Hey Party People!
I don’t know about you, but summer for me in Minnesota means grilled food, pontoon rides, bass fishing, lake hair (don’t care!), country music concerts, and tons of time with family and friends. It’s been a BLAST so far but I can’t believe it’s already mid-July! Seriously, where did June go?! The summer always flies, and I hope you are enjoying this season as much as we are!
Last month, we showed you how to create a balloon installation in your own home as part of our “Christmas in July” party blog series. We walked you through gathering all the materials, tools & equipment, along with photos & copy on how to install it anywhere in your home. If you missed the fun on that blog post you can find it here!
Now, are you ready to continue with our prep for the “Let’s Flamingle, Jingle, & Deck the Palms” Christmas in July party!? I am hosting this shindig on July 29th, which is coming up so fast! We are going to walk you through the SIMPLE text (that’s right, via phone) invites we used, along with sourcing & gathering materials. We even put together a grocery shopping list (remember we are making gingerbread beach houses) for you to make this party planning a breeze!
Let’s get started!
I am a total culprit of ALWAYS thinking invites need to be printed and sent in the mail. Anyone else feel the same?! I’m old-school that way! I haven’t jumped on the paperless invite train yet, but with summer being SO busy I just didn’t have time to print, cut, address, stamp, and mail out invitations like I usually do. I wanted to keep this party casual and super easy, so I decided to create a custom graphic jpeg that I then sent to my guests in a group text message!
Want to do the same? Here is a link to my jpeg. I left room for you to add your own text to it. Here's how:
Upload the Jpeg into any program that allows you to add text (Adobe Programs, Paint, Preview, Powerpoint).
Make sure to include your day, time, and address.
If you’re on a MAC computer without Adobe Programs, the easiest way is through Preview (image below): Open the jpeg in Preview, click on the icon that looks like a little purse (green circle) in the right corner, use the T button (orange circle) to add text!
Pick any font that works well with the existing font. I would suggest something simple & bold.
Don’t forget to pick a color that works with the palette too!
Save your Jpeg and then AirDrop it to your phone.
Send it out via text to all your guests in a group message!
For your guests to RSVP… ask them to double tap the image in the group message if they are a YES! That way you can get an automatic head count! It’s also a great way to give your guests updates about the party and requests you may need from them on the day!
SOURCING & GATHERING MATERIALS
I LOVE thrifting items for my parties. It’s the thrill of the hunt that makes me so excited! I love scoring deals and finding one-of-a-kind pieces that bring the WOW factor. But, as I mentioned before, summer is crazy busy and I didn’t have the time to thrift. That’s the one thing about thrifting … it takes time and sometimes, a lot of it! With that being said, I turned to some of my fave one-stop-shop party businesses and my tried & trues to help me out. Here are some of my finds:
Santa-shaped plates from Shindigz
A polka-dot table cover from Shingiz
A Shindigz flamingo lightbox
Shindigz Christmas party picks
Confetti napkins from Shindigz
Plate holders from Target
Plastic scoops from Party Value
Dollar Tree plastic forks
Dollar Tree trays
This party is ALL about color and making gingerbread beach houses! I grounded the tablescape with a simple red & white polka dots plastic table cover from Shindigz. I chose plastic for easy clean up since we will be working with very messy, sticky materials. I then wanted each guest to have a “building station”. I used Target’s Sun Squad round tropical paper plate holders. They came in a pack of 6 with the cutest pastel colors from our palette. I thought they were a great play on the other bright poppy colors. Placing a white plastic or melamine plate in each plate holder gave each guest the perfect surface to build and a strong surface to carry their houses home on. Each guest was given a pastry bag filled with “icing” along with a knife to smooth it out.
Once a gingerbread beach house is assembled it needs to be decorated so I created a mini candy bar as our “centerpiece” for the tablescape. I started the “centerpiece” with a hot pink lightbox flamingo from Shindigz! I then chose simple white plastic/melamine containers and trays to hold and display the candy. Don’t forget scoops, serving spoons, & tongs for the candies!
Choose candies that are in a variety of colors and textures. Have some hard candies and some soft, pliable candies as well. Don’t forget beach houses need SAND! For an easy, cost-effective material I blended Cheerios in my blender! A ton of bang for your buck! You can also add in some savory items if you so choose, like mini stick pretzels & Triscuits! Let your guests get creative and give them time to be artsy, whimsical, and child-like! Decorating the houses is ALWAYS the best part!
BITES & SIPS
Building gingerbread beach houses is a lot of work! Don’t forget to plan some sweet & savory bites for your guests while they build. To stay with the “Christmas in July” theme I selected recipes that were Christmas-inspired with a summer twist: Frozen Hot Chocolate, Pina Colada Punch (For this recipe I am not going to blend it. Instead, I will add water to dilute the concentrated punch), Holiday Cranberry Jalapeño Dip, Lump of Coal Oreo Treats and a Christmas Tree Fruit & Cheese Charcuterie Board (where we'll use these adorable picks!) I also sourced some WOW factor plates & napkins from Shindigz and lime green melamine cutlery from DollarTree to tie everything together!
GROCERY SHOPPING LIST
- Gingerbread Beach House Items -
(1 batch = 2 guests) Icing Recipe
1 pound confectioners' sugar (sifted, more as needed)
1/2 cup room-temperature pasteurized egg whites (or 3 large room-temperature egg whites)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Mini Stick Pretzels
Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds
Gummy Blue Sharks
Good n Plenty
Black Rope Licorice
Candy Cane Sticks
I love planning parties! It’s the quality time around a table with people I love that gets me every time. The conversation is energetic, the laughter is resounding, and it’s in these moments I see God the most. I love that parties bring people together and create an atmosphere only parties can! It is my hope that this blog post series has inspired you, helped you, and given you an inside look into Party Planning 101! We will see you back here in August as we showcase our “Let’s Flamingle, Jingle, & Deck the Palms” party!
Katie & The Uncommon Team