BIRTHDAY WEEK: bold & bright birthday party inspiration

Thank you so much for following along with us during our birthday week! Hopefully it’s got you in the party mood. As you know, we kinda love color around here. Like a lot. If we were to host a ‘real life’ birthday party it would probably look a lot like this. Here’s some inspiration on how you can pull together a bold & bright birthday party, including our own cake topper and headband DIY from this week. Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 of our cake toppers then you already have one thing checked on your list.

bright colorful bold fun birthday party inspirationSOURCES:  1. custom invitation / 2. Handmade cake topper / 3. DIY glitter balloons / 4. DIY party headbands / 5. birthday cake shot / 6. Bright Lab customized lights / 7. DIY party decor garland / 8. DIY colored utensils / 9. party favors (in Japanese) / 10. party photo background

 

BIRTHDAY WEEK: cake topper giveaway!

Oh-Happy-Day-Topper-GIVEAWAYAnd Birthday Week continues! Isn’t this a blast?!  So we have a cake and we have birthday headbands to wear. Now maybe you can use a cake topper. Who wouldn’t want to brighten up a cake with one of these? If you want to go beyond just some candles but still keep it classy without having to special order something from a bakery then what you need is one of these adorable cake toppers. They are all great for a birthday but they’re generic enough for any celebration really and I just happen to be giving away one of each design. Hooray to that!Hooray Birthday Paper Cake Topper Giveaway / The Sweet Escape

These would also work really well on a group of cupcakes too. Hooray!
Oh Happy Day Paper Cake Topper Giveaway  / The Sweet Escape

You may remember seeing these beauties the first time around when I originally made them for the Cricut Design Space Star Challenge. Well I’m still hooked on my Cricut and love coming up with new designs. Flower banner cake topper by The Sweet Escape #wedding #party #shower #brideIf you want to see one of these guys on your next cake, here’s how to enter for your chance to win one:

Cake Topper Giveaway

BIRTHDAY WEEK: DIY birthday headbands

DIY birthday party headbands

Ok, so you have the cake now you need some party favors. If you’re the birthday girl you want to make sure everyone know it or at the very least get enjoyment from making your guests wear some party gear. This is a super cute and easy way to make your very own custom party headbands. These ones are great for a birthday but you can have some real fun making them say all sorts of things for different themed parties or occasion. I’ll let your imagination fill in the blanks.

DIY-birthday-headbands-8

What you’ll need for this project is a set of Quartlet characters or any similar type of plastic alphabet, plastic headbands, hot glue gun and some spray paint. You can have some fun coming up with what you want your party flare to say.

DIY party headband sayings

Then go crazy with spray paint. Ok, don’t go crazy because you’ll probably regret that later but responsibly spray paint the letters on a covered surface in a well ventilated area. Not in your living room, I repeat, not in your living room. I speak from experience. Just do what I say, not what I do. If you want to save money or make life a bit easier you can definitely just stick with one color. I happen to have a spray paint collection and it’s a birthday party so I had fun with color.

DIY-birthday-headbands-9

DIY party headbands letters

Next use the glue gun to adhere letters to the headbands. I highly suggest sticking with a hot glue gun over other types of glue for this one because it cools & sets quickly. You really don’t want to have to hold each letter for minutes waiting for some glue to dry.

DIY birthday party headbands

DIY birthday party headbands

DIY birthday party headbands

DIY birthday party headbandsDIY birthday party headbands

 

DIY birthday party headbands

Hooray! Time to party, girl!

BIRTHDAY WEEK: DIY twig & tweet spring cake

Spring Blue and pink layered cake byThe Sweet EscapeWhat’s a birthday without cake?! I’ve had this cake idea for so long and with the Spring weather and birthday celebrations I thought it was the perfect time to make some food art. If you follow along my food experiments adventures, you know that I’m a fan of both slow, low and homemade good eats but I’m also totally an advocate of cheating. This is one of those cheating recipes. This one is more about the color, design and concept for me. Did I mention how much of a bird lover I am? Thank god the ‘put a bird on it’ trend is over because 90% of gifts I received had birds on them. Now that that whole thing has passed I feel like it’s ok for me to embrace them again in my own way.

bird-branch-cake-14

I bought these little faux feathered friends at a dollar store ages ago not knowing what I would use them for then had a light bulb moment recently and dreamed up this spring colored cake idea with a twig & tweet topper. I had a bit of a different type of twig in my mind but Mother Nature wasn’t on the same page as me on this particular day but you get the idea.

So here’s the major cheating part – this cake uses almost all packaged goods. I 1000% get it if you’re not into that and want to make the cakes, icing & custard from scratch. I don’t blame you. I just really wanted to share this fun decor idea and this was the fastest way and even though it may not be great common practice, it tastes delish I think there’s a time & place for cheating. Here’s what I used:

• 1 white boxed cake mix
• 1 chocolate boxed cake mix (I only used half*)
• 1 package of instant vanilla pudding
• 1 container of pre-made vanilla frosting
• food coloring
• milk, oil, eggs as per mixes instructions

* I used the other half of the chocolate mix to make a batch of cupcakes & stuck them in the freezer. You could also just all another layer to the cake if you like but you’ll need more pudding.

If you’re looking to make it more handmade Martha Stewart has you covered with a recipe for Vanilla Sponge Cake (add cocoa for chocolate), custard, and buttercream frosting.

bird-branch-cake-15

Add blue & red food coloring to the white cake mix and vanilla pudding until you get your fav shades of spring blue and pink. Carefully shave off the top of the cake layers to create a flat service then start assembling your masterpiece.

Spring Layered Cake with Pink custard

For the actual topper, I rinsed and dried the twigs then used a hot glue gun to adhere the cute birds. You can make this as simple & sweet or a total show stopper depending on how many twigs and birds you add. I added a bit of green ombre to the bottom just to add a little somthin’ somthin’.

Spring Colorful Bird & Branch DIY Cake  by The Sweet Escape

The extra surprise is when you cut into it and find these delicious shades of spring. Blue and brown separated by some pretty pink pudding. If you’re some kind of cold hearted baker who hates blue & pink, feel free to use your palette of choice.

Spring Colorful Bird & Branch DIY Cake  by The Sweet Escape Spring Colorful Bird & Branch DIY Cake  by The Sweet Escape

I think these tweets need names – Happy Birthday from Macy, Donna, & Clive!

Spring Colorful Bird & Branch DIY Cake  by The Sweet Escape

Whether it’s a birthday or another special spring celebration, this cake is sure to impress and put a smile on your guests face…when their mouths aren’t full of cake.

Spring Blue and pink cake byThe Sweet Escape

 

Spring Blue and pink layered cake byThe Sweet Escape

If you liked this, be sure to check back for birthday week of surprises or some of our other Good Eats. 

BIRTHDAY WEEK: The Sweet Escape Turns 2!

Sweet Escape Blog Turns Two / Blog advice and tips

That’s right, my baby is turning two. Where has the year gone since our 1st birthday celebration? It was two years ago that I told myself I was going to take this blogging thing seriously and hold myself accountable to post on a regular basis. This blog has come so far and I’ve learned so much in two years. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. The highs are the awesome friends, opportunties and press that I’ve had and the downs are the long solo hours, the rejections & disappointments and bouts of creative block. For those thinking it’s all macarons and cupcakes, not so my friend. Coming up with new content on a regular basis and sharing it in a beautiful way takes some serious time & commitment.

The good thing is that there are lots of opportunities to eat macarons & cupcakes. What do you think happened to the ‘prop’ from this photo? The best part is seeing your hard work being acknowledged (yay! gold star) and I just need to pop over to the Press page whenever I need to remind myself  how much I’ve accomplished in 2 years.

Sweet Escape Blog Turns Two / Blog advice and tips

We have a whole week of birthday themed projects (including this adorable headband) & presents so keep checking in and join in the celebration. Today is about looking back and moving forward.

Here are some highlights and things I learned in two years:

HIGHLIGHTS

• Creating Merry magazine with my awesome blogger team. Being in full creative control and seeing a vision come to life was pretty awesome.

• all the new blogging friends I made. By far the best thing about having a blog.

Alt Summit & Blog Podium conferences. It’s so great to meet people face to face when we spend so much time in front of a screen. Here’s a tip – you’ll learn 10x more chatting to other bloggers than you will from the workshops. Be social!

• Seeing Martha Stewart and Joy Cho talk at Alt Summer 2014 was pretty cool & inspirational. Martha doesn’t give a f*#k what anyone thinks and Joy was super inspirational.

• starting and finally finishing my kitchen makeover. Designing something in your head is one thing, actually making it happen is another. It was a lot of work but so rewarding. Having it featured on Apartment Therapy with 95% positive comments was amazing. Those commenters can be harsh! Making this video for House & Home TV was my video debut and having it featured on Domino was surreal because it’s the first home decor book I ever bought.

Sweet Escape Blog 2nd anniversay

 

WHAT I LEARNED: 

• blogging (well) is a ton of work. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

• numbers aren’t everything. They definitely mean something but don’t obsess about them. I’ve had the same or even better opportunities than some people with bigger numbers. Focus on making high quality content.

• Free Stuff. You get a bunch of it. Always be thankful even if it’s not necessarily your thang.

• This is cliche but it’s true, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Ask for what you want. Nicely.

• lots of people will want you to work for free. It’s ok, they may not know how much time & effort it takes to put something together. Don’t be afraid to ask for payment – you’re also helping set a standard for the industry. Remember that the person asking you doesn’t work for free.

Sweet Escape Blog Turns Two / Blog advice and tips

MOVING FORWARD: 

• Managing a Summer issue of Merry and planning ahead for another awesome future issue.

• The Sweet Escape will be getting a makeover. I’m a creative person, I need to change things up regularly or I get booooooorred.

• I would like to take my home decor category to the next level and start offering e-design services.

• I know I just said numbers aren’t everything, and they aren’t, but I’m not happy with the monthly growth and want to become a bigger SEO nerd.

• I want to start some regular series and more blogger collaborations.

• Now that the kitchen is done, it’s time to make over the living area.

Sweet Escape Blog Turns Two / Blog advice and tips

Peace out year two, welcome year three. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a birthday giveaway and whole week of birthday themed fun.