Thursday, February 27, 2014

Twilight Themed 30th Birthday Party

Twilight has been a big deal in my circle of friends and seems to span ages 12-45 with ease. So when our own Tory decided this was going to be the theme of her 30th Birthday we were just full of great ideas. Then, of course, the reality of budget came into play. So here is how we threw a great party while sticking to our budget!
First of all we knew just who to go to for the elegant invites for this event. Wedding Paper Divas had exactly what she was hoping for and they are perfect for this party!

We found feathers from an online retailer that cost almost nothing and were able to use them all throughout the decor, including on the pen for the guest book!
We had the event at Buca di Beppo which provided us with a private room and wonderful food but it didn't include the elegant linens we wanted. So off to the fabric store we headed and came up with this heavy red canvas for the tablecloths and delicate black lace for the runners. Note: Whenever you want to have your event at a restaurant inquire about a "room rental fee". Some places, like Buca, charge for the food, not for the room rental. It's a great way to save on your budget!
Tory does personalized labels for all of our events so, of course, she would come up with a gorgeous set for her own event! Instead of our usual water bottles she attached them to mini apple cider bottles instead since this is one of her favorite drinks. They made for adorable favors for her guests.
The other favor was these little Ghirardelli chocolates that are actually named Twilight Delights! We dressed the restaurant plates with red wired ribbon, their own white napkins, the chocolates, heart shaped "confetti" with words from the book series as well as these elegant place cards from Etsy.

The centerpieces are actually beer glasses (from the dollar store!) that have been painted with non-toxic black paint (this peels and washes off after the event so you can re-use the glassware!) and then, using double stick tape, in a tic-tac-toe pattern, we centered the flower and attached the feathers. Then finished off the table by placing one white and one red feather at the base of the centerpiece.
The servers said they had never seen this room look so elegant! So when you go to look at a room in an event center realize that even a simple change like your own linens can have a big impact!
Of course the Birthday Girl got her own personalized place card as well! 
Since this was a family gathering with 9 children in attendance, we wanted to make sure that the buffet had something for everyone, including pizza for the kids!
The buffet began with the salad/appetizer offerings. Three different salads were offered including the Caprese Salad in the giant martini glasses to the back of the table! Cheesy garlic bread was one of the hits of the buffet table!
In fact, the deep fried cheese and cheesy pastas and breads were all a huge hit with guests going back for more!
Several different pasta's were offered so that all tastes could be accommodated, even the vegetarians, but it was the Chicken Parmesan that was the Birthday Girl's favorite! Soda, lemonade, iced tea and water were also offered to the guests with a nearby bar if they chose to purchase something a little harder.
Buca was wonderful to us! After the party began to wind up they brought us lots of ToGo containers so that the guests could take home a small dish for their lunches the following day. Tory still had a ton of food to take home but it was another nice touch to be able to send her guests home with some of the yummy food!
Finally, of course, there was cake by Cat's Cakes! This is another way to get a big effect while saving on money. A cake this size would feed almost 150 people and we only had 32. So the bottom "Chess board" is made from food grade styrofoam and then covered with fondant. The chess pieces, ribbon and feathers are also fondant but the apple is one of those lightweight "wax" apples that looks totally real! The cake was strawberry that had been colored red for the party and was filled with vanilla buttercream and covered in vanilla fondant, the Birthday Girls' favorite!

Here is the framed work for the cake table! The perfect touch for this Birthday Girls' Perfect Twilight Themed Party!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Little Lady ~ Little Man Birthday Party

 We had so much fun with this theme this past weekend. The client's children were turning 1 and 3 within just a few weeks of each other and so they decided that, at this age, they wouldn't mind sharing a party. Being the first birthday of the youngest, their little man, they wanted it to be a "fancy" party...a fun blow out. It was a lot of fun to put it together and play with the kids all afternoon!
We start off with the SO cute invitation from Etsy. These you purchase the digital design and then take them to a printer or print them yourself onto cardstock. These were absolute perfection for our theme!
 As guests walked into the party area from the house they were greated by the favor and cake tables. The favor table had a photo calendar and pen on it so that guests could "sign in" by adding their name on their birthday in the calendar!
They had a photo session for each of the kids, including their older daughter who's birthday is much later in the year, and those were hung over the two tables inside the house.   

 The sign on the table let the guest know that they can pick their favors along with their personalized cookies to take home. 
 The personalized themed cookies were created by Snickerdoodle Sweets and not only did they fit the theme perfectly but they taste amazing! Each child received their own cookie with their name printed on top.
For the center table art she also made these bow tie and pearl cookies! 
Boys got one of these adorable clip on bow ties to take home with them. The hostess made all of these herself!
The hostess also made the pretty bow bracelets for all of the girls to take home with them!
The cake table included treats by Cat's Cakes. The "smash" cake was personalized for the Little Man and even the Little Lady got her own grand cupcake. Mustache topped chocolate cupcakes and bow topped strawberry cupcakes (as well as a few vanilla cupcakes for those who didn't like strawberry or chocolate) were set out for guests.
 The theme was bow ties, mustaches, pink bows and pearls but Little Man's first birthday shirt had a regular tie so his smash cake did too! The Little Lady's cupcake included the heart confetti and bow but also pink pearls just for her.
 Both the mustached cupcakes and the bow topped ones had liners that were blue or pink chevron, the chosen pattern for the party!
 When you stepped out onto the pergola topped patio you were greeted by a canopy of balloons! The really little ones really loved this feature!
 Handmade banners for our Little Lady and Little Man hung over the "Pin the Mustache" game board near the food table.
 This handy caddy held the patterned, solid and "Mustache Bash" plates as well as the napkins, straws and flatware. An easy way to keep it all accessible yet organized.
 We layered the tablecloths from blue to Mustaches to chevron runner and then topped that with multi colored mustaches for accents! 
 Tory always makes the personalized water bottles and these were simply perfect for our theme. Set against the blue under cloth and mustache overlay they added a bit more decor to our table!
Staggered in a random pattern allowed guest to see the bottle clearly. Using the mini bottles made it easy for the kids to handle and just enough water for the adults so that there were not half empty bottles of water everywhere.
 For those who didn't want just water there were cups that had been decorated with mustache stickers for lemonade or soda. Cans of soda and juice boxes were in a cooler at the end of the table.
 A huge bunch of balloons in the middle of the food table helped to make the presentation from floor to rooftop adding more color and detail to the look of the party. We served their favorite pizza which is easy for the kids to eat as well as the adults.

 There was also three types of mixed salads with three types of dressing which made it easy for the guests who like plain salad to those who like a more unique blend to have what they liked on their plates.
 We also served lasagna and french bread for everyone. A well rounded lunch for all of their hungry guests!
After lunch it was time for games! The "Pin the Mustache" game only came with 8 mustaches so we decided to use the mustache stickers for the more than 15 kids!
We started out with one black mustache placed right in the center of the face. Then the kids had to try to get as close to that mustache as they could. Hard to do with the oversized blindfold covering their eyes but two of the kids nearly got it right on top of the black mustache! After each kid placed their mustache they were able to go pick a "Penny Prize" from the bucket. The 3 kids who got the closest got to go pick out extra prizes at the end of the game. They all had tons of fun with this game as well as the game of Freeze Dance we played after.
 Then it was time for dessert! Little Man tucked right into his cake and, yes, he smashed it! 
 He loved the combo of chocolate cake filled with chocolate brownie buttercream for his own personal cake. He did quite the job of totalling it! Good job Little Man! Happy 1st Birthday!
 Our Little Lady was more reserved. She carefully picked out the pink bow pick and daintily ate the frosting off of the cupcake before starting on the strawberry cupcake. Very sweet indeed. Happy 3rd Birthday!

While we've been making cakes for this family for the past several years this was our first party that we were asked to crew and I have to say that this family is one of the easiest to work with and for and we were so very happy to have been able to deliver such a beautiful and fun party for them and their guests!

It's Valentine's Day next week. Make sure to check our Facebook Fan Site for lots of ideas! See you then!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Luau Baby Shower

 Happy Monday! This weekend brought an adorable little baby shower for a great couple! The event was held at a local yacht club because both the hostess and the Mom-to-be are both leaders for Sea Scouts, sort of a girl scout program on the ocean so they both have a connection to boats and this club. It was the perfect setting for a Luau style shower!
 First comes the invitation, of course! The hostess found these and they definitely set the theme and mood of the shower!
 Centerpieces don't have to be flowers. They can be anything grouped together that fits the theme. We used colorful paper lanterns as the major piece in our centerpieces for the tables. 
 Scattered "aloha" packaged buttermints, adorable rubber duckies, flower leis, floral confetti and paper umbrellas completed the set! Bright, colorful and fun.
 This was a family event, men and children invited as well as the women in the family, so a kids table was set up with coloring sheets (Hawaiian themed of course!), bubbles, playdough, crayons and even pinwheels for the kids to take home!
 Kids sand pails were used to hold the crayons and added to the theme. One of the pails had toddler friendly crayons that also doubled as building blocks!
 The other pail held standard crayons and markers for the older kids. They all had fun making their own masterpieces. For those kids who were done with their art there were Duplo blocks as well as a mini plastic construction work table and toys to play with together.
 For the much older kids and adults there was this fun Headband Bar! The hostess filled up this trunk with all sorts of embellishments, provided different types of headbands and even idea sheets so people could make the Mom-to-be adorable creations for their new little girl.
 Glue guns, headbands and a bucket of silk flower parts were provided to make this craft a quick and easy one.
 The headbands were really beautiful. Even the pre-teen boys got into the act and created their own flamboyant versions! 
 There were solid headbands there as well and a basket of fabric that you could cut and glue to make a covered band!
 On the other side of the room were muslin fabric squares, sharpie pens, and templates so that the guests could create a quilt square for the baby. This unusual guest book was a big hit with the older kids. I admit, we both made squares too! Totally fun to do!
 Near the cake table was the Diaper Raffle. Guests are invited to bring a box of diapers for the family and then enter their name into the raffle drawing. 
 Of course there were balloons. Some for indoors but most of them were used outdoors to help guests make their way to the event site.
 The stork balloon had a bit of a problem. The head section stayed nice and inflated but the bottom section deflated before it even made it to the event. With no time to return it for another balloon we knew there were only two options. One, toss the balloon...two, figure out a way to use it! We figured out a way to attach it behind the gift bar and immediately it didn't matter that the body had deflated!  It was an added detail that perfectly greeted each guest as they entered the event!
And speaking of the gift bar! Clothesline was draped around it, using folded over duct tape to secure it and then using leis to hide the tape! Aloha wear was clipped to the line with clothespins along with a few more leis and created a beautiful setting for the gifts!
You can find lots of "sets" for print outs online. Many of them are completely free! This cute banner not only fits the theme but added decoration to the wall above the quilt square decorating station. You want to think ceiling to floor when it comes to your event to created an extra level of color and texture to your party.
 More paper lanterns were hung above the huge glass doors that led out onto the patio. The kids loved looking out and seeing the water and beautiful boats...the adults loved the view too!
 Setting the table meant lots of bright colors to fit the theme. These cups of flatware and napkins sit on bright pink plastic tablecloths and they all came from the Dollar Store! Budget friendly and perfect for the theme!
 Paper umbrellas fit this theme to perfection. We used some on each table to add a bit of color as well as another layer of the theme.
 When it came to the food table, which provided tray after tray of wonderful finger food, it was easy to use the umbrellas but the best touch was the grass skirt! We all loved the way it really fit the theme and added that extra detail to the room.
 Lots of different types of fruit were made available including apples with caramel sauce! Yummy!
 Take advantage of the prepackaged version of veggie trays! They come with their own dipping sauce and tray!
 While this looks like a cold cut tray it really isn't. That is sliced turkey from a turkey breast.  And it is a detail like that which makes your guests feel a bit more spoiled than if you just heaped cold cuts onto a tray.
 Sliced roast beef was provided too and, as a person who loves roast beef but also wants it to be fully cooked, we were very happy to see that the roast beef here was done but not over cooked. Oh, yeah, we were spoiled.
 But then they just kept on spoiling us! Our wonderful chefs even provided teriyaki chicken that was so good I think most people went back for seconds because of this chicken alone!
 Of course Tory made up water bottles! These adorable water bottles also made for cute favors for people to take home with them at the end of the party.
 But they also provided Iced Tea and Lemonade for the guests in brightly colored paper cups which added another bit of color to the room.  
 We made up little "message in a bottle" favors that had candy "sand". The bottles were found at Michael's and we used brightly colored rubber bands to add a bit of color to the rolled up messages and the top of the glass.
 Inside were little Thank You note. Mahalo means "thank you" in Hawaiian. They were a cute way to say thank you and the kids really loved these little bottles. 
 One of the gifts was this wonderful "Diaper Cake" that was trimmed in all sorts of baby stuff and topped with an adorable surfer girl teddy bear. Just so cute!
 With so many little kids running around it is a bit hard to play games so we stuck to just two. The first one was a baby word search. We gave them a few minutes to work on it and then when the timer went off the person with the most done won the prize. The fun part was watching people continue to work on them after the game was over! The second game was done during the gift opening. A timer was set at random increments and when it went off the person who had brought the gift currently being opened won a prize!
Finally there was cake! This Luau Baby shower cake is from Cat's Cakes. Lemon chiffon filled with pink tinted lemoncurd buttercream covered in pink buttercream and trimmed in fondant fit the theme perfectly.
 It featured a little Luau Baby Girl made of fondant, a clothesline hung from palm trees to match the invitation and sugar sand.
 It was topped with a cute little sea turtle and surrounded with flower leis and the "message in a bottle" favors.
Even the plates and napkins were perfect for the theme! There are lots of pre-packaged party kits that all coordinate together but sometimes picking out different napkins, plates and decorations that all fit together but not totally matched makes for a much more fun and beautiful party. The brightly colored napkins fit in with the food table perfectly but these Hawaiian themed napkins worked perfectly on the cake table. Just the right detail becomes just the right touch for the event. 

The day had some hiccups, all events do to some extent, but it was a wonderful family party that we all enjoyed. Going with the flow isn't always easy but with an event like this one it's always wonderful when the flow reminds you how wonderful it is to spend an afternoon celebrating with family and friends.