angel food cupcakes etc.

When I logged into blogger today I was thrilled to discover that I now have 400 followers! I'm so pleasantly surprised by this new burst of popularity and must continue to thank you wholeheartedly for your comments & support.

In keeping with the theme of healthier desserts for January, I wanted to find a lighter cupcake recipe and happily discovered these angel food cupcakes on Annie's Eats. The recipe is quite easy and they look beautiful when garnished with a little light whip cream and fresh fruit. Definitely worthy of your party guests...

{image via annie's eats}

Angel Food Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
12 large egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Adjust oven racks to the two lowest positions. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the vanilla and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft-medium peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula, being careful not to deflate the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners and bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with whipped cream and fresh fruit, if desired.

real parties: madeline in paris

I’m a little late in sharing this party with you, but it’s so unique and stylish I couldn’t help but show it off. This Madeline birthday party was designed by Kate Landers Events and her stunning details are so accurate it’s as though she brought the books to life. She had 12 little girls in attendance (of course) and they received the full Parisian experience... visiting several shoppes with personalized gifts for them at each. The Clothing shoppe had custom made blue capelets, the Flower shoppe offered them a blank canvas in which to create a masterpiece, the Book and Toy shoppe had books for reading and coloring, and the Candy shoppe gave them a sweet fix from apothecary jars filled with colorful candy. Lunch was served at a beautiful table arranged with yellow tulips and the most darling ribbon adorned hat cake. There are so many more amazing touches from the day’s events, I highly recommend a visit to Kate’s blog to check out the rest!

{images via kate landers}

custom party inspiration board: a monogram inspired baby shower

Today I finished the first of my custom inspiration boards and Cindy was kind enough to let me share it with you. This March, she'll be hosting a baby shower in Houston Tx for about 40 people. She didn't have a theme, but wanted something classic and modern... not too cutsie. After she gave me some further details about the event and the mom-to-be, I provided her with 5 shower themes to choose from. She actually liked several of them so much that she had me create 2 boards, but this is the one she decided to choose because it matched the colors of the baby's nursery:

Theme: Simple Monogram "KWD"

Party Ideas
Color Palette: shades of blues & greens with brown accents (nursery colors)
Setting: a seated lunch for 40 in a conservatory style hotel dining room
Invitations: to be custom designed. use a simple natural white card stock invite with a monogram icon at top. continue the monogram icon across all paper goods at the shower.
Centerpieces: consider periwinkle, green and white hydrangea bouquets. low arrangements in white ceramic or silver vases.
Favors: monogrammed cookie favors in glassine bags with ribbon, or a sweets buffet with candy in blues & greens. include tags or stickers with monogram.
Cake: cupcakes in a tower with monogrammed toppers.
Other: set up a small table with pens & note cards, and have out a paper suitcase or an apothecary jar with a sign for people to write wishes for the mom-to-be and baby.

Photo Credits
Row 1: monogrammed cookie via
gumdrop cookie shop; flowers & baby bottles via my recipes; stacked blocks via melissa jill; dessert table via brides
Row 2: tablescape via
brides; paper suitcase with monogram mug copyright BG; onsie cookie via flickr; invite via haley hardcastle
Row 3: knox onsie via
etsy; hydrangea in mint julep cup via ms weddings; brownie pops via beau coup; tablescape via real simple; jellybeans via brides
Row 4: cupcake via
country living; monogram gift via southern living; candy buffet copyright BG; monogram cards via hot ref

real parties: ahoy! it’s a nautical party

This traditional Nautical party is sure to brighten up your winter’s day. It came to me from Jennifer of The Tillman Family blog and I flipped for it as soon as I saw the color scheme of red and pale blue... my blog colors of course. She went above and beyond to create a natural handcrafted look that brings this theme to life. Galvanized buckets held the food and the centerpieces she made herself from wooden toy boat kits. A lunch of ‘fish and chips’ was served in red plastic pub style baskets. Fabric banners tied with twine surrounded the playground... sails topped the cupcakes.... paper hats were created and decorated by the kids... there was even a cardboard boat to play in, complete with fishing poles! Aye aye captain Jennifer- you did an amazing job.

{images via josh malahy}

DiY: hot chocolate spoons

I just love, love LOVE these hotchocspoons. It’s one of those brilliant ‘how could I not have thought of this myself?’ concepts.

Actually... even though it might be sacrilege to suggest such a thing, why not make them yourself? All you need is a silicone ice cube tray, disposable wooden spoons and a variety of chocolates and mix-ins for melting and experimenting with. (consider it a modern take on those dixie cup popsicles we used to make as kids). Such a perfect treat for this cold winter weather, and you could easily package them up and give them out as hostess gifts or party favors too. Yes, it’s settled. I’m definitely on board with this project... who’s with me?

{images via chocolate company}

real parties: pinwheel preppy

Lately I’ve been receiving so many fantastic real parties from readers that I realized only doing features on Thursday wasn’t going to cover it. So today you get a bonus party! This one comes from talented Aussie Sharnel of My Life, My Loves who created this classic pinwheel party for her son’s 4th birthday in navy blue and green. It features a sweets buffet Amy Atlas herself would envy...

{images via my life my loves}

custom inspiration board GIVEAWAY


Last week I announced a new service available through Birthday Girl- custom inspiration boards! In order to kick things off and help spread the word, I've decided it's high time for a giveaway... so from now through the end of the month, I'm offering a chance to win your own custom inspiration board for FREE!

To enter, simply leave a comment here with your upcoming party theme or occasion. Share this service with your readers through your blog or website, and earn a BONUS entry by leaving a separate comment with your link back.

You have until Saturday, January 30th at Midnight PST to enter. The winner will be chosen by

Looking forward to inspiring you!

real parties: a BINGO night birthday

My favorite parties to blog about are the ones I attend myself, and this was no exception. On Saturday night my husband and I got dressed in our bingo best (yes, we're the dapper couple pictured at the bottom) to attend a party in honor of our friend turning her true age- which is apparently 78 or so. They went all out for this shindig, and as usual my pictures don't begin do it justice. There was plastic on the couches, a food buffet containing jello, bugles and a even cheese ball... and that was just the beginning. Golden Girls paraphernalia hung everywhere, old fashioned ribbon candy made up the favors and copies of readers digest littered the bathroom. After settling down without walkers, canes and giant handbags, we played about 5 rounds of bingo and got progressively rowdier as the drinks began flowing and our caller continued to heckle us. It felt a little like we were partying in a nursing home, but honestly it was one of the best events I've been to in awhile. Major points for creativity too... this is the perfect theme for any milestone birthday!

{photos ©bg2010}

real parties: a sweetly sweet cupcake party

I’ve been saving this birthday party for you because it’s such a fun start to the new year! The details are courtesy of Lorell of Sweetly Sweet, created for her daughter’s 2nd birthday. She designed all the paper goods herself and was inspired by other bloggers to create special details... the cupcake toppers were inspired by the Tomkat Studio, the candy buffet by Amy Atlas and the Cupcake Pops by Bakerella. The cupcake candles were handmade by a local artisan and she says they looked and smelled just like the real thing. Every detail was attended to, even the prizes and games were designed to compliment the theme. With this great effort comes great love... Lorell and her husband were not sure they could have children, so when Lorelys Maia was born it was a miracle for their entire family. And as it should be... every single birthday she has will be truly be something to celebrate.

{images via sweetly sweet}

party inspiration board: football 'play'offs

Now that we've all said a sad farewell to the holidays, it's time to turn our attention to the next excuse for a party... football! The playoffs begin next week and Superbowl XLIV is coming up in early February, so it's a great theme to incorporate with your son or husband's upcoming birthday. There are plenty of ways to make this party a hit, but let's be honest... it's all about the food. Make sure you have plenty of finger friendly snacks on hand like sliders, wings and mini hot dogs. Watching the game on TV is always a fun way to pass the time, but if its a warm enough day, take the party outside and throw the ball around or make it a game and pass out little trophies or other prizes to the winners.

Row 1: cupcakes, drinks via apartment therapy; mini hot dogs via martha stewart; chip dip
Row 2: wings via martha stewart; football cake via kaboose: gathering via real simple; party supplies via plum party
Row 3: sliders via martha stewart; pillows via land of nod; football kids via kamarah; centerpiece via stiletto sports
Row 4: invite via tiny prints; trophy via beau coup; vinage scene via evite; barware via pottery barn