bugs & butterfly birthday cake

For my most recent post with Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com, I created an easy to decorate bugs & butterfly birthday cake, bumble bee cookies and a colorful favor idea that will have all your guests buzzing!

Hop over to Snackpicks for all the how to details, tips on applying your decorations and lots of photos!

And hop over to my shoppe to see more of my bugs & butterflies printable birthday party collection!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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marshmallow robot treats

These are just adorable and perfect for a robot party! Dawn of Not Just A Mommy picked up our Build Your Own Robot activity cards for her Robot Valentine’s Party so I just had to see what she had going on over there. And when I saw these I immediately asked if I could share her creation with all of you!

Here are the candies Dawn collected to bring her marshmallow creation to life. Just assemble with dots of icing, allow them to dry and you have a fun treat and/or activity for your robot party. Hop over to see what else Dawn created for the fun filled day!

And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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real parties: 30th birthday

My birthday is just a week away… let’s just say 29 plus a few years {wink}. So when Amy of This HeArt of Mine sent her and her husband’s dual DIY 30th birthday party over, I just had to share. She did such a fabulous job!

Starting with the DIY invitations (see all the how-to and resources), Amy used glassine bags and confetti. I love a bright invitation to get guests excited. How could someone decline this invite?!

Next she made some lovely decorations, like this $2 cupcake stand. Very versatile and did you catch… only $2!

Plus a smart branch and glass globe centerpiece (get the how-to).

Now on to all the yummy food Amy prepared!

Pretty Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes & Ganache and Vanilla Cupcakes & Vanilla Frosting with chocolate transfer hearts.

 A bright Cranberry-Limeade party drink.

Fabulous appetizers including  Pastry Wrapped Creamy Chicken SquaresParty Crock Pot Cheese Dip, and Mustard Vegetable Dip. It all looks so yummy!

And what is a party without favors?! Amy sent all her guests home with fudge packaged in clear cups wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with pretty little personalized tags she made herself in Word.

{Amy – you did such a lovely job on the entire affair! Thanks so much for sharing!}

By the way, if you’ve hosted something fabulous, send us a note to customercare@celebrationshoppe.com with the subject line “Get Featured” and we might share your creativity! As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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new dinosaur party printables

My son’s dino-ROAR dinosaur birthday party was a year-and-a-half ago and continues to be a customer favorite (see full collection, can also purchase individual items a la carte), so I decided to create a few more printable items and give you the ability to personalize some that already exist! Starting Monday you can purchase personalized dinosaur cupcake toppers (I mean brachiosaurus cupcakes are just too cute!),

personalized dinosaur beverage wrappers, cello toppers, and

this fun dinosaur “Drinkasaurus” party mats! A perfect complement for my carnivore, herbivore and sweetivore mats. (These still make me smile.)

There are many more personalized printables to come! If there is a collection you’re interested in and you don’t see personalization yet, just shoot us an e-mail at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com and we may be able to speed up the process.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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wagon wheel cookies

Simple, incredibly yummy, only two ingredients and no baking cookies. You can’t beat a recipe like that! Keebler Fudge Stripes + Strawberry Marshmallows = Wagon Wheel Cookies perfect for any cowgirl hoedown and our newest party collection! Just heat a marshmallow in the microwave for seven seconds (the middle will get hot, but the marshmallow skin will still be in tack allowing you to pick it up with your hand) and then sandwich between two cookies. The chocolate in the cookies will melt slightly holding the sandwich together.

By the way, you likely recognize the light cookie as Keebler Fudge Stripes, but what about that dark one… ? That is the new, and extraordinary… oh my it’s good, Dark Chocolate Fudge Stripe.

Kellogg’s sent me a box of goodies a few weeks ago, one of the many perks of being a Snackpicks.com blogger, and these were my very favorite. As a matter of fact, I’m typically really good at portion control. One cookie, one piece of candy, one whatever and I’m content. But with these, I ate four the first time I opened the package and I never do that! {guilty, not regretful, grin}

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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real parties: Alex turns 7!

This post is a really long time coming. {smirk} And in a few minutes you’ll know why it took me so long to write.

My oldest turned 7 with a robot themed birthday party in September (and my youngest turned 5 in June and I still need to share his wonderful day too!). I had it all planned. He was so excited. I was excited. I even had everything crafted early and all the details were taken care of. It was going to be wonderful. But then… there was a slight chance of rain reported on the morning news… and we had invited 19 kids for an outdoor party! I know… I said I would never do that and now I promise I’ll never do it again.

Long story short, the backyard was all decorated. The sky was blue and everything was lovely. The dessert table centerpiece was a fabulous DIY cake I made just for him, complete with robots around the edges and adorning the top… and then it hit. I walked inside to grab my camera and the wind picked up. It toppled the background for the dessert table and my pretty cake tumbled to the deck. I got there just in time to see it fall. As you can imagine, I was slightly stunned. I just stood there staring at it. I think my husband thought I was going to faint… or scream. I thought about it, but the first guests had just arrived and I had to pull it together so we scooped up the cake and replaced it with cupcakes. Thank goodness I made cupcakes!

But that wasn’t the end of it… the slight chance of rain started and the kids were running around the yard giggling. Then giggles turned into screams. See, my youngest slipped on the wet grass and fell into his brother with such force that there was an actual “crack!” sound. He had a raised goose egg an inch off his forehead while my oldest, the birthday boy, had a black eye. (If my girlfriend who happens to be a nurse wasn’t present I would have politely asked everyone to leave while I ran him to the emergency room. It looked that bad.)

Then… oh yes, there is more… the drizzle turned into a monsoon. My lovely guests grabbed all that they could and we took it indoors. My house isn’t tiny, but it certainly isn’t large enough for 19 children and 12 or so parents. Needless to say, it was crowded. The kids didn’t seem to mind, but it was very loud.

In the end, the wounds healed, I have very few pictures (and none of his cake that took a nosedive off the table… it still makes me sad), and my son and his friends had a blast. One child even told his mom it was the best party ever. I’m confident that was because the kids outnumbered the adults and I do believe they took over for a few minutes just before the cupcakes were served. {wink}

All this said, there were still some wonderful party features I want to share with you! As the kiddos entered the party they all geared up with their lab badges (which could also be great as placecards) with their names and the robot profession Alex picked out for each of them (he was so cute; he actually thought about each of their personalities and made up a few titles).

For decor, I raided my hubby’s workshop stash of nuts, bolts, washers, wire, etc. I used the items I found in various ways. One super simple idea was to use large nuts as placecard and dessert tag holders on the dessert table.

And Alex was thrilled because he loves to build and take electronic things apart. We sat on the floor for an entire afternoon making tin can robots to adorn his dessert table. The big one in the back is actually a small trash can I found at Home Goods for $5. I originally wanted the kids to be able to make these as their crafts, but I couldn’t find a way for them to adhere the metal pieces that wasn’t a bit dangerous (I used hot glue) so we settled for them being decoration.

The dessert table was full of fun treats all with robot related names

or embellished with robot designs.

And we still had fun activities for the kiddos using candies. Needless to say I didn’t get any complaints. {wink}

We made these fun “Build Your Own Robot” mats and provided the kiddos with goodies and Rice Krispie rectangles on lollipop sticks. I outlined all the candy and how to details in my robot Rice Krispies activity post.

And there were favors including these personalized cello toppers (available in the shoppe along with all the other decor),

and bags filled with candies, cookies and these awesome hand tatoos from Perpetual Kid.

And then of course there were the photo props. The gear glasses were my favorite.

Although I didn’t get great pics of all of his friends, we did get a few of my boys in their robot shirts before the party started. (Both shirts monogrammed by Sew Jewell and available in her shoppe.)

And a few of him and his friends (the storm left it dark in my house on top of everything else) playing BeyBlades, the hottest gift of the day.

It was by no means the perfect party, but sometimes perfect isn’t always important. Happy kiddos running amuck and my son hugging me to say thank you more than made up for all the missed photographs and little feet all over the house. {smile}

My robot collection (including more items than what’s seen here) is now available in the shoppe. And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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robot party… still processing

As you know, I hosted my son’s Robot birthday party this weekend. Well, let me tell you that it didn’t go quite as I had planned. I can laugh about it now, but in the moment… WOW. I had it all together. It was colorful. It was fun. I had activities. We had the backyard decorated and the new tree house ready. I was excited. My sons were excited. Then the storm hit. Yep. A big one with thunder and lightening and LOTS of wind. Oh yeah.

There is much to tell and many pics to show (thank goodness I captured some before the monsoon), but for now I’m still processing…

However, I will tell you that the kids had an absolute blast. The volume level in my house could attest to that fact. I even had one mom, an animated friend of mine, tell me her son claimed it was the best birthday party ever. It just reaffirms that even when things don’t go as planned, if the little people have fun and your child comes away smiling, then the party was a success.

Much more about the things that didn’t turn out right and about all the things that did. For now, Happy Wednesday!

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pirate treasure map cookies

I recently hosted a pirate party for my youngest son’s fifth birthday. It was so much fun and I have tons of DIY, along with a new pirate party printables collection (available in the shoppe soon), that I can’t wait to share with you over the next few weeks. To start off I thought I would share a super simple cookie idea.

I baked round gingerbread cookies (if you’re in a hurry pick up a bag of Kellogg’s Shortbread Cookies or sugar cookies from the bakery), and flooded them with white icing. It’s actually much easier than it sounds. Here are some tips on flooding from my contributor at Sweet Sugar Belle.

I just let the icing dry overnight and then took a black food coloring pen (I picked mine up in a pack of five colors at JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores) and drew on an X and dash marks. Just make sure you don’t press down too hard on the icing and remember to make each one a bit different. Oh, and if you want them to be dairy free, and I did of course, use Pillsbury white icing and Pillsbury gingerbread cookie dough.

I have to tell you, these were the first things to disappear off my dessert table! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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off to a shoot this morning

Good morning everyone! The team is off to a beautiful farm this morning to shoot two new fall collections. And although I can’t share the details just yet, I thought I would leave you with a shot of my youngest son’s recent pirate birthday.

He loves Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates and insisted that his photo prop say “Yo Ho, Let’s Go!” (Sorry moms. This one won’t be in the shoppe with the other photo props since this phrase is TM by Disney. But there will be several other fun ones!) And I thought it very appropriate for us this morning as we pack up the studio and head out.

Much more to come on his pirate party, the recent Splash Bash & Deep Blue Sea shoot I shared a peek of yesterday and everything we’re doing today.

Happy Tuesday!

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