Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Set Sail for Shakes & Sundaes! A Nautical-Inspired Ice Cream Station

Nautical Ice Cream Sundae Bar Ideas

This post is sponsored by California Milk Advisory Board.

Did you know that there’s such a thing as National Hot Fudge Sundae Day? Seriously – you can google it! And also… it’s TOMORROW. Personally, I think any day is a great day for a hot fudge sundae, but if someone wants to give me a good excuse to enjoy one, then that’s just fine by me. ;)

So, in celebration of National Hot Fudge Sundae Day – and of July being National Ice Cream Month in general – California Milk Advisory Board asked me to create a family-friendly Milkshakes & Sundaes Bar, featuring delicious ice cream made from Real California Milk. I always love a good party theme, and thought a nautical twist felt especially fitting for summer, so I invite you to scroll on down and Set Sail for Shakes and Sundaes with me today!

I hope this post inspires you to set up an ice cream bar of your own, which can mean anything from styling out a full table to utilizing just a couple of your favorite quick ideas for a simpler get together. Either way, I’m giving away all of these Nautical Ice Cream Printables for free, which should make recreating this look even easier. Download the signs, labels, banner, and other paper details right here.

Ice Cream in acrylic tubs

HOW TO SET UP A NAUTICAL ICE CREAM BAR

The first thing you’ll need to do is map out the basics:

1) flavors of ice cream made from Real California Milk
2) mix-ins and toppings
3) serving vessels

For a shakes and sundaes bar, I’ve found that it’s best to keep the ice cream options simple. Serve just 2-3 flavors so that you have plenty of room for toppings & mixers. In addition to cups and sundae bowls, it’s always nice to include ice cream cones for the people that love them… like me! ;)

ice cream sundae bar ideas

I found the plastic bowls pictured above at Target for .79 each. They’re technically kids bowls, but perfectly sized for ice cream sundaes! Wooden spoons were customized with patterned paper on the handles (except for the one design I had that already matched). Bottled toppings like flavored syrups and hot fudge got a quick makeover too, with ribbon + printable papers & labels.

This station is equipped with everything you needs to make milkshakes, floats, ice cream sundaes, and even an Ice Cream Sundae Milkshake (!) like this one: (more…)

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Free Printables for a Nautical Ice Cream Party

ice cream party printables - sprinkle station

Hello, friends! I designed these ice cream inspired printables recently to use in a Nautical Ice Cream Bar created for California Milk Advisory Board. I hope you can have some fun with them too! The food/drink labels and tent cards are included in both customized and blank versions for extra versatility.

Download links are at the bottom of the post – and you can find inspiration on how to utilize them right here. Enjoy. :)

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Modern Hockey Party {Montreal Canadiens Inspired}

hockey birthday party

GOAL! Amy Liu Bissett of A Dazzle Day threw a {Montreal Canadiens Inspired} Hockey Party for her son Gavin’s 9th birthday that totally scored! Influenced by daddy, Gavin’s favorite team is the Montreal Canadiens, so Amy used the team colors, hockey gear influences, and lots of great food to put together a “breakaway” day! As always, her stylish DIY projects are also refreshingly simple – not to mention perfectly complimented by the awesome printables from Tania’s Design Studio – so skate on through to see every stellar detail…

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • DIY Chalkboard hockey field dessert table backdrop
  • “GOAL” lemonade station with printable & jute wrapped glass bottles
  • Hockey player trading card front door decoration + hanging strands with balloons and streamers
  • Gold medal, mini trophy, and awesome hockey pencil party favors
  • Chocolate covered pretzel rods, boxed popcorn & brownie “hockey sticks”
  • Arena ticket inspired invitation + fondant hockey jersey cake topper

hockey birthday party

hockey birthday party

hockey birthday party

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Bright, Bold & Modern Baseball Birthday Party

modern baseball party

It’s a HOME RUN! Jenny Raulli Bloom Designs won the day with her ultra creative trophy centerpieces and an exciting surprise Dodgers game “field trip” to round out her son’s Bright, Bold & Modern Baseball Party. Using black & white graphic patterns and vibrant red accents, the printable designs, red-stitched desserts & clean party decorations *caught* my attention! And I can’t wait for you to “get in the game” and see it all too!

P.S. We’re in the middle of baseball season and Jenny’s ideas would translate so well to a fun (and possibly last minute!) get-together in front of the TV too. The “Play Ball” balloons, dressed up root beer bottles and pretzel “bats” would be quick to pull together and make game night feel extra special!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Dessert table with “bunt” cakes and Oreo “sliders” + Cracker Jacks and “LUKE” baseball cookies
  • Wooden crate display featuring peanut boxes, pretzel “bats” and Coke bottles
  • Framed baseball quotes and groups of assorted red candy
  • DIY red trophy cluster centerpiece and “Play Ball” balloons + “Game Ball” gum ball tube favors
  • Amazing baseball mitt and ball fondant cupcake toppers from Edible Details
  • Big League Chew, Babe Ruth candies and sunflower seeds in jars

modern baseball party

modern baseball party

modern baseball party

modern baseball party

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Rustic, Whimsical & Woodland Korean Dol Celebration

rustic korean dol first birthday

There are so many beautiful elements that come together exquisitely in Austin’s first birthday, it’s downright impressive and incredibly inspiring! Angie Bae of Angi & Co designed this gorgeous Rustic, Whimsical & Woodland Korean Dol Celebration that features a dreamy dessert table, simply elegant printed designs, and playful animal masks. And I have to mention, how absolutely adorable is the birthday boy all dressed up in his hanbok!?

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • “Austin” silhouette letters strung in a standing birch branch dessert table backdrop
  • Impressive woodgrain birthday cake with a sugar flower wreath from Cakes by Christine NY
  • Gold apples, white linens, birch vases and wood slice dessert table risers
  • Gold birdcage centerpieces with moss and white hydrangeas + woodgrain textured menu by Gloria Bang
  • Rustic wooden frames, framed moss seating chart and gold birdcage card holder
  • Felt woodland animal kids masks + adorable mini bird cookies in a shredded kraft paper “nest”

rustic korean dol first birthday

rustic korean dol first birthday

rustic korean dol first birthday

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Retro Fun for Grown Ups: A Cocktail Milkshake Bar!

Retro Cocktail Milkshakes Bar

As the saying goes – I scream, you scream, we ALL scream for ice cream”  – and that includes the grown-ups!

And being one of these ice-cream-loving-grown-ups myself, I was super excited when California Milk Advisory Board asked me to design a Cocktail Infused Milkshake Bar for them, in celebration of National Ice Cream Month (July). That’s right, folks… this table is filled with everything you need to make those tasty milkshakes that we all know and love, but served up with an adult-friendly kick!

boozy milkshake ideas

Retro Palm Springs Chic + Kitschy Fun
I really had some fun with the styling on this theme and hope it makes you happy too… flamingos – check, kitschy cow figurines – check, rainbow sprinkles – check, boozy milkshakes – CHECK! There are lots of FREE Ice Cream Printables for you do download here as well. Speaking of which, I just couldn’t resist channeling a little Kelis for the occasion… ;)

free printable milkshake bar sign

Download this milkshake sign + lots more fun designs below!

How to Set Up a Cocktail Milkshake Bar

When it comes to a make-it-yourself station of any kind at a party, it’s important to keep the elements organized and functional for your guests. I started by dividing the table into 3 clear-cut sections: SCOOP (the ice cream made from Real California Milk), SPIKE (the mixers), and SHAKE (the blender). Giant ice cream cone balloons served as fun signs!

diy balloon ice cream cone

I made these balloons from punch balloons + printable ice cream cones. The cones are attached to the balloon with 3D glue dots, and since punch balloons come fitted with a rubber band at the top, they are naturally quite convenient for hanging. (more…)

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Sweet & Feminine Beachside Baby Shower

beachside baby shower

This Sweet & Feminine Beachside Baby Shower is just adorable with bla bla dolls, a floral crown for mommy-to-be, and the dreamy California beach as the backdrop! Natalie of A Good Affair Wedding & Event Production designed the exquisitely girlish affair with details ranging from fondant bow topped cupcakes to an Eiffel tower guest book sign. So, if you are looking for girl baby shower ideas or just love to look at pretty things, then ooh and ahh over all the beautiful pictures from Jessica Claire Photography below!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Pastel baby carriage, rocking horse, bottle and bib sugar cookies
  • Pink accented Eiffel tower cookie, whimsical baby carriage invitation & Eiffel tower guest book sign
  • Rustic stacked drawers, vintage books, bla bla doll and mercury glass dish decorations
  • Lush pink rose centerpieces and gorgeous flower crown for mommy-to-be!
  • Fondant flower and pretty bow cupcake toppers + non pariel sprinkled cake pops

beachside baby shower

beachside baby shower

beachside baby shower

beachside baby shower (more…)

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Magical & Elegant Butterfly Garden Tea Party

garden tea party

Amy Liu Bissett of A Dazzle Day has a signature pastel color palette & girlish party style that gets me every time! Her DIY’s always feel so meaningful & lighthearted and her talented photography skills always showcase the best smiles from her daughter and sweet friends, not to mention decor details that we are all thankful for. Have a look through Mia’s fourth birthday, a Magical Butterfly Garden Tea Party, that is so whimsical and precious that has me all a flutter from the wildflower inspired favor table, dainty cookie tower, and darling Mia, of course!

P.S. Find more inspiration from Amy’s (Darling Pretty Pink Kitty Cat Birthday) and second (Dreamy Lavender Woodland Fairy Party) party features.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Pink butterfly cake pops and flower shaped marshmallows on pearl embellished sticks
  • Colorful party guest flower crowns and gold glittery butterfly wings + paper silhouette photo booth frame
  • Multicolor pastel layered birthday cake with fondant flowers, butterflies and sculpted “4” topper
  • Lace doily and paper butterfly decorated tea label + exquisite assorted tea cups
  • Butterfly “chandelier” with hanging greens and flower pattern lanterns
  • Green lace table linen, tissue paper flower centerpieces, pink flower chair pads & white lace covers

garden tea party

garden tea party

garden tea party

garden tea party

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“Chef Elmo” Play Kitchen Inspired Birthday Party

chef elmo kitchen birthday party

Welcome to Aashi’s World! Filled with pizza, groceries, cookies and more, Smita Bhakta of The Party Wall designed a “Chef Elmo” Play Kitchen Inspired Birthday Party, that is napkins-out AMAZING! The birthday girl’s love for make-believe games and her favorite Sesame Street character cooked up to be a playful afternoon for budding chefs and hungry guests. Enjoy browsing through all the yummy photos from Kathie Tam – they’re so cute I want to eat them all up! Ha!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Aashi’s World with a play kitchen, grocery store, tea shoppe, pizza parlor and lemonade stand
  • Creative Elmo rock candy, macarons, chevron cookies, Chef Elmo cake and cupcakes
  • Elmo face veggie and fruit platters + playful decorated mini Baby Bel cheeses
  • DIY pizza lunch and cookie decorating + felt pizza making activity!
  • Budget-friendly gift wrap table runners and utensil holder “centerpieces”
  • Chef Elmo tissue poms & vases with kitchen utensils and Elmo silhouettes
  • Personalized aprons and chef hats + mini rolling pins and “Best Chef” medals party favors

chef elmo kitchen birthday party

chef elmo kitchen birthday party

chef elmo kitchen birthday party

chef elmo kitchen birthday party

chef elmo kitchen birthday party (more…)

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Simple & Creative Outdoor Movie Night Ideas

outdoor movie night drinks

This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola®. Did you know you can order your own personalized Coke bottles online now? Correct name spelling at all! ;) Learn more here. #ShareaCoke

We’ve done a few movie nights in our backyard, and they’re always super fun! We use a big projector screen that was originally purchased for work presentations… it’s SO much more fun to use as a makeshift movie theater though. ;)

If you’re hosting friends over for a movie night, create a festive atmosphere with a cute little snack table display. I mean, what’s a movie without popcorn and drinks, right?! And if you’re a sweet tooth like me, then candy definitely needs to be in the mix too.

For the real showstopper though – make your guests feel extra special by serving personalized Coke bottles with their names on them! Display the bottles in an ice-filled beverage bucket with a little “STARRING” banner so that it makes them feel like the true stars of the party, which is how your invited guests should always feel, right?! You can download the little banners and the rest of my Movie Night printables for free below.

backyard movie night snack ideas

Since popcorn and movies go hand in hand, the highlight of my snack table here is the mini popcorn buffet! I filled red and white striped bags with fresh popcorn (which should be done pretty close to serving time), and added some cute glittery gold heart stickers to the front.

I also designed a little POP of Flavor Sign and some coordinating Flavor Labels for the seasonings. At first I was just going to leave the seasonings as-is, but the bottles looked SO much cuter once they were wrapped. Well worth the extra effort! (I bought these popcorn seasonings here.)

free printable movie night popcorn sign (more…)

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A Magical Forest Cinderella Birthday Party

cinderella party

Have courage and be kind… and party with lots of glitter, of course! Maybe the last part isn’t from the new Cinderella movie, but I’m so glad that Shannon Powell of Painting Paris Pink took it to heart! Her Magical Forest Cinderella Birthday Party is a sparkly fairytale of golden butterflies, blue satin ribbons and glittery glass slippers. And speaking of pretty ribbon, I couldn’t agree more when Shannon says, “You can dress up any serving piece with a simple satin ribbon and a 2″ party circle.” I’m a firm believer that the smallest details often have the biggest impact, like those amazing decorated “ELLA” letters below…

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Glitter fairy wands with blue satin bows in custom painted mason jars from Always the Occasion
  • DIY glittered glass slipper cake topper + whimsical blue and gold fondant butterfly cupcake toppers
  • Blue tutu birthday girl dress, framed “ELLA” party banner and confetti filled balloons
  • Gold framed Cinderella quote signs + paper white pumpkin carriage decorations from 2clvr Designs

cinderella party

cinderella party

cinderella party

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Retro-Glam Bridesmaid Luncheon & Gift Ideas {+ Free Printables}

bridesmaid luncheon centerpiece idea

What’s black and white and RETRO all over? These playful Bridesmaid Luncheon & Gift Ideas!

I’ve been working with Coke this summer to help get the word out about the fabulous new personalized Coke bottles that you can now order online (woo hoo!), and thought this would be a great opportunity to dream up some creative ideas featuring these #ShareaCoke bottles personalized with the names of a bridal party.

And because the bottles instantly stir up feelings of nostalgia and FUN whenever I see them, I decided to give this set of ideas a bit of a retro-glam twist. I mean… Coca-Cola, red hearts, classic black & white polka dots, and a hint of sparkle – can’t go wrong with that combo, right?! ;)

1. Retro Bridal Party Centerpiece
The first idea is for a retro-glam centerpiece (pictured at top) that “puts the wedding party up on a pedestal” for a change! For this design, I used a black & white round box to display a set of “bridesmaid” Coke bottles, where each girl is represented by a bottle with her name. The bottles are embellished with a little “retro scarves” made from small strips of fabric that I folded into thirds then tied around the neck:

personalized coke bottles - retro party

I also designed a free printable heart shaped sign that reads “I love my awesome bridesmaids” (and fits in the red heart frames from Ikea). The sign sits in the middle of the bottles and is propped up it up a sparkly DIY stand, which is actually a small glass cylinder vase wrapped in diamond ribbon.

Speaking of printables, here’s another one for you… retro-inspired bridesmaid and maid of honor Party Flags. I figured that once you put this centerpiece to use, you’ll need cute straws handy to sip with, too!

retro bridesmaid party flags free printables (more…)

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Dazzling Mickey & Minnie Circus Birthday Party

mickey mouse circus

I have a huge soft spot for unique circus parties, so Laila Plant of One Inspired Party made my day when her Dazzling Mickey & Minnie Mouse Circus Birthday popped up in my inbox! This incredible 2nd birthday is filled to the brim with over-the-big-top-talent from every corner of the party world, including awesome balloon art and cart fulls of “mouse ear” inspired desserts.

What I especially love about Laila is that she always adds unexpected and simple ideas into the mix too – like the creatively stacked animal cracker boxes and the earthy succulent table centerpieces, which provide such a nice contrast to all the bright colors in the room + tie in beautifully with the big hedge wall backdrop. Find more clever highlights below… I hope you guys enjoy looking at all this Mickey and Minnie inspired fun as much as I do!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Giant Mickey balloon art sculpture + amazing Mickey silhouette balloon backdrop
  • Succulent centerpieces in wood planters, paired with ticket rolls & striped popcorn boxes
  • Whimsical circus inspired cake with fondant Mickey, Mini & Pluto!
  • Dazzling (& detailed!) circus cart dessert tables with stuffed white tigers peering out
  • Cool Minnie hedge silhouette with red marquee “V” behind the dessert table
  • Fabulous assorted Mickey & Minnie cookies from youcancallmesweetie
  • Personalized & embroidered favor bags + mini gumball machines with custom stickers

mickey mouse circus

mickey mouse circus

mickey mouse circus

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Crafty & Charming Rubber Ducky Baby Shower

rubber duck baby shower theme

Rubber ducks are (one of) the cutest icons of our childhood, so it’s no wonder Mommy-to-be Paula Fonseca chose to welcome her little Benjamin with a sweet Rubber Ducky Baby ShowerVanessa of Festiva Party Design styled the charming event with bubble bath themed favors, yellow silhouette duck decorations, non-alcoholic bubbly drinks, and more SPLASHing party ideas! :)

P.S. While this theme is classic and one of my original favorite themes, we’ve only had one other party feature for a girls birthday party. Unbelievable, I know! So, if you’ve got more “rubber duck theme” ideas up your sleeve, share them in the comments… I’m sure we’d all love to see!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Ducky silhouette drink charms and “Let’s Drink” party flags on blue polka dot straws
  • “BENJAMIN” letters in individual frames + yellow silhouette duck in white laser cut frame
  • Mini bath tub favor tray with a hand towel, soap, bath salts and tiny rubber duck!
  • Decorated doilies used as labels for bottled drinks + bright blue beverage tubs
  • Blue cupcake wrappers and handcrafted yellow paper duck toppers from the Festiva store on Etsy

rubber duck baby shower theme

rubber duck baby shower theme

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Très Chic “A Day in Paris” Painting Birthday Party

day in paris birthday party

Bonjour! For Jetti’s 4th birthday celebration, Brandy J Rammel (aka “Mommy”) of Pretty Plain Janes, whipped up a trés chic “A Day in Paris” Party for the birthday girl and her equally stylish, pint-sized party guests! Inspired by the French flag, classic Parisian fashion (stripes and berets) and a pinch of girly pink (party signs and pink lemonade) it feels like Brandy is taking us all on a trip to the magical city in such a fresh, thoughtful and playful way. Bon travail, Brandy!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Chocolate dipped Madeleines and Croquembouche tower with mini French flag toppers
  • Personal painting stations with a palette, brushes, apron, canvas, easel and a beret!
  • Paris city doodle cake from CakeCrazy + red, blue and white color-blocked party garlands
  • Giant gold glitter Eiffel Tower with a red balloon + bright red bike with a flower-filled basket
  •  “Flower stand” rose favors + personalized canvas totes {made with love by grandma!}
  • French flag photo booth backdrop + glittery Paris-inspired photo booth props

day in paris birthday party

day in paris birthday party

day in paris birthday party

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Roaring Gatsby + Derby Style First Birthday Party

gatsby first birthday

Gatsby + Derby + First Birthday… who knew that combo could be so EPIC! If you’re looking for unexpected inspiration, Loriann Serna of Wife Of The Party is sharing some of her incredible party styling magic today with Ryder’s Roaring Gatsby + Derby Style First Birthday.

From the gilded Art Deco desserts and fresh red roses to the pony sticks and playful 20’s outfits, I love how she seamlessly matched everything while managing to keep the party both kid AND adult friendly!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Gold gilded Art Deco style cake and cookies + mustache topped dessert parfaits
  • Winner’s Circle photo booth, life-sized moss horses, & red rose topiary centerpieces
  • Mint julep bar with jumbo moss “RYDER” letters & framed “Press For Champagne” button
  • Ballroom chairs adorned with black & white striped ties and strings of pearls
  • Vintage gold frames, eclectic dessert table spread and custom art deco style backdrop
  • Styled cocktail table centerpieces featuring pearls, vintage candle holders & antique cars

gatsby first birthday

gatsby first birthday

gatsby first birthday

gatsby first birthday (more…)

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Beautiful Shabby Chic First Communion Brunch

shabby chic first communion dessert table

Ever since her daughter was a little girl, Ann-Marie Murphy of Gracie’s Party Ideas has been dreaming up this oh-so-lovely, Shabby Chic First Communion celebration. Initially inspired by the gorgeous dress and veil that her daughter wore during the ceremony, Ann-Marie incorporated accents of beautiful lace all throughout the party. I especially love the well-wishes tree, with messages from loved ones written on pieces of lace-adorned paper making up the “leaves”… such a thoughtful way for the guest of honor to remember her special day! :)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Whimsical birdcage centerpieces filled with pink roses & tulips
  • Gorgeous fondant pearl & lace adorned cake by Cake Beautiful
  • Rhinestone encrusted, flower topped cake pops & chocolate covered Oreos
  • Ice cream sundae making station for the kids (and adults!) ;)
  • Pictures of the guest of honor displayed along the tables in fancy frames
  • White lace table overlays, crocheted doilies, and paper doily embellished favor bags

first communion party sign and invitation

first communion ceremony

girly pink and white first communion cake

outdoor garden party centerpieces and tablescape

(more…)

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Bright & Classic Rock n’ Roll First Birthday Party

music party

Pull out your dancing shoes, because this Rock n’ Roll First Birthday Party – designed by Júlia Herzog of Festa com Gosto – is guaranteed to be a HIT! From the clever record invitations to the party decor, this vibrant celebration was inspired by the favorite bands of the birthday boy’s mom & dad, then brought to life in a classic primary color palette that gave the theme a playful, childlike twist. Check out all the crisp photos from Angélica Marques, superb desserts from Isa Herzog and hip party details from Júlia below!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, and Beatles cookie pops
  •  Guitar silhouette sweets labels + record inspired party invitation
  •  Table centerpieces with simple-chic flowers, balloons & band pictures
  •  Awesome three tiered cake with music notes, records and a fondant drum & sticks topper
  •  Drum, microphone, and guitar cupcake toppers +  music note decorated lollipop brigadieros
  •  Simple (and perfect!) giant balloon backdrop + assorted colorful dessert stands

yellow-red-party-lollipops

first-birthday-record-banner

record-baby-birthday

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A Vintage Americana Birthday Party on the Ranch

vintage Americana dessert table and pinwheel cookies

Happy 4th of July, everyone! Sharing this Vintage Americana Birthday Party from sugar guru Bethany Gist of Auntie Bea’s Bakery feels like the perfect way to celebrate on the blog today!

Bethany threw this fun, outdoor party for her daughter last year (at the NorCal ranch home that they’d just moved into at the time), but all the pretty sweets, rustic touches, and Americana-inspired details are totally timeless. And I was instantly smitten with the AWESOME wood pallet that she painted to look like the American flag… such a great example of creative freedom in action! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  •  Patriotic Popcorn, rock candy “Sparklers”, red licorice “Stripes”, & All-American Pie
  •  Pinwheel sugar cookies in candy-filled tins + simple cake topped with a cluster of pinwheels
  •  “American Flag” painted wood palette + flag-inspired drink tub filled with soda bottles
  •  Burlap-and-fabric USA banner + table vases embellished with burlap & patriotic ribbon
  •  Festive ranch-style activities like dummy steer roping & watermelon eating contests!

patriotic sparkler candy

pinwheel cake, Americana cake pops, and patriotic popcorn

American flag painted wood palette (more…)

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Patriotic Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches + FREE 4th of July Party Printables

patriotic cookie ice cream sandwiches stars

The best projects are the ones that don’t take a ton of effort, yet still turn out super cute and make people REALLY happy… am I right, or am I right?! This is one of those projects. AND it’s an edible one – hence the part about making people really happy. ;)

And even though the 4th of July is just about here, there’s still plenty of time to whip up these adorable Patriotic Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to LOVE how they turn out!

All you need are sugar cookies, vanilla ice cream, a star shaped cookie cutter, and red/white/blue sprinkles.

I used Krusteaz® Butter Vanilla Sugar Cookie Mix for the cookies, and used the “Cut Out Cookie” recipe on the back of the box, which is just entails adding 1/3 cup butter and 1 egg to the mix. Easy-peasy. The cookies are exactly what the name says. Buttery. Vanilla-y. Sugar-y. YUM.

patriotic printables - sweets sign and party flags

I’ll explain the rest of the ice cream sandwich steps below, but have one more fun thing to share first… a brand new batch of patriotic printables that you can download here for FREE!

I started with designing some Mini Party Flags to dress up these ice cream sandwiches, but decided they needed some accessories to match, so you’ll find an 8×10 Sweets Sign, two 4×6 Signs, and a USA Banner here as well. (Click on the links to download.) Hope you like!

patriotic free printable sign - land that I love

Banners add a big dose of fun to any party! You can also print extra copies of the decorative panels on this one to make additional banners that just alternate between the flag/country and heart graphics: (more…)

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Lovely & Sweet Vintage Wedding Dessert Bar

vintage wedding dessert bar

I think I’m in LOVE with Spin Spin Sugar‘s oh-so-SWEET Vintage Wedding Dessert Bar! Christina Vizcarra designed a charming outdoor display with an awesome assortment of desserts, whimsical details, and a vintage twist that is undeniably romantic. From the playful ruffled linen and craft paper candy labels to the creative whirly pop and cupcake tower displays, there is so much eye candy to share here, and I can’t wait to get started…

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Vintage luggage & candlestick holders uses as risers for the cupcake display
  • Styled vintage tea cart with typewriter, old shutters and blue mason jar flower vase
  • Candy-filled apothecary jars with handcrafted labels + music sheet popcorn cones
  • White ruffle linen, “Love is Sweet” burlap banner and “BLISS” Scrabble letters
  • Incredibly detailed “bride and groom” cake pops by Moochie pops

vintage wedding dessert bar

vintage wedding dessert bar

vintage wedding dessert bar

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Glam Nautical Bridal Shower Drink Station

#ShareaCoke Nautical Bridal Shower Drinks

UPDATE 8/4/15 – The contest portion of this post is now closed. Thank you so much to everyone that entered! I had to call in the troops to help make a final decision on the winner because there were some seriously awesome entries… it was definitely not easy! And the winner is…. Sherri Lee – for her gorgeous Tropical Paradise Party pinboard! Congrats, Sherri – hope you have a blast with your prize! :)

 

Hello, friends! I’m SO excited to share today’s post with you for a couple very specific reasons…

1. #ShareaCokeContest with a BIG prize
First of all, it comes with a fun contest and perhaps one of the greatest contest prizes ever… someone is going to WIN (2) United Airlines Tickets to visit friends & family (and #ShareaCoke with them in person!) + a $500 Visa Gift Card. The approximate retail value of this prize is $1700. See full details & contest rules at the bottom of this post.

2. SIPS AHOY
And secondly, it’s full of playful DIY ideas for a Nautical Bridal Shower Drink Station, complete with scoop-your-own Coke Floats and the new personalized Coke bottles, which you can now order online. These custom bottles are such a fun way to make someone feel extra special! Case in point: even though this is a styled inspirational shoot, I used the name of my close friend that’s actually getting married this year, and she teared up when she saw the bottles, which were customized with her name and “The Bride”. ;)

P.S. You can also download all the printables that I designed for this drink station for free! The download links are directly below the last image. Here we go…

Nautical Bridal Shower

I wanted this drink station to feel equal parts playful and glam. Gold sequins and metallic accents added the perfect touch of glam, while fun elements like nautical rope, oversize plastic rings, and casual script fonts kept things light and fun.

The personalized Coke bottles were front-and-center on the table, and were further customized for the theme with little “sailor knots” tied around the neck of each bottle to symbolize “tying the knot”. The ribbon used for the knots was gold and white, so there’s a hint of glam in them as well. ;)

Custom Coke Bottles at Nautical Bridal Shower

I displayed the bottles in a vintage wood basket decked out with nautical rope, check fabric, and DIY flowers, which I made by pulling individual petals off faux hydrangeas & hot gluing rhinestones and beads in the center. (You can make TONS of smaller flowers out of one faux hydrangea stem this way!)

To add symmetry to the table and include a variety of drinks to sip on, I placed beverage dispensers on both sides. Each dispenser was decked out with various trims, an oversize faux flower, and a script paper word. The paper words came in black, so I spray painted them red and blue to match the table.

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Darling {Vintage-Modern} Americana Bridal Shower

americana bridal shower

Marie of Sweets Indeed is a brilliant party stylist and incredible person all around, so I was thrilled when she recently asked to use our Confetti Bridal Shower Collection for her sister’s shower, except customized to match a palette of red, white, and blue! Her sister (Julie) is marrying a marine, so sticking to the theme of the wedding, she designed a darling Americana Bridal Shower that has a great vintage-modern vibe and also feels subtly nautical… or is that just me and my love for all things nautical? ;) Marie also included a BRILLIANT fabric backdrop, creative non-floral (but equally beautiful and way more affordable!) centerpieces, and more fun ideas that deserve three cheers and a salute!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • “Here’s To Love” CandyfettiTM favors + “Cheers To Love” drink flags
  • Patriotic  brigadeiros from Simply Brigaderio
  • DIY ripped-and-dyed fabric backdrop + “SIPS” and “SWEETS” banners
  • Personalized centerpiece featuring framed pictures & signs, honeycomb balls, & wooden crates
  • “MR & MRS” banner + “He Said She Said” bridal shower game
  • Vanilla panna cotta with blueberry brulee + layered s’mores in mini glass jars

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Pet-Friendly TAILgate Party + Make Your Own Hot Dog Buffet

1_tailgate-party-hot-dog-buffet

Looking to kick up your creative game at the next tailgate party? Good news: you’re in the right place!

From boatloads of game day inspired printables to tips for setting up a make-your-own hot dog buffet that looks as good as it tastes, this post is packed with lots of FREE goodies and easy-to-recreate ideas for both sports fans and pet parents alike. Why pet parents, you ask? Well… we all know that it’s way more fun to tailgate with friends, so of course that includes your BEST friends of the 4-legged variety too, right?! I know that Layla definitely thinks so:

4_cute-yorkshire-terrier

As a longtime pet parent myself, and a big animal lover in general, I was thrilled to collaborate with Petco – whose name also happens to grace our awesome downtown ballpark here in San Diego – on this Playful and Pet-Friendly TAILgate Party Theme. Whether you utilize just 1 or 2 quick ideas from this post or recreate something similar from start to finish, I hope it’s helpful in making your next game day get-together feel like even more of a WIN. ;)

And with 4th of July celebrations just around the corner, you might find the red, white, and blue color palette of the sporty style printables especially handy right now too!

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WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN THIS POST:
Since there’s lots of stuff to cover, here’s a little overview of the different sections you’ll find in this post – in order – so that you can quickly find what you need:

– General Overview (intro images)
– Make Your Own Hot Dog Buffet
– Refreshments Cooler
– Doggy Treat Buffet
– GAME ON! Activity Table

(And click here to access all of the free Tailgate Printables that I designed for this theme.) (more…)

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FREE PRINTABLES: {Pet-Friendly} TAILgate Party Collection

pet-friendly-tailgate-party-free-printables

I’m excited to share a brand new set of free printables with you today! This paper collection is from our recent Pet-Friendly TAILgate Party with Petco®, which you can check out in full detail here.

All of the printables are set up on 8.5×11 sheets for easy printing at home. You can download all of the high resolution PDFs below, and click here for inspiration on how to incorporate them into your party, including food + drink, centerpiece, and decor ideas. Enjoy! :)

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“Time Flies” Airplane 1st Birthday Party

time flies first birthday party dessert table

As most parents can attest, time sure does fly, especially during those precious first years. So to slow things down for just a day, Tania, owner of Tania’s Design Studio, styled & DIYed this adorable “Time Flies” Airplane Themed 1st Birthday for her son.

I am especially loving all of the retro details, like the LIFE Magazine save the date & mini, old-school bomber jacket & pilot’s hat for the birthday boy. :) And if you’re as enamored by those propeller pops as we are, keep reading for instructions on how Tania put them together!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • In-flight beverage cart with baggies of trail mix, vintage bottles of Coke & ‘Air Mail’ cookies
  • Plane ticket invitation & retro striped pinwheels + photo banners & sewn cloud backdrops
  • Cloud topped cupcakes, cloud frosted cake with plane topper & a glitter ‘1’ candle on the smash cake
  • DIY piñata, airplane toss game & Baggage Claim party favors

airplane ticket birthday party invitations

baby pilot's bomber jacket

plane propellor marshmallow pops

birthday party in flight beverages

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July 4th Party Bundle Freebie Hop with Jane.com

nautical patriotic free printables HWTM

Since the 4th of July is always buzzing with barbeques and fun get-togethers, the crew at Jane.com decided to round up a group of designer and blogger friends for a festive Patriotic Printable Party Hop, and I’m excited to be participating today! From cupcake toppers to napkin rings, each designer/blogger created a unique printable element, so there’s a little something for everyone… in lots of different styles!

I’ve been on a bit of a nautical kick lately, which naturally leans very red, white, and blue, so for my printable element, I decided to create a set of patriotic party signs with a bit of a nautical twist! Click the following links to download the: 8×10 Drink Station Sign and (2) 4×6 Decorative Signs. I love to use these small 4×6 signs as easy table centerpieces or quick decorative accents on food and dessert buffets!

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Creative Vintage Drive-In Movie 12th Birthday Party

drive in movie party

Summer is here and so is TWELVE! Mom, photographer, stylist and all around creative genius, Gina Lee of Gina Lee Photography, celebrated her daughter Madeleine with a Vintage Drive-In Movie Birthday Party that looks like piles of FUN, friends, and festive movie-themed treats! Besides being perfect for a tween and her gals, don’t you think this theme would be fun for teens & adults too?! For now, let’s dream about munching on one of the awesome jalapeno and nacho cheese cookies by ccSweets and great ready to *screen* all these gorgeous pictures that are coming soon… as in right this second! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Car radio cake pops displayed in a vintage red pickup truck
  • Fabulous Hotdog, vintage movie reel, red licorice, pizza and popcorn cookies
  • Vintage couches, cute and custom pillows + blankets, and red jumbo marquee “M”
  • Custom teal napkins & “Thank You” mugs for candy and snacks
  • Movie themed cake + movie ticket inspired party invitation
  • Adorable concessions server (aka daddy!) handing out movie night drinks
  • Trunk displayed snack bar with candy boxes & popcorn + mini tissue tassel bunting

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Bright & Coloful Gymnastics Birthday Party

colorful gymnastics birthday party

I’m flipping over how cute this party is! Krista O’Byrne of Hoopla Events stretched her creative muscles for her daughter’s Bright & Colorful Gymnastics Birthday Party. There are SO many creative details and tons of cute pictures (taken by Lauren Oliver Photography) of all the girls playing with ribbon wands, testing out the balance beams, and sporting their pink party bag favors.

Krista (with help from Banner Events) did a fabulous job of transforming the venue, *balancing* the sweets table and ultimately creating a very special day for 5-year-old Kennedy!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • “KENNEDY” marquee lights displayed on custom balance beam + jumbo gymnast silhouette backdrop
  • Colorful polka dot balloons, bright pink table linens and ribbon party banners
  • Lime green plates, blue napkins, “energy drink” water bottles and printable embellished gable lunch boxes
  • Auntie Bea’s vibrant themed cookies, party circle topped cupcakes and star detailed cake pops
  • Gold, silver and bronze lollipops and multicolor jelly bean tubes with star silhouette “Thank You” labels
  • Cute invitation & printables by Anders Ruff Custom Designs + inspired fondant cake by 4 Kids Cakes

colorful gymnastics birthday party

colorful gymnastics birthday party

colorful gymnastics birthday party

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Preppy Surf Birthday Party {Rad Plaid & Cute Crab!}

preppy surf party

Surfs up, dude! Jenny Raulli of Bloom Designs took a cue from the summer season and brought out the beachy vibes for her son Luke’s 8th birthday. Inspired by plaid swim trunks and featuring cool surf boards and cute crab silhouettes, this Preppy Surf Party is catching major creative waves!

Check out the impressive long board cookies, cleverly named/packaged eats and treats, and more rad party ideas… including the Big Kahuna’s “Smashed Surfer” drink for the grown-up guests to enjoy!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • “Curl” fries, “buoy” cheese balls and “shark fin” nacho chips
  • Great white shark gummies, “pearl” sixlets, “sea glass” rock candy & stacked orange sprinkle donuts
  • Crab cake pops, “beach ball” gumballs & “snow cone” cupcakes
  • Surfboard invitation, orange crab drink flags and plaid food labels
  • Ombre blue cake and white cake with brown sugar “sand” base and plaid “8” topper
  • “Raulli’s Crab Shack” sign + Luke’s “surf report” sign

preppy surf party

preppy surf party

preppy surf party

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