Monday, May 30, 2011

5 Steps for an Even Better Birthday

You might think there is no better way to throw a birthday party than to have good friends, great cake, and fun games, but we've got some ideas to help you make that special day even better — whether you're celebrating the birthday of your child, sibling, parent, best friend, spouse, or anyone!

Step One: Use Hats

Cone-shaped birthday hats just don't get enough love these days. They are so fun, no matter what your age, and they also double as the perfect cup for those extra tasty birthday sweets. Find birthday hats to fit your guest of honor's personal tastes or the party theme.

Step Two: Have Cake for Breakfast

Nothing tastes quite like birthday cake, so why not have it for breakfast? It only comes around once a year, after all. Serve it in bed with a glass of milk.

Step Three: Collect Special Birthday Notes From Family and Friends

Nothing brightens a person's day like a special note from family and friends, especially those who can't be with the birthday boy or girl on the special day. Save up notes and cards and present them in a special album or scrapbook.

Step Four: Make it a Week-Long Celebration

It might get expensive to give a gift every day, but there are other small things you can do to make sure the celebration lasts all week long. Give your child a week off from chores or start each day of your mom's birthday week with fresh floral bouquets.

Step Five: Make it a Surprise

The traditional surprise party is the obvious way to go, but there are other ways you can fill the day with special surprises that the guest of honor would never expect. Show off your new found cooking or baking skills or coordinate a surprise visit from family or friends that live out of town.

Don't forget to share your special birthday ideas with us in the comments!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our Favorite Memorial Day Recipes

Memorial Day is almost here, and it's time to finalize the menu for your backyard cookout or family picnic. We've scoured the internet looking for some deliciously summery foods that you can share with family and friends this Memorial Day. So if you've been putting off trying to plan a menu or select the perfect item to take and share, check out these yummy recipes for a little inspiration!

Cherry Orange Salad

This delicious mix of greens and fruit comes from Elana's Pantry. It's light and summery and complements just about any menu. Plus it's also a gluten-free salad.

Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad

This recipe comes from the Recessonista, so it's tasty and cheap! We thought the ingredients seemed a little unorthodox, but it's a dish that doubles as a conversation starter. How refreshing is that?

Patriotic Taco Salad

Memorial Day originally started out as a way to remember those who served in the Civil War and has turned into a day to remember our veterans, soldiers, and loved ones lost. So patriotic dishes are certainly appropriate on this special weekend. In lieu of the typical patriotic berries and cream dessert, try out this new American flag-inspired dish from Taste of Home.

Barbecue Spiced Chicken

No Memorial Day menu is completed without a barbecue dish. This tasty barbecue chicken recipe comes from Razzle Dazzle Recipes and features the savory seasonings of onion, garlic, dry mustard, Tabasco and brown sugar. So light up the grill for a one-of-a-kind BBQ treat!

Don't forget to check out for tablescape ideas and fun, festive yard pinwheels!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fun in the Sun: Backyard Party Tips

Pinwhirls Make Great Outdoor Centerpieces Too!
If you're ready for some fun in the sun, don't miss these tips! Plan ahead for your Memorial Day and 4th of July cookouts, family reunions and block parties.

Backyard Party Tips
  1. Add something special to your outdoor decor. Just because you're going to be outdoors doesn't mean you can't decorate! You can make the party festive with just a few simple finishing touches including hanging decorative summer lighting; lining your walk, driveway, or garden with twirling yard Pinwhirls; using torch lights or candles; and hanging beautiful flowering plants from lawn hooks or overhangs.

  2. Think about food safety! Remember that foods that require refrigeration can be difficult to manage at an outdoor party. If your guests will be grazing on food over several hours, the majority of foods you select should be safe to serve and hold at room temperature. For everything else, keep it refrigerated or on ice until just before serving. Then put it away after everyone has been served. Cold items can be brought out again later if people are still hungry for seconds.

  3. Don't forget the yard games. Depending on the size of your yard, you can play lot of fun games at your party from badminton and volleyball to cornhole and horseshoe. Ask your guests to bring over their favorites.

  4. Send your invitations early. Summer schedules can fill up quickly, so send out party invitations early! It's a good idea to send out save the date reminders and announcements for your summer block parties and family reunions too.
Summer is a great time to get together with friends. What outdoor party tips would you add to this list?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love."  
--Mildred B. Vermont

Pinwhirl Bouqet Inserts
Mother's Day is only a few days away, so have you thought about how you are going to celebrate this special day with your mom? Many families will be treating mom to a special dinner and be extra helpful around the house to show her just how much she is loved and appreciated. 

Many husbands and children are also trying to find the perfect gift for the special mom in their lives. We have some ideas to help you find just the right thing for your outstanding mom.

Special Gifts for Moms

  1. Bouquets: Flowers are a traditional Mother's Day gift. You can go with daisies or roses or lilies or whatever flower happens to be your mom's favorite. Check with your florist to see if you need to order early to make sure they can keep up with the huge demand. If you are looking for something a little more unique, try a Pinwhirl bouquet. They're colorful, fun, and the don't die or require extra care.
  2. Coupon Booklets: Give a gift that keeps giving and create a booklet of coupons for extra hugs, dinner out, help cleaning the kitchen, a manicure, and much more that Mom can redeem whenever she wants.

  3. Subscriptions and Gift Cards: These can be personalized for your mom, no matter what she's interested in. Try magazine subscriptions, salon gift cards, or Kindle gift cards for starters.  
No matter what you decide to get mom, the most important thing you can do is personalize it. Include a handwritten note in the card or make a thank you video to let her know how much you love her and appreciate that she has been there for you!