Wrap Up – Ziggy Stardust Space Party

This is the last post about the party.  I mean it.  I hope this gives an overall feel of the party for those who can’t handle my long winded, oddly categorized previous posts.  I can’t even get over the beautiful photography done by Dez and Tam.  I am in LOVE with their style and they are literally the nicest family I have ever met.  If you are considering family portraits I highly recommend them!  Check out their site to see their past work and I know you will be convinced!  And I know I put on a more detailed kid’s party than most, but I would encourage you to hire them for your next party too.  I can’t tell you how relaxed I was that day knowing I would get to these two crazy talented people were capturing all the memories for me.  Thank you Dez and Tam! (and little Riley too!  Their son is the cutest and sweetest little boy ever!)  
All photos by Dez and Tam except the fabric flowers and the metal stud. 
Cake and Push Cakes by Meringue Bake Shop
Ziggy Stardust Space Party – over and out. 

Ziggy Stardust Inspired Space 5th Birthday Party – Part 4

Often my parties have a unique theme which the guests may or may not know about.  I usually try to put info around for guests to find throughout the party.

The only thing O wanted for his party was a bounce house.  But our backyard isn’t big enough for one and so I thought it wasn’t going to work out.  Then our friends, Jimmy and Vanessa, offered their small bounce to use!  O was SO happy.  A HUGE thank you to them!  
Since my son is really in to music and because Ziggy Stardust is a rock star, I decided to set out all the toy musical instruments we had for the kids to play with.

This is sweet K.  If you look behind her you can see my fabric backdrop that I put up for the kids to jam in front of.  You can just barely make out the other feather garland made by Jenny.  How rad are K’s nails? 
photo by me
Here is a picture of Jenny’s garland I took after the party.  How gorgeous and fun are all those feathers?  These garlands must have taken her forever and I am so grateful that she made them for me!!!

I saw these masks in random blog posts around the web after I started planning the party.  I knew I had to have them.  Here is the link.  They print out small, pretty much kid sized, so if you want them for adults you need to blow them up a little. 
I decided that we needed to do another smash cake like the one we did for my other son’s party.  I asked Kristin of Meringue Bake Shop to make it this time because I wanted it to be way cuter than the other. :) It turned out super cute.
So you make a small cake, cut a hole out of the center then fill it with candy.  Then you cover the cake with a dome made of chocolate.  Then you give the kid a hammer and…
And the kids go wild!  I then cut the cake and let the kids go to town.  I don’t provide plates or silverware.  Its a free for all. 
It is one of my favorite party surprises.  This cake was vegan and the candy was friendly to O’s allergies.  
I’m going to wrap up the party tomorrow with a collage that will hopefully share the feeling of the whole party and since I know that some people don’t enjoy such long posts as all of them from this week, then they will have a quick post too.  Probably should have posted that first…whatevs.
All photos by Dez and Tam

Ziggy Stardust Inspired Space 5th Birthday Party – Part 3

This post is picture heavy.  Be warned.  So the premise of the party was that O was inviting his friends over to be part of his space exploration team.  And since the first question I always ask when starting a new activity is “do I get a new outfit,” I decided that I should make “uniforms” for each kid.  I created a store to be where they could get their new shirts, as well as accessorize it.  It would be another activity to engage the kids and also act as a favor “bar.”

photo by me
I created wallets out of black card stock and designed space money.  The front features a well-known look of Ziggy Stardust and the back I created with a hand-made stamp that Lauren made for O. I had the wallets at the front door with the instruction to head right to the store to pick out their uniform.

The uniforms.  I found cheap packs of Hanes white t’s at Target and they came out to less than $2.00 a piece (way cheaper than the local craft stores…)  Then I used black spray paint or black fabric paints and home-made stencils to create different looks.  My intention had been to add trims to the shoulders but well, even I am not THAT crazy.  
I did add some to O’s shirt (which was also gray so he would stand out a little more) and it turned out really cute. 

photo by me
photo by me
My kids wear the leftover shirts all the time.  They wash well and are kind of cool to boot. 
Since some of the designs were on the backs of the shirts, I wanted to make sure that each kid had a name tag on the front.  I used large foam craft letters and embellished with star shaped brads.

I asked my niece, P, to run the store.  I thought she would enjoy it and it would add a nice touch to the store atmosphere.  She took it super seriously.  My intention was to tell her that although each kid was given 7 space dollars, they could take as many things as they wanted as long as each kid got an accessory.  But in the craziness of party day I forgot to mention that to her…It wasn’t until much later that I learned that she respects policy and procedure and held every kid firm at $7.  Which meant that a lot of the hand-made jewelry was left over…as well as tons of cheap loud or flying space toys…my bad. 

As Ziggy sported bright orange hair, I wanted the kids to get glam rock’d out if they chose.  I had these clip in hair braids for the girls and also gold and orange spray hair color for the boys.  

I made several types of headbands, bracelets, cuffs, barrettes, and pins for the kids to choose from.  This severely stretched my craft skill limits.  I may have turned to vices. 

photo by me

photo by me
I tried to incorporate things in the party straight from song lyrics.  I’m not going to lie, there were only a few kid friendly lines.  I loved that I could work in coloring pages from everybody’s favorite ‘cat from Japan’.  I chose to use only that portion of the line as I couldn’t figure out how to make ‘well hung and snow white tan’ appropriate for a children’s party…

photo by me
And of course we had to have ‘spiders from mars’.  {note – I use a lot of punctuation and grammatical errors in my posts.  On purpose.  I feel it sets me apart from those nerdy, good-at-school-and-other-important-stuff types}.*/~it”s

I used the same image of O from the invite on the favor bags provided by the store clerk.  How cute is that ‘Oliver’ stamp (also hand-made by Lauren).  

I made this sign for P to put up when she was done playing shop girl.  While I saw her run off a few brief times (and I was sent on Push Cake runs for her) she relished her role running that store.  At one point of the party, she ran up to me and handed me one of the favor bags.  I had no idea what it was so I opened it and peered in.  It was full of space money.  I looked back to her for explanation.  CASH DROP.  The girl took it upon herself to do a cash drop.  She’s 8.  I am going to go ahead and write her a letter of recommendation now.  But I won’t expect any freebies.  
All photos, unless otherwise noted, are by Dez and Tam.  They are freaking radical people and seriously turned this mother out.  
And super huge shout out to my homegirl, Taryn.  She pawned her spawn off on a sitter to come over and help me package up some of these favors for the party.  She is awesome.  And a ridiculously big shout out to my mommy.  She helped me cut an Earth-crippling amount of space money (this is huge because an elementary school teacher commented on her sub-par cutting skills and she’s never been able to shake it and I only slightly jest.)

Ziggy Stardust Inspired Space 5th Birthday Party – Part 1

Kid's space party inspired by Ziggy Stardust. This invitation is my favorite.
Ok.  This post has been a LONG time coming.  My issue, when posting my parties, is always how do I organize it?  I totally over think it and try to make sure that there aren’t too many photos etc.  I get too wordy and I am burnt out writing the posts before I’ve even started.  So here is how this party is going to go:  I’m posting full photos, not collages.  The photos that Dez and Tam took blew my mind and I want to show you as many of them as I can.  I’ll point out things here and there but for the most part, the photos will do the talking.
To remind you all, this party was a Ziggy Stardust inspired space theme for my son’s 5th birthday party.  While most of the kids and parents wouldn’t know much about the story of Ziggy Stardust, I wanted to do a sort of glam rock inspired space party.  Above is the invitation that we created.  We had our friend Casey add the lightening bolt to O’s face.  It turned out awesome!
Space themed kid's birthday party decor.
DIY snack station for kid's space birthday party. Astronaut Fuel Station.
A DIY snack mix station is the perfect party food for kids.
Push Cakes for kid's birthday party.
Space themed smash cake for kid's birthday party.
The cupcakes, smash cake and Push Cakes (all vegan) were by Meringue Bake Shop and everyone LOVED them.
Smash cake idea for kid's birthday party fun. Bake a small cake, cut out a hole and fill with candy. Create a chocolate dome for over the top. Have the birthday boy break the chocolate and surprise the kid's with all the candy inside!
Smash cake idea for kid's birthday party fun. Bake a small cake, cut out a hole and fill with candy. Create a chocolate dome for over the top. Have the birthday boy break the chocolate and surprise the kid's with all the candy inside!
If you haven’t done one of these smash cakes yet you HAVE to! The kids totally freak out and love every minute of it! They are super messy, but you have to do it at least once!
And for the adults...champagne punch.Kid’s get juice. They like juice. But the adults LOVE champagne punch.
I used a ton of fabric accents throughout to add color.  For these lollies, I just cut small rectangles of fabric, wrapped the sticks and used a Glue Dot to secure them.  Super simple but extra special.
I have tried to group photos together in sections and I will be posting them over the next few days to spread them out.  I hope you all enjoy the party.  It was super fun and the kids and parents really enjoyed themselves.  And how ridiculous are these photos?  I am so beyond thrilled with the shots that Dez and Tam got.  Truly amazing talent and there couldn’t be a sweeter family.  For real!
The photo of the lollipops is by me, all others by Dez and Tam.
Push Cakes and Cupcakes by Meringue Bake Shop
Party Photography by Dez and Tam
Invitation printing by Direct Edge Media
Vegan Caramel Corn made with love by Grandma Marilyn
Wood Cake Rounds made with love by Grandpa John
See the rest of this party here:
Part 2 – Party Activities
Part 3 – Space store for favors
Part 4 – Details

DIY – Pretty party ideas for your next celebration

If you haven’t see my post from yesterday about the food and drinks from our Real Simple inspired photoshoot you are going to want to take a look.  Once you are done, head over to A Fabulous Fete to see all the DIY work we did to make the party gloriously glam.  Lauren is a crafty genius! 


Everything tastes better pink

Are you salivating?  This is what I think heaven looks like.  Pink and gold and pretty and sweet.
In my heaven there is rose champagne.  And nobody judges when a pregnant woman takes a sip. ;)  Since I am much more gluttonous when it comes to food than my party partner in crime, Lauren (she took only one small dainty bite of fried mac and cheese one night at dinner whilst I devoured the rest of the plate) it makes sense that I tell you about the food and drink for our New Year’s photoshoot/ par-tay.  While we realize that your New Year’s Eve entertaining is over for this year, this theme could easily be changed in to another type of celebration (hullo – it’s going to be Valentine’s Day before we know it).  

 Along with rose champagne, the rest of our beverage options contained tiny bubbles.  Lauren mentioned Almond Champagne and I thought it would be an awesome compliment to the desserts we served.  And it was.  For those non-drinkers, we had some sparkling lemonade and Segura Viudas Spanish sparkling wine for those who wanted their bubbles straight up.

For the last few holidays, I have gotten emails with cocktail recipes using Lucid Absinthe.  But Thanksgiving just didn’t seem like the time to try a cocktail with a dark reputation.  Grandma, can you please pass the gravy and the absinthe?  Uh, no.  But I was very interested to see what they had in the way of a girly cocktail.  They sent a recipe called the Cherry Sparkler and I couldn’t wait to try it.  

Lucid Cherry Sparkler:
1 1/2 oz. Lucid
3/4 oz. Almond Syrup
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
3-4 pitted sour cherries

In a mixing cup, muddle cherries in lime juice and almond syrup.  Add the Lucid and ice and shake well.  Strain in to a chilled flute and top with champagne.  Garnish with fresh grated nutmeg and cherries.

My heaven smells like the muddled cherries, lime juice and almond syrup.  YUM!  But Lucid has a very licoricey flavor to it.  It’s quite strong in taste and alcohol – so be warned.  The champagne adds a little bit of lightness to the drink but overall the Lucid takes over.  If I were to make this again, I would use less Lucid and double the cherries, lime juice and almond syrup, or even add a little cherry juice (which you see pictured above) to give it a bit more cherry flavor.  The finished drink is sort of a milky pink and is very pretty.  And I love how we served it in mismatched glass bottles with Lauren’s hand written labels.  I know it is kind of hard to see in the photo above, but I am in LOVE with her writing.  Not quite calligraphy, but fun and fancy.  We used Freixinet Cordon Negro Brut as a mixer in this cocktail but it is also remarkably easy drinking on its own…(tipsy alert).

Lest you think we just gorged ourselves on sugar all night (don’t be fooled, I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again) we did have an awesome meal.  You may remember Amy, my soon to be food contributor.  She put this whole meal together for us and it was phenomenal.  We started with Cracker Jack soup, a peanuty bisque-like soup with a touch of heat from Bob Blumer’s Glutton for Pleasure (recipe to follow as soon as Amy can dig the cookbook out after her move).  We then enjoyed a Flakey Mushroom and Gruyere Tart and delicious green salad tossed with a simple vinaigrette.  The mushroom tart and salad recipe came from the January Real Simple issue and fit this party perfectly.  It was light enough to leave ample room for all the desserts, but meaty enough with the mushrooms that it more than satisfied.  Check out the recipe here.
One of the easiest ways to add color to your table is with candy.  In the weeks leading up to the party I scoured all kinds of stores to find interesting candies.  How cool is that caramely colored licorice?!  I found that at Ikea, I think it’s called the Florg or something (side note:  not tasty).  And I am addicted to colored rock candy.  I never eat it but I die over how it looks.  It can’t be on a stick, it has to be the string kind that you can snip in to whatever size pieces you want.  Look how cute it looks hanging out by the placecard (above photo, bottom right corner)!  As if there wasn’t enough sugar on the table, I used sugar to anchor the placecard and in the light it had a wonderful sparkle. 

And now can we talk about the brilliance that is Meringue Bake Shop?  Once again, she nailed the desserts.  We discussed theme and look and what she put together was truly remarkable.  Lauren and I added a few treats to the mix to really take it over the top but the stars of this table were Kristin’s treats.  I was bummed she couldn’t be with us at the shoot but she had tons of orders to make because that is what happens when you do awesome work.  Meringue Bake Shop is known mostly for the cupcakes.  But Kristin is really way more versatile than that as you will see.  Check out the homemade vanilla marshmallows (2nd tier from the top in photo above) and the pink sugar cookies (bottom tier).  Delish!

How awesome are these chocolate suckers!  I think this might be one of my new favorite things.  So simple but the visual impact is amazing.  And don’t think that popcorn was just for show.  It was cherry flavored and scrumptious.  Like, seriously addicting.  I’ve ordered this for my son’s birthday next weekend.  I can’t quit this stuff!

The cherry vanilla mini cakes.  I’m not sure I have the words to do these justice.  I heart them, everything about them.  The fact that they were topped with flaked gold made them even more wonderful.  And check out the strawberries and cream cake.  Moist, simple and delicious.  

Ok, hold on to your hats and glasses.  I’m sure that you’ve noticed that salt has popped up everywhere lately.  I think salt may be the new black.  These were Salted Rice Krispy treats and they were beyond delectable.  I’ve had Kristin’s basic Krispy treat before and they are way better than any I have ever made.  Add salt to that and you have a flavor explosion in your mouth.  These are totally in my heaven.  
Big, big thank you to Kristin of Meringue Bake Shop for being so willing to collaborate with Lauren and I on this shoot!!!
On Tuesday, Lauren will be posting about the DIY projects we did for this project so be sure to check it out!!
All images courtesy of Up Imagery
*We received samples of the Lucid, Freixinet and Segura Viudas.  These opinions are our own.