the family that parties together


As a part of my partnership with Focus and the Imagination Foundation, I will be sharing little snippets of things I like about the upcoming Boxtrolls movie this week – in theatres this Friday! One of the themes I adore about the movie are the awesome family dynamics. I love the idea that the value of family rests not just in blood lines, but also in the love and care that is shared for one another.

My big Italian family has always put a huge emphasis on celebrating well together. The way we celebrate with each other has been a huge blessing to me. Whether it was our wedding day with everyone there dancing all night long, or when the twins were born; the love just didn’t stop pouring in. Even now when this blog gets featured in a magazine, it is usually an aunt that I hear from first (quickly followed by my mom) – saying way to go, let us cheer with you! It’s an important part of what makes up a family to me. It is such a cool theme to see played out in this movie.

You can buy your Boxtrolls movie tickets, right here.

This post is done in promotional partnership with the Imagination Foundation and Focus. 

(Throwback family photo taken by Chelsea Robbins).

Posted September 25, 2014 0 Comments
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letter decal balloon banner

Letter decal party balloons

Making a banner out of balloons is a great way to say Happy Birthday! Using large 6 inch letter boat decals – it’s a breeze to turn everyday balloons into an amazing party backdrop. Use the idea to make your typography balloons that say anything you can imagine; from a birthday wish, to congratulations, to a simple “have a good day!”

Letter decal party balloons

Letter decal party balloons

I love the versatility of this idea, and that creating it is as simple as applying a sticker! Plus, you can change up the balloon colors to make it work for whatever you might be celebrating this time of year.

Typography Balloons

Happy Birthday Balloons

Letter decal balloons

Balloon letter decal

To create the decal birthday balloon banner – blow up balloons, or buy a bunch from the party store to make it even easier on yourself. Grab a pack of 6 inch boat decals from your local hardware store, or buy them online here.

Take the sticker off the sheet and gently stick it on the balloon, smoothing out creases as you go. Done! Hang the balloons on the wall and stand back to acknowledge how awesome you are, and how much you just rocked that party set-up in no time at all.

Letter decal balloons

Birthday Balloon banner

Just a small note with these stickers: you get one stick – so make it a good one. Be prepared for a giant balloon pop if you try to remove the stickers. I bought an extra pack just in case I needed them. Which is good since this might be my new backdrop for every party I host ever! Boo. Merry Christmas. I love you. Why these balloons could keep talking all year long!

(Photography by Jocelyn Noel for A Subtle Revelry)

Posted September 24, 2014 3 Comments
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festive folded leaf garland

Folded Leaf Garland

You guys… today it is officially fall! I am celebrating by planning and plotting for a fun season of pumpkins, costumes and spooky sweets! But first, one of my favorite fall elements. The iconic leaf.

Folded leaf garland makes an awesome welcome to the season. Liven up a party, or brighten a corner at home with these beauties… It will be just like you have a seasonal tree inside – minus the mess, minus the bugs, and with an added burst of festive color.

Folded Leaf Garland

Folded Leaf Garland

To make the strand of festive fall leaves, draw a basic leaf to use as a template or download our maple leaf template right here. Trace the template onto a piece of scrapbook paper – I love how the bright fall colors look alongside a simple blush vellum.

Cut out the traced leaves and use an accordion fold along each the leaf. An accordion fold is a back and forth fold along the paper, see more about this type of paper folding right here.

The accordion folding of the leaves gives nice texture to the garland, allowing it to catch the light and pop right off the wall.

Folded Leaf Garland

Folded Leaf Garland

Folded Fall Leafs

Folded Leaf Garland

The leaf accents can be used throughout your house or party space. You can never have too many leaves during fall! Place settings are a great way to use them, a mobile would be sweet, stacked in a bowl – maybe even topping a cake! Whatever you do with these leaves, they’ll help us welcome fall (A.K.A. my favorite season) in festive, fun style.

See the full gallery of fall projects here.

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted September 23, 2014 6 Comments
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milk carton lanterns

Milk Carton Lanterns

Now that we are weeks into fall, our after school routine could use a bit of a pick me up. We normally come home, have a snack, drink a glass of milk, and bring out the homework (yes, even my kindergartners have homework this year!). To bring some fun into our routine last week, I surprised the kids with a simple after school craft project.

We used pretty wrapping paper to transform milk cartons into tea light lanterns. It was an easy project that the whole family took part in. The kid’s were super excited for the festive change up and the lanterns are a great accent for chilly early fall evenings outside.

How to make a milk carton lantern

Festive lanterns made from milk cartons

To make the lanterns, I saved up a selection of milk cartons – we drink plenty of milk so this only took a couple of weeks. Instead of buying my milk in our normal plastic gallons, I opted for various size cartons and we were set. I also collected wrapping paper for the project. The brown kraft paper version is my favorite to work with since it’s thick and has an awesome graphic design (found it in the dollar section at Target).  

Posted September 22, 2014 0 Comments
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why don’t we – build something with cardboard

cardboard camera

Cardboard is such a great crafting material – we’ve been collecting a lot of it in preparation for Halloween crafts. When I saw the trailer for the new Boxtrolls movie with my kids, I instantly thought – that is so cool. They make not just crafts, but an entire village out of cardboard! That is some serious sustainable living:)

I was really excited when the Imagination Foundation asked me to share about an awesome contest they are running, to get kids creating – with cardboard!


The mission of the Imagination Foundation is to find, foster and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world. That might be one of my favorite mission statements ever! Focus is working with them to sponsor a Boxtrolls Cardboard Challenge, where kids can create and build crafts inspired by the movie, using cardboard boxes as the main resource – just like the Boxtrolls themselves do.

The contest encourages kids to create their own crafts out of cardboard boxes for a chance to win prizes, so cool! It runs from 8/25-9/29. To enter (I know we will) share your creations via Twitter or Instagram by tagging the photos with the hashtag #TheBoxtrollsCC – that’s all it takes. The perfect reason to get crafting with the kids this weekend.

One Grand Prize winner will be picked on September 29th and receive an “Imagination Box” for creative play, including an Apple iMac, an iPad Air, Microsoft Office, The Print Shop and Kid Pix softwares, a $500 Discovery gift card, and a $1000 Michaels Arts & Crafts gift card. Music to my crafty mom ears!


To encourage this creativity even more. There will be events hosted across the country where kids can have a chance to craft, and bring their crafts + meet the charachters from the movie. See here for the list of cities and dates.

Joining in the contest sounds like such a fun way to bring a great movie to life for my kids. I adore the idea of creating art from the media we are exposed to and I am looking forward to seeing the Boxtrolls when it comes out September 29th.

See a full list of contest rules here.

This post is done in promotional partnership with the Imagination Foundation and Focus. The contest excitement is all mine.

(Top photo by Eduard Bonnin)

Posted September 19, 2014 2 Comments
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afternoon tailgate revelries

Afternoon tailgate party

Hosting a good tailgate is on my wish list every fall. We are not a huge sports family, but living in our Alma Mater’s rival city gives us a good chance to bring out the spirit every fall. To support our team being in town – I partnered with Smirnoff Ice to host this year’s afternoon tailgate. We had a blast celebrating over the weekend, bringing a fresh twist to what you’d expect a tailgate to be. Mainly… pretty, festive and fun!

Use a bookshelf for an instant tailgate bar set up!

When planning a tailgate one of the first issues is where the heck to put the food and drinks. I love the idea of repurposing a book case from the house to hold all the game day necessities. We used our faithful Ikea shelving unit, and a simple fold out table to create enough space serving space for the party.

Tailgate bento boxes

As much as we love and provide the normal tailgating grill fair, it’s fun to think out of the box a little! Using cheap plastic organizers, small bowls, and a folded section of tissue paper we created tailgating bento boxes for pre-game snacks.

Our friends loved getting to have their own smaller portions instead of having everyone reaching into the chip bag at once. Nice cheeses, crackers, and tomatoes from the garden were an awesome way to inject a little style and substance to the afternoon’s food – you can always use the boxes for more traditional chips and dips too.

Stickers turn favor bags into great tailgate servers.

Popcorn and chips are right at home in small favor bags. We adorned small paper favor bags with bright game days stickers to keep everyone’s spirits high.

Use adhesive stickers to make your pillows talk - great for a tailgate!

I ended up on quite a typography kick for this tailgate. Using words is a great way to turn any decor item into a game day essential. One normal tailgating issue is hard fold out chairs for seating. Stacking up pillows is an awesome way to make everyone feel more at home. I brought our tassel pillows in on the team spirit by using vinyl decal stickers to cheer and chant. Go team!


Gussing up our tablecloth was of course a necessary element. I used lengths of Washi tape and small pom poms to create a fun and festive game day look. And no tailgate is complete without the drinks! Here are a few of my favorite combinations for festive team mixology.

Typography ice cubes

Typography ice cubes

Typography ice cubes

Ice cube letters!

Ice cubes that can cheer… Why yes – of course!

Using a plastic ice cube mold we created a berry blend that pairs perfectly with Smirnoff ice original to create a jolly rancher fizz. Plus your friends will love the talking combinations that can be made with this festive party element.

To make enough letters for a party, fill the trays a couple days before hand. As the ice hardens remove the letters and place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Continue refilling and saving letters until you have the right amount for whatever it is you want to say. This party tip would be awesome to use for birthdays and hosting evening drinks also.  

Posted September 18, 2014 2 Comments
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