Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Monday! This past week we worked and attended a Destination Wedding in Paris, Texas. There were many things we loved about this wedding, including the Bride and Groom, so we thought we'd happily share some of the details with all of you.
The gorgeous Crest Wedding Invitations from Wedding Paper Diva's  were the perfect way for the Bride to set the color palette and elegant theme of the event.  

 Personal family touches were a big deal in this wedding right down to the toes. All of the girls wore identical shoes only the Bridesmaids were dyed blue to match their dresses! 
The bouquets were all made with silk flowers by the Bride and her family for the ceremony adding that personalized touch that they get to keep long after the day has passed. When using silk flowers buy the very best you can find, they will look more like the real thing, like these do, and hold up to the passing of time much better.
 There were plenty of real flowers there too! This adorable matching Flower Girl basket was filled to the brim with daisy heads. Since the day was extremely windy it turned out that the heavier whole flowers were heavy enough to stand up to the scattering effects of the weather! 
 And they looked simply gorgeous on the paving stone pathway to the altar. The other bonus was that they were really easy for the young Flower Girl to pick up and drop on the ground unlike rose petals which can stick together.
As people entered the reception they were directed to the gift old fashioned swing which held a vintage suitcase for the cards and plenty of room for gifts. Knowing that only the local attendees would be bringing actual gifts and that those who flew in for the event would be bringing cards, this made for a wonderful way to present the cards in a decorative way.
Having a ceremony in Texas in the late Spring is a great idea. You still have the milder Spring temperatures without the heat of the Summer. However, it also means you get the wind. We had purchased the blue and clear marbles for the bottom of the vases but were very happy to find out that they helped hold down the blue napkins for the centerpieces! We loved the look even if it was too windy to actually light the candles. Cost saving tip here. The event center had the square containers for us to borrow, we bought the mixed flower bouquets at the local grocery store and added in the tall blue stems to match her colors. Then we tied up the small bouquets with blue or cream colored sheer ribbon to fit the Wedding Colors. Perfect.
For the Sweetheart Table we focused on the Brides choice in flowers, just the Daisies and the blue Delphiniums. I used 3 small square vases, then tied them together using both the cream and blue sheer ribbons. 

 Since this wedding began at 7:30 P. M. the Bride and Groom offered wonderful after dinner snacks for the guests to nosh on as they danced the night away. This amazing tower of fruit and cheese had us all enthralled! Served with crackers and pinwheel sandwiches we all loved every bite of it!
 Of course there was something sweet to send the guests on their way. These French Meringue Cookies were a crowd favorite and so easy, and inexpensive, to make. I made 80 favors and the cost was only $20. You can find the recipe online (it's basically egg whites, sugar and vanilla) and in a couple of hours you can have wonderful, yummy favors for your party!
They were presented on the same table as the guest book. One of the Bridesmaids added her bouquet and that just completed the look of the table!
 And then there's cake! No, I didn't make this one. In fact, I never did find out who the vendor was, but it certainly was beautiful and it tasted simply divine! The top tier was red velvet cake, the middle tier was vanilla cake and the bottom tier was chocolate cake. It was covered in vanilla buttercream with the blue fondant flowers as accent. A beautiful wedding cake does not have to be an elaborate one to be gorgeous and this one is proof of that!
Remember that your topper is a wonderful chance to show off your own personal style. There wasn't a single person who saw the cake that didn't remark how wonderful the topper was and how much it added to the cake!

 Color coordinating your table can be a simple thing to do. By using the same blue napkins that we used on the tables as well as the marbles, then adding the basket of personalized napkins to the table we were able to set the table for the cake and show it off in a beautiful way.

 Congratulations Matt & Tami! We were very honored to be a part of your day, help make your wedding dreams come true and see how happy you two are together as Mr. & Mrs.

I'm out of here for two weeks, taking a vacation before the summer season hits, so I'll see you all when I get back!


Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Monday! This past weekend brought a family birthday! Our Grandson, Parker, turned TWO!
Parker has always been a Mickey Mouse Super Fan and is a very big fan of the show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so when it came time to plan the first birthday he would actually participate in celebrating, it was a no brainer that Mickey Mouse Clubhouse should be the theme! Starting with the invites! These are from Etsy and are just a perfect way to set the theme for all of your guests!
But Parker's party had a little twist to it. Being fortunate enough to have just about everything a little boy could want or need, Parker saw an ad on TV about adopting a Tiger and he wanted it immediately. So Tory looked up the information and found out how Parker could "adopt" Tai the Tiger. So this insert went into each invitation to give the guests an alternative gift that they could, if they wished, give instead of something like a toy or clothing to Parker. We have simply wonderful family and friends and Tai is officially adopted! Parker will get a certificate of adoption as well as a little stuffed version of Tai. He will love it!
When the guests arrived they were directed to the back gate of the yard with this little handpainted Clubhouse sign. 
And just in case you were not aware it was a PARTY, we put out the huge Disney themed Happy Birthday banner which covered the pergola in the front of the house. This is one of the many ways buying the official licensed kits can really work in your favor. This one came with many decorations for the party.
Not every plan works when you set up a party. We had planned on getting photos of each kid or family as they came into the party. Jack, Parker's Uncle, was really the only kid we ever got to sit down and take a picture...and he was doing that as a favor to me. We did get one later with Parker and his Poppa Harry but it was an ordeal. But...
While the photo booth idea didn't actually work, the balloons sure did! Because they were tethered to the balloon weights it was easy for the kids to play with the bunches of balloons without them flying away. Parker, pictured here, really really loved this idea and was constantly going to get the balloons and drag them around the yard where he and the other kids would beat up on them! They had a wonderful time!
There were special Mylar balloons as well but they were tied to the food table so everyone got to see the truly special balloons with no danger of them flying away. This means the Birthday Boy gets to play with them all week too!
Tory did a lot of DIY for this party but used the decorative stuff like plates and napkins to add to her theme. Being Disney fans they already had the Mickey bowls so we just filled them up with chips, rolled napkins and fresh strawberries for the party!
And speaking if DIY! Tory made this amazing name plate for Parker out of wood lettering and base from the craft store, paint and scrapbook paper. It was the perfect personalized focal point for the food table! 
When Parker was just beginning to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV he would always get SO excited when the "Hot Dog" song came on so we figured that a Hot Diggety Dog Bar would be perfect for the party. Everyone loved making their custom dogs for lunch.
The whole table was set off by layering the plastic tablecloths. We wrapped empty soda boxes with a black plastic tablecloth so "Mickey" colors would be on the main table. And, of course, there was Toodles for the very front of the table! We even took the cardboard trays that the water bottles were packaged in, wrapped them up and stuck on some Mickey's so we could set out the chips in a decorative way!
And speaking of the water bottles! As always Tory made some amazing labels for the bottles...not just one design but THREE! We set them up in a cooler with just a bit of ice on the bottom to keep them cool and show off the three designs. The day ended up being rather warm and sunny so it was great to have all of this water for everyone along with the soda and juice boxes.
Another Etsy find were these personalized candy bar labels! They were the perfect favor for the grown ups!
They were presented in a basket on the favor table along with another sign that says "For The Grown Ups".
There were signs everywhere adding more details to the party, continuing the theme on each table, as well as giving information. SO cute!
Each kid got an activity book. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse coloring books from the Dollar Store along with Crayola crayons wrapped up and personalized for the little kids...

...and Word Search Book with Disney pens for the bigger kids. A perfect take home gift for kids who had been filling up on junk food and running around like crazy all day.
For Parker's 1st Birthday they had a personalized shirt made for him to wear. It was such a hit they decided to do it again this year! Tory found this one on Etsy and it was, indeed, perfect for Parker and for the theme of the Party. Oh, and see the bubbles? They bought an inexpensive bubble machine, set up up on a branch of a tree and let it run, filling it up from time to time with bubble mix, and the kids LOVED it! What a fun and inexpensive way to entertain the kids at the party!
One of the signs on the gift table directed guests who had brought cards with donations in them to the box on the table. 
And while Parker got enough donations to adopt Tai the Tiger he also got lots of toys...mainly cars since the kid is crazy about anything that has wheels! 
There was a Happy Note box as well so guests could leave a note for Parker's Scrapbook when they dropped off any gifts on the gift table. The sign, the note papers and the little logos are all printed out on a computer. Not hard to do at all.
Some ways that easy DIY can add to your party were a big hit on the Cake Table! This coffee can was turned into a Mickey themed detail with a bit of paint and buttons! The Handy Helpers sign was held in place with a weight that we stuck the skewer into before sticking it into the can. The internet came to the rescue again with the personalized Parker Birthday Sign. Tory found it on Pinterest and followed the link to a fellow blogger who made it up just for Parker! Not only does it continue the color palette but it also continues the theme and gives them a keepsake to put into Parker's room after the party.
Another item was the Birthday Calendar. Each guest was asked to sign their name on the day of their birthday. This makes it easy for Parker to see whose birthday is coming up next, learn all about birthdays, and also be taught how to shop for and how to give gifts to others. The calendar is filled up with photos from Parker's many trips to Disneyland with family and friends. Yup, we are a Disney family!
The Cake Table was a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse explosion! From the plates to the napkins, to the Handy Helpers Can, the Birthday Sign and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed cake, it was colorful and perfect for the theme!
And, of course, there was the cake. Lemon Chiffon, Parker's favorite, with Lemon Curd Butter Cream filling was under the fresh vanilla fondant design by Cat's Cakes. Find out all about how it was made step by step on the Cake Blog! Parker was very happy with his cake and cracked everyone up by eating it...with his face only! It was just the funniest part of the whole day. 

Yes, a lot of work and planning went into this "Backyard Party" but if you start several months ahead of time and get all the pieces made and ready then the morning of the party all you have to do is set it all up. Then let the party roll! We had such a good time celebrating Parker's 2nd Birthday that we are already talking about what to do for his 3rd!

Happy Birthday to our "Parker-Boo"! 

Next week I'll be bringing you a wedding! I'll share it with you on Tuesday of next week since it is a Destination Wedding and I will be traveling!


Monday, April 8, 2013

 Happy Monday! Yesterday we spotlighted how you could use discounted Easter items to make adorable Garden Party Cupcakes on our Cake Blog and today we put together a party plan to help you throw a Garden Party of your own!
 Did you just get engaged? Well, a Springtime Garden Party Wedding would be simply gorgeous! Filled with color and texture your guests would be delighted! These beautiful wedding invitations from Elum Designs would be perfection for your party!
And Springtime seems to be a perfect fit for many Baby Showers too! With so many baby animals around every year and Spring being about new beginnings, a Garden Party Baby Shower would be lovely for your celebrated Mom-to-Be. These adorable invitations from LilDuckDuck are just so cute!
We have a bunch of Spring Birthday's in our family and, of course, there is Mother's Day each Spring and wonderful Mom's to celebrate then as well. These invitations from zazzle would be a wonderful way to let your guests know your theme and get ready for your Garden Party!

 Now that you have set the mood with your invitation it's time to open the party! These ribbon hung wooden letters are often used for weddings but if you are not celebrating a wedding why not hang the initials of the Guest of Honor instead? Whether on the front door or the garden gate, these are a simple, inexpensive way of adding a lovely bit of personalization to your party!
However, if it IS a wedding you could carry a "Presentation Bouquet" of Calla Lilies like these gorgeous orange blooms. This time of year all colors of Calla's are available, from white to pink to yellow to orange, they are just gorgeous. And, don't forget, even if this party isn't a wedding, I bet your Guest of Honor would love a bouquet like this when she arrives!

 Inside or outside paper lanterns are a wonderful way to decorate the space above your heads. If you have a more limited budget then just get a few and bunch them up over the food or drink tables. These were decorated with little butterflies. An easy touch but with such impact!
 If you are having a buffet, this trick of using painted pots to hold your flatware is a cute way to add another detail to your party theme! If you want to save a bit either buy these at the Dollar Store or get plain terra cotta pots at your local craft store.
 Inside on a wall or outside on a fence, these pinwheels make a BIG statement for your party and they are SO easy to make! Set them up behind the buffet table or gift table as a gorgeous focal point to your party!
 Sit down decor doesn't have to be expensive. Plain rectangular planters or containers filled 3/4 of the way with an oasis block and then topped with moss, tangerines and a few gerbera daisies are a very inexpensive way to have a gorgeous centerpiece! Also keep in mind that little touches like the orange ribbon around the tealight holders and white napkins, the orange labels on the Aqua Panna water bottles and even the square containers filled with orange candy all add inexpensive touches to pull more color onto your table.
 Place cards are always fun at any party. They add a level of elegance to even the most casual of gatherings. To make these is SO easy. Save your opened canned goods cans (my favorite is the small coffee cans because they have smooth edges), use double stick tape to wrap the can with party coordinating scrapbook paper and then add a stick on label with the guests names to the front. Tuck in the napkins, flatware and bottled water and place that at the top or even in the middle of each plate on the table.
 Do you have a lot of place cards to make for, say, a wedding? We love this idea of taking wooden hearts (about 30 cents each at the craft store) and spray painting them with chalkboard paint and then writing the guest name on each one and placing that on the napkin in the center of each plate!
 Small family events like Mother's Day can be easily decorated in the Garden Party theme by adding a few yards of garden themed fabric (this was just 3 yards of gingham over a white tablecloth). Set with colored place settings and accent with whatever garden flowers you may have around. We used a juice pitcher that matched our theme and filled mason jars with water to hold our garden grown yellow roses. 
 Now for the food! Many hosts want to add in some sort of signature drink and this Mimosa Bar is a perfect way of letting your guests choose their favorites to go into the glass! Do you have guests who don't drink? Just make sure that there is also sparkling grape or apple juice as well as mineral water for them to mix with. Prosecco is usually used to make Mimosa's but you can always use your favorite champagne or sparkling wine. You can find the fruit puree's at your local Bev-Mo. What a fun way to start off your party!

 What is a garden party without a beautiful presentation of veggies? We loved how they used these gorgeous parchment lined baskets to make individual servings for their guests!
Living in the world of the limited budget, like we do, you can also present the flavor of the basket of veggies using clear plastic cups filled with sticks of colorful carrots, zucchini and jicama set into a base of Ranch dressing. You can add in some yellow, orange and red pepper strips as well for even more color! 
 However on a buffet table it would be fun to use all types of different containers to present the veggies! I love how they presented the radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes and asparagus spears in all different shapes for this party!
Skewers work really well for this type of party. Just make sure that, if this is a sit down dinner, to have your waiter remove the pieces of meat and vegetables from the skewers before presenting it to the guest. This can be done table side and makes for a wonderful presentation!
If your party requires favors remember that ribbon and double stick tape are your best friends! These plain white boxes are always available at Michael's Craft Stores in their wedding section. Dress them up by using different colors of ribbon outside, different colors of tissue paper inside and fill with candy, cookies or your garden themed trinket!
Finally there is cake! I explained yesterday on the Cake Blog how you can use half priced Easter decorations to save money for your garden party. By using the garden themed cupcake liners, brightly colored frosting and the floral picks that came in the kit we were able to make these adorable Garden Party Cupcakes for our party. Is your celebration a wedding? Make a cupcake tier of these fun goodies and top it with a small "rose" covered cake for you and your Groom to slice into for the Cutting Of The Cake Ceremony. Save the cute little bunny couple for the top of the "cutting cake". Simply adorable!

Whatever you are celebrating with your Garden Party just make sure to use lots and lots of color! By using the colors and textures of your blooming environment you can save lots of money and have a fun, as well as beautiful, party for your guests!

See you next week with a very Mickey themed birthday party! For more tips and tricks make sure to visit our Facebook Fan Site each day!