ready, set, go! cakes

I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to the development of new birthday party themes and in doing so I browse the web for inspiration. I’m not saying that we’re going to develop a theme for you race fans out there… just yet anyway… but I thought you would still enjoy a little sweet inspiration. Here are my favorite race car cakes and cupcakes.

I love that this one from LynnInTokyo because it cuts out significant fondant work by using toys. (I just suggest washing them well before setting them on your cake. Brand new doesn’t mean clean!)

monster-truck-race-cake

This one from Treasures and Tiaras uses such wonderful colors. The red, black and white combo cupcakes make a great centerpiece.

red-race-car-cupcakes

And last, but not least, I really liked that this one from Ratutek used cupcakes to make a track. Although the cars are fondant, the grass is easily accomplished with the right icing tip and the track is just black and white icing.

race-track-cupcakes

Happy baking!

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mad hatter tea party

mad-hatter-tea-party-cups

I won’t lie to you, this Alice in Wonderland mad hatter tea party took some serious effort by Donna at Party Wishes, but I think you’ll agree that the outcome was well worth it.

mad-hatter-tea-party-table

She had her hands full from making the croquet game complete with 4′ tall croquet wickets (out of 1/4″ plywood, painted both sides, supported by 1×1″ pieces of wood with rebar drilled into the bottoms), stuffed flamingo covered mallets and hedgehog balls (4″ styrofoam balls covered in paper and Mod Podge) to hand painting massive tea cups (from the L.A. Flower Mart) to setting a bright and beautiful table.

So creative and so well executed.

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back to school centerpiece

back-to-school-centerpiece

Whether you’re planning a back to school bash, a teacher’s lunch or you just want to make their first day of school breakfast special, this centerpiece idea from Little Ant Design is really adorable… and quite economical! She used pencils (molded around can food items), placemat size chalkboards, rulers, composition notebooks, apples and flash cards to pull off the theme and she did a beautiful job. I also love the idea of stenciling on glass vases with chalkboard paint. Very smart! {wink}

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sip and sea shower

sip-n-sea-baby-shower

Isn’t this simply beautiful?! Chris from Celebrations At Home has outdone herself. I love the nautical theme. And not just that, what a fun idea for a second child. This way you get to show off the little one! {wink}

Visit her original post for more pictures and all the wonderful details, but here are a few of my favorites:

The drink station (above). Here’s what Chris had to say ” Served at the drink station was an ‘Ocean Breeze’ cocktail, and Jones blue colored berry lemonade. Also available were ‘lifesavers’ candies. The stemware held drink charms fashioned from nautical themed buttons. To hang above the bar as a focal point, I used a message board and applied several different nautical maps in a mosaic form, then just tucked in a few photos of the new baby and family.”

sip-n-sea-baby-shower-2

Entry way - what a great way to welcome your guests at the door, a message on a lifesaver

Party decor - I love the personal touches, like the “N” for the little one’s name and the plush toys that mom can share with him later

Nautical inspired table – here you see a fun way to serve snacks, but make sure and visit Chris because she set a beautiful table complete with maps at each place setting

Handmade invitation – for those of you who are crafty, Chris even gives details on how to make this fun (likely hand delivered) invitation

Great job Chris!

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bonjour bridal shower

Black is in for bridal showers… elegant, always beautiful and it goes with everything! The trend is definately to partner it with a vibrant pink. For just such an ocassion we recently launched our “divine,” “blossoms,” and “bubbly” invitations and decor. And for additional inspiration, here are a few “real” party pics we found at The Hostess Blog.

bonjour-bridal-shower-table

As you can see, beautiful patterns of card stock from the craft store can be your best friend when planning a party. They used this demask pattern for thier placemats. What a smart and inexpensive way to set a beautiful table. 

bonjour-bridal-shower-centerpiece

Their inspiration was not only the color, but the Eiffel Tower, hence the bonjour message on the paper lanterns over the table. So cute! 

The part I loved the most was the favor idea. The bride’s mother passed away from cancer a few years ago so instead of a favor the hostesses made a donation to the Susan G Komen foundation.  They created donation cards and wrapped them in tulle so that each guest could remember the bride’s mother was there in spirit and watching down from heaven.

Great work ladies!

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summer citrus table

summer-citris-table

If you’re planning a summer picnic or outdoor gathering, these are some wonderfully simple ideas from Country Living. I personally love the citrus name card. How smart!

summer-citris-centerpiece1

And what about this centerpiece?! They removed the handles of a shopping bag (Tiffany & Co. none the less) and cut out a square from each side of the flattened bag (creating a paper handle when the resulting strips are folded over and taped). Nestle small flower vases inside and you’re ready. They then placed these in the walkway pointing to the backyard with sidewalk chalk. Fun!

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blue & brown bride inspiration

blue-brown-bridal-shower-cake

I was browsing around and found the most beautiful and smart bridal shower cake/cupcake idea from Cocoa & Fig. It goes beautifully with our bridal shower invitation and decor, but the thing I love most about this idea is that with a few modifications a novice could pull it off.

Fondant is really not as scary as you might think; give it a whirl! You can buy pre-made fondant at any craft store with a baking section and it tints easily with gel food coloring. As for the shapes, the simple ones are done using a cookie cutter. {wink} But if you’re just too terrified, replace the top tier with flowers and make your bride silhouette and other designs out of craft paper, embellishments and ribbon.

Be inspired, be creative and have fun with your next celebration!

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musical note cupcakes

musical-note-cupcakesThese smart musical note cupcakes are from Kraft Foods.com and are a perfect addition to any Rock Star birthday party. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
  • 2-1/4 cups  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (or cream cheese cake icing)
  • 48 Mini OREO Bite Size Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
  • 2 squares  BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted (or Wilton’s candy chocolate from the craft store)

And here are the simple steps:
  1. Prepare your cake batter and bake as directed on package for 24 cupcakes. Cool in pans 15 min. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely.
  2. Frost cupcakes with COOL WHIP or cream cheese icing. Top each with 2 cookies for the music notes.
  3. Pour melted chocolate into resealable plastic bag. Snip the corner of your bag and pipe the musical note stems and decorate your serving plate. (NOTE: If you use the COOL WHIP you’ll need to keep the cupcakes refrigerated.)

Happy baking!

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mermaid princess crafts

shell-crown-craft

I showcased a few ocean party ideas from Family Fun magazine in yesterday’s post. Today I’m sharing a few more for the royal princess living in your midst.

This first one, a beautiful shell crown, is a must for any mermaid princess. You’ll need:

  • Heavy cardstock large enough to encircle your child’s head
  • Tiara or crown template available at FamilyFun.com/magazine
  • Small shells (large shells will be too heavy and weight down the craft paper)
  • Tacky glue or hot glue
  • Sand
  • Glitter

And here are the simple steps to make this beautiful crown:

  1. Using the template provided by Family Fun, draw and trimout the design. (A cutting mat and staight edge would be helpful.)
  2. Place your shells and then affix them with glue.
  3. Before the glue drys completely sprinkle on sand and glitter to fill in the open spaces.
  4. Allow the crown to dry and then secure it into a circle that will fit your child’s head.

mermaid-party-photo-op

This next craft is too adorable and perfect for photo ops. You’ll need:

  • Flat bedsheet
  •  Washable marker
  • Nondimensional fabric paint (e.g., DecoArt SoSoft)
  • Felt
  • Fabric glue

And here are the super simple steps:

  1. Lay the bedsheet down on a hard flat surface and have your child lie down in the center so that his or her neck lines up with the top edge.
  2. Using the washable marker, trace the child’s body and then sketch the design on top of the outline. (See the mermaid in the upper right corner.)
  3. Now use the fabric paint to create your mermaid. 
  4. I’ve added my own twist here. Paint the mermaid tail, but then embellish it with glitter felt (the craft store usually has pink and purle!) scales.
  5. Hang your sheet on a laundry line to dry and let the magic begin.
  6. NOTE: Follow the package instructions for setting the paint and laundering the sheet.

Happy crafting!

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pearls of wisdom

clam-pearl-cookies

We just shot our deep blue sea birthday party decor on Saturday and yesterday this month’s issue of Family Fun comes in the mail. (I’ve said this before, but if you’re not a subscriber and you love this kind of stuff you really should be.) To my happy surprise it was chalked full of brilliant under water party ideas.

The clam shell cookie idea is a pearl of wisdom. {wink} All you’ll need are some round wafer cookies, pink tinted icing, yogurt covered peanuts or raisens and then a dab of white icing and black food coloring for the eyes.

ocean-party-favor-idea

Next check out this very fun craft idea. All the kids will love making these during your bash. You’ll need (for one):

  • 18 ounce beverage container
  • 10 shells per container
  • 1/4 cup sand
  • Green and blue food coloring
  • Silver glitter
  • Water
  • Mineral or baby oil
  • Hot glue gun

 And here are the super simple steps:

  1. Pour sand and shells into clean bottle.
  2. Mix a drop of blue and green food coloring into 6 cups of water, then fill the bottle halfway.
  3. Add a pinch of glitter.
  4. Fill the rest of the bottle with oil, leaving a little air space at the top.
  5. Run a bead of hot glue around the bottle opening and screw the lid on quickly.

Love this idea!! Leave it to Disney to come up with a cool magazine full of ideas all dedicated to making our kids smile.

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