68 articles Articles posted in party

Mia’s Flamingo and Pineapple Birthday Party

My baby turned TWO!!! A year ago, but whatever. I wrote this post also about a year ago but had so much trouble choosing photos it took me until now to publish. IN-SANE. (Mia’s third birthday is in two weeks. No joke.)

Party like a flamingoSo, my little darling is a little weirdo and sometimes she just stands on one foot and I thought that’s so perfect for the flamingo trend (which yes, some of us are tired of at this point but trend aside, I thought it was perfect). Also, she’s such a flamingo. I mean this is the girl that has accessorized from the minute she was able to lift accessories. This is the girl that wears tutus and sparkles as often as possible and tried to steal an old lady’s lipstick from her purse. This is the girl who somehow managed to find, take, and appropriate my grandmother’s rings that were on my dresser. At least she’s got good taste.

My favorite part of the decor was this focal point. We put flamingo books and art on the shelf with some flowers, I taped a bunch of fans to the wall covering the tv, and setup the dessert table with confetti and cupcakes. 
Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingo

We got flamingo balloons from Confetti and Sparkle Party Shop and the banner was made by me. Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingo We found blue velvet Room and Board chairs on Craigslist pretty recently and I knew I had to cover them so I could relax and enjoy the party so we used some Turkish throws in pretty colors. And the birthday girl found some popcorn.Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingoThe lighting around the table was totally not ideal, but I loved it in real life.
Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingoWe put the flamingo favor bags on the piano and I stuck cupcake toppers in everything!Party like a flamingo Party like a flamingoI got flamingo wrapping paper from One Kings Lane and then bought a floral garland from Michaels to frame it and be our Photo Booth. Plus the gold glitter happy birthday banner, obvi.Party like a flamingoParty like a flamingo Photo Booth Party like a flamingo Photo Booth I know that last photo is so grainy, but I love it. And then Mia had her cake. Like we were in middle of singing happy birthday and Mia just leaned over and tok a big bite of her cake. I love this girl.

Party like a flamingo Mia_Party_22

In many ways Mia hasn’t changed much but I guess that’s for her third birthday party post. You know, in two weeks.

Happy birthday my little flamingo!

All photos taken by Emily Daar, who is also sisters with my future sister-in-law!

Oh Hey, Oh Happy Day

Look what I just saw! Oh Happy Day always does a roundup of favorite party ideas from the week and look at the bottom of this week’s roundup!


Woohoo watermelon favor bags! For the rest of the links in the roundup and a party wonderland, check out her original post! Sarah Adiutori, I’m not surprised, just don’t forget me when you’re so famous you can hardly remember this (her insta for your viewing pleasure).


DIY Cupcake Toppers for Labor Day Weekend

DIY Cupcake Toppers for Labor Day Weekend

I’m sure you’ve already been invited to several parties for Labor Day Weekend, the last hurrah of Summer. So here’s the deal…I don’t cook for parties because I take it personal if no one eats my food. (I know, I’m sensitive.) I usually bring chips and dip and add it to the table with all the other people that forgot to bring something and rushed to the store last minute. These cupcake toppers bring that “barbecue vibe” without the actual barbecue. And hello! Store bought cupcakes work great, no baking required! :)

DIY Cupcake Toppers for Labor Day Weekend

What you’ll need –

Fondant tools, but using your hands is totally cool.
Fondant roller
Gel Food Coloring (red, yellow, green, beige, brown, and you can mix to make the right color)

Tips: When coloring the fondant, you can wear gloves so the dye doesn’t get all over your hands.  Knead it over and over until the color is no longer marble-y. Nothing has to be perfect, so I totally make the pieces by hand, even with all the tools next to me. Also, keep the fondant wrapped in saran wrap until you are ready to use, otherwise it will dry out.

DIY Cupcake Toppers for Labor Day Weekend

DIY Cupcake Toppers for Labor Day Weekend

DIY Cupcake Toppers for Labor Day Weekend

DIY Cupcake Toppers for Labor Day Weekend

These were super fun to make and not as messy as you’d think! I would have to say these 4 foods are perfect staples for your barbecue and I’m sure your friends would appreciate them, even if you skipped on bringing the potato salad.

DIY Cupcake Toppers for Labor Day Weekend

Also, can I take a minute to rave about these cupcakes I bought?! They were from Haggen and made by Kimberly’s Bakeshoppe. I’m not even kidding about how good these were. They’re Vanilla Bean, but also had a vanilla cream center. droooool.

DIY Cupcake Toppers for Labor Day Weekend

I hope everyone has a wonderful 3 day weekend and a great Labor Day!

xo Alyson

A Picnic With Creatives in NYC

Creative NYC Details

Anytime I encounter a setting with oversized balloons, tassel garlands, and copious amounts of amazing food, I pretty much assume I’m in the right place. Such was the case last summer when I attended Creative NYC, a meetup/picnic in Riverside Park hosted by none other than Gilit Cooper. You know Gilit, right? Of course you do. She’s the whimsy-loving woman behind The Bannerie and this very blog, Shoes Off Please. And as I’m sure you can imagine, girl can throw a party.

Creative NYC Food

Creative NYC Details

Creative NYC Food

I had met Gilit back at Alt Summit about a month before, and when I heard that she was putting together this event for creatives in New York City, I jumped at the chance. Leapt, actually. After spending a week at Alt, one of the premiere blogging conferences in the country, I was itching for more interaction with some rad entrepreneurial-type women in my city.

Creative NYC Details

And that’s exactly what I got. Looking around there was no mistaking that this was an event for bloggers and creatives. I mean, the signs were everywhere. Phenomenal décor: check. Impossibly good food: check. The goodiest of goody bags: check. A heapin’ helpin’ of inspiring boss ladies: check check check check CHECK.

Creative NYC

Creative NYC Food

Gathering with the women at Creative NYC was like taking a breath of fresh air. As we sampled lime sugar cookies, wore flower crowns, and gushed over our personalized glitter banners, there was just an immediate sense of connection between all of us. And it wasn’t just that we looked amazing in our flower crowns (but by the way, we super did). Instead, we were unified by traits far more profound: our love of creating and our desire for growth.

Creative NYC Guests

Creative NYC Guests

The more I do this whole blogging/writing/pursuing my dreams thing, the more I realize how important gatherings like these are. There’s just something so impactful about meeting with other creatives – in. real. life. Not just in Twitter chats or in comments sections, but face-to-face, eyeballs-to-eyeballs – actual human connection.

Because here’s the thing we so often forget about creative careers: sometimes it can get kind of lonely. I mean, don’t get me wrong: it can also be incredibly rewarding. Whether you do it full-time, part-time, or during your lunch break – any level of investment you can make into something you truly care about is totally worth it. But despite its perks, there is often an inherent isolation to the creative process. If you run a business from home, you likely know what it’s like to spend a good portion of your day alone. Or even if you don’t work remotely, perhaps you’ve had those confusing conversations with friends and family members who don’t exactly get what it is that you “do” (You blog? For a living? Whattttttt?)

Creative NYC Denise Photographs

And that’s why it’s pretty thrilling when a bunch of likeminded creative-type folks are able to gather in one place. It’s a reminder that we are not alone in this effort to make beautiful things. We aren’t crazy for doing the things we love. There are others like us who are making their way, building their own businesses, blogging, photographing, writing, designing, etc.IMG_0026

Creative NYC Details

Not only do meetups and creative gatherings provide a sense of community and understanding, but they also are a hotbed for inspiration. After spending time with the legit women at Creative NYC — which included such gems as Cyndie Spiegel from The Collective {Of Us}, Denise Ginley from Little Market Kitchen, Bethany Everett from Twenty Something Plus, and Jessica Bishop from The Budget Savvy Bride, to name a few – I left with roughly a gagillion new ideas for how to grow my blog. That kind of motivation is just inevitable when creative people get in the same place.

Creative NYC

All of that being said, if you’re thinking of organizing a meetup or an event for your local creative community, go ahead and get after it! It’s honestly one of the most worthwhile ways you could spend your time. And while you’re at it, wear flower crowns because, let’s be honest, they are festive and everyone looks amazing in them.

How do you connect with your local creative community? I can’t wait to hear all about it!

Much love,


Food: Denise Ginley | Photography: Denise Ginley and Gilit Cooper | Styling: Alicia Brandon and Gilit Cooper | Flower crowns: A Golden Garden

Mini Flamingo Donuts

flamingo donut

You guys love flamingos, right?! Because I totally do, so it’s okay if you do too, I won’t judge! With that said, I will find any excuse to turn something into a flamingo and donuts are no exception. With a little fondant and a little patience, these mini donuts will be a hit at your next party!

What You’ll Need –

For the Pink Glaze (covers about 20 donuts) –


01. Take a hunk of white fondant and flatten it out like you would before cutting cookie dough. (Set aside a little bit for the white beaks.) With a toothpick, spread the tiniest amount of pink gel coloring in the center. I wanted pale pink flamingos and just a drop goes a long way.
02. Start kneading the fondant, folding it over and over…and over. It will look like a marble-y mess, but it will eventually even the color out and you’ll have pink! I also sprinkled some confectioner’s sugar on it to keep from sticking everywhere.

directions 2

03. Once you have the fondant finished and ready to use, start by rolling little pieces for the bird’s head. Take a knife to cut off the ends off to ensure they’re flat, then shape the necks. Do the same for the beaks, but just cut off one side with a knife and keep the other end round.
04. The fondant should be slightly sticky, so just attach the beak and sculpt as desired. Stick a toothpick in the bottom of the neck so it can attach to the donut. Once dry, color the tip of the beak black and add a little eye!
05. For the tail, take a little fondant and pinch it together. For the wings, make a teardrop and shape accordingly. (This is why I love fondant! It’s so easy to sculpt and if you mess up you can change it!)
06. Cut several toothpicks, about a 1/2 inch long, and attach to the backside of the wings. This will make sure the they stay in place!

donut glaz3

07. The glaze is real easy! First combine the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat on low until warm.
08. Slowly whisk in the confectioner’s sugar.
09. Once combined, add a small amount of pink food coloring. You want it to be close to the flamingo color, so start with a tiny amount again. Add sprinkles for a pop of color! They are donuts after all and no donut goes without sprinkles!

donut glaze 4

10. Add the tail pieces before the glaze hardens and they will hold perfectly!
11. Attach the head and wings to the donut once they are dry and you are good to go!

flamingos again 2

flaninogs 2

Not every flamingo has to look like the other one, and they don’t have to be perfect by any means. They are better that way! These would be so fun for a kid’s party and they can even make their own! Hope you make these guys for your next flamingo themed party!


For more sweet creations, head on over to my blog and check out my instagram!


Flamingo Party Hats with Sprout by HP

Moving is so so very hard (to be clear, I’m totally whining). And at least I get why we’re moving and got to actually make that decision. As far as the kids go, we’ve lived in this apartment since Aiden was 3 months old and Mia’s been here her whole life so it’s a HUGE adjustment. But I am determined to make it as fun and exciting as I can because I have this vision of me being a fun mom who makes life magical and sometimes I like to deliver on that. So I did the only natural thing and made “moving party” hats (in a flamingo pattern, obviously) using my HP Sprout.

Sprout by HP

I had scanned two flamingo candles using the HP Sprout Workspace earlier, so I put one flamingo right side up and the other upside down and then copied and pasted it into a pattern. Then I saved it in Photoshop as a pattern and used it to fill the party hat template  from Oh Happy Day.flamingo pattern wallpaper 600

flamingo party hat templatesHere’s the template with the flamingo pattern filled in.

I’ve packed most of my supplies already so instead of elastic I had to pin it to their hair but Mia was literally shouting “FLAMIIIINGOS!” I’ve trained her so well.  Aiden was like “um, I wanted dragons mom, why did you have to make flamingos?” but then he followed it up with, “I’ll just do it myself” (P.S. he totally can, the Sprout is super intuitive for kids and he thinks everything is a touch screen anyway)

DIY printable flamingo party hatsYou know what’s super awesome? My confetti and flamingo candles were already packed but I had the images saved from scanning them earlier so I was able to make a graphic just like I would if I was photographing them. Win.

What would you create with the Sprout by HP? I’ve been randomly scanning in cool fabrics as I notice them and the cloud storage is amazing so I’m not worried about not having enough “space” which is actually a huge deal for me as a serial photographer and screenshot-er

Gilit Cooper New Signature

* This post was sponsored by HP. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. This is legit awesome #SproutbyHP #CIY *

Watermelon Favor Bags

DIY watermelon party favor bags

I am bound to run out of ways to incorporate watermelons into DIY projects, but today is not that day! When I was browsing the dollar store a few weeks ago I spotted these vibrant paper bags in pink, orange and lime green. I knew they had to be mine because they would be perfect to hand out party favors in, but the plain bags were a bit boring. So when I started on my watermelon crafting kick I just knew I had to turn those pink bags into fabulous Watermelon Favor Bags!

150 SUPPLY LISTPink Paper Bag
Lime Green Tape, 0.75 inches wide
Dark Green Tape, 1.5 inches wide
Black Vinyl
Treats, Candy and Prizes

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!


  1. Cut a long piece of dark green tape and adhere it to the paper bag, lining up the edge of the tape with the bottom of the bag, wrap the tape around the entire base of the bag. Repeat this process with the lime green tape just above the dark green tape.
  2. Using scissors cut your black vinyl into small squares, these will be the seeds of the watermelon. Adhere the black vinyl squares randomly to the pink area of the paper bag.
  3. Fill your bag full of treats, candy and prizes!

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!

This project is also a perfect party/craft activity for little ones and might I suggest making a super-sized version of my Mini Watermelon Piñata, then the kids could use the Watermelon Favor Bags they crafted to collect the piñata loot in!


*See more of Sarah’s glitter and talent on her blog Weekend Pursuits and Instagram @sadiutori

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