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editor’s note

When I was a little girl, I lived in a house with a tiny creek that ran through the land behind us. I spent so many hours there, splashing in the pools, digging for clay, building dams, and catching minnows. It didn’t matter what the season was, I was out there-but summer was always my favorite. In my memory, it feels like twilight lasted forever, and we existed in some magical fairy other-world where time had no meaning as we clambered over mossy rocks and swung from ropes and ate wild raspberries until our bellies groaned and our fingers were stained a permanent ruddy hue. That’s what summer is to me. A time to explore and get dirty and catch fireflies and run free. And that’s exactly the kind of spirit that we’ve attempted to collect in this summer issue of Festivities. From an outdoor movie night filled with fireflies to an evening with the Lost Boys and Robin Hood and his Merry Men, this issue is about conjuring and capturing the allure of those long, bewitching days. May you read this issue, and be inspired to create a little summer magic yourself. Happy Summer! Nicole Wills Editor

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ISSUE contents

Featured Parties 6

Motorcycle Rally Birthday Party

25 40 55 67 76

Daisy 40th Anniversary

SUMMER 2013

Feathers & Arrow Birthday Pink Lemonade Stand Firefly Theater

6

Moustache Baby Shower Bash

Articles 52 Salty and Sweet:

Best Carmel Cake

74 91

Party Etiquette: Gift Giving

67

Where Independence Was Won: Yorktown, VA

Tutorials 22 Super Easy Iron-Only Fabric Bunting 38

40

DIY Wine Markers

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Paula Biggs Editor-In-Chief Frog Prince Paperie Paula is a party-loving mom of two with a background in communications and a love for entertaining. She’s the owner of two printable party shops, Frog Prince Paperie and Frog Prince Occasions. Her styling and design work has been seen in national magazines such as Southern Living and Women’s Day Magazine as well as many well-known international entertaining blogs.

contributors Nicole Willis Editor Tikkido.com Nicole is the owner of the party planning and inspiration company, Tikkido.com. Nicole has worked for numerous journalism institutions, including NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. Her work has been featured in Yum! Food and Fun for Kids magazine; and many popular blogs, including Amy Atlas, HTWM, and Style Me Pretty.

Natalie Clause

Elissa Stone

Southern Belle’s Charm

One Stone Events

Dina Hafez-Suggs

Melissa Johnson

Deliciously Darling Events

Best Friends for Frosting

Thank you to our wonderful contributors that lent their time and talents to this issue of Festivities magazine.

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Supporting our military families by delivering baby showers one amazing shower at a time.

Support Our Showers

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MOTORCYCLE RALLY A Little Boy Birthday Party with Big Boy Appeal WRITING, STYLING AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAULA BIGGS OF WWW.FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM

My husband rarely chimes in on birthday party planning. But this year, when a motorcycle theme was on the table, he used some of his fatherly influence to sway our young son about his upcoming party. It was a dream for father and child alike. Lots of motorcycles, lots of the birthday boy’s favorite color (blue) and lots of party fun. The checkboard floor was actually plastic sheeting we taped to the floor; it gave a great motorcycle shop effect! A black metal cabinet, “oil cans” as dessert stands, and a real motorcycle rolled into the living room set the perfect atmosphere. Fabulous fondant cupcake toppers by Love and Sugar Kisses at http://www. etsy.com/shop/lovesugarkisses. Awesome motorcycle shirt by Rockets and Rainbows https://www.facebook.com/ RocketsandRainbows FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013

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Fondant by Love and Sugar Kisses Vanilla macaraons by earth and sugar http://earthandsugar.com/ FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013

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Sugar Love This party was so fortunate to have the talents of some really creative ladies - earthandsugar organic sweets (macarons), Love and Sugar Kisses (chocolate covered oreos and fondant toppers) and The Hungry Hippopotamus (sugar cookies.) I did cook a bit for the party and made a buttercrunch chocolate ganache cake for the crowd.

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For lunch, we set up a “Biker Burger Bar” with lots of different yummy toppings: carmalized onions, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, thick cut pickles, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese. With a big spinach salad and a side of bbq and hotdogs there was a little something for everyone. After everyone had a chance to belly up to the bar, we sang a little birthday tune to the birthday boy and handed out desserts. 14

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All in favor... Party guests had so many goodies to go home with! I had planned for all the kids to gear up with do-rags, sunglasses and really cool “born to be wild” t-shirts in a jar, all in individually personalized “motorcycle parts” containers. But the way it really went was the kids gasped when they saw the motorcycle in the living room and looked past that and saw the bounce house and were gone to do their own thing. You have to be really flexible when it comes to kids’ parties, so we let them run. By the end of the party, the little guests had all wandered back to sift through their boxes. We sent each family home with a CD of the party play list -- inspired by motorcycles and a need for speed.

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The Party Ride The one and only request my son had for his party is that there be a bounce house. I couldn’t tell that sweet little face no. Besides, the adults that come usually end up having as much fun in there as the kids do. There was also a tattoo station inside the house with bunches of Ed Hardy tattoos. I think my daughter ended up with eleven of them in various places, and the other kids had about as much fun with them. The motorcyle was also a big draw. Everyone that wanted to climbed on got their picture taken as little biker dudes. We had another party game planned a motorcycle tire roll - but everyone at the party was so occupied with what was already offered, we didn’t have time to play!

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Party Tricks

Quick and Easy Backdrops To make our walls red, I taped a 12 foot roll of red craft paper to the wall. Easy, and cheap!

Oil Cans We stacked oil cans all over our garage. I wrapped tomato cans of all sizes to make our props.

Cool Party Art Thanks to Space Coast Harley Davidson, we were able to do a little photo shoot of Brennan for his invitations. There were one or two other pictures that were outstanding. Had to put them to use. To make a little cool party art like this, have your local office supply store blow up and print your picture on a wide format printer and mount it with tape on foam core.

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Make It Fabric No-Sew Bunting

Quick! Easy! Colorful! Yes, you can have it all with this bunting--without needing to know how to thread a sewing machine. Seam binding tape and fusible webbing make these a snap. To cut the fabric into pennants, make yourself a quick template out of heavy cardstock or cardboard. A rotary cutter and a steel ruler will make the job much easier and faster if you have one! When I made these buntings, 11 pennants fit onto 12 feet of seam binding tape.

Materials: ~ Steam-a-seam or other double sided fusable interfacing in thin strips ~ Wide double fold (best to use) or single fold seam binding tape ~ Fabric cut into pennants ~ Hot Iron

Method: Cut strips of fusible webbing slightly longer than your pennants. open up the seam binding tape and place the pennant into the fold. Put a strip of fusible webbing over top of the pennant and iron down. Remove the paper backing from the tape, fold down the seam binding and iron again. The pennants will stay in place between the folds of the seam binding tape. To attach several lengths of bunting, I used the fusible webbing to attach the ends and make them longer.

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Layers of bunting with different colored seam binding tape and checkered flags made an excellent backdrop for our motorcycle “photobooth.”

Sources

Event Design, Styling & Printables Frog Prince Paperie www.frogprincepaperie.com Cupcake Toppers & Chocolate Covered Oreos: Love and Sugar Kisses lovesugarkisses.blogspot.com Vanilla Flame Macarons: earthandsugarwww.earthandsugar.com Cookies: The Hungry Hippopotamus Embroidered Birthday Shirt Rockets and Rainbows https://www.facebook.com/RocketsandRainbows T-Shirts: Stirling Promotions www.sterlingpromotions.com

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WWW.TIKKIDO.COM PARTY SHOWCASES INSPIRATION TUTORIALS


Casual Celebrating A Daisy 40th Wedding Anniversary

WRITING, STYLING AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLE WILLS OF TIKKIDO.COM


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Growing up with two parents who love each other deeply has been a tremendous gift in my life. When my parents celebrated their 40th anniversary this year, it was a pleasure to help them mark such a wonderful milestone. Inspiration came from their wedding in 1973. My parents’ wedding flowers were predominantly daisies, the colors a sunny yellow and white. I expanded on the flowers, keeping in the same color palette, but used a lot of daisies and baby’s breath, just like the original wedding flowers.

T he anniversary party was inspired by the sunny yellows and daisies of their wedding. Trimmings from a tree in the backyard were used extensively, wound around the metal form of an old gazebo whose fabric roof had been shredded by the sun and thrown away. The greenery softened the harsh, iron lines, and made a perfect canopy for the cake table. Those same tree branches were also used on the cris-crossing lights above the dining area, creating a luxurious, vibrant look for almost no cost. Food was simple Italian fare: caprese salad skewers, spinach and artichoke dip, and pizzas made in a wood-fired brick pizza oven in the backyard. Making pizzas is a fabulous way to entertain a crowd without spending much money. If you don’t have your own pizza oven, don’t fret; a grill also makes absolutely delicious pies. FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013 27


Tree clippings were wrapped around the arbor and chandelier to create a natural ambiance.

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Guests at the party came from diverse groups, so name tags were a helpful way for everyone to get acquainted. Elegant daisy-themed printables from Frog Prince Paperie were provided for the guests, but I made a very special one for my father. A tag reminiscent of the oh-so-fashionable chocolate brown tuxedo and peach ruffled shirt he wore to the wedding 40 years ago. Always a dapper man, my father.

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A 40-Year Wait for Cake My father’s mother was a professional baker and cake decorator of renown in Iowa, and made the wedding cake for my parents’ wedding. My mother chose a unique cake from Grandma Berta’s portfolio, one that featured an apricot glaze and delicate icing lattice and lace details. My parents were so busy at the wedding reception, socializing and taking photographs, that they never got to eat any of their cake at the wedding. And by the time they got back to the house after the reception, the leftover cake (and the two extra sheet cakes!) had been devoured by my mother’s 10 younger siblings. When I started thinking about this party, I knew I wanted to re-create the wedding cake. It may have taken 40 years, but my parents finally each got a slice, and extra to take home.

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Small details, such as personalized wine bottle lables, are easy to do, and elevate a party into something truly special. 32 FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013


Caprese Salad Skewers were a savory appetizer enjoyed by guests while waiting for pizzas to cook!

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Celebrations by Candlelight The night stretched long, as guests enjoyed the good company of friends and family. Photos of my parents’ wedding were everywhere, but nobody needed to look at those to see the love, respect, and affection they have for each other. It was there in the yard with us, under the stars, glowing with its own pure light. FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013 35


Party Tricks Daisy Anniversary

Budget Boughs When doing floral arrangements, don’t forget to look in your own backyard. Trimmings from trees or bushes can fill in a lot of spaces between purchased flowers, and the price for that fresh greenery can’t be beat! 36 FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013


Gazebo Drama An old gazebo whose fabric roof has been ruined by sun can still be a great asset to a party. Even without the fabric covering, it’s a perfect armature for draping fabric and greenery to create a magical setting for anything from a casual dessert table to the centerpiece of a wedding ceremony.

Lots of Length Tablecloth too short? Use packing tape to attach tulle to the back side of the tablecloth. Instead of bare table legs, all you’ll see is an adorable tulle petticoat peeking out. After the party, just remove the tape and tulle.

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Make It

DIY Wine Charms

Wine charms are a great invention.

Making a single-use wine charm takes only seconds, and is perfect for any occasion. 38 FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013

I’m constantly forgetting where I set my glass down, whether it’s a party I’m throwing or one I’m just attending. I love them, and I use them all the time, but sometimes that generic stash of wine charms just won’t do. Perhaps you want something to fit your theme, or perhaps you have more guests coming than wine charms in your collection.


Materials: Scrapbook punch (any shape, really) single hole punch wine charm wires cardstock embellishment of your choice

Method: Punch shapes out of cardstock. I used a 1.5� long oval with a scalloped edge, but any number of shapes would work wonderfully. Simply choose something that has enough surface area on which the guests can write their names. Punch a single hole close to the edge of the cardstock shapes. Thread the wine charm wires through the hole. Glue an embellishment on, if desired. In this case, I used a single daisy from the Venise lace I used throughout the party. Remember to set out a pen by the stash of wine charms so guests can write their names! After the party, the wine charms can be thrown away, or the paper part can be removed and the wine charm wires used again.

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Feathers and Arrows Birthday Adventures in the Fairy Tale Forest

WRITING AND STYLING BY ELISSA STONE WWW.ONESTONEEVENTS.COM PHOTOS BY EMMA GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY This is an example of how to have a themed party without being so literal. I wanted to style a party that was in line with current trends but with a kid twist, so I chose a boy fairytale mashup, including Peter Pan, Robin Hood and The Big Bad Wolf (represented both by Little Red Riding Hood and The ‘3’ Little Pigs.) It definitely has kid elements, but with a sophisticated style to please all ages. Since my son LOVES movies so much, I decided to add a backyard movie element to the mix. We showed Peter Pan. Since blankets were part of that spin, a picnic was the perfect way to go for the meal. Guests were greeted by a giant green balloon and rickety signs up the walkway, made by Let’s Get This Party Started. There were 4 signs, reading ‘second star’, ‘to the right’, ‘to grandmother’s house’, and ‘to Sherwood forest’, representing all 3 of the characters in the mashup. photo by www.capturedbygalina.com FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013

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fairy tale forest dessert table An amazing array of vendors helped bring all the best parts of our fairy tale mash up to life. Tick-tock crocks, feathers, arrows, pirates’ gold, bullseye cupcakes and other fun sweets tantalized our guests. The menu was carefully chosen, as our son has a nut allergy; we wanted him to be able to eat anything offered on his big day.

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Layers of cream, gold, grey and green with a modern arrangement of golden feathers topped the gorgeous cake created by Dream Cakes. This chocolate cake with Oreo buttercream filling was out of this world good.

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Gathered around the felt campfire were Robin Hood hats for all our young party guests. Another great detail, they were lovingly crafted by Nikki at Tikkido. The kids loved them!

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3 LITTLE PIGS IN A BLANKET MINI BAR

Dinner is served

A last minute, but favorite detail, was a piggie mini bar. A variety of dipping sauces and platters of pigs in a blanket sat on ‘wood’, ‘straw’ and ‘bricks’ (each representing a little pigs house). Three whimsical gold pigs added a little more sophistication and kept them in the color palette.

Each family had their own basket with every food item labeled with coordinating tags. French baguettes with jam, hummus, brie (wrapped in parchment with a gold sprayed sword), pasta salad, pirates booty, water, bags with cutlery, plates and cloth napkins were placed in each basket. The best part was, each family got to take their basket

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(and leftovers) home with them, eliminating a lot of party cleanup! Guests camped out, shared blankets and watched the movie later in the evening from their own little spot. A concession area with popcorn and movie candy was set up for the guests after dinner.

Tents (by LGTPS) scattered across the yard. Blankets, pillows and crates (for tables) for the guests to dine on created the casual, relaxed atmosphere and environment.

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and it was my first time working with them. Great experience! The chocolate covered Oreos by Love & Sugar Kisses were the biggest hit and Maria went above and beyond to make sure these were safe for my son. The faux bois detail on those was amazing! The beautiful fondant toppers were by Edible Details and my mom and I made the cupcakes and ‘birch logs’ (using peanut safe chocolate). The chocolate coins were from Vermont Nut Free.

FAVORS

The ‘bags of gold’ hung from a birch log with a sign at the exit which read “THE END”. They were filled with a pirate eye patch, pirate tattoos, fairy stickers, chocolate gold coins, crocodile soap, rice krispy treats and fairy fruit snacks.

DESSERT TABLE

The backdrop for the dessert table was a gold fringe arrow by The Flair Exchange. I wanted something very fresh, modern, bold and simple. The ‘drums’ on the table were cheese boxes, rented from Wish Vintage Rentals. I wrapped them with leather twine and added some beads, ribbon and feathers to make them look like a drum. The drink bottles filled with lemonade were made to look like the front of Robin Hood’s or Peter Pan’s shirt with the criss-cross leather ties. The birch straws were an exciting new twist on the stripey straws! I told Nikki at Tikkido that I wanted a bunting that looked like Pan’s skirt and sent her a photo of something I cut out as an example. When hers arrived in the mail I was blown away. She took my vision to the next level and created something more beautiful than I ever could have. It was perfect! The food at my parties is always a challenge because the birthday boy has a severe peanut allergy, so it’s imperative that the food is as safe as can be for him. Most everything was safe for him to eat. The crocodile and clock cookies were made by Nut Free Sweets

GUEST BOOK

There was a wood painted target on the tree for guests to sign, made by LGTPS and ‘happy thoughts’ for guests to write and put in a jar for the birthday boy.

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Party Sources Event Design and Styling: One Stone Events www.onestoneevents.com Photography: Emma Grace Photography www.emmagracephotography.com Printables: Frog Prince Paperie www.frogprincepaperie.com Robin Hood hats and Peter Pan bunting: Tikkido www.tikkido.com Tents, wooden target, ‘plank’ bench, arrow signs: Let’s Get This Party Started www.facebook.com/Letsgetthispartystarted Fringe arrow backdrop: The Flair Exchange www.theflairexchange.com Quilts, crates, pillows, cheese boxes: Wish Vintage Rentals www.wishvintagerentals.com Cake: Dream Cakes www.dreamcakesfl.com Crocodile and clock cookies: Nut Free Sweets www.nutfreesweets.com Fondant cupcake toppers: Edible Details www.edibledetails.com Chocolate covered Oreos: Love & Sugar Kisses www.lovesugarkisses.blogspot.com Nut safe chocolate: Vermont Nut Free www.vermontnutfree.com ‘Bag ‘o gold’ muslin favor bags: Crafty Clementines www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyClementines

Crocodile soap favors: Meela Soap www.etsy.com/shop/MeelaSoap Felt fire: Not Just a Hat Rack Kids arrow t-shirt: Feather4Arrow www.etsy.com/shop/Feather4Arrow Birch straws: Anthropologie www.anthropologie.com Green balloon, pint containers, plastic drink bottles: The TomKat Studio Shop shoptomkat.com

Elissa Stone is the brilliant mind behind One Stone Events, a creative party styling service in Tampa, Florida. www. onestoneevents.com


Sweet and Salty Best Caramel Cake

WRITING AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY MELISSA JOHNSON WWW.BESTFRIENDSFORFROSTING.COM

Add a little sea salt, and the flavor of caramel can go a long way. You won’t be able to stop thinking about that sweet flavor with its sassy, salty kick until days after.


Cake Ingredients & Method

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature 2 cups granulated sugar 4 eggs 3 cups sifted self-rising flour 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding the pan 3 or 4-inches above the counter and dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure that you will have a more level cake. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Filling Ingredients & Method 1 cup (2 sticks) butter 2 cups packed light brown sugar 1/4 cup milk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

While cake is baking, in a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto a cake plate. Pierce cake layer with a toothpick over entire surface. Spread 1/3 of the filling mixture on the cake layer. Top with

second layer, and repeat the process. Top with the last layer and repeat process again. Place leftover filling into a piping bag to drizzle on sides of cake after it’s frosted. Make sure you cut only a small amount of the tip off at a slanted angle, as the caramel will release from your piping bag quickly.

Frosting Ingredients & Method 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/3 cup heavy cream, or more if needed 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Sea Salt to sprinkle on top of frosting

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. At this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of heavy cream, or more, if frosting gets too thick. Just be sure to add cream in small amounts because you can always “add to,” but you can’t take away. Frost cake and sprinkle sea salt on top for an extra salty kick. Using your remaining piping bag of caramel filling, gently drizzle caramel on the sides of the cake. The caramel will automatically form that “drizzle” look as it drips down the sides of your cake.

Melissa Johnson, a selftaught baker, is the Founder and Creative Director of Best Friends For Frosting. www. bestfriendsforfrosting.com


Pink

lemonade

Sipping Sunshine from a Glass at a Summer Stand

WRITING AND STYLING BY DINA HAFEZ-SUGGS WWW.DELICIOUSLYDARLING.COM PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAUREN NICOLE STUDIOS WWW.LAURENNICOLESTUDIOS.COM


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With the first tendrils of warm weather wrapping their way through the country, thoughts turn to cool drinks, sunshine and all things undeniably summer. In celebration of brighter days ahead, we gave the classic lemonade stand a modern ombre update that is sure to make it the most popular watering hole in the neighborhood.

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Pink lemonade is a must and looks so refreshing in mason jars with daisy lids. 58 FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013


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Delicious goodies go hand-in-hand with the perfect glass of lemonade. From the amazing yellow ruffled cake to the little french macarons, each and every thing on this dessert table reminds you of a summer day. Other sweets included: Lemon shaped cookies, mini powdered donuts and lemon cupcakes.

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Candy is dandy in lemon-fresh flavors! Gumballs and lollipops made our lemonade stand extra sweet.

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This lemonade stand is surprisingly easy to make. Instead of running out and purchasing lots of lumber and putting one together, this one was constructed with one sofa table, two pieces of wood and four zip-ties. It was finished off with a darling hand-crafted “Lemonade” banner.

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Sources

Dina Hafez-Suggs is a design professional and event stylist out of Atanta, GA where she creates delicous parties. www. deliciouslydarlingevents. com

Event Design, Styling & Paper Decor: Deliciously Darling www.deliciouslydarlingevents.com Photography: Lauren Nicole Studios laurennicolestudios.com Printables: Frog Prince Paperie www.frogprincepaperie.com Cupcake Toppers & Fondant Lemons: Edible Details www.edibledetails.com Ruffle Cake: My Sweet Things www.my-sweet-things.com Cookies: Yummy Delicious Cookies by Whimsical Originals WhimsicalOriginalsDB.etsy.com French Macarons: Alon’s Bakery www.alons.com Balloon & Tassel: The Flair Exchange www.theflairexchange.com Yellow & Pink Cake Stands, Pink & Yellow straws, Daisy mason jar lids: Waiting on Martha www.shopwaitingonmartha.com Cupcake wrappers, pink & yellow cups, yellow napkins, gumball bottles: Petite Party Studio www.petitepartystudio.com Yellow Ceramic Berry Baskets: Anthropology www.anthropology.com


Entertaining in Style for a Crowd WRITING, STYLING AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLE WILLS WWW.TIKKIDO.COM

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This party is also a study on entertaining for a crowd, and making decorating dollars stretch. It was an event planned for Desert Sun Child Development Center, a remarkable preschool, to launch their annual silent auction fundraiser. A spaghetti dinner for 150 presents challenges under the best of circumstances, but on a strict budget so that the school could keep as much profit as possible to keep doing their remarkable work—now that was an interesting test of skills. A spaghetti dinner anchored the evening, and decorating cues were taken from that. Catered pasta and meatballs from a local restaurant were served, and each family brought either bread or a salad to contribute to the meal. Checkered tablecloths covered a long row of tables, arranged family-style on the school grounds. Simple mason jars with sunflowers made beautiful rustic flower arrangements on the tables, and submersible floral lights twinkled in the jars, evoking flashing firefly lights. Cupcakes cleverly disguised as tubs of popcorn were offered for dessert, their gooey marshmallow topping a hit with children and adults alike. And as twilight fell, it was time to set up the outdoor projector screen

and start the movie. Popcorn is a must at the movies, and a popcorn bar was a natural way to offer a selection of savory and sweet treats at a low price. For the money, popcorn

People who like movies have a favorite. People who love movies couldn’t possibly choose. - Nicole Yatsonsky has a lot of volume. Classic buttered popcorn and caramel corn were offered, along with more exotic options, like strawberry, fruit punch, grape, rosemary Parmesan, and cookies and cream flavored popcorns.

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Popcorn is synonomous with the movies...but popcorn in many gourmet avors will delight even the the oldest of movie-goers.

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I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made film were magicians. - Francis Ford Coppola

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The setting sun, the emerging stars, and a favorite movie on the screen as children swatch, snuggle, and play. There’s a magic to movies that transcends what we see on the screen, and it’s the perfect inspiration for an evening with friends and family.

“No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight of the soul.” - Ingrid Bergman

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The Art of Gifting WRITTEN BY NATALIE CLAUSE OF WWW.SOUTHERNBELLESCHARM.COM

For centuries, our culture has presented gifts Don’t Dictate Acceptable Gifts It’s never okay to dictate the types of gifts that you’ll to the guest of honor during special occasions find acceptable for a child’s birthday party, even if you – births, ceremonies, birthdays, graduations and weddings. The gifts are said to be a representation of our honor for being in attendance, for knowing this wonderful person or as a congratulatory response for a job well done. But the real question is – how do we gift? I believe Mother Teresa said it best; “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Celebrations are our way to outwardly express the pride and joy we have for the important people in our life when they reach milestones. Gifting should not be taken lightly and with some basic guidelines of etiquette, gifting will be a fun experience instead of a cautionary tale.

Remember That Gifts Are Not Required

Giving children gifts on their birthdays is such a common gesture that it’s easy to take it for granted. Before you throw shade on a guest for choosing not to attend your child’s party bearing a mountain of gifts, it’s important to remember that gifts are never compulsory. Formal etiquette holds that the recipient of a wedding invitation is still obligated to send a gift if they’re not planning to attend the ceremony, but this same rule does not hold true for birthday parties. Making any mention of where to send or drop off gifts in a kids’ birthday invitation, especially for guests that are forced to decline your invitation, is in poor taste.

have strong feelings about what is and is not allowed in his/her space. You may have a strong distaste of branded toys or hope that your guests will bring only books to a birthday party, but etiquette demands that you refrain from making any mention of those rules in the invitation information.

Asking for Money or Gift Cards

Definitely not - allow your guests to take the time to purchase a gift from their heart and not money from their pocket books. Asking for money is not classy and we always want to be classy.

So much time and energy is put into a party or event, show the same respect and gift accordingly. Cash is Not King

Proper etiquette is to not gift in cash. Take the time to purchase a gift for the child or from a registry. So much time and energy is put into a party or event, show the same respect and gift accordingly.

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Gift Cards Versus a Tangible Gift

In today’s time, gift cards are now available for an ever-increasing variety of items and services, in stores and online. Personally, I err on the side of caution and give a physical gift with a thoughtful card. A tangible gift that someone can see and open in front of me is more sentimental. I want the receiver to know that time and thought were put into the gift.

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. Dinner Parties = Hostess Gift Always

It is always a nice gesture to bring a small hostess or house gift whenever invited to someone’s home for dinner. Among the most common items are: a bottle of wine; box of fine chocolates; bouquet of flowers; a coffee table book; or something from your own hometown, area or country.

Choose Your Words Carefully for a “No Gifts” Party

Discouraging materialism by requesting that your guests bring no gifts at all is admirable, but is also not considered good etiquette. Requesting that your guests forgo the gift-giving aspect of the celebration is an assumption that they were planning to bring gifts in the first place. That is just as off-limits as dictating the sort of gifts you prefer. If you do choose to host a no-gifts party, it’s important that you’re very careful with the wording of the invitation. For instance, simply stating that you’d prefer that no gifts be purchased can be construed as rude, while playfully stating “it’s not necessary to bring anything except for yourselves!” gets the point across without a direct mention to gifts.

Waiting Until After the Party to Open Gifts is Acceptable

More and more parents are choosing to wait until after the festivities have ended to open gifts for a variety of reasons. Younger kids may not have the strongest grasp on the concept of gracious gift receiving, and as such can be inadvertently rude when they discover

that a gift is not one they wanted, or is one that they already have. On the other hand, gifts that kids are excited about can be a distraction from the party itself, inspiring the children in attendance to want to tear into the packaging for immediate play. Pieces become lost, arguments about sharing break out, and chaos ensues. Furthermore, the gift-opening aspect of a child’s birthday party can be a time-consuming part of a relatively short party. Whatever your reasoning for choosing to open gifts later, it is acceptable as long as the proper gratitude is expressed. Remember that some guests attend parties in order to see the child open the gift. If you are asked if the child can open their gift at party time, graciously accept.

Teach Kids to Be Grateful For All Gifts Received

Regardless of whether or not your child will be opening gifts during the party or after the festivities end, it’s important that you take advantage of the teaching opportunity and encourage your child to express his/ her gratitude for the things he’s/she’s given. Each guest should be thanked when a package is handed over, even if it won’t be opened until later. A great way to incorporate this practice into your party timeline would be to have your child at the door greeting each guest.

Don’t Skip the Thank You Notes

An extension of teaching kids to show gratitude is making sure that they’re actively involved in the thank-you note process. Even the most effusive verbal thanks are no match for a quick, handwritten note, which is in keeping with formal gift-giving etiquette regardless of the occasion. It’s obviously acceptable for a parent to handle the thank you notes when a child is too small to write them, but older kids should write their own notes to properly and politely express their gratitude.

Natalie Clause runs thesuccessful party product business, Southern Belles Charm, in Las Vegas, NV. Visit Natalie at www. southernbellescharm.com

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MOUSTACHe BABY SHOWER BASH WRITING, STYLING AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAULA BIGGS WWW.FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM Moustaches are very trendy right now. So trendy you can find them on everything from duct tape to diapers to drink stirrers. Sort of chevron’s hairier cousin if you will. There’s nothing that they won’t put a moustash on. And really, I didn’t get it until I actually threw a moustache party. They are outrageously fun, and right away give everyone an excuse to be a little silly. And put a moustache on everything you can find. Our beautiful momma-to-be Richelle was tickled by everything at her party. We gifted her with some lovely moustache jewelry (that we’ve seen her sporting around town) and a few personalized poster signs for her little man. As guests walked through the door, we made it mandatory that they get ‘stached. Tiny temporary tattoos for your finger (“fingerstaches”) were applied to everyone’s forefingers--which also made for quite a few great photo opportunities. After that, we let them meander to where the real focus for this party was--the food!


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A party with a savory food focus... Our bash had an a-typical dessert spread. More focus was put on the appetizers and one really out-of-this world cake was offered. A few small easy to do sweets were also put out for nibbling on shelving beside the main table. One of my favorite details of this party was the babies with moustaches. I painted thrift store frames to match and filled them with these funny photos. The big-sister-to-be’s baby picture was even included! 79


Inspired by desserts I had on vacation, I made tiny tasting cups of chocolate creme brulee. Just a spoonful or two a serving. They were served on a chalkboard tray. Strawberries with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, basil chiffonade and goat cheese made a sweet-savory-creamy combination. 80 FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013


The biggest hit of the party was probably the healthiest. These wasabi vegetable and crab rolls dissapeared from the table first!

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Flavors to Savor The food table was full of interesting bites and unique flavor combinations. Colorful baby carrots drizzled with a smattering of extra virgin olive oil rested in a bed of coarse sea salt; yummy, and they make a pretty picture. My personal favorite were the stuffed dates. Easy to make and quick if you’re in a hurry. Use pitted medjool dates, and stuff each one with a sliver of gorgonzola cheese and a whole pecan. Wrap in bacon and secure with a toothpick. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes on each side. Heavenly. The hot ham and swiss buscuits were marinated in a buttery Worchestershire sauce and sprinkled with poppy seeds. Also an addictive dish.

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Each of our shower guests left with a moustached pint glass. (I always reach for mine first when it is in the cupboard!) This was a DIY project using vinyl moustaches and purchased pint glasses. The vinyl moustaches are available through Frog Prince Paperie. 84 FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013


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Memorable details

Buck, the deer head that my husband loathes, really got into the party spirit. I loved it so much, he still looks like this. We played a few shower games with moustaches-on-a-stick and lips-on-a-stick, and had a ball with our fingerstaches.


Chocolate Ganache Buttercrunch Cake I now know what to make when I need to ask a serious favor. Long a favorite of my husband’s, this cake gained a new audience at the shower. In a lesson of learning to go with the party flow despite catastrophes, it almost didn’t make an apperance at the party. I set the cake up for a photo, walked to the other room for a cake server, and heard a giant crash. My labor-intensive cake was on the floor and favorite Rosanna cake stand was in pieces when the tea cart they were on decided to lose a wheel. Thankfully, the cake was still very cold and only the back edge was unredeemable. I cut out any part of the cake that was near the floor, and set it on a new cake stand. Every guest was warned what happened to the cake...but they all came back for seconds and thirds anyway!

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This moustache theme made for a memborable baby shower. Even the flower arrangements, by Buds, Etc. in Melbourne, Florida, got in on the act!

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Where Victory Was Won THE FOURTH OF JULY IN YORKTOWN, VIRGINA

WRITING AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAULA BIGGS WWW.FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013

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There’s a little corner of the country steeped in so much history you can barely turn around with out seeing a plaque noting where something important happened. This historic area in Southeast Virginia

is made up of Williamsburg, Jamestown and a little place called Yorktown where the people live and breathe a rich culture of celebrating days gone by. Yorktown in particular has a special history. You see, three hundred plus years ago during the revolutionary war the vast expanse of Yorktown proper was a battlefield. Men with muskets and bayonetts lined the ramparts and followed the orders of officers in tri-corn hats. And it was the place where something very important happened in America’s history. It was the place where the British finally gave up on the war that led to America’s Independence. The beginning of the end of that long and brutal war happened when the

British General Cornwallis hid away in his cave and sent his second in charge to surrender to General George Washington on the Yorktown battlefields.

Yorktown boasts a centuries old history, including the location for the end of the revolutionary war. The town’s residents are pretty proud of that fact. They celebrate it every year with a parade, followed in the evening by a concert and firework display over the York RIver. They take celebrating America’s independence seriously. The battlefields slope sharply down to the riverbanks, along which platoons of local military units, boy scout troops, women in colonial dresses

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and homemade floats drift by. Set against a rich backdrop of shoreline and lush greenery spotted with brillant summer blooms, the parade has a classic hometown parade feel. The highlight, though, is always the Fife and Drums corps. This group of 85 youngsters between the ages of 10 and 18 years old march down the streets of Yorktown in Regimental uniforms reminiscent of the 18th century musicians who served in the Continental Army. The deep boom of the base and staccato of the snares are accompanied by the shrill tweets of a chorus of fifes that transport listeners back to colonial days. They are always a crowd pleaser. You can learn more about Yorktown, Virginia at the Yorktown Victory Center’s website at www.historyisfun.org.

The Yorktown Onion The allium known as the Yorktown Onion was originally brought over by British settlers. This variety only grows in Yorktown--it’s against the law to cut, collect or otherwise propogate any part of the onion. Blooming in June and early July, the ones in these pictures were nearing the end of their lives, but they are known for their large purple flowered heads and growing in large clumps. Just another bit of local color!

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The Fifes and Drums of Yorktown perform in Yorktown on the fourth of July. You can find them online at www.fifes-and-drums.org 96 FESTIVITIES BY TIKKIDO.COM AND FROGPRINCEPAPERIE.COM SUMMER 2013


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As the days grow longer and more pleasant, entertaining moves outside. The fresh air makes us linger for a longer time, enjoying summer’s bounty and each other. We hope your summer holds many days of enjoyment and spectacular gatherings. Until next time Paula Biggs Editor-In-Chief

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back cover

festivities magazine

all photographs and writing contained within this document are the intellectual property of Paula Biggs of Frog Prince Paperie, LLC and Nicole Wills of Tikkido.com unless otherwise noted. Please do not duplicate without express permission.

Festivities Magazine Summer 2013  

Inspiration for celebrations of warmer weather, birthday parties, anniversaries, baby showers and the local lemonade stand.

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