Jul 25, 2014

Free Vintage Train Party Printable

I recently designed party decor for a vintage train party.

Click HERE to see more photos from the party.

I am sharing free party circle printables for your personal use.

I think party circles are the most versatile printable to use in your decor.  For this party, I used them as stickers for the popcorn cones and cupcake toppers.

For the free printable click HERE to download the file.  Use a 2" party circle punch to make it quick and easy.

Thanks for stopping by...

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Jul 23, 2014

Vintage Train Party Inspiration

Trying to come up with ideas for your kiddos' next birthday?  Think Choo Choo Trains... My little ones love anything that is on the move, so I have a PINTEREST BOARD dedicated to party ideas for planes, trains, automobiles and other things that go.

I was so excited to design this vintage train dessert table for a client who was planning her son's second birthday.

The invite is the opportunity to set the tone and theme of the event for your guests. An adorable photo of the birthday boy in his striped blue overalls was added to the back of this two sided vintage train invitation by Hank and Petunia.

For the decor, classic color choice of red white and blue were mixed with burlap to add to the vintage look.  In addition to the hand made burlap banners, a multi dimensional canvas featuring the birthday boy's name was also made to add another personal touch to the decor.

Desserts chosen for the table included colored to match candy, chocolate covered pretzels, kettle corn, vanilla bean cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, and mixed berry parfaits.

Join me on Pinterest for more party ideas and decor inspiration.

Jul 14, 2014

Are Food Trucks Safe?

Are food trucks safe? Depends who you ask?  We are a house divided.  My husband and I would not answer this question the same.  I'll tell you why in a moment.  The number of food truck vendors exploded during the recession as entrepreneurs followed their dreams to serve anything from ice cream to Southern Mexican fusion to sushi.  The diverse menus, lower prices (for some), and mobility make them very popular.

Do you think food trucks are safe?  Have you ever wondered what happens and how it happens in such a small space on a truck?  I must admit, I look past the person taking my order to get as much of an inside view of the truck that is preparing my food as possible.  I do this as well at restaurants.  Mostly because I am a foodie and I am always curious.

Last summer, my husband got food poison from a food truck and has been hesitant ever since.  After this incident I decided to do some research to get the facts and arm myself with enough ammunition to convince hubby to not give up on all food trucks. This is what I learned.....

A recent study from, The Institute of Justice, titled "Street Eats, Safe Eats" contends that food trucks are actually safer and less complex than restaurant kitchens. In fact in many states, food trucks are subjected to the same regulations as restaurants. Researchers throughly analyzed 260,000 food safety inspection reports in seven major cities across the US including Miami, Seattle, Boston, Las Vegas, Louisville, and Washington DC.

Bottom Line...Food truck kitchens are smaller and less complicated so there are fewer opportunities to violate food safety rules.

The conclusion of the study contends that the notion or idea that food trucks are not safe is a myth.

We are fortunate to live in an area where food truck parks are all over the city.  It is a fun family outing to enjoy a sampling of foods and relax on the lawn.  My kids love to throw the football or frisbee while we catch up with old friends and make new ones.  It is a great way to picnic without needing to pack up your own food. In our community once a week throughout the summer, locals convene in the park to enjoy their favorite food trucks.  Some families make it a weekly ritual, which makes it nice to have a day off from cooking.

Armed with research and a little manipulation through the kids, I convince my husband to give food trucks another try.  Believe me when I tell you I was one happy Mamma.  Check out what I ate...

Pulled Pork BBQ Grits

Grilled Lamb Burger with Feta Cheese Sauce

 Pimento Cheese and Red JalapeƱo Deviled Eggs

Sesame and Chili Oil French Fries with Sriracha Ketchup

Orange Strawberry and Salted Chocolate Popsicles

Regardless of where you eat, you are placing a level of trust in the hands of those that prepare the food you eat.  Inspections are important and necessary to encourage the food industry to avoid short cuts that could affect our health and safety.

Food trucks though mobile rely on repeat business just like restaurants.  They are not in business to make anyone ill and want you to not only come back, but want you to tell all your friends to come as well. Any truck or restaurant that is not using safe practices will not remain in business for long as bad news always travels fast, especially in this social media age.