Fun Find: Party in a Box!

I recently attended the Washington, DC edition of Taste of the Nation, a charity event that helps raise money for Share Our Strength. While I was eating my way through chocolate mousse, chilled spring pea soup and salted caramel macaroons, I happened upon a gorgeous table hosted by Lindy at Happy Everything Events. Her custom made party boxes were nothing short of charming and I couldn't wait to share them with you!

http://www.happyeverythingevents.com/
(Image courtesy of Happy Everything Events)
 
Her boxes include handmade items such as: invitations, cupcake toppers, pennant banners, and favor bags! Here is an example of one I found in her etsy shop. Too cute, no?

(Image courtesy of Happy Everything Events)
 
Stop by Lindy's site today and purchase your party in a box stat!

PopSugar Must Have Box: Resort Edition

In a moment of shopping weakness last month I splurged and ordered the limited edition PopSugar Must Have Resort Box. The price was much steeper than my normal $39/month subscription cost but the promise of a box of luxurious, resort themed items lured me in. So, I bit the bullet and forked over a Benjamin for it. A WHOLE BENJAMIN. (What was I thinking?!) After watching it travel all over the country, the box finally arrived today.

This post has spoilers, so if you don't want to know what's in the box, click here for an adorable bunny picture instead!


For starters, I was pleased to find the items were nicely packed in a heavy black box as opposed to being thrown into the shipping box like they usually are. Not that this bothers me, I just appreciated the extra touch of a fancy box. I will surely use this box somewhere in my home. All of the items were individually wrapped in black tissue paper, which added to the fun of unwrapping them. Here is what my Benjamin purchased:
  • Tropical Lave Body Cleanser by Epicuren Discovery (~$35) - It smells like a tropical island! I will definitely try this once my body wash runs out. The downside is this is much larger than TSA approved travel gear, so if you want to enjoy the resort-like island smell, do it from your bathtub at home.
  • Salted Caramel Apple Salt Water Taffy by Salty Road ($6.50) - These are truly delicious. It took all of my willpower to eat just one. That said, salt water taffy reminds me of the Boardwalk, not a luxurious resort.
  • The Sanitgolden Age: Double-Ended Limitless Eye Liner by Smashbox Cosmetics ($24) - Honestly, I'm never going to use blue and gold eyeliner. I can assure you if I do I'll manage to look like a racoon dressed like Kesha. 
  • Cellular Lifting Moisture Mist by Clark's Botanicals ($45) - Since it's a mist, I'll probably throw it in my travel bag to hydrate after long plane trips. This was the first item that felt "resort-y" to me.
  • #2 Clutch by R.B. of McD (estimated cost $100) - It's a nice clutch, but doesn't seem very well made. The inside lining is terribly boring (a plain brown canvas-y material), which I don't see lasting through the summer. Also, unlike their website, this clutch didn't come with a bicycle chain cable. Since it's made of leather and canvas, I cannot imagine taking it to the beach or on a trip.
  • Turkish Towel by Cuyana ($55) - I can't wait to use it! It's huge, folds up quite small, and will be perfect to travel with this summer. This was the big score of the box for sure.
  • Bracelet Stack by Sisco Berluti (~$148) - It's cute jewelry, but for the price, it doesn't seem worth it. Based on the website, the three bracelets can be purchased individually here, here and here.
 
Overall, I wouldn't purchase this type of box again even though the retail cost of all of my items was about $410. Frankly, aside from what I think are over inflated price tags, most items in this box did not feel terribly luxurious or resort-like to me. I would have preferred a box curated with items like: high-end sunscreen, a beach tote, fun flip-flops, a summer book, a beach-friendly clutch (maybe a clear one!), frizz control hair spray, a fun passport cover, a floppy hat, a travel journal, luggage tag, etc. There are a million directions PopSugar could have gone with the resort theme, but they sort of missed the mark on this one. Based on what was in last year's Summer Fun box, I know they can do better! I'll still keep my monthly subscription though - for the price, it's well worth it to be surprised each month! Interested in subscribing? Sign up through my site with this link.
 
Did you purchase the box? What did you think? I'd love your feedback in the comment section below!

A Cupcake Tasting Party!

My friend Kelly and I recently embarked on a cupcake tasting adventure, and I think it would make a fantastic Two Penny Party. We both have incredible sweet tooths and one of our favorite cupcake combinations is vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, so putting together an impromptu tasting party seemed like a no brainer. Here's how you can morph it into an event of your own!


Step One: Invite each guest to bring 1-2 cupcakes from their favorite local bakery. We opted to try vanilla with chocolate frosting to keep things easy to judge, but you can take this in any direction you wish. Red velvet, carrot cake or chocolate would be great options.


Step Two: Cut up the cupcakes! Since you will be on a guaranteed sugar high, I recommend you quarter your cupcakes so you and your guests can enjoy the fun of tasting these sweet treats without the guilt of eating multiple whole cupcakes. Also, keep ice water and skim milk on hand for palette cleansers. 


Step Three: Taste away! We decided to rank our favorites, all of which were purchased from local DC and Maryland bakeries. As you can see, Baked & Wired (the largest cupcake in the picture above) stole the show! It happens to be my favorite place in Washington, DC to get cupcakes so if you will be visiting for our gorgeous Cherry Blossom Festival next month, definitely stop by and get one!

Party Color Scheme Inspiration

Choosing a color scheme for any party is always a daunting task for me. With so many gorgeous ideas out there, it is simply too hard for me to pick just one. Coral and teal, hunter green and lemon yellow, fuchsia and navy, I want to use them all! If you start by googling "color scheme generator" you will get a myriad of sites that are geared toward graphic designers and in my opinion can be very complicated to use.

I stumbled upon Color Scheme Designer while I was redesigning Two Penny Parties last December and I've fallen head over heels for it. It has a simple layout, TONS of different color combinations, and best of all, is free to use. That said, if you use their site more than twice, I strongly suggest you donate a handful of bucks (minimum: $10) so they can keep their operations running. It's only fair, dear readers.

To begin, simply click on the color wheel and spin it until the color combinations you like come up. Also, click the round menu buttons above it for different variations of the same color scheme. It is completely addictive. Go on, try it. I'll wait. (*whistles, taps feet*)

Here are two color schemes I think would be perfect for a Spring/Summer Two Penny Party. The second one screams Cinco de Mayo, doesn't it?


(Both Screen Shots from ColorSchemeDesigner.com)

Once you have your color scheme, it will be a cinch to find everything else: linens, decor, candles, even clothing! I can't wait for you to use this for your next Two Penny Party! Please share your color schemes with me and I will post them to the site!