Monday, March 21, 2011

Aged to Perfection, 40th Birthday, Wine and Cocktail Party

This past weekend I did a party for my very dear friend, Lori, who was celebrating her 40th Birthday.  After looking at many venues, her husband decided on a restaurant called Spezia.  The party room is a wine themed room, so I decided to run with the idea.  Not to mention, I am sure that I speak for most women when I say that RIP and black balloons are not what we want to see on our 40th birthday.

I had in my mind that I wanted something with more impact than just your run of the mill sheet cake, so I decided a layered cake was the way to go.  The bakery did a fantastic job.  They added the "Aged to Perfection" from her invitation, and even a wine bottle that leaned up against the side. The top layer was chocolate and the bottom was strawberry. Not only was it fantastic to look at, it was yummy, too!!

 the cake

The centerpieces were wine bottles, with handmade labels that read
"Lori Kanne is forty years young, now the party has just begun."

the label

The bottles were filled with different stems in coordinating colors and placed on the high top tables, by the food, the cake and on the bar.

 one of the centerpieces

Of course, the birthday girl needed a special glass to drink out of, and she had a bell to ring whenever she needed another one!

*ding* my glass is empty!

The menu: Hot Artichoke Crab Dip, Antipasti Platter, Spicy Calamari, Margherita Flatbread, Lobster Flatbread and Italian sausage and Roasted Pepper Flatbread.

Happy Birthday, Lori!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dream a Little Dream, Parish Dinner, Dance and Auction

the invitation

This past fall I was asked to chair the decorating committee for our annual church Dinner, Dance and Auction.  A chance to plan an event like this?? 
Of course I would do it!! 

the entry way

So, when we met the first time, I was told what the theme was for the year, "Dream a Little Dream" had been chosen.  When I asked them what they had envisioned, they were thinking gold lanterns and wishes; you know Aladdin magic carpet stuff.  The first thought that came to my mind was dreamy... starry night skies, the milky way, and aurora borealis colors.  They mentioned that they wanted to theme many of the auction items in such a manner that these types of things would be something you would dream about...dream vacations, things that we wish for, but aren't likely to have.  So, when I sat back and started thinking of things I would dream about, being a girl, these first thing that popped into my head? DIAMONDS!! Well... you know, they are "a girls best friend."  Along with lots of sparkle and bling, I thought about pillowy clouds and pure relaxation. (Not only am I a girl...I am a Mom of four...relaxation?  Yes, ALL Moms dream about that!)  My mind began to swim with ideas! I began choosing my team to help me and my thoughts were relayed to them, and the wheels began turning.  The first thing I ran across that I knew I had to use were these huge bling bling rings.  I actually found them in the kid's party favor section, but I was in love!!

the bling bling ring napkin holder

I knew they would not only make a great tie for on the linen napkins, but as a party favor for all of the girls at the tables.  I was right! Everyone was walking around with them on their fingers at the end of the night. 
 I bet there were some pretty excited little girls at home that got them the next day from their Moms, too!!

fun with the rings

Once we settled on the rings, the idea of using RELAX wine bottles for some of the centerpieces came to mind.  The color was perfect, the name was perfect... now what to put with them?? 
How about some dreamy white ostrich plume feathers?
Tie them to the top of the bottle with a big diamond... "Perfect!!"

a table done with a RELAX bottle centerpiece

Next, we got to talking about making some of the centerpieces work as just that, but also have something custom that could be auctioned off.  The idea was hand blown glass.  I have a friend who is terrific at this very thing!! (So blessed I am!!)  So, Jamie agreed to help me out, and made some one of a kind pieces to put on some of the tables, then the pieces were auctioned off.

a beautiful tall purple vase

gorgeous cobalt blue scallop edge bowl

A few of the tables had a tall hurricane vase filled with white feathers, and held a cobalt blue votive holder that twinkled with a battery operated tea lite candle.

feather filled hurricanes

Our final centerpieces were made especially for the corporate sponsored tables. 
They were a tall square vase, filled with a coil of floral wire, water and had a star shaped candle
 floating on the top.

close-up of the floating candles.... make me want to sing "tiny bubbles...."

the vase on the table

The annual signature drink glass was based on our ideas and color schemes, they were beautiful!! 

2011 signature glass

 the glasses sat on a mirror surrounded by "diamonds" and feathers, accompanied by a RELAX bottle

Finally, the stage was set.  The stage was a "floating cloud" of irredescent balloons, pale blue tulle and twinkling lights.  Behind the stage was a wall of lights, with stars shadowed in the background.

front view of the stage

fifty-five tables await their guests

I would like to give a special thank you to Jessi Sallenbach of J Sallenbach Photography
for the gorgeous photographs!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

2011 Girlfriend Valentine Pajama Brunch

This was the invitation that went out to my girlfriends.  The inside read "Now that I have told you some of my simple loves, let’s have some fun and celebrate a few of them!"  So everyone invited got to wear their Pajamas, and enjoy a girly morning, of good food, coffee and mimosas.

On the Menu:  Chocolate Bliss Cake with Homemade Raspberry Sauce and Devonshire Cream, Blueberry Strata with a homemade blueberry and cherry syrup, Bacon and Swiss Quiche, fresh fruit, cheese, coffee and mimosas.

The was how the dessert was served.  Also on the plate were hand dipped strawberries, and Chocolate Drops.


homemade blueberry strata with homemade blueberry syrup

Each place setting had a Valentine bundle of chocolate treats with their name on it.

table dressed for my fabulous friends

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nifty 1950's Party

My Mom an her twin sister turned 60 this past summer.  We had a party at our house for them with a 50's theme, since they were born in 1950!! It was a fun time for all ages!!

The kids dressed up in 50's attire, we had hula hoop contests, ate good food and had an all around good old fashioned time!!

This was the cake, the design is called a "mad hatter" it was done in turquoise, black and white fondant with wire swirls and records.  Not only was it fun, it tasted amazing!!

My daughter in her sweet poodle skirt.

She couldn't get enough of the hula hooping!!

My Mom and her twin by their cake.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Summer Beach Party ... June 2007

The invite that went out.

Jello-O Shots!! Tropical Flavors!!

The tables were decorated in bright colors with leis, pineapples, Corona Coasters, seashells and sand buckets full of candy coated popcorn.

*for the candy coated popcorn recipe see "Crack Corn" blog post

I love to throw themed parties for my family and for my friends!! This particular summer I had a "beach party." Now mind you, living smack dab in the middle of the country... not a whole lot of beaches, so we had our party in the race shop!!
Come wearing something you would wear to the beach!!

Valentine Brunch 2010

The table was set for all to sit, relax and enjoy my most favorite holiday!

Above are the assorted homemade cookies I had for the girls; frosted sugar, chocolate chocolate chip and almond raspberry thumbprints.

Above; Apple Monkey bread, fruit kabobs and Mimosas!!

My first Valentine brunch for my girlfriends. We had such a great time, I plan to do this EVERY YEAR!!

On the Menu:

Apple Monkey Bread, various quiches, fruit kabobs, chocolates, cookies and mimosas, of course!