We recently hosted a painting party and it was so much fun! It combined both art and baking and the kids really enjoyed it. For the craft we used painters tape so that the kids could create little masterpieces. The cupcake activity was very well received, not surprising, which kid doesn’t like candy!!!
Last week we hosted a Wreath Workshop (which was just for moms, no kiddies allowed, which meant there was wine)! If you missed the workshop but would like to make your own wreath follow the instructions below.Materials
1 bough of pine
1 bough of evergreen or any other type of Christmas greenery
1 coat hanger
Green Wire (can be purchase at the dollar store)
Step 1: Using gardening shears cut off sections of your boughs that will be good size for your wreath. Using your pliers turn your coat hanger into a circle. It’s best to use a somewhat flimsy wire coat hanger, as the stiff ones are harder to manipulate. Once you have formed your circle you can begin designing your wreath. For those of us with Type A personality you can lay out your whole wreath in advance and get the exact look you desire. For those of who are a bit more whimsical you can create as you go along. Select pieces from your boughs and attach them to the wire circle by using your green wire. You should work with one very long piece of wire as opposed to continually cutting pieces. You need to affix your greenery by simply wrapping the green wire around the coat hanger as well as the piece of bough.
Your wreath will slowly begin to take shape, a trick to making a full wreath is to use two different types of boughs. However, if you prefer the look of one you can stick to just one. Once you have completed your wreath you can use your gardening shears to give it a bit of a haircut if needed. Now you can get all fancy and add all sorts of doodads to your wreath, or you can just leave it plain. To attach the pine cones I took the green wire and wrapped it around the pine cone, making sure it was not too visible. You can attach the pine cone to the wreath using a “twist tie” method. The trick is to hide the green wire within the pine so that it’s not too visible, it blends really well so it’s not too much of a difficult trick! Also remember when adding your pine cones that things in 3’s are usually the best combo for design. You can now add a ribbon to your wreath so that you can hang it or you can place it on a table and add some candles.
So my little man turned 4 (well actually not till the 19th but that’s just a small technicality). He’s currently quite confused about how old he really is, either way he wanted a Teenage Mutant Ninja Party this year and thus I had to get a little bit more acquainted with the four green guys. I was pretty aware of the basics but didn’t know about some of the details, which Oliver informed me about it as we went along. The most ironic thing is that he hasn’t even watched the show, he just knows them from observations. The first craft we did to get the ball rolling was his turtle shell.
Check out our instagram post for details on how to make it. Ollie wore the shell the entire day that we made it, went “ninja-ing” around all day, and then on the actual day of his party, he had zero interested in wearing his shell, go figure.
Next we planned an obstacle course and a scavenger hunt (both TMNT related). For the obstacle course we hung skipping ropes from the ceiling and then tied streamers between them, the kids had to go over and under the streamers without touching them. Then they crawled through two tunnels, walked a tight rope and then jumped over some pylons. Some of the kids were really into it, others not so much. The scavenger hunt only seemed to interest a couple of kids, which reminded me that keeping things simple is sometimes the best way to go. Visit our IG page for the details about the scavenger hunt.
As for the decorations, well my good friend the dollar store came in super handy. I purchased everything there, including the contents of the loot bags. For the loot bags, I cut construction paper for the headbands and then glued on googly eyes and drew mouths. The cups were super easy, bought green ones, then tied on streamers and glued eyes onto them. I thought for sure the kids would fight over who got which colour but they didn’t even seem to care. The balloons were also another quick and easy craft, all you need is green balloons, streamers and permanent marker. Lesson learned from this party – stick to the basics, don’t go over-planning, sometimes just opening the presents and playing with your new toys with your buddies is the best way to celebrate your 4th birthday!
Recently we hosted a very cute “sleepover party” – which was just the theme – the kids certainly did not sleep over! We had an ice cream bar, popcorn bar, pizza making station and pillow case decorating! We also got to watch a movie on our projector, while enjoying our popcorn. The kids loved it and it’s definitely an easy party to recreate in your own home. The popcorn bar was super simple to make. I purchased the red and white bags from the dollar store. The white container with the popcorn and smaller candy bins were purchased from Ikea. The little shakers and the chalkboard labels another great find from the dollar store. Finally, the popcorn sign was a purchase from Michaels, it was on sale and then I used chalkboard paint and voila! No party is complete without a pink lemonade stand. I purchased the glass container from William Sonoma but I’ve also seen them in a smaller version available at Kitchen Stuff Plus. The pizza bar took a little bit of prepping as I had to make the dough during the day so that it was ready in time for the party. I used the recipe from allrecipes.com – it’s pretty easy as far as homemade pizza crusts go. The pillowcase decorating was a huge hit, the kids could have spent much more time on this but we had so much to do! I bought plain white pillowcases from Ikea and they used fabric paints and markers. I found an ice cream party template from Pottery Barn and sort of recreated the look they had. I wrapped the boxes in wrapping paper and added gold fringe to them. I made the ice cream cones out of sparkly scrapbook paper and then used tissue paper for the scoops of ice cream.
This past weekend we hosted a mermaid themed birthday party for a little girl and thought we would share some of our ideas with you, in case you want to host your very own mermaid party! We did a craft and some baking. The baking part was really easy, first the kids made cupcakes.
They coloured icing blue and then made mermaid tails out of fondant (they also coloured the fondant either purple or green for their tails). The craft was easy but had just a few more steps, see below for detailed instructions. The craft materials were all purchased from the good ol’ dollar store, except the acetate for the window (which was purchased from a craft store).
2 blue paper plates
Under the Sea Foam Shapes
Fake green plant
Clear Acetate (or cellophane)
- Cut out a hole in one plate and then paint the outside of the plate silver. Do this step first as the paint will dry while you’re finishing the other steps.
- Scrunch up little pieces of aluminum foil to make the balls for the porthole. Glue them to the plate using hot glue (once your silver paint has dried).
- To make the mermaid, use markers to draw her face and dress. Then cut out a tail from the sparkly foam and stick it between the clothespin. Glue some yarn on for her hair.
- Decorate the other blue plate with sand and foam stickers, glue in your seaweed using the hot glue.
- Glue the mermaid to the blue plate using the hot glue.
- Once the silver plate is dried, flip it over and glue in the piece of acetate.
I’m sure there could be plenty of puns I could have used for the title, but I’m pretty tired in all honesty and my writing fingers are sleeping at the keys. It would have been really easy if Oliver’s name was Peter instead. I think I had a pretty decent capacity for intelligence until I got pregnant with my first child.
Currently, this first child of mine, is really into Popsicles. We got a Popsicle maker as a gift last Christmas and upgraded the model this past summer to a larger one. It comes from a company called Zoku, they make some pretty cool gadgets, worth checking out. The whole popsicle making experience buys you about 20 minutes of entertainment, to me, that makes it a worthwhile endeavor. Even better is that we can sneak in one of those baby squeeze pouches made out of veggies. Oliver will have two Popsicles in a row, without a doubt, think about all those little veggies that are sneaking into his mouth and he doesn’t even know. This is the Popsicle (sneaky veggie machine):
We hosted a Valentine’s Day Mini Cake Workshop this past Sunday. The cakes were pretty easy to make and you could easily host this at home for your friends or little ones. Keep it really simple and buy one of those infamous cakes in a box, 3 eggs and vegetable oil. Or make it harder on yourself and bake the cake from scratch. Here’s a great recipe for a simple traditional white cake. Next, make buttercream icing, I always use the Wilton recipe, I find it quick and easy. For step by step instructions on how to make your very own mini cake visit one of our previous posts. Once your mini cake is complete all that is left is decorating it, which is really the very best part!
So, Halloween has come and gone (hard to believe) and now I’ve finally gotten a moment to sit down and complete the steps for the sweet table. Working in steps really makes the whole task much less daunting. See our previous post about freezing iced cookies. For the week leading up to the big day, I worked on the little details. Making the chalkboard signs, buying the display items, etc.
Another great trick is to pick sweets that can be stored for several days in advance, I picked meringue ghosts and made them 3 days before the big day, I got a great recipe from joy of baking.
All that I had left to do the day before was draw the faces on my little clementines and ice my cupcakes. The party was on actual Halloween, so on Friday morning I took all my sweets out of the freezer and let them sit out at room temperature all day. I iced my cupcakes Friday night and they were still fresh and yummy on Saturday.
One more step that I found really helpful was to set everything up at our centre and photograph it. That meant when I got to the location, I wasn’t fiddling with last minute decisions about where things would go. The key to having a stress free job is to divide your steps and don’t leave everything till the last minute.
We’ve been hired to create a sweet table for a Halloween birthday party, we thought some of you may be interested in the step-by-step process of creating a sweet table. We did a post similar to this a while back but didn’t focus on the steps for baking . The first step is pick your theme/colour combo and then plan your desserts/baked goods around both. It’s easy for us since the theme was already picked and we went with black and white as colours. Remember the key to a sweet table is levels! We will put our cookies on flat dishes in the front and then have a few cupcake towers and use boxes to elevate some of our other desserts. The other key thing to do is plan ahead and use your freezer!!!
We have made all the sugar cookies and iced them and are now storing them in the freezer for one week. The trick to proper storage, is to use air tight containers and parchment paper between each cookie. Let them defrost at room temperature for several hours (keeping them in the container) do not defrost in the fridge, the condensation can ruin your cookies. We’ve also made our cupcakes which we will freeze till next week and then ice them the night before. Over the next week we’ll purchase a few candies and details for the table. This means that the day before the party, we’re not trying to do a million things, maybe just a thousand (haha). The day before the party, we’ll ice our cupcakes and make meringue ghost pops, stay tuned for the rest of the pics!
For the past few events we’ve hosted here, we’ve supplied sweet tables. Not only are they fun to make but they are always very well received. There are five basic steps you should follow when trying to make your own sweet table.
1) Decide on a theme and colour.
Ours are sometimes based on a holiday which makes it easy for theme selection. There are so many free printable available on the web that you can match your colour/theme to them. For example for the circus theme I found this adorable circus template. The little signs really take your sweet table to the next level.
2) Decide on the type of candy you want.
There are so many different types of candy out there, it can be overwhelming just to decide on what kind to get. The candy can be separated into four kinds.
Bulk loose candy: sold by the pound
Individually packaged candy: offer one per guest
Designer candy/sweets: offer one per guest
Display candy: used for decoration & filler
3) Divide your candy table into 3 zones
A front zone – this is a good zone to put your bulk candy in trays.
A middle zone – the perfect place to use apothecary jars.
The back zone – use taller jars in this area.
4) Use a tablecloth and don’t forget about creating some type of backdrop!
For our backdrops, I bought a 3-fold bristol board from Staples and then used duck tape in various colours to create the pattern.
5) Finishing touches