Tuesday, August 7, 2012

An Oogieloves Inspired Party

In anticipation of the upcoming interactive kids movie coming out on August 29, The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, celebrations.com and contributor Chris Nease of Celebrations at Home recently put together an Oogieloves inspired party and asked me to share their ideas with YOU. This colorful and creative themed party is full of set-up inspiration, snacks and treats inspired by the characters in the moive, and lots of great DIY ideas.

Inspired by the beautiful and vibrantly-colored LovelyLoveville, the table was set with bright placemats, plates, utensils, and printables.

Image: Celebrations.com

I love the die-cut placemats and contrasting plates that are used at each place setting as well as the playful name cards letting each child know where to sit. How cute are the monogrammed milk bottle jars filled with blue-tinted juice! Wooden utensils were dressed up by adding brightly colored tape to the handles. Genius! And, to keep guests occupied, a maze activity card and pencil were attached to each place setting with a clip.

Images: Celebrations.com
Guest were also treated to a fun and colorful array of snacks inspired by some of their favorite Oogielove characters.

Image: Celebrations.com
Ruffy was the inspiration behind the Goldfish crackers, Lero and Lola's maracas inspired these adorable Colorful Crunchy Cereal Pops, and homemade Dotty Rounder Cupcakes were served for dessert.

Images: Celebrations.com
Image: Celebrations.com
Whether you are celebrating the release of The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure or creating a Oogieloves themed birthday party for your child, this party is full of great inspiration and ideas to get you started. Thank you, celebrations.com and Chris Nease for sharing your party with us. For more party ideas and tips, stop by Celebrations.com, here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

{Real Parties} A Firetruck Themed Party

Sound the alarm.....this Firetruck Themed Party is smokin' hot! This past June I shared a little sneak peek of a birthday party that my AMAZINGLY talented friend Nicole, of Salsa Sweets, created for her daughter's birthday. I am so excited to be able to share all of the party's details and photos with you today.

Nicole decided on a firetruck theme for her daughter's birthday party for two main reasons: Anna, her daughter, is obsessed with firetrucks and Nicole's husband, Jon, has been a firefighter for over 20 years and recently joined the local department. Knowing Nicole, I am willing to bet that the challenge of turning the traditional "boy-centered" firetruck theme into a fun and feminine party for her daughter was also appealing. And as you will see, she rocked it!

With the help of her brother-in-law, Jason Markel, Nicole began by designing the invitations and other paper goods for the party. I love the color scheme and design elements that Nicole chose, which included lots of red, white, aqua, and chevron. I also love all of the creative ways that Nicole incorporated the firetruck theme into the party's decor. I mean, seriously, who knew that there was such thing as a fire hydrant beverage dispenser out there!?!

Nicole cleverly set up this gorgeous Chili Bar for her guests to enjoy while they celebrated the birthday girl. What a great addition to a firetruck themed party. And how cool are those chevron-inspired pom-poms!

After enjoying a hot bowl of chili, guests were treated to a sampling of Nicole's true talent: DESSERT! The sweets menu (completley created by Nicole) included an adorable birthday cake, fire helment topped cupcakes, stunning cookies, and some "Smokin' Hot" cake pops.

Did I mention that the local fire department also stopped by to help Anna celebrate? Of course they did. What fun!

Nicole, you knocked this one out of the park. Thank you for all of the wonderful inspiration and for sharing Anna's special day with us!

If you would like to see more of Nicole's work, visit the Salsa Sweets facebook page, here.

Vendor Credits:
Photograhy: Sarah Kaupp Photography
Cupcake Liners: Cupcake Social
Poppy Peasant Dress (anna): http://www.etsy.com/shop/adellaperez
Aqua and Red Chevron favor bags: http://www.etsy.com/shop/alifehandmade
Paper Goods: Designed together with Jason Markel
Cake, cupcakes with fire helmet candy, and cookies: Nicole and Salsa Sweets
Cake Pops: Nicole and Alexandra Cake Pop Company
Ribbon Garland: Me with Inspiration from Polka Dot Market
Front Door Sign: Nicole and Salsa Sweets
Firetruck: The Fox from Doylestown Fire Company.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Healthy, Kid-Friendly Summertime Snacks

One of my favorite things about summer has always been the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetable options that are available for us to enjoy. Whether you are hosting a summer shindig or just want to spice up snack time with your kids, take advantage of your favorite in-season produce with some of these healthy and easy to prepare Summertime Snacks.

Fruit Fish: How cute are these little fruit fish from Canadian Family. They would be perfect for a beach/water themed party. Or, just because!

Photography by Jill Dubien
Flower Power: Veggies are so much more fun to eat when they are in disguise, don't you think. Grab a "petal" and chow down, courtesy of Parents.com.

Grape Kabobs: These caterpillar/snake grape kabobs from Six in the Suburbs are just so darn cute and they are super simple to put together.

Image from Six in the Suburbs

Craby Crabwich: This little guy is sure to be a hit with everyone involved. Stop by Family Fun for all of the how-to's.

Sunflower Sandwich Snack: Want to sneak in some vegetables, dairy, whole grains, and fruit into one fun summertime snack? Gourmet Mom on-the-go did just that with this Sunflower Sandwich Snack.

Have fun and happy summertime snacking!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sneak Peek: A Firetruck Themed Party

No, I have not completely disappeared from the blog world. Life and mommyhood is just keeping me super busy these days. So sorry for my absence. I will make it up to you with a little sneak peek of a FABULOUS Firetruck Themed Party that my talented friend Nicole, of Salsa Sweets, recently hosted for her daughter, Anna.

Photos taken by Sarah Kaupp Photography, http://sarahkauppphotography.com/
Amazing, right! Can't wait to see more photos and details? Me either, and that's saying a lot these days! I promise to share more soon but until then, check out Nicole and her amazing cookies on the Salsa Sweets Facebook page and Sarah Kaupp Photography, here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Patriotic Fruit Pops

Who wouldn't love eating their fruit when it looks this cute! You don't have to wait until the 4th of July to debut these Patriotic Fruit Pops by Bakers Royale. Break out your cookie cutters and striped straws to dress up your fruit for this weekend's Memorial Day celebrations.

Here are a few notes from Naomi of Bakers Royale on how to make the fruit pops:
  • To make these, I used watermelon, apples and blueberries.
  • To keep the apples from browning, lightly brush them with lime or lemon juice. I prefer limes for the flavor and that they seem less tart.
  • Cut watermelon and apple pieces to thickness of the cookie cutter, then place cookie cutter on top of slices and push straight down. Place one fruit inside of another and finish with a blueberry in the middle.
  • Push the straw through all three pieces of fruit to keep it everything in place. If you have trouble pushing a paper straw through the apple portion, use a plastic straw first to create a pathway and then replace with the paper straw. Popsicle sticks will work as well.
Have fun, happy celebrating, and thank you to all of the men and women who have served/do serve our country!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Easter Craft and Decorating Ideas

Sorry for the recent lack of posts. Sometimes mommy duties and life just don't leave enough hours in the day! Now that Spring is officially here, Easter is right around the corner. Here are some Easter Crafts and Decorating Ideas to get you inspired.

Here is a fun way to reuse some of your old party supplies: transform a generic crepe paper ball or lantern into Bunny Decor for you Easter party with a little help from some craft paper (ears, whiskers, eyes) and pom poms (eyes and nose). Stop by Country Living for more details.

Bring style to your egg hunt this year with these Upcycled Paper Bag Baskets. Recycle your used gift bags by cutting off the tops (or not) using scissors or punches to make various designs and decorating them with ribbons, tissue paper flowers, and whatever else you have laying around your house. Be creative and have fun!

I am a sucker for any type of craft that my children create that I can turn into artwork so I naturally feel in love with this Thumbprint Easter Art idea from Lovely Living. Love it and can't wait to do it with my kids! Visit Lovely Living, here, for step by step instructions.

Here is a fun idea for party or classroom favors that your little one can actually help out with: Paper-Envelope Bunnies! Aren't they cute. Fill them with stickers, treats, or even just a little note. Visit Martha Stewart, here, for directions.

Stop by the Modern Parents Messy Kids site for directions on how to make this DIY Paint Chip Easter Garland. So creative!

If sewing is on your list of talents, these Spring Napkins from The Purl Bee should be on your list of "to-do's". They scream SPRING and are so happy and cheerful that you could keep using them well into the summer. Click here for DIY instructions.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

{DIY} A Lucky St. Patrick's Day Garland

In the past, St. Patrick's Day hasn't received much decorating attention in our house. I am usually recovering from Valentine's Day and gearing up for Easter, which leaves little time and energy for much in between. Well, I decided to step it up this year. With the help of a few St. Patrick's Day printables and this Lucky St. Patrick's Day Garland that I recently made, our house is looking a little more green and a little less "in between" this year.

This Lucky St. Patrick's Day Garland is simple to make, very inexpensive (you probably already have everything that you need), and will add a fun touch to your St. Patrick's Day decor. Here's what you need to get started:


- Green card stock or construction paper (I used two different shades of green)
- Scissors or a paper cutter
- A glue gun (or a stapler)
- A hole punch
- Ribbon/string


- Step 1: Begin by cutting your green card stock into 1" x 6" strips. You will need four strips for each clover that you wish to make. I made 8 clovers for my garland.
- Step 2: Fold each strip in half.
- Step 3: Bring each end of the strip in to make a heart shape. Glue (or staple) the ends together.

Repeat the above steps with each strip of paper. Group four hearts together to form a clover and glue (or staple) together.

Once all of your clovers are completed, use a hole punch to make holes for stringing your garland. String clovers, hang your LUCKY garland, and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Printables

With only a week and a half until St. Patrick's Day, I finally got around to putting up a few festive decorations around the house today (I will share my favorite soon). If you are looking for an easy and inexpensive way to add some festive flair to your day, printables are the way to go. Especially FREE printables. Here are a few of my favorites:

Start St. Patrick's Day off right with Lucky Charms and Sandy Toes & Popsicles. Isn't this a fun breakfast idea! Put these together to surprise your kids in the morning and start their day off with a smile. You can find the FREE printable over at Sandy Toes & Popsicles, here.

This fun St. Patrick's Day Subway Art Printable from eighteen 25 was added to our mantle decor today. Love it! Stop by eighteen 25, here, to print your own copy. Love the pom pom mini garland, too!

Need an easy party/classroom favor? It is what it is put together these clever "You're My Pot O' Gold" bags using cellophane bags, rainbow twizzlers, chocolate gold coins, and this FREE printable.

 Planning a St. Patrick's Day party? These printables from Chickabug and How Does She? are sure to be a hit! Get your copy, here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Healthy St. Patricks Day Snack Ideas

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner. Here are some fun and Healthy St. Patrick's Day Snack Ideas to help you celebrate with your kids without worrying about a sugar overload.


Banana Shamrock Snack: Diva Dietitian
Shamrock Peppers and Dip: Le Top Blog
Leprechaun O'Riley Sandwich: Little Nummies
St. Patrick's Day Lunch: Lisa Storms
Rainbow Fruit Kabobs: Cute Food For Kids
Luck of the Irish Sandwiches: Kitchen Daily
St. Patrick's Day Pizza: Make the Best of Everything
Pot Of Gold {Jell-O}: Party Pinching
Rainbow Fruit Platter: Pinterest

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A "Celebrate Dr. Seuss!" Lunch

 My children have been celebrating Dr. Seuss in school this week (and next week) and it has been so much fun hearing about what their creative teachers have come up with. Tomorrow, March 2nd, is Dr. Seuss's actual birthday! I love this idea from How Does She? to help your child celebrate the special day: Pack them a Dr. Seuss Celebration Lunch!

Image: How Does She?

Isn't this a cute idea, especially for the younger crowd! Here is the menu:

Green Eggs and Ham:  Hard boiled eggs dyed green and diced up ham

The Minks like to drink pink ink: Strawberry yogurt drink

Blue Goo: Blue Jell-O

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: Goldfish crackers (you could used the colorful goldfish crackers for this as well)

The Cat in the Hat: A strawberry and fruit dip, layered.

Image: How Does She?
You can find FREE printable stationary, here, to add your own special note. LOVE this idea. A big thank you to the women of How Does She? !

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

{What's Cooking?} Gluten Free Brownies 'n Berries Dessert

We had friends over for dinner this past weekend that follow a Gluten Free diet for health reasons. While many of the foods that our family eats are gluten free, I had never consciously prepared a gluten free meal before. It turned out great! We grilled out (meat and veggies) and also served a white bean dip with veggies, fresh fruit, a Quinoa Pilaf, and Gluten Free Brownies 'n Berries for dessert. Everyone especially loved the dessert (the kids all wanted seconds), which was super easy to make. Did you know that Betty Crocker has gluten free mixes? I didn't until this past weekend. Well, I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker website, made a few of my own adjustments, and the final dessert was a winner.

{Image: Betty Crocker}
The recipe that I found was for a Brownie Pizza (pictured above). While I loved the idea of a brownie pizza and will probably try it out next time, I decided to go with a more traditional brownie dessert instead. I baked the Gluten Free Betty Crocker Brownies as the package instructed using an 8x8 baking dish. Once the brownies were baked a cooled, I covered them with a cream cheese "frosting" (see below) and topped with freshly cut strawberries and blueberries. Then I covered the dish and refrigerated for about 2 hours. So easy and super yummy!

Cream Cheese "Frosting":

- 1  package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened (I used light cream cheese)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cute As A Button and Ruffled, Two!

Today I am excited to share a dessert table that I designed for a baby shower this past January. The guest of honor was already a mother of two girls and was expecting her third AND fourth (yes, twins!). One boy and one girl. So exciting! I wanted to keep the theme gender neutral, casual, and bright and cheery. I came up with the theme Cute As A Button and Ruffled, Two!

After choosing a theme, I decide on two main gender neutral colors: a bright yellow and an aqua blue. I also used white as my neutral base. I added ruffles that I made from white crepe paper streamers to the cake stand and serving pieces (see my post about this, here) and then finished them off with mini paper fans that I made and/or a little ribbon.

Cute As A Button printables were created for the dessert table (will be available in the Sheek Shindigs Etsy Shop, here, soon!) and embellished with mini paper buttons.

I also made paper fans and embellished them with Cute As A Button stickers to hang above the table for a little extra fun. You can find instructions on how to make these, here.

The main attraction of the table was the button cake. To create, I simply purchased a double-layered 8" cake from my local bakery and decorated it with edible sugar buttons myself (buttons are available in the Sheek Shindigs etsy shop, here). This was an easy and inexpensive way to dress up a standard, store-bought cake. I created a coordinating cake topper by accordion folding a 7" x 1 1/4" piece of paper, embellishing it with two mini paper buttons, and attaching each end to a white candy stick.

In addition to the button cake, there were cupcakes, cake balls, and mini meringue cookies for the guests to enjoy.

What a fun day it turned out to be for a special woman and her growing family!


Sheek Shindigs: design, set-up, decorations, desserts

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

{Etsy Shop} Edible Image Ideas

 A few months back I added a new product to the Sheek Shindigs etsy shop, Edible Images. Edible Images are flat-printed edible designs that can easily be applied to many different food items, such as cakes and cookies, for a professional looking finish. To apply, you simply remove the design image from the backing sheet and apply to your food item. When placed on your food product, these edible designs absorb moisture from the food product and becomes soft, blending in with the food item. The result is an exact, colorful rendition of the original image in a completely edible format! The Sheek Shindigs etsy shop currently has two different designs in stock:  Carnival Themed Edible Image sets and Superhero/Comics Themed sets. You can check them out in the Sheek Shindigs etsy shop, here.

I thought that I would share two different ideas for decorating with these edible images. The first idea uses the Carnival Themed Sheets to make fun and festive Mini Carnival Sandwich Cookies. Aren't these cute! They just make me smile.

Decorating idea by Charra Jarosz

To make:

1. Prepare your favorite cookies or use pre-made. You will need 3 cookies for each sandwich.
2. Top your first cookie with an icing "filling" (color of your choice) and place the second cookie on top. Place another layer of icing on the second cookie.
3. Take your third cookie and attach a carnival themed image using icing or rolled out white fondant.
4. Add the third cookie to the top of your sandwich stack.

The second edible image idea uses the Superhero/Comic edible image set to add bling to an Embellished Superhero Cake. Cake decorating not your thing? No problem! Start off with a  cake purchased from your local bakery and just add these SUPER embellishments yourself.

Decorating idea by Charra Jarosz

To make:

1. Make a cake and cover with fondant or icing, your choice.
2. Roll out white fondant and attach the Superhero/Comic images to fondant using a light application of lemon juice. When the liquid has dried, cut the images with scalloped or plain circle cutters.
3. Let fondant pieces dry overnight.
4. Attach image-covered fondant pieces to cake with dabs of icing.
Have fun!