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Big Top Birthday

Four years old.  My little guy, Maxwell, is FOUR YEARS OLD.  Enjoying the present, reflecting on the past, and looking forward to the future is all I can do at this point.  Where does the time go?  Okay, okay… enough sentimental stuff.  Let’s get to it.

I got the idea from my friend Chelsea who was throwing a Circus Theme party for her oldest daughter.  As I researched lots of previous parties with the theme, it was obvious how fun and inspiring this party would be for a party-planner.  So I went with it.

As with any  party I plan, I focused on desserts first.  I mean… why wouldn’t I?

 
The super cute “popcorn” wrappers and personalized cupcake toppers came from one of my favorite and inexpensive sites from etsy called Dimple Prints.  They have the best print-out’s for a fair price.  The only one’s who AREN’T priced fairly is Staples with their 96 cents per page colored copies on plain white paper.  Yeah, no thanks.  It’s cheaper to buy cardstock and extra ink to print your own treasures.  Screw Staples.  Off. Soap. Box.

Take a closer look…

 

That’s not real popcorn.  That’s a cupcake.  It’s my go-to recipe for a classic white (with a touch of almond flavoring) cake.  I iced it with cream cheese frosting and topped it with mini-marshmallows that I spent over an hour on cutting in half, marking an “x” in each side of said marshmallow, twisting, and sticking back together.  THEN, as if that wasn’t enough work… I put a few drops of yellow food coloring into some water and used a brand-spanking-new tiny paintbrush to give the illusion of butter on the fake and torturing faux-popcorn.

Then…

I made these little beauties.  It’s a spice cake that I inserted a cheesecake filling, smack-dab in the center of the cake.  Then I made a cinnamon cream cheese icing, dyed it a deep red hue, and piped it on top.  Cinnamon sticks were the “stem” (which also gave the icing a much richer cinnamon flavor) and a Basil leaf for, well… for the leaf one might see on a fresh picked apple.  Cute, huh?  Wish I could say I came up with this idea, but alas… I am a great googler and pinterester.  Here’s the original link.

I thought it’d be super cool to have a “photo booth”.  Soooooo, I hired Andria C. at Earlie Daisy Photography to do this task.  She. Rocks.  Just saying.  Look at some of the gems she captured:

 
Okay.  So this mi familia.  Birthday-boy Maxwell, Daddy-Matthew, Bubba-Isaac, & Your’s Truly.  This is soooo our Christmas photo this year.

Yep, cutie’s with facial hair and boa’s.  Oh, and clown noses.

Here’s the goods:

Wait on it…..

There it is!  So funny!  Great job Tyler!

We had peanuts, popcorn, veggies, fruit, cupcakes, chips, and a ba-jillion hot dogs.  Yes, a ba-jillion.  Interesting fact:  the fruit and veggies were the first to be eaten.  Great job generation ‘now’!!  (Honestly, I don’t know what we’re calling this generation.  I may have coined a phrase.)

It was awesome.  The party, that is.  Want a recipe or need some tips?  OR do any of you OKC peeps need to hire a party/wedding coordinator?  Post a comment.  That’s all it takes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angry Birds Cake

I was commissioned to make an Angry Birds cake for a four year.  The same weekend was my oldest son’s birthday.  Well… when he found out what I was stirring up in the kitchen, he decided he wanted Angry Bird’s too.  Check it out….

 

 

Isaac and his brothers.

Mad Men Party

“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.” -Don Draper.

I was dripping with happiness when given the job to plan a surprise party for Clarece, an avid fan of the Mad Men series. I had never watched the show, but love it now.  It’s brilliant, you should check it out.  Anyway,  Andria (Clarece’s sister) gave me complete creative control.  I planned the invitation (which was a DVD format… wanna see it?  GO HERE), food, decorations, color schemes, guest book, party favors, etc.

The location is in the Paseo District of Oklahoma City named “The Oh! Space”.  My small crew and I had all of thirty minutes to set up, and we really could have used 2 hours.  Thankfully many of Clarece’s friends arrived early and were more than willing to step in and help make the place look amazing!

Misti Lanier did the photography for me, along with setting up tables, hanging lights, unpacking boxes, etc.  I think you will agree that she did a great job once you scroll through the upcoming photos.

Lisa Clark of Sweet Addictions Cupcakes prepared three fabulous flavors for the party; Red Velvet, Champagne Infused Strawberry, and Double Chocolate.

Normally, it would take 30 minutes alone to set up the cupcake tiers along with placing the cupcakes on them.

To properly feed a “Mad Men” crowd, one should stick to the basics of our parents generation.  Our menu consisted of:

Traditional deviled eggs:

Do ya like the appetizer picks I created?  The photo’s were loaned to me by Clarece’s mother, Angie.  The Mad Men cartoons I got from this website.

Madison Ave. Meatballs (really I used a bottle of Pomegranate Chipotle Sauce from Tastefully Simple.  You can order some if you like… go HERE):

Shrimp Cocktail – A must.

Three different dips with chips – So 60’s Party Style

Grilled Cheese Panini Sandwiches with Pesto – Okay… not so 60’s, but a HUGE hit!

Look at all the sexy people… they’re loving the food!

The big moment arrived… Clarece finally entered the room, and I’m pretty sure she was surprised.

I was so pleased that everyone dressed “the part”.  The Mad Men theme went unbelievably well..

Fedora’s as far as the eye could see…


There was so much love and laughter.

That is not what it looks like below… It’s a candy cigarette.  A Mad Men candy cigarette.

There was a bar supplied by Goodfella’s in OKC.

Have you ever seen a better looking family?

A few other “special” touched I gave the event was a personalized guest book, structured like a scrapbook, but where friends and family could write special messages to Clarece; Candy Cigarettes with special Mad Men logo’s on each box; and a vintage baby blue typewriter.


Here’s a better idea what the Oh! Space looks like from different angles..

From the back of the room looking towards the front door, you can see the loft upstairs, the billiards table, and happy shiny people.

The view from the baby grand piano looks towards the back of the room.  And… if you look closely, you can see January Jones on the flat screen.

I hope Clarece and her guests had as much fun at the party as I had planning it.

Thank you Andria for giving me this opportunity!

A League Of Their Own…

Lisa aka Sweet Addictions Cupcakes, hit me up to make her oldest daughter and friend costumes for the upcoming holiday.  I think I may have had a little too much wine in my blood when I agreed whole-heartedly.  Ha!  It was challenging, and rewarding… but I may not look at my sewing machine for a while.

You have to see this!

This is the first dress Kiely has ever worn, I think.  She liked how it “twirled”.  I like that.

These girls have no idea how beautiful they are.  That’s probably a good thing, just ask their fathers’.

I made the patches that went on the sleeves and the chest.  I did not make the hats.  I mean, who has time for that?

So, do you know which players they chose to be?  Did you notice their numbers?  First person to comment with the correct answer will receive all the patches I made that I was unsatisfied with.  They’re pretty good.. you could use them for coasters?? (Lisa, you may not play this game.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New & Improved Strawberry Shortcake

If you are anywhere near my age, you remember the first (the original) Strawberry Shortcake.  It wasn’t until recently that I even knew that she had progressed with the times.  Well, good for her.  On one hand, I want S.S. to be the same sweet girl I knew and loved as a child, on the other hand I know that like everything in life.. “the times, they are a’changing” (thanks Bob Dylan).  I also understand that B.D. would never sing about S.S., but for a woman like myself, I am having a hard time with her new look.  I feel like she would ride in cars with boys, whereas the ole gal would maybe let a boy use her wheel-barrow.  I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.  Maybe I’m getting old, and it took the S.S. new make-over to show me.  Regardless, I was involved with a four-year-olds birthday.  And although I disagree with the new look, I went with it.  Want to see it?  Here we go..  I made a strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream icing.  Between the layers I placed fresh sliced strawberries.  I thought this was a mistake, because when the cake was out of the refrigerator for more than ten minutes, i could feel the layers trying to escape each other.  But once we cut into the cake and tried it… UNBELIEVABLE.  The best cake ever.  Hands down.

The cupcakes were Chocolate with Nutella Buttercream Icing, Almond-White with Strawberry Buttercream & Chocolate Buttercream.

I also made the fashionable skirt worn by the birthday girl.

Here she is with her cousin.

We ordered a package from Dimple Prints.  She has really good ideas, check out her Etsy Store too.  Here’s some of the looks:

Inside these cute paper strawberries are pink, green, and red M&M’s.

See the “Food” sign?  That too is Dimple Prints.  The tags next to the food is all Social Butterflies.

The Strawberry Crush (and other flavors) was a huge hit!  We took the S.S. paper logo off the party favors that you blow into, and the paper curly thing shoots out… what are those called?  Leave me a comment if you know.  Anyway, we tied them to the bottles with green ribbon.  Too cute…

My dad made a great bean-bag-toss, & I painted the “new” S.S. on it.  Check it out:

I also made the bean bags for the game:

The kids played other games, and there were prizes for all..

I’m pretty sure the party was a hit.  ;)

Thomas, Good ole Thomas.

My three year old loves, loves, loves Thomas.  I guess that’s pretty common.  For his birthday I constructed the most amazing cake.  Check this out..

The cupcake tier was also really fun..

I wanted to make food that was kid friendly, and more importantly… Maxwell-friendly.  Most people who know Max, may think that he runs on batteries, for the lack of eating that he does.  So here’s a run down..

This one was very popular with the adult consumers.

The best part of the party was when Maxwell woke up and saw all the helium filled balloons and Thomas decorations..

Look at that crazy bedhead and Jack Nickelson eyes.

A few weeks later, we took the boys to see the real Thomas the Train at the Oklahoma Railway Museum.

Isaac loves his brother so much.  And I’m sure Maxwell feels the same.  :)

 

A House Warming Surprise

Recently we held a surprise house-warming gathering for a special lady.  Amber had just closed on her new home the day before the party.  Her friends and I knew she needed just about everything for her house, so what better way to help Amber than supplying her with gift cards from all her favorite stores.

I made about 25 of these super cute (and super easy to make) gift card holders.  I got the pattern from one of my favorite websites.  If you like to craft or need fun ideas check out  Heather Bailey.

I know, I know… how many photo’s of ‘boxes‘ can one person take?  Well, consider yourself lucky.  I only posted five out of… oh, I don’t know.. maybe 30?

Back to Amber…. we bought her some beautiful Gerber daisies which made a fun addition to the already gorgeous tablescape.

There was a delicious spread of food for everyone to enjoy… fresh vegetables (with Tonie’s special Ranch Dip), humus, pasta salad (I should say.. Chris’ Unbelievable Pasta Salad).

..buttery croissants, Social Butterflies Chicken Salad..

..Lemonade Mini-Cupcakes & Strawberry Champagne Infused Mini-Cupcakes from Sweet Addictions Cupcakes

Amber’s mother, Chris made this stunning fruit bouquet and sinfully delicious dip.  (side note:  my favorite part of the whole day was when Chris was helping clean up, she grabbed a big spoon out of the silverware drawer, stirred the dip, then took a huge spoonful and ate it.  I cracked up… totally thought she was going to put it in the plastic container!  She’s so dainty, I didn’t expect this at all.  I hold her in a whole new level of awesomeness)

 

I just love this photo of Jamie B.  She’s all posted up next to the dessert table.  Good girl!

Amber’s sweet Aunt Becky & cousin Haley.

Amy & Tami

Cousin’s Haley & Emily

Chris, Tonie, and Amy deserve so much credit on this party.  They pulled it all together for me and I was very glad to have their help.
(Left to right:  Chris, Amber, Amy, and Tonie)

I know that Amber was able to purchase lots of items she needed for her sons and herself.  Her house is so incredibly cute!  Once she has it completely furnished and decorated the way she wants, I will be sure to post some photo’s on the “random photo’s” section of this blog.

By the way, today is “Thank A Stranger Day”.  So say thanks to someone who does something nice for you.  :)

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