Monday, January 18, 2016

Rocco's 6th Birthday - A Secret Agent Party

For Rocco's birthday party (um last August - where does the time go?!), we went with a secret agent/spy/detective theme. There was some disagreement over the differences between a spy, secret agent, and detective but I think I like the sound of "secret agent" so I'm gonna go with that.

I found a pretty cool secret agent invitation on Evite but it looks like they changed it and no longer have that one available :-(

For the table decor, I wrapped crime scene tape around the edge of the table and made a suspect board using a few random black and white face illustrations, a map of San Francisco, and a newspaper article print with a jewel thief story that I made using this template.

For the water bottles, I made labels that read "Truth Serum H20."

I thought it would be fun to make a cookie of those Groucho glasses with the nose attached to them so I made these cookie pop "disguises" and placed them in a metal planter which I stuck some bullet hole stickers to and filled with styrofoam and yellow crinkle paper shred. I got these stickers from and the crinkle paper from The Container Store.

The letter candy dishes are from HooplaEvents on Etsy and were filled with a mix of jelly beans, Reese's Pieces, and Organic Sunshine Bears. I didn't need much candy to fill the dishes and had a tough time finding small quantities of yellow candy so I thought, "Hey - why not pick through a bag of Reese's Pieces?!" I also had to pick through a bin of Organic Sunshine Bears at Whole Foods (using the scoop of course!) so if you were at our Whole Foods and wondered why the Organic Sunshine Bears were mostly red and orange, now you know why.

The banana creme pie macarons were filled with banana pudding, marshmallow creme and a slice of banana (the recipe is from Gourmet French Macarons - an awesome book which comes with templates for a variety of different shaped macarons). The cherry cake "bombs," which are essentially  cherry cake balls covered with chocolate, didn't do too well in the heat - it was 102 °F that day!

It was my first time covering a cake with fondant but I think my cake turned out fairly well. I modeled it after a cake I found on Pinterest by and I used the finger print stamp from this set of stamps from To get the coloring to stick to the fondant, I had to airbrush spray the stamp. Painting food coloring onto the stamp just didn't work and didn't show up on the fondant. 

For activities, we built some structures for "target practice" and made a yarn laser maze using some plastic netting. The TNT piñata is from here. I was perfectly fine buying a $20 piñata after having made a Super Mario Bowser piñata last year! We had several other games planned but we (i.e. the hubby) lost motivation because of the heat.

For the suitcase favor boxes, I used the same boxes from Rocco's second birthday (an airplane themed party) and painted them with silver paint. You can purchase the boxes from here or from Staples. For a little more added detail, I printed out suitcase latches onto label paper and attached them on each side of the handles. Inside, I filled them with invisible ink pens, rearview glasses (check Ebay for a better deal), binoculars, stick on mustaches, and "evidence" test tube bubbles. The mini file folders were printed on cream colored card stock which I found the template for here and were filled with some secret agent puzzles which I got from this Melissa and Doug Secret Decoder kit.

Happy 6th Birthday Rocco!!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Rocco's 5th Birthday - A Super Mario Party

Here's another very belated birthday post from last year. We're getting ready for our 6th birthday party coming up next month so I thought it was finally time to post last year's party! 

Our theme last year was Super Mario Brothers which is probably better suited for kids eight and up. Rocco couldn't really play the Mario games at the time but he really liked going through the game booklets and eventually started asking us to play the games so he could watch them like cartoons.

Since most five year olds aren't into Super Mario Brothers yet, I went with a cuter and more modern style Mario invitation which I ordered from T3DesignsCo on Etsy. Mario originally had an "M" on his hat but I changed it to an "R" for "Super Rocco." 

For our drink/dessert table, I did a small cake topped with a Mario and Yoshi cookie, vanilla "mushroom" cupcakes, chocolate goomba cupcakes, piranha plant (a.k.a. chomping flower) cake pops on Rice Krispie pots, flower power cookies, and power star cookies.

Power Star Cookies (below)

Flower Power Cookies (below)

For the food label stands, I used Lego 4 x 12 plates with K'nex Super Mario figures just like what I had done for the previous year's Ninjago party which you can see here. If you haven't already noticed, the labels got mixed up between the power star cookies and the flower power cookies. Whoopsie!

The water bottle labels and mustache straw designs below are from whirligigspartyco on Etsy.

One of our games was a fire ball toss which we built a castle backdrop for. The kids had to throw fireballs at the bad guys which were attached to the castle with a hinge so that they fell back when hit with a fireball.

Our fireballs were tennis balls wrapped with fire print fabric.

We also did the goomba stomp game. We printed goomba eyes on label paper, cut them out (which took forever), and stuck them to brown balloons.

Here's Rocco coming out of a warp pipe. We were lucky to get some free samples of paper tubes from a local paper tube manufacturer. To round off and soften up the tops of the tubes, we added some foam and covered them with green tape.

I made my first attempt at a homemade piñata and made a Bowser piñata. I started by making the head using five small balloons (I eventually ended up changing the back balloon to a larger balloon).

Then I attached another larger balloon to the bottom for the body.

 Here he is covered in newspaper.

I cut a hole out of the back of the head for the candy.

His nose wasn't big enough so I added more tissue to the front.

The spikes were card stock stuffed with tissue paper.

And here's Bowser in his ship. We repurposed our pirate ship wagon from our pirate party and turned it into Bowser's ship by adding a felt Bowser logo to the ship's sail.

Here's the Bowser piñata in action.

Finally, we sent all the kiddos home with question mark favor boxes which I got from here. The favor boxes included some Super Mario stickers, Super Mario Kart candy dispensers, a Super Mario K'nex mystery figure, and Super Mario fruit snacks.

To make the power star balloons, I printed eyes on label paper and attached them to mylar star balloons.

Happy Fifth Birthday Rocco!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Teddy Bear Picnic Party - Chloe's First Birthday!

If you go out in the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise... A Teddy Bear Picnic Party!

Last September, we celebrated my niece's first birthday with a teddy bear picnic themed party. And now that it's July, we already need to start planning for birthday number TWO!

Last year, Bobo the Bear welcomed the party guests with balloons and a sign to the "woods"...

Some of the treats were displayed on these cool tree slices/wood slabs which you can get here.

My contribution to the dessert table was, of course, these teddy bear, honey jar, and picnic basket cookies.

All the little bear guests got their own copy of Teddy Bears' Picnic, a honey bear bottle filled with gummy bears, and a teddy bear headband. The instructions for the headband can be found on

Here's "Lulu Bear" below sporting her teddy bear headband.

Happy Birthday Chloe!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

It's been super busy the last few months so I haven't had much time to post a lot of cookie photos but here are some of the Christmas cookies I did this last month.

Elf on a Shelf Cookies - I wanted to give them blue eyes, blush and a little red bottom lip but unfortunately ran out of time!

And for Santa, a Santa Sweater Cookie with Christmas tree and candy cane:

Luckily we were good this year and the big guy stopped by last night. Don't these look official? I was looking for gift tags with an authentic feel - not just a santa photo - and finally found these from which you can download here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Frozen Cookies - Take Two

I did some Frozen cookies of Elsa and Anna a while back and was not very happy with the result. I'm not that good at doing faces on cookies and can't paint so when my sister asked me to do Frozen cookies, I was happy to give them another shot. I tried adding some snowflakes in the background with luster dust but it didn't really work for me. I guess it's time to buy an airbrush! Anyway, I think they look a lot better this time around but I was bummed that I forgot to add the gold detail to Anna's shirt.

Here was my first attempt at Frozen's Elsa and Anna: 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Wizard of Oz Cookies

We're off to see the Wizard...

Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, and Scarecrow Cookies

Ruby Slipper Cookies