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{last minute} party inspiration: british royal wedding


After weeks of being indifferent about the upcoming Royal Wedding, something bit me yesterday and I finally caught the fever.  I mean, it's kind of a once in a lifetime event right?  So if you're in the same boat as I am and having trouble getting across the pond, Birthday Girl has got you covered... here's just about everything you need to throw together a last minute Royal Wedding viewing party in the comfort of your own living room.

First, head to the kitchen, put on a spot of tea and bake this {recipe below}.

Then, download these...

and this...

and something like this, from here.

Liven things up with a little friendly competition using these.

Once everything is set up the way you like it, get into your pjs {or wake up in your pjs, or spend the day in your pjs}, turn on the TV and cuddle up with one of these...  

Okay, so maybe some of you can't do that last part, but lucky for me I happen to have one of the Queen's beloveds {aka Her Royal Highness Scout The Dog} at my beck and call.  Happy wistful wedding watching everyone... cheerio!

Union Jack Flag Fruit Pizza

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 15x10x1-inch or 13x9-inch pan with foil. Spray bottom only of foil with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms. Press evenly in bottom of pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

2. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Spread mixture over cooled crust.

3. Arrange fruit over cream cheese. Refrigerate at least 1 hour until chilled. To serve, cut into 5 rows by 4 rows. Cover and refrigerate any remaining fruit pizza.


spotted: the cutest ruffled cake topper...


that you ever did see.  full tutorial available at dandee.

 {images via dandee}


real parties: skateboarding little dudes


 Jill of Paperbox Press put together this low key 4th birthday skateboard party for her 'little skater dude'.  It's so hard to find cute items for a specific boy theme like this, and she made a smart decision by creating a blue, grey, green and orange color scheme and working around it to unify the look.  The layered jello molds with flag toppers are a unique and fun treat, as are the fondant cupcake toppers and favor bags which included a Tech Deck, some skateboard tattoos, candy and hand molded chocolate skateboard pops.  Of course, Jill also designed all the paper goods herself, available at her shop here.

{images via paperbox press}


real parties: the tale of peter rabbit


With Easter just around the corner, I was reminded of one of my favorite parties last year... this Peter Rabbit themed first birthday, designed by Kate Landers Events and executed & photographed by Marti Mashburn for her son Hudson.  I've always had a love for the Beatrix Potter series, and am looking forward to sharing the books with Caitlin.  This party is a wonderful nod to the story of Peter Rabbit.  The cake and fondant toppers are just the most charming thing, as are details like the vegetable centerpiece and craft paper letters.  With the addition of burlap, it's a soft rustic style for your Easter or spring celebration.

{images via kate landers events}


spotted: surprise easter eggs


Hands down the best homemade Easter treat I've ever come across. Visit Not Martha for a full tutorial on how to create these colorful delights...

 {images via not martha}


real parties: rainbow brights & stripes


Sure, we've all seen rainbow parties before, but in my opinion this one takes the cake.  Created by Jen of The Cupcake Social for her daughter's 6th birthday, this vibrant party offers the most brilliant use {and lack} of color. Interestingly, it's the inclusion of black that makes this party stand out from the rest... it takes an artist's mind to recognize that an absence of color would truly make all the others pop.  I love that kind of out of the box thinking.  I also love the sassy rainbow striped printables designed by Heather of Chickabug, which mirror the striped party tablecloth and bunting flags. Jen offers some great background about her party inspiration and sources on her blog, so head over for more details.

{images provided by chickabug}


an epic letterpress GIVEAWAY from lifestyle crafts!


Happy Monday party people! As promised in my last post, I'm bringing you a truly fabulous giveaway from Lifestyle Crafts.  One lucky reader gets to win their very own Epic combo kit {a $170 value!} including everything you see below to help you create unique letterpress and diecut projects.

Shown here: Epic tool, Cutting platform, Cutting mat, Embossing platform, Letterpress platform, Ink base, Ink brayer, Black ink, Printing plates, Paper placement guides, A2 paper pack, Adhesive sheets, Nesting Circles cutting dies. 

Enhance your next birthday party with fun projects like these favor cards and invites from Lifesyle's idea gallery, or get creative with a unique project like these bookmarks and bunting flags I recently designed.

Note: Open to US residents only.  You must be a follower of Birthday Girl to enter. 

1. Visit the Lifestyle Crafts website and leave a comment on this post with your favorite project from their gallery or your own project idea using the Epic.

2. Post about this giveaway on your blog or Facebook page and leave a separate comment here with the link.
3. Become a Facebook fan of Lifestyle Crafts and leave a separate comment here.

You have until this Sunday April 24th at Midnight PST to enter. One winner will be chosen by and announced in a post next Monday.  Good luck everyone!


real parties: a bookish birthday brunch


Last weekend my bookclub got together for a birthday celebration since there were several of us with April birthdays.  We held a simple brunch and I offered to decorate so I could have an opportunity to test out my new Epic machine, sent to me from Lifestyle Crafts.  I set the table with a kelly green & white striped cloth, and created centerpieces by wrapping our club’s books in kraft paper and stacking them up between mason jars of simple flowers.

As place cards and favors, I designed bookmarks using the letterpress feature of the Epic and tied them with a navy satin ribbon.  The letterpress process was a bit tedious and didn’t give me the deep impression and even coverage of a professional letterpress print, but that aside I think they turned out pretty good.  Frankly, just being able to create my own letterpress products at home gives me insane joy.  For this project I used one of Lifestyle’s stock plates, but you can actually design and order your own custom plates too... next time I’ll definitely go that route so I can get exactly what I want.

In addition to the bookmarks, I used both the letterpress and the die cut feature to create little bunting flags for the cake.  The great thing about the die shape is that it cut little slits at the top of the flags so I could easily string them through a bit of baking twine and attach them with skewers to the cake...

Oh yes, the cake.  My friend Chris outdid himself with the baking... he actually made the Pop Rocks cake!!!  It was everything I hoped it could be too... delicious velvety chocolate with a surprise burst at the end of each bite.  Seriously, it may have been one of the most fun things I’ve ever eaten.

Hope you enjoy this simple brunch and stay tuned... on Monday I’m running a *GIVEAWAY* of an Epic machine combo kit!  Come back to enter and you could win one for your very own.  In addition, Lifestyle Crafts is offering a discount to Birthday Girl readers for 20% of all products on their site through the end of the month.  Just enter the code: BLOGBIRTHDAY at checkout.  

{images © birthday girl 2011}