B-I-N-G-Oh my!

As an event planner, my brain never stops working.  I’m always looking for new ideas, fresh takes on old traditions, and techniques I can use in the future.  Recently, I had the joy of attending a Baby Shower as a guest.  I left with a fresh take on the old tradition of prizes for the guests and I want to share it with you!

Everyone loves a game of Baby Shower Bingo – and by “everyone”… I mean “me.”  I like to think I’ve mastered the technique of creating my Bingo card over the years.  Utilizing the Free Space to my advantage, studying the registry, noting the way presents are wrapped to guess what may be inside – these are all the ways to guarantee success!  But I digress. 

My techniques paid off and I was awarded the first Baby Shower Bingo prize:

 Baby Shower

How cool is this?!  Typically the prizes are lotions, candles, or something else a lady is sure to enjoy.  However, this Baby Shower put a super fun spin on tradition and made the prize out of Mommy and Baby favorites!  Each item in the basket was labeled with whose favorite item it was and why.  A few examples:

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Jar of Peanut Butter because Baby craves it.

CD of Halloween music because it’s Mommy’s favorite holiday.

Fleece blanket because Mommy and Baby need lots of rest.

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I LOVE this idea!  I can’t wait for the next Baby Shower I get to help out with so that I can suggest this as an option!

Have you ever seen a creative prize like this?  What’s the most creative prize you’ve seen?

Autumn Inspiration Day!

It’s autumn, the leaves are changing, and I am feeling inspired!  There are so many wonderful crafts, recipes, and events during this time of year.  I decided to harness that inspiration and share a few of my autumn-themed favorites with you!  Let’s call it, “Offbeat Occasions’ Autumn Inspiration Day.”

EVENT

Who doesn’t get excited at the idea of going to pick your own pumpkin from a Pumpkin Patch??  Ok, I’m sure there are some people out there who don’t get giddy at the thought and I feel sad for them.  Nevertheless, Trax Farms in Finleyville offers a bunch of family-friendly activities during their Fall Festival in October.  Admission is free, though some activities do require an extra charge.  Food, music, hayrides, activities, crafts… seriously.  So. Much. Fun.

 For more details, visit Trax Farms Fall Festival.

While you’re there, check out the fall foliage.  Maybe collect a few good-looking leaves to use as inspiration for this craft project you can do when you get home…

CRAFT

Ever since I was a little girl, I LOVED doing crafts.  There is nothing like sitting down with a bunch of random pieces and producing a cool finished product a few hours later.  Let’s be honest… it mellows me out.  The autumn-themed craft I want to share with you is a super simple (aka kid-friendly!) felt wreath.  Say what??

 Materials

9×12 sheets of craft felt in autumn colors – red, yellow, brown, orange

Brown fine tip permanent marker

Scissors

Pencil

Glue dots

Stapler

 Directions

  1. Cut a “C” shape from 2 pieces of brown craft felt.  Staple the ends together to create one large circle.
  2. Use the pencil to sketch leaves on the remaining pieces of craft felt.  Make the leaves unique!
  3. Cut the leaves out.
  4. Use the permanent marker to add detail to the leaves.  Give them veins and marks like the leaves you find outside.
  5. Attached the leaves to the brown circle of felt by using the glue dots.  ***I like to lay out the leaves and decide where I’d like them placed before sticking them down.  Feel free to layer to add a dimensional effect!

 SAMSUNG

Like I said, it’s a simple (kid-friendly) craft that is perfect for autumn.  I’ve used my felt wreath as decoration on my glass dining room table and on our baker’s rack.  Maybe you can hang yours or use it as a centerpiece with some apples and pine cones.  Have fun with the creativity!

And the fun doesn’t have to end there… Hope you have room for dessert!

RECIPE

This weekend, my dear husband found a recipe on the side of a cereal box in our kitchen.  It sounded so delicious and simple that he decided he was going to bake for us by himself (to my delight!).   For the record, I take no credit for this recipe – only for finding it, thinking it was yummy, and wanting to share it with you…

 Streusel Baked Apples

2 cups Oats & More ® with Honey cereal

¼ cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ cup margarine or butter, softened

4 Golden Delicious or Jonathan apples

 SAMSUNG

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 13×9 baking pan with vegetable cooking spray.  Combine cereal, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in bowl.  Cut in margarine until mixture forms crumbs.  Set aside.  Cut apples in half lengthwise.  Remove core and seeds from each half.  Place cut-side down in prepared pan.  Spray apples with cooking spray.  Bake 15 minutes or until apples are partially tender when pierced with a fork.  Turn apples cut-side up in pan.  Divide cereal mixture over apples and pat down gently.  Bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until topping is light golden brown and apples are tender.  Cool 5 minutes in pan on wire rack.  Serve warm.

 Hopefully this “Offbeat Occasions’ Autumn Inspiration Day” has inspired you, too!  Feel free to share your favorite autumn-themed crafts, recipes, and events in the comments section below.