06/08/2016

Friends, Get togethers and Bruschetta

Happy Summer!!! We are out of school and loving our non-schedule living!! This first week we have taken it easy.  I try and let my kids have a break from anything their first week out of school.  I think they need some time to decompress from schedules, to do lists and routine.  It’s all I can do to tell them to get busy and do something, but I’ve told myself to let them enjoy this time.  With that being said, next week we will start our reading challenge and this year I am incorporating a fitness challenge too.  Are you guys like me and have to force your kids to get off the couch? It really kills me and I decided to get them motivated I would have a prize involved.  Prizes always seem to work, even with my big kids!

We’ve already got to have some fun barbecues and get together with friends.  I am truly blessed with great friends! Some live close and I get to see them often, and others live farther away and it’s always a special treat to get to hang with them when they are in town.  Over Memorial day weekend our friends from Arizona came to visit.  We got together for a BBQ and had a great time catching up and spending time reminiscing about all the fun we’ve had together.  I met this great family through my son.  When we moved to Highland Cayden became friends with their son, Mason. He then was lucky enough to learn that Mason had brothers just a year younger and so it was like guy central at their house and Cayden, having all sisters, loved to go over and hang out with the boys.  Daynia and I didn’t become friends until the next year, but hit it off right from the start and our hubby’s did too.  Unfortunately, about a year later they got a job change and had to move, but we’ve been able to travel together and see each other often and we love it!

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The clan

the guys

The boys being as cheesy as can be!

I tried a new recipe for our little get together. Strawberry bruschetta.  I had this a few weeks ago at an event and so I thought I’d make my own version.  They were so easy to make and super yummy!


strawberry bruschetta

Strawberry Bruschetta

Crostini bread cut into slices (I just have my grocer cut it for me in the bakery)

ricotta cheese

strawberries, cut into bite-size chunks

blueberries

basil, minced

balsamic

sugar

Put strawberries, blueberries, basil, balsamic and sugar in a pan.  Cook on medium until balsamic thickens and strawberries break down. Let cool.

Lay crostini on a cookie sheet and broil for a few minutes in the oven. Spread ricotta on top, while warm.  Top each one with the strawberry mixture.

Enjoy!Strawberry

 

I hope you’ll have a chance this summer to have lots of get together’s with friends and family. And if you do, I highly recommend bringing this Bruschetta to any event!!

 

05/12/2016

Stress Free Soccer Party

My Avery loves soccer and has been on some fun teams the last few years.  It’s always hard to join a new team with people you don’t know.  I have to admit as a parent this is even hard to put myself out there and get to know the other parents.  About a year ago Avery played on a competitive team and we had such a great support from parents and coaches.  She learned so much that season from her coaches and team mates.  The girls became fast friends and they were all sad when the season ended.  We decided to host a soccer party for them so they could be rewarded for all their hard work.  We invited everyone over for pizza, games, and hot tubbing, which ended up being the favorite.

This party was really easy to throw together.  We had plenty of soccer balls to decorate with and I picked up some table ware at the party store.

I used a sheet for the table cloth and this chalkboard worked out great with our color scheme, so I decided to use it.

table set up

table ware

I came up with these little soccer trophies last minute with some things I already had.  Fake grass, plastic trophies and small soccer balls.  It was the perfect touch for the table and I love the pop of green with the red and black.

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close up of soccer trophies

As you can see I kept the food really simple.  Donuts, Oreos with candy soccer balls on top, red licorice, pizza and soda.  Anytime I am doing a children’s party I try and think of colors of food to go along with the color scheme.  It’s usually an inexpensive way to add in the color and it will always get used up!  As far as serving it goes, I already had black trays.  Here’s an honest tip, buy white, clear or black serving trays.  This way they go with any color scheme or theme and you won’t have to go out and buy new ones for every party.  Ikea is a great place to get inexpensive serving trays in neutral colors.

The party bags were filled with little treats such as soccer balls, rubber sports bracelets and candy.soccer party bags

The girls had such a great time and Avery was so happy to have her soccer friends over before the season ended.  This party was a cinch to pull together.

If you are wanting to throw a party but gets so overwhelmed with all the planning and prepping,  I have a few tips for you.

stress Free

 

Here are 5  tips for hosting a stress-free party:

1. Come up with a theme.  Ask your child or think about their favorite activities, colors, team colors, or interests.

2. look for stuff around your house that will work before you go out and buy it.  Usually there are items in your decor or your childrens that can be used for table center pieces or put on display throughout the party area.

3. Think of the colors you are using and find food items that go along with the scheme.  Fruit, candy,  & drinks always come in a variety of colors.

4. Keep it simple, kids really don’t care as long as there is food and fun.

5. Do what feels comfortable to you.  I love to throw parties so I probably go a little overboard, but if you don’t keep it simple.  The fact that you hosted one for you child will make them feel special and loved, no matter how fancy it is.

So next time your throwing a party or hosting an event remember my tips and I can bet it will make the party planning process less stressful.

Thanks for stopping by today!!

04/21/2016

Gold Themed Party

Today I thought I would share with you a party a did a while ago for my 13 year old daughter.  We all know that Gold is all the hype right now and I would be lying if I didn’t say I absolutely love it! I plan on putting lots of gold accents in the Normandie house.  My daughter decided she wanted a gold theme for her 13 birthday and I thought it was a perfect idea for a teen girls party.  I actually was able to use quite a bit of stuff I had around the house and pulled it together with some fun party supplies from Target

I think this theme would also be so fun for a bridal shower.  You could throw in a blush pink or salmon color for the bride.  Gold, white and florals are some of my favorites together. It would also be great for a graduation party.  If you remember in a post I did last year my friend threw her daughter a darling graduation party using golds and silvers. You can check it out here.   

Let me share my  ideas for a gold them party with you.  I hope you enjoy them!

gold cupcakes

I found these fun edible heart sprinkles at Michaels and I love the shimmer they put on regular white cupcakes.  How gorgeous is this tray? It was my grandmothers that I inherited a while back.  It actually goes with a set she used in her bathroom.  It has a matching mirror, tissue holder, a ring holder and a hand towel tray.  I am going to use all of them in my new home.  I love finding things around my house I already have and using them in different ways.

cupcake table

Feather boas always come in handy and are great ways to fill up space and bring dimension.  I keep a couple white ones on hand and can use them for any party or holiday. This chalkboard sign I purchased at Hobby Lobby and have used it many times too.

letter B

I actually bought this big letter B to go in Brooklyn’s room and so it worked perfectly as a center piece for the table. I elevated it on a cake plate and then  added this fun fur throw underneath.  It brings warmth and dimension and again, filled the space.

tablescape

The whole table scape.  Here’s an Honest Tip for you, invest in a good white table cloth.  It can be used for everything and can be bleached.  I also inherited this from Grandma and I use it all the time.  As you can see I do a lot of layering,  it just makes everything look rich, full and fancy! I found the cute milk jars at target. I love the gold polka-dots and for just $8.00 for a pack of 4, I knew they were worth it.  I will used these over and over again. I used regular note cards I had picked up at Michaels for the place cards.  I like to do this at kids parties so there is no fighting over who to sit by and no one gets left out. 

table settinglastly, this is a up close of the place setting.  We added a little chocolate and also put each one of their party favor bags by their plates.  I knew chocolate and nail polish would be a hit with 13 year old girls and I was fortunate enough to find the nail polish on sale at Smiths for $3.00  Pretty inexpensive party favor, but the girls were thrilled. 

Well, there you have! I hope you can take some of these ideas and use them at your next party! Have a great day and thanks for stopping by! 

 

 

04/19/2016

Feelin’ the Love

Well Hello! Happy Tuesday to you! Thanks for stopping by my blog.  I really appreciate all my loyal friends and followers and the support you give me. So, Thank you!

Speaking of friends and support, I think I may have the best new neighbors in the whole wide world.  We haven’t even “moved” into the neighborhood on Normandie Circle yet and I already feel so loved and special. We were told when we went to look at the house what a great neighborhood it was, and I already know that is true. From the minute I met Angela, next door,  I knew we would be fast friends.  She loves to throw parties like me, they have 4 kids like us and the whole family is so easy to talk to.  They hosted a super great “Welcome to the Neighborhood” party last night for us.  They invited neighbors from the area that had kids close to our kids ages.  It was so nice to meet so many different families.  Everyone was so genuine and friendly.  It was a great night of new beginnings and another great start to our new adventure.

I thought I’d share all the cute details of the party and show off the talents of my new friend, Angela.

 

new friends

 

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Yummy treats were had by all.  The presentation was so sweet.  She has such a talent for mixing patterns, layering all different textures and colors.

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Gorgeous flowers that I got to take home.  How cute is the Home Sweet Home tags in the flowers and on the dessert table.

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She hangs these adorable banners all throughout her home and I love them. She added one for the party that matched the tags and  said home Sweet home!

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Here are just a few of the cute kids that came to meet my crew.  When we got to the party I heard Brooklyn say to Avery “that she was just going to stay by Avery all night”.  Well that lasted about a half hour and by the end of the night they were all in the living room laughing and joking around.  Music to my Ears!!

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These cute little “get to know your neighbor cards” were on the front table when people walked in.  They filled them out with their info and some of their favorite restaurants, places to shop and things to do in the area.  I thought this was such a fun and useful idea.  These will definitely come in handy and was a great way for me to put faces with names after we had met everyone.

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As you can see we were completely spoiled at our Welcome Home party! I was a little speechless that someone could go out of their way this much to make us feel so loved and welcomed.  I am so grateful for good, kind people in this world.  I know the next chapter of our journey is going to be a great one and has definitely started off on the right foot.

Angela, I know you will probably read this, and I do want you to know how amazing you and your family are! We couldn’t have picked better neighbors! Thank you!

And to my readers, thanks for taking the time to stop by! Have a great day!

Honestly, 

Harmony

 

 

07/02/2015

4th of July Parfaits

Aww!! I love summer! Can I say it again? I LOVE SUMMER!!

We have been having too much fun enjoying these long, hot summer days! We just got back from a fun filled week at the Oregon Coast. (Recap of my trip will come later). We finally took the boat out last Saturday, and we are looking forward to some 4th of July celebrations and barbecues this weekend.

I love the 4th of July for many reasons.  The red, white and blue. The fireworks. The family time. And of course, the food.  So today I am sharing one of my favorite summer time treats that I think is great for a 4th of July celebration.  I know it’s been done a lot and it doesn’t really involve a recipe, but you can’t go wrong with a strawberry short cake parfait.

parfaits

partfait1
sophie and parfait

I decided to use my plastic wine cups for these ones to make it look even more festive.  I basically layered home made whip cream, strawberries, and pound cake.  Please oh please only use home made whip.  It’s the only way to go when it comes to strawberry shortcake.

For my whip I use:

Heavy whipping cream, sugar and the best dang vanilla you have ever had!{ We visited a new chocolate cafe called Taste.  If your local it is on University in Provo.  Let me tell you it is amazing and deserves it’s own post.  But while we were there the owner let us sample their vanilla.  It was so delicious.  You know how vanilla is usually bitter? Not this one, sweet and had a syrupy consistency.  It’s so much stronger than other vanilla that you only need to use a fourth of what a recipe calls for.  It really made a difference in this whip cream and the strong vanilla flavor was heavenly.} I beat the whip cream cream until it has pretty stiff peaks and then I add the sugar and the vanilla.  Yum-eee!!

I topped these babies off with a cute Americana pinwheel to give it some patriotic pizzaz.  So cute and so easy!single parfait

So what ever you do this 4th I hope it’s a good one.  One that you get to spend good quality time with friends and family.  Make some memories you will never forget!

Thanks for stopping by!

Honestly,

Harmony

 

 

05/17/2015

Graduation Party Ideas

Hello Friends,

I’m kind of in disbelief that I am old enough to have friends with children that are graduating, but I am!

One of my best friends, Daynia,  moved to Memphis last summer. I was not very happy and I’ve missed her every day since.  They have kids ranging from 8th-12th grade. This family is one of the best around.  We got to enjoy some time in Lake Powell with them last summer before they left and had a blast.  She was excited to go, but her kids were all a little nervous about it.  Fast forward 9 months and her kids couldn’t be happier about the experiences they’ve had.  Especially her daughter who is a senior.  They all have done great!

She graduated last week and my friend threw her the cutest Graduation Party.  I so wished I could have been there and I honestly teared up when she sent me the pictures.  She did such an amazing job, I asked her if I could highlight it on my blog.  Of course she said yes.  She did tell me many ideas came from Pinterest, but who’s don’t these days? She added some fun personal touches to the party.  

This is Bailey and her cute group of friends

So if you have a graduate or will have one in the future you will want to scroll through for some great ideas.

Love this idea of a photo wreath.  So cute and would be great to put anywhere and something they could keep in their dorm room too!

 

Love the balloons and the color theme! It just screams Party!!

This may have been my favorite thing of all.  How cute is this collage wall done on an old pallet.  It’s rustic, but with the gold frames and the silver balls hung in the shrubs. I think it just adds so much elegance.

Dying over this cake! And yes, she and her sister made it!! 

Here’s the cute graduate!!

Another use with a wood pallet.  This burlap banner is adorable and goes perfectly above the food table.

I have to say I am really impressed with this great party.  I hope you loved all these fun ideas as much as I did!  Thanks to my friend, Daynia for letting me share it.  And Congrats to Bailey!! I know she is going on to do great things!

Thanks for stopping by!

Honestly,

Harmony

03/05/2015

Bar Carts are all the Rave

IMG_1005I have had this little table for 16+ years.  We bought it at Pier1 imports when we first got married.  It has traveled to 5 different homes and 2 states! The funny thing is we paid less than $100.00 for it.  This little table has been so versatile that I’ve just kept it.  Since we moved in this house almost 3 years ago, it really hasn’t had a purpose, but it was one of those things I couldn’t get rid of.  I think there was some sentimental attachments to this piece of furniture and even though it didn’t cost a lot it holds memories of first years of marriage, new babies, a big move to Ohio, starting our career back in Utah and moving into the home we’ve always dreamed of.  It’s funny how an object can tell a story….

So after 3 years of not really having a good place for it, I got a brilliant idea to turn it into a bar cart! I have been wanting one, I had seen one at Target over the holidays but decided not to spend the money at the time.  I love to entertain and I knew I would use a bar cart and they look so pretty all dressed in gold. 

I spray painted my little table with Krylon, metallic gold (it’s one of my favorites).  It took a few coats to cover the black.  I then added some fun pieces to dress it up for St. Patricks day.  I found some fun straws, cocktail napkins and coasters at Pier1 and HomeGoods.  I used a gold charger to hold the mixers on and then added some festive green and gold decor.

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I am excited to switch the themes for different holidays and events. Bar carts can be used for some much more than just a bar.  It would be a perfect hot cocoa station in the winter. You could add marshmallows, candy cane and flavored syrups. I also think it would be fun for a kids birthday party to display the cake and the serving dishes on.  

 It fits perfectly in my basement next to our kitchenette and theater. It will be a perfect add on for entertaining, now, Who’s coming for drinks???

Thanks for stopping by today!

Honestly,

Harmony

 

 

 

02/17/2015

Perfect Princess Party

Oh, how I love to throw a party! I will find any excuse to have a get together.  I love to entertain people and create a good time for everyone.  One of my favorite types of party to plan is my kids Birthday parties! Call me crazy, cause I might be, but I remember thinking about my Child’s 1st birthday before he was even born! It is something I thrive on.  It gets my creative juices flowing and I love to see what ideas I can come up with.  

Today I wanted to share my last little one, Sophie’s 5th Birthday.  Sofia the First had just come out on Disney Channel and I found it fitting to throw my Sophia a princess party! The purple and yellow color scheme was so fun to do.  It is all about the details when it comes to throwing a party, and this party had so many fun details!   IMG_7543

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Of course we had to have a “Royal Tea Party”. The table and chairs were just the right size for these little princesses.  I even displayed the cake and treats on a small table to make them feel like it was meant just for them! The girls all came in Princess attire and my little Sophia wore her purple Princess Sofia dress! Most everything I had on hand for this party.  The tea cups were all given to me by my Grandmothers.  The banner and table cloths I had used for another party. Honest Tip #1:  One thing I have figured out over the years is to keep as much as you can from each party.  I tend to like to throw things away and I have learned when it comes to party decor, if you have the space, keep it! You never know when you will be able to incorporate it again.  I honestly, have things from my son’s first birthday! 

I always use my entry way table for the Party Favors. That way I won’t forget to pass them out at the end of the party.  Have you ever done this? Because I have, and there is nothing more frustrating then to have half the guests leave and you suddenly realize they went home without their party favor!!!  For this table scape, I had jars filled with purple and yellow candy that they could take home and then their treat bags. The treat bags were filled with little girly things, such as rings, bracelets, Sofia the First hair things and candy! Honest Tip #2:  If I am doing a character based party I like to buy the posters at the store and incorporate them into the decorating. This is a really cute and inexpensive way to add detail to the party! 

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I am no cake expert, but I do like to make my kids Birthday cakes.  It’s fun to get ideas and see what I can come up with. This cake I  made to look like Princess Sofia’s dress.  I was pleased with how it turned out, and Sophie loved it!

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IMG_7550Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out this Princess Party! I have many more parties I am excited to share with you so make sure you stop by again! Please remember to like and share this post! And if you have a party your proud of please share the link in the comments! 

Honestly,

Harmony

02/13/2015

Make them feel loved

I think Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to show those you love how much you appreciate them and care for them.  In our house the word, “love” is used daily! I love the word “love”!! I honestly, think you can not use it enough with your children and spouse.  I want them to know and feel how much they mean to me every single day.  It is important for me to say it and to show them by the things I do for them.

 It became tradition a long time ago to host a “fancy” dinner for my family for Valentine’s Day.  My kids love it and look forward to it every year.  The dinner usually involves music, candlelight and a little something special for each person.  We always go around the table and say what we love about each person that is there.  Sometimes we will invite guests, but most of the time it is just a special night for my favorite little people.  I thought I would share some ideas with you on things we’ve done and maybe you will be inspired to start a fancy dinner of your own.

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Here some other ideas I found on Pinterest. There are endless ideas!
Becca-CupidsCrazyCafe-Menu&Crown

The Dating Divas have a way cute idea for a Cupid’s Cafe.  It even comes with free printables.

 

These italian sodas would be so fun for a dinner or even for a snack at a class party! You can check them out at My Honeys Place.

Here’s a great dinner idea for the kids on My Sister’s Suitcase

Whatever you do for your Valentine’s this year, make sure they know how much you LOVE them! Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon!

Honestly,

Harmony 

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