Friday, September 30, 2011

Polka Dot Party Dessert Table and Food

We always rent a shelter at a local park for Susannah's birthday parties because my house just isn't big enough for all the guests (and party prep is so much easier when you don't have to worry about keeping the house clean).  The park shelter venue does pose a few challenges, though.  It is covered, but you've still got mother nature to contend with:  streamers blowing wildly and napkins flying in the wind...not to mention the birthday candles that won't stay lit for long. 

Another challenge is that the options for dessert tables and food tables are a bit rustic so some extra effort on the part of the party planner is required to try and cute-ify them.  

See how the bright, vibrant colors help to draw attention away from the big gray cinder blocks?  (At least I hope they do.) 

Everything about the cupcakes was vanilla because you're still able to see the cuteness of the polka dot cupcake liners with light-colored cake.  Oh, except for the pink frosting which I flavored with a raspberry extract - yum!  The picks were home made with card stock scraps, two sizes of circle paper punches, my trusty hot glue gun and little wooden craft sticks that I found in the kid section of the craft store.  

More popular than the cupcakes - which took me by surprise - were the sugar cookies.  Guests of all ages found them not only cute, but delicious as well!  I used this sugar cookie recipe and royal icing recipe from the Bake at 350 blog.  I also followed Bake at 350's instructions for putting dots on my cookies - so easy and so fun! 

We like to keep the food simple (since there's no fridge or freezer or stove at the park) and kid-friendly.  It's nice to prepare everything the night before and know that it'll be okay without refrigeration during the hours before the party while we're at the park setting everything up. 

My circle cookie cutter and I are like this now [you should conjure a mental of me crossing my fingers emphatically right about here].  We've been through a lot together:  watermelon, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches...

...and cheese.  Except for the Swiss cheese which already has "polka dots" on it, so why be redundant?  Let's not forget the polka dot cereal mix (Kix and Cocoa Puffs), which I served in these little polka dot nut cups that I found on etsy.

Doesn't it all look so festive and fun atop this polka dot wrapping paper that I found at the party store?  It wasn't available in pink, but it was the perfect width to cover the picnic tables - no trimming required!

I also served some smoked sausage and Ritz crackers which were all very circular and polka dot theme appropriate.  I wish I'd gotten a photo of the punch because it matched the theme perfectly, too.  It was pink with discs of orange slices floating on top - circular AND color coordinated! 

I did remember to get a photo of these cute straws I found on etsy.  Don't you love it when shop owners let you order specific colors of their products?

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Polka Dot Party Invitations!

This polka dot cardstock that I found at the craft store was the key to my super-simple invitation design.  It came in a variety of colors and was the standard 8.5 x 11 size so it fit beautifully in my printer.  A paper trimmer and a glue stick was all that was required for assembly!

As is my custom, I utilized some clever puns - both on the front and the back, because there's no such thing as too many puns.

Like my crafty use of black and white beach balls to obscure personal information?  Foiled your plan to stalk me, didn't I?

People took the promise of an extra prize seriously, and donned their best polka dots for the occasion!

(Also available in green...)

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