Dia de los Muertos Party Inspiration

I mentioned way, way back in our first Fete Favorites my love of Dia de los Muertos. I still haven’t convinced anyone to have an actual party celebrating the holiday, which I really cannot understand. It’s much more upbeat, colorful, and well styled than Halloween. So, I’m obviously going to have to throw myself my own party on November 1st. Here’s what’s topping my list of inspiration.

A Feteful Life: Dia de los Muertos

1. These gorgeous wedding invitations are obviously slightly more upscale than I need for my own party, but I love the idea of combining the bold colors with geometric prints.

2. I love the idea of a large communal table for dinner and that table runner is ahhmaazing.

3. Sugar skulls + edible confetti = party happiness.

4. Mini tissue paper flowers for striped straws!? That’s a new one (to me) and a must make.

5. Pan de Muerto is a traditional Day of the Dead pastry and looks delicious.

6. Obviously our Almond Milk Horchata Cocktail will be in circulation (and probably our Blood Orange Tequila + Lime Spritzers, too).

7. Decorated candles look like a simple enough DIY to help keep things festive.

8. Papel picado!

9. I’ve really been waiting for a good time to try a honeycombed wall and this seems like the perfect opportunity.

Cocktail Hour: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

I wanted to make a sweet (but not too sweet) cocktail to help celebrate Rosh Hashana using festive holiday flavors. I love, love this drink and the added fun of the pomegranate ice cubes. Moreover, it’s incredibly easy (and still delicious) to make as a mocktail for those who are abstaining from alcohol. Happy New Year, all!

Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail (adapted from Honestly Yum)

Ingredients
– 1 1/2 oz vodka
– 1 – 1/2 oz pomegranate sparkling soda (or plain pomegranate juice)
– 1/2 oz lime juice
– 1/2 oz vanilla cardamom syrup
– dash of bitters
– pomegranate ice cubes* and sprig of fresh mint for garnish

Vanilla Cardamom Syrup
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 6 cardamom pods, cracked open and ground with mortar + pestle

Directions
1. To make vanilla cardamom syrup, add water and sugar to a small saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla extract and ground cardamom and let simmer two minutes before removing from heat. Cool to room temperature and strain through a fine mesh strainer.

2. Fill a glass with pomegranate ice cubes and add vodka, pomegranate sparkling soda, lime juice, vanilla cardamom syrup and dash of bitters. Stir and then garnish with fresh mint.

3. To make this a mocktail, leave out vodka and bitters and add either more pomegranate sparkling soda or sparkling water.

*fill ice cube trays with pomegranate seeds and then with water. freeze overnight.

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

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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Easy July 4th Party Ideas

Every year, right around the middle of the summer, I start to feel overwhelmed. The kids have been out of school sufficiently long, we usually have one vacation under our belt and another coming up, and the heat and humidity have me kicking myself for willing warm weather. And July 4th is pretty much the beginning of that, which means I drag my feet about the holiday. Then my inner fete pipes up and I throw something celebratory together (usually for our annual Family Olympics we hold over the holiday). And I’m always happy I did! So, in case you’re finding yourself in a similar situation, here are some great, EASY July 4th ideas to spur your party self. Come on, if I can do it, you can do it!

A Feteful Life: Easy July 4th

1. Hang a bunch of patriotic-colored tissue paper fans. I’m a fan of Oriental Trading Company’s incredibly priced sets. Easy, cheap, and reusable.

2. I love these red, white + blue push pop desserts. Even easier, make something similar in little cups.

3. Holiday sangria. Enough said.

4. Free printable sparkler holders. I don’t trust my kids enough to give them sparklers yet, but if I did, I’d be printing some of these.

5. Super simple crepe paper + lights. Love this idea.

Japanese Children’s Day with CultureBaby

When I think of May, I immediately think of Cinco de Mayo. Little did we know, there’s another fantastic international holiday on the very same day: Japanese Children’s Day. And we have locally-run CultureBaby to thank for telling us about it! CultureBaby is a fantastic online children’s boutique specializing in international clothes, toys and accessories for babies and children. We first met founder Natalia Rankine-Galloway at Union Market’s Thread, where we oohed and aahed over their gorgeous children’s products, which celebrate global diversity while maintaining a modern design aesthetic. I really, really wanted a gold kiddo-sized Moroccan Pouf for my daughter, but I was totally taken in by this great tunic (I bought a dark blue and gold one) and picked it up for her 4th birthday present (she was totally taken by it too, btw).

I love that CultureBaby seeks out artisan-designed products from around the world that are also safe, non-toxic, and are made sustainably, ethically and under fair-trade conditions. And if that’s not enough, we obviously love and identify with a company  co-partnered by two smart ladies. I’ve continued to surf CultureBaby’s beautiful online shop, so I was really excited when Natalia asked if we’d be interested in sharing with you some of their wonderful products in celebration of Japanese Children’s Day. You all well know that we need no excuse to party, but these wonderful CultureBaby items certainly provide one. And since I LOVE fake shopping (you know, where I get to pretend shop what I’d buy for myself, but not actually buy it. what? are you saying that’s not a thing!?!), I’ve done you a solid and pulled together what I think would make a fabulous celebration — Happy Children’s Day!

UPDATED: Add to your celebration with this free adorable Kokeshi Doll party printable banner from CultureBaby! Just Click Right Here!

A Feteful Life: Culture Baby

1.  Koolmomo’s Kimono dresses look so comfy and party perfect! / 2. Make sure your toddlers party responsibly with this eco-friendly Confetti Push Pop! / 3. This Japanese designed chalk and wood cityscape is insanely adorable. In addition to this standard set, you can also chose from London or Paris. Love, love, love. / 4. This Koinobori is used principally to celebrate Children’s Day! Use it for the celebration and then hang it in your kiddo’s room. / 5. Monkey track flip flops!?! I wish these came in adult sizes. Really. / 6. French designer Madame Mo’s Yoko dolls are simply fabulous and Cam is quite happy Natalia shared one with us! / 7. Stylish jammies? We are in. / 8. Uncle Goose’s Kokeshi Doll Blocks are super cute and perfectly sized for the littles.

Disclosure: Natalia Rankine-Galloway gifted a Madame Mo Yoko doll and a Koi Fish Wall Hanging to AFL. No other compensation was provided and all opinions herein are our own.