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.
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!!
Last weekend we had the opportunity to create a dessert table for the famous French doll company Corolle. Corolle is known for their sweet looking (and smelling) baby dolls and darling outfits. Corolle hosted a Parisian Picnic in the Park “Adopt-a-Doll” afternoon for celeb families, held at The Grove in LA. Celebs such as Denise Richards, Ziggy Marley, Samantha Harris, and Lisa Loeb, (to name a few) attended with their children.
We worked closely with Minted to create party decor that matched the theme. We chose black and white stripes, zig-zags, pink polka dots, and an iconic Eiffel tower. To incorporate Minted’s design into the dessert table, we lined our table with a black and white runner, created Eiffel tower shaped sugar cookies, and iced our cupcakes in bright pink frosting. We strung 4 strands of their adorable garlands behind the table and placed desserts on pink, white, grey, and black cake plates.
Along with their adopted baby dolls and adorable doll clothing, guests were treated with crafting provided by JoAnn Fabrics, a nail station for kids by Hopscotch, delicious french cuisine, and a super fun caricature artist.
It was such a fantastic event, we were thrilled to be a part of it!
A couple of weeks ago I designed a dessert bar for Neiman Marcus’s Spring Trend Event fashion show in Bellevue. It was so fun to pull ideas from their spring look book. Orange is the big call out color this season, with blue following right behind. It’s all about the prints, prints, prints, so I pulled patterns from different pieces from designers like Alice + Olivia, Brian Atwood, Akris and more, and made them into printed sugar cookies! The bright orange and yellow desserts were set atop blue cake plates, and the whole table was pulled together with the black and white striped runner on the white lacquer table. Such a great event to be a part of, fashion and desserts, what a perfect combination!
Photography by Annie B. Stills
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!
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
Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. All the hearts, the red and pink, the classic conversation hearts, and all the love that’s in the air. So fun. But my favorite is the vintage valentines. I love, love, love vintage valentines.
So last year, while Dan watched the Superbowl, I baked and set up a fun Valentine’s Day cookie decorating table, vintage valentine themed. I invited a couple of my friends and their children over for a heart shaped pizza lunch and an afternoon of buttercream icing and sprinkles.