Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Detective Party, Part Two: Cake

On lazy rainy days my children and I (my husband thinks we're crazy) like to pass the time by watching cake decorating on YouTube.  We've been inspired by cakes ranging from complicated guitars to relatively easy animal cupcakes.  After you've watched some 30 + videos, you start to believe anything is possible. They make it look so easy!

So armed with a myriad of tips -let the cake cool at least an hour before removing it from the pan, make paper patterns of desired shape, use a serrated knife to cut around patterns, do a crumb coat (1st layer of frosting), then put it in the freezer for several hours and finally put on a second layer of frosting- I felt brave enough to give it a go.

My son's party "The Case of the Stolen Magical Trophy" took them on a two hour scavenger hunt in which they found clues and solved riddles in an effort to find the trophy.  The birthday cake was the trophy so it really had to be a finale.  I was a little worried that there might be mutiny if it were not.

I made a pattern and bought some extra bits of this and that, like edible glitter and diamonds.  It had to sparkle!

With the outside of the cake taken care of, I wanted there to be a surprise when the cake was cut.  About a year ago, we stumbled across a video in which a girl shows how to make rainbow  cupcakes.  They looked amazing!  You can check it out here:

I decided to try it out in a cake pan.  The effect was more tie dyed than rainbow but I was satisfied nonetheless. 

The kids' oohs and aahs when they saw their long awaited reward was worth the extra effort!  Plus, I was pretty happy that my head was still intact.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Detective Party, Part One: Invitation

I'm not sure who gets more excited about my kids' birthdays: me or them?  My LOVE for  birthday parties borders on -well- insanity! In order for you to understand the depths of my craziness, I must reveal a dirty little secret: I actually start planning the next party pretty much as I close the door behind the last little goodie bag toting guest.  

After I wipe my brow from having endured three hours of screaming, ceaseless energy, melt downs and general mayhem and begin tidying up the aftermath, my mind automatically starts to wander.  You see, it's not so much throwing the parties that intrigues me, as it is the planning.

Where will my kids' interests take me next? 

That is the question!  Though the themes we've journeyed through (so far) are typical: pirate, princess, soccer, pop star -just to name a few, my mission is to twist their ideas so that often used themes become magical.  

The magic starts with the invitation.  I love creating invites that give the guests a bit of a taste of what's to come - to already get them in character.  

For my son's 10th birthday, we've decided to have a detective party.  The invitation consists of a riddle, that when solved, the invitee discovers that a trophy that grants wishes has been stolen.  They are called upon to solve the crime. 

Last night we delivered the invitations to his friends. I'm curious to see if they figure it out!

Should you be interested in using this invitation, check out the photos.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. 

In the coming weeks, I'll post more details for this party.