A “Press Here” Birthday Party

Our little girl turned four.  One of my very first posts was her Totoro party when she turned 2 and then her Lava party last year. I love her what interests her and she always makes it fun for me to work on a party theme. Her favorite book is “Press Here” by Hervé Tullet.  It is such a simple yet really clever book and perfect for her fourth birthday.

Our home has huge windows throughout. We made each set of windows a page of dots from the book using tissue paper and a circle cutter to make the dots.img_4739img_4732img_4723I love the look and idea of the paper straw, but I don’t like using them as a straw.  Strange, I know, but I hate the feeling of the paper getting soft in the drink. I found a great tutorial from Oleander + Palm on straw bunting. Super easy and I love the minimalist look!img_473320170319-ellie4thparty-002My greatest discovery this time around: CREPE PAPER garland! I might never make another tissue paper garland again! Tutorial to come…img_4729img_4750Love love love helium balloons, but they can be expensive if renting a tank and a bit of a pain if your order and have to pick up the day of the party. ***TIP*** Order them for the day before with hi-float and they will last 3-4 days if not longer! Also, if you feel the space is a bit cluttered already for balloons, try putting them in the corners of the room. (A tip from the hubs, believe it or not!)img_4751Great discovery #2! PUNCH BALL BALLOONS! Most, if not all of my party decor was from the dollar store including these punch ball balloons. Blow them up and hang them from the ceiling! Since they are shaped a bit differently from regular balloons, you can even hang streamers or ribbon from the bottoms as well!img_4744img_4737img_4752The highlight of the party was definitely the cakes. I am not an experienced baker, but Once Upon A Pedestal made this polka dot cake extremely manageable with a cake pop pan, food coloring and boxed cake mix!img_4753My sister made this four-tiered adorable chocolate mini cake just for Ellie, complete with her own banner and homemade white chocolate nonpareils.img_4731Since we decided to have a small party this year, I knew there would not be many kids her age present as Ellie is the oldest cousin.  I wanted something fun and interactive for her, so we made these “Press Here” inspired cards for her to play.img_4527Our whole family was great sports in each picking out a card and wearing it so Ellie could go up to them and play her game. (Left says “Smell this dot.” Right says “Poke Me!”.)img_4754

I think Ellie had the best time. I know we did.  I can’t wait to see what she is interested in next year!


Baby Shower for Baby Indie

A very dear friend welcomed her baby into the world this past weekend and in honor of that, I am sharing some of my favorite parts of her baby shower. This was a put on by some of the closest ladies in her life and they did an amazing job! Welcome sweet Indie Willa!!!

Halloween: Inside Out

The moment you have all been waiting for!  Our INSIDE OUT family!







We are always proud of our daughter but she really took the cake with this one.  She was set on making sure her body language spoke “Sadness.” From choosing Sadness as her costume to getting perfectly in character, this girl is a SUPERSTAR.

Yes, my husband and I do not have individual shots, but it took all we had to get those three and the group photo done. 🙂 Plus, we are neither as cute or as good of actors as these kids are.

Let’s not forget our dear patient, the pumpkin.  How awesome of a job did the hubs do??? We even picked up some blue light sticks for the full effect. By the way, he also shot all of our photos and edited them in one day. Best, most talented husband ever!

HAPPY HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!  Be safe, have lots of fun and eat tons of candy.

If you missed it, make sure to check out how I made the Joy, Disgust, Fear, Anger and Sadness costumes.

GUEST PEACE: A Gold, Glam, and Fab Bridal Shower

My dear friend, Yadira, is engaged to be married next month and she recently had her bridal shower hosted by Linda and family.  This fam could open their own event planning business with talents in multiple areas! Needless to say, they threw a gorgeous bridal shower.  Here is a peek into her gold, glam and fab shower!

A re-purposed wood sign and thrift store wire screen painted gold by Linda’s daughter and the bride-to-be’s BFF, Katie. Photos hung on the screen by Jordan Hazel.Linda’s husband, Reid and craftsman extraordinaire, painted and put together the posts surrounding the main banquet table.Outdoor bar cart complete with a hand stenciled “Bubbly Bar” sign and lots of rose!Gorgeous floral centerpieces by Linda’s friend, Elizabeth: roses, lisianthus, ranunculus, stock, coffee bean and geranium leaves

The gold containers were spray painted gold by Reid and complimented by paper goods purchased from Etsy and Cake Girls.Catering by Linda’s son, Daniel: smoked salmon, parmesan crisps with a goat cheese mousse, chicken salad on wonton skins, toasted points with micro greens and vinegarette, bruschetta, mini eggplant sandwiches, and mixed greens with carrots, cucumbers, and grilled chicken with a ginger citrus dressing.Linda’s daughter, Sarah, made the naked cake from scratch to accompany the mini eclairs and cream puffs.Custom photo backdrop complete with an old painted bench by Reid, tissue paper tassels, and gold frames.Katie spray painted old wine and beer bottles to place as accent pieces around the garden.Favor bags: pink tea bag with a pink rock candy stickWhite lanterns and glass and gold tea light holders hung from the poles above the table for a dreamy and romantic feel.The beautiful bride-to-be and her flower crown by Elizabeth.  We can’t wait for you and Mike to tie the knot!

Linda is a Southern California native and a passionate party planner in her spare time. Every event she holds is perfected down the the smallest detail.  She has a beautiful eye for color and shabby-chic, rustic decor. She is a loving wife, mother of 6 and has 8 grandchildren!  That’s a lot of parties!

Guest Peace: Cakes & Cookies

Tiffany is a full time working mom of 3 amazing kids ranging from 8 months to almost 8 years old. She has loved cooking and baking since she was a kid. After completing her master’s degree in business, she was still drawn to cooking and baking and decided to attend culinary school. Tiffany had her first child towards the end of her culinary education and since then making treats for family and friends has been her culinary outlet.

I started dabbling in cake and cookie decorating when my oldest son turned 3. I had very specific ideas of how I wanted the kid’s birthday cakes and treats to look which made the ones I purchased pretty pricey.

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As I decorate my treats my older kids often sit at the table and work on their own creations. They usually end up using the extra fondant like play dough which gets messy but it is fun quality time.

Most of my designs are based on what the client requests. And by clients I mean my kids, nieces, nephews and close family friends.

One of my latest projects was a doll cake for my niece. She knew exactly what she wanted and gave me detailed instructions. It was so much fun.

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The typical design process starts with the client telling me the theme of the cake. Then together we look at pictures so that I am sure to include important details. Once that is done I sketch out a rough drawing of the cake and create a game plan on how to accomplish the design. With the exception of the dolls, I try to keep everything edible.

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Larger figurines on my cakes are made out of rice krispy treats. What’s the point if you can’t eat it, right? If krispy treats do not work I use extra cake or even cookies to get the job done.

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Taste was also a huge factor in how I wanted to make my cakes and cookies. I was never a huge fan of fondant until I happened across a recipe for marshmallow fondant. What a game changer! Delicious and I could make all sorts of fun design with it.

For the cookies, I use candy melts for the simple designs. Candy melts on sugar cookies are wonderful! There are times when royal icing is necessary though. I try to keep the designs simple so that the cookies do not need extended drying times. There is nothing tasty about a dry cookie.

My fondest memories are cooking and baking with my grandma over the weekends. It was never anything particularly fancy but my grandma had a way of making the simplest things amazing. Now as a mom of 3 I want to create similar memories with my kids.

Mermaid Princess Party

While I was (very) pregnant with the twins, my best friend’s daughter was turning 3 and having a mermaid party. I really wanted to help even though I could barely walk through the store at the time! I didn’t know what I was going to make at first but I knew that I would use whatever I could find at the dollar store in one trip.

Looking for anything mermaid or princess, I decided to pull together some centerpieces.My daughter and a I spent some quality art time together dipping shells in fuschia, aqua, and green glitter…

and we carefully placed them in the bowls on top of the glass beads with the mini tiara combs.I wrapped jeweled ribbon around the top of the bowl and glued small styrofoam balls to look like pearls.After everything was done, each centerpiece probably cost about $3 a piece. Such a steal and perfect for the mermaid princess’ special day!I had some leftover shells and pearls. How cute are these for some table confetti?

For more mermaid princess crafts, check out these tiaras and wands!

Twin Party

My wonderful bff and family threw me a small get together to celebrate the imminent arrival of our twin boys.  It was so nice to see everyone and get to spend some time with each of them as I know after the boys are here, we may disappear into a black hole for a while.

When they asked me what I wanted in terms of a party, the first thing I told them was simple.  No games, no decor…just some desserts and drinks and a place for us to get together.  Of course, they made it the most elegant and delicious “simple” celebration possible!

img_8809Thanks to Westwood Flower Garden, the tables were adorned with a beautiful type of baby’s breath, yellow feverfew and orange and yellow tulips, all in metallic vases.

My sister, Sara, put together a sangria bar, complete with all the fruit and garnish you could ask for, even jalapenos!

img_8884Appropriately enough, she made a “baby-friendly” version.img_8887Desserts included a delicious, homemade chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and fresh flowers and metallic sprinkles…

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetChocolate covered strawberries, homemade lemon bars, chocolate chip cookies and vanilla pudding cups with fruit.img_8885For the favors, my bff made peppermint flavored rock candy and white chocolate bark with edible, gold star sparkles.  Almost too beautiful to eat!img_8883My sister, Emily and my Auntie Julie drew 26 animals.  One for each letter of the alphabet and asked that guests make one page for the boys’ alphabet book.  Such a simple and cute activity for the guest to do.

I am so lucky to have these wonderful women in my life.  Thank you to Lauren, my sisters, my mom and my mother in law for knowing me so well and making it the perfect “twin party!” img_8890

A Birthday to “Lava”

Our little girl turned 3 last month. How time flies! One of her favorite movies is the Pixar animated short, Lava, about a Hawaiian volcano looking for love. It was the perfect theme for her birthday party.

As the guests arrived, Lele, the volcano’s love greeted them with a lei.   The paper umbrella wreath found a home on the front door with a pink ribbon.  The backyard was where most of the party would take place.

  Simple colored glass vases doubled as centerpiece as well as holding down colorful napkins on the picnic table.

  The same leis that greeted guests at the front door were strung together and hung under the pergola for some eye popping color. Fake, tropical leaves were stapled onto a rope and hung from the eaves of the house.  Paper lanterns and honeycombs were hung from the trees.  Both the tropical leaves, lanterns and honeycombs were from previous events I had planned.  Holding on to certain decorations can come in handy.
    For the kiddies, there was a plastic pool with balls and another splash pool with water.
  Uku’s Fishing Hole let them catch colorful fishes of their choice.   And a sandy treasure hunt let them dig for gold coins, jeweled rings and beaded necklaces. Any gummy fan would have loved the favors: gummy fruits and ribbon skewers!  One of the best parts of the party was six layer rainbow and M&M cake grandma made.  Our daughter had a blast as you can tell from this photo!

See her 2nd birthday party here!

Paper Umbrella Wreath

A very special 3 year old’s birthday is coming up soon and  prep has begun! If you have seen Pixar’s Inside Out, then you have seen the short, Lava. My daughter fell instantly in (should I say it?) “lava!”  Haha!

Thanks to the Family Chic blog, I made my version of her paper umbrella wreath for the front door. All I used was a foam wreath and those cheap, little, paper cocktail umbrellas.

After opening them up, all you do is push them through the foam.  I learned about half way through though that it was much easier to push them through when i broke off the ends of the toothpick to make them a little shorter.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was and how good the finished product looked!  All for under 10 dollars. More to come on the Lava 3rd birthday party!
See last years party here!