51 articles Tag 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!

Back to School Party Ideas

back to school partayIt’s time for the little ones to go back to school and I assume some parents are jumping for joy. (Editor’s note: that is very much correct.) Getting back into a routine can be a daunting task, especially for kids, so let’s start it off with a party! There are so many great ideas out there to make it extra special and extra handmade. Here are my favorite party ideas!

B A L L O O N S !
These are like a necessity! No kid will be sad with balloons and they add so much color when thrown around. I love this apple balloon diy! There are also some cute photos you can take to capture moments like this.

P A R T Y  F A V O R S
Yes, please! Send the kids home with some treats and an adorable gift jar full of school supplies! This DIY offers free printables too!

Every party needs a backdrop or a banner to spruce up the walls. I love this one because it’s simple and totally a congrats moment when you head back to school. It means you graduated Summer, right?

I love how pinatas are such a thing now. They are fun to make and you can stuff it with candy,  school supplies, and CONFETTI! These pencil pinatas will do quite nicely.

E D I B L E  P L A C E  C A R D S
They make your guests feel welcomed with a personal touch. Now, edible place cards are on a whole new level of cool.

M I N I  D E S S E R T S
Anything mini is my jam! You can create a dessert for each guest and let them have at it. I saw this mini bundt cake shaped like an apple and i just about squealed.

I wish all those parents (and kids) out there the best of luck!

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



DIY Pineapple Cup

The pineapple craze is going strong and I don’t see an end in sight, nor do I want to. But what exactly are you supposed to do with them after you’re done taking all those pictures for Instagram? Other than just eating them, which (unless you’re allergic) is pretty much a no-brainer, you can put the rind to use!


Instead of throwing away the rind, try turning it into a pineapple cup!

In case you aren’t like my mom and don’t just happen to already own a pineapple de-corer, for this diy you will need one. That and a pineapple. Make sure to be very careful with the de-corer, they are pretty sharp.

Pineapple De-Corer Sharp!

This process is easy peasy!

Start by cutting off the top of the pineapple.
Pineapple Top

Then stand it up.
Standing Pineapple

Line up the de-corer with the center of your pineapple.Center De-Corer

Twist and pull!Twist and Pull Add the drink of your choice along with a fun straw.Flamingo Straw And ENJOY!Pineapple Cup

See? I told you it was easy!

Want do you plan to pour into your pineapple cup?




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

Tootsie Roll Pretzels

Pretzels are having their MOMENT! And I for one am not mad about it.Cutest Tootsie Roll Pretzel tutorial - click here for the instructions!I always pack a bag of Rold Gold Twists anytime the word picnic is mentioned and I am definitely a fan of the soft pretzel. For my soft pretzels, just a sprinkling of salt and I am happy! So today I did a twist (get it!) on a traditional pretzel and candy-fied it. Instead of dough and salt, I used Tootsie Rolls and SPRINKLES to create large candy pretzels, which would be perfect to hand out as favors or on a dessert table at a baseball themed birthday party or end-of-summer BBQ.150 SUPPLY LISTTootsie Rolls
White Sprinkles

Cutest Tootsie Roll Pretzel tutorial - click here for the instructions!


  1. Cut each Tootsie Roll in half using a knife.
  2. Heat one of the Tootsie Roll pieces for 3-5 seconds in the microwave, until just pliable.
  3. Roll the Tootsie Roll into a long rope, approximately 8-10 inches long.
  4. Bring the two ends of the rope together and twist twice, then bring the twisted piece down and gently push the candy pieces together to form a pretzel shape.
  5. Add sprinkles to the top of the Tootsie Roll Pretzel by gently pushing them into the Tootsie Roll.

Cutest Tootsie Roll Pretzel tutorial - click here for the instructions!

Cutest Tootsie Roll Pretzel tutorial - click here for the instructions! Cutest Tootsie Roll Pretzel tutorial - click here for the instructions!

I recommend letting these sit out for a few days on waxed paper to harden a bit so that they are not super sticky, this way they will be easier to handle and package.

Cutest Tootsie Roll Pretzel tutorial - click here for the instructions!

I want to know, what is your favorite type of pretzel?
Make these and you’ll probably have a new favorite!


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

Cutest Tootsie Roll Pretzel tutorial - click here for the instructions! *bottom graphic by Gilit Cooper

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 *

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