Arctic Explorer Birthday for Milo!

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Having a winter birthday party in Brooklyn, NY forced a little extra creativity. Outside lavish garden parties with lovely tents and strings of lights just wouldn’t really be ideal in this climate. Although those are the kinds of parties I dream of throwing! I kept seeing winter party ideas but none of them really fit into my vision. I wanted something with a stronger theme to build upon. Then I had this idea of an Arctic Explorer theme!

I based everything off of an invitation I bought on Etsy. The vendor didn’t have any other printables that went along with it so I used Picmonkey and made the rest on my own. I found photos of Admiral Byrd, Nobu Shirase, Ernest Shackleton and a few other explorers to use on the cupcake toppers. I also used pictures of the Arctic ship Endurance and some other modes of transport for added interest. The cupcakes were Hot chocolate with Whipped cream Icing, I made white cake pops with white chocolate to look like snowballs and coordinating marshmallow pops with crushed candy cane topping. Snowman sugar cookies and S’mores brownies from recipes found on Pinterest rounded out the dessert table. You can find links/recipes at the bottom of the page.

We decided to do rustic style food that would fit the explorer theme and be favorable to babies taste buds as well. I made yogurt with fruit in baby food jars and called it Sno-gurt. Little finger sandwiches in the shape of airplanes and fresh fruit kabobs. The rosemary mashed potato snow balls with cheese baked in the center were a hit with kids and adults alike. For the main course we did baked beans and shredded beef sandwiches with some baked kale chips, all made by daddy! Peppermint ice cream party punch and chilled hot chocolate in mason jars topped off the tasty delights.

Party games, although awesome, seemed a little too old for the babies to enjoy. I decided to make a photo booth where everyone could dress up and have their picture taken. I made some mustaches, glued paper beards on pacifiers and rustled up some scarves, hats and other props from around the house. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I used the pictures to make the thank you cards. Win-win situation!

Each baby took home a goodie bag with a golden blossom honey bear painted white to look like a polar bear. I added a little party hat made from scrap paper and cotton balls then added a thank you label. Two lollipops and peppermint tea bags. Tiny airplanes made from a piece of gum, peppermint lifesavers and a tootsie roll. then decorated the bag with a recipe card for honey S’mores that mommy and baby can make together!

I made all of the banners with scrap paper from Michaels and used Picmonkeyhttp://www.picmonkey.com/ to edit all of photos. Luckily I have two good friends with great eye who shot all the photo booth pictures. Thank you Ben Riley and Andrew Smith!

Oriental trading had cheap sets of paper snowflakes which I used for the photo booth backdrop. I also found cheap lollipops which were very inexpensive and had them personalized for next to nothing! http://www.orientaltrading.com/

By the end of the day we all had a great time and Milo really enjoyed himself! Can’t wait for the next one!

Smore’s Brownie recipe- http://blog.emeals.com/2012/09/smores-brownies/

Hot Chocolate cupcakes- http://www.thecakeblog.com/2011/12/peppermint-hot-chocolate-cupcakes.html

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Texas Style 30th Birthday Party!

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Texas style 30th Birthday Party

What People Ate

Brisket, Texas caviar, Kale chips, BBQ tofu sandwiches

What people Drank

Iced tea, Beer, Water

Dessert

Root beer cupcakes with whipped cream icing, Chocolate chip and toffee cookie dip, OREO pops.

Budget

Under $150.00

Party Favors

Cupcakes in a plastic cup with lid and thank you brown paper bags closed with clothes pins.

The crazy tissue decoration I made for over the table was really easy.  Here is the link to the simple tutorial that I used.

http://www.alannageorge.com/2012/03/15/how-to-bunny-party-tissue-paper-decorations/

The best place to edit/create printables and photos is Picmonkey! It’s fun and easy to make the graphics for your event on your own. It does take a little time but the end result is worth it. You can make exactly want you want and save money.  Some of the party printable sets I’ve seen online are so expensive!

http://www.picmonkey.com/

Root Beer Float Cupcakes:

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons root beer extract
1 cup boiling water

*Makes about 30 cupcakes*

Icing:

2 cups Heavy cream

1/4 cup Confections sugar.

DIRECTIONS:
For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with paper baking cups. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and root beer extract; using a handheld electric mixer or an electric stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. The batter will be on the thinner side. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full Then bake for 18-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. This recipe makes about 30 cupcakes. So you may need to bake the cupcakes in installments if you only have 1 or 2 muffin tins. Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack, after removing them from the muffin tin.

Icing, Just whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Next sift/add the confectioners sugar while still mixing the cream. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and add your sprinkles of choice. I used bat sprinkles which I found around Halloween to honor the Austin South Congress bridge bats.

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Winnie the Pooh 2nd Birthday Party

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Oh how fun, it’s a Pooh themed 2nd birthday party! This was a super cute party for an adorable 2 year old girl. Mom went all out with the crepe paper and hired an amazing face painter as well. The kids had tons of fun singing and dancing the day away.

I was excited to have a vegan cupcake order for this event. I tried out a new vegan buttercream icing which was pretty divine. The non-vegan chocolate chip cupcakes seemed to be a hit as well. Smiles all around!

The Pooh paper crafts were so enjoyable to make. There were a lot of classic Pooh graphics around the web for free use. The party hat was my favorite as I love bedazzling anything I can find.

Hope you find some inspiration here for your next event! You’ll find the vegan butercream icing recipe below. Thanks for reading!

Icing Recipe

  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon almond milk

Directions:

  1. Using an electric mixer beat together vegetable shortening and vegan butter in a large bowl.
  2. When smooth, gradually mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  3. Mix in vanilla extract, then almond milk one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire. I needed mine pretty firm to shape the beehives so I added about 1/4 cup extra powdered sugar.
  4. Beat on high for 2 additional minutes until it’s fluffy and light.
  5. Try not to eat them all at once!

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Transportation Themed 2nd Birthday Party

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Awesome transportation themed 2nd birthday! The Art Room in Bay ridge is a great place for a party. The kid’s were given 3 cars that they were able to design and paint with provided materials. Super fun idea that doubles as a really cool party favor. The cupcakes were chocolate chunk with a malted chocolate whipped cream icing. You can find the icing recipe in the previous post. https://aieventsparties.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/chocolate-whopper-cupcake-and-icing-recipe/

Blue and Yellow themes ran throughout. Sweet little cars, buses and trucks completed the transportation theme. Everyone had tons of fun and the paint stained faces were priceless.

http://theartroomnyc.com/wordpress/

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Balloon themed 1st Birthday

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1’st Balloon Birthday!

When my friend Mara asked me to help with Zoe’s 1st Birthday I couldn’t have been more excited! I love crafting, baking and designing so this was super news for this bored mommy.

A balloon theme was what she had envisioned so we went to town. I was lucky to find some free printables online that suited the color scheme perfectly.

http://catchmyparty.com/blog/free-blue-and-green-boy-birthday-printables-from-green-apple-paperie

With a downloaded party hat template we were able to make original party hats for each child. All you need to do this is some ribbon, scrap paper and embellishments which we found at Michaels craft store. You can also buy party hats on Etsy but they are rather expensive. If you have the time I suggest doing it on your own, it was pretty fun minus the glue gun burns!

Mara found inexpensive mason jars which were filled with animal crackers and lollipops. I baked some confetti cookies for the table as well as all the cupcakes, see the recipe/instructions below. Pink and green balloons tied everything together and made for a bright, cheery, birthday extravaganza.

Birthday Balloon cupcakes!

Chocolate and vanilla cakes with Vanilla buttercream icing. Dum Dum lollipops in various colors with contrasting ribbons for a sweet balloon like appearence. Topped simply with sanding sugar and a lot of love.

Here is the recipe for Magnolia Bakery’s Buttercream icing, it was really buttery and delicious!

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/magnolias-vanilla-cupcake-recipe/index.html

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Yield: enough for 2 dozen cupcakes

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