Mickey and Minnie Disneyland Decorations

Disneyland Excitement Decorations

Who says you have to host a party to decorate for a special occasion?  We recently visited my parents’ house in Southern California and while we were there we went to Disneyland.  My mom is great at getting us all excited and ready to go to the happiest place on earth.  Before we arrive she pulls out all of her “Disneyland” decorations to make her home feel like an extension of “Mickey’s House” which is how we often refer to Disneyland with my 3-year-old.

This picture was taken at the end of a week of fun so all of the treats are gone but, you can get the idea.  🙂

The big eye catchers are the large picture of Mickey and Minnie which actually used to hang in my room as a kid.  I was definitely obsessed with Mickey in my youth – something that has carried into the rest of my life and is starting to get worse now that I have littles.


Perfect little details like the park guide maps add a special touch.


And these darling chip and salsa bowls were found at a grocery store, if you can believe that.


I made these Mickey inspired garlands for my mom to add to her decor.


My talented sister made this candy jar! I plan to have a tutorial on how to make this up soon.  Watch for it!


I just love the stylized pants!


Iconic ears in top of the candy jar.


This Apprentice Mickey and the whole gang pictured below were found in a cute little shop in Solvang.  Mickey and the broom come apart as the separate pieces and they are held together by magnets.  Darling, right?!


Mickey and Minnie come apart from Goofy and Donald in their salt and pepper pair.  My kids just eats these up when we visit.


It is all about the presentation, isn’t it? Not just a meal, or a party, but a trip can be taken to the next level if celebrated!

Pirate Party For All Ages



This pirate party my friend threw was AMAZING! I was just soaking up all of the details like I was at Disneyland. The entrance set the mood for adventure.



Treasure chest with real sand.  My youngest may or may not have started playing in this like a sand box.  I had to drag her away kicking and screaming.


Hand painted signs throughout the party added a touch of character and charm.


There is something magical about hanging things overhead to create a false ceiling feeling.  This one made you feel like you were walking aboard the Jolly Roger and getting ready to walk the plank.


Pirate garb for all of the little guests to wear.



If you have a cute garage – use it! This charming garage makes for the perfect back drop for the food spread.


The use of handwritten food labels carries the effect of the piratey signs to the food table.


Adorable cupcake toppers that can be found here and here.



Smash cake swimming in golden treasure.


And these were just too darling not to share.


Oh, and these too.



More signs and those fantastic lanterns.


This was truly a piratey party, perfectly set in a lush green backyard under the summer stars.  You may recognize this sign from my Pirate Fairy Party.








Book Worm Getting to Know You Party and Question


This particular even was a church get-together.  It was a combined “getting to know you” activity and book drive.  It was such a great event!


For decorations, we went with a “back to school”/”old school” theme.  So lots of apples, pencils, and book pages.  The bouquets of sharpened pencils reminded me of You’ve Got Mail.  Anyone else quote that one still?


We used long rectangular tables and put butcher paper for the “table cloth”.  Crayons were included as part of the centerpieces so guests could draw on the tables, which gave the party a child-like fun feeling.


This is probably my favorite part of the evening – aside form the mouth watering crepes – the getting to know you questions! As a group of diverse women it is tough to have one blanket question to really get to know a person.  That is why this set of questions is dyno-MITE.  It has a huge variety of questions ranging from your very first memory as a child to your worst job.  Anyone in any life situation or at any age can answer these questions.  Find the full list HERE.


Behind the crepe table was this back drop which included a shimmery red apple garland and vertical hanging pieces of this 3D book page garland.


In addition to having everyone answer their questions, we had them bring their favorite book for “show and tell” to go along with the theme and the book drive.  We were in tears laughing about the stories that were told from the questions and even sharing some books.  I would host an event like this again in a heartbeat.

Ballerina Baby Shower and Free Printable

This posh ballerina baby shower will melt your heart and you will love these FREE printable water bottle wraps for any ballerina party!


My hubs had a huge group of guy friends in high school and they have all managed to stay close which I think is just amazing! This shower was for one of their wives.  Since all of us (guys and wives) are good friends we invite all of the couples to come to showers.  It is my new favorite way to have baby showers.  Who ever said that the moms and dads to be can’t celebrate the new baby?

The mom and dad to be are expecting a baby girl so the little ballerina theme was fitting.  I used the royally chic bunting banner and ribbon chandelier that I posted tutorials on earlier.


Here is your FREE printable.  Ah, yes. Keep scrolling of the link.


I just love these dinner mints.  Never get sick of seeing them at parties, though I am not going to pound an entire bag of these like I could with Milk Duds.  Even still, they matched the color scheme beautifully!


It is all about the details. Instead of just a vase with flowers, add a coordinating bow for understated elegance.


The ballerina cupcake toppers can be found in my etsy shop in pink and light pink.

Download your FREE PRINTABLE.

Frozen Themed Party

My niece turned five last month and, like almost every five-year-old I know, she loves the movie Frozen.  So here is a compilation of some great things from a bunch of different blogs.  My sister threw this amazing party and oh man, do I wish I could have been there!


Like I said this is a shout-out to all of the brilliant work that has been done and tutorials that have already been written.  This is a collection of our favs that were discovered on Pinterest.

The food table was completely adorable!


Pretzels as Sven’s antlers.


Mini marshmallows as Elsa’s snow balls.


Cheetos puffs as Olaf’s noses.

IMG_9830  The continued use of all things crystal, blue, white, and purple adds to the Frozen theme.


These funny and adorable water bottle wraps can be found HERE.

IMG_9833  This Arendelle Printable Bunting Banner can be found HERE.


Printable crowns and antlers can be found HERE.  My sister lamenated them and attached them to ribbon/headbands for easy use.


The inspiration for this cake came from HERE and the printable toppers are HERE.

Links to little bonuses that are not pictured: Thank you notes & a Scavenger Hunt Game.

Nightmare Before Christmas Inspired Halloween Party Decor and FREE Printable


Confession: The Nightmare Before Christmas is my favorite Halloween movie ever.  Followed closely by Hocus Pocus.  But really, who does not have The Nightmare Before Christmas at the top of their “spooky” movie list? If you don’t, please share.  I am open.  If you are like me, you will LOVE the free printable.


I really wanted to do the bat display on the back wall which started off the entire piano decoration area.  Then it sort of turned into a Nightmare Before Christmas tribute.  The printable has my favorite phrase from the opening song, “In this town we call home, everyone hail to the pumpkin song”.  Just try not to get that stuck in your head the rest of the day.


My sister offered up the idea of putting a fishbowl on top of an old candle stick to make an elevated candy dish.

diy jack scarington candy dish

 As I was tying on coordinated ribbon, I thought it looked like Jack’s bow tie.  Then, with a little help from a black Sharpie, we had Jack – the pumpkin king.  Just fill with white candy. I think he is quite darling!


The pumpkins bursting with character as well as that amazing tree are from my sweet mother-in-law.


This would be very simple to recreate on a welcome table for Halloween party guests with just the printable in a frame with the “Jack” candy dish next to it.


Download your printable here.

My Love Letter to the Tracer

Dear Tracer Projector,

How do I love thee? A lot. Like $70 worth.  Actually more than that. You have made projects and parties possible for this little budget of mine.   I usually walk into a party supply store, see the cardboard stand-ups of my daughters favorite characters, think “that would be nice”, then look at the price tag, think “yeah right”, remember I have you tucked away in a closet at home and smile.

You makes things like this happen.


Or this.


With just the butcher paper roll from home depot, some colored pencils, and an hour or so of my time I can have a personalized, life-size version of the cardboard stand-up I just saw in the party supply store.

I can also create personalized “Pin the _____ on _____” that fit perfectly with my party.


Seriously though, It doesn’t stop with the cartoon characters, I can use text printed from my computer.  All I have to do it print it straight off my computer, place it under the tracer and follow the lines.  Add a little chalkboard marker magic and I get something that looks like this:



The New York Skyline is a breeze when I can lean on the fabulous simplicity of you, dear Tracer.


How did I ever live without you?

Sincerely Yours,


Find your own Tracer on Overstock Here. (Not a sponsored post)

New York Themed Bridal Shower

Oh my! I am just in bridal shower bliss.  We had the most amazing bridal shower tonight for my sweet cousin who will be tying the knot in less than a month.  The first New York themed shower I’ve been to but, it was so great that I will just have to use this idea again!  There are so many things I loved about this shower that I just couldn’t choose a feature picture because I seriously couldn’t pick a favorite.

Where to begin… I guess with the front door.


To set the tone for a New York themed shower, there is no better way than making a statement with the entry. No doubts here, this party will be about celebrating love and a love for New York.


This party was all about the details.  There were bowls of freshly picked red apples around the house and garden to celebrate the bride’s love of the “Big Apple”.


The detail of bumper to bumper traffic of taxi cabs was strung on the dessert table. The reference to the song New York with the phrase “Start spreading the news”  was on the invite, on the apples on the dessert table, and the news paper wrapping on the dessert table.


The idea with this shower was to enjoy dinner in “Central Park”.  Guests would go though “The City” (the house) and arrive in “Central Park” (the back garden).


The table centerpieces were completed with motifs of popular attractions in Central Park like Belvedere Castle, the Carousel, the Zoo, and Conservatory Garden.


Now for the table scape and the mouth watering food.


Dinner fit the theme with a home made and personalized “New York Style” pizza.


Dessert followed suit with these adorable mini cheesecakes topped with raspberries and mint leaves.  *sigh*


Seriously, too cute for words and so delicious that I had to sneak another one while everyone was outside.  I will work on getting the recipe for you guys.  It may require a bribe and some Cinnamon Roll Popcorn.  😉


The second dessert is a copy-cat of the beautiful bride-to-be’s favorite dessert from New York – Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Bread Pudding. Of course, it was also delicious.  You really can’t go wrong with bananas, sugar and cream.


Then, for the favor, another cousin made these ADORABLE cookies! I can remember my first (and only *sad face*) trip to New York City when I bought one of these iconic shirts. I guess this delectable t-shirt cookie will have to hold me over until my next trip back to the “Big Apple”.


Doc McStuffins Party

Today, I am featuring Emily Hodges Photography’s Doc McStuffins party.  She is a talented photographer and party hosting wiz.


Let’s highlight some brilliant and simple ways to get that wow factor at any party.


Wrap a box in color coordinated wrapping paper from the dollar store to give some height to your refreshment table.  Then, use the rest of the wrapping paper, or another roll for just a buck, as a table runner.  Another punch of coordinated color with little effort and money.


Whatever your theme is for your child’s birthday party, chances are you have a toy or two that goes with it.  Showcase them! Doc is the star of this table.


As I was first looking through the photos from this party my 3-year-old was sitting on my lap and instantly shouted out “Doc McStuffins! Doctor Bag!” What a great simple way to enhance the theme of your party.


Now, how adorable are those band-aid cookies?!  Brilliant, right?  Practice piping little hearts and once you get it down, you’re done in like 10 minutes.


Another super simple and adorable detail is to have a bunch of band-aids and add a heart sticker to the middle to look like the signature Doc McStuffins band-aid.


Have each guest bring their favorite stuffed toy and during the party, give them a check up.  Complete with a check list straight from the big book of boo-boo’s and those adorable band-aids.


Every guest gets a headband.  Very simple to make or here is a very similar option on etsy.

I haven’t even posted all of the pictures from this cute party on Emily’s blog.  Here is the post to check out the rest.

If you would like your party featured on The Handmade Shindig please leave a comment and I will contact you. 

Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Popcorn & Free Printable

I hope you have enjoyed Popcorn Week on The Handmade Shindig! Please let me know if you would like to see themed weeks like this in the future.

You will find a FREE printable at the bottom of the post to celebrate Popcorn Week!

caramel pretzel chocolate popcorn

If you love chocolate and caramel dipped pretzels as much as I do, you are going to LOVE this popcorn recipe.  You know that moment in the movie Ratatouille where Remy is introducing the delicate combinations of foods to his brother? He introduces the strawberry. Delicious. Then the cheese. Delicious. But put them together…Fireworks!  Ok, well I am not saying you will feel like you’re in Paris when you eat this, but you need to savor this complex treat to get the full experience.


I used Paula Deen’s Caramel Corn Recipe as a base and added pretzel pieces and topped with drizzled milk chocolate.

Here is what you’ll need: 

1 Cup Butter

2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

8 Cups Popped Popcorn

6 oz. Milk Chocolate Chips

3 Cups Broken Pretzel Pieces


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.Over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes. That is a strict 5 minutes – set a timer.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Stir well. It will start to foam up a bit here.  That is normal.   Pour over the popcorn. Stir to coat well. Mix in the pretzel pieces.  Bake in large pan for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper or foil to dry. Melt the chocolate chips.  Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave for 10 seconds an stir. Repeat in 10 second intervals until completely melted.  Transfer melted chocolate to a ziplock bag, cut the tip of the corner off and drizzle over the popcorn/pretzel mix.  Allow chocolate to cool to harden.  Store in an airtight container.


I call it “Jackson Pollock Food Art”. Savor this sweet and salty treat!


This is the free printable! Adorable labels for your popcorn bar!


Print on white card stock, cut on the dotted line, and fold in half.


Download your free printable HERE.