Family Photo Ideas Capture Summer Fun

Don’t forget to snap photos wherever you go this summer, because family photo ideas can happen anywhere and everywhere. You just have to be ready for them! Summer vacations, t-ball games, family picnics and days at the beach will all be a distant memory come November when it’s time to create your Christmas cards. We guarantee you’ll be happy to have lots of sunny pictures to choose from!

Vacation photos let you share important highlights of your year with friends and family. And what’s nice about family vacations is that you’re all together, all day long. So it doesn’t take much planning to take a family photo.
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Summer activities often mean everyone doing their own thing. Whether you’re into swimming or baseball, picnics or trips to the beach, take lots of photos—both individual shots as well as group photos. These bright and sunny keepsakes will be a lifesaver when it’s time to create your holiday cards.
family photo ideas_summer activities

Graduations, birthdays, weddings and family reunions are also great opportunities for family photos.
family photo ideas_wedding

Once the holiday season rolls around, you’ll be glad you captured lots of family photos over the summer. Browse our blog for more family photo ideas, and you’ll have plenty of time to get your Christmas cards done this year!

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Rubber Duck Baby Shower Ideas

Quack-quack. Rubber Ducks have long been a popular theme for baby showers, for lots of reasons: they are gender-neutral, so they can be used even if mom-and-dad-to-be don’t know the gender; rubber ducky decorations are easy to find; and, most importantly, ducks are cute! To get you inspired, we are sharing our favorite rubber duck baby shower ideas from baby shower invitations to baby shower decorations to baby shower food ideas.

The invitation is always the best way to establish your party theme for guests. Pear Tree has lots of cute baby shower invitations, but this Baby Duck Baby Shower Invitation takes the cake. Guests will love the unique cut out of the duck and will instantly get excited to celebrate the coming baby!
Rubber Duck Baby Shower Ideas

For rubber duck baby shower decoration ideas, personalize our Baby Duckling Table Decor. You can sprinkle it on the dessert table, food table, tape to the wall, or use to decorate your gift to the guest of honor. For 5 ways to use our table decor, click here. And, our Baby Duckling Baby Shower Favor Tags are the perfect accessory for your party favors.
Rubber Duck Baby Shower Ideas Decorations Rubber duck baby shower ideas gift tag

For rubber duck baby shower food ideas, we scoured Pinterest and found lots of cute ideas. Here are our favorites that continue with this darling theme:
Rubber duck baby shower ideas punch
Rubber Duck Punch from Cutting Back Kitchen.
Rubber duck baby shower ideas drinks
Lemonade from Kara’s Party IdeasContinue reading

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Inside Design: Bright Splashes

2015 Design Trends
Splish splash! We’re raving over this poppy-bright 2015 design trend. It’s watercolor – in bright colors. We’ve spotted it EVERYWHERE. It’s on clothing, home decor, accessories, and DIY projects. Angela, our Director of Product Design, said, “We are even taking this 2015 design trend and incorporating it into our cards. Currently, our product team is working on Christmas cards (yes, Christmas cards!) and it is our job to keep our designs up to date so when it comes time for you to share your greetings, you will be a trendsetter.”

Why do we love this design trend? It’s perfect for the summer. This time of year, it’s all about beaches, pools and lakes—refreshing drinks, cool breezes, and summer vacations making memories out on the water. Taking those splashes and combining them with bright colors makes this trend a summer-time favorite.
2015 design trends

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5 Birthday Party Ideas for Boys

They grow up so fast, don’t they? Another year has passed, and it’s time once again to plan your little boy’s birthday party. But, no worries, our 5 most popular birthday party ideas for boys are packed with ways to make it special. Take your cue from your little guy and pick a party theme that he’s interested in, such as cars, animals or superheroes. You can go crazy with decorations or scale it back, depending on budget and time, but these party ideas will give you plenty of places to start.

1. Shark attack! Our Shark Mask Kids Birthday Invitation inspired the entire theme for this birthday party. From the food ideas to the decorations to the colors, it was a hit. Mom, Christy, ordered matching Shark Table Decor, hung up a fishing net and stuck the decor to the netting. She served shark-shaped sandwiches and ocean-themed cake pops. Each child received a shark invitation and there were extras at the party they could use as masks. Finally, Christy made hammerhead-shaped goodie bags for the kids to bring home. *No kids were attacked by a shark during this party.*
Shark-birthday-party-ideas-for-boysClick here to see the full shark-themed kids birthday party.

2. Li’l farmer. This Li’l Farmer is too cute! He loves animals, tractors and singing Old McDonald so it was a no-brainer to choose this theme for his 2nd birthday. Mom, Michelle, used our Li’l Farmer Tied with Twine Kids Birthday Invitations that features three cards tied together with twine. One of the cards in the invitation encouraged guests to share a favorite memory of the birthday boy and bring it to the party – a great keepsake! For food, Michelle made pink pig cupcakes, freshly squeezed lemonade, homemade apple-crisp and farm fresh veggie dip. As a favor, each guest went home with a red bandanna from Farmer Alex.
Kids-birthday-ideas-for-boysClick here to see the full farm-themed kids birthday party.

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3 Bridal Shower Ideas

Are you throwing your best friend a bridal shower and looking for a theme? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We are sharing our top 3 bridal shower ideas to help inspire decorations, invitations, treats and more for the bride-to-be and her friends to enjoy!

1. Rustic-themed. At this bridal shower, bridesmaids used our Showers Ahead Bridal Shower Invitation and changed the colors to pink and grey. They used various shades of both colors in their decorations, food and treats. They strung our matching Showers Ahead Table Decor throughout the room. They also made a “bride-to-be” sign out of pink, kraft and black paper. It turned out to be a beautiful shower celebrating a very special bride.
Rustic-bridal-shower-ideasClick here to see the full bridal shower.

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Moving Tips from Pear Tree

Moving boxes cute moving announcements Urban address moving announcements
We asked three Pear Tree employees who’ve recently moved for their best moving tips. As usual, they were full of great ideas, and in agreement about several. Here are their moving tips:

From Andrea, Pear Tree’s brand strategist:

  • Label the boxes. This seems obvious, but I also labeled where I wanted the box to be put in the new house, like “Kids’ Puzzles—Bonus Room” or “Towels—Master Bath.”
  • We staged our move by packing boxes ahead of time and storing them in the garage, so that on moving day, we were just moving things from garage to truck, which cut down on the mess in the house leading up to moving day, and made the move go faster.
  • Separate the items you will need most immediate and box those separately. For example, I had a box of our toothbrushes, some clean bedding, a change of clothes and PJs for everybody for the first day in our new house. That way we didn’t have to sift through boxes, etc. trying to find things that first day.
  • Plan ahead on transferring utilities, scheduling internet and TV, etc.
  • Get out and meet your neighbors. If you see them outside, be proactive and introduce yourselves. They’re a wealth of resources. Our lawn mower broke and the grass at our new house was super long. I met the next-door neighbor and he mentioned the guy at the end of the street did lawn service. With one quick call he was mowing our lawn before I knew it!

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4th of July Food Ideas

4th of July food ideas
We did it again. We had another 4th of July treat day in the office to put our co-workers’ cooking, baking and creativity skills to the test! (Click to see ideas from 2014 and 2013 treat days.) And, we must say, we are pretty excited to share these new 4th of July food ideas with you. They are simple to make, and you can bring them to your upcoming gathering to impress your friends and family.

We started the party with drinks to cool everyone down, using an idea we saw in the Hy-Vee magazine. We put raspberries and blueberries into ice cube trays and froze them overnight. We had sparkling water for our refreshment, but you could easily use lemonade or a favorite flavor of juice. We poured the drinks in mason jars and added our Red Striped Paper Straws for the patriotic touch.
4th of July food ideas drinks

For a main course meal we served a classic favorite, pulled pork sandwiches. For added fun, we personalized our Dots & Chevrons Cupcake Flags with red, white and blue and added a Happy 4th of July message.
4th of July food ideas pulled pork

Then, we made two pasta sides. One in the shape of the American flag and one using the patriotic colors of red, white and blue. The first pasta salad had one layer of bow tie noodles, and then used mini pepperonis for the red in the flag and cut up mozzarella cheese in cubes for the white in the flag. Black olives became the star portion and the whole salad was dressed with Italian dressing. It was delish!
4th of July food ideas pasta salad

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5 Birthday Party Ideas for Girls

Birthday party ideas for girls
Your little girl is turning one year older, and while you may be sad as you reflect on the years that have gone by, you should also be very proud. Look how much she has learned from you! It’s time to celebrate the person she’s become, and how much joy she has brought you and the people around her. To help inspire you, we are sharing our 5 most popular birthday party ideas for girls. Feel free to spoil her, because she’s only young once!

1.  Movie Star. For this girl party idea, we used our Glowing Affair Photo Trifold Party Invitations and changed the colors to inspire the rest of the theme. We turned Gwyneth’s (the birthday girl’s) house into a red carpet event. We used the garage entrance to make a walkway for her friends to greet her as they arrived, and snapped lots of photos like the paparazzi would. At the premier event (a movie showing in the backyard), we had a snack bar full of family favorites, including Skittles, licorice, Dots and of course, various flavors of popcorn. For dessert, we made cupcakes with the movie theme in mind, decorating them with marshmallows to look like popcorn, clapboards and the big number 5 to celebrate this exciting year for Gwyneth!
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Click here to read more about this Movie Star party.

2. Welcome to my Pizzeria! At this party, the invite set the tone. We used our Pizza Party Photo Spinner Kids Birthday Invitations that feature 4 photos of the birthday girl with the classic pizzeria colors of red, white and black. We also incorporated green into our color scheme. We set the table and sprinkled our matching pizza party table decor across it. Each child received a chef apron and they were ready to start making their own pizza! And what’s a pizzeria without an ice cream bar?!
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Click here to read more about this Pizzeria birthday party.

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Wedding Gift Ideas: Homemade Pizza Sauce

Wedding gift ideas
If you’re anything like me, you have countless parties to attend this summer. From weddings, to baby showers and barbeques… the list goes on.

I’ve been searching for wedding gift ideas that I could make, to pair with items on my friend’s registry. Of course, her registry was filled with appliances, cooking utensils and towels—the usual. Being budget cautious, I hunted her registry for something affordable. I spotted a beautiful Williams and Sonoma Pizza Pan. The price was right, but something about a pizza pan just seemed lame. Boring. Heartless. Ok, I’ll stop now. Luckily, my creativity kicked in, and I thought, let’s make it a date night! Pizza pan, pre-made wheat crust, homemade pizza sauce, a fancy pizza cutter and a hand crocheted blanket to cozy up with. Sounds meaningful, sweet and thoughtful, right? Great, I thought so too! But one problem. I am not the greatest cook.

I stumbled upon this FANTASTIC recipe that’s easy. I even tested it on a pizza before gifting it. After all I can’t let my pizza sauce ruin the end of my friend’s “date night.” It did not disappoint. And as long as you’re going the extra mile, why not make some for yourself? Here’s the easy recipe from thebusybhomemaker.com
Wedding gift ideas 2

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New Kids’ Party Decorations

Kids party decorations
You’re going to love all the new kids party decorations we’ve added to our kids birthday collection! From tiny cupcake flags to large yard signs, these party decorations all tie together to make your birthday party theme come to life.

It all starts with the kids’ birthday invitations, and there are some sweet new ones including a Sweet Shoppe theme, and Cake & Ice Cream party, perfect for summer. Mad Scientist and Circus Colors are two more new themes you’ll love.
Sweet Shoppe Kids Birthday Invitations Cake Ice Cream Kids Birthday Invitations Mad Scientist Kids Birthday Invitations Circus Colors Kids Birthday Invitations

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