Monday, December 30, 2013

Surprise Soiree

One of my best friends was turning 18, and she told me that she never had a birthday party before! I love to plan parties and have people over, so this was completely shocking to me and I knew that it was time to throw her the party of her dreams. I sneakily contacted her boyfriend and mother to find out her favorite things as well as who she would want me to invite. So it was set! She thought she was coming to spend the night at my house - just the two of us - to celebrate her birthday which would be the next day. Little did she know that she would have a house full of lovely ladies waiting for her when she arrived! Her face was absolutely priceless and I think she may have even cried a little - her reaction made all of the planning and prep so worth it! 

Of course the minute that I knew I wanted to plan her surprise party, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. The birthday girl is much like me in that she loves anything sweet, pink, or sparkly! It was so simple to pick out stuff that she would love because it was practically just choosing the things which I would want! So without further adieu, here's all the fab little details from the evening along with some photos of the lovely ladies that filled my home for the night!

The Yummy Treats

The Guac
The guacamole was a total hit and it is so easy to make! "Squish" several avocados together to create the guacamole base - I used four to create approximately 3-4 cups of guac. Next, add "La Mexicana" mild salsa - I buy mine in the produce section of my local grocery store. You don't need a lot of the salsa, just add it to taste. About 1 part salsa for every 2 parts of avocado is about how much I usually add. Then mix up and enjoy! The chips are so yummy too! I used "Tostitos Natural Blue Corn Chips."

The Oreo Truffles
Yep, I'm totally obsessed with these and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I sent home all the extras with the birthday girl after the party because I knew I'd be too tempted to eat them if I didn't. I was so right...I'm totally craving them as I'm writing this post! You can find the recipe for the truffles here! A little tip - the recipe doesn't mention freezing the balls before dipping them in the chocolate but I found that extremely helpful because the balls were more firm and would stay on the skewer better for dipping. I also topped mine off with some cute little sprinkles!

The Greek Yogurt Covered Strawberries
I got my inspiration for this cute little snack here, but there isn't much of a recipe. The best way to go is to purchase fresh strawberries and greek yogurt - I chose "Cabot Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt." Next, prep your strawberries by removing the stems and cutting them in half. Cover a cookie sheet in wax paper. Then use a skewer to dip the strawberries in the yogurt and lay them on the cookie sheet - flat side down. Then freeze until firm! I sprinkled some colored sugar on them and I think that was the perfect extra touch.

The Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade
This recipe was FAB - find it here! I served it in our crystal champagne glasses but added little bows to the stems for an extra girly touch. 

Mini Maple & Applesauce Donuts with Maple Glaze
I recently grabbed the Baby Cakes Mini Donut Maker for a steal of only $7 at Bed Bath & Beyond's after Christmas sale, and these were made using the donut maker & it's recipe guide. I would highly recommend this adorable and super easy appliance! Even at full price it's only $20 - get yours here. The donuts were our yummy breakfast for the morning along with fresh fruit salad.

The Birthday Cake
I of course had to get a cake from my all-time favorite place, our local grocery store Publix. I've gotten cakes done at professional bakeries for birthdays in the past, but I still haven't found anywhere that beats Publix! The birthday girl's cake was white cake with vanilla buttercream - it was so adorable.

The Festivities

Thanks Pinterest for the inspiration for this one! I filled balloons with little slips of paper which had an activity that corresponded to the hour written on the balloon. Every hour or half hour the birthday girl had to pop a balloon and see what was written on the note to find out what we'd be doing next. Activities ranged from watching her favorite movie (Sweet Home Alabama), to playing games and opening gifts. The two games that everyone seemed to love most were the human knot and sock wrestling. "Sock wrestling" is explained here - it's idea #8, and "the human knot" is explained here. We had activities leading up until midnight when the birthday girl turned 18! 

The Decor

Here's the birthday girl!

The Labels
I obsessed over the adorable little scalloped labels that were on all of the food. I printed out scalloped tags from here and then just glued (or taped) on the pink circles which were easily made on Microsoft Word. You could also just write directly onto the tags! Then I taped the tags onto wooden skewers for the food and tied it onto the punch bowl with a ribbon - and voila! The girls loved the little detail of the tags and I also loved that no one had to ask me "what is this?" - because they already knew! Such a simple but great addition, I think I'm going to be making these for more parties in the future.

The Birthday Banner
I printed off the polka dot triangle-shaped pieces of the banner from here - I just had to enlarge it in microsoft word so it wasn't mini anymore. Then I printed and cut out the letters from Microsoft Word and just glued/taped them on. I used hemp string to attach the pieces to. It really turned out so great!

The Color Scheme
I was going for pink, gold, white, and silver - so my mother's silver and crystal china really came in handy for this! I think the little details of pink throughout the party really pulled together the mix-matched serving trays to make it look great. Also, the birthday girl's favorite flower is sunflowers so I picked some up at the local green market the day of the party.

We all had so much fun and it was really the best time! The birthday girl was beyond surprised and I think she felt super special. That's all for now - I hope this will inspire y'all to throw a pink party sometime soon!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Joy In Simplicity

3 days until Christmas... I repeat, 3 days until Christmas!
I am so excited, I just love the holidays and everything about them! I especially love being on Christmas break though. With no school, I have time to focus on the things that I love! I recently decided to spruce up the top of this mini bookshelf in my bedroom, and knew that gold was the way to go!

I started out by purchasing the frame from TJ Maxx, it was only $7! Then, I began to consider what I wanted to put in it. I immediately thought of this great quote by Coco Chanel! So I created the graphic on the iPhone app, A Beautiful Mess, and then send it to my computer and printed it out! The graphic looked great with the frame! I love how it turned out, because I have definitely been all about the gold, black, and white lately!

I made the glitter mason jar earlier this week (DIY coming soon) and thought it paired perfectly with the frame. While at whole foods with my mother I saw these peonies, my favorite flowers, and knew that they were exactly what I needed to complete the look! So ta-da! A very fancy makeover!

The flowers looked so beautiful yesterday when they were in full bloom!

Hope y'all are having a great Christmas holiday!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Year, New Agenda

For those of you that know me, you know that I am an organizational freak. I own a label maker and I'm not afraid to use it. I color-code things far too often and my friends think I am crazy for having a receipt organizer and trash can in my car. I can't help it, I swear it is in my blood!

I have been getting a new agenda every year since I was in 7th grade, and it is my favorite way to keep track of all my school work as well as my personal life. I also love saving them because I am far too busy to journal, so I think my old organizers are a great way to look back at all that went on in the past year! Every new years, I "retire" my organizer from the previous year and I take the time to look through all of my old ones. It is so funny to see how much I've changed! Not only my handwriting, but the friends' birthdays I celebrated, the fun events I was going to, {the boys' names I was doodling, Ha!}. Anywho, this year's organizer was a tough choice. I was stuck between the Kate Spade Gold Polka Dots and the Lilly Pulitzer Tusk In The Sun. After being completely conflicted, Lilly had a gift with purchase sale and offered a free ring and shopping tote with purchase... so I took it as a sign and ordered the Lilly agenda! Luckily for me, I got one of the last ones! It is so strange to think that I will be using this organizer for the last semester of high school AND the first semester of college, crazy!

I couldn't simply just leave it as is. So I knew I had to make it all my own.
What I Added:
  • Glittered the elephant
  • Monogram sticker
  • Gold ric rac on the elastic
Here were the results, I am all ready for 2014 now!

Do you personalize your agendas? What do you love to add?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

DIY Glitter Bow Heels

Happy Saturday!
Lately I have been swooning over some footwear trends. I was inspired by these two heels by Kate Spade:

The "Charm" Heels retail for $328

The "Grande" Bow Heels retail for $598

Obviously my wallet could not handle paying for both of these shoes... so I knew there had to be a better way. So viola! A DIY project was born that incorporated my favorite elements of both of these statement-making pumps! Especially because I have a christmas party coming up, I knew it was time to get craftin'!

DIY Glitter Bow Heels

What You'll Need

  • 8.5 feet ribbon (a satin-like fabric is best!)
  • Mod Podge
  • Extra fine Glitter in color of your choice (it is crucial that you don't use just any glitter you may find - you can find the kind I used here)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Shoes (a leather-like or patent fabric is best, this project can be done on any type of shoe - not just heels! I got my shoes on sale for $21 from Payless)
  • Paint brush
  • Plastic disposable cup
  • Plastic disposable knife (or whatever else you'd like to use for stirring)

How It's Done

1. Prepare the Mod Podge: 

Pour some of the Mod Podge into the cup. It's always better to use less, because you can always make more! Then add your glitter. I suggest at first that you add an amount which looks about equal to how much Mod Podge you have. Then mix. Continue adding the glitter until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick paste, it should look like this: 

2. Start Painting: 

Using the brush, paint the glitter mixture onto the shoe. Make sure to coat it evenly and also be careful to smooth over any lumps that may form. It is ok if some of the color of the shoe is showing through after the first coat. Allow the Mod Podge time to dry, and then add a second coat.

3. No Fear: 

The wet mixture looks strange and you may think that you've done something wrong and that your shoes will turn out terribly. Don't worry! When the mixture dries it will become fabulous glittered perfection. The color is much more dull when wet.

4. Put A Bow On It: 

Now it's time to add the ankle strap/bow! Cut two strips that are 4 feet (you may have to make this longer or shorter depending on the width of your ankle or how large you want the bow to be). Also cut two smaller strips that are about 4 inches each. Find the middle of one of your long strips, and fold the smaller strip over it. Glue in place with the glue gun. 

Make sure if your ribbon has a "side" which you want facing outward, you glue that on the outside when you fold over the small strip.

5. Put It All Together: 

Glue this strip into the inside back of the heel. Once again, make sure if your ribbon has a "side" that you want facing out, you glue it accordingly. You should glue the strip so that the full width of the long ribbon is exposed like this:

6. Voila! 

Now you're all done! Tie those beauties on and strut your stuff! Be ready for all of the compliments... you may not be able to handle it. Also, because the bows were glued on, if you should decide later that you don't want them you can just peel them off!

Where will you wear your glitter bow heels?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cupcakes Are A Food Group

Hope y'all are doing great today!

For those of you that know know that cupcakes and I are kind of in a relationship. For years I've loved making the adorable and tasty little treats, and I have in many ways become known for them around my high school! Here are some of my favorite past cupcake creations:

1. Nautical Cupcakes

I made these for a friend's nautical-themed sweet 16 about two years ago. They just had a simple buttercream frosting and white cake start, but the details of sailboats, shark fins, and life preservers really added a fun touch! 

2. Milk's Favorite Cookie

Oreos are always a fan favorite, and these oreo cookie cupcakes are no different! Every time I make them, everyone raves about how fantastic they are. The big secret... they are super easy! I made these over the summer for a school retreat, and they were a big hit as usual!

3. PayDay Cupcakes

If y'all have never heard of the "PayDay" candy bar, it's a fab combo of peanut butter and salted carmel. These cupcakes did not fall short of their namesake! I made them in September for my school's Boutique and Trunk Show where the cupcakes were part of the second annual bake shop. 

4. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

What is a girl to do when her fab friend's birthday is on Halloween? Make her some fall-themed cupcakes of course! These pumpkin spice cupcakes had real pumpkin pie filling inside, and had a yummy nutmeg-spiced buttercream on top. The little candy pumpkins added such an adorable touch too!

More Inspiration

Do you love what you see? I always get my cupcake inspiration from either my Pinterest Cupcake Board or from the book I recently got as a gift "500 Cupcakes." No matter what, I believe anyone's reason for baking should be for the love of doing it & to enjoy the tasty results. Not everything I've ever made has been beautiful or delicious, but the joy I gain while doing it is what keeps me coming back for more! I hope y'all use this as inspiration to get baking, it's really such a great way to spend a little "you-time"!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Sparkle Season

TGIF! I have Christmas on my mind today...and nothing says Christmas like some 
fab sparkles!

Ok. I admit it, I'm a sparkle obsessor. But what's a holiday without a little 
shimmer? Here are my faves for this holiday {with an added surprise!}

               Holiday Sparkles
7. Embroidered Gold Headband

Ok, surprise time! I just adore surprises, don't you?! The sweet and wonderful
Devon Alana has offered Little Miss Florida Prep readers a special 15% off their
orders! Use code "SPARKLE13" at checkout! The only thing cuter than
monogrammed goodies, would be saving some cash.

Hope you all a prepping for a sparkly and wonderful holiday... I know that I am!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Break, Part 2

Happy Tuesday! Yesterday I had to go back to school, so depressing! My break was far too much fun and I really hoped that it would never stop! If you missed the first part of my adventures, be sure to check it out here!

Day Five: Wednesday 

I always act like I can run around fueled by sugar and spice and everything nice but in reality I need to take a break sometimes, ha! Anywho, today was one of those great days when I cleaned and caught up on my tivo. I went to work later that night, so no worries I didn't lay around all day long! It was so wonderful outside that I had no choice but to open up the window in my bedroom. The fresh air and breeze were much needed!

Day Six: Thursday {aka - "Fatsgiving"}

Three of my favorite things? Food. Get-togethers. New words. Thus, "Fatsgiving" is born! In all seriousness, I truly do love Thanksgiving and the whole purpose behind it. I think in today's society we focus 90% of our attention on what we don't have instead of the many blessings were already are surrounded by. That was obvious by the fact that people couldn't even be thankful for one full day... black Friday sales started on Thanksgiving this year! Anywho, I loved getting to spend time with my family, and my mom cooked... so it was amazing, obviously. We also took our Christmas card pictures! Here is a sneak peek {post soon to come about these!}

Day Seven: Friday

Most of my family spent the night after Thanksgiving so in the morning and afternoon we all spent some more time with each other and then said our goodbyes! No fear, the excitement doesn't stop here! I saw the Rockettes at night! Yes, those Rockettes. They came to my local theatre, the Kravis Center, so of course I had to go go go! Since it was the Christmas spectacular I wore sparkles of course, but I'm sure you already had guessed that. We sat second row which had its perks and downsides. Whenever the fog machine came on we got blasted! That made for interesting scene transitions. It was amazing to be so close though, I felt like I could've climbed on stage and jumped right into their kick line!

Day Eight: Saturday

So today I had to do this gross thing called my "homework" that my teachers had assigned. How was I supposed to fully give thanks while under the stresses of schoolwork? Ok, I'm kidding! But it definitely didn't make for a fun day. I almost left this day out completely but I figured y'all would wonder why it skipped from Day Seven to Nine! Ha! But wait... there's more! When I went to work tonight I got all decked out in my Auburn bow and navy and orange Lilly dress. The game was on at work and I was having an absolute panic attack! When Auburn won in the last second the restaurant went wild {as did I} and I was so proud to be sporting my Auburn colors! What can I say... WAR EAGLE!

Day Nine: Sunday

Such a sad day. Back to school tomorrow! I slept in for one last sweet time, then headed over to my friend's house. We ran a few errands and had a late lunch at the always delish California Pizza Kitchen. Then we came home, relaxed, ate milk and cookies, and drifted off to sleep {knowing that school was inevitable and we might as well have our beauty sleep}.

Back to the Usual!

Did you really think I'd go out without a bang? We had to get Starbucks on the way to school of course! And it was semi-cold so scarves were a must! {It actually wasn't that cold, we just wanted to wear scarves!}

I hope you all had a wonderful, restful, and blessed Thanksgiving holiday!

This was a continuation of the post "Turkey Time Adventures, Part One."

Sunday, December 1, 2013

An Unexpected Surprise

Happy Sunday, and happy 1st of December! It's hard to believe that November is over.

The other day I was doing some shopping here & there and I found some truly adorable things! I have never found anything I liked at Kohl's before, until a few days ago. When I tell you I was shocked, that is an understatement. I have a friend who had suggested I go to Kohl's, because she loves it. So I finally decided to be adventurous! I am so glad I did!

LC by Lauren Conrad Collection

OH MY WORD. I truly was so amazed at how beautiful the items in this line were! I grabbed two sweaters, but wanted so much more!
You can't see from the photo, but the dog has a beautiful crystal collar! This sweater is super comfy. It's perfect alone, or paired with something else. I think I see layering over my jeweled collar button-down in this sweater's future!

Once again, you can't tell from the photo, but this fabric actually has a hint of shimmer! Y'all know I'm obsessed with anything that has an extra hint of sparkle!

Here's what else is on my list:

Hope you have a fab rest of your week!