flip-flop mini cupcakes

This past weekend, I had a beach themed wedding shower dessert table.  Here's a little sneak peek...  I think I like these little mini cupcakes because they remind me of the spring / summer months that are right around the corner!  Here's to wearing flip-flops again soon...

red carpet cocktail

Ready for the Oscar's this weekend?  I just happened upon the perfect drink to accompany any Oscar soiree.  I love this!

The Red Carpet Cocktail
(image and recipe found here)
-1 1/2 oz. Vodka
-1 oz. Campari
-1 oz. Pomegranate Schnapps
-1 oz. pomegranate juice
-1/2 oz. simple syrup
-lemon slice for garnish

Combine the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a lemon slice and serve.

Sounds good right!?

walnut baby shower game :: part two

I have to start by saying thanks to those of you who participated - I chuckled at each of your guesses!

And the answer is......
twenty seven!!!!  

Can you believe it!?  I wish I could see all your faces right now - that's the best part of this game by the way.  Yes, 27!  Now some items might be a little "subjective" to some, but I just left it how my grandmother had it. (So don't send me nasty emails how you don't agree with this or that. :)) You can pick and choose what to put in your shell.  I have also thought of a couple more things that could be used - listed below.  One thing I really like about this game is it will be new to all your guests.  I can pretty much guarantee no one will have seen it or played it.  My grandmother made this and played it 50-60 years ago!!!!  So, it is a new and fresh idea.  

Here is a photo breakdown so you can see it all come together.  First up, the bow.  Use blue or pink depending on the sex.  Or if they aren't finding out the sex, any multi-colored baby ribbon would be perfect. 

Next up, the rubber banding.  You would have to do this regardless if there were items in the shell or not.  It's two halves and they won't stay together by themselves.  Then when you add 27 items you definitely need a rubber band.

This photo is just the nut as soon as I take the rubber band off.  I just wanted you to see how tightly it's all stuffed in there.  You have to get creative.  Tuck things here, tuck things there.  Anyone who is a good packer would be good at this job.  

This next picture shows a good example of how tight you have to be.  My grandma stacked all the flat items together, used the thread (one of the items) to hold them all together, then tucked the stack into one side of the shell. 


Next is all the items spread out and the list.

1. safety  pin
2. cotton ball
3. gauze
4. baby asprin
5. baby tooth
6. baby bracelet (the pink and white beads - this was actually my mom's hospital id bracelet!)
7. baby picture
8. cherrio (I bet that tastes fresh!)
9. toy
10. miniature clothes pin
11. miniature bottle 
12. newspaper birth announcement clipping
13. lock of baby's hair (I put it on a little piece of paper so you could see it better)
14. heart locket necklace 
15. key to baby's bank 
16. money (need lots of this to have a baby - definitely more than just the dime shown!)
17. baby ring
**Next 3 items related to devout Catholics like my grandmother
18. baby rosary
19. Guardian Angel baby prayer
20. mother and baby medallion 
**Next 7 items are obviously a sign of the times when women made their children's clothes / blankets
21. thread
22. ribbon
23. elastic
24. baby button
25. yarn
26. ric-rack (apparently a prevalent detail on baby's clothes years ago)
27. snap fastener (you know, on onesies) 

So there you have it!  A fun, new and creative baby shower game.  Thanks Grandma Riedel - I miss you!  

I also thought of a couple more items you could add...
- rice cereal (put it in tape like the hair clipping)
- a baby fingernail clipping (but maybe kinda gross!?)

And onto the winner... Angel who said "I am going to be brave and guess 8."  Angel, I don't have your email so you'll have to email me (apowers.apartystyle@gmail.com) to receive your prize.  

walnut baby shower game

I'm so excited to share this baby shower game with you guys! Now, I love a good shower game every so often, but sometimes there is a need for a non-cheesy baby shower game. (Especially when the daddy-to-be and his buddies are part of the guest list.) And this one is great! My grandmother, who was a genius party diva in her day, made this and used it years ago. She gave it to me and it's a keeper!

It's call "The Walnut Game". You take a walnut shell, hollow it out, and fill it with baby items - as many as possible.

As I write this, I'm deciding to turn this into a two part post. Let's have some fun! First post, we'll have a little friendly competition! Comment with your guess as to how many baby items are in this walnut. Whoever is first to answer correctly (or closest without going over) will win a prize - I don't know what that prize is yet - I just now decided to do this. Just means, I'll have to go shopping! (And my husband says I'm not spontaneous!) Make sure to include your email so I can contact you in case you win.

On Wednesday, I'll post the answer and show the "behind-the-scenes" of this game. So tell me, how many things do you think are in this walnut?

top hat wine bucket

On a recent trip to the party store, I saw this top hat wine bucket.  Wouldn't it be fun for the upcoming Oscar's!?  Very festive!  It was only $12.99.  I like to buy pieces that I can use for more than one theme/party.  With the top hat there are a slew of other holidays/celebrations you could use this for.  To name a few...

-New Year's
-Oscar Party
-Hollywood Theme Party
-Snowman/Winter Party (use it as the base for snowman centerpieces)
-Alice in Wonderland Party (Mad Hatter)
-Halloween (spook it up for decoration or use as a candy bowl)

You could also use this in lieu of a basket the next time you are giving a gift basket.  Say like a movie themed gift - movie tickets, popcorn, candy, etc. all tucked into this hat.  Cute!

Any other ideas???

And look at this "fancy" one available here.  More expensive obviously, but so p-p-pretty!


feature :: mermaid party

I recently received a party submission that definitely needed to be shared - lots of hard work, planning and cute details!  Stephe out did herself for her daughter's third birthday.  Check out her blog for more photos and details about this great mermaid party.  Here are a few of my favorite details from the event.  Great job, Stephe!  Thanks for sharing with all of us!

I just love this pettiskirt with the starfish detail.  (And would you look at that smile!)
Festive mermaid wands for all the invitees. 
Look at the "Seaweed Banister".  Love it!
Okay, here's where it gets really good - Look at that backdrop!  And the enlarged, framed photo of the birthday girl is just icing on the cake! 
Speaking of cake, look at these cupcake toppers!  Now, that's personalized!    
And finally, would you just look at those clam cookies!  Adorable!  

happy v-day

Much love to all you wonderful readers!  I love you all!  Your comments and emails are what keep me blogging.  Each one sweeter than the last - Thank you!

Okay, now check out this candy sculpture by Nathan Sawaya called "Sweet Heart".  I can't decide if I like it or not???  Kinda gross, kinda interesting.  
(image source)

And, of course, a special Happy V-Day message to my honey!  I love you, Jeromy!  

valentine heart tart

Our neighbor, Valerie, who is very talented in the kitchen by the way, just brought these adorable little valentine heart tarts over for my girls.  Get it... heart tarts like pop tarts!!  Aren't they cute!?  So cute that I just want to eat them - oh wait, they're not for me.  In case you can't read the tag (it is a quick iPhone photo after all), they are raspberry cream cheese heart tarts.  She gave them to the girls a day early so they could have them for breakfast tomorrow - how thoughtful is that!?   I had to share in case any one needed a last minute Valentine's idea.  Watch the full tutorial here.  Valerie packaged them up so nicely with little tags and gingham ribbon.  So "sweet" - Thanks Val, the girls can't wait until morning!

valentine cupcakes

Whew.... what a week! There is a reason for my complete lack of posts lately. My husband fell on the ice and broke a finger. Doesn't seem that bad, right!? Well, one thing lead to another and it ended up being a multiple day fiasco. In the x-rays taken at the hospital, they found a cyst in his bone and sent him to an orthopedic oncologist. I figured everything would be fine, but that doesn't mean I wasn't a little scared when I heard the word oncologist. This "cyst" actually ended up being cartilage growing inside his bone, which made it weak, hence the break. So now he has to have a bone graph surgery to fix it. Not a big deal (apparently it's a quick out-patient surgery), but by the time this is all said and done, he will be in some sort of cast for the better part of two months. Poor guy! And to make matters worse, the day after he was in the ER for the break, he ended up back there for a severe allergic reaction to the painkillers they put him on. Yet again, scary! He is now the carrier of an epi pen and has to wear a medical bracelet. So, like I said, whew... what a week!

So, let's turn this week around and talk about something fun! I was asked to bake something for my daughter's school Valentine's dance and here's what I came up with. A twist on the classic chocolate covered strawberry. How about a strawberry covered chocolate cupcake!? (I am a baker after all!) It's a chocolate cupcake with strawberry icing with a cut heart-shaped strawberry detail. Easy-peasy!

Okay, I have to go box up these "lovely" cupcakes for delivery. (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun.)

crayon shadow box monogram

This past Christmas, I racked my brain for something personal to give my daughter's teacher. (Something that didn't have apples or #1 Teacher on it - I assumed she had received plenty of that over the course of her teaching career.)  The class collectively contributed to a larger gift, but I still wanted to give her a small token of our appreciation for her outstanding job!  I came across this adorable idea on several blogs and thought it would be perfect.  It was really easy to make.  While back-tracking to give proper credit (still don't know where I actually saw it first??), I found this site that includes a fantastic tutorial.

All you need is a shadow box frame (I found mine at Ikea), poster board, an exacto knife, hot glue gun/glue sticks, a Sharpie, and a new box of crayons.  (Sidebar... does anyone else get as excited as me when you open a brand new box of crayons???  One of life's little pleasures in my book!)

I love how whimsical, yet classic, this gift is.  I hope Mrs. Ferguson can hang it in her room for years to come!  And, Mrs. Ferguson, if you're reading, thanks again for all you do for our children!

favor :: i need help

Okay, I have a question and hoping you all can help me.  I have an upcoming party that needs flowers - like LOTS and LOTS of flowers.  Fake flowers.  Where can I get fake flowers for cheap?  Anyone have any ideas?

I was hoping to find bags of them for sale on Ebay or something, but have come up empty handed so far.  I have hit up a few sales at Michael's where I bought several stems at a dollar a piece, but I need hundreds and that translates to hundreds of dollars - not in my budget.

I am going to start weekly visits to my local goodwill/dollar stores and I'm planning on making some by hand with tissue and napkins, but I just thought maybe someone might have another resource I haven't thought of.  Any help is much appreciated!!!

boat party

I am working on several inspiration boards right now - a few of them are new and exciting!  One that I'm working on is for a surprise 30th party and another one is for a beach themed shower. The two of them together got me reminiscing about my own hubby's surprise 30th, so I thought I'd share a few photos.

I rented a boat for a sunset cruise around the Thimble Islands here on the coast of Connecticut.  It was a lot of fun!!!  Since you have to bring everything on the boat and set-up in 30 minutes, I kept it all very simple.

A couple of details worth pointing out...

I wrapped all the utensils in blue napkins and tied with white nautical rope (which I found at a local boat shop, but you can find it at any hardware store).  I burned the ends so they wouldn't fray - just like the sailors do!

Again, for simplicity sake, I just made cupcakes with blue "waves" on top.  Then I detailed them with a little life preserver and a Swedish Fish candy.  To make the them personalized, I wrote my husband's initials (JHP) on the top and the roman numeral for 30 (XXX) on the bottom.  I made the preservers out of fondant and cut thin strips of Foot Roll-ups for the red strip detail.

An east coast boat ride wouldn't be complete without a lobster roll, right!?

And finally, I just had to include a couple pictures of the houses out on the Thimble Islands.... WOW!  

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