It’s that time of year! Time for school Valentine’s Day parties!
Hudson chose robots, and Ally picked out a milk and cookies valentine from Minted. Minted has the cutest classroom valentine cards, it was hard for Ally and H to choose!
I added a little something extra to their cards, coordinating sugar cookies packaged up in cello bags and tied with ribbon. My kids were so excited to pass them out!
I’m so proud to announce the publication of my first cookbook!
EAT MORE DESSERT is overflowing with simple-to-make and fun-to-eat treats for any celebration, big or small. With themes ranging from baby showers, weddings, holidays and birthday parties, you’ll find ideas and recipes to celebrate any and every occasion. I’ve shared my core group of desserts including my famous sugar cookies to the secret inside my ever-so-moist cupcakes. In addition to over 100 dessert recipes, the book is filled with tips and tricks for creating the perfect dessert table, from choosing a fantastic theme to styling your sweets.
EAT MORE DESSERT is published by Page Street Publishing and distributed by Macmillan (one of the 4 biggest publishers in the world!).
My daughter Ally decided she’d like to have a kitten themed party to celebrate her 8th birthday. Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of her idea. I rattled off at least ten other themes, but since it was her birthday, we went with kittens.
Not really knowing where to start, I searched eBay for a little inspiration. I found an adorable scrap of vintage kitten fabric, and some old kitten art. I added them to my cart (gotta love Buy it Now) and showed Ally. She loved it. We had a start. She asked if we could have turquoise (her new favorite color) and pink for her colors. Done. I picked up some inexpensive frames at Michaels and spray painted them pink, turquoise, and red, to frame the kitten art. I also may have sacrificed (aka spray painted) a few of my vintage cake plates to coordinate the dessert table.
Our farm has a cool detached garage with the most amazing loft above. I knew when we bought the 1937 property, the old loft would be put to good use. It was the perfect place to host her kitten party. Unfortunately that meant hauling most of my party furniture and props out, but it was worth it. With just bare barn wood walls and floor, it was a blank canvas, and in my opinion, the best place to start. I strung globe lights and fabric buntings across the entire ceiling. I made more yarn balls than I’d ever seen in my life and tucked them into every nook and cranny of the loft. I found a couple inexpensive rugs online and rolled them out across the wood floor. They weren’t a perfect match, but they warmed up the room and pulled the space together.
For the dessert table, I hung my re-vamped kitten art on a backdrop made of barn wood. Color coordinated cake plates held yarn ball cake pops, kitty shaped sugar cookies, mini pies, colorful cakes, and personalized sugar cookies that matched Ally’s invitation. I scored a vintage porcelain kitten on etsy.com that ironically was dated JANUARY, and made a perfect cake topper. The party was shaping up to be a pretty cute theme.
The morning of the party arrived and I could literally see my breath while setting out the desserts. I panicked. We couldn’t have guests over to freeze. My husband called every store he could think of to find a commercial space heater but of course everyone was sold out. So, what does he come home with? A gigantic propane heater that had flames coming out. Seriously. For a children’s party. And he placed it dead center in the middle of the loft. I bit my tongue and thanked him for finding me heat, and said a quick prayer that no one’s coat would catch on fire.
Ally was thrilled to invite her little friends from school over. The girls giggled as they decorated kitty cat sugar cookies, played with kittens, and crafted super kitty capes from Kiwi Crate. My friend Joanne from OH GOODIE DESIGNS made the most adorable personalized party hats, horns, and kitty confetti for the girls. And Jesus heard my prayer because no one caught on fire.
Photos by Molly Vaden Photography
Mason jar drinking glasses w/lids, fairy lights in mason jars by Lights for All Occasions
December 2013 marked our third annual Santa’s Secret Workshop event, put on by my friends Scout Masterson and Bill Horn of Marque Communications. Each December, the celebrity event benefits L.A. Family Housing, whose mission is to help families transition out of homelessness and poverty through a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services. Celebs gathered to kick off the holiday season with Santa Claus photos, crafting, and Jenny Cookies cookie decorating!
Celebrity guests in attendance included Tori Spelling, Busy Philipps, Sarah Michelle Gellar, DeAnna Pappas Denise Richards, Malin Akerman, Tiffani Thiessen, Sasha Alexander, Melissa Joan Hart, Phaedra Parks and many more.
We chose a glittered gold theme for our dessert table, complete with gold cookies, cake pops, cake, and cupcakes! In addition to all the treats guests enjoyed at the event, we sent them home with even more sweets, glittered cupcake favors.
Hudson’s birthday party didn’t turn out quite like I had planned this year, but with everything else that went on in 2013, it wasn’t a huge surprise. We renovated a 1937 farmhouse for what felt like forever. It was supposed to be finished in June, but turns out, it wasn’t completed until Mid-September. Hudson’s birthday is August 12th, so let’s just say his party was about a month late. With all the home completion to-do’s, no birthday party was happpening mid-August.
When we finally were settled in our new home, I planned a fantastic outdoor Super Hero birthday party. I rented two huge bouncy houses, planned an awesome super hero obstacle course, rented children’s chairs and tables, all to be set outside on our newly renovated 5 acres of property, with plenty of room for the kids to run around and “fly” with their superhero capes.
Then in true Jenny party fashion, the weather report showed rain. Not just sprinkles…Downpour. So much for the outdoor party. With just hours notice, our local gym granted me a favor and let me throw the party in their gymnasium. Not quite the ambiance I had planned, but sometimes you can’t have it all.
Even though the walls were padded in blue, and I couldn’t cover the basketball floor, not a single kid could have cared. Dressed in their capes and masks, devouring cupcakes and bouncing off the walls, I’m pretty sure every kid would agree it was pretty super!
cape favors: kiwicrate
superhero masks: miriamsolano
fondant cupcake toppers: Lynlee’s Petite Cakes
photography: KCB Photography
Have you ever been to a Disco Fiesta? NO? Me either….until this summer.
My good friends Scout Masterson and Bill Horn (of Marque Communications & aka Tori Spelling’s “Guncles”) asked if I’d come down and help throw Lisa Rinna’s 50th birthday party. I love any excuse to plan a party so Scout lured me down by texting ideas and asking my advice on everything from table linens to party decor. He’s a smart one. He knew I couldn’t party plan by phone and then not actually be there to execute. So two nights before the party, I booked an insanely overpriced airline ticket and jumped aboard the Disco Fiesta party train.
Scout was right when he said it was a once in a lifetime party. It was. I can remember thinking how are we going to pull this off? I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Disco-Fiesta? That doesn’t even make sense. But somehow we managed. With disco ball cake pops, sombrero sugar cookies, and the brightest buttercream icing I’ve ever made, it actually turned out pretty cute!
Jo Anne of Oh Goodie Designs custom created an adorable disco ball logo with Lisa’s name that transferred onto party hats, party favors and even sugar cookies. Minted sent fun signage, banners, and other party decor that we used around Lisa’s gorgeous property guiding guests to different areas/stations.
The best part about this party was that it was at least 108 degrees while we were setting up. I was worried my desserts would melt into a buttercream river meanwhile thinking I may have a stroke in the heat. Coming from Seattle, it felt like 150 degrees. HOT! We may have lost one bright yellow cake to the heat, but in the end, the dessert table was so full, it wouldn’t have fit anyway.
Thanks again Scout for talking me into coming. I loved being a part of your 50th birthday Lisa!!
We had so much fun dreaming up desserts for Tiffani Thiessen’s daughter Harper’s 3rd birthday. Harper chose a pirate princess theme to celebrate her big day. The party was held at The Coop in LA, a cool, modern playplace for kids, on one of the hottest days in June, reaching 108 degrees. It was warm.
For Harper’s desserts, we kept them girly but with pirate details. The only thing Tiffani specifically requested was NO SKULLS, which I completely agreed, so we kept it playful and left the crossbones out. We made chocolate peanut butter cracker cookie gold dubloons, pirate ship shaped sugar cookies, princess wand cake pops, and my favorite, the pirate map sugar cookies. We did a 2-tier pink ruffle cake and topped it off with an adorable, personalized and hand made peg doll made by Jenny of Craft that Party. Our favorite stationary designer, Minted, custom created amazing pirate princess party decor which we used to greet guests, label our food and drinks, and decorate around the venue.
Thank you Tiffani, Brady, and Harper for including me in your special day. Harper, you are one sweet and adorable little girl!
See pics from Harper’s 2nd birthday dessert table: HERE!