Monday, August 17, 2009

Best Laid Plans

We celebrated Ruby's birthday last evening. And you might as well know, I'm not one of those good Party Mommies who send out invitations and buy themed goodie bags and invite little friends and order a cool cake.

I invite Cory's family, relying mostly on word-of-mouth. Typically, this method results in someone finding out at the last possible moment, and then I mentally flog myself and resolve to do better next time. This year, the nearly-uninvited guest was Grandma Polly. We called her Saturday evening and she was kind enough to act like it was all no problem. One of these days, we just might get it together...

For every birthday, I make a batch of cupcakes, from a mix. Just being honest. I must say, I've become quite the expert Betty Crocker boxed-cupcake baker. My tips: add slightly more oil than what is called for and underbake by roughly 5 minutes.

This year, I went a little wild and bought a Martha Stewart tissue paper pom-pom kit for 50% off, back in February. So, it seemed, we were going to actually have some decorations this year!

Cory helped me haul my little table out under the cherry tree and then we stayed up until 1 a.m. assembling 5 pom poms. So beautiful. And more time-consuming than I had imagined...

I gathered some flowers and plunked them in various vases with big plans to set them on the table, beneath the pom poms.

Sunday afternoon, despite relentless winds, we traipsed out and hung the poms from the branches. They proved hardier than they look and tolerated the wind just fine.

Not long after everyone arrived, disaster struck, in the form of rain. Jamie, Kevin and I hightailed it out to rescue the fragile, wilting lovelies.

As I ran, I took two pictures. Both were accidentally taken in Macro.

The wind was really whipping them around, and they were starting to soggify.

Wouldn't this have been the ideal spot for a cupcake or two? Sigh....

Instead, we piled everything onto the kitchen counter.

All of the flowers...

And the food....

And the Betty Crocker cupcakes.

And then we had ourselves a party.

**First two photos were taken by Cory with his fancy-britches camera.


  1. I've never felt more ... umm ... well, how do I put this delicately ... non-heterosexual ... as I did running back in the house with three poofy pink "loofa's".

    Not my proudest moment.

    Cup cakes were good though, I love anything undercooked.

  2. Lovely photos! I dig that nomadic white table, where is its home? And I love the frosting design on the cupcakes. Did you make those little pinwheel toppers?

  3. You are a girl after my own heart. Have I told you lately, how much I love reading your blog and getting to know you? I do!


  4. I really dropped the ball with my daughter's birthday this year - and she is just fine! Amazing! Yours looks like one terrific party, rain or not.

  5. Everything looks lovely, in spite of the rain! I am seriously craving some of that macaroni right now... it looks so heavenly, and just perfect on this all-too-humid day! :)

  6. Rain or no rain it still looks perfect!! I'm sure she enjoyed it and felt special, she won't ever remember the soggy pom poms anyways (;I wanted to tell you how much I have been enjoying your blog, I love your house!

  7. Ruby's party looks great. Don't underestimate yourself. I don't buy cool cakes either. When I have time I'll post some pics of my homemade cake for Morgan. Love the cupcakes and the pinwheels!!!

  8. What a FAB party ;)

    I just love your blog and all the creative things you do!

  9. Cupcakes are the best! I much prefer them for kid's parties. I love the pink poofs and it is such a bummer they got rained on. I am jealous that you are getting rain though. Tell it to come our way to South Texas - we need it!


  10. I think it looks like an adorable party! I love the cupcakes. Did you use a special tip for the icing? :)

  11. It looked like an adorable farm style party. I just loved the pom poms and the pitchers of flowers. The cupcakes looked yummy too! You have the cutest blog and I look forward to reading it! Traci

  12. Everything you do is gorgeous Shanny! I heart the pom poms and I would like to come over right now and gobble up that pasta salad. And of course I love the cupcakes! Great tip on them too :)

  13. I love it! I have wanted to make those pompoms so bad, but I have a little boy and no real reason to have them. Your cupcakes were so cute. Where did you find the mini pinwheels?

  14. Who would want a store bought cake when they could have a delicous and cute homemade one...and especially cupcakes! that's what I've been doing for my kids' parties too...mmmm! your pics are fab!

  15. Happy Birthday Miss Ruby! I love the poms and the flowers and your table and your tree and your cupcakes.

  16. WOW! You did good!!!! Those pom poms are awesome! and everything looks picture perfect! :) ...and HAPPY BIRTHDAY RUBY!!!!!

  17. You're such a good mother, and I know your children will remember the fun and happy times you make for them! They are little for such a short time, but as they grow in to each stage of their life, they become your friends, and that is also special!! My three kids,(one adopted)
    have given us 10 grands ~~ fun,fun!
    I look forward to your daily blog.. Thanks for the entertainment!!

  18. Hi, Such wonderful pics, it all looks so pretty! x

  19. I'm so very sorry,I missed something at the party. I think it was Pappaw and Gam from Ohio!! Hopefully someday soon we won't be able to say that any longer. You did a great job Shan!! Don't tell my favorite son in-law but I can't tell the difference between the pics you take on the normal camera and the ones he takes on the beast.

  20. Perfect party!!! the rain just made it more "fun" and memorable!!!

  21. The outside set-up looked so lovely! I love those pom-poms. I'm making those for a bridal shower in October.

  22. We are the same way. We don't usually have big birthday parties, and we don't invite a bunch of people. And we normally just have boxed cake and something simple that the kids request for dinner. This year, we did get a pinata for our daughter's birthday. That was a blast! The kids had never had a pinata before, and they all loved it!
    Your little party looked liked it was lots of fun. The cupcakes are too cute. :)

  23. How Whimsical! I love all your decorations and the cupcakes. Did you make the pinwheels yourself?

  24. Love, love, love boxed cupcakes. I just don't think you can go wrong. :)

    How did you get the icing so fancy?? It makes the cupcakes look so yummy! I'd love to find out.

  25. Your photos look so ideallic - thanks for the reality check. Nice to know that "perfect" eludes others and that it's just not me. ;o) I'm going to highlight a few of your photos and link to this post.