Monday, April 30, 2012

A Little Instagram Fun

Have you noticed something new on my sidebar? ------------------------------------------------------------>

You can now see live updates of my Instagram pictures right from my phone. It's such a fun way to share sneak peeks with you of what we are up to... 

- the buggers rockin' their bowties

- a quick little spa get away for me to Bedford Springs

- freak snow day last Monday, 

- my awesome find at Michaels-- these adorable clear containers with mini scoop for $1!!!


If you aren't sure what Instagram is, it's a fast and easy way to share pictures taken from your phone. Just snap, edit on the spot, and share. The download is free through the App Store. IF you have a blog and want to add this fun widget, there is a terrific tutorial available over on SNAP!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A First Class 4th Birthday Mail Party {Click.Ship. Party}

Party Theme: Inspiration can come from unlikely places, even an old rusty neighborhood Post Office mailbox.  It hit me one day that a mail party would make such a fun theme! What child doesn't love delivering and receiving mail?  I contacted my favorite duo at Piggy Bank Parties to create a brand spanking new mail party collection. They delivered the most fun, all-inclusive party collection I have ever worked with!

Colors: Red, White, and Blue and accents of mail carrier uniform blue

Invitations and Graphics: Piggy Bank Parties designed the collection to include interactive invitations! Each guest received a mailbox invitation with a movable red flag. Two letters inside the mailbox provided party information for guests.  Piggy Bank Parties thought of every special detail possible, from 4 cent stamps to celebrate the birthday boy turning 4, Mail Truck favor boxes, custom stamps, and envelope banners.

Decor: Guests were welcomed to the party by a whimsical Knock Knock Factory Post Office wreath. I created the rest of the party decor out of any and all packaging materials and boxes delivered to our house that month into the party! The table runner was made from kraft paper and mini envelopes. Centerpieces were made out of boxes and packing peanuts. Large manila envelopes were used as place mats. Mini envelope buntings were strung from Airmail Divine Twine and red and blue balloons were anchored in boxes of course! 

Desserts: I placed my cake plate right inside an official Post Office mail bin filled with mail as main focal point of the dessert table. The cake was topped with a glittery "Post Office 41608" (my son's birthday makes a great zip code!) cake billboard and a fondant mail truck. Fondant stamps and envelopes were placed on top of lemon and raspberry Chambord petit fours. I built a 3-tied dessert stand out of packages to display shimmery mailbox cookies. The most coveted dessert on the table was "Owney's treats", graham crackers shaped as dog biscuits. 

Activities: The kids played a mail sort game using a mail box we crafted out of cardboard. Each party guest received a mail carrier name badge and got to work stamping, sorting, and delivering mail. At the end of the game each child had a mailbox full of mail. The mail opening activity helped control the flow of the party by giving clues and hints as to what we were doing next. The kids received a letter that said "time to learn about Owney", so we gather around and read a special library book about a special dog named Owney, the Post Office Mascot in the 1900s. He became a very famous dog in his time traveling the country via railway and even took a trip around the world by boat as "registered dog mail"!

The kids then received a special letter requesting them to "Design your own stamp". We talked about the importance of stamps and why the illustrations and people represented on our stamps are so important. The kids then used their new colored pencils to design their own stamps. The next few envelopes contained party favors such as mini letterhead and envelopes, stamps, and a special kraft tube filled with colored pencils. All the favors were designed to fit perfectly into the mail truck party favor boxes designed by the ultra talented and creative Piggy Bank Parties.

Finally, the last envelope the children opened had a letter inside with a fork attached stating it was "Time to Eat Cake", so we moved back to the dessert table with our forks for some birthday cake and singing.

Pick Your Own Favor: The children each got to pick an Owney to take home. Owney wore lots of metal tags on his collar to show all the special places he had visited so I made collars adorned with metal tags for each dog and piled the dogs on top of a mail bag (Owney's favorite nap spot). This was a huge hit! The children were delighted to chose their own new friend to take home!

The party was a first class success. Our sweet mailman even parked his mail truck in front the of house for the day and even popped in for a visit!

Vendor Credits:

Photography: Allison Kaharick 
Mail Party Collection, envelopes, ribbon, printed banners, food labels, and signs- Piggy Bank Parties
Balloons and Paper Rosettes- Polka Dot Market
Fondant Mail Truck and Petit Four Toppers: Edible Details
Cake billboard and Noah banner: The Purple Pug
Kraft Tubes with colored pencils: Sweet Lulu
Educational Resource and stamp printable: Smithsonian National Postal Museum 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Snow on The Mountain Mix {Crew Post for Piggy Bank Parties}

Did you check out Sweet-n-Savory Saturday on Piggy Bank Parties this weekend? 

I shared one of my new favorite snacks...
Snow on the Mountain Party Mix

My sweet friend Emily asked if she could bring Snow on The Mountain Snack Mix to our MAIL party. It was so ridiculously delicious that I immediately asked her if I could share the recipe with everyone! 

Emily gets major bonus points for presentation because she served this delicious treat right out of a box! Fit our theme perfectly! I will fess up and share that the original box Emily brought the mix over in was a large flat rate box... I had to move the mix to a medium flat rate box for pictures because I had been munching on it all day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mini Envelope Bunting {Mail Party Sneak Peek}

I am sharing a sneak peek of the mini buntings I made for our mail party over on Whisker Graphics today. The airmail divine twine was the perfect craft material for the party along with these adorable linen mini envelopes found in the Piggy Bank Parties Market!

Mini Envelope Bunting


A closer look at the airmail twine...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Nautical First Birthday Party {Featured in Bird's Party Magazine}

Party Inspiration: I was incredibly honored when Bird asked me to contribute to Issue 5 of Bird's Party Magazine. Choosing a theme could not have been easier as my sister-in-law had already fallen in love with Bird's nautical collection for my nephew's 1st birthday. I just adore this collection and knew we had a lot of beautiful bold patterns and colors to work with. So I got right to work!

Colors: Red, shades of blue, and accents of gold and rope. I tied nautical rope around the cake plates and made nautical rope into knots to hold food labels. There were accents of gold on the fondant toppers, cake plates, Mylar tassels, and dessert sticks. 

Desserts: The dessert table was filled with beautiful nautical inspired treats. Maria of Love and Sugar Kisses created the most unbelievable nautical rope (monkey's first knots) cake pops out of fondant. She also created the sailboat topper for the smash cake. The beautiful captains wheel, sailboat, and anchor fondant cupcake toppers were made by Edible Details. As always her work and attention to detail is perfection. 

The birthday boy waiting for cake while wearing a custom birthday hat and sailor suit. 

I even found water bottles that matched the waves in the invitation, how fun is that?

Special nautical cookies were designed by Bambella Cookie Boutique. Each cookie was meticulously adorned with nautical waves, buntings, and stripes to match the details of the collection.   

Favor Table: The favor table displayed sea glass candy, cookies, and chocolate covered Oreos for our guests to take home.  Of course we had to showcase the birthday boy some more with a birthday photo banner and anchor shaped ribbon wreath.

Guests signed a copy of Robert McCloskey's Time of Wonder to add to his growing book collection. The birthday boy told his favorite Aunt Jenny (through lots of giggles and smiles) how much he appreciated his very special first birthday celebration! We know for sure that the little man truly enjoys cake!

Random Fun Party Facts: 
1. The real life version of the little red Nantucket boat on the table is actually docked in Newport, RI, only miles from the birthday boy's house. I found that boat for $.25 at a thrift store near my house in PA! 
2. The ruler on the table is actually my kiddos growth chart
3. I made two of the gold cake plates on the dessert table. One cake plate is made from an Abe Lincoln plate with the Gettysburg Address written on it and the second cake plate is made from a pie tin. 
4. And last random fact, the pirate peg doll's name is Sam. 

A huge thank you to all the mega talented ladies who helped me pull this party together! I hope you will visit their shops and use the vendor credits below as a resource shopping for your next party. They are the best of the best at what they do!

Party Sources:
Photographer: Allison Kaharick 
Nautical Party Printables: Bird's Party
Cupcake Toppers: Edible Details
Nautical Rope Cake Pops and Cake Topper: Love and Sugar Kisses
Tassel Garland: The Flair Exchange
Red Rose Chocolate Covered Oreos: Sweet Temptations
Sea Glass Candy: Candied Cakes
Melamine Plate: Magnolia Creative Co.
Birthday Hat: Prop Shop Boutique
Stamped Spoons and Treat Sticks: The Papered Nest
Anchor Ribbon Wreath: She's {kinda} Crafty
12 Month Photo Banner: Stampin' Fanatic
Balloons: Polka Dot Market

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's On Like Donkey Kong {Cake Topper}

When a top secret email arrived from Kristy of The Purple Pug last month, I knew the party she was planning was going to be B-A-N-A-N-A-S! What an honor to be asked to make the Chimp's cake topper. I painted this fun Donkey Kong Peg Doll (tie and all) and sent it along ... and anxiously awaited pictures. 

Kristy never ceases to amaze me! Here is the cake and backdrop... you must head over to check out the rest of the desserts, favors, and activities. Pure genius!  I don't want to give anything away but here's a clue: Banana Derby, intrigued yet?

Thank you Pug for letting me join in the fun!
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