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birthday

ENTERTAINING

Party Planning Tips for a 5th Birthday Party At Home

My son turned 5 last week. After considering different options, we opted for a home party with only 7 of his friends. I never shy away from hosting a party at home. A few parents told me I was courageous to receive 7 kids ages 4 to 7 – some who never have been at our house before – without parents. But, it went very well! Like my husband said, the mess in the playroom is the same whether you have two kids or 8 in it. Continue Reading

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

Angry Birds Sweet Table

angry birds birthday boy sweet table

Angry Birds continue to be a popular theme with grade school kids. Elena and Sandy from Style Me Sweet styled a beautiful sweet table for a 6 years old birthday boy.

Kids were presented with an assortment of Angry Birds lollipop cookies, cupcakes and a stunning birthday cake. See more pictures at Amy Butler’s blog.

FAMILY KIDS party

My Son’s First Birthday Jungle Party (Part 2): The Food, the Cakes and the Party Favors

1st birthday snack food :: jungle theme

Click here to read part 1 of my son’s jungle theme birthday party.

1st birthday jungle themed snack table

I do not think that kids party are about food. For one thing, kids birthday parties are often scheduled in the middle of the afternoon and set to end before supper time. This is why I chose to serve healthy snacks for my son’s first birthday party. I went for food that the kids and their parents would equally enjoy.

1st birthday snack food :: jungle party

I also want to devise a menu that shared my party color palette. After contemplating several options, I opted for a fast and easy to make crowd-pleasing menu. I served crudités with a succulent dip, caprese salad on skewers, old cheddar grilled cheese, and as a testimony to my son’s play habit at the time, a tower of marbled cheese cubes.

Two DIY Decorating Projects for my Savoury & Sweet Table

The first project can hardly be called a project since it took two minutes from start to finish. But the raised platters is an important design element of my table. I made the raised platters by simply taping PAPAJA plant pots from IKEA to my collection of Thomas Paul Sea Life melamine plates. Double-sided tape works perfectly for this type of job. Make sure to check that the base of the pots is straight and that the plates sits well on them. I paired the dishes with some IKEA melamine bowls that I bought 2 summers ago — sadly for you, the bowls are no longer available. I was not lying when I told you that I used many items that I already owned for this party.

paint dripped utensils

My main DIY project are the paint-dipped utensils. I did it before dinner the night before. Although it works out, I should have started earlier. I will share what I learned by paint-dipping wood utensils in a future post. For now, let’s talk about two Montreal-based bakers that did an incredible job.

The Cake and Cupcakes

zack 1st birthday cake :: jungle theme

It was important to me to have the right cake for the occasion. I am glad that I bought the cakes at Les Glaceurs. I did not consider Les Glaceurs a contender until I saw the jungle animal cupcakes they did for a kids birthday party. Their style fits with mine. But I also want a cake, not just cupcakes. I inquired and they showed me their portfolio of nicely decorated 6 inches round, 3-layer cakes. I was sold!

The design of my son’s first birthday cake was a collaborative effort. I sent a photo of my party hats to their cake decorator in order for them to match the colors. I told her that I want an elephant on the top and circles on the side. I let them do their magic for the rest. I like the green grass at the bottom of the cake. The character of his first cake turned out to be cheerfully modern and playful, which was exactly what I was looking for. I also want to point out that working with Les Glaceurs was a breeze.

jungle theme cake and cupcakes

I imagined that it would be easier for my son to eat a cupcake. So I ordered one with a giraffe. Plus, I ordered vanilla cupcakes for the kids. It turned out that many moms ask for a cupcake instead of a piece of a cake. I bought cupcake toppers but I did not used them. At the end, I felt that it would have deter the attention from the cakes. I found another good reason to have a supply of cupcakes when a family had to leave before we blow the candle. They went home with two cupcakes for the kids.

The Party Favors

1st birthday crocodile cookie favors

A week before my son’s birthday party I received an email from Isabelle Quinn, the founder and head chef at Sweet Isabelle. I had planned to make goodies bag for the kids. Instead, I took this opportunity and asked her if she would supply me with her cute animal lollipop cookies. Isabelle said yes! I received (for free) an assortment of crocodile, monkey and elephant cookies that the kids were pleased to take home. They all love it!

Isabelle delivered it to me with a batch of mini cupcakes the night before. I got an extra cookie in order to taste it. Sweet Isabelle’s cupcakes are simply delicious. They were the first cake that my son ever ate — I wanted him to have a test run before the big day. Sweet Isabelle’s vanilla shortbread lollipop cookies are as delicious as they look.  The animal collection is always growing. I counted 37 animals at the moment.

If you live in Montreal, take note that she organize cookie decorating party at her shop. Isabelle told me that I should wait until my son is at least 3 years old to plan one.

SUPPLIERS:
+ Cake and cupcakes: Les Glaceurs
+ Animal cookies on a stick: Sweet Isabelle

 

FAMILY KIDS party

My Son’s First Birthday: The Making of a Jungle Party Theme

zack 1st birthday with Kim Vallee

zack 1st birthday with Kim Vallee

Last month, my little boy reached 1 year old. You can imagine that I wanted to celebrate it in style. I had a look at my party supply stack when came the time to select a party theme. I often buy party supplies online as extra items when I need to reach a limit to get free shipping. This time, my past purchases paid off. In fact, I mostly used items that I already owned to decorate the savoury and sweet table.

The Invite

my son's first birthday invitation card

The jumping point of my party decor was when I realized that the alphabet garland from Petit Collage shared the same color palette as my Meri Meri Birthday Party hats. To sweeten the deal, a tablecloth that I bought for my husband’s birthday a few years ago has the same color tones. I also keep a collection of tablecloths. Keeping a party supply reserve is not only handy for impromptu parties!

After I decided which tiles I would use for my son’s birthday wish garland, I designed the invite by first scanning two of the tiles. I converted them into balloons on the card. From that, it was clear that he was having a Jungle birthday party.

I keep everything in the same palette, even the snacks that I served. The party was from 2 to 5 PM. I opted for crowd-pleasing, simple food.

Entertaining the Kids

zack 1st birthday craft and play area

It was important to me that the kids feel welcome and have fun. Since I had a huge age gap between the youngest (my son) and the oldest kid, I planned for two main activities: a colouring/drawing station and a play area with toys. I opted for activities that would be safe for my son and the 2 years olds who were attending while keeping fun for everyone.

kid's castle built  in lego

The big hits were definitely drawing and constructing structures with his Mega Bloks collection. Towards the end of the party, the girls built him a castle with a huge entrance and a courtyard where Zack could sit.

For the activities, I only bought fingertip crayons (mostly for him), 2 packs of Crayola triangular crayons and a pack of thicker drawing paper. My splurge was a MAMMUT play table with a few stools and chairs at IKEA. I cannot stress enough how it is a great purchase. Even at his age, my son plays on it every day.

Blowing Out the Candle

I have a lot of fun memories of Zack’s first birthday. Next week, I will tell you about the food, the cakes and the party favor. In the meantime, I am leaving you with cute photos about eating his birthday cake.

zack 1st birthday cake with mom

zack 1st birthday eating the cake

Click here to read part 2 of my son’s jungle theme birthday party.

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Party Must-Have: The Giant Round Balloons Decorated by Geronimo Balloons

geronimo party ballons stylish

geronimo party ballons stylish

Balloons are often a must at birthdays and big parties. The ones from Geronimo Ballons stand up for two reasons: first, Jihan “Jihanimo” Zencirli only uses 36-inch perfectly round ballons and second, it is how she uniquely decorated each one with fancy frill. They are made to order.

geronimo ballons decorated ribbons

Hand-cut fine paper, fringe, long trail of ribbons, metallic decorations and my favorite, the stylish party balls, transform her balloons into unforgettable creations. They make great props for photo booth pictures.

geronimo ballons with frill

The studio of Geronimo Ballons is located in downtown Los Angeles. The good news is that there is no need to live in LA to enjoy them at your next party since they can ship flat the ballon(s) and frill within the United States. You will simply need to fill it with helium at a local party store and affix the decorated ribbons. One 36″ round balloon holds the equivalent helium of approximately 30 regular balloons.

SOURCING:
+ Party Balloon by Geronimo Balloons – $60 to $200 USD per ballon

FAMILY KIDS party

Safari-Inspired Young Explorers Birthday Party from The TomKat Studio

safari birthday party theme for kids

safari birthday party theme for kids

We’ve long been inspired by Kim Stoegbauer, designer and founder of The TomKat Studio Etsy shop. Creative, colorful kid’s party goods are her specialty, but she regularly offers gorgeous free printables for holidays and special occasions on her blog.

Recently, Kim’s been collaborating with Pottery Barn Kids, sharing her expertise and providing free downloadable party guides, invitations, DIY décor, and even delish drink and dessert recipes.

We loved her most recent creation, a safari-inspired birthday party that works for any kid who’s obsessed with animals. The party is ideal for outdoors – where kids can run wild –, but it’s easily adapted for inside the house.

tomkat studio pottery barn kids birthday party

The party suite uses a neutral palette of zebra stripes and animal prints, which makes it adaptable for both girls and boys. Maps, elephants, rhinos and other exploration gear are all incorporated in the printable materials – which include invitations, cupcake wrappers, food flags thank you cards and favor bags.

tomkat studio safari birthday party kids printables

You’ll also find recipes for a decadent chocolate peanut butter cake and instructions for making layered cupcakes in a jar – a sweet send-off for little explorers.

tomkat studio safari birthday cake cupcakes kids

Don’t miss Kim’s other recent collaboration to the Pottery Barn Kids Design Studio: a modern grey and yellow themed baby shower with printables that are easily re-purposed for brides-to-be and spring weddings.

SOURCING:
+ The TomKat Studio
+ Young Explorers Party Guide via Pottery Barn Kids

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Deck the Walls with Umbra Snap Frames

deck the walls

deck the walls

Here is a fun party activity or decor that you can use over and over. You could use the Umbra Snap frames to display your favorite photos of the guest of honor or to enhance the party theme. If you have a photo booth at your party, use them to create a place where people could hang their photos. I like the fact that your guests can write on them to comment their photos or give you their wishes.

Umbra Snap frame for a party decor

The Snap frames come in white, black and red in a pack of 9. I prefer the white ones for their versatility.

SOURCING:
+ For Canadians: Umbra Snap Frames in White $19.99 CAD at Amazon.ca [affiliate link]
+ For Americans: Umbra Snap Frames, Set of 9 $17.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]

FAMILY KIDS party

Simply Cute DIY Party Hats

diy party hats country road

diy party hats country road

For newsworthy party hats, look no further than these cute and simple party hats shown in Country Road’s catalogue. I like the idea to make two models: the playful conical hat and the crown. You could split it two ways: one model for the girls, the other for the boys or reserve the crown for the guest of honor.

diy party hats country road

Nice details include painting the edge of the crown. Country Road is an Australian retailer.

SOURCING:
+ photos:  Country Road Kids Summer 2011 video

ENTERTAINING OUTDOOR entertaining

Easily Set-up a Backyard Camping Party with Suburban Camping Co.

backyard camping night with s'mores

camping for 2

Your kids dream of a backyard camping party for their birthday but camping is not your thing. There is no need to worry if you live in an area served by the husband and wife team behind Suburban Camping Co. Chris and Kelly MacPhee saw a niche in the market and provide a turn-key service for people who wish to live a superb camping party experience in the comfort of their backyard.

backyard camping night with s'mores

They created several camping scenarios from romantic tent for 2 up to the popular kids parties, girls night out or movies under the star event. Their services include the camping equipment, the props, kits for some activities, party favors and the installation. It is perfect for stress-free entertaining. Click here to see their packages.

camping night-out party decor

I think that they had a great concept. I wish Chris and Kelly good luck with their business.

SOURCING:
+ Suburban Camping Co.

FAMILY KIDS party

Paper Airplane 1st Birthday Party Theme

paper plane birthday party table

paper plane birthday party table

Had your fill of princess parties and superhero soirées? This charming, cheerful first birthday party uses bright colors and customized, inexpensive invitations and printables to help a paper airplane theme take flight.

Clever wording and simple graphics on the invitation, designed by Paper And Pigtails, are the starting point for this party theme.

The hostess, Amy of Buggie and Jelly Bean, packed loot bags decorated with luggage tags inside a paper suitcase, which helped to organize the table. Other suitcases, perched on upside-down empty flower pots, hold pilot loot bag essentials like plastic aviator sunglasses and airline wing pins.

paper place birthday party invite loot bag

Small food marker signs play up the paper airplane motif with snacks named to fit the overall party theme.

paper place birthday party cookies

paper place birthday food signs

Check out the Paper and Pigtails Etsy shop for more creative party themes and coordinating printables.

SOURCING:
+ Printable Paper Airplane Invitation $15 USD at PaperandPigtails on Etsy
+ Real party: Paper Airplane First Birthday from the Paper and Pigtails blog

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

Inspirations to Make Your Own S’mores Station

s'mores bar styled by amy atlas

s'mores bar styled by amy atlas

An alternative to a sweet table is a s’mores buffet table. There is no need to do a camping trip to enjoy them. You can do it for an indoor event as well as an outdoor event. It’s a theme that will please kids and adults. I gathered great executions that could inspire you for a future party.

From the ultimate reference in sweet tables, I introduced first the s’mores bar realized by Amy Atlas for a magazine photo shoot. She did more than served the traditional s’mores. Her table includes s’mores cupcakes, s’mores mousse shots, homemade mallomars, and fluffernut chocolate chip sandwiches, mushroom chocolate truffles, and chocolate bark.

campout party s'mores buffet table

Then, there is the s’more dessert buffet that Lisa of Moore Minutes designed for her son campout birthday party. Her boys and a friend received a treat. I love all the details. Go see more photos of her s’more buffet table and the details of this amazing campout birthday party.

For Weddings

s'mores station at a wedding reception

Brides and grooms also opted to cater a s’mores station. You can set up everything in trays like you see here. I would recommend a tray per one or two couples.

indoor s'mores station

Or you can create a true station by hiding cans of Sterno cooking fuel in fire resistant boxes.

SOURCING:
+ S’mores Bar by Amy Atlas – photo by Antonis Achilleos.
+ S’More Dessert Buffet for a campout party at Moore Minute
+ S’mores station served in trays – photo by Assaf Friedman Photography
+ S’mores station at a wedding – photos by Jolynne Photography