Friday, July 30, 2010

My Birthday Blog-xtravaganza!

I am so excited about next week!  Since my birthday is next Tuesday, I have asked five of my favorite fellow blog-gals to be guest bloggers for me all of next week.  The lovely ladies who agreed to take on a fun challenge and guest post for me are:

Each day a different blog-gal will write a post about one of my favorite things.  It's kinda like what Oprah does when she has a favorite things show and gives away cars, vacations and refrigerators to audience members - except....I'm not Oprah ;)  Seriously though - there will be prizes so be sure to check back every day next week to find out the giveaway for the day!

On to other business.....

Yesterday I posted about my Midsummer Night's Dream themed birthday party that I will host next weekend with a few friends.  Well, let me start by saying that this is a last minute decision and it means three things; small guest list, small amount of time and small budget.  In my head, I'm planning all of these great things I'm gonna whip up and create and have a totally over the top bash.

REALITY: I know good and too darn well that is just my crazy talking.  I really don't have time to get invites in the mail, so I just have to do an Evite (which I secretly hate).  Luckily I came across this post about this product from Paperless Post that allows you to create real looking invitations that you can send via email....and the kicker is they look like real invitations!!!!  SEE!!!!!!

So, I will be sending a Paperless Post invite over to some friends shortly - can't wait.  I have some other decorating ideas in my head , as well - but I'm trying to figure out the easiet and thriftiest way to make it happen!  I'll share everything with you when I get off the crazy train - if there is actuall a way to do it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Inspiration: Midsummer Night's Dream Party

I love the tale of a Midsummer Night's, confusion, magic, lust (giggle), fairies, 'magic potions', donkeys, kings, queens, woodlands, waking up and thinking it was all a definitely has the elements of a wild and crazy party!

My birthday is right around the corner and I just thought it would be absolutely sinful - oooh - I mean delightful to invite a handful of gals over to sit on the deck, drink some magic potion and have a Midsummer Night's Dream Party!!! 

Here are some ideas I've pulled for inspiration:

I'm so excited to start working on this party - I will keep you posted on how everything is coming along.

Speaking of fairies and enchantment, I wanted  to share this party with you by Amanda Paker.  Amanda is a party gal after my own heart. She put so much time and creativity - and I know lotsa love - into this party for a special little girl and it absolutely shows. She handmade just about every decorative item...

Check out this fairy house centerpiece - she made this using driftwood and a turtle sandbox top - hello!

I must say I am absolutely in love with the mushroom grotto - which she fashioned out of  various items like tomato cages, megaphones, cocoa planter liners and cups!

....and the cupcakes (of course).

You can find out more about how she pulled everything together on her blog.

Photo Credits:
Fairy Tutu, Statue, Fairy Bride, Rose Crown, Potion Bottle, Gold Crown, Toadstool Cake, FairyHouse,Canopy, Tented Room, Twinkle Lights, Fairy House, Floral tablescape, Pearl Pendant, Necklace, Louboutins, Poolside Table, Floral Centerpiece, pink slip dress

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tip Tuesday: A Lil' Link Love from Blogs I Heart

I'm super busy with God knows what to get my Etsy store set up!  I didn't want to let another day to go by without posting. 

Every few months, I always try and find out what colors will be hot for the upcoming season.  Knowing this information provides me with some inspiration on colors I choose for my party designs or fabrics for table settings.

Here are the colors that Pantone has forecasted for Fall/Winter 2010

I'm a bit partial to Purple Orchid, Chocolate Truffle, Lagoon and Woodbine for this upcoming season:

Inspiration is everywhere!!!

Also, I came across this dandy DIY and thought it would be such a great project to take on for my next party.  Here is a cool and too fun DIY on personalizing paper napkins from Twig & Thistle courtesy of Amy Atlas

Photo Credits:
Birthday Banner
Green Scheme Tablescape
Purple Shoes
Festive Table Centerpiece
Tiered Stand

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Freebie: WE HAVE 100 FOLLOWERS!!!

A few months back I was contacted by a representative with CSN stores to do a review for a product from one of their over 200+ stores.  It took me a while to decide what I wanted to review because there was so much to choose from - you can buy a barstool, a vanity, a crib, a food processor - even a kitchen sink.  Well, I finally got around to ordering when I came across this darling melamine dinner collection by Working Class Studio.

I chose these salad plates in particular because I love the colors and their whimsy. 

Cute - aren't they?  I think I love the pink crown plate most of all.  They'd really add some liveliness to any tablescape if used at a late afternoon sumertime cocktail mixer!

So.....remember yesterday I annonced that I had 99 followers of my blog?  Well it appears that today I finally reached 100!!!!  For today's Friday Freebie, I think it's only fitting that my 100th follower (who happens to write on a blog that I heart) receive this collection of plates as a thank you for following and being awesome.

Congratulations to Michelle with Maddycakes Muse and thank you so, so, much to everyone who reads this blog.  It's a lot of fun for me and I appreciate all the comments and blog friends I've made. 

Check back next week for a big announcement about what's happening in August with Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

99 Followers of Dears on my Wall!

OH - Things are coming right along over here on my bloggie-baby!

I happened to scroll down my blog and noticed that I am at 99 Followers!  Mmmm, wonder what happens at 100????

The next one to follow finds out!

Buttercream Sugar Cookie Sandwiches

I wanted this post to go out on Monday, but I got sidetracked, so I'm doing Cupcake Monday today!

I made these with the help of four little hands over the weekend.

Four little hands were needed because four little hands kept finding ways of geting themselves into things they shouldn't have.  So, I decided the best way to keep those four little hands from doing more damage was to put them to work and help me get my sweet treat ready for my Monday post.  However, the way my day was going on Sunday I knew that my Cupcake Monday idea was shot.  I figured the kids could have fun with another baking project.  Cookies!

My daughter thought it would be 'So yummy' if we made sugar cookies and  made them into sandwiches!  What a creative little sugar sprite she is!

You know I'm a cake box snob - but when it comes to cookies I could care less.  When it comes to cookies I really only like Chocolate Chip and Oreos (more on that next week).  That being said, I pulled out a pack of Betty Crocker Cookie Mix and the necessary ingredients and we got to work.

It was nice to do something apart from cupcakes....especially because the kids were bored and it gave them something to do.

Now somewhere between this....

and this....

....someone hit someone with something, a fight ensued, disciplinary action was given, a tantrum EVOLVED, two naps were taken, a load of laundry was put in the wash, dinner was prepared & eaten, a kitchen was cleaned, baths were taken, bodies were tucked into bed, laundry was folded....and mommy decorated the cookies the following morning so my little hellions could bring their grandma the delicious treats they made the day before.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Manly-Man Cupcakes!!!!!

I am so into these Butch cupcakes by David Arrick!  This girl loooves her cupcakes and loooooooooves her manly men (ahem, man).  Can you imagine how sex-ay it is to watch a dude gulf down a hunky cupcake like the ones provided by Butch Bakery???? .........(crickets chirping) ......alrighty then!

Well, if those cupcakes taste half as delicious as they look - and if you are ever in The Big Apple - order up a dozen or so online and have them delivered.  Currently, the cupcakes can only be delivered to locations in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, but I can totally see these as a great treat for a well-deserving soldier or veteran. 

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

I love blogging, never thought I would - I barely know what I'm doing most of the time - other than rambling on about the ongoings of my parties and craziness.  Regardless, I truly enjoy writing posts and telling folks all about party related topics that get me all excited. 

At the begining of the year I made an intention to post more often and offer more substantial content.  In an effort to really push this blog baby through and make something more of it, I've gotten involved with a fun and exciting online workshop with SITS and PROBLOGGER to make this here blog mo' betta'.  Granted I got started three days late, no thanks to Verizon online and their naughty hijinx, it's already given me the swift kick in the arse that I need to make some awesome changes to my blog.

If you're a blogger, want to start one or you're just getting started and want to make improvements to your own blog, why not check it out

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Freebie: Grab My Button

Seriously for weeks I tried to create a cute blog button.  Well, I designed a bunch- A WHOLE BUNCH - but finally settled on one that I was happy with.  However, the trouble all started when I went to add it to the blog. 

I'm not super technically challenged, I can figure most things out.  The truth is I don't have much patience and occasionally too many directions and steps flusters me; I am an instant gratification type of gal.  I tried and tried but couldn't get it.  Every tutorial that I read just seemed so involved (they probably really weren't involved, it's actually an easy process....).  After finding one that made sense I was able to post the button.

This is the button I designed......I likey:

If you choose to (and I hope you do), you can grab the code - fo' free ;) - to post to your blog - it's located in the side bar ---->

Do you have a button you want to add to Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams????  Leave a comment and include your link!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Inspiration: A New Love Affair with Twine

I was at the dollar store about a month ago and came across a random ball of twine.  Suddenly, my brain started churning out all the amazing things I could do with 225 feet of skinny rope.  You will not believe me when I tell you that ball of twine jumped right into my shopping cart and started telling me all the magnificent uses it had.  It knew I was an easy sell! 

Now, you would have thought that when I got home that I went straight to my work room and started gettin' it in with that ball of twine, but got in the way.  Since then, it's been sitting tucked away in a cupboard all by its lonesome.....until I came home over the July 4th holiday and found all my potted plants slumped over and on their way to glory. 

Refusing to let another summer heatwave steal my green thumb thunder, I grabbed some bamboo sticks (also a dollar store find) and my lonely ball of twine and straighted the stems out on my little green babies and worked towards bringing them back to life.

When I was done, I felt like a champion.  My little lonely ball of twine became my favorite new thing!  I got back to dreaming up all of the different things I could do with it.  As I searched around I found more and more creative ideas to add to my list.  For such an industrious looking product - it's got a multitude of uses!

Here is an inspiration board that I created displaying all the beautiousness that is twine:

What creative items have you made using twine?  Share them in the comments section below - include links to photos too!!!!

Photo Credits:
Kraft paper wrapped gift
Candles wrapped in twine from House of Hepworths
Twine-wrapped bottles from My Pink Life
Pressed flower Invitation
Twine-wrapped napkin & utensil
Mama's Belly Game - Accent the Party
Twine-wrapped flower pot centerpiece
Twine hung bunting

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beat the Heat Desserts

It's summertime and it's HOT!  I was thinking of all the summer parties and gatherings people are having.  I always like to bring something when I am invited to a barbecue or pool party.  You know this girl loves her sweets and I have come across some tried and true summertime desserts that don't require the use of a hot oven or stove.

Banana Pudding is an all time favorite in our house during the summer.  My grandmother made hers with Nilla Wafers, Vanilla Pudding, sliced bananas and a dollop of whipped cream.  I like to make mine using Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies instead of the wafers and I put toffee bits on the top layer!  If you want to dress it up for a party - layer the pudding in a trifle bowl or serve in individual dessert glasses for a delicious presentation.

Easy Chocolate Mousse can be made with five simple ingredients.  Try placing the mousse in tall shot glasses with a demi spoon for a quaint Mousse shooter!

This is another summertime favorite of mine and I think I've made it for just about every party I have had - Raspberry Fruit Dip!  It's such an easy dish to make and you will NOT get enough of it!

My Recipe
8 oz. Softened Cream Cheese
7.5 oz jar Marshmallow Fluff
1 tsp. Raspberry Extract
3 drops red food coloring (optional)

You can also mix in raspberry yogurt or pureed raspberries in place of of the extract and food coloring.  Serve it with chilled in season fruit - you will not be disappointed!

Photo Credits:
Banana Pudding - Bakerella
Raspberry Fruit Dip

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cupcake Monday: Strawberry Short Cake

Hi all!

I didn't get to making any baked sweets over the weekend, but I forgot to show you all what I made for my honey bun for Father's Day.  He isn't a big sweets person - how sad for him - but when he does get a craving for something sweet it's either Pecan Pie, Caramel Cake or Strawberry Short Cake.  Well with strawberries being in season I went ahead and made him this:

Traditional Strawberry Short Cake calls for a biscuit like cake drizzlin' with strawberries, but I don't really like that version.  So, I made the cake using this Citrus Sponge Cake recipe - with a few tweaks of my own.  Then I filled it with fresh strawberries and topped it with the best frosting ever - Swiss Meringe Buttercream. I enhanced the frosting with some flavoring and orange, lemon & lime zest.  Then went crazy with the strawberries on top of the cake.  It looked so good that no one wanted to cut into it.  Actually it was so good that before I could get any pictures of it cut it was gone! 

Here's another shot for you in case the one above didn't have you drooling already:


This also makes a really great summertime dessert! 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Etsy Store Sneak Peek

I have been dilligently plugging away at working on new designs and items for my etsy store.  I debuted a few of my new designs in my most recent giveaway contest - but I finally created a banner that I like for the 'store front'.  With the help of my fabulously talented mom - here's what we came up with!


I uploaded the banner to to Etsy today to see how it will look and I am just ecstatic.  It's not complete, I still have to add items and figure out if Etsy will allow me to change my username....lots and lots to do, but other than that, I am so excited.  I hope to have a 'grand opening' before the end of the month!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

CW&BD Blog Birthday Contest Winners

Hi all!!!!  I hope you had a great July 4th holiday! 

As promised, here are the winners of the Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams Blog Birthday Contest:

Kristy Jo - Custom Party Pack from my 'coming soon' Etsy shop
HappyLeesh - Eric Carle Party Kit
Tori - Custom invitations
Jenny Bolech - $25 Gift Card to the Christmas Tree Shops
Christina - Mystery box


Please email me with your contact information so you can recieve your prizes.  Thanks to all who participated!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams' Blog!

It's my bloggie's little one year birthday!  Oh how happy am I?  When I started writing this blog, I had no clue how much it would bring me.  I just wanted a place to show people my creations and share my ideas and thoughts on all things PARTY!  But this little baby has allowed much more than that.  I've met new blog friends, clients and readers....all of whom I'm very grateful for!

So, to show my appreciation.....I'm doing some fun giveaways and prizes today.  I am currently working on designs for an Esty store but,  I will giveaway prizes today on Twitter (follow me @kikikens), on my Facebook Fan Page (Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams) and here on the blog.  I'm all over the place! 

Today's giveaways are:

Giveaway #1
A custom party kit from my new 'Fire Truck, Whale and Baby Elephant' themed party designs collection consisting of the following items:
8 Banner
8 Party Hats
24 Circle Embellishments
8 Invitations & Thank You Cards
1 Door Sign
3 Party Poms!

Giveaway #2

A custom designed invitation for your next party or gathering.  You tell me your theme and I create your invitation!

Giveaway #3

I loosely based my son's 2nd birthday party on 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'.  Ironically, I came across an Eric Carle party kit - to giveaway!

$25 Gift Certificate to the Christmas Tree Shops!

Giveaway #5
Party Pack Mystery Box!  Chock full of good stuff - worth $150!!!

This contest is closed - thanks for participating.
To enter the giveaways:

  1. Follow this blog, my Twitter (@kikikens) and become a fan of Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams on Facebook .

  2. Leave a comment as to which prize(s) you want and that you're following me (if you aren't on FB or Twitter - you can still enter - just note so in the comment).

  3. And just for fun - Are  you Team Edward or Team Jacob?

A winner will be chosen at for each giveaway and you must enter between from 1PM EST today until 5PM ESTtomorrow evening.


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