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

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 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!

September 27, 2012

I had the pleasure of creating desserts for one of my best friend’s daughter’s 1st birthday party. The party theme was “Bright as the sun, our sweet little Finley is turning one”. The party was absolutely darling, so many cute colors, patterns, details, and of course all love in the world for Miss Finley.

Happy 1st Birthday sweet girl!

September 18, 2012

In July I had the pleasure of creating Tiffani Thiessen’s daughter Harper’s 2nd birthday dessert table. Tiffani may have played the scandalous role of Val on 90210 and every boy’s dream as Kelli Kapowski on Saved By the Bell, but in real life she is just as sweet as can be.

Tiffani told me one of Harper’s first words was “bird” so they chose a bird theme for her 2nd birthday. I instantly fell in love with the theme, the colors, and the incredible invitation her sister in law Jill of Jill Smith Design created for Harper. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the invitation sets the stage for the party. Jill absolutely nailed it with her beautiful invite of birds, birdcages and amazing colorful fonts printed on wood. The minute I saw the invitation I was thrilled to create a coordinating dessert table.

For Harper’s table, I decided to make 5 different textured buttercream cakes in the colors from her invite. Guests enjoyed the variety of cake in addition to cake pops, cupcakes and sugar cookies baked in the custom made bird cutters similar to the bird on the invitation. Desserts were set atop wood tree rounds and stump pedestals, along with colorful glass cake plates. We put the table in front of Tiffani’s gorgeous glass doors and hung scattered birdcages above the table.

The party was amazing. Not only was Tiffani an absolute dream client to work for with her prompt replies and easy going personality, but her family and friends were incredible as well. The love of family was so prominent I could have moved to California just to make new friends with them.

Thank you Tiffani for including me in sweet Harper’s 2nd birthday. Can’t wait for her 3rd birthday!

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!

Page 1 of 212