Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party Invitations

Every great party starts with perfect party invitations. A Sweet Sixteen birthday party needs a very special invitation. Here are just a few of our favorites.

Our exclusive Shimmery Hot Pink Sweet Sixteen invitation combines two of the hottest colors for a sixteenth birthday - hot pink and black. This invitation also has matching shimmery hot pink envelopes.

We love our exclusive Shimmery White Diecut Dress Invitations on Shimmery Hot Pink basecard that is accented by a mini hot pink and white pre-tied bow. Also comes with Shimmery White envelopes.

Who isn't a star every day, but especially on their 16th birthday, the Pink Stars and Filmstrip Invitations let everyone know it is your special day.

A toddler recites Shakespeare

Brian Cox is now best known for his roles in Hollywood films like 'Manhunter', but he keeps in touch with his stage roots. Here he develops his Shakespeare suzuki method, with a toddler soliloquy from 30 month old Theo.

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Traditional Christmas Greeting Photo Cards

We love the folded traditional Photo Christmas Cards, mainly because you print and attach your own photos to this style card and it opens to your own custom printed greeting and family personalization. You can send one photo to your family, another photo to your friends and another to your business associates.

One of my friends actually prints out and keeps pictures of her family interacting with the people on her Christmas card list. When it's time to send out her cards, she puts those pictures on the card she sends to them. How clever!

Tropical Flowers Digital Holiday Photo Cards

Family vacation photos are great pictures to use to show off your family on Christmas Photo Cards. One of our favorite Exclusive designs this year is of White Hibiscus flowers and tropical leaves on lots of different color backgrounds. You upload your photo to us and it is printed as part of the artwork on these Digital Holiday Photo Cards. With all the colors to choose from, one is sure to be perfect for your favorite family photo.

Some of our favorite tropical photo cards

Shop Tropical Flowers Digital Holiday Photo Cards:

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California Raisins - Remember them?

These commercials started in 1986...wow, where does the time go! Halloween that year, the California Raisin was one of the most popular Halloween costumes. Love the commerical with Michael Jackson - I had completely forgotten it! I found one commerical, that was all I was going to post, then I found another and another...they're just so much fun!

Michael Jackson

Ray Charles

And then there is the video that shows you "How did they do that?"

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Seriously Funny Print Ad - Radio Station

Having stumbled upon this ad surfing the net one day, I just had to pass it on. Makes you wonder what will be invented next and how far we've come!

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Veterans Day - A Thank You to all who've Served

Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an "s" at the end of "veterans" because it is not a day that "belongs" to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans and is usually celebrated on November 11th.

Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.

In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty.

A number of countries honor their veterans each year on November 11th, although the name and types of commemorations differ somewhat from Veterans Day celebrations in the United States. For example, Canada and Australia observe "Remembrance Day" on November 11th, and Great Britain observes "Remembrance Day" on the Sunday nearest to November 11th. There are similarities and differences between these countries' Remembrance Day and America's Veterans Day.

Canada's observance is actually quite similar to the U.S. celebration, in that the day is intended to honor all who served in Canada's Armed Forces. However, unlike in the U.S., many Canadians wear red poppy flowers on November 11th in honor of their war dead. In Australia, Remembrance Day is very much like America's Memorial Day, a day to honor that nation's war dead.

In Great Britain, the day is commemorated by church services and parades of ex-service members in Whitehall, a wide ceremonial avenue leading from London's Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square. Wreaths of poppies are left at the Cenotaph, a war memorial in Whitehall, which was built after the First World War. At the Cenotaph and elsewhere in the country, a two-minute silence is observed at 11 a.m., to honor those who lost their lives in wars.

Information provided by United States Department of Veterans Affairs

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Donate to your local Food Bank

Donating to your local food bank is fast and easy when you use an on-line grocery delivery website.

A suggestion for a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday basket for a family of four is the list I just ordered on Vons.com for delivery to our local food bank South County Outreach tomorrow in memory of my dad, our fabulous Thanksgiving turkey carver:

Holiday Meal Order Summary:
  • $11.00 Butterball Turkey 16-20 Lb Frozen
  • $ 4.00 Stove Top Turkey Stuffing Mix - 6 Oz (2 @ $2.00)
  • $ 4.00 Sara Lee Classic Dinner Rolls - 17 Oz (2 @2.00)
  • $ 1.50 Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce - 14 Oz
  • $ 1.58 Safeway Cut Green Beans - 14.5 Oz (2 @ $0.79)
  • $ 3.98 Princella Cut Sweet Potatoes And Yams - 29 Oz (2 @ $1.99)
  • $ 1.58 Safeway/Genuardis Corn Whole Golden - 15.25 Oz (2 @ $0.79)
  • $ 2.99 Reddi Wip Whipped Cream Topping- 7 Fl. Oz.
  • $ 6.99 Sara Lee Signature Selections Traditional Pumpkin Pie - 46 Oz.
  • $ 1.25 Safeway Wide Egg Noddles Pasta - 12 Oz
  • $ 1.60 Campbells Cream Of Mushroom Condensed Soup - 10.75 Oz (2 @ $0.80)
  • $ 2.00 Safeway/Vons Fruit Cocktail - 15.25 Oz (2 @ $1.00)

  • $42.47 ORDER TOTAL
Optional items families need:
  • $ 1.79 Safeway/Vons Grape Jam - 18 Oz
  • $ 2.00 Safeway/Vons Peanut Butter Creamy - 18 Oz
  • $ 3.15 Mahatma Long Grain White Rice - 2 Lb
  • $ 1.89 Safeway/Vons Pasta Spaghetti - 32 Oz
  • $ 5.00 Hunts Classic Italian Garlic and Herb Spaghetti Sauce - 26 Oz 4 @$1.25)
  • $ 4.00 Campbells Chicken Noodle Condensed Soup - 10.75 Oz (4 @ $1.00)
  • $ 2.00 Safeway/Vons Light Sugar Yellow Cling Peach Halfs - 15 Oz (2 @ $1.00)

It's easy to give, just google local food banks/pantries in your area and a local grocery delivery service or choose to deliver food yourself. Fifteen minutes of on-line ordering time and around $42.47 will put a smile on your face and the faces of another family this holiday season. Donating to your local food bank will feel so good it might become a new habit.

Table Topics Conversation Starters

When looking for hostess gifts, we found these interesting little cubes called "Table Topics" filled with questions guaranteed to get the party conversation started. Our favorite was the "Not your Mom's Dinner Party" collection. It promises provocative questions as spicy as the food you are serving and questions your mother told you never to ask such as "What habit would you like to break?", and "What alcohol can you never drink again?"

Other sets of Table Topics we selected above include: Family Edition, Right or Wrong Edition, Girl's Night Out Edition, Family Gathering, Kids Topics to Go, College Life Conversation Starters, Wine Topics, Dinner Party and Wedding Shower Table Topics.
Click on any product above to order or see details. Ordered and shipped from Amazon. What could be easier?

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Eat This, Not That - Test your food choice skills

Diet? Now? With the holiday season around the corner, how many of you have started to think about holiday weight gain and how to prevent it?

My son asked me to get him the "Eat This, Not That" book when he learned about it in his health class. Once he was no longer playing football and basketball and burning a zillion calories a day, he needed to change his eating habits. It was fun to discover new habits together and how little changes can add up to a big change without dieting.

Now, you can test your food knowledge with the "Eat This, Not That Game". The game tests your knowledge of foods for every meal as well as desserts and snacks. Try it, what have you got to loose, except maybe a few hundred unnecessary calories.

Click to order any of the books shipped directly to you from Amazon.

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Thanksgiving & Fall Party Invitations

Fall, Autumn and Thanksgiving Party Invitations featuring the stunning colors of autumn are perfect for fall dinner party invitations, autumn wedding shower invitations, moving announcements, rehearsal dinner invitations and more.

Progress is Overrated by Frank Druffel

I found this while surfing for something else. I loved it!

(The video has been removed from Youtube, but the letter below is priceless!)

Frank Druffel writes:

"When I started in management, solitaire was the big employee time-waster. Today we have YouTube.

Now that's what I call Progress.

I'm no fan of Progress, mind you, but having the ability to push this YouTube content straight to people's desks means I don't have to remind my employees to play solitaire every hour. Not only does that free up my schedule, but it's a more interesting way for them to waste their time, which means there's less chance of actual Progress occurring.

If only we had this YouTube 30 years ago! Who knows where this country would be? But why look back, when infinite hours of streaming video are ahead of us.

Warm regards,

Frank Druffel"

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Vinturi? It's all the Buzz...

What is a Vinturi? According to my friends, it's the hottest new must have gadget. My neighbor, Bill, opened a new bottle of red wine and he had me do a comparison test. Amazing, but true, the glass of wine aerated with the Vinturi did taste better than the non-Vinturi-aerated glass. There's also a Vinturi for white wine. Who knew white wine could taste better after being aerated? After my taste testing, I have to agree, the Vinturi is on my Christmas Wish List.

In discussing the Vinturi, the main comment I have heard is, "Who has time to let wine breath? Just pour it and drink it." That's the secret of the Vinturi, that's exactly what you do with it. You open the bottle of wine, you hold the Vinturi over your glass, and you pour the wine through the Vinturi and into your glass and immediately start enjoying a wonderfully aerated glass of wine! No waiting necessary!

Click on any of the selections above to order directly from Amazon.

For the technical details--as wine breathes, it releases its intended aromas and flavors. Unlike time-consuming decanters, Vinturi's simple gadget makes the aerating process easy and convenient. Simply hold it over a glass and pour the wine through, mixing the proper amount of air in the right amount of time. The result is a better bouquet, richer flavor, and smoother finish.

Terrified of Wedding Day Speeches?

You love the people that will stand beside you on your wedding day, but are you afraid of what they will say in their speeches? Are you terrified of what you will say as the bride or the groom?

Wedding Speeches for You to the rescue. Speech help for the Bride, the Groom, Best man, Maid of Honor, Mother of the Bride and Father of the Bride.

Jarrod Alban brags: 'Wedding Speeches for You is an absolute savior! I was the best man in my friend's wedding and had planned to write a great speech. Well, like most people, I got busy and kept procrastinating. The night before my flight left for the wedding, I still hadn't written a thing. I hopelessly searched the internet for assistance. I came across Wedding Speeches for You and was hesitant at first. I did not want to spend any money but I was desperate and couldn't find anything worthwhile on any other sites. So I took a chance and it was the best $20 I ever spent. The materials I received were extremely helpful and filled with many ideas and examples. I was able to put together a speech on the plane and after the wedding I cannot tell you how many people came up to me and told me that my speech was the best part of the wedding. The groom cried with emotion during my speech and he didn't even cry during the ceremony! Whether you have plenty of time to prepare a speech, or are in a bind like I was, I would highly recommend Wedding Speeches for You to assist you in writing a wedding speech that will never be forgotten."

One of the modules, "Bride Speeches", was designed to be the easiest to follow system for getting a quality Bride speech and presenting it to your friends and family. It is jam-packed with information, 20 sample speeches, over 100 toasts, piles of quotes, jokes and one-liners that will make your speech THE one to remember... With Bride Speeches" you'll also discover what you must know about presenting and delivering a speech in a professional manner that suits the occasion.

Wedding Speeches for You's website was built to provide speech givers out there the security and peace of mind that comes with knowing their wedding speech will be fantastic. They surveyed customers to find out their exact wants and needs, all with the aim of providing you with fresh and up to date material that will help you write and deliver the killer speech. In fact they guarantee it! That's right, if you feel their speech packages don't help you deliver a speech that everyone loves they will refund 100% of your money... All you have to do is let them know WITHIN 60 days of purchasing your speech package!

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A Bikini Wax Story Retelling & Martinis

My sister and I went out after work today for a Bombay Martini in honor of our Dad's birthday. Neither one of us had ever drank gin until the night he died, three years ago on November 9th, when we decided to toast to him with his favorite drink. Anyway, his birthday and the day he died are the only days of the year that Gin actually tastes good to me. So after toasting to our father, and half way into our martinis, the mood needed to be lightened. One topic lead to another and I remembered a story I had read in Health magazine:

"A Windy Waxing"
I'm lactose intolerant, but I just can't kick my cheese and chocolate milk cravings. The unfortunate result of my dairy bingeing is usually gas, but I consider myself something of a flatulence ninja because I'm a pro at concealing it. That wasn't the case, though, when I recently went in for a bikini wax after a night of lactose gluttony. I wanted the full monty, so when the aesthetician was done with my front, she made me flip over on all fours. As she smeared wax in the most nether regions of my behind, I just couldn't hold it in any longer and accidentally let one rip right in the poor woman's face. If that wasn't enough, I fell down laughing, which made my butt cheeks stick together from the wax, so the aesthetician had to separate them and re-apply. Let's just say she got a very big--and (well deserved) tip. -- Sasha, Sheboygan, Wisc.

To Sasha, I just want to say, my sister and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making us cry for a good ten minutes from laughter instead of from sadness. So happy birthday Dad, and cheers to Sasha for making women everywhere "crack" up with laughter. Forward this to every woman you know -- laughter is the best medicine, no matter what ails you.

Still laughing...

The Joy of the Holidays or the Bah Humbug of...

We know, it's 18 days until Halloween and already you're getting bombarded with Christmas stuff. We also know:

  • There's 70 days until Christmas, (Yikes!)
  • Less 20 days for the first Saturday in December - the 5th
  • Less 7 days, the minimum amount of time you should give for RSVP before your party date
  • Less 7 days, give or take, to order and get your holiday invitations delivered
  • Less 3 days average time it takes hosts to get invitations in the mail
...you're running out of time!
And then, there's your guests to consider. They have invitations for his work, her work, their kids, their "other" friends, professional organizations they belong to, New Year's Eve, and you probably have those same commitments too. December calendars fill up at warp speed.

How is your party going to grab your guests' attention? By sending them a custom printed party invitation.
If your social circle is a partying group, don't make the mistake of skimping on an invitation. Your party invitation needs make guests say, "We're going to this party!" Custom printed invitations can be the difference between a packed party or a dismal, embarrassing "is anyone coming?" turnout.

When guests pull out their calendars, you want your custom printed invitation on the top of the pile. A casual invitation by phone call is too informal and often slips their minds if their calendar is not in front of them at the moment you call. It's also ineffective for conveying the tone of your party like a custom printed invitation. A letter sheet folded into a "bill-size" envelope that reads like a laundry list of boring details won't make it to the top of the pile in the bid for a coveted party date. An emailed invitation, provided guests remember to print it, loses it's appeal quickly when it's printed on plain white copy paper and lost in the pile of other papers on your desk.

While we can't clean your house or do your shopping for the party, we can get perfect holiday party invitations in your hands quickly and efficiently.

Impress your guests with the best! Shop our Holiday Party Invitations now. Look for the "Exclusive" label for invitations you won't see anywhere else.

Even Seasoned Hosts need Party Planning Help

We've selected some of our favorite party planning books and put them all in one spot. Even seasoned hosts and hostesses can grab some fabulous ideas from these books. Mouse over the book to get information, click on the book to order directly from Amazon. We've done the searching for you!

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Inticing Invitation of the Day - "Red Toile Ornaments"

Red Toile Ornaments holiday party invitation is one of our Exclusive Signature Series invitations. It is perfect for a business holiday party or a personal Christmas party.

Click on image to enlarge and to order

Columbus and George Washington's Vice President

It all started with a conversation I had with my friend, Wendy.
We were talking about the new Dan Brown novel, "The Lost Symbol", that George Washington was a Freemason, that "give him the third degree" is from testing given to move to the "third degree" of the Freemasons, and then her question, "Who was George Washington's Vice President"?

I'm sure any 5th grader could tell you the answer, and it is probably buried somewhere on the overloaded hard disk that is my brain, but after about five hours of "hummmm", I resorted to Bing.com. Drum roll, please...the answer is John Adams was George Washington's Vice President. He was our second president and Thomas Jefferson was his Vice President. Jefferson was one the most influential of our founding fathers and the chief author of our Declaration of Independence.

So the round about tie-in my brain made between George Washington, one of America's founding fathers, and the man who "found" America? They both have federal holidays - President's Day in February and Columbus Day celebrated the second Monday in October.

Do we still celebrate Columbus Day? "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue", leaving from Spain on October 12th. This holiday dates back to 1792 when mainly because of it's Italian-American population, New York City celebrated the 300-year anniversary of the historic voyage.

It has been widely disputed by historians if Columbus truly "discovered" America. Amerigo Vespucci, a sailor long before Columbus, is credited with the name ‘‘America”. Many states have changed the meaning behind the observance of this day. Hawaii calls it Discover's Day, South Dakota celebrates Native American Day.

An article by Lindsey Laing of the The Bolling Aviator says it best: "Columbus Day is more about discovery. It’s an idea that rings true even today, just as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, ring true for every American. Discovery is the belief that the unknown is still out there. That kind of imagination and determination created a country where everyone is entitled to self-expression, freedom of religion and the right to vote. Where would we be today if we hadn’t discovered our own America for ourselves?"

How will you choose to remember and/or celebrate Columbus Day this October 12th? A barbecue? A protest? A parade? Discovering something new?

I went on to "discover" that Thomas Jefferson's Vice President was Aaron Burr for his first term and George Clinton for his second term. James Madison was the fourth President and his Vice President was.... and the discovery goes on and on.

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Inticing Invitation of the Day - "Monster Mash"

Since it is October and Halloween is "in the air", we just had to pick a Halloween Invitation. Today we chose one of our Exclusive signature series invitations, the beautifully illustrated "Monster Mash", with Frankenstein, werewolf, mummy and vampire, inviting one and and all to mash the night away. (Our Exclusive Design and always in stock!)

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Scare up a Haunted Hotel Room this October

What could be more spooktacular than sharing a room with ghosts and other things that go bump in the night?

San Francisco's Queen Anne Hotel has a walking tour "Ghost Hunt" that leaves the hotel at 7 p.m. for $20 per persons and $10 for 16 and under (not recommend for kiddies under 8). Call 415-922-5590.

On "The Top Ten Best Most Haunted Hotels as Voted by the Readers of Haunted America Tours," the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego ranks number two. "The most well-known legend and ghost story told is that of it's ghost Kate Morgan, who checked into the hotel in 1892 to meet her estranged husband. He never showed up, and days later she was found dead on the beach from a gunshot wound. Some believe her lost lonely spirit still haunts the hotel, and there have been ghostly cold spots, numerous reports of noises, odd breezes in closed rooms and sightings of more then one ghosts."

Where will you be spending Halloween night?

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The Professional Party Planner Guide to Bridal Showers

A bridal shower is one of those parties which you can throw which will be fun and yet practical at the same time. While the purpose of the bridal shower is to give the bride things which can be used in her marriage, another fun reason is that it allows some hours away from the planning and stress of the wedding itself, for the bride and family to just play games and have some good clean fun.

The bridal shower is the perfect occasion to share funny family stories and for friends and relatives to gather to give the bride advice and support for her marriage. It is also another occasion which the bride gets to be the princess of the day, without having to deal with all of the stress of the wedding itself. It is a much more casual and comfortable event than the actual wedding or reception generally are.

In planning a bridal shower, it is generally the responsibility of the maid-of-honor and the bridesmaids. While it used to be considered poor etiquette for anyone else to host the bridal shower, today it is perfectly acceptable. However, it is vital in your planning that you take into account the bride’s wishes and don’t make any plans or games which could make her feel uncomfortable or angry. You should consult with the bride and ask what she would like for her shower. Generally, it is best not to have a surprise bridal shower unless it is far before the wedding and you think the bride would really appreciate one.

The bridal shower should be held between two to eight weeks prior to the wedding date. Only invited guests of the wedding itself should be invited to the bridal shower. The time of your bridal shower is up to you and the bride; however the standard tradition is generally in the early afternoon. Today some people hold their bridal showers at a spa or even on the beach for a BBQ and party; it just depends on the wishes of the bride and groom.

Also, you will need to decide if the bridal shower will be a traditional “girls only” event, or if you will have couples. If you will have couples, then the party is generally referred to as a “Jack and Jill” party rather than a bridal shower. For a Jack and Jill party, gifts are generally less gender specific and more home related.

In addition, the other popular themes for a bridal shower are: around-the-clock showers, lingerie showers, kitchen showers, and travel gift showers. For an around-the-clock shower, each guest is given a time of day and their gift should reflect that time when purchased. For a lingerie shower the bride is given lingerie to enjoy with her new husband after the wedding. A kitchen shower consists of all gifts being useful in the kitchen, and travel gifts are for when the couple travel together.

At the end of the bridal shower make sure that you have a small sentimental gift for each of the attendees. Your gift can be something to commemorate the day, or even something simple such as a bar of gourmet soap. It is always nice to send your guests back to their homes with something special, in addition to their wonderful memories of the day.

We have lots of themes for your bridal shower, click to shop:  General Theme, Cocktail Bridal Shower, Couples Shower, Lingerie Shower, Luncheon Shower, Tropical Showers

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Who doesn't love cupcakes?

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes

1-1/2 cup flour
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fit a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. One by one, mix in eggs, the egg yolk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing until smooth. Spoon out the batter into the liners.

3. Bake for about 25 minutes. Cool. Top with your favorite frosting.

Cupcakes make great party invitations too! Shop Cupcake Invitations

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Tom Turkey, Ben Franklin and Football

The Pilgrims first Thanksgiving celebration was in the fall of 1621 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and it lasted three days. Us modern day Americans are lucky if we can stay awake long enough to clear the table after the feast. We do still celebrate with the drink the Puritans brought with them on the Mayflower - beer! What's a Thanksgiving Day football game without it.

Did you know Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird of the United States to be the turkey? He was opposed by Thomas Jefferson. It is thought that Franklin then name the male turkey "Tom" to spite Jefferson.

Did you know Californians are the United States' largest consumers of turkey. I wonder if it's because the state has so many people or if they really, really like it.

Do we need invitations for Thanksgiving dinner? Obviously not, but what fun it would be to send these humorous invites to spice it up at bit.

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