Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dane's Vintage Tractor 3rd Birthday Party!

To celebrate my son’s 3rd Birthday we planned a Tractorcade! For those of you who might not be hip to the farmstyle lingo, a Tractorcade is basically a parade of tractors…fun right?!?!

Dane's Great Grandpa Mickey has a collection of fully-restored, vintage farm tractors. Needless to say, our little guy is a bit OBSESSED with them! When I asked him if he would like to have a Tractor Party he literally flipped his lid and said, “Mom…that’s a GREAT idea!”

Tractorcade! Grandpa Mickey's tractors with the Pedal Tractor Dane got for his Birthday!
I just love it when someone (even an easily excitable toddler) gets as pumped as I do about a super cool party theme ;)
The biggest tractor in Grandpa Mickey’s collection is a classic red International, he also has some smaller grey ones too….so that is where the party inspiration really started…I had my color palette! I also wanted to accent with navy and white. A very classic color scheme, perfect for this time of year and for a boy whose birthday falls on Memorial Day Weekend!
Invitations & Printables
I immediately contacted Anders Ruff Custom Designs and got going on the invitations and coordinating printables. They did such an amazing job designing for my daughter’s Vintage Schoolhouse Party! I knew they had just the right aesthetic! I found an invite in their shop that was very similar to what I wanted and asked if they could rework it a bit to go with the tractor theme. Adria added the PERFECT tractor graphic and changed the colors to match our party...LOVE! She also created small party logos and Thank-you tags that coordinated…it is all just TOO cute!

Adria also suggested that I try printing the invites on Watercolor paper to go along with the vintage feel…seriously….BEST SUGGESTION EVER! I absolutely adore how they turned out!!!
The TRACTORS definitely stole the show and were the main focal point of our party decor! Grandpa Mickey brought all of them up and parked them throughout our yard. Dane went ballistic when they all started arriving….it was seriously the cutest thing ever! When the last one pulled up he said, “MOM! It’s ALL the tractors of the world!” There were 4…but to him…close enough!

Since I’m a DIY kind-of girl, I had some projects I wanted to tackle for Dane’s party. Even though the colors were essentially Red, White, Blue and Grey…I didn’t want the party to be too 4th of July….does that make sense? LOL! I found some remnant upholstery fabric that went with the color scheme perfectly!
I used the navy colored fabric to cut a few runners for the various tables….I ALWAYS use Pinking Shears…mostly because I’m lazy and don’t want to hem anything…I also am not at all skilled with a sewing machine, so I’m always looking for ways to avoid using one ;) I layered the runners with landscaping burlap for the table coverings throughout the house…super cheap and super easy!
I really love the look of flag banners and wanted to create another version of them (I made some for Harper’s party too!) I found some really fun patterned burlap that I cut into strips for the tops of some of the banners, for the others I used gossgrain ribbon. After I cut all the fabric into flags (which was a little tedious since I also don’t really like measuring either- LOL), I tried attaching them to the burlap with fabric-glue-tape….it didn’t work at all…so I turned to my other best friend when I’m working with fabric…my HOT GLUE GUN! That’s right…I just glued all the pieces to the top ribbon and….viola….my no-sew banners were done!

Of course, as soon as we had the theme decided, I started rounding up vintage tractor toys at local Antique Shops to use throughout the party. They were the perfect investment because now Dane has his own little collection of toy tractors! BIG hit…HUGE…let me tell ya!

The Dessert Buffet
I kept going back-and-forth up until the night before the party about moving the Dessert Buffet downstairs. We usually do it upstairs on the dining room table, but I always hate how that set-up eliminates so much seating! I decided that we’d switch things up and if it didn’t work I’d at least know for next time ;)

The Desserts were displayed on an antique store bin piece I acquired a month or so ago from Barb at Cross Creek Antiques. My plan is to use this to hold the kids’ ever-growing mound of toys…but for now it’s still empty…so it was the perfect buffet-spot! I also used two of the Barb’s AMAZING Rustic Farm Dessert Stands! These things are seriously cool and went with our vibe perfectly!

For treats, first I made some fun Cupcake Shooters! I’ve had the containers since APRIL, and have been dying to use them! Don’t you just love a fun new dessert craze ;)

We also served homemade Strawberry Shortcake, buffet style. I arranged the shortcakes in these ADORABLE Cupcake Wrappers from Bella Cupcake Couture! They were SO stinkin’ cute…and super fun because you can use them SO many ways!

Then, I HAD to make some Cake Pops…you know…cause that’s what I do! I was up making treats the night before the party and had the brilliant idea to use the sweet mini-pinwheels from Twirlie Whirlies as the sticks for the Cake Pops! Awesome RIGHT?!? I know! They turned out SO super cute!

For Dane’s cake, I had grand ideas…but in the end I went with a simple Dirt Cake...no baking required! I made one for his Birthday last year and he thought it was the COOLEST thing since sliced bread….and since the party was for him I wanted to make something that he would LOVE! We served his cake in a toy tractor replica of one of Grandpa Mickey’s tractors. I also made single servings for all the guests in half-pint jars! This was PERFECT because last year we had GOBS of leftover Dirt Cake….not this year! The extras were already packaged and guests could easily take some home.

The Favors
I was totally inspired by a party I saw over at The Purple Pug to have a Favor Table for the kids! I LOVED this idea…I think it’s SO much more fun and interactive for the kiddos to actually see what they’re getting and pick it out themselves…plus, you know…it’s WAY cuter!

The favors included bubbles that I wrapped with scrapbooking paper, twine and topped with the coordinating party printables from Anders Ruff. We had jump ropes, Tootsie Pops, assorted candy, Bandanas, Paper Fans and Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies (Dane called these his “Tractor Tire Cookies!)

I didn’t want to leave the grown-ups out, so we had a Raffle Drawing for some SUPER COOL giftbags from Eco Glow Candles! These candles are AMAZING! Totally natural, green…and they smell SO-SO good! Each bag had a candle, solid perfume and tin lip-gloss. I have to confess though…I got so caught-up in the party that I FORGOT to draw names until after half the guests were already gone! Terrible I know…but LUCKY for the last people there because they had their pick of the bags and got to get them all out and huff away!

The Fun
After cake, the kiddos all raced outside for TRACTOR RIDES! We attempted this at our Halloween Party last Fall, but got rained out halfway through the first ride. Thankfully the weather was GORGEOUS for Dane’s party so everyone got to take a lap on the Tractor Trailer....again…BIG HIT!  Dane has since expressed his wish that we ride that way ALL the time…he mentions it several times a day in fact….so it might be time to trade-in the SUV ;)

Next up were the Sack Races! I found some nylon sacks in patriotic colors that worked perfect with our color scheme! We broke the kiddos into two groups…Big Kids and Little Kids! It was SO cute to watch the little ones try to figure out the hopping thing! Dane WON the Little Kid round…I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with us letting him practice in the livingroom for two weeks before the party – LOL!

The Birthday Boy
Dane is STILL talking about his Tractor Party….he said it was the “BEST TRACTOR PARTY EVER!”

I love that we were able to create such a special day for our “BIG” Boy! The Birthday Boy was wearing a custom made shirt from Kathleen Rose Designs…TOO cute! She also created a matching pin for his Harper’s dress and a clip for her hair…which she, of course, adamantly refused to wear…little stinker!
The Photography
Kara of KV Photography took ALL of the party pictures! AMAZING as always! It’s so fun for me to see my parties through her eyes!
I should also mention that she attended the party the day after her Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party….so do I even need to explain HOW MUCH we appreciate her….what a TROOPER!
Sweet Cheeks Tasty Treats  - Treats and general deliciousness
KV Photography – all party photography, general awesomeness
Anders Ruff Custom Designs - Custom Party Printables
Twirlie Whirlies – Custom Party Pinwheels
Bella Cupcake Couture – Couture Cupcake Wrappers
Eco Glow Candles – Adult Favor Bag Goodies: candles, solid perfume, lip-gloss
Cross Creek Antiques – Rustic Farm Cakestands, vintage red toolbox, blue enamelware pieces
Shop Sweet Lulu – Red & Grey Paper Straws, fringed tissue garland, bamboo sporks
Kathleen Rose Designs – Custom Birthday Shirt

Dane's Tractor Party has been FEATURED on the following FABULOUS sites!!!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Dane's Tractorcade Party!

So...I have some SUPER exciting news to share with you all...
Dane's Tractorcade Party is being FEATURED
at Hostess with the Mostess!

Tractor Themed Birthday Party
Photos by KV Photography

I'm a HUGE fan of HWTM and find ENDLESS amounts of party inspiration there!

Pop on over to check out the FEATURE...I'll be adding my own post later this week ;)

– Treats & Sweets: Sweet Cheeks Tasty Treats
– Photography: KV Photography
– Custom Party Printables: Anders Ruff Custom Designs
–Custom Party Pinwheels: Twirlie Whirlies
–Couture Cupcake Wrappers: Bella Cupcake Couture
–Adult Favor Bag Goodies: Eco Glow Candles
–Rustic Farm Cakestands, Vintage Red Toolbox, Blue Enamelware Pieces: Cross Creek Antiques
–Red & Grey Paper Straws, Fringed Tissue Garland, & Bamboo Sporks: Shop Sweet Lulu 
– Custom Birthday Shirt: Kathleen Rose Designs

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fluffernutter WONDER Cupcakes!

I thought that this weekend would be the perfect time to take a crack at the June Cupcake of the Month Club flavor...Fluffernutter Wonder Cupcakes! My husband and my Dad are both BIG peanut butter fans, and since we were all getting together to celebrate Father's Day...dessert was decided!

Fluffernutter Wonder Cupcakes!

This flavor was the winning suggestion from my Name That CUPCAKE Contest! YOUR votes decided what flavor I would be making...and let me tell you...you all did a great job! This is one of my absolute FAVORITE flavors TO-DATE! I should also mention that 4 of my best Taste Testers agreed...so I think it's safe to say that the cuppies were a hit ;)

I started with a rich Peanut Butter Cupcake, topped with a small circle of chocolate syrup, covered the syrup with the most amazing (if I do say so myself) Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting and finished with a small piece of homemade Peanut Brittle. I'll give you a minute to let that sink in.....goodness...I'm getting all worked-up just describing them!

It's time for a Close-up....ahhhhh!
  Because I make a business out of selling these delectable treats...I don't usually share my recipes...but...I'm going to make a bit of an exception (sort-of!) I'm a big fan of short-cuts and have the best Microwave Peanut Brittle recipe that I HAVE to share with you all! So...if you want to take-a-whack at making your own Fluffernutter Wonders, find a good PB Cuppie recipe, concoct some type of Marshmallowy topping...and then make this SUPER easy and SUPER delish brittle...in about 15 minutes!

 Microwave Peanut Brittle


1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 cup Honey Roasted Peanuts

1 Tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

Line a cookie sheet with Parchment or Wax Paper. Mix the sugar, corn syrup and peanuts in a large glass bowl. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes; mixture will be bubbly and peanuts should be browned. Stir in butter and vanilla; microwave 2-3 minutes more. Remove mixture from microwave, add baking soda. Mix quickly; pour onto lined cookie sheet. Cool completely, break into pieces and ENJOY!

Happy Baking everyone!!!




Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How do you make Cupcakes EVEN cuter?

Let me introduce those of you not yet familiar with the concept of CUPCAKE SHOOTERS to these little cuties!

Super Mario Cupcake Shooters!

Ingenious RIGHT?!?!


I first saw the idea for Cupcake Shooters back in March at Love from the Oven. She made the most adorable little Peeps Cupcake Shooters and I was instantly smitten. So...naturally I bought a bulk box of 100 of the little containers...and then sat on them for the next 2 months - LOL!

I finally got around to trying them for Dane's Birthday Party and they were SO stinkin' cute! Seriously. These things are just TOO perfect for parties because they're smaller servings for the kiddos...and they're in a convenient To-Go container so you're not stuck with leftovers!!! Not that I'm saying leftover cupcakes would necessarily be a bad thing...but it's always nice to send some goodies out the door ;)

Because these things are so DARNED CUTE...and because I know how you all LOVE CUTE....I've OFFICIALLY added CUPCAKE SHOOTERS to the Sweet Cheeks Menu! Wahoo! Let the fun begin!

Each Cupcake Shooter consists of two mini cupcakes, frosted, sprinkled and lovingly arranged in Push-pop containers! Just think of all the different ways you could personalize these!!! Trust me...my mind is spinning!


Sunday, June 5, 2011


Many of you know today was my son Dane's 3rd Birthday Party...the theme was Vintage Tractorcade!

I'll share full party details at a later date...because let me tell you...I'm BEAT! To sum up...the party was great...tons of friends and family and WILD kiddos everywhere...Dane had an absolute BLAST!

Photo by KV Photography!

I won't leave you completely in the dark though....I HAVE to share these extra special Cake Pops I made for the party! The idea literally just occurred to me last night (in the wee hours...that's when a lot of my best creating seems to happen ;)

I had some of the most adorable Pinwheels from Twirlie Whirlies for the party...mini-pinwheels...and the sticks just happen to be the same size as Cake Pop sticks...are you seeing a lightbulb here!?!? LOL!

So here they are....Pinwheel Cake Pops!

Pinwheels by Twirlie Whirlies; Cake Pops by Sweet Cheeks Tasty Treats!

Super cool rustic Cake Stand available at Cross Creek Antiques!

That's all for now! ;)