Saturday, November 24, 2012

{Give Away} $700 Gift Card Give Away!!

Are you ready for one AMAZING Give Away??! How about SEVEN $100 Gift Cards to fabulous shops like TargetHobby LobbyMichaelsPier 1 ImportsJoAnn FabricsParty City and HomeGoods just in time for the holidays?!!

I am helping Nancy of A to Zebra Celebrations celebrate a HUGE milestone... she just reached 20,000 Facebook Fans!

So let's get this party started! Entering is EASY. In order to enter, you just have to LIKE each Facebook page.  To unlock additional entries, please follow each vendor on Pinterest.  This will give you more chances to win!!

What are you waiting for? Definitely don't miss out... enter today!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

{GWD Parties} Dashell's Circus Train Party!

My oldest son, Dashell, is a train-lovin' little guy! In fact, I can't remember a time when he didn't just adore trains. He's constantly running around the house shouting, "Clickity CLACK! Clickity CLACK!!" So when it came time to plan his third birthday party, of course the theme had to be trains! But as per his request... "No trains with faces!" So with a little bit of thought and some creativity we arrived at the perfect theme... Vintage Circus Train Party!

The Invitation
For Dashell's special day, I designed an invitation that had a big top flair but absolutely focused on the excitement of the circus train rolling into town! 

Balloons, monkeys, elephants, lions and panda bears (Dashell has a thing for pandas!) all helped announce that there was a fun-filled birthday party on the way.

The Entryway
One of the best things about parties is the magic they bring when they help to ignite the imaginations of your guests

As people arrived at Dashell birthday party, I wanted them to feel like they were actually entering the big top

I hung yards of red and white striped fabric from the pergola over our driveway and adorned it with a circus inspired printable Welcome Sign. Then I topped the whole thing off with a swath of fabric bunting reminiscent of the design of the invitation.

Just in front of the big top entryway, I layered bunches of huge 36" balloons (which Dashell just couldn't resist grabbing and running around with!) And then to give everyone a hint that a little more circus magic might be found inside the party, I placed a large 6' giraffe popping out of the bushes!

As the guests walked down the driveway and toward the party they were met by a warning sign, "CAUTION The circus train has derailed and the animals have escaped! Proceed at your own risk." 

Just ahead was an oversized elephant balancing on a ball. This was definitely not going to be your average, run of the mill circus train party!

Party Decorations
Our entire yard was draped with over 600 feet of custom fabric bunting to help transport everyone to the circus! 

Large cut out circus animals peeked over walls and out from behind bushes

Overhead half a dozen monkeys swung from the tree limbs and helped to hold up our birthday banner (with the aid of a friendly elephant). 

We set up our little train for the children to ride on and added a few white balloons so it would seem as though it was puffing around the track.

The Sweets
Oh, the dessert table! How I love, love, love to watch children's faces light up when they see it!! For this party knew exactly what I wanted to do... a Circus Wagon! How much fun, right?! 

I will be indebted forever to my sweet husband and our amazing friend, Rog, for their help in making my dream a reality! Using a 5 foot folding table that I had purchased a while back from Walmart, as the base structure, we worked hard to build a vintage circus wagon around it to hold all the goodies. And what AMAZING goodies they were! The vendors I worked with on this party truly out did themselves. The craftsmanship on the sweets was breathtaking!

The centerpiece of the dessert table was a delicious cake, made by Fantasy Frostings, which had the most beautiful fondant circus train chugging around it. Brittany, from Edible Details, did the most exquisite job translating the train from the printables into fondant. 

The detail-work on it is stunning!

Just in front of the cake I created a 3 ring circus by wrapping styrofoam disks with a little grosgrain ribbon and then smoothing a layer of brown sugar inside the rings to act as dirt. 

No greatest show on earth would be complete without some fabulous circus acts, so inside my 3 ring circus I stood up some unbelievably gorgeous circus animal cookies, created by Jen from JP Creatibles based on the designs from my printables. 

I simply can't get over how she was able to sculpted the contours of the bodies with royal icing! And the detail on the giraffes is insane!

My son adores cake pops. So no party for him is complete without the addition of some sweet deliciousness on a stick

When I reached out Sarah, from Mom's Killer Cakes and Cookies, I wasn't sure if she would be able to translate my printable designs into cake pops, but she worked her magic and they were pure perfection

Treats that wonderful need to be displayed in a special way, so I purchased a few circus wagons from Michaels, painted  them to match the party decor and voila! We had our very own circus parade winding through the dessert table!
And honestly, it just wouldn't be a circus party without a little carmel corn and a few cupcakes, right?! So to finish off our sweets buffet, I designed some coordinating popcorn cones as well as some cupcake toppers and wrappers. 

Then I wrapped a few more styrofoam disks with grosgrain ribbon and mounted them on some old candle holders I had lying around and I had the perfect stands to display the final touches to the dessert table.

The kids were mesmerized by the beautiful sweets and definitely enjoyed every single minute that they spent gobbling them up!

The Activities

Have you ever seen children spy a train table? It is like watching a moth being drawn to a flame! 

When we decided to have a train party I knew that the one train table we had would not be enough for all our little guests so I set out to design a second one. 

I have to admit that every since my son became obsessed with wooden trains, I have become a little obsessed myself with trying to build the perfect track. So this party was perfect excuse to carve out a little time to work on my track building skills and I have to say I was pretty pleased with the original train table layout that I came up with! (For anybody else out there that is looking for a fun train table layout I will be posting the plans on my blog soon.)

I placed huge baskets of trains at each table and the kids LOVED winding their trains over bridges, through tunnels and over crossings! Oh, and of course, crashing into each other's trains!

And just so their fun wouldn't have to end with the party, we sent each guest home with their very own wooden circus train set, complete with animals and track.

The best part of all this... Dashell had a blast and loved every moment of his birthday! (And that is really why we all work so hard on parties for our children, right?!)

Vendor and Credits
Party Styling - Gwynn Wasson Designs

Printable Party Invitations, Decor and Graphic Design- Gwynn Wasson Designs

Cake - Fantasy Frostings

Fondant Train and Circus Tent - Edible Details

Circus Animal Cookies - JP Creatibles
Cake Pops - Mom's Killer Cakes and Cookies

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blast Back To School with FREE Printables!

Starting a new school year is always such an exciting time! I don't know if your child is like mine, but Dashell's been begging to go back to school all summer. And with his new school year just around the corner, it's definitely the perfect time to mark this milestone with a little celebration! 

I wanted this party to capture the pure excitement that Dashell has for returning to school so I decided that "Blast Back To School" was the perfect theme. Full of rocket ships and space fun to throw his imagination and inquisitive spirit into high gear! 

Since every great school day begins with a great breakfast, I thought that a cereal bar party would be fun... and so did the kids!!
(They bypassed the bowls and just went straight for the scoops!)

Keeping with the theme we had "Space Rocks", "Asteroids", "Saturn's Rings" and "Mini Planets" in abundance. 

I used cereal bowls to give the "Rocket Fuel" (orange juice boxes) a little lift...

Of course cereal is always better with a little milk, so I found these super cute bottles of milk (from Alta Dena) at my local grocery store and decorated them to look like rocket ships...

And no balanced breakfast is complete without some fruit. A few embellished Clementines made adorable "Suns on a stick" (I just love things on sticks!)...

The party didn't end there. As I'm sure you know, when you purchase a lot cereal you are left with a lot of boxes so why not turn them into jet packs! (The tutorial will be on my blog this week.)

Dashell couldn't have been more excited about getting his own jet pack (or about helping me make them!)

If you have followed me for a while you know, I just love to find fun activities for my parties. And what better activity for a space party than Stomp Rockets! 

TONS of fun and a great opportunity to talk about power of air pressure! 

And because every child should be able to Blast Back to School in style, I am giving away my full collection!! 

The set includes the following items:

- Large "Welcome Back - Let's Blast Into A New Year" Rocket Ship cut out
- Alphabet Banner
- 2" Party Circles (Countdown 5-1, "Blast Off", "Welcome Back", Rocket Graphic)
- Table Labels ("Space Rocks", "Asteroids", "Saturn's Rings", "Mini Planets", "Suns on a stick", "Destination Milky Way")
- Table Labels (blank)
- Photo Op Labels for Jet Packs ("Blasting into..." Pre-K through 6th)
- Juice Box Wraps ("Rocket Fuel" )
- Milk Bottle Wraps ("Creativity", "Knowledge", "Learning")
- Book Plates ("This Book Belongs To...")
- Notecards

Please click HERE to download your free Back To School Printables! (Go under "File" in the upper left hand corner. Activate the drop down menu and choose "Download".) And I hope that your little one has a BLAST at school this year!!

This give away HAS ENDED.

Monday, July 2, 2012

{Party In A Pinch} 4th of July Cake Pops

I am SOOO excited to have Emily from Emmy's Events as a guest blogger today! From the moment that Emily told me about her SUPER EASY Semi-Homemade Cake Pops, I just knew that I had to try them out and have her give you all the inside scoop on how whip up some fabulous cake pops if you are pulling together a Party In A Pinch! 


Hi there! Emily Clinton from Emmy’s Events here to give you a super easy, NO BAKE cake pop tutorial. Give these a try at your Fourth of July party, I know you’ll absolutely love them!

You Will Need: 
- Entenmann’s Glazed Pop’ems
- Wilton Candy Melts
- Canned Frosting (any brand is fine just don’t buy “whipped”) 
- Lollipop Sticks or Paper Drinking Straws Food Coloring & Sprinkles
- Wax Paper or Styrofoam (depending on whether you prefer them stick up or stick down)

1. Melt a handful of Wilton Candy Melts in the microwave. Dip the lollipop stick or paper straw into the melted candy and insert it about half way in to the donut. Set the pop on a plate and refrigerate until the candy hardens.

2. Put a scoop of canned frosting in a microwave safe container and tint with food coloring if desired. Microwave the frosting for 5-10 seconds. The frosting will be slightly warm and completely liquified. Stir to mix in the food coloring

3. Dip the refrigerated pop into the melted frosting and quickly pull it out, allowing the excess to dip back into the cup. Set the wet cake pop on a tray lined with a sheet of wax paper. You may need to hold it upright for a second or two until it dries enough to stand by itself.
Note: If your frosting begins to harden simply warm in the microwave again until it becomes liquid.

4. Add sprinkles, if desired, while the frosting is still wet. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until the outer coating is completely set.

5. Serve in mini cupcake liners or arranged on a plate! Enjoy!!

 Click here for more Tips and Hints for your upcoming 4th of July celebration!