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DIY Flower Arrangements on a dime (DIY Fall table)

Hi all! Hope you had a great weekend and start of December. I shared some of these photos a few weeks back on instagram but I wanted to pop in and share them on the blog too. I created some lovely DIY flower arrangements with just a few items from my local grocery store. These came together really quick and much easier than I thought they would. I thought that you may like a few of these tips in you were planning to decorate for any holiday parties.

DIY flower arrangement @cleverlyinspired (7)cv

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DIY Horse Racing Game (Derby Party Game)

Good Monday to you all! Did you watch the final Downton last night? I won’t spoil it for you….but it was such a nice ending. I do love it when a series ends exactly they way you wish it to end. I am going to miss these characters…maybe we can hope for a spin off:) I hope you had a great weekend….we got a little taste of spring yesterday and it was so nice! Springtime brings Derbytime here in the bluegrass…and this post is a long time coming….I actually made this game last Derby and forgot to share it! Thankful for Google plus—backs up my phone photos and I just scrolled back to last May:) So sorry these pics kind of stink….it’s all I’ve got!DIY horse racing game (derby party game) @cleverlyinspired (1)

This game proved to be a whole bunch of fun. We played it on Derby Day in between races. You could make it non-betting for a kids party though….either way it is pretty exciting.   I kind of pulled ideas from a few different games.

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Fun Octoberfest Party Décor with Viva® Signature Design Towels

Summers over….boo……but I must admit…..I’ve been rather cranky with these 90+ temps. I am ready for FALLLLLL….it is my very favorite season. I feel so energized by it….the crisp air….crunchy leaves….bread in the oven…I adore it all! I wanted to start off this first week of September with a fun party idea featuring my pals at Viva® Brand…this idea could work for so many outdoor festitives this fall….viva @cleverlyinspired (1)

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Free Christmas Music Playlist

Earlier this week I was sharing some of my party tips that I’ve used in the past. I mentioned how important music is to a party. It’s kind of a no brainer but I have been to several parties where there have been no music playing. And I think it’s the easiest thing to do to change a mood. I have music on in the background most days. Especially if I’m working in my kitchen I would much rather listen to music then have the TV on.

clever christmas


I am a big fan of spotify and I have shared a playlist for Thanksgiving in the past. Here is one for Christmas. Maybe it has some Christmas tunes on there that you may have not heard yet. Download it and play it this holiday season and feel free to pass it on. Spotify makes it easy to share on your favorite social channels. I think the one album that brings back my childhood Christmases is the Carpenters Christmas album. My parents had the record and we played that every season of my childhood. I hope if you’re entertaining this weekend that this music will lighten the mood and put everybody in a fun festive spirit!


Happy weekend friends!

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10 no-fail Entertaining Tips (Holiday Entertaining Ideas)

Hi all! Hope you had a restful and filling Thanksgiving weekend and start to your holiday season. I enjoyed a nice break from the blog and most technology….only plugging in a couple times a day. Nice to have a break! I am certainly NOT Martha when it comes to entertaining….I take a pretty casual approach to things. But I have been having friends and family over for the better part of 20 years….so I wanted to share a few things I have learned along the way that may make it easier for you—if you are looking at hosting your first holiday shin-dig…If you have any tips and tricks to add…we would love to hear them…be sure to comment below:)

10 no-fail entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (10)

And these are in no particular order….

1. Music: I think that music can make or break a get together. When you are having friends over who may not all know each other…the common thread of music gets the party started. It is an ice breaker…a conversation point…and a mood changer. I normally log into my Spotify account and create a playlist based on the mood of the party. Many of you like my Thanksgiving playlist…and I am going to be sharing a Christmas playlist too later this week. Set up a Bluetooth speaker so that friends can pair up their music too. Always a hit! (I know…don’t you love my ipad stand….:)

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2. Fresh flowers…..they are hard to beat. Something as simple as a “managers special” at your local grocery store…along with some babies breath. Not a lot of expense for a huge payoff:)10 no-fail entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (6)

3. Menu card. Friends who have allergies….picky family members….nosy party goers….the menu card keeps the question out of “what are we eating?” It also starts conversations. Always a good thing.10 no-fail entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (3)

4. Drink station. This cuts down on traffic flow issues. If your space is tight…and you want to be sure people move around the space….place the bar on a cart in a separate spot. I used a corner of my kitchen that was away from the fridge. Getting out all the clean glasses, ice bucket, ice, bottle openers, and napkins encourages folks to help themselves.10 no-fail entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (8)

5. Repurpose some of your favorite pieces for serving ware. I like to pull out some of my favorite things and put it to work. This silver picture with some tissue paper is perfect for holding plastic forks and knives. Nice drinking glasses can double as votive candle holders. Collecting a bunch of candlesticks in various sizes grouped together is a perfect centerpiece for a serving area or a table. No need to go out and buy something new just make what you have fit the festivities. Holiday ribbon goes really far by just tying it on to some of your favorite things. Those pieces immediately fit together!

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6. Let people help. There’s no sense in doing all the work yourself if your friends and family are offering to help. It helps to share the load. You’re the one getting the house all clean…so getting help with some of the food or beverages is a great way to lighten your load.

7. Place post-it notes or note cards into special serving trays to let you know what is going where. The more work that you can do ahead of time the less frazzled you will feel on the day of your party.10 no-fail entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (7)


8. One signature cocktail is really all you need to make the party feel just a little bit more festive. For Christmas you can freeze some fresh cranberries or red grapes. Plop one into a champagne flute and top with a favorite cocktail recipes. It looks so festive and it took you no time at all.

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9. A favor or parting gift does not have to be anything very elaborate or expensive. I have done several in the past that I can make several weeks ahead of time and just have them ready to go. I think it’s nice to send a friend off with a little something to remember the night by. (Here is a bunch I have done in the past…easy!)entertaining tips @cleverlyinspired (1)

10. Lastly and yet most importantly make this be your mantra… People will not remember what you are wearing or how your house looks or if you had brand new wine glasses or the perfectly pressed napkins but they will remember how you made them feel in your home. Make them feel relaxed…make them feel warm…make them feel welcome…because that is what it is all about!:)


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