Monday, November 30, 2009

mini french bakery first birthday

So much thought and detail went into this 'mini french bakery' first birthday party. Jess includes tons of tutorials, photos and details on her blog right here. C'est magnifique!


Crafty Erin threw her daughter a garden-inspired 2nd birthday party, embellished with bright pom-pom decor... so cute! For more of this colorific party, click right here.

pretty swell giveaway!!!

We are kicking off this December week with a pretty swell giveaway- make that a VERY swell giveaway!

You all know how much I LOVE garlands- and I know as Party Perfect readers, you do too! So I was thrilled when Katie from Pretty Swell wanted to offer you all the opportunity to win an awesome custom garland.

You won't want miss the opportunity to enter to win this ***custom 6-flower garland***. Check out some of Katie's swell creations above, and see more of her handiwork right here, in her etsy shop.

Just tell us why you think the garland is so swell for a chance to win! We will be drawing the name at the end of the week, and will post our lucky winner next Monday.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

reader question of the week #2

"My husband's birthday is the 26th of December. He never has had birthday parties because it was always the day after christmas (save for when he was a wee child). I want to throw him a surprise / early birthday party. It will probably only be a total of 10 possibly 12 people. I am thinking of doing a dinner - or maybe just a spread of apps and small finger foods? I don't really have a theme either. I don't want it to be too christmas-y? I could do a winter theme, with silver, just no red/green combo. Any ideas? Thanks! -Lindsay"

reader question of the week #1

"I am throwing my two year old daughter a RockStar party in December - I would love any tips, suggestions, ideas. Thank you! -Amelia"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

true love

My sweet husband fought off his brothers and was able to wrangle me some delicious Thanksgiving leftovers- quite a feat! Wishing you good food and a happy Thanksgiving weekend.

gram's party: the wrap-up

Oftentimes while planning a party, I will ask myself...why am I doing this?...putting the time, effort and expense into a party sometimes doesn't seem like the best use of resources. But just about every time I am so happy with the end result, that I forget about the hassles of party planning.

Gram's birthday was no exception. We were so thrilled with how the party went. Gram and his friends had a wonderful time ...we figured out he is one of those children that enjoys being the center of attention! I am slowly being won over to the 'rented-out' parties...we loved walking away from the messy clean-up after all was said and done. But I loved that I was still able to inject some personalized touches to the party to make it feel special. It was a perfect day and we made some fabulous memories that we will always look back at fondly!

for sources, look at the bottom of this post

gram's party: food

Since the party only lasted an hour and a half, and was loaded with activity, it seemed silly to spend much time contemplating food choices beyond the cupcakes. We just made sure to have several drink choices- which of course included water with customized water labels- as well as juice and soft drinks. We also bought some snacks (ginger snaps, pretzels, etcetera) and made some pimento cheese sandwiches, putting them in pretty vintage bowls and white servingware.

I included a tutorial photo for the cupcake flags (second photo, above). Four different versions of flags were created in two colors. I wrapped the flat 'flag' around a toothpick with a paper top (this helped the rubber cement adhere to the toothpick), using a bone folder for a crisp edge, and voila!, flags were done. For those who aren't computer savvy, this could easily be done with pretty patterned scrapbook paper for the same effect.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

gram's party: the 'cake'

Another element of the party that I could control (since it was not at my house) was the cake. Instead of attempting to bake a cake (as I did last year), I pressed the easy button and ordered up some wonderful cupcakes from my favorite local bakery, in a variety of chocolate, red velvet and 'blackout' flavors. I gave them red cupcake liners and sprinkles to work with, since they are a pretty bare-bones operation and don't do much embellishment.

I decided to work with a stand I had long ago purchased from Martha by Mail (R.I.P.). I wanted to figure out a way to put a 'topper' on it, since the decorative white wood piece that came with the stand wasn't going to work with the look I was going for. I found a circular chipboard box in the 'wood crafts' section of Michaels, that I used to modify the top (see detailed photos above). I then covered the box with wrapping paper and grosgrain ribbon, and adhered a '2' that I glittered in silver. I was quite happy with the results!

I finished off the stand by using grosgrain ribbon along the edges, adding flags to the cupcakes (tutorial will be included in tomorrow's post) and a wooden monkey was thrown in to tie back to the invitation.

cupcake liners and red sprinkles...layer cake shop
chipboard box, '2', glitter and ribbon...michaels

Monday, November 23, 2009

gram's party: favors

As I've said before, this year we decided not to have my son's birthday party at home. With a 3-week old in the house, I thought it would be too overwhelming. However, I didn't want to use that as an excuse to not create anything special for his big day, so I decided to put together a few key items that could be transported to the party site (a kid's gym).

Using the invitation color palette as a springboard, I created favors that reflected the loose theme of the party... 'playing.' The favor bags contained items that Gram loves to play with- Play Doh, a whistle, and a ball (all in the color palette, of course!).

I was appalled at the price of shred fill ($3+ for a small bag of crinkled colored paper!), so I decided to create my own, using scraps of leftover wrapping paper and my shredder (photos 3 & 4). A much cheaper (and more chic, I think) alternative. Then I created a 'cuff' for some store-bought gift bags that folded over the top. If you are not computer savvy, some pretty scrapbooking paper would look great as well. I used a bone folder to get a crisp fold, and a mini stapler to put the cuff in place.

Lastly, I inserted a thank you card into each bag that was designed to look like it was on school ruled paper- again, an element that fit in with the color palette of red, white and turquoise blue.

red gift bags...michaels
classic colors play doh...hasbro
invitations...hicks paper goods gym

reader question of the week #3

reader question of the week #3:

"I was wondering if you or any readers had any suggestions on a virtual baby shower? My friend lives in San Francisco and most of her friends are all over the States, including her mother and sister who live in Chicago. Not only do we want to shower her with some presents, we want to shower her with love! Please help! Thanks! -Cindy"

reader question of the week #2

reader question of the week #2:

"I'm throwing a Sugar Plum Fairy Tea for my daughter's 5th birthday in December. For starters, I'm recreating a snow-like scene in the kids playroom (hanging lots of chiffon, paper snowflakes, etc.) but am stumped on accessorizing the table and floor (perhaps?). Also, I was thinking of having one simple activity before eating cake and little sandwiches. Thanks! -Lizelle"

reader question of the week #1

I've got a long list of questions in my inbox, so we are going to tackle a couple this week!

reader question of the week #1:

"I am planning a 1st birthday party for my son with a Winter ONEderland theme. Colors are white, light blue and silver. It will be from 2-4 pm. What ideas do you have for a "finger food" menu? Thank you! - Heidi"


The weekend started with a bang, as I nearly amputated part of my left index finger on Friday around midnight. I was using an exacto knife while making 'water bottle labels' for my son's birthday. Note to self: do not use a dull blade while exhausted with an infant screaming in the background! I landed myself a trip to the ER along with a really nasty looking finger. We managed to pull off the party on Saturday, however, and Gram had a blast! Sunday he became really sick which we just learned is the result of an ear infection we've been battling for a month. I will do my best to keep up with posts this week, but am not making promises as I am adapting to only being able to use 9 fingers, nursing a very sad 2 year old back to health, and taking care of a three week old. I know, however, I still have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

getting ready

My son's 2nd birthday party is this weekend, and I'm doing my best to create some personalized touches. I'm a bit disappointed that I'm not having the party at home- but I figured I would be biting off more then I could chew with a 3 week old in the house.

In the meantime, a bottle of milk spilled in my purse all over my camera and destroyed it! I'm hoping to borrow a friend's camera for some game day photos, but for now, I've been taking a couple of snaps with my iphone as I'm knee-deep in preparations.

moving video tribute

I'm in love with this birthday video made for a long-distance friend's 22nd birthday, by KC and Sara. You won't want to miss it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

robot. party.

Yet another brilliant party from down under! How great are these homemade robot costumes and cake? I love the idea of covering the table with foil for this themed party- very smart. (And thanks to Leonie for sharing).

what's black, pink and white all over?

A zebra-themed party for Ashley's 4th birthday! Check out all of the girly details right here.