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!!
Time sure flies because little Simone Masterson-Horn is now 3 years old! It seems like we just threw her 2nd birthday party and now she is already a big 3 year old. I’ll be decorating her wedding cake before we know it.
For her 3rd birthday, Bill and Scout chose a Doc Simone party theme based around Disney’s hit show Doc McStuffins. I’m normally not a huge fan of licensed character parties, but I knew we could pull this one off without too much of the cheesy character look. Doc and her gang are actually pretty adorable characters.
Guests were greeted through the front gate adorned with a glittery pink & purple ribbon welcome wreath by She’s Kinda Crafty. First stop was the patient check-in area where little guests picked up their own “Doc’s big book of boo-boo’s” journal, custom created for us by Minted and placed on amazing custom “Simone” melamine trays by Oh Goodie Designs.
Kids crafted patient ID bracelets, tended to the stuffed patients in the “Operating Room”, and filled candy prescriptions in Doc’s Pharmacy. We found tiny prescription bottles in Kara’s Party Ideas Shop and miniature Doc McStuffins doctor bags from Piggy Bank Parties. We filled vintage medical glass canisters with pink and purple rock candy and rolled cotton candy “cotton balls”, in addition to all the other pink and purple candy filled apothecary jars.
Guests nibbled on food from our hospital “cafeteria”, complete with character named foods (Stuffy’s Stuffin, Hallie’s Taters, Chilly’s Chicken Bites), all made into miniature servings thanks to the adorable mini food containers from Kara’s Party Ideas Shop. At our drink bar, we served lemonade, and mason jar margaritas with darling daisy lids from KPI and party straws from Minted. Guests dined on our outdoor picnic tables decorated with pink flowers and custom party horns, and super cute Doc centerpiece flags.
So many fun details were included into this party but of course I’m partial to the dessert table. To keep the table looking chic and not too character cluttered, we had Jenny from Craft that Party create Doc McStuffin characters from wooden peg dolls which were placed on top of the 2-tiered Doc-inspired birthday cake (purple & white striped top tier, pink ruffle bottom tier, resembling Doc’s daily ensemble). Band-Aid, nurse hat, and prescription bottle sugar cookies filled the gorgeous purple and pink wood cake plates, among custom Doc Simone logo cookies. Sugared purple cake pops stuck out of a vintage medical supply box and while chocolate dipped pretzel “thermometers” were nestled into vintage pharmacy beakers. For the backdrop of our table, we leaned a gigantic clipboard holding Doc’s signature symptom checklist (found at Pottery Barn Kids), strung Minted’s adorable custom banners, and dangled a few pink and purple paper lanterns overhead. Without an overwhelming amount of characters, the table screamed Doc McStuffins!
With all the candy from the pharmacy and sweets on the dessert table, we thought we’d offer our guests some fruit, so we did an “Apple a Day” table filled with purple and pink chocolate dipped caramel apples. Of course not many were guests had room left to indulge in our apples, so they made awesome take home treats!
A big thanks to all the vendors involved in this adorable party and a huge thanks to Bill and Scout for including me again in such a special event. I just adore your family and love being a part of Simone’s life!
Read more about Simone’s big birthday bash on people.com!
Photography: Francis Iacuzzi, Jenny Keller
My sweet Ally James is now 7. SEVEN! I swear I start every one of my children’s birthday party blogs with the same first paragraph. I can’t believe he’s THREE…I can’t believe he’s FOUR….I can’t believe she’s FIVE…I can’t believe she’s SIX….. Well, we are at seven. Still can’t believe it.
Since Ally was 18 months old, she’s been head over heels for Cinderella. At age 3, she spent three solid months in her Cinderella dress. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. FOR THREE MONTHS. We’ve watched the movie more times than we can count, and have stood in the princess line at Disneyland for more hours than I’d like to admit. Ally was soon nicknamed Cinderally for her overwhelming passion for all things Cinderella. So coming up with Ally’s birthday party theme was pretty easy. CINDERELLA! To make it a little more creative, we went with Cinderally’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Ally invited 25 of her classmates, friends, and family to join her for an afternoon of princess pampering and a royal tea party. Guests were greeted with tutus, magic wands, crowns and princess jewelry. After their princess attire, the girls moved on to the hair, makeup, and nail stations for their makeovers by the Fairy Godmother herself! The girls were given Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique bags to collect all sorts of fun treats like lip glosses, glitter spray, nail polish, etc. as they worked their way through the makeover stations. After they got all their goodies, they crafted necklaces and bracelets, and painted princess jewelry boxes.
The royal tea party table was set for 26, just enough for each girl and one surprise guest. When the clock struck one, our special guest arrived…who could it be, but Cinderella! When Cinderella walked through the door, Ally could hardly believe her eyes. She beamed from ear to ear, never once taking her eyes off Cinderella. She arrived just in time to enjoy all the tea party sweets. The table was overflowing with cakes, cookies, cake pops, cupcakes, and just about every dessert you could imagine. Cinderella took time to greet each and every guest around the table, even our very own Prince Charming AKA Hudson, and then read the girls princess stories. Ally never stopped smiling.
And what would a party be without a Jenny Cookies dessert table? We did 3 textured buttercream cakes, magic wand cake pops, pink marshmallow pops, cupcake bites, mini cupcakes topped with baby blue chocolate hearts, and sugar cookies in the shapes of glass slippers, carriages, crowns, wands, and hearts. The desserts sat atop various cake plates, in front of the most amazing vintage tile backdrop we rented from Vintage Ambiance, and surrounded by darling florals by Flora D’Amore. For the final touch, we hung a gold and crystal chandelier above the table. It was magical!
As if we didn’t have enough dessert, my husband and I decided to make Ally an actual Cinderella cake. It was quite the experience. We spent an evening carving cake to shape Cinderella dress, and I decorated Cinderella in blue buttercream roses until the wee hours of the morning. When the cake was done, it was gorgeous, but ended up being almost 4 feet tall! A little too tall to transport. So we had to call in a friend with a van to get Cinderella to the party! We placed Cinderella on her own table, in front of the cutest tassel garlands made by The Flair Exchange.
After the guests were all sugared up, they danced to Cinderella songs, had their individual photos taken with Cinderella in our vintage door photo booth, and left with Cinderella spa salts as a favor.
When it was all said and done, I felt as if I had just thrown a wedding, but it was well worth all the work. So much time and love went into throwing Ally’s party, from crafting all the decor to baking my heart out, but she couldn’t have loved it more. Even at the age of 7, she noticed every little detail and gasped with each new creation she saw. Appreciation and love make every hour of lost sleep worth it!
Happy 7th Birthday sweet girl!
Thank you to all the amazing vendors who helped make Ally’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique nothing short of magical!
Enchanting Princess Events: Cinderella!
Molly Vaden Photography: Photography
Caskey Design : Cinderella invitation
Vintage Ambiance: Vintage rentals
Flora D’Amore: flowers
The Flair Exchange: Tassel garland & Balloon Tassels
Basic to Bombshell: Fairy Godmother makeovers
Back in October, I had the pleasure of creating a dessert table for Tori Spelling’s youngest daughter Hattie’s 1st birthday party. Hattie, known as Hattie Cat by her family, is just an absolute doll. Tori chose a Mad Hattie Tea Party theme, with Alice in Wonderland accents.
For Hattie’s dessert table, we decided instead of a separate table for desserts, we’d use the tea party table as our actual dessert table. Tori has an incredible farm table that seats 16, which was perfect for this party. We used mismatched vintage chairs for seating and set gorgeous vintage china teacups at each place setting. The abundance of overflowing desserts made up our centerpiece. I made 5 different cakes, 3 different kinds of mini and regular sized cupcakes, cake lollipops, sugar cookies, brownie bites, rice krispy treats and more. It was a dessert feast! Paper lanterns hung above the table creating the tea party scene from Alice in Wonderland. It was more than perfect. I have to say, this was one of my favorite tables ever!
Happy 1st Birthday Miss Hattie Cat!
My sweet little Hudson turned 4 a few weeks ago, which I can still hardly believe. FOUR? My baby is FOUR? That not only makes me feel old, but also a little sad that he’s growing up so fast.
We celebrated Hudson’s fourth birthday by throwing him a Peter Pan party. He was thrilled with his invitations we sent out in bottles, and could hardly wait to wear his Peter Pan costume. He was a little disappointed though when he discovered the costume didn’t make him fly. Trust me, he tried jumping off the bed. (Thank goodness it was just the bed.)
The first few years of our children’s birthday parties, my husband would frown, roll his eyes, and think I was out of control. We don’t fight very often, but it was a given that we’d land ourselves in a fight the night before one of our children’s birthday parties. I’d be stressing over all the last minute things I needed to get done, and he’d be annoyed wishing his wife would just come to bed like a normal person. Miraculously though, after six years of over the top parties he’s had a change of heart and has really gotten into it. So this year I just about died when he suggested he dress up as Captain Hook. WHAT?? So the Kellers became Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Wendy Darling, and Princess Tigerlily for Hudson’s big day.
His party took place on the beach at Kayak Point State Park. We woke up to rainclouds and sprinkles but by the time we got out to the beach the rain had stopped and the sun was shining. It was a birthday miracle. (If you know me, it rains about 75% of the time I’m planning an outdoor party.)
The kids had a blast at the beach. They had a Peter Pan picnic on a pirate ship table, dug for buried treasure, sword fought mean Captain Hook, had their faces painted, and of course ate more sugar than their parents would have agreed to.
After the party was over, everything was cleaned up and we were finally driving away, Ally said from the backseat of the car “Mommy, that was the best party you ever did!” Hudson chimed in and said “I want to have my party there next year too!”
Those sweet little comments make every ounce of work worth it. Sitting in their car seats, Ally wearing green fairy wings and a face covered in pixie paint, and Hudson with crazy messy hair, a body covered in sand and black lips from too many pirate cake pops, both beyond exhausted from all the fun. That’s my definition of a party success.
We loved these beachy nautical desserts we did for a little boy’s birthday party. Such cute colors and fun theme! Happy 3rd Birthday Bennett!