Thursday, January 28, 2010

Party of the Month: Winter Olympics Party

The Winter Olympics is almost here... time to get ready for an awesome Opening Ceremonies Viewing Party!! Below are some ideas to make a great evening... and be sure to check out my Winter Olympics invitations on my etsy shop -- personalized for your event. I have either a Set of Printed Winter Olympic Party Invitations or Digital Winter Olympic Invitation if you'd prefer to print yourself or send in email! Now on to the ideas...


Give your Space that Cozy Lodge Feel with International Flair
Create your own opening ceremony parade by lining your walls with flags from several nations. No hallway? Hang the flags all around your TV room. There are plenty of places to buy flags online, or to save some money, just pick up a pack of construction paper and make your own. Fortunately, most countries have pretty simple flag designs to recreate!
Flags are great decoration, but also play up on the winter theme by accessorizing your TV room with a winter lodge feel– snowflakes on the windows, cozy throw blankets, candles or a nice warm file will do the trick!


In keeping with the winter theme, yet having the menu simple for eating in from of the TV, serve some hearty beef stew in mugs. Add a plate or two of cut up veggies, crackers and cheese, and you’re set! If you’re up for it - along with the stew, set up a simple cheese fondue dish. Fondue is such a great winter treat! Have a bowl handy next to the fondue with cut up bread pieces. Many stores now sell pre-made cheese fondue packs, to make it even easier for you!

As for drinks, for the adults, how about an assortment of international beers, or a few bottles of wines from all over. For kids, you can repeat this theme by finding a few different sodas or juices from different countries. Try a store like Cost Plus World Market for a selection of both adult and children beverages.


Having kids over to enjoy the games? Pull out a small card table and let them create their own olympic medals. Depending on the age, precut some 3” circles in white cardstock. Punch a hole in the top and lay some red, white or blue ribbon out so they can string them once they are done. Now all you need is a few crayons or markers and let your kids’ imagination soar!


Sometimes folks may need to get a little energy out during all those commercial breaks. Have some games ready to play when the time is right.

Live in snow country? How about a sledding race... or have a snowball contest. Who can throw the farthest? Who can throw with the best panache?

Live in a snowless place? No problem. have a fun skiing relay race. Get out some of your ski gear - 2 hats, 2 pairs of mittens, 2 goggles, 2 jackets, 2 scarves, etc. Set up 2 teams, with one set of clothes for each. Now each team races against each other. The catch-- each participant must put on all the ski gear, run to the next participant, take it all off, and give it to them to put on! Make sure to take pictures of the fun!


This one is easy -- obviously the entertainment is watching the Olympics on TV. Here's a link to the Winter Olympics Official Website:


To round out the winter theme, serve some tasty hot cocoa and a few chewy brownies. Make sure to include an assortment of “condiments” for your hot cocoa – mini chocolate chips, marshmallows, whipped cream, and colored sugar sprinkles are always festive.

Photo courtesy of -
Read their full post about a Hot Cocoa Bar!

A goodie bag isn’t necessary, but if you’d like to give a gift, here’s a great book, “The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics, 2010 Edition, by David Wallechinsky and Jaime Loucky.
It is filled with Winter Olympic facts any enthusiast would love!

Hope you enjoyed these ideas! Have a great party!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Personalized Tags Galore!

I just update my site ( with a whole bunch of new items... including a new line of Personalized Tags. There are lots of different designs to choose from-- certain to please everyone!

For many years, I've admired a friend who shows up at the endless string of kids birthday parties with a great looking gift. It's typically wrapped in simple paper, but it's always topped with a personalized tag with her kids' names on it! So easy, and memorable, the gift always stands out.

This was inspiration to create my new line of personalized tags... get some for your child in their favorite theme... and then, get some for yourself. They're perfect to hang on a bottle of wine you bring to your next dinner party.

Of course, many of the themes match b.nute productions Party Kits (invitation, thank you's, etc) -- so they make perfect tags for all those goodie bags!

Be sure to check it out... and let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

When Life Seemed Simpler

I found this book, "When Life Seemed Simpler" by Welleran Poltarnees at an antique shop in Portland, OR while on vacation this Christmas. Although it is not an antique (it was published in 2007), I just had to have it! I could not resist the images, or the overall theory.

The book is actually the thesis of the author... his theory is that these schoolbooks from the 1930's, 40's and 50's "constitute a utopian vision." He goes on to say, "Utopias are imagined societies in which happiness is promoted by a more perfect arrangement of the details of living. They are useful because they give us perfections to aspire toward."
Although these pictures are far from reality, especially in 2010, I am so attracted to them.
Perhaps it's my own goal to make things a little simpler in my life.... not to get caught up in the day to day craziness of life, but enjoy the things that matter most... friends, family, health, happiness.

My mom has just gone through major surgery this week (planned, yet still very painful.) She has had both knees replaced! The recovery and rehab will be incredibly challenging, but the reward at the end will be amazing. To walk pain free-- be with her grandkids, travel, and enjoy life!

Her surgery has made me think a lot about simplifying things... letting go of the "I have to do this and I have to do that..." and fussing over my life, and instead, being there for her and the rest of my family.

When I look at the picture above, it's just how I want to spend a summer day... Of course the picture doesn't show what happens 5 minutes later, when the wave came up and soaked everyone, Sally dropped her hot dog in the sand and began to cry and the dog ran off after a seagull... but, hey that's life!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, and welcome to a new decade!

I can't believe it! A lot has happened for me this past decade-- marriage, kids, moving to the 'burbs, quitting the corporate world, and starting my own business to name a few!

At dinner last weekend, we were talking about our "hopes, goals, and dreams" for the next year and the next decade... There was, of course, the dutiful, get in better shape, eat well, etc... but many others were said as well. The one thing that made me take pause was thinking about where I (and my family) will be at the passing of the next decade-- 10 years from now. For one, my daughter will be a senior in high school, with college choices on her mind... Although time seems to fly by, I must admit, sending my daughter off to college seems like a long way off!

Now, back to 2010-- my business goals are many. Here are a few... in no particular order:
1. Refine my branding and forge many new marketing adventures. Yup, more social media, more online exploration, blogging and so forth. Look forward to many fun contests to come as well! A good game is always fun.
2. Make my website ( a full-fledge eCommerce site. I accept credit cards, and I've gotten many orders from all of my wonderful customers, but I want to make it even easier... just click and buy. So, be sure to check in soon and click away!
3. Continue to learn more about what you like and don't like about b.nute productions-- what products do you love? What items seem to be missing from the collection? I want to make sure I'm designing things you like! So, if you see a survey or quick questionnaire, please fill it out and let me know!
4. More fun giveaways and ideas... I have fun creating art activities you can download, and sharing party ideas. I hope to continue this and more in 2010. Are there ideas or activities you'd like to see? Let me know...

Thank you all for your support and encouragement. I wouldn't be as happy as I am, and doing what I love without you! I can't wait to plunge into the tens/teens (what do you call this decade anyway?), with whimsy and vigor... cheers to a Happy New Year!