Browsing Tag

entertaining with kids

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Spooky Forest Halloween Party Food

spooky forest halloween party theme for kids

spooky forest halloween party theme for kids

I started to think about how we will celebrate Halloween. Yesterday, I ordered online my son’s costume. You will notice the influence of my geek husband when I tell you that my son will dress up as an astronaut. He played Darth Vader last year.

Now that his costume is taken care of, I can concentrate on an Halloween party for young kids. I look for a fun twist on the eerie theme. Something that would be unusual but that will not scare the children. I also care about the ingredients. Too much sweet is not good for toddlers. And if I can put a touch of healthy that it is even better. I feel that I compiled a winner mix with this assortment of party food and drink.

For the signature drink, style your favorite kid-friendly sparkling lemonade with a gummy fish, eggs made of coloured tapioca pearls topped with a gummy worm. Get the entire Swamp juice recipe (No. 1) at Family Fun.

For the healthy part, make these cut cheese fingers (No. 3) with mozzarella string cheese. Make the fingertip by glueing a piece of green pepper, a piece of cucumber (skin up), half of a black olive or half a red grape with cream cheese .

The Apple bites (No. 5) are not more complicated to make. To create the mouth, quarter and core an apple. Then, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter. Slivered almonds make realistic teeth. Do not forget to sprinkle some lime juice or orange juice on the apples to keep them from browning.

For treats, you can make the awesome spooky forest sticks and orange candy apples (No. 2) from Stephen Brown of Glitterville. You will find the recipe in his book: Glitterville’s Handmade Halloween: A Glittered Guide for Whimsical Crafting!

These spider cupcakes (No. 4) are super cute! Decorating them is so easy that you can ask your kids to help out.

Add a few candy boxes, decorate the room, plan three or four fun activities and you are all set for a spooky forest Halloween party that the kids will remember.

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Party Must-Have: Confetti Bunting by Engel

confetti bunting

confetti bunting

I am pretty sure that if you hang these retro fabric confetti buntings, they would be a hit with your party guests as much as the giant balloons of two weeks ago.

Since they seem to only be available in The Netherlands and in United Kindgom, you may consider making your own with your fabric leftovers.

SOURCING:
Confetti Bunting € 16,50 at Engel
+ Confetti Bunting £18 at The Balcony Gardener

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.

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

Duff Goldman and an Easter Cake

duff easter cake

duff easter cake

Time flies. Easter is one month away. Looking at this cute Easter Cake made by Tina, a baker at Mara-Mi Store + Cafe + Studio made me in the mood. I look forward to Spring and warmer weather.

duff easter cake details

The cake looks cheerful, juvenile and sophisticated at the same time. I like how it was decorated from the egg nest to the adorable chick, up to the interesting mix of rounds and flowers.

While I researched this story, I found out that there is a link between this cake and Duff Goldman of Charms City Cakes. I recalled the pleasures I had when I watched Duff and his baking team on Food Network’s Ace of Cakes. In fact, talking about Ace of Cakes was the third post I published in At Home with Kim Vallee.

wedding cake pops :: duff goldman for gartner studios

Duff partnered with Gartner Studios to bring to the consumer market awesome cake mixes and cake decorating products under the label Duff Goldman by Gartner Studios. It turned out that Gartner Studios acquired Mara Mi. Finally, another brand that I love, russell + hazel is part of the Gartner family of brands. I guess that Gartner Studios and I have similar taste.

SOURCING:
+  photos: Duff’s Easter Cake on Facebook

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Pink and Orange Little Monkey Valentine Party Theme

little monkey cupcakes

little monkey cupcakes

I’m glad that the New York photographer now based in California Djamilla Rosa Cochran told me about the fabulous “Let’s Monkey Around” sock puppet party that she photographed. You might have seen it featured on the blog of Amy Atlas. Let’s discuss why you should consider a pink and orange color scheme for your Valentine’s Day party.

monkey pop cakes

It is OK to refrain your use of red on Valentine’s Day. Here, the typical red is used sparsely or as a support while the orange and pink steal the show. The result is fresh, bold and playful, just like my Jonathan Alder’s Chevron Pink Toilet Roll Cover for Cottonelle. By the way, I was glad when I saw it inside the swag bag that I received at the Canadian Design Bloggers meetup. The cute toilet roll cover now cheers up my powder room.

monkey sock puppet dessert table for valentine's day

Going back to the party colors, I like the childish elements that would be cute even for grown ups. Tell me who can resist to the charm of monkey sock puppets?

This party is a team effort from California-based vendors. Marjenah of Candy Bar Couture created the dessert table. Jazzy Cupcakes modernly decorated the cupcakes while Cake Pop-in did the cake pops. If you do it yourself, do not be afraid to work with several vendors for a party. Communicating well the colors is key to get a cohesive dessert table. To make sure that everyone is on the same track, rely on colors from paint fans or the Pantone colors to communicate your color choices.

SOURCING:
+ photos by Djamilla Rosa Cochran of The Rose Weddings

 

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

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

It’s OK to Play with Mr. Potato Head Cookies

mr. potato head cookies

mr. potato head cookies

This is one fun idea where your kids can play with their food. The baker behind Oh, Sugar! Events made her own paper templates and cut the pieces by hand. She took the time to nicely decorate each piece. She did a body base on which the kids can design their own face. Her Mr. Potato Head Cookies had been all the rage in Facebook this weekend.

These cookies would be a hit for a play date or kids party. You could bake one Mr. Potato Head body with his face pieces for every child. Or better, wait until Oh Sugar! Events commercializes her Mr. Potato Head Cookies. I am sure that many of us would buy them.

SOURCING:
+ Mr. Potato Head cookies by Oh, Sugar! Events
+ via Pizzazzerie on Facebook

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Sleeping Under The Tent Vignette

Oh To Dream Bedding

Oh To Dream Bedding

I am not into quilt bedding. I am aware that quilts are experiencing a revival thanks to more modern designs, but quilt bedding is not me. Having said that, I was seduced by the charms of this styled picture for the Anthropologie catalogue. It must be the nostalgia of seeing the last warm days summer; we just had Indian summer in Montreal.

Oh To Dream quilt Bedding

Rebecca Rebouche, a native Louisianan working in New Orleans, designed the “Oh To Dream” line of hand-quilted voile and poplin bedding. You could reproduce her “sleep under the tent” vignette for an indoor camping pajama party. I am sure that the kids would love that idea.

SOURCING:
Oh To Dream Quilt Bedding $118.00–$448.00 USD at Anthropologie

 

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

FAMILY KIDS party

Yeehaw! Cool Cowboy Birthday Party

cowboy birthday party kids boys dessert table

cowboy birthday party kids boys dessert table

When it comes to planning super stylish parties, sometimes boys get the short end of the stick. But little dudes deserve clever little details too, and there’s no shortage of them in this cool cowboy birthday party designed by Lovely Little Parties.

A broader theme can be easier to execute because it allows more room for creativity, and ensures it won’t lose any of its charm over time. The cowboy connection is an obvious one in the photos, but there are also “Wild West” touches in the customized “Wanted” poster of the birthday boy and handmade “Sheriff” badges.

cowboy birthday part kids boys poster

Classic red and blue gingham fabric on the tables and on the take-home jars of cowboy cookie mix create a punchy party palette that’s balanced with neutral materials like burlap, twine and brown kraft paper. A wooden crate does double duty as a cake stand for the adorable farm cake, while keeping it just out of reach of a stampede of little party-goers. Paper cut-out horseshoes are adorable accents on stamped paper loot bags and threaded on twine as an alternative to popular bunting garland (as seen in top photo).

cowboy birthday party kids boys favors

cowboy birthday party kids cookies mason jar

Check out Somewhere Splendid for more photos of this Western themed party and vendor information.

SOURCING:
+ Party by Lovely Little Parties, via Somewhere Splendid
+ Photos by Melanie Mauer

ENTERTAINING OUTDOOR entertaining

Lemonade Stand Love

lemonade stand diy party pink green

Nothing says summer like a cold glass of lemonade, complete with childhood memories of setting up a stand in the neighbourhood. And I’m not sour about it, but I don’t recall the lemonade stands of my childhood looking quite as put together as these.

A lemonade stand may be a quintessential childhood experience, but its charm lends well to all kinds of parties – from weddings and showers (both bridal and baby) to backyard barbecues and kid’s birthday parties. Here are a few that has us thirsting for more.

One Charming Party
Ever the hostesses with the mostest, the girls at One Charming Party have created the ultimate step-by-step guide to setting up a lemonade stand that will have the neighbourhood kids (and adults too!) abuzz. The addition of lime green and turquoise to the colour palette is so fresh we can almost taste it. Don’t miss their free printable signs!

lemonade stand diy one charming party

La Belle Parties
Cookies are one thing, but the amazing lemonade-themed dessert and candy spread take this stand to a sweet new level. The bold and bright modern paper goods are balanced with a squeeze of nostalgia via the mason jar glasses, wide pitchers, wooden crates and gingham tablecloth. See more delicious details at La Belle Parties.

lemonade stand diy party pink green

diy lemonade stand pink green

Beyond the Stand

While a wonderful theme on its own, lemonade stands make a lovely addition to weddings, showers or kid’s birthday parties. Check out the sourcing section below for more ideas on how you can integrate this fresh idea at your next summer gathering.

lemonade stand theme party idea wedding

SOURCING:
+ How to Set Up A Lemonade Stand (with FREE Printables) from One Charming Party
+ Hot Pink and Green Lemonade Stand from La Belle Parties
+ Lemonade Stand Themed 1st Birthday Party from The Burrus Family
+ Jinhee & Mark’s Wedding Lemonade Stand on 100 Layer Cake
+ Justin & Mary’s Wedding Lemonade Stand on Style Me Pretty