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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

St. Patrick's Day- With a Twist

Irish Elk St. Patrick's day Party by Fizzy Party
It all started with a cupcake pick seen on my friends page Suddenly Surrounded by Taxidermy,  a majestic Irish Elk print from artist D. Trudeau  and a party idea was born.  Let's put a twist on the traditional St. Patrick's Day party and celebrate with the Irish Elk

Funky Monkey Designs contacted the artist D. Trudeau and asked if we could use her stunning art as part of our invitation and she agreed. A big thank you to the artist.  Funky Monkey Designs captured just the look I wanted. 
Irish Elk invite by Funky Monkey Designs for Fizzy Party
Always ask an artist permission before using their work.
Once I had the vision for this party I knew the perfect location for it, my friend Bubble Off Plumb's property in beautiful Montana. A big thank you to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation  for loaning me the antlers and hides. They were the perfect addition to the party.
Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party

Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party

Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party

Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party

Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party
Sugar cookies by Auntie Bea's Bakery 
Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party
These Cowboy cupcakes were rich and delicious.  Recipe from Just a Pinch . The maple brown sugar candied bacon made the house smell amazing. 
Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party
 Mushroom cookies created by Creating Awesomenessity. 
Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party

Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party

Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party
A menu befitting the outdoor location. 

Lunch served among the tree's.
Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party
 And a view of the Sapphire Mountains. 
Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party
Favor bags for Auntie Bea's wonderful sugar cookies created by Fancy & Fold  
Irish Elk St. Patrick's Day party by Fizzy Party
I have so many more photo's of this fabulous party to share with you so be sure to come back Thursday.

A big thank you to all the vendors who help make party visions come to life. 
Bubble Off Plumb for the idea behind this party.
D. Trudeau for allowing us to use her art work of the Irish Elk.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for loaning me the antlers and hides. 
Funky Monkey Designs for specially creating the invitations and menu.
Auntie Bea's Bakery cookies for creating the sugar cookies from my vision. 
Creating Awesomenessity for the mushroom cookies.
Ten 23 Designs for the wood shamrocks.
Fancy & Fold for the perfect favor bags.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Palace Cakes Review


Palace Cakes Portland, Oregon
What's this? a bakery inside that vacant building. I need to check this out.  Every week day morning  I take the train into Portland and would always wonder what was going to go into that vacant building. Then one morning a bakery appeared. Well, I finally went in.  I had seen on Palace Cakes Facebook page that they had carrot cake in the case.  My man loves carrot cake so I walked up to get him  a slice.
Palace Cakes Portland, Oregon
Oh my, look at all those delicious cakes. Coconut Chiffon, Enriched Uranium, and a Lemon Chiffon. That lemon cake looked really good but I went for a slice of coconut for me.
Palace Cakes Portland, Oregon
Marcus sliced off generous size pieces while telling me about the cakes. He was very informative, friendly and you could tell was passionate about Palace Cakes.  He told me the coconut cake didn't really taste like a Mounds coconut but more like freshly shaved coconut. He was so right. Look at that beautifully shaved coconut skirting the cake.  
Coconut cake from Palace Cakes Portland, Oregon
 Now when I say a generous slice I mean generous.  I shared my slice with 2 co-workers.  Kelsey thought the frosting was too sweet. Coleen and I both thought she was nuts ;)  We both really enjoyed this slice.  The cake was moist and the whole slice tasted just like fresh coconut.  If you follow me on Instagram you'll know I had some for breakfast the next day, the slice was that big, mmmm
Coconut cake from Palace Cakes Portland, Oregon
Onto the carrot cake.  I'm not a carrot cake fan , even though I love carrots fresh out of the garden, but I tried some. I can't very well do a review if I don't try it right. I was pleasantly surprised.  This was really good carrot cake. Very moist, fresh carrot flavor but not overwhelming and the frosting had a great spice bite at the end.
Carrot Cake from Palace Cakes, Portland, Oregon
 I asked my man what he thought of the cake and he didn't say much.  He didn't have too. His empty plate said it all.
Carrot Cake from Palace Cakes, Portland, Oregon
If you live in the Portland metro area I highly recommend visiting Palace Cakes.  I plan on keeping an eye on their Facebook and Instagram so I can see what will be gracing  their case that day.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Breakfast

Guest party from 4kids Cakes:

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes
This year I wanted to surprise my kids with a Valentines Day breakfast.  Normally I am all about planning a party way in advance, but this one I decided to do totally last minute - as in 3 days to plan.  Kim from Small Moments is a rock star when it comes to printables & created this set for me on the spot.  I couldn't have been happier with the results!

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes

We have a tradition of having heart shaped waffles for breakfast on this holiday each year, but I wanted to come up with a twist.  Red Velvet Waffles with a cream cheese frosting syrup started off our menu.  I used a super simple recipe from DuncanHines.com (or you can use your own recipe).  

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes

Hashbrowns, eggs, & bacon folded into the shape of hearts were offered.  On the sweets table, we included mini donuts, french macarons, rice krispy treats, hot cocoa, and the yummiest marshmallows from MadysonsMarshmallows.  The giant ombre ones are not only gorgeous, but so delicious!

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes


Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes

For our table settings, I went the quick and easy route.  Plates, cups,napkins  and silverware are from the party section at Walmart. The roses are from their valentines department. Topping off their plates are cookies from my favorite cookie gal - Alison @ Sweet Themes. Milk and Hot Cocoa with more marshmallow's from Madyson's Marshmallows were their drink options.  I adore the bottle wraps Kim made for our plastic milk bottles.
Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes

Valentine breakfast by 4Kids Cakes
The surprise went off without a hitch - I made everything when kids were either sleeping or at school.  It was a crazy couple of days, but SO worth it!  One of our kids asked me why I did it - the answer is simple.  Just because I love them.  Valentines Day can be about more than a significant other.  So lucky to be a mom to these kids & do a quick party just because :)


Waffles:
1 pkg. Red Velvet Cake mix
4 eggs
2 cups milk
Whisk together & follow your waffle maker instructions.  Super easy. Even cuter in the shape of hearts!
Cream Cheese Frosting Syrup:
1 pkg. cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup. shortening
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 T. vanilla (I prefer clear vanilla for this)
1 cup + whole or 2% milk
1/4 tsp. salt
16 oz. powdered sugar

Blend cheese, butter, and shortening.  Add remaining ingredients.  You can add more milk to get desired consistency of a thick syrup.  Poor over waffles & enjoy!

Vendor Credits:
Styling: Christina of 4KidsCakes.com
Photography: CCsDesktopDesign.com
Macarons, Mini Donuts, Rice Krispie Treats: 4KidsCakes.com
Sugar Cookies: SweetThemesBakery.com
Macaron Pedastals: facebook.com/pages/Maison-du-Bonbon/
Milk Bottles: PartyOnDesigns.com
Hutch & Desk: facebook.com/ReNewFurnitureFinds

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meeting Amy Atlas Events

BASH conference
Last week I recapped my experience at BASH. Actually I just barely scratched the surface with that post.  There's so much more to tell you that over the next few weeks BASH recap posts will be popping up here and there among the party fun.  One of the items I hinted too was how I talked to Amy Atlas. Remember when I said, " you should have seen the way I talked to Amy Atlas". Let me explain. 

Amy Atlas for those of you who don't know is THE dessert table guru.  She started the whole thing really.  BASH admin, Michelle from Maddy Cake Muse brought Amy Atlas to BASH to talk to all of us about how she sets her stunning dessert tables. We got to hear all her little tips and tricks.  I of course focused on her shoes.  I'm my most comfortable in heels so of course I zoomed right in on her pair. 
 After hearing all the great information Amy Atlas had to impart on us, Michelle, the BASH admin told us all to please let Amy eat before we started bombarding her with questions.  Per human nature people didn't listen and Amy had to answer questions and do photo's with people as she made her way from the stage to her table to eat.  She was so gracious about it.  I was standing talking to Swishprintables when BAM, Amy Atlas was right there in front of me! Now in the party world Amy Atlas is a BIG celebrity. So what do I say to her in a matter fact-tell it like it is voice, " Have you been able to eat?" Amy responded, not yet. To which I said, "You need to eat! (my arms opening in a wide body-guard stance) I'll run interference for you and when people try to approach you I'll say Back Off, let the woman eat".  Amy laughed and made her way to her table where she was able to get some food.  I think the people around me were a little stunned about how I just talked to Amy Atlas.  No question for her, no star struck look or oh my gosh can I get a photo with you. Noooo, I was all in your face conversation.  It's the extrovert in me. 

Of course I got a picture with her later at her book signing.  I didn't buy a book but that's because I already have it! The colours burst from this book and I LOVE that.  I am such a colour person.  When it was my turn to get my picture with her I asked her is she ever got something to eat that night and we had a good smile over that. 
One of the most amazing eye-opening experiences I had at BASH was not in one of the classes and was all about timing.  If my BASH roomie and I hadn't have slept in, if we would have skipped breakfast we wouldn't have had the opportunity to have breakfast with Amy Atlas.  My roomie and I joined 4 other party girls for breakfast and had just sat down after ordering when Amy Atlas walks in and asks if she can join us. HELLO! of course you can.  You could feel everyone's excitement at the table and as Amy Atlas says she needs to find a chair, me, Ms. Extrovert jumps up and says, "go order your breakfast, I got the chair" Amy Atlas, if you're reading this and need a personal assistant, I'm on it ;)  
This is what conferences are all about. Little pockets of chance encounters filled with meaningful conversations.  I touched a little on the conversation last week
Amy Atlas Sweet Designs book
The conversation started off with Amy Atlas asking us how we liked the conference, did we get a lot out of it and our thoughts on her presentation.  She likes to learn what works and what doesn't so she can improve on her presentations.  Then the conversation took a meaningful turn.  Amy Atlas began telling us about the struggles of being a mom and a successful business woman.  I could see everything Amy Atlas was saying resonating deep with all the women at the table.  Except me. I don't have kids and my man is totally fine with all the time I spend on Fizzy Party. He has hobbies that he spends a lot of time on too so he gets it.  The conversation was also about perfectionism and how even though you're not telling your kids to be perfect, they see you obsessing, stressing, hyper focusing when you're planning a party, doing a photo shoot etc. that everything HAS to be perfect.  Tears were welling up in these women's eyes as Amy Atlas spoke of how deeply this perfectionism can affect your kids.  Kids shouldn't have to be worrying about perfectionism. 

All the women at the table, except me, told stories of how their perfectionism has affected their kids.  It was also discussed how being a perfectionist can lead you to be so focused you don't live in the moment and enjoy the party.  All this talk of perfectionism, I couldn't relate.  I'm just not like that. If I do a photo shoot of my party and get the pictures back and there's a straw or candy a little off, I just say, meh.  I don't feel stressed before my parties like I heard a lot of the party people saying they are.  I'm not stressed during the party either.  I'm enjoying the party, I'm living in the moment.  I told all the women at that table I wish I could give you a little piece of my meh attitude.  

While I waited for my plane in the Phoenix airport I flipped through Instagram (@fizzyparty) and came across a great post by Amy Atlas.  She said, "@Fizzyparty, thanks for spreading the 'meh'- Miss Party Mom  and I were grabbing your energy.  Who really cares about the straw anyway, right. Here's to more messy, non-makeup, tear filled women, warm hearted breakfasts with sky high pancakes and lots of syrup". 
I was so touched when I read that.  

I took away a lot from this chance encounter and it has me focusing my goals for Fizzy Party. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Honey Strawberry Sugar Scrub

Honey Strawberry Sugar Scrub
Last year I didn't spend nearly enough time with my friends. I let the months slip by and before I knew it it was 2015.  So I decided to have more mini parties focused on crafting, baking and learning new things.  This last weekend 3 friends and I made honey strawberry sugar scrubs.  My friends really looked forward to this get together.  I got the recipe from Tried and True

As we made the scrubs everyone commented on how wonderful it smelled. 
Honey strawberry sugar scrub ingredients
No mini party is complete without food and I took the opportunity to try another new thing for me, making scones. I made strawberry scones from Baked by Nature to go along with the strawberry theme. 
Strawberry scones
I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to shape the scones. They turned out delicious. Warm them up in the oven or microwave and they're just as good the following morning. 
Strawberry lemon scones
I love loft house style sugar cookies so when I saw a recipe for them from Two Peas and Their Pod, I had to try it. I found the dough was super sticky, which she tells you it's sticky but I didn't realize how sticky. I ended up using more flour on my surface then I thought and I think it caused the cookies to taste a little too floury. 
Loft house style sugar cookies
My friends thought these little cherubs were so cute!  I love little details at my parties. 
Valentine cookies
I served a wonderful tasting strawberry bubbly soda to tie in the theme. 
Strawberry sugar scrub
Tried and True doesn't tell you how many 8 oz Mason jars her recipe makes so I'll tell you :) It makes 5.  This scrub make your shower smell wonderful and leaves your skin so soft. 
Honey strawberry sugar scrub
My friends birthday is coming up and couldn't make it this weekend to create a scrub with us so I made her a little fun birthday box. 
Tried and True has a free printable on her site for this scrub but I wanted a different look, so I had Painting Paris Pink create this adorable printable. Painting Paris Pink is offering this printable for free, just click here.  
strawberry gift box
Have fun hosting your own mini sugar scrub making party. Your friends will love it! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

BASH Recap



If you follow party blogs you've probably been reading over the past week on those blogs about this conference called BASH.  BASH is a conference geared toward people in the party industry.  Now I'd been kicking around for over a year the idea of attending a blog conference but couldn't decide which one would be the best fit.  BASH was it! It was the conference I had been waiting for.  Not only would every class be geared toward the party industry but all the people attending would be party people! People I have been collaborating with, chatting with online and following for years.  I think I was more excited to meet the people attending then the classes and guest speakers.

The classes were amazing. I know it got a lot of us thinking, kicked us in the butt to stop thinking and start doing and maybe even had us changing direction from where we thought we were headed.

Class Review:

One of the kick me in the butt classes for me was the accounting class from Sweeter CPA. I learned A LOT in this class and I'm starting the process to implement some of what I have learned. The unexciting but necessary part of blogging.

Now before this conference I have to admit, I didn't know who The Alison Show was. The moment she was announced as a class speaker I looked her up to see what she was all about and knew I wanted to take her class. This is one of the classes that has me thinking about a different direction than the one I've been thinking about. We'll see what comes of it. One of the great take away's from this class was that Alison has been exploring her brand for 7 years and has just recently really focused in on it. So good to hear because Fizzy Party was born just 3 years ago and I feel like I'm still exploring where I want to take it.

Monetizing your blog by Creative Juice.   All about ads, affiliate links and product reviews. As you may have noticed there are no ads on my blog and very few posts about product reviews. I have done the occasional review and always give you all my honest opinion but I plan on not making reviews a big part of this blog. When blogs do too many reviews it takes away from why I started following them in the first place, to see party inspiration. This class does have me thinking and I'll go into more detail a little later on.

So you want to write a book taught by Creative Juice, Lynlee's and The Marshmallow Studio.    Not that I have plans to write a book, what would I even write one on?  But I have been kicking around the idea of a magazine so I took the class. Books are like magazines, right? I'm a magazine whore. No really, I am. My step-daughter even commented once about how much I love magazines. We'll see if I actually create one. I've heard they are expensive to create. I better start saving.

Loralee Lewis, the class I almost didn't take. I was about to take the other class being offered at the same time but something guided me to this class and boy am I glad I took it. Lorelee Lewis' style is not mine which is why I almost didn't take the class. Her work is beautiful but I like bolder, brighter, glitzier things. This class had all of us in tears. We were all so touched by her words and humbleness. I'm going to have to make this a separate post I can tell. There's just too much to say.

I told you all on FB I was going to bring real raw emotions to this post so lets get to it.
I was surprised how many of the party people were nervous about meeting fellow party bloggers and the speakers.  I couldn't understand it. What was there to be nervous about? We're all just people. I found it all rather silly. Then someone reminded me, "You aren't an introvert".  They were right. I can walk into a crowd of people I don't know and have no problem striking up a conversation.  You should have seen the way I talked to Amy Atlas! I'm thinking that needs to be another post too.  So now, not only am I surprised about how nervous most of the attendees are but they're mostly introverted too!  What? You're party planners, stylists, bloggers and you're introverted! Really? I didn't see that one coming. Now I understand why so many of them are bothered when they get a negative comment or their numbers on social media go down. As an extrovert I just let that stuff roll right off me.

Perfectionism. It runs rampant in the party world.  By the end of the conference I saw how different I was from so many of the attendees. The last morning of the conference a small group of us were having breakfast when Amy Atlas came by and joined us. The conversation turned toward perfectionism and how kids pick up on this and how it affects them.  Everyone at the table was agreeing except me. I couldn't relate.  Not because I don't have kids but because I'm not a perfectionist in the way these ladies are. I remember a post in a party group I belong to, someone had posted a picture of glasses with straws in them and a whole conversation took place about how they all hated when that happened and how much it bugged them.  I didn't understand what everyone was talking about and had to ask.  The straws weren't all perfectly precisely lined up.  I hadn't seen it. It just didn't bother me. I like things to be neat and somewhat perfect but it just doesn't really bother me is everything in a picture isn't perfectionism.  When every party I look at is absolutely perfect it's almost boring to me. There's nothing that catches my eye and makes me want to stop and take notice. I wanted to give these women a little piece of me so they could relax a little and just go, meh. So the straw isn't lined up to the millimeter with all the others. By the end of our breakfast conversation I was actually glad I couldn't relate to these women's perfectionism and happy to be an outsider in that part of the party world.

At the conference I got asked a lot, "then why do you do it?" and "why don't you plan parties for other people?"  This was another big difference between me and the other attendees. For most of the attendees at the conference, their party planning, styling, blogging is their full time work. They have clients to find, ads all over their blogs, do a lot of product reviews and are affiliates for a few companies. It's how they make money to pay the bills. The electric company isn't going to take a styled party as payment. Cash needs to be made.  I have a full time job outside of Fizzy Party.  I don't do styled parties as a business. I'm honestly not sure if I want to take on clients. I know I don't want to at this time, unless it was for a magazine. "Why don't you plan parties as a business?" because I don't see a market for it where I live. Portland is a very DIY, don't throw big blow out parties kind of city.  And I'm such a "oooh this is a super fabulous idea" last minute person.  When you have clients you can't wake up the morning of the party at 5 a.m. and start crafting your amazing idea. Well you can but you can't really bill the client for that and now you've just lost money if you simply HAVE to have that amazing idea. "Then why do you do it? Why do you put in the long hours of posting to social media, styling, photographing and blogging about your parties?"  Because I love throwing parties and inspiring others.  I'm not saying I wouldn't love for Fizzy Party to bring in some income so I could turn around and throw more parties.  But I don't want party planning/styling to be a full time job right now. It doesn't give me vacation pay, sick pay, insurance and a retirement account. I'm still exploring where I want to go with Fizzy Party and by having a full time job I have the flexibility to explore the brand.

I have SO much more I want to share but if you made it this far, you're fabulous! and I won't keep you any longer. But seriously, come back and read more about the Lorelee Lewis class and how I talked to Amy Atlas.

I would absolutely adore your thoughts on this post.