Sunday, June 27, 2010
Alexandra's mom, Lori, was kind enough to share pictures of her birthday banner proudly displayed at the entrance to the pool party and the favor tags that I made to go with the hot pink beach towels that Alexandra gave out to all of her friends. Isn't that a cute idea for a pool party favor? I thought so!
Birthday banners are a great way to personalize your child's party. Each banner is custom made to match the event. After the party, banners make for a great decoration in your child's room!
Basic banners are priced by the number of letters you would like:
up to 10 letters is $30
11 - 15 letters is $35
16 - 20 letters is $40
21 - 25 letters is $45
(There are additional charges for shipping and for specialty papers, such as pearlized, which require outside printing.)
Even if I am not designing your invitations, I can create a banner to match the invitations you selected to send. Just send me a picture of it and I'll put my thinking cap on!
Friday, June 25, 2010
Sunshine & Lemonade so simple, right? Jess, from Pen n' Paper Flowers, created this amazing party for her daughters' combined birthday party - simple, elegant, fun and flowing for an intimate group of girls. I. LOVE. This. Party.
I can't get it out of my head! Just look at this setting. She DRAGGED this furniture out to this spot and turned this otherwise ordinary shady spot under a tree into a magical place of Sunshine & Lemonade. I also love Jess's writing style. She's a mom through and through, with a creative spirit like no other and a deep love for her three girls. Plus, she just finished up a fitness challenge that she designed for herself - the 343 challenge. I admire this woman!
Once you enter her blog you will get lost in her work. Her youngest daughter's first birthday party will knock your socks off. Unbelievable. The best part about this is you can PURCHASE her designs in her etsy shop. She'll tailor it to your event and you buy the FILE and print it yourself at home. Way to be economical!
Pour yourself a glass of lemonade and visit Jess at her site. You'll be there a while!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Michelle's great high school friend Heather is getting married! She was kind enough to put Heather's mom in touch with me for the invitation design. Cathy (Heather's mom) gave me complete creative freedom (I love that) with a request for something beachy and perhaps, purple. It's kind of a funny story, actually. In her email to me she didn't use the word beachy, she was much cuter and asked for something "seashore-ish." I read it as SEAHORSE and I spent an entire evening trying to come up with a pretty seahorse design and failed miserably. I wrote to her the next day and asked how she felt about starfish, instead of seahorses, and she said anything beachy would do. When I went back and read the initial email I realized my mistake and was kicking myself for losing a whole night of designing. I found this beautiful clipart from Pumpkin Coach's Etsy shop and knew I had to work with the lavender coral. This is the final result! I was in love with the design, and thankfully, so was Cathy! I also designed matching thank you cards and cookie tags for the delicious biscotti that Michelle baked for the event. Heather's shower was last weekend. Michelle is serving as Heather's Matron of Honor and had a hand in planning the menu for the shower. Check out her post. The food sounds fantastic! Congratulations Heather and Jeff!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
The Fourth of July is sneaking up on me! My friend Ronie contacted me last week and asked me if I could whip her up a place card design for her fourth of July celebration. Of course my mind started racing as I had not had any requests for patriotic goodies before this one. The 4th is such a festive holiday with all of its red, white and blue and is usually more casual with outdoor barbecues in place of indoor dining. I knew I needed something fun to pair with Ronie's amazing yard complete with inground pool and beautiful gardens in sunny Sacramento, CA. I found these adorably festive straws (her grandsons will love them :) and decided on a round place marker rather than the traditional rectangle. I made them double sided which gives it a small pocket where the straw will fit when slid on from the top. These little bursts of red and blue are sure to compliment any fourth of July table. You can even get creative and float some sliced strawberries and blueberries in each water glass!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Last summer I celebrated 4th of July at my friend Laura's grandmother's lake house. Laura's family is filled with amazing cooks. They make the kind of food that you just die to eat. Amid many delicious cookies on the cookie trays were these chocolate covered balls. I am a bit of a chocoholic so I was immediately intrigued. Laura told me that were OREO truffles made with Oreo cookies, cream cheese and melted chocolate. Are you kidding me? Each bite was like a little taste of heaven. They are very rich, and I wasn't used to eating sweets to this magnitude, so I immediately felt a buzz after eating it. You know that chocolate buzz feeling, otherwise known as a sugar high. They were SO good. I knew I wanted to make them for Carlie's party and Laura was nice enough to share the recipe with me.
All you need are three ingredients (my kind of recipe) - one package of Oreo cookies, one 8 ounce brick of cream cheese and chocolate chips for melting and covering the truffles.
See the step by step recipe here.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
There is a certain level of sadness once an event that you've spent months planning has come and gone. Since we traveled from NY to RI for Carlie's party, I had to pack up a lot of stuff! Now that we are home and the suitcases are unpacked and the laundry is done (finally), I still have three plastic rubbermaid bins filled with the leftover party decorations, goodies and some presents. What to do with all of these personalized goods? Some made it to the "keepsake" box, but sadly some were recycled. There are still many other items that I need to find a home for, a use for, or get rid of...sniff, sniff.
I have about four yards in total of the pink and white polka dot fabric that I used for table coverings. I wanted to take a stab at trying to make one of those adorable "age" tank tops. While I was in JoAnn Fabrics today picking up some fabulous fabrics for a baby shower that I have in the works, I decided to grab a new blade for my Circut. The deep cut blade is able to cut fabric, so I got it along with some two sided iron on adhesive. The adhesive paper was pretty thick and sturdy so I worried that the new blade wouldn't be able to cut through it.
I was correct in thinking that. I adhered the polka dot fabric to the adhesive, put it on the cutting mat and set the Cricut to cut out the number 2 in Roly Poly at six inches in size. The blade did cut through the fabric and make a nice score in the adhesive, but it did not cut through it totally. Afterwards I went with a sharp scissor and finished cutting out the number 2.
Then I adhered the 2 to the tank top and tried my hand at getting fancy with my sewing machine. I looked at the illustration of the stitches on the front of the machine and picked the one that I thought was best.
Although far from perfect, I am proud of the final result! Carlie's actual birthday is Monday the 21st so she can sport her new shirt on that day. Now...what to do with the rest of the container's contents (and the other 3.75 yards of fabric)...
Ok, so this is such a "me" thing to notice. I was sitting in the theatre about a week ago with my friend Katy watching Sex and the City 2. I could hardly pay attention to the story line for two reasons. First because it was 1 degree in the theatre and I was worrying that I would wake up the next morning with a summer cold (never fun) and secondly because I was totally preoccupied with watching the inside of the the characters' apartments and houses to see how they were decorated. That's really why I see those movies anyway, for the fashion and the decorating.
You will NEVER believe what I saw in the background of Charlotte's kitchen?!? In the scene where she is making cupcakes and becoming overwhelmed with getting this baking task done AND watching her kids (sound familiar?) you catch a glimpse of a bulletin board behind her on the door. It is strategically covered (just like your board at home) with kid's artwork and goodies and there, in the middle (sort of near the top) is the SAME red flower invitation from Target that I used on the front of Carlie's invitations! I was just about to jump out of my seat when I saw it. I was pretty proud of myself for having similar taste as someone who works on the decorating set of Sex and the City! If you haven't seen the movie yet, or if you see it again, check it out!
I was thrilled last night when the women that I was inspired by sent me emails about Carlie's party! Having their support has helped get her party "out there" on the web which is great. I love to share my designs with other people who share my interest in super cute parties.
Paula, of Frog Prince Creative, was kind enough to feature Carlie's Red & Pink Party on her blog today. I met Paula about two months ago when I stumbled upon her Frog Prince Birthday Collection. Oh. My. God. I had been working on a Frog Prince theme myself and my mouth hit the floor when I saw what Paula had designed. We emailed back and forth about various graphic design software and I could tell that Paula was one special woman with amazing talent. It's nice to be a part of the crafty cyber world and have "friends" that share my passion. Thank you Paula! Check out her post here.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I can hardly believe that my little girl is 2! I L-O-V-E planning parties and creating paper party goodies, so this was heaven on earth for me! It was the first time since starting Save Me A Seat that I actually got to plan and implement a party from start to finish. I have been researching parties and dessert buffets for months and was thoroughly inspired by the talented women in this field (Amy Atlas being the absolute guru on dessert tables). It was such a pleasure learning from these women who have successfully made party planning a career (they are my creative heroes.) I designed the dessert table with a lot of inspiration from the blogs listed below and many other websites where I caught glimpses of goodies that made me stop and think. I made the cupcake toppers (inspired by The TomKat Studio’s party circles), birthday banner, mantle banner, sweet treat bags, party hats, napkin rings (coming soon to my shop) and table coverings. The adorable birthday doll cake topper was made by Wee Cute Treasures. The mini two tier pink cake was made by LaSalle Bakery of Providence. I was so excited when my sister-in-law brought the cake in the house. It was EXACTLY what I was hoping for!
My daughter Carlie was the ultimate inspiration for her 2nd birthday party. She’s a busy, bright and bubbly little girl. She loves color, music, dancing, sweets and puppets. She frequently wears pink (I’m partial) and likes to get out there and get dirty. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a picture of the end result of her little birthday cake. She had a great time with many friends and family at her party. Thanks to her daddy, she even got to go swimming!
I couldn’t have set this party up without the help of friends and family. My in-laws were gracious enough to let us host the party at their home, help me with anything I needed AND let me do my “creative thing” with their living spaces. I enjoy creative freedom! I had no idea how much engineering came into play with party decorating! My brother-in-law and husband’s uncle helped craft up the lollipop garden, vase bases, and three-tiered cupcake display. When a large drill bit, utility knife or saw is involved – I stay out of it!
My mom, husband and sister-in-law were a tremendous help with keeping Carlie occupied while the living room transformed into her special party. Why is it that I always underestimate how long it actually takes to set things up? In my mind an hour, tops, will do it. I should know better by now! Because decorating and desserts are my thing I needed some serious help in the “dinner” section of the party! My best friend Michelle whipped up her delicious chocolate chip cookies and barley salad, my favorite green salad was prepared by my mother-in-law, the infamous Auntie Gloria’s potato salad was fixed by my mom and my sister-in-laws Rebecca and Rochelle didn’t let us down with some buffalo chicken dip, delicious guacamole and sangria. My husband did a fabulous job as grill master with those hot dogs and hamburgers. Now, a Cambio feast (even though it was a BBQ) would not have been complete without Nonna Cambio’s famous lasagna, ravioli, meatballs, sausage, braciole and sauce. That was a lot of food!
Little Carlie danced to her music, ate her cake, hugged her mommy and daddy, kind of opened her presents and smiled for all of her guests. She didn’t really know that all the fuss was about her, but she sure did enjoy her party and I enjoyed every minute of making it a special day for her!
Thank you to everyone who traveled from both near and far to celebrate this special day with us. It wouldn’t have been the same without you all!
Tomkat Studio - http://tomkatstudio.blogspot.com/
Pen n’ Paper Flowers - http://penandpaperflowers.blogspot.com/
Fresh Chick Design Studio - Brandt’s Yo Gabba Gabba Party –
Bella Grace Party Designs - Alyssa Loves Pink - http://bellagracepartydesigns.blogspot.com/2010/03/real-parties-pink-party_19.html
Amy Atlas - http://www.amyatlas.com/
Last August, I was searching the web for cakes and I stumbled upon a blog called The TomKat Studio. Kim, from the TomKat Studio, is amazingly crafty and creative. She's a party planner, blogger, decorator and top notch mom. The minute I saw her lollipop collection I developed a “party crush” on this woman! I get lost in all of the goodies she posts about. Every single party she blogs about and every single item in her Etsy shop is absolutely incredible. She is already super successful with her business, but I am waiting for her to step in and take over for Martha. It’s bound to happen for Kim! Besides being a loving mom and an unbelievably crafty lady, Kim manages to continually update her website and give amazing, unsolicited spotlights to other people out there doing the same thing she is doing. I use her blog as a party library! Everything is organized and easy to find. I am thankful for people like Kim who inspire me to do something creative whenever I get the chance and the hope that moms can do what they love from home while raising their little ones. If you have not yet visited The TomKat Studio, it is something you need to put on your To Do list. You won’t be disappointed! But, if you forget, you WILL see her on Oprah or the Martha Stewart Show – whichever is lucky enough to book her first!
PS Carlie's great grandmother, Nonna Cambio, picked that white rose for her from her garden and attached it to her card. Complete with wet paper towel and plastic bag around the stem. How sweet is that?
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
From the moment I saw the big red flower invitations in Target I knew they had to somehow be worked into Carlie's invitation. I am a big fan of photos on invitations so I knew that I couldn't use the flower as it was intended - all by itself. On the back of the flower there is space to write in all of your party details. Very cute, just not the look I was going for. I decided to back the red flowers with pink card stock, round the corners of the card for a little extra something :) and use the inner left hand side to display a photo of Carlie and the right side for the colorful party details.
I felt like it needed a little something more so I decided to wrap a piece of green tulle around the card and knot it in the front. BEWARE. As cute as that knot was, it cost me an extra 20 cents per invitation in postage once I got to the post office WITH my lovely envelopes stamped with 44 cent "celebrate" stamps. I was a little upset because the USPS does make a 64 cent stamp but I never imagined that the little bump that the knot created would put my invitations in the "special handling" category of letter mailing. So much to my disappointment my cards needed two 10 cent stamps each in addition to the adorable "celebrate" stamp. Oh well. Next time I'll think of something cute that lies flat.
Overall I was really pleased with the invitations. Carlie's picture, of course, being my favorite part!
I can hardly believe that my baby girl is turning 2 in just a few weeks! I've been VERY busy thinking about her party. In fact, it's a bit of a problem :) I think I started thinking about her birthday about 6 months before it was going to happen. I mean, how am I supposed to collect all the perfect details if I don't give myself plenty of time? At first her party was going to be all about Elmo, and then I changed my mind. Then it was going to be very colorful and flowery, and then I changed my mind about all the color. The main color has always been red but the supporting colors (and theme) have changed. The final invitation design was inspired by these red flower invitations that I found at Target for $1.48 per set of 10! Holy cow! Can you believe that price? I bought nine sets because that is ALL they had ;) and figured I could use them for decorations as well as in my invitation design. I did however notice yesterday that they are now selling for $5.99(ish) a pack so clearly it was a mistake in price when I purchased them. The REAL reason I got them was for the envelopes. Envelopes can be expensive so I have been known to buy packages of invitations or thank you cards JUST for the envelopes. At like six cents an envelope I could not go wrong with these. Plus I thought they were SUPER cute. So for today I would like to give you a sneak peek at what our guests saw when they received their invitation in the mail. I LOVE getting cute mail. The bills...I save them for my husband :)
Did I mention that I am hosting this party at my in-laws' house - six and a half hours away from my own house? I have rubbermaid bin after rubbermaid bin filled with party details that need to be transported (along with all of the other necessary items for a road trip). My poor mother-in-law has been so patient with my requests - like measuring the length, width and height of a table so I could get my table cloth perfect :) I'm lucky they love me.
I'll post more of the details of Carlie's party soon!
Get out your bathing suits and get ready for Alexandra's 5th Birthday Pool Party! Ali's mom was so excited to plan her little girl's birthday party that we started working on the design before we finished working on her son's communion! As soon as she told me the theme was Lilly Pulitzer inspired, I could only think of pink and green in a variety of patterns. We were both really pleased with how the final design came out. Stay tuned for pictures of the favor tags, thank you notes and the birthday banner. I can't show you yet and ruin the surprises for those attending the party :) Happy Birthday Alexandra! I hope your day is everything that you would like it to be!