Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Easy Oscar Party Ideas {2011}

Oscars 2011 Poster
I love going to the movies! I especially love the excitement of award season, and the movie marathoning my husband and I do to see as may of the nominated films as we can. We even make an annual trip to Nashville to see the Oscar movies that didn't come to our town (double and triple features...yea!!!). I'm pleased to say we've seen all ten of the Oscar-nominated films this year!

With them in mind, I've come up with some super easy Oscar Party Ideas to help you throw a last-minute viewing party together. All of the ideas below require little to no prep, so all you have to do is email an invite and run to the grocery store.

The 83rd Academy Awards air on ABC this Sunday (February 27th)
6:00 pm Central - Red Carpet Show
7:00 pm Central - Awards

Oscar Party Invitations

I love Paperless Post email invitations! They are super stylish yet casual and very affordable (less than the price of a stamp), and you get 25 free credits when you sign up for a new account. So, your Oscar Party invites might be FREE! Here's a cute design I put together.

Oscar Party Email Invitations

Oscar Party Dinner Menu

Oscar Party Food Ideas True GritSome of the 2011 Oscar movies were perfect for a casual themed dinner that you could pick up from the grocery store or easily prep yourself.  Serve during the Red Carpet pre-show.
  • Winter's Bone-in Chicken (Grocery store rotisserie chicken)

  • Cheesy True Grits (Quaker Instant Cheese Grits or try this Paula Deen recipe)

  • The Fighter Boston Baked Beans (Bush's Boston Recipe Canned Beans)

  • Fresh Greens with Black Swan Poppy Seed Dressing (bagged salad with store-bought dressing)

  • The King's Peach Cobbler (love this easy recipe!)
    This great idea came from @milodanish via Twitter. She has some other cute Oscar menu ideas.
With all of your fun Best Picture themed menu items, you'll want to show off the creative names with some labels.  I really like the classy tent cards in this Thanksgiving Printable Collection on Catch My Party designed by Love the Day, which you can download for free.

Oscar Party Cocktails

Oscar Party Food Ideas The Social Network
  • Black Swan White Russian (idea from Make It Better)
    For the kids, you could serve regular and chocolate milk called "White Swan" and "Black Swan".

  • 127 Hours Margarita on the Rocks

  • The Social Network Apple Martinis

Oscar Party Dessert Menu - Sweets and Movie Snacks

Oscar Party Food Ideas Inception
Make your party even simpler by skipping dinner and having only snacks...just let your guests know on the invite. Or, after dinner have a fun dessert table set up with lots of movie-theater snacks.

No Oscar Party is complete without some fresh popped buttery popcorn, so definitely stock up on this beforehand.  Here are some Oscar Best Picture themed sweets to go with them.Oscar Party Food Ideas The Fighter
  • Black Swan Licorice

  • The Fighter Jawbreakers

  • Inception Totems (Hershey's Kisses)

  • The Sour Patch Kids Are All Right

  • The King's Peach (Gummi peach rings)

  • 127 Hours Rock Candy

  • The Social Network Appletini Rings (Gummie sour apple rings)

  • Toy Story 3-eats (Rice Krispie Treats)

  • True Grit Cowboy Crunch (Mini Crunch bars)

  • Winter's Bone White Trash (see this salty/sweet party mix recipe)

Oscar Party Ballot

Part of the fun of an Oscar Party is getting everyone's predictions on the winners.  I love this stylish Oscar Party Ballot designed by Twig and Thistle, which you can download for free along with some other cute printables for the awards show.  I love the little score line on the back of the ballot!

2011 Oscar Ballot Twig and Thistle

Oscar Party Tips

If you have a DVR, set it to record the awards ceremony and about 1 hour after, as the live show usually runs long.  (You'd hate to miss the big award!) Then feel free to pause the awards show as needed to continue conversation, pause for bathroom breaks, or pop more popcorn.

Can't have an Oscar Party this Sunday? Consider hosting a screening party the following weekend for whichever movie wins Best Picture. Then you can use just the ideas related to that movie...super-duper simple! The Social Network and Toy Story 3 would be particularly fun for this type of party.

I'm really looking forward to Sunday's Oscar Awards show.  I'm not sure who will win, but I know my personal favorites. I'd love for Winter's Bone to take the awards for Best Picture, Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), and Best Supporting Actor (John Hawkes).  This was my personal favorite movie of the year, and I'm just so thrilled it was even nominated.  Fingers crossed!

Winter's Bone Movie Poster

Do you have any Oscar Party tips or ideas?  I'd love to hear them and if you use any of the ideas from this post!  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Follow Belly Feathers on Twitter

Thanks so much for being a loyal reader of the Belly Feathers Party Blog! Now, you can follow me on Twitter, too, and get the latest Belly Feathers ideas first.

Belly Feathers Party Blog on Twitter

I'll also share some exclusive content on, including fun ideas from my favorite entertaining blogs and websites. I spend a lot of time answering party questions on Twitter, so feel free to ask me some. If you're on Twitter, let me know.  I'd love to follow you, too!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Win a "Hippity Hop" Easter Banner from Belly Feathers

How would you like to win a "Hippity Hop" Easter Banner made by Belly Feathers? Please visit Bear Heart Baking Co.'s blog for all of the details, and you could have this banner by Easter (a $44 value).

Easter Party Banner Homemade

You may remember this banner design from my Easter Tablescape post last year. It's mounted on glittered paper with the cutest little chocolate bunny in the center.  This banner would look precious hanging in your entryway or from you mantel.

Easter Tablescape Ideas

What are you waiting for?  Head over to Bear Heart Baking Co. now and enter to win!!!

Want a party banner now?  No problem!  My banners are custom, made-to-order, so just e-mail your colors and text to  The banners are $4 per letter (bunny counts as a letter). Find more info and party banner styles at

Monday, February 14, 2011

Homemade Valentine for my Valentine

I was really proud of this homemade Valentine's Day card that I whipped up for my husband, Roger.  It incorporates our corny sense of humor into the design, which I love.

Valentine's Day Card

Homemade Valentine Card

Homemade Valentine's Cards

I hope your Valentine's Day was full of hugs and kisses!

Happy Valentine's Day

This beautiful engagement photo, featuring a Belly Feathers "Love" banner, was taken by Carla McLemore Photography.

Love Banner for Engagement Photo

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Classic Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

When it comes to Peanut Butter Cookies, I'm a purist.

Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
Getting Ready to Go in the Oven...Mmmm!

It's my favorite cookie, and I don't like when bakeries try to spruce them up with crunchy peanut butter or roasted peanut halves. There's just something special about a classic peanut butter cookie that lets its natural peanut butteriness shine underneath that traditional crisscross design.

Here's my personal favorite recipe.

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

375˚ for 7-10 minutes

    ½       cup granulated sugar
    ½       cup packed brown sugar
    ½       cup peanut butter
    ¼       cup shortening
    ¼       cup butter, softened
    1        egg
    1 ¼    cups all-purpose flour
    ¾       teaspoon baking soda
    ½       teaspoon baking powder
    ¼       teaspoon salt

Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening, butter, and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Shape dough into 1 ¼-inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.  Firmly press for nice design.

Bake 7-8 minutes for a softer cookie or 9-10 minutes for a crispier cookie. 

Cool 5 minutes. Then remove from cookie sheet to cool on a wire rack.

Makes 2 ½ dozen.
(Source Betty Crocker)

Recipe Card for Peanut Butter Cookies

See my How To Guide for Shipping Cookies as a care package.

Mailing Cookies Homemade

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Care Package Ideas for Homemade Goodies

Someone my husband and I love needed a little cheering up, so I decided to put together a care package of my homemade Classic Peanut Butter Cookies.

Care Package Ideas Homemade

I couldn't put a gift together without a homemade tag! I thought this little "Donut Be Sad" stamp was so adorable, and it makes me smile to see it every time. There's just something endearing about a smiling donut with a tear....Don't you think?

Donut Be Sad Gift Tag with Twinery Twine

How to Ship Cookies:

  • Try to bake your cookies within 24 hours of shipping.

  • Let cookies cool to room temperature before packaging.

  • Place cookies in an air-tight container.

  • Put waxed paper or parchment between each layer of cookies to keep them from sticking to each other. (I just recycled the parchment paper I baked the cookies on for this.)

  • If cookies don't completely fill the container, add shredded or crumpled waxed paper, parchment paper, or cupcake liners to fill the gap.

  • Place container in a shipping box with 2-3 inches of packing on all sides to keep cookies from breaking during shipment.

  • If shipping the next day, freeze your box of cookies overnight to ensure freshness longer. If you're shipping during the cold-weather months, that will help, too.

  • Mark the box FRAGILE.

  • It's best to send your cookies on Monday or Tuesday to ensure the cookies don't sit in a post office or warehouse over a weekend and start to get stale.

  • I recommend USPS Priority Mail (2-3 day delivery) as a fairly fast and economical shipping method. 

How to Ship Cookies Homemade

 Here are two guides for shipping other handmade treats:

Here's one last look at my care package before it goes into its shipping box and the freezer.  I just got this Caribbean blue twine from The Twinery this week, and it matched my tag so perfectly!

Mailing Cookies Homemade

Do you have any tips for shipping home-baked treats?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Circus Party Supplies - New!

If you saw my post yesterday about Joshua's 2nd Birthday Circus Party, then you know I have a new line of Circus Party Supplies for sale from Belly Feathers.  Here are some additional photos of the products with pricing.  I can also design additional coordinating items for your party, so just ask!

Don't forget about my handy Circus Party Planning Guide full of ideas for decorations, party outfits, refreshments, favors, and more.  It's only $25.

Circus Invitations - $20 for a Printable PDF

Circus Party Stickers (2.5") - $5 for sheet of 12

Photo Posters (10x16") - $30 for printable PDF of both designs

Pennant Party Banner - $5 per letter

I'd love to help with your next Circus or Carnival Party!  Please feel free to email me at


More Circus Party Ideas
Circus Party Theme: Joshua's Two Ring Circus Birthday Party
Big-Top Circus Birthday Party for Marley & Kelsey
Handmade Circus Birthday Party: Let Your Birthday Boy Be the Ringleader
Caden's 2nd Birthday Party Carnival

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Circus Party Theme: Joshua's Two Ring Circus Birthday Party

I love circus themed parties!  So, I was thrilled to help with Joshua's Circus Birthday Party, especially after designing party supplies for his Sailboat 1st Birthday Party.  This year, his mommy Katie wanted me to create some custom circus birthday invitations and party supplies just for him.

Circus Themed Invitations

Since Joshua was turning two, I used "Two Ring Circus" as the inspiration for his Circus Invitations.  I love how they turned out with the big-top tent in the center.  Of course, I had to put a big number 2 above the door.

The bottom of the invitation is anchored by train cars full of circus animals including a lion, giraffe, elephant, and a juggling monkey.  I put a number 2 on the second train car, too.

Circus Party Games and Location

Katie was looking to do something a little simpler for Joshua's 2nd birthday party, so she decided to host the party at Cats Gymnastics in Boca Raton, FL.  The facility rental included activities, party plates/cups/napkins, and clean-up, which makes for a happy mommy!

Upon request, Cats Gymnastics transformed some of their normal birthday routines into circus themed activities by giving them new names:
  • Tight Rope Walking (Balance Beam)
  • Trapeze (Rings)
  • Lion Taming (Somersaults)
  • Clowning Around (Slide)

Birthday ringmaster Joshua even made a special flying entrance to the party (see below).  Cats Gymnastics reserves that for guests of honor only, which I think it is a special touch (and great way to book more parties).

Circus Birthday Cake

Joshua's birthday cake (pictured above) came from Publix and featured the little circus train topper below, which tied in perfectly with his invitations. The cars even have animals inside! The train candle holder was included with the price of the cake, but you can also order the same topper separately from Sweet Estelle's Baking Supply on Etsy.

Photo by Sweet Estelle's Baking Supply on Etsy

Circus Party Supplies and Decorations

My favorite circus decorations at the party were these Circus Photo Posters.  They were inspired by old circus posters that would be placed around cities get everyone excited about the circus coming to town. I love how the design turned out, and the two photos of Joshua were so much fun to work with!    These could easily be turned into photo thank you cards after the party or even party invitations.

Here are close-ups of both circus poster designs.

Don't these just look festive?!

Katie also ordered Mylar balloons shaped like a big-top circus tent and lion to decorated the party room.  I created the Pennant Party Banner to hang over the refreshments.

The one downside of having Cats Gymnastics provide the party plates and other supplies was that they were generic and didn't tie in with the theme.  I helped Katie solve this problem by designing 2.5" Circus Party Stickers in a few different styles.  She stuck them on everything from party hats to serving bowls to personalize Joshua's circus birthday party.

I think using the plastic buckets for serving dishes is such a cute idea!

Circus Party Favors

Katie used these popcorn bags from Dollar Tree for the Circus Favors at Joshua's party. So fun!

They were filled with a variety of circus goodies, most of which were also found at Dollar Tree.

My favorite items in the treat bags were these pieces of polka-dot sidewalk chalk, which Katie wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon. I think these would make wonderful party favors all by themselves, especially for summer parties.  Of course, Katie lives in sunny south Florida, so these are perfect year round!

Katie, thank you so much for letting me share these photos from Joshua's 2nd birthday party!  It was such a treat to work with you again!

Looking for more Circus Party Ideas? Check these posts out.
Big-Top Circus Birthday Party for Marley & Kelsey
Handmade Circus Birthday Party: Let Your Birthday Boy Be the Ringleader
Caden's 2nd Birthday Party Carnival

Featured Handmade Items by Belly Feathers
Circus Invitations
Pennant Party Banner
Photo Circus Posters
Party Stickers
See pricing and more photos.

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