J & As’ First Rodeo

Birthday party

The absolute best thing about owning a party rental company is having everything you need to throw your own awesome parties!  We went all out for these two’s first birthday this year.  Surviving a year of twins is something to celebrate!

Check out the fun!

The front entrance:

birthday party rentals

Git your gear! All the kiddos received a hat, bandanna, and pony for the party.
birthday party rentalsMy mother-in-law is an incredible artist, so I put her on the spot for a cool western town.  This was the best part of the party! So cute and the kids had so much fun playing in them.

birthday party rentalsbirthday party rentalsbirthday party rentalsbirthday party rentalsThe games were so much fun.  We did hog wrestling, where we blew up a ton of pink balloons, and the kids had to sit on them to pop them.  Whoever popped the most won.  This was hilarious to watch! We also had a roping ring.  My dad made these cute stick horses from wood and we used hula hoops for the ropes.

birthday party rentalsparty rentalsHere are some other details…party rentalsparty rentalsparty rentalsparty rentalsWe love our little munchkins sooo much, and can’t believe they are 1:)

Bibs & Bottles, Diapers & Bows…Baby Boy or Baby Girl, Nobody Knows

When you own a party rental company, it’s not very often that you get to plan your own party.  That’s why it was so much fun to host this baby shower for my sister-in-law, Andrea.  The location was House of Tricks in Tempe, AZ, and it was the perfect place to have an outdoor, intimate gathering.

At the time, we didn’t know whether she was going to have a boy or a girl, so we tried to keep it gender neutral. We used lots of bright colors, glass baby bottles, pacifiers, and ribbons!

The first thing guests saw when they walked in was this cocktail table that had a super cute stand (made from a bed post) where we hung a dress for a girl and overalls for a boy.  Everyone had to fill out a card guessing whether the mommy-to-be would have a boy or a girl and give name suggestions.

The focal point of the shower (and my favorite part) was this bookshelf that held baby trinkets, a giant teddy bear, and cake pops.  This was our take on the now traditional dessert table.  We bought the bookshelf/desk at Ikea for cheap and then spray painted it this green color.baby shower-party rentals


For the tables, we used ribbon overlays that we made in different shades of blue, pink and green.  This took a lot of practice getting them just right, but it was worth it! Centerpieces were simple fresh flowers in bright pink.  I loved the small pink roses and baby’s breath in the glass baby bottles.
We also had an area set up for opening gifts.  We took our outdoor patio couch and draped it with a blanket to match our colors and put another blanket on the ground for guests to put their presents.  Everyone pulled their chairs up to watch the mommy-to-be be the center of attention while opening all her fun stuff!

I love hanging decor, so the glass baby bottles were one of my favorite parts of the shower. We did every other ribbon with a hanging pacifier.

Thank you to my awesome friend, Jennifer Bluth, for taking pictures of this special day!  And to Stacey, Rosie, Maria and Mom for all their innate talent, hard work, and great ideas:)

House of Tricks
Bobbie’s Flowers
Mind Over Batter
Also, in case you’re wondering….It’s a girl!  Blayke Catharine Coxon.  We love her so much!

Fun 4th of July Treats

I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but Pinterest only seems to make me hungry these days!  There are a million totally creative and delicious looking ideas floating around for great 4th of July treats.  Of course, I could never come up with any of them on my own, but luckily I don’t have to anymore.  All of the pictures below come from different blogs, so make sure to click on the links for the original recipes.  These are sure to be the hit of any 4th of July party!

Ice cream sandwiches from Taste of Home.  Perfect for that hot summer day!
party rentalsDecorative pretzels from Cupcakes and Cashmere. Who doesn’t like pretzels and chocolate!Red, white and blue cupcakes from TidyMom. There are so many great 4th of July cupcakes out there, but these really stand out!party rentalsRice crispy treats from  Grin and Bake It. Yum!party rentalsHoliday bark from Bake Decorate Celebrate. Can even be a great hostess gift!
party rentals

Festive punch from Big Bear’s Wife.  Looks so refreshing!

And here are some other great ideas from Pinterest that I can’t find who to credit…

For more great 4th of July ideas, visit my Pinboard!

Say Congrats to Your Grad with Fun Themed Party Decor!

PartyIt’s that time of year again when the kids grow up and reach that big milestone called graduation!  Whether the next step is college or real life, celebrate this special moment with something as bright as they are.  Here are some of our favorite decor ideas from around the web…

Theme:  Obviously your central idea is graduation, but try coming up with something a little more original.  We love this “Key’s to Success” theme from the Celebrations at Home blog. The guests could write notes to the graduate on little key tags.  Click on the link for more great ideas for this theme.

Party TableAnother great theme idea from Piggy Bank Parties, “Picture Your Future,” showcases great DIY party garland with polaroids and pom poms.

Party TableColors: Most people choose to use the color of the graduate’s school as the palette for their parties, but you don’t always have to go that route.  Try just using one of the colors and mixing it with a more neutral shade so it really stands out.  This great neon palette from Martha Stewart will brighten up any party.

Party TableCenterpieces: Ditch the traditional cap and diploma centerpieces and try this elegant book idea.  Your grad should have a bunch of books lying around the house after all those years of hard work!

Party CenterpieceFood: Since guests may have multiple graduates to congratulate on the big day, open houses generally work best.  So, try to keep your menus simple with recipes that will be best at room temperature.  Having a treat or dessert table is a great way to incorporate your theme.

Party Table(Invitation at top can be purchased on Etsy at the syledbykristen shop.)

More great ideas on Cortney’s Pinboard Graduation Party.

Tips of the trade: Some helpful party rental advice

It’s not easy planning an event. Dealing with a party rental company for the first time can be tricky if you don’t know what to ask and expect.  Well, here is some advice to make things a bit easier…

Plan ahead. Start thinking about your party or wedding well in advance of the actual date. Party rental companies have busy seasons.  In Arizona, March-May and October -December are crazy with weddings and holiday parties.  If you want to make sure you get the party rental items you need, we recommend you book large orders at least 2 months in advance if you are planning your event during any of these months.

Always plan for a few extra people than you are expecting.  It is much easier for a company to slightly reduce your order than to try to add items.  Remember that they may not be available at the last minute.

Pick up the phone. You can tell a lot about any company based on the customer service you receive.  When shopping around for the best quote on your party rentals, make sure you take into consideration who you like and will work best with you to make sure your event is a success!

Know what you’re getting. Some party rental items stay in a companies’ stock for years and years.  A lot of damage can happen in that amount of time. You can’t expect rental items to be perfect, but you can expect them to be clean and presentable.  Try to inspect or at least ask what condition the items are in that you are reserving.  If you are covering your rentals with linens or chair covers, this is less important.  Also, I’ve been to several events where the linens were VERY wrinkled.  It’s impossible to get out the folded lines after putting linens on hangers, but make sure the company doesn’t just wash them and fold them without pressing them at all.

Realize what’s included in your total.  Party rental companies will charge you a delivery fee, most likely based on your zip code or area of town.  Most companies will drop your rentals off in a mutually agreed upon location and leave you to move and set up the items.  If you need help in setting up, you can usually arrange this for an extra fee.  Unless you are using Red Diamond Rentals, where set up and take down is FREE with every delivery.

Clear your space.  If you’re planning on having your party at home, make sure you have the area cleared and clean prior to your party rental company delivering any items you have ordered.

Figure out what to serve in the way of the food and drinks, and think of timing. Remember to consider if you will need any extra tables for food or drinks.  A bar perhaps?  The time of day you will be having your party is also important.  Guests will expect more than finger food if you are hosting your event during any of the three major mealtimes.

Allow for extra room. If all of your guests will be seated at the same time, make sure you have a seating chart, or allow for extra space.  I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve been to where couples at the end of the buffet line are stuck without a place to sit, because there is only one spot left at each table.  Remember that guests want to sit with their friends, so allow for plenty of extra seating.

Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to “bug” your party rental company about any and all details.  Your event should be perfect, and you deserve to know exactly what you will be getting.  Also, if your rental company isn’t helpful and quick in responding to you, find a new one!

Negotiate.  If you are planning a large sized event, ask potential party rental companies if they have any deals.  Chances are, they won’t want to lose a large order and will find a way to give you a discount, such as a waived delivery fee or a couple free tables.  It never hurts to ask!

Get advice about other vendors.  Need to know where to find balloons, or maybe the best florist on your side of town?  Ask your party rental company if they have any helpful suggestions.

If you have questions about how many people can fit a table or what size linens you need, visit the Info Page at Red Diamond Rentals.

Crazy Super Bowl Food Facts

Super Bowl Party FoodThe Super Bowl is just a few days away and it is estimated that 7.5 million parties will be taking place to watch the big game on Sunday!  But, before you get too crazy with all the junk food, here are some interesting things to consider before you start snacking…

  • Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day of food consumption behind Thanksgiving.
  • 1,200 calories: Amount the average Super Bowl watcher will consume while snacking.
  • Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest winter grilling day of the year.
  • An astounding 14,500 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday.
  • 293,000: Number of miles of potato chips, laid end to end, consumed during the game.
  • The most popular take-out and delivery items on Super Bowl Sunday are pizza, chicken wings, and sandwiches.
  • It is estimated that Americans will eat 1.25 billion chicken wings over Super Bowl Weekend.
  • Football fans are expected to eat an estimated 69.6 million pounds of avocados during this year’s Super Bowl (mostly in guacamole).
  • 11.8: Depth, in feet, of guacamole consumed if it were spread across the football field.
  • Budweiser has been the exclusive Super Bowl beer advertiser for the past 18 years, and will continue to be until at least 2014.
  • 325.5 million: Gallons of beer drank by Americans that day.
  • 493: Number of Olympic-sized swimming pools that could be filled with all that beer.
  • Approximately 54% of Americans will consume coffee the morning following Super Bowl Sunday.
  • According to 7-Eleven stores, there is a 20% increase in the sale of antacids on the day after Super Bowl.
  • Maybe it’s all the food and drinking, but an estimated 7 million U.S. employees will be no-shows for work the day after the Super Bowl.
  • Remember to be careful please! More drivers are involved in alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year (except St. Patrick’s Day), according to the Insurance Information Institute.

sources: Salem News , About.com , Yumsugar , Treehugger

For cute Super Bowl Party food ideas, check out Cortney’s Pinboard Super Bowl Decorations/Ideas

Fun Party Food Tables

Let’s face it, when people go to a party or wedding, the first thing they ask is, “What’s for dinner?”  If you’re looking for something at your next event that will leave an impression, throw out the hamburgers and hot dogs and try something different!  These ideas will be a hit with all ages. Below are a few (well more than a few since there are so many good ones:)) of my favorites I found.  For more ideas, check out my pinterest board.

Biscuit Bar, Party Food

Biscuit Bar

Cereal Bar, Party Food

Cereal Bar

Cheese Bar, Party Food

Cheese Bar

Pasta Bar, Party Food

Pasta Bar

French Fry Bar, Party Food

French Fry Bar

Spud Bar, Party Food

Spud Bar, try a mashed potato bar also!

Burrito Bar, Party Food

Burrito Bar. Or try a taco, quesadilla or nacho bar!

S'more Bar, Party Food

S'more Bar. This is awesome.

Grilled Cheese Bar, Party Food

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Bar

Fondue Bar, Party Food

Fondue Bar...I had this at my bridal shower and it was delicious!

Other ideas include a pizza bar, a mini hot dog bar, a sushi bar, a popcorn bar and a doughnut hole bar.  Hungry yet?

Sweet Love for Edible Decor

So, candy tables have been popular for a few years now, and there is no short supply of inspirational ideas.  Cookies, cakes and cupcakes all work too.  My favorites are the ones that stick to a color scheme and don’t go overkill with too much stuff.  These are great for any kind of party from birthdays to bridal showers.

Here’s a few things to think about when doing your own table:

Pick a color scheme: Stick to the theme of your party or wedding.  Bringing in other colors will only make the table look too busy.
Use more than just jars: Any kind of vase or apothecary jar will work.  Make sure you create depth and height in your display, so every piece can be seen.  Stick a box or book under the tablecloth so that some jars are taller than others.  You can use cake stands or plant stands to add lift.
Tie in decor: Use some of the centerpieces or decor from other parts of your event to help decorate the table and tie everything together.
Don’t forget the scoops: Make sure your guests aren’t digging things out with their hands!  Tongs and scoops are perfect for picking out their candy.
Bags and containers:  Make sure your guests can take some home.  Little boxes or baggies are perfect for the road.

Here are some beautiful examples:

And here’s my own…And here’s my cousin Tatum’s ice cream stand.  This was awesome and they built the stand themselves!
I found too many!  See more on my pinboard Candy and Other Sweets…YUM!