Category: Birthday Bash

The Chicken Cake

The Chicken Cake | So my husband took up a hobby, errr, obsession this past year. He became a (sub)urban farmer. He’s actually always been a farmer at heart (having grown up on a farm) but this year he took it to the next level and volunteered to take care of some chicks temporarily while they were old enough to go to a friend’s flock. Well, temporarily became permanently as he cared for  his chickens. Their names were “Toasted Marshmallow” and “Salt and Pepper” when we got them, but I re-named them Red and Crazy Eyes (ala Orange is the New Black). I’m not terribly fond of chickens in real form (although they’re quite the egg-layers), but I am in edible dough form. So… a Chicken Cake!

I’m not going to claim to have made this cake though. Seriously, the day was ultra-super-packed with things we had to do (the night before as well), so I bought this tiny cake (couldn’t have been more than a 6 incher) which was blank on top (except for the cake dust on the sides) and put my edible animals (and eggs/nest), since they were fairly quick to make (one episode of a House re-run to make all of the stuff on this cake). The letters I made with fondant. This buying of cake and decorating it in the way that I want is what I call the Middle Party Way. Some may call it a cop-out, but I call it making it work 😉

The Chicken Cake |


For this cake, I used:

The Middle Party Way: A Dog and Dolphin Double Birthday Party

Often, there seems to be a dichotomy in parties lately — either you go whole-Pinterest and do up an elaborate party at home or in a venue (which I’m all for, being that it allows for maximum creativity) or you have your party the local bounce house place where it’s pizza and cake and the theme is always “Birthday Party.” Well, my amazingly creative friends have shown me the middle way, in between I-must-host-at-home-and-clean-before-and-after-and-transform-this-house-into-my-theme and I-must-make-sure-to-bring-socks. The Middle Party Way, as I call it, involves a theme but only a certain amount of control of how the venue looks.  My friends have done this with a local party places like bounce house places (Star Wars and Monster themes), Lego stores (Lego themed, naturally), etc.  I did it this time around with a sports center.

My two oldest kiddos have summer birthdays and they each have an idea of their own themes. This year, we decided to do a double birthday for both of them together… the problem was that they both wanted their own themes… the elder kiddo wanted a puppies themed birthday while the younger one wanted dolphins. It took a bit of thinking and some research, but we finally came up with this beach-inspired, Puppy-looks-at-Dolphin theme. As it turned out, we had a family emergency out of the country, so I had a week to pull this together and so I limited my energies to cake and favors and cut some corners (like the cake!).

At this sports center, they have a table setup for the cake display, so I thought I’d get most of my theme in there.  It was simple, but turned out cute and was appropriate to the beach theme. Here it is: | Dolphin and Dog Beach Party

Like I said, pretty simple. I just got a fashion fabric to put under the cake and a dollar-store net (in the party section) to kind of give it an ocean-y feel.  On the right and left of the cake, I had our themed-favors (detailed below) and cocktail umbrella topiaries. The cocktail umbrellas were in everything, including the cake and the decorations. In this way, they brought everything together (and were fun for the kids). Here is a detail shot of the topiary, which is just a styrofoam ball held up with a dowel in a pot filled with sand. The umbrellas were a little challenging to put in but that might have just been the white styrofoam I used (instead of the simpler green one). | Cocktail Umbrella Topiary

For favors, I offered tic tac toe games. I have often lamented the easily breakable plastic toys in favor bags at parties because they inevitably end up in the garbage. So I thought these would be good for people to keep, a small travel game that could be taken to a restaurant, or in the car. I sewed up these little drawstring  bags with felt on one side and a turquoise chevron fabric in the back. My sewing machine does embroidery stitches, so I did a fancy x-stitch on felt to make up the playing board and used wooden round/star pegs for game pieces. | Tic Tac Toe Favors

To display them, I put them in a round bucket facing up and then stuck an umbrella in each. The kids loved the umbrellas 🙂 And inside I also added a little square of Ghiradelli chocolate and a | Favor Display for Dog and Dolphin Beach party

We have quite a few friends with little babies, too, so for the babies, the favors were these washcloth | Washcloth Favors

And on to the cake! My absolute most favorite part of the party stuff. I love the way this cake came out! I got the idea from another beach cake I had seen a while back. I majorly cheated with the cake — I ordered a plain blue cake from our local grocery store and decorated it myself 😉 The “wooden” fence around the cake were Pirouette wafers and the sand was made from crushed Nilla wafers. The letters were fondant and I made the dog and dolphin with edible molding dough. And then, of course, the umbrellas for fun! | Dog and Dolphin Cake

A detail of the dog. I used some edible modeling dough from Wilton. It held really well and the only added structural help I did was put a toothpick in the dog’s body to secure the head. I think the head would’ve stayed, regardless, but I didn’t want any mishaps. | Dog and Dolphin Beach Cake

And here is the dolphin, which I absolutely loved. I had black and white doughs which mixed up beautifully for this steely gray color. | Dog and Dolphin Beach Cake

All in all, it was a fun party and the best part was that both the kiddos loved it. Good times, good times — and just a few days worth of effort. My kind of party.

Today I used:

A Hot Air Balloon First Birthday Party

My littlest kiddo turned one this week. ONE! When I my first kiddo turned one, it seemed to take a long while to get to that first birthday. But on this last kiddo, it feels like he was a newborn just last month. So this is my last first birthday 🙁 It’s a little sad for me, but we went out of babyhood forever with a bang 😉 My little guy had a Hot Air Balloon First Birthday. And here are the pics!

I’m going to start with my most favorite part of all, the photobooth! I loved this photobooth. It was SUPER easy to make and really fun to take pictures in.

To put it together, I bought a 3 foot balloon (I actually bought several for the decorations) and a hot air balloon net. Then I bought a basket big enough to fit a full grown adult (sitting down) and all I had to do was tie the net to the basket handles. The wall behind it was painted light blue already, so I didn’t have to have a backdrop. I did add some white 12 inch balloons tied together with some fishing wire and tacked to the wall with thumbtacks. I also used the fishing wire to tie some white balloons to the bottom so you didn’t see the floor from the right angle (at this angle, you could totally see the floor, but check out the next picture).

Hot Air Balloon Party |

This is my grandma in the photobooth after most of the guests had left and we were goofing around. The whole prop was next to a window and the shadows here kind of were strong because it was late in the day, but the party was in the morning and the light was much better then.

Hot Air Balloon Party |

The photobooth, like I said, was my absolutely most favorite thing of the party.

So on to the rest! The decorations were also fun to do. I bought some cool paper lantern hot air balloons and put little people finger puppets in them. So simple, but looked good:

Hot Air Balloon Party |

Around the rest of the house, we had a couple of large 3 foot balloon like the one in the photobooth and we attached them to several baskets with the nets. Some of my older kiddos’ dollies made for hot air balloon riders 🙂

Hot Air Balloon Party | Hot Air Balloon Party |


For the dessert table and cake, we set up a swag on the wall made from a simple red plastic table cloth accented with balloons. For the table, we served fruit, popcorn in mini popcorn boxes (similar to these), mini cupcakes, meringues, chex mix, alfajores cookies (soft, crumbly cookies with dulce de leche inside), and mazamorra morada (a sort of purple maize pudding; it’s not super sweet but has a fruity taste to it). Here was the set up:

Hot Air Balloon Party |


And here’s a detail of the cake, made by my awesome friend at Sweet Party Treats! She makes delicious desserts and this cake was just perfect. I made more use of those nets and 3 foot balloon to make it look like a hot air balloon:

Hot Air Balloon Party |

And I painted some kokeshi cake toppers of the birthday boy and his sisters in the balloon:

Hot Air Balloon Party |

Lots of fun was had as we had a bouncy house and a magician/face painter/balloon twister come in to entertain. It turned out perfect! At the end, when we all were going home, we gave some fun favors to take home too.

The whole lot of them took up much more space than I thought, but here were a lot of them:

Hot Air Balloon Party |

And here they are a little more close up. I used mini popcorn boxes (similar to these), for the “basket” part and put some holes on each side, using some baker’s twine to attach it simply to a balloon. Inside, there were people finger puppets (there are six to a family pack! A grandma, a grandpa, a mom, a dad, a girl and her brother), a small bottle of bubbles, a pack of crayons, and an mini activity book that I designed. On the front of the mini activity book was a coloring page of the birthday boy’s face (I offer custom coloring book portraits on my etsy page here), a hot air balloon maze, a word search and a hot air balloon coloring page. My older kiddos loved them 🙂

Hot Air Balloon Party |

In the end we were tired but happy. It was a great send off to that first year. Here’s to many many more for my big birthday boy 🙂

Today I used:

A My Little Pony Birthday

My kiddos have birthdays at the beginning and at the end of the summer. For one birthday, the kiddo was in school. For the other birthday, our family will be away. So we decided to pick a day in the summer and make it a double birthday bash 🙂 It’s actually one of my “off” years as I usually do birthdays up big. This year it’s at a bouncy house type place, so they’re taking care of the entertainment, the food, and the clean up while I take care of the party favors and the cupcakes. The girls are really into My Little Pony (which I have LOVED since they first came out in the ’80s when I was 5) so they wanted a MLP themed event. I didn’t do decorations but I did match the cupcakes and favors to the theme. MLP FTW!

The K-Kiddo (1st grade kiddo? Hmmm…) loves Rarity and the Preschool Kiddo loves Rainbow Dash (I, myself, love Twilight Sparkle and Doctor Whooves, but I digress). So I made them each a special cupcake with their respective ponies. I had originally planned on making 50 with the ponies on them (25 Rarity/25 Rainbow Dash) but that nonesense was soon dashed when it took me over an hour to make each pony head… so I compromised and made the other cupcakes with each pony’s cutie mark. And here they are! The toppers are fondant and the cake itself was funfetti white cake with vanilla frosting.


I wanted to go minimal on party favors this year so I designed a little coloring book for the party (a “Pony Journal”) and threw in a small box of crayons. I also made these little pony bead bracelets that change color in the sun to go along with the theme of ” MLP: Friendship is Magic.”  Here are the front and back covers of the Pony Journal:


Here is how the bracelet changes color in the sun:

Seriously love the bracelets. More than the kids do!

Today I used: