Last month marked my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary!
(Goodness, that's a LONG time!)
My Aunt Linda and Granny have been busy planning this anniversary celebration in Branson for months, so we had been anticipating getting together with everyone for awhile.
I was put in charge of party details and after watching all the coverage on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrating her 60 year reign, I thought... But, of course! The Roberts Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years of wedded bliss.
It really wasn't hard pulling it altogether.
I hit up the party store after the 4th of July and found so much cute stuff.
I think this photo that my brother photoshopped for me was my favorite part of the table display!
I "borrowed" the Queen's formal portrait and had my brother, Dustin, implant my grandparent's faces in their place. He also made me the subway art below, and I think he nailed it. It's so hard to share your vision with someone over e-mail, but he got it spot on. Love that brother of mine.
This was my first attempt at freezing cupcakes and it was a success since I made them at home and then took them on the road with me to Branson.
I made my white cupcakes with a caramel buttercream and then a chocolate cupcake with a Reese's peanut butter cup type filling and my favorite go to peanut butter cream cheese frosting. I found the recipe via Annie's Eats, HERE. My Uncle Steve said these chocolate cupcakes were the BEST he's ever eaten... Just sayin', they were YUMMY.
And what would an Americana celebration be without apple pie?
Thanks, Sams Club!
My super sweet Mom helped me with the red tutu for the cupcake stand. She loves me.
And it just would NOT be an official Jubilee without fancy party hats!
After the photoshopped photo of my grandparents, this was my second favorite part of the party. When I sent out my mass e-mail to my family telling them the theme of the party and to all bring their best party hats, I worried no one would participate and would think I was nuts-o, but everyone really got into it and it was so much fun!
I wish I would have thought to bring a prize for the BEST hat, because my cousin Kyle and his sweet wife, Anna, would have won hands-down. She made those! They were so cool...and soooo tall!
And I had to end this post with my Uncle Steve, remember the guy who said my cupcakes were the best he's ever eaten? Yea, that's him and my Aunt Marcia holding my sweet nephew, Reid. Don't worry, him saying my cupcakes were the best is legit, he's really not "special," just super special to us.
Pretty sure TJ had to watch the part where I spilled the Reese's pb cups all over the place like three times.
If you'd like to make this yummy, cool treat yourself without the pressure of bright lights and cameras, it is delicious!
Ingredients: One Oreo Pie Crust Large Tub Cool-Whip 3/4 C. Creamy Peanut Butter 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar 1/2 C. Crushed PB Cups
peanut butter and powdered sugar on low heat in a sauce pan until
combined and melted. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool down. Gently fold
in peanut butter mixture to the Cool-Whip. Fold in crushed peanut
butter cups and pour into Oreo crust and freeze for 3 hours. Garnish
with caramel and chocolate drizzle.
For Teacher Appreciation Week at Brock's Pre-School, I headed to pinterest to find a cute idea we could whip up quickly. This couldn't have been simpler. I used my cricut to cut out the flower and then wrote Thanks for helping me "grow" this year! Love, Brock
He signed his name and off it went to school for Mrs. Erin.
During the first segment I made Marshmallow Popcorn.
Super yummy, but would probably make EXCELLENT popcorn balls.
3 bags popcorn (pop and take out extra kernels)
2 sticks of butter
16 oz bag of marshmallows
1 cup brown sugar
Microwave butter, marshmallows, and brown sugar for 2 1/2 min. Take out and stir. Microwave again for 1 min. Repeat until thin sauce. When done pour over popcorn and mix.
Then I made some bacon wrapped smokies with brown sugar and butter that I found the recipe for over on pinterest from this website.
1 poundBacon, Cut Into Thirds
2 cupsBrown Sugar
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the bacon into thirds and wrap each smokie. Place all the wrapped smokies in a single layer in a baking dish. Then melt the stick of butter and then 1 cup of brown sugar and stir until mixed well. Pour the butter and brown sugar mixture on the smokies and bacon. Then take the other cup of brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over the smokies. Bake them for about 15-20 minutes and then turn the heat up to 400F for about 5 minutes or longer until the bacon becomes crispy.
Then for the second segment I stuck to the dips.
Who doesn't love a GOOD dip?
Just NO double dipping at my house when my husband is around!
First I made some S'More's Dip which I found on pinterest HERE.
1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 cup marshmallow creme
1 box (13 oz) graham cracker honey sticks
1) In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and condensed milk on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chips are melted. Stir to mix well. Pour into 9-inch glass pie pan, spreading evenly.
2) Drop marshmallow creme by tablespoonfuls randomly over chocolate mixture. Microwave on High about 30 seconds or until marshmallow creme is softened. Immediately with knife, make several small swirls through marshmallow and chocolate, creating a marbled appearance.
3) Serve immediately with graham sticks for dipping.
And then I made some Brownie Batter Dip which I also found on pinterest HERE.
This recipe came from the Crumbs and Chaos blog which I LOVE now after having found it on pinterest. This stuff was AMAZING, and it looked a lot prettier prior to all the people dipping into it!
8 oz CREAM CHEESE
1/2 cup BUTTER
2-3 cup POWDERED SUGAR -- varies by desired consistency
5 Tablespoons FLOUR
5 Tablespoons COCOA POWDER
2 Tablespoons BROWN SUGAR
3+ Tablespoons MILK -- varies by desired consistency
1 teaspoon VANILLA
With a mixer, beat together the cream cheese and the butter. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and 1 tablespoon of milk until combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla and 1 more tablespoon of milk if needed. Beat until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and milk alternately until dip reaches your desired consistency.
I took my Super Moist White Cupcakes, folded in 7 crushed Birthday Cake Oreos, and baked for about 18 minutes. Then I took my basic buttercream, put a small amount in a bowl and added about 3-4 very finely crushed Birthday Cake Oreos, mixed it up really well, and using my cupcake corer I made little holes in the center of my cupcakes that I then filled with the oreo frosting. Then I just colored the rest of my frosting pink, per Jillian's request, frosted my cupcakes, and then she topped them with lots of sprinkles. She was my BIG helper!
Check out all those sprinkles...
And here's my sweet helper...
Always has to be right there in the kitchen with me, love that girl!
These got rave reviews at church tonight!
HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY TO MILK'S FAVORITE COOKIE, THE OREO!
Having said that... While on facebook the other day I ran across a post that confused me. So I had to do a little investigating, and upon my investigation, what I found really upset me. A fellow party planner, Creative Juice, planned and put together a Potty Party to celebrate their child finally being potty trained. Any parent that has successfully gotten their child out of diapers knows what a BIG deal that is and what a huge accomplishment that can be, not only for the kid, but for mom and dad who NO LONGER have to drop $$$$$ on diapers!!! Whoo Hooo!!! Now, would I throw my kid a Potty Party... probably not. We celebrated that milestone by going to Monster Jam. To each their own. And her party was amazing. So cute... All the way from the cute little fondant undies that topped the cupcakes to the toilet paper wreath. But then, some blogger found her party utterly annoying and disliked it so much that she felt the need to rip her a new one by posting about it on her blog called People I Want to Punch in The Throat. Why would people even visit a blog with that name? That is so distasteful! She went on and on and on about how much she hated the idea of this party and just everything about it, that then other blog readers jumped on her band wagon and went on and on and on about how stupid they thought it was as well. And if that wasn't bad enough, then they went over to the Creative Juice blog to then comment again about how stupid of a party they thought it was... just flat out ugly, rude, and disrespectful comments. I just don't get how people can be so inconsiderate of other people's feelings. What ever happened to the "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" standard or what about "treat others the way you want to be treated"? I think too often people forget that their words can be so hurtful and damaging to a person's feeling of self worth.
I guess this all just hit too close to home for me because now that I've got this gig on tv, it just reminded me of how people have NO filters and don't think before they speak... or as now with facebook, blogs, and even pinterest, they can hide behind typing. People feel they can hide behind their computer screens and just lay it all out there, not even thinking of the damage their rude comments can have on others... when in all actuality, they would NEVER say anything like that to that person's face. I knew going into this co-hosting job that I would need to get some pretty thick skin, because as hard at it is to believe, not everyone is going to like me. (I know, crazy, huh?!) But the first time I saw a rude comment about me on facebook, it stung. A lot. And I wish I could say there's only been one hater, but that would be a lie. People must not think that the person they're bashing and tearing down has feelings, I guess, because I can't think of any other reason why they would do that, like what they have to say and their opinion is more important than the person's feelings they're trashing. What do they have to gain from it all? Does it make them feel better? I know I should just ignore it all, but that's so hard to do. They say, don't even check facebook... ummmm... do you even know me?? Like that would ever happen. I know there will always be haters. I can't control that... but I can control how I respond and react. And that is something that Mindy of Creative Juice has done gracefully. She has had so much support from other party gals and even got her party featured on Hostess With the Mostess! That's amazing!
So why? Why even go there? If you don't like it (or someone in my case), keep it to yourself. Instead of tearing each other down, how about we give a little praise? Would that kill ya? Or how about we just keep our sweet little pie holes shut...
If only the saying "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" were true...
It couldn't be any further from the truth...
Words hurt. Words sting. Words suck sometimes.
So, how about for 2012, we think before we speak.
I'm so thankful that I haven't had any P-n-P haters and I'm thankful for each and every one of my blog followers and facebook fans. They're the best.
So, from now on...
Anyone who feels the need to bash me and say ugly things to me via ciLiving's facebook page or e-mail will get the following response from me... "Bless your heart. Have a nice day!"
This is the MOST unprepared I have ever been when planning a party and I have to blame the birthday girl. She kept going back and forth on what kind of party she wanted, so finally the week before her birthday I asked her one final time... and she said hello kitty, so that is what we did! She kept going back and forth between hello kitty and Barbie, and then she'd throw in a party at a hotel (what?) and then she'd want a Christmas holiday party... so you can see my frustration. Typical girl.
So, with a little help from pinterest and my mama, this is what I pulled together! I think it turned out pretty cute!
I found the idea for these cute hello kitty lanterns on pinterest here. She made them using poms, but I thought this would be a little easier, and they were! Cut out the eyes, ears, and mouth and then used black pipe cleaners for the whiskers.
I really wanted a ruffle cake, but just didn't feel confident enough to make one myself and with not a lot of time on my side... I outsourced! And I think it turned out GREAT! Lori with Hawthorn Suites here in Champaign made this cake for me and the super cute cupcakes. The cake was just as delicious as it was gorgeous. It had a yummy strawberry-bavarian cream filling on the inside! You can go LIKE her on facebook here and check out some of her other cake creations! Be sure to tell her Pirates-n-Princesses sent ya!
Brittany whipped these up for me and I think she did such an amazing job! I'm pretty sure Brock ate like 3 or 4 of them. If you are local and have any cookie needs, you should totally look her up! And even if you aren't local, you can still ohhh and ahhh over her adorable cookie creations here on facebook.
Now... who's seen these adorable crepe paper ruffled streamers out there in blogland and pinterest? Cute, huh? Apparently they are not as quick and easy to whip out as other bloggers make it appear. Me, having ZERO sewing skills, asked my mom to help me with this project, and thankfully she always does, but apparently these are a little more time consuming than I thought they should be. I had big plans for them to go over a span of two windows, but after 2 hours and only 10 three feet long streamers and party time quickly approaching, we had to go to plan B and put them over the back door, which luckily turned out just fine! But if you know the trick to making these little puppies quicker, PLEASE share!
Again, thanks to pinterest, found the idea for the treat bags here. And since we kept her party just family, I only had to make and fill four of them, not that they were hard, these were super easy.
At the kids table I set out some hello kitty crayons and coloring sheets, that again, thanks to pinterest, I found here. Then each kiddo got to take a little hello kitty stuffed animal home with them.
And what party wouldn't be complete without a balloon or two?
This party was actually fairly easy to pull together since I think I kept it fairly simple. I used a lot of stuff that I already had at home, so I didn't need to buy a whole lot of stuff, which is always nice. It was a nice family gathering and at the end of the day when I tucked my sweet birthday girl in her big girl bed, she told me she loved her party and that she had the best time....which makes it all worth it.