Tag Archives: buffets

Wedding Wednesday: Pink & Gray Bridal Shower

Bridal Shower

My sisters and I worked together to throw a brunch bridal shower for my beautiful niece, Alix. I had a lot of fun creating the decorations. Bridal Showers can be an expensive event to host, but if you plan it right and have a few people sharing the load, you can still have a really elegant event without breaking the bank.

I started by spraying gray cardstock and paper doilies with silver glitter spray. Then I used them to turn into the garlands. I used a Silhouette machine to cut out the heart shapes and sewed them together to make several garlands. Then I used them along with cardstock letters to create a “True Love” garland. I was going to spell out their names, but realized that if I kept it generic I could let others borrow it for their own bridal showers – AND – it could be used at Valentines Day for my decorations. 🙂 Smart thinking, right?

Doily Garland & Heart Garlands

This photo shows the sparkle a little better.

True Love Garland Favor Center

For the favors I purchased pink tulle circles in the wedding section at Hobby Lobby and filled them with butter mints. I printed the sign and framed it, adding a few hearts to the photo mat.

Bridal Shower favors

Over the food on the kitchen island, I hung strands of the heart garland, glitter sprayed doilies and pink and gray metallic tissue paper pom poms.

bridal shower decor You know how it goes, when you are getting things ready you don’t always get photos after the party starts – so this is the only one I had of the drinks – before they were filled. We served water with lemon and orange juice. The containers were simply accented with a glittered doily and a drink label.

Drink Center

Guests were invited to build their own parfait with the choice of raspberry or vanilla yogurt, homemade granola and frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries).

Yogurt Parfaits

We also served delicious Shirley’s sweet rolls in Orange, Cinnamon and Raspberry. I think I ate at least 3. They are so incredible! Then to round out the menu a honey baked spiral ham (not pictured) was kept warm in a crock pot for guests as well.

Bridal Shower sweet rolls with bride and groom picks

We kept the activities simple, but since this was her only shower there were friends as well as both sides of the family and the games helped bring everyone together. As described in this post, we played the Mustaches & Lips game as well as the Connect 4 game while she opened gifts.

Mustache & Lips Game

Ice Cream Themed Party

Ice Cream Themed Party 2I asked my husband what type of party he wanted this year for his birthday and just like every year he said, “I just want my family over for cake and ice cream”. Well, I took that and ran with it! 🙂

Ice Cream Party Ideas

Ice Cream Themed Birthday Party

I used my Silhouette machine to cut out the ice cream cones and scoops and then turned them into a garland by attaching them to a cream grosgrain ribbon. In between every two cones I added a tuft of lime green tulle. I created the 3-D cones from craft paper (using this template) and color coordinating balloons. The table cover is actually three that I cut to the size I wanted to create the “Neapolitan ice cream” striped look.

Ice Cream Party Garland

I made an ice cream scoop garland to drape across the front of the food table using paper scoops, ribbon and more tulle ribbon.

Ice Cream Party table garland

I turned ornament hangers into cone stands for the table centerpieces and scattered ice cream scoop confetti on the table.

Ice Cream Party Centerpiece

Guests had 3 flavors of ice cream and 14 toppings to choose from. The clear plastic toppings containers were only $2.50 at Walmart! I got the platic squeeze bottles at Orson Gigi for $1.50 each (but you can get them here for the same price: Plastic Squeeze Bottles) and I made the three levels for the toppings to sit on by wrapping 2×4’s in plastic table cover.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar Toppings Ice Cream Sundae Bar 2

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Ice Cream Bar ToppingsIce Cream Party ConesI made strawberry cupcakes in the ice cream cones (they were a little messy – don’t fill them more than 1/2 way) and topped them with vanilla frosting.  To bake them I put them in a muffin tin.Ice Cream Party Cone Cupcakes

For the favors guests were given an ice cream cone bubbles (3 for $1 at Dollar Tree), Ice Cream Cone Sidewalk Chalk (3 for $1 at Walmart) and an ice cream cone popper (12 for $3 at Zurchers).

I made the cone stand (tutorial shown in this post) out of cardboard and my trusty glue gun. Ice Cream Party FavorIce Cream Party Favors

Unfortunately, this is the party that never happened. I set everything up on a Friday and that night my daughter got the flu and we were up all night taking care of her. We sent everyone a message on Saturday telling that the party was postponed until the next Saturday. But then during that week my husband, his mother and his sister all came down with the flu so we ended up just cancelling it so that we wouldn’t spread the “love” to anyone else. Luckily, my niece had a birthday that same week so I was able to donate all of the goods to my sister for her party – hooray for birthdays and parties that actually get to happen!

If you are planning your own ice cream themed party you could include activities like: pin the cherry on the cone or a blind folded ice cream flavor guessing game. 🙂

Ten Fabulous Dessert Bars

Whether you are throwing a shower, celebrating a birthday or just having a group of friends over for a movie night, serving a themed buffet will not only save you time, but it will save you money! Think of your own habits, when you walk up to a dessert table and there are 6-8 desserts offered, you take 2 or 3 and then come back for a second on the one you really liked. When you walk up to a dessert table where there is one offering you take one, and maybe come back for a second helping. Right? And if you are a hostess like me, you pick at the yummy bits while you are preparing the food, serve yourself one plate at the party and then nibble on the leftovers while you clean up. 🙂

I’ve come up with ten really delicious and simple dessert bar options that you can use for your next party. Go simple and select one item from each category, or go all out and provide lots of toppings and sauces! For most of them, they are dump and display – meaning you can buy all the supplies at the store, dump them into the containers and you are ready to party – barely any prep! They adapt really well to serve 10 or 100. Another great thing about them is that depending on how you display them and the decorations you add, you can fit them to almost any themed party and they can be dressed up for a fancy affair or made casual for a family get-together.

– S’mores:

Base: graham crackers, thin mints, chocolate cookies, cinnamon graham crackers, keebler fudge stripe cookies, biscoff cookies, ginger snaps, thin brownies

Chocolate: peanut butter cups, plain chocolate, white chocolate, caramel filled chocolate, twix, kit kats, andes chocolate/mint, nutella,

Marshmallows: plain, chocolate, coconut covered, strawberry, peeps

Other toppings: berries, shredded coconut, bananas

smores bar 1

– Trail Mix:

Options could include: chocolate covered pomegranates, marshmallows, pretzels, chocolate covered almonds or peanuts, shelled pistachios, dried cranberries or cherries, raisins, chocolate covered raisings, peanuts, granola, dried fruit, M&M’s

trail mix bar

– Ice Cream Sundae:

Ice-cream – Since you are topping them with lots of goodness, stick with the basics: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry

**Freeze scoops on a cookie sheet or in cupcake lined muffin tins and once frozen place them in a bowl so they are easier for guests to serve themselves

Toppings: Caramel, Fudge, Strawberries, Whip cream, Cherries, Bananas, Oreos, Reeces, Gummy bears, Sprinkles, Brownie bites, Sponge cake bites, Peanuts, Marshmallows, Skor bar, M&m’s, Snickers

ice cream sundae bar

– Ice Cream Sandwich:

Cookies: oatmeal, chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, ginger snap, sugar, chocolate

Softened Ice cream: select flavors that pair well with your cookies: vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, caramel, etc.

Toppings to roll the sides in: peanuts, toffee, crushed oreo’s, mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, sprinkles, mini m&m’s

ice cream sandwich bar

– Fruit Pizza

Base: sugar cookies

Glue: whipped cream mixed with berry flavored yogurt, whipped cream, lemon curd, buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting

Toppings: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, bananas, coconut


– Mini Pie or Tart:

Base: mini pie shells or tarts – grahm cracker crust, traditional crust or almond flour crust

Pie Fillings: cherry, raspberry, lemon, apple, banana pudding, crème anglaise

Toppings: whipped cream or ice cream (cinnamon ice cream, caramel ice cream, lemon ice cream)

pie tart buffet

– Crepes or Waffles:

Base: Crepes (they sell precooked crepes at Costco now!) or Waffles (cheat and use Ego if you are in a time crunch or make them ahead and freeze them, then toast them on the day of the party)

Toppings: variety of berries, fresh fruit, pie fillings (apple, cherry, banana cream, etc.), Nutella, whipped cream, chocolate mousse, lemon curd, ice cream, caramelized bananas, peanut butter

crepes bar

– Hot Cocoa:

Hot chocolate: a variety of chocolate powder flavors (like Stephens Gourmet)

Liquid: steamed milk (soy, almond, coconut, milk)

Toppings: marshmallows, caramel topping, whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, candy canes (crushed or whole), cayenne pepper, cinnamon, red hots, wafer cookies

hot cocoa bar

– Cupcakes:

Cupcakes: since you are topping them, stick with basics like chocolate & vanilla

Frosting: (already loaded into piping bags) offer 3-5 choices – cream cheese, butter cream, strawberry, mint, chocolate, peanut butter, coconut, lemon/lime, german chocolate

Toppings: a variety of candy bars that have been chopped small, sprinkles, coconut, marshmallows, fruit, chocolate covered strawberries, chopped nuts, pop rocks – anything miniature

cupcake bar

– Popcorn:

Variety of popcorn: caramel, white cheddar, cheddar, ranch, cookies and cream,  butter, kettle, white chocolate

Toppings: chocolate (like M&M’s, Jr. Mints or Reeces Pieces), nuts, offer plain popcorn and then the shakers (you can get a bunch of flavors at Orson Gigi)

popcorn bar

popcorn shakers


Photo credits: Smores, Trail Mix, Ice Cream Sundae, Ice Cream Sandwich, Fruit Pizza, Mini Tarts, Crepes, Hot Cocoa, Cupcakes, Popcorn, Popcorn Shakers

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