Saturday, July 12, 2014

men's dress shirt banner

For the last two and half years Wesley's room has been 95% complete. The long wall behind his crib is covered in this really pretty yellow damask wallpaper and while I love it, it's a lot of yellow. I wanted to something to break it up a bit but didn't want to hang heavy picture frames above his bed. I love the old fashioned fair look of pennant banners and wanted something similar but a little more unique.

I went to Goodwill and bought men's dress shirts in different patterns and shades of light blue. The store was having a sale that day so I got 4 shirts for $8. I tore them in to long strips, keeping the ends frayed for a rustic look.

I tied each strip with one loop around a long piece of garden twine in no particular order.

I kept the pieces close together to make it look fuller, alternating between longer and shorter pieces. I finished by tying a knot and bow on each end.

It really finishes the room the way I wanted it. This project was so cheap and easy I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to do it! I would definitely try it again with different colours of scrap fabric - maybe red and white for Christmas or pastels for spring!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Kevin's 40th Birthday Party

When two of the things I love most in this world (my husband and party planning) come together, I can barely contain my excitement. I started planning Kevin's 40th birthday party back in March, just days after Wesley's Airplane Party. I wanted to send out the invitations early to allow our friends time to plan as we know weekends tend to book up quickly!

I love fonts (no really, I do) so I knew I wanted to use a few different ones. After I printed them out on craft paper Kevin pointed out that they had a sort of 1930s-prohibition feel to them, which I love. I had been collecting a variety of empty beer, wine, and liquor bottles knowing that I wanted to fill them with flowers and candles for decoration and it occurred to me that we had unintentionally created a booze-themed birthday party!

I filled the mantle with the boozy vases as well as our display of wine corks and Kevin's initials. I then strung some twine across the front of the mantle to pin up some faux Polaroids I printed of Kevin and his friends partying through the years. A second display of family photos was strung up in the entry way.


I tried to tie the liquor theme in with the food as much as possible, serving drunken chocolate covered cherries and a Guinness chocolate cake, as well as some other party staples like chicken wings and artichoke dip.

We sent our guests away with little bags of kettle corn to tie them over on the drive (or cab ride) home, edible gift bags are definitely my go-to! I found some little chalkboard stickers at Michaels to jazz them up a bit, I love the chalkboard and craft paper look. I also picked up this awesome reusable chalkboard banner at Michaels on sale.

I had so much fun planning this party and even more fun celebrating Kevin's day with our family and friends. Now birthday party season is winding down in our house and I'm looking forward to attending other birthdays and weddings this summer as a guest, no clean-up required!

Happy Birthday KP!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

bunny cake

When I mentioned to a girlfriend of mine that Shiva's birthday party was going to be a rabbit theme (see that post here) she suggested I make the bunny-shaped cake that her grandmother made every year for Easter. Once I knew how easy it was I was onboard! I started by making my carrot cake recipe but instead of baking it in a 9x13 pan I used a 9 inch round pan and made cupcakes with the left over batter.
Carrot Cake Recipe
1) Mix together: 2 cups all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1 tsp ground nutmeg.
2) Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add in: 1 3/4 cup white sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs, and 2 tsp vanilla extract.
3) Mix with a wooden spoon then stir in 2 cups shredded carrot and 1 cup crushed pineapple (drained).
4) Pour in to greased 9x13 baking pan (I used the 9 inch round for the bunny cake) and bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from pan.
Cream Cheese Icing Recipe
1) Cream together 8 ounces of cream cheese with 1/4 cup softened butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and 2 tsp lemon juice.

After the cake had cooled completely, I cut it in half to make two half moons.
Frost the tops of each piece of cake with a thin layer of cream cheese icing and then sandwich them together.  
Place your cake cut side down on to your serving plate. About a quarter of the way up your cake, cut a notch out and place it behind the cake, this makes the bunny's ears and tail.
Frost the entire cake with two or three thin layers of cream cheese icing being sure to cover all the cake. Once this is done you can decorate as you wish: my friend's grandma used to cover the whole cake in shredded coconut to give her bunny cake a "furry" look, I pressed a pink jellybean in the front for a nose. Cut "ears" out of cardstock and stick them in the cake notch.
Voila! A dessert that is both adorable and delicious!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Shiva's Rabbit-Themed 3rd Birthday

By now it's no surprise how much I enjoy party-planning and decorating: it's a passion of mine so I try to celebrate any and all occasions. Our dog's birthday is no exception, as you may remember from this post on last year's strawberry party. I started this blog after Shiva's first birthday so I never had the chance to post about it but I assure you we did have a party and it did, indeed, have a theme. After her first birthday party, when our guests were leaving, Shiva spotted a rabbit hopping past our house and took off after it. We managed to coax her back without too much hassle but the memory is still vivid every year around this time so this year, in honour of the "rabbit incident", I decided to have a rabbit-themed 3rd birthday for our girl.

With Easter having just passed it was easy to re-use some of my Easter décor (as seen in this post). I moved our bunny bunting to the dining nook and added a name banner using paper of the same colours. I also used our rabbit ornaments, along with some cleverly-placed chocolate-covered raisins, on the table with the bunny birthday cake.

We served the usual hot dogs and coleslaw that we've had at each of her other parties, as well as some rabbit chocolates that I stocked up on before Easter. The cake, of course, was carrot cake and I'll be sharing a tutorial on how to make a bunny-shaped cake next week on the blog.

Shiva got a sample of the carrot cake as well as a couple of cute, dog-friendly cookies from Bone & Biscuit. She had a hard time posing for a picture before diving in!

It may seem silly to some but I'm so happy that our friends and family are willing to come over to celebrate our dog's birthday with us. She's a huge part of our family so it's a very special occasion for us.
Happy Birthday Shiva!
{note: I'm pleased to share that there were no run-aways at the party this year - we keep Shiva on a short leash whenever rabbits are around now!}

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Airplane Party

We live very near the airport and as a result we see and hear a lot of airplanes in these parts. Wesley's fascination with airplanes is what inspired the theme for his second birthday party. That, along with this adorable airplane costume from one of my favourite blogs Oh Happy Day. Kevin and I were able to create our own little cardboard airplane using left-over diaper boxes, it was surprisingly easier than expected.

I really embraced the cloud & sky part of flying in the invitations and décor. I printed out the invitations on pale blue cardstock and then sponge painted clouds along the top edge and stamped a tiny red biplane among them.

I made a bunch of my favourite tissue paper poms in white and strung them along the ceiling to create clouds.

I printed out some of my favourite photos of Wesley from over the past 12 months and displayed them along the mantel. I loved being able to see how he's grown and changed in a year!

I loved the fonts that I used for the invitation so I used them again for the Happy Birthday and name banners.

We tried to keep on-theme with the food we served as snacks. Peanuts and Bits & Bites were obvious airplane food choices but we also included chicken salad sandwiches and popcorn balls (a nod to the clouds again).

Instead of a cake I decided to make cupcakes - a much easier option for feeding toddlers. I used these baking cups to look like a cloud-speckled sky and made little cupcake toppers using these paper straws and my biplane stamp. They were a hit with the littles!

Finally, as a parting favour I decided to bake sugar cookies again, this time in the shapes of clouds and airplanes.

I wish I had a close up photo of the cookies but I forgot to save a package for us! I did manage to snag this one of Wesley enjoying a cloud post-party:

Wesley's party was a huge success with so many people whom we love able to share in the special day with us. I love dreaming up all the little details and then making them come to life but I could never do it on my own. A big THANKS to all those who came early to help set up and execute my baby's second birthday party, I owe you greatly.

source list:
paper plates, napkins, straws, candles, & baking cups c/o Sweet Social
biplane rubber stamp c/o Dragonfly Buzz's Rubber Stamps
cloud & airplane cookie cutters c/o Sugar Fox Shop

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Decor

As I've mentioned before, I tend to subscribe to the notion that "less is more" when it comes to holiday décor. That being said, my mother always decorated for the holidays and that's something that I want for my child as well. So this year for Easter I made a few easy decorations and dressed-up our mantel.

I started with this bunny bunting from one of my favourite blogs The Sweetest Occasion. I strung it up using garden twine, mini clothes pins and washi tape.

I decided to stick with the colour palette from the bunting of pink, peach, and orange when I bought the paint for my Easter egg canvas. Inspired by Andrea's talents over at Pinksugarland, I taped out an egg shape on a large canvas then painted smudgy stripes to fill it in. Once dry, I just peeled off the tape and voila!

While shopping for my paint & canvas, I grabbed some burlap canvases on sale at Michael's for $7 for a package of three. I Googled "rabbit outlines", printed off a couple I liked, then traced them on to some colour-coordinating paper. After cutting them out, I glued the rabbit silhouettes to the burlap to make some cute bunny art.

With a young child in the house we've collected a warren of plush rabbits. I just filled in the spaces on the mantel with some bunny friends to complete the look.

All in this project cost me about $30 and an hour of my time. I love the little pop of spring in the middle of our living room now!

Wishing you & your family a very happy Easter!