customer: Katie Ann turns 3

I really enjoy receiving pictures from customers. It just makes my day to see those happy little faces and all the smart details the parents pull together.

Just recently we received a note from our customer, Jen. She wrote “Thank you so much for the ideas and inspiration! From the invitations to the how-to tulle napkin rings, my daughter’s 3rd birthday was full of your touches. I hope you like the painting we made based on the princess castle theme.”

I was thrilled when I opened the pictures and saw that she had taken our princess castle collection design and made it into this beatutiful painting embellished with tiny jewels. Such talent Jen and her mom have! 

Jen did a fabulous job of decorating those blank rooms you get at play places.  They typically give you very little time to set up so that tells me that Jen is one organized mom!

For the princess placesetting, Jen purchased our princess castle printables and pink and green polka dot plates. For the prince placesetting, she made the napkin ring, a friend of hers made the beverage wrapper and straw slip to match, and those fun crowns are from Chocolate Cake Club.

And last but never least, my very favorite part, a lovely picture of the birthday girl. Isn’t she just adorable with all those bouncy curls?! Happy Birthday Katie Ann! {Thanks again Jen for allowing us to share.}

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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If you’ve invited guests with our invitations or styled your party with table decor or printable items from The Celebration Shoppe, we would love to see! Send a link or pictures to customercare@celebrationshoppe.com. (By submitting information and/or images you are giving us the right to publish your events details with the appropriate credits.)

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real parties: Wyatt turns 4!

My friend Danielle at A Few of My Favorite Things was raving about this cute space party the other day and since I just finished a space collection I of course had to take a look. As soon as I saw these fabulous paper lantern planets I contacted the talented hostess Kate Martin of Beautiful Days Events because I just had to share these with you!

Here are a few details from Kate:

 Activities included sledding in our backyard, a coloring station with space themed coloring pages and spacemen/rocket shaped crayons from etsy, and a space hunt where the kids searched the house for felt stars, asteroids and space themed laminated pictures… and of course the “rocket” balloons which were a big hit!

I made all the decorations: planets, birthday sign and space themed felt board. DIY felt wrist band favors (the kids LOVED them!), stamped stickers, crayons and space snack bags were given as favors. My husband was a huge help with the planets! Saturn’s ring was just a large piece of cardboard cut out with a hole in the middle, covered with colored tissue paper and placed over the top of the lantern. The lanterns were the perfect solution in creating larger planets as I couldn’t find any to purchase that were big enough, paper mache seemed like a nightmare and we definitely wanted something 3D vs cut out poster board.

Thanks to Kate for letting me share Wyatt’s party and to Geneve Hoffman Photography for all the gorgoues po! You did a fabulous job!

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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real parties: little buckaroo

I ran across this party from Jenny Collier Photography a few weeks ago and had to share. I think it was those big brown eyes and the wildflowers. Total perfection! 

And that cake! LOVE! You can hop over to Jenny’s blog to read all the details, see more of the photo shoot she did with her little guy before the big day and lots more pics of the party itself along with Jenny’s resources. {Thanks again for letting us share Jenny!}

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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real parties: a sillybration

This beautiful birthday party was hosted by my friend, the talented Christi of P is for Party. I love how she broke the norm and held a “Sillybration” for her little boy Conrad’s second birthday. Christi shares “Our son Conrad is sweet and tender-hearted and often shy, but one thing he is often is silly. He’s always doing cute things to make our family laugh. So, when I was searching for the perfect theme for his second birthday, I knew I wanted to base the party around the word ‘silly’.”

 I love her favor station. The kids could dress up in feather boas and big glasses, and sing into toy microphones while listening to a local child’s band.  And as a parting gift, the kids took home silly string that was custom wrapped in a label that said, “I Got Silly at Conrad’s Party!”. Totally adorable!

Christi outlines a ton of fabulous vendors in the debut post over at the sweet Kate Landers Events blog, including her photographer Melanie Pereira, her stationary designer Hayley Hardcastle, Genevieve of Celebrate Today and Posh Party Pretties who custom made the party hats, The Sugar Diva where she found the orange polka dot and light orange striped straws, the talented Kelly Lyden of The Party Dress and WH Hostess who made her centerpiece sticks to match Haley’s invitations, and so many more! {Happy birthday Conrad and thanks again Christi for letting me share your sillybration!}

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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make it a game night

We’ve had “movie night” in our home now for over a year and it’s a huge hit. The boys get so excited and really look forward to it each week planning snacks and selecting just the right film (usually from the library during our weekly visit). Well starting this year we’re now also having “game night.” We kicked it off last night with a game of Jr. Monopoly. The boys always want to play our “big boy” games and then get frustrated because they just aren’t suited for their age. Well I’m here to tell you that Jr. Monopoly is just perfect for their age group (six and four). The rules and the game time are both much shorter, plus they get to practice basic counting and math skills all while giggling like crazy. And not that I’m against the occasional game of Wii, I mean it is fun, but an old fashioned board game gets your family engaging one another face to face. We had a blast! 

That is my youngest on the left just after he had to pay his dad $4 for landing on his carnival ticket booth. Despite his face, which looks like mine sometimes after being in the office all day, he had a wonderful time! I just hope he still speaks to me in his teen years for publishing it. {wink} 

And what is a family game night without some oh so yummy snacks. First of all, these are not my snacks from last night, but they’re going to be next week! For the friend chicken biscuit sandwiches I’ll likely bake the biscuits from a can… or maybe I’ll just go to KFC for the whole thing! At any rate don’t they look so yummy! I found them on Mango & Tomato (image via  GastronomyBlog) in a post where she got to bounce around DC for a staycation enjoying so much yummy food!

Then there is the DIY microwave popcorn from Maize in Montana (found via Dollar Store Crafts). How super smart is this AND you can involve the kiddos. Just a bag of popcorn kernels and brown paper bags. Get the details from Maize and pop a few this weekend!

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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customer: princess Nicole is 4

A very good friend of mine hosted a prince & princess party for her beautiful little girl a few months ago with the decor, printables and custom cookies from my princess collections: prince and princess and princess castle. We even created a few new printables just for the occasion, including

bottle wrappers (this printable includes this castle design and our white crown on hot pink dots, not shown),

favor tags,

cello toppers,

and dessert labels.

Back to the party, the little prince charmings went home with castle cookies and these sword/ax combos (my boys of course used them on each other!) and Nicole’s royal court went home with crown cookies, tiaras and some darling tulle wands (seen in the first image) that her mommy, Raquel, whipped up.

And I just had to share a few pics of the birthday girl having way too much fun dressed in a beautiful little tutu and bouncing in her castle. Oh yes, there was a castle and so much more! {Thanks for letting me share some of your pictures Raquel!}

If you’ve invited guests with our invitations or styled your party with table decor or printable items from The Celebration Shoppe, we would love to see! Send a link or pictures to customercare@celebrationshoppe.com. (By submitting information and/or images you are giving us the right to publish your events details with the appropriate credits.)

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customer: moo, Layla’s 2!

I went to my facebook page yesterday to find a lovely comment from a very talented mom and customer, Shanna Kreza of Shanna Kreza photography. She recently hosted a barnyard bash for her beautiful little girl using some of our On the Farm collection printables (beverage wrappers, tags and napkin rings).

Here are a few shots of the beautiful birthday girl!

And what a lovely barnyard spread. Those cupcake toppers from Cupcakesion are just too cute!

Last but never least, are the activities. Layla’s little guests enjoyed face painting and cookie decorating (one of my personal favorites!).

Hop on over to Shanna’s photography blog to see even more images of the big day and if you’re in the Orange County area to check out her amazing talents. {Thanks so much for letting us share Shanna!} And hop to the shoppe to purchase our Farm Birthday Party Supplies.

If you’ve invited guests with our invitations or styled your party with table decor or printable items from The Celebration Shoppe, we would love to see! Send a link or pictures to customercare@celebrationshoppe.com. (By submitting information and/or images you are giving us the right to publish your events details with the appropriate credits.)

Join The Celebration Shoppe on facebook, sign-up for the daily ideas to come right to your inbox (never miss an idea, giveaway or free printable!), follow us on twitter, pinterest and on instagram at @thecelebrationshoppe. And don’t forget to shop our birthday, baby shower and holiday party supplies!

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real parties: kid’s fall table

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Lindsey of Bella Grace hosted this adorable “Kid’s Only” fall table inspired by my Harvest collection! I love the little wheelbarrow favors filled with treats. And I’m definitely going to have to try those Candy Corn cupcakes in mason jars. Make sure you hop over to Lindsey’s blog for all the details, including a list of resources, and don’t forget that the Harvest printables collection is half off right now! You can get the entire printable collection for just $13!

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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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real parties: a fairy tea

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Elizabeth from Stix n Pops shared her daughter’s fairy princess tea party with us a few weeks ago. These are only a few of the fabulous details. Elizabeth is a talented baker (she made the cake and the Stix n Pops above, of course), plus she’s a crafter.

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 I love the detailing on this cake,  

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just look at the mushrooms, tiny flowers, leaves… and on and on. Fabulous job Elizabeth!

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Not only was this party full of beautiful food, there were fairy costume favors and these little jars of fairy dust (so clever!)

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And have a look at this beautiful birthday girl! Just darling! Make sure and hop over to Stix n Pops for all the details (and about 30 more pics) of the big day.

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