Celebrations, Parties

An Elephant Baby Shower

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My adorable curly-haired little nephew Max celebrated his birthday this week.  I don’t get the chance to see him as often as I would like, but when I do I always enjoy visiting and seeing how he has grown.  They change so fast and it is hard to believe it has been now been over two years already since I hosted the baby shower for my sister in his honour.

Décor
With Max, my sister knew she was having a little boy, so I decided right away on a green, blue and grey color scheme.  For the overall theme, I chose elephants because my sister had a stuffed elephant growing up that she was very attached to and I think still sleeps with to this day.  The main graphics I used were an “oh boy.” typographic image and a picture of a mom and baby elephant intertwined.  These were used on the invite, banner and food toppers.

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I created a simple wreath for the front door and strung articles of baby clothing with elephants on them across the front window of my mom’s house.  Paper lanterns were put up across the food table with the “It’s a Boy!” banner and a felt elephant mobile I crafted up got hung from the kitchen light at the middle of the table.  I also found small paper mache elephants at Michaels so those got put out on the food table.

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Food

The shower was help in the mid afternoon so I served a range of finger foods and sweets.  Savory items included spinach dip cups, pigs in a blanket, sweet and sour meatballs, bruschetta and garlic toast, stuffed mushrooms, and surprise dip with tortilla chips.

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For the sweet items, I made fruit bouquets in green and blue flower pots, baked and decorated elephant shaped sugar cookies and made a mini cupcake display.  For the cupcakes, we had chocolate cake with mint frosting and white cake with a banana flavored frosting.  To keep with the elephant theme, they were all topped with a small marshmallow peanut.

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One other fun sweet item I made was blue candy popcorn.  The labels were custom designed by myself and put on small wedding favor boxes, then filled with a basic sugar popcorn recipe.  I love the pink colored elephant brand popcorn when I was growing up, so I thought this was a fun twist on it.

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Games

I know a lot of people dread the typical baby shower games, so I tried to come up with some fun games that wouldn’t  embarrass anyone or require my guests to eat disgusting mush.   I decided on two games – Baby Scattegories and a Price is Right style game using baby items.  I think the guests all enjoyed it and afterwards the mom-to-be was able to take the Price is Right items and put them to use with her new baby.

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Favors

As guests left, they were given small bottles of hand santizer with custom designed labels I ordered from stickeryou.  They were quick and easy and I think they turned out pretty cute.

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So there you have it.  Like any shower or party, I had a lot of fun designing and planning this special day for my little sister.  She is  expecting again this December and while I won’t be throwing another baby shower for this new niece or nephew, I am just as excited for their arrival.

You can also view my Elephant Baby Shower planning board on pinterest.

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Celebrations, Recipes

Peanut Butter Delight Doggie Birthday Cake

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I try to make a homemade cake for the dogs birthday’s each year, but there have been a couple times life has gotten in the way and they have ended up with store bought.  When it is homemade, my default recipe for the last 4 years has been this peanut butter delight cake.  Many of the dog cake recipes I found were meat based and I like that this one uses regular baking ingredients and is closer to a cake I would enjoy myself.  It smells great cooking and I don’t have to worry when the kids try to get in on the action!

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Peanut Butter Delight Dog Birthday Cake

1 cup white or whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup shredded carrots

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

Mix together flour and baking soda. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a small round pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Frosting

8 oz cream cheese

1 container of baby food bananas

1 tsp cinnamon

Mix ingredients together and use to frost cake.

Enjoy!

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Our pups have enjoyed this recipe as both a full cake and cupcakes.  I have baked it in a loaf pan and cut it out to look like a bone and I have done it as a small round and added several cupcakes to create a paw print shape.

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It doesn’t matter how it is decorated, my dogs love it!

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Celebrations, Parties

Happy National S’mores Day!

August 10 is National S’mores Day.  I know this because it was included as part of the info on the wedding invite I designed for my sister’s camping weekend wedding last summer.  At this time last year I was up to my elbows in marshmallow, graham crumbs and chocolate buttercream working to create the perfect wedding cake to fit in with the S’mores bar at her wedding.

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For my first attempt at a tiered wedding cake, I’d say it turned out pretty darn good!

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The inside of the cake was made up of graham cake, chocolate cake and a layer of homemade marshmallow.  The outside was coated with buttercream as per the bride’s request and gave a bit more of a rustic feel.  I have still never worked with fondant so I was happy to fulfill the buttercream request – homemade marshmallows and stacking cakes was enough new stuff for me to figure out with this project.

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The decoration was fairly simple.  I used a mixture of plain and toasted marshmallow’s and had them cascade down the side of the cake.  Some twigs of decorative pearls finished off the look and added that little bit of sparkle.

As much fun as a 3 layered wedding cake was, I think I will keep things simple this S’mores day and attempt these S’mores cookie bars from Chocolate, Chocolate and More.  For these and other great S’mores recipes, check out my  pinterest board.