birthday diy, part two

Here is the rest I promised from ECB’s big day!  Now that I’ve recovered (it was a lot of work, but so worth it), I feel as if I can type with eyes NOT held open with toothpicks.

I’ll leave you with that lovely image as you glance over these pictures…Image

As you can deduce, there was lots of *pink* that day!  Since we were surprised by Emmeline’s gender, it was my way to really go all-out girly. (Like I don’t do that every single day.) The garden stools are borrowed from my parents, but it is my dream to one day own a pair! : )


The invitation…there were two versions I mailed.  The other had a predominantly pink & orange lattice border.  I was excited to do this very inexpensively!  I found the blank cards in the sale bin at Paper on the Avenue in Richmond, then just added the wordage and cute elephant motif at home.


Pardon the lame food spread at the point at which this photo was taken…had to get a few snapshots in before all the food was laid out and the guests arrived!  The full menu included chicken teriyaki skewers, sesame noodles, potstickers and mini egg rolls (both Costco purchases!), edamame salad (a recipe I just “wung” but turned out well; I’d be happy to share!),  an Asian cracker & nut snack mix (also a Costco find), and of course birthday cupcakes!



I made the food labels on Word, then taped them to napkin rings so they’d stand upright.  The how-to for the cupcake sparklers is featured here.

The smaller elephants were a World Market find, painted white and donated to me for the day (thanks Mom!).  I found these pink “theme-appropriate” lotus votives at Hobby Lobby.


Disposable paper products were a must, with 30+ adults and nearly 15 children in attendance!  The pink square Chinoiserie plates had been stockpiled from my Mom, and she kindly gave them to me when she heard I was in search of just those!DSC_0533 DSC_0556I was rather proud of my centerpiece, seeing as how I am a complete nincompoop novice when it comes to flower arranging.  I had ordered 2 1/2 dozen pink carnations (January’s birth flower), and fearing that they wouldn’t be enough, ran to Trader Joe’s and picked up 2 bunches of white mums ($3.99 each).  I’m glad I did, because they were certainly needed! I used Dollar Store floral foam and plenty of pebbles to get them to take shape, because I learned you don’t by Dollar Store floral foam…it will undoubtedly float.



TThe paper lanterns were sort of a last-minute idea, when I realized the tablescape needed a bit more.  I relied on my first grade teacher crafting skills, and with scissors, scrapbook paper, tape and a hole punch, created these beauties!  Kate gave me a tutorial on how to create VERY easy tassels, which I will share with you in a future post! I used string leftover from my pennant banner.


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Drinks for guests of all ages…

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Smash cake for the birthday girl was created using a giant cupcake mold I found at Five Below.  It was rather easy to bake & assemble, but I hit a wall when it came to frosting the bottom half…sooo instead I crafted a “cupcake liner” out of aluminum foil, folded accordion-style.

At first, Emmeline was quite tentative when it came to eating her cake.  How can she be my daughter? But after a short time she dug…and I mean DUG…in.

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Wrist-deep in pure, unadulterated sugar heaven!

After we got her cleaned up (which required an outfit change), we were ready for presents!  Lots of lovely, special gifts from wonderful friends.

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You might notice the slight exhaustion mother and daughter were both feeling at this point…

Party favors for the guests!

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I have to credit Jason here for coming up with the idea of giving out fortune cookies…when the thought came though, we found it was too late to order online. So, we went to our neighborhood Pei Wei where they kindly sold us a box of 300 for $5! Speaking of which, if you have any, and I mean ANY need for fortune cookies, we have about 250 in our basement.

I dressed them up by dipping each in pink Candy Melts, and dusting them with two different kinds of pink sprinkles.  Tags created on Microsoft Word.


Now Emmeline won’t remember her first birthday, but we sure will! And we’ll gladly tell her all about it and show her pictures from her special day.  Jason & I felt greatly rewarded by how it turned out, and to be surrounded by friends & family at this important event was the true icing on the cake! : )


birthday diy

With Emmeline’s birthday in the rear view (wow, that went fast!), I wanted to start off by sharing a couple DIY things I did for her very first birthday party!  I will post pics from the special day soon– but in the meantime, here are a few handmade aspects that would certainly make nice, personal touches to any bday : )

Cupcake “sparklers”

I wanted each party guest to have their own personal “cake” with a faux birthday candle, so I made these cute toppers:



Using lollipop sticks (found in the baking aisle of craft stores), sparkly pompoms of your color choice, and your hot glue gun…


…put a dot of glue onto the pompom, then attach the lollipop stick to its underside, pressing firmly for about 10 seconds.  I found affixing glue to the pompom and not the stick first was the best method!


When it came time to stick them in the cupcakes, I found that the stick was a little too tall.  An easy fix? Use a pair of scissors to “score” them at the height you’d like, then simply bend the stick at the score line to break the unwanted length off.

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Birthday pennant banner:


Using various patterned scrapbook paper, a pair of scissors, an Exact-o knife and some twine, I created this for the special birthday girl.  Just follow these super easy steps:

1. If you’re feeling lazy (like I was) and didn’t feel like measuring to create your triangle template, print out one like this from Pottery Barn Kids.  It was the perfect size!


Cut out template and trace onto manilla envelope (or flexible cardboard), so the shape is then easy to trace onto your scrapbook paper.

2. Trace triangle onto underside of scrapbook paper (I fit four triangles onto each piece)


3. Cut triangles out to create your pennants!


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4. I practiced my layout on the floor, making sure I had a pattern of prints!  If you were wondering, “Happy Birthday Emmeline” takes a boatload of triangles…

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5. Then using these great stencils purchased at Hobby Lobby, I stenciled in the letters.  Tip: You do not have to use a permanent marker to stencil onto scrapbooking paper…a thin Crayola marker did the trick!



6. Using your knife, cut one slit on each side of the inverted triangle (make sure you put some padding–like a thick piece of cardboard–in between the paper and your table!). This will allow you to string your twine through each piece, creating your banner:


7. Using a piece of twine (or any ribbon really, I just found twine to be easy to use!), thread through the slit on the left, underneath the paper and up through the slit on the right side:



Keep stringing in order until you’ve created this cute (and in my case, extremely girly) product:


More birthday details to come…please stay tuned!


half birthday

Emmeline turned six months yesterday on the 4th of July! I can’t believe she’s been in our world half a year already 🙂 Our lives have been so blessed by her.

Here are some favorite pics from the start of summer:







I had to add that last one–she looks so distressed despite wearing an adorable dress! This was the day after her 6 month shots–the cranky aftermath was not such a pretty sight 🙂

Happy Half-Birthday, sweet girl!