Buddies,  Niece-com-poops,  party party

Flower Party!

flower squad

We just got back from a really fun flower-themed birthday party for Annalie this last weekend. May is a crazy month when it comes to birthday parties. I’ve got one every week. Actually it’s kind of nice that so many people have birthdays in May, since the weather is always beautiful. I know when I’m planning Bug’s birthday parties, I always have to factor in winter weather and that really cramps my style. (Yes, I know I live in the land of sunshine but January can still be a wee bit cold for us. Our blood is thin.)

birthday girl and mom

This party was a really fun party for me because Bethany let me help, even though she thinks I’m crazy when it comes to party-planning. But this time she let me convince her that my way of planning parties is the best way. I can be a bit bossy when I have a vision so the fact that Bethany humored me was amazing. I really tried to hold back but that’s like asking me not to breathe.

flower cake prep

It all started with the cake. As you know Bethany can make an amazing cake. If I am the cardboard whisperer then she is the cake whisperer. Annalie made a special request for a flower-shaped cake with strawberry frosting for the petals and blueberry frosting for the center.


Bethany being Bethany, she made the cake exactly to spec and the frosting had REAL strawberries in it and REAL blueberries too! I didn’t even know you could do that! She blended the fruit into pureés and mixed it into the cream cheese frosting. It tasted AMAZING!


I’m all about how things look. I couldn’t care less about taste. You could cover a piece of foam in frosting and I’d be happy as long as it looked good in photos. Which is a lesson to me. It’s good to be around friends who have different tastes to teach you that your own view is not the only one.

But me being me, I decided that this really cool flower shape should be incorporated into everything in the party! Why not?!! I LOVE flowers! There is so much you can do with them. Why not make it a flower-themed birthday party!!!

flower piñata

Bethany found a neat flower-shaped piñata online.

real flowers

I picked up some real flowers at the flower market on my way down to Bethany’s. I used to arrange flowers for an old job of mine so I know the secret shopping spot where the pros go. I really miss visiting the flower markets at 5 o’clock in the morning. I know it’s weird to love an early job like that but there is something exciting about shopping through rows and rows of super-fresh flowers in the wee hours of the morning. Real florists get there super early to haggle over the best deals.

Technically I’m not really allowed to shop there anymore since I closed my resale license several years ago. But I remembered one vendor was a little more shady than the others so I quick slipped in and just as I’d hoped she sold me a bundle or two under the table. I think she might have swindled me because the flowers cost twice as much as I expected but I was just thankful she didn’t blow her whistle on me and send me scurrying out with nothing.

flower-shaped veggies!

There is nothing like fresh flowers at a party, I say. That and flower-shaped food! We had flower-shaped peanut-butter-&-jelly sandwiches and flower-shaped vegetables. If I’d had my way, we would have had flower-shaped ice cubes in our drinks too but I think Bethany would have looked at me cross-eyed. As it was she drew the line when I suggested cutting radishes up as roses. I guess she’s right. Kids don’t usually like radishes.


While Bethany and I ran around and hid all the clues for a treasure hunt that would happen later, the kids made tissue-paper flowers. Thankfully, my mom was on hand to keep everyone in line. I think the flowers were a little difficult for the wee ones but they managed.


green, of course

And of course here is a photo of Bug and her GREEN flower. She is so consistent. Do you like her green skirt? My mom made it.

tough crowd

She made one for each of her three grandchildren. They look like they hate their skirts in this photo but really it is just me trying to get them to smile. I was so fed up with SuperChic (the pink one) not cooperating with me that I decided to try a little reverse psychology and tell them to NOT smile. As you can see my trick backfired on me. But I actually love this photo so maybe we should try it more often. Maybe they’ll grow up and start a rock band and this can be their album cover.

posing in their new skirts

Here’s a shot of them cooperating. They are laughing because I made them say “Auntie is STINKY” or something. When all else fails resort to fart jokes.

flowers (and leaves) 5 cents!

So where was I? Flower cake, flower piñata, flower food, tissue-paper flower craft and…a quickly-drawn flower stand! Bethany had some cardboard boxes around so I drew my idea of a flower stand really quick on one of them and cut out a window for the kids to pretend to sell flowers out of. That was fun for about five minutes.

I think if I had come up with that idea a little earlier I could have really made a cool flower stand with real buckets of flowers and everything. I was imagining little bouquets wrapped up in paper doilies to give out as favors and I bet a flower stand invitation would look really cool too…you see how I am?

Bethany also gave out t-shirts with flowers on them as party favors. (You can see them in the top photo.) I love party favors like that, something you can really use instead of cheap toys and candy that we all need like a hole in our heads. A week earlier Bethany and I got together and freezer-paper stenciled them. It was really fun and actually quite simple. I think she is going to write a how-to post about it soon. So stay tuned for that. (I did write that post. Here it is! ~Bethany)

mom's flags


You might also notice my my mom’s flags decorating the patio in some of the photos. Bethany bought them from my mom’s shop before the flower theme was decided on. But they do have flowers on them and they are Annalie’s favorite colors. It’s really handy having friends who support my family’s hobbies. It especially makes it easy for me when I need to shoot product photos for my mom’s shop. Nothing like real life for great photos!

Though between you and me, those flags are real buggers to shoot. It’s almost impossible to get the right background to make them look as pretty as they do in real life. But whatever…buy them! They are great. Really they are. (Also it’s great to support the grandma who buys Bug most of her cute clothes.)

birthday girl

I’m really getting off track. This post was supposed to be about Annalie and her really fun fifth birthday party that I got to help with. I’m so glad we were part of it.

birthday kid

The flower cake was inspirational. Thanks for thinking it up Annalie!


  • bethany actually

    I still think you’re crazy. But it’s a good kind of crazy! And I think the secret is, if I am around to temper your tendency to go overboard then we get to have the fun of a theme without the stress of doing too much! ;-)

  • cc

    Coming from someone who wholly supports your over-the-topness, sometimes less is nice.

    I’m sad that I missed all the fun, but the one-on-one time was nice too.

    See you Saturday!

    (Also, please inform whoever it is that needs to know that this will be Rapunzel’s final birthday, she is not allowed to get any older.)

  • Sonja

    The best stuff always happens when the right kinds of crazy collide. I’m all for the everything-according-to-theme craziness. I’m also, however, too lazy to follow through with it.

  • Buckeroomama

    The theme worked out beautifully, from what we can see on the photos -the cake, the food, the craft idea, the flower stand, the party favors. the flags, and the Gerber daisies. :)

  • Anna-b-bonkers

    Wicked awesome!!!!!
    I love every single bit of it……but then again I am crazy about themes…any kind…and I just wish I could pull off party after party with a theme. However Dave would just shoot me!
    Coming together with a friend to get it done, genius!!!

    Oh, I just love this!!

  • bethany actually

    The Bug – Just search the archives for accounts of Bug’s 1st birthday party (the Pinkkkity Party) and 3rd birthday party (the Great Big Green Puppet Show Party). I think those are pretty much Brenda in no-holds-barred party-planning mode!

  • JessicaD

    Looks like a wonderful, fun party! The picture of Bethany and her daughter is simply stunning. They are beautiful!

  • BeachMama

    Another amazing party under your belt. I still wish I could fly you here to plan J’s or even Apple’s next party, well they are a few weeks apart so you could do both ;). Keep it up, the inspiration is amazing.


    Please share the freezer paper stencil technique – or let us know when Bethany does!! Looks like a fab party, ladies!! I’m all for over the top kids parties!!

    On another note, SAJ, when you are doing your illustrations, do you use a tablet or just your touch pad? I’ve been playing with more drawing in Illustrator than I’ve done previously and have been wondering how other people draw… thanks!

  • Jen

    How fun!!!! I totally love the theme. The two of you together could do great business (you with the crazy ideas, Bethany with the to-die-for cakes) – but then I guess it would be more stress than fun, hey? Who knows. Anyway, looks like a GREAT time!!

  • OMSH

    The two of you planning a birthday? THAT IS A BIRTHDAY I WANT TO GO TO! I’ve totally got to borrow you two amazing women/mommas/bloggers/people/photographers/artists/bakers/good Lord what do you not do????

  • Jess

    My goodness those are adorable children. Was that one of the criteria for who got invited? The party looks amazing, but those kids? Unbelievably cute!

  • Katie

    I swear every party I’ve seen that you are somehow a part of just looks like a lot of fun.

    ps. Even though I know you have ninety million ten billion three hundred and two gazillion other much more important things going on in your life… could you please possibly gift us with a june calendar soon? I love your calendars as they are always fun. Thanks for sharing them btw! You are awesome!

  • Jennifer

    Weird, I thought I commented already, but maybe that was just in my head :P I have to say that I was very much impressed with how you tied so many things into the flower theme. I know my kiddos had a super duper wonderful time.

    When you and Bethany were explaining the whole shirt painting process I was a bit confused but I have since read her post and I think it’s such a neat project. My girls LOVE their flower shirts. I’d like to try to make some myself soon!

    Thanks so much for inviting my clan.

    PS Tell Bethany that I’m sorry that my husband and her husband couldn’t seem to find anything to talk about. Those awkward moments of silence were deafening. :P