August 13th, 2009 |
This baby shower was featured yesterday over at the F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S Project Nursery….it was my first “contributor” post for them! So exciting! But, this baby shower turned out so cute….I had to share it with you too!
When throwing a baby shower for a woman expecting twins, take inspiration from Noah’s Arc! Baby showers tend to get a little cheesy and cutesy for my taste. But modern animal silhouettes and a sophisticated color palette will create an updated-looking event full of style.
Invite your guests with this darling invitation from Tiny Prints. Darling for 1 baby or 2 – but if you are throwing the party for twins, don’t forget to tell your guests to bring gifts “two by two!”
Decorate your space in shades of green, with pops of melon, pale blue and mustard yellow. Hang colored lanterns above your food table in all of your pop colors….throw in a green polka dot lantern or two for a touch of pattern. Use a solid colored table cloth, white plates and napkins. For a modern place setting, create a silverware envelope with your napkin, place on your plate and tie together with a skinny pattern ribbon. Use a few small, potted grass plants for your centerpiece on the table, and scattered throughout the party space. If you want to dress them up a bit, add a ring of daisies around the grass. To do this, simply snip the daisy head from the stem (leaving approximately a 1″ stem), and place a long pin thru the head of the flower (this will make it stronger when you stick it into the plant). Add a playful touch to your centerpiece by placing a few plush animals in between your grass plants. These darling animals from Land of Nod are perfect for the party, and will be a welcome addition to the baby’s nursery after the party (monkey, giraffe, lion).
A few ideas for your food: Ladies like to chat at these parties, not eat a heavy meal! Keep your menu light, but throw in a couple of small touches to carry out your theme. If you plan on having a cheese plate, arrange some crackers and fruit as you typically would….but then use mini cookie cutters to cut your cheese slices into the shapes of animals. For dessert, serve mini cupcakes with animal silhouettes made out of chocolate on top. You can buy chocolate in different colors at your local craft store to make your animals coordinate with your color palette.
For a cute party favor, try buying a pack of animal cookie cutters and give each guest one tied with a bow.
I love this party for it’s clean animal silhouettes and modern color palette!
Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), cupcakes (flickr.com), place setting (realsimple.com), grass plant centerpiece (nancyliuchin.com), plush animals (landofnod.com)
August 11th, 2009 |
Ah, to be “princess” for a day…..what could be better?! To be the “princess” hosting the “tea party”, that’s what!
A tea party is the perfect theme for a little girl’s birthday party. It’s pink, it’s whimsical, and it’s oh, so easy to do….
Invite your guests to the royal tea party with this darling invitation from Minted. Decorate with pink balloons, a polka dotted cake and plan a couple great activities. Start with “decorate-your-own-tiara“. I found this great kit thru Birthday in a Box. It includes foam tiaras and rhinestones – so the kids can go to town decorating. Oh, don’t forget to have princess wands for each of your guests! Have the kids hit this castle pinata to see what comes out – instead of just candy, add in some small toys such as little bracelets, hair bows, and candy necklaces.
After you sing “Happy Birthday” and have your cake and ice cream, send the kids home with this adorable goodie bag. It includes a flower straw, a pearl necklace, bubbles, body glitter and tea party stickers.
Images: candy (inmagine.com), invitation (minted.com), tea party goodie bag (birthdayinabox.com), magic wands (amazon.com), cake (pbkids.com), tea party (divinepartyconcepts.com)
August 5th, 2009 |
Summer is going to end before we know it and soon you will be back into your school year schedule. Host one last backyard bash before school starts to celebrate the end of summer with your kids. The kids will be thrilled with just a table full of goodies and a yard to run around in. So while the kids are occupied, entertain the parents with a casual dinner.
Use the back-to-school theme and run with it! Cover your table with a long piece of black butcher block paper, and draw on placemats with a white pencil or paint pen. Or cut out individual placemats from the black paper. It will look like a chalkboard! And if you add in each person’s name….it will double as your placecard, too. Keep your centerpiece simple, line the center of the table with simple flowers such as daisies and tulips. Use different types of vases – bowls, small vases, even glass mason jars, or glass milk bottles – to keep the look casual.
If you are looking for ideas for a menu – try a bread salad with tomatoes, lemon and cucumbers, buttermilk fried chicken, grilled corn-on-the-cob, and an old-fashioned latticed cherry pie.
Set up a kids table using the same black paper as a topper. Instead of drawing on placemats, draw out ruled lines and letters to make it look like a handwriting lesson. Provide the kids with plenty of easy-to-eat snacks….something they can grab on the run. My vote would be for mini hot dogs, pb & j sandwiches (cut out in a cute shape, of course), cookies and rice crispy treats.
Casual, cheery, and fun for all….this back-to-school backyard bash is the perfect send-off to summer!
Images: kids (ba-reps.com), table (realsimple.com), cookies and rice crispy treats (inmagine.com), mini hot dogs (horchow.com)
August 5th, 2009 |
Playdate activities….it’s always an endless search for something new and exciting that will keep the children occupied long enough for the mothers to enjoy a cup of coffee!
Playdough. It’s an activity that all kids enjoy. But spice it up a bit. Make playdough cookies!
Same concept: make a batch of dough, dye it different colors, and let the kids build shapes with it. The only difference, is that you bake the shapes and voila! Not only did the kids have fun, but you have colorful cookies to enjoy as a treat!
This would make a great activity for a child’s birthday party, too!
Play Dough Cookies
The original recipe proposes cookies in lollipop form, but have your kids get creative and create cookies in all different shapes. Just be careful to bake similar sized cookies at a time. Besides their super cute looks, these really delivered tastewise – they are sugar cookies after all, with a pleasent crumbly texture from the cream cheese.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- assorted colors of paste food coloring
- 24 lollipop sticks (optional)
- In the electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir till soft dough forms. Divide dough into fourths. Tint each with a different food color. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Working with half of each color, shape dough into 3/4 inch balls and for each cookie place 1 pink, 1 green, 1 blue and 1 orange (I used red, yellow, blue and green) ball together to make 1 large ball. Shape into a 12 inch long roll (like a snake), starting at one end, coil roll to make a 2 3/4 inch round cookie. Place cookies 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Carefully insert lollipop sticks into bottoms of cookies.
- Bake cookies for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and store in an airtight container.
Recipe via The Cookieshop in English
July 28th, 2009 |
Kids are natural pros when it comes to mini golf!
Part skill, part luck, and a whole lot of fun makes it the perfect activity for a child’s birthday party.
Invite your guests with an invitation far above par from Tiny Prints. Create an obstacle course for your mini-golf course. Martha Stewart has created a plan to transform your backyard into a one-of-a-kind putt-putt course (with no damage to the lawn):
Tools and Materials
Baking sheet and play sand: Makes a fine sand trap
Two-by-fours: Erect barriers for runaway balls with painted two-by-fours (see diagram below for placement).
Cardboard: Used is the foundation for the gopher and windmill
Acrylic paint and Mylar pinwheels: To dress up gopher and windmill (You can also even out a bumpy lawn or make a ramp to a hole by placing cardboard under the turf.)
Electrical tape: To create trimmings, like the flags on the croquet wickets
Colorful golf balls and kid-size clubs: Available online, they double as party favors
Golf tees: Get plenty, and use some to secure the turf edges
A xylophone: This instrument forms part of an obstacle.
Artificial turf: We used 200 square feet of this turf for the greens, and simply cut out rounds for the “holes.”
Plaid fabric and dowel: To make flags, photocopy plaid fabric, cut out, tape to a dowel, and affix a number sticker.
Backyard Nine-Hole Course Ideas (you may want to make fewer holes for younger children)
We laid out the greens (all artificial turf) as shown in the diagram (click here for printable version); they are each between 5 and 10 feet long.
No place like gnome: A wily creature tries his best to block a shot.
Picnic area: The table is both an obstacle and a spot to wait for a turn — just keep feet clear of balls in play!
Sand trap: In a piece of artificial turf, cut a rectangle slightly smaller than a rimmed baking sheet. Fill pan with sand; position rectangle over it.
Waterfall: It’s not exactly a water hazard, but a sprinkler will leave the turf nice and slippery.
Perfect pitch: Golfers can hammer out a tune as they try for the hole (a roll of tape) up a ramp to a xylophone set between two angled two-by-fours.
Sitting pretty: Two folding chairs form a tunnel and provide another comfy spot for a break.
Pinwheel windmill: To make, cut an arch in two sides of a cardboard box and trim the edges with electrical tape. Insert plastic pinwheels into the top of box. Secure handles underneath with duct tape. Affix more pinwheels to the front with tape.
Ruff!: It takes nerves of steel to tap a ball straight through the croquet wickets — they’re embellished with electrical-tape flags — and into the doghouse.
Gopher the gold: Create a cardboard gofer to greet players at the final challenge. Try taping him to a box with a hole cut out of the bottom for catching golf balls.
Carry the traditional golf theme thru your food, decorations and party favors. Set up a food table using metal buckets as a centerpiece. Fill these buckets with treats for the kids, such as popcorn balls, powdered-sugar donut holes, and white chocolate malt balls. Serve juice boxes and sandwiches for lunch….wrap sandwiches in plaid paper for a decorative touch!
Send the kids home with a plaid box of golf-themed goodies. A TY Beanie Baby – CHARITEE the PGA Golf Bear, a Mini Golf Play Set, and chocolate golf ball candy. I found these great green, plaid boxes at Plum Party Supplies.
Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), grass centerpiece (hostessblog.com), golf ball cookies (whippedbakeshop.com)
July 24th, 2009 |
If you ask a child what their favorite food is….my bet is that 90% of them say “Candy!” So why not spoil your child rotten on their birthday and host a party decorated to the nines with candy?! Invite your child’s friends with this adorable invitation from Tiny Prints.
Take your color inspiration straight from the source – candy brights, such as hot pink, turquoise blue, yellow, orange and lime green. Use solid colored plates and napkins, maybe throw in a stripe here and there…..simple enough! Use real candy for your decorations. Buy life savers in bulk and string together on ribbon or wire. You can drape them along the sides of tables, on a fireplace mantel, around a doorway, etc. Another easy idea is to dress up your napkins with a lollipop. Cute, colorful and the kids get an extra treat to bring home with them!
If you are planning this party for an older child, or even for adults – you may want to present a candy buffet. Check out this past post for inspiration.
I have two really cute activities for you for younger children….
- Fill up a large bowl with gumballs (you can buy them in bulk at Candy Warehouse) and ask the kids to guess how many gumballs are in there. Have a couple of prizes for the kids that come the closest to the actual number.
- Instead of a purchasing a decorated birthday cake, bake a large sheet cake and cover in plain white frosting. Provide the kids with bowls of candy and let them go to town decorating it!
Send your guests home with this charming mini gumball machine as a party favor from Beau-Coup. You can attach a personalized tag that says “Thanks for coming to my party! Love, Bella”. It’s the perfect reminder of an afternoon full of sweets and treats!
Images: table (via A Passion for Parties by Carolyne Roehm), invitation (tinyprints.com), napkins with suckers (familycircle.com), gumball machine party favor (beau-coup.com), cupcake, party decorations and candy (inmagine.com)
July 21st, 2009 |
We celebrated my sister’s boyfriend’s birthday Saturday night by cruising around Chicago on a boat. Since the party had a boating theme, the sailboat cupcake seemed to be the perfect dessert! They turned out so cute, I just had to share them with you!
These would be perfect for the Sail Away children’s birthday party theme I posted a couple of weeks ago!
If anyone is interested in the template for the sails, send me over an e-mail and I will happily give it to you!
July 16th, 2009 |
“Rubber Ducky, you’re the one….you make our baby shower lots of fun!”
I had a reader write to me asking for ideas for a gender-neutral baby shower. The first thing I thought of was the color yellow, and quickly came up with the idea for a rubber ducky theme party. Playful, and easy to do – this baby shower is sure to bring smiles and giggles from all of your guests!
Invite your guests with this darling invitation from Minted. Carry the yellow color into your party decorations and accent it with blue and orange. Creative a bright and cheery tablescape with blue placemats, yellow plates and a diaper cake centerpiece. Take basic, blue place cards and dress them up by giving them a scalloped edge with a pair of scissors. The rounded edges remind me of bubbles….perfect for our bath-time theme!
Instead of serving cake as dessert, set up a dessert and candy buffet. Find all different types of yellow candy, such as lemon heads, jelly beans, lemon bars, etc. and use different size vases, apothecary jars and cake plates to set up your display. Add personalized labels to each container – try these labels from Paper Source (there is even a template on-line to help you print on them!)
Send your guests home with a rubber ducky candle from Beau-Coup to remember the event!
Images: rubber ducky candle (beau-coup.com), rubber duck invitation (minted.com), place setting (hostessblog.com), placecards (theknot.com), candy buffet (projectwedding.com), baby shower image (inmagine.com)
July 15th, 2009 |
When it comes to planning a little girl’s birthday party, you can’t go wrong with pink and flowers. Explode this idea into a festive party full sassy cheer!
Invite your guests with this darling invitation from Tiny Prints. It’s colorful, full of flowers and exclaims the most important part….Party time! Create a fun and girly table setting by using grass place mats, and a vase full of gerber daisies in shades of pink. Your little guests will be in awe when they walk into the party and see a whole garden set up on the table!
Keep your food simple and stylish – serve pb & j sandwiches, but make them extra special by using a cookie cutter to cut them into flower shapes. Use a smaller flower cookie cutter to make a flower-shaped fruit salad (mix in some melon balls for a playful look). Serve the little girls pink lemonade to drink and cupcakes for dessert! I love the polka dot design on these….but stay tuned for a darling, and easy-to-do cupcake idea!
After a day full of flowers, send your guests home with a bloom of their own. Fill a small pail full of candy, stickers, and a lollipop flower. (Cut out a paper daisy from solid color paper and poke a lollipop through its center.)
Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), floral party dress (bodenusa.com), flower lollipop party favor (skiptomylou.com), cupcakes (amyatlas.com)
July 1st, 2009 |
Keeping with the red, white & blue theme this week in celebration of the 4th of July, here is an adorable party idea for your favorite little sailor. Create a nautical theme birthday party full of stripes and sailboats!
I found this adorable party invitation and party favor bags from a company called Imprintables – preppy, but with a touch of modern charm! It set the tone for the rest of the party….a color scheme of red, white and blue, bold stripes and modern sailboat silhouettes.
Decorate with nautical flags (I found the perfect ones at Land of Nod) and striped tablecloths. Use grosgrain ribbon to accent all of your details – stripe napkin rings, and tie ribbon around bowls of food. Use small wooden boats clustered together as a centerpiece. Instead of serving a traditional birthday cake, serve sailboat-themed cupcakes, cookies or rice crispy treats.
If you are looking for a fun activity for the children at the party, fill up a large baby pool outside. Buy a bunch of small, plastic boats and write numbers on the bottom of a few of them. Buy prizes to correspond to the numbers on the boats. Float the boats in the pool, and have the children take turns picking a boat. If they choose a boat with a number, they win a prize!
Images: nautical flag decoration (landofnod.com), ahoy sailboat gift and party favor (imprintables.blogspot.com), stripe napkin rings and bowl of strawberries (socialcouture.com), tiered cookie stand (instyleweddings.com)