real parties: a whale & bubble bash

I have a few reasons to be crazy about this exclusive feature, designed and submitted by the talented Sarah of Lil Whoot Parties. She created this ocean inspired event for a 3rd birthday and it is beyond fab.  Reason number one why I love it: because it's an indoor party at it's best.  In a simple undecorated space, Sarah added pops of coordinating color and height like the streamers, whale decal and ballons to add dimension and life to the theme. Reason number two: I'm headed on a beach vacation at the end of the week and this party is perfect inspiration.  Reason number three: there's a bubbly bar for the grownups {and that deserves a 'big' whoot}.  Read on below for all the details as told by Sarah...

Grady had his heart set on a whale party for his upcoming 3rd birthday. Given as two year olds change their minds quite frequently, Grady asked that we also have crabs at the party about 2 weeks before! Jayme Marie Designs was amazing about adding crabs to the mix of all of our custom food labels and paper products.

For decor, we simulated the ocean with bright blue streamers hanging behind the dessert table and around the perimeter of you & me studio, the bright exercise studio where the party was held. We also had a "bubbly bar" for the adult beverages. Mimosas, bellinis, and bloody marys were served in aqua champagne flutes {i was thrilled to stumble upon these plastic flutes at ikea - glass is just not practical at a toddler birthday party!}

We had an awesome custom whale pinata by etsy shoppe Whack.

We lined the giant center window with the mini-sand pail favors from oriental trading post, filled with bubbles and personalized beach passes. We incorporated the bright pink crabs on the girls pails with a favor tag that said "i'm not crabby because you came to my party! love, grady" and the boy guests tags read 'i hope you had a whale of a time! love, grady'

We used giant 3 ft. round balloons in blues and greens to decorate the space.

As a unique twist on the birthday photo banner, with used an x-large whale decal on the wall with age "bubbles". We used circular pictures of Grady and coordinating bubbles with the age on them.

Mini-ocean themed coloring and sticker books from amazon were at coloring stations but mostly the kids enjoyed the "whaley good cupcakes" and "crabby cookies" and danced around to "under the sea'.

We placed the cake pops in aqua bucket filled with brown sugar to simulate sand and labeled them "beach balls".

The dessert table had fondant whale and crab toppers and a matching whale topper for the baby cake created by Cakes and Kids.

Sugar on Top created the adorable crab and whale cookies and cake pops.

Candy jars were filled with "gummy sharks" and "goldfish" for snacks.

Meredith Nelson did an amazing job capturing the details and the spirit of the party!

real parties: high tea in the garden

Michele of Cakewalk Baking was the brainchild behind this spring high tea in the garden, styled with a vintage flair and a hint of Cath Kidston style.  Truth be told, the original party was rained out and delayed a month due to a last minute storm, but I think you'll agree it was well worth the wait.  I had a wonderful time collaborating with Michele and photographer Sherry Heck, designing the invitations & menus and crafting a few of the details {check out the glittery paper fire!}.  It was a lovely spring day as we hosted five mothers and their children for a mix of traditional high tea treats and kid friendly sweets.  Read on below for the complete menu along with details on the favors and decor...

photos © sherry heck 

Invite & Menu Design: Merry Happy by CAKE.

High Tea Menu
-Tea sandwiches: curried chicken, egg salad, cucumber, caramelized onion & goat cheese and peanut butter & jam
- Sweets: Scones with homemade jam & lemon curd, almond raspberry petit fours, lemon bars, strawberry mini cupcakes, white chocolate cupcakes, raspberry tartlets, meringues, vanilla bean shortbread cookies and mini donuts.
- Tea Selection: Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, Jasmine Pearl {additional beverages included Sparkling Lemonade and Champagne}

- For the Ladies: “crackers” filled with a handcrafted rose ring and a mini Lollia hand lotion.  
- For the Children: DIY heart glitter wands, swallow ribbon necklaces, and candy bags.

Michele sewed coordinating tablecloths and napkins for all of the tables, crafted mini cupcake stands for the children's table, and made various paper garlands including flags, scallops and circles.  The china, cakestands and other props are largely part of her enviable personal collection, with a few of my own contributions.

real parties: pink & black baby shower

Much like the birthday party I featured earlier this week,  I adore the elegant colors paired in this baby shower, submitted by Alecia of Boutique Affairs.  The soft pink is lovely with the bold pop of black, and the striped awning gives the table the feel of a charming French patisserie.  Amazingly, Alecia did all the baking for this party herself, including the three tier cake with fondant and handmade sugar roses.  The wide selection of other treats included unique turkish delight macaroons, french champagne truffles and berry meringue in dark chocolate.

{images via boutique affairs}

sweet treats: enjoy cupcakes

Last weekend my husband & I took a quick road trip down to Southern California for a friend's wedding.  Imagine my glee when we arrived at the site and saw that the Enjoy Cupcakes trailer was there in full effect.  As I mentioned a few weeks back, I've long admired the concept of a retro trailer full of treats, and the reality didn't disappoint.  The spread included a variety of cupcakes with flavors like chocolate blackberry patch, vanilla bean creme brulee and ginger lime chardonnay, as well as a small cake with fresh strawberries and mini 'pielets'.  The owner Amber was sweet as pie herself, and her baking skills truly first rate.  I managed to try a bite of almost everything, and each flavor was more indulgent than the last.  I basically begged her to branch out to events in Northern California but no such luck... yet.  {Oh, and in case you were curious- the wedding itself was stunning too. I'll share a few photos of my favorite details when I have a chance}.

{images ©birthday girl 2011}