Browsing Tag

party theme

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Gross and Realistic Brain Cakes for Halloween

zombie brain cake details

zombie brain cake details
photo credits: Blog d’inspiration of Canal Vie

Beware that these Halloween cakes ideas are not for the squeamish type. Since being scare is part of the appeal of Halloween, maybe you should dare a peek. If you are up for it, these Halloween brain cakes will be the talk of the night.

Brain Cakes for Adults

zombie brain cake
photo credits: Blog d’inspiration of Canal Vie

The first cake gave me chills. It looks so amazing that I had to share it even though the recipe is only in French. I give a big applaud to Madame Carrée who shaped the brain with marshmallows, icing sugar, raspberry coulis and a few more ingredients for Blogue d’inspiration.

brain cupcakes
photo credits: Not Quite Nigella

Lorraine Elliott, a cake and food enthusiast who writes Not Quite Nigella, shared how to make her Blood Clot and Brain Cupcakes for an Happy Friday the 13th party. She made it more grotesque by hiding a blood clot inside her cupcakes. The blood effects on the knife adds to the scene.

Halloween Brain Cakes for Kids

brain in a jar cupcake

For kids that are old enough to not have nightmares about it, you can creep them out with these Brain cupcakes in a jar made by Kristan of Confessions of a Cookbook Queen for Living Locurto. Kristan gave good tips that make the brain frosting simple. To reduce the amount of frosting, she placed a piece of cake in the middle.

To complete the look, make sure to download the free Halloween Brains in Jar Labels & Tags available at Living Locurto or to design your own.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

Halloween Witch Party Decorations with a Touch of Gothic Glam

halloween witch party with a gothic touch

halloween witch party with a gothic touch
photos: Halloween Haven catalogue at Grandin Road – list of items is below.

Witches are a classic Halloween theme that can be interpreted in so many ways. Any witch party can feel more glamourous when it has a Gothic touch. To do it, start by turning your interior into an old mansion or castle.

I still find that the best online shop where to buy for Halloween props with a Gothic feel remains Grandin Road. Some of my suggestions for Halloween decorations that will help you set the tone of your witch party are:

witch party decorations
sourcing: Tattered Witch Hat $12 USD at Amazon.com | Set of Three Staked Halloween Witches $69 at Grandin Road

Greet your party guests with haunting trio of Staked Halloween Witches or put on a hallway a life-sized scary witch that speaks.

If you did not send your invitations already, it might be safer to opt for digital invites. There are plenty of choices.

wicked witch invitation
sourcing: Wicked Witch Party invitations at Pingg

One last thing, do not forget to tell your guests about your theme if you want them to wear costumes that fit with the concept of your soiree.

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.

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

The Curiosity Shoppe at Target Collection

the curiosity shoppe at target

the curiosity shoppe at target
photo by Nikki Ritcher  for Anthology magazine at the launch party

The Shops at Target is an innovative collaboration project with small boutiques that Target launched in May 2012. The program enables small business owners to sell a collection of products created for Target but at the image of their brand stand. That provides great exposure for the selected shop owners. For the fall 2012 edition, the four small businesses are Kirna Zabete, The Curiosity Shoppe, Odin New York and Patch NYC.

frank's motel collection :: the curiosity shoppe at target
sourcing: Ceramic nesting measuring cups $15 for 4, Silicone baking utensils $9, Milk bottle $15 at Target

I adore The Curiosity Shoppe at Target collection. The dinnerware collection from this shop located in San Francisco’s Mission District is designed around an Americana road-trip. I imagine using them as a basis of an end of summer fun party or a kids birthday theme.

the curiosity shoppe at target
sourcing: America cutting board $25 (photo: Anthology) | Dinner Plate $3, Salad Plate $2.50, Canvas Placemat $4, Acrylic Glasses $2-$3, Novelty Swizzle Sticks $5 for 8

the curiosity shoppe at target serving bowl and platter

sourcing: The Curiosity Shoppe at Target ceramic platter $25  | Serving bowl $20 at Target

Write down that September 9th, 2012 is the date that their 60 products will become available in stores and online.  I did!

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.

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Yuri’s Night in Montreal

hoop danse with yuri's night banner

hoop danse

Two weeks ago I attended the fifth edition of Yuri’s Night in Montreal. This is a party to commemorate the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. The party was organized by my artist friend Bettina Forget. I must say that she raised the bar this year. The theme was spaceport. We had to fill an online visa information form to be admitted to the party. She made out fun questions.

spaceport travellers information

As we entered the party room, we were greeted with a travellers information screen. I estimated that she made about 20 different slides. Bettina went as far as associating planet names with sci-fi series using their specific stardate. That was cool!

Costumes

yuri's night costumes

Guests are encouraged to wear costumes at a Yuri’s night party. Bettina even brought some costume accessories, wigs, boa scarves that people can borrow for the night. Doing this encourages more people to dress for the occasion. Aluminum foil was very popular as a last minute material. I saw many imaginative uses of aluminium that night.

yuri's night

I dressed as a stylish space traveller. I wore a yellow and beige dress that reminded me of the fashion used by space TV shows in the 1960s, a blue wig, my stylish sci-fi inspired Anemone handbag that I wore as a backpack and a scrolling LED name badge to display a space political message on my belt. Sadly, we did not took a photo of my outfit. But you can see the style of my hair.

Activities

hoop danse with yuri's night banner

Bettina used acrylic paint and a projector to make a large banner with Yuri’s Night logo. This way, she can reuse it every year. The banner is used as a photo booth. It provided a nice backdrop for the lively performance of Hoop Danse. The girls gave us a good show.

The shadow wall was a cool activity. Bettina Our host Michealson covered a big sheet with blacklight paint. You could stand in front of the canvas and turn on the black lights towards the canvas for 5 to 10 seconds. Turn off the light and move. You will see your shadow. You can also use a laser pointer to draw on the canvas. They  He posted an instruction sheet that explained how to proceed (see above, next to my picture).

Yuri’s Night was a wonderful party. I can’t wait for the 2013 edition.

+ photos by Kim Vallee

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

Dinner Party Ideas: The Making of a Moroccan-Inspired Table

moroccan-inspired dinner table mood board

moroccan-inspired dinner table mood board

Ethnic cuisine is still the most popular dinner party theme. People likes it because it is easy to organize and get the look based on the menu you plan to serve.

Your tabletop should set the tone of your dinner party. Start by selecting the dinnerware and table linens. Since you probably do not wish to invest in plates and serving dishes that you will use only one time, it is best to opt for dinnerware “inspired by” versus the real thing.

I created a Moroccan-inspired mood board composed of  tableware that you will be to use over and over for both indoor and outdoor entertaining. Typically, guests eat with their hands at a Moroccan feast. This is not a popular custom for us. Therefore, I went with the standard place settings. You can still serve each dish family style in big serving plates, fish trays or tagines.

moroccan-inspired table

The Jali Lattice Dinnerware, as suggested by West Elm’s stylists, have the right vibe. Plates and bowls are sold by pack of 4. Complement the table with a few truly Moroccan metal bowls that you will find at a speciality shop.

I also like the modern feel of the Chase Blue Plate layered with pool blue Max dinnerware from Crate and Barrel (top picture). For a casual look, pair it with the amber or the turquoise dimpled glassware series. You can put flowers in recycled glass jars as simple centrepieces.

SOURCING:
+ Jali Lattice Dinnerware Salad plates and bowls $34 USD, Dinner plate $47 on sale at West Elm
+ Hammered Small Dish Bowl $5 USD | $5.19 CAD at West Elm
Chase Blue Plate $5.95 USD | $7.38 CAD at Crate & Barrel
+ Max Pool Blue dinnerware on sale at $59.95 USD | $74.36 CAD at Crate & Barrel
+ Dimmed Glassware set on sale $ $13 – $32 USD| $13.44 to $33.08 CAD at West Elm
+  Recycled glass jars on sale $ $19 – $29 USD| $19.64 to $29.98 CAD at West Elm

 

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

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