simple patriotic favor idea + free printables

These mini gumball machines are perfect favors for the July 4th holiday! It’s not always necessary to give favors, especially at low-key family gatherings like most of us will host this weekend, but if you can squeeze it into the budget, it sure can be fun

And what’s better, they can be placecards when dressed up with our FREE printables. We designed placecards/favor tags, straw slips and napkin rings for our contributing article with Mom magazine. Download your templates now. And as always, I hope you’re inspired!

Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter.

you may also like:

pool party invitation & decor

We shot our new Splash Bash collection last Tuesday at a local splash pad (free water park with huge sprinklers, water guns and bucket water falls). We had eight models ranging in age from 4 to 12 (because let’s face it, there is no age limit on water fun), over 100 water balloons, lots of snacks, and some creative DIY ideas. All of which I can’t wait to share in a week or so.

And the fabulous thing about this collection is that it doesn’t have to be a birthday party to celebrate summer. We designed printables perfect for a picnic or a playdate. And what’s more, with indoor water park destinations like  Great Wolf Lodge (indoor water park list by state), it doesn’t even have to be summer outside!

Stay tuned for tons of details, but until then, visit the shoppe for the invitation and thank you notes to start your planning!

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter

you may also like:

DIY! 4th of July party ideas

I ran across Lisa Storms blog this morning and just fell in love with these simply and clever DIY party ideas for the 4th of July! You already know I love crepe so the little ruffle vase is just too cute, but it’s probably the “let freedom ring” that got me. And she did all this with Fiskars paper punches and a little creativity.  Hop over to Lisa’s blog to learn more!

By the way, yesterday’s shoot went extremely well. Just imagine: eight little models + bright colors + water & sun + a dash of sugar = the perfect summer afternoon. I plan to share the new collection invitation and thank you tomorrow with pictures and DIY details from the shoot coming soon.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter.

you may also like:

happy birthday Jenna!

I mentioned on twitter and facebook last Friday that my boys were hosting a mini-luau playdate for their friends. That’s right!  They worked on the decorations, “cleaned” the windows and put the cushions out on the deck. (They’re only six and four so it was really sweet to see them care so much about the appearance of things before their little friends arrived.) I think everyone had a ton of fun. I know my two did! 

But what I didn’t mention was that it was also their friend’s birthday. My boys picked out the gift, a Disney’s Rapunzel baby doll, and wrapped it all by themselves. She loved it! 

Now I’m off for a new collection photo shoot with Angie Arthur Photography. Have a wonderful Tuesday and as always, I hope you’re inspired to do something fun today!

Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. 

you may also like:

dark chocolate ice cream = relaxation

With a fabulous Father’s Day weekend behind me and a busy, and maybe slightly hectic, week in front of me (new collection shoot tomorrow and my son’s fifth birthday party this weekend), I thought I would start the week off with a shot of my very favorite cold dessert. There is nothing like a heaping serving of this… dark chocolate ice cream… to put a huge “to do” list into perspective.

Hop over to Pick Yin for all the details and a delightful story on how these beautiful pics came to be!

Happy Monday everyone and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. 

you may also like:

father’s day fun!


With daddy’s day (that’s what my boys call it)  this weekend we’re looking for fun ideas to say “I LOVE YOU DAD!” and these are just a few of the fun and inspiring ideas that I found around the web.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

you may also like:

art party placecard cookies, creative juice & more


I love the idea of sitting down to a party with a little treat already at arms length, because let’s face it, young or old, it’s difficult to be so close to so many treats and wait. {wink} So for our recent art party collection I worked with my cookie partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage to create these beautiful frame placecard cookies , the same frames from the printable collection printed on sugar paper and personalized.

For the mini easels, we picked them up at JoAnns Fabric and Craft Stores for less than a $1 and spray painted them white. The cookies fit perfectly and the kids were giddy.

To the right of the placesetting each guest had their own bottle of creative juice (part of our printable collection). A little something to get them going before working on their cupcake art for the gallery!

And I have to admit that I’m just in love with our new polka dot, stripes and check plates and napkins. The colors and patterns offer so many possibilities and work perfectly with our art party napkin rings.

For more art party ideas, read my other posts:

Photography by the fabulous Angie Arthur Photography! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. 

you may also like:

customer: Hayden is mad for science

I actually planned to show you more of our recent art party photo shoot today, until I received this fabulous mad scientist party from our customer, Cindy. She and the birthday boy, Hayden, planned this party together for almost a year. In her words, “Hayden loves science and wanted his friends to enjoy some fun science experiments.”

As those who stop in often know, my son Alex was my inspiration for our science collection (my many posts showing his party last fall) and it just thrills me to see Hayden and his friends having so much fun.

The kids received goggles and lab coats at the “Scientist Check-in Station,” then went on to go through a retinal scan performed by Hayden using a large glow stick and finally received a mini makeover (aka mad scientist hair) before entering the laboratory (aka the backyard). Hayden’s dad, Steve, was the head “Mad Scientist” and led all the experiments with his very own lab coat and name tag, Dr. so and so. {Love that!}

The kids got to perform several experiements. Isn’t the slime fabulous! Like me, Cindy picked up a ton of supplies from Steve Spangler Science.

And this one is a carbon dioxide bubbles experiment. In Cindy’s words “Carbon dioxide bubbles were made using a ‘special’ jar purchased from Steve Spangler Science. Steve had to use dry ice to make this experiment work. It was a big hit! The kids loved wearing the glove that made the carbon dioxide bubble not burst. The kids also did an experiment to identify the different density of liquids. They just loved seeing the magic of the colors separating!”

Here’s a shot of Hayden and his fellow scientists. Happy Birthday Hayden! And thank you Cindy for allowing us to share Hayden’s big day. You did a terrific job!

If you’d like to read more about Hayden’s birthday and see more pictures, hop over to Cindy’s family blog, Party of Five. As always, I hope you’re inspired!

Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter.

If you’ve invited guests with our invitations or styled your party with table decor or printable items from The Celebration Shoppe, we would love to see! Send a link or pictures to (By submitting information and/or images you are giving us the right to publish your events details with the appropriate credits.)

you may also like: