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.

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!

Shop Clean, Eat Clean

A Feteful Life: Shop Clean

I am notorious for walking into the grocery store, in particular a well-known organic chain, for something as little as a bunch of bananas and walking out with my wallet $300 lighter. I am a lady who needs a food shopping plan and I started weekly menu planning a while ago. It became even more important once I started consistently eating a clean/Paleo diet — you can spend serious bucks on organic food at the drop of a hat. Menu planning and grocery list making help me keep everything organized and in check. But the grocery list template I bought a while back doesn’t work for me anymore. I jam everything into two categories and the rest of the pre-printed area covering the internal shelves of the store are a total waste. So I’ve been wanting to make a clean eating shopping list template and I thought that the new year would be a great time to share one.

This covers all my favorites and things in season, and whether you’re new to eating clean/Paleo/primal, are about to start your first 30-day challenge, or are a clean eating veteran, this should come in handy. I’m about to embark on my second Whole30 challenge and clean those holiday goodies right on out!

Just click RIGHT HERE to download your own printable grocery list template and meal planning chart. I like to print them double-sided on one piece of paper so I have both in store with me.

A Feteful Life: Paleo Shopping List

A Feteful Life: Menu Planning

Happy New Year and Fete Favorites 2014!

Happy, happy New Year! We hope everyone had a fabulous New Year’s Eve and had a chance to celebrate in whatever manner you love — whether that’s couch surfing the New Year’s shows or dressed up in glitter and out dancing. And either way, we hope you get to spend the first day of the new year doing something wonderful. We’re looking forward to a year full of fete and thought it would be fun to share with you our 2014 Fete Favorites. Here’s to a feteful new year!

Suzanne’s Fete Favorites

A Feteful Life: Suzanne's 2014 Fete Favorites

1. Celebrate  Despite the fact that it has only been a few weeks since we officially started winter, I’m already dreaming of the warmth of late spring and summer. As soon as the temperature starts rising, a backyard movie watching party will be soon to follow. I love this beautifully styled party by DesignSponge.

2. Eat  I know french macarons have been around for a while but I really love them. A friend recently told me about a local cooking class that focuses solely on these sweet confections. I cannot wait to sign up!

3. Create — I’ve always loved the look of hand screened items whether they are on paper or fabric. On my to do list for 2014 is to start learning the art of screen printing. Stay tuned because I’m sure some of my future DIY projects will include this technique.

4. Love — Prior to having kids, my husband and I used to travel a lot. We loved it. We have traveled since having kids but mostly to visit family or to go on mini vacations just to two of us. This year we’ll be traveling a lot more than we have in the last few years and that is making me so very happy. Oh and how gorgeous is this Bric’s Bellagio Luggage? I want it now!!

5. Give — One of my New Year’s resolutions is to make sure I let my friends and family know how blessed I am to have them in my life. I’m starting to design a collection of gift tags to always have on hand just in case I see something that reminds me of them. And because I’m thankful for our readers, I’m giving you three of the labels I designed so you can let your loved knows they are appreciated as well – Just click here.

Rebecca’s Fete Favorites

Rebecca 2014 Fete Favorites

1. Celebrate New Year’s Eve might be over, but I’m not giving up the confetti just yet. I love, love, love the idea of a confetti party, complete with a confetti bar (I love this one from Glitter Guide for Kate Spade NYC) and confetti’d drinks and desserts. I can’t imagine how anyone could keep a smile off their face while surrounded by confetti. This will happen in 2014.

2. Eat one of my absolute most favorite and indulgent anytime meals is a burger topped with a fried egg. I at least typically take it off the bun, but still — it’s a culinary splurge. My favorite local bite is the bloody mary burger from Matchbox, but this one from Susan Spicer’s Bayona with jalapeno and dill pickle slices looks pretty boss, too.

3. Create — I have no idea who I can convince to let me make a metallic fringe backdrop like this one from ConfettiSystem, but I need to make it this year. What the whaaaaat.

4. Love — coffee is most definitely my sixth food group. I try to eat dairy sparingly, so I generally reserve lattes as a weekend treat. They don’t have to look this pretty, but man it’s nice when they do.

5. Give — one of my favorite party details is striped straws with flags. I make them for almost every single party I have — they are super easy, but add such a fun and festive touch. And, seeing as I’m clearly on a metallic/glitter/confetti kick, I made a set of glittery gold flags for you to sparkle in the new year. Just click RIGHT HERE to download your own set of AFL glitter straw flags! Cut the flags out, run a glue stick on the back, and fold around a paper straw. Boom, party in your glass.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

A Feteful Life: Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Are you still looking for ideas for Christmas gifts? I always love getting and giving homemade food items and this year I decided to gift my own homemade hot chocolate mix. I used a recipe I found by Alton Brown and made a few additions. I gave one batch a kick with a little cayenne, another batch a little spice with some cardamom, and to the final batch (for my kiddos) I added chopped up peppermint bark. Obviously I had to try each batch to ensure their quality and I can assure you, they are fabulous. Package them up in some cute jars and use these free printable labels (2 1/2″ circles) and you’ve got a quick and easy gift with stuff you probably already have in your pantry. Happy gifting!

A Feteful Life: Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix (slightly adapted from Alton Brown)

Ingredients
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 pinch of cardamom, or more to taste
2 ounces peppermint bark, coarsely chopped

Directions
Combine the first five ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. Separate the powder into three different bowls. In one bowl add a pinch of cayenne, in another add a pinch of cardamom, and in the final bowl mix in the chopped peppermint bark. Can be stored in an airtight container indefinitely. When ready to serve fill a mug half full with the mixture and then add hot water. Stir until incorporated.

 

A Feteful Life: Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

 

A Downton Abbey Premiere Party

I love, love, love Downtown Abbey and the premiere of the fourth season is just weeks away! It’s been a particularly long wait for me because I watched all three of the previous seasons seriatim on my iPad in a time period too brief to disclose. And while most of the regular viewers are {SPOILER ALERT} wondering what in the heck everyone is going to do in the wake {pun intended} of the deaths of such important characters, I’m most interested to see just how the whole white-tie vs. black-tie for dinnertime attire debate is going to play out. I really thought about having a premiere party, but then realized I’d be too irritated by people trying to chat while I actually tried to watch the show. BUT, if I did have a party, I’d have a mod black & white shindig (because while I love to get dressed up for a good party, I’m not the most traditional — I like to think I’m a healthy mix of Lady Mary, Lady Sybil, and Dowager Countess of Grantham), with an emphasis on the most important question of the season: White-tie or Black-tie? Just what do you have to wear to be allowed to join the gents for drinks while the ladies go through? 

A Feteful Life: Downtown Abbey Premiere

1. Downton Abbey Premiere Party Invitation by A Feteful Life — double-sided to frame the critical white-tie vs. black-tie throw down — and available for customized purchase in AFL’s Etsy shop.

2. IKEA’s mod black and white dinnerware. I’d pick a few of the patterns and make sure you set your table for the formal dinner Downtown Abbey demands by checking with the show’s historical advisor.

3. Crate & Barrel’s stemless wine glasses. You’ll need a water goblet and red and white wine glasses. I love this modern set and with so much stuff on the table, it would certainly help cut down on the incidence of tableware accidents. And, at a great price, they’ll help you keep your household finances in better order than The Earl of Grantham could.

4. Mod glass candelabras from CB2. I had a whole table full of CB2’s glass candleholders before my kids arrived and I’d love to revive the look at a premiere party.

5. Molten chocolate souffle. With the many layers of a Downton Abbey dinner, dessert is rarely a big feature. But, I love dessert and this one keeps up the black and white theme, while giving a nod to Daisy’s wedding cake efforts in Season 2 {“you are making a cake, not a souffle,” Mrs. Patmore}. Make sure to check out Downtown Abbey Cooks for a full roster of appropriate cuisine.