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{real parties} "Big Dig" 3rd Birthday Party

Friday, December 31

While I'm working on my "2010 highlights" post (for Monday)
I'm really DIGGIN' some photos sent in to me yesterday and wanted to share them with you...
especially with any of you who have adorable little boys in your life.
These could've easily been included in my "happy" post from yesterday...
they definitely put a smile on my face!!

Party Girl: Marci
Celebration Type: 3rd Birthday Party
Theme: "Big Dig" Construction party
Color Palette: Yellow, Black, Orange & Brown

Marci created this adorable birthday cake
using bits of inspiration she found all over the web...
Along with the toy construction vehicles, Marci used candy corn "construction cones", oreo "asphalt",
licorice lanes and a brown sugar "dirt mound" to add the perfect details to this construction themed cake.
(Party Tip: You could also substitute the brown sugar with crushed vanilla creme sandwich cookies)

added the perfect personalization to the construction hats worn by the birthday boy and other guests...

What's a "Big Dig" birthday party without "Dirt Cups"...

"CAUTION tape" used as party decor gives the party an authentic "construction site-vibe".

Happy 3rd Birthday Evan!!
Isn't he just so adorable!! This photo completely warms my heart
and screams "I'm a VERY happy birthday boy"!!
(and that shirt he has on couldn't be more fitting for his party)!!

Thanks for sending in the photos Marci!!
I love how everything turned out...
I've got a house full of girls so the photos were a nice change of scenery around here!!

Wishing everyone a safe New Year's Eve....
I sincerely appreciate the support and reaching out you've extended throughout 2010.
So much has happened and I'm thrilled you've been along for the ride.
There are many exciting things on the horizon for Pen N' Paperflowers...
I look forward to sharing them with you in 2011...

Hugs to each and every one of you...Happy New Year!!

The karaoke night New Year's Eve gathering I was considering with a few friends?
Turns out it's just going to be a quiet night at home.
And I'm okay with that.

Even still...
I can't resist considering making some of these....

ADORABLE midnight snack bags



Thursday, December 30

Just wanted to share with you some things that have made me smile over the past couple of days...

These HOLIDAY TREATS were created by a FABULOUS customer of mine named Melissa...
she used my Happy Holiday Collection printables kit
to add to her yummy goodies she gave away as holiday gifts...
I LOVE how she wrapped the loaf with the patterned paper included in the kit.
I also love the cookies she created by printing the celebration circles onto edible icing sheets.

Thanks for sending me the photos Melissa...everything turned out absolutely adorable!!

These custom designed WINTER WONDERLAND BIRTHDAY INVITATIONS arrived this week.

Alex from Tadpole & Lily had me create these Anthropologie-inspired invitations
for her daughter's upcoming birthday party.
I love the "vintage" feel she asked for with the "distressed" snowflakes and vintage fonts.
She opted for my "FULL SERVICE" printing and they turned out gorgeous.
(They were shipped yesterday they are officially on the way!!)

and then there are these...


I designed them to coordinate perfectly with her birthday invitation...

Yes...they make me happy because they turned out so adorable...
But the real reason they make me happy is because
they have all been officially mailed out as of yesterday!
(along with a few adorable photos of the birthday girl that happen to make me smile too)...

I will be posting her "Classic Red Ball" party details after the new year.
(along with all of the details from the "To the Moon" baby shower posted by Amy Atlas earlier this month).

A lot of times, my posts are a direct reflection of something I'm in need of.
With it being so cold here in Florida over the past week...
I've been pretty grumpy.
I just. don't. like. the cold!!
So...instead of pouting about the cold I figured I'd warm my spirits by focusing on the little things that make me happy.'s post.
And I'm feeling much more happy now! (and maybe a little warmer too?) *wink*

{real parties} lemonade & sunshine FIRST birthday - Stephanie Toole

Wednesday, December 29

Party Girl: Stephanie
Celebration Type: 1st Birthday Party
Theme: Lemonade & Sunshine
Inspiration: this party
Color Palette: Pink & Yellow

Stephanie is one of my sweetest readers...
always taking time to reach out and comment on my posts - oftentimes inspiring me.
I was SO thrilled when she sent me photos of her daughter's first birthday party - thanking me for the inspiration from the party I hosted for my two older daughters.

The sugar-sweet details are REALLY making me long for the warm sunshine during these chilly days of winter...
I already want to swap out my cup of hot chocolate for a cool refreshing glass of Lemonade...

LOVE the idea of a "Lemonade Bar"...

Lemon slices, fresh mint leaves and pink sugar for dipping the rim of your glass...
not only is the presentation beautiful, it looks so YUMMY!

I love how the lemonade takes center stage on the table...
(notice the pink lemonade off to the side too?)

love the "french market" bottle peeking from
behind this refreshing glass of lemonade...
the "candy" lemon wedge is SO adorable!

Lemon & Strawberry Cake Pops with cupcakes in the background...

Stephanie even created little "lemon" tags for the plasticware...
("L" and a lemon slice graphic - SO cute!!)

I LOVE how she displayed a variety of photos from her daughter's 1st year...

Birthday girl and mom...both are gorgeous!!
a great "make shift" photo booth created by using lemon-clad fabric as the backdrop
provides the perfect photo ops with guests.

Mail the "personalized" photo of the birthday girl and guest
with the thank you cards you send out after the party...

Stephanie did a beautiful job keeping things sugar-sweet for her daughter's FIRST birthday.
Thanks for sending in the photos...
Check out Stephanie's blog for more details: Bits and Baubles

{real parties} Circus Themed DOUBLE Birthday Party

Tuesday, December 28

I've been wanting to share this party with you for some time now...
The details are crazy-amazing so...

Step Right Up Folks...
get your tickets right here...
to the most "Amazing Circus Birthday Show" on Earth...
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 470

Nancy McPherson contacted me to design a custom circus tent silhouette.
She was planning a DOUBLE birthday party for
her 2 year old son, Nolan and her 5 year old daughter, Caroline.
The tent graphic would be the focus of the party printables she would be creating.
I never expected to see so many "over-the-BIG TOP" details and was just in awe!!

There couldn't have been a more perfect theme for Nancy to have picked to accommodate both ages and genders!!

Nancy's inspiration?
The Anna Griffin Riley Collection fabric and paper.

Both the fabric and paper were used throughout the party...
You could find it as the backdrop for the dessert table
right down to the matching birthday outfits for Noah and Caroline...
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 236

And even a cute coordinating outfit for one of their adorable cousins...
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 042

Based off of the fabric swatches Nancy sent me, I created these circus tent silhouettes for her.
She chose to use the one on the right and created coordinating party accessories used throughout the party.

This fun balloon entrance greeted the guests...
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 304

And how cute is that "TICKET BOOTH"?
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 071

Once the tickets were handed out...
(along with a personalized bag to keep track of them...)
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 526

It was time for the activities to begin.
And let me tell you...
there were PLENTY of fun "Circus-style" age appropriate activities
to keep the kids busy and entertained.

Charicature Drawings
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 169

Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 527

"Go Fish" ping-pong toss
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 227

"Chocolate" Kissing Booth
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 412

"Oreo Stacking Game"
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 081

"Lucky Boxes"
The kids would pick a number from the jar...
find the matching number on the box...
and open it to reveal the prize!
How fun and "matching" is perfect for this age group!
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 439

And there were "PRIZE BOARDS" like this one
strategically placed throughout the party..
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 455

Aside from the fun activities...
Nancy didn't "clown around" when it came to the food...

Adult Lunches were served up in these fun gable boxes...
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 512

The meal included chicken salad sandwiches,
fruit salad cups and cheese straws.
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 277

And as you might expect...
there were plenty of treats available too!

Cotton Candy
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 486

Sugar Wafer Cookies
(don't they match perfectly)!!
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 029

Water bottles with the Circus Tent Graphic I designed
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 200

Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallows
(made by the birthday girl and mommy - so FUN!!)
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 353

Chocolate Circus Tent Lollipops made by Nancy
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 246

Oh yes....plenty of adorable cupcakes...

Personalized lemon cupcakes for Noah
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 418

Personalized cupcakes for Caroline
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 344

Circus Seal Cupcake
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 204

Circus Bear Cupcake
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 136

Tower of Cupcakes
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 363

Clown Cupcakes
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 192

What's a circus without popcorn?
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 012

or Salt Water Taffy?
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 093

And then there's the birthday cakes...
The absolutely ADORABLE birthday cakes...

Nolan's personalized birthday cake
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 194

Caroline's custom birthday cake
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 367

Everything was SO vibrant and fun....
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 132

I love the pink stool Nancy used on the table too!!
(The mini banner attached to it reminds me of my PARTY TABS!!!)
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 497

But there are even MORE party details...

Ferris wheel centerpieces
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 490

Birthday Book Signing Table
Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 441

And we can't forget the party favors...
Along with the Caricature drawings and prize boards,
party favors included these mini toy fish floating in glycerin soap

Caroline and Nolan Circus Birthday 090

Can you believe the details of this amazing Circus Party?!
Nancy - you REALLY knocked my socks off!!
Wonderful...wonderful job!!
I know there will be many readers inspired by all of the details and creativity in this party!
Thank you so much for coming back and sharing all of the details with me!

I shouldn't have been so surprised with the results of this party...
Nancy recently retired from a 20 year career in event planning & fundraising to stay home with her children!!

Party Supply Sources:
Circus Tent Graphic - Pen N' Paperflowers
Birthday outfits - Ellie Beans
Orange & White Striped Bags - Fort & Field
Custom Cupcake Toppers - Two Sugar Babies
Fondant Circus Cupcake & Cake Toppers - LC Cakes
Metal Place card Holders - Fort & Field
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