Winc Wine

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How to Throw a Shark Themed Birthday Party!

Our sweet Bodie just turned 1! Due to COVID, our birthday party plans changed a bit. We may not have been able to have many guests, but we were still threw a really fun party for him! If you haven’t figured it out by now, I love a good theme. With Bodie loving water so much, I knew a shark party would be the perfect theme!

Outfits for the Family: I had a great time dressing our family up in shark gear. There are so many great outfits that fit an ocean theme. For all of the boys and Daddy, we found shark shirts. Bodie wore a really cute onesie with bloomers and suspenders. Bennett wore a button down shark shark and Eric wore a t shirt that said “Daddy Shark.” I decided to wear a blue dress that fit the color scheme and gave off an ocean vibe. Check out our outfits below!

Birthday boy outfit/2nd option
Mommy’s Dress
Daddy’s Shirt
Bennett’s Shirt

Food: It was much fun finding food that fits that fit the ocean life theme. Honestly, I was surprised at how many ideas I had. I wasn’t able to do them all since there were only 4 of us at the party. My husband had to remind me that I wasn’t feeding a party of 20 people. I always seem to go a bit overboard (see what I did there?!) in this category!!

I’m going to start with the cake because that’s what the boys were most interested in! I made my own smash cake! To make the smash cake, I used two circular Pyrex storage containers. I filled each one about halfway and baked them. Once they were done cooling, I stacked them on top of each other and iced them using different shades of blue. For the fin on top, I used a gray piece of card stock paper (super easy!)

Shark Smash Cake

Another fun dessert I made were Ocean Sand Cups. To make these cups, boil 1/2 cup of water then add a 3 ounce berry blue jello and let it dissolve. Then, put the jello into a mixing bowl with an 8 ounce tub of cool whip and 2 containers of vanilla yogurt (12 ounces). Next, stir the mixture and pour into individual clear serving cups. Crush vanilla wafers using a food processor and pour them on one side to give it the sandy beach look. After, freeze the cups for 3-4 hours. The last step is to add the gummy shark to the top! You will need to give these 15 minutes to soften slightly before serving.

Ocean Sand Cups

Some other food items included chips (fish and chips), pasta salad (seashell pasta), Chick-fil-A nuggets (plankton), ham and cheese croissants (crabs), pigs in a blanket (snails), powdered donuts (life preservers), and cupcakes (shark fin cupcakes).

I used googly eyes and toothpicks to give the crabs eyes!
Seashell Pasta
I used buckets to hold silverware and some food items.

Decor: Decorating for a party is so much fun! I love seeing how everything ties together at the end with the decorations. I find that a little bit goes a long way! For this particular theme, I knew lots of shades of blue would look great and give the party the ocean vibe.

To start, I shopped for all of the basics. I bought the cutest shark plates at Target. My napkins, cups, and silverware were different shades of blue. The tablecloth I purchased was a basic white one because I knew I wanted to use fish netting on it! The fish netting ended up being one of my favorite things because it really brought the ocean look to life! I found a toy shark last minute in Michael’s and was really happy with how it looked on the table.

I love using apothecary jars to decorate because they always look so classy. I keep two in my house to use whenever I host a party or during holidays. They are a great investment! The jar was filled with three different colored gumballs as shown below. It’s an easy way to create a pretty visual.

Apothecary Jar

Since it was a first birthday, I knew I needed balloons! I wanted to create a balloon arch but again I was reminded this was a party for four people. Instead of spending a lot on balloons, I decided to look around for more affordable options. I found a DIY balloon arch kit on Etsy. I loved how it turned out. It took about 1.5 hours to create, so I would recommend doing it ahead of time instead of last minute like me!!

My absolute favorite part were the shark party hats that I made! I was able to create fun hats using gray cardstock, white construction paper, googly eyes, and some elastic. The boys really had fun with these and clearly mom and dad did too!

Family Shark Hats
Daddy and Mommy Shark

Some decor pictures:

Food Table
Gift Table
Highchair Decor

I had such a blast throwing this special party for Bodie! Everyone had such a great time. I hope my party ideas help inspire you when planning for your next birthday party!



How to Make a Charcuterie Board

Entertaining guests is one of my favorite things to do! I love inviting people into my home and spoiling them with plenty of food and drinks. In my friend group, I am known as the “glue” that holds the group together. I take a lot of pride in that title and think it’s mainly because I love hosting everyone for good conversation and fun!

Growing up, we always had a Christmas Eve Party that was so much fun and filled with lots of food and laughter! Early on, I knew the importance of bringing family and friends together. I couldn’t wait to do it in my own future house! Well, here I am, in my own house, hosting family and friends!

Okay, now let’s get to the charcuterie part! Charcuterie boards are one of my FAVORITE things to have while entertaining guests. They always look AMAZING, people go crazy over them, and they are surprisingly super easy to make! The Italian in me loves adding all of those delicious meats to the board.

Where to start?

I always begin by deciding which board to use. If I know I’m going to have a lot of guests, I use more than one board or create a massive board using butcher paper across our table. However, if it’s just for date night or a few friends, I use a smaller board. Tip: Large cutting boards make great charcuterie boards!

Here are some great charcuterie board options:

What should I include?

  • Italian meats– You want a variety of meats. Some of my favorite to include are salami, prosciutto, capicola, and pepperoni. We recently used peppered salami and people were raving about it!
  • Cheese– Again, you want a few different kinds of cheese. I always include at least one soft and one hard cheese. My go to soft cheese is always brie! If you’re not a fan of brie, you could use blue cheese or fresh mozzarella. Some of my favorite hard cheeses include manchego (my husband got me hooked on this!), gouda, asiago, and cheddar (seems to be popular with everyone)! Tip: I always like to slice the hard cheese ahead of time because it makes it easier for guests to grab. If it’s not sliced, I find that people don’t always feel comfortable being the first to dig in!
  • Crackers/Bread– These help add good texture to your board and bring all of the different flavors together. I love to use wheat thins, club crackers, triscuits, baguette crisps, and even pretzels.
  • Fruits– Fruit gives so much life to your board! It creates pops of color to make your board look even prettier. Grapes and berries always work well and are well received.
  • Nuts– These are great savory snacks that are easy for guests to grab. Almonds are my number one, but other good options are cashews, pecans, and walnuts.
  • Olives– To be honest, I’m not an olive fan but people like them! They also look nice on the board, so I always add them!
  • Extras- There are so many other fun items to include on your board. Some other ideas include jams, honey, dips, hummus, tapenade, etc. Be creative!

How do I make the board?

I start by taking my small bowls or ramekins and spread them out on the board. You want to use these for items that you want to keep contained and for the messier foods. I use these for items like nuts, olives, dips, jams, etc. The number of bowls will depend on the size of the board. The bowls can be similar or be all different sizes and shapes. You do what feels right for you!

After I decide the placement of bowls and fill them, I add the meats and cheeses spreading them throughout the board. You want easy access to meat and cheese from all angles of the board.

Next, I add my crackers, baguette crisps, pretzels, etc. You want to place these in close proximity to the meats and cheese. Make sure to spread these crunchy foods out across the board. You don’t want them all in one place.

Last, I add my fruit to the board. The fruit helps fill any gaps on the board and gives that nice color to the board. You can also add some herbs as a garnish to eliminate any gaps you may have.

What do I do now?

You’re done! It’s time to serve your charcuterie board to your guests and watch them enjoy your creation! I love to find a good wine selection that pairs well with the food on my board- it really impresses your guests! I know my friends are always looking for an excuse to enjoy a nice glass of wine with me!!