Friday, August 31, 2012

Cupcake Wars Birthday Party

I wish I was writing with a tutorial for this amazing party theme, but this is just an idea post. My sweet friend Chael works for an cupcake shop called Trophy Cupcakes, and she told me about a recent customer who bought undecorated cupcakes and cakes, and lots of topping and decorations to use at her daughter's 'Cupcake Wars' birthday party. What an amazing party theme! My husband and I watch Cupcake Wars religiously, and that theme is so adorable and interactive!

I don't know what that particular mom is planning, but I envision this theme to be perfect for a tween girl's birthday or slumber party. You could easily make a general topic ('Birthday' is an obvious idea, or you could get creative and pick something the birthday girl loves such as Twilight, soccer or pop music) for the challenges to be based off of. If you're comfortable with a mess, and have a large enough kitchen, you could allow your guests to bake the cake, but I think it would be just as fun to decorate only. Give them three rounds (or as many as you wish) and challenge them to use specific flavors and/or decorations to craft their treats. If you want, you can also provide shoeboxes or some kind of small display (simple cupcake stands, maybe?) for the guests to decorate as their "1,000 Cupcake Display" to match the theme.

I really want to give this theme a try, but seeing as how my only daughter just had a birthday, I probably won't have the opportunity for a little while. Have any of you tried a Cupcake Wars party?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

7th Birthday Rainbow Party

Last month was my daughter's 7th birthday.  We have a lot going on this summer, but I knew I wanted to throw an extra special party for her, because I had my MY all-time favorite birthday party when I turned seven.  She had been asking to host a sleepover for quite some time, and I figured this was as good a time as any (and it didn't hurt her case that I hosted MY first slumber party during my seventh party.  You sense the pattern, I'm sure).

We were originally considering a Tea Party theme, but after a few posts caught my eye on Pinterest, I suggested the Rainbow theme and she was thrilled.  Here is a summary of the decor, food, favors and activities I came up with.  Please know that I found many of these ideas online, or were inspired by ideas I saw.  I hope this post will inspire you to do something just as fun if you've been thinking of trying this theme!


Probably my favorite feature was the Rainbow Pinwheel on the ceiling.  I used colored plastic tablecovers (I was able to find most at the Dollar Tree, and grabbed the remaining colors at Party City) tacked to the ceiling, and added streamers and hanging decorations (found at Walmart and Party City).


In addition to BBQing, I served up a rainbow menu, of course!  A bowl of Rainbow Goldfish crackers, pretzels dipped in white chocolate with rainbow sprinkles, rainbow marshmallows, and rainbow kabobs:  wooden kabob sticks with strawberries, cantelope, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries and a purple grape.

I also created an assortment of rainbow candies that Willy Wonka himself would be proud of:  Pixie Stix, Button candy, M&Ms, rainbox sucks (, and many more.  I bagged up some of the candies in pretzel bags (in the Wilton area of Walmart or Joanns) in rainbow order.

Additionally, I crafted bagged rainbows by placing white mini marshmallows in the bottom of a clear treat bag, then adding colored Twizzlers in an arch. These, along with the bagged candies above, were great favors to send home with our guests (the adults in particular).
Lastly, the birthday cake!  Or, in this case, birthday CUPcakes.  I used white cake mix, divided it into small bowls and dyed with food coloring, and layered small spoonfuls in rainbow order.  After baking and cooling, I covered with light blue frosting (sky) and piped white frosting into cloud shapes which held the piece of rainbow belt candy (cut in half) to create a 3-D rainbow.  These were a huge hit!  For extra fancy serving, plase colored candies in the bottom of a disposable whine flute and top with the cupcake!
I was able to use a similiar process to make rainbow swirl sugar cookies, too!
The girls enjoyed making bracelets with colored beads and string.  Before bed, they stranded Fruit Loops onto plastic laces and enjoyed a healthier version of "candy necklaces" as they watched a movie. 
We filled our goodie bags with a variety of colored candies, toys and trinkets.  One special item we added were our homemade crayons-- melted colored crayons bits in a baking tray that cooled to form one adorable rainbow crayon.
Last but not least, I gave my daughter a rainbow nail paint job, and of course bought a rainbow colored tank top for her to wear to the party!  Another party favorite, although not rainbow, were the birthday cake pancakes I made the next morning.  These were so delicious!