Hello CAKE.

Welcome! It's a thrill to start this week by sharing our new site. CAKE. is an expansion of Birthday Girl into a modern and inclusive event planning blog. Birthdays will always remain our heart & soul, but you’ll also begin to notice more styled parties, creative projects and design inspiration.  To kick things off, I'll be sharing the details of my daughter Caitlin's garden inspired first birthday throughout the week.  And next week, come back for a big giveaway in celebration of the launch!

We welcome all comments and feedback on the new site.  Thanks so much for sticking around.  Many more good things to come...

photo & graphics © cake.2011

If you like the 'hello' and 'goodbye' flags used in these past posts, they are free to download for your personal use HERE.  The perfect little topper for a new neighbor or going away party.

Goodbye Birthday Girl

A change is coming!  If you haven't yet heard the news... this Monday, Birthday Girl will officially become CAKE.  Though I have mixed emotions about losing the Birthday Girl title, I'm thrilled to unveil our new site. After months of hard work, creative revisions and indecision, I can honestly declare it quite beautiful and something I'm proud to put my name to.

Perhaps you're curious as to why the site is being re-branded.   There are a number of good {and some not so good} reasons, but what it came down to was this... I began this blog as a simple creative outlet and it has grown beyond all expectation. Though birthdays will always remain the heart and soul of the blog, it felt like time to remove the limitations caused by it's name.  With CAKE, I hope to open the door to more unique projects, out of the box events and embrace good design and creativity wherever inspiration strikes.

Though you may begin to see some changes in what gets featured, those of you who are longtime readers can ease your minds that all existing content will remain archived on the new site.  It's easier to navigate too- including a better breakdown of content and more detail on how to submit your events and products. 

Thank you for all of your sweet comments and Facebook posts over the past several weeks. I truly appreciate your words of encouragement- a transition like this is never easy and I hope I can count on your support.  The site will be down over the weekend while we transition, but come back on Monday and you will {fingers crossed} be automatically redirected to our new URL:


I can't wait to share this new venture with you.

photo & graphics © birthday girl

Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

Hi! It’s Michele from Cakewalk Baking and I’m back to share a favorite summer recipe with you – ice cream sandwiches. Did you know that July is National Ice Cream month? I’m not sure how these are determined, but I’m all for celebrating one of my favorite foods!

I love these cookies because they stay moist and soft even after being frozen. There’s nothing worse than biting into an ice cream sandwich and having all the ice cream squish out the other side. Once your cookies have cooled, simply top one cookie with a scoop of slightly softened ice cream and sandwich with another cookie.  Freeze until firm and enjoy!
Editor's Note: the ice cream recipe and more are coming in August... stay tuned.

Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

6 oz bittersweet chocolate
6 oz (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
10 oz (2 ¼ c) all purpose flour
1 oz (¼ c) cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
9 oz whole milk

· Melt the chocolate over simmering water or in the microwave
· Cream together the butter and sugar until pale & fluffy
· Scrape down and add the egg
· Sift together the dry ingredients
· Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture
· Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk, ending with dry
· Add the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip
· Pipe out 2” circles onto a parchment lined baking sheet
· Bake for approximately 12 minutes at 350

real parties: let's go fly a kite

Jordan of Polkadot Prints teamed up with Whimsy Petite Styling and designed this wistful, playful kite party in the park.  This was the first ever birthday celebration for a 6 year old named Kyla, so these ladies went out of their way to make it special, and I'm sure you'll agree they succeeded.  Read on below for the details...

{images by voice photography}

Theme: an Aussie autumn 'pretty' kite party as it was to be held in a park. 
Decor: Set under a big tree on an autumn afternoon, white tables and chairs for all the guests. Fresh flowers, pink, yellow & white. Remodelled junk yard dresser, turned into pretty painted tables for the food. 
Food: A lovely afternoon tea for little people and their mum's who stayed. Food was decided on with allergies and low sugar in mind - banana cupcakes, sweet popcorn, slinky apples and water. 
Activities: Each guest decorated and put together their own kite which they flew and then took home as a thank you. 
Paper Goods: Invites, buffet labels, party dots, name banner, & favour boxes were all custom designed by Polkadot Prints. Paper cups were from Sambellina and handmade pinwheels decorated the cupcakes.

PS: If you loved this kite party, you may also enjoy this one, via another very talented aussie... Mrs A in the Cove.

the giving tree: a DiY creation

Hello again from Ana of Live & Enliven.  After doing a lot of thinking about what I was going to post next here - I came to the decision of making up something in my head that I thought was lovely - and putting together all the things I’m loving lately. I stumbled upon the idea of making a giving tree. The entire concept came together once I realized I wanted to make something beautiful, affordable and fun - and what's more fun than a DIY? I know… nothing.

So here is what you need to make this giving tree:

1. Dry branches that you can find on your neighbor's lawn (that's where I got mine from)
2. A nice vase (or a glass carafe in this case)
3. The cone template that you can download here
4. Regular white glue
5. Scissors
6. Cover stock or scrapbooking paper
7. Crepe paper
8. Ribbon
9. Cupcake liners
10. A brush

+ Don't forget the goodies you will put into the cones which I forgot to add to this photo.

Now, the instructions for the cone come with the template's printout above… so let's see what you will need to do next:

1. Print and cut out the template
2. Glue the cones along the “seams”
3. Cut crepe paper into quarters
4. Push with a pencil or brush in the center to form flowers
5. Fold cupcake liners
6. You need to loosely double them up 3 times
7. Make little flowers to glue to the tree
8. Punch holes in the cones
9. You can do that with a puncher or scissor
10. Push a ribbon through the holes
11. Cut the ribbons at different sizes so that they hang at different heights
12. Place the goodies inside and top it with the flowers
+ Hang them on the tree branches and decorate everything with the colors and shapes you like the best.

Thank you for reading us again and to Becca for inviting us...if you decide to make this at home, please do email us so we can see it!

Warm Regards,

real parties: red & rustic country farm

Jackie, owner of The Little Nook in Atlanta put together this sweet rustic birthday for twins.  The tables were created out of haystacks and look perfect with the till lunch baskets and accents of gingham and burlap.  In addition to a petting zoo of farm animals, activities included "find a needle in a haystack" and apple bobbing.  Pint sized guests were sent home with red bandannas & cowboy hats.  Love the hand painted wood signs too...

{images via the little nook}

FYI, wouldn't this county fair invite I designed make the perfect compliment to the theme?

Party Printables designed by The Little Nook
Wood baskets via Paper Mart
Paper Straws via soandsuch

please sir... may i have s'mores?

I've had s'mores on the brain lately... they're a classic summer indulgence and I keep spotting delicious ways to serve them up.  So while I'm in a marshmallow-y mood, how about a roundup of my new and all time favorite s'mores ideas?  Yep, thought you'd like that... 

S'mores in a jar, via How Sweet it is:

Chocolate s'mores cupcakes and s'mores pops, via Glorious Treats:
{note: Glory is doing a whole week of s'mores treats- so head over for even more fab recipes.}

S'mores dessert table, via Amy Atlas:

Simple s'mores favors and charming tags, via Miss Pickles Press

S'mores cupcake ice cream sandwiches, via 52 Kitchen Adventures:

Deconstructed DiY smore's kit via Twig & Thistle:

And if you like these... check out s'more posts here and here.

DiY tutorial: happy birthday cake banner

Hi everyone! It’s Stephanie from stephlovesben again! Today I am going to share with you how to make a Happy Birthday cake banner. It is so easy to make and so cute!

You will need: felt, scissors, wooden skewers, needle and string:

Step 1: Choose a font that you like and print out the phrase “HAPPY BIRTHDAY.” It’s best to use a bold font that will be thick enough to cut out. Also, make sure that you adjust the font size to you are going to want your letters to be:

Step 2: Cut out each letter from the paper and then use as a guide to cut out the letters from the felt:

Step 3: Once you have all the letters cut out, use a needle and string of your choice to thread the letters onto the string. Just sew one stitch through each letter:

Step 4: Attach the ends of the string to the wooden skewers:

And you're done!

here's to you harry potter.

I open at the close...  

I've been an obsessive Harry Potter fan for many years now, and it's with a bittersweet sigh that I get ready to attend the final chapter of the final movie this weekend.  Not so different from the night 4 years ago that I waited for the midnight book release of The Deathly Hallows, and in a fit of impulse stayed up all night to finish it - then cried because there was nothing left to read {why yes, thanks.  I am aware that I've dropped the towel on my nerdy side}.  Harry has brought me much joy over the years, and now as his parting gift he has brought me to Heather Bailey... my newest blog discovery and an instant favorite.  Her creativity is off the charts, and these Harry projects she dreamt up are simple and spot on. See below for links, and go make some Butterbeer before showtime.

 Heather's Harry Potter Hoopla links:
1. Bottom's Up, Butterbeer
2. The Three Broomsticks
3. Swish & Flick Wands
4. Lemon Drops & Chocolate Frogs
5. Cockroach Clusters