guest post: a backyard bbq

I am happy to be sharing my Backyard BBQ with you today! My name is Tanya~ maybe you've heard of my blog Save The Date For Cupcakes. I was thrilled when Becca asked me to fill in for her while she's getting ready for her new bundle of joy! For this party I included some of the old with some of the new. I had some help with the burger cupcakes and printables from Bakerella and The Sparkle Spot. I hope you enjoy my first "real party" feature for Birthday Girl!

guest post: a twenty something birthday

I am so excited to be doing a guest post on Birthday Girl because I for one love Birthdays. And I am happy to say that two weeks ago, my husband and I went to our friends' Alana and Derick's Twenty Something Birthday. We helped celebrate their birthday at Lake Temescal in the Oakland Hills. The weather could not have been more perfect. I could not get enough of the horchata, lemonade, beet hummus and Toas-tites. Toas-tites are amazing. What are Toas-tites you might ask? Well, they are pouches of yumminess. Popular back in the 1950's, I foresee Toas-tites making a comeback. For a Toas-tite party, make sure to have a variety of fillings to choose from. We had: fresh tomatoes, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, brie, thyme, fresh fruit, Nutella and much more. Each person brought fillings to share and for dessert I had a Nutella, Brie and strawberry toas-tite. But my favorite toas-tite combination included:

wheat bread
fresh tomatoes
cheddar cheese
blue cheese

The mixture of cheese with the tomato and thyme was pure birthday goodness. So, the next time you celebrate your birthday I would definitely celebrate with a picnic in the park, close friends AND Toas-tites.

fresh flowers
colorful veggie kabobs
beet hummus
bread for a toas-tite
an assortment of cheese for the filling
blue cheese, cheddar cheese, tomato and thyme
our first peek
a toas-tite
birthday goodness
Myself and Alana (the birthday girl)
- by Caroline of Coeur De La

custom inspiration board: fired up in red, white and blue

Kelly is having a first birthday for her 'little firecracker' around July 4th and wanted to create a festive red, white and blue firecracker theme. Here are some suggestions on how to light up and spice up the look for adults and kids alike, so it feels more like a birthday party then an all-american patriotic celebration...

Theme: Firecracker

Party Ideas
Colors: red, white and shades of blue
Setting: an outdoor backyard bbq for children and adults- should last into the evening for lighting effect.
Decorations: set the tables with bright patterned cloths or plates. Leave a wrapped confetti popper at each place setting. Create a bouquet of pinwheels for each centerpiece or consider blue and white hydrangea with red garden roses. hang a mix of lights, lanterns flags and fans from the trees, porch etc, and as the sky grows dark light candles and pass out sparklers.
Food: serve a mix of spicy foods like jalapeno burgers, hot wings, buffalo peanuts, cajun chips etc with some american classics to cool things down (coleslaw, mac & cheese etc). serve up red punch to drink and offer a classic dessert combo of cake or cupcakes and ice cream (see martha's templates for cupcake toppers and ice cream cone wraps).
Favors: hand out bags of hot tamales or atomic fireballs candy for the kids, sparkler packets with matches for the adults.
Other: the birthday girl would look like quite the firecracker dressed in a party tutu, perhaps with some sparkly red shoes or a star wand as accessories.

Photo Credits
Row 1: invite via bella figura; matches via twig & thistle; fireworks via getty images Row 2: cake via oh joy; drink umbrellas via martha stewart; tutu via tiny belles boutique; table setting via style me pretty Row 3: flags via etsy; pinwheels via better homes & gardens; popper via hwtm; Row 4: plates via pottery barn; cupcake toppers & ice cream wraps via martha stewart, sparkler packets via birthday girl

guest post: dr. seuss' ABCs

Hi there! When Ms. Birthday Girl wrote and asked me to write a guest post for her blog, I took a moment to think about it. But it was really a very short moment, more of a nanosecond, after which I immediately shouted “YES!” because of course I adore her blog. The constant inspiration from creative people is food for my party-loving soul.

By way of introductions, I’m Courtney from Nesting Instincts. I’m an interior redesigner, event planner, stationery designer, and happy (but tired) momma. Not necessarily in that order. I love nothing more than a good party where, by attention to detail (but not always lots of cash), you can create an atmosphere and a memory that is magical.

So, I thought I’d share with you this party I threw recently for my son’s first birthday. I started with the colors I wanted to go with, and then realized that the cover of Dr. Seuss’ ABC book contained those colors! And so, a theme was born. The theme grew when I found an artist on Etsy who would hand-paint a custom T-shirt for my son to wear at the party. I used “ABC” everywhere as an acrostic for “Angel Boy Caleb” (his nickname is “Angel Boy”…’cause he is one. Really.). I stuck to a palette of red, lime green, and bright blue. (Normally I am morally opposed to blue flowers, but in this case, it worked.) I used a Sharpie pen to draw one of the characters from the front of the book as party d├ęcor…it wasn’t that hard once I threw caution to the wind and stopped telling myself I couldn’t do it. The cupcakes were red velvet, because that seemed Dr. Seuss-ish to me. You can read all the details in my post about the party here.

I’m writing this before the arrival of the Birthday Girl’s baby. So, Birthday Girl, may your own girl’s birthday be sweet. May your entrance into motherhood be fabulous, and may you enjoy this time with your growing family ever so much. Thanks again for letting me take over your blog for a day…I hope you don’t regret it. ;-) Happy Birthday! - xo Courtney

- by Courtney Goodwin of Nesting Instincts

guest post: brilliant baby shower details

Thank you, Becca, for asking me to guest blog. I feel so honored. So to honor you and your new baby, I thought I'd write about baby shower details we've seen on our site that I love.

A Beautiful Blessing Board

This blessing board was not only a pretty design element at this Yellow & Blue Baby Shower but a super easy way for guests to write their own blessings for the new baby.

"Baby Shower blessing board to share your good wishes"

A Fun Co-ed Theme

At this "B" is for Baby Shower, the theme was simple and fun... the letter "B." So to appeal to both men and women, they served burgers, buffalo wings, boiled shrimp, beer, banana pudding, and bubblegum. What I love about this theme is it's cute, but not too cute. :)

"'B' is for Baby Shower - a fun and simple theme"

Great Idea - Bring a Book

The invitation to this Books and Owls Baby Shower came with a book plate. Guests were encouraged to bring a book for the baby instead of a writing a card. On the book plate they could leave a message. What a great way for this family to start building their library for their baby.

"Bring a book with a message instead of writing a card"

Funny and Useful Daddy Gift

Because most showers are all about the mom-to-be , this hostess put together a "Daddy Doody Kit" for the dad-to-be. It was filled with diapers, wipes, rash cream, gloves, goggles, face mask, clothes pin for his nose, hand sanitizer, wipes, and even Tylenol for the daddy. I thought this was a great way to include the dad, so he wasn't just the guy who shows up at the end to load up the car with gifts.

"Daddy Doody Kit to acknowledge the dad-to-be"

Beautiful Homemade Favors

I love the homemade bath scrub favors at this Celebrating Baby Zoe Baby Shower. Anyone who's read my blog knows I'm a big fan of DIY details. They're not only cost-effective, they're personal. These bath scrubs doubled as the place card at this shower. And I love the tag line, "From our shower to yours."

"Homemade bath scrub favors"

For more baby shower inspirations, please visit our site, and congrats to Becca on her new baby to come. What an exciting time this is!

- by Jillian Tohber Leslie of
Catch My Party

real parties: pretty in pink & yellow

Another gorgeous international party! This first birthday comes from Paula of Holamama in Spain. I fell head over heels for the pink & yellow color palette and the sweet paper goods. The details are simple and chic, with the focal point of the party set around a beautiful assortment of treats & sweets, backed by crepe paper chains.

{images via holamama}

father's day fun: shirt & tie cake

I've always wanted to make a shirt & tie cake and present it in a shirt box as a Father's day or birthday gift. Alas, my dad is not a corporate guy. So with Father's day coming up on Sunday, I thought maybe some of your dads and husbands could benefit from the idea. I've seen lots of great design examples, and though I can't find any specific recipes, if you know how to work with fondant I think it's fairly self explanatory. Keep in mind I'm guessing a little, but here's what I would do...

{image via tiepedia}

Shirt & Tie Cake How-To
1. Select a shirt box and line with enough tissue paper to fold over the sides of the box.
2. Cut a sheet of foam board to fit inside base of the box and cover with parchment paper or foil.
3. Prepare a standard sheet cake as directed for a 9x13" baking pan. Allow the cake to cool and invert onto the foam board.
4. Cover cake in a layer of buttercream frosting.
5. Roll out sheets of fondant in desired colors and trim to size before gently laying over cake and smoothing.
6. Dip a thin brush in food coloring to create a tie pattern and use real buttons & cufflinks to trim shirt collar and cuff. Poke small holes with a toothpick to emulate stitching on pocket and cuff.
7. Carefully lift the foamboard with the cake and place inside the lined shirt box.

real parties: vintage italian circus

This vintage circus comes to us all the way from Italy, courtesy of Laura at Tren Di Nozze. She used red, blue and light blue with lots of stripes to create this whimsical color scheme. The details were nearly all DiY including the cookie favor packaging, flag bunting, decorations and silly strong man/cannon woman cutouts for guests to take pictures with. A beautiful twist on a classic theme!

{images via tren di nozze}

real parties: french inspired 40th

Chris of Celebrations at Home sent me this charming 40th birthday party she recently threw for her husband. She created a French themed Happy Hour, showering guests with wine, champagne and delicious appetizers like goat cheese toasts, tarts and french macaroons (but of course). A sense of destination was carried throughout the decorations too... my favorite touch is the vintage suitcase and Au Revoir blackboard to mark the favor bags. Her husband is a lucky guy indeed!