This category is filled with the fun I have with my friends and reviews of the places we go.

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Throw a Kid's Party on the Cheap!

Have you thrown a party for your kids lately?  If you have, you know just how expensive it can be!  I searched and searched for a reasonable venue and crafty inexpensive party ideas.  This is what I put together for my kiddos and some of their friends and it was a hit!

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Fun with Friends : Emilee's Bee hive

Today I am introducing you to Emilee.  She attended art school at the Kansas Art Institute and decided it wasn't for her when she discovered how introspective it was.  She wanted to focus on others and her life now is proof of that.  

Emilee is passionate about the planet.  She was the volunteer coordinator over the community gardens in Springfield, teaching and training in the garden.  Now she works for AmeriCorp whose mission is to eliminate poverty and improve resilency.  She also works part time with the farm to school project getting local foods into the school cafeterias. 

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6 Tips for Throwing a Party in a Small Venue

Over the weekend my sister-in-law threw a retirement party for my father-in-law.  The venue was a small brewery.  They have a party area upstairs and it seats around 30.   It turned out so well.  The party felt intimate but not overcrowded.  There was just enough food without tons left over and desserts to spare.  It was casual without any cheesey party games and grown up fun with beer tickets for everyone.  The details stood out and added a personal touch.  It seemed effortlessly put together but the truth is when planning a party of this size there are a few things to consider that you might not have thought of. Do you feel a list coming on?  I do :) 

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County Fair Gotcha Party

 I'm surrounded by the most amazing women you guys!  One of them is Lacey.  She is inspiring and a beautiful human being inside and out.  She is down to earth and a real friend.  Her husband is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and they love their kids so sweetly. Lacey and her husband are foster parents and recently adopted 2 of their girls.

 I encourage you to listen my podcast where I interview Lacey and ask the big questions you want to know about foster parenting. What are the challenges?  What are the joys?  What's it really like?  Is it hard to let go? and more.

Now we're going to take a look at their adorable Gotcha Party.  The theme of the party was a County Fair.  It came together so well and the kids especially had a good time.  First we'll take a look at the decor.

 

The tables were covered in gingham and topped with sunflowers and hydrangeas.

The kids had an extra fun time with the county fair 'booths' that were set up.  Adopt a Pet

  

A Ball Pit and Face Painting                                              

Fish for a Duck and punch for a prize and make a flower

 

A balloon animal maker and Bumper Cars

  

And check out this adorable food table with a 'Farmer's Market' of fruits and veggies.

 And my very favorite a photo backdrop of quilts with a banner that says Forever Family. 

 I am so happy for Lacey and Dennis and we love their family. I'm glad their girls have found their forever home with such loving and kind parents.  Their party was adorable and I'm glad to share it with you.  I love themed parties.  They are my favorite.  Have you thrown a themed party?  What was it?  Where did you find your inspiration?  Share your thoughts and as alwaysStay Crafty

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DIY Paint and Sip Party

This post contains affiliate links.  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This week's Fun with Friends was really a good time.  I've always wanted to try one of those paint and sip places where you paint some relatively easy art and enjoy some wine with friends.  But I checked out the prices and I thought to myself I could do that myself for the same price and have an entire party.  So as a hostess I didn't really save any money but I threw an ENTIRE party for the price of about one admission to a standard paint and sip night.  And we had snacks.  For the truely thrifty set of friends each person could bring their own supplies and this party would be so cheap.  So I'll do my best to describe my party to you so you can get the best value and most fun possible.

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April Huggins
Exactly! We moms need all the cheap and fun ideas for girl's night we can get. ... Read More
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:16
April Huggins
We had a blast! And being prepared helped me not to be nervous!
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:15
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Fun With Friends : A Review of Dublin's Pass

 

We were provided with a free appetizer at Dublin’s Pass in return for this blog feature.  I do not accept compensation in return for a positive review.  All opinions in reviews are my own.

 

As a mom of two I really relish my nights out with the girls.  Awhile ago I went to a certain restaurant ( not Dublin's). I had planned a pretty big event and it was completely ruined by the poor management and wait staff.  They double booked our party and one of my friends ended up leaving before her food even came.  It was a total bummer especially when you only get out every once in awhile! 

I decided from that experience to try and let people know what restaurants are totally awesome or totally not.  Because our time is valuable my friends and we shouldn't have to waste our hard earned cash on a terrible night out.  

My latest lady's night took place at the downtown location of Dublin's Pass.  They serve Irish Pub fare and they've done a pretty remarkable job with transforming the building.  It really is nice inside.  There are distressed columns and arches.  The building is filled with the smell of guiness cheese and upbeat pub music greets you at the door.  In the evenings there is live music and of course center stage of the restaurant is the large squared bar.  It is the perfect environment for some fun!

 

My group was seated in a semi private room .  Our youthful waitress was dressed in tall green socks and short shorts.  And just about everyone ordered at least one green drink.

  

 

I took note of what everyone ordered and sampled most of it.  I won't bore you with a lot of details about what we ordered but I will fill you in on a few of our favorites.

The favorie drink was the Gaelic Giant.  It is big.  It is green.  It is good.  I also enjoyed the Irish dream.  It was a creamy good time.

Scottish eggs!  Hard boiled eggs covered in sausage and deep fried then sliced in half.  They are served with spicy mustard.   I can't believe I didn't get a picture of these.  They were delicious. Everyone loved them. These were the best of the appetizers we tried by far! I know they sound weird but they are worth it!

 Sweet Chili Wings. They were nice and crunchy on the outside and moist in the center with a sweet spice to them.

 

 

Cottage Pie- This was described to me as a more delicious version of shepard's pie.  My friend, Leann, said out 5 stars she gives it 10 :)

 

 

Bread Pudding was a table favorite for dessert.  Although we do recommend adding ice cream on top.

 

 But with all of the positives I do have some negatives to report.  A friend ordered a chicken sandwich and thankfully she cut into it before biting it because it was raw in the middle. It had to be remade.  Granted, mistakes happen but she didn't receive any amount off of the sandwich.   Another friend ordered the Guiness Cheese Soup and was very disappointed to find it more like dipping cheese than soup.  She did not eat her dinner and the waitress never noticed. The service was slow and the waitress was pretty unknowledgable.  Although, to her credit she was very sweet. One pretty big inconvenience is that the bathroom is located outside of the building shared with the theater next door.  When the theater let out there were long lines.  But a plus was the lighting was pretty good for a selfie. ( we all know Springfield cares about that!) 

 

 

 

Overall, we had a great time at Dublin's.  If you're looking for a noisey good time with live music, great drinks and pretty good food this is the spot for you. If you are concerned about speed and attentive wait staff maybe try it another time.

 My grade for :  Downtown Dublin's Pass(out of 5 stars) 

Atmosphere : 5 stars

Staff Knowledge: 3 stars

Attentiveness: 2 stars

Speed of Service: 3 stars

Taste of Food: 4 stars

Overall: 3 1/2 stars 

What'd you think of my first review?  Would you like to see more?  What places do you love in Springfield that I should try?  See you next week.  Stay Crafty!  

 

 

 

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