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Pink! Pink! Pink! Birthday (Part 2)

posted Sunday Sep 26, 2010 at 03:19 PM by Anne Yorks — 1 comments

This is my second of two posts about my daughter's PINK themed birthday party! It was so much fun to plan, and very easy on the wallet since we didn't have to buy any of those expensive character balloons, plates and napkins. 

In the first post, I showed the pink cookies that went on the dessert table. 

I didn't have much time to plan for the dessert table...so I tried to keep things simple. The beauty of planning a party theme around a color is that it doesn't take much imagination for things to come together.

You probably have heard of the four 'Cs' of diamonds (cut, clarity, something, and something else). Well, I followed the three 'Cs' of dessert tables.There were the cookies of course.

And some candy... I found these neat apothocary jars at Michaels craft store. I think they had a little more character than the average candy dish. Using the 40% off coupon they email me once a week (you can get it too if you join their email list), I didn't spend much on them at all. I'm sure I'll find many more uses for them in the future too!

I bought Strawberry Whoppers, red fish, pink wintergreen mints, Twizzlers and candy bracelets.


The final 'C' is for cupcakes.

I made chocolate and strawberry cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. I made regular and mini sized cupcakes. Those minis were POP-ular! Get it? Pop, like pop it in your mouth, yum yum. They were the first to go on the cupcake tower.

I had an assistant for the decorating! She was quite good.

I let her decorate ALL the cupcakes. To keep the sprinkle mess to a minimum, I set up a cute little cupcake tray using one of her plates. She loved it! I poured the sprinkles in the different compartments and then I didn't need to worry about an entire container being used on one cupcake alone.

We love sprinkles, so we mixed it up a little bit with some jumbo pastel round sprinkles, pink sugar crystals, a pink/purple/white medley, and some pink and white hearts.



Also on the table, I put light and dark pink favor bags. These were available for the to-go goodies - candies and cookies.

Plus for a little festive fun, we made pink lemonade with lemon slices.

If there would have been a pink fish in the bowl...this would have been her view of the table.

We invited our guests to play along and dress in pink. Many of the presents were pink too!



We used pink table clothes and decorated with pink balloons and streamers.

The weather was perfect that day! Quite a change from the very rainy 1st birthday party a few years ago. This was one happy birthday girl. She was so appreciative. When we were all finished decorating and setting up she gave me a big hug and said, "Thank you for the beautiful party." What a sweet girl.

We served lunch too. Homemade ham and bean soup, sloppy turkey joes, Alton Brown's recipe for mac and cheese, homemade hummus and olive tapenade with thinly sliced baguette bread, watermelon and cantaloupe slices, and a very veggie salad. Oh, and of course there were chips. I cannot throw a party without chips  It was delicious, but sorry, no pictures of the food display. By the time everything was set up and it was party time, I wanted to enjoy the company and not worry about photos. Next time I'll try to do a better job.

I hope you have a very sweet day!


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Pink! Pink! Pink! Birthday (Part 1)

posted Friday Sep 17, 2010 at 02:48 PM by Anne Yorks — 1 comments

So this year we decide to do a PINK theme for my daughter's 3rd Birthday Party. I loved this theme! No silly characters or expensive plates and decorations. The generic pink stuff looks great and it is so much less expensive. Plus, we invited our guests to play along. Everyone was invited to wear pink to the party! (you'll notice a little blue & white in the picture too. The party was also the same day as a Penn State game)


Oh my goodness - the pink theme made for some great pictures! Little girls in pink dresses giving hugs. Is there anything cuter?

Yes, maybe the little boy wearing the pink polo shirt. Now, that was cute!

Of course, I made cookie party favors for our guests. That will be the focus of today's post. In the next post I'll show the dessert table, cupcakes, and other party details from the PINK party!

For the cookies, I used my all-time favorite cookie cutter - the birthday cake!

I've made this cake so many times, so many ways. I never tire of this cookie cutter.

Birthdays and weddings...


Showers and more birthdays...


A steampunk birthday and a fish birthday...


More bridal showers and anniversaries...


Daisy birthday and white, white wedding...


This was the first PINK birthday cake I've made.

Our napkins, tableclothes and streamers were light and dark pink. So I decided to make two varieties of cookies. One had light pink icing dripping down over the layers and the other had dark pink.

I also alternated the the pink on the shell border at the base of the cake. The light pink cakes got a dark pink border and vice versa. 

The base of the cakes also matched the candles. So if it had a dark pink shell border, then it also had dark pink candles. 

I loved the dripping icing layers. I made them look super drippy, and then of course I had to add some polka dots!

Topher had some fun taking the photos.

The perspective in this photo is fun. Makes me want to blow out the candle and make a wish!

The cookies were a huge hit! I made three dozen and had just enough to save one for my little girl!

Did I mention she was turning 3? Seems like a whole new world to me. 

Here are the favors dressed and displayed on the PINK dessert table. I'll show more pictures of the sweets in the next post!

I think I'll be adding this cake to the regular line up on the website. I think it's too cute!

I hope you have a sweet weekend! Can't wait to show you the dessert table soon!


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Make Your Own Cupcake Canopy

posted Wednesday Sep 15, 2010 at 09:46 PM by Anne Yorks — 8 comments

I think it more than just a coincidence that my daughter's birthday falls during National Cupcake Week. Acutally, I didn't know NCW existed until I saw a tweet about it yesterday. But, now that I know, i'm in...I'm ALL in.

So in honor of this weeklong national holiday, I would like to share with you how to make a cupcake canopy for a little girl's room. I made this project for my little girl's 3rd birthday present. She LOVES it. We have already spent hours in the 'cupcake house' reading, doing puzzles, playing Hi Ho Cherrio, and staying safe from monsters.

I first got this idea from an article published in Family Fun magazine the summer of 2009. I really liked this idea, so I ripped out the pages and stuffed them in my nightstand. When I was brainstorming ideas for birthday presents, I remembered this project. 

Since my little girl's room is themed Sugar and Spice, I decided I couldn't do a princess canopy...but rather I wanted to create a giant cupcake canopy, complete with sprinkles, a polka dot cupcake 'wrapper', and a cherry on top!

These are the materials I used for the project. I spent about $40 and it took me three nights to make the canopy. I spent a morning rearranging my daughter's room and hanging the project. Toph was a major help throughout the entire process!

This is what you'll need:

1 33" hula hoop

20 yards of 1/8" wide ribbon

4 lengths of tulle 54"w x 3 yards long

Packing Tape

3 yards of felt, 70" wide

10 Jumbo Pipe Cleaners (aka chenille stems) in pink, purple, and yellow

12 8 1/2" x 1" sheets of felt in pink, cream and purple

small round bowl for tracing felt circles

foam ball

red spray paint

pink thread and needle


glue gun and sticks (I used 3)


First I laid out the ribbons and tied them onto the hula hoop. 

Each ribbon was 66 inches long. I folded it in half and looped the ends through it. 

I did this six times, spaced them out evenly and tied a loopy knot at the end.

Next I cut the cupcake cover out of pink felt. I really wanted the top to look like ruffled icing, so I cut two layers.

The first layer matched closely the size of the hula hoop.

The second icing layer was about 10 inches larger than the radius of the hula hoop. I made the line wiggly to look more like icing. I just eyeballed it...no need to be exact. I cut inside the line, so that the marker wouldn't be visible when I was finished.

Next I traced out felt circles. These would later be sewed onto the tulle to create a polka dot cupcake cup.

I used cream, pink and purple. It matched the pink felt top.

Once the felt was cut, I moved onto cutting the tulle. It took more than the length of the living room floor. I cut four pieces to create a fuller looking canopy. The Family Fun magazine only suggested two, but it didn't seem enough to me.

I don't have a good picture of the next step, but it is critical to the success of the project. I folded each piece of tulle in half (longwise) and then in half again. I placed 4 pieces of packing tape on each folded piece of tulle. Then I cut a single hole through the four layers. The packing tape serves as reinforcement so that the tulle doesn't tear. I aligned the tape so that it would match up when I cut the hole. I did this to each section of tulle and then slipped it over the loopy ribbon know on the hula hoop.

I cut a 'centered' hole in the pink felt layers and slipped those over the knot too. 

Next came the sprinkles. I used this jumpo pipe cleaners, but you could also use pom poms, painted hair rollers or anything else that is sprinkle like. I cut each pipe into four sprinkles. 

Then I scattered them on the icing layers.

I dotted a small amount of glue on each end of the sprinkles. 

Then I pressed it down on the felt. Be careful to press in the middle of the sprinkle - this will keep your fingers safe from the hot glue. 

Once all the sprinkles were glued down, I moved onto the polka dots. I put about 9 dots on each of the four panels. I stitched them in place with a few central stitches. I didn't glue them because I was afraid of melting the tulle. I also did want to see the glue through the tulle. I contemplated stitching around the entire circle, but I didn't have the time and I think it looked fine as is. 

The very last step was spraying the cherry and popping in on the top. Toph did this outside. : )

We rearranged my little girl's bedroom and hung the cupcake away from the baseboard heater. I figured that was safest.

Here it is...the Cupcake Canopy.

We put a pink beanbag chair for cozy seating. But often, we take the chair out and put a blanket down. We enjoy the extra room when doing games or puzzles. It's roomy enough for two or three of us. 

It's just a cute little hang out.

We love reading bedtime stories in the new cupcake house, too! Here we are reading one of our favorite books, No Matter What. It's a book for kids about God's love - that he loves us no matter what! That's how I feel about my daughter. She is the light of my life. 

Overall, this was a fun and EASY project to make! I can tell it's going to be a great addition to our playtime. If you make a cupcake canopy, email me pictures! I'd love to see your creativity too!

More birthday fun to come - PINK, PINK, PINK! I can't wait to show you the pink themed birthday party and the cute pink birthday cake cookies I made for the favors!

Until then, have a sweet cupcake week!!


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DIY Pirate Themed Party

posted Monday Sep 06, 2010 at 10:15 PM by Anne Yorks — 6 comments

I can't stop reflecting on yesterday. It was seriously the best day I've had in a really long time. This past week was rough. Busy schedules, family health issues, and lots of commitments and responsibility - plus a ton of orders on top of it all. But yesterday more than made up for the very, very early mornings and late nights. Yesterday was my little girl's birthday AND her first day of preschool! Talk about a special day for my little 3-year-old! I will be cleaning off the camera and sharing a few pictures soon! 

In the meantime, I have some great do-it-yourself ideas for a PIRATE themed party. These ideas are from the past few weeks. I helped with our church fundraiser - a pirate dinner theater. And, recently, I received an order for a Pirate themed birthday party. 

The client wanted treasure chests! How fun! She was very specific that she wanted the chest to be open with treasure spilling out. I searched high and low for the perfect cookie cutter and finally found something that would work.  

Here it is, a sturdy copper cookie cutter that will last years and years....

And here is the decorated cookie...

I'm not sure how many dots are on each cookie, but it took a little time to get the treasure on the cookie.

I tried to make them as consistent as possible, but of course since it's done by hand it's not exact.

If you're planning a Pirate party, you might be interested in the following easy, AFFORDABLE tablescape ideas.

A dinner theater fundraiser seems like a normal thing for a church to do, right? But of course, there was a little twist. Our pastor and a friend co-wrote a hilarious pirate themed mini-musical comedy called Pirates of Progresso.

Before the show, our guests enjoyed a fantastic dinner catered by Kelly's Steak and Seafood. I was responsible for coordinating the table centerpieces. Since this was a church event, I totally avoided the skull and bones motif. It just didn't fit.Too creepy. I went with a treasure theme! 

Since it was a fundraiser, I wanted to create the tables with little or no cost. DIY baby!

We decided to cover each table with kraft paper in lieu of a table linens. A friend had an extra roll, but this sized paper can be found at copy shops or at Walmart. We used brown and white and alternated the colors.

I decided to turn each table into a treasure map.


To create the treasure map on the table, I used sea-worthy images (a compass, ship, island, chest, rough waves, seagulls) to tape to the table cover. I soaked (3 minutes) and antiqued pirate clipart in coffee and baked the paper for 3 minutes at 350 degrees. It made the paper a nice crispy brown and looked very treasure mapish. It took about 3 hours to make enough images for the 14 tables. Not too bad, but it was a little messy. I had coffee splatters all over my stovetop!

Then I taped the images onto the paper and sketched a dotted line around the different images on the table cover. I actually precut all the table covers and made the maps before the evening of the fundraiser. It saved a lot of time during set-up.

The table centerpiece was a ship flag with a big red 'X' to mark the spot. These were easy and for the most part free to make. 

First, I cut sticks from our front tree. They were about 2' long. Then I poked the stick into a square piece of flower foam (left over from our wedding centerpiecies - talk about up-cycling) and covered the foam with an 18" piece of burlap - tied with a string. I got the burlap from a friend who was getting ready to pitch it - yeah, more free elements!!


The flag was made from poster board. This I did have to buy - I think 3 sheets. I wanted something stiff that would hold it's shape. My friends from church helped make these centerpieces. We had a fun girls night putting everything together. Poor Valerie, she got the job of cutting all fourteen flags. She had bad scissorhand in the end. The flag was folded in half and then the 'X' and the table number was glued on. I used rubber cement so that the paper wouldn't get bumpy. The font I used is called 'Blackadder ITC'.


I think they looked cool. Each table almost looked like it's own ship. Next to each flag, I put a 'message in a bottle'.

This is when Toph helped out. We needed 14 brown bottles (one for each table.) I found 8 in our recycling bin, but we needed 6 more. Toph volunteered to drink 6 beers that week for the cause of making the message bottles. We ran them through the dishwasher and most of the labels peeled right off. Then I stuffed a pen into each bottle with a blank note paper.

Each bottle had a tag. Again - I soaked the paper in coffee and baked at 350 for 3 minutes.

The message papers were left BLANK on purpose. This was so much fun. Each table took turns sending a message to a neighboring table. The papers were made from brown grocery bags. Each bag made three message papers. We ripped them with kind of craggie edges and tied them with a piece of string.


Each table had buried treasure: gold and silver chocolates, candy necklaces, and ring pops!! This was the most expensive part of the project.

I made a seating chart for the event using the coffee/baked paper. 

Plus I added some fun signs in the restrooms. This was on the mirror. I also put a signs over the restroom signs. So instead of the men's room it was the 'Buccaneer's' room. And instead of women's room, it was the 'Lassies' room.

Each table had an event sponsor - and Flour Box Bakery was a sponsor! So cool!

Here are a few pictures from the show - Pirates of Progesso.

I'll be honest, I didn't have high expectations. I mean, I expected it to be good, but I never expected it to be as great as it was! So entertaining! Each character was well crafted with a few quirks. The storyline was a pirate love triangle on the high seas. I loved it and so did the rest of the audience!

Topher played One-eyed Bobby. He had one eye, one hand, and one leg. Instead of a hook, he had a whisk. One-eyed Bobby came from a long line of gold sniffers and could smell gold from miles around. 

Most of the actors were from our church, but a few friends and neighbors with acting experience also helped out. I really enjoyed the music, especially the Mutiny song. 

Here's a better photo of the cast. 

There has been talk of a repeat performance coming soon. I'll be sure to post an update if this happens. I would highly recommend it!

I hope you enjoyed the Pirate blog post. I'll leave you with one final suggestion. Change the language on your facebook page to English 'pirate'. I laughed out loud for days with this version. It's so much fun, especially if you're planning a pirate party! It will totally get you in the mood.

Have a sweet day, arrrrrr!


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Going Retro - 1950s Housewife Bridal Shower

posted Monday Sep 06, 2010 at 10:41 PM by Anne Yorks — 5 comments

It's been a busy crazy week with our family and with cookies! I don't have much time, but I had to share this project I shipped last week. It was for a bridal shower with a 1950s Housewife theme. I had a blast designing these cookies. 

I made pearl necklaces. Really, what 50s mom existed without one of those? 

I put the bride's name on the cookies in a retro style font. 

Then I made an apron with cherries. 

I could not find ANY apron cookie cutters. I think I looked everywhere too. And there weren't any options. So I had to make my own and hand cut these cookies. It was totally worth the extra effort. I loved the final product.

These cookies actually remind me of the AMAZING aprons at The Hip Hostess. If you haven't already, you must check out their online shop at www.thehiphostess.com. They also have a blog at http://thehiphostessdish.blogspot.com/ and a twitter account @thehiphostess. I'm hooked. My mom just gave my little girl and I matching aprons and tea towels from their shop. I'll be posting pics of us in the kitchen soon. Did I mention they offer a cherry option? Yep, they do! I think I would say they are the Vera Bradley's of aprons.

I also made red lipsticks to go with the order. 

And because the lipstick cookie was on the small side, I added in a mirror.

Lots of lipsticks and mirrors! 

And just like every 50s housewife - this collection was well put together!

Back to work for me. I have a big order to finish for the weekend. Plus this weekend is my little girl's 3rd birthday party. I have so much cleaning and cooking to do! But I am really looking forward to a fun time with family and friends.

Have a sweet day!


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