Unicorn Piñata | 5 Minute Makeover


I've had this post drafted since Caitlin's birthday in June.  Along with the rest of her unicorn party that I have yet to share because I'm such a tease.  But this week I've seen some pretty amazing new unicorn piñatas and I figured it's time to get in on the action.

You've seen them right? I've always been a fan of Kelly's and now there's Jordan's and Brie's in the mix!  Credit where it's due, these piñatas are epic.  But if you're anything like me and tend to think...that's amazing, but I'll never have time to make it, take heart. 

I took this store bought unicorn piñata and gave it the world's easiest makeover.  All you need is a sharpie, a gluestick and glitter. True story. Here's how: 

1. Gently peel off the creepy sticker eyes 
2. Draw a simple half circle with a sharpie to make bashful eyes 
3. Brush glue all over the horn and shake on gold glitter 

 Finally, name your pinata. Preferably after someone you're annoyed with, because then you get free therapy each time your child takes a whack at it.

So much better, and SO simple. Stay tuned for party pics from this super fun unicorn 5th birthday! 

Images are for personal use only. If using them on your site or social media, please link directly to this post.

Free Printable | Teacher Appreciation Gift Tags


It's teacher appreciation week!  Here's a sweet and simple last minute project to show your favorite teachers some love...

1. Purchase clear containers
2. Fill them with gobs of gummy bears
3. Tie on a pretty ribbon
4. Download, trim and attach this free printable tag (don't forget to have your child sign it first)

And you're done! Now go out and make a teacher's day.

Printables and images are © CAKE. | events + design and are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please credit CAKE. and link directly to this post.

New Invitation Themes | Unicorns + Donuts!

I mentioned in my last post that I'm working on updating my shop and expanding my offering, so I thought I'd stop in with an update and show off a bit. Below are my latest party invitation designs. Do you love them?  I mean, Unicorns + Donuts... they're not exactly related, but they are both totally magical!

If you're as excited by unicorns as my almost 5 year old and I (and, apparently much of the party community), you should stop by Honest to Nod today and check out my latest Party On board too. Just trust.

As you can see in the images here, I'm now offering a printable background pattern design that can be used to coordinate with each invitation and theme. I haven't completed patterns for all of the existing listings yet, but will be designing them by request for customers who want them. And better still, I've put together a printable party package at a discounted rate so it's now simple to buy items to coordinate with your theme. About time, I know!  Anything else you'd like to see added to the shop?

unicorn invitation // donut shop invitation // printable party package // background pattern // Images for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please link directly to this post.

On Getting a Facelift


Hey friends! It's been a while since I've done a personal check in here.  Did you notice I got a little facelift over the weekend?  No, not literally - I thought it would be fun to tease you with the header. I've updated my site design + branding. 

I've been feeling overdue for a site refresh for months, especially because things weren't loading the way they were supposed to and seemed clunky.  So I did what I generally do... which was to play around with new ideas and then start second guessing myself before actually accomplishing anything.

I wanted to revamp my etsy shop at the same time and refresh a number of my invite designs, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Fast forward to last week on my birthday, which tends to be a reflective day for me.  I decided that instead of continuing to stress myself out for not doing things the proper way, I'd push ahead and put out the new look before I make any more excuses not to.  Anyway, it's not a major overhaul. Just a bit of a refresh with a more clean and modern feel.  I'll also be updating my social media buttons this week. And yes, there's plenty left to be done, but we'll just call the rest Phase 2.

I find it's so hard to evaluate my own work, so I hope you're all pleased with the result and enjoy easier use of the site.  Can you spot the changes? 

Fun fact... I've been blogging off and on for 6 years last week.  I'm happy with the decision I made a few years ago to keep this a part time gig instead of a growing business, but wow it's fun to look back at all the projects I've worked on. 6 years tends to add up. If you haven't been around here that long, I'm inviting you to check out my updated about and portfolio pages to learn more about me and my style. And if you have a moment, please drop a note to say hello and tell me what you think of the new look.

PS... That picture! I snapped it this weekend during some pre-easter silliness in our yard. Looks like Caitlin got herself a little facelift too.

Fluttery Fun + Games | 4th Birthday Fairy Party

Activities are not my favorite part of party planning, but once kids hit a certain age it's kind of a necessity. So we put together a few simple fairy inspired activities that were great for a group of creative 4 year olds...

 Find the Moonstones Remember the other day I mentioned that the girls needed to earn their wings, wands and pixie dust at the beginning of the party? For our first activity we had a scavenger hunt for moonstones.  (if you don't know how this relates to fairies, I'm afraid you'll have to watch Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure to find out). Our moonstones were just glass decorative rocks from the craft store that came in a bag of about 100.  We hid them everywhere in the yard... I mean, everywhere... and let the girls loose with little cups to collect them. We didn't want to have a single winner, so as soon as each girl brought back her filled cup they were able to collect their fairy gear. Less stress and more fun.

Watercolor Butterflies After the running around, we brought the energy down with an art project. I made these at camp when I was a kid and it's fun for any age, but smaller hands will need a bit of extra help.  See below for the tutorial on how to make them yourself!

I also had Tinkerbell coloring pages and extra markers on hand so that the girls who finished their projects quickly could stay at the table and have something to do. We hung their projects to display from a length of twine in the backyard, which also helped everything dry before it was time to go home.

Dress Up Not exactly groundbreaking, right? After everyone finished their art project it was time for cake. Then, for the last half hour of the party, we sent the girls up to Caitlin's room to play dress up. A sweet friend gave us a load of hand me down fairy + princess costumes, so we simply laid it all out on the bed and let them go wild changing out dresses, necklaces, shoes and gloves. It turned into a bit of a parade and catwalk as each girl came downstairs to show off her beautiful outfit, take pictures with the parental paparazzi and then run back upstairs to change again. So very cute to watch.

images © cake. | events + design

Now I suppose it's time for me to start planning Caitlin's 5th birthday... it's going to be here before we know it!

But wait, there's more... have you seen the rest of this party yet?  Cakes \\  Invites + DiYs

Watercolor Butterflies

coffee filters (round, not cone shaped)
wood clothespins
pipe cleaners
watercolor paints + brushes
glitter pens
google eye stickers

1. Open the coffee filter so it lies flat on the table and fold in half. Dip your brush in watercolors and then water. Use the same color patterns on the left and right sides of your filter. These will be come the butterfly wings.
2. When you're done painting, pinch the center of the filter and bring the top and bottom sections down to meet in the middle. Clasp with a clothespin. This will be your butterfly body.
 3. Fluff out the wings and decorate the body with markers, glitter pens etc. Add google eyes if desired.
4. Cut a pipe cleaner in 2 and fold half in the middle. Stick in the top of your clothespin for your butterfly antennae.

Images are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please link directly to this post.  // Invitations available via Etsy

Enchanting Layer Cakes | 4th Birthday Fairy Party


Well, I promised you cake didn't I? Instead of a dessert spread, I thought it would be fun to do four different layer cakes for this 4th birthday fairy party.  Naturally I wasn't going to be able to tackle it alone, so I begged the help of my friend and master baker Michele of Cakewalk Baking (aka owner of these pretty vintage cakestands). She and I split the work and created the following flavors: red velvet with classic cream cheese frosting // lemon bundt cake with sugar glaze // chocolate with vanilla buttercream // white cake with fresh strawberry buttercream.  Oh, my mouth is watering just remembering how good they all were.

I wanted the cake table to be the focal point of the party, so I hung mesh netting from the trees above and adorned it with a few ribbons leftover from the wands.  I added a few fresh berries + garden flowers and the effect really was charming.  The girls... and the grownups... were beyond excited to pick out their favorite flavor of cake.

In case you're quietly judging, you should know that I made an attempt at more nutritious kid snacks as well... fruit salad, veggies + hummus, yogurt stars, etc.  But honestly, who can get excited about hummus with four types of cake sitting around?

images © cake. | events + design

But wait, there's more... have you seen the rest of this party yet?  Invites + DiYs \\  Activities 

Images are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please link directly to this post.  // Invitations available via Etsy. //  Special thanks to Cakewalk Baking.

Pixie Party | a Fairy 4th Birthday

The first day of spring was on Friday, hooray! For those of you who have been pummeled by snow, the warmer weather is definitely something to celebrate. And what's more spring than a pixie party, am I right?  Truth is we actually hosted this party for Caitlin's 4th birthday last year, so this post is more than a bit overdue. Let's just say I've been sitting on it, waiting and hoping to inspire you with some fun spring color. Totally intentional, obviously.

When we planned this party, I asked Caitlin what kind of theme she wanted, and she was all about Tinkerbell and the Disney Fairies.  Fortunately for me, I got her to compromise and we made it more of a garden pixie party. I designed a playful invitation in a color palette of teal and peach w/ black + white polka dot accents. She was happy. I was happy.

We had 8 little ladies and their parents over for afternoon of fairy games and cake. At the beginning of the party each girl earned her wings, wand and a pixie dust necklace to wear and bring home as a favor. The wings were a steal from Target and I DiY'ed the ribbon wands and pixie dust (tutorials are at the end of this post). I felt like a fairy godmother passing them out... the girls were in awe.

We tagged each set with a name in order to prevent tears if someone didn't get their preferred color. There a few seconds of pouting, but overall it worked out really well... maybe because I blamed the color choice on the fairies.

images © cake. | events + design

To keep this post from getting too long, I'm breaking it up into a few parts - and you're going to want to come back for the cake... s.  Yes, plural.  If you want to know how I made the ribbon wands and pixie dust, see below for quick and easy instructions.

But wait, there's more... have you seen the rest of this party yet?  Cakes \\  Activities 

Ribbon Wands 

Wooden Dowels
Craft Paint
Washi Tape
Sponge Brush
3 widths/types of ribbon
Glue Dots

1. Cut each dowel to about 1 ft length.
2. Wrap washi around the lower third and dab on paint w/ a sponge brush. Remove washi when the paint is dry.
3. Cut each ribbon into 2 ft lengths. Group each type of ribbon together and tie in a knot around the top of the dowel.
4. Hold knot in place with a glue dot on the dowel.

Pixie Dust Necklaces 
This one is fairly self explanatory. I purchased the jars here and filled them with gold craft glitter. I measured a length of baking twine so it could be knotted around the jar twice and the cord would still be long enough to slip over each girl's head without having to add a clasp.

Images are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please link directly to this post.  // Invitations available via Etsy.

Starlight Starbright | Theo's First Birthday Party


Welcome to Theo’s Starlight Starbright first birthday party!  First off, I'm sharing the inspiration for this event at Honest to Nod, the Land of Nod's blog today.  I'm developing a series of these party on boards for them and I'm pretty pumped about it. This one is especially dear to my heart since it helped bring Theo's first birthday to life, and you can check out the details right here.

We held this small family party at dusk, and luckily the weather permitted it to be held both indoors + outdoors (that’s a perk of winter in California).  Since the party was in the evening, we encouraged the little ones to come in their pjs so they could head right to sleep when they got home. Theo and his sister Caitlin wore their matching star pjs and looked pretty dang adorable.

Chilly though it was, we had dessert in the backyard around our fire pit.  The highlight was the vanilla buttercream cake from Cakewalk Baking that I simply embellished with a sparkly star garland and chocolate stars.  Plus a mini smash version for Theo, which he proceeded to pick up and eat whole. True story. Big mess. Michele also surprised us with some shortbread stars + meringues, and we had all the fixings for a classic s’mores bar... including chocolate graham crackers (which may need to become a permanent addition to our family s'mores roasting - so good!)

The outdoor tables held flannel blankets I embellished with handmade yarn poms for a bit of flair.  I’ve never made pom-poms before and I have to tell you it was one of the most fun and silly crafts I’ve done in a long time. Basically I had to give them a haircut to keep them even in size.

Inside we laid out a casual dinner for friends and family in the kitchen (my husband’s infamous mac + cheese, w/ winter spinach salad and assorted cheeses, dips etc). I got this beautiful print as a freebie from Caravan Shoppe and paired it with a sparkly star garland above the kitchen table, along with a jar of greenery and metallic star ornaments.  

Each family received a handmade favor that had a special surprise inside. I cut potato stamp stars and used craft paint to stamp them onto muslin bags. In addition to some non-pariel star cookies, the bags included a set of glow in the dark stars for the kid's rooms. I designed the ‘for stargazing’ tag to coordinate with the invitations.

We had benches around the fire pit with star pillows, lanterns and blankets to help keep everyone warm. Sitting underneath the twinkle lights and roasting marshmallows, it had exactly the cozy evening charm we were hoping for.

I neglected to mention or photograph the mylar star balloons... the living room ceiling was covered with them. At least I captured one in this picture with Theo, aka my Teddy bear.  I know I've already said this, but you guys- could he be any cuter?!  He's a handful, but boy is he a sweetheart. 

images © cake. | events + design

Special thanks goes out to The Land of Nod and their amazing products for helping bring this party to life! // Images are for personal use only. If sharing them on your site, please link directly to this post.  // Invitations + Favor Tags available via Etsy.