Cranberry Apple Cornbread Stuffing
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a dining room table! We also have an amazing cornbread, cranberry and apple stuffing that was definitely worthy of the inaugural meal at our new table.
One of the most exciting things about moving into a house with more space was the prospect of comfortably hosting dinner parties with friends and family. I am not going to say that we ever let a small house stop us from cramming our previous home in the name of a good party, but I anxiously awaited the day to seat friends and family around a large dinner table for a comfy and tasty meal.
As we unpacked our boxes and started to get the lay of our new land, Allen decided that he wanted to build our dining room table. I instantly agreed and immediately began to romanticize how this table would hold and cherish our family history. Our friends and family would gather around this table to share amazing food, beautiful stories, and endless laughter for holidays, birthdays, dinner parties, sleepovers, and more for years and years to come. This table that would proudly be passed down from generation to generation.
I could not wait to get started…. I should clarify…. I could not wait for Allen to get started!
Elmo Birthday Party Fun
I frequently lust after the parties I see on some of my favorite party planning blogs, like Hostess with the Mostess and Pizzazzerie. The parties are amazing, the details are creative, the photos are beautiful, and the people appear to be having the time of their lives. While I would love to host parties that are featured in blogs and magazines, I consistently run into a few “minor” details… such as budget and available free time.
While I enjoy planning parties, making decorations, and baking cakes, these are just a few hobbies that compete for my ever dwindling free time and funds. I am on a mission to create the perfect party plan that maximizes a few quality decorations, stays within a reasonable budget, and sets the stage for fabulous fun!
As I continue on my quest for the ultimate party plan, here are a few components that will definitely make future party plans: (more…)
Dr. Seuss Cake
My daughter is rapidly approaching 2. Seriously 23 months and some change. Didn’t we just perfect the ultimate swaddle, conquer the squeakless door close, and master the art of stacking milk in the freezer? Our routines change so quickly with this bundle of energy, it is tough to comprehend that we are already building choo-choos with blocks, whisking pancake batter, and talking about friends at school (okay, maybe just repeating their names at home). I realize this is not a new phenomenon and time flies for everyone… I just wish it were a little more selective to the Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 5:00 time-frame!
- I have a daughter (this is still sinking in).
- She will seriously be 2 in a mere number of days.
- We celebrated, we celebrate, we will celebrate!
Oh, The Places You'll Go Door Sign
I love to decorate cakes, plan parties, and am always up for a good celebration no matter how big or small… we celebrate Pi day. I have to admit, however, that I was totally overwhelmed at the prospect of planning my own daughter’s first birthday party! How would I ever pick and finalize a theme? How would I decorate her cake? I checked all my usual sources for inspiration: Pinterest, Hostess with the Mostess, Pizzazzerie, etc., and despite all the amazing party plans, I wasn’t convinced.
I am a sucker for inspiration. I am a sucker for independence. I wasn’t ready to let go of little Sammie’s nursery theme, so we stuck with, “Oh the Places She’ll Go!”
Invitation: We found an adorable invitation in the Meghily’s Printables Etsy Store.
Decorations: I played with my Silhouette SD and found great hot air balloon shapes by SnapDragon Snippets in the Silhouette Studio. I selected several different shades of Bazzil cardstock to use for all my decorations and outlined the cutouts with a black marker to give it more Dr. Seuss sass. I downloaded the Doctor Soos font, for free, from dafont.com. I created a banner for the fireplace, hot air balloon bunting for the entryway, a door sign (re-purposing an old frame), and fun photos from Samantha’s first year hanging from helium balloons.
Dr. Seuss Cake
Cake: I had some serious trouble coming up with an idea for this cake that I felt I could actually execute! I decided to use gum paste, fondant, and edible markers to re-create scenes from “Oh the Places You’ll Go.” I loved the effect of the edible markers on the dried gumpaste. I did learn that you have to wait for the gumpaste to dry completely before using the edible markers, or the colors may bleed!
First Year Photo Collage
Photo Collage: We spent the year taking monthly black and white photos of Samantha on a plain desk calendar. We happened to have some extra wall space and found matching extra frames… all the night before her party. With the assistance of a little Urban Chestnut, we put together this photo collage in no time.. we (the beer) *may* have miscounted our photo-to-frame-ratio… which explains the somewhat random monogram in the fourth frame! D’oh.
Up next… la la la la… la la la la… Elmo’s World! Let the celebration continue!
Confession of a *wannabe* party planner…
I wish I could ditch the 8:30 – 5:00 job and execute party plans everyday!
Happy 1st Birthday Samantha!