Girls Night (or Day) Fun

Ice Cream and Cake Birthday Party

icecreamcakebirthdaypartyplanningThis year I decided at the last minute to have an ice cream and cake birthday party.

Here’s how I pulled off a fabulous 40th Birthday Party in a few days.

I texted/emailed my friends and family the invite. I sent each one individually so that my guests wouldn’t be bothered with reply all answers.

Trust me, this is very important.

Plus, the personal note was a nice touch, especially given the timing.

Next I ordered a custom cake.

40th birthday cake edible bowThe other supplies were easy to purchase, but the cake needed personalization. I chose Sweet It Is and luckily they could fit me in. You can also try your local grocery store in a pinch.

Once the cake was ordered, I worked on my party shopping list.

For decorations I made a sign to frame in an 8×10 frame for the ice cream buffet table.

ice cream party bar free printable signFeel free to download the free ice cream buffet printable and use!

I went with gold and white, and splashes of pink, for my theme colors. This saved time and money because I was able to repurpose Christmas decorations.

I love using white for entertaining because it is the perfect backdrop for almost everything. For this event, my white was the tablecloth and some of the serving pieces.

The white tablecloth was a nice balance for the glitzy gold. I draped a bright pink cloth over the cake stand to add a pop of color to the table and to bring out the pink flowers in the floral arrangements. I picked the flowers at Trader Joe’s.

toppingsicecreambarI wanted to keep a carefree atmosphere (and limit the amount of work I needed to do) so I let the ice cream and cake buffet table serve as the decorations. It served as a focal point, and even better, there was only one area to clean up at the end of the night.

I set up a smaller table with drinks and supplies for overflow.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re having an ice cream and cake party.

Make sure you have dairy and non-dairy options. I purchased vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream. I also purchased coconut milk ice cream and soy milk ice cream. This provided options for guests that were vegan and/or dairy free.

Offer different types of toppings. I included fruit (strawberries and blueberries), candy, chocolate and hot fudge. I also added cookies and cake. This way each person could make their own favorite dish.

Start later in the evening. I had a start time of 7 p.m. so that guests could have dinner before coming. I made sure everyone understood it was an ice cream and cake party, but the time was a further reminder to eat dinner beforehand. This also worked for the kids, because it was a great treat after their dinner.

Set everything out and let your guests serve themselves. This was an easy party to organize in a short period of time, because most of the supplies could be purchased in one place, and the buffet was self-explanatory. This also meant I had time to socialize and enjoy the party, not work the party.

Enjoy and good luck with your shindig!

Cinderella on Broadway – A Review of our Girls Day Out

cinderellaonbroadwayreviewWhen I heard Keke Palmer was joining the cast of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway I knew my princesses had to see it. First of all, they love everything princess and secondly, they’ve loved Keke since watching Akeelah and the Bee.

I’m also an advocate of taking children to live shows.

We went on a Saturday afternoon and the audience was sprinkled with little girls and adults wearing tutus and tiaras. It was a beautiful and delightful atmosphere, even before the show started.

Once the lights went down my girls were hooked. The show is 2 ½ hours, with a 15-minute intermission, and not once did they complain about the time.

In true Broadway fashion, this was a magical experience. The sets, the costumes and the acting were stellar.

I can’t say enough about the costumes, especially the dresses. We were all awestruck with Cinderella’s dress transformations. The first time we were like, “WOW!” and the second time we were trying to figure out how they did it!

Keke does an amazing job as Cinderella. She has a beautiful singing voice, which complements her acting. She truly transforms into Cinderella on the stage.

I must also highlight Sherri Shepherd as the wicked stepmother. Sometimes an actress’ personality can overshadow the role they are playing. This is not the case with Sherri. Her personality adds to the role and even though you don’t like the stepmother, you find yourself not hating Sherri.

Other things to mention:

  • This adaptation of Cinderella is similar to the story you’ve read, but there are enough differences to keep your attention.
  • They have done a good job of adding humor, and you will laugh out loud.
  • This adaptation shows more of the personality of the stepsisters, which is a good thing.
  • The wedding scene is GORGEOUS!!!

Enjoy and I’d love to know what you think of the show!

Girls Night Out at BoneFish Grill

bonefishgrillreviewgirlsnightoutReview of Bonefish Grill New Menu

Last week I had the pleasure of a Girls’ Night Out to try the new menu at Bonefish Grill. Let me start by saying I love their bang bang shrimp! It has been a favorite for many years, so I was happy to see it stayed on the menu.

As part of the new dishes, there’s a Bang Bang Shrimp flatbread on the starter menu (top photo). It was VERY. GOOD!

However, let me warn you, it is spicy so make sure you have a drink ready. I wasn’t expecting the spicy so I had to take a minute to pull myself together after the first bite, :-).

Luckily I love spicy foods, so yeah, I was HAPPY!

For my meal I tried the ahi tuna steak with the newly added crab fried rice. The tuna was fine (order it medium rare), but the crab fried rice was definitely the highlight. This was my first time trying this dish and it won’t be my last.

Overall, it was a nice night out for dinner with people I like.

Bonefish Grill has a nice ambiance that works for a Girls’ Night Out as well as a romantic evening or even a family dinner. During my visit all of the above was there and everyone looked like they were having a good time.

We went on a weekday, so there wasn’t a wait, but it can get busy on weekends. If possible, make a reservation.

Enjoy your visit and I’d love to know if you find a favorite on the new menu.

Disclaimer: As a member of #BlogCharlotte my meal was complimentary. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. I value your trust and would never post something I didn’t believe.

Girls Night In Party Idea – Vision Board

Vision Board Supplies And Gratitude Journal

howtovisionboardsuppliesThis past weekend I had a few girlfriends over for our monthly book study. Because our topics included gratitude and joy, I thought it would be nice to have each person work on a vision board.

In true “Towanda fashion,” it couldn’t be just a vision board. I wanted our boards to be a part of a journal… an overall one-thing-fits-all journal to capture our gratitude thoughts, life plans, general happenings and achievements throughout the year.

To prepare I bought poly folders with prongs and pockets, sheet protectors, glue sticks, various types of paper, markers, crayons and pens. I also supplied magazines and scissors.

Some of my girlfriends came up with AWESOME vision boards. They put their creations in a sheet protector and added it to their folder. Behind the board I encouraged them to add loose leaf paper that they could use to journal.

It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I started the process. Notice I say “started.” That’s right. I facilitated the process, encouraged everyone else, but I just couldn’t find the right pictures for my vision.

Now, I’ve tasked myself with locating other images and finishing before Christmas.

I’m sharing my half-done board because many of you may be planning to do your own vision board, and you may get frustrated when you can’t find the right images.

This frustration can be amplified if all you see are finished boards and don’t see the struggle that went into it.

Now, you don’t have to beat yourself up if you don’t finish it in one setting. I’m here to keep you company, :-).

Girlfriend Brunch? Take A Chocolate Platter

chocolate dessert platterI love having girlfriends over, but I also love a girlfriends day out. Especially when there is food involved. And there is always food involved.

This month we met at a local restaurant for brunch, partly to celebrate my birthday and also to celebrate National Chocolate Day.

Yes, in TowandaLand chocolate is celebrated, lol!

Since the restaurant was serving typical brunch fare the manager let me bring in a chocolate platter. I kept it simple with a zebra apple and chocolate-covered pretzels from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, cupcakes from a local cupcakery and Godiva chocolate.

Here’s why I love being with my friends. Give us a meeting place, food along with a couple of good conversation topics and hours will fly by. There will be laughter, advice and more shared.

It doesn’t take much for us to have a good time. And we all leave feeling happy and rejuvenated.

Girls Night Out: Cirque Du Soleil: Quidam

Review of Cirque Du Soleil: Quidam

To say this was an amazing show does not do it justice. I was mesmerized by the performers. The theatrics and acrobatics were jaw-dropping.

And this is saying a lot since I had NO IDEA of the storyline until I came home afterwards and googled it.

Yes, I sat through a two-hour show, was entertained and amazed, and I didn’t realize what Quidam was about.

Overall, I would highly recommend Quidam for a girls night out (I went with a great group of women) or a date night. I would not recommend it for kids under 11, because some of the acts are a little risqué.

Now, if you’ll excuse me,  I’m going to check the gym schedule and add Pilates back into my workout routine…

Spring Cleaning Naturally With Lemon, Plus Spring Party For Girlfriends

Spring Cleaning with LemonThis year I kicked off Spring by inviting a few girlfriends over for a Spring Cleaning Naturally-themed Girls Night In Party.

The idea was to talk about our organizational challenges, share tips for cleaning and most importantly enjoy good company, food and conversation.

To start, I served a Spring-themed dinner menu:

  • Fruit Tray
  • Pineapple salsa with blue and sweet potato tortilla chips
  • Pineapple baked chicken
  • Rice pilaf
  • Green beans
  • Hawaiian sweet rolls
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Lemonade

Since one of my friends is a Thirty-One consultant I asked her to talk about the organizational benefits of the line.

They really have some cool stuff and I ended up buying a catchall bag for my trunk and a cute wristlet for quick trips to the store.

I made these spring cleaning guides as a favor for party guests.

Spring Cleaning Guide printable

If you’d like to make your own, here is a free printable of the spring cleaning guide. Simply double-side print the pdf, cut and trim the pages. Then punch a hole in the top left corner and tie together with ribbon.

If you’re planning to host a ThirtyOne party or just want a good reason to pull some friends together, this one is a good theme. It was extremely easy to plan and a fabulous time!