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!

January 17, 2013

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!

June 6, 2012

Can’t believe a whole year has already passed since Simone’s 1st Birthday at the Santa Monica Pier Carousel. Sweet Simone is now 2, and as darling as ever.

We celebrated her 2nd birthday with all things pink and purple. From the ruffled ombre’ pink and purple cake, purple sugared cake pops, to #2 polka dotted sugar cookies, guests enjoyed the party on a sugar high.

Thank you Bill and Scout for including me in such a special event! Simone is one lucky little girl to be surrounded with so much love.

Photos: Frances Iacuzzi Photography & Jenny Keller

February 13, 2012

My sweet daughter Ally turned six last month. I say it every year, but I can’t believe she’s already another year older. Time really does fly. To celebrate her special day, we threw a Mary Poppins Tea Party at the Woodland Park Zoo Vintage Carousel.

Seattle was taken by snowstorm the entire week before her party, literally dumping snow night after night. Each morning I’d wake up hoping the snow was gone, but nope, it’d still there. The day before the party I decided I just had to go for it and pray the weatherman was really going to be right when he said it would melt by Saturday.

Lo and behold the weatherman was right for a change! The snow was melted, and Jesus even granted us a few rays of sunshine as we unpacked the car and loaded the party into the zoo. As I’m sure most of you have party people have experienced, most venues don’t allow much time for set up. The Woodland Park Zoo was one of them. It was almost a deal breaker when I recieved the zoo contract reading that you are given a half hour to set up. Yikes! So with only 30 minutes to decorate the room and tea party table, my girlfriend Nazra and I had to move fast! (Thank you Naz!)

I hadn’t planned on doing a dessert table for such a small party, but I couldn’t help it, it’s what I do. Instead of a giant cake like I’ve done in the past for my children’s birthdays, I made Ally six small cakes in different colors and textures. This was really fun to do. Of course 15 people couldn’t eat six cakes, so guests were sent home with bakery boxes filled with treats and cake! Out of all the fun desserts, my favorite had to be the spoonful of sugar cake pops!

My friend Elaine, seamstress extraordinaire, made Ally a Mary Poppins Jolly Holiday dress to wear to her party. I am literally in awe every time I ask Elaine to sew something because not only does she do it, she does it beyond my wildest dreams. I emailed her a photo, not a pattern, not instructions, nothing but a simple photo from the internet of Mary Poppin’s dress. She whipped the dress up without a hinge and little Ally looked practically perfect as Mary Poppins.

The little girls absolutely loved the party. They sipped apple juice “tea”, nibbled on way too much sugar, played musical chairs to Mary Poppins songs, balanced tea cups on their heads, rode the carousel, and fed the penguins. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect party. And to top it off, my girlfriend Molly of Molly Vaden Photography captured every detail and smile of the day.
It was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

January 25, 2012

A week after I flew down to do Simone’s 1st Birthday, it was time to celebrate Stella’s 3rd Birthday, Hello Kitty style! To be honest, I’ve never been much of a Hello Kitty fan. In fact when Tori first told me the theme I cringed a little. Character parties are not my favorite. One, because you don’t want your event to look like you robbed your local party store, and two, because it’s hard to nail a licensed character in buttercream! But hey, I’m always up for a challenge.

To keep the dessert table looking Hello Kitty AND chic at the same time, I created Hello Kitty’s Bake Shop. Lucky for me, I happen to know the most incredibly talented seamstress who was able to whip up an adorable pink and white striped awning, to mimic an old fashioned bakery. I added Hello Kitty’s signature bow to many of the desserts including the white ruffle cake, coconut topped cupcakes, banana bread bites, and even attached mini bows to the dessert name tags. Gorgeous white milk glass cake plates and compotes were used to display all of the bake shop goodies. Suddenly, as I finished dessert after dessert, little miss Hello Kitty started growing on me. And after I conquered her signature face in a cake pop and sugar cookie, I decided I kinda liked her!

By the time the awning was hung, the cake plates were placed, and each dessert was set up and ready for the party, I realized Hello Kitty might be cute after all. Not just cute, She was adorable!

As pleased as I was with how the dessert table turned out, the best part of this birthday was that I had my daughter Ally with me! Tori had invited my family to come, but I decided to make it a special trip with just Ally and I. She was such a good girl while I was working, making friends with Liam and Stella, and enjoying all Tori and Dean’s animals. When it was finally party time, she jumped in the bouncy house, was given a manicure and feather extensions, had Cinderella painted on her arm, and ate way too much sugar. And as if the party wasn’t enough excitement, afterwards we headed to The Grove in LA to shop and dine at American Girl.

Thanks Tori and my favorite little Stella McDermott for inviting me to make all the sweets at your 3rd birthday party!! Hugs!

January 25, 2012

Going back and forth last year working with Tori on her new book, I quickly became friends with Tori’s friends Scout Masterson and Bill Horn(AKA the Guncles). They adopted a gorgeous baby girl, Simone Lynn, back in 2010. I was fortunate meet Simone when she was still a tiny baby at Tori’s Back to School party in August of that year.

Time flew and suddenly it was time to start plannning Simone’s 1st Birthday. Scout called to see if I’d be up for creating Simone’s 1st Birthday cake and dessert table. As soon as he told me the theme and venue, I was more than happy to say YES! Modern Circus at the Santa Monica Pier Carousel? Cutest venue ever!! Plus of course, Scout just happens to be one of the sweetest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. Love him!

I loved this table for so many reasons. I bounced ideas off of Scout and he was happy to let me just go for it. That’s the best. I chose a round table since the venue had an amazing rounded out corner, covered in windows. Guests could then walk around the table and eat sugar from every angle! Above the table I put together a giant cluster of pink tissue poms and paper lanterns. The table was covered in pink linens, vintage pink cake plates and compotes, and overflowing with a multitude of pink desserts. Cake lollipops, cotton candy topped cupcakes, sugar cookies shaped in circus foods, caramel apples, and gobs of perfectly colored pink candies. The two tiered pink cake was topped with a gold carousel and horses decorated with fondant. Scout did have one request, he wanted a smash cake for Simone shaped like a circus tent. Done! She dug into that thing like a pro!

The party was wonderful, from the gorgeous flowers to the adorable Sweet Lucie’s ice cream cart, and of course the most beautiful vintage carousel and Santa Monica boardwalk as a backdrop. If I lived in Ca, I’d definitely be booking a party there!

Thank you again Bill and Scout for letting me be part of such a special day! Already looking forward to sweet Simone’s 2nd birthday! xoxo!

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