A Winter Themed Toddler Birthday Party

Stephanie from Spaceships and Laser Beams sent over this cute toddler birthday party and I just loved her idea for a sweet, winter-themed dessert table boasting lots of healthier goodies for kids. Spaceships and Laser Beams specializes in great printable and DIY ideas for little boys parties and Stephanie put this dessert table together using a printable party kit now available in their shop. (So, yes, you can recreate this party on the cheap. Love that!)

To help make your party planning even simpler, Stephanie was awesome and shared the sweets that she used for the dessert table…

“No cake” pops – Instead of cake and chocolate, I wanted to offer up a high protein concoction. As two year olds don’t exactly have the most complex palette, I mixed peanut butter with graham crumbs, formed them into balls, piped on a tiny bit of white chocolate and popped these in the fridge to get nice and firm. (But a safer option, if there is any question of allergies, would be almond or soy butter.) For an even healthier base you could crush one of your child’s favorite cereals and use it instead of the graham crumbs. (It should go without saying that the stick should be removed  before giving to the little one. But you always need to say these things.)

Winter Crisp – This is a fruit cup that’s combination of baked apples, blueberries and blackberries. For the crisp part, I wanted something quick, as I find I have no time these days. I crushed some pretzels, a little butter and brown sugar. The salty and sweet taste awesome together. Cumbled granola bars would also work.

Snowmen – I originally saw a version of these guys in Canadian Living magazine. Basically, I put one bocconcini ball on the bottom and cut another in half to use as the mid-section and head. The arms are stick pretzels. The nose is the end of a carrot. The hat is about a 1/4 of a raddish. They’re fastened together using two sharp toothpicks, one through all three cheese balls and one through the radish and into the cheese. (Again, it should go without saying that the toothpick should be removed  before giving to the little one.)

Vegan cupcakes – I’ve been wanting to try my hand a vegan baking for a while. A very good friend of mine owns Goodness Bakeshop and kindly supplied the vegan cupcake recipe. It was an easy way to try something (vegan baking) that felt intimidating.

Thank you so much for sharing, Stephanie! Be sure to check out Spaceships and Laser Beams for more budget-friendly party ideas!

{Photos from Spaceships and Laser Beams.}

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Enchanted Farm Wedding Inspiration

There are few words that truly describe this wedding inspiration shoot. Stunning. Magical. Beautiful. Gorgeous. That is certainly a start. Sent over by powerhouse duo Heidi of White Loft Studio and The Sweetest Occasion favorite Kate of Beautiful Days, I am in love with every last detail. A flower girl in fairy wings. Pretty, fresh white flowers and unexpected topiary and Eastern inspired touches. Throw in fabulous stationery from my friends at Gus & Ruby Letterpress and perfect calligraphy from Love Jenna and I’m bowled over with inspired design.

A huge thank you to the following New England wedding vendors for sharing their talents with us -

Venue: Snug Harbor Farm
Event + floral design: Beautiful Days
Photography: White Loft Studio
Stationery: Gus & Ruby Letterpress
Calligraphy: Love Jenna
Dress: Madeline’s Daughter
Cake: Wild Orchid Baking Co.
Candles and lanterns: Luna Bazaar
Chocolates: Byrne & Carlson
Food: Robyn Friedman
Hair: Hair That Moves
Makeup: Joya Beauty
Rentals: Be Our Guest
Video: Video Design Films
Flower girl dress: Birdie Handmade

{Photos by White Loft Studio.}

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The Sweetest Occasion Seeks Contributing Editors!

Today I’m excited to announce that after much consideration I have decided to consider bringing on a couple of select contributing editors to add fresh talent and new features to The Sweetest Occasion! If you are in love with weddings, entertaining, cooking, DIY, crafting, parties, handmade wares, paper goods or pretty things and you’d like to write for The Sweetest Occasion, I’d love to hear from you! Get in touch with ideas for the column you’d like to write and tell me a little bit about yourself. I can’t wait to hear from you and be inspired by what you dream up!

To be considered: Email me by Monday, January 10 with a guest post indicative of the column you’d like to write for The Sweetest Occasion. Posts should include photos attached as a zip file with all photo credits provided in the body of the email or as an attachment. Be sure to include all of your contact information such as website (if applicable), twitter profile, etc. I’ll select a few favorite posts to share with The Sweetest Occasion readers and will take reader response into account when determining who will be invited to contribute on a regular basis.

The fine print: To start, posts will be unpaid, but contributors will have a bio listed on the site and links will be provided to their website/blog. In the spring or early summer, I’ll be reevaluating and will hopefully be able to extend a per post stipend to contributing editors. Contributing editors must be willing to commit to posting no less than bi-weekly with a preference for weekly posts where possible. Bloggers, writers, designers and vendors are all welcome to submit content for consideration.

{Photo by bonjour celine via Pinterest.}

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The Boxcar Press Open Studio

New readers may not know that by day I work a pretty sweet gig at Boxcar Press, an internationally renowned letterpress print shop here in Syracuse, New York, which also includes our two letterpress stationery lines Bella Figura and Smock. A few weeks ago we hosted our first ever open studio event, which was essentially the coolest holiday party I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. We invited the local public, media, clients, vendors, friends, family and anyone with an interest or passion for printing and the arts to come pay us a visit. In return, we had printing demonstrations, tours, giveaways, an excess of sweets and goodies from a local bake shop and loads of letterpress fun. I spent weeks coming up with ideas, coordinating every last detail and working to create an event that would fill our visitors with wonder and leave them blown away by the work that we do. The event did that and so much more.

Boxcar is located in the Delavan Center, an old converted warehouse on the outskirts of downtown, Syracuse. Our space is raw, industrial and full of the warmth of history and a love for fine craftsmanship. We occupy 20,000 square feet that we recently renovated to accommodate our growing needs. This open studio was the first time we’ve opened the doors to the public and I was thrilled by the turn out – over 300 people came out to see us!

The industrial nature of our space is really what makes it so cool so I wanted to keep the decor limited. The only decor came from things we handcrafted from our Smock gift wraps (which are double-sided, brightly colored and absolutely fabulous in my very biased opinion) – we strung long strands of paper bunting from the cross beams in the center of our office and decked out our Christmas tree in paper chain garlands. For the first time ever we set up a little retail shop for the Smock Everyday collection and had a blast introducing local friends to our paper goods and stationery.

We had real live press operators printing away and each visitor left with a bundle of letterpress coasters. Our co-owners’ son is a pretty prolific artist at four years old so I asked him to provide the artwork for our cool coaster design. He came up with the best little floor plan of our new print shop and I knew it was perfect. We also set up demos on one of our Vandercook presses, where we were able to let visitors pull their own prints. For kids we offered a selection of letterpress coloring book pages with hand illustrations created by Lindsy Aragona, one of our graphic designers. A big table covered in kraft paper with tins full of crayons and markers kept the little ones busy coloring and crafting all day long.

All in all, this day was simply amazing. Everything came together just as we had hoped and I can’t wait to do it again in 2011! A huge thank you to friend and amazing wedding photographer Alice G. Patterson for spending the day with us and capturing these special moments and details. Next year, I hope some of you will come and check us out – we’d love to have you visit!

Vendors -
Baked goods: Sweet Endings Bakeshop
Photography: Alice G. Patterson
Decor: Smock
Coordination: Sweet Occasions Studio

{Photos by Alice G. Patterson.}

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A Cowboy Party

Most readers probably know by now that I’m a sucker for a well-planned kids party. This cowboy themed birthday party is currently topping my list of favorites. Dapper blue fabric bunting, hay bales for seating and a guest appearance by a spotted hobby horse are basically too awesome to resist. I love the idea of a party like this with a big bushel basket of accessories to get all of the little guests in costume. Of course, the birthday boy starring as the town sheriff is only appropriate.

{Photos from escarabajos bichos y mariposas. via Party Perfect.}

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