science birthday party crafts

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In mid-September I held my oldest son’s science birthday party (part I, part II, feature in Columbus Parent Magazine) and mentioned that I would share a few of the crafts: paper mache books for the book shelves on the dessert table, hand scanner for entry to our top secret lab and “Alex’s Lab This Way” sign.

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For the paper mache books, I simply purchased the books from the craft store, painted them with craft paint (absorbs quickly), stenciled on “Biology,” “Chemistry,” and “Astronomy” and then sealed them with a spray (also available at the craft store). The books actually open and can be used for storage so they ended up being little gifts for my son after the party and he uses them to store his collections… aka dried leaves, rocks, bugs (in mini specimen jars!). 

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The second craft was my son’s favorite. He had been planning a hand scanner for his lab in the basement so I thought it only appropriate to make one for his party. Mine wasn’t functional of course (he plans on his actually working and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it actually does), but it was fun. First I painted the board white and allowed it to dry. Next I painted his hand (yes, that is my baby’s little hand) and we stamped it in the middle of the sign. And finally I stenciled on the letters (cut out using a Cricut).

Unfortunately I didn’t get a great shot of the “Alex’s Lab This Way” sign that pointed everyone to the lab entrance, but it was accomplished in much the same way, paint and stencils.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone and stop back next week to see our new BELIEVE collection and a very fun and easy DIY Christmas advent calendar idea.

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sneak peek at BELIEVE

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Those who were around last year might recall the BELIEVE cupcake picks and wrappers that we gave away in December. Well this new collection is an extension of that design and I couldn’t be more proud of how beautiful it turned out. I received such sweet notes from so many of you last year, because of course BELIEVE doesn’t just have to refer to believing in Santa. It can be more profound. Believing in yourself, believing in His grace.

With the season of giving upon us, I urge all of us to reach out and do something kind, no matter how small, for those around us. A can of food, an outgrown coat, monetary donations if you have it. No matter the gift, give with your heart and BELIEVE!

Much more to come on this collection shortly!

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three days only!

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Mod Candy Cane is in the shoppe and the printable collection is 40% the original price for three days only (ends Wednesday at midnight)! Plus, these fabulous cookies are also on sale for the next few days! Place your order now and they’ll arrive at your door one to two business days before your event. You can have them personalized with Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah (we could remove the red stripe background) or something else of your choosing, including your guest’s names!

As a reminder, Sweet Tooth Cottage cookies are baked (without preservatives) just prior to shipping, wrapped individually and heat sealed in 4″ cellos, perfect for our cello toppers.

Make your plans now, and don’t forget about those winter birthdays and baby showers!

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introducing mod candy cane

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The Mod Candy Cane collection is the first of two Christmas/Winter collections that you’ll be able to find in The Celebration Shoppe this season. This collection offers a whimsy, yet sophisticated, take on the candy cane. I’m still very much in love with the luxury of the red and Tiffany blue palette. Isn’t it lovely!

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Once the invitations are mailed (already in the shoppe waiting to be customized), start planning a fabulous “Sweet Spot” on your table for all the fabulous goodies you’re going to share. 

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Like Peppermint Bark,

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Peppermint Sandwich Cookies (super easy DIY way to pull these off: buy tea cookies from the bakery, fill them with vanilla icing and roll the edges in crushed peppermint or sprinkles… YUM!),

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 Soft Peppermint,

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Peppermint sprinkled cupcakes (picks come with Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a full sheet of snowflakes; shown with foam adhesive square for 3-D effect), and

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fabulous snowflake and Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday (your choice) butter cookies from our partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage and available with this collection!

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 Here’s a closer look at the lovely and melt in your mouth cutout snowflake and whimsy frame, which you can personalize if you like (see below).

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And don’t forget that your guests might want to “Warm up” with a little hot chocolate or maybe even a toddy! You can be preppared with soft peppermint sticks for stirring and peppermint schnapps for extra warmth. {wink}

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And a personalized cookie as a placecard or with your guest’s mug could be an adorable touch, don’t you think!

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If you’re guest’s prefer the sparkle over the warmth, then label their stems to help them keep track with our beverage markers, and

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make sure you have plenty of bottled water on hand too. (These are beautiful as vase and votive wrappers too!)

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And you can’t let your guest’s go home empty handed, so make sure you pack up some goodies in these adorable take-out boxes (available at Dollar Tree) with our favor tags and red grosgrain ribbon, or

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send them home with prepackaged goodies in our cello toppers that say “Have a sweet day!” (Our partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage ships our cookies in heat sealed cello bags–for freshness as they have no preservatives–that are the perfect fit for our cello topper printables. All you’ll need to do is print and attach. And remember, shipping is included in our Sweet Tooth Cottage pricing as they ship directly from the bakery and separate from the rest of your order. E-mail us at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com with any quesitons.)

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Here’s a look at how beautiful your table can be with a little DIY inginuity. Our “Sweet Spot” sign is attached to a small white dowel wrapped in red ribbon for that candy cane effect. Much less sticky than the real thing. And our cake plate centerpiece is made of large plastic snowflake ornaments stacked on top of one another and balanced on a square white cake plate that was flipped on its end. In the top shot you see that we used the bottom tier for our cookie rounds (printed sugar paper with the same designs as our cupcake rounds). I also used those same large snowflake ornaments under and on several of the other plates on the table to break up the solid white tablecloth and hung them from the ceiling on clear fishing line to give the table height.

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Last in the line-up, but the first thing to greet your guests is our “Welcome” sign. It’s 8×10 and can either be trimmed out as we have done (hung with a beverage wrapper) or matted in a white frame. Or even hung over a beautiful white wreath on the front door.

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This collection will be in the shoppe on Monday, November 15 (new dates!) and then the printable collection will be 40% off through Wednesday, November 17! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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new collection tomorrow!

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We wrapped up the photo shoot for our new Mod Candy Cane collection over the weekend and I was really hoping to be able to share the entire collection with you this morning, but alas photo editing work can’t be rushed. So I’m hoping this will be enough to tempt you to return tomorrow for a look at the entire collection and some creative DIY ideas on how to style your own “sweet spot” dessert table that won’t break your holiday budget! Oh, and did I mention the printable collection will be 40% off through Saturday! {wink}

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Okay, one more image… I just couldn’t resist! Happy Monday everyone!

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a sweet partnership

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It is such an exciting week around here. First being honored by the Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers editors and now announcing that The Celebration Shoppe will be partnering with a fabulous cookie company, Sweet Tooth Cottage, to expand my custom invitations and creative party decor collections to include exclusive custom cookies.

If imagination had a flavor it would be the delicious buttery taste of Sweet Tooth Cottage’s whimsically hand-frosted butter cookies. They are always prepared fresh, artfully decorated, beautifully boxed and prepared with only the highest quality and freshest possible ingredients, without preservatives.

We’ll offer cutout cookies and printed sugar paper cookie rounds for each of my current 56 collections, as well as all of my new collections.

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Right now you can purchase cookies from our On the Farm (chickens, pigs, cows, sheep and barns), Science (bubbling beakers and periodic symbols) and Harvest (scarecrows and pumpkins; 10% off through last day, Nov. 16, for Thanksgiving orders) collections. With Princess (sparkling crowns and castles) and our new Mod Candy Cane (glistening snowflakes and Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays) coming next week. If you have an upcoming event and the collection you’ve chosen is not yet on this list, contact us at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com and we’ll do our best to help.

In addition to the details you’ll find under each product listing in the shoppe, we’ve tried to anticipate and answer your questions below and on our About Us page.

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Custom cutout and printed sugar paper cookies – Each box contains 14 cookies, approximately 1.75 ounces and a minimum of 3″x3″ each (sizes vary based on design). All cookies are individually packaged and heat sealed in 4″ wide cellos, perfect size for The Celebration Shoppe cello topper printables, to ensure freshness. Cookies can be refrigerated or frozen to extend freshness.

Cookie ingredients:Confectioners Sugar, Butter, Flour, Sugar, Egg, Cream, Baking Powder, Extracts (including almond), Salt and Water. Colored icings may contain one or more of the following U.S. Certified Colors (Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 6, Blue 1, & Blue 2) or (Titanium Dioxide), Modified Corn Starch, Vegetable Gum, Citric Acid, and less than 1/10 of 1% Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (as Preservatives).

Edible Sugar Paper Print Ingredients: Water, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids, Cellulose, Sorbitol, Glycerine, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Arbic Gum, Polysorbate 80, Vanilla, Titanium Dioxide and Citric Acid. May include the following U.S. Certified Colors (Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1, E102, E110, E122, E129, E133).

Edible printed sugar paper prints – Prints are 2.13″ circles, 12 per page, 2 pages per package, 24 circles total, already pre-cut for easy application. Prints are packaged in FDA approved resealable bags and should be kept in the sealed air-tight plastic bag that they arrive in until use and should be stored at room temperature. Cookies or cupcakes can be frosted using any white icing, homemade or commercial. Caution! A very wet whipped-cream icing can cause colors to fade if stored in the refrigerator. Carefully remove edible image prints from the backing paper and apply to cookies or cupcakes before icing dries. After edible prints have been applied to cookies or cupcakes you may embellish as desired (e.g., edges) using colored or white icings, sprinkles, etc.

Edible Printed Sugar Paper Print Ingredients: Water, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids, Cellulose, Sorbitol, Glycerine, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Arbic Gum, Polysorbate 80, Vanilla, Titanium Dioxide and Citric Acid. May include the following U.S. Certified Colors (Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1, E102, E110, E122, E129, E133).

Food allergies- so excited that our edible sugar paper prints can be the perfect solution for my customers with most food allergies. Bake your own cookies and top them with our printed sugar paper rounds, already pre-cut for easy application!

Personalization – Personalization is available on one cutout cookies style per collection. See individual product listings for details and include your personalization, up to 10 characters for most cookies, in the “special instructions” at checkout.

Shipping – Our cookie price includes shipping since your cookies will be shipped directly from Sweet Tooth Cottage to ensure freshness. For instance, if you only purchase cookies you will not be charged additional shipping at checkout. The price is all inclusive when shipped UPS ground within the Continental U.S. (NOTE: As our cookies are baked upon order without preservatives, please allow up to three business days for baking, icing and packaging. We’ve provided a UPS zone map on our shipping page so you determine your cookie order’s time in transit from Ohio. When calculating, locate your state to determine number of days in transit and then add three business days for baking. Please e-mail us at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com if you need to upgrade to a faster shipping method.)

Packaging

Cookies- All cookies are individually wrapped and heat sealed in 4″ cello bags (to minimize breakage and to ensure freshness), placed on cardboard dividers and secured to the board with an adhesive dot. These are butter cookies, softer and less dense than sugar cookies, please be careful when unpackaging them.

Outer box - The outer box will carry both the Sweet Tooth Cottage name and The Celebration Shoppe name to avoid confusion for our customers.

Questions – If you have any additional questions please contact us via e-mail at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com and we’ll be happy to help.

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Join us early next week for all the details from our new Mod Candy Cane plus some super easy DIY tips on how to sparkle up your holiday table. Happy Friday everyone!

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press: honored as Martha Stewart Dreamer Into Doer

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I’m beyond thrilled today to announce that I’ve been selected as a Martha Stewart Dreamer Into Doer. I have such an appreciation for the creative talents of the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia editors, crafters, stylists and producers, making this honor so very humbling. The beautiful and clever ideas that they publish almost daily are an inspiration to all who love to entertain, bake, cook, craft and simply keep a lovely home.

I’m so very flattered to be chosen by the editors! You can read all about how my company came to be, how I try to balance my company and my family, where I get my inspriration from, and more in my full interview with Caitlin Losey, the Martha Stewart Dreamer Into Doer editor.

I’ll also be attending a Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers event in mid-January where we’ll have the opportunity to discuss how to grow and nurture our businesses, meet editors, attend a Martha Stewart taping and even meet the lady herself! This opportunity has left me speechless. Thank you to all of you who have supported me, encouraged me and cheered me on. You mean more to me than you could know!

And for those of you not familiar with Dreamers Into Doers, it’s a community of more than 6,800 talented and creative women who are turning their dreams into careers. So if you’re dreaming, or already doing, there is a place for you in this community where we support and mentor each other. Please come join us!

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sneak peek: mod candy cane

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This is my favorite time of year, celebration after celebration! Now that Halloween is almost here it’s time to start pulling out the new Christmas collections! My modern twist on the candy cane has been on the inspiration board for months now and can be perfect for a cocktail party, a family open house, a whimsy kid cookie decorating party and even a winter birthday or baby shower (the cupcake picks come with a sheet of Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and a sheet of solid snowflakes)!

I’m so excited to say that the invitation is already available in the shoppe as of this morning! And with the photo shoot for the entire collection including the printables scheduled for next Thursday, November 4, the rest won’t be far behind!

This storyboard only shows you snippets of what mod candy cane will offer: cupcake picks, cupcake wrappers, dessert table tags, whimsy dessert table beverage mat, cello toppers, favor tags, welcome door sign, beverage wrappers and so much more! I can’t wait to share it all with you! Join us on facebook and twitter for regular updates and a few sneak peeks of the photo shoot along the way!

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allergy free Halloween treats

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Each year we get together with all of our neighbors and I host our annual Halloween block party. The premise is that everyone brings their favorite Halloween or fall treat and we all reminisce about the summer and tell any plans for the upcoming winter (besides hibernation of course!).

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This year I used my Candy Corn collection and gave it a little lighter twist from how I styled it in August for the shoppe.

And since I couldn’t control the desserts, or their ingredients, I made mostly dairy and nut free goodies. As many of you know my youngest has severe food allergies and I can’t stand for him to feel left out! There is nothing worse than that little face looking at me with sad eyes and asking me “Mommy, is that my kind?” His “kind” meaning made with soy milk or vegan butter. Of course unless I made it myself the answer is typically “I’m so sorry baby…” And any mother with a child who suffers from food allergies can attest that it breaks your heart!

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All of my desserts that night were inspired by the yummy candy corn and the first on my list was a cupcake… imagine that! By the way, Brach’s candy corn has milk in it, but the Kroger brand is dairy free (has egg though)!

So using a Duncan Hines Butter cake mix and Smart Balance Light vegan butter (be careful that you get the light; the others have dairy in them) I whipped up these cupcakes. My only advice on the butter is to use a little less than the recipe calls for because it has a very buttery taste.

And if your little one also has an egg allergy, which my little guy did for the first three years of his life, try making your cupcakes out of a brownie mix instead. Just make according to the recipe and fill your cupcake liners higher than normal. I would also suggest that you either use the tin/silver liners or you use cupcake wrappers, like we create for our collections, to hide the wrapper as brownies have oil in them and will discolor your wrappers.

For the icing I simply used Pillsbury Cream Cheese icing and tinted it using gel food coloring (liquid food coloring  thins your icing). Using resealable bags with a slit corner (for easy cleanup) I just piped one layer at a time. It was as simple as that!

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Next I made rice krispie treats, a dessert every kid… and let’s face it, every adult loves! These were gone in a flash! I used the normal ingredients, but in the place of butter I used Smart Balance Light vegan butter again.

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  1. While the treats are still warm mold them into triangles and insert lollipop sticks. Do this before you ice them or your could crack your icing, plus you want to form the treat back around the stick so that there aren’t too many pockets of air. 
  2. Gently push down, don’t crush the cereal, on the top of your treats. You’ll want a flat surface, or as flat as you can get it, for icing.
  3. Using a #7 tip, a connector and a resealable bag, outline your treats with white icing, leaving no gaps or your icing will run.
  4. Melt a small bowl of white, yellow and orange icing (one at a time) in eight second intervals. Carefully spoon the icing into the sections and pull icing to the corners with a toothpick. You want your icing warm, but not too hot and soupy or it will remelt your marshmallows. 
  5. Allow treats to dry completely before inserting them into cello bags.

I also served dairy free licorice, candy corn inspired pretzels sticks (made with tinted “real” milk chocolate so I’ll share those in a separate post) and my little guy’s favorite, gummy worms. My oldest will eat anything sweet so I knew he was covered! {wink}

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As for decorations, instead of using my cupcake picks in the actual cupcakes, I hung them from tree branches to create a dramatic and tall centerpiece (you all know how much I love height on a table!).

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And filled the glass apothecary jar, turned vase, with what else… candy corn!  You’ll notice that candy corn was also the fillers for the rice krispie treat bowl and the pretzel jar. Inexpensive and bright, just my style!

I can’t let you go without pointing out the crepe trim on the cake plate (shown in the first and third images). I just made tiny folds back and forth to give it a ruffled look and then attached it to my square cake plate with just a drop of hot glue here and there. It looked lovely, only took minutes and came right off with a light tug.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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free Halloween printable!

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 I’m very excited to announce that I’m giving away a little Halloween fun today!

My sinister sister printables collection offers four face choices (smiling & snarling), two hat choices and two cupcake wrappers. I personally love these and hope you will too by allowing them to grace your dessert tables, school functions or just be part of some family fun!  (By the way, I attached the hats with a small foam adhesive square for a little 3-D effect!)

If you think these are fun I would love for you to leave me a comment, join me on facebook and/or twitter! I’ve got much more holiday inspiration planned and even a few freebies along the way and I don’t want you to miss out! Now, download your free printable and since nothing lasts forever, go tell everyone! These girls go back into the shoppe Monday, November 1, for next year! And if you get the chance to use them, please send me photos. I would love to see your creativity and may even feature a few here! 

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Plus, the entire Candy Corn Halloween printable collection is 50% off through Halloween! Happy Friday everyone!

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