So I’m not much of a baker. Well, not much of a cupcake baker. And those beautiful frosting swirls? Yep, can’t do it. Don’t get me wrong – I have those little tools and the puffy pastry bag, but it just doesn’t happen. Not for me. And I’m fine with it because I can buy any generic grocery store cupcake and turn it into a perfect party dessert (in about five minutes).
So today on the blog, I’m sharing my secret. It’s simple:
Buy those grocery store/bakery cupcakes. I won’t tell. (And for those of you who can actually bake a delicious cupcake… well.. I’m jealous). For the rest of us, here’s a tip: pre-order. Our local grocery store takes preorders, and will always honor my request for two different color frostings and any color sprinkles. This makes a HUGE difference. Do it.
Pick up a package of adorable cupcake liners from any craft store, party store, or on Etsy. I’m partial to polka dots or other bold designs. Place the cupcakes right into the new liners (as is) a little bit before serving. Don’t do it too early because the pretty cupcake liners tend to spread out and loosen up over time.
And lastly… add a printable cupcake topper! Of course, I’m a little biased since I design cupcake toppers, but I’m amazed by how many people don’t use them or don’t know how to make them. It’s super simple:
Print the file on heavy white card stock (100 lb or more) from any color printer. At Oodles and Doodles, they come formatted with 12 per page.
Purchase short lollipop sticks from any craft store. Make sure they’re the SHORT 4 inch ones, and not the super long (6 inch) ones.
Grab a 2 inch round punch (really, they’re cheap and worth it) and punch out the circles. (I design cupcake toppers as a circle inside of a square so you can always cut them out as squares as well. But, to be very honest, it’s the circle that makes it). Buy a punch. They’re inexpensive and you’ll be shocked how many times you use it (favor bag labels, gift labels, etc).
So here’s the easy part. Once you have the toppers punched out all you have to do is glue or tape them on to the lollipop stick. Lots of different methods work. For those perfectionists, you can use a white dot sticker to tape the back so you won’t see any unsightly glue. For me, I have a love affair with my glue gun and use that. Quick and totally simple. (You can find these London Guard cupcake toppers and the whole matching party kit available here).
Display them beautifully on a cupcake tower or platter. I have one from Crate & Barrel that’s held up through many parties. And for more easy display tips, check out this party decoration tips post.
And that’s it! It’s an inexpensive party dessert that only takes a few minutes, but feels like it took hours.
If your family is anything like ours, we get a LOT of gifts every holiday. Those two lucky boys of ours receive more gifts than they know what to do with. And so after Christmas, I sit down to begin the task of writing a ton of thank you notes to family, friends, neighbors … the list goes on. You know the drill.
Of course, I am a bit picky with my thank you cards. (It goes with the territory). And in the holiday spirit of complete honesty, every one in our household has their own personal stationery. Well, almost everyone… everyone except my husband. He could care less. And let’s be honest, I’m writing most of his thank you notes anyway.
This year, though, we tried something a little different. We went for the personalized family photo stationery. And I gotta say, I LOVE it! I might be just a tad bias, but here’s why… 1) it can be used for anyone in the fam. So the kids don’t have to each write a thank you note separately. Or at least I don’t feel like they should. 2) It matches our Christmas card this year. (Yay! I can’t help it, but matching makes me happy), and I had them printed along with our Christmas cards. (Another win for being prepared way ahead of time)! 3) I used the exact same photo from our Christmas card. It pulled double duty. That’s a win-win. 4) And .. finally… come on! Look at those cute little faces! They make me smile everytime I pull a card out to write a note. That, my friend, is the ultimate win/win!
Oh how December always sneaks up on us… it’s freezing cold in Chicago, there’s a bit of snow on the ground, our Christmas tree is twinkling and the kids are bouncing off the walls on constant sugar highs. It’s by far my favorite time of year!
Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy HOWLidays from our family to yours. May you have a blessed holiday season and a 2018 filled with healthy, joy, and lots of cheer!
I’ve taken a bit of a blog break lately. Ok, let’s be real – a bit of a BIG blog break. It’s been over a year. Geez. I’m not going to lie… I’m kinda not a fan of blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE designing, coming up with new ideas, party planning, and DIY-ing, but I don’t really love the writing about it part. So I’ve taken a year off to spend more time doing what I love (read: chauffeuring two children around all day), and took a break from this part. But I’m back. Or at least I’m trying to be back. So I’m starting off (again) writing about something that I love.
I might be a bit biased, but I love designing stationery. I mean I love designing invitations, and party decorations and tons of other items. But something about a really great handwritten note on thick, luxurious paper… well that’s my jam. So now that it’s been determined that I’m totally biased, I’m going to be honest and admit that I adore giving stationery as gifts. It’s that perfect gift to give someone that has everything. You know those people? Family, friends, teachers(awh.. I find teachers to be really hard), neighbors, new babies, dog lovers, the list goes on). And honestly, how many of us actually purchase chic personal stationery for ourselves? I’m guessing not many. (Other than me and my kids who each have more stationery than we could ever use). As a result, I’ve been designing more stationery (and gift giving it), and it can all be found in the shop in the personal stationery section or the thank you card section. So, just a heads up, if you send me (or my kids) a gift, you’ll be sure to receive a handwritten note on some very chic stationery!
We love the 4th of July over here! Not only is summer the best season in Chicago, but I’m particularly in love with some great fireworks and bbq’s. So, in honor of the 4th, you can find this adorable free download stars + stripes banner. We whipped this up for the kids to cut out, string together, and use to decorate for our July 4th party. (So.. yep, these photos aren’t perfection… they are just our everyday… which is perfection to me).
Happy 4th and happy decorating! (And if you want more free printable 4th of July decorations, you can find some cupcake toppers over at this Oodles and Doodles post).
I love finding a way to help out a great organization, and when I stumbled upon the Confetti Foundation, I knew that was it! The Confetti Foundation is an awesome non-profit organization that supplies sick kids in hospitals with birthday boxes on their special day. The boxes are filled with birthday banners, coloring pages and lots of other fun stuff, all to make their day that much brighter while they’re stuck in the hospital.
I was so glad to hear about their work, and thrilled to be able to help them out by supplying some much needed party banners, coloring pages and bookmarks. If you have some time, go check them out… who wouldn’t want to make a little one’s birthday that much brighter.
Honk, Honk! Beep, Beep! Coming through… our little guy just celebrated turning TWO! Oh, how those years flew by… and we marked the occasion with all things that move (just like this little one) with a Transportation Birthday party. Everything was decked out with planes, trains, and automobiles .. and trucks… lots of trucks. We even had a drive-in movie for the little ones with our diy cars made out of cardboard boxes. The kids had tickets, little personalized driver’s licenses and snacks in their handmade cars. And most importantly, our sweet little two year old got to celebrate another birthday in true “boy” fashion.. surrounded by cars and trucks (and lots of people that he loved).
Happy Birthday my little one! You’re already so grown up!
It’s birthday season in our house! Not only do we have a little guy turning two, but our other little mad scientist is turning FIVE! So.. HE has designed (because that’s what you get when you’re a kid with a mom that promises to make you anything you want)… a lab pass scientist invitation. Now available in the Etsy shop with matching items coming soon (as soon as this momma can get it all together).