Garden Party Ideas

garden-party

Hi! It’s Mel from So Festive! It’s officially May. And you know what that means? It means spending time in the yard, eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies, and getting excited for summer! I always find a new wave of inspiration come this time of year.

Since this is the season for outdoor entertaining, I’m going to share some simple Garden Party ideas with you. A Garden Party would be the perfect theme for a Baby Shower, Wedding Shower, or simply a Backyard Party to share garden tips. But, even if you won’t be having a formal Garden Party, these Garden Party ideas would be perfect for a BBQ or any other Spring and Summer party you might be hosting.

Garden-Party-Inspiration

A simple bunting made with floral and striped paper can be the perfect decor to set the tone.

flower-decorations

Instead of a typical veggie platter, serve the veggies in individual cups. A good idea is to place dip in the bottom of the cup of veggies and then your guests will able to quickly grab it and go. Have you ever tried jicama? It’s my new favorite veggie. It has a mild flavor, but has an awesome crunch and compliments other veggies nicely.

veggie-cups

Your focus may be on veggies and fruit, but come on, isn’t chocolate a necessary ingredient for a good party? Serve Grasshopper cookies and get a win-win. They tie in with your Garden theme and help satisfy that chocolate craving.

strawberries

Water is always a good beverage to serve at your parties, but why not spruce it up a bit? Beverage labels are super cute and all, but if you need a quicker alternative, simply remove the wrapper and wrap a piece of washi tape around each bottle.

Garden-Party-Ideas

Have fun with your Garden Party! If you do end up hosting one, let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear any ideas you have as well.

If you liked this post, head over to So Festive for even more simple ways to celebrate and party! Celebrating doesn’t have to be complicated and I’ll show you how to make it easy.

party-themesparty-suppliesrainbow-color-party1

Party Theme Ideas | The Best Party Supplies | A Rainbow/Color Party! 

Traveling with Cupcakes

This weekend my oldest daughter and I went on a trip together. My young High School age cousin was staring in her High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast and my Mother flew all the older grand daughters up to see it. As we started planning this trip and as other women in the extended family were also planning to fly up and see it I thought it would be a great time to throw a bridal shower for yet another cousin who lived in the area and is getting married in a few months. So we arranged for everyone to come the same weekend, and invited more family members from both sides of the brides and grooms families!
We planned on a brunch but as the date got closer I couldn’t NOT do something cake related. So I thought of making Purple Calla Lily cupcakes(we went with her wedding colors and flowers as our decoration colors, while the theme was “rooms” with everyone assigned a different room).
So a week before the trip I rolled out, cut, shaped and left to dry all the purple calla lilies. The plan was to take them with me and the night I arrived to make the cupcakes. But then, as I looked at my delicate flowers I thought, These will all break during the plane ride. So what is the solution. I know that fondant doesn’t hold up for long in fondant, but it’s only a three hour plane ride. If I put the flowers into the cupcakes just before leaving and then take them out when we get there they should be okay (we were flying to a VERY dry state). I figured the pillow of the butter cream would be much better than just shuffling around in a box… So we flew and the second the plane touched down I picked up my cupcake carrier and THIS is what I found:
In just three hours!!!! I still can’t say for sure, but being sealed in the cupcake container certainly would contribute to staying moist, but THIS moist! It must have been the altitude and pressure from flying. I can’t think of any other way. I guess I should have googled flying with cupcakes to learn from others who had experience this. I felt so dumb, what a rookie mistake. So we get to my aunts house and enjoy the evening. I’ve decided just not to serve them, a brunch doesn’t need cupcakes anyway. It’s the perfectionist in me I guess. By my mother and aunt all think they look fine (crazy) and will probably insist on serving them unless I throw them all out or something… So at 2 am, as I’m laying in my cousins bed with my daughter a solution hits me… So I run down to the kitchen and stay up for the next 2 hours carefully pulling the fondant out of and off the cupcake. The pealing the purple off the yellow stamen (or whatever that part is called). Then I remix the little ball with powdered sugar until it’s pliable again. Then try my best to roll it into the right shape (since I don’t have my cookie cutter with me) and reshape it around the center and leave it to dry (again a VERY dry state) over some wooden handled spoons. I had to do each one individually because that was the only way to get the amount right. I didn’t want to mix it all together and then try to still get 24 out of the mass. In the end they were far from perfect (the edges weren’t thinned and rippled like the original, and the end wasn’t a nice point. Also the green “stems” I left fallen as they were. they were so soft I couldn’t pull them out so I left them. But they looked good enough to present, and appease my mother. I just tried not to look at them too much.
My cousin isn’t a huge chocolate fan and requested white cake with lemon icing, and since the light yellow of lemon buttercream fit into our color scheme I was only too happy to oblige. Here is the lemon buttercream recipe I mashed together from a few others I found online.

Lemon Buttercream
1 C butter or Shortening (or half and half)
2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 Lbs Powdered sugar
1/2 C water
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
In a mixer bowl, cream the butter or shortening until smooth. Add the lemon rind, vanilla, salt, water and juice and mix until smooth again. Add the powdered sugar and mix, scraping the sides, until smooth again. Add more water until it is the right consistency your looking for, thick, med or thin.

Since I was traveling with these cupcakes and had to make them the day before I used shortening. But I substituted 1/2 tsp of vanilla for 1/2 tsp butter flavoring. Also my cousin and family members LOVE lemon juice so after making this and tasting it I added another 2 Tbsp of lemon juice. It was too tart for my dad, but the bride to be loved it! And that’s all that mattered!

Chocolate Cameo

Today I got to deliver the Bridal shower cake I’ve been working on. It’s a version of a cake I’ve previously made, the difference is size and colors. Before I made the small oval cake (not smallest, just small). But this one was the largest oval, to feed 70. And instead of my coconut pecan with cream cheese frosting we went Chocolate. And not a little chocolate, a LOT chocolate. My kind of cake. Chocolate Sour Cream layers, with Chocolate cream cheese mousse filling, Dark Chocolate butter cream with Chocolate Ganache (basically truffle, before you let it set… SO rich)! SOOOO good. Then the red flowers really added a nice touch. My husband said he liked this one WAY better. I was surprised at a few glitches I encountered during this cake. I usually make the bride cameo out of color flow (pre-made out of sugar, dries shiny and hard), but after a week of drying here in Houston and they (I made 3 just in case) we’re dried and when I peeled off the parchment paper the dresses, necks and arms broke on every one. I even tried leaving the parchment paper on the last one and just cutting around it, but one I picked it up it just shattered! So… With not much time to go I went for it and did the cameo right on the cake. The challenge with anything you do right on the cake is of course messing up… And with this type of decorating, and outline and then a thinner poured filling to create a smooth picture, a mistake is un-fixable. Of course I did fine… Next time I try color flow I’ll give myself at least 2 weeks, probably 3.

Also, Look what I just made myself! How cute am I? I once saw a bumper magnet that said “Slow, flowers”. And thought I should do something similar myself. Lucky for me I did it… Even with my sign, and going 10 under the speed limit I still had a few scary moments. I think that would be the worst. To get the cake just perfect and then have something happen during delivery. But we made it and everyone was pleased.

Bridal Shower Silhouette Cake

I just fell in love with this design so when one of my best friends was getting married it made the perfect bridal shower cake. I just love this cake, and would actually love to do a wedding cake like this, a bride on one and maybe even a second one with a groom facing the bride. Wouldn’t that look amazing. But it wouldn’t be super traditional so I don’t think I’ll ever get that chance, so doing a bridal shower was the perfect opportunity. It is a coconut pecan cake with cream cheese frosting, fondant flowers and a color flow bride. My husband still feels bad that he didn’t replace the bulbs in the kitchen in time for me to take this picture. It really doesn’t do the cake justice. It was phenomenal.