Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BOOOO! Halloween Party

There is no doubt that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  I don't know if it is because it kind of signifies the beginning of Fall for me, or if its the excitement everyone gets over dressing up and pretending to be something else for the day!  Last year, I was able to plan my first Halloween party and boy was it a good time.  I scoured Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, Party City, thrift stores and every Halloween store in town to find the best decoration deals I could.

My husband and I decided we wanted to keep the party in the garage and have it be adults only.  This allowed us to get a little creepier with the decor and by having it in the garage, we could set it up ahead of time.  For this party, I stocked up on a TON of "creepy cloth" and cobwebs from the Dollar Tree.  I wanted the look of this party to be that of an old, abandoned house.

I brought in some small furniture (love seat, oversized chair, side table) from our house and used some patio chairs and rocking chairs from our front porch.  I covered each piece of furniture that was going to be sat in with a white sheet, giving it the abandoned house look.  All of my sheets were thrift store finds and were under $5 (sheets had to be large to fit over the furniture).

I hung the creepy cloth all over the garage, making sure to tear and stretch it to give it an authentic look.  Cobwebs went everywhere cobwebs could go, making it look as if the place hadn't been cleaned in decades.  I also put plastic rats, crows and a variety of bugs anywhere I could.  I had two small tables that I used to put little extras on, such as, spray painted black vases with black flowers, old candle holders, candelabras, creepy pictures in frames, old books and an old creepy telephone.  The room was lit just by tons of candles to give it yet another element of abandonedness.

I had purchased two animated dolls from our local Halloween store.  One little girl that sat on a swing that hung from the ceiling and hummed some creepy tune and one little girl that stood about 4ft high and looked like the girl from the Exorcist.  She too hummed a creepy tune and lunged at you when you least expected it.  I also invested in a small fog machine from Party City that took the party to a whole new level of scary!

A couple of thrift store dolls were given a makeover and turned into some creepy bystanders that
stared at you no matter where you were in the garage.  I was pretty proud of their scary makeovers.

For the dessert table, I covered the table with a black table cloth and spread moss over the top of the table.  I used a roll of "weathered wood" paper from Michaels to create the backdrop, along with a black mirror from Bed, Bath and Beyond and two scary pictures in frames from the Dollar Tree.  The focal point on the table was a huge candelabra from Michaels (use coupons,
it saves a TON) with matching black candles (also from Michaels).  I had two glass containers from another party that went on either side of the candelabra, filled with a skull and bones and more moss.  Of course, everything (besides the food) was also covered in cobwebs.

As for the desserts, I made carmel apples, using a Dollar Tree knife as the stick.  I also made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and shards of "glass" made from drying a sugar syrup and breaking it into pieces.  I made a simple pistachio bundt cake and covered it with red
frosting to mimic blood and made marshmallow pops, stuck into a styrofoam skull.  Lastly, I made piƱata headstone cookies with mini m&m's inside and "bones" out of pretzels, mini marshmallows and white chocolate (tutorial shared below).

Marshmallow and Pretzel "Bones"

1 Package of pretzel sticks
1 Package of mini marshmallows
1 Package of white chocolate (I use Baker's brand)

Take one pretzel stick and push a mini marshmallow onto each end.  Melt white chocolate on double broiler, until smooth.  You may also use a microwave by putting the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heating at 30 second increments, stirring in between, until white chocolate is smooth.  Dip assembled pretzels into white chocolate and let dry on parchment paper.

This party was so much fun and everyone that attended loved it! We loved the decorations so much, we left them up for trick or treaters, some of which were scared to come into the garage.  We had people in our neighborhood giving us so many compliments and I can't wait until our next Halloween party!

Hope you enjoyed this party as much as we did.

Until next time,
Creative Details Event Planning.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Minnie Mouse or Bust

It is so hard to believe it has been so long since I have posted on here.  So many things have happened in the long year and a half since my last post.  We have recently relocated to the East Coast and are just getting settled in to our new place and new routines.  My one and only little one started kindergarten this year and I have been a ball of emotions to say the least.  The past year and a half have been nothing short of awesome and I have a ton of parties to share with you guys.  You may also notice the new name.  This month, I decided to take a bit of a turn in my focus.  I still LOVE cake and cupcake decorating, but I have decided party planning is more my passion.  I will still share my baking ideas but you will see more of my posts will be on party planning.  Over the course of the next month or so, I want to show you what I have been up to and I hope you guys enjoy :)

This post is dedicated to the loveliest mouse of all.  The one and only Minnie Mouse.  This was my daughters 4th birthday party theme last year (2013).  I started out only wanting to do a very small, "no big deal" party because we were spending a few days at Disneyland for Emma's actual birthday.  Who was I kidding, me do "no big deal"?  It just didn't happen that way, but it ended up super fun and most importantly, the birthday girl LOVED it and it was a magical way to begin our trip to the happiest place on earth.

We started the party out at our local beach where we enjoyed a nice BBQ with our friends and family and of course some fun in the sun!  After a couple hours and full bellies, we made our way back to our house to celebrate some more with cake and ice cream.

For the cake, I used the Wilton Giant Cupcake Pan, frosted the bottom with a pink, high humidity frosting to match the rest of the decor.  I then used the rose swirl technique to frost the top of the giant cupcake (tutorial coming soon).  I had previously made Minnie ears out of black fondant with spaghetti noodles at the picks to stick into the cake.  I also made a pretty pink bow and Disney font letters/number for "Emma" and "4", using Disney font I found online, printing off the letters/number I needed in the size needed, covering with wax paper, and using black fondant to outline the letters/number.

For the matching cupcakes, I made Minnie ears out of black fondant, using a small circle cutter and pink bows using a silicone mold I have.  I decorated each cupcake using the rose swirl technique and placed two ears on each cupcake with a bow in the middle. For the other cupcakes, I decorated them using the rose swirl technique and placed small, white ball candies on the tops to mimic Minnie's polka dots on her dress.

I also made Minnie shaped sugar cookies (will share the recipe in a later post) with coordinating frosting colors and chocolate dipped Minnie Oreo cookies.  I have had a TON of questions on how I made these Oreo cookies and they were quite simple.  Although I don't have process pics, I thought I would quickly share how they were made for all those how would like to make them as well.

Minne Mouse Oreo Cookies:

1 package of double stuffed Oreo cookies
1 large package (or several little ones) of mini Oreo cookies
1 package of white chocolate, separate some for dying and a small amount to keep white (I used Bakers brand white chocolate)
Pink chocolate food coloring (yes there is a difference from regular food coloring, I will explain below)

Start out by disassembling the mini Oreo cookies, scraping the filling from the backs of either cookie,  so you have two mini cookies.  Then take one double stuffed Oreo and gently press both mini cookies into the filling of the double stuffed Oreo, making "ears".  You can also use some frosting or melted white chocolate to keep the "ears" secure, but I found that I didn't need it.  After you have assembled the Minnie Oreos, slowly melt white chocolate over a double broiler, until smooth.  You can also use the microwave to melt the chocolate.  Simply use a microwave safe bowl and heat the chocolate for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until chocolate is smooth.  Then, using chocolate food coloring, dye the chocolate the desired color.  You must use chocolate food coloring due to the oil in the chocolate or your chocolate will not hold the color and separate.  I also use Flo-Coat by AmericColor to make sure my chocolate has that smooth consistency.

After your chocolate has reached your desired color, take each Oreo, being careful to keep the "ears" in place, and dip the bottom portion of your double stuffed Oreo half way in the chocolate.  Let dry on parchment paper.  While the chocolate is drying, you may also use some of the left over colored white chocolate to make a small bow between the "ears", using a small cake decorating tip (Wiltons round #2) in a decorating bag.

After the chocolate has dried, melt the remaining white chocolate to make the polka dots.  Use a small cake decorating tip (Wilton round #2), in a decorating bag, and fill it with the melted white chocolate, making sure it has cooled enough to handle, but not enough to begin to harden.  Make small polka dots on the colored white chocolate to mimic the polka dots on Minnie's dress.  Let dry and enjoy.

Hope you enjoyed this party as much as I did planning it.  I look forward to sharing more fun parties with you in the near future.

Until next time,
Creative Details Event Planning