Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

~May the joy that St. Nicholas found in giving inspire you~
~May the love of Jesus, the child, surround you ~ 

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Minnie Mouse Party

My first official "Pinterest Party". Not all the ideas came from Pinterest, however if you have looked at the gorgeous tablescapes posted there you will understand where I am going with this.

My daughter, Holly, turned 5 this week! In these short five years, I have managed to pull together 3 parties. December is one tricky month to plan a party. One year, I held her birthday in October to avoid the whole December scene. This year, I went with a Wednesday date because the weekends are booked.

Enough details about choosing a date, on to pictures!

 Love this super simple idea. One large black paper plate, two small and a bow. If you bring your own paper, Smart Start on Jake Alexander Blvd will let you use their die cuts for free! The paper I had left over from scrapbooking days (before digital!).  I hot glued the bows to the large plates so it wouldn't fall off with wiggly 5 year olds.

Ahhh, the tablescape. Took this picture before the two trays of sandwiches were in place, but this pic looked best to share. The banner was another little to no-cost decoration. I used publishing software to draw triangles and chose the red and black colors to fill-in the triangles. The polka dot triangles are from free downloadable scrapbook papers. Google "free download scrapbook papers" and you will be amazed at all the colors and patterns available. For free!

The center plastic tablecloth and the red napkins are from Walmart, the Waverly collection. Loved the pattern to match/contrast the polka dots.

And the balloons. Had a little sticker shock over the cost, but in the end soooo worth the effect. The Party Connection in downtown Salisbury made these. They offer a variety of balloons shapes, and while the actual Minnie Mouse 4ft tall made from balloons was extremely tempting, this bouquet was more inline with my budget.

Since the party time was near enough to dinner, I want to provided a little more than cake and ice cream.  The mouse sandwich is turkey and cheese. Choose the fruit to make another mouse on the plate. If I could have added anything, it would have been a pimento bow to the sandwich. Pimentos are available near the olives in the grocery store, in glass jars. Buy the kind with long strips, not chopped. I've made pimento bows for cheese balls during the holidays before, but didn't think the kiddos would appreciate the effort for 15 of those little cuties.

Found a great inspiration cake from google, Crimson Cake's Hawaiian Minnie is adorable. Of course, our theme was red Minnie, not pink, and after everything else, I simplified the design to stay sane :-) All the bows were cut with the Cricut Cake Mini, using the Birthday Cake cartridge. There is a bouquet of flowers with a bow just right for the occasion. The ears on the cupcakes are mini-Oreos, split in half, without the filling.

One more thing about the cupcakes: I love these cupcake liners. Reynolds Stay Brite Cupcake Liners are awesome! Don't be disappointed by baking cupcakes in printed paper liners, only to have the design fade once the cupcake is baked. Best of all several patterns are available at Food Lion. Never sure which design will be there, so I buy them when I see them.

Ellis Park is Salisbury is the-best-kept-party-location secret! In addition to a really nice playground, the school house has a kitchen, large dining hall, and an indoor play room. That was great, since it rained the day of our party.

Holly's request for her party was "I hope we have games!" So, I enlisted the help of a party planner to lead the children in three Mouse-themed games:

  • Musical Minnie (musical chairs except with Minnie pictures on the floor)
  • The Balloon Duck walk (two teams, race to see who can walk with a balloon between their knees, pop the balloon, run back, tag the next team member and then the first team to finish wins)
  • Pin the Bow on Minnie
Three games were just enough for a two hour party. Then the gift opening, Elizabeth managed that so very well. Holly sat in a chair with the other children on the floor. Then as each gift was opened she called up the gift giver, giving them extra special attention too! Loved it! 

Last but not least, the party favors were Minnie and Mickey Cookie pops. I made one small bouquet to stand on the table, the rest were on a tray. Instead of the regular cookie pop sticks, I used wooden coffee stirrers. Cheaper and flat. Flat sticks are easier for me to work with for cookie pops. Downside is not as sturdy, but these weren't going far, so I wasn't worried.

The cookies have fondant ears and red sprinkles for the bottom. I like fondant on cookies but in moderation! 

I could never have pulled this off alone! Thank you to my friend, hostess supreme, Elizabeth and my husband on balloon patrol! Best of all, Holly is one amazing 5 year old, smart as a tack and generous too!

If you have stumbled upon this little Minnie party and are planning one yourself, enjoy! 

My Strange Obsession...Paper Products

In middle school, Julie's mom worked for Earle's Office Supplies. I loved going to downtown Salisbury to visit Mrs. Motley at work. Fresh paper, new sharpies, notepads, carbon paper. All of it. I love paper products.  I love my color printer and have been printing everything I can dream up since my daughter's birth announcements back in 1998. I would keep a stock of paper, different weights and colors, various envelopes for any occasion.

Did you know there are so many paper products to package cakes and cookies? I have a problem. The packaging supplies are taking over the dining room. Just until Christmas Cookie season is over. I think. Boxes, cake boards, cups, lids, plates. Almost like office supplies but for cake!

The large oval plates are sturdy enough for cookies, not too large or too small. I think these will be my go to plates. At least until I use these up! One year I tried pie boxes, too flimsy. The Dollar Tree carries lovely clear plastic rectangle trays, but even $1 is too expensive when you are a micro bakery. The oval plates are sold in bulk by Swicegood Paper Products here in town. Love shopping local.

Swicegoods also carries these styrofoam cups and lids. Nice for individually packing cupcakes, but a little too tall for most of my designs. I think a Christmas Tree cupcake would look good here.

My favorite paper product is actually plastic. These plastic cups. How cute is this? The lids don't quite fit, so a little tape helps. I have found the matching lids online at The Webstaurant, but must resist ordering more util I have a little more space in the dining room! Or an occasion to individually package 100 cupcakes :-)

Wait these tins are my Most Favorite of all. Great for 6 regular cupcakes. The lids are just the right height not to smoosh the carrot nose, or a classic 1M swirl on the top of a cupcake.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? My plan is to bake away for the remaining weeks of Advent, use what I have and uncover the dining room table for Christmas Dinner.  Just need to steer clear of aisle 14 in the grocery store.

By the way, did you know that Waverly makes a paper dinner napkin? Waverly. Maybe just one more thing.  Just for Christmas.