Cupcakes and Polkadots

This Cupcake and Polkadot filled Birthday Party was originally hosted by Stephanie.
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Stephanie handmade this party with LOVE for her daughter Annabelle. Her cupcake invitations look good enough to eat! My favorite has to be the ADORABLE matching party hat and shirt that her precious little girl has on. Scroll on down to view this party because there is plenty of inspiration!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to Stephanie’s Blog to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy Stephanie’s party…..

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I cannot believe that it has already been a year since Annabelle was born. This year has flown by. What a wonderful first year this has been. We look forward to many more adventures ahead with our sweet Annabelle.

We did a cupcake and polka dot themed 1st birthday for Annabelle. We had a petting zoo and pinata as activities for the children. Many of the items were hand made including the favors and favor tags, book birthday sign, birthday hat, shirt etc. I tried to incorporate cupcakes/polka dots as much as possible from the homemade invitations to the hairclip I made for her to wear.

Birthdays and Baby Showers

This Hello Kitty Birthday Party and Precious Baby Shower was originally hosted by Ashley over at Domestic Fashionista.
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Ashley submitted two different parties…so I’m just giving you a glimpse of both of them. Please be sure to follow the links to her blog to see more pictures and more details about both of her fabulous parties!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to the Domestic Fashionista to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy Ashley’s Parties…..

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Here’s a peek at Ashley’s Hello Kitty Party…you will have to visit her blog to see the rest!

The afternoon was filled with pink, flowers, sweets, and girly fun. Needless to say, we know how to throw a great party! Our beautiful centerpiece…
Hello Kitty’s very own birthday cupcake…

These cupcakes and party decor are just a glimpse of Ashley’s Baby Shower. To see the rest you will have to hop on over to her blog!

After long agonizing over my cupcake abilities and all your fine baking expertise, I went for simple frosting, do-da’s, and a banner.

A few different banner ideas to inspire you!

Birthdays and Baby Showers

This Hello Kitty Birthday Party and Precious Baby Shower was originally hosted by Ashley over at Domestic Fashionista.
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Ashley submitted two different parties…so I’m just giving you a glimpse of both of them. Please be sure to follow the links to her blog to see more pictures and more details about both of her fabulous parties!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to the Domestic Fashionista to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy Ashley’s Parties…..

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Here’s a peek at Ashley’s Hello Kitty Party…you will have to visit her blog to see the rest!

The afternoon was filled with pink, flowers, sweets, and girly fun. Needless to say, we know how to throw a great party! Our beautiful centerpiece…
Hello Kitty’s very own birthday cupcake…

These cupcakes and party decor are just a glimpse of Ashley’s Baby Shower. To see the rest you will have to hop on over to her blog!

After long agonizing over my cupcake abilities and all your fine baking expertise, I went for simple frosting, do-da’s, and a banner.

A few different banner ideas to inspire you!

Super Sweet Candy Birthday

This Super Sweet Candy Birthday party was originally hosted by The Vazquez Family.

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This candy party is filled with SWEET treats and a ton of inspiring ideas! The bubble gum party favors are totally to die for! What a fabulous idea. Everything about it…the candy covered apples, the brownies, the pinata, the decor, the cupcake toppers, the candy filled jars…so many ideas!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to the Vazquez Family Blog to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy the Vazquez’s party…..

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Ok, so the day finally arrived! My Princess Bella turned 3…I can’t believe it! I’m actually blogging 2 days later, although it was exhausting, everything turned out perfect! We invited our immediate Family, which consist of over 30 people and a few close friends. The day started out with Church of course, Here’s a picture of Bella before we headed out the door…BTW, did you notice the earrings! I LOVE THEM!

I originally planned to purchase cupcakes but I went waaay over budget and in the end had to make them myself! I had some great help though, Pastor Elaine and Alexis helped me bake and decorate all the cupcakes and P Elaine came up with a great idea for my tower and the brownies. She decorated them by hand! Gotta love her!

These candy apples were not only CUTE but delicious! These were super easy to make. They are coated with FROSTING from a can! You melt it for 30 seconds in the microwave and spoon the frosting over the apple and decorate! Voila!

These cellophane candies came out cuter than I originally imagined! I already had the paper lanterns, turn them sideways and wrap with cellophane and a bow on each end!

As if the Candy Shop was not enough, we gave out these super cute old fashioned gumball machines as favors! Oh, and I found bigger ones (in RED) at Walreens for 50% off right after easter! Yaay! so I bought a few of those for the bigger kids!


Our Custom Made Lollipop Pinata was TDF! I was handmade and it was so cute we didn’t even use it! We’ll save it for next year!

Tada!!!! Here is the Candy Shop!! It turned out even better than I imagined!



Bella enjoyed all of her gifts! She looks very happy!

I loved, loved planning this party, it was too much fun…Now, what next year???

Disco Dance Slumber Party

This Disco Dance Slumber Party was originally hosted by ME…Shannon…the hostess of this blog!!
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Well, this is my own party…so I guess I can’t gush about it the way I do about everybody elses parties! but I will say that it was a hit with the 10 year old girls and I hope that you will all enjoy taking a look at it! Oh…and you also have to know that I had TWELVE girls spend the night…so I appropriately wore a shirt with the same design of the invitation but it said, “SAVE THE DRAMA FOR YOUR MAMA!” It actually was a fairly drama free event! HOORAY!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to my personal blog, EightCrazy, to see what else I’ve got going on!

Enjoy the party…..

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The Invitation…..

The Gift CD (with all the music from the dance party!)
The Birthday girl….


The Sweet Treats & Party Decor…..







I had the girls help me with the dipping and sprinkles on the cupcake pops! It was a fun activity~!
The little cupcake bites and cupcake pops were inspired by Bakerella.

Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice

This Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice baby shower was originally hosted by Modern Eve.

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This blog is so much fun because I am learning so much from all of you. Modern Eve took a traditional saying and turned it into a fabulous baby shower theme idea. I think her submission summary sums it up best…..

the theme was sugar n’ spice and everything nice.. for a baby girl. we served desserts (sugar) and spicy appetizers (spice) and everything nice was (the gifts!)

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to Modern Eve’s to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy Modern Eve’s party…..

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earlier this year, i helped host a beautiful baby shower for my good friend erika and her daughter, raylee.
the theme of the shower was “sugar n’ spice” and followed the decor of her nursery.
i created the invitations (which i sadly do not have a picture of), as well as a lot of the decorations.

DECORATIONS:
napkin rings: black and white polka-dot ribbon tied with white diaper pins
garland: “sugar n’ spice” divided the buffet tables, “& everything nice” hung over the presents
tablescape: antique lace tablecloth with a scrapbook paper runner and flower arrangements from central market
dishes: we actually whipped out the china & silver
guestbook table: baby pictures of mom & dad and a scrapbook guest page that matched the invitations.

FAVORS:
glass teddy bear shakers (from the container store) filled with cinnamon & sugar (sugar n’ spice).

MENU:
sugar: assorted breads (zucchini, banana, and pumpkin), fresh fruit, thumbprint cookies from stein’s bakery, and petit-fours also from
stein’s
spice: southwestern chicken salad on endive lettuce cups, vegetables with chipotle ranch dressing, chips & salsa, meatballs with barbeque sauce, and bacon-wrapped water chestnuts (lavender lily‘s specialty)

PLAYLIST:
who am i – jessica andrews
sweet pea – amos lee
baby love – the supremes
feels like home – chantal krevizuk
amazing – josh kelley
i could not ask for more – edwin mccain
my wish – rascal flatts
your smiling face – james taylor
daughters – john mayer
hey! baby – bruce channel
this will be (an everlasting love) – natalie cole
who needs sleep? – barenaked ladies
xxx’s and ooo’s – trisha yearwood
baby, baby – amy grant
a song for mama – boyz II men
my girl – temptations
dreams can come true – deseree
all this beauty – the weepies
i love you always forever – donna lewis
you dance – eastmountainsouth
bubbly – colbie caillat
little miss magic – jimmy buffet
100 years – five for fighting
always be my baby – mariah carey
better together – jack johnson
i’ll be there for you – the rembrandts
holding a mystery – steven curtis chapman
the riddle – five for fighting
let them be little – lonestar
my little girl – time mcgraw
sweet child o’mine – sheryl crow
isn’t she lovely – lee ann womack
always be your baby – natalie grant

GAME:
family trivia: guests filled out this trivia quiz about both mom & dad, and then made predictions about baby raylee. the guest with the most trivia questions correct received a “baby-making kit” aka: hanky panky thong. mom was planning on also sending a gift to whomever was the closest on the predictons once raylee was born.


Introducing…..the "mini feature"……..

I’ve gotten a few submissions that weren’t necessarily blog posts, so I couldn’t just re-post them. But I definitely thought they were worth sharing.

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The first is from Stephanie over at Couture Parties. She is a professional party thrower and has picture galleries filled with tons of creative party inspiration! Please hop on over and check out her Couture Parties site.

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Kelli submitted two different picture galleries for your party viewing pleasure. The first is a chic event for a 40th birthday party with a “Louboutin Red” Diva theme.

The second gallery she submitted is a fabulously fun birthday party for her 7 year old daughter with an Easter Theme. You are just one click away from Kelli’s inspiring ideas!

A little more Fancy Nancy!

This Fancy Nancy Themed Birthday party was originally hosted by Jadi over at Homemaking Fun.

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Apparently Fancy Nancy parties are all the rage because we’ve got a new party submission from Jadi. Of course getting the girls dressed up all FANCY is a must! Jadi had lots of dress up accessories for all the girls. And when they were done accessorizing themselves…they got to dress up their own bowls of ice cream!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to Homemaking Fun to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy Jadi’s party…..

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A picture of the fancy girls modeling their new accessories on the stage.

Some of the party decorations.

Some accessories to help make the girls as fancy as Nancy.

Turning plain bags into fancy bags to hold their new fancy accessories.

I served parfaits for dessert which is the fancy word for ice cream sundaes.

The invitations.

If you have never read the Fancy Nancy books then you are missing out! They are adorable. I decided to have a Fancy Nancy party because the little girls in our preschool group love to dress up and be fancy. I had so much fun planning this party.

A friend of mine was kind enough to print the invitations off in color for me. I attached them to card stock and then tied little tiaras to them with ribbon and cellophane. You can print the same invitations from harpercollinschildrens.com. Click HERE to go to the link. If you scroll down you can also print off a Fancy Nancy coloring page. I printed those off for the girls to color after decorating their bags.

You can find directions to make the paper bag flowers on Martha Stewart’s website. Click HERE to go to the link. I helped my friend put these together for a church activity. She was kind enough to let me borrow them for this party. These are easy to make and you can easily fold them up and save them to use again in the future.

I made the Fancy Nancy banner by cutting 12X12 card stock sheets into fourths. I cut the lettering and flowers out with my cricut machine. I punched two holes in the top corners of each sheet and strung white yarn through the holes.

I used hot glue to attach flowers to the straws and then tied white ribbons under the flowers. I also used hot glue to attach ribbon and bows to the cups. (I did this right before the guest arrived. I wish I would have had time to trim the bows) I found some white heart paper dollies on clearance from Valentine’s Day and used them to place under the cups. I also glued flowers to ribbons and then tied them around the napkins. For the place cards I wrote the girls names in glitter.

When the girls first arrived I started the party by reading the original Fancy Nancy book. After reading the book I gave all of the girls accessories so they could help turn a plain mom into a fancy mom. My friend did a great job playing the part. Then I gave them each a cookie to practice eating with their pinkies out. After that I handed out the fancy accessories (glasses, necklaces and rings) and had the girls model their new fancy accessories on the stage (A table covered with a plastic tablecloth). My friend also brought a bag of cute butterfly hair clips for the girls. Then they decorated plain bags with crayons and foam stickers to turn them into fancy bags to take their new accessories home in. We ended our party by making parfaits. (Parfaits are fancy for ice cream sundaes) I bought a gallon of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, strawberry and pineapple ice cream toppings, bananas, nuts, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, mini marshmallows, whipped cream and maraschino cherries.

Pampered Puppy Birthday Party

This Pampered Puppy Birthday party was originally hosted by Elizabeth over at Pampered Princess Parties.

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Ok, so I may lose readers by admitting that I’m not a huge dog fan…HOWEVER even I have to admit that Brooke’s Pampered Puppy Party is Positively Perfect! Everything about it was adorable, fun, and creative. The black dog dishes on the table is one of my favorite touches! How CUTE!

I think her activity was definitely one the girls won’t soon forget. How FUN that they got to stuff thier own puppy. That’s gotta be one of the best party favors I’ve seen! It was a craft, activity, and favor all wrapped into one. GENIUS!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to Elizabeth’s Blog to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy Elizabeth’s party…..

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Last Saturday, the months of planning and creating came together for Wryeton’s 5th birthday puppy party. As the guests entered, they visited the grooming station where they got puppy ears, a puppy nose, and freckles.

Next, it was on to the adoption center to pick out our puppies and stuff them with love.

The guests had to name their puppies and they made a dog collar using stretchy cord and pony beads. We wrote the puppy’s name on a metal rimmed key tag and attached it to the dog collar.
We played “trainer says” but I don’t have any pictures of that- sorry :(
It was then time for cake! The kids sat down to the puppy-themed table. I used dog bone scrapbook paper for the placemats, my 49 cent Ikea dog bowls, the topiary I worked on FOREVER, 2 black candlesticks I found at Hobby Lobby on 80% clearance, and a feather boa.
My topiary was inspired by the topiary Party Planning Mom used at her Strawberry Shortcake party.

After all the planning and creating, I didn’t dare make my own cake! I found a shaggy dog cake from Publix and switched out their red ribbon for a pink and white polka dot bow. I really wish Fig and Ruby lived near me because their sweet puppy cake is So Cute!

For the party favors, I made up little bags of graham cracker bones and velvet color mini-posters with my own label that coordinated with the invitations I created. Thank you Pumpkin Petunia for the idea (although yours are a lot cuter)!!!

Prehistoric 40th Birthday Party

This Prehistoric but Not Extinct 40th Birthday Party was originally hosted by Brooke over at JackarooLove

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I love the statement that Brooke made when she submitted her party….. Amazing how inspiring 13 yards of faux fur can be!

Inspiration for a party can come from anywhere! As you look through the pics be sure to notice just how far that faux fur went! I think this is such a fun and creative idea for a 40th Birthday. A totally new twist on the old “over the hill” theme. I have to say that food looks absolutely delicious…YUMM!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to Brooke’s Blog to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy the Brooke’s party…..

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Dear sweet hubby’s 40th Surprise Birthday was a success! Great friends, good drinks, a hysterical ‘Roast’, stories relived and memories to treasure forever.

I had no idea the details and décor for this lil’ shindig could be so much fun! Amazing how inspiring 13 yards of faux fur can be!

The idea for the invites came from the cheetah print fabric and a bundle of sticks from Ikea.

Zebra print for chair covers.



Oh the stories that little ‘guest book’ holds! Zebra print book dressed up a bit.

Black Bear Coasters
I found four great charms at World Market. Loved the idea but they only had four. So I made the rest to match.

The Birthday Boy.

Table and Island Elements:: 20×20 Flat Quartz Paver. A Potted Orchid. Polished River Rocks. Candles of all Shapes and Sizes. Black Bear Coasters. Caveman Cab. Zebra print chair covers. Deer Antlers. Cheetah print votives. Moss and More Moss. Prehistoric Wine Charms. White Bear Hide. Delicious Eats.

Décor Fun:: Camo Netting for Vines. Votive Candles. Pillar Candles. Deer Hide. Cheetah Print. Zebra Print. Black Bear Hide .River Rocks. Outdoor Fire Pit. Outdoor Granite Torches. Tiki Torches. Sticks. Dino-mite Labels and Signs. Curly Willow Branches. Lots of Brown. Cream and White.

More fun details and party pictures HERE

Weekend Etsy Feature – ChicBabyRose

Whether you are throwing a baby shower or a birthday party ChicBabyRose has something for you…..





Head on over to the ChicBabyRose Etsy shop to see what she has for your next celebration!

Amazing Fairy Tea Party

This Fairy Themed Tea Party was originally hosted by Toni over at Design Dazzle.

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This Fairy Tea Party is something right out of a storybook. I’m sure the girls who attended this party thought they had just stepped into a completely new world. The table is so grand and so beautifully done. Every detail is truly magical. The cake is amazing! There are so many details to notice when you are looking at the pictures. So take your time and step into fairyland.

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to Toni’s Blog to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy Design Dazzle’s party…..

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My daughter wanted a fairy party for her 12th birthday. Who has a fairy party when you turn 12 (especially my 12 year old really going on 16 year old)??? So I came up with some creative ideas to make it age appropriate. This party was held a couple of years ago (Jamie is now 14).
When the guests arrived for the tea party, I mentioned what fairies enjoy doing. Fairies love tea parties, love sweets and candy. Fairies also love mud, taking baths and having their photos taken. So the guests enjoyed a tea party, made chocolate fairies out of candy molds. The guests were given a mud mask facial and made their own bath salts. At the end of the party the guests made fairy scrapbook pages for their photos that were taken during the party. It finally hit these cute girls, the party, the food, projects and events during the party was everything that fairies love to eat and do! Large fairy flowers (2 feet wide and painted on canvas) were laid out on the walkway leading to the house. Extra-large paper rose flowers and balloons also lined the walkway.

Fairy wings tea sandwiches


Fairy cake was made by a friend who covered the cake in pink fondant. I decorated the cake with silk flower petals and 3-d stickers (dragonfly). The fairy cake topper was purchased from the dollar store and sprinkled with glitter as was the flowers and the entire table (I have been known to go all out with glitter). It took me about 5 minutes to actually decorate the cake with the add-ons. The pretzel dragonflies were made with pretzels dipped in purple candy melts and sprinkled with purple rock sugar (click on view more photos). The confetti tea sandwiches are called fairy wings. I cut white bread with a heart shaped cookie cutter then cut the heart in half vertically and voila – fairy wings! Butter each fairy wing and sprinkle with confetti. The white flower cookies are sugar cookies with pink frosting and cut marshmallows for the flower. My husband actually cut the marshmallows for me with kitchen scissors dipped in hot water. Place the cut marshmallows on top of cookie, add a pink jelly bean and sprinkle with pink sugar. Notice in the photo there is a birdbath filled with candy pop rocks! The guests were served pink lemonade in their teacup and a couple of spoonfuls of pop rocks were added to make fairy tea. This was a hit at the party! Pop rocks need to be placed in the serving dish right before the party starts. If done to soon, they stick together and are not “spoonable”. Also, cotton candy was placed in the teacup before the guests sat down -they enjoyed eating this before the fairy tea was served. To view more photos, click here.

Lil’ Monkey Party

This Lil’ Monkey Party was originally hosted by Jess over at Polkadots and Pirates.
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If you don’t know who Jess is yet….YOU WILL! She’s a rising star in my book. Every party she throws is absolutely amazing and her attention to every little detail is FANTABULOUS! This monkey party that she threw for her son is no exception. I love that she was inspired by the comparison of her son to the stuffed monkey! So cute! You really need to look through every picture…because there is inspiration in every single one! Oh, and if you want a party as great as hers….let her do it for you! Check out her Etsy Shop for all her amazing party decor and supplies!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to Polkadots and Pirates to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy Jess’ party…..

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Our Lil’ Monkey Party!

I have a bit of an obsession with kids birthday parties. I admit it freely. Not obsession in the way I have to have the best or anything over the top, but obsession meaning that as soon as one is over I start thinking about what I will do for next year’s party. So I started thinking about my son’s 1st birthday months in advance. I wanted to pick a theme that really fit him.

We have called Beckett our lil’ monkey since he started to move. He has an older brother and sister and tried from a very early age to do everything that they could do. He also has a monkey that he sleeps with every night that he got from his aunt Kasey. He adores it. So we decided that a monkey theme would be perfect!

I decided to dress Beckett’s monkey in a party hat and took the colors green, turquoise, and brown, which I LOVE together and use them as design inspiration. I made the invitations using a pic that I took of them together.

I made all of the decor myself…pretty much monkeys everywhere, but not in a puke all over you kind of way. My friend Rachel from *golden*shop {www.goldenshop.etsy.com} made a custom bib to match my decor perfectly. She is SUPER AMAZING at what she does…I will never do a party without something from her again! Plates and napkins came from platesandnapkins.com.

My favorite part of a one year old’s birthday is the cake! My friend Tracie is responsible for all of my adorable (and even more importantly de-lish!) cakes, that are as much decor as they are dessert. Beckett loved being sung to and blowing out candles. He had no problems digging right in, either! I wish I could say it was the first time he had cake, but his cousin turned one 9 days before he did and he might have learned what cake was all about a little bit early!

It is important to me to have the parties in our home so that the kids look back and see familiar places that bring back happy memories of their childhood. Although the party decorations don’t always match perfectly to my home decor, it is nice to have lots of toys and activities for the brood of children (all under age 5) that attend the party. We had a wonderful day with family and friends. I am sad that he is my last baby and that I will never plan a party for my one year old again. No time to worry about that now, on to dreaming of the next party!



Surfer Girl Birthday Party

This Surfer Girl Birthday party was originally hosted by Abigail over at Piece of Cake.
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Abigail really put together a bright fun party. She’s got lots of details for you with invites, decor, food and activities. So be sure to read through the post so you can really see ALL of her fabulous ideas. She had the party in the morning…and I would bet that her SMOOTHIE stand was a HUGE hit with all the party goers!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to Abigail’s Blog to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy Abigail’s party…..

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My daughter and I take so much pleasure in talking about and planning for her birthday party. For this “Surfer Girl” party, the theme was chosen more than one year in advance of the event itself. It’s not that we are obsessive compulsive when it comes to planning birthdays, it’s that we use these conversations to connect with each other and have some serious mommy-daughter bonding time.

So, back to this “Surfer Girl” party… It was pretty tough to find any store-bought kits, decorations or paper goods that fit this theme. I usually look around at least a little bit for inspiration and to see what other people have done in the way of a cake for every birthday I throw. I don’t know what would happen today if you were to google it, but a couple years back there was nothing, nada, zippo.


Invitation

Taking inspiration from my husband’s surfboard collection, I came up with a surfboard shape for the invite (you can print your own blank). I also found a pink and orange hibiscus print scrapbooking paper to use as a backing paper for the surfboard. Writing some surf inspired lingo for the invite was pretty fun:

surf’s up! Autumn is turning 4
you are invited to catch a wave and hang ten with us

saturday, february 4 at 10:30am

wax up your surfboard and paddle on over to

1234 main street, regrets only 562-555.1212

Decorations

One of the most versatile decorating items I have is the fish bowl style glass vase. It comes in handy for every party, I’m not kidding. I have 4 of them and you’ve probably seen them before at my parties filled with cars, but for this party they are filled with seashells. I purchased a bag of shells at my local party supply store to augment the meager group I already had at home.

I also used beach towels (that we already owned) instead of tablecloths, and cut giant surfboards out of colored butcher paper to a hang on the walls (you can see them here in the background).



TIP: if you want to hang decorations on the walls and from the ceiling, but don’t want to repair and repaint the drywall, try “Command Strips” from 3M. They come in a variety of styles to fit every need and I promise they come off without a scratch!

Food

This party started at 10:30 in the morning, so I was able to have brunchy snacky items instead of a meal. I made pumpkin muffins and chocolate banana muffins and served them in conjunction with smoothies. Not just any smoothies, but, custom build-it-yourself smoothies. Here is how we set it up: I made a little banner matching the invitation graphics and hung it off the countertop where the blender was set up. Each child filled a red plastic cup with their choice of frozen fruits, to which we (okay, my husband) added orange juice and yogurt. We did purchase some sippy cups with straws from Oriental Trading Company to eliminate spillage, and VOILA! Breakfast!



Pumpkin Bread (this is a big batch – yeilds 3 loaves)

  • 3 c. sugar
  • 3 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 lg. eggs
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 2/3 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter your containers well. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, oil, pumpkin and water. Beat thoroughly with electric mixer. Stir in the walnuts. Pour the batter into the containers, filling each only half to two-thirds full. Bake for 60-90 minutes depending on the sizes of your containers. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out on rack.

Activity

For this group of 4 year olds, we had a craft project and a non-competitive (although prize winning) game. The craft was putting together an aquarium themed picture frame that I purchased, once again, at Oriental Trading Company.


The game we planned was “Freeze Dance” with a bit of a non-competitive twist. The game is meant to be played like this: have a group of children dance while the music plays, and freeze when the music is stopped. If a child moves after the music stops, they are “out” and go sit down on the sidelines. The “winner” gets a prize. Now, because the kids playing this game are only 4 years old (or less) we wanted to be sure all the children felt included and that they didn’t need to compete with one another for a single prize. So, we gave each child a prize as they were called “out”, the child could decide if they wanted to go back in to dance or sit out, and the “winner” was not actually singled out as the big winner of the game but given a prize just as everyone else had gotten.

Cake

I loved making this cake! Let me start though, with the “cake topper”. After searching high and low for something, anything, that could sit atop the cake and match our surfer girl theme (girl being the operative word, as there were plenty of boy surfer cake toppers), I actually ended up sending away for an adorable salt and pepper set that matched our theme perfectly.

For the cake itself, I did vanilla cake with blue buttercream frosting. To give the effect of water I separated the frosting into 3 batches, tinting each a slightly darker shade of blue. After a thick coat of two shades of frosting on the sides, I pulled a cake decorating comb through it making little wave patterns. For the top of the cake, I kept the buttercream a touch on the thin side and pulled peaks up with a spatula. The board underneath the cake was also coated with a layer of the dark blue buttercream.

I cherished every moment planning this party with my daughter. It just goes to show you, your theme can be one of a kind or straight from the TV. Use some creative thinking to make it your own, spend as little as possible and make it look homemade – even if it isn’t!

Surfer Girl Birthday Party

This Surfer Girl Birthday party was originally hosted by Abigail over at Piece of Cake.

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Abigail really put together a bright fun party. She’s got lots of details for you with invites, decor, food and activities. So be sure to read through the post so you can really see ALL of her fabulous ideas. She had the party in the morning…and I would bet that her SMOOTHIE stand was a HUGE hit with all the party goers!

Have a look, leave a comment, and then hop on over to Abigail’s Blog to see what else she’s got going on!

Enjoy Abigail’s party…..

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My daughter and I take so much pleasure in talking about and planning for her birthday party. For this “Surfer Girl” party, the theme was chosen more than one year in advance of the event itself. It’s not that we are obsessive compulsive when it comes to planning birthdays, it’s that we use these conversations to connect with each other and have some serious mommy-daughter bonding time.

So, back to this “Surfer Girl” party… It was pretty tough to find any store-bought kits, decorations or paper goods that fit this theme. I usually look around at least a little bit for inspiration and to see what other people have done in the way of a cake for every birthday I throw. I don’t know what would happen today if you were to google it, but a couple years back there was nothing, nada, zippo.


Invitation

Taking inspiration from my husband’s surfboard collection, I came up with a surfboard shape for the invite (you can print your own blank). I also found a pink and orange hibiscus print scrapbooking paper to use as a backing paper for the surfboard. Writing some surf inspired lingo for the invite was pretty fun:

surf’s up! Autumn is turning 4
you are invited to catch a wave and hang ten with us

saturday, february 4 at 10:30am

wax up your surfboard and paddle on over to

1234 main street, regrets only 562-555.1212

Decorations

One of the most versatile decorating items I have is the fish bowl style glass vase. It comes in handy for every party, I’m not kidding. I have 4 of them and you’ve probably seen them before at my parties filled with cars, but for this party they are filled with seashells. I purchased a bag of shells at my local party supply store to augment the meager group I already had at home.

I also used beach towels (that we already owned) instead of tablecloths, and cut giant surfboards out of colored butcher paper to a hang on the walls (you can see them here in the background).



TIP: if you want to hang decorations on the walls and from the ceiling, but don’t want to repair and repaint the drywall, try “Command Strips” from 3M. They come in a variety of styles to fit every need and I promise they come off without a scratch!

Food

This party started at 10:30 in the morning, so I was able to have brunchy snacky items instead of a meal. I made pumpkin muffins and chocolate banana muffins and served them in conjunction with smoothies. Not just any smoothies, but, custom build-it-yourself smoothies. Here is how we set it up: I made a little banner matching the invitation graphics and hung it off the countertop where the blender was set up. Each child filled a red plastic cup with their choice of frozen fruits, to which we (okay, my husband) added orange juice and yogurt. We did purchase some sippy cups with straws from Oriental Trading Company to eliminate spillage, and VOILA! Breakfast!



Pumpkin Bread (this is a big batch – yeilds 3 loaves)

  • 3 c. sugar
  • 3 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 lg. eggs
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 2/3 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter your containers well. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, oil, pumpkin and water. Beat thoroughly with electric mixer. Stir in the walnuts. Pour the batter into the containers, filling each only half to two-thirds full. Bake for 60-90 minutes depending on the sizes of your containers. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out on rack.

Activity

For this group of 4 year olds, we had a craft project and a non-competitive (although prize winning) game. The craft was putting together an aquarium themed picture frame that I purchased, once again, at Oriental Trading Company.


The game we planned was “Freeze Dance” with a bit of a non-competitive twist. The game is meant to be played like this: have a group of children dance while the music plays, and freeze when the music is stopped. If a child moves after the music stops, they are “out” and go sit down on the sidelines. The “winner” gets a prize. Now, because the kids playing this game are only 4 years old (or less) we wanted to be sure all the children felt included and that they didn’t need to compete with one another for a single prize. So, we gave each child a prize as they were called “out”, the child could decide if they wanted to go back in to dance or sit out, and the “winner” was not actually singled out as the big winner of the game but given a prize just as everyone else had gotten.

Cake

I loved making this cake! Let me start though, with the “cake topper”. After searching high and low for something, anything, that could sit atop the cake and match our surfer girl theme (girl being the operative word, as there were plenty of boy surfer cake toppers), I actually ended up sending away for an adorable salt and pepper set that matched our theme perfectly.

For the cake itself, I did vanilla cake with blue buttercream frosting. To give the effect of water I separated the frosting into 3 batches, tinting each a slightly darker shade of blue. After a thick coat of two shades of frosting on the sides, I pulled a cake decorating comb through it making little wave patterns. For the top of the cake, I kept the buttercream a touch on the thin side and pulled peaks up with a spatula. The board underneath the cake was also coated with a layer of the dark blue buttercream.

I cherished every moment planning this party with my daughter. It just goes to show you, your theme can be one of a kind or straight from the TV. Use some creative thinking to make it your own, spend as little as possible and make it look homemade – even if it isn’t!

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