Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wall flowers

Last weekend I co-hosted a baby shower for a local friend expecting her first baby.  I basically was supplying location and a little decor.  It was a lot of fun, I love decorating so I feel like I get the better end of the planning deal ;) 

The other host was making all the food, running games and supplying prizes.  It was loosely based on classic Winnie the Pooh and the colour scheme was primary red, blue and yellow.  I originally just planned on making some Fleur Poms and streamers but then I found some directions for wall flowers on Made and decided I would give those a shot.  They were so simple and pretty!

First gather your supplies.  Good quality paper napkin (I bought mine at Target).  I bought two sizes, regular dinner and cocktail size, scissors and something to tie off the flower.  I used curling ribbon but you could use wire, twist ties, string etc.  

Take four of the larger napkins and open them up.  Lay them on top of each other keeping all of the edges together.

Take one cocktail napkin (or a larger napkin with the edges trimmed) and fold it up...

I just essentially rolled mine up, it was folded approximately four times

With your scissors round off the edge that is open (not the folded side), you could also make this pointy by cutting it into a triangular shape

Unfold your cocktail napkin and lay it on the centre of the four larger napkins

Now I took all five napkins and flipped them over and started folding them accordian style

Once I was finished folding it all the way I tied it off in the middle with some curling ribbon.

Holding it together at each end round of those with your scissors, this will create a nice scalloped edge.  Of course if you want them pointy you can cut them into points instead.

Fan out the napkins, if you wanted to stop here and make butterflies you could.  Perhaps add some wire or pipe cleaners as antennae

Gently pull up each piece of napkin, the napkins work well because they are stiff enough to shape a little and more forgiving then tissue paper.  I found that alternating sides helped keep the flower shape, in a sense interlocking each petal.

Here it is with all of the sides pulled up, pretty!

If you don't have cocktail napkins, just take a dinner sized napkin and cut the edges off like so....

If you wanted to make smaller flowers you can cut the edge off the large napkin and also off of the cocktail napkin.

Here they are above the fireplace

A few of the many fleur poms

It was a fun day, I had a lot of fun making decorations.  I will definitely be making fleur poms (so easy), streamers and wall flowers for Soleil's 2nd birthday party!

White chocolate blueberry cupcakes

As I was catching up with some of my favourite blogs this week I came across a recipe that I HAD to try. It looked so delicious!  White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes at Tracey's Culinary Adventures.  Raspberry and white chocolate are such a perfect pairing but unfortunately I didn't have any raspberry's or seedless raspberry jam in the house.  I really didn't feel like going out to buy some so I made do with what I had on hand.  Luckily I still had white chocolate chunks left over from the white chocolate dipped strawberries and had some homemade organic blueberry jam to use in place of the raspberries. 

So I gathered my ingredients, preheated the oven and got to work!

Mmmm white chocolate, this was after 30 secs.  It took just over a minute at half power to melt in the microwave.

The sugar and butter is creamed and the eggs added

This is the final batter, after the flour mixture and milk is blended in.

While the cupcakes were cooking I blended the butter and blueberry jam

Here it is after 6 cups of icing sugar, it became such a beautiful mauve colour with specks of blueberries

After the cupcakes cooled I cut out the centre and put some of that delicious homemade blueberry jam right in the middle! 

Next it was decorating time.  I filled the icing tube with the blueberry jam icing and proceeded to swirl it on top of each and every cupcake.  Divine!  Then I proceeded to have fun taking pictures of those very same cupcakes.  Enjoy.

Now we are going to enjoy them for dessert!

Thank you beautiful blueberry jam!

Happy Independence Day!


The 4th of July sort of marks the middle of summer, which if you are a 'glass is half empty' kind of person like me that means summer is half over!  Okay, technically it just started a couple of weeks ago, but it always seems to go too fast. 

I like thinking ahead of time about what I will bring to share to our annual 4th of July party with friends.  Last year it was red, white and blue trifle, which was delicious.  This year however a couple of different things caught my eye.  Red, white and blue strawberries was the first idea to get my attention.  I knew as soon as I saw them that I had to make them.  Who doesn't like chocolate dipped strawberries?  White chocolate?  Even better!!  The morning of the party J went out to Whole Foods to find me some fresh dippable strawberries, white chocolate and sprinkles. 

Now because J went to Whole Foods he couldn't buy the flourescent blue sprinkles, which means no bright blue smiles from the kids.  Such a shame!!  These vegetable dyed sprinkles seemed better suited in terms of matching the traditional blue of the flag which was an added bonus.  I was glad to not have sprinkles filled with blue dye to share with our friends and their children.

Don't they look so pretty?  They were yummy too!

The other recipe I had to try was Red, White and Blue Sangria.  Yep, it had me at Sangria ;) This Sangria was a little different in that it had berry flavoured vodka and triple sec.  The Sauvignon Blanc in the recipe was the real reason J was at Whole Foods.  I have had good luck with their 365 brand wines so while he was buying wine for the sangria he bought the supplies for the chocolate dipped strawberries as well.  The recipe was quite simple, but boy did it pack a punch (no pun intended).  It was yummy, I had two glasses and that was enough for me!

We had a wonderful day spent with great friends, great food and lots of laughs!  I hope you had a fabulous 4th!

Pirate party arrrggghh

Finn decided for his fifth birthday that he really wanted to have a party, after discussing different themes he decided he wanted a Pirate party!  I have seen so many beautiful party ideas and themes on the web that I straight away started searching for ideas. 

I decided I was going to try to design my own Pirate themed printables, but after several hours playing with photoshop and struggling to come up with a design that I loved, I went to Etsy.  It took no time before I found exactly what I had been trying to create.  We ordered and in no time we had the files with the printables we needed to create the perfect party for our 5 year old pirate!

Most of the printables had editable font, so we could change signs to suit us and our party.  For the bottles we bought printable sticker paper and turned bottles of Root Beer into bottles o rum!

We used the 'Sea Water' printable in the set for our water bottles using the same sticker paper we used for the Root Beer bottles.

Chocolate cupcakes with blue buttercream frosting made up the 'ocean' around the main cake.

The 'main' part of the cake was a strawberry cake, a 1/4 sheet that I ordered undecorated from Market Street grocery store.  Finn loves strawberry cake but I was concerned that it wouldn't come out right so I decided to just take care of the decorating. 

We bought some retro straws on Amazon

These were for the poison beverages.  I couldn't find vinyl/waterproof sticker paper locally so we used packing tape to go over the top of the labels so they wouldn't run/fall off in the ice.  This worked pretty well, the vinyl stickers would have been ideal but it still worked!

We had some yummy food to nibble on too!

We had a table set up with the goody bags and small prize bags.  For the treat bags I purchased pirate themed bags from Hobby Lobby and topped them with bag toppers from the printable set.

We bought some balloons in Red, Black and White to go with the colour scheme and I made more of these streamers in matching colours and hung them around the dining and living room.

We had some traditional games at Finn's request, pin the eyepatch on the pirate was played first.  Then we played balloon booty (popping balloons with their 'pirate booty' to win prizes), a treasure hunt and of course a pinata!  It was a fun party and Finn had a great time.  I had a great time planning it and am already planning the next one ;)