Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fabulous Finds: Delicious Dessert Dinner Party Products

Anyone who really knows me knows that I love dessert. Yes, I admit it, I have a sweet tooth, or two - okay, maybe all my teeth are sweet teeth. :-) Truth be told, I love dessert even more than the meal like 95% of the time. In fact, I've been known to take really small servings of the actual meal only so I can overindulge on what is to me the best party of any meal - a sweet, and hopefully dark-chocolatey, treat! So, it wouldn't suprise most that upon seeing the above napkins at Plum Party recently, my mouth instantly started watering. The petit four pictured does look good enough to eat, doesn't it? (I only wish I could get mine to turn out as gorgeous!) So much so that I have a craving to purchase these napkins. I even have a party brewing in my head. A party centered around dessert - A Delicious Dessert Dinner Party! (Of course, the whole point of this party would be to forgo the dinner and move right along to dessert!) This event would be a wonderful one just for you and your girl friends. Have each friend bring their own favorite tempting treat and completely cover your dining room table with them. No need to sit down at the table as you'll be munching on delicacies all evening.

Ingredients for a 'Delicious Dessert Dinner Party':

* Weeks ahead of schedule mail invitations to your friends. To get them really excited about the upcoming festivities, mail them cute menu card invitations. On the inside of the card print the details of the evening instructing each guest to bring their favorite dessert to share on their favorite serving dish. You may also suggest that they bring recipe cards of the dessert along with them to share with party guests. This will get their mouths watering well before the party even begins.

* Of course you'll want to purchase the above napkins to go along with your themed party.

* If these napkins are incorporated you'll already have a built-in color scheme - raspberry pink and chocolate brown. These colors mixed together almost look good enough to eat!

* Before guest's arrive drape dining room table with layers of raspberry and chocolate colored fabrics. Just purchase several yards from your local fabric store. Don't know how to sew, no problem! When draping fabric you are easily able to hide seams or frayed edges. To create several different layers for your guest's dessert dishes, before draping fabric, scatter varying heights of boxes or books on table. Once finished, drape fabric over these items and guests won't know that you're actually hiding ugly boxes and telephone books!

* For the evening's entertainment, rent the movie Chocolat. Before guest's arrive be sure to have plenty of throw pillows arranged on the floor in the room where you will be watching the movie. Also purchase the large boxes of candy (similar to the size you buy in movie theatres - most drug or Target type stores carry these) and scatter those around the room. These boxes of candies along with plenty of drinks and maybe even large popcorn themed tubs filled with chocolate covered caramel corn will help make your dessert themed party a huge hit.

* For favors your guests can walk away with all of the recipes cards that have been brought. In addition, these Admit One Chocolates would also make a great take-away gift and memorable closure to the evening.

The end! (I'm now off to find my own dessert!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fabulous Find: Unique Molded Cake Pans

Giant Cupcake Cake Pan

While recently browsing the web, I ran across this ultra-fun giant cupcake cake pan. What child, or adult for that matter, wouldn't love being presented with this gigantic cupcake instead of a traditional sheet cake? It will surely put a grin on the guest of honor as well as all of your guest's faces. It's even large enough that it could be your tablescape centerpiece - just place the decorated cupcake on a stand as they've done in the photo! Cupcake measures: 15½" x 8¼" x 3¾". Not sure how to carry the cupcake theme through your entire party? As stated above, use this cupcake cake as your centerpiece. Scatter cake decorations, such as the fun sugared confetti pictured above, on your tabletop. For place cards, place an individual cupcake in the center of each placesetting and insert these unique cupcake toppers. Need something to keep your little guests' busy? Perhaps have them try their hand at decorating the large cupcake cake. Or, if the thought of that (or the mess they may create) frightens you - start small and have each child decorate an individual cupcake. Give a prize for the best decorated cupcakes - prettiest, most unique, scariest, etc.!

Lego Cake

Speaking of unique birthday cake ideas, I thought the above giganto cupcake cake could not be beat. That was until I ran across this very fun lego cake pan. This would also be the perfect cake for a children's birthday party. Carry the theme all the way through and make the entire party lego themed! Use the lego cake as your centerpiece (build your own fun cake plate/stand out of legos), scatter lego pieces on the tabletop, and even make cool lego designs and prop placecards on or against them. If you are really creative, I bet you could even make lego napkin rings! Just in case the kids get bored, set up lego stations around your house to keep them busy and perhaps give a prize to the child who creates the most unique lego creation. Finally, as parting gifts, give out mini boxes of legos. Lego cake is available at

With all this talk of cake, my mouth is really watering for a nice little bite. I wish I could run my finger over the blue icing above and actually get a taste! Now, that would be nice! As my stomach is now growling, I should be running along. Please return next Tuesday for our next Fabuous Find(s)!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Item of the Week: Cupcake Topper and other Party Items

I thought I'd start a new feature on my blog each week - an "Item of the Week" feature highlighting a new, or perhaps just a favorite, item available on my site. My favorite item this week is something that I've just finished handcrafting this weekend. The very cool cupcake toppers pictured above. These pinwheel cupcake toppers come in sets of 6 (we also have some larger sets available on our site) and are handcrafted in my cottage. They would certainly be a special highlight at any children's birthday party. Especially for those of us who are technically challenged when it comes to decorating with icing. (Yes, I am challenged - I admit it - I have no talent even though my parents owned a bakery when I was young. If you are interested in that random rambling see the bottom of the post.) Even if you can barely ice a cupcake and even if the final product is lopsided, no one will notice. Your party guests will only notice these cute pinwheel cupcake toppers. We even have sets available, such as the one pictured above, that include a place card attachment. Just inscribe your guests' names on the card and place a cupcake in the middle of each placesetting on the table. This will certainly help avoid the fighting that goes on when kids are permitted to choose their own places - especially at a birthday party. (I have 12 stitches in my forehead to prove that kids do argue over seats - yet another rambling - see below.) Or, place a dozen or so cupcakes with toppers inserted on several varying heights of cake stands (or whatever else you have on hand - don't have cake stands, cover boxes or books with tablecloths or napkins and then place cupcakes on top) in the center of your table and these would make a unique centerpiece or the start of a unqiue children's birthday party tablescape. In place of a name, inscribe "Happy Birthday" on the card attachment.

I am still in the process of handcrafting these cupcake topper place cards (I have a stack of cardstock about a foot tall just waiting to turn into pinwheels), but as more become available, they will be added to the Fabulous Festivities area of my site. In the meantime, if you have a kid's birthday party coming up and you are going for a particular theme or color, just e-mail me at and I'll certainly see what I can do to create something amazing for your next birthday party or event.

In addition to the pinwheel cupcake toppers, pictured above, we also have matching pinwheel napkin rings. These can either be used as place cards, or you can insribe a special message on each. Even better, if the napkin rings aren't destroyed at the party or taken home as mementos of the evening, they are sturdy enough to be re-used. The place cards can be removed and a new card can be slid on the brad attachment on tha back. (Contact me for place card replacements.)

Who says that the top of your gift has to display a bow?! If you are tired of placing the same old bows, like I am, a top your presents, we've also created unique matching gift toppers/attachments. They are also - surprise, surpise - pinwheels. The back of each pinwheel contains glue dots so the pinwheels can easily be attached to the top of your gift. In addition to the glue dots, the brads on the back can also be used to wrap around gift bag handles. This works especially well with our smaller pinwheel gift toppers. And if things couldn't get any better, some of our gift toppers also contain gift tags so purchasing a card is not even necessary!

Random Rambling #1: My inemptness at decorating with icing!
Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). When I was practically a baby, my parent's owned a bakery in Chicago. It was a pretty well known neighborhood bakery and I literally grew up there as my mom also helped out my dad with the business. Of course they did the traditional donuts, breads, cakes, etc., but my dad was also pretty good at the cake decorating and they decorated many a wedding cake (my dad even made and decorated my parent's own wedding cake). Even though they sold the bakery before I reached school age, my dad still stayed in the baking industry and when I had show and tell in kindergarden my dad came in and showed everyone how to make an icing rose infront of the class. I think he even had me try my hand at it as well. I don't remember exactly how my rose turned out that day, but it was probably pretty bad - considering my age. :-) Well, 4 years ago I was pretty bored with my life and I decided that I needed a hobby so I decided to go to Hobby Lobby to try to get one (Where else would one go?). I saw the cake decorating classes sign and decided to sign up with a coworker. I get to class and I'm all excited. After all, I should probably be pretty good at this since I may have inherited some of my dad's talent, or so I thought at the time. By the first class I learned that I was so wrong. I can be clumsy and as it turns out I'm even more so when it comes to doing anything with icing. My coworker, on the other hand, ended up being great - every Monday morning she would even try to give me lessons before our work day started. Despite the fact that I was very pathetic at it, I decided to continue on to Wilton II classes - partly because my coworker loved it and wanted to continue, but mostly because I had invested quite a bit of money in all of the cake decorating supplies at that point (everything from the Wilton pans to the tips to the turntable, etc - yeah, you ever wander why the classes are so cheap? It's because you literally have to buy hundreds of dollars of supplies at their store to complete them. ;-) ). To draw this rambling to an end, I have an entire container of cake decorating supplies in my closet that hasn't been touched since the classes ended. Every once in a while I tell myself that I should put them to good use and then I remember how pathetic most of my creations turned out. And yes, my dad did not pass down his cake decorating gene to me!
Random Rambling #2: How I got 12 stitches in my forehead and 6 in my chin in 1 week!
It was a Sunday afternoon and I was all dressed in my Sunday pretties. I still remember the green puffy dress I had worn to church that morning. I must have been 3-4 at the time. My mom calls me and my older sister and younger brother into the dining room for Sunday lunch. I am too young to totally remember the happenings back then but for some reason there was china on the table - not sure if we always ate on china on Sundays or if this happened to be a special occasion, but nonetheless, it was there. My younger brother and I go to argue over which place we are going to sit at and while doing so I must have slipped and grabbed onto the china plate on the table to try to catch myself. And guess where it went? Straight into my forehead and it wasn't a pretty site. Needless to say my parents rushed me to the emergency room, with blood all down my pretty dress, and as it turned out I needed 12 stitches. Graphic content: The plate even went deep enough that it went through to the bone between my eyes and a plastic surgeon had to do 6 stitches underneath and 6 on top. Anyway, I got over the experience as soon as I saw the tootsie roll lollipop bouquet that I was presented with upon departure. And nope, the story doesn't end there. Three or four days later I'm leaving to go outside, following my sister along the way, and I trip going down the cement stairs. And, yes I busted open my chin which lead to another emergency room visit and 6 more stitches. If I remember the story correctly, it was a Catholic hospital and the nuns questioned my parents about child abuse since it was our second visit that week. Their response must have just been that they had a very clumsy daughter - me. (Now, you are probably not surprised at all that I can't decorate cakes - and yes, my nickname is still clumsy.) And no, I was not tramatized at all by these 2 hospital visits in a week - why? Cause the nurses presented me with a second tootsie roll lollipop bouquet the second visit as well. In fact, I can still vividly remember going home and sitting there with a huge bandage on my forehead and a huge bandage on my chin, sucking away on my tootsie roll lollipop! I guess I must have loved my sweets even back then! :-) And in case you are wandering my stitches did not end with that second episode. When I was in third grade I also got stiches in the back of my head and a concussion. I'll leave that story for another day, but in the interim I'll just hint that my 3rd, and final, round of stitches was the result of a rainy day, my grandma's rock patio backyard, and a tomato cage (I still don't think my parents know about this third part!). Interested now?