and special occasions.

Hope you enjoyed my tips for planning a graduation party. Anyone have any others you'd like to share? Is anyone planning a party for a graduate this year? Would love to know!


You can see the original posts for my oldest daughter's party HERE and my youngest daughter's party HERE

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Vignettes

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I finished getting all our tax information together for our accountant and just have to get it in the mail.  Have been spending time doing all that tedious work for much of last week.
 Oy, my neck hurts from sitting at our desktop (it has Excel loaded on it) and much prefer lounging in bed or in my comfy chair with my laptop.

In between tax stuff I've taken breaks for a few minutes here and there to  put together a Spring vignette and to enjoy the gorgeous weather we've been having. 

The silver tray with the antique keys ended up on the dresser in our Foyer. The dresser holds tablecloths and placemats.(fyi)

After venturing outside, I discovered beautiful blooms on our Camelia bush. Would you believe the  following two photos are of the same plant?  This bush produces both white and pink striped Camelias and red Camelias.

The plant has mostly red blooms, but it also has several  pink and white blooms, as well. You can see a pink and white bloom in the upper left hand corner.

Cherry trees are in full bloom all over the neighborhood and this past weekend it was "raining" pink petals everywhere. It was so beautiful.

Last, but not least, we took about and hour to finish up spreading mulch on the side of the house and WE ARE FINISHED! Hurray!!! The whole property took 23 yards of mulch total. It looks great even covered with pink  petals from our cherry tree. If you missed the post about our early Spring 2012  yard, you can see it HERE. The yard is even greener this week.
As for my new raised bed veggie garden (and last years raised beds), plants are sprouting up everywhere and are doing great. I will be sharing them with you shortly. (I couldn't just show you a big box full of dirt, now could I?)

How's it going with you? Did you do something productive this past weekend or did you do something fun....or both?



Friday, March 23, 2012

My New Paper Punch

I ordered a large label paper punch a couple weeks back and couldn't wait for it to arrive. Not sure why, but I have an obsession over paper punches. I just think they are cool... and fun
There are soooo many to choose from...hearts, flowers, circles, edges; the list is endless.

Had some chalkboard Contact paper in my craft room... I originally saw it on Nate Berkus. A blogger used it in her fabulous pantry and I knew I had to get some.

The large label punch is by Stampin' Up and cuts really well. Aren't they pretty?

Here's where they ended up...

Functional and pretty! Gotta love that!
I could really use these to organize my pantry... or office... or linen closet... 
You get the picture :)

Hope you have a great weekend!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Are You A NO-REPLY Blogger?

Directions for the new Dashboard in Blogger:
Go to Settings and click on it
Go to  Mobile and Email and click on it
Go down to Comment notification email? Fill your email in the box.
Don't forget to save your settings...
That's it!

Have  a fun day!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Making Yard Work Easier

It's that  time of year again... time to get outside and spruce up the yard. 

 The biggest job we have every year or so is spreading mulch. Many of our neighbors use pine straw, but it breaks down too fast and it has to be done twice a year to look good. That's definitely not happening. Plus, when we had pine straw we had too many snakes up near the house that would crawl in it. 

After doing pine straw for a couple of years we changed to hardwood mulch because it lasts about a year and a half if we get single hammered hardwood mulch. Single hammered mulch is a little coarser than the kind you buy in bags at Lowe's or Home Depot . Last year we tried double hammered mulch, which is a finer mulch similar to the bagged kind, and it broke down super fast. It only looks good for about 6 months.
After starting to spread the mulch in the backyard this weekend, I snapped a few before photos.  Usually the trees are all leafed out when we spread mulch, but we needed mulch for around our raised beds and we just kept going.

Here's how the yard looks after 5 trailer fulls of hardwood mulch. Each trailer full is 4 yards. We thought we were finished after spreading 20 yards, but I looked up the hill toward the front yard and realized we still needed about 2 yards more for the side yard.  :(  
We'll do that next week.

Here's a photo taken in the evening which shows the mulch darker.

We started off doing the walking path around the raised beds, then spread mulch in the front yard.

The backyard is looking pretty good.

Here are my tips for making yard work easier:

1. Don't neglect your yard. Not keeping up with  maintenance only makes the job harder.

2.Have a plan for what you need to do and break it down over several weeks or weekends.

3. Use some type of mulch to keep the weeds down. A 3" layer definitely keeps the weeds down, which will save you time later in the season because you have less weeds to deal with and helps you conserve water.

4. If you have a large area to cover like I do, consider buying mulch by the yard from a landscaping supply. This will save you a ton of money. When we are finished, we will have purchased 22 yards of mulch for $23 a yard, for a total of $506 plus tax . Had we purchased it at Lowes or Home Depot it would have cost us closer to $1,000, plus, bagged mulch only lasts about 6 months and not a year (dyed mulch lasts for about a year). If you don't have a trailer to pick up the mulch, landscaping supply companies will deliver mulch to your home . 
Update: if you wait until  Lowes and Home Depot drops their price on the dyed mulch in the Spring to $2 for a 2 cubic food bag, the cost per yard is $27, which is still a little more than bulk, but it's so much easier to handle.

5. If you have a big job  to do in your yard, hire a couple of hardworking teenagers you know to help. We've done this several times in the past to spread mulch. This time, we picked up the mulch ourselves and spread it over about 5 days on two different weekends. Teenagers can do things like yard clean up or digging holes to plant new trees. You don't have to do it all yourself!

6. Do your yard cleanup and mulch spreading before it gets too hot! Yard work is so much easier to do when it's 60 degrees instead of 80!

7. Have the right tools for the job.

I hope that Spring is headed your way! It's so exciting to know that a big part of my Spring yard maintenance is already finished and it's only March. We still have some cleanup and burning to do out past our flower beds, but having the mulch already done is a great relief.

In a couple of weeks our yard will look like this and we are looking forward to it:
The above photos were taken at the end of April last year.

What yard maintenance do you do every Spring?
Do you have any outside landscaping projects planned in addition to your maintenance?

   Disclaimer: The above post is how we make yard work easier using mulch.  I don't take any responsibility for any errors or results obtained from using this information. When using power tools, use safety equipment.

Friday, March 16, 2012

An Unset Breakfast Table

Isn't it great when you make a few inexpensive changes to one of your rooms and the changes make you smile every time you enter the space? 
That's how I feel about our Breakfast Room. Fresh paint, a table off Craigslist, inexpensive Ikea  curtains and a no cost diy sign all contribute to the new look. Decorating on a dime makes me happy, especially when it all comes together beautifully.

 To make the room look pretty, I kept the table set at all times. I started doing this after we put our house up for sale over a year ago. The breakfast table always looked so pretty. Problem is...nobody  would sit at the table. Everyone would end up at the bar instead.

I finally unset the table leaving only the centerpiece, candles, placemats and napkins. It still looks set, but it's much more user friendly since you  can bring your plate of food over and sit down without clearing anything off.

 Just had to show you my one Ikea purchase I brought back from my trip to SoCal. I found these round braided placemats that look great on top of   rectangular matellase placemats turned vertically.

The burlap wrapped votives look great with the added texture on the table.
I'm loving the new unset look...and now no one is afraid to sit there. Before, they didn't want to mess up my pretty table.

Happy Friday to you all! We will be finishing up the mulch in our flowerbeds and working outside. I can't wait to show you how it's all turning out!

Would love to know what you have planned for this weekend...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shopping And Dining In Savannah

Last week I showed you the wonderful architecture of Savannah, but I had to tell you about some wonderful places to eat plus show you more photos of my two favorite shops there. Tripadvisor.com is a great resource to use when you are visiting a new city, or your town if you'd like to try something new. 

Soho South Cafe was high on the list of recommended restaurants, so we decided to give it a try. We weren't disappointed.

It's definitely an eclectic place

Our youngest daughter on the right, brought her friend Emily on this trip.

We ordered some paninis and the presentation was awesome.

 A great dive to go to for Pizza is Vinnie Van GoGos. The thin crust pizza is great...and inexpensive. They will also deliver to your hotel if you feel like staying in. Another great place to eat that I don't have a photo  of is Zunzi's. It's a takeout place with a few tables outside. There is ALWAYS a line outside, so you know it's good. Plus, the servings are large enough for two people to share and then you have room for their awesome carrot cake!

You can also get some fabulous food in Papillote french bistro. It is a great place to go after a morning of shopping on Broughton Street.

 Another "must go to" place while in Savannah is Savannah's Candy kitchen.

 They have the creamiest ice cream I have ever tasted. We went there twice!

 I'm making myself drool, here...sorry.

 They are a candy kitchen....and have some awesome hand dipped chocolate covered sweets.

 These candied apples were huge! I loved the chocolate covered oreos on the top shelf. The round thing on the right is a large peanut butter cup. I REALLY wanted to get one of those, but it was too large and I know I would have eaten the whole thing at one sitting!

Let's move on to something that won't make you hungry...Last week I showed you some tablescapes from Paris Market. Many of you have been and told me that you love that shop, as well.

They always have the greatest displays...

 I really wanted this table, but it was too expensive.


Paris Market has a little area where you can grab some coffee. It is so cute...

The other shop I briefly mentioned last week was a new shop called Villa Savannah.
Jewelry was half off that day, so I bought these earrings.

Turquoise seems to be everywhere these days.


I really wanted to get a few of these key hooks, but my project list is already too long!


Savannah is my personal favorite destination for a long weekend getaway, as long as it's not in the summer! We're hoping to go back for another weekend before it gets too hot. I can't wait!
What is your favorite weekend getaway?
Would love to hear about it!

At The Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday