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Live...Laugh...Love...30!

This past Sunday, I turned the big 3-0! Together with my husband and close friends, I celebrated this milestone with a birthday soiree at my home. As I reflected over the past 30 years, the mantra "live, laugh, love" came to mind, so I immersed that throughout all elements of the celebration. Good food, fun, endless conversation, laughs, and lots of love perfectly describes the night. I'm truly looking forward to all that 30 will bring. Check out a few photos from my Live, Laugh, Love Celebration: collage1 collage2 collage3 collage4 collage5 collage6 collage7 collage8

Vendor Credits:

Sensational Soirees - event styling

Koyal Wholesale - oversized balloons, mini cupcake stands, gold striped straws, chalkboard clips

TomKat Studio - paper poms, polka dot straws, gold baking cups

CV Linens - chevron table runner and napkins

Kake Korner - birthday cake

Keda Kake Walk - gold cakepops

Tell us what you think about my birthday soiree in the discussion section of this post. If you are planning a birthday party and need some expert assistance, contact us today at info@sensationalsoirees.com.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

 

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Birthday Invitations - To Mail or Email?

Happy Monday! This month on the blog, it's all about birthdays. Prior to any birthday soiree, you must first send out your invitations. In today's internet savvy world, many people opt for online birthday invitations, which can be found on popular sites such as Evite, Postmark, Paperless Post, Punchbowl, and Celebrations. Some of the pros of online birthday invitations are: quick and easy creation process, faster response time from guests and low or no cost. Then on the other hand, many people still love to mail birthday invitations. Why you ask? I happen to believe it gives your guests a keepsake and many people view it as a staple for inviting in style. I personally love both online and printed invitations, and choose which I'll use based on the theme of the birthday and my planning timeline. For my son's birthdays, I opt to mail his invitations, as I love to get creative with the design and wording. For me and my husband's birthdays, I tend to go with an online invitation and receive quicker RSVPs going this route.

For my upcoming 30th birthday celebration with my close friends, I chose to send this online invitation, which was $10 at Celebrations:

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Today, we are sharing some of our favorite printed birthday invitations, for both kids and adults, that can be purchased in our online store powered by Carlson Craft.

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Do you prefer online or printed birthday invitations? Tell us in the discussion section of this post. For your printed invitation needs, visit our online store or email us at info@sensationalsoirees.com for custom invitations.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Sweet Summer - Throwback Thursday Edition

It's "Throwback Thursday", and this month we're sharing inspiration and more to get you prepared for a sweet summer! Today, we are traveling back to last June and sharing some awesome candy tables we did for some awesome kids.

First up is a Pre-K graduation party, where we styled a candy and cupcake table for the special little graduate, Taylor.  We highlighted Taylor's cap and gown colors, which were blue and white, and threw in a pop of pink for a fun and girly touch. You can see the full recap of this cute graduation party here.

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We also did another Pre-K graduation party last June, where we styled a candy table in the theme of the popular Dr. Seuss "Oh, The Places You'll Go". The book was the perfect inspiration for a preschool soiree. We incorporated lots of bright colors and oversized candy decor for a fun twist. Check out more photos and details from this colorful grad party here.

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Our final throwback from last June is my son's 2nd birthday party. The theme was Thomas the Train, so we created a fun blue and red candy and dessert table with lots of custom train accents. You can see part 1 of our recap here and part 2 here. We were so thrilled and honored to have Cameron's party featured on the popular party website Hostess With The Mostess.

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We hope you have enjoyed today's Throwback Thursday edition of "Sweet Summer". Tell us what you think of these candy and dessert tables in the discussion section of this post. If you are planning a summer soiree, then a candy and dessert table would be the perfect sweet treat for you and your guests! Contact us today at info@sensationalsoirees.com to request more information and reserve your date.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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How to Plan a Fun and Memorable Family Reunion

How many of you love your relatives and enjoy kicking back and having a good ole time with them? Well, if your answer is yes, you should definitely consider planning a yearly family reunion, if you do not currently do so. Last weekend, I had such a wonderful time at my family’s reunion! Although we always get together throughout the year for holidays, special occasions and “just because” visits, we have not had a reunion for the entire family in several years. Reuniting with relatives young and old, from near and far was truly special and lots of fun! If you too want to reconnect and have a great time with your family, here are some tips to help you plan a fun and memorable family reunion: 1) Select a family reunion coordinator and committee – Have the patriarch or matriarch choose a coordinator for the reunion or have someone volunteer who is organized, creative, a people’s person and will have the time needed to dedicate themselves to planning a fun reunion. In addition, the committee as a whole should be diverse in age and location, and should represent all family members. For instance, my mom, “event planner extraordinaire”, spearheaded our family reunion, and we had a member from each of her siblings’ families to be a part of the committee. This worked out extremely well, so that each individual family was involved in the planning process and representatives were then able to share all important information with their immediate family.

2) Give yourself plenty of time to plan – In order for your reunion to be successful and well attended, you must give yourself plenty of time to plan. If travel will be involved for some family members, you should consider planning at least one year in advance. This will give you time to come up with great ideas and research venues/travel arrangements, and then create package information to share with the entire family. Planning in advance is also helpful so that the committee and those attending the reunion will have plenty of time to prepare financially, and possibly do fundraisers to offset costs.

3) Get your family’s input and ideas – Families are comprised of different people with different ideas, so to ensure your reunion is one where all will enjoy, consider sending out an initial survey to gather everyone’s ideas. Great questions to ask include:

  • Do you have any location preference(s)?
  • How long should the reunion be?
  • How much are you willing to spend on lodging?
  • What things would you like to do at the reunion?

Gathering feedback from your family will aide in planning with everyone’s preferences as a consideration.

4) Pick a location that is both affordable and offers amenities for all ages – Some relatives may prefer the Ritz-Carlton, while others may prefer a reunion with more of a cabin atmosphere. It’s important when planning a reunion to find a happy medium – somewhere that is affordable and will be enjoyable for everyone. For instance, my family reunion was held in Williamsburg, VA, as the area is very family-friendly and offers many affordable options and things to do. Some family members enjoyed shopping at the outlet malls, while others went to Busch Gardens and then some of the elders enjoyed the many amenities and activities we had available at our resort, Kingsmill. Location is very important, and picking the right one will make or break your reunion.

5) Come up with activities for the entire reunion – Last but certainly not least, no reunion is complete without activities. Whether you plan to host a 1 day, weekend or week-long reunion, you must have plans for how your family will spend the time. My family chose to have a weekend reunion, which was perfect for us since we hadn’t had a reunion in a while. We had a weekend full of fun events and places to go, which included:  Meet and Greet, Family Feud, Family Scavenger Hunt, Chat Session, Games galore, Amusement Parks, Pools, Restaurants, Shopping, Family Breakfast and Dinner, Dancing, Showcase Family Talent Show and more. Needless to say, it was a great weekend, and we even found time for rest and relaxation when we wanted it. My birthday was the Saturday during the reunion, so it was truly special to share it with my loved ones.

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I hope these tips will help you to plan a fun and memorable family reunion, as well. Share with us any fun or unique ideas you have for planning a reunion in the discussion section below.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Choo Choo, Cameron Turns 2! (Part 2)

My son and his friends had a chugga chugga, choo choo good time at his 2nd birthday party. Check out part 1 of this post for more details.

For décor, I chose to stick with the red and turquoise colors of Thomas the Train. Lots of crafting and design went into the overall fun flair I was going for, but it was all worth it for my little man and actually tons of fun.  One special touch that both the kids and their parents enjoyed was the dining cart I designed that featured a custom train cake stand, train cart snack trays, kid friendly snacks and more. We also had some yummy sweets to include: Cameron's Thomas the Train birthday cake (Kake Korner in Laurel, MD), customized cake pops (Kedawalk Cupcakes of DC) and cupcakes made by me. The guest tables were decorated with everything Thomas the Train…from Thomas embellished spinwheel centerpieces, to balloons, to lunch boxes and confetti. First class seating signs and Cameron’s birthday shoot portraits were added to include personal touches.

We wanted the kids to feel like a train conductor, so each child received their own conductor hat, bandana and train whistle.  At the end of the afternoon, everyone departed with a goodie bag, picked up at “baggage claim.” The smile on Cameron’s face when he walked in the party room and throughout the party was priceless! Check out more photos from Cameron’s “party train" (photographed by Paparazzi Pictures) and photos from his 2 year old portrait session (photographed by Capturing Perfection Photography). 

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Sensationally Yours,

Shalyce

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