22.11.2016

Cozy with Posey Party


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Posey turned 1 in October but #4thchildproblems + a busy October meant we had her party a month later.  Arden has been calling Posey "Cozy" since she was born (and honestly we call her that about 80% of the time too), so a "Cozy with Posey" theme seemed perfect!

As a designer, my pride and joy of parties is creating a fun invite.  Unfortunately this year things got away from me and I wasn't able to send them out in time.  So I did the next best thing and made a little video to text out.  I love the way this turned out!  I always feel like one year olds don't really need anything as far as gifts go, so for each of my kids' first birthdays I've asked for a donation, related to the party theme.  This year I asked for old/new coats, hats, gloves, etc...anything to help the less fortunate get cozy this winter too.  It's one of my favorite traditions and I'm thankful my friends go along with it.

 

I enlisted Mt. Vista Catering to take care of the food so I wouldn't have to.  They make THE BEST food...I say that, not in any sponsored way, but merely because I'm obsessed with everything they make.  They have a rotating menu of daily lunches and also cater events.  We did an Heirloom Tomato Soup, Butternut Squash Soup, French Dip Sandwich and Caprese Sandwich.  For the kids, they had little brown boxes with a grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup and the cutest tiniest apple you've ever seen (pictured below).  I was apparently too busy eating the amazing food to take any pictures.

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I also had a little hot chocolate station.  I don't want to go as far as saying a hot chocolate bar because I really wanted to make this simple for myself.  I set up 4 hot chocolate flavors to choose from, some Pirouettes and cute hot chocolate cups.

Of course, I can't forget the cake.  Dolce Bella by Erin knocks it out of the park every time!  I asked her for a s'mores cake and boy did she deliver.  Fudge cake, layered with chocolate ganache, toasted marshmallow buttercream, chunks of toasted graham crackers, topped with chocolate sauce and toasted meringue!

 

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Happy 1st birthday, Posey Bea!

21.04.2016

Rilo’s Wildcat Party


I'm not sure how it happened, but Rilo Jane turned six this year!  After much debate on a party theme, she decided on a Wildcat party.  I went crazy with patterns but kept the colors black, white and green so it didn't get too busy.

For the main table, I cut out green leaves from oversized paper I picked up at Joanns.  I hot glued it to some twine and hung it on hooks.  You can see that below.  I honestly cut and glued all of this 10 min before the party started.  It was so simple but looks so great in photos!

I saw a beautiful ombre green and gold cake and asked my girl Erin of Dolce Bella by Erin to create something similar.  I also asked if she could add some flair to the inside.  Check out the cheetah spots!  If you are in Utah, Erin is your girl for cakes and treats.  Really, truly the best cake I've ever eaten and her decorating skills are incredible!

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I wish I would've grabbed a photo of all my kids, but everyone had on some sort of wildcat apparel.  Love this little two year old tiger!

And the happiest birthday babe!  She danced to Taylor Swift with her friends, colored wildcats, ate cake and opened presents.  Nothing too elaborate, but it was everything to her!

 

Invitations/Muslin Bags: Collected (me)

Plates, Napkins, Balloons: Shop Sweet Lulu

Cake: Dolce Bella By Erin

Royal Icing Sugar Cookie Tutorial: The Alison Show

 

21.11.2014

Arden’s Garden Party


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Invites designed by me, styled by @sarahjlarsen

I thought long and hard about what theme to use for Arden's 1st birthday.  Since she's always been my happy, sunshine baby I originally thought of a yellow party.  And then the whole Arden's Garden idea popped in my head and well, I LOVE a good pun.  A big thanks to Tai Pan Trading for helping me pull this party off, since October isn't really the most prime time to throw a garden party.  They still had the perfect garden related options for me, as well as the best white dishes around!

 

I designed the invites and went from there in terms of color and style.  I wanted the party to be a little less rustic and a bit more mod, so I paired the graphic veggies with a modern typeface.  I included a tomato encouraging guests to bring canned foods to be donated, in lieu of gifts.

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I made the turnip garland from ornaments found at Tai Pan.  It's a toss up between the garland and the cake for what I think makes the whole table.  Or is it the cookies?  I love it all so much.  That amazing cake was made by Dolce Bella by Erin.  I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said it was the best cake I've ever had.  And those cookies?  Yes, those are The Alison Show's infamous sugar cookies and yes they taste even better than you're imagining.

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I picked up a few grocery store bouquets and some buckets from the dollar store.  Not bad for $15 worth of flowers right?

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I set up a little potting station for the kids to make a bean plant.  I love bean plants because they sprout so quickly.  I used this project as party favors for all the mini guests.  I love having an activity double as a favor!

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Inspired by Caravan Shoppe's table coverings, I created these large coloring pages to cover the kid tables.  I printed these at Staples...their engineer prints are large and super cheap.  I was so surprised how much Arden loved coloring!  She spent a lot of time at that table.

 

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We served mini sliders on pretzel buns, since Arden's favorite food is meat.  I also had other fruit and veggie options for everyone to snack on!

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As much as I LOVE decorating for parties, I love gathering with my friends even more. We were so lucky to have so many friends come celebrate Arden!

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Turnip Ornaments, Metal Buckets, Veggie Dishes, White Platters, Orange Pants: Tai Pan

Arden's Birthday Dress: Dream Catcher Baby

Cake: Dolce Bella by Erin

Cookies and Expert Party Suggestions: The Alison Show

Invitations and Printables: Collected (me)

24.02.2014

Rilo’s Gumball Party


One of my main goals when I plan parties for my kids is to make sure the party really fits their little personalities.  Rilo has recently become "obsessed with gum"...her words, not mine!  Sometimes I'm mortified because it's often the first thing she asks for upon seeing someone.  So the gumball idea worked!  I used the tubes of gum balls from Kara's Party Ideas as the color inspiration.  I liked the rainbow color theme because Rilo says that every color is her absolute favorite.  She can't pick just one to save her life!
 
I also used the gumball tubes as inspiration for the invitations.  I used the colorful dots all throughout the invites and party.  I cut out a little bit of honeycomb paper to make a popup "gumball" when you opened up the invite.  Then I put them in a bright pink envelope, sealed it with rainbow washi tape and then placed it in a small red box.  And just for added flair, I threw in a few gum balls in the box.  More tape, a tag and some string and they were finished!
 

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I'm not much of cake maker or decorator so I asked The Mighty Baker to make the cake and macarons for me.  The salted caramel buttercream filling was SO good.  I'm still eating that delicious cake...it's worth not losing that baby weight.  I wanted to keep this party pretty simple, so I ordered some 5" honeycombs, and filled a few glass jars with gum balls and called it good!
 

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I created a gum ball craft with dot paints and pom pom balls and a few of the kids played Pin the Gum on the Gumball Machine.

 

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For the food, I had circle shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids, and a build your own sandwich bar for the adults.  Rainbow goldfish, veggie chips and a rainbow fruit and veggie platter rounded out the food.  We sang happy birthday and had cake and ice cream!
 

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Thanks to Kayti from @thebeyoutybureau for this cute photo of Rilo blowing our her candles!
 

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I sent the guests home with a gumball tube and a goodie bag with a mini colored pencil set, Hi chews and little smiley face stickers!

 

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I loved this little party and most importantly my Rilo Jane loved it too!  Here is my big 4 year old, in all her cheesy smile glory!

 

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Sources:

Cake and macarons- The Mighty Baker

Plates, cups, straws, favor bags, confetti balloon- Shop Sweet Lulu

Gumball tubes, party hats and other party favors-Kara's Party Ideas

Honeycomb paper- Devra Party Corp

5" Honeycomb Tissue Circles- Factory Direct Party

09.12.2012

12 Days of Christmas Downloads: Cookie Exchange Party Kit


 
Whoops! Apparently this post didn't go up earlier. Here is the kit of all your cookie exchange party essentials: recipe cards, voting ballots, cookie labels and awards! See pictures and details from last year's party here.
 


 
 
And for your convenience, here is the entire kit, including the invitations!

 
I'm already excited for this party and it's still a few weeks away. I've been trying to decide which cookie to make and have narrowed it down to 3! If you throw a cookie exchange party I would love to see pictures. You can email them to bri@collectedblog.com!

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07.12.2012

12 Days of Christmas Downloads: Cookie Exchange Party Invitations


 
Last year I threw a Cookie Exchange Party with some of my friends. It was really fun (and delicious)! Here were last year's invitations and last years free invitation download.
 
This year's invitations are also up for grabs. I went with a little more non-traditional colors this year and I love it. You could host this type of party anytime. After Christmas, Valentine's Day or anytime you need an excuse to eat lots of yummy treats. Fill yours out by hand or on the computer, mail (or email) and then host your own cookie party! Tomorrow I'll have all the other party downloads available for you too (recipe cards, awards, etc.).
 

Here are the invites available for download:
 



 


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16.02.2012

Rilo’s Winter Waterland Party


We had a really good time at Rilo's 2nd birthday party!  At 39 weeks pregnant, I knew I wanted to make it as stress free as possible.  We rented a room at our local library which was the best decision.  When I sent out invites I realized that there would be around 20 1-3 year olds!!  The big huge room, with nothing to break and a door that closed was absolutely perfect for all the kids (and the moms too!).  We filled the floor with balloons and all the kids ran around and played for 2 hours.

 

The library had policies on hanging things on their walls so I bought 2 large presentation boards and decorated those for the backdrops for the food and drink tables.  For food there were Peanut Butter and Jellyfishes, Seafruit (fruit), Sea Anemone (Veggies), Sushi Rolls (Assorted Wraps), Goldfish and Whale crackers.  The star of the show was going to be macaroons shaped like oysters, with a pearl inside, but they fell through last minute.  Instead I brought peanut butter bars, which I was going to label driftwood.  I've never claimed cake decorating as a skill of mine, which is evident from the pictures.  Luckily it tasted just fine!

 

For activities, I made a wooden fishing game.  I bought a dowel rod, some magnets and little wooden painted sea creatures from the craft store.  I used hot glue, but I would suggest using something stronger, like E3000 for gluing the magnets.  We had some that came off during the party (hello choking hazard!).  We had a craft table where the kids made an octopus with a paper plate and crepe paper.  I also had a Pin-the-Scale of the Fish game, but we didn't even get to that part...the kids loved the balloons the most!

 
For favors, Alison from The Alison Show, taught me how to use royal icing and we frosted mini fish cookies for everyone to take home.  The party wasn't as crazy detailed and styled as I had it in my head, but I had a great time and hopefully everyone else did to.  And really, that's what matters!

 

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone that came and special thanks to my girl Kayti, who came to our rescue and helped us bring all the food and supplies to the library last minute!

21.12.2011

Cookie Exchange Party


Saturday I hosted the cookie exchange party and it was equally fun and delicious (click here to download the free invites)!  I'm already excited to have another one next year.  Everyone made some yummy treats, which made the voting process pretty tough.  We had milk and hot chocolate (Stephen's Chocolate Mint Truffle + Whole Milk= Heaven) and some veggies & Rosemary Triscuits to balance out all the sweets.

 

After sampling a little of each cookie, everyone had a chance to vote on their ballots.  There were 4 awards: Most Unique, Best Looking, Most Creative, and Best Overall.  Each winner received cookie cutters, gold mini cupcake liners and some candy and the Best Overall winner also received some Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix.  All the other guests were sent home with a tin of cookies and an envelope with all the recipes!

 

 

The Grand Prize winner was my friend Jess with her Pumpkin Glazed Cookies. Hopefully she'll let me share the recipe later this week. I loved them!

27.04.2011

Garden Dinner Party


Who thought it would be a good idea to have a dinner party the day before leaving for vacation and for the summer? I guess I did! It actually went really well and we were still able to clean, pack and head out on time the next day! This was mainly because I had a party planning partner, Nicole. Plus big help from Kayti and Lindsay!
 
We came up with a garden dinner party theme to help welcome in spring and summer, despite the weather we were having. I thought little pots with chalkboard paint would be perfect to assign seating. Nicole and I saw a chandelier from Yan's ballet shoot that we loved. We decided to do something similar. We bought a hula hoop from the dollar store and ripped strips of fabric to attach around the hoop. Lindsay brought the flowers and rest of the table accessories were things on hand. I had the straws from Rilo's party and Nicole made the chalkboard sign from the wood and paint she had. I didn't take a picture of the invites but they were similar to the menus.
 
For food we decided to do gourmet burgers, which were burgers with various cheeses and toppings, karpouzi salad (recipe to come tomorrow), sweet potato fries + sauce and sweet coconut bread with sherbet for dessert. And now for the photos...
 

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{Images by Nicole & by me }

 
For more pictures of all the cute people who attended, including all 7 boys plus Rilo, check out Nicole's blog. Can't wait until Nicole and I are back for the fall. Many more parties to come!