“P – A – R – T – WHY?! ‘Cause I Gotta!”

Jim Carrey, anyone? 😉 Matt loves him. And this post is about Matt’s graduation / 30th birthday par-tay (which finally took place last Saturday!) 😉 When I had first spoke about throwing this party for him, the tentative date was set for end of March. However, we went on our “house hunting trip” and so the party needed to be postponed. Since it was in celebration of two milestones, and his birthday is April 29th, an April party was perfect!

I had it at Matt’s brother’s church in Niagara Falls, which was the perfect location as this is where our families and most of our friends are! I had use of their kitchen including stoves and fridges, and any utensils/serve ware  that I didn’t have enough of. I had drove down from the base where Matt had been training (where our rental is) while Matt was working at the base where we got posted to. He came to the Falls once he was done his shifts, and met me there. I came down a week earlier because it was my sister-in-laws baby shower (baby boy!) :D. This allowed me to have time to book a cake to be made, and to shop around for any last minute decor. My sister, was a big help with the set up. She also took these pictures for me of the finished result:


The ladder had an extinguisher on it, a “fire helmet”, an ‘M’ for Matt, and a the firehalls Dalmatian ;). My nephews and friends kids, loved playing with with stuffed puppy and tearing off the balloons!


The candy bar had ‘burning buildings’ on them, and a chalkboard stating the top movies/ music / toys on the year 1985 (when Matt Q’s born!). A photo collage was created thanks to the help of my sister! It telly was a little more tricky to put together than I bargained for. Pictures of Matt growing up with family and friends were included. There was ones of him camping, drumming, and dating me, and our wedding day. I tried to capture the 30 years of his life so far, and to include a picture from all the guests that came to the party!

“Burning Embers” were Reece’s Pieces (beside the ‘burning apartment building). “Water buckets” were filled nearby with blue Carribean and blueberry jelly beans.

Hot Tamales were the spicy, hot candies.

I did a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” with Gobstoppers, Gumdrops, and Tootsie Rolls. Most of these candies are Matt’s favourite!

Nib Licorice was “Rescue Rope”…

…and Cheesies were “Flames” at this party 😉 !

My sister helped me dip pretzels in red chocolate to make “matches”.


Chairs were set up along the outside of the walls, and kind of grouped together to encourage conversation. We did buffet style with the food tables in the centre of the room. Matt’s favourite food, Italian, was out. Matt’s mom provided homemade lasagnas, and then spaghetti with a homemade meatsauce was also there with of course chillies and parm. Garden salad, Caesar and garlic bread accompanied the pasta dishes. I made a (red) punch, and then of course bottled water was also provided for this firefighter themed party 🙂 .

I displayed a couple of his textbooks, his graduation certificate of completion, and a couple cool firetrucks I picked up for our new house (maybe for in the family room?).

Everything was was done kind of rustic, and red, orange and yellow ( including dinner plates, napkins, etc), with a touch of black and white (Dalmatian).

The cake was SO good and was white, with strawberry filling (Matt’s fave) and buttercream and had his grad day picture on it. It was served amongst cookies with tea and coffee.

About 40 people came, which was a great turn out, and everyone seemed to have a great time! There were many cards and well wishes given and Matt loved it. He thanked me numerous times afterwards, and I know it meant a lot to have the support of his family and closest friends there. We are looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead and even though we’ll be moving away from where we grew up, we know we have loved ones praying for us back home!



Nifty Gifty

Christmas time is here…Happiness and cheer… Charlie Brown anyone?! It’s that festive holiday season and I’m sure most of you have your shopping well underway. No? Haven’t even started yet?! Well, that’s ok. I haven’t either. Shhh – Don’t tell! 😉

I’m planning on making a few gifts this year, actually.  We have a budget that we’re wanting to stick to, yet, I have so many gifts I want to give! All I can say is, “thank goodness for Pinterest!” I have found so many great, creative ideas that have piqued my interest. They all seem relatively inexpensive and most of these DIY’s can be whipped up in no time! They’re great for stocking stuffers, for teachers, neighbours, etc…I wanted to share a few of my favourites with you!

Grown Up Hot Cocoa Kit:

Grown up hot chocolate

Have mason jars laying around? Buy a couple bags of marshmallows, a few boxes of hot chocolate and some mini bottles of Baileys. Fill the jars, and tie the bottle to the lid with twine. You can even create tags if you want to personalize these gifts. Voila!

  Homemade Hand Scrub:

Homemade Hand Scrub

“A re’NEW’ing kind of gift” is what the blogger on the link refers to it as! 😉 I like it! In the Winter, my hands can get so dry. It’s an easy and thoughtful gift. All you need is a bag of sugar, couple bottles of Dawn Olay dish soap and some jam jars.

 Spa in a Jar:

Spa in a Jar

This is a cute, girly gift idea. Fill a jar with a nail polish, mini nail polish remover, cotton pads and a nail file. Most of these items could be purchased at the dollarstore. Add a bow/make a bow and there ya go! Just a nice gift to let someone know you were thinking of them and their “mistletoes” 😉

Thanks a Latte:

Thanks a Latte

This is more of a unisex gift, which is nice, as I’ve found a lot of these DIY ideas tend to be more geared towards women. Print off a design from Picmonkey on cardstock, get a bunch of cup sleeves and buy a couple gift cards and treat people to a Starbucks bevy.

Cleans Up Well:

Mens Pamper Gift

Grooming gift for men! Fill with products and tools. The blog link also includes printable labels for the jar.

 Christmas Hugs:

Pretzel Hugs

Pretzel hugs are a quick to make (and tasty to eat!) sweet and salty gift idea. Link includes printable tag for your jar!

 We ‘Whisk’ You a Merry ‘Kiss’mas:

Whisk you a merry Kissmas

I love the play on words. Just another thoughtful, quick and inexpensive idea. Whisk, Hershey’s kisses, cellophane and a bow! Let your neighbours know you appreciate them this year. 🙂

 The Gift of Baked Goods:

Gift of baking

Doing any holiday baking this year? Why not share some of your treats? I just love how these cookies are wrapped! Cute thread, wax paper bags, tag and mini clothespin seal the deal.

I hope those ideas spark some gift giving inspiration in you! Being generous can be so rewarding, yet is often so expensive.  Consider thoughtful DIY gifts this year. Let’s give generously this Christmas season and spread Christmas cheer!

Stay tuned next week when I share stocking stuffer ideas for men!