A Leprechaun Trick

Looking for an easy, budget-friendly special activity to do with your children this St. Patrick’s Day?

I love the idea of having your kids wake up to a clumsy leprechaun’s trail of havoc!  Who could have possibly knocked over a chair, pushed a small (unbreakable) item off of a table, left books all over the living room floor, scattered cookies around the kitchen counter, and whatever other clumsy tricks your leprechaun may have pulled?

Set it up as a few simple “accidents” that happened during the leprechaun’s romp through your house the night before, and let it lead to a special St. Patrick’s Day treat for your kids, perhaps a small bag of gold chocolate coins or a bundle of four leaf clovers?  Green glitter or confetti is a great way to mark the “path” as well, especially for younger kids!  Have the path start at a door, meander throughout your home, and go out a window (or chimney, or dog-door) for a giggle-worthy moment.

It will be a fun way to start off the special day and give the Luck O’ the Irish to your kids this year!

Mary Poppins Party Planning Ideas

Spit, Spot! Spit, Spot! Mary Poppins is such a classic, and would make for a wonderful birthday party as well. Watching the film, you can come up with all sorts of imaginative ideas to throw a party that Mary Poppins would be proud of.

Make your invitations in the shape of a teapot, a sugar cube, an umbrella with a parrot on the end, or a chimney sweep — or make a variety of these shapes — and send out with the party details on one side. You may want to write, “Come on over for some supercalifragicaliciousespialidocious FUN!”

For the decoration, make it bright with your child’s favorite colors with balloons and streamer. Place umbrellas all over the room too. Set a proper party table with a real tablecloth and china for a tea party. Play the music of Mary Poppins for added fun.

When the guests arrive say “Spit Spot” and clean up a messy playroom — just like Mary would advise!

If you would like everyone to be in costume, when the kids arrive, have hats, scarves, necklaces, bags, umbrellas, and small suit coats out for the kids to dress up as Mary Poppins.

In order to begin the party, sound off a large bell or make a canon noise, just like Admiral Bloom sets off canons that shake the Banks’ home.

Have the kids make hats like Mary Poppins. Using straw hats and provide plastic flowers and fruits for the kids to decorate their hats with and to wear throughout the party.

Let’s Go Fly a Kite by putting out construction paper that they can make kites from and decorate them with cutouts, markers, and string for the tail.

Have a “Spoonful of Sugar” Relay Race. Divide the group into two teams. Provide each with a spoon and sugar cube. The kids must race to the other end with a sugar cube on the spoon without losing it, and returning to the line and putting the cube on the next kid’s spoon without touching it. The first team done wins!

Play “Pin the Toppins on the Bird Lady.” Print out a large printable of the Bird Lady or draw a large bird lady sitting on steps, as well as a few gold toppins to play with.

Play “I love to laugh.” Write jokes and funny stories onto slips of paper, and have the kids take turns getting up and making one another laugh — just like in the movie. The kids are not supposed to laugh, of course, but if they do, have them stand up during that round.

Enjoy supercalifragicaliciousespialidocious cookie decorating. Have pre-made sugar cookies cut out into teapots and have the kids decorate with frosting and sprinkles.

Help Bert with his drawings. Place large pieces of butcher paper on a flat surface and give the kids chalk to draw all sorts of imaginary scenes to be hung in the party room.

Serve tea sandwiches cut out into teapot shapes, animal shapes, etc, fruit kebabs, an assortment of small pastries, vegetables with dip, and cake. Serve raspberry punch for the “tea.”

For the party favors, send them home with toppins (chocolate coins), their kites, chimney sweeps, fancy sugar cubes, and their straw hats.

Have a Poppin’ good time!

First Birthday Party Quilt

Many times the first birthday party involves adults attending to wish your child well! Even though it is a gathering of your friends and family, it is always wonderful to include an activity that surrounds the special birthday girl or boy!

One activity that is fun and can also serve as a keepsake or heirloom collectible to capture the special day is to have your guests decorate unique patches that will be placed together to make a quilt.

To make it easy, have squares pre-cut that you can give to your guests at the party. Also, have available glue, sequins, glitter, beads, markers, stencils, etc. that the guests use to create their heartfelt wish for your child.

For those family and friends who are unable to attend your party, a great idea would be to send a fabric square and a few decorative supplies to these people, as well as a pre-stamped envelope that they can return their squares back to you. In this way, although they are unable to attend the party, your family and friends can still be a part of the lasting keepsake memory.

Other squares that you may want to make up are your child’s handprint and footprint, a birthday photo, and a copy of the invitation to the birthday party.

Assemble the squares together after the party, find coordinating fabric for the back of the quilt, and sew together, or find a quilt shop in the local area that can help you complete the project.

This keepsake can be something that you put away as an heirloom, or something that your child uses or is in his bedroom. As he gets older, it will definitely be a conversational piece!

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Throw A Fondue Party With Swissmar

swissmar, fondue, housewares, kitchen, kitchenware, cooking, cookware, party, spring, recipes

Over the last few years, Swissmar has expanded their own brand of Swissmar products such as raclettes, fondues, wine accessories, bamboo boards, cheese knives and accessories. If you’re looking for a great party idea – think fondue! Fondue is back and it’s here to stay with the Swissmar Sierra 11-Piece Cast Iron Meat Fondue Set. The cast iron pot heats evenly so all can enjoy perfectly cooked pieces. This 11-piece set includes: cast iron pot, cast spatter ring with fork recesses, rechaud, adjustable holder for gel fuel, wood base and six individualized forks. If you are stumped for fondue ideas, we have a great recipe for baby spring vegetable with truffle cheese fondue that will knock your company’s socks off. 


1.5 ounces of butter

1.5 ounces of flour

1 cup milk, scalded

1 tablespoon truffle oil

3 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese

1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese

1 bunch chives, chopped

Slivers of fresh truffles

Assortment of spring vegetables such as artichokes, bok choy, white asparagus, haricots, baby carrots red pepper and yellow pear tomatoes 


1. Melt butter in a small saucepan and mix in flour, stirring for a minute and adding hot milk slowly and whisking.

2. After the sauce thickens from boiling for a few minutes, strain into another saucepan.

3. Add truffle oil, both cheeses and mix over low heat in your new Swissmar fondue set.

4. Garnish with truffles.

5. Blanch and shock artichokes, bok choy, white asparagus, baby carrots and haricots. Grill artichoke, bok choy and asparagus. Serve alongside hot fondue for dipping. 

Now you can find these quality Swissmar products at Zappos.com. Entertain friends and delight your family with the beautiful products Swissmar offers. From bamboo knife blocks to cast iron fondue sets and stone raclettes, you’re sure to discover a Swissmar product you’ll be proud to display in your home.

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Inside Zappos, Episode 8 : "New Years Party"

This week the blogs team tries to find a new years party to attend. (if you missed last week's episode, check it out HERE). Stay tuned for new webisodes every Monday right here on Blogs.Zappos.com.

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Start 2011 Off In Style With Our Sparkly Trends

trends, stylists, experts, fashion, trend, chic, downtown, new years eve, nye, party, sparkles, sequins, dress, skirt, heels, clutch, bcbgeneration, steve madden, aldo

End 2010 on an amazingly fashionable high note with our top picks for sparkly New Year's Eve outfits.  Add a little sparkle to your outfit for added texture and shine. Our style experts have put together a few choices to help you start out 2011 in spectacular fashion.

As we turn the page on another year, we recommend turning to a classic fashion icon, Betsey Johnson, for your party dress. Light up the night with the Betsey Johnson Evening Caribbean Nights dress. This sparkling beauty features a tiered design with tulle overlay at the hem. If you would prefer a skirt this NYE, the Steve Madden Sequin Swing Skirt will have you dancing long after the ball has dropped.

If you’re braving the elements to party in Times Square, you’ll definitely need a jacket.  A stylishly sexy little black jacket from three dots such as the Ponte L/S Jacket offers exaggerated quilted shoulders for dramatic shape with a fitted silhouette. Kick up the sparkle a notch with the Type Z Sequin Jacket, a notched lapel blazer that will help you flash your swagger all night long.

If you’re looking for the ultimate showstopper heels for this year’s party, the ALDO Nacci will give you more than a glimmer of hope. This wrapped platform features metallic fabric and an elegant bow-design peep toe. We would never forget the bags and accessories in a New Year’s Eve trend update. Keep it all together with a dazzling BCBGeneration clutch like the wondrously vibrant Violet Clutch. Devine party style is only an accessory away with GUESS accessories. The 177065-21 necklace and 177428-21 earrings will set your look on fire! Look great and have fun this New Year's with our style experts’ picks. For more recommendations, visit our Trends page for the latest styles and tips. Happy New Year's!

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Ornament Garland for Kids

Have you been noticing all of the holiday decorations at your local stores this season?  It seems that as soon as Halloween is over, the Christmas season kicks into high gear.  If you are thinking about all of the ornaments that you already have or are looking around to purchase some new ornaments this year, here is an idea for your ornaments that your kids are sure to love.

1.    With your children, decide which ornaments to use to create your ornament garland.  Make sure to choose enough to create a garland for the area you are using it for.

2.    Choose a ribbon in a favorite color to use to string your ornaments.

3.    Have the children string the ornaments through the ribbon.

4.    Place your ornament garland on your Christmas tree (especially good to fill in areas of your tree with open space), across the mantle, or any other space that needs a garland for holiday decor.

5.     Have fun stringing the ornaments and decorating your home this season!

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Versatile Tidbit Dress From Vans Is Ideal For Holiday Parties

vans, holiday, party, dress, dress up, tidbit, casual, formal, modern, fashion, open back

Are you stressed at the thought of not having anything to wear to your upcoming holiday office party? This sexy Vans dress is a little taste of style you're sure to love. The Tidbit dress is a dazzling cotton, poly and elastane fabrication that exudes comfort, durability and flexibility. The scoop neck and cap sleeves will keep you feeling casual while looking absolutely stunning. The open back with bow detail at the strap shows a little, without revealing too much. Make the Tidbit your new party dress.