Summer Nights by the Fire

Sitting by the campfire is, hands down, one of my favorite things to do.  So it shouldn’t be a surprise that when I moved to a home with a backyard, one of the first orders of business was a gardener and a fire pit.

Summer Nights by FireI’m sitting by it as I type this post.  Lol.  That’s right.  Regardless of what you’ve heard, crackling wood is just as perfect on a summer night (or rainy day as is the current situation) as it is on a cool fall night.

And it’s even better when shared with loved ones.  When you need an easy way to keep the party going past twilight, take your circle of friends into the yard for cocktails, conversation, and a cracking fire!

A portable fire bowl brings instant ambiance to outdoor parties – I love my Hampton Bay fire pit which was a permanent loan from my parents house but I recently spotted it at Home Depot for $89.00.  As host or hostess, here’s how to play it safe:

  1. FirePit Sign2Check local laws. Contact your community fire department to find out what types of fires, if any, are allowed. Some cities require permits for fire features. Others burn all open burning.
  2. Select a safe site.  Codes vary, but the general recommendation is to locate a fire feature at least 10 feet from structures and trees. Set fire bowls on a nonflammable surface, such as concrete, stone, or gravel.
  3. Ignite it right.  Burn only dry wood and kindling that’s no more than three-fourths the bowl’s diameter.  Fatwood is a good fire starter.  Don’t use lighter fluid or gas and cover with a domed screen to keep the sparks in (fyi, the Hampton Bay fire pit I mentioned earlier comes with a dome).
  4. Snuff it out.  Campfire Rules 101 state you NEVER leave a fire unattended.  Let the fire ebb slowly, then drizzle water on embers until they’re no longer smoldering.  Keep a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.

For other camping/campfire recipes, games, and entertainment ideas, check out our Pinterest board A-Camping We Will Go!

Here’s to warm summer nights with family and friends!

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Halloween Pinspiration

halloween

Happy Halloween!!  Enjoy a time out from the sweets and trick or treaters with a little pinspiration from SociaBFly’s Halloween Pinterest Board.

And since we don’t have any candy to give away today, we are throwing in a free printable for a fun and easy halloween-photo-scavenger-hunt.

 

9 Fun Cake Alternatives

Chocolate Chip Cookie and Marscapone

Included in my list of on-going projects is ‘cleaning up’ my Pinterest boards which is really just an exercise of removing duplicate pictures and appropriately categorizing “Likes”.  A word to the wise…do it from the outset because backtracking while constantly adding new pins can become daunting.

Anywho, in a related story – I recently signed up for Pinclout and it’s very useful in providing statistics based on your Pinterest activity.  One of those stats is a list of your top 10 popular boards based on likes and repins.

Included in my top 3 was one of my personal favorites – Elegant Cakes.  The board is really a collage of artistically tempting cakes for weddings and special events and if you have any sort of  sweet tooth you will not be able to view it without your mouth absolutely watering.

If you need inspiration for your wedding cake, the Elegant Cakes board is a good start.  And if you were looking for alternatives to traditional tiered yellow cake with elaborately decorated fondant icing, you may be in the market for one of the alternatives below.

Layered French Crepe Cake

Double Chocolate & Raspberry Pavlova

Lemon cookie and mascarpone cream cake

Popcorn cake

Wood Wedding Cake

Cocoa Candy Candy Marshmellows

Etsy Find: Personalized Bridal Hanger

I haven’t shared any Etsy goodies lately but in a recent Pinterest sweep, I discovered this little treat.  It’s a personalized wedding dress hanger by Etsy artisan, DelfinasCreations.

At only $15.00, it makes for a perfect bridal shower gift and is the perfect wedding day accessory on which the bride can elegantly drape her wedding gown. This particular design would make the perfect “something blue”.

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Anatomy of a Party: Mili Mouse’s 5th Birthday – The Venue

World, I would like to proudly introduce you to my amazingly witty god daughter, Princess Amiliya. She’s a Jackie-of-all-trades, balancing a rigorous educational schedule with the exploration of some of her favorite pastimes, such as singing and dancing.  She keeps the other kids in the neighborhood in line, gives better relationship advice than most adults I know, and her fashion sense is impeccable.  Amiliya is, by all accounts, amazing!  And on September 24th, this little ball of energy will be turning 5.  Yep, you guess it…we’re having a party!!

After much deliberation, we decided that for her 5th birthday, Mili will be trading in her crown and wand for a shiny pink sheriff’s badge and boots as the theme for this party is ‘The Wild, Wild, West’.  Now, I’m not going to unveil all of the party details right now but I did want to give you a sneak peek into the venue.

Linvilla Orchards (Media, PA) quickly emerged as the fan favorite for the party location.   It is a 300-acre farm dedicated to agriculture, entertainment and education. They are open year-round and grow various crops of fresh fruits and vegetables for picking and purchase, including apples, nectarines, apricots,  peaches, pears, plums, grapes, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pumpkins, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, straw and Christmas trees.

The farm also features white tailed deer, sheep, goats, emus and rabbits plus a large collection of chickens, geese, pheasants, quail, doves, ducks, peacocks and guineas.

They have several affordable birthday packages but every party is 2.5 hours and starts with a hayride through the fields and orchards.  The following is also included in the standard price of each package:

  • Entrance into Playland
  • Coloring books
  • Corn to feed the animals
  • Tables in the picnic grove and
  • A party balloon
  • A complimentary hayride ticket for a future visit for the birthday child
  • Freshly baked pizza
  • Lemonade or apple cider
  • A specially decorated sheet cake (your choice of vanilla or chocolate) with a farm theme
  • Birthday farm theme paper goods (party hats, cups, plates, forks, napkins, tablecloths and candles)
Stay tuned as I will continue to unveil the details of the most anticipated 1st grade party of the year.  Until then, enjoy browsing our Inspiration Board for Amiliya’s 5th Birthday on pinterest.