A Simple & Sweet Welcome for Out-of-Town Guests

A few weeks ago I was at a birthday party for my friend’s granddaughter.  I was talking with a couple while we ate dinner and they were telling me that they were hosting a birthday party for the gentleman’s father’s 80th birthday the next weekend.

If  you know me, than you know I wanted the details~ color scheme, food served, cake, decorations…It was a cowboy theme with BBQ, red and white gingham, bales of hay, pie tins for plates (LOVE that idea!), mason jars for glasses (you know I LOVE using them!).  They really had thought of just about everything…

I asked if they had guests coming in from out-of-town and the answer was “Yes, they are staying at a local hotel.”  My next question?  Had they thought of having gift bags at the hotel for when their guests arrived?  Their answer was no, they had never thought of that.  So of course I start talking about all of the great things they could give their guests upon arrival.

Well, one thing led to another and they hired me to make 12 bags for their guests. As with most things I do, I had a limited budget of $84 for all of the gift bags.  In case you are like me and are challenged in the math department, that comes out to be $7 per gift bag.

 {The Supplies}

A pack of 13 craft gift bags from Michael’s ($4 with a 50% off coupon), photo paper, brown card stock, 2 yards of red and white gingham fabric from Jo-Ann’s ($4 with 50% off coupon) using fabric was less expensive than spools of ribbon, and my favorite glue stick by that “Martha” lady.

{The Goodies}

My favorite crackers from Trader Joe’s “Roasted Gorgonzola” ($1.99), Trader Joe’s wine ($1.99), and Ferrero Roche chocolates (box of 12 for $12 at Smart & Final)

~The final product~

Very simple and inexpensive ($6.15 per bag), yet it will let the guests know that they are appreciated for traveling for the party and that they can look forward to a wonderful weekend.  And who doesn’t love snacks in their hotel room after a party?

Until Next Time,

Butterscotch Lady

PS.  Yes, I also made gift bags for Miss Irene’s guests for her 90th birthday, but whoops~ I forgot to take pictures!

90 Birthday Candles

Before I get started, did you all watch Timree on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” Tuesday night?  Wasn’t she fabulous?!?!  And she maintained her composure when Vickie (or as some might say, “Ickie”) was so rude regarding her name.  Yes, Vickie, Timree is a REAL name for a REAL lady!  Timree has been receiving emails from all over the country and she surpassed 1,000 likes on her Facebook page.  CONGRATULATIONS Timree!!!


It is not everyday that you know someone who has reached the milestone of 90 years old.  I have a great friend Gail, and her mom, Miss Irene, turned 90 years old last month.  In honor of her 9th decade, Gail and her family hosted a beautiful party in Irene’s honor.  It was my pleasure to help Gail style the room for the many friends and family members that had travelled from as far away as Scotland to attend.

Renee, Kevin, Bret, Irene~the birthday girl and Gail

The colors for the party were red, white and black.  About 100 people were expected to attend the party and we knew that the room was not big enough to try and have a seat for everyone.   One of my go to options for parties it to rent pub tables.  People can stand around them to eat and drink and they do not take as much floor space as a table with chairs would.

As many of you know, I do not believe that you have to spend a lot of money on decor to make a party fabulous.  Gail borrowed glass bowls and mirrors for the centerpieces and I purchased shredded black paper ($8  for 1 bag) and rosette balls ($2.95 each).  The artificial rose petals were donated by a florist friend of Gail’s.

Centerpieces for the tables. I turned the bowl filled with black shredded paper upside down onto the mirror.

Miss Irene has a big sweet tooth, so I just knew she had to have a candy dessert bar.  And who doesn’t love their name in glitter?  (Do you recognize the boards?  They are the same boards I used for Baby Girl’s Valentine party pennant.)

All of the jars were filled with red, pink, white and silver candy.

Gail made labels for these little cups for the candy bar.  They were the perfect size for the treats.  She found them at  Smart & Final.

And it surely would not be a birthday party without a cake and cupcakes! The piano theme was in honor of Irene’s lifelong passion for singing.

Gail’s friend Jill Pinson was the fabulous baker that made the cake and cupcakes. Can you believe she does this as a hobby? I would hire her anytime!

The cupcakes were absolutely GORGEOUS and delicious!

Irene has made picture collages for many years of family and friends. They were perfect for creating a personal touch to her party.  Everyone enjoyed looking back over the years of happy (and younger!) times together! I always try to use pictures at parties.  The guests feel special when they spot themselves in a picture at the party.  Plus, they are a great conversation starter if you happen to be hosting a group of people who may not know one another. Lastly, they are an inexpensive way to add high impact.

I just want to say “Thank You” to Gail, her family and most especially Miss Irene, for allowing me to help create a memorable 90th birthday party for her.  I can’t wait to plan her 100th!!!

HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY IRENE LILLY!!!  And may you have  many, many more!

The Beautiful Birthday Girl

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

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