Happy New Year

Happy New Years (14 hours in advance for all you Western Hemisphere peeps) ! We are currently sitting on our couch with our girl dog and house guest, Coco, another happy & sweet girl dog, watching Planet of the Apes (well I'm blogging, he's watching), drinking spiced apple cider and eating chocolate. The clock strikes 2014 in 2 hours or so, and we're snuggled up on the couch, at home. Are we old or what? ;) Don't you worry though even New Year's Eve, couch sitting folk, know how to get down. We made sure to pick up some bubbly before we got cozy and we'll be sure to greet 2014 with a glass of Prosecco. Mmm. Prosecco. Have you had it? It's delish. Please don't ask me to explain it because all I know is it's white, sparkles like champagne and is way cheaper. The top will even fly off. Score. Enough rambling. This post was only for me to say, have a fantastic New Year's! Enjoy! Celebrate! Have joy! Be thankful for 2013 and look with hope towards 2014! The Lord is good & loves you & has a hope & a future for your 2014! Thank you dearly for all your blog love this past year. I'm so very thankful and blessed for this intra space (internet space=instra space? It works, ya?) & the ways I get to connect with you, Readers, through it. 
Grace & Peace. 
post signature


Harry Potter Murder Mystery Party: The Setting

I know these Harry Potter Murder Mystery posts are long over due. I promise one day I'll be finished with them. :) In case you are interested and missed the two before you are welcome to catch up on the cast of characters and the food on my previous ole' bliggity blog posts. 

The setting was one of my favorite parts of the party. Did I already say that about the food? Okay, let's be honest, I just love all aspects of putting on a party! But setting up was particularly fun.
Alot, of that fun came from Colleen's blog just Sweet and Simple. I am forever thankful for all her hard work and the amazing fact that she decided to share all of it on her blog! 
All her signs, labels and ideas made everything come together!
The living room table still being set up. I purchased 4 black candelabras online for around $1.50 each. I love them! And they can be painted in the future for use in other parties. They made such a difference with the whole party feel and worked out perfectly for lighting. 
Our table only seats 6 so we had to get creative for our 12 person dinner party. We put 4 desks at the end of our table, which worked out perfectly for space. But, this insured that we had to be creative with a table cloth, too. Who wants a fancy dinner without a table cloth? And seriously how bad would a wood table with 4 white foldable desks on the end look? (Lets just ignore the white foldable chairs, okay? :) ) Soooo, walah! We found our gold & terrible looking former bedroom curtains in our linen drawer, which turned out to be the perfect size and somewhat beautiful as Harry Potter party table cloths. I'm not sure if our landlord will appreciate the spaghetti sauce stains, but hey, in the name of the party, they had to be used. ;)
I bought these awesome lanterns online for $6.00. Seriously, your next party check amazon for some cheap and awesome deco. Oh wait, most of you probably live in America where there Goodwills and thrift stores a plenty. In that case, check your local Goodwill or thrift store. But to save time, just go ahead and check out Amazon, too. Does Amazon pay for promotion plugs? (Amazon. Please take note of how I am encouraging use of you. Feel free to send a lofty check/gift card. ;) ) Floo powder sign can be found here.
In China there are tons of small shops that sell little cutesy items, like; tiny clothespins with bears on them, cute little notebooks, cutesy bookmarks, or little vials/jars, like the above, with rolled up paper scrolls in them for love notes. These little jars were perfect for the potions corner. We took the love notes out and decorated each jar with a PolyJuice Potion label. I'm not sure if anyone noticed but I loved the small detail.
The "Mix your Potion" area. Ideally this area would have held tons of mixers for some of these Harry Potter cocktails but we had to go with the cheaper option. :)
We made sure to make everyone a Harry Potter wand. They were so fun to make and complete. The finished product was amazing, in my opinion and it couldn't have been easier. Buy cheap chopsticks, put hot glue around the top in whatever pattern you prefer, roll in rice, pebbles, sand, whatever you fancy, let dry, and paint. Easy peasy.
Everyone loved their wands.
We played a fire on the TV all night, which was also a nice touch and added to lighting in the room.
The table filled with appetizers. 
The dining room.
Place settings. 
I LOVED the table. It looked awesome. A few days before the party we started gathering items around the house that could be used for decorations. Anything that was unique, wooden or dark colored made the cut. We covered some books with wrapping paper and wrote Hogwarts book titles on them. 
Pumpkins added a great touch. Also, the Christmas lights plugged in at the far end and draped across the table looked fantastic.
The Care of Magical Creatures book--loved it. It now sits on our shelf all year round. :) And I have yet to, and don't think I ever will, uncover all of those books. Catherine just did such a great job with the penmanship. Love. Love.
On the mirror behind the table I taped the "owls" and their deliveries. Each owl held an important pack of information pertaining to the mystery.
How many pictures can I post of the table? I know. Right. I just loved it and was estatic with how it all turned out. And I want to remember!
Even the wine bottles placed through out the table added to the feel! Can you tell this was our first proper dinner party? I guess the Harry Potter part takes away from the proper part, but you get what I mean.
Picture 545 of the table. Bored of seeing it yet? Okay. Moving on to.... the bathroom!
The Ministry of Magic! Such a great idea! Again, that was all. Printable found here.
I also wanted to have a picture of Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom. I know at other parties people have mentioned making a recording of Moaning Myrtle to play in the bathroom, too. There's just an endless amount of details and ideas you could add to a Harry Potter Party! 
Signs found here
 Thanks for letting me share with you this little love project of mine. I had more fun prepping for this party and putting it together than I've had in a while. If only our budget allowed us to have fun parties like this every month. :) 

To view ALL the links for labels, invites, script, etc. Go here! :) Enjoy and party on. :) Lame. I know.
post signature

Santa Baby

 Keeping with the tradition of Zachary as Santa Claus, (the tradition that started last year, but whatevs, still a tradition :) ) Zachary again played Santa for our school. The kids, of course, LOVE this! They get to sing songs, Santa comes and gives them presents! This year the school really stepped up their game with the Santa outfit they provided. I mean check out that beard. It's legit.
 Grade 3 students getting settled, waiting for Santa!
 This year we have a new Chinese co-teacher at our school that lived in Oklahoma for 2 years. She came back from the States with tons of great ideas and influence at our school which has been awesome for the kids because her idea was to have each kid bring a gift for every student in their class! So this meant every kid received 30+ presents on Christmas Eve! So fun! Of course they all needed a stocking to keep all of their presents safe, so Santa and Rudolph passed out stockings to each child.
 They were so excited! We were excited, too! It really made this Christmas feel more like Christmas with the extra Christmas cheer. :) My cheeks hurt from smiling so much! 
 The Primary school English department minus Zachary who's in high school! We have SUCH a wonderful team! I am so very blessed and thankful for my coworkers. They're just wonderful.
Santa's a stud. And pretty skinny for Santa!
 My hero. ;)
 Ya. So Zachary, upon putting on the Santa suit, got a giant rip in the pants. Haha.
 After the hallway Santa festivities the kids went back to their classrooms to pass out their presents. We conveniently went to each classroom and said hello and took pictures. Convenient because we got lots of "extra" presents. :) I know, we're bad. Christmas Eve was also Laura's  (above) birthday so her class got presents and a birthday cake. What a fun birthday!
Every Grade 1 student, in addition to stockings, received a panda bear warm hat with our school motto embroidered on the back. 
Santa's ripped pants. :) 
Friday afternoon our English office was told that we needed to decorate the whole hallway for our Christmas festivities. We scrambled to put things together on Monday with the short notice but the hallway still turned out nicely festive. :) 
We had such a great Christmas Eve day! Though sometimes it's sad to be working on a holiday, we were so thankful for a fun day at school this year and didn't mind working at all! :) Hope you all had a merry Christmas! 
post signature
Pin It button on image hover