Sunday, January 29, 2012

DIY Felt Valentine Envelopes

On any given day, you are pretty much guaranteed to find a Pottery Barn Kids catalog laying around somewhere in our house. As much as I love their products, I love their catalogs even more. There is just so much inspiration on every page, whether you are looking to redecorate a room, set a kid-friendly holiday or party table, or re-create an adorable craft. Have you seen these Envelope Chair Backers in one of their most recent catalogs?

Image: Pottery Barn Kids
So cute, right? What a great idea for a Valentine's party, especially if everyone is exchanging cards. My only issue is that I think $19 per envelope per child is a little pricey, no matter how cute it is. So, why not DIY? I came across this great DIY Felt Valentine Envelope tutorial from The Crafting Chicks (who were also inspired by Pottery Barn Kids) and had to share. They re-created these Valentine's Envelopes for less than $5 each. Now that's more like it! You can find a step-by-step tutorial, here, to create your own Valentine's Day Envelope like this one:

And, not only did the Crafting Chicks create an awesome DIY tutorial, but they included FREE printable "love mail" cards that you can print and fill your new Valentine's Envelope with. So sweet!

You can download these free card printables from The Crafting Chicks, here. Thanks Chicks. You rock!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lots of Healthy {Food} Love

 If healthier eating is one of your priorities this year, fill your February with lots of healthy {food} love instead of indulging in the holiday's traditional sweet treats. Here are some healthier HEART food ideas to get you started.

Note: You can also lighten some of the recipes on your own by using less butter, cheese, etc. and by using whole wheat in place of white.

Sources: Heart Shaped Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:; Heart Shaped Eggs:Anna The Red ; Heart Fruit Kabobs: Parents ; Heart Carrots: Super Healthy Kids ; Heart Shaped Ravioli: Annies Eats Heart Cinnamon Rolls: Pinch My Salt ; Heart Pizza: My Recipes ; Cupids Cups: Kraft Foods

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

With Love Photography and Design's Valentine's Photo Sessions

If you are in the Northern VA area and are looking for a great way to say "Happy Valentine's Day" to your family and friends this February, you should check out With Love Photography and Design's Valentines Day mini-session specials.

Mini-sessions are available on Saturday, January 28th and Sunday, February 5th from 10 am - 4 pm. This is a great value and such a cute idea! With Love Photography and Design took our family photos this fall and we were thrilled with the results. To schedule your session or for more information, contact Kerri Gibbs at You can also follow With Love Photography and Design on facebook, here. Tell her that Sheek Shindigs sent you!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valentine's Day Classroom Gift Ideas

If you have any little ones at home, making Valentine's Day cards/friendship gifts may be in your near future. Here are a few fun and crafty gift ideas for your little one to share with their classmates this year:

Sweet Spot Hearts from Martha Stewart, here.

Matchbox Valentine's from Inchmark, here.

Gumball Necklaces from One Charming Party, here.

Message Pencil Toppers from Family Fun, here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Easy Valentine's Ice Cream Sandwiches

Here is an easy idea for a sweet treat this Valentine's Day. Instead of cupcakes this year, why not make Valentine's Ice Cream Sandwiches! 

My kids had been asking me to try to make ice cream sandwiches so I decided that Valentine's Day would be a great occasion to try out these new sweet treats. I am usually a homemade cookie kinda girl but I saw these Pillsbury Ready To Bake Hearts cookies in the store the other day and thought that they would be perfect for making Valentine's Ice Cream Sandwiches. To make, I simply baked the Hearts cookies according to the package directions and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Once cooled, I took a scoop of strawberry ice cream, placed it on the bottom of one cookie, and gently pressed another cookie on top to make a sandwich. I used my finger (it was clean!) to run along the sides of the ice cream and cookie to make it smooth and to remove any ice cream overflow. Next,  I placed the sandwiches in the freezer for about 30 minutes to harden before wrapping them individually in plastic wrap and freezing for storage.

You could, of course, use homemade cookies to create your own version of this yummy treat. I personally just liked the Valentine's Hearts and the easiness of this "recipe".  Have fun and enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ruffled Streamers

Image: Dana-Made-It
Do you love the newly popular RUFFLED STREAMERS as much as I do? I had been wanting to make some for quite some time now (despite the fact that I hadn't used a sewing machine in FOREVER!) and decided to incorporate them into the decor of an upcoming baby shower that I am helping out with next weekend. With the guidance of a good friend, my novice sewing skills were re-discovered and I have been sewing away ever since. I had originally planned on using the RUFFLED STREAMERS to create a dessert table backdrop, however I changed my mind mid-project and I can't wait to show you what I came up with instead. Until then, I thought that I would share a great DIY tutorial link that served as a valuable reference while I was making my streamers. Check out a ruffled streamer tutorial by Dana of Dana-MADE-it, here. Dana's pictures alone will fill you with streamer-inspiration and her tutorial is equally as fantastic.

Images: Dana-Made-It
Got ruffles on your mind yet? Stop by, here, for more inspiration and an awesome tutorial.

Friday, January 13, 2012

{Crafty Ideas} A Handcrafted Valentine's Day

Is Valentine's Day on your party radar yet? If not, don't worry. You still have plenty of time to plan and I promise to post some great Valentine's Day inspiration in the coming weeks. I will start by sharing some wonderful ideas from Fiskars and Lisa Storms on how to add handcrafted touches to your Valentine's Day celebrations. Want to add a little extra personality and customization to your party? A great way to do this is by adding handcrafted items.

Lisa used a few simple items and crafting ideas to create this adorable Valentine's Day table setting. To start off, she created a simple table runner from paper, not fabric. Using a roll of craft paper and Fiskar's "Framed In Love" border punch Lisa rolled out the paper, cut it to size, and punched both sides with the border punch. So simple. So easy. So cute!

Next, Lisa created an ADORABLE placemat that also doubles as a table activity for the kids. Lisa  stitched a tic-tac-toe grid onto a woven placemat and provided X's and O's "confetti" along the table for decoration and game functionality. She also suggested an alternative and less expensive  way to achieve a similar result: draw a tic-tac-toe grid onto craft paper placemats. In addition to the placemats, Lisa added extra handcrafted touches to the drinking straws, napkins, and utensils. A butterfly squeeze punch was adhered to the drinking straws (using a glue dot) for an extra bit of whimsy. Lisa cut a napkin into a heart shape by tracing a heart onto a paper napkin with a pencil and cutting out right inside the line with scissors, being sure to overlap the folded edge. A fork was also incorporated into the decor! Lisa gently folded the napkin and cut two slits with scissors to create slots to slide a fork. By adding a triangle punch at the end with a glue dot, she ended up with an easy arrow.

Lastly, Lisa created this Pixy Stix bouquet to serve as a centerpiece and treat for the kids. Flower punches were added to the ends of Pixy Stix using the limited edition 'Spring Flora' squeeze punch along with the 'Burst' lever punch and 'Oopsie Daisy' squeeze punch. Each was then topped with a heart center. To create leaves, Lisa punched an XL circle and feed it back into the punch to form a leaf shape. She then added candy conversation hearts to a jar and anchored the Pixy Stix Flowers in.

So many great ideas for a Handcrafted Valentine's Day. Thanks to Fiskars and Lisa Storms for all of the inspiration!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

{Real Parties} A Superhero Birthday Party

Real Party features are one of my favorite types of post to share. Although all of the "staged" parties out there are fun to look at and serve as great sources of party inspiration for us all, it's the REAL PARTIES that really amaze me. I love to see all of the creativity and talent that is floating around out there, especially when it comes from a fellow mommy. Today's Real Party feature is a Superhero Birthday Party that was submitted by Laurie of Adoption Creates Families. Laurie (a fellow mommy) put together a party that any little boy would love and she was able to do it on a budget!

How cool is the building background that Laurie made! I also love all of the bright colors that she incorporated and the added black and white polka dot accents.

Laurie used comic books to cover wooden letters to spell out her sons name and to make the party signs and popcorn cones with. You can find DIY instructions for these projects as well as her balloon wreath and superhero Tootsie Pops over at her blog, here.

Laurie also provided guests (and the party boy) with a fun way to remember the special day: a photo op corner! I love any type of photo prop area at parties, especially when children are involved. My kids, at least, alway seem a little more willing stop and get their picture taken when it involves a cool prop.

Great job, Laurie, and thank you for sharing your son's party with Sheek Shindigs. To see more of the party's details, visit Laurie at Adoption Creates Families.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Macaroons, Oh My!

I love to bake. It relaxes me almost as much as a long run, my kids enjoying doing it with me, and I get great satisfaction out of finding wonderful new recipes that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the belly. Although I am usually up for a little baking challenge, I have to admit that I have been completely intimidated by one sweet treat for the past year: the Macaroon. I am not sure what it is about this bite-sized beauty that gets me so nervous but I have decided to face my macaron insecurities and test out one of Martha's recipes before the month's end. I will let you know how it goes. In the meantime, any tips? Any favorite macaron recipes? I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

{Party Inspiration} A Winter Wonderland Dessert Buffet

We got our first official snowfall last night. While it was a mere dusting of snow, everyone in our house was *S*U*P*E*R* excited. My youngest was practicing her snow angels in bed before she went to sleep and my boys were planning how they were going to spend their day sledding, making a snowman, and drinking hot coca. Needless to say, everyone was a little disappointed when they woke up this morning and realized what a "dusting" actually meant (and looked like). The excitement of our first snowfall, even though it was minor, sent me on a search for some winter themed party inspiration. Among all of the great ideas out there, I think that I found a real gem. Back in 2009, The Inspired Bride and Bake It Pretty joined forces to create this beautiful Winter Wonderland Dessert Buffet.

Aside from loving the table's simplistic feel and it's soothing color scheme, I adore the fact that it was designed with YOU in mind. Maddy (of The Inspired Bride) specifically designed this Winter Wonderland Dessert Buffet to be "an attractive but attainable dessert table for anyone looking to add this popular treat onto their wedding, bridal shower, or even a holiday party". In addition to her original post about the dessert buffet, she created 7 additional DIY posts detailing specific elements of the table so that YOU can recreate it, element by element, or use it as a base to build upon with your own creativity. LOVE IT!!!!

Maddy's posts include DIY directions for all of the desserts featured on the buffet, including the cupcakes, brownie pops, marshmallow pops, and the candy display.

Love the Winter Wonderland centerpiece as much as I do? There's a post on creating that as well!

And don't forget treat bags for your guests to stash some of the leftover goodies in to take home and enjoy later!

The Inspired Bride and Bake It Pretty did a wonderful job of inspiring me to create a winter celebration this season. I hope that you are feeling inspired as well. Now there are no have everything that you need to host a fabulous winter shindig....get to work!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

{Etsy Shop} Add Some Sparkle with Party Candles!

The Sheek Shindigs Etsy shop will be introducing some fun and affordable new party products in 2012. The shop's newest addition is a collection of Party Candles. Whether you are looking for a little Glitter, Sparkle, or Swirl, something Slim, Tall, or Striped, the Sheek Shindigs Etsy Shop can help you out! Party candles are a great, inexpensive way to add an extra pop of color and design to your party. Here are just a few of the Party Candles that the Sheek Shindigs Etsy Shop is offering:

Stop by the Sheek Shindigs Etsy shop, here, to check out these party items and more.