Last year I started a tradition of hosting a holiday crafting party for my friends in the month of December as a way of celebrating the year together, to me it is kind of like friendsgiving but allows for a later date. The holidays can also be a very stressful time so this event allows the ladies to come together and just have fun. I invite friends from all aspects and stages of life for a girl's day filled with food and crafting. This year we visited a new business, AR Workshop, in Worthington and we had an absolute blast. Here are the details...
The Venue & Craft
AR Workshop - Worthington is a locally owned franchise boutique DIY Studio that offers instructor led classes for home decor. They offer classes 7 days a week in their super cute studio space and also have a selection of local goods to buy in the front of the shop. The Worthington location is owned by sisters Jen & Stacy and they are the absolute greatest. It was super easy to book my private event and they kept in contact with me throughout the entire planning process to make sure everything would be perfect.
The crafts at AR Workshop are all home decor, ranging from wood signs to canvas pillowcases. The prices depend on what craft you choose, for my event guests had an option between a framed wood sign ($65.50) or a wood centerpiece box ($49.50-70.50). Once you pick your base there are ample options to choose from for your design. They have a design for pretty much everything and in the case that you cannot find one you like you can do a custom design for $100.
Everything is set when you arrive and they walk you through the entire process so don't worry if you feel you are lacking in artistic abilities. Each piece is created with a custom printed stencil so as long as you are able to follow instruction you can create a masterpiece (if you happen to mess up along the way they help you fix it!). I definitely cannot wait to go back to create another piece, I made a Christmas present for my aunt and uncle at this event so now I need something for my own apartment.
Their website it linked above if you want to schedule a class or private event!
The theme for my event was Muffins & Mimosas (thanks for the suggestion Jen & Stacy!). I have a few friends with special diets so my menus have become increasingly more creative. To account for the vegan diets, food allergies, and pregnancy I crafted a menu of vegan muffins, scones, mimosas, and sparkling juice. I took a few more shortcuts this time around because as mentioned before the holidays are a busy time and sometimes it's best to get some assistance with executing your vision.
Since this event is for the holidays I created a favor bag for each lady. The bags included popcorn, a candy cane, hand sanitizer, and a holiday card. While not a large gift, this was the perfect touch to show appreciation for attending my event. When hosting an event it is always important to remember that sometimes the smallest touches mean the most.
Birthdays are my favorite celebration, I don't know why but they just bring me so much joy. I recently had the pleasure of planning and hosting a friend's birthday bash which was born from a conversation over late night wine and pizza. Now I may not have taken the event seriously as we were just throwing around ideas but I did eventually learn that Rose and Rose' was real and it was happening. So from there the actual planning began because even though not a "milestone" year, every birthday celebration should be as amazing as possible. Check the slideshow for pictures of the set-up and read below for details. We did choose to reserve a table at a local restaurant for dinner instead of creating a meal for this event so we only had chips & salsa and boozy Fireball Red Velvet Cupcakes at our home base. If you are looking to do a small get together that still has some flair look no further than this post, this was the easiest event I have hosted to date but it still turned out very chic and perfect for a girl's night out/birthday celebration.
Continuing my year of firsts, 2017 is also the first time I've hosted a baby shower! One of my closest friends from undergrad is due in June and since I missed her wedding activities last year I could not also miss her baby shower. Veronica and I met on the campus of Miami University in Oxford, OH (Love and Honor!) and became friends after living in the same building on campus. Our college shenanigans behind us we are now fully into adulthood and with that comes the shift to marriage, babies, jobs, and other things that require serious adulting. I tried my best to stick to a budget for this shower so I will share a few tips on making decorations and other things I did to make this what I hope was the best shower ever!
Working with the mom-to-be we decided that a Sunday afternoon would be best for both of our schedules and we quickly picked a date in April, about a month prior to her due date. Interestingly enough, the date we landed on was also her birthday so I tucked that away in the back of my mind for use later in the planning process. Once a date had been set I began working on the details. I strongly suggest you create and write out a timeline when planning a baby shower or any other event to help keep yourself accountable and make sure you are able to get everything done in a timely manner. I ordered the invitations two months out, and mailed six weeks prior to the event date. My tips for selecting a RSVP by date are 1) if you are not using catering four days prior to the event or 2) if you are using catering 10 days prior to event. These timelines both allow for additional outreach to non-confirms to gather a final number before anything regarding food absolutely must be done. I decided to make all of the food for the brunch buffet because of the size of the group and location. If money is a big piece of the puzzle for your shower I definitely suggest finding a free venue (we used the mom-to-be's apartment complex clubhouse) and making the food or utilizing bulk ordering to go from a restaurant versus a full catering service. Game and activity selection for a shower are important options as you want guests to be entertained but not grossed out. I consulted with the mom-to-be on what games she wanted and any she was completely opposed to, nothing worse than an upset mama. My last tip before I get to the details is when picking a theme do not feel pressured to pick an actual, tangible theme (i.e., baby animals, princess party, mustaches & bowties, etc.), we went more with an idea of how we wanted the shower to feel. The flexibility in this allows you to create as you feel appropriate without having to be stuck to something, you can always add in an animal or other items as you please. We described this theme as watercolors and succulents. The primary palette was cream, pink, coral, gold, and green. Details for all aspects of the shower (along with links to the sites where available) are below!
This weekend I hosted my first wreath making party! I invited my friends over for an afternoon of brunch, mimosas, & crafting and we were not disappointed. Details for the afternoon are included below. Feel free to steal any of my hosting ideas to throw your own event! Leave any questions in the comments below.
Our wreath making was led by Kate of Kate's Kustom Wreaths. Kate is available for private parties and also hosts public events that you can join to make one of her creations. If crafting just isn't your thing she also has options to buy one of her pre-made wreaths.
Hosting a private party with Kate is very easy! She is super responsive to inquires and works with you very quickly on getting the details confirmed. CAUTION: she does tend to book up quickly so I suggest if you want to do a party you contact her as soon as you have a date to get on her calendar. Pricing is $35/person (minimum of 9 guests including the host) and to save your date you will need to pay a $50 deposit (refunded after completion of the party). Kate brings ALL of the supplies and provides hands on support as you and your guests make your masterpieces. Below are pictures of some of the wreaths we made at my party and include examples of all (4) different holiday types you can choose from, I think the coolest part was that everyone was not required to make the same type of wreath which allows for a range of artistic expression.
The menu for the day was:
While everything was delicious (except the part of the blueberry cake that I burned and no one told me about) the hands down favorite of the day was the french toast, you can find the recipe HERE. My most important entertaining tip is to select your menu in advance and prep as many things as you can the night before. I am also a fan of "convenience shortcuts" which in this case was me buying a pre-cut fruit medley.
The featured drink of the afternoon was a Create Your Own Mimosa Bar. My guests had the choice of: