A lavender party needs a purple dessert table, am I right?
Now… this bridal shower wasn’t actually mine. I usually do all the bridal showers in our church (frankly, everyone is thrilled that they don’t have to), but every once and a while I have to do the gracious thing and relinquish my beloved duty to a loving family member or friend of the bride.
This shower was one of those. The matron of honor so wanted to throw this shower, but she was traveling in from out of state (and has 7 little ones of her own), so, while she had a lot of things taken care of, she was thrilled when I offered help with the local stuff… and with the catering.
This was super exciting because the food is the part of parties I enjoy the most and this allowed me the time to play and do some fun things. The macarons, for instance, while not hard to do in themselves, are hard to get right. I had to make several batches before one worked out. The meringues, on the other hand are super simple and beautiful! A must for any party!
And no one would have known that this cake was gluten free if I hadn’t told them (Wegman’s has an amazing gluten free cake mix, by the way… just don’t overcook it!) In fact, all these treats were gluten free so the bride and her guests could all enjoy!
Children’s parties don’t have to be expensive – or elaborate – to be special. I find that my children are delighted by any attempt I make to create a special birthday for them. I don’t even have to do a “Pinterest worthy” job to impress them.
This Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs party was no different. Here are some simple ideas to make the day special, without going over budget!
In our family, every birthday starts with my chalkboard. I position it just inside the kitchen for the kids to see on their way downstairs. Most of the time, this is how they find our their theme for the day.
I have a how to post about it coming in a few days.
Our decorations were pretty minimal for this party. We blew up a bunch of white balloons and tied them together into a big bunch and hung them from the ceiling above the kitchen table (clouds). Then I used white thread to hang all the felt food I could find in the house from the balloons and in the windows. It gave a fun effect of food falling from the sky.
Dinner was homemade giant pizza. I made pizzas just like normal, but instead of shaping the dough into rounds, I stretched them into ovals and then cut the edges off after they were cooked to make giant slices. That’s my nine year old holding the biggest pan we can fit in our oven.
The cake was super fun to make. I started with a normal 2 layer cake and frosted it green. Then I added chocolate frosting to outline doors and windows around the edge to make it look like a building.
The “spaghetti” on top of the cake was made using white frosting with a small round tip. I just squirted it all over and let it fall all over. The pancake was more cake batter cooked in a pan, but it was a little dry. I made it in a 10 inch cast iron skillet to get the size and shape right. Pancake batter might have worked better. Let me know if you try it. 🙂
The giant ice cream cones were made with large cake balls covered in thin frosting so that it would pool a bit. Before the frosting dried I stuck the cones on to finish the effect.
It took time, but you could totally do this!
Some other details to take the day over the top: – breakfast was donuts (easy!) – I read the book to the kids during breakfast – some of her gifts were based on the theme (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs coloring book for one) -after cake and presents that evening, we watched the movie as a family to finish the day.
That night as we were going to bed, Husband and I climbed in bed saying, “Well… another successful birthday!” And it was!
This is one of three bridal showers I did last spring for ladies in our church. This bride is the one I designed wedding invitations for (I shared those here.)
The bride is one of the adopted daughters of our pastor and his wife and I was delighted to have the opportunity to do something special for her. She loves farmhouse decor (as do I, so it was perfect!), so it just seemed natural to use that as her theme.
The invitation was designed to be emailed to the church. (I’ve changed all names and numbers to protect privacy.)
Would anyone be interested if I were to list invitations in my Etsy store? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do!
I used my trusty chalkboard (love this thing!) and a pennant banner my oldest daughter and I made for her 11th birthday (several years ago now). I just love using it when I get the chance!
The center pieces were fun. I ordered a bunch of mini rolling pins (I’d wanted them forever and found a great place to buy them on Etsy!) for this event and my own use. For the party, I used fabric to cover them and taped it on. This was a great way to temporarily dress them up, but leave them for me to do something else with later. I also decoupaged and added vinyl we cut on my cricut to the wood wood pieces for fast and easy signs.
The jars were painted with chalk paint. We made three of them and I gifted one to the bride. I took the idea right off her registry. She had registered for one exactly like it, so I just DIY’d it for her. (Thanks mom for your help in that project! We all know you did all the work!)
No two tables were exactly the same. Many other elements used for the center pieces were taken directly from my house. That’s my cake plate, my cute blue truck from Hobby Lobby, my “abide” wood block (part of my home spring decor), and those beads were something I wanted to make for myself anyway… just used the party to get it done. 🙂
Oh, and that’s my cute little tiered plate piece. (More beads I made for myself… these were part of my Valentine’s decor.) I keep the church party budget down by using decor and making decor that I want for myself anyway. 🙂
These pallets really make this dessert table, if you ask me. They are painted grey and fit perfectly with the pink. Of course more of our pennant garland to finish it off.
The tiered tray is from home also, as well as all the decor on it. My son made the “LOVE” blocks for me years ago (it actually spells “SNOW” on the other side. The little houses, the cupcake stand, the Rae Dunn mug I styled re-styled myself in this fashion, the mason jar plate and all the hydrangeas were right out of my kitchen.
All the little details were so fun to pull together, right down to the gingham ribbon on the rice krispie treats and the “R” I placed on the drink table as a nod to her new last name.
Was the event perfect? No. No event ever comes together just as it is in my head, but we enjoyed a time of fellowship, ate some goodies, watched the bride and her fiance open gifts, and bowed in a time of prayer for the couple and their coming marriage. The couple and their families felt the love of God poured through the church family… that makes the event a success.
With spring officially begun, we are full into the beginning of garden season! How better to celebrate, than with a cute Carrot Patch sign!
This is the part of the year that I still like gardening. Ask me again come July or August when it’s too hot to be outside and the weeds and pests have taken over and my opinion is often different. But for now… for now I’m all about the planning and the prepping and the seed starting. Yes, and even the decorating!
So… I designed this cute sign specifically for my sister who is loving all things carrots these days! I wanted to have something for her when she arrived for her visit this week, but I couldn’t help but print myself one and frame it up! It’s sitting on my kitchen counter waiting for me to figure out a good place for it. 🙂 I couldn’t stop there, though! I’ve also added it to my Etsy shop so you can have a copy too!
My sign reads, “Welcome to our Carrot Patch”, but my sister lives alone, so that isn’t going to work for her. Hers says ,”Welcome to my Carrot Patch.”
I designed this sign both ways, so, whether you need this sign in your family home or want to use it in your own space, I’ve got you covered! This sign would be great framed as an 8×10 or 5×7 on an entry table or in a dorm room, or framed as an 11×14 on the mantle in your living room. You can also choose to print the pdf of the 8.5×11 size to put in the front cover of your homestead, household, or school notebook!
This time last year, I was deep in the throws of preparing for our church’s women’s retreat. As in past years, my part was to decorate and add all the little touches that make it special. It’s not the most important part, by far. The Bible teaching and encouragement is the most important. But I do love to bring a little something extra so the ladies can really enjoy the weekend and feel as much love and blessing as possible.
Because of covid regulations last year, we couldn’t take our group to the usual retreat center for the weekend, so we adjusted some things and converted our church auditorium into our retreat center and decorated it for a giant tea party.
Those garlands hung from the ceiling were made using this tutorial. I’ll be using them again this year, getting 2 years for the work of making them once! 🙂
Tables centerpieces were tea sets we gathered from various church ladies who let us borrow them (this helped cut costs and gave us a fun variety of styles from all over the world).
I made signs to place around the room and these little gift packs were placed at every place. Inside the packet was a small journal for each lady. There were 4 of each design and we used them to separate the ladies into different groups randomly to mix them up a bit.
This is the tea and coffee/cocoa station. One of the ladies on the retreat committee loves tea and has a lot of different ones. She always brings her collection to share (that is what you see on the left) On the right things look a little sparse because the coffee carafes are not there yet.
One of the benefits to being at our church for the retreat this year was that we could do some fun food. Many would not think of this as a good thing, but most years they ask me not to do any food for the retreat because there is so much food already at the retreat center. Well, one of the things I love to do is include food in my theme, so I was thrilled that I could make all sorts of fun “tea party” foods. This was the inspiration I needed to learn to make french macarons (of course there are no pics of those, because these picture were taken of the brunch spread, but I also made them for some of the bridal showers I’ll be sharing in the weeks to come.)
Many of the ladies stepped in to bring parts of the brunch spread, but I wanted to bring some fun things. One of which was this fun “donut” cake. The one in the pic below fell apart, so we made another one, but of course there is no pic of that. My kids were super excited that the first one fell apart because they enjoyed it immensely!
I was super excited to have a reason to make puff pastry danishes. I’d been wanting to after watching The Great British Baking Show. You can find several pins about how to do this on my Tea Party Women’s Retreat board on Pinterest. I practiced for several weeks before making the official danishes for the retreat. They aren’t as hard or as time consuming as I expected. In fact, I need to make more soon! 🙂
The whole retreat was a success with so much spiritual encouragement, so much fun and laughter, and a great time of fellowship and building up! You can find other details and ideas for your own tea party on my Pinterest board.
If you enjoyed this Tea Party Women’s Retreat, I would really appreciate it if you would pin the image below or any of the specific images… or share on other social media! 🙂
I decorate with apples in September. Okay, I know I’m a little crazy, but I just can’t bring out the “fall” stuff until it’s officially fall. As in September 23rd this year. Some years I’ll fudge a little and decorate over the weekend before, but most of the time, we do it on the day.
Problem is, by the end of August, I’m generally itching for fall. It’s my favorite season.
A couple years ago I decided that apples would make a fair bridge. They are adorable, and they don’t really match with my leaves and pumpkins (so I usually don’t use them). It’s the perfect solution. Apples in September.
My husband built these shelves for me (out of American Chestnut beams he pulled out of the walls of our house) last September when he took some time off to work on the house. That means this is the first time to decorate them with apples. Most of my apple stuff came from my mom when she moved out here to be with us. Her last kitchen was decorated in apples, so she had plenty and I had my pick.
The hand lettered piece on the left side of the top shelf I created last year. The pie on the bottom shelf is watercolor on a piece of wood I did the year before that. I’d like to do that one over sometime because it smudged a bit when we added the clear finish. But for now, I like it.
Under those shelves on my counter, I put my chalkboard frame (which is really just a white frame from Walmart with a black paper in it. I use white water based paint pen or chalkboard pens on it.) The design was there from my mom’s chocolate themed party, but I changed the words to “apple cider please” to match the apples. I thought the little wood apple was cute here and it all went well with my after meal clean up chart which is there all the time. (I scribbled out the names of my children for privacy.) I’m loving this set up because it mostly blocks the pencil sharpener that lives on the corner of the counter there (for lack of a better place for it). Homeschool families need their pencil sharpeners!
This cute little collection is sitting in the corner of my kitchen by the windows. Old basket with puffy red check fabric, jar, candle, plastic apple and my new favorite apple artwork (available to print… check it out!)
I moved this from the living room early last week when I moved my stack of Pergo out of there to get ready for some renovations coming up.
That’s right, the little “table” it’s sitting on is really a covered stack of flooring waiting to be installed. 🙂 You never do really know what someone’s house looks like based on a blog, do you?
It’s a chocolate themed birthday party! Super inexpensive, simple and fun. The kids loved it and so did my mom (the birthday girl).
So, a couple weeks ago we celebrated my mom’s birthday with a chocolate theme. We often go out for dinner on her birthday, but there is chocolate in Mole sauce and she LOVES her Mole. No question… I would be cooking. (We got our all-you-can-eat sushi a few days later!)
I made the Hershey Kisses by wrapping foil over upside down bowls of various sizes. The paper is just printer paper I cut into strips and put messages on. Are they perfect? No. But they were well received and did their job. The little ones in the next picture (on my shelves) can also use the top of a water bottle instead of a little bowl, but I forgot to keep the ones we had. If you do that, you can fill them with candy and give them as party favors too. Since it’s always just us at these parties, we didn’t need the candy or the favors. 🙂
The Chocolate Tuffles and Cupcake cards could have been framed, but I didn’t get to the store for the frames, so they were cute on their own. My mom has since framed them and hung them in her chocolate themed bathroom. They doubled as gifts.
The chalkboard frame is just a cheap white frame (my go to frame for all my artwork because of it’s simplicity) from Walmart with a black sheet of paper in it. I used a white water based paint pen to do the illustration of a mug and hand lettered “just add chocolate and cream please” on the side. I love that frame! Silly that it took me so long to pull it together!
As you know if you’ve been around for a while, I decorate my large (husband made) chalkboard for birthdays and events too. Everyone has come to look forward to it and uses it to help determine the theme for the day when I keep it a secret. This one says “birthday wishes and chocolate kisses.”
This brownie cake on the back of a Ghirardelli Brownie box mix was the inspiration for the theme. This past spring, my mom saw the picture of that Ombre Brownie Cake on the box and declared that she wanted to try that. I decided that day that we would do it for her birthday.
I’ve never made ganache before and as you can see, my cake doesn’t look exactly like the picture. It was a good first run though, and I hope to do it again because it was yummy!
Note: Not all (or any) of your plans have to work out just right. The person or people you are celebrating will still feel loved that you tried to make their day a big deal! Don’t let fear of failure (or failure itself in my case so often) keep you from going all out!
I tend to steer toward the farmhouse style decor… at least on Pinterest, and these cute signs planted a seed in me to make my own version of them. I just couldn’t let many days go by before I just had to try it with an apple theme. I generally decorate with apples in September. It’s not quite fall, but I’m itching for it to be… apples seem to be a happy medium before my leaves and pumpkins come out at the end of the month.
I started by sketching this one out. It’s not a “no-sketch” by any means. There were too many elements to get just right. I suppose if you wanted to “no-sketch” it, you could always scan each element in individually and put it together in Photoshop… but I didn’t do that this time. 🙂
I love the look of all the farmhouse signs I see, but when it comes time to buy or make one for myself, I can’t make myself do it. Something always seems to be missing. First of all, I wanted to add a verse to it somehow, but I also wanted to make it more personal. I felt like putting “family farm” at the top fit us better since that’s what we pretend to be. Then I loved how “pick your own” fit the attitude of encouraging the children to help out and take initiative.
I tried a new watercolor paper this time around. Hot pressed. It’s much smoother and [hopefully] easier to scan and clean up in Photoshop for you all. Shayda recently did a video that talks about the differences in watercolor paper, so I was ready for it to be different. It definitely was different, and it will take some practice, but I think it worked out nicely. Nothing you should be afraid to try for sure. The main reason I decided to try it is that Eileen at My Creative Resolution mentioned in a post (no idea which one… sorry!) that the texture of watercolor paper is hard on artist pens. It was at that moment I understood why my pens never seem to last long! 🙂 An ah-ha moment to be sure! The smooth finish of the hot pressed paper should help them to last longer. And it does scan much nicer!
I know there are already so many fall printables out there, but I don’t often see these seasonal printables with Bible verses on them, so I want to share them with you in the off chance that any of you are still in the market for a cute apple themed fall printable or have been holding out for one with a verse. Click here to download it and visit my slowly growing printables page for more!
This week I spent some time painting sweet things. Chocolate, to be specific. And all for my mom’s birthday.
Sometimes birthday presents don’t need to be wrapped. Don’t get me wrong, there should be some presents to unwrap! But they don’t ALL have to be, do they?
I painted this one for my mom’s birthday this past weekend. Her bathroom is decorated in chocolate. That’s right. Chocolate. No, it’s not dirty fingerprints from over indulgent children. It’s been done on purpose. From a poster on the wall about it’s history, to candles shaped like truffles, and everything in between… chocolate!
I thought a chocolate frosted cupcake with a pink liner would match her bathroom perfectly! But it also matched her birthday theme… so instead of wrapping it, I set it out to decorate! 🙂 Double duty!