I have been in love with Shirley Temples since the first time my dad ordered me one when I was a little girl. I mean whats not to love, an adorable and sweet little 7-up , a splash of grenadine, topped off with a perfect little cherry.
Maybe my 35th birthday had me subconsciously reaching for something that made me feel young again. But as much as I wanted to make Shirley Temples, I found myself wanting to “adult” it up a bit with vodka. Maybe I am ok with getting older, emphasis on maybe.
As I planned my birthday party I found several great recipes for a dirty shirley but most of them required way too much effort for this working momma. I wanted to try out my own recipe but all I had at home was a can of lemon Sanpellegrino and didn’t want to run to the store for 7-up. Man I am glad I stayed home. Sanpellegrino is pretty much the only soda I ever buy and that 17% lemon juice always makes it a great “mixer!” The incredible bite of tart lemon really compliments the sweet grenadine and fruity vodka. Topped with a gorgeous cherry and you have a drink worthy of the title dirtyShirley.This drink is crazy refreshing.
In honor of my birthday week I though I’d share my 35th birthday party inspiration; a Tropical Flamingo party.
I have been obsessed with flamingos for almost a decade, it all started on a shooting party in an Arizona dessert. My stepmom Sheri had packed up a box of potential targets including a glorious pink lawn flamingo. But as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to save it. I smuggled him out of harms way and stashed “Felipe” in my suitcase. Felipe the flamingo become my beloved mascot, I even named my apartment “the Flamingo.”
In 2008, Felipe was kidnapped and held for ransom. I unfortunately never saw him again. But his memory lives on in my heart.
Here is what you need to throw a fabulous tropical Flamingo party.
Start with a whole flock of flamingos. But not just any flamingos, go with the original Don Featherstone flamingos, they have the best details.
I have loved Shirley Temples since I was a little girl but since this is my 35th birthday, not my 5th, I decided to “adult” it up for my party by serving a Dirty Shirley. Here is a great recipe from The Solstice Table.
It has been 24 years since the last girl was born into the Dawson family. Needless to say, us girls are seriously outnumbered. So it’s no surprise that all of us ladies were more than a little giddy when we found out our Niece Jessica is expecting a girl. And especially thrilled to throw her a baby shower.
What better theme to celebrate a little girl than a Kate Spade inspired baby shower complete with: polka dots, stripes, gorgeous flowers, black and white, gold, hot pink, all punctuated with a little sparkle and sass.
This Hello sign is from HelloHeidiWallArt, Which I usually have hanging in my kitchen but loved the idea of Hello Baby so I used it for this fun shower along with a d.i.y. floral BABY sign. I just cut out the front of these paper mache/ cardboard letters , painted them black, and then filled in each letter with an assortment of pink silk flowers and a little hot glue.
Have I mentioned how much I love a fruit pizza bar?!!!
Hello Baby Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower It has been 24 years since the last girl was born into the Dawson family. Needless to say, us girls are seriously outnumbered. So it’s no surprise that all of us ladies were more than a little giddy when we found out our Niece Jessica is expecting a girl. And especially thrilled […]
If the last time you had sherbet punch was 1992 like me, you need to make some and be quick about it. It was even better than I remembered.
I decided to do pink nail polish as the favor, but about choked when I saw how expensive most nail polish is. Luckily I shopped around and found just what I was looking for at Walgreens. How cute are all these different shades of pink?! I just added a cute tag and a little bow.
Here are a few more pictures of the invites and address labels. I did bleep out my actual address, if you want to leave me love note, you can always leave me a comment.
“She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.”
I thought it was the perfect quote for all little girls, and big ones for that matter, to remember to sparkle.
One of my favorite things during the shower was the realization that almost every single gift was wrapped in coordination with the theme; pink, polka dots, & stripes. It was definitely a sight to behold. It made me smile knowing the invitations totally conveyed the theme enough that all of these ladies go it and just ran with it.
I am also dying over these amazing pictures my awesome nephew Alec took at the shower. It was a huge stress relief to have his help. I am totally blown away by his talent and really excited to see what he does with it.
My little two year old Oliver Jack has been stealing hearts since the day he was born. He has an incredibly charming disposition, a knowing smile, a contagious giggle, and a sense of humor that continually surprises me. His favorite game starts with him letting out a ferocious roar, followed by the most earnest question “you scared Momma?” He tenderly, reassuringly pats my arm and says sincerely “its ok Momma!” He then mischievously wrinkles his nose and lets out a wild roar, starting the game all over again.
I can’t say the last two years have been easy; the sleep deprivation, the boogers, the messes, the lack of personal time and personal space, the money, oh and there was that vomitous road trip.
But I can say unequivocally that Oliver Jack is the most delightful, magical gift I could have ever hoped for or imagined. He brightens my day with more love than I knew possible. Oliver acts as though I am the greatest person in the world. Which makes me want to reach higher and maybe one day deserve such adoration.
So happy Birthday Oliver Jack. Its been an amazing, wild two years and I look forward to our many adventures ahead.
To Celebrate his birthday we threw him a heartbreaker pancakes and pajamas Party.
I figured there won’t be too many more birthday party themes where I get full artistic license so I went with hearts, it totally works being that he was actually due on Valentines Day and will forever be the best Valentine.
For the cake I made my favorite Guinness chocolate cake, cream cheese frosting, and I used heart shaped macaroons from a local bakery as part of the caketopper. I created the “Heartbreaker” with a Silhouette and black glitter cardstock.
The pancakes and pajamas were plentiful as promised.
I didn’t get a picture of the basement but we turned the family room into a blanket fort lounge. The kids loved it. Juice added an eye screw in 3 different walls, about an inch from the ceiling. He then strung a nylon rope through each, creating a triangle overhead. We hung a sheet up on each side of the triangle and then one on top, using clothes pins to secure it to the rope and where each of the sides met. We also used clothes pins to hang twinkle lights. We filled it with all the pillows we could find.
The mimosa and bellini bar was a huge hit. I made peach, pineapple, and a berry puree and grabbed a few bottles of champagne. For the fruit puree I used this recipe by Giada as inspiration.
How cute are these heart straws?!!
I cant believe I didn’t get a picture of the pancake topping bar. But it was filled with fresh fruit, a couple different kinds of syrup, and whip cream.
For the french toast shooters I added a dollop of cream cheese whip and drizzled in a little Golden syrup. I could eat Golden syrup on just about anything. Its especially great if you do not love Maple like me. You can pick up Golden syrup on Amazon or World Market.
These egg scrambles were a super easy crowd-pleaser.
One of the things I love about a pancake and pajama party is that you can use any color scheme you want or no color scheme for that matter. There is something so comfortable and fun about everyone in pajamas, eating delicious pancakes.
Oliver had a blast with his little friends and was sufficiently spoiled.
I’m highly considering implementing an official “very merry unbirthday,” for each of us just to have more excuses to throw a party, well that or having more kids. 😉
My little Oliver Jack is a winter baby, which was great when I was 9 months pregnant and a burning inferno, but not so great when planning a 1st birthday party. The freezing temperatures outside really limited my options. But I decided to embrace my inner hibernation mode and what better way than with Cozy flannel and comfort food; the key ingredients to a Lumberjack themed party.
I fell in love at first site with these invitations from Lauren Haddox designs on Etsy, she also made a gorgeous set of printables that I couldn’t resist.
A couple of weeks before the party we took a little trip to the park to collect pine cones. Which saved me about $20.
An axe or two
Mini pine trees
Chili Bar Toppings:
Fritos or corn chips
Corn bread muffin
Waffle Bar Toppings:
Chick-fil-a party platter, perfect for chicken and waffles.
White and milk chocolate chips
Stout Chocolate Cupcakes, complete with mini ax
Assorted sugar cookies
deconstructed Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bear
Hot Chocolate Bar complete with “adult add-ins”
Iced Tea and Lemonade for my fave: an Arnold Palmer
Oliver’s cake didn’t turn out like I had hoped, but that is what happens when you leave things to last-minute. I had a vision of delicious cream cheese whip layered between gorgeous fluffy giant pancakes. To save myself time I ordered the pancakes from local breakfast joint we love. On the day of the party we picked up the to-go order and headed to the venue. I was really sad to find that they gave me their small pancakes instead of their large. I had to improvise and the good news is, Oliver Jack didn’t mind. It tasted amazing!
I loved this party theme so much I want to throw a lumberjack party every winter.
I love to cook, bake, plan parties, decorate, and craft. I love being a mom. I want to improve my health in lasting, lifelong ways…Travel the world and create treasured memories with the ones I love. I want to treasure the little moments.
So here is what you can expect from Living Darling:
Delicious recipes, my ideas on health and fitness, craft projects, decorating ideas, a million posts about my obsession with oatmeal and breakfast salads, parenting tips, party planning, my Husband Juices’ list of Honey-do’s, and pretty much anything that tickles my fancy.
All of these things are in pursuit of a darling life.