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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No Boys Allowed! Sweets & Treats Sneak Peek

Here’s a little sneak peek at some things I making for The Mini Diva’s Valentine’s Day Party. Now, she really doesn’t know about it at this point….she’s actually in the process of making requests for her Princess turned Princess & The Frog B-day party in April – but she did mention she didn’t want boys at her party (except her baby brother who she loves very much). So, no boys this time….In any case, I’ve learned that the best way to handle all the constant inquiries about any celebration is to not tell her about it until the morning of. If I tell her about this party, I will not stop answering questions about it. I’ll have a list of endless requests for the decorations and food she will want to have. I just can’t take it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to tell her because I get excited too, but seriously, I just can’t deal with it - she’s relentless – it’s too much.

I decided to throw her a Sweets & Treats themed Valentine’s Day Party. Invitations are out, we’ll have a Sweet Shoppe set up with a variety of candies and baked sweets. I thought it would be fun to have the girls make this adorable bag as an activity. We’ll have some fun games and prizes and a card exchange too.

Here’s your sneak peek:
These are the invitations I created. I use Power Point and Word. I’ve said before that my mom is a graphic designer and she really hates that I use these programs. She’s always pushing me to use Photoshop and Illustrator, which she so kindly installed on my computer, but I have not the patience for it. I do well with what I know and when I decide to give in to the Adobe Gods I will. Until now, MS Office is my bestest friend:




I have two options for cupcakes; either a rose cupcake or piped on swirly frosting with a cupcake pick…..or I can do both, I haven’t decided yet.





I can’t wait to show you the rest of the details of the party and the ideas I have for another V-Day party & a romantic dinner for two!

All Photos in this post are Property of Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams

Friday, January 22, 2010

Unique Super Bowl Themed Cupcakes

Like any modern gal, I like to watch football players, ahem, games with my husband and can say for the most part, I get it. I enjoy the thrill of the game, the action, the hard hitting....bodies....oh....I really do. However, there is nothing more exciting to me than the end of the season. The wrap up. The Big Show. THEE GAME!  You see, any opportunity that I have to put my insanity & creativity to work is an opportunity that must happen. So, with the Super Bowl just a little close to two weeks away, I went-a-Googlin' to find some ideas for cupcakes, because....I do cupcakes, right?

What I found in my initial search, surpised me in that there didn't seem to be much liberty taken in the way of making unique Super Bowl themed cupcakes.  I kept finding the tried and true Football in Grass cupcake.  You know.....this one:




I mean, don't get me wrong, they're cute and an easy way to doll up a teeny cake.  But, it's just been done SO MUCH!  It's almost the go to decoration for football season cupcakes - a staple, in fact.  That's fine, but where was the TWIST?  The SPIN?  The TAKE ON... .  Still, I remained optimistic and knew that there must be other creative geniuses who have decorated with originality, some delicious teeny cakes for The Big Show.

I searched low and high and eventually found a nice handful of ideas.  I finally decided on a Top Ten that do Super Bowl Themed Cupcakes justice - I even found, what I like to call, a man-cupcake recipe that I'll definitely be making over the weekend.

Top Ten Super Bowl Cupcakes!

I think this little guy is just adorable (he's actually a cake, but they have a similar design on the Wilton website for a cupcake)!  If you have the patience for it I say do it!  They're eye catching and for some crazy and almost sick reason, people enjoy eating cupcakes that look like people.....I think.



1.


For a real guy's guy Superbowl cupcake,  here are two that are designed to look like party food!

Hello Cupcake's Pizza Cupcake Cake
2.

Smiley's Sweets and Creations Hamburger Sliders Cupcakes
3.


Here are some good old fashioned, team logo cupcakes.  Yes, we know, these have been done before too, but it's about piping technique in this case.  (For the record, I'm not hinting that the Saints will make it to the Super Bowl, I'm just saying, Reggie Bush is a cutie and that's all I know  )



4.

5.

Yeah, I know what I said, and even though I think the whole football in the grass concept is soooo OVAH, here are some ideas that I think are allowable because they have personality, like this one by Wilton

6.

...or the next two which to me are more simplistic.

7.

I love how these cupcakes by Cupcake Chic have lil' chocolate Peanut M&M's and the piped on detail for the football is nice and simple.

8.

Here is another option from Sweet Avenue Bakeshop; use team colors and decorate with cupcake picks and flags.

9.

This last idea is my top choice....has nothing to do with appearance .  These Chocolate Guiness Cupcakes aren't even necessarily football related, but the fact that they have Guiness in them intrigued me enough to want to make a dozen this weekend (look for the final result in my next post).  Topping this cupcake with a festive cupcake pick or one of those cute lil' Peanut M&M footballs would really finish it off for a Super Bowl party. Here's the recipe if you want to make them!

10.


I have a bonus one -but I couldn't get the picture saved to my computer.  Here is the direct link to the Cupcake Queen's football cupcakes on her Flickr page.  Love those little miniature football players!!!

While we're speaking of cupcakes, I came across this Reynold's Baking Cups website yesterday where you can virtually create a cupcake and then get the recipe for it.  Also they have some adorably cute decorative baking cups; my favorite is this pink and red Damask patterned one that I plan to order for party next month!


Photo Credits:
Wilton Cupcakes
Pizza Cupcake Cake
Hamburger Sliders Cupcakes
Cupcake Chic Super Bowl Cupcakes
Cutsie Cakes - Green frosted cupcakes with football
Colts Logo Cupcakes
Little Pastry Shoppe Saints Cupcakes
Celebrations.com Super Bowl Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes Recipe

Friday, January 15, 2010

Red Carpet Style: Golden Globes Party Ideas





It dawned on me the other day that the Golden Globe Awards will be showing this Sunday. I'm an Awards Show Junkie, I get all into it!  My husband doesn't get it, but who asked him anyway?!!! I have my bowl of popcorn and make a nice mommy cocktail and I watch the red carpet shows, read all about the nominees ahead of time - all the while changing poopie diapers, putting together honey-do lists, baking cupcakes and BLOGGING :)

I always wanted to have one of those fun parties where (head in thought cloud) me and the gals gather 'round the cawfee (sic) table and drink cocktails and eat hors deouvres and predict who will win awards.....then I had kids and realized (thought cloud vanishes) that the chances of that happening right now is slim to none. However, a girl can still dream....and still pass her dreams on to those who might have more time to indulge in such a fête!

Here are my suggestions on creating a VIP worthy party!

The VIP List:
Normally, I would say get some nice stationery and have an elegant invite, a la awards ceremony, printed up but since it's only 2 days away.....

  • Evite, text, email, Facebook or Twitter - you could even (gasp) call your best gals up and have them come over. 
  • Celebrate celebutante style and and have tiaras, 'diamond' necklaces, oversized sunglasses and boas waiting for them as they walk in the door - classic Hollywood diva style like her majesty.....
 EVERYONE BOW DOWN! (I heart you Auds!)


Food:
Appetizers are the best way to go. Plate 3-5 simple but elegant platters for guests to snack on while viewing the show.
  • Go bold and gold with your veggies and serve spears of yellow carrots, squash, bell peppers and wax beans in high ball glasses - Crudite Cups! Serve saffron flavored hummus on the side for a tasty dip.
  • Who Doesn't Love Bacon? wrapped Zucchinni Spears (that's what you'll call them - not a real question) and Honey Ginger Chicken Kabobs.
  • For a spin on the basic deli platter try this antipasta platter created by Ina Garten (http://www.foodnetwork.com/inas-entertaining-tips/video/index.html)

Somebody say YUMMMMM.....




Desserts:
CUPCAKES of COURSE!  I think red velvet would be appropriate, why?.......WHY NOT?!!!!



Drinks:
You will most definitely need a signature cocktail for your party and keeping with the gold theme try  Limoncello Bellinis (Recipe follows).





Limoncello Champagne Golden Bellini
Pour 2 ounces peach nectar and 2 ounces champagne into a champagne flute.
Add a splash of Caravella Limoncello.


Now I'm no bartender but I'd just pour a bottle of each in a large beverage server and let the gals go at it!

Activities:
Golden Globe Winners Game:

*You'll need random prizes (tip: dollar store finds work best) for guests to pull out of a large grab bag or basket, which you'll need as well.
  • Make sure everyone arrives at least 1 hour before the show starts.
  • Each guest gets a ballot and checks off their favorite or who they predict will win for each category before the start of the show.
  • For every category a guest wins they get to pull a prize from the grab bag. This game works great because even if you don't know the particular movie, show or actor you still have a chance to win a prize!
  • Another option for prizes is to, pass out raffle tickets for every 'winner' at the end of the show whoever has the most wins gets a grand prize.
  • For tie breakers throw in some movie trivia (which would be loads of fun at this point - Bellini's considered).


Decor:




  • Shimmering Shades of Gold and lots of Glitter baby!
  • Use gold organza as a table linen overlay.
  • Decorate your buffet with strands of 'diamonds', pearls and gold garlands (which you can probably find next to nothing at after christmas sections of most discount stores).
  • Use film strip like you would streamers.
  • Place tall slim vases filled with plummed white and black feathers around to make for a great contrast to all the gold. 
  • Framed pictures of the nominated actors and actresses would work too. You can get inexpensive frames at the craft or dollar store or create your own with cardboard, paint and glitter.
  • Hang gold stars in various shapes and sizes from the ceiling as a backdrop to your food table or to dangle from a chandelier.
Parting Gifts:
I always think a gift is a nice way to thank guests for attending your party. Why not put together a gift bag like the ones given away at the Gift Suites for big Hollywood Award Shows and Premieres? Find inexpensive tote bags at the dollar store and fill them with some of your favorite items, lotions, soaps, comfy socks, t-shirts a book or magazine. You could even fish through the dollar section and trial size bins at Target and find some really nice items.


Whatever you decide to do to create a red carpet celebration, do it in style and have a blast!

Photo Credits:
Golden Globe Award
Ms. Hepburn
Limoncello Champagne Bellinis
Feathers
Gift Bag

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another Party Featured on The Creative Party Place!


Out of the blue and totally by surprise I received an email yesterday from Shannon over at The Creative Party Place letting me know that for the second time one of my parties was featured on there! My Thomas the Train party from back in September was featured on the site for ‘Parties That Move’. What exciting news to hear on hump day. If you haven’t been to The Creative Party Place yet, please check it out. The site has loads of ideas for any party you can imagine. I really appreciate the work that Shannon’s puts into the site; it’s really top notch and well organized. I think it’s great that she’s given us creative geniuses who love to entertain a place to share our passion and display our talents and inspire others.


Speaking of inspiration, I told you about the cupcake cake I did for a Christmas Eve gathering (by the way, this was for an old friend of mine and she said the cupcakes were a hit…patting myself on the back). When I was dropping the cupcake cake off she mentioned that she set up her decorations and tables because she liked the ideas on my blog. I thought how fun! So, she took some pictures and allowed me to share!
 
Here she printed out a menu and framed it.  She had small gift bags for her guests to take home with her.
 

When I arrived she hadn't laid out the complete spread on her table but it looks like it got off to a great start!



Then there is the Red Velvet Cupcake Cake!



It's always so nice to be able to share ideas and inspire others.  I'll continue to do that throughout the year and am so excited about what is coming up in the future! 
 
On another note, I just want to mention the devastation facing the Haitian people now.  It's very tragic and a few of my dear friends have already lost loved ones.  I believe as human beings we all have a sense of compassion and I am just helping to spread the love and asking that you text the word “Haiti” to 90-999 to donate $10 dollars to the American Red Cross relief effort.  The cost goes directly to your phone bill.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year!:Old to the New

HAPPY 2010 EVERYONE!  I hope everyone had a fantastic CHRISTMAS and is starting out with a FABULOUS new year.  Last year I posted about my Diva's advent calendar and then fell off the blogosphere!  Well, not actually, I just had so much going on that between baking, gift wrapping and decorating, etc. that I just didn't get a chance to sit down and blog about it all.  In any case, I'm here now and I'm back to share my creative genius (aka instanity, wink-wink) with you.

In a previous post I mentioned that I would be doing a cake for a baptism celebration.  Normally, I like to stick solely to making cupcakes, but when asked, I will do cakes and other confections.  This time I made a delicious Triple Vanilla Flavored sheet cake with a vanilla mousse filling (soooo good).  It was actually the first time I did a whole sheet cake and I don't think it came out half bad:




In addition to the cake I made a cupcake cake for a friend's Christmas Eve Party.  I made a red velvet cupcake cakes topped with my Coconut-Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting and some fun holiday sprinkles. 

 

Back in October I attended a Stampin Up class given by a crafting friend of mine who is a SU Demonstrator and made a few Christmas cards.  I loved the ones I made in the class so much, that I had a brilliant (aka insane) idea to order another card kit and hand-make all my Christmas cards.  Well, that was in October and between the Halloween party and whatever other madness I had going on in my life, that project got put on hold.  So, as Xmas grew nearer, I managed to make some 45 holiday cards.  Unfortunately the weekend they were supposed to go out in the mail, we got a snowed in so, they got out a lil' late, but hey....they were cute and I think most people got them before Christmas:

                                       
 
                                   
                                    

With all of that I still managed to decorate the Xmas tree and the fireplace mantel!



Glad I could share my holiday with you.  I hope everyone is having a fantastic start to the new year!  Valentine's Day is coming up and I am chock full of ideas that I'll be posting about very soon!

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