6 Fancy Frugal Party Planning Tips & the Olivia the Pig Party

Cute Olivia the Pig Party

Hi friends! This weekend my daughter turned five and we threw her a fun Olivia the Pig themed party at our home.

Olivia the Pig party ideas2


In case you are not familiar with her, Olivia is a book character and TV show, based on the book series by Ian Falconer,that my daughter LOVES. Olivia is a lovable,funny, and precocious little pig with a huge imagination who loves to dance, dress up, and gets in all kids of fun adventures.

Today I’m going to try and write this party post a little differently than I normally do. I want you to be able to take my easy tips and apply them to whatever theme or type of party you choose to throw. This could be a birthday or even a baby shower, wedding shower ect. Instead of just throwing up a bunch of edited party pictures, I want you to see that what I do anyone can do if you have the time, It took me a good week of planning and work to put this party together, and it’s something I genuinely like to do..kinda my thing. If party planning isn’t your thing I totally get it! There’s nothing wrong with that! I’m feeling a little backlash lately on moms who throw creative parties. I like this sort of thing and I realize it doesn’t make me a better mom  than the next. Throwing out some store bought cupcakes and balloons and calling it a day is great! I’ve thrown kid parties both ways 🙂

Okay so back to why you came here! Ha

Party Planning Tip #1: Use dollar store table clothes to decorate.

I folded and cut up tablecloths from the dollar store and taped them to the top of my hutch to make them look like curtains. My backdrop is gift wrap from the dollar store. Then printed out pictures of Olivia online and taped them up. The larger one is actually an engineer print from Office Max. They are pretty inexpensive from office printing places. All you have to do is bring in your image on a thumb drive to order it.

Using dollar store tablecloths for decor

The boxes for party favors are from Amazon, also inexpensive.

Party Planning Tip #2: Wrap empty boxes with coordinating gift wrap and duct tape/ribbon and then stack them for an easy cupcake stand.

I found this wrapping paper at my dollar store and bought 5 rolls when I saw it. The duct tape is some I already had but you could use ribbon or whatever you’ve got on hand. Such a cute and cheap way to serve cupcakes that can be customized to the theme and colors of your party!

Olivia cupcake stand

Party Planning Tip #3: Create a festive photo backdrop with wrapping paper and dress up items from the dollar store and your kid’s closet.

I went through my daughter’s dress up items in her closet and pulled out tiaras, fairy wings, glasses, pretend high heels, and bought some boas, scarves, and hats from the dollar store. The kids and parents LOVED it! We made our own piggy ears  by cutting out craft foam and gluing the ear shapes to foam tiaras. I also made the noses by gluing foam shapes to small dowels.Having a painted frame like I have here is also cute.

DIY Cheap Photo Backdrop for partiesBelow you can see how I cut out and glued foam shaped like ears to tiars and also made pig noses.

Pig Party noses and tiars

Look how cute the photos turn out!

Olivia Dress Up Ideas

Party Planning Tip #4 : Use store coupons and shop Amazon for party supplies.

This may seem like a no brainer, but I cringe when I see people buy full price things at stores like Michael’s and Jo Anne’s. Those stores even have apps for your phone to show the cashier at checkout. Also Party City has in store coupons all the time on their website that you can pull up on your phone or print. Last week it was 40% off any full price item.

This pinata is a good example. It was $20 full price at Party City and I showed the cashier a 40% off coupon from their website and received the discount. I went back a different day and bought the candy for 40% off too.

Olivia Pinata

I made cupcakes and found these cute plastic cupcakes toppers on Amazon for just a few dollars. Together with the no fade Wilton cupcake liners they turned out great!

Olivia the Pig cupcake toppers

Party Planning Tip #5: Make your own party wreath for the front door or cake table.

For this wreath I used hot glue to attach a white boa to a wood wreath form and also painted and glued this craft frame. You could use a photo of your child or make a graphic on PicMonkey.com like I did. Then I used a couple of the piggy photo props I made for the kids and attached to the wreath. For some of my other DIY party wreaths ideas, check out my number flower wreath, felt rainbow wreath, and golf themed wreath posts.

Olivia the Pig Wreath

Party Planning Tip #6: Make your own free personalized invitations and party graphics on free online editing websites like PicMonkey.

I made this invite using PicMonkey and this free chalkboard background jpg. You can then email your image or print and hand out as invites.

olivia the pig invite edited

I also made this cute cupcake sign.

Olivia the Pig Party Sign

I hope you are able to use some of these ideas and make them your own 🙂

fancy frugal party tips

I used a little white bucket to hold my daughter’s stuffed Olivia’s doll and set it on a plate with some homemade chocolate covered strawberries.

chocolate covered stawberries

My best attempt at a freehand Olivia the Pig on our chalkboard!

chalkboard olivia the pig

Here’s the birthday girl in a $10 Target dress and red petticoat skirt we already had.

olivia dress

My hubby is the best. I’m sure he’ll love me including this picture! ha


Thanks for coming by and visiting with me today. I hope you liked our party and come back again soon.

New Signature Graphic


Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style


The 36th AVENUE- A creative DIY blog. Sharing tons of recipes, gift ideas, crafts, home décor and home improvement easy to follow tutorials. Come visit to make the ordinary EXTRAORDINARY on a budget! www.the36thavenue Follow on Pinterest pinterest.com/...#recipes #crafts #decor


 photo 100_3353aaabbbb144copy_zps0998a8b5.jpg“ />


Little Inspiration logo
For the Kids Fridays at SunScholars.com

Easy Birthday Pancakes

Birthday PancakesThis past weekend we had a birthday in the house! My baby girl turned five! Ugh five! How is that possible? I had to sign her up for Kindergarten next fall a few days ago too.

Anyways, I decided last second to try and make her some special birthday pancakes, (or pannie-cakes as my kids say)……They turned out super cute and she was THRILLED.

birthday pancakes with sprinkles

All I did was add sprinkles to regular pancake batter and cook as usual. Then mix a little water with powdered sugar for a simple glaze and pour on top. Add a little more sprinkles and maybe some whip cream.

birthday pancakes with sprinkles and powdered sugar

Happy Birthday sweet girl 🙂 blowing out birthday candles

Do you have any special traditions for your child’s birthday morning? I’d love to hear!

We also had her Olivia the Pig birthday party yesterday. It was so fun even though the bounce house stopped working, I didn’t buy enough hot dogs for the kids, and it was nearly 100 degrees outside, way hotter than normal! Oh well, she had a great time with her little friends.

Here is a sneak peek! I am recovering today and working on that post 🙂
Cute Olivia the Pig Party

Make sure to come back and see the entire party!

New Signature Graphic


get your craft on

Grocery Outlet Review & Giveaway (Going Green & Choosing Organic on a Budget)

grocery outlet giveaway

Hi friends, I had the opportunity to shop at Grocery Outlet here in Fresno, CA for the first time. Oh you know I do love a great bargain, so this place is perfect for me! When we moved to CA from AZ we had serious sticker shock on the cost of groceries. I’m always looking for ways to cut back on this expense while still buying quality real food.

Headquartered in Berkeley, California, Grocery Outlet currently encompasses 185+ independently operated stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Pennsylvania. Click here to see if you live by a location.

Grocery Outlet Map of Locations

Since today is Earth Day, one way to be kinder to the plant is buying organic. Choosing organic versions of products reduces the level of pesticides the environment is exposed to…and reduces exposure to your body as well. But organic can be expensive. I can’t afford to buy all organic, but I do try to buy when I can.

Guess what? Grocery Outlet has an organic and natural section with savings of up to 50%, although I found some things even deeper discounted!

organic grocery

Just look at some of the bargains I found. I love this peach blossom tea, and six Luna Bars and Kids Z bars for under $3? Awesome!

organic bargains at Grocery Outlet

My kids are obsessed with Pirate Booty and what a great price. You don’t see Cuties for $1.99 anywhere else around here!

grocery outlet bargains

Oh yogurt! Are entire family loves greek yogurt. The tubes were 1.99 as well as a four pack of the smaller ones. Coffee with dark chocolate chips is the best 100 calories EVER!


Their produce is great too! I have too many pictures of examples for one post, but earlier this week I made these Hummus Feta Pita Pizzas with items all from Grocery Outlet.

Hummus & Feta Pita Pizza

Okay so now the good news!! Grocer Outlet is giving away two $25 gift cards to their store just for Fancy Frugal Life readers!!

Contest open to readers over 18 and in the U.S.

I will pick a winner in one week. Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Disclosure**I was compensated for this post by Grocery Outlet and all opinions are my own.

New Signature Graphic

DIY Stacked Herb Garden

DIY Stacked Herb Garden

Hooray for a small finished outdoor project! I’m on a mission to spruce up our back yard which has had no attention to it since we moved here.

I adore herb gardens! They are so cute and useful at the same time. Here is mine from last year, however I didn’t keep up with trimming and watering it very well. Hopefully since we moved to a friendlier plant climate (to CA from Phoenix, AZ) I will be more likely to keep it up and it survives the heat 🙂

I loved this idea of using different sizes of pots with two upside down from Martha Stewart’s tower of herbs post.


I had all but one of these pots. Instead of heading back to the store for another small pot I used an empty paint pint and it works fine. Just make sure it can drain water properly. I imagine you could use metal buckets or other containers as long as you punched holes in them for water to drain.

I wanted my pots to be the same color so i painted them with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (TM) French Linen and Pure White mixed together.


I dipped these plastic inexpensive garden markers from the hardware store in chalkboard paint to create these cute markers. I love them!

Stacked pots herb garden DIYDIY Chalkboard Paint Herb Markers

french linen painted pots

This was a really fun project and I will probably do another one with flowers. My kids had fun helping too. They are really into gardening this year and think it’s exciting. Stay tuned for more planting of flowers and for the first time…. tomatoes! Have you had a chance to plant anything yet this spring?

New Signature Graphic


The 36th AVENUE


The Weekly Creative Link Party Banner


Inspire Me Please @ Liz Marie Blog

Create & Inspire Linky Party

Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style

Show & Tell @ SNAP Creativity

The 36th AVENUE
get your craft on

 The Scoop link party logo

Feta & Hummus Pita Pizza Recipe

Hummus & Feta Pita Pizza

Hello out there! I feel like it’s been awhile since I’ve been around and it has. Life keeps happening. Not much progress on the master bedroom makeover or other projects and nothing really exciting to post about.

My husband broke his foot and had to have surgery to place pins in his toe last month.joel after surgery

Here he is taking work calls while recovering in bed and my daughter keeping him company 🙂

Today he had those removed (interesting to watch that, yuck) and is finally in a walking boot instead of crutches. He hasn’t driven in about 6 weeks! So I’ve been the chauffeur along with everything else. Ahh It’s overwhelming to be everyone’s everything, but he is on the road to being able to take out the trash and kill bugs again! ha

One thing I’ve learned is that I’ve been way underestimating the amount of help the kids can be with chores even though they are still pretty young. My son is good at unloading the dishwasher which I dislike doing , and my daughter likes to help with laundry which I also dislike, ha!

So anyways, things are slowly going back to normal and hopefully I’ll get some time and energy to move forward with some new decorating projects I’d like to do. I’m in the middle of doing some planting outside, so I can’t wait to post about that project too.

Meanwhile I made a really simple and delicious dinner tonight that I threw together and thought I’d share.


Hummus Feta Pita Pizza


pita pocket bread


sliced deli meat ( I used peppered turkey & sliced ham)

chopped lettuce, tomato, black olives

balsamic salad dressing

crumbled feta cheese


I started out by toasting some pita pocket bread in the oven.

Then I spread roasted red pepper hummus all over the pita.

Top with the deli meat, lettuce, tomato, olives, feta cheese, and finally drizzle balsamic dressing. I make my own dressing..It’s so easy. I should post that sometime 🙂

pita hummus pizza recipe

I cut up pieces like a pizza! It was so good and fresh tasting, and perfect for a week night dinner. My husband really liked it which surprised me.I think next time I’ll add a little red onion.

Feta Hummus Pita Pizza Recipe

pita pocket pizza

So this was something different I’ve never really made before, and I think I’ll add it to easy meal rotation!

New Signature Graphic




Your Creative Timeout Linky Party Button

The Weekly Creative Link Party Banner

The 36th AVENUE

Create & Inspire Linky Party

Cave Creek, AZ Visit

Cave Creek View

Hi friends! There’s no decorating or creative projects today. I’m simply sharing some images from our visit back to Phoenix, AZ since moving eight months ago. It’s about a 10 or 11 hour drive with minimal stops from Fresno. My parents live in the city of Cave Creek and this is their view! It’s breathtaking, and it was so nice to sit out here and drink coffee in the mornings.

cave creek backyard viewDesert landscape    My kids had fun swimming all week. It was hard to get them out of the pool!L& G Swimming kids kids swimming2 pool pic stone fireplace

Aren’t these wild flowers pretty? They were spread out all over the yard in perfect spots as if someone had planted them.

desert wildflowers smell the flowers

It was fun to break out our Spring outfits. Here’s a sweet handmade dress I found at Salvation Army here for $2.00.

thrift store dress

I love the moments when they are nice to each other without being asked.bow & arrow

Visiting Frontier Town in Cave Creek.

Frontier TownCave Creek Pictures  I had some time one day to take some Easter photos.Love these bright colorful outfits from Target.Happy Easter

We started the tradition of hunting golf balls instead of Easter eggs while taking an evening walk! My brother was secretly planting balls when they weren’t looking 🙂

Photo: We hunt golf balls not Easter eggs :) with uncle Ry & aunt Kash

We had a beautiful trip and made some wonderful memories on our spring break. I hope you all had a great Easter too!

New Signature Graphic

Sharing with:

Wow Us Wed @ Savvy Southern Life