Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pinteresting Cookie Recipes for your Holiday Cookie Exchange

Ladies and gentleman, cookie exchange season is nearly upon us and if you’re anything like we are (more than slightly competitive), you've already started thinking about leaving the competition in the dust (or flour, you know). So whether you’re already planning your “Best Overall Cookie” acceptance speech, or if you simply enjoy drooling over images of sweet, buttery cookies, here are our favorite cookie recipes currently found on Pinterest.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

5 fantastic food stations for your Christmas Party

Hosting a Christmas party is a lot of fun and the perfect way to pump up the holiday cheer. However, anyone who has ever hosted a party knows that if you aren't careful you can end up spending you’re entire party in the kitchen. Parties are for celebrating and socializing with friends, not stressing out over the food. So we've gathered a list of some of our favorite party food stations to keep your guests happily nibbling and you away from the stove.

Baked Potato Bar – A baked potato bar takes all of the deliciousness of the mashed potato bar and makes it even easier for you! Providing a potato bar is an excellent way to give your guests a filling meal that leaves you free to join the party.  Simply pre bake your potatoes in the oven and then keep them steaming in a crock pot or disposable catering trays. The toppings are totally up to you. We like to include something hearty like chili or pulled pork and then a selection of things like queso, sour cream, crumbled bacon, corn, caramelized onions, etc. The sky's the limit really. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

5 Interactive Christmas party ideas

Wondering what to do if you're interested in hosting a Christmas party but dancing isn't really your thing and a traditional cocktail party isn't in the budget? Here are 5 fun, interactive Christmas party ideas that are sure to help you celebrate the season your way!

Cookie Exchange - Fun and frugal, the cookie exchange has become a go-to party for many holiday hostesses (and hosts). Simply invite a small group of friends and instruct them to bake (no store bought cookies here) at least six dozen cookies. Some are to share and other to be packed up and taken home. Most often there are prizes (or award certificates) given for best cookie.

What's required of the host: Some festive decor, invitations, beverages and a few savory finger foods. Awards can be store-bought gifts or award certificates. If you want to go all out, provide pretty cookie bags or gable boxes for your guests to take their cookies home in. You can also ask the guests to wear an apron or festive clothing.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How to host a memorable wine tasting party

Hosting a wine tasting party is a wonderful way to celebrate any occasion, from Christmastime to an impending wedding, a milestone birthday or just because. As an option it's easy, interactive and can be as affordable or expensive as you choose.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to ensure a memorable wine tasting party:

Go Blind - Make it a blind wine tasting party for added fun! Cover your bottle labels with numbers so that guests don't know the winery, type or vintage. Then have them rate each wine on score cards. Be sure to include an inexpensive wine and a high quality vintage in the mix, then see if the aficionados in the group can tell the difference!

Go Global - Feature wines from different parts of the world and tailor your finger foods, decor and music to reflect the theme.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

10 Tasty Toppings for Your Hot Cocoa Bar

It's hard to believe but the Christmas season will be here before you know it, and you know what that means? Christmas parties! This is the most wonderful party season of the year, and whether you're hosting an office party, a cocktail party at home or a magnificent cookie exchange, there is one must have to make any holiday gathering extra special, and that's a hot cocoa bar!

There's nothing like a sweet, creamy cup of hot cocoa during the holiday season, and setting out a spread of delicious and at times unexpected toppings is always a delight to your gusts. Here is a list of our 10 favorite topping for your hot cocoa bar:

1) Whipped cream - An obvious choice, but it doesn't have to be an ordinary choice. Add some wow to your whip by forgoing the spray can and whipping up some fresh and flavorful options from a carton of whipping cream (available in next to the milk in the dairy case), some sugar and a handful of flavorings.  Add some sugar and vanilla for a classically flavored cream and then offer a few fun alternatives like rum flavored whipped cream, or cocoa. You can even make a butterscotch flavored whipped cream by adding a touch of brown sugar and some butterscotch extract.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wine and cookies for Christmas

The warm weather is finally here, and yet we're dreaming about dashing through the snow and ho ho ho. Work has just begun on our 2013 Christmas collections. We have several new Christmas party invitations and Christmas decoration party packs, but we're also thinking about bringing back a couple of old favorites like our Winter Wine-derland wine exchange/wine tasting party and our Gingerbread cookie exchange pack. There's nothing like indulging in past favorites, especially at Christmastime!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rock n’ roller derby teen girl’s birthday party

Do you know a rockin’ skater girl who’s about to turn 13, 14, 15, 16, plus? Or are you yourself into roller derby and want a fun way to celebrate your own birthday? Check out our new Rock n’ Roller Derby printable pack! Currently available in hot pink and electric blue with accents of black and white, this party pack goes for cool over cutesy, featuring roller derby skates and a roller derby helmet in the design.

The Rock n’ Roller printable pack is an expansion of our Sk8r Grrl invitation

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Looking for adult birthday party themes?

Who says that you have to wait till halloween to have a costume party? We think that a milestone birthday is the perfect time for adults of any age to let their hair down and indulge! Adult birthday parties don’t have to be serious, grown up dinner parties or backyard bbqs.

Are you or do you know someone special who’s into sci-fi? Throw a sci-fi themed birthday party and invite guests to dress up as their favorite characters. Info a specific sci-fi show like Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate or Firefly? Why not go all out and create a party around it? This would be particularly fun as a surprise party for a special sci-fi loving someone!

Feeling nostalgic? Go for an 80’s movie theme or a solid gold 70’s theme –perfect for someone born in the 70’s with a 40th birthday coming up! How about a renaissance theme, a decadent pirate’s cove soiree, a cowboy themed cookout or a glamorous Monte Carlo casino theme –James Bond anyone?

Theme parties aren’t just for kids anymore …and speaking of kids, hosting an adult birthday costume party is a great way to ensure that the kids have fun if you’re party is family friendly.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nautical 60th birthday party invitation

Nautical 60th birthday invitation

Get ready to set sail for a sensational celebration!

We are loving anything nautical right now, especially with a slightly aged, Nova Scotia inspired look to it.  It's such a clean and classic motif that works for birthdays fro 1 to 100.  There isn't a 60th birthday or any other milestone birthdays coming up in our family this summer, so we may just have to throw this party "just because".

We're definitely thinking that a seafood boil is in order! Tons of yummy shrimp, clams, crab and a few lobsters (we are thinking Nova Scotia afterall), along with red skin potatoes and some corn on the cob! Pair it with a few tasty beverages and maybe finish with a fresh strawberry pie! YUM! We'll definitely have to do a bit more thinking about this one!

Of course any celebration begins with the perfect invitation and we happen to think that our new Set Sail nautical and chevron invitation fits the bill. Let us personalize one just for you Set Sail for a celebration!
Set Sail for a celebration!

Friday, June 7, 2013

An apple of an idea

Mmm, all of these tasty new hard ciders coming onto the market make me want to host a cider tasting party this fall. Actually, it's the perfect way to celebrate with drinkers and non-drinkers alike, since including a few selections of both hard and non-alcoholic cider is easy as apple pie!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hot sauce tasting party pack

...and other missing listings

If you've been over to the shop lately, you may have noticed that there are a few items missing, one of which is the hot sauce tasting party pack. While these items are no longer up on Etsy, they are still available upon request. These items include:


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Women’s milestone birthday ideas - Gather the girls and go all out

It seems that unlike for men, there are numerous women’s milestone birthday ideas. One of our favorite ways to celebrate a woman’s milestone birthday is gather the girls and enjoy a full tilt ladies night out. We’re talking dinner, dancing and the kids at home with dad (or grandma). Of course it’s wonderful to celebrate with a nice family dinner, but sometimes a gal wants to put her heels on, grab the small purse (you know, the one without baby food pouches, bibs, toys and graham cracker crumbs at the bottom) turn the town upside down with a few of her besties.

Not into dancing? How about dinner and a movie, dinner and a Broadway show, or even just dinner with your closest friends? The point is that even if you’re not celebrating a milestone birthday, or even a birthday at all, we think it does a woman’s soul good to get out and just be one of the girls, even if it’s only for an evening.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Top 5 destination milestone birthday celebration ideas

Of course we love a good party here at NSC, but we can also appreciate the appeal of a grand, destination celebration. Whether you’re commemorating a milestone birthday, an impending wedding or retirement, sometimes, the perfect way to celebrate is with a handful of close friends enjoying an adventure or a hobby. Here are a few of our favourite destination celebrations:

1.         The Spa Getaway
Invite a handful of your closest gals and head out to a spa retreat for hot stone massages and rejuvenating facials. Maybe a bit of yoga, some fabulous food and fond memories? We can’t think of a more relaxing way to start a new chapter in life.

2.         Winery Touring
Whether you dream of Napa or Niagara Falls, there’s no better way for wine-lovers to celebrate a milestone birthday than touring a few locals wineries with a group of friends.

3.         Resort Revelry
If you love to travel or simply believe in the “Go big or go home” way of living, inviting some friends, or even just a special someone to join you on a cruise or resort vacation may be the ultimate way to celebrate your special day. This can be a tricky one to get buy in on, however. Not everyone has the time or the cash to participate in such an extravagant celebration. So if this is something that really appeals to you, be sure to start planning early.

4.         Road Tripping
If a cruise or resort isn’t your cuppa or a financial possibility, why not go local? Grab a few of your best buds, rent a stylin’ convertible and hit the road a la Thelma and Louise (minus the crime spree). We’re in central Ontario and have often thought about taking a tour through Quebec and into the Maritimes. Our inner foodie is positively drooling over the culinary adventure we would have!

Not interested in driving? Try hopping a train! There are loads of cross-country train tours just waiting to be enjoyed.

5.         Go glamping
Rough and tumble adventurers and dainty divas alike can have a good time in the great outdoors when commemorating a milestone birthday. Glamping also known as luxury camping is a more refined way to commune with nature. Just imagine spending a few days hiking, biking or swimming without having to spend your nights sleeping on the ground or doing your business in the bushes. You can enjoy all of the fresh air and activity generally associated with traditional camping but with the bonus of more luxurious (more like civilized if you ask us), hotel-like accommodations.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sometimes simple is sensational

Not every party needs a theme. Sometimes the simple act of celebrating another hard-won year is theme enough. At NSC, we can certainly be guilty of trying to force a theme. When it’s time to brainstorm another invitation design or come up with a new concept the danger of over thinking is always there. But there are times when outrageous, bodacious and over-the-top is not called for. Sometimes all that is needed is something pretty and serene. Maybe it’s simply a well-expressed colour palette, or a dainty circle of flowers.

If you’re planning a party and wracking your brain for ideas that never seem to come, maybe it’s time to sit back, take a breath and simplify.