YW in Excellence: Seek the Sweet

POST UPDATE:
Since posting this fun idea I have had many people reach out to me for coordinating printables!
Unfortunately I created these items on an old computer that crashed
and not longer have access to the files. However,
I have re-created an ENTIRE YWIE bundle using a similar theme!

YOU CAN FIND THIS AWESOME BUNDLE HERE!


















ORIGINAL BLOG POST:
This past Wednesday, we had the opportunity 
to celebrate the young women in our ward with a night of excellence. 
As we began to plan out the big night, the girls were pretty adamant
that they wanted an "original theme"...
As they put it...."Something that did not revolve around Princesses & Queens"...
(ha ha, kind of made me laugh. I guess that clearly explains the group of young women we have.)
Anyways, with a little brainstorming, and a lot of pinteresting,
we decided upon the theme "Seek the Sweet"...
A "Candy Theme" that focused on all things "sweet" to the young and their lives. 
Honestly, I was a little worried about the theme, but it turned out ADORABLE. 
Below are some ideas that we used, as well as a program outline and topics discussed!
We sure had a lot of fun with it--- so feel free to use and share! 


We decided that in order to keep the theme uniform, 
we wanted to use the color combination of yellow and pink. 
It worked out great since Carley had recently had a wedding with yellow in it
 and were able to use a lot of items from the reception. . 
We were able to pull the old yellow doors as a backdrop plus the fun yellow accessories. 



Because the theme was "Seek the Sweet"
we wanted to have a huge refreshment table filled with "sweet treats".
We had lemonade cupcakes, pink sugar cookies, cake pops, 
candy dishes with star bursts, chocolate pretzels, pineapple licorice, fruties, lemon heads, etc.

Above are the invitations I designed.
We kept them simple and again, coordinated them to the fun yellow and pink theme
We took the invitation that I designed an blew it up to put at the front of the room.
We matted it on foam core and placed it on a giant easel.
It really tied the whole room together. 
My sister was gracious enough to help make the cake balls for the evening. 
They were SUCH a big hit and turned out to be scrumptious!
Also, prior to the evening, the girls helped out making some of the decorations
(helped stick together invitations, make the flag banners, etc).
They also learned how to make these fun flowers out of tissue. 
We all thought they turned out super cute (they actually looked just like cotton candy),
and really added to the theme. 
My mom was also super helpful! She helped me throw together some of the cute cupcakes. 
They were lemonade flavor, so she threw on some cute pink and white straws, 
yellow shimmery sprinkles, and topped them off with a lemonhead. 
The cookies that my mother-in-law helped out with also turned out adorable. 
She topped them off with a pink glaze and them swirled them with a white frosting 
(making them looking like lollopops). 
Seriously, if you can't already tell, the details were perfect, and everything was TOO cute!
We also created these cute balloon candies out of balloons and cellophane. 
We had about 15 or so and hung them up over the refreshment table and head of the room.
They added to the theme of the room. 
Finally we made a bunch of "balloon lollipops" out of balloons, cellophane, and wooden dowels. 
They were super simple, and just finished the room off. 

For the program, we wanted to get ALL the girls involved. 
We had a few of the girls participate in musical numbers, assist with opening exercises, and conduct. 
We also wanted some of the girls to speak and share their testimonies, 
so we assigned each of the girls to talk about a certain value. 


Their talks were titled as follows...
"The Sweetness of Faith"
"The Sweetness of Divine Nature"
"The Sweetness of Individual Worth"
"The Sweetness of Knowledge"
"The Sweetness of Choice and Accountability"
"The Sweetness of Good Works"
"The Sweetness of "Integrity"
"The Sweetness of "Virtue"


Honestly, this was one of my favorite parts of the night.
The girls each spent about 3 minutes just talking about why that particular value was "sweet" to them.
They were so sincere and thoughtful. 

I know I have said this like a bagillion times, 
but I need to take a moment to mention how much those girls mean to me.
I am so proud of them and SO grateful to be able to associate with them.
They are such a strength to me. They make me want to be a better person.
I love them and can't wait to see how many people's lives they affect with their sweet examples. 

Following their talks, I briefly took the time to talk about 
"Seeking the Sweet".



















63 comments:

  1. You are too cute!! I LOVE it! Your blog will totally come in handy when I'm in Young Womens one day :)

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  2. So stinking cute!!! oh my I love it

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    1. Thanks so much Charisse! Best Wishes!

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    2. So you totally inspired us with this theme- we used it for our YWIE last night- we switched up the content but totally used your wonderful decorating - it was so cute! I am a blogger as well and wanted to blog our night and post pictures but wanted to make sure it was ok with you- I will link your site as the original idea- is that ok? my blog is
      www.somesweettalkinggirl@blogspot.com and my email is
      charisse.harris@gmail.com
      Thanks again for sharing your wonderful ideas- our girls were totally blessed last night because of it.

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  3. LOVE this, we were just trying to think of a "theme" for the night and this is Perfect for what we had going. Is there any way you could post the download to that cute sign that you blew up big?

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    1. Sure thing! I will work on getting it posted in the next couple days! Thanks so much for looking and am glad I can share!

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    2. my email is KTsAnAngel@aol.com...thanks so much!

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  4. I absolutely LOVE this idea! We'd like to use it for our next YW in Excellence next month. Is there any chance you could send me attachments or files of these darling prints you created (the invites, the poster, and the other sweetness of... pages). My email address is robinson.ranch@msn.com.

    So much fun! Thanks so much!!

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    1. I will most definitely send you the few items that I have saved! Hope it helps!

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  5. So adorable! I would love to get anything you saved as well. My e-mail is simmonse008@gmail.com. Thank you, thank you!!

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    1. I just sent it! Hopefully you find the few items I had useful! Good luck!

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  6. could you email me as well.. thank you so much shyabug@hotmail.com

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    1. Absolutely! I just sent them your way! I hope they help!

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  7. hI LOVED THIS IDEA FOR yw IN eXCELLENCE!...Could you share with me also your files??? thanks!
    icaso@hotmail.com

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  8. Love this idea! Will you share your files with me too, please?! Thank you!

    Janellenewman@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks! I just sent this off to you! i hope it helps! Sorry for the long delay!

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  9. Hello again!....I really really love this idea...We will be having our night in Excellence pretty soon, and I would love to share this message with our girls!..Could you please share your files with me???...pretty please??? icaso@hotmail.com

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    1. I know it is probably too late, but I just sent it to you! I apologize for the delay. I was in the middle of a big move! Anyways, again sorry for any inconvenience, but I at least hope it helps for the future!

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  10. thank you for sharing, what a cute idea. I would really appreciate any attachments you have esp. the invitation.
    Thanks so much, my email is
    chriswkennedy@hotmail.com
    Chris

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    1. I just sent this off to you! Let me know if you need anything else!

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  11. Fabulous! We have decided to do this for our YWIE next month as well, and our bishopric is totally on board, they even gave us scriptures that are "sweet"
    Some fun "Sweet" scriptures:


    1 Nephi 8:11

    Alma 32:42

    Alma 36:21
    Proverbs 16:24

    Proof The Lord loves BBQ - Genesis 8:20-21


    So fun! Could I please get a copy of the documents, pictures, invitations that your used? That would be of great help. I just got called to the presidency and I need all the help I can get.

    Marie
    martortilla@gmail.com

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    1. I LOVE this! It really just ties it all together! Thanks for sharing! I just sent you the copies that I have. Hopefully it helps some. Please let me know if there is anything else you need! I would love to help!

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  12. Hello, and thank you for sharing this idea, we have decided to do this for our YW in excellence this year as well, could you send me the files of the documents and invitations that you used? Thanks again!
    madderoffact@gmail.com

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    1. I just sent those off to you! Please let me know if you need anything else!

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  13. Hi! Love the idea. Would you be willing to share and send me the documents you used for the invitations and poster?

    mjsmp06@gmail.com

    Thank you,

    Michele

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    1. Sent! Please let me know if you need anything else! I would love to help out!

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  14. Thank you so much for posting and sharing your ideas! We are using this theme next week for our YWIE and I am so excited about it. I just became YW pres a few weeks ago and the thought of planning this was daunting so your blog was a lifesaver! Would you mind emailing me the same items some of the other women have requested? (the poster esp). We already sent out invites and everything. Thank you SO SO much! Stacy

    thepapas02@gmail.com

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    1. Okay so i just sent you everything I have! It's not a ton, but I sure hope it helps! Please let me know if you need anything else! Best of luck!

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  15. This is so cute! Would you PLEASE PLEASE send me a copy of the documents you used? The poster,invitations and 3 different things to seek after? THANK YOU! This is so helpful! ginabellporter@yahoo.com

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    1. I just sent you everything I have! Hopefully it helps! Please let me know if you need anything else!

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  16. Hi there, I loooveee your ideas - it's perfect! Would you please send me a copy of your documents (invites, posters etc)!!! :) My email is tala.tira1@gmail.com - THANK YOU SO MUCH... my young women will love this theme!!

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    1. Thanks so much! Okay, I just sent those to you! Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help!

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  17. I would love a copy of your invite, board and handout files. Love this idea and we are going to use it for out YW in Excellence in a few weeks. Thank you for sharing! rebecca@healthutahnetwork.com. Thank you!

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    1. I just sent those to you! I hope that they help! Please let me know if you need anything else, I would LOVE to help!

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  18. Hey Courtney any way you could send me the template that you used for the invites?? I am going to steal part of your idea for our yw in excellence next week. It is sooooo cute!! If you don't mind sending it that would be sweet. Thanks - Stephanie Horton -- Email - Hortonhome@gmail.com

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    1. Sister Horton! I just sent that to you! I hope you get it in time for it to help! It was great seeing you on Thursday! Thanks for the good visit! Let me know if you need anything else!

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  19. This is adorable, i might as well get in on the email too if thats ok! Hillarywork@gmail.com

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    1. I just sent that to you! Hope it helps! Let me know if you need anything else!

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  20. I love this idea!! The decor is darling!! I would love to use this for our new beginnings.
    Anything your willing to share would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!
    rachellarkin@msn.com

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    1. Thanks for visiting! I just sent you an email with the stuff that I have! I hope that they help! Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with. Good luck with your new beginnings!

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  21. Love this theme. I am actually going to use it for our New Beginning's in a few weeks. Is there anyway you can send me the template for your invitations, poster and anything else you have. Thanks. Your pictures are great!!!

    Itsjamiec@aol.com

    Thanks-
    Jamie

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    1. I just sent you an email with everything that I have! I hope that it helps! What a fun idea for new beginnings! Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help!

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  22. Can you send me your templates? I would really appreciate it!

    Thanks,

    meganhogge@gmail.com

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    1. Sure thing! I just sent them your way! Hope they help!

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  23. Hi - Could you send me the templates that you sent everyone else. I am thinking about using your awesome idea for NB also. Also, do you have any notes on the talk you did on 3 things you can do to seek the sweet? Thanks for your help.

    Susan
    sus1960@gmail.com

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    1. Hey Susan! I just sent that information off to you! I also gave a brief description of each of the things that i talked about with the girls! I thought I would include them here as well!

      Here are some of the thoughts that I tried to capture during our YW program and as I was speaking...

      I always feel it is important to strongly emphasize the concept of "becoming" with our YW. When I look at the girls I just see how special they are and can only begin to sense how much their Heavenly Father loves them. The problem is though, I don't think thy always fully comprehend their potential.

      1. The sweetness of setting goals: I talked about how in life we were sent here to have joy and to learn. I talked about how they should always be striving to "become" who their Heavenly Father needs them to be. I talked about how the way they could do this is through goal setting. I had them close their eyes and think to themselves who they wanted to be in 5 years. Was it the same girl? What qualities did they have? What were they doing? etc. I then gave them a "sneek peek" of what their Heavenly Father saw... a Girl who was beautiful. A girl who was kind and served others. A girl who was smart. A girl who made a difference in the world. I talked about how one of the greatest ways to "become" who they were intended to be was through goal setting, especially with personal progress. I briefly touched on the importance of setting goals for personal progress.

      2. I used that to lead into how the girls ultimate goal should be the temple. I talked about how the temple had blessed my life and how Heavenly Father intended for it to bless their lives. We talked about the sweetness of the temple NOW in their lives and in the future.

      3. After talking about setting goals and going to the temple, I mentioned how sometimes all of those things can seem daunting or overwhelming. The idea of failure can be a really scary thing. But I testified that the girls were never alone in their journey. I then talked about the sweetness of Heavenly Father's love. It was a great way to tie everything together and show the girls that they were loved.



      I hope that helps a little. Please let me know if you need any other info!

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  24. This looks like it was sweet to the taste, sweet to look at and sweet to the spirit. I'd love any of the files you still have. Thank you so much for sharing!

    twolittlepeas@hotmail.com

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  25. I would absolutely love this!! davidsonsarah93@gmail.com

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  26. You are super talented and creative.... I'm getting idea's for our Evening of Excellence in November. I would love to use some of yours. Thank you so much for posting this :)

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  27. Hi I see where people are requesting that you share your files. That would be amazing. We would love to use your ideas. Thanks so much.

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  28. I love this!!! Our theme is " Seek the Sweet, Stand in Holy Places" I loved your invitations, I am wondering if it would possible for me to use these, I would need to be able to edit them with our information and change the Year..

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  29. I LOVE this, it goes along perfect with our theme.. I am wondering if you would share you files with me. my email address is hyrum13thward@gmail.com
    Thank you so much!!
    Dawnya

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  30. Hi Courtney - This is a darling idea! I just love it!!! Would you please send me a copy of the documents you used? The poster,invitations and 3 different things to seek after? On the sign I want to also be able to edit the year too. Thanks so much for sharing this idea.
    Here is my email address: jprit28@aol.com

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  31. Hi Courtney - This is darling! I love it!! Would you send me a copy of the documents you used? The poster,invitations and 3 different things to seek after? I also want to be able to edit the date on the big poster "Seek the Sweet". Thanks for sharing.
    Here is my email address: jprit28@aol.com

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  32. I am so sorry! Since doing this activity, my computer crashed and I lost all the files! I wish I still had them but I don't!

    I would be more than happy to quickly designs if needed! I would just charge a small $5.00 for the extra time I would be putting into re-creating those images (charging a small fee allows me to continue to provide free images and handouts on my blog!) I hope you can understand! If it is something that you are still interested in you can place your order here (http://www.etsy.com/shop/CourtneyAitkenDesign) and I can send you the files within 48 hours!

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    1. Hi Courtney, did you recreate these designs for any of the people that asked about it a week or so ago? If so, it would be awesome if you could repost them here. Thanks for your help!!! Love the theme!

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  33. HI Courtney, did you recreate the designs for the people asking about it a week ago? If so, would you repost them? That would be awesome!! Thanks

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    1. No I have not! I won't be re-posting new designs for invitations if someone does request them though because that would be unfair that they paid for the images and then I go posting their design for free. I want to make sure I am being as fair as possible! I wish I had more time to recreate them for free for everyone, but I have other projects I am working busily working on not to mention preparing for a baby to come! Hope you can understand! Like I said though, I am more than happy to create a custom design for only $5.00 (usually $10.00, but I am bringing down the cost since it is considered a "redesign". This helps compensate for additional time I would be taking). Not to mention I can even customize them for your ward!

      Thanks again for being so understanding!

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    2. Thanks Courtney for the quick reply. Can you tell me what templates you can update or send for the $5? I am just trying to understand what you can recreate and what we would need to create/design. Thanks

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    3. Great question! If you are looking for the exact same images (invitation, poster, and bubbles), it would be the $5.00. With that I could add in your ward's information for you (date, time, ward name, etc.) and size the images to whatever size you would like to print! If you are interested in that, you can place your order here (http://www.etsy.com/shop/CourtneyAitkenDesign) and just select "Resizing and Customizing Printables from All Things Bright and Beautiful". When you place the order also indicate in the notes and specifics you would like to see on the invitation, wording adjustments, etc. Once you process the order I will send you a rough draft within 48 hours to review. After you have reviewed and given the okay to the design, I will send you the finalized files.

      If you are looking for something a little different (more custom) I am also willing to help and the price for that would really just depend on what you are looking for! I can give you a better quote with more information (feel free to shoot me an email court.aitken@gmail.com).

      Hope that helps!!!


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  34. I love that you mention that you started this project "with a little brainstorming, and a lot of pinteresting", because I just got called to YW, and feel thrown into planning this event, so I headed straight to Pinterest! My 'pinteresting' led me here... Thanks for sharing your talent, and please know that your great ideas will serve those who need it more than you know!

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