dancing safari

Every July we celebrate many important birthdays and anniversaries in our family…3 of them being my kids birthdays. Yes, I have three children with July birthdays. It’s a challenge every year to come up with a theme applicable to all three {especially that’s budget-friendly}, but with a boy obsessed with animals and all 3 that love to dance, a DANCING SAFARI made for the perfect theme this year.

With Kraft paper, animal print accessories and fabric, duct tape, a disco ball and creativity, this year’s party was a hit. Here’s the details…

APPETIZER TABLE
Fabric {from Hobby Lobby} cut into strips and then stapled over already existing curtain rod for a backdrop.

I revamped existing lamps and lampshades into Safari Hats by adding rope and a strip of Kraft paper around the lampshade. Just simple clear packing tape was used to keep the rope and Kraft paper in place.

We served Hippo’s Favorite, Avocado Salad, a Lion’s Share of beef and chicken sliders {toothpick with duct tape pressed together and cut into the shape of a flag}, Animal Artichoke Dip, a Cheetah Cheese Plate, Elephant Broccoli Salad and African Fruit Salad.

DINING TABLE
I used a strip of cheetah print fabric for the runner, and then placed an antique piece of wood on top of it. I lined the wood with candles, giraffe bowl and figurines {from a dear friend, Sandy, who carried them with TLC all the way back from Africa} and a bark vase filled with local mountain wild grass.

Place settings inside were made from Kraft paper and on each of them, I used animal stencils to paint giraffe, zebra, lion and hippo silhouettes, and used my alphabet stamp set to add an animal fact to each one.

DANCING DETAILS
I made the dance floor using cardboard and animal print duct tape. I bought cardboard boxes for .60 cents at Wal-Mart, and cut out each square side. I placed duct tape in rows to cover the cardboard, and once all the squares were complete, I laid out each square on the floor, and used black duct tape to ‘tape’ it all together. And, no dance party would be complete without a Disco Ball. I found the Disco Ball for $15 from Party City and used a hook to hang it from our outdoor patio roof.

OTHER DETAILS
The lemonade table is an antique wine barrel {$30 from Wal-Mart}, just turned upside down. The large Mason jar drink dispenser for the lemonade is from Pottery Barn.

For more DIY details, I taped a cardboard box together to make a box, and then wrapped it with Kraft paper. I added the words, “BEWARE” and “DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS” with black acrylic paint. And, I saved a large branch from my yard that I spray painted black to add a more ‘outdoor’ touch.

I covered the back of an antique window pane with Kraft paper and added photos of my children on the front, in each window pane opening. With bright animal print paper, I cut triangles to create a banner to add to the window pane, and a larger banner to hang from the curtain rod in the dining room.

My husband is a builder, so it often comes in handy when I need pieces of wood {conveniently and sometimes inconveniently located on my garage floor}. I used Acrylic paint to write my kids names on antique pieces of wood, and next to each name, my hubby nailed a wood number {from Hobby Lobby} for their age. This matched the look of the invite too!

Guests were greeted with a custom hand-painted wood arrow sign that read, “dancing safari” and an easel with a hand painted photo of an African scene.

FAVORS
Each Safari Adventurer  received a burlap bag with a water bottle and an African animal {hippo, giraffe, zebra, lion and rhino} and each family went home with a CD of all my kids favorite songs {think popular POP artists} to keep the dance party going at home.


VENDOR LOVE
Invites: Custom made by Jenna at Fleur de Lis, a paperie
Cupcakes: Mountain Cupcakes

if this shoe were a party

We did a feature last year, If this shoe were a room. You all seemed to like, so in honor of NYFW Shoe Week in NYC, we’re introducing…

IF THIS SHOE WERE A PARTY.

Sometimes the perfect inspiration for an outfit or a party can be found in your closet…or by looking down. If your feeling stuck on a color scheme or ‘theme’ to a party, just look at shoes. I promise, you will be inspired. And, you can shoe shop while you’re at it…who doesn’t love that?

#1: Sacha Black Shee Footwear
Shee is a designer this year at NYFW Shoe Week


IF THIS SHOE WERE A PARTY…it would be a Palm Springs 30th Birthday Party featured at 100 Layer Cake. You have to see the full gallery here because it’s gorgeous!

#2: Sam Edelman Shay Bootie, Nordstrom {$159.95}

IF THIS SHOE WERE A PARTY…it would be a Vogue On Safari Party for Tim Walker . It’s fabulous. A safari party with a chandelier, sign me up.

#3: Licorice by Kate Spade New York, Piperlime

IF THIS SHOE WERE A PARTY…it would be a girly, neutral setting with white, tans and champagnes. These neutral shoes would be the perfect accessory for such a beautiful setting.

#4: SixtySeven Baxter Bootie, Nordstrom

IF THIS SHOE WERE A PARTY…it would be a camp-style, rustic-chic shindig. More photos from this outdoor camp wedding from The Sweetest Occasion here.

#5: Valentino Couture Bow Platform Pump, Nordstrom

IF THIS SHOE WERE A PARTY…it would be a pretty, lovely party full of pink peony’s, feminine touches and woman-to-woman conversations. This pink peony dessert table featured at The Party Wagon is just stunning.

{images via 100 Layer Cake, Vogue, Nordstrom, The Sweetest Occasion, Piperlime, The Party Wagon}

shoe week

New York City is celebrating their 2nd annual Shoe Week beginning Sept. 5. Today, we’re shopping for our favorite accessory, especially Jenna’s…SHOES!

And, since some of us can afford to splurge, and some of us can’t, we found some shoes priced high, medium and low. We can only afford to buy the high-priced shoes in our dreams…but a girl can dream…and we know that for sure!

JESSICA
top to bottom, high to low
Valentino Jewelery Couture Bow d’Orsay Pump, Nordstrom {$995}
Halogen Katrina Bootie, Nordstrom {$99.95}
Womens Mossimo Supply Co. Odell Ballet Flats
, Target {$20}

JENNA

Audrey Brooke Perry Bootie, DSW {$49.50}
steal of a deal. i love these booties! so subtle yet sexy with the top cut out.
Isola Isabel Pump, Nordstrom {$109.95}
medium priced. apparently animal print is a big fall trend this year.
Guiseppe Zanotti Swarovski Crystal and Suede Sandals, Saks Fifth Avenue {$1350}
expensive shoes. love these! 

Jenna just couldn’t help herself…she found one more!
Manolo Blahnik Swan Embellished Satin Pumps, Saks Fifth Avenue {$1295}

 JODI
 top to bottom, high to low
Benjamin adams Denia pump, Nordstrom {$340}
Steve Madden pebbbles {$129.95}
Xhilaration lisbeth smoker flat, Target {sale for $22.99 reg $24.99}

{images via DSW, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Steve Madden, Target and Steve Madden}