September 21st, 2011 |

DIY Tutorial: Cake Ball Cake

I hope you all enjoyed today’s post on the Mod Fish baby shower featured in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine!  Did you notice the darling cake that stole the show on the dessert table?  I’m sure you are curious what those balls or “bubbles” are….candy, gumballs…..nope!  They are cake balls!  And I am back this afternoon with a simple do-it-yourself tutorial, so you too can try this for your next event.

Trying to carry the “bubble” theme throughout our fish party, Charynn and I contacted Velvet Cream Bakery to create cake balls in varying shades of blue.  They delivered a stunning amount of {delicious} cake balls, and Charynn quickly got to work on figuring out the best way to attach them to our two-tiered cake.

Step 1

Gather your supplies: cake (covered in fondant), toothpicks, cake balls, and a cake topper (if desired)

Step 2

Starting from the bottom up, insert your toothpicks about 1 inch from the bottom of the cake, about 1.5-2 inches apart (depending on the size of your cake balls).  Repeat with the darkest blue all the way around the cake.

Repeat each row atop one another, with the color blue getting lighter each row.

Step 3

Once you cover the entire cake in rows of cake balls, create a circle of the lightest color balls on the top of the second tier.  This creates the perfect spot for a cake topper.

Step 4

Insert your cake topper.  We used fondant fish and bubbles on wire from Two Sugar Babies.

 

September 21st, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Mod Fish Baby Shower

When it comes to baby showers, I prefer to cater to the Mom-to-be’s design aesthetic….not the babies!  After all, the party is for her!  It’s a great opportunity to pull in unique baby-friendly concepts, but perhaps modernize them to appeal to the adults in attendance.  We get so many requests for fish/under the sea parties, that I decided that it was time to move that theme up to the top of my “to do list” and I partnered up with Charynn of Two Sugar Babies to create this modern, gender-neutral baby shower inspiration for the fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

We set the table with a crisp white tablecloth and topped it with paper placemats featuring our mod fish pattern, a green napkin and a coordinating blue striped placecard.  The centerpiece  was probably my FAVORITE part of this party….it literally cost me next to nothing to create, and I think mad a huge impact.  I took basic glass cylinders that I had sitting around the house, and created white fish vinyl decals using my Silhouette machine.  I filled them with water, and used gel food coloring to add the bold color.  So simple, right?

We set up a “bubbles bar” with both punch and bottles of key lime Italian soda wrapped with fish labels.  Blue balloons were attached to the wall behind the bar to create the look of bubbles floating away.

A bold polka dot grid patterned backdrop anchored our dessert table, and there were so many darling sweets.  First off an AMAZING cake covered in cake balls by Velvet Cream Bakery (DIY tutorial coming later today!).  I love the ombre effect of the shades of blue, as well as how it resembles little bubbles!  The cake topper of fondant fish and bubbles was created by Two Sugar Babies, as were the darling cupcake toppers.

Color-coordinated candy and jumbo marshmallows were placed in candy jars with coordinating tags, and we used these fabulous new tilt bowls from Crate & Barrel for pearlized gumballs in blue and green.  I made blue jello “shots” using my votive candle holders (also dressed them up with a fish vinyl decal), and stuck a cupcake topper in them for some visual interest.

Darling fish cookies by Allyson Jane were lined up to look like a little “school of fish” and cake pops by Velvet Cream Bakery stood up in a white pot full of gumballs and looked like they were floating!

We thought we needed a creative party favor….you know, besides the candy!  So we filled up small bottles full of bubble bath, wrapped them with a custom label, and tied on a coordinating gift tag.  Darling….and useful!  The mod fish collection by WH Hostess is one of my favorites, and (although just added to the shop recently) is quickly becoming one of our most popular.  It’s perfect for a baby shower or kids birthday party!  You can see the complete collection in our shop.

Make sure to head back later today to view the DIY cake pop cake tutorial by Charynn of Two Sugar Babies.

September 20th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Flower Arranging with Friends

It’s always a pleasure when I get to work with Christi from P is for Party on a party….especially when it’s one of her parties!  When she approached me about helping her design party goods for her very own birthday party….a flower arranging birthday party….I knew we were going to have some fun!  The end result is nothing short of spectacular, and I am so pleased we were able to feature it in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

Read on for some serious eye candy, and all of the details as told by Christi, herself…..

For my birthday this year, I decided to celebrate with a close group of girlfriends.  I wanted the theme to be unique and one that people looked forward to.  I decided on a flower arranging party!  Many times, my husband will bring home flowers for me from the store and I haven’t the slightest idea how to arrange them. I know other ladies feel the same way! I asked my good friend, Elizabeth Munger, who happens to  be an amazing interior designer who often arranges stunning flowers for her clients, to come teach us simple steps and tricks.

Gray is such a popular color right now, looks fabulous with just about every other color out there.  I went with the color scheme of emerald green and gray and loved how everything turned out.  Kelly Lyden of The PartyDress and WH Hostess always does a phenomenal job with her designs.  I told her my color scheme and that I wanted to incorporate a chevron pattern and she ran with it.  Kelly designed all of the paper goods for the party, from the invitation to the food tent cards, to the favor tags and all of the signage.

After the flower arranging fun, we moved to my dining room where each girl was served champagne and had a small cake all to herself!  My favorite local bakery made individual two tiered cakes for my friends and I could not have been more pleased with how they turned out.  Kelly now offers a service where you can order fabric to match any of her designs!  I  ordered fabric in the gray and emerald green chevron print and had a friend turn them into napkins for the table.  The napkins really made the table pop!

I created a macaroni and cheese station with lots of toppings options.  Who doesn’t love comfort food with a creative flair?! The toppings included favorites such as sun dried tomatoes, chives, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, truffle oil, and many more!  A Skinnygirl Margarita is my drink of choice, so naturally, this was the signature drink I served.  Kelly created the cutest sign for the beverage area along with white straws with flags in all of the patterns we used throughout the party.

Desserts were served on my coffee table which was near the flower arranging area. Serving the sweets there brought people out of the kitchen and into the living room so we could begin.  On the dessert menu was cookies, meringue, small donuts and rice crispy treats.

Elizabeth did such a great job teaching us how to take store bought flowers and turn them into a beautiful arrangement that could last for days!  On the way out the door, the girls took home the arrangements they made along with one more sweet.  They had the choice to take home cake pops in strawberry or s’mores flavors. We had such fun with this unique theme and I am so happy I branched out and invited friends over for a fun night in!

Photography by Ellenzilla

 

September 14th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Tailgating

Football season is upon us, thus making this darling tailgating party from Fresh Chick Designs oh, so appropriate right now.  Featured in the new Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine, Rebecca and Shannon have a ton of cute ideas that could be adapted to any school or team colors.  Keep reading for all of the details, as told by these two fresh chicks….

The start of football season is always a reason to gather friends together for a little rah-rah party.  Ahhh…the good ole’ days of tailgating collegiate style!  Well, why not throw your very own tailgate party at home?  We have come up with ideas to set the play in motion: Pick a color from one of your favorite teams or simply make up a color scheme that you like!  We chose licorice red and chocolate brown which seemed appropriate with the start of fall and the fun-filled football season.

You don’t have to go overboard with team paraphernalia to throw great themed party.  We focused more on the tailgate theme with our printable party collection and played up the menu and sweets around a casual football element. Burlap fabric paired with a traditional gingham was used to dress the tables.  We “scored” 2 spring form cake pans and a candlestick at Goodwill that were easily transformed into a two-tiered party tray DIY project.  A great alternative to its pricier counterparts seen at a local retailer.  This was used to hold peanuts and cornbread muffins iced with honey-butter to resemble cupcakes.  Other items on the menu included chili with toppings, hot wings, and beer cheese with crackers.

We served up some super easy dessert recipes along with familiar finds such as Turtle Chex Mix and Twizzlers. To wash it all down? Nothing fancy here….ice cold brewsky and classic root beer beverages completed this fourth and down.

September 13th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Sunflower Soiree {Part II}

I hope you all enjoyed the decorations and food ideas in Part I of our Sunflower Soiree feature this morning.  I’m back with all delicious details from the desserts, which we were lucky enough to have featured on Amy Atlas last week!

The dessert table received many “oohs” and “ahhs” and is personally one of my all-time favorite tables to work on!  I wanted a fitted tablecloth for this table, something that resembled a cabana awning.  I sewed it myself in order to make it fit the table perfectly and even added a white pom pom trim on the hem.  Two wrought iron trellis’ anchored the table and held sunflower pomander balls.  A banner made out of our coordinating patterns was strung between the two to frame the table.

Allyson Jane created stunning, hand-iced sunflower cookies, as well as “6” and “0” cookies to go along with our birthday celebration.

The two-tiered cake with scalloped design held center court, and was dressed up with fondant flowers by Two Sugar Babies.  Cake pops by Flour & Iced sat atop mini cake stands that were decorated with gingham pom pom trip and polka dot ribbon, and mini chocolate cakes were topped with fondant flowers.  Color-coordinated candy was placed in glass jars and labeled with coordinating candy jar tags.

JP Creatibles decorated darling cookies that incorporated both the sunflower, and all of our coordinating patterns (swiss dot, sunflower grid and yellow chevron).  We sent guests home with a striped take out food box with a sunflower sticker on it full of sweets to enjoy.

September 13th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Sunflower Soiree {Part 1}

One of my favorite articles in the latest issue of TPD Magazine is the Sunflower Soiree.  With summer quickly vanishing and a lot to celebrate, my family gathered friends and family to celebrate the end of the season, an upcoming wedding and my mother’s 60th birthday in style with a “Sunflower Soiree”.  With crisp black and white patterns, mixed with a bold yellow chevron and sunflowers everywhere you could see, this party took on a festive vibe that we will never forget.
Guests received a black box full of chocolate-covered sunflower seeds and custom invitation from WH Hostess, tied with a gingham ribbon and sunflower as their invite to the party.  We decorated the patio and yard with small cocktail tables, dressed with tablecloths made from our custom fabric, and sunflower centerpieces in mini black urns.
A lemonade and iced tea bar took center stage, dressed in a white box pleat tablecloth trimmed in striped ribbon and pom pom trim. My parents love mixing the two to create “Arnold Palmers”, so it was the perfect addition to this summer party.  Drink dispensers held the lemonades and iced tea, and we had buckets of wine, beer and water bottles dressed up with coordinating labels.
A large sunflower centerpiece in a gorgeous, white urn stood in the middle of the table, and coordinating signage and food tent cards on all ofthe tables and bar helped brand the party.
We served a variety of bite-size appetizers, including individual taco dips, mini crab cakes, beef tenderloin crostini, shrimp cocktail, meatballs in a variety of sauces, and more.
Stay tuned this afternoon for the details on our delicious dessert table (as recently seen on Amy Atlas!).
August 22nd, 2011 |

Back-to-School Parties from Around the Web

With kids are starting back to school this week here in Chicago, it’s a great time to throw a party to kick off a new school year.  There has been some darling inspiration around the web and I just had to share it with all of you.  This first one was thrown by Just Call Me Martha.  Using free printables from Birds Party, she styled a crisp, classic dessert table – I just love the pop of red and apple green!

AndersRuff styled a vintage schoolhouse party….and oh, my…..these shots of children are just.darling!  Their back-to-school printables collection is in their shop and is perfect for dressing up those first brown bag lunches of the year.  Head over to see more pics on Hostess with the Mostess and on their blog.

Always one for thinking outside of the box, One Charming Party put together a full dessert table featuring all school supplies.  The pencil “cake” full of rubberbands sold me!  You can check out all of the creative food ideas and cute ways to package supplies for friends and teachers on their blog.

August 8th, 2011 |

Party Ideas: Sangria & Tapas Party

Sangria and tapas are two of my favorite things.  Mix them together and you have the key components for a fabulous summer party! Perfect for a cocktail party, Spanish tapas can range from bite-size finger foods to skewered delights. These small-plate dishes are perfect for a crowd and are meant to be shared.

Pottery Barn has a fabulous party plan for hosting a party….you can check it out here.

August 4th, 2011 |

Egypt-Inspired Photo Shoot

I am just drooling over this amazing Egypt-inspired photo shoot done for Rue Magazine.   I’m in love with the rich colors, and the mix of metals.  An amazing line-up of talent pulled this together: Jose Villa took the a-mazing photos, Cortnie of Canvas & Canopy styled the shoot, one of my favorite floral designers, La Partie Events did the arrangements, and the ladies at Be Inspired PR helped coordinate.

And who can resist a camel?!

July 19th, 2011 |

Ladies Game Night

I’m looking for an excuse to gather up my girlfriends for a “ladies night” and I’m thinking a preppy game night might just be the ticket. Pink and green, some stripes and polka dots, and a few yummy treats like popcorn cups and cupcakes….voila!  A fun night that everyone would love.

Images: games (eddieross.com), cupcake (jldesigns.com), pink drink bottles (brides.com), centerpiece (luralucille.blogspot.com), popcorn cups (hellonaomi.blogspot.com)

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