Birthdays: Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Two years ago my son came into this world and changed my life forever. I love him more than I ever thought possible. One of my (many) goals as a mother is to make sure that he has an enjoyable birthday (whether he remembers it or not). I spent quite a bit of time planning his first birthday but this September was much busier and I didn’t have quite as much free time to prepare AND we decided not to do a big birthday party but instead would celebrate as a small family and would help B celebrate at daycare as well.

We decided that the perfect treat for those at his small daycare would be ice cream cone cupcakes. I vaguely remember having these as a child either at my own party or someone else’s. They are super easy to make, would be something we could make a couple of days beforehand and they were also easy enough for a 2 year old to help with. B enjoyed dumping in the ingredients as well as licking the spoon and what little kid doesn’t like dumping sprinkles onto a cake?!

Thinking about the steps in making these cupcakes there are a couple of challenges to work around. We opted for the standard size of ice cream cones and thought B would enjoy a funfetti cake mix. We filled the cones 2/3 full of cake batter and then placed the cones on a mini muffin tin – they fit perfectly. CAREFULLY I put the pan into the oven and let them bake for about 20 minutes. Taking them out of the oven was almost more of a challenge than putting them in – but the made it out safely. After cooling I frosted them and let little B put sprinkles on each one.

And you are done! OH WAIT! How am I going to transport these?!?! Not an easy thing if you think about it.  A simple Google search will result in a plethora of ideas told by those that have braved these ice cream cone cupcakes in the past. We chose to transport these via a tin foil lasagna pan which was the perfect size for 12 cupcakes. Originally I had planned on cutting circles out of the bottom of the pan the size of the bottoms of the cones but that proved to be more difficult that I wanted it to be. So instead I cut a simple “X” for each cone and folded back the tabs – super easy. The cones fit in there great without wiggling around. The kids at daycare gave them rave reviews and somehow none of the extras made it home.

These were definitely fun & quick to make for a busy mom like myself. They didn’t take too much time and too much planning and you could definitely decorate them as simple or extravagant as you like – oh and did I mention how fun they are to eat?! Enjoy!

Components:

  • Ice cream cones
  • Cake mix
  • Frosting
  • Sprinkles
  • Mini muffin tin
  • Tin foil lasagna pan

 

Directions:

  • Mix up your cake batter.
  • Spoon batter into the cones until they are 2/3 full.
  • Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Cool completely before decorating.

Wedding: Steampunk & Handfasting

I love hearing about how people met and their journey to a lifetime of togetherness. Recently a co-worker of mine got married in a reverse elopement of sorts. Instead of running off to get married they each invited their parents & siblings to their house to participate in the intimate wedding ceremony in their back yard. I loved hearing of the small details that would make this day so special and memorable for them. Every little detail was carefully thought out and had a special meaning to the Happy Couple from the attire to the rings to the ceremony itself.

One part of the ceremony that was a bit unique to me (maybe not others depending on your heritage) – was the handfasting. You can read more about it here. I love how this ceremony incorporated those that the couple holds very dear. Such a neat idea and a great alternative if you are looking for incorporating  something other than a unity candle or sand ceremony.

Handfasting ceremony

Wedding rings are also something that are becoming a little more unique – people are getting more comfortable with the idea of customizing them more. Check out the Happy Couple’s steampunk inspired rings!

Steampunk rings

Go here to read more about this intimate ceremony. These details are just a reminder how you can taylor your wedding to fit your style – it’s your special day, let your style shine!

Featured Product: Photo Napkins

As I am constantly on the lookout for new products to use as décor in my home or for the perfect accessory for an event that will make people think “wow, that’s neat” I am reminded at how creative and clever people have gotten. A short search will reveal that people do what they can to personalize their home or party and even workplace – whether it be with a monogram, a photo, or a favorite color.

 In a previous post I featured the fabulous custom printed napkins that our very own Balloons Tomorrow can create. Well, did you know that they can also put photos on napkins?! It’s true – how neat does that sound –  photo napkins, the ultimate in personalization!

Think about the possibilities: birthdays, weddings, graduations, baby showers, engagements, sweet 16 – any milestone really. Or what about putting a picture of your new house on them and using them at a house warming party? Or a picture of your work place for a customer appreciation event or an anniversary celebration?

The napkins come in a huge variety of colors – I am very confident that you will find a color that will go great with your event and they come in 2 different sizes. Printing is done in either black or white and can either be printed square or slanted. You must check them out for your next gathering!

A Simple Celebration

The month of birthday celebrations have begun here at our house. Since we all have our birthdays within a month of each other it is a bit fun for me to decorate our house with birthday items that aren’t too obnoxious to leave out for that whole month. Just a couple of hints of “birthday” here and there – they were super easy to do and anyone (creative or not – young or old) will have no problem adding these birthday touches to their home.

Subway art is an easy way to adorn your living room for an upcoming holiday. There are many websites that offer these for you to print yourself, some are free and some you have to pay for. My favorite for these free printable is Eighteen25 – you will find many here for whatever season or holiday you may need and they usually have a few color combinations to pick from as well. I downloaded the image and had it printed at our local Target but you could easily print them out on your home computer as well.

Birthday subway art

Many of you may be aware of the trend of the DIY wreath – make a wreath for any occasion out of things you may have around your house. When I was looking for a birthday wreath I discovered many styles but I decided on a balloon wreath which was super easy to make – so easy you could get your kids to help you! We hang this wreath on our door every year so that passers by know that there is a celebration going on inside. It’s fun and special for the one celebrating.

Balloon wreath

Enjoy these simple ways to celebrate and remember to high-five those celebrating and wish them the very best for the following year.

Full of Hot Air

Within the next 4 weeks we will be celebrating my birthday, my husband’s birthday, and my son’s birthday (as well as a wedding and an anniversary) so needless to say I have “party brain” lately. My husband & I don’t typically go all out for our birthday’s but we do like to make sure our son’s birthday is special even though I doubt he will remember any of it at this age.

A birthday isn’t complete without balloons in my opinion. Of course little B’s favorite balloons come in the shape of Elmo or Mickey Mouse these days but balloons can be so much more than a character balloon or a balloon bouquet. Think about how fun balloon pillars might look on your patio at a party or floating against your ceiling with all their ribbons dangling down.

p.s. Don’t forget our very own Balloons Tomorrow in your one stop shop for your customized balloons – which would look pretty sweet with these ideas.

balloon garland – via agirlandaboy

 

hanging balloons – via igoyougo

 

birthday balloons filled with a little surprise – via she’s crafty

A Royal Affair

In a little over a month my son will turn 2 and I am starting to think more seriously how we will celebrate his birthday. Last year we had a nice birthday with family and was able to incorporate some handmade touches such as a felt birthday crown and fun little bunting that I sewed up the week before.

birthday crown & bunting

I thought the birthday crown was a fun touch that would get many uses well after B’s birthday and I was right. Whether you are crafty or not there are many tutorials out there for you to choose from or you can just wing it. As you will see there are many ways you can personalize your crown with the colors you choose to embellishments. If your kids are old enough you can even have them help you cut the felt or have them decorate the crown.

Here are a few ideas to get your wheels a turnin’:

felt crown – SouleMama

dress up crown – The Long Thread

felt crown – Skip to my Lou

Bridal Shower part 1

After quite some time planning I was able to finally see how everything would come together for the dual bridal shower this past weekend. This shower honored my future sister-in-law and my cousin’s fiancée – both who will be joining our family this fall.

I chose to go with a navy blue and light lemon yellow color scheme. The colors were fitting for a fun summer gathering and added a little bit of elegance as well. Whatever color scheme you choose it can act as a perfect spring board for the other aspects of your shower.

pineapple & blueberries

A simple way to utilize your colors is by incorporating them into the food that your serve but be sure to not go overboard. Since this shower was held mid morning we chose to serve food that was light and that leaned toward brunch fare. Fruit is an easy item to serve and it gives you quite a bit of color choices. One of my favorite combinations for the party was a bowl of fresh pineapple & blueberries – yum! We also served mini blueberry muffins, cinnamon rolls, and krimp bread with an egg salad spread. As for beverages bottles of water are an excellent choice. They are easy for guests to grab as they are mingling and you typically don’t have to worry as much about spillage either. And if you are feeling creative you can even make personalized labels to adhere to the bottles. We did have some bottles of water as well as coffee but most guests opted for a fabulous pineapple lemonade punch my grandmother made. I found the recipe on Pinterest and want to share the recipe with you.

pineapple lemonade punch

Pineapple Lemonade Punch

1 cup Countrytime Lemonade mix (or similar)

2 cups of cold water

1 can of chilled pineapple juice (46oz.)

2 cans chilled Sprite (or similar)

Mix together and add lemon slices!

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series coming next week!

Bridal Shower Teaser

This weekend I will be co-hosting a bridal shower for my future sister-in-law and my cousin’s fiancée – a dual shower. I have spent a good amount of time planning the event from afar but have had wonderful help from the other hostesses. I am so excited to share the details of the party with you next week. We came up with a navy blue and yellow color scheme – one that I find elegant and fresh for a summer shower. And as mentioned in a previous post the chevron pattern will be making an appearance as well as a delicious lemonade-punch perfect for a mid-morning party. And no shower would be complete without games. Many people I know are not fond of shower games but my aim is to make them enjoyable for everyone and since we will be honoring two brides at this shower why not let the guests have a break and put the brides to work?! Yes, the brides will be the ones participating in the shower games, not the guests!

I will leave you with some ruffled streamers left over from a past event and which will be making an appearance this weekend!

ruffled streamers – photo courtesy of Benzie Design

Thinking It Through

When planning any event it is important to think about all of the components that will make up your party. I have broken it down into a few categories for you and have given you some scenarios to think about. You want to think about the different aspects but also remember not to over-think.

What to consider:

  1. Time of the party. This will greatly determine what type of food should be served. You aren’t going to serve sliders at a baby shower that is at 10:00 in the morning and you aren’t going to serve cinnamon rolls at a barbeque. Do you have guests traveling from out of town? Then don’t start your party too early in the day.
  2. Your guests. Are there going to be a lot of kids at the party? You may want to consider doing finger foods that aren’t very messy (nobody likes cleaning stains out of their carpets). Whether your party is indoors or outdoors consider a possible form of entertainment – especially nice if there will be children at your event.
  3. Weather & location. If you choose to have your party outdoors make sure that you have an alternative location in case of rain – or in my neck of the woods, the heat. The heat is not typically a party disrupter that we normally think about but not too many people are going to want to be outside if the temps are in the 100s!

These are just a few items to think about when you are planning a party. As stated in a previous post, document your options, make a check list, and be prepared – you will be surprised at how well things can run when you consider all parts of your party. In the end remember not to stress and to have fun – roll with the punches and enjoy those around you!

Chevrons

It’s hard not to notice trends when it comes to patterns. A trend that has been going strong for awhile now is the chevron. Chevrons are everywhere and are a fun way to add that perfect pop to your event. The chevron designs are popping up everywhere, weddings, showers, home décor, and clothing.

The fun thing about using patterns is you can make them any color to suit the theme or feel that you are going for – you can make them bold or subtle. You can make them fat or thin, you can have a few or many – it’s a pattern you can tailor to suit your style.Because the chevron pattern can be quite bold you want to make sure you don’t overdo it. Consider just using it in a couple of areas as to not to overwhelm your guests – a pop here and there will really go a long way.

It’s hard to not admire such a simple pattern. I too have fallen for the chevron trend and have used it for an upcoming bridal shower I am organizing so be sure to stay tuned to see just how I used this versatile design.