Posts tagged party
Valentine Shirley Temples

The maraschino cherry was the fruit of joy in my childhood. Pop them in a glass with a few dashes of grenadine, and you have a classic drink great for Valentine's Day or any day -- the Shirley Temple.

We introduced our children to the Shirley Temple, named after the charmed young actress Shirley Temple, during the holidays as a special way to make a toast. The brilliant red of the grenadine is a show stopper.

With a bamboo skewer (you know I love them), a maraschino cherry, and some washi tape, you can customize a wish for hugs and kisses for your little Valentine.

A traditional Shirley Temple is made with a lemon lime soda and ginger ale combination, but we simplify and use just the soda. Add a few dashes of grenadine, flavor to taste. Add a few cherries for extra flavor and pizzazz.

The red of grenadine mixed with a lemon lime soda and a cherry on top! An easy and festive Valentine mocktail for your everyday, the Shirley Temple.

The red of grenadine mixed with a lemon lime soda and a cherry on top! An easy and festive Valentine mocktail for your everyday, the Shirley Temple.

And for an extra bit of fun, substitute a rope of red licorice for a straw! Trust me, it's a crowd pleaser.

xoxo, MJ

P.S. I'm heading to Alt Summit today, and I'll be posting about my time there as an Alt Rep as well as a lot of the wonderful learning on social media, small business, and design on my social channels. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram with #parscaeli_ALT Beware of overgramming and selfies. :)


Housewarming Party for New Year's Eve

Welcome back, friends! I hope you had an awesome Hanukkah or Christmas celebration. My house is still recovering from the messes of presents, big meals, and guests, but I'm a happy camper for all of the good times celebrated! You can catch all of our adventures on Instagram using the hashtag #parscaeli_christmas. The days of Christmas will continue tomorrow with a few more surprises and special moments, but today, I have a New Year's treat for you! I'm teaming up with Wayfair to host a Housewarming Party with some great ideas for your New Year's Eve celebrations! 


Here are my top six picks from our Wayfair bloggers as well as one of my own! Tell me what are your plans for the holiday?

1. RASPBERRY CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL from Conni Jespersen. Conni has mixed together some fabulous flavors for the perfect NYE bubbly to enjoy with friends. I think raspberries are the perfect mix!

2. NEW YEAR'S EVEN CLOCK CAKE on 'A Casarella. Elena made these charming cupcakes for one fabulous birthday party/NYE theme. I love that everyone can enjoy a bit of the spirit of counting down to the new year. Or, you could enjoy one for each hour all by yourself!

3. NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY CROWNS on DomestiKated Life. Kate made these fun glitter crowns by cutting out just the right expressions for NYE! Her mix of colors is spot on, and these are easy enough for your guests to even create their own.

4. NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION BRACELETS on Tried and True. Vanessa has crafted something I never imagined in these focus word bracelets. Using the same idea as shrinky dinks, you can make your own bracelets to wear or hang on your mirror to remember and to choose to focus on all of the right things for the new year.

5. NEW YEAR'S EVEN PARTY HORNS on DomestiKated Life. Back again with Kate for some fun party horns. Add your own expression to these horns for a truly unique engagement.

6. DIY ROARING '20s NYE PARTY by Andrea for Cricut Design Space Star. I love the 20's flair that Andrea created in her banner. Aren't metallics perfect for the sparkle of New Year's Eve? Check out all of the accessories she created that would coordinate perfectly for your party.


We are busy talking about our favorite moments of 2014 in our home. Every year we make a family sheet of the bests of the ending year. It's a fun way to remember the big and small events that might have been forgotten and record it for year to come. We're also planning for 2015 and thinking about what we want to stop and what we want to start. Sometimes our lives can be just that simple if we take the time to reflect. I created this great printable for Modern Parents Messy Kids that you can print free and use with your family to talk about memories and goals.

Housewarming Logo.jpg

A big thank you to all of our fabulous bloggers!! I'm hosting a family NYE party at our house, and I'm grateful for all of these fabulous ideas. What do you have planned for these last days of 2014?

xoxo, MJ

New Year's Eve with the girls

This post is sponsored by Red Stamp. I was compensated for my participation in this post, and these opinions are all mine.

If Thanksgiving is for family, and Christmas is for children, then we adults get New Year's Eve, right? NYE has been one of my favorite holidays since I was old enough to keep my eyes open until midnight and watch the ball drop. The celebration of a year accomplished teamed up with the hope of all that is to come - pop open the champagne!

Even better yet, pour on the Lemon Sorbet Champagne Float. My weeknight party girls, headed up by the best hostess, Alexandra Hedin, are linking up with Red Stamp (did you know they have a brilliant new line of party goods?) to throw a party with crowns, flags, balloons, and a great cocktail.

Meet the party team: Ali of Alexandra Hedin, Amy of This Heart of Mine, Melissa of Lulu the Baker, and Jen of Classic Play, along with me!

The laughs we would have if this crew could get together more than just virtually! We have babies and businesses to toast. And foibles and mishaps to bid bon voyage.

I host a New Year's Eve party in our home for a few families. And, though the games and food are aimed at the younger set, I love the idea of making a signature drink to show a little love to the grown ups! And I think the Fizz flags from Red Stamp are the perfect touch of whimsy.

Ali will be sharing this cute recipe card tomorrow, and you can also find them on Red Stamp's blog!

And now through December 10, we're offering our readers 20% off at when you use promo code CHEERSTO2015!

That means we don't have to be left in the dust from Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals we thought had past! Get some really cute additions for your New Year's bash - or anything you want to celebrate!

Cheers to you, friends. And here's to a spectacular 2015.

xoxo, MJ



Halloween Games and Crafts

'Tis the season for ghoulish delights and ghastly scares. But sometimes children (and adults) enjoy the light-hearted festivties rather than the fear-inducing elements of Halloween. We celebrated my 5-year old son's birthday, and I put together a few hours of crafts and games that are easy and sure to delight! The beauty of all of these is that they are simple, use mostly what you have around the house, and your kids can even help to create them.


A twist on a classic - Halloween Bingo! Try using candy corn to mark off the Halloween objects and characters. Even the children that don't shout Bingo when with their extra treats on the board! My favorite Halloween printable board is from The Artsy Fartsy Mama. It has beautiful illustrations, and it's easy enough for our 5 and under crowd to understand!

How about a retake on the classic ring toss? Sometimes Creative had the best idea to use witch's hats! Since this was an afternoon celebration, the room was dark enough to show off our glowstick rings that made the tossing even more fun (and not dangerous for any by-standers). This would be really fun using glow in the dark (sorry, we are all about it these days) paint or tape on the hats, too, and playing it as a night-time game with the older set!

The easiest jack o'lantern treat bags can be made with an orange sack, a hole punch, some black paper, and a green pipe cleaner for the curly stem. We stuffed ours with candy, Halloween stickers, and a special ghostly flashlight! I used the same face shapes for all of the bags so it was a quick assembly line of glue to get them all in order.


An easy craft for little hands to master? Bat sitters. These are construction paper, paint, pipe cleaners, and a tp tube. Buggy and Buddy made these adorable hanging bats, and we used the same process! To make the creation go easier for the children, I painted the tubes beforehand. I also glued on the eyes and cut out the wings. So, it was their job to attach the wings, and thread through the bat legs for a final winged character.

Talk about using items found around your house... how about a little pumpkin and ghost bowling with toilet paper? I saw these all over Pinterest and had to give it a try. Helpful hint here: have a real pumpkin with some weight to it to toss at the ghosts because that solid three-wide stack of toilet paper is a pretty solid force to knock down. We changed the game to a throw rather than a bowl so we could watch the the tower come down.


Hanging ghosts and jack o'lantern clementines and cuties are fun to have around (party or not). I've found myself drawing on our oranges even days after the party as a fun way to add the joy of the Halloween to the kids' lunches. In fact, I even got this from my 5-year old:

"Mommy, are you really going to draw on everything?"

"Yes. Yes, I am."


And why should the fun stop when the party ends? We needed some fun thank you cards after the celebration, and I thought these black cats from Parents Magazine were so clever. We made one the way the free printable (!) shows you and the other, we turned its head so that it could easily fit into an envelope. These are so fun to sit around on tables and shelves. If you run out of googly eyes (like we did) use foam stickers to make your cat have glowing eyes!


We loved having our friends over to create and play! It's a wonderful way to celebrate Halloween. You can put all this together for a playdate this weekend!

Our costumes are ready. We have a ninja turtle, a Harry Potter character, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and lucky me is Glenda the good witch this year. How will you be celebrating Halloween this year?

xoxo, MJ

Ali's Birthday Extravaganza: the place cards

We partnered with Tiny Prints to bring you these projects. We were compensated for this post, but all ideas and opinions are our own.

**Ths post is meant to reflect a celebration of life. We honor and remember all those who lost their lives in 9/11. We will never forget.


Kids aren't the only ones who deserve incredible birthday parties. All this week, my Endless Summer Project gals - Alexandra HedinAmy of This Heart of MineJennifer of Classic Play, and Melissa of Lulu the Baker, and I have been throwing a glam-tastic party for Ali! She is the weeknight party girl so we had to go big. I mean, this girl is a big deal. Check out her TV spot, highlighting some of the details from the party.

We were inspired by a pink and gold party invitation from Tiny Prints to set the stage for a night of great music, delicious appetizers, cool decor, a cocktail to write home about, and, yes, you need to tune in tomorrow for the amazing cake.

I wanted to create some unique placecards to celebrate Ali. Building off her cherry skewers, these name kabobs make fantastic bling for just about any party.


These place cards are super easy to make, and you can pull them together while the crostini is in the oven and the cake is cooling.


When the party involves a sequined tablecloth, you have to go over the top. So, for the creating, you'll need:

  • Skewers (like the wooden ones you use for grilling)
  • Wooden beads of various sizes
  • Gold leaf paint 
  • Hot glue gun
  • Gold scrapbook paper or small letters

Taking wooden beads from uncoated to gold leafed is more than kind of amazing. Instant sparkle. First paint your beads. I painted mine on the skewers so that I could easily cover all sides.

Next, the letters. I cut mine using a die cutting machine, but store bought letters work just as well! Cut out a thin strip of the paper, fold it in half lengthwise. This is the paper on which the letters will be mounted.

Glue it on to the center of the skewer. Then glue the very bottom of the letters to that piece. The scrapbook paper is heavy enough to allow the letters to stand on their own.


Add beads to either side, on the skewer. With end beads, squirt a small dab of hot glue into the center, to keep the row of beads secure.

These name skewers look great on top of chargers or cocktails! Or as an introduction to dessert like Ali has them. Also, I might make one for my desk at work. Just because.


And Amy is bringing the cake. It's pretty spectacular - champagne cake!


Happy birthday, dear Ali. Happy birthday to you!

xoxo, MJ

A Backyard Circus Party: Endless Summer Projects

Minted is the premier marketplace for independent design and art. They sell the best work of indie designers and artists as fine stationery, art, and party decor. Their newly-launched collection of birthday party invitations and party decor suites would be perfect for summer birthdays, fitting every theme from movie nights to pool parties!

Today's Endless Summer Project is an incredible array of circus themed goodies topped off with a fabulous DIY from Jen at Classic Play. We're making stilts this week, and I am giddy about the final product! I have no idea how to walk on stilts, but I think it would be a ton of fun to try it out with our kiddos.

Have you ever been to or thrown a circus party? I haven't yet, but I want to! Especially after seeing all of the possibilities. I spent some time looking at invitation ideas for our party over at Minted, and I was amazed by the many options and awesome designs.

Minted offers a platform for independent artists and designers to showcase their work. If you find a design that you love, you can easily personalize and adapt it to the theme that you want. So, if you see a birth announcement that is just what you need for a summer party, you can easily make those changes right on screen.

Check out just some of the celebratory invites and cards over at Minted:

You can find all of these and more under the circus search of Minted. The top two are my favorites, and I can imagine my guests getting excited after receiving one of these!

The circus theme is such a fun one that we've expanded it across all of the blogs in Endless Summer Projects. Click around to see some amazing creations from these ladies!

  • On Lulu the Baker today, find a round up of circus treats that would make the ideal menu for your circus party.
  • This Heart of Mine features delightful circus party decor.
  • Alexandra has some super cute costumes that you can DIY to bring the circus to life!

Have fun making your stilts! We're living the high life this year.

Join in next Wednesday for a watery-good post in the Endless Summer Projects series.

xoxo, MJ







Summer Banner Printable: Endless Summer Projects

I can hardly believe it! It's that time of year again?! Bring on the Endless Summer Projects! Jen, Alexandra, Melissa, Amy, and I have been working for months to put together a fun, creative collection of projects. Well, it wasn't all work...there was a fair amount of laughter, sharing, and good old-fashioned sarcasm thrown around to get us to today.

Over these next 15 Wednesdays, stretching us long into August, we'll be sharing some fabulous ways to spend time with your children this summer and soak up all the sun-kissed joy of summer!

Most of us are not yet into the official summer schedule. We have 19 days left of school (but who's counting, right?), and I'm always looking for memorable ways to celebrate the close of another year. Our typical tradition includes stopping by teacher's classrooms to thank them for a good year and enjoying a lunch out all together, since the last day is typically a half day.

Jen of Classic Play has a great printable banner ready for all of us to celebrate! Imagine the joy of your children breaking through the streamers as they run out for the bus or into the car.

Click on over to Classic Play to get the downloadable pdf and get it ready for your end-of-the-year party. I want to put one on our minivan and maybe one on their bedroom doorframe the morning of the last day.

What are your year-end traditions?

xoxo, MJ

P.S. I'm hosting next Wednesday's project, thanks to our friends at Wayfair. Grab a large canvas and some washi tape...


Host a You Paint Party

Birthday parties!! They have become bigger and pricier since my sweet days of paper crowns and kids meals at Burger King. My daughter, M, and I were dreaming up what would fit her personality and passion for a 9-year old sleepover party with friends. Locally we've had all sorts of group painting stores and party places open up. These are fabulous for unique get togethers, and they are also a little more than we could afford so we decided -- Let's do our own You Paint Party.


It began with the 2 inch canvases that M painted for invitations. She embraced the abstract and each one became its own masterpiece. We glued event details to the back and mailed them out.


M also loves donuts so we decided that the girls would paint canvases of sprinkled donuts on them. We kept our eyes open for great sales on canvases, and we were able to grab a bundle from Michael's for a steal. We chose 12" squares to accommodate our studio space (also known as our kitchen) as well as ease in transporting after the party.

To convert our home into a studio, we prepped the kitchen. Covering the table with freezer paper and removing the chairs was the first step. Creating make-shift easels from canvases propped on coffee mugs worked out perfectly!


Each painter received a thin and thick brush as well as a mini palette of paints. We created our palettes from cardboard sheets, and each artists had her own array to choose from.


To make our guests of every skill and comfort level feel ready to dive into the project, we decided to offer some easy guidelines. Paper plates made a handy outline for the outer edge, and the bottom of paper cups become our stencil for the donut hole.


We began with the background color(s) first to set the stage, and already personality came through!


We then moved onto glaze followed by the cake of the donut. The best part was all the giggling and compliments they lavished on one another. Such a supportive group of painters!


The form of a donut is such a beautifully simple one that painters from all backgrounds can own their own sense of style to it! I was amazed at how many variations we had on the same theme, and I loved that no one felt frustrated in trying to make their painting look too realistic. There's something fantastical about donuts, no?

xoxo, MJ

Alexandra of Alexandra Hedin: 12 Blogger Christmas
AHhhhh! Only one more day of Blogger Christmas left!! Trust me, you'll be glad you stayed until the end. Today's feature is Alexandra from Alexandra Hedin. Alexandra whips up parties with drinks, treats, and sweet decor. She also lives in an incredible firehouse and has three totally adorable children.


If 2014 is going to include some celebrations (big or small), make sure you take a look at Alexandra's goodness.
I left my corporate job when I had a baby in 2008 and needed something to do every day – that wasn't related to the baby. I started a blog towards the end of that year just to keep myself entertained.  It was positively dreadful. I started taking the blog seriously when I realized someone, other than my mother, was reading it regularly. I love sharing information – seeing things that I have created impact the lives of others is what keeps me blogging. Even if it's just inspiring another mother to pour herself a cocktail.  
I believe that colorful people are the most fun people and I believe that everyone should be fun.  On my blog we have fun, we are fun, we love fun.  I hope to inspire readers with recipes, crafts and inspiration that are crazy easy.  It must be easy or no one would do it.  And if no one had fun, life would be tragic.  

My favorite posts are the ones that have inspired other people {and that have gone viral}



My wish for the blog is always the same :: that I will inspire people to do something fun. Whether it's a picnic for dinner with your kids – or a cocktail to toast the weekend.  

Have fun.  Be fun.
Alexandra's magic has been seen recently in Better Homes and Gardens and Land of Nod catalogs. She's planning an extravagant mini-party at Alt Summit, and I can't wait to be a party goer!! Alexandra has some creative adventures up her sleeve for 2014 so tune in for the latest inspiration.


On the eleventh day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Alexandra Hedin.


On the tenth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Raincoast Creative Salon.


On the ninth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Frock Files.

On the eighth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design Improvised.

On the seventh day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Bring Joy.

On the sixth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Minnow + Co.

On the fifth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt.

On the fourth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design + Life + Kids.

On the third day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design Stitch Go.

On the second day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Trouvé Magazine.

And Lulu the Baker !

P.S. Tomorrow's final blogger is the coolest!! Can't wait to reveal this multi-talented woman!!! I'm not even giving hints on this one.


P.P.S. #30 Sketch Day 4 - Words that my independent grandmother would say in the last decade of her life. I am just beginning to understand their meaning!


Throwing a Birthday Party for your family

**Before we get into the meat of this idea, let me first say that I am whole heartedly for two adults celebrating the anniversary of their wedding - on their own, sans kids. In fact, I think it's a necessary and beautiful part of honoring your marriage and reflecting on the past and dreaming of what is to come.

Let's just say you ADD another party to the anniversary celebrations.

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, a wise friend and mom of four talked about her wedding anniversary as the birthday of their family. I immediately warmed to the notion that the larger, rambunctious and happy family that we have today is a result of two people falling in love and making a lasting commitment to honor one another in good times and in bad.

I want my children to understand (and experience) the beauty that is trust, compassion, and loyalty. Therefore, an element of our wedding anniversary celebrations include a happy birthday to our family!! This year it included a fancy dinner out for all five of us, and a trip to see Smurfs 2 alongside some charmed conversation about dating, friendship, and (oh, yuck) Mommy and Daddy's love.

If you're ready to add another party to your anniversary happiness, here are five great ideas on how to honor your families beginnings:

How do you revel in the joy of family? I'm always looking for ideas!

xoxo, MJ 


Endless Summer Projects: Spray Tablecloth

Just two more weeks left in our amazing summer series of Endless Summer Projects! We have had so much fun getting our hands dirty and getting crafty over these summer weeks. My kiddos start back Aug. 22 so we still have more days to enjoy before the fall routine hits.

I'll be posting some great end of summer activities and beginning of school ideas for you and yours so stay tuned!!

In the meantime head over to Alexandra's site to see her fabulous new tablecloth, fit for any kiddo celebration.

Have any projects you want to share? Add the hashtag #endlesssummerprojects to any of your tweets, instagrams, or FB posts.

xoxo, MJ

Pars Caeli takes on AltNYC - the people

Indulge me, please, friends. I have stories to tell from my first ever trip to New York City and AltNYC!! Amidst these recollections are some gems of wisdom from giants in the blogging industry, lovely images from the one and only Justin Hackworth (thanks Atly for sponsoring these amazing photos), and the buds of a few really great ideas that will be coming your way in the next few months.

To sum up my experience, this. Yes, this is how huge my grin was for the vast majority of my journey. Meeting friends that I've been corresponding with for months and jumping on new opportunities. Thanks to Paige for capturing the essense of me in NYC, and thanks to Emily for those incredible earrings.

From the numerous emails back and forth before purchasing tickets down to the final sentimental hugs goodbye, Paige and Emily made AltNYC an easy-breezy, glamourous, and downright hilarious trip for me, and I'm so glad we decided to triple up in our queen suite and make a glamping escapade out of the whole thing. See below: beautiful roommates with attitude

In addition to saving my business card future and giving me an insiders look at Brooklyn (these stories still to come), these two had my back and were the extra boost that I needed to power through that gasping feeling I woke up with the morning of AltNYC - AKA I'm going to Martha's offices this morning, ack!

For those of you not in the know on Alt, Altitude Summit was started by Gabrielle Blair and her sister Sarah a handful of years ago. Originally the conference was offered as a multiple-day event in Salt Lake City. Now, it's tranformed into events in NYC and San Francisco as well as an entirely digital conference focused on design, social media, and the best of creative content.

Gabrielle's blog, Design Mom, was the very first blog I followed, and one of the few definitive things I wanted to accomplish during my time at Alt was to meet Gabrielle.

During a break on Thursday, when poor Gabby was trying to catch up on a few emails, I totally interrupted her, showed off my lack of shame, and thanked her for the years of inspiration. I am a total believer that you have to support the people and organizations that you love, and it was on my bucket list to give my girl a hug, in real life.


And yes, she is that classy in real life, too.

Before AltNYC I began collecting all the blog and blogger info I could get my mouse on to tag it on a Pinterest board. Check out all the amazingness that went along with me to AltNYC over here on Pinterest. Turned out that Joy's tip on looking like my profile picture for the conference was a hugely helpful one!! Gals from all over were able to identify my bun and stripes, and I was greeted with so, so many warm, "Oh, you're MJ.."s.

I met dozens and dozens of incredible, creative, passionate bloggers (who also design, write, mother, photograph, style, travel, and bake), and I was completely inspired by the buzz of energy that filled the gigantic room. The extrovert in me was so charged I couldn't fall asleep til 3 AM following the conversations with ladies like this (all photos by Justin Hackworth; he's the man):

Okay, Martha and I didn't actually have a conversation, but she did stop by, and I was a bit overwhelmed!

Laicie of 1000 Threads (class and warmth)

Leslie Fandrich and Jen of Classic Play (cool, confident kids)

The ladies of ObsessSesh (hilarious and down to earth)

Amy and Alexandra and Molly and Mariah

As well as dozens of other gals for whom I don't have photos!!

And these gals on the rooftop of Martha's HQs

Emily, Paige, Theresa, and Ellen

All of these beauties taught me a little something different, and if I could, I'd wade in the diversity and freshness we all brought to the table. Spunk, passion, intelligence, and an incredible eye for design.

That's what I found in the people of AltNYC.

Tomorrow, my friends, I have the business cards that will delight you, and I'll tell you the tale of the cards that almost weren't. Stay tuned on Thursday to learn great ideas that you can apply to your life (blogger or not) from AltNYC.

Kisses to all,


PS. If you want to see even more of the experience from my view, head over to Instagram and follow #parscaeliatAltNYC to see start to finish.

PPS. Thanks again to Justin for these gorgeous photographs!!

Hunger Games Bookclub Fun

Last night I had the pleasure of hosting my super smart and always entertaining book club ladies. A strong-minded group of eight, we can make any book into interesting, extended controversy and conversation.

I had made a strong push that our May book should be Hunger Games. I, unlike the rest of the civilized world, had not yet read the book, but I knew that I could add some spunk to the menu and decor for our evening. I love being able to throw myself into hosting, and thinking about each person in attendance, and how I might surprise them with a little extra goodness.

The good thing about being way behind the times is that there are now oodles of resources out in libraries and interwebs, and I'm excited to show you what made its way to the final round.

Most helpful spots to visit:
Fictional Food: a full list of every (there are a ton!) food mentioned in the book with many, many recipes attached
DaFont: always a source of awesomeness at beautiful prices (!) and for this night a key Hunger Games font. Downloaded, check.
Pinterest: search for boards with Hunger Games in the title and you'll find memes, quotes, and recipes galore.

In the story, early on, Katniss receives the ointment she needs to heal her wounds in a silver pouch from the sponsors. I decided we definitely needed some silver pouches. It was so much fun to capture memorable quotes and wrap them up in a silver (foil) bundle, sealed off with an arrow (also known as a doodled-upon bamboo skewer).

One quote for each silver bundle, one bundle for each of us. The recipient of the "May the odds be ever in your favor" was the winner.
I wrapped each quote in aluminum foil, hole punched the top, and then speared each with one of Katniss's arrows.
Sign accompanying: The sponsors have found you worth and sent you this.

Our eats and treats:
1. Prim’s wrapped goat cheese: goat cheese wrapped in our very own basil leaves
2. Peeta's saved bread: purchased cranberry bread with homemade brown sugar and cinnamon butter (mmmm)
3. Mr. Mellark's cookies: recipe here with some of our own District 12 sparkle sprinkles.

4. Fresh strawberries - just as Katniss and her family had eaten the night of the reaping.
5. "Cheese that melts on your tongue served with sweet blue grapes": baked brie with cranberries and gigantic purple (as close as we get) grapes
6. Mint tea (and mint/blackberry refreshing!) just as Katniss recalls enjoying with her family after meals.
7. Nightlock berries: raspberries filled with chocolate chips (a super easy, yummy idea from a friend of mine). The opposite of poison.
7. Wine - nothing to do with the book, but what's a bookclub and great friends without wine?

We rate our book 0-4 starts (4 stars is tops), and we had a great range of reviews and philosophical discussion.

I started out as a 3 for the book, and since we re-rate at the end of the discussions, I found myself eeking up to a 3.5.

Undoubtedly a fun one to prepare and share with my pals.

Have you read Hunger Games or seen the movie? What did you think? I'm intrigued to see how the movie will compare to the film I created in my head.

If you're hosting a party or just a Hunger Games uber fan, drop a comment, and I'll happily send off to you all of our sponsor's quotes in PDF.

Thanks for stopping over, friends!! You should totally try those raspberries stuffed with chocolate chips, simple goodness!


PS. We'll be tagging along here and there with Hello Moxie for a summer read of The Happiness Project. Hope you'll be inspired to more happy with us. :)