July 1st, 2010 |

Star-Studded Entrance

Holiday decorations are kept simple and sophisticated in my home, so this concept from Better Homes and Gardens is just perfect for me!  A red tin star (I just saw some at my local Home Goods) atop a boxwood wreath, embellished with a navy and white stripe ribbon – it’s the perfect combination of patriotic, preppy and that coastal-chic style that I love so much!

July 1st, 2010 |

Delicious Desserts for 4th of July

In my quest for finding a new, never-been-seen-before-at-the-family-bbq dessert, I came across these three recipes – and now I’m stumped!  What’s a girl to do?  They all look delicious and pretty (which always helps in my book!).  So, help me decide!  Which do you think looks the most appetizing?!

  1. Red, White and Blueberry Ice Cream Cake
  2. Red, White and Blue Parfaits
  3. White Balsamic Custard Tart with Fresh Berry Topping

Fresh Party Invitations from Minted

June 29th, 2010 |

Real Parties: Hazardous Teen

This party was sent to me by Pam at Party Starters.  She threw this party for her 13 year old son – and with boy themes and teenager themes so hard to come by – I knew I had to share it with all of you!  Pam did a great job of pulling together a dessert table with a specific color scheme, and a masculine feel!  Read on below for some tips and ideas from Pam.

When asked what type of party he wanted for his 13th birthday, my son said “I want lots of green and the Biohazard symbol”. SO, off I went into toxic waste land!
DECORATIONS:
I created the hazard symbols, the banner, door sign, soda & candy bar labels as well as the cupcake picks.  For the ceiling I used neon green poster boards (4 qty) and cut out the slime shape. Those were hung in layers from the ceiling to create the dripping wall. Koosh balls and more symbols were hung from the ceiling in between the poster boards with fishing line. On our front door and porch we use “caution” tape found at the local hardware store to decorate instead of streamers. I used 5 yards of neon green tulle to cover a wrinkled (on purpose) cream colored linen table cloth for texture and added color.
FOOD:
The cupcakes are white cake with light green butter cream frosting. I used vanilla pudding with a little green food coloring added and injected it into the top of each cupcake with a pastry bag.
I made chocolate cupcake pops and coated some in green colored white chocolate melts and the others in melted Peanutbutter baking chips. Those were displayed on a ring of styrofoam that was spray painted silver. I also made some cupcake bites dipped in the green white chocolate.
FAVORS:
Each guest received a barrel of “Toxic Waste” sour candy (found on Amazon), a Koosh ball (found at Target in the dollar spot) and a Hershey bar which was covered with a custom candy bar wrapper.
LINKS:
Custom Party Decorations: Party Starters
Toxic Waste Candy: Amazon
Inspired cakepop recipe: Bakerella
“Caution” Tape: Lowes
There were a bunch of boys at the party ranging in age from 10-17 years and everyone of them told me that they thought this party was “SO COOL”. That means a lot coming from boys of those ages. I am glad I could create a theme that was worthy of their attention. My son now wants to relocate all of the decorations to his room to redecorate.

June 28th, 2010 |

Fourth of July: Decoration Ideas

Looking for some last minute decoration ideas for your fourth of July bbq?  I fell in love with all three of these ideas……

First, turn your 3-tier serving piece into a 3-tier centerpiece!  Perfect for either your dinner table or a buffet table!  I love how they stacked the three different color flowers, it creates a sophisticated “patriotic” look!

Second, fill cylinder vases with red, white and blue gumballs and insert a collection of American flags.  This is a great idea for the kids table and would also be darling on a dessert table!

And lastly, the floral pomander balls…..this is one look that I just can’t get enough of lately!  Insert white and red carnations (a great use for these inexpensive flowers!) into a styrofoam ball, and then place on top of a vase, large candlestick or even on a cake plate!  They look darling clustered together, too.

Images: 3-tier arrangement (myhomeideas.com), candy centerpiece (sorry – I can’t find the source!), carnation pomander balls (countryliving.com)

June 25th, 2010 |

Real Parties: Cupcakes & Cartwheels

Sharnel of Sharnel Dollar Designs sent me this darling birthday party she did recently for an 11 year-old named, Camilla.

A beautiful color palette of turquoise and chocolate brown, a decedent chocolate dessert table styled to perfection, and a lot of happy 11 year olds decorating cupcakes!  The perfect party for older children, and great ideas to inspire you for birthday parties and baby showers!

Head on over to Sharnel’s blog, My Life My Loves for more of the party details!

June 24th, 2010 |

Fourth of July: Free Printables!

July is one of my favorite months of the year!  It is {normally} perfect, summer weather in Chicago, the fourth of July, and my birthday!  So in celebration of this fabulous month, I decided a free printable was in order!  Here are two free printables for your fourth of July celebration: cupcake toppers and food tent cards.  *See below for instructions*

.

Instructions: click on the images above to download.  For the cupcake toppers, you will need to cut them into strips, and then use a 2″ circle hole punch to cut them out, and attach them to white lollipop sticks with hot glue or tape.  Simply cut out the food tent cards and write your food name (or you could use them as placecards on your table!) in the star with white or silver pen, and fold in half.

Enjoy!  I hope everyone has a festive fourth of July!

June 23rd, 2010 |

Giveaway: The Celebration Shoppe Winner!

June 23rd, 2010 |

The Summer of the Ice Pop

 

Ice pops are all the rage this summer….and they are definitely the key to your next successful party!  They are fun, creative and oh, so pretty to look at!  You can get totally creative in how you display them, which makes them the perfect addition to your next dessert table.

You can use traditional ice pop molds, or you can get creative….use decorative ice cube trays, plastic cups, ice cube stir molds, or tiny tart pans.  Fill them with juice, ice cream, or sorbet.  Here are a few recipes that have me drooling…..

Watermelon, lemonade and blueberry ice pop, mandarin orange cream pop, banana split pops, pomegranate apple popsvanilla ice pop, rhubarb and raspberry yogurt pops, blackberry ice pops, and lemon-blueberry twist pops.

 

The book, Pops!, is a great resource with over 100 recipes perfect for your next birthday party, bbq or cocktail party.  Here are some of the molds they use to make their festive ice pops:

Once you have made your pops, get creative with how you display them!  Stick them into half a watermelon, or a bucket of ice, or swirl them into a glass of prosecco for a lovely afternoon cocktail!  Here are a couple more recipes: ice pop coolers, margarita pops, red, white and blue pops (perfect for the 4th of July!), and honeydew melon pops.


Delicious and gorgeous, right?!  So tell me…..what’s your favorite flavor and what type of creative mold do you use?

 

June 22nd, 2010 |

Lovely Lemonade

I often get asked for non-alcoholic drink ideas for kids parties…..not just for the kids, but to give the adults something festive to drink (without the alcohol!)  Flavored lemonade is a great way to go!  Better Homes and Gardens has some great recipes this month….three of my new favorites are watermelon lemonade, key lime lemonade, and raspberry lemonade.

June 21st, 2010 |

Bumble Bee Birthday Bash

I’m sharing the latest party from WH Hostess over on Project Nursery today, and had to share all of the beautiful details with you!

Our charming invitation was the perfect inspiration for the party decorations and color palette.  Mackenzie’s mom really wanted to stay away from the typical black and yellow bee party, so this bright color palette was perfect!  I really like the modern honeycomb pattern mixed with traditional flowers, and of course, our darling little bee!

The party was an afternoon picnic, held in the family’s backyard.  Decorations included lots of yellow balloons, and a darling banner over the food table.  The centerpieces were to die for!  I used yellow milk glass vases (IKEA for $4.99!) and topped them with gerber daisy pomander balls.  A little polka dot ribbon belt was a last minute addition and tied together our theme beautifully!

One of my favorite details of this party was the juice bar!  We set up a “bar” with plastic cups, green straws dressed up with our bumble bee image, and we used juice bottles filled with different juices – orange, apple, and cran-apple juice.  I love these bottles (and not just for kids parties!) because they look consistant on a table together, and have a cork in the top (which keeps the bugs out of the bottles when you are entertaining outside!).

No party would be complete without a dessert table, right?!  I sat down with both the hostess and Mackenzie, the 3 year old birthday girl, to plan out the sweet treats for this table…..our birthday girl had QUITE the opinion on what were her favorite sweets!  Delicious cupcakes from the local bakery were topped with bumble bee cupcake toppers from WH Hostess.  We had a plate full of sugar cookies that we embellished with custom fondant toppers from Two Sugar Babies (she made them to specifically coordinate with our bumble bee invitation!), and  jars of candy!  Salt water taffy (in both pink and orange), lemon candy sticks, green apple sours, and little yellow and white stripe candy pillows were displayed in a combination of white footed bowls, glass apothecary jars, and footed candy dishes.  All of the jars and dishes were dressed up with bumble bee labels.  Here’s a closer view of our treats:

The party was a huge success and the little guests were absolutely thrilled with all of the cute details….especially the party favors!  Since this was a “picnic”, I found mini wood picnic baskets (in the dollar section at Michael’s) and we filled them up with bags of candy, and topped them with a polka dot bow and gift tag that said “thanks for coming to my party!”  The kids also brought home a darling tin of bubbles (dressed up with a custom label and pipe-cleaner wand), which also served as an activity during the party.

To view more parties by WH Hostess, click here.  Visit WH Hostess for all of your party planning needs!

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