Friday, April 17, 2015

HopeKids and Icing Smiles

I was pleased to have the opportunity to provide 4 dozen cupcakes for a HopeKids mom and daughter spa day this last Saturday, through IcingSmiles a group I am proud to be a member of. 

HopeKids believes that by bringing joy to these inspiring children and their families through an ongoing calendar of events we can help cultivate hope, acceptance and most importantly the will to live. All of these events are fun and exciting, and promote a deepening of relationships and friendships. In some cases, they provide a return to normalcy to a family facing a fragile and uncertain future. For others, they provide a much needed relief during a stressful and often scary time.  For all, they are surrounded by families who understand the journey they are on.
Their goal is to create a constant state of anticipation, of looking forward to the future with excitement and hope. Simply put, we want to give the child another reason to fight, another reason to want to live while the medicine and treatments are given the time needed to heal what is making them sick. What a wonderful organization! They have directly helped my brother and sister in-laws family as they have and are moving through the diagnosis of my niece, Charlee with Batten Disease.
Icing Smiles is a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child.  We understand that the simple things, like a birthday cake, are luxuries to a family battling illness.  Our goal is to create a custom cake for the ill child, or their sibling, that provides a temporary escape from worry and creates a positive memory during a difficult time.
Memories have magical powers.  Long after the cake is gone, the memories linger - memories of the kindness of a stranger, of the art of the design, of the sweet smells of a special treat, of the smiles and laughs, of a normal childhood experience so often stolen from these children.  These memories are why we say, "It is so much more than a cake."
It's much more rewarding to bake for a good cause than for yourself (and much less calories as well :)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Buon Viaggio Italian Themed Birthday- Holy Cannoli!

I was asked to do a dessert table for my niece's surprise birthday party, Italian themed since after the party, they were off to Italy- what a fun birthday! I want! What screams Italian sweets better than Limoncello cupcakes and Cannoli's of course- besides maybe a great gelato-if I knew how to make that, I think I'd be a few pounds heavier, mmm! I haven't made Cannoli's enough to be an expert, but since was for family, I figured it was a good time to get some more cannoli practice in,  they're usually pretty forgiving if you show up with yucky burnt food, right? Haha, maybe not. Luckily, after much patience, my tongs and I were able to turn out a pretty good batch of yummy cannoli's! 
Try something new and keep at it till you can do it well, I say!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Happy Rainbow Jell-o cookies and A to Zebra Celebrations

I was happy to have my rainbow jello cookies featured on an awesome party website today! A to Zebra Celebrations. She has super cute party ideas! Go check out her site!  and if you'd like the recipe to these fun cookies... click the pic!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Burlap, Buttons & Lace Baby Shower

I was thrilled to plan and host this Burlap, Buttons and Lace baby shower which was inspired by the simple but classy invitations that the mother to be fell in love with. I absolutely loved the colors and the options currently available with the burlap theme being so popular.
I wanted to have the shower be an open house style shower, but wanted it to be more interactive than the typical snacks, gift and leave agenda they can follow. To keep the guests feeling casual, but wanting to stay and visit for the afternoon I planned a number of different activity areas that flowed throughout the house, eventually landing the guests in the kitchen so that they were always brought back to the food table. Let's face it, that seems to be where everyone ends up mingling anyway!  The different activities included headband and hairclip making, burp rag decorating, advice and suggestion writing, a diaper raffle and a blindfolded diaper changing contest which ended up being one of the more popular activities.
Since we wanted everyone to feel like they could come and go throughout the shower, I planned the food to be finger friendly with things like mini pancakes, bacon skewers, min quiches, an assortment of sweet breads and rolls, cake pops, salted caramel macaron's and cookies all in the light shades of the invitations.
left: mini pancakes on a toothpick, right: mini cinnamon roll pieces
salted caramel macarons
mini quiches- perfect brunch food
the best brunch juice ever!!!
We decorated the house in a variety of textured fabrics including burlaps, lace ribbons, shredded fabrics and tulle around the balloons and kept the rest of the table linens white to keep the focus on the simple colors and décor. One of my favorite decorations were the baby layettes on satin hangers held up on "invisible" wire stands, they looked so delicate and tiny throughout the house. It was truly a sweet little touch for a sweet little baby to come!
 Upon leaving, all the guests were given a little mason jar wrapped in burlap, filled with orange flavored sugar scrub soaps as a favor. All went beautifully, it was a perfect way to host a non- typically cheesy shower with a few simple ideas and decorations!
Event Design, Décor and Catering: Tya Lynn Nelson of padicakes; www.padicakes.b;ogspot.comFloral Design: Amber Dickson of  Amber Reverie; and Printable Sign Designs: Wallflower Events;

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Baby Elephant 1st Birthday

Such a cute theme for a special little boys first birthday! Sweet yet all boy! I loved the color ideas for this party and loved making this little elephant- I almost didn't want to let him go on the cake, he was so cute in my kitchen! All the kids loved walking by and trying to touch his little balloon!

Happy Birthday to little Noah!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A "Bird's Party" Feature- Frozen Birthday Party

I was so thrilled that my daughter's Frozen party was featured today on "The Bird's Party"! Check out the feature and her website, so fun!!
Here is her write up, if you can't view it!
You can also see the rest of the photos from the party here.
A Magical Frozen Inspired Birthday Party Tuesday, February 24, 2015C Riches
Frozen Inspired Birthday Party

The Frozen Disney movie has been a hit with kids worldwide. My daughter is obsessed with Anna and Elsa, and can't stop humming "Let it Go..." :)

And so I am super excited to finally jump in the band wagon of the whole Frozen-mania 'round here...
Today's party will dazzle and wow you, as it did me! It has lots of DIY decorations, stunning details and clever decor ideas that stay true to this popular Disney film theme, without falling prey to using copyrighted images. And that in my book is super fresh indeed!

Hope you'll love all the details was styled and told by Tya Lynn Nelson from Padicakes ♥
Frozen Inspired Birthday Party cake
Frozen Inspired Birthday Party
Frozen Inspired Birthday Party Cookies
Frozen Inspired Birthday Party Cupcakes
Frozen Inspired Birthday Party
Frozen Inspired Birthday Party

Frozen Themed Birthday Party: Party Styling & DIY Decorations

My daughter always wants to have birthday parties that would be so fun in the spring or summer months, such as Alice in Wonderland, Minnie Mouse Bowtique etc. Unfortunately for her, having a January birthday makes those parties a little more difficult. Of course, I was thrilled this year when she wanted a Frozen Ice Princess Party, even though I think it's been done by every 5 year old girl out there. Finally, a perfect party for a winter birthday! 
Despite how much fun it would have been to actually do it in the snow outside, of course this January we had no snow. Instead we brought the snow inside and "froze" the interior of our home! 
I always try to do theme parties using as little of the actual "theme brand" decor as I can to keep it simple and classy. We tried to decorate with our own "frozen themed" décor rather than the actual Disney décor. I absolutely loved how magical it turned out by using tons of glowing lights and a simple color palette of white and shades of shimmering blues!
We cut hundreds of snowflakes and cotton balls and strung them over every doorway and archway we could find with clear twine, we added felt snow drifts and icicles, hundreds of white lights, snowflake lights and ice blue lights, turned down the house lights and VIOLA! Frozen Ice Castle in our own home! "It was absolutely magical" in the words of the birthday girl! We may have to decorate like this every gloomy January, it really was beautiful!

Frozen Themed Birthday Party: Party Games & Activities

Upon arrival the princesses, princess (and one snowman) received a crown or mask to decorate with jewels and glitter from the Trading Post. 
They also received a pom pom wand, a snowball and snowflake adorned gable box to store their goods in. 
Once they finished their crown, they were able to go to the next station where they made super cute, and super easy snow globes with stickers they picked, packing tape and of course tons of turquoise and white glitter.

Frozen Themed Birthday Party: Party Food & Sweet Treats

Guests were treated with "frozen" white hot chocolate and frozen fjord punch as well as glittery treats in the castle,  including Elsa's iced macarons, donut holes from Olaf's donut tree, Kristoff's jello ice blocks (which were set aglow from beneath with balloon lights, Sven's chocolate covered oreo snacks and ice and snow covered sugar cookies all served atop a snow covered table lit with white lights. 
Even the birthday girl's cake was lit and glowing. You can get a lot of mileage from those balloon lights!

Frozen Themed Birthday Party: Party Gifts & Favors
Later in the evening, there was a surprise visit from Elsa and Anna where the kids were given necklaces we made with "Elsa's Magic" in them, mini apothecary bottles filled with glitter and baby oil on a chain. 
After some interaction with the princesses, all the little princes and princesses were invited to build a snowman or have a snowball fight with Elsa and Anna with little sock snowballs stuffed with fluffy batting.
What a precious thing to watch as the children laughed while throwing snowballs with actual princesses! 
Truly a magical night to remember in our Frozen Castle!

Frozen Themed Birthday Party: Party Credits

Styling & Design, Catering and Cake: Tya Lynn Nelson from Padicakes