Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Creative Challenge: HWTM 10 Year Hangover Anniversary Celebration!

 Jennifer Sbranti from Hostess with the Mostess is hosting a creative challenge for her 10 year anniversary party.  She is having a "Hangover" theme in Las Vegas and is using the movie for inspiration.  She has requested that her readers submit desserts in the theme of her party, using some specific key players such as the tiger, the rooster, poker chip, the missing tooth or the "man purse" aka satchel.  Here is a link to her challenge:


I chose to go with the Tiger theme.  My idea was to make a layered cake in the tiger stripe pattern.  Now, I am no cake professional, but I attempted this for this challenge on a a busy weeknight between dinner and Ava's nighttime routine.

I had one white cake mix, one container of chocolate icing and one container of cream cheese frosting.  Yes, for the sake of time, I used cake mixes and store bought frosting.  In an ideal world, I would have tripled the cake recipe so that my cake was very tall.  I used chocolate frosting with a little black icing tint to get a darker color.  The white cake mix was tinted to orange.  Once the cake had cooled, I split the layers at angles.  I spread the chocolate icing on those angled layers and then stacked the cake accordingly.  Once again, if I had more time, I would have frozen the cake to create a more definite line and to prevent cake crumbles from mixing with the chocolate frosting.  For the outside frosting, I mixed about a teaspoon of cinnamon with the cream cheese frosting to go along with the theme.  And, of course. . . to keep the tigers away from the cake!


 Like I said, I am no cake professional!  But, it was fun to do!  A true cake professional may do this:  Layer chocolate, white cake (tinted to orange of course) and butter cake (because it is a light tan) so that it is in a perfect tiger pattern.  The cake would be very tall, too, in order to show off the pattern.  Chocolate cake is hard to layer with other cakes because it is a more dense cake, so chocolate frosting or filling of some sort could take the place of the chocolate cake if needed.

I also believe that Jenn's husband should give a speech about how she joined his "one man wolf pack."  Haha - one of my favorite parts.

One more idea I had was to have sugar cubes carved into the shape of a tooth to represent the Stu's missing tooth.

Have a wonderful anniversary, Jennifer and I hope you enjoy many more together as husband and wife!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

{Tutu Tuesday} A Beautiful Tutu for Emma!

This tutu was created for my friend Stacy's daughter.  Her name is Emma and she turned one last Friday.

Stacy is one of those mothers that is NOT into the color pink.  She likes feminine touches, but not too over the top.  I worked together with her to design Emma's nursery in the colors of sage and plum.  I think her nursery turned out beautifully!  Elegant, but not too feminine.

I also helped with Emma's first birthday decorations in the colors of light green and coral - NOT pink!  :) 

So, for Emma's first birthday present, I made her this tutu!  The color of tulle is called Amethyst.  Her mother picked out the color.  It is a lovely subdued grayish-lavender.  The flower is from Hobby Lobby and it works perfectly with the color of tulle.  (Tulle ordered from AngelBabes)

Every time I make a tutu, I think "Ava needs one in this color too!"  I thought that this time too. . .haha! 

Happy Birthday Emma!  Her party decor will be posted soon!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ava's Sweet Shoppe Birthday Party

Ava turned 2 this October!  She has been such a blessing to my life.  For this sweet little girl, I had to plan a special celebration just for her.

I have been inspired  by the many sweet shoppe parties I have been viewing on the blogs this past year.  It is not a theme I have seen around my area, so why not start a trend?  I chose her birthday party theme back in January, and started collecting glass jars at that time.  In April, once the Easter candy came out, I tried to pick up a few bags and freeze them.  (I typically do not think that chocolate freezes well, so I didn't purchase any.  But my Sweettart jellybeans tasted just fine for the party!)  By October, I had everything that I wanted.  Although Ava is only two, she has several older cousins and many adult family members who could help consume all of this candy!

I rented a shelter house at our local park.  This is different than where I had it last year - a nicer facility, too.  I loved the fact that it had a wraparound porch overlooking our Riverwalk and was walking distance to the park.  We had an unusually warm October, so the trees were not as colorful as last year!

As it got closer to the party, I decided to add a soda shoppe twist to it.  I then started collecting sodas of all kinds.  I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use all six rainbow colors - pink, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.  I wanted to give it the vintage feel of an old fashioned candy shoppe and soda shoppe, so I made sure to use elements like stripes and old fashioned candy jars.  Sodas in glass bottles and soda glasses with large straws were used to help achieve this feel.  This element was important to me because I lived in Sebree, Kentucky, a very small town, when I was younger.  One of my favorite places to visit in Sebree was Bell's Drug Store on Main Street where they served fountain sodas.  My parents always let me buy a cherry coke or hard ice cream, hand scooped by the pint! 

I made all of the paper products for the celebration, from the invitation to the colorful banners, the birthday, sweet shoppe and soda shoppe signs and also the soda pop bubbles!  At the last minute, my mother helped with the sweet treat bags and my friend Erin helped with the cupcake toppers.  Thanks ladies!  Could not have finished without you!

I also spent about a week and a half in my kitchen, baking for this celebration!  To keep costs down, I made my own colored sugar cookies, meringues, oreo truffles, cake balls, lollipop cookies, rainbow burst cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes.  (Rather than hire out the services)  Phew!  I was tired when it was all over and my poor child was slightly attention deprived! :(  I was going to attempt to do the cake too, but I am glad I didn't.  I wanted the rainbow cake - 6 different layers - in the colors of my party.  Well, Shanon from Gracious cakes agreed to tackle this challenge and I am so glad she did!  The cake was not only gorgeous, it was DELICIOUS!  Thank you Shanon!

I will do a few posts in the next few weeks about different aspects of the party and well as some DIY details and recipes.  Although there are a few things I would change, I will try my hardest not to mention them and just end with the fact that love was in the details!  I love you, sweet little Ava!

Thanks for your inspiration:

The CityCradle - Thank you for featuring my invitations from Ava's first birthday party, and the fact that you always encourage hand crafted celebrations.  Everything you feature and create has such a lovely vintage feel and you are very talented!  Specifically, your Sherbet and Spice Party inspired me - from the old fashioned sodas all the way down to the font (used on my invitations), and even the circle banner!  (Note my soda bubble banner!)

The TomKat Studio - You inspired me for the theme of this party, and I admire your "mommypreneur" skills!  Thank you for your beautiful designs and inspiration!  Not only did your lollipop theme inspire me, the bubblegum theme did also.  Check out my sweet treat bags!  Thanks to leading me to your favorite Sweet Shoppe party post, too!  It was also one of my favorites!
Which then led me to this one. . .
Thanks to Eat Drink Chic also!

Pen N PaperFlowers - Such a lovely site written by a talented lady, and many of her posts have a vintage details.  I thought her pink lemonade and sunshine party was stunning!  I have always loved her recipes and she is quite the "do-it yourselfer" like me.  Well, she's better than me!  Thanks to you!

Hostess with the Mostess - You have led me to many sweet shoppe birthday parties, and you have great entertaining ideas!  Your feature on Sugary Sweet Love Wedding post and Kimora's sweet shoppe party really got me motivated for this theme!  Check out the font on her pictures - almost exactly like the lettering on my birthday/sweet shoppe/soda shoppe banners!

Amy Atlas Events - Love your dessert and sweets tables!

Bakerella, The Idea Room, Bake it Pretty - These ladies inspired many of my desserts for this party!

P is for Party, Kate Landers Events, Pizazzerie, Polkadots N Pirates  - The list goes on and on!

 Thanks for inspiring me!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tutu Tuesday!

What a sweet little angel. . .

I did actually convince Little Miss Ava to wear her tutu dress!  And if I do say so myself,  she looked pretty darn cute!  And. . . although she was a little under the weather, she played the part of an angel also, saying "Trick or Treat!"  and "Thank You!"  It was a good afternoon!

Here is another tutu that I made recently for baby girl Zoey, set to make her debut in December!  It was made in the light pink sparkle tulle.  I think it turned out beautiful! 

Happy Tutu Tuesday!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I've been busy. . .

I know many of you are awaiting pictures of Ava's 2nd birthday party, but I have been a little busy.  You see, I find a lot of bloggers are able to write on their blogs daily because they are stay at home moms, or their blog revolves around their business.  I would love to be there one day.  However, right now, I still work a full time job as a physical therapist . . . a small part-time job, again, in physical therapy . . . I make tutus and birthday party decor for numerous friends and family members. . . and most importantly, I am a mother and wife trying to keep it all together for our family.  On top of all that, I recently agreed to participate in a local fundraising event for Henderson's Riverbend Academy called Dancing With Our Stars.  Yep, that's right. . .ballroom dancing!  Dancing is also one of my creative outlets.  I am the "advanced dancer"  (well, not quite, but that is what they are calling me) teaching my star, Brent Bridges of Methodist Hospital, the Argentine Tango!  I accepted this responsibility/challenge back in August, and it has been a blast.  Our performance is 3 weeks away and we are gearing up to deliver an exciting performance.  The Henderson Riverbend Academy is where I learned my ballroom dancing, and it is a visual and performing arts school that provides scholarships to children who would not otherwise be exposed to the arts and helps them to hone those skills.  I am so honored to be able to participate in this benefit.

Today is Halloween!  Our little girl Ava is not feeling too well, but we hope to make one round in the neighborhood this afternoon for trick or treating.  I made her angel costume this year. Wouldn't you bet that she runs away from it every time she sees it!?!  It is a tutu dress with beautiful white angel wings.  So we'll see what happens.  I will keep you posted. . .

And from this little photography session, I learned how difficult it is to take pictures of objects that are white.  :)

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tutu Tuesday!


It is 11:58 here, so I have 2 minutes left to post for Tutu Tuesday!

This is Ava's sweet birthday outfit!  I made the tutu to match her party.  Her party is this Friday, so keep your eyes open for details this week with a full post coming next week on her Sweet Shoppe Birthday party! 

Also, keep watching my blog for regular Tutu Tuesday posts!  I have been busy making tutus for Halloween costumes and for sweet little birthday girls, and I cannot wait to share them with you!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ava's 1st Birthday Party

Do you know what one of the things I have always looked forward to about being a parent?  Planning birthday parties!  Seriously.  I have ideas that range from a fashion/dress up party involving a red carpet to pool parties involving jump contests and games like Marco Polo.  It's a little crazy, I know, but so much fun!

The inspiration for Ava's first birthday party started with this little outfit.  It is a light pink tutu with a matching shirt that says Ballerina.  I actually bought it second hand and scored a great deal.  Anyway, I LOVE to dance and am looking forward to putting this little dancing fool into her first ballet class.

Here are the invitations!  Storebought invitations were not going to cut it.  I am a scrapbooker that does almost every layout with some sort of dimension, and this is what I designed.  The cost to make 24 invitations: about 6 dollars, using paper ($1.50), tulle ($1.99 on sale with tons left over), rhinestones and ribbon (already in my stash), and hairspray glitter ($2.50).

Well, for the party, let me tell you what I had to start with. . .

I rented this from the senior citizen center, so I know the money went to great use serving meals to the elderly in need.  I was really happy about that, but I did have to deal with a few things that were not exactly pretty and things in general I wanted to keep toddlers away from (cleaning supplies, etc).  Check out how I fixed that:

So. . .with the light pink and white, I also added some black to the color palette of my party and here you go!   This was the table decor.  I used a roll of light pink plastic table cloth, and hot glued tulle in pleats to mimic a tutu and used silver ribbon to create a sash.  In the center, I used scrapbooking paper and some rhinestones.  Around the room, I set out ballet memorabilia (that I borrowed from a friend - thanks Alicia!), displayed some of Ava's ballet shoes and tutus along with some of my dance memorabilia.  I also made my own banner.

Her baby pictures in frames were set out at the tables.

Photography - nFocus Photography, Donna Davis Photography, and Sears.

There was a table set up of my recent scrapbooks of Ava's first year, which kept many people occupied for a while :)

Here is the food table.  My dad's specialty is pulled pork, so we served pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, cole slaw, chips, sweet tea,  and Ballerina punch (pink lemonade).  Please notice how I creatively covered the cluttered kitchen area - with pink paper (sprayed with hairspray glitter of course).  I did the same to cover the area in the stairwell that had all of the cleaning supplies.  :)

Here is the beautiful cake.  Thanks to me, it was a pain to transport because I wanted it to be placed on this cake plate.  It was well worth the bumpy ride on the gravel driveway.  Thank you, Shannon from Gracious Cakes for the beautiful cake!

This is the candy buffet.  There is a sign that says "Sweet Treats for my sweet peeps"  I displayed the Eiffel Tower because many prima ballerinas train in France.  The desserts were Oreo truffles, Smoresicles, pink M&M's, marshmallows, and Hershey Kisses. The truffles were set out on a beautiful Southern Living at home tray (thanks Daisy!)  The rest of the candy was placed in these candy jars.  These jars are actually part of Ava's nursery decor.  They were purchased at Wal-Mart, but I painted the lids with gold and silver leafing paint and changed the knobs to pink crystal.  I thought it was a nice touch to the sweets table.  The girls were given silver hairbows.  I wanted to make pink also, but ran out of time.  The bows were given handmade black masks.  Everyone received a party favor with a picture of the birthday girl!

These are the party hats.  I did make some for the boys in black since most boys or the father of the boys would probably not like pink hats.  I liked the the party hats, but the next time I do them, I will use ribbon instead of the silver elastic.  I also want to try and make them a little oversized, like Jess from Polkadots and Pirates.

This is the birthday girl.  Her hat was a little different, using the maribou fur and pearls.  I think she looked pretty darn cute.

Except when we took the cake away!

All in all, it was a beautiful fall day to have a first birthday party.  A huge thanks to my parents, who helped with all of the details and the cooking, my friend Alicia for the ballet memorabilia, and everyone for coming to make Ava's first birthday special.  All I can say is love was in the details and I hope when she looks back, she knows how much I love her!