introducing “great outdoors”

great-outdoors-frontimageSimilar to our new “butterflies” theme, we had great success with our “campout” theme too and thought it a good idea to develop a new invitation and thank you card for the ever popular campout sleepover party.

So, without further commentary, introducing “great outdoors!”

Check our new design out, and as always, we would love your feedback on this invitation design as well as any of our others.

Plus, if you have a theme design you’re searching for and can’t find, we want to know that too! You can e-mail us at ideas@celebrationshoppe.com or post a comment here.

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Easter cookie tips

eastercookiesEach year about this time we pull out the Easter cookie cutters and make bunnies, eggs and little chics. Don’t get me wrong, they are super cute and I love decorating them, but how about we all throw a cross in the mix too. After all, this season is about Him.

Before starting your baking this holiday, take a moment to read my tips on how to make sure your cookies keep their shape and my tips on flooding so you can WOW your family and friends.

By the way, these great cookie cutters can be found at William-Sonoma.com and they’re even on sale now.  Happy baking!

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introducing “butterflies”

butterflies-frontimageOver the weekend we launched a new “butterflies” theme.

We’ve had a great deal of success with our “bugs and butterflies” birthday party invitation and party decor for both girls and boys so we thought it might be fun to create a girly butterfly version.

This one is all about polka dots. Polka dot plates, polka dot napkins… even polka dot cups!

Check our new design out, and as always, we would love your feedback on this invitation design as well as any of our others.

Plus, if you have a theme design you’re searching for and can’t find, we want to know that too! You can e-mail us at ideas@celebrationshoppe.com or post a comment here.

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featured on lovetoknow.com

kimpic_bwOur baby shower crafts and ideas were featured in the party section of lovetoknow.com this month. And they used a picture of me. {Hmmm… time for another photo shoot!} Here’s a quick excerpt from the article: 

“Kim Wilson Byers, owner of The Celebration Shoppe, shared her homemade baby shower favor ideas with LoveToKnow Party, along with some additional tips to help any baby shower planner.”

“The Celebration Shoppe is not only a custom invitation and décor shoppe, it is a resource for entertaining, baking and craft ideas to help moms and girlfriends, and the occasional dad, plan and celebrate special events with the perfect party.”

 Read the entire feature here:  lovetoknow.com

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shark cake

sharkcake_parentingWe’re in the middle of developing our spring line and we’ve just designed our “deep blue sea” invitation.

I have to admit, it may be my new favorite. We’ll likely launch it this coming Monday and I’ll make sure and link it here. But in the meantime, I thought I would share a cake that would be perfect for this fun celebration.

You’ll need a few ingredients:

  • 1 pound cake baked in a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan
  • 1 large (5-inch round) sugar cookie, from bakery
  • 1 large gumdrop, any flavor
  • Black food coloring
  • 1 can (16 oz) vanilla frosting
  • 1 roll red fruit leather (Fruit Roll-Ups)
  • ¼ cup mini-marshmallows
  • 2 Junior Mints
  • 1 tube black decorating icing

And a few tools:

  • Blue food coloring
  • Bread knife
  • Serving platter
  • Serrated knife
  • Kitchen shears or scissors
  • Resealable sandwich-size plastic bag (Ziploc)

For all the instructions and a template on how to trim out your cake, visit parenting.com. Enjoy!

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Chips Ahoy! Cheesecake sandwiches

chipsahoy_cheesecakeThose of you who read me often know that I love to bake and share my creations with others. (My challenge is trying not to eat them!) That said, I don’t always have time to be creative before we have guests over or before a snack is needed at preschool. So when I’m in a hurry I usually turn to kraftfoods.com. Their ideas are delicious and so simple. So this is my latest find that I’ll be impressing friends with this weekend. Enjoy!

  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
  • 20 CHIPS AHOY! Cookies
  • 1 tub (7 oz.) BAKER’S Milk Chocolate Dipping Chocolate, melted

And here are the easy steps:

  1. Beat cream cheese and sugar with mixer until well blended. Stir in COOL WHIP.
  2. Cover bottom (flat) side of each of 10 cookies with about 2 Tbsp. cream cheese mixture; top each with second cookie to form sandwich. Dip half of each sandwich in chocolate; gently shake off excess chocolate. Place in single layer in airtight container.
  3. Freeze 3 hours or until firm.

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DIY chenille napkin rings

chenillenapkinringBrowsing for fun ideas that kids can help with, I ran across these fun chenille napkin rings from Better Homes & Gardens that would be perfect for a mother’s day brunch or girly birthday party.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 colors of chenille stems
  • Paper towel tube
  • Ruler

And here’s what you do:

  1. Choose six chenille stems, two of each color. Even up the ends of chenille stems, grouping colors. Leaving 3 inches at one end, begin to braid the chenille stems. Stop braiding 3 inches from the opposite end.
  2. For looped ends, bend over the chenille stems to form loops. Secure by wrapping a separate chenille stem around the ends. Tuck end of chenille stem into wraps.
  3. For wrapped ends, braid entire length of six chenille stems. Wrap ends tightly with a separate chenille stem.
  4. To shape, wrap braided chenille stems around a paper tube.

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pinwheel planters

pinwheelplantersThese oh so fun pinwheel planters are perfect decoration or favors for a spring garden party or birthday bash. This idea from Better Homes & Gardens Magazine touts a letter at the center of each pinwheel, which might be fun to spell out your guest of honor’s name.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Craft paper (preferably a thick stock that has different design on each side)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Straightedge or ruler
  • Aluminum screw posts (like those used in scrapbooks and photo albums)
  • Pinwheel template
  • ¼” dowel cut to 12″ in length
  • Drill
  • Potted ground cover plants (e.g., ivy)

And here are the simple instructions:

  1. Cut a square of craft paper to the desired size.
  2. With pencil, draw two light lines between the opposite corners of the square, using a ruler or straightedge.
  3. Make four cuts along lines, starting at each corner and stopping three-fourths of the way to the center of the square, as shown in the pinwheel diagram.
  4. Poke a hole through every other corner and through the center of the pinwheel. Be careful not to poke too close to the edge, or the hole may rip when the pinwheel is assembled.
  5. Fold the pricked corners into the center. If using a pin, push the pin through the pricked points, then through the center hole. If using a screw post, push the screw post through the underside of the square and then through the pricked points. Secure with screw.
  6. Drill a small hole in the dowel and insert the screw so that the pinwheel spins.
  7. Insert your new pinwheel in a fun planted pot and display.

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Easter candy carrot craft

eastercarrotI’ve mentioned before that my youngest son has severe milk allergies, so holidays can be tough when it comes to buying pre-packaged candy. With this in mind, I wanted to figure out how to make the carrot candy wrappers so that I could stuff them with jelly beans or gummy savors. (The picture shows M&Ms, which I’m sure my oldest will gladly devour!)

So here’s what you’ll need:

  • Clear plastic cello bags
  • Green felt
  • Orange ribbon
  • Candies
  • Glue gun

And here’s all you have to do:

  1. Taking a cello bag, fold it from the bottom to the right side and tack lightly (image of fold 1) with hot glue, and then again (image of fold 2). I hope the pics help!
  2. Fill your new carrot shape with candies.
  3. Tie the top of your bag off with ribbon.
  4. Cut a 3×3 square of green felt. Starting at one corner, cut strips about a ¼ wide to the center of the square.
  5. Wrap the square, with the green sprays out the top, around the top of cello bag, above the ribbon, and tack with hot glue.

 Happy crafting!

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purse cake

pursecake1

It was like parenting.com made this cake for me. It’s pink and brown, my company’s colors, and it has my initial on the front… {wink}. We could even go farther and talk about the magnolias that they embellished it with. I mean, I did graduate undergrad from Mississippi State University. It’s the state flower for those of you who don’t know. I’m just saying!

Anyway, enough of me, here are the things you’ll need to make one of these incredible cakes for your little shopper.

  • 2 (8-inch) round cakes
  • 1 can (16 oz) vanilla frosting
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 Tootsie Roll Giant (2.25 oz)
  • 10 brown M&M’s
  • 8 to 9 marshmallows
  • 6 Whoppers
  • 1 sheet green fruit leather
  • 2 Tootsie Rolls
  • A bread knife
  • A resealable sandwich-size plastic bag (Ziploc)
  • A serving platter
  • Scissors or a small letter-shaped cookie cutter

To trim the cakes:

  1. Place the cakes on a clean work surface. Using a bread knife, trim the tops to make them level.
  2. Spread a small amount of frosting on one cut surface. Place the other cake layer on top, cut side down and sandwich the cakes together.
  3. Cut a 1-inch strip from one side of the layer cake. Cut a 2-inch deep slice from the opposite edge. (Check out template on parenting.com.)

For the pink frosting:

  1. Spoon 1/4 cup of the untinted vanilla frosting into a resealable plastic bag.
  2. Add a few drops of red food coloring to the remaining frosting to tint it a light pink.
  3. Place the cake on a serving platter, deeper-cut side down. Spread the pink frosting all over the cake and make smooth.

To decorate:

  1. Snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Pipe dots along each thin side of the cake and attach the brown M&M’s.
  2. Bend the Tootsie Roll Giant into a “C” shape to make the handle and place on the top of the cake.
  3. Cut the marshmallows with clean scissors, crosswise, into 4 slices. Arrange the marshmallows as flower petals along the top of the cake, adding some vanilla frosting to help secure them to the cake. Attach the Whoppers to the center of each flower with a dot of frosting. Cut small leaf shapes from the green fruit leather and tuck them underneath the marshmallow petals as leaves.
  4. Heat the 2 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave for 2 to 3 seconds to soften. Roll out onto a sheet of wax paper and cut out desired letter using clean scissors or a small cookie cutter. Press the letter onto the front of the cake.

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