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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Preview: Owl Baby Shower

I'm prepping for a friend of a friend's baby shower and it's my first paying gig! She really just needs my help with the candy buffet and decorations, but needless to say, I'm very excited and can't wait to put together a first rate party. Her invites are centered around these sweet little owls in pink, green and beige so I'm working on designing a cupcake to coordinate with her adorable theme.

This is what I've come up with so far: Heart shaped sprinkles, candy covered sunflower seeds and mini Nutter Butters turn this plain pink cupcake into a cute wide-eyed owl.

UPDATE: They've decided to purchase the guest of honor a cake from her favorite bakery so we won't be needing these cupcakes. Oh, well. Good practice, anyways.

Brainstorming about owls got me thinking about nests, so I wanted to do something with these chocolate nests I'd seen before but never tried:

1 package chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 cans of Chinese crunchy noodles
Jordan almonds

Melt chocolate and peanut butter together in microwave and stir in noodles. Form 12 nests in greased cupcake pan and cool in fridge to set. Carefully pop out of pan using tip of a thin knife to separate from pan and place 1-3 Jordan almonds in each nest. Couldn't be easier, right?

When it came time to make these for the actual party I decided to dress them up with pink and green cupcake liners, paper doilies and tiny banners reading "How 'tweet' it is!" using her owl icon. I think they turned out pretty "tweet" myself.

My next experiment was from something I saw in Better Homes and Gardens. These adorable meringue "ice cream" cones originally held love notes for Valentine's Day, but I decided to fill them with a different kind of sweet nothing - pink M&Ms - instead.

The inspiration

I wasn't about to tackle home made meringue cookies, but I lucked out and found them at Trader Joe's. Thank God.

I nuked chocolate chips in the microwave and dipped one flat end of a meringue directly in the gooey madness before sandwiching two cookies together and setting them aside to dry.

The next step was dipping the sugar cones in melted chocolate and setting them aside to dry.

I then filled them with M&Ms and dressed them up with coordinating decorative papers.

Top them with the meringues and voila! A lot of look for not much effort.

UPDATE: So after storing these for a couple of days in an air tight container, I noticed the chocolate starting to "bloom", which was really unappealing. Huh. What do you know? Apparently tempering your chocolate is as big a deal as they say it is. So I REDID these with pink melting candies instead to avoid the whole I don't know how to use a candy thermometer problem all together.

The new version is topped with a pink pearl candy and I think they're pretty freaking adorable. Too bad I always seem to have to learn the hard way.

Whenever I'm out and about I'm always keeping my eye open for upcoming events. I happened to be in Jo-Ann's Fabric store when I saw these silly wooden owl masks in their dollar bin. I had no idea what I would do with them, but for a couple of bucks I couldn't resist figuring out some way to incorporate them into her shower. A little craft paint, grosgrain ribbon and TLC and they were ready for the candy buffet.

I did a few test runs for the dessert bar to work out all the kinks at home so I'm not wasting time making aesthetic decisions and can just kick it into high gear pulling the entire look together on the actual day of the party.

The lay out coming together.

I really wanted to use these giant rainbow swirl lollipops I found from The Dollar Tree, but they had these ugly soccer and football logos all over them.

Problem solved with these labels I created using the owl icon and sayings like "Congrats Kim!" and "It's A Girl!" Finished off with sweet pink and white polka dot bows and set into a box filled with floral foam disguised by strawberry Whoppers - too cute!

Love how these turned out!

A last minute idea turned into a really thoughtful memento for the mommy to be to take home. I wanted to make a "wishing tree" for guests to write a note of advice or good luck to the guest of honor. A bundle of twigs from Michael's, some hand cut leafs and notes plus a jar of clothespins and we were in business.

New post for updates from the actual shower coming soon.

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