Farewell Fete Favorites

Yes, you read that correctly. You might be wondering just where your weekly cocktail is, but we switched things up just a bit to share the bittersweet news of A Feteful Life’s upcoming closure. We’ve been blogging at AFL for almost a year now and love, love what we’ve done in this space. But our lives have grown busier, our plans ever-changing, and so we’ve decided to take a blogging break. But don’t worry. We continue to come up with middle-of-the-night ideas for our future, so we’re sure we might be back some day.

In the meantime, after tomorrow, all the AFL content we’ve posted over the past year will be available right here. Rebecca will continue to blog activities, DIYs, and celebration fun at her family-friendly lifestyle blog, Not-So-SAHM. And Suzanne plans to continue to pursue her love of graphic design and photography.

In celebration of our next to last day, we’ve each combed the AFL files for our Fete Favorites. It was hard task for both of us and we hope the blog has been as much fun and a source of inspiration for you as it has been for us. Thanks so much to all our family and friends (new and old) who have read, commented, and hired us! As always, friends, FETE ON! {and, don’t worry, they’ll be a farewell cocktail tomorrow!}

Rebecca Farewell Fete Favorites 

A Feteful Life: Rebecca Farewell Fete Favorites

celebrate / create / eat / give / love

Suzanne Farewell Fete Favorites 

A Feteful Life: Suzanne's Farewell Favescelebrate / eat / love / create / give

 

Rosh Hashanah Hostess Gifts

I can’t believe the Jewish New Year starts in just a week! It always sneaks up on me as I’m finally getting into the groove of school. So I tried to plan ahead just a bit this year and pull together a few useful hostess gift ideas incorporating the traditional holiday food customs. L’Shanah Tovah!

A Feteful Life: Rosh Hashanah Hostess Gifts

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DIY Candied Jewels

A Feteful Life: DIY Candied Jewels

While I’m getting a bit sad that warmer weather will be on its way out soon (although it has been super hot and humid around DC lately and I won’t be sorry to see that go), I love love to see fall jewel tones make their arrival. Couple that with my general love of all things sparkly and a real sweet tooth (it is some serious kind of cruel that Halloween candy is already in stores), I thought I’d try my hand at making some edible candied jewels. Now, as I’ve said before, I’m really not much of a baker. I just lack the ability to measure exactly and patiently work in that particular arena of the kitchen. And while I love how these candied jewels turned out, they certainly pushed my frustration meter to the limit. It took me lots and lots of tries to get a good batch and, even then, I’d make a random bad one. They’re not difficult, but they require some time to concentrate. I do think they’d be beautiful as a lovely little favor packaged up in a glassine bag, served alongside a cup of cider or hot toddy, or even topping a plain cake. So set aside some time to slow down and try them yourself!

DIY Candied Jewels (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 tablespoons corn syrup
– gel paste food coloring
– 1/8 teaspoon of flavor extract, such as lemon, orange or cinnamon (optional)
– cooking spray

Other Equipment
– hard candy gem molds (such as these)
– candy thermometer
– pyrex measuring cup

Directions
1.  Spray molds lightly with cooking spray and set atop waxed paper or aluminum foil.

2. Bring sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat in a saucepan. Heat until mixture reaches 300 on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat immediately and add 1-2 drops of food coloring and 1/8 teaspoon of flavor extract if using. Transfer mixture to a pyrex measuring cup and let settle for 15-30 seconds.

3. Slowly pour mixture into candy molds sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Fill molds until just below the top. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Tips
– Make sure the mixture is heated to exactly 300 and then remove quickly from the heat source. If it’s under that temperature, the candy will be sticky. If over, the mixture will caramelize.
– Pour less than you think will fill a mold cavity to start out — the mixture expands a bit once its in there.
– If candy hardens inside of your saucepan and/or pyrex measuring cup, fill the saucepan with water, place measuring cup inside, and bring to a boil. Discard water once residue melts.

A Feteful Life: DIY Candied Jewels

A Feteful Life: DIY Candied Jewels

A Feteful Life: DIY Candied Jewels

Back to School! Breakfast

A Feteful Life: Back to School Breakfast

Woohoo! It’s back to school for my kiddos today! We were actually all so excited about it that I thought it’d be fun to have a low-key “back to school breakfast” for my loves. And it forced me to finally “interview” both of my kids, which I’ve really been wanting to do, so I’m going to pretend it was my plan all along to do a back to school interview. It’s all up over at Honest to Nod today — check it out!

Want to hear your own kids say sweet and funny stuff? Just click right here to download our free Back to School Interview printable!

And thanks to The Land of Nod for gifting us the Meri Meri Toot Sweet Collection items and the growth chart!

A Feteful Life: Back to School Breakfast

A Feteful Life: Back to School Breakfast

A Feteful Life: Back to School Breakfast

Free Printable Lunch Notes

A Feteful Life: School Lunch Notes

I don’t know how it’s possible but my first born is headed to first grade in two short weeks {tears}. It’s true what they say, kids grow up so very fast. So, with the new school year looming ahead, I’m coping by focusing on what I love about this time of year…  buying mountains of  school supplies, new clothes, new backpacks & lunch bags, etc.

Apparently first grade is a big leap year in our school district, which means a lot more academic work and homework. I know it’s going to be an exhausting start of the year for him so I want to do some special little things for him to help him ease into the year. I would put notes in his lunch periodically last year and he would always come home excited on those days telling me how much he loved his note. So, this year I’m designing some pre-made notes (along with a blank one to write personal notes) to ensure he has those special moments more often. And, lucky for you, I’m giving the free printable as well! So just print, cut and make your kid’s day. Here’s to a great school year!

A Feteful Life: Printable School Lunch Notes

Lunch Notes Pics-2

A Feteful Life: Printable School Lunch Notes

A Feteful Life: Printable School Lunch Notes

A Feteful Life: Printable School Lunch Notes

A Feteful Life: Printable School Lunch Notes

DIY Picnic Printables

A Feteful Life: Picnic Printables

One of my most favorite things about this summer thus far has been the vast number of picnics we’ve been having. From front porch lunches, to outdoor music concert dinners, we’ve been eating outside a whole lot. It means less cleanup for me and an ability to stay out and about for longer periods of time. And my whole family’s been loving it. But just because it makes things more simple, doesn’t mean it has to be plain. So I had in mind to put together a printable set of fun labels to dress our picnics up a bit. Then, in fortuitous timing, party supplier PartyPail asked us if we’d like to test out some of their plain party goods. Perfect!

In keeping with my current love of the black + white combo, I designed a set of labels and straw flags that I used on a variety of PartyPail’s great picnic goods (plain white cups, chevron dessert cups, large clear cello bags, and striped straws). And I loved the printables so much that I decided to share them with you for free. Just click on the link at the end of the post to download them. Print the circle labels on plain white label sheets and punch out with a 2″ circle punch. Print the straw flags on white paper or cardstock, cut out, and glue on a striped straw. Always simple, never plain!

p.s. my easy picnic menu? salted watermelon + chèvre + mint; prosciutto + mozzarella + basil baguettes; dark chocolate almond bark with sea salt

A Feteful Life: Picnic Printables

A Feteful Life: Picnic Printables

A Feteful Life: Picnic Printables

A Feteful Life: Picnic Printables

A Feteful Life: Picnic Printables

A Feteful Life: Picnic Printables

CLICK RIGHT HERE FOR PICNIC PRINTABLES!

Disclosure: PartyPail provided AFL with paper party goods in exchange for this post. No other compensation was provided and all opinions herein are our own.

Kids Science Club

A Feteful Life: Kids Science Club

In case you missed it, we shared our fabulous Kids Book Club last week over at The Land of Nod’s blog, Honest to Nod. We all had such a blast at Book Club that when The Land of Nod asked what else we were cooking up for our kiddos this summer, we knew instantly that we had to expand our club idea to a Kids Science Club. And, fortunately for us, The Land of Nod has the most perfect party supplies available for our meetings. We got together for a few fun experiments, some sweet snacks, and lots and lots of fun. And we’re sharing it all over at Honest to Nod today.

We love our club so much that we think you should have one too! And to help you out, we’re offering a few free printables that coordinate well with the Meri Meri Fundamental Party Collection that we used — links to the downloads are below! The supplies are so, so cute, that we couldn’t help but think how super easy it would be to turn our little science club into a birthday party. So we went ahead and designed a printable invitation and party pack (including the straw flags, 2″ party circles, and milk wraps you can see at our club) all easily customized for your little scientist with a big day coming up. Take a look and gather those summer loves for some science fun!

Fete on!

Free Printable Links:
Science Club Labels — can be used as place cards, food labels, experiment labels … the options are endless.

DIY Rock Candy Favor Tags — see how we used these to put together a little tasty take home experiment! these are sized to fit 6-ounce mason jars, but you can adjust the size when printing to fit your own needs.

A Feteful Life: Kids Science Club

A Feteful Life: Kids Science Club

A Feteful Life: Kids Science Club

DIY Favor Tags + Stickers

A Feteful Life: FREE DIY Favor Tags + Stickers

I’ve run the gamut on party favors: from homemade slime for a kiddo birthday party to more upscale bath + beauty products at a wedding shower, and everything in between. And I’ve finally settled on my favorite favor presentation for most small’ish items (and I’ve also settled on giving away small items in general): a clear bag, made sturdy with a favor tag inside, and folded over and secured with a coordinating sticker on the back. It’s a no-fuss, minimal packaging that still looks well styled.

I’ve been using these so much lately that I thought I’d share a set of bright, summer-colored tags and stickers with you! {Just read through the directions and click the link at the bottom of the post to download}. In addition to whatever favor you’re giving away (our DIY lip balm is a great favor, btw), you’ll need:

– white, heavyweight cardstock (at least 90 lb weight) to print the favor tag
full sheet sticker/label paper to print the stickers
– a 1.5″ round punch
– a pair of scissors
– clear plastic favor bags (the files are set up for 4.75″ X 6.75″ bags, but if you have smaller ones, just reduce the size when you print)

A Feteful Life: FREE DIY Favor Tags + Stickers

A Feteful Life: FREE DIY Favor Tags + Stickers

1. Print out the tags onto heavyweight card stock and cut out. Print stickers onto sticker sheet and punch out. 

A Feteful Life: FREE DIY Favor Tags + Stickers

2. Place favor tags into plastic bag and add your favor. Leaving enough room for the favor, fold the plastic bag to the back.  

A Feteful Life: FREE DIY Favor Tags + Stickers

3. Secure the flap of the plastic bag on the back with sticker. 

A Feteful Life: FREE DIY Favor Tags + Stickers

A Feteful Life: FREE DIY Favor Tags + Stickers

A Feteful Life: FREE DIY Favor Tags + Stickers

CLICK RIGHT HERE to download your free set of favor tags (first page) and stickers (second page). Fete on!

Last Minute Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Andale, Andale!  It’s Cinco de Mayo! I’m a little off my game this year and have done nothing to prepare for Cinco de Mayo. Luckily, I was able to find some quick and easy ways to create an awesome last minute celebration. It doesn’t take a lot to create a festive celebration thanks to these fantastic ideas…

A Feteful Life: Cinco de Mayo1. Fringed Fiesta Napkin Rings by Confetti Pop – A little tissue paper or crepe paper and a paper towel cardboard insert and you’re good to go!

2. Printable Fiesta Gift Bags by Camille Styles – I love these beautiful {free} printable gift bags. The design of the streamers is just beautiful.

3. Baked Churros by SprinkleBakes – Say what?! Baked churros… yes, please!!

4. Crunchy Black Bean Tacos from theKitchn – This recipe looks amazing and you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry just waiting for you.

5. Tequila Lime Spritzer from GlitterGuide – As I mentioned last week, I have a spritzer addiction so you know I’m all over this festive cocktail!

 

DIY Block Letter Garland

I’m going to guess that you already know that I LOVE a good garland. They’re such an easy way to decorate for almost any occasion. And I’ve really been loving all of the block letter garlands out there recently. But what if you want one that says something other than Happy Birthday? Sure, you can custom order one, but that can get spendy (although we’d be happy to make one for you!). So I thought I’d put together a free printable template (link at end of post) for you to easily make your own! The possibilities for these lovely letters are really endless. You can print them full size onto colored paper, use white paper and paint them in yourself, reduce the size and make a mini garland, make your own template to trace onto fancy paper … I’ve shown just a few ideas below. Don’t worry about cutting out the letters perfectly or spacing them exactly evenly — I think making it look handmade just adds character! Happy garlanding!

A Feteful Life: Block Letter Garland Template

 1. Simple message, bold prints. I printed out the initials of my husband and me and added a simple plus sign in between. I find that if you’re not using many letters, it’s easiest to simply tape the letters on to twine and they’ll stay lined up enough. This would also look cute framed.

A Feteful Life: Block Letter Garland Template

2. Colorful letters, silly words. It’s spring and I’M HAPPY! For a longer garland, I suggest actually stringing the letters onto twine (see our pennant bunting directions 2 – 4).

A Feteful Life: Block Letter Garland Template

3. Short saying, sparkly letters. Sometimes you just need to pat yourself on the back. Glitter always helps. I printed the letters out at 25% size onto card stock, cut them out, and then traced them onto the back of glittered card stock. Once I cut those out, as with 1., I just taped these letters on to the twine and then tied the twine onto two bamboo skewers to make a mini cake garland.

CLICK HERE to download the free block letter garland!