Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Movie Marathon/Hot Cocoa Bar Party and How to Age Your Own Wood!

Right before Halloween, I came up with this genius idea to put together a Halloween Movie Marathon party.  Unfortunately, the timing was off and the preparation didn't get far.  I loved the movie marathon idea and decided to plan a little bit further out and do a Christmas Movie Marathon party instead.

I wanted this party to be completely different than my last Ugly Christmas Sweater Party so I centered the theme around Hot Cocoa and Ugly Christmas Attire (I didn't want to limit everyone's creativity to just sweaters).  I sent out event invitations via Facebook and kept people up to date on fun things I was planning for the party.

For the Hot Cocoa/Dessert table, I used a plain red table cloth and dressed it up with a fabric garland from Michaels and some red and green ornaments from the Dollar Tree that were spread out on the table.  I used the two pine trees from my daughters Frozen birthday party on each side of the table and my vintage window as the backdrop and main focal piece.  I made a silver glitter Rudolph to place on the vintage window, so that it did not look so plain.

For the serving pieces, I had purchased a cute sled from a local shabby chic shop that I used to hold the hot cocoa mixes (milk chocolate and white chocolate) and the stir sticks for the hot cocoa (paper straws and candy canes).  The glass containers for the cocoa were both purchased at Michaels (use those 40% off coupons).  I also used a common piece from my parties, the wood cake stand from World Market to hold up a glass vase that held some brownie push pops.  For the filling of that vase, and to bring the table a bit more color, I purchased some green, red and silver decorative balls at Michaels.  I used some super cute milk bottles (see my DIY to make these on your own) to serve milk (with cute red and green paper straws from the Dollar Tree) along with some homemade sugar cookies, served on a tin platter from Michaels.  We had a large hot water carafe that we used for our last Christmas party that I wanted to be the centerpiece of the food/drink portion of the table.  To elevate that, I used a small wooden crate, from Michaels, and I stained it to make it look old and weathered (tutorial below).  For the hot cocoa toppings, I used a slab of wood, you guessed it, also from Michaels, and some festive sweater covered coffee/cocoa mugs from Target.  I filled each mug with toppings such as, dark chocolate chips, caramel bits, crushed Andies mints, french vanilla marshmallows, star and tree marshmallows and peppermint marshmallows.  In the center of the large slab of wood, I had some mini sleighs, that were meant to hold an individual cupcake, that I used to elevate some "ugly sweater" bowls that I used for the last Christmas party.  In those bowls were, whipped cream and marshmallow fluff.   I bought a simple, yet festive, tin at Michaels to put some styrofoam cups from the Dollar Tree.

For the food, everyone was asked to bring a dish to share.  We had cookies galore, meatballs and smokies in the crockpot, cheese and crackers, cream cheese dip, chips and salsa, and delicious ham and cheese sandwiches.

We asked everyone to dress in tacking Christmas attire.  Last party, we did ugly sweaters and this year, we didn't want to limit everyones creativity to just a sweater. There was a clear winner, Melinda, a good friend of ours had been harboring a Christmas dress that was by far the favorite of the night.  We spent the evening watching various Christmas movies and playing a game that involved a Santa hat, attached to the TV.  For this game, you take a Santa hat, attach it to the top corner of your TV.  Every time a character on TV gets in the position on the TV to where it looked like they are wearing the attached Santa hat, you take a drink (adult beverage or not).  Was a fun game and had the whole house yelling "HAT".

Over all, the party was very successful.  Everyone had a good time catching up and enjoying each others company.  Now on to planning the next party!  Stay tuned!

How to age wood with simple ingredients from home

You will need:

Large mason jar
Steel wool
White vinegar
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tea bags (I used Lipton ice tea bags)
Clean paint brush
Non-treated wood project

In a large mason jar, place one piece of steel wool, cut into several little pieces.  Cover the steel wool completely with white vinegar and place the lid on the mason jar.  Let mixture sit at least 24 hours.   When 24 hours have passed, boil 1/2 cup of water.  Add 2 tea bags and allow to seep for 10 minutes.  When tea is done, using a clean paint brush, brush the entire surface of the wood with the tea mixture.  Allow to completely dry.  Once the tea is dry, use the steel wool as a brush and brush the tea stained wood with the steel wool/vinegar mixture.  You will begin to see it darken immediately, making it easy to see any missed spots.  You may leave it the way it is, or use a fine sander and sand very lightly over the aged wood.