Monday, February 15, 2010

Now What? How About a Trip to Candyland?

I am officially ready for spring. Its snowing here, again. I can probably count on one hand the number of days since Christmas we have had where there was no snow on the ground anywhere. Valentine's day is over now and I'm ready to get started on spring projects but it just doesn't seem right. So I've decided to take some time to work on some posts from past projects and parties that I've done.
Today I'm going to post some pics from my niece's 2nd birthday party last October. She's a huge fan of the Candyland movie so my sister and I thought this would make a super cute party theme. I'm the party planner in the family but I was in the process of selling my house, moving 3 hours away, and finding a new job so I feel like there is so much more we could have done but the time just wasn't there. But the weather that day was perfect and my niece adored it so I guess that makes it a success. My camera battery died right before the party started so my friend Rebecca (who is a wonderful photographer) took pictures and I'm very thankful for them!
The Invitation-This is the invitation that we used. I generally like to hand-make invitations but since we were in a time crunch I found a cute photo invite that I had printed and then I glued the pics on sparkly card stock. The Cake-We always make my niece her own special little cake. My mom is the baker in the family. I like to decorate cakes but I don't like to bake ones that actually need to look good and taste good. So mom made the cakes and the icing (homemade chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting). Last year we used fondant to make the cake. It turned out pretty good but was extremely time consuming. (You can see pics of her 1st birthday party and cake here:
So this year we took the easy route. I sprayed the bottom layer with pink airbrush food coloring and covered it with pink and purple sprinkles. The I covered the top layer with multi color cake sprinkles and places gum drops at the bottom of both layers. Hobby Lobby had some wonderful candy themed Christmas ornaments and that is where the lollipops and the gum drop topper came from. This cake definitely wasn't as professional looking as the cake we made last year but it only took about an hour to decorate.

The Food-The party was on a Sunday afternoon so we mostly had colorful finger foods. My mom made her famous "Crack Cakes". They are the most addicting cupcakes I've ever had! I used the same multi-colored and pink/purple sprinkles on these that I did on the cake. On some of the cupcakes I used the lollipop ornaments that I also used on the cake. I also found some pink and purple castle picks that looked like the Candyland castle so I used these on some of the cupcakes. On the other cupcakes I used gumdrops or decorative candies.

We tried to make cookie lollipops. They were a challenge. The sparkly gel that I used to draw the center was extremely difficult to work with. The cookies also kept separating from the sticks and breaking. They tasted good though! We had a bowl of colored gold fish and I made my signature Marinated Mozzarella.

We filled ice cream cones with chocolate mousse and topped them with ice cream sprinkles.

We served Kool-Aid in my crystal beverage server with a BIG bow on top! The Decorations-I had some much fun with the decorations for this party! Luckily, Hobby Lobby has their Christmas decorations out in August and they had a lot of the pink/purple/green/blue candy color scheme that I wanted. So that's where the majority of the party decorations came from. At one end of the deck I set up a gift table and at the other end there was a Candy Bar (pics on that in a minute). For centerpieces on these table I put large glittery flowers in clear glass vases filled with multi colored glass pebbles. From the branches of the flowers I hung glittery gumdrop ornaments.
On the center tables (the food table and activity table) I used two smaller arrangements with a party hat in the center. The arrangements were from the Christmas pick section at Hobby Lobby. I hung smaller lollipop ornaments from them. The butterflies were also from Hobby Lobby. The party hat was made from cone Christmas trees I found at the Dollar Tree. I also found some purple garland at the Dollar Tree (it was Halloween garland that had to have the skulls removed before we could use it) and we hot glued it to the bottom of the cones.

We made giant lollipops and gumdrops to decorate the deck. The lollipop were created by painting large wooden circles and wooden dowels (both from Hobby Lobby). Then I swirled glue in the center and sprinkled glitter on it. Then we dusted the circle with a clear glitter. We also lined the driveway with the lollipops. The gumdrops were my attempt to get the most decorations for as little money as possible. I got a package of metallic balloons which we blew up (luckily I had a lot of help for this project!). We wrapped the balloons in clear cellophane and tied the ends with curling ribbon. They were super cheap and super cute! The Activity Table-I knew there was going to be a large age range of kids at the party so I wanted to have some things set up for them to do on their own instead of organized games. I set up an activity table with a Candyland board game, coloring pages, and supplies to make Gingerbread people. The gingerbread activity consisted of foam gingerbread shapes, pom pon balls, googly eyes, and glitter glue. It was a HUGE hit!
The Candy Bar-The gingerbread people activity may have been a huge hit, but I think all of the kids would agree that the Candy Bar was the best part of the party. Unfortunately, I didn't get any good pics of it. This is just the center of the table. There was a whole buffet though.

The end result was one happy birthday girl!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Love Don't Cost a Thing

First, let me say that I hate that song. But it seemed like a good title for this post. Except technically I guess my "love" (or at least my Valentine's decorations) cost $.49. But who's counting?

I've never been big on Valentine's Day but I decided to decorate a little for it this year. I didn't want to invest a lot of money in decorations though, so I challenged myself to use only things I already had. I knew I had a ton of brown accessories and hoped I had just enough pink ones to pull together a pink and brown color scheme. Its not a very elaborate spread, but
the tablescape didn't cost me anything.

Valentine's Day Centerpiece. I had a lot of pink and brown polka dot grosgrain ribbon so I wrapped a piece of it around the candles and attached it with a decorative thumbtack I had used on a bulletin board in the past. I did the same thing around the napkins.

I put some pink, brown, and white glass "rocks" in a glass vase with two pink feathers and some floral stems that I hadn't used in a loooong time (they were from the days when the only centerpieces I knew how to create involved fake flowers, so this is kind of a throw back!).

In my huge plastic container filled with more napkins that I care to admit, I found these beauties that I bought a few years back without any idea of what I was going to do with them. I loved the vintage look feel of them though and still do. And they turned out to be perfect for this tablescape!

I realized I had a ridiculous amount of pink and brown scrapbook paper for the scrapbook that I'm never going to actually make (and yet I keep buying paper for it). I tried to make a cute wreath out of it but it didn't quite pan out. Instead I ended up with a kind of garland/banner thing that I'm not real happy about. It did give me a reason to use at least a few pieces of my huge stack of scrapbook paper though so all is not lost.

And this is my pride and joy!!!!!! This wreath almost didn't happen. The whole concept for it came from a spool of pink curling ribbon that my English bulldog got ahold of and unwound. I didn't want to throw it away so I put it in the bag with my gift wrapping supplies. I came across it while looking for things to use in my Valentine's decorating extravaganza. I felt like I could use it for something and wondered if I could make a wreath out of it. I enlisted the help of my BF and we got a wire clothes hanger, shaped it like a heart, and threaded it through the unwound ribbon. It looked like crap! I left it laying in the kitchen for a few days and was about to throw it away when my BF suggested we work on it a little more. So I used some of my endless supply of pink and brown grosgrain ribbon to make a hanger for it and to give it a little more shape. Well, technically, I came up with the idea to use the ribbon and the ever helpful BF actually engineered it. Then we tied a bow on the bottom of it to make a little tail.

I saw this foam cupid at Hobby Lobby and fell in love! He was only $.49 (this was my big splurge!) so I bought him and glued some pink and white glass beads on him. Then we attached him to the middle of the wreath.
I'm proudly linking this project on Tater Tots and Jello's Weekend Wrap Up Party!
For only $.49 I'm pretty happy with the outcome! I put some old stuff to good use and got my pics posted in time to participate in Tabletops Tuesday at Grits and Glamour and Tablescape Thursday at!
Now I'm ready to decorate for Spring! Too bad there's still snow on the ground...