I think one of my talents is being able to come up with any excuse to throw a party. Last week I co-hosted a super fun girls night with my friend Desiree Hartsock. We invited a few of our girlfriends over for a relaxing night of cookie decorating and cheese eating! I mean, who wouldn’t love that?? We gave the night a Summer Sips and Sweets theme with a yellow and mint green color palate.
For the “sips” we invited OneHope Wine to be a part of our night, with proceeds donated to United Way of King County, and for the “sweets” I gave our guests a DIY cookie baking and decorating lesson in my signature sugar cookies!
First things first, invites. We sent out these gorgeous invites Minted created for us. As always, Minted continually impresses me with their amazing stationary.
Guests were greeted at my door with the most darling aprons from Jessie Steele. They make my absolute favorite aprons. Always the cutest fabrics and best fitting. Who cares what you’re wearing underneath, pop one of their aprons over a plain white tee and you’ll look great!!
My friend Sarah from Paper White Designs made these adorable paper garlands to look like lemons and this vintage paper ruffled garland. She posted the garland on Instagram a few months back and I had to have it. I knew I’d find a party to use it!
I really enjoyed setting the table for the cookie decorating. I pulled out my jadite and milk glass plates, and vintage yellow hobnail glass. I couldn’t have found a more perfect coordinating fabric at JoAnn Fabrics and turned it into a makeshift table runner, then filled the center of table with the yellow glass and simple white cake plates. Cut wood rounds made an interesting “charger” and added some nice texture to the table.
Had to include some “sample” cookies for the girls to enjoy while they decorated their cookies.
To keep everyone’s glasses straight, and instead of using cheesy wine charms (SO hard to find anything cute), I found washi tape in yellows and greens from cutetape.com and made simple flags on each glass stem. SUPER SIMPLE and it turned out adorable!
What’s a party without FROST? My favorite local doughnut and sweets shop made us coordinating yellow and green (buttermint and pistachio) macarons for our special occasion!
Instead of doing a big dinner, we decided on a cheese and crackers appetizer bar. This table was so fun to create. Typically I’m setting dessert tables filled with cakes and cookies, so this was a nice change! I loved how it turned out.
See those awesome dried fruits? If you aren’t familiar, you HAVE to check out Simple & Crisp. I met Jane (owner of Simple & Crisp) at an Anthropologie event earlier this year. She introduced herself and sent me a few samples of her fruit crisps to play around with. I’m obsessed! They are not only so gorgeous to look at but pair with SO much. They have a giant list on their website with all kinds of ideas. They were such a perfect fit for our cheese and crackers bar.
One of the best comments of the night was hearing Desiree say “I love this! This is my first apron!!” as she put her apron on. So funny to me because as a baker, I go through aprons like crazy. Go Des!! Hopefully this cookie night will inspire future baking.
After everyone had something to eat, we put our aprons on and started our cookie class. It was really fun to have girlfriends over to do it since none of them had ever taken my actual cookie course. The girls gathered in my kitchen as I demonstrated how to make my sugar cookie dough, roll it out, and bake the perfect cookies.
The girls followed along in my new book Eat More Dessert. (My sugar cookie and icing recipes are featured prominently throughout the book) I’m not kidding when I say this recipe is NO FAIL and people go crazy for these cookies!
After the cookies were baked, I demonstrated how to make icing and how to fill decorating bags. Using my favorite Wilton products, each gal was shown how to cut a disposable decorating bag, insert a coupler, attach a decorating tip, and fill with icing. If you’ve never done this before, it can be a little challenging. After cutting a few bags back a little too much, each girl successfully filled their bag with icing fitted with a decorating tip! It seems daunting but once you do it, it’s SO MUCH faster than decorating cookies with a knife!!
After everyone had filled icing bags, I gave the girls a quick lesson in decorating their cookies. We baked summer themed cookies, lemons, assorted flowers, and the cutest ice cream cones and sundaes! You can find all the same cutters we used at Wilton.com.
The girls were doubtful they could do it but them totally surprised themselves. They all did so great!!
As the girls decorated their cookies, I brought out their gift bags. What’s a party without a fun swag bag?? I was so excited about these bags, I literally went through every gift inside explaining what it was and where we found them!
We were absolutely spoiled by Lily and Jade with the most beautiful bags. Lily and Jade is most known for their designer baby bags but these bags are also THE most incredible bags for any woman, with a baby or not! There are so many pockets and cubbies, it’s nearly impossible to lose your keys or lipgloss in the bottom of your handbag. See that blue insert I’m holding? It comes out! So pack it full with all your day essentials and pull it out for an adorable handbag! This bag is a life changer.
The girls loved decorating their cookies and were beside themselves when I brought out a Wilton decorating kit for each gal to take home! The best mixing bowls, icing colors, decorating tips, my have-to-have cookie spatula and more!
Bip and Bop personalized bar necklaces for each gal. LOVE THESE!
Nickel and Suede leather earrings. Adorbs!
Horse Feathers Gifts beaded mint bracelets. The perfect bracelet for a simple jewelry day, or amazing to stack with others!
She Does Justice headwraps. SO fun for a day at the beach or when you don’t feel like washing your hair!
Lara Casey notepads, journals, and darling inspirational cards. Who doesn’t love a fresh journal and notepad? I’m the queen of lists so I love these!!
And lastly these gorgeous personalized Druzy necklaces by Wrenn Jewelry! Wrenn Jewelry offers just about every color stone you can imagine. These necklaces are so great and make the perfect gift. I love finding new goodies to give as gifts. So much more special and thoughtful than grabbing a gift card.
And guess what?? Desiree and I want one of you to have all of these same goodies we spoiled our guests with! That’s right! Enter below to WIN all the swag from our Summer Sips and Sweets party below:
Photography by KCB Photograhy
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
Friends! Join me Thursday, June 26th at 7pm at the University Bookstore in Mill Creek. I’ll be signing copies of my new book EAT MORE DESSERT, AND I’ll bring treats!
For more info: click HERE
See you there!
**UPDATE on EAT MORE DESSERT book signing: Sadly, FROST and Eat More Dessert fans will have to wait a little longer to enjoy the dessert lounge and have their books signed. Contractor delays means the opening date has been pushed back. Stay tuned as we reschedule this event!!
It is with our deepest regrets that FROST must cancel the Grand Re-Opening Celebration scheduled for tomorrow, May 30th at 5PM. Unfortunately, several of our contractors experienced delays and our store is not fully operational. This decision was a last resort and we apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused. While we are unsure of our exact opening date, we hope to see every one of you at our National Doughnut Day Celebration next Friday, June 6th!
Friends! I am excited to invite you to my first Eat More Dessert book signing this Friday hosted by Frost!!
I’ll be there to celebrate the grand opening of Frost’s new Dessert Lounge. Their doughnuts have been crazy popular since they day they opened their first location, so they’ve taken Frost a step further and built a gorgeous new storefront! I’ve seen a sneak peek of the new building and it’s GORGEOUS.
My friend Molly Mesnick from The Bachelor and the 106.1 KISS FM crew will also be there to celebrate this monumental event! AND, Sparkling wine will be provided by Treveri Cellars. You can’t miss it!
Come join us and enjoy familiar favorites like Frost’s french cruller doughnuts that I’m crazy for, OR try their new treats like french macarons, cupcakes and frozen custard. YUM.
15217 Main Street Suite 106
Mill Creek, WA 98012
May 30th, 2014
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
*Frost will have copies of my new book Eat More Dessert for purchase, or if you already have a copy, bring it along and I’ll sign it for you!
See you there!!
Back in March, as the release date of my new book EAT MORE DESSERT neared, I began planning a large launch party downtown Seattle. We would hold it at a big party venue, invite everyone we knew, and promote, promote, promote. But as the planning began, I realized this huge party wasn’t my style. While I’d love to celebrate with each and every Seattleite that is a fan of my work, it felt funny asking people to come celebrate in my success. I know, I know, people like to celebrate others, but it still felt weird.
A few years ago I had seen a really cute idea on Pinterest called a “Favorite Things” party. The photos from this particular party weren’t amazing, yet the idea was darling. You gather up your most favorite girlfriends and invite them over to exchange their “favorite things”. I’ve remembered this party ever since I saw it, but haven’t had the time, or excuse to throw one. Well, now I did. The launch of the book would be the perfect reason to throw a Favorite Things party!!
I’d invite 25 of my girlfriends over to see our new farmhouse (most hadn’t been here since we’ve moved last fall), exchange our favorite things, and of course, celebrate the launch of Eat More Dessert. I was loving this idea already. The huge launch party in Seattle may have been fun, but I could make it so much more special celebrating with just my close friends on a much smaller scale. So with that, the big launch party was nixed and the Favorite Things party planning began.
First things first, invitations. My mantra has always been, the invitation sets the stage for a party. Minted created the most gorgeous stationary with chic gold foiled invites and matching address labels. I wanted each girl to squeal as they opened their mailbox and saw the gorgeous invitation waiting for them. I squealed just opening the shipping box of invitations! The back of the invites had all the info for the party. With the favorite things theme, you can really set any price limit or quantity you want. I thought more items would be fun, so we limited the price to $5, with each girl picking 3 of their favorite things, and bringing 4 of them.
Since it was a FAVORITE things party, I decided everything about the party should be my favorite. I called on my favorite florist Chelsea from Flora D’Amore to create beautiful arrangements for the event. As always, she nailed it. She put together THE most gorgeous succulents, hydrangeas, roses and peonies in these fantastic gold glittered jars I found on etsy. When I picked them up the morning of the party, the gal working said “Is it your wedding day?” I said, “No, but it feels like it!!” I’m praying these flowers never die. They’re that pretty.
For food, Cristianos made my favorite baked macaroni and cheese, and cranberry mimosa salads, miniature lasagnas, and spinach salads. MMMmm. For three solid weeks I scoured ebay to gather enough vintage milk glass ramekins and gold flatware so the food looked chic rather than a buffet style food bar. I wanted a special touch to everything, even the food. Who doesn’t feel special eating from gold silverware?
Since this was starting to feel a bit like I was planning a wedding, I decided I MUST have something fantastic to wear. Channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw, I found this skirt on etsy and had to have it. There really was no better excuse to twirl around in a tulle skirt than to celebrate writing a book. Fisher, Olive, and Crosby went nuts for it too. That, or the fringe balloon garland.
My front porch greeted guests with a darling sign that read “You’re my Favorite” and as soon as they stepped into my entryway, a mint bar cart holding all my vintage hobnail glassware awaited them. We found the most adorable numbered glitter tassel wine tags, and perfectly coordinating paper straws wrapped with Minted’s paper flags that matched our invite. I wanted peeps to feel instantly special the moment they stepped foot into the party!
I had been searching etsy for all things gold and glittered and came across this darling shop that made handwritten prints with cute sayings. They were perfect to use in my entryway on my frame wall! I just replaced my family pictures with the prints! She even agreed to make a few of the sayings I requested. I think these are staying up for awhile!!
I replaced all my vintage postcards in my postcard holder with “ticket packages”. The packages contained party tickets, favorite cards, and glitter clothespins. Guests were directed to fill out their card with their name, and favorite thing they brought. The clothespins helped us attach the cards to the item, or assist the card to stand on it’s own. My dining room table had been transformed into our “favorite things” table. I filled it with an abundance of cake plates, wood crates, and boxes so each guest had a special place to set up their goodies.
I lucked out on the weather, it ended up being a gorgeous sunny day in Seattle. I couldn’t have been more excited to pull out my outdoor furniture and make an separate space for my guests to cozy up around my outdoor fireplace later in the evening with blankets, brownies, and sparkly gold cake pops.
And what’s a book launch party for a book called EAT MORE DESSERT without a fantastic dessert table?? I found these amazing fringe garlands on Etsy that made the perfect backdrop for the table. My friends at Wilton sent me a big box of fun product to try out for the table. It felt like Christmas when the box arrived. What a fun surprise!! They sent the most darling edible bows, edible gold glitter, and new spring cookie cutter set as well as their newly launched pre-filled icing packets. In addition to my signature desserts, I filled the table in with few of my favorites, Frost donuts, Snohomish Pie Company mini pies, and scattered Fran’s chocolates around the party. Lampshade Bash made the cutest custom cake topper for the party, an exact replica of the title of my book!!
Once the guests had all arrived, and everyone had placed their favorite things on the table, I thanked everyone for coming and explained how the process would go. Each gal was given 11 tickets. I didn’t want the party to feel like a tupperware party where we’d draw a number from a hat and that person could pick from the table. I also didn’t want to go around and ask each girl what they brought and why, hence the favorite things cards they filled out by my front door. So the way I planned to run the party was to let guests redeem their tickets hourly. That way the party was still casual, there wasn’t 25 girls racing to the table to elbow each other out of the way for certain things. The first hour the girls got to pick 3 items from the table. I found this adorable pink fringe and glitter banner on etsy and hung it with the Favorite Things agenda.
It’s amazing the treasures you can find on etsy. I found the most darling tote bags with glitter hearts and polka dots. We HAD to have these at the party. They were the perfect bag for the girls to collect their “favorites” in. So, so cute.
The girls got to choose 3 items from the Favorite Things table in the first hour, and 4 items the second and third hour. It was hard to choose, everyone brought super cute stuff! (Our price limit was $5, so people got really creative! I was impressed.)
My super star photographer and incredibly fun friend Kelly of KCB Photography not only attended the party, but captured the entire party on camera (she’s also the talent behind all the gorgeous photos in the book). Check out this backdrop she brought. Are you kidding me?! There is nothing I love more than gold and glitter. And these glittered photo booth props?? Stop. They’re amazing.
After all my guests had redeemed their 11th ticket, I told them to grab a drink, a plate of dessert, and find a spot on my sofa so I could bring their 12th ticket surprise out. I had told everyone they couldn’t go into the room upstairs that said “no peeking” because their surprise was in there. They all had no idea what was in store, except of course my photographer Kelly, my sister Emily, and my dear friend Wendy who helped me put this entire party together! Emily and Wendy were my Vanna Whites.
For an entire 45 minutes, I experienced what it must feel like to be Oprah. Emily and Wendy went up and down the stairs with boxes, baskets, and crates of amazing party swag. All my favorite things. As Wendy would begin down the stairs, I’d announce my next “favorite” thing and why I loved it. The girls screamed, they yelled, and a few may have even cried. It was SO MUCH FUN spoiling and surprising each and every one of my friends. From jewelry, to baking products, candles and beauty products, you name it, they got it.
For the grand finale “favorite thing” I told the group that Jesus is really my ultimate favorite, and gave everyone my FAVORITE Jesus Saves Bro baseball tees. This company makes the most darling tees with fantastic sayings! My photographer texted me a few days after the party and said “This is definitely my new favorite shirt. I’ve been in Target for 10 minutes and four people have already come up to me!!”
The party was truly was a night to remember. Surrounded by all my best girlfriends, favorite colors, foods, drinks, desserts, and gifts. I feel so blessed to have such an awesome support group of friends, some that I’ve known since grade school, or those that I’ve met later in my adult life. I can’t wait to throw another Favorite Things party!! My brain is already thinking different themes and reasons to do this again…Favorite Beauty products, Summer/Fall Favorites, a Christmas theme… my husband is going to leave me!
Each and every one of my Favorite Things was handpicked just for this party, and I want to share them with you!! Yep, I’m giving away a Jenny Cookies bag filled with all the amazing goodies I gifted at my book launch party!
Take a closer look!!
Clockwise from top: 1. Happy Little Lovelies darling beaded necklace 2. Sparkle Pop charm necklaces 3. Beaded Tailored & Polished layering bracelet 4. Monogrammed jewelry dishes from Susan Steele Meyer
1. Lexi’s Shop pink mason jar lids and striped straws 2. Wilton garden cookie cutter set, sprinkles, and floral cupcake liners 3. Vantjag mint earrings 4. Gold glittered mason jar (for use with striped straw and lid)
Enter to win a Jenny Cookies Favorite Things swag bag, over $500 value!!
Our Eat More Dessert blog tour continues this week with many fun stops! Each gal we’ll hear from this week is a sweet friend I’ve made just through the internet. It’s amazing how connected you can become online because of similar shared interests and businesses.
Monday, stop by A blissful Nest and hear what Rebekah has to say about Eat More Dessert. Rebekah has the most darling etsy shop filled with fun party printables for any occasion!
Thursday we’ll hear from my friend Betsy with Java Cupcake! I met Betsey when she was still living here in Seattle. Currently she is living an exciting life in Germany as an army wife! Her blog is full of fantastic recipes and baking tutorials.
On Friday Bird’s Party will be reviewing the book. Bird has an entire online shop overflowing with party loot, printables, recipes and more! If you’re struggling to choose a party theme, just head over and you’ll be planning three parties before you know it.
And Saturday we’ll see what my sweet friend Kara from Kara’s Party Ideas has to say! I’ve known Kara for years through the internet but was lucky enough to meet her in person this past December at the annual Santa’s Secret Workshop I help put on every year. Kara came out and helped us style our Santa room. She is just as sweet and cute in real life!! We stayed up until the wee hours of the night talking “party”. Looking forward to hearing what she has to say about Eat More Dessert!
Thanks for following along friends!! Keep posting your Eat More Dessert photos and using the hashtag #eatmoredessert. I love seeing your books all over the country and your creations using my recipes. It’s really amazing!
Eat More Dessert hit the bookstore shelves this past Tuesday, April 8th. What an exciting day!! I loved sitting next to Martha Stewart on the shelf.
It’s been so much fun seeing your tweets, facebook and instagram posts of the book in Barnes & Noble‘s around the country. Thank you for sharing those! It’s kind of surreal. In fact, I love it so much that I decided to giveaway ALL of the cookie cutters used in the book from thecookiecuttershop.com to one of you lucky readers! To enter, post a selfie of yourself holding your copy of Eat More Dessert, tag @jennycookies and use #eatmoredessert for a chance to win! Winner will be announced Friday April 18th. (Post your photo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or all three!)
I’m also SO excited to share that Eat More Dessert took the #1 spot in Cookie books on Amazon! Hip Hip Hooray! And an extra big hug to those of you who left such sweet and honest reviews on Amazon. I loved reading through those and hearing your thoughts on the book! Keep it up!!
On Monday we’ll head down under to visit the fantastic Sharnel Dollar Designs!
Wednesday we head to one of my favorite party shops, Shop Sweet Lulu!
On Thursday we will hear from my friend Betsy from Cupcakes Take the Cake!
Be sure to visit each stop on the tour to enter for your chance to win a copy of the book and a few additional goodies here and there!!