Party Dresses!

For the girls, every celebration calls for a fancy dress, and I can't think of a better celebration than a newborn baby :) I made many of these dresses for the shows this spring, and I have 5 left.  They are perfect for take home outfits, photoshoots, parties, or just to feel pretty and fancy on an ordinary day.  Click on the photo to head to my shop and check them out :)

I also have pinafore dresses for older girls, age 1-4... this is one of my favorite dresses I've ever made.  I love the combination of fabrics.  This dress is the only one I have left.  It would be so precious on a birthday girl!

Party Inspiration


I just thought I'd share a little party inspiration :) The left picture will take you to my Celebrate Pinterest board (where would we be without Pinterest???  I can hardly remember life before it!) and the right picture will take you to a treasury I made on Etsy.  It's full of fun party necessities, handmade, supplies & vintage.  I love to have quick and easy party ideas in my head and a drawer full of essentials just in case I need to have a last minute celebration.  It's a good feeling to celebrate somebody :)



Can we talk about cupcakes for a minute? :) I love them.  I love how I don't have to cut cake at parties.  I love how you can eat two and not feel guilty about it because it's a cupcake!  I love how easy it is to make them look super fancy.  I love shopping for new baking cups, paper or silicone.  I love the way a dab of icing piped on top looks.  Love love love.  In my house, cupcakes make the party.

I'd like to share some of my secrets and tips.  I'm no professional, just a mom who likes playing around with it, but there are a couple of things I like to do :)
  1. I use a box mix.  Usually Funfetti.  So easy.  I use packaged icing, too.
  2. I used to wonder how to achieve that perfect little dollop of icing on top.  For years I just tried my hardest with a knife.  HA!  Then I found this.  Probably the best $10 you could spend.  Here's a tip: grab a 40% off coupon and go to Michaels and you can purchase it for even cheaper!
  3. I put pudding inside my cupcakes.  and I use that fancy decorator to do it!  Whip up a box of instant pudding, but instead of adding the 2 cups of milk, add 1 3/4.  It makes it a little bit thicker and I find that to be easier to fill the cupcakes with.  Bake your cupcakes regularly, and let them cool.  Make your pudding and then set in the fridge to thicken.  Fill your decorating tool with the pudding, and push a little bit into the middle of every cake.  When you're finished, ice your cupcakes and voila!  For Christmas this past year I made chocolate cupcakes and filled them with cheesecake pudding and topped them with vanilla icing and crushed candy canes.  It looked so fancy, but it was incredibly easy to do.
  4. Okay so #3 was my biggest secret :) but I love that with that decorating tool, you can color your icing any color you'd like!  I found some neon food coloring at the grocery store and it produces the most beautiful vibrant colors.  I also add it to muffin mixes for breakfast, because Emma thinks blue muffins are the only way to eat muffins.  That's maybe for another post though.
  5. This is a fun summer recipe: make vanilla cupcakes, bake, cool.  Make a box of Jello, but use only about half of the water the box tells you to use.  Poke holes in your cupcakes with a fork and pour the liquid Jello on top.  Refrigerate.  Serve with a dollop of Cool Whip on top.  It's the BEST for summer get-togethers!
Really, the most fun part is baking with my daughter and then sending her in the other room to "go get" something so I can sneak a lick or two out of the bowl :) oh, and then sharing the finished products with your family and friends, of course.  Do you have any neat cupcake tricks up your sleeve?  (edit: these photos are all examples of cupcakes I've made in the past few years!)

Emmabelle's Parties :)

I guess unofficially (or officially, now that I've said it!) it's PARTY WEEK here on my blog to celebrate the fact that I got the urge to start documenting my creative endeavors and adventures here again!  Since I blogged about Zoey's big owl party yesterday, maybe I can do a recap of Emma's birthday parties today.  I really have fun throwing my girls themed birthday parties.  Usually it's just our family because our house can't fit many more people than that inside.  Emma's birthday is in November and so having an outdoor party really isn't an option.

For Emma's first birthday party, we decorated everything in pandas :) Her nickname was panda and so that was just what I went with.  Of course there was nothing panda themed in the party stores so I had to do it myself.  Her cake was a bear cake mold and took 3 tubes of black icing to pipe all of the dots that became his ears, arms and legs.  She was COVERED in black icing.  The panda cake was all for her, everybody else got cupcakes :) It was so much fun decorating everything special for her.  I know that she wouldn't remember it at all, but I hope she looks back on the pictures and sees how celebrated she was :)

Emma's second birthday was Minnie Mouse themed.  We were fresh off of our Disney vacation and she was in love!  I was on bedrest for this birthday and we had to push it back a weekend and because of that some people couldn't make it.  My mom and my SIL came over to decorate and then we just celebrated in our living room so I wouldn't have to get up.  It was important to me that she still had her big celebration.  I made mouse cupcakes by cutting Oreo cookies in half, sticking tiny Oreo cookies on top of them using toothpicks, and just sticking it on the cupcake.

Finally, this past year we celebrated her third birthday with a Sweet Frog party!  Sweet Frog is a locally owned frozen yogurt buffet.  It's Emma's favorite.  She wanted to go there for her party, but instead we just brought it to us.  I decorated cupcakes like frogs and did everything up in pink and green (and blue, because that is her favorite color).  The generous people at the corporate office gave us a sleeve of the bowls they use at the restaurants so we could have them for her party!  It was the best.  We bought a bunch of different ice creams and then had a mini topping buffet.  I tried to get unusual toppings like cereals, gummy bears, nerds, etc.

Party week continues!... thank you for reading about Emma's parties.  I spend so much time creating things for other children, it is special to get to create for mine :) :) :)


Happy 1st Birthday, Zoey!

My baby turned 1 on May 24th. I knew how fast the first year passes because it went by in a flash with Emmabelle, but it's harder to believe that with your second child, it passes by even FASTER. After a kind of insane and traumatic pregnancy, adjusting to life with a baby and an almost 3 year old was easier than dealing with a toddler and being on bedrest, but it was still a big year for our family. We wanted to celebrate in a big way!
A fun thing with Zoey was to carry over some traditions that we did with Emma on her first birthday. We started by going to Build A Bear and letting Zoey pick out a stuffed animal to make. Emma picked out a gray kitty on her birthday, and Zoey looked down the row of various deflated plushies and finally decided on the blue pony at the very end :) it was fun to let Emma help fluff it, they both got to make a wish on two little red hearts, and we appropriately named her pony "Miracle" (Emma's kitty is named "Sprinkle") :) We don't do this for every birthday, but it's definitely something we will do for our next child on his or her first birthday.
We had 30 of our closest family and friends over for a big owl celebration. I made 4 dozen cupcakes, a special owl smash cake for the birthday girl, a crockpot full of chicken BBQ, a seemingly endless supply of grapes, strawberries & pineapple, and 3 tubs of ice cream. Oh, and Kool Aid squeezy drinks at Emma's request. Emma & Zoey's great-grandma gifted Zoey with a "celebration of life" present (I'm not even kidding -- a rollercoaster, a tropical island paradise water table, a swingset, a teeter totter... am I forgetting anything? oh, and a picnic table! WITH an umbrella, of course!) so we set the backyard up with all of the toys and watched the kids go wild. I played the Fresh Beat Band Pandora station and we just had the best time. None of the kids wanted to leave, and if I wasn't so tired after all of the party planning I would have kept them all to play, because it was so much fun to watch them have fun!
Never before have we had that many people over at our house, but it was a blessing. It was nice to be surrounded by people that we love, and people who love us. I was happy to watch my girls play with their little friends (there were 8 other children all under the age of 5 over!) It was a fabulous time and a memory we won't ever forget. Happy Birthday, Zoey Clementine! :)