Friday, September 30, 2011

{My Parties} Little Pumpkin Party

I think special events in your life should really be celebrated! I mean, REALLY celebrated. 
 Birthdays, anniversaries, showers, and special days in your church life too. 
I have always wanted to do a party with a "Little Pumpkin" theme. And when I scheduled my newborn's baptism in September, I knew that was absolutely the theme I had to go with.  
When Chris at Celebrations At Home  contacted me about submitting an Autumn themed party to her Vendor Challenge, it was pure kismet that I was already planing this party. 
With some wonderful help from the immensely talented and wonderful Paula at Frog Prince Paperie , I absolutely love how this party turned out!

My inspiration for the party was the current ombre trend. I am a little bit obsessed with it right now, actually. So, I figured that the best way to achieve that look was with fall leaves. I bought loose fall leaves at Michael's and then arranged them from red to orange to yellow to green. Then, I used my existing glassware to compliment the look by filling them with assorted fruits, veggies, florals, and candies. 
All the china, glassware, and place settings are things that I own. I got those adorable pumpkin dessert plates as a wedding gift 6 years ago and I hate that I only get to use them once a year! I layered the place setting with two different shapes of placemats and I think that gave the setting extra texture and interest. 
I adore the printables that Paula customized for me. They are so precious! 

 For the backdrop, I had a vision of an ombre falling leaf design. I achieved that with some 3M strips (which are a party planner's best friend), some hot glue, and clear craft lacing. It turned out perfectly!
I knew I wanted a really graphic, bold fabric for the table. I found this at Premier Fabrics for all of $8.99 per yard. I layered that on top of orange burlap that I found at Hobby Lobby. FYI--burlap makes me sneeze, but it looks good. You have to suffer for your parties sometimes.

The menu was pulled pork sandwiches with buns, cole slaw, and BBQ beans. What's not to like? We got the BBQ from one of our favorite places, Germantown Commissary

I used this large metal cross at my oldest's baptism party too, and I liked it so much that it pretty much has a permanent place in my kitchen. It is from Hobby Lobby. I wrapped that chipboard L in raffia and glued a little felt pumpkin to it. The beans and slaw were individually portioned for easier eating, though the beans got a little too hot in the oven and some of my family said it wasn't too easy to get them open! Woops! 
I used baskets from around my house to build up the buffet. 
See the wraps around the slaw cups? Those are actually cupcake wraps, but did you know that they fit perfectly on those little plastic drink cups? 
Regular BBQ sauce for the weenies and hot sauce for my spice-loving family.
For the dessert table, I was inspired by all the gorgeous pie displays that I had been seeing all over Pinterest. Everyone loves pie and so I chose to do 3 types; pumpkin, smores, and for my diabetic guests, sugar-free peanut butter fudge. The sugar free pie had a gorgeous swirled design on the top, until my mother-in-law, trying to be helpful, reorganized my second refrigerator and knocked it on its side. Oh well, it wasn't a disaster!
I got this fabric in the remnant bin! $5 per yard. That little vanity was my grandmother's and I refinished it a few years ago and it makes the perfect display piece for small events. 
I found the small grapevine wreaths at Michael's an immediately was struck with the inspiration to make a garland out of them. 
I put some of the printable party circles inside a few of the wreaths for extra interest. 
The pie stands are simply terra cotta pots and bases that I glued together with Gorilla glue. They took some time to dry, but once they did, they were ROCK solid. I wrapped the seams in raffia to hide the glue. This was maybe a $20 project. I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, but it wasn't backlinked properly, but the Gorilla glue website also has it.
I made another tall one, but I think once they get taller, they get less stable. 
The favors were Pumpkin Spice Hershey's kisses packaged in cello bags with raffia ties. 
And, just so you know that this was an actual party, here is the man of the hour, my little Lachlan love! 
 My biggest handsome man and me. 
 This picture makes me laugh because we can NEVER get a good picture of everyone all together and Greyson looks pissed!
 My sweets. 

Linking up to:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Recipe: Coconut Lime Bars

I'm sharing a recipe today that recently received rave reviews at a party my parents attended. My mom called me for a pick-up dessert recipe to take to a new members cocktail party for our church. See, my mom is cooking disabled. We like to call her "Peg Bundy." She just wears her cute heels and leopard skin around the house. My stepdad does all the cooking in that house. So, she wanted something that even she, domestically disabled, could make. I found these coconut lime bars on Tasty Kitchen a year or so ago and I knew that they would be perfect, and a little something different for the party. My mom said that people loved them so much that someone ate one that was dropped on the the ground! Now that's a damned good dessert. 

Coconut Lime Bars

  • 1-¾ cup Flour
  • ⅔ cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter
  • ¼ cups Chopped Pecans
  • ¼ cups Shredded Coconut
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 4 whole Eggs, Slightly Beaten
  • ½ cups Lime Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Coconut For Garnish On Top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan
To make crust:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and confectioner’s sugar. Cut in butter until combined and crumbly. Add in pecans and coconut. Press mixture into bottom of pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
To make topping:
While crust is baking, prepare topping.. In a larger bowl, add sugar, flour, and baking powder. Then add slightly beaten eggs and lime juice. Mix well and pour on top of warm baked crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When cool, dust with confectioner’s sugar and refrigerate.
Optional: Put 2 Tablespoons coconut on baking sheet and toast for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle over top.
Cut into bars and chill! Best served cold!
See the actual recipe HERE. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Currently Obsessed With: Suitcases

Am I the only one who has noticed suitcases popping up everywhere in tablescapes these days?
I, for one, don't have any vintage luggage lying around. Our is all black and boring and totally not tableworthy.
But, I love the look that these vintage pieces (and sometimes not vintage) give to these tablescapes. 
They are uber-functional too! You can use them for builds, for holding items, or just for texture and interest. 

Love this one as a cake stand!

 I have seen them used at weddings a lot lately for cards, favors, programs, etc. 

 Some stylists are even getting clever and using them for cake pop stands!

 I love the use of suitcases for travel themed parties, of course!

 I love this unique wall installation!

So, grab Grandma's old luggage and make it beautiful!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ni Hao Kai Lan Inspiration Board

A few weeks ago, my mom asked me for a favor. She had a friend at her workplace who was planning a birthday party for her granddaughter and was in need of some inspiration for either a Ni Hao Kai Lan party or a SpongeBob party. I think Ni Hao Kai Lan is a little girlier, so I went with that. 
There are several great Ni Hao Kai Lan parties on the blogosphere, so it didn't take me long to whip up this board!
A party with this theme can really be expounded upon with an Asian flair. Of course, no Kai Lan party would be complete without some Chinese lanterns! 
I love the trend of faux sushi for kids! But, if your child will eat sushi, then give 'em the real stuff! My three year old loves all kinds of things that most people would think was strange for a little one to eat. 
But, if not, then you can try these other options of Swedish fish "nigiri" or Peanut Butter and Jelly "sushi" roll ups! And you can't forget the fortune cookies!
Sushi Sandwiches: Martha Stewart
Parasol Centerpiece: HWTM
Gummy Sushi: Crafty Parent
Fondant Toppers: MommaFreshCakes
Rainbow Fortune Cookies: DevilishlyDivine
Invitation: PoshTotParties
Centerpieces: KeniaCasteneda
Cake Pops: CakePopShoppe
Chinese Dragon: Kaboose
Chinese New Year Party: Project Nursery
Cake: HWTM
Party with Lanterns: Two Sugar Babies