The proud parents, Drew and Michael, wanted a casual but elegant vibe. So we served pulled pork barbecue and lots and lots of pink!
Drew loves flowers, so I wanted make sure I used flowers as the main decor item. All of the flowers were arranged in mason jars tied with raffia for a country farmhouse feel that paired well with the barbecue. I was nervous about handling the arrangements, as there were about 20 to do, but they turned out really well!
Here are the arrangements before I placed them around the party. (Confession: I did NOT arrange the large one in the back – that was done by a professional! All of the others were mine though!)
I placed about 12 mason jar arrangements on the railing of the deck where the ceremony was being held.
Indoors, flower arrangements were clustered together on top of pink flower place mats I found for next to nothing at Marshalls Home Goods.
Here are some close-ups of my favorite arrangements:
And of course, the Jackie Fo signature bathroom flower.
I initially had grandiose plans of getting up at the crack of dawn the day before the party to scour local farmers markets and grocery stores for the best deals. But I ended up only having to go to the Fresh Market for all of the flowers. While the Fresh Market has expensive gourmet food, they have absolutely gorgeous flowers for a reasonable price. Thank you Fresh Market for making my job easy! And thanks to Drew for picking up several bouquets for me to save me a trip. She’s the best client ever. (And the best sister-in-law.)
I used A Blissful Nest’s tutorial to make this tissue paper wreath for the front door. It was super easy and inexpensive. I used a wreath base purchased at the dollar store. The whole project cost me about $4 after purchasing the tissue paper. Can’t beat that!
For the mantel, I kept it simple with a cute picture of Brooke (with pink ribbon threaded through the frame) and flower arrangements flanking either side.
The centerpiece on the food table was also easy and inexpensive. I used 3 glass cylinders and filled them with white scrunchy paper bought at the dollar store. The “faux flowers” were placed in the jars for a punch of color. I used double sided tape to glue 2 pictures of Brookie to a wooden skewer which I then stuck down in the jar.
I wrapped the pink silverware in white napkins and tied with a piece of raffia. A pink “B” cutout was the finishing touch. I also created a menu which I framed.
Many of the men used their “B” as a wardrobe accessory, which made me smile. Men like accessories too 🙂
I rented plain white chairs for the occasion, but I wanted to dress them up a bit. After obsessively thinking about how to add some oomph to the chairs, and several wandering walks around Michael’s craft store, I came up with an idea. I took pieces of grosgrain ribbon and glued on white flowers for a simple sweet touch. I thought about using 3 pieces of ribbon per chair, but I liked the look of just one. This was also inexpensive but made a big impact.
A simple card table with a white tablecloth was placed outside as well. The table held the water for the baptism, a large arrangement (the “professional arrangement!”) and a Bible.
Another personal touch I added was pictures of Drew and Michael on their baptism days. It’s always fun for people to see a “blast from the past!” I found white frames and glued tissue paper to the borders. I then placed the pictures inside the tissue paper border.
I also scattered white and pink “Bs” around the party.
The drinks table had more pink and more “Bs!” I served pink lemonade, water bottles and red and white wine. I made special drink stirrers with a pink tissue paper “pouf” on top. (NOTE: All tissue paper items I made used the tissue paper technique I learned from A Blissful Nest. Just cut out squares of tissue paper, twist it into a point and glue onto your surface. Easy!)
I ordered water bottle labels from Bottle Your Brand. These labels are amazing and don’t bleed through when wet. Everyone loved the “B for Brooke” water!
For the wine bottles, I made my own labels. They turned out well, but the white wine labels bled through due to the condensation. Next time I will order the wine bottle labels from Bottle Your Brand, as well.
I regret not getting a head-on picture of the dessert table once the cake was put out. But I did get all of the elements separately.
I ordered the beautiful cake from Ella Art, in Fort Mill, SC. I can’t say enough good things about this cake. It was gorgeous and tasted amazing! When ordering, I sent Ella a picture of a cake that I loved, but it was pale green. I asked her to keep the cake the same but change the base color to pale pink. She did exactly as I asked and the cake was pure perfection.
I also tried my hand at piping out meringue cookies in pink and white. They turned out lovely and delicious! I bought the adorable pink cake stand at Marshall’s Home Goods. That store is full of great finds.
Family Photo Time:
Here is the happy family – check out Brooke’s grin! She was grinning like that the whole day! Also, it’s hard to tell in the picture, but she and her dad are twins with matching red hair!
Here are Mr. Fo and I – the happy godparents! We have our first overnight babysitting adventure coming up in a few weeks! Yikes! Brooke looks scared too 😉
I am such a baby hog. I see her all the time, but I couldn’t resist holding her for a few pictures!
Look at those chubby cheeks! (I am speaking of mine and hers, of course. When I was a baby, my cheeks made Brooke’s look skinny. I couldn’t hold my head up due to the severe weight of my cheeks (not a joke). My grandma called me Puffy. It’s cool, I have recovered nicely.)
After the party, the baby was still going strong. We put a bunch of flower arrangements around her to replicate those creepy Anne Geddes baby pictures. She clearly didn’t mind.
On the other hand, here I am after the party – the pooped party planner. But it was definitely worth it!
I hope you all had as pleasant a weekend as I did!
I brought the appetizer and made a few decorations. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Everybody loves mac and cheese … but don’t you think people would love it even more if the mac and cheese was bite sized? Like a Mac and Cheese BITE, for example?
I used a recipe found on the blog My Italian Grandmother. (By the way, I would like to meet this Italian grandmother, because my Italian grandmother never made macaroni and cheese bites!!!)
The recipe is below and can be found HERE. I made it pretty much verbatim except I used regular paprika instead of smoked paprika. Is there even a difference? Expert Chef friends, please advise.
TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
SERVINGS: 48 mini macs
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano–Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
2. Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; tap out the excess.
3. In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes.Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni.
4. Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top.
5. Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 min-utes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight.
Here are some pictures of my mac and cheese progress:
I cook-a the pasta:
I whisk together milk and flour over a heated saucepan until it gets thick:
…And whisk it until it is melted:
Then I mix in the egg yolk and paprika and mix with the macaroni – YUM. At this point you could just bake it all together in a baking pan to have one big dish of baked mac and cheese. But for an appetizer, the bites are the perfect size.
Get out your mini muffin pan and pack them tight with macaroni. Sprinkle Parmesan on top before baking:
Cook until sizzling and golden colored, for my oven it was about 10 minutes:
Serve on a platter. Your friends will be impressed by this easy and delicious treat. Note: It’s better to eat them right after they have been cooked and cooled a bit rather then warming them up again the next day.
I don’t have kids, but I imagine if I did, they would love this cute little treat. Plus, talk about portion control?! I don’t know about you, but I used to demolish a box of Velveeta Shells and Cheese in college. I’m not proud of that. (Okay, maybe I’m a little bit proud.) The point is, you just pop a few of these in your mouth and you can guarantee you won’t eat 3 bowlfuls of mac and cheese.
Now on to some decorations to celebrate LGD:
I printed out a bunch of fun pictures of LGD and cut them out using one of my craft punchers. Seriously, best invention ever. I don’t care how dorky it sounds….and I know it sounds extra dorky.
For cupcake toppers, I did a theme based on one of LGD’s favorite pastimes…Working Out. Hence why she has an 8-pack. You go on with yo bad self girl. I used a few fitness icons for the toppers: Olivia Newton John (Let’s Get Physical), Jane Fonda and the flamboyantly fabulous, Richard Simmons. (Who coincidentally, I met in an airport once. If I do recall, he was flamboyant in person and wearing his signature red.)
Happy Birthday one more time to LGD!
I have a busy week coming up with last minute errands for my niece’s baptism and another custom party package to do! Come back later in the week for Round 2 of “Fabulous-ness Around The Web.”
Pearce is my best friend Kalle’s son and he is SO precious! He is such a curious little boy, so that’s how the theme came about. I talked about this party here.
First up – the birthday boy:
With his beautiful mama Kalle… He just woke up from a nap but was ready to partay as soon as he saw all his adoring guests:
See what I mean – he was totally raging in his Curious George gear:
Here was one of his favorite presents. He needed a little help on the slide from Grandma, but he was having the time of his life. As a side note. I cannot emphasize how small this slide was. I can’t believe someone is small enough to slide down it without breaking it to 50 pieces. (Like I would have done. Not that I thought about testing it out or anything.)
Heyyyyy…. (that was supposed to be “The Fonz”) … Check out Mr. Cool in the baby aviators our friend Leighton gave him. Ladies, watch out for Pearce. He’s a heart breaker.
Note – His t-shirt says “Curious Pearce.” Personalization is key people.
Let’s talk decor…the colors were red, yellow and brown.
As if people were unaware who the party was for, we made sure they knew they were at the right house with this front door sign:
A little story about these letters. My usual cutter was not around (that would be Mr. Fo of the steady hand). So while I am trying my very best to cut these letters out of foam, Kalle innocently says “Aww, that is so cute, you are trying to make them look childlike since it’s a kids party!” Insulted, I say, “Umm… No I’m not Kalle. This is just the best I can do, but thanks. I did not mean to cut them as though a 7 year old had done it but it’s always good to recognize your skill level.” That’s the last time I freehand cut anything. (Note: Clearly the bitterness about that comment has not subsided)
My favorite part was the mantel decorations. Let’s let the pictures do the talking:
Let’s just state the obvious here … Is Curious George not the cutest monkey you have ever seen? I want a Curious George party for me! Curious Jackie! It has a nice to ring to it. After all, I do cut like a 7 year old, so it’s fitting.
Anyways… back to the mantel. I bought the 5 frames from the dollar store (Total: $5. Math Whiz) and spray painted them red. I then printed out Curious George pics and one Curious Pearce pic for the large frame. I made the ribbon garland using Banana, Circle and Monkey die cut shapes I purchased from Little Extras. This is a GREAT site for scrap booking supplies and die cut shapes. They have every shape you can think of! I used the extra to scatter around the food table as confetti. I also found the curly ribbon at the Dollar store. I wasn’t looking for it, but I saw it and knew I could use it somewhere. I think if you find an item you love but don’t have a specific idea for it’s use, buy it anyways. Once you have the decorations in place, the creative juices will start kicking in and you will find a place to use it.
For the outdoor tables, I kept it simple.
I found this awesome Curious George wrapping paper at Party City and knew I would find a use for it. This added a lot to the backyard tables and was ideal for a kiddie party. No mess to worry about – just toss the “tablecloth!”
Let’s get to my favorite topic, the food. Kalle and I brainstormed a menu that would be cute for a kids party but would fill up the adults. There were several banana themed dishes. George would approve.
Note… the napkins were rolled by my father in law – Best napkin rolling I have ever seen Art 🙂
Pearce’s Curiously Delicious Menu:
Veggies and Dip
Chocolate Covered Bananas on a Stick
I cut the PB&J sandwiches out in circles using different size circle cookie cutters. (Note: All of my food labels are crooked in these pictures! I blame the little rugrats running around 😉 )
Look at this banana pudding Kalle made. OMG. It’s so good you can’t believe it.
Cupcakes with cute George toppers. It’s like he’s welcoming you to the cupcake. “Eat me! I’m cute!”
The Daiquiris were delicious. Here is an important lesson I learned: While vintage paper straws are adorable, they are not conducive for drinking a thick daiquiri. I was thinking cuteness, not practicality. Whoops.
My favorite party food of the day…Bananas on a Stick:
These were SO cute. Kalle just froze the bananas for a few hours and then dipped them in melted chocolate. We put them out right before the party started. To get these to stand up, I bought Styrofoam blocks from Michael’s and spray painted them red. I put some crinkly red shredded paper (best stuff EVER btw) over it to cover up the Styrofoam. Then we stuck the sticks right in the foam! Note that Styrofoam works much better than floral foam for something that has weight on it… like a chocolate covered banana.
Here’s the birthday boy enjoying his first dose of real sugar. Yes, that’s correct. Kalle is what you might call a “health nut.” I am surprised she ever sets foot in a grocery store and doesn’t just hunt and scavenge for her own twigs and berries herself. But it pays off, she looks fantastic and I’m sure her insides are the picture of health. Unfortunately, poor P will never know what a fruit rollup or cheetos will taste like (until he comes over to Aunt Jackie’s… muahahaha). Suffice it to say, Pearcey eats more along the lines of organic graham crackers from Trader Joe’s as opposed to cupcakes with frosting on it. So take a look at this guy as he experiences the joys of sugar for the very first time…. here’s pretty much how it went:
Well there you have it. The cutest monkey and the cutest 1 year old make for a pretty cute party.
Have a GREAT WEEK everyone!