Tag Archives: Birthday

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

A couple of weeks ago, we had lunch at Ray’s to the Third in Arlington and split a milkshake for dessert. The “Elvis” milkshake is a blend of banana, peanut butter, butterfingers and bacon (yes, bacon) … and it is AMAZING.

So in honor of my husband’s birthday today (Happy Birthday!!), I decided to try and recreate this ridiculously good combination in the form of a cupcake—though I did decide to leave off the bacon simply because I wasn’t up for making my own candied bacon this weekend.

But seriously, if you’re in Northern Virginia and happen to be near Ray’s to the Third, you need to try that milkshake.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 cup water
1/3 cup applesauce (I use this in place of oil)
5 oz peanut butter chips
1 tbsp flour
Chocolate Frosting (store-bought works too)
1 Butterfingers candy bar, crushed

 

1. Preheat oven to 350° and line 24 cupcake cups with silicone or paper liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. Add cake mix, eggs, water and applesauce and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, add peanut butter chips and flour. Toss to coat the chips and then discard the excess flour.

4. Slowly fold in the peanut butter chips to the cake batter, mixing well.

5. Fill liners ¾ of the way with cake batter and bake for 19-23 minutes.

6. Allow to cool completely before frosting and topping with a sprinkle of Butterfingers.


A Doc McStuffins Birthday Party

Olivia is three! And like most kids, she has become more opinionated about her birthday party with each passing year. This year, she decided that she wanted a Doc McStuffins birthday party. For those who are unfamiliar with the good doctor, Doc McStuffins is a cartoon on Disney Junior about a little girl with a magic stethoscope who fixes all the broken toys. It’s actually a pretty cute cartoon, and I love the fact that the main character is a girl who is NOT a princess. So I was more than happy to indulge Olivia’s theme choice.

I decided to use Paperless Post instead of mailing out invitations this year. Best idea ever! My stepmom designed this adorable invitation, which I uploaded into one of the full photo designs. I removed the text overlay option, added in everyone’s email addresses, hit send and … done! I was able to track everyone’s responses, send messages to invitees, and it was all for FREE.

Doc McStuffins Invitation

Given the fact that I am roughly the size of a whale right now and can’t move without crazy sciatic pain, I went very light on the DIY for this year’s party. I did, however, manage to make a cute sign for the front door …

As well as a few pennant garlands. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make your own pennant garland, if you’re interested.

I couldn’t resist these bright pink hydrangeas for the table!

I set up a “clinic” in the basement for the kids to be able to give the stuffed animals (and each other) a check-up, complete with fun Band-Aids and a variety of doctor tools.

Instead of traditional favor bags, I set up a “pharmacy” so the kids could make their own goodie bags to take with them. I found Doc McStuffins sticker sheets at Walmart, Doc McStuffins mini coloring pages at Target, Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies, Annie’s Fruit Snacks, and a few different types of candy—everything in shades of pink, purple, and blue to match the theme.

I also made pink (i.e. strawberry) cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and pink and purple sprinkles. I think these were the highlight of Olivia’s day because, as each new person came in the door, she greeted them with “It’s my birthday! And we have cupcakes!!”

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the cupcakes (or any of the other food for that matter). I blame my pregnancy brain. I ordered most of the food from Wegmans and Costco this year—I was not up for making everything from scratch like I usually do—but I did make my mom’s edamame orzo salad, which was a hit. I’ll be sharing that recipe soon, so be sure to check back!

It is definitely harder to throw a child’s birthday party when you’re eight months pregnant, but Olivia’s excitement when she saw the decorations (and the cupcakes) made it all worth it. Not to mention the fact that I got a huge hug and a “Mama, I love you—this was the best birthday ever!” at the end of the evening. Yep, totally worth it.


Olivia’s Sunny Sesame Street Birthday!

My baby girl is two. I know it’s true because her birthday was September 21st, but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that my little baby isn’t really a baby anymore. She’s a full-fledged, opinionated, affectionate, tantrum-throwing, observant (sometimes too much so!) toddler. She’s a girl who knows her mind—especially when it comes to what she will and will not eat any given moment of the day.

So when I asked her what kind of party she wanted for her 2nd birthday, there was only one answer: Elmo. Well, it was more like, “Elmo, Elmo, Elmo! Super Grover! It’s my birthday! ‘Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you. . .’ —Mommy may me have some milk?—’Sunny days. . .’ YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!” 

Ryan and I with our little birthday girl

Invite designed by Better by Design

I had a lot of fun putting this party together. . . but it’s a good thing this happens only once a year because it’s exhausting! Still, to hear Olivia whisper “Wow” when she walked downstairs to see the garlands, balloons, food, and presents—that made it all worth it!

My friend Stephanie made this amazing, hand-painted sign for our front yard. The best part? There’s Velcro on the back of the sign where it attaches to the yard stakes. After the party, we were able to take the sign off and hang it in her bedroom above her door!

I made the garlands using colored card stock and the Martha Stewart Circle Cutter (a HUGE time-saver and worth every penny!). I free-handed the letters and cut them out, then I just glued everything together and strung them on some yarn.

My favorite part of the party planning—the Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes! They were much easier than I expected, though I recommend the gel concentrate food coloring if you want a saturated blue and red. I used regular liquid food coloring and mine ended up more “denim” and “hot pink,” but it worked!

I came up with themed names for all of the dishes (Mr. Noodles Noodles for macaroni and cheese, Abby’s Magic Wands for fruit kabobs, Big Bird’s Bird Seed Muffins for corn muffins with poppy seeds, etc.) Though I probably stretched it a bit with Bert and Ernie’s Famous Beef Brisket. Can’t say I’ve ever seen B & E actually eat brisket, but I liked the alliteration.

The party favors included Sesame Street cereal bars from Earth’s Best, stickers and books from Target, and Goldfish Crackers. The favor boxes were from Target, and I just wrote “Thank You” on the front. Had I thought about it, I would have designed and printed stickers for the front, but that one slipped through the cracks.

Overall, I’d say the party was a huge success—we had good weather, yummy food, and great friends and family to help us celebrate! Best of all was the one thing we DIDN’T have. . . a meltdown! Bring on the two’s!!

 


Kids’ Cupcakes (That the Average Parent Can Actually Make!)

We’ve all seen them—those amazing cupcakes on Pinterest that you decide you just HAVE to do for your child’s birthday party. Until you try to actually make them and they turn out like this:

For the record, those aren’t my cupcakes nor is this my picture, but it made me laugh out loud because it’s so true! Oh, I am still going to try to make the Cookie Monster cupcakes for my daughter’s 2nd birthday Sesame Street party, so we’ll see which of these pictures I get closer to.

But for the average parent (i.e. those of us who aren’t professional bakers or even good amateurs), here are some adorable cupcakes that are actually DOABLE. Enjoy!

By Good Housekeeping

By Frilly Milly Events

By Better Homes and Gardens

By Disney Family Fun

By marthastewart.com

By Better Homes and Gardens

By Disney Family Fun

By Better Homes and Gardens

By ericasweettooth.com

By justcallmechris.blogspot.com

 


Kellan’s Dr. Seuss Birthday Party!

A Dr. Seuss theme is great for birthday parties and baby showers because it’s gender neutral, colorful, and provides tons of inspiration and creativity for food, drinks, and decor! Kellan celebrated his first birthday in true Seuss fashion, right down to his birthday outfit. All photos are courtesy of Kellan’s proud mama and party planner, Sarah.

The plates, napkins, hats, etc. were ordered from Birthday Express. . .

 . . .as was the personalized banner!

For snacks, Sarah got creative, making Cat Hats (strawberry and marshmallow skewers), Green Eggs and Ham, Seussville Sticks (besprinkled chocolate dipped pretzels), Yertle’s Turtle Shells (chocolate dipped Pringles), One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (Goldfish crackers), and Horton’s Spirals. The water bottle labels were ordered from Etsy.

The birthday boy sported a Dr. Seuss onesie from Etsy shop Antsy Pants and enjoyed a Cat in the Hat smash cake made by mom.

Sarah used blue cotton candy atop her Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes, and a friend made the adorable birthday cake.

Thanks so much, Sarah, for sharing Kellan’s adorable birthday party!


Scarlett’s Ballerina Birthday Bash

My friend, Desi, is so creative and talented—she even has her own accessories boutique on Etsy, Scarlett and Co. (see? super creative!). So it was no surprise when she whipped up this adorable, ballerina-themed birthday party for her daughter’s first birthday like it was just another day’s work.

Desi handmade the invitations and did nearly all of the decor herself, with styling help from our friend Brooke of Granger & Wit and from her mom (check out that handmade tulle tablecloth!). She purchased the hanging poms from Sweet and Savvy Designs and the old-fashioned pink and white striped paper straws from Dime Store Buddy.

The tutu cupcakes and sweet, pink smash cake were made by her mother-in-law, as were the ballet slipper chocolate pops. Desi and her mother-in-law worked together on the ballerina cookies, and I love the clever sign next to the basket, “Please take one {not tutu}.” So cute!

The birthday girl changed from her Janie and Jack pink tulle party dress into a custom onesie from Orchid Avenue to enjoy her birthday cake.

Well done on the party, Des! Everything looked absolutely perfect!