July 16, 2014

Every June I look forward to helping party plan with my friends Bill and Scout AKA The Guncles. It’s been a joy creating their daughter Simone’s dessert table every year. Simone is just about the sweetest, smartest and funniest 4 year old you’ll ever meet. I would take her home in my suitcase if I could. She is the BEST.

This year Simone’s party had a puppy theme. Scout scoured ebay and etsy for vintage puppy figurines while I dreamed up puppy themed desserts. Kim from TomKat Studio made the most adorable puppy images that I was able to turn into sugar cookies and JoAnne from Oh Goodie Designs created darling puppy party hats for each child.

Since you only turn four once, we decided to get crazy and make Simone four cakes. To top Simone’s largest cake, we had a topper custom designed from Communicake It. I’m in LOVE with their toppers!! They are made from wood, and make amazing party keepsakes. For cookies, I found about 8 different size puppy and bone shaped cookie cutters and went nuts decorating puppies in buttercream! The large bone cookie cutters were perfect for cutting rice krispy treats and the minis were just the right size for baking teeny tiny bone cookies to top my pudding cups. (I found the adorable glass jars at TomKat Studio) In addition to the cakes and cookies, I made everyone’s favorite dipped pb cracker cookies (recipe in my new book EAT MORE DESSERT) and drew paw prints on each with melted chocolate from GYGI. I swear by their melting chocolates!! My cake pops come out smooth every time and their assortment of colors are awesome. (I also found the adorable pink, green and yellow candies the cake pops are standing in, on their site.)

Scout set a darling food table with his collection of vintage tableware and sprayed dog bones with spray paint to create puppy bone banners. They turned out so cute. He also sprayed huge letters found at a craft store and displayed them on the food and drink station. Sarah from Paper White Designs made the most incredible twirls that were hung behind the drink station and photo booth area.

We put two children’s tables together and covered the table with vintage puppy fabrics. Each child had a darling place setting with tableware we also found on Tom Kat Studio. We made a fun centerpiece using the multitude of vintage puppies Scout found on ebay. (I think there were over 50..) To pull all the puppies together, I made party hats for each dog using cupcake liners and pom poms. See a quick tutorial here

It was such a great party. After four years of birthday parties with this family, I truly look forward to seeing their friends and family and catching up. Simone is beyond blessed, surrounded with people who absolutely adore her. And because Scout and I have a serious case of the party bug, Simone’s 5th Birthday is already in the talks..

Photography by KCB Photography

October 1, 2013

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!!

June 19, 2013

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

February 14, 2013

February 11, 2013

My crazy fun friend Kaylee of Kaylee Eylander Photography threw the best Neon 80′s party for her daughter Estelle’s 9th birthday. Being a child of the 80′s, I instantly loved the theme, and was thrilled to create a coordinating dessert table for Estelle’s big bash.

With neon cake pops, cupcakes, 80′s shaped sugar cookies, and a two tier multicolor cake with a giant hot pink bow on top, I think we nailed it!

February 7, 2013

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

January 27, 2013

In December I met Bachelor alums Jason and Molly Mesnick at Santa’s Secret Workshop. Jason and Molly have been married now for three years, live here in Seattle, and are expecting their first baby together this March. I was thrilled to create a dessert table for Molly’s special day, her “baby party” as she called it.

Minted designed a darling invitation and coordinating party decor. Using gender neutral colors (gray, green, yellow, and white) along with baby animals, giraffes, elephants, zebras, and sheep.  To incorporate the stationary into the dessert table, I pulled the colors into the icing, and made animal shaped sugar cookies to coordinate with the invitation.  With Minted’s matching table confetti, I made a bunting to hang across vintage windows, and made an even tinier one for the top of the cake.

Our table was featured on people.com as well as E! online, Yahoo, Project Nursery, The Bump and more. The shower was also shown on E! News with Giuliana Rancic, giving Jenny Cookies a great shout-out! Yay!

Congratulations Jason and Molly! I can’t wait to meet your new bundle of joy!

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