Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Monday! This past weekend was our Easter Sunday in the USA. There were many Egg Hunts and Easter Church Services and many many Easter Family Dinners. Our family was no different. Each of the kids had Egg Hunts and we all finished up with happy Family Dinners. Since I know we have a lot of readers who don't live in the US, I figured I'd share our day with all of you!

 We did try out a few of the ideas off of Pinterest! I tried the Bunny Rolls. Ok, so I added a twist of my own. I used canned biscuits. Not what they had in mind when they came up with the idea but it worked out pretty well. Some of them actually even looked like Bunnies but I will admit that most of them looked more like the one on the right...a bit like what Stitch would look like if he were a bunny. Oh well, the kid got a laugh out of them and they were good!
 Tory had much better luck with her Pinterest idea! These are Rice Krispie Treat "nests" with Peeps and Chocolate "eggs" nestled on top. Totally adorable so we give this one a WIN in the "tried it" department.
 I don't know what other families do but here in our family it is traditionally a Ham Dinner. My mom got this delicious Spiral Cut Ham and roasted it up with a Djion Mustard sauce. SO good!
 There are always potatoes of some sort on the table as well. This year it was cheesy scalloped potatoes. They were creamy and crunch and Oh, So, Good!
And there is always a green veggie on the table. Now, Mom admits she got a bit distracted when the asparagus was cooking so these were not "crisp" by anyone's stretch of the imagination but with the garlic and butter they were simply divine!
Canned biscuits made a second appearance on our plates today but in their normal round form this time! Now I realize that many people will turn their noses up at canned biscuits. That the only "real" biscuits are the ones made from scratch. And, as a baker, I agree. But as an eater I really don't care. Yummy is yummy whether it's from scratch or from a can. I think we all had two of these! Mmmmmm!

 Part of Easter Dinner is the presentation. Yellow gingham tablecloth topped with white dishes that are trimmed in blue. Beautiful Spring colors and presentation!
 Finally there comes dessert. You can find out the recipe and step by step instructions on our Cat's Cakes Cake Blog! In public we refer to this as "Pistachio Pudding Pie" but inside our family it's simply known as "The Green Stuff". Basically it's this wonderful combination of a Ritz Cracker crust, Pistachio Pudding, Vanilla Ice Cream, Cool Whip and Heath Bars. It is just amazingly good stuff and a family favorite!

Next week I'll be bringing you ideas for a Garden Party perfect for Mother's Day, Bridal Showers or Birthday Parties! In the meantime join us on our Facebook Fan Site for a new wedding or craft tip every single day! See you there!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Monday! This past weekend one of my cakes had the honor of being part of a wedding that celebrated not just the marriage of Michele and Eric but also the Bride's love of purple. So I decided to make my own party plan for this fun color palette!

 Michele has a very "out of the envelope" fashion style. Elegant but unusual. So invitations like this one from one of my favorite vendors, Wedding Paper Divas would fit the bill...romantic and elegant.
If you want to go even more modern then these, also from Wedding Paper Divas, might work for you. The bold color with geometric design keeps the invitation elegant but modern.

 While you are thinking unusual, how about setting up your ceremony space with a bit more style? This "four corners" style lets everyone from each vantage have a good view. Have your groom and his Best Man enter from the back to join your officiant. Have your Bridesmaids enter from one side and your Groomsmen from the other while you make your entrance from the front. A lovely way to add a twist the the usual wedding ceremony.
 If you are more traditional then how about using a pop of color on your aisle. Remember to use silk petals for the actual aisle since real petals will stain your gown. Floral arrangements shouldn't be at each row if they could impede the view so stagger them every 4th or 5th row instead.
 Roses are quite traditional but if you don't care for them or want to add the unusual to your bouquet then how about purple centered Calla's or Anenomes?
 Your Bridesmaids can carry a lighter hued version of your flowers. This mix of purple hued flowers would look amazing against a dark purple gown.
 You can go the other direction! Go with a lighter purple gown and dress up the bouquets with a few dark purple flowers instead!
 And don't forget your guys. Dress them up with purple vests and boutonnieres. How elegant that looks!
 When your guests enter the reception space it is traditional to have a guest book waiting for them. But then what do you do with that guest book? How about something you can keep in your home year round? River rocks with smooth sides and a fine tip sharpie pen allows your guests to "sign in" and add their pebble to the jar. A very nice unusual twist the the traditional guest book!
 Think outside the envelope when it comes to your entry way florals too. These silver boxes are filled with Oasis blocks and then filled up with dark purple flowers. A bit of "bling" is added with rhinestone stick pins as well as a little rhinestone buckle on the ribbon around the vase.  And notice the seating/place cards have the same color of ribbon with mini rhinestone buckles of their own!
 Greet your guests with a signature drink. A little bit of purple liqueur like Chambord will turn a vodka drink into a purple vodka and raspberry flavored drink! Top with an edible orchid and you have the perfect drink for your party!
 Carry that look over to your table tops. Many venues only provide white linens. This doesn't mean you can't add color to your tables and keep your theme! By using standard square containers, purple ribbon and floating purple orchids under the floating votives you would be able to keep your color palette with an elegant centerpiece.
 And don't forget your favors! They can add a pop of color in the center of each guest place setting. Little adorable bags from The Wedding Outlet would cost very little per guest yet still continue your theme and color palette.
 Giving the Bride and Groom a nice send off is difficult these days. Bird Seed is often not allowed, even rose petals can be frowned upon. But there is one thing you can do for your happy couple. Send them off with bubbles! One of the coolest photos I ever saw was the Bride and Groom waving goodbye while a semi-circle of family and friends showered them with bubbles. You can find these at any craft store. Just tie with coordinating ribbon and add a little sign. Perfect!
Now, time for cake. Michele and Eric's White and Purple Swirl Wedding Cake from Cat's Cakes would be a beautiful centerpiece to your party. A wonderful way to add color to your cake table...tastes great too!

Next week we are out of here for Easter. I do hope you find yourself surrounded by family and friends even if you do not celebrate! Happy Passover for my Jewish friends. I know you had a great weekend based on the plans you shared with me this past week!

P.S. We post a lot of different ideas from many different sources. We always try to credit the original source but sometimes that is impossible to do. If YOU are the original source and we have not properly credited you and your company please DO let us know so we can edit the post to reflect your hard work!


Monday, March 18, 2013

 Happy Monday! This week brings a Gender Reveal Party. This is a relatively new party to help family and friends celebrate the day when everyone gets to find out if the baby is going to be a boy or girl. In most cases not even Mom and Dad are aware of the answer before the cutting of the cake or cupcakes!
Depending on the size of the gathering of family and friends you can start out with a cute little invite like the one above! For about $1.50 each you can put together a nice little party for hardly any money. This type of party is considered low key and casual though so you could use an E-vite if you wanted to do so. 

Take a chalkboard, some scrapbook paper and stickers and make up a voting table. As your guests arrive have them write out their names under the headers and then have special prizes for those who guessed right!

Using foamcore, scrapbook paper and chipboard letters you can easily make up these signs to hang around the room and help decorate everything from the tables to the walls!
Even the balloons can add a little splash of color to the theme. Just weigh them down with "It's A Girl" or "It's A Boy" balloon weights and put HUGE bouquets of them in the corner of the yard or room.
By using items like pinwheels and the signs we mentioned above you can change an average wall and table into a grand event!
This doesn't mean you have to get complicated with the occasional tables like the coffee table or end tables. These can be easily decorated using pink and blue kisses, a simple vase with pink or blue water and pink or blue flowers in it.
Here is a great way to show off your patio and create a fun celebration space. Notice how the balloons are used in bouquets instead of all by themselves.
Inside the house you can set up long tables and even make the napkins look like crowns since, face it, the new baby to be will instantly be King or Queen of their home. If they are not happy then no one is. LOL!
Show off the baby names you have picked out with the drinks! Pink and blue punch named after the baby to be is a wonderful way to spread that news.
LOVE paper straws for decor. They are inexpensive and biodegradable. Perfect way to add color and style to your tables and drinks!
Easy enough to make for your snack table, these white chocolate dipped pretzel sticks are just rolled in either blue or pink sanding sugar!
We LOVE water bottle labels. There isn't an event that we throw that doesn't have them! It is a wonderful way to mark the event and add color and design to your party for very little money.
Make up these felt lips and mustaches and then have your party guests pose with their choice for a group photo! What a fun way to remember the day.
People feel funny showing up for something like this empty handed. So why not start Baby's 1st Library and have everyone bring a board or story book for your little one!

If you want to send your guests home with a little favor you could fill clear bags with pink and blue jelly beans and tie with a blue and pink little tag like this one. SO cute!
For the "reveal" dessert you can have your baker put pink or blue filling into cupcakes, frost them with white frosting and then put in these cute little "It's a Boy" or "It's a Girl" cupcake picks! Let the Mom and Dad cut open the first one and find out for all to see!
Or use a cake, like this one from Cat's Cakes, and have the baker tint either the cake or the filling pink or blue. Often the couple will have the ultrasound tech write down the sex on a piece of paper, put it into an envelope and seal it for the baker to open, thus keeping the secret from the couple as well, and no one will know until they cut into the cake. 

This is such a fun idea and a good excuse to celebrate this modern milestone. I, personally, don't know if I could wait but it would be a fun way to spread our news to family and friends at the party. So whether you decide to be surprised at the same time as your guests or just use this party to spread the news, a Gender Reveal Party would be tons of fun!

Join us over at our Facebook Fan Site for lots of tips and crafts for Easter! There is a new tip every day!


Monday, March 11, 2013

 Happy Monday! This week we bring to you a Pretty Princess Party Plan! This may be your little girl's birthday party dream! We have filled it with tons of fun details that you can easily DIY for your little one's next birthday.
Lets start off with the invite. These DIY invites are SO easy to do. Print out the party information on white cardstock. Back with dark pink cardstock and then light pink cardstock. Tie with a wide ribbon and slip in a plastic wand. Perfect! Tip...if you are adding wands they will take up envelope space so make your invitation smaller. For a 4x6 invitation you will need 5x7 envelopes.
When your party guests arrive give each one a pretty crown headband to wear. This is just lace that has been spray painted, glued together into a crown shape and then hotglued to a gold painted headband. 
 If there is money in the budget then set up a "dress up station" so your guests can add tutus to their outfits. If not, then just ask your guests to dress up in their best Princess costume for the party!
 Next is picture time! Hang an empty ornate frame (look at Goodwill for one and spray paint it white or gold) a couple of feet out from a wall or on a tree branch but at little girl height. Perfect for photos!
 If it's on a wall then take a few moments and just a few dollars to dress that wall right up! Hang white tulle straight down and then every foot hang two strips of pink tulle down the wall. You will need twice the length of the wall in tulle for this. Gather every foot or so down the wall with darker pink tulle tied into bows. At 50 cents a yard, tulle is a great decorating tool!
 Last tip for photos...gather up a whole bunch of balloons, somewhere between a dozen and 18, and tie them with gold ribbons. Instant glam and perfect for photo ops! At the end of the party just hand a balloon out to each Princess!
 Little girls want to be up and running around, not sitting at a table, but that doesn't mean you don't need some chairs here or there for them. Pretty them up by tying a bit of light pink tulle around the chair and knotting it in the back. Then, over that, tie darker pink tulle around the chair and into a shallow bow. Gorgeous!
 And dress up the little side spaces like the food and cake tables! Martha Stewart has these PomPom balls in kits just ready to put together quickly!

 Your Princesses will adore a pink drink in a fancy cup. However little girls are not good with glass. Fortunately they make every type of stemware in plastic form so your little girl can feel all grown up!
 Pink Lemonade fits right into your color scheme...give it a little dash of color by slicing lemons or limes in the top!
 If you do want to do a sit down party outside then remember that you can still use the area over your guests heads for decorations! A Happy Birthday banner that reaches from one end of the party space to the other and lots of paper lanterns would be perfection!
 If it's a smaller celebration indoors you can dress up the light fixtures with paper lanterns or pom pom balls. It always makes the space look more finished.
 And do remember that the tulle is an inexpensive way to add a bit more Princess to your party. You can do just a couple of layers, like the table above, or layer several colors for a more opaque but colorful look.

 Don't forget about favors. Fill a vase with more tulle and pack in some fun wands for your guests to take home. They will love picking out which one they want.
 A really inexpensive way to dress up your space, like the favors table, is dollar store frames. Spray painted gold with sayings printed on white paper and backed with pink patterned paper is an easy and inexpensive way to add to your decor.
 Another way to add a bit of detail to your party is to have "Snack Stations" here or there at the party. Little bags of caramel or kettle corn that have been decorated with tulle and sticker crowns are just adorable.
 Rock candy is everywhere these days. I saw it at Michael's just the other day, three for a dollar! Stick some into a mason jar and tie with a ribbon or tulle...your Princesses will love it. 
 Finally you can make easy take away favors. A tiara and some candy nestled in a tissue paper filled bag and tied with ribbon and a "Thank You" tag would delight any little girl.
And speaking of delight! These Princess Cupcakes from Cat's Cakes would make any Princess smile! Find out how YOU can make these over at the Cake Blog ! With their pale pink double wrappers, pink and white frosting, pearls, sparkly sugar crystals and topped with a little pink crown, these little gems are the perfect ending touch for your Pretty Princess Party!

And don't forget to drop in over at our Facebook Fan Site for daily tips and tricks. This week we are working on ideas for St. Patrick's Day!