February 23, 2014

Pickles and Ice Cream Baby Shower

Are you craving for a cute and unique baby shower idea? A pickles and ice cream baby shower theme will surely satisfy those cravings!

A few years ago, my best friend Brandi was pregnant with her baby girl and I wanted to host a baby shower that was not-your-typical shower theme. So I decided that a pickles and ice cream baby shower would be unique, sweet and oh-so cute! 

Pickles and Ice Cream Invitation
I believe a great party starts with a great invitation. I really enjoy making handmade invitations for events that I'm hosting.  They can really give your guests a sneak peak of what to expect from your party.  I used my Cricut to make the ice cream cutouts. The pickles were freehanded and cut out with jagged scissors. I used an embossing tool to add the bumps on the pickle and also the lines on the waffle cone. For the sprinkles, I punched out several tiny dots with a border hole puncher. Finishing it off with a jeweled red cherry on top! The invitation wording was designed on my computer with the phrase:

"Pickles and Ice Cream for the mom-to-be...not quite as tasty for you and me"

Table
One of the other hostesses, Amanda, created these beautiful sign-in scrapbook pages. It's always nice to have a guestbook or sign-in page for guests. Then you can give the guest of honor this memento from the party to show who attended their special day. 

Jar of Pickles-If you're in a pickle...
Many baby showers that I've attended have guests fill out a piece of paper with advice for the mother-to-be.  So we came up with a cute way to have guests give advice to the parents-to-be. A pickle jar that said "When you're in a pickle..." 

Milkshake Flowers
Fresh flowers are always a special touch to decorate an event. So I made these milkshake floral arrangements using fresh carnations. I used milkshake glasses and stuffed them with colored tissue to cover the green oasis foam. Be sure to pre-soak the foam in water so the flowers stay fresh throughout the party. 

Sandwiches, Pickles, & Ice Cream Bar
The menu for the party was also all about pickles and ice cream too. Deli sandwich platters were displayed with pickles galore! For dessert, we had an ice cream sundae bar with lots of different toppings for the guests to pile on and go crazy! 

Sweet Decorations
For decorations, I made these giant ice cream cones and pickles that coordinated with the invitations I had made. They really dressed up the kitchen island where we had the ice cream toppings set out. I've seen ideas for ice cream cone balloons which would have been a cute idea for this party theme. 

Ice Cream Favors and Favor Sign
We gave ice cream shaped jelly bean dispensers for the party favors. They were already pre-filled with ice cream flavored jelly beans. I attached a little thank you sign to each favor. 

As you know, I love to make matching favor signs to display on the table. Here's what the sign displayed:

"Ice cream is sweet, Pickles are sour...Thank you for coming to our baby shower!"

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
All the hostesses helped make these adorable homemade ice cream cone cupcakes. Be sure to not overfill the batter or else the batter will overflow when it's baking. I personally think the ones that overflowed were quite cute; they looked like melted ice cream! 

Fabric Rag Wreath-Hospital Wreath
As my gift for the baby, I made a fabric rag wreath for the hospital door. I placed  the wreath on the front door as decoration for the party. To make the wreath, I took different fabric and ribbon in coordinating colors and cut them into strips. I tied them on a wire wreath form until the wreath was full. I attached the glitter monogram initial to the wreath and strands of ribbon to hang down.  I used glitter chip board letter stickers to spell out the baby's name.  

During my pregnancies I craved spicy hot wings all the time. I never had weird pregnancy cravings like pickles and ice cream, but I'm sure someone out there loves it. Brandi wasn't a fan of pickles and ice cream and none of the guests dared to try it in their sundaes. Why ruin a good thing? 

**Thank you to the other lovely hostesses (Amanda, Cyndi and Christi) who helped make this shower so sweet and special!**

Next time you are planning a baby shower, consider a pickles and ice cream theme! This theme could also be used for a baby boy shower as well! It's sweet, adorable, and fun way to treat your guests! 

February 8, 2014

Elmo and Friends - Sesame Street 1st Birthday Party

My son Carter just turned 1 and he loves watching Elmo. It's funny because he can watch other TV shows and get bored instantly, but when I turn on his Elmo DVD he's mesmerized by that cute red monster!  Since he LOVES Elmo so much I decided to have an Elmo/Sesame Street theme for his 1st birthday!

I wanted to make everything colorful and fun for his big day, from rainbow cupcakes, streamers, balloons, giant crayons and more!

Get Organized 
If you are planning a big party, make sure to make lists. First, I start with planning my guest list to know how many adults and kids to invite. This is important to know before you start buying party favors and other party supplies. Next, I start making a party-planning to-do list. This helps be organized, where I jot down my ideas, and list items I need for the party. 

Pinterest has helped me become a better party planner with so many awesome ideas to use and to be inspired by! One of the many cute Elmo party ideas I found while pinning, I saw several fruit and veggie trays made of Sesame Street characters. I knew for sure that I wanted to make an Elmo fruit tray. 

Elmo Fruit Tray
On an oval platter, I used strawberries for Elmo's face, blueberries and blackberries for the mouth, and mandarin oranges for his nose.  For the eyes, I found in the refrigerated section at the grocery store, individual cream cheese fruit dip. The fruit dip cups were already the right size for his eyes, and just needed to add two blackberries to finish it off.  

Elmo Pom-Pom
The pom-pom decorations were also inspired by an idea I found on Pinterest. I used my Cricut machine with the Elmo's Party cartridge to cut the eyes and nose for the Elmo pom-pom. I free handed the mouth on black card stock paper and cut it out, and glued the face to the red pom-pom.  

Party Decorations
The banners, high chair decorations, party favor bags, table cloth, silly straws, plates and napkins were all found at Party City and they were on sale! Woohoo!! 

Party Favors
The party favors were inspired by Elmo's love of crayons, Cookie Monster, and Dorothy (Elmo's goldfish).  I thought about how I could use crayons for the favors, such as coloring books with crayons, Sesame Street character shaped crayons, but I came across a party website that carried plastic crayon piggy banks. This was a great find because these were unique, cute and even functional for kids of all ages.  My daughter helped me fill each coin bank  with candy. We also gave Snack-size Chips Ahoy, Goldfish snack packs, Sesame Street silly straws and stickers for the favors. To display some the favors, I wrapped a box with Sesame Street wrapping paper. 

Party Favor/Thank you Sign
I love making a cute favor sign to match any party theme. I try to come up with a catchy phrase or rhyme when I make favor signs and here's what it said: 

"Elmo loves to party & hope you had fun...Thanks for coming to celebrate...Carter turning 1!" 

Photo Collage-Baby's First Year
I'm guilty of constant baby photo posting on Instagram throughout Carter's 1st year. To all my friends and family...I'm sorry for the non-stop photos in your news feeds but then again, I'm not sorry.  I captured so many memories each time I posted and when I look back at these photos, it reminds me how fast time flies and how much babies change in their first year. I wanted to display these photos somehow at the party. So I ordered prints from Prinstagram for the first time and they turned out so perfect! I arranged the photos to make a #1 photo collage and even placed them in chronological order to show how he had grown throughout his first year. I didn't want to ruin the pictures with tape or staples, so I used sticky tack to adhere them to the wall.

I made these Elmo and Sesame Street-inspired #1 cupcake toppers with my Cricut machine. Since the party color pallet was so colorful, I wanted to make rainbow-colored cupcakes and smash cake. I also made homemade vanilla almond buttercream frosting, and it was divine! Here's the link to the frosting recipe:  Vanilla Almond Buttercream Frosting

I've never taken a cake decorating class in my life, but I think the smash cake and cupcakes turned out pretty cute!! I wrapped the cardboard cake rounds with chevron scrapbook paper to make them more interesting. That was a last minute decision to wrap the cake rounds, but I'm really glad that I did that because the plain white cardboard was really ugly.

I prefer the taste of homemade cake/cupcakes for parties and it's also cost effective. Carter loved his smash cake as you can see...and he was not a happy boy when we took him away from the cake either! The guests also enjoyed the cupcakes too.

Giant crayons
I found these giant inflatable crayons on the same website I ordered the crayon coin banks. The giant crayons were great to use as party decor and also helped tie in the crayon theme. I had imagined using them as fun photo props with the kids but didn't get around to taking as many photos as I had wanted to that day.  Carter didn't nap very long on the day of his party, so all he wanted me to do most of the time was hold him.

Goldfish Jello Bowl and Sesame Street Card
My sweet cousin Dorothy made this Goldfish Jello bowl and the cutest handmade  birthday card with Sesame Street characters. I loved the card so much that I wanted to display it at the party! It looked great next to the cookie tray with all its fun colors!  

Special thanks to my sister Laura and my cousin Dorothy Anne and her family, who came early to help set up for the party! Also thanks to all our guests that came to celebrate Carter's 1st Birthday!

This party was brought to you by the letter C and the number 1! :)

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