Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Easter Egg Hunt Planning

Having just wrapped up my Valentine's Day party on the blog a few days ago, it seems silly to be planning another kids holiday party, but I can't help it. I love planning kids parties and this one is extra special to me.  For the fifth year in a row, my mother and I are hosting our annual Easter Egg Hunt. It's so incredibly fun!  We host it at my parents house, right on the water on Hilton Head.  We cross our fingers and hope for good weather and invite lots and lots of good friends. (This year our list is up to 96 adults and kids!) We always ask everyone to bring a bathing suit so they can also swim (my parents heat the pool to a ridiculously warm temperature.)

If you have a few minutes, click back to see previous years. It's fun to see how the hunt has grown over the years!  I love working on crafts and decorations for the party and the set up is always a blast.

I ordered my invitations yesterday from Swanky Press. Here's a peek:
Elegant Easter quatrefoil invitation

Being that we have thrown this themed party for a few years now, we have plenty of decorations but I like to try and mix it up. Here are some things I have my eye on for decorating and buying.  Found these extra cute bags on Pinterest. Click for free printable and original source. 

free vintage Easter printable for printing on a paper bag

These might be the cutest things I have ever seen for packaging peeps. These are from Kami at No Biggie. 

 Happy Easter tags (free download) @Kami  Bigler //   NoBiggie

Wow, this might take a lot of work but how cute! Click for original post. 

20 Easter Brunch Ideas {Link Party Features} I Heart Nap Time | I Heart Nap Time - Easy recipes, DIY crafts, Homemaking

Paper straws are so big, I love this way of displaying peeps. 

Quick & Easy Chocolate Dipped Peeps Pops #PEEPS #Easter #Pops

You know I love free printables, so that will surely make my list this year. 

A collection of 40+ FREE Easter printables!! All so adorable and perfect for decorations, tags, and crafts! { }
Check out Lil'Luna's collection of free printables

I am pretty sure I am going to do a photo booth!  Need to work on some props and a background! 


perfect for Easter

Love these cookies, too! I am also obsessed with everything at Shop Sweet Lulu and need to get crackin' on my Oriental Trading Company order. 

You know that I will be using my PSA Essentials personalized stamps and switchable middles. My go-to pack for this holiday is PSA Topiary and Little Bunny!

PSA Topiary

PSA Little Bunny

Can't wait to get started! Going to be a fun and crafty March for me and Molly! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

DIY Party Hat Template

My daughter, Molly, and I worked on a few crafts for our Valentine's Day Party last week.  We created some super cute, DIY party hats! Really, this is an easy project if you have the right tools and the creative possibilities are endless.  If you want to make festive party hats, you need:
  • Hot glue gun, heavy duty tape, stapler 
  • 1.75" and 2.25" round / or scalloped punches
  • Card stock in colors and patterns 
  • PSA Essentials stamp body loaded with the stamp of your choice and ink of your choice (for these I used a combo of Mr. & Mrs, Bouquet Toss, Smile, and Love Birds Peel & Stick packs.) 
  • Hole punch 
  • Pom-poms or ribbon embellishments to decorate. 
  • Twine from The Twinery 
Here's a quick tutorial! 

Step 1:  Download and and print the below template on 8.5 x 11" paper. Use it to guide you through getting your card stock cut out. 

Step 2:  Stamp onto solid card stock using your PSA Essentials stamper, loaded with the ink of your choice and Peel & Stick stamp of your choice. 

Fold the card stock into a cone shape. You can either cut an insert (from the template) and fit inside, or you can staple or tape. For me, it's always easier to use heavy tape and a stapler, though it's probably more polished to cut and insert (more work...) 

Stamp onto card stock, punch out and adhere to scalloped punched card stock. Like shown below. Organize into stacks the glue on to the party hat.  Use your glue gun to glue on pom-poms to the top. 

Use a hole punch for the "straps" of the hat. Insert twine from The Twinery. Make sure it's long enough for people to wear and tie onto their heads. 

For more on these party hats and other decorations we made, visit the Valentine's Day Party post. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Party

For the second year in a row, I hosted an after-school Valentine's Day play date party for Molly and Connor's friends at May River Montessori.  Our school community is really something special and we are thankful for the friendships that we have made with families there. Most of the kids at the party have been in school with Molly since she was 2 -- they were "Cottage Kids" with Ms. Bea. I sincerely love all these holiday celebrations with kids. (Can't wait for the 5th annual Easter Egg Hunt!)

Molly and I crafted for the last few weeks -- a little here and a little there so it wasn't overwhelming. We made pennant flag banners, hanging heart decorations, party hats, cupcake toppers, and Valentine's favors. Of course, we used our PSA Essentials Peel & Stick stamps in our projects.  At the party, I set up a crafting station for the kids to make Valentine's with our popular "love" and Valentine's Day themed stamps.  Kids really embraced it and of course, I got some great pics of kiddos stamping.  Everyone really had fun and even though there were 25 kids at the party and my house really isn't that large, it was surprisingly calm and relaxed.

Here's a photo recap of the fun party and all the little details we worked on!

I am so newly obsessed with my FujiFilm Instapix Camera.  It's so fun to have an instant picture. I took a bunch of kiddos at the party and passed them out to take home as little momentos. I do love digital, but instant film is amazing!

Thankful for a fun afternoon with friends (funny how the mom's never make it into the photos? Must change that!) Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!

Note: Valentine's Day stickers for treat packaging available at Swanky Press.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Peel & Stick Stamps

It's not a secret that there are a lot of personalized stamps on the market. Since PSA Essentials started in 2002, there have been plenty of other stamp manufacturers out there and lots of talented designers getting their stamps made through different manufacturers.  So we frequently get asked -- what makes PSA Essentials different? Why choose PSA?

Though there are many things that set us apart from other stamps on the market (such as our great customer service, quality stampers imported from Austria and made-in-the-USA personalized stamp dies, crisp and clean stamp impressions up to 10,000 times...) the biggest difference is our technology.  It's patented and we call it Peel & Stick.  Even retailers and customers who have known PSA Essentials for years sometimes are surprised to learn about this technology.

Usually self-inking stamp designs are glued directly on the stamper. Whatever style you choose, whatever address you have -- you are stuck with it because it's permanently affixed to your stamper.  But with PSA stamps -- they are interchangeable.  We have hundreds of Peel & Stick Packs to interchange your stamp, or you can order a "die only" personalized address.

Lesley in our art department came up with this graphic to help illustrate the point. Instead of keeping the same stamp on your stamper all the time, you change change up your middle for your occasion. Sending a birth announcement? Use the "carriage" from Carriage Peel & Stick pack.  Sending an Easter card? Use the Easter Egg from PSA Topiary Peel & Stick pack.  We have dozens and dozens of packs - there's one for every occasion, holiday or season. 

Peel & Stick stamps aren't complicated, they're easy to use.  The stamps don't permanently loose their stickiness either. (If they aren't sticky, just wash them in warm soapy water -- never use rubbing alcohol or cleaners -- and then dry them off.  They really bounce right back and become sticky again!  Read this blog post if this is still unclear!) 

We did a video years ago on Peel & Stick stamps. If you haven't watched before, watch it now! 

Retailers should check their emails on Sunday for special offers on Peel & Stick packs. If you are a customer and want to start shopping Peel & Stick stamps, head on over to our website to find a retailer near you!  Peel & Stick stamp packs retail for $15 and include 9 inner stamps and one outer ring. 

Already have Peel & Stick stamps? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think of them!