Sunday, November 25, 2012

Free Beer Tasting party printables and ideas

Lately I'd been seeing the cutest beer tasting party ideas on Hostess With The Mostess and with Michael's birthday coming up I thought it would be the perfect time to host a party. Fun for everyone and still manly :)

NOTE:  For all of the printable files below just click on the image to enlarge then either print or save to your computer.  Almost all of the files will need to be resized to print as you desire.  All you need to do is save them to your computer and before you print select the print size.  I used photoshop to open the files then selected the print size.  There are a few files that DO NOT require resizing so make sure you read carefully before printing.

I started by finding the perfect invites and built the rest of the party around that. Aren't these beer tasting invitations from Yellow Brick Graphics just too much! I loved them, and best of all they can alter the colors to match your event. I liked them in the original color scheme so all of the printables below draw from the colors seen here.

Best of all Mickenzie had the invitations edited and sent the proof to me with in 24 hours! I used Vista print to print the invites on their linen finished cardstock and I couldn't have been more pleased with the finished product. All you have to do is upload the final proof that Mickenzie sends and that's that. The envelopes are included with the invitations. They can even make posters you can print out for the event.

And now to the actual party :) I got some great ideas from a few sites. One was Martha Stewart.

Martha used this delicious chalkboard oilcloth

to cover her tables, which I thought was a fantastic idea to label food dishes, or even to draw out your layout for the glasses. It is a bit pricey if you need a lot of it so plan carefully. I believe it is reusable however and I can think of all sorts of projects and parties to use it for.

Martha posted this great list of the different types of beers and even recommended which ones to use for each different type:

When tasting beers, it's best to sample them in order of intensity, from subtlest to most intensely flavored. With that in mind, organize your selections into three flights -- light, amber, and dark -- and present them to guests one group at a time. Unless your friends include Homer Simpson, it's probably best to pour the beer into small glasses, dividing one bottle among two or three people.

1. Light - Though pale in color, these brews have a bright taste marked by citrus and floral notes.

Effervescent Southampton Publick House Double White Ale is a more potent version of classic Belgian white. Tart, dry, and sparkling, Goose Island Sofie Belgian Style Ale has a light caramel flavor. Lagunitas Pils is a fuller-bodied brew with a crisp finish.

2. Amber - This category of medium-bodied beers will appeal to those who enjoy the play of bitter and sweet flavors.

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA is hoppy with a dry finish. Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend is malty with notes of cherry. Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale is a classic brown ale with a nice balance of hops and malt.

3. Dark Robust -  hearty brews will provide your tasting with a strong finale.

Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout is like dessert for beer lovers, with a deep cocoa flavor. Stone Brewing Company Stone Smoked Porter pairs well with rich, savory food, thanks to its smoky undertones. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is frothy and bold.

I created these simple to use printable beer tasting score sheets for guest to keep track of the beers they've tasted and what they think of each one in case they want to go out and buy some more later.  I planned on using at least 3 different beers of each type, eg. Lager, Porter, Stout.  That means printing out LOTS of score sheets depending on how many guests you're inviting so make sure you have lots of ink in your printer and tons of cardstock available.  I ran out of both after printing out all of these files. 
These labels I left blank so you can edit them as you see fit in any photo editing software.  Just add text then print to your size requirements.
To label the different beer groupings I made these larger labels.  I used a corner punch on all of the printables once I cut them out because I just think that a rounded corner looks much more polished.
Here are some free printable scrolls that I think would be cute cut out and placed on bamboo skewers in flower arrangements, or in little wooden boxes filled with chocolate shavings or lemon heads for color:
I made these cupcake wrappers to match the rest of the printables. Just open the file and either print or save but DO NOT resize in any way. They will print out perfectly.

For the dessert tables I wanted to keep with the beer theme and make beer infused cupcakes. I decided to use Blue Moon, Guiness, and Corona. Mainly b/c I could do something delicious with chocolate for the Guiness and something citrus inspired for the other 2 with cute little sugar coated orange and lemon candy slices like these which I bought at the candy store in the mall:

Here are some printable toppers to indicate which cupcakes are which are sized to be printed out as an 8X10 and cut out with a 2" circle punch:
These dark chocolate stripey straws from Sweet Shop Lulu are super cute and still masculine:

I bought these cute striped candy cups to hold mixed nuts which will be placed on beer tasting tables. This way I get to still have my "cute" things w/o risking making the theme appear less manly:
You could add a punch of color with straws that draw another color from your invitations like these yellow stripey ones:
I'm obsessed with billy balls.  I just love these little yellow bits of sunshine!  I thought the arrangement on the right would be perfect for table centerpieces but may be costly so the ones on the left are still fun and could be dressed up some with some hemp twine and burlap ribbon.
So hopefully you guys will find these files helpful.  If you use them I'd love to see pictures from your event!  Our party was cancelled and will have to be rescheduled which is why there are no photos of these ideas in action but once we do get to enjoy some cold beer I'll post photos.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Free Thanksgiving printables

Since I work during Thanksgiving we typically do Thanksgiving dinner at our house and try to have our families come over to celebrate with us. This year I wanted to make some fun decorations and make it a bit more festive especially since the kids are getting older and can appreciate it a bit more. I found these adorable little Thanksgiving pilgrims and indians on Pinterest and had to share them with you. The site has AMAZING paper dolls that range from monsters to animals. They are precious, high quality and easy to put together. All for FREE!
Click HERE to visit the Paper Toys site. I printed off these little "Thankful" flags in a small size and glued them to stripey straws. Click HERE to be redirected to the site to download the file.
These are the Fall stripey straws I used. I bought them from Sweet Shop Lulu HERE.
I used this free printable Thanksgiving kit at Paper Glitter to make bunting, napkin holders, customizable invitations, coloring pages, and lots of other goodies. You'll love this kit's great quality and best of all it's FREE!
I used several of the pieces from this Hostess With The Mostess free modern Thanksgiving kit which you can download by clicking HERE. I especially loved these napkin wrappers and the wine bottle labels.
I hope that you guys are able to download some of these fun designs and liven up your Thanksgiving tables as well :)

Very late weight loss update

Well I guess I'm about to end my 6th month of dieting. So far I've lost 60 pounds and have gone from a size 18-20 to a size 8-10. Some things I'm a solid size 10, others I'm a tight 8 but I just like not being in double digits :) I have been doing CrossFit for almost 3 months now and I can not tell you guys enough how much I LOVE IT! CrossFit is the only exercise regimen that I can honestly say I wish I could do 7 days a week. It's closed on Sundays and every other Saturday and sadly my work schedule typically prevents me from attending Sat. classes, if not, I'd be there for sure. After starting CrossFit my pounds haven't dropped much but my clothes started falling off. It has truly been the biggest factor in reshaping my body and making me feel like the bad ass I always envisioned myself being! I'm actually running my first "race" a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning and I'm really excited to see what my finish time will be. My stomach is all butterflies every time I think about it since it's my first run but I'm just excited to be able to say that I'm doing one! Michael and I went to New York 3 weeks ago and I have tons of photos to share from that trip but Libby keeps me on my toes and I have NO time to blog anymore which is sad but I promise to post more of that trip soon. For now here is one of the only photos we took together at the last Yankee game of the normal season at Yankee Stadium.

Dancing Fools

My kiddos so far haven't shown any real promise when it comes to dancing and rhythm. My little nephew Maddox on the other hand is a dancing fool :) Just wanted to share a few fun videos of the kiddos busting a move. video video video