Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pink Champagne Cupcakes

Today's Post features a FABULOUS recipe from Betty Crocker. 

It is perfect for a New Year's Eve celebration because not only is it cake, but it has a taste of Champagne (a NYE staple.)  I made this recipe last year after I saw it featured on Betty Crocker's 2011 calendar and it is VERY delicious!  






Thank You Notes

Ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon in my hand I have been writing thank you notes to people who have given me gifts.  As I grew up I started to realize that fewer and fewer people write thank you notes.  Now, my Mr "Fix-It" Fiance (yes, we're engaged now!)  and I disagree on this issue every birthday, Christmas, or event that includes receiving a "gift." 


He thinks that a heartfelt "Thank You" is good enough and a written letter is not necessary.  I think that thank you notes are necessary for not only birthday or Christmas gifts, but also when someone goes out of their way for you (such as helps plan a party with you!)  Perhaps I go a little "over the top" with the thank you notes, but that's just me.


I'm not going to pressure you into writing thank you notes, there are obviously many schools of thought on the topic, but I do want to help you write one if you so choose!  (Try it out, it might be fun!)




Why Write a Thank You Note:


Writing a thank you note, is a formal way to thank someone for their gift, time, money, help, attendance, etc.  I would compare it much like a greeting card, it could possibly go in the trash after someone reads it, but for that moment while they are reading your heartfelt words, they appreciate it. 


Where to Wite a Thank You Note:


If you take the time to write a thank you note, then take the time to create a clean surface, find a nice pen, and even a decent chair to sit in.  You don't have to dress up in a prom dress just to write a formal thank you, but you don't want to make the note look like you were writing the note while trying to drive your car and drink your Starbucks. 


When to Write a Thank You Note:


There is no "expiration" on a thank you, however it would be rather weird to get a thank you note for attending a co-workers' daughters party 5 years ago, today.  Most books and references say about a month tops on thank you notes.  I like to get them out in a week or two, that way the reason or gift I want to thank them for is still fresh in my mind. 




What to Write in a Thank You Note:


Obviously in a thank you note you want to THANK the person for the gift they gave you.  However a letter that looks like


Dear Joe Doe,

Thanks for the cookie cutters.

Regards,
Jessica


looks rather foolish if you ask me.  A few things you can add to a thank you are:


For a Gift:
- What you are going to do with the gift
- When you will use it.
- How you felt when you received it.


For Time, Help, or Attendance to a function:
- Why you were so happy they attended.
- Thank them for a specific action.
- The way you felt to see them at the function.


A thank you note might look something like this:


Dear John Doe,

Thank you so much for the cookie cutters. 
They were excatly what I needed to
add to my collection.  I am so excited to
use them the next time I bake my famous
sugar cookies. 

Thank you,
Jessica

Or this:


Dear John Doe,

Thank you for attending my birthday party. 
Your ability to make everyone
laugh is always appreciated
It really means a lot to me for you to be
a part of my special day.

Thank you,
Jessica


Now, is it really that hard?  
Go on, have fun with it!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ten Last Minute (Easy) Dessert Ideas

Especially around the Holidays, we all get busy with the hustle and bustle of buying gifts, decorating the house, visiting with family and friends, and sometimes there just isn't enough time to bake dozens upon dozens of cookies.  There are a few options to help cutting down on the work of baking your own Christmas desserts.  One is a cookie exchange with a few of your friends, or you could make some easy no-bake, but very classy dessert options.  I have gathered a list of easy to make dessert ideas on Pinterest (from fellow bloggers!) and want to share their links with you.  



Here are Ten Last Minute (and EASY) DIY Desserts: 

Chocolate Filled Raspberries  --  Little Cakes

Pretzel Bites**  --  House on Hilltop

Mint Chocolate Bark  --  C.R.A.F.T.

Graham Cracker S.mores Candy  --  Baker Girl

Cake Pops**  --  Classy Event Organizer (Me!)

Cake Batter Chocolate Bark**  --  How Sweet It Is


Chocolate Dipped Pretzels  --  Free Spirit Food

Reindeer Feed  --  Utah Deal Diva

Oreo Truffles  --  Bakerella



** I made these and they are DELICIOUS!!  {nom nom nom}

Monday, December 19, 2011

....annnnnnd We're Back and Better Than Ever!

Hello Classy Event Organizers! 

I've been busy over here trying to organize the site to best suit YOU!  (Not to mention eating a TON of Christmas cookies!)

Here are a few updates:

Freebies now have their own page!  No more going to facebook and saving a picture, you can print or download straight from Google Docs (no need to have a google account either)!

- I have *tweeked* the service request forms a bit, so be sure to check those out!  (As a reminder, these are FREE Services)   I'd love to help you plan your next party!!  

- Opening of Classy Event Organizer's Etsy Card Store will be VERY, VERY soon!  (More details to come!)



As always, to get updates join the Classy Event Organizer Facebook group or subscribe to Classy Event Organizer, or read my every thought by following @ClassyEventO on Twitter.  




Thank you so much for your support and participation!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fabulous Friday Featurette: Christmas Fonts

I love searching and finding fun and *free* downloadable fonts.  They are a really neat way to make DIY invitations, cards, or any type of document more personal (rather than using the average Times New Roman.)

Here are a few fonts that I found that would be great addition to Christmas party invites, decorations, or greeting cards.  (Due to Copyright I did not copy any pictures of the fonts.  Please click on the link to look at the fonts on the original website!)




















I hope you have a Fabulous Friday!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY Cake Pops (What to do with Left Over Cake)

There is RARELY left over cake in my house.  After a birthday party, I usually substitute most meals (meaning ALL meals) with any "left over" cake.  However,  I decided to use some left over cupcakes from my Classy Kitty "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Party to make a Classy Thanksgiving treat:  Cake Pops!  


I LOVE cake pops because they allow guests to enjoy a small treat without the hazards of cake crumbles from a piece of cake or wrapper from a cup cake.  Also, I knew that being Thanksgiving most of my family members would be too full of turkey and pie for a whole piece of cake, a little pop of cake is the perfect solution!  



How To:  Cake Pops

Bill of Materials:
Left Over Cake (or make a cake if you wish!)
Icing
Lollipop Sticks
Chocolate and/or White Chocolate
Plastic Wrap
Tooth Picks
Sprinkles (optional)
Decorative Flags (optional)




Step One:  Put your already iced cake into a bowl.






Step Two:  Use a mixer (hand held or counter-top) to mix up the contents in the bowl until it is completely unrecognizable   Make sure there are no cake chunks.  You want the consistency to be sticky enough to create balls, but not so sticky that they are mushy.






Tip:  Start with more cake and less icing.  It is easy to add icing, but not take it away.


Step Three:  Use mixture to create truffle size balls.  I would have used a "ice cream scoop" (which most people use for cookie dough) unfortunately mine broke and I was forced to use the ol' two spoons trick.






Step Four:  Put cake balls into the freezer for about twenty minutes to firm up.






Step Five:  Use tooth picks to dip cake balls into chocolate and place on to plates covered with plastic wrap.  Put these in the freezer so they harden faster.






Tip:  The plastic wrap helps to release the hardened chocolate from the plate after it is frozen.  Otherwise it might break when you try to lift it from the plate.


Step Six:  Dip the  top of the already chocolate dipped cake balls into white chocolate, stick a lollipop stick into the top, and cover with sprinkles.  It is important to do all of these steps at the same time for each cake ball because other wise the white chocolate will harden and it will be near impossible to stick the lollipop into it.






Step Seven:  Add flags as a decoration to the cake pops!






Ta-Da!  All Done!

I realize that some people make their cake pops as actual 'lollipops" however I have found that if you put the cake pop at the top of the stick, it will fall down the stick after a few hours unless the perfect consistency of cake and icing was made in step two.  That's why I like the cake pops on the bottom of the stick!


Also, be creative when using different kinds of chocolate.  I used two colors with sprinkles as decoration, but you could use one color as a base and another as a drizzle over the tops!  Get creative!






Happy Cake Popping!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cookie Exchanges

This Friday starts something new here at Classy Event Organizer:  Fabulous Friday Featurette! What is this you may ask? Each Friday I will "feature" a blogger, website, product, or just awesome stuff that I think my readers could benefit from. (There are so many good ideas out there, I want to share some that I found!!)  

This week for the First Fabulous Friday Featurette is from Ellinée Design House.

Ellinée is a design studio based out of Portland, Oregon that specialized in wedding, baby, and (my favorite) holiday stationary.   

Not only do I just adore their website (so many great ideas and printables), but I Love, Love, LOVE their blog post on Cookie Exchanges

They offer a DIY party kit as well as party times and planning guide.   

So take a minute (or ten) and hop on over to Ellinée's blog and check out their post on Cookie Exchanges.


Thank you to Ellinée for allowing me to feature their fabulous blog post and website this Friday.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Classy Kitty Party: Breakfast at Tiffany's (Deux)

The Breakfast at Tiffany's "Welcome Home" party for my lovely new "Classy Kitty" was a success!  If you read part one, you remember that I used my handy dandy Party Planning Basics worksheet as well as Pinterest to help plan the party.  Also, I was lucky enough to enlist the help of a creative friend to ensure the party was fabulous!

Here is how the "Breakfast" turned out...  


(Check out the bottom left.. you can see a teeny tiny kitten paw!)

I decided that a breakfast buffet was the best idea for this party, mostly due to the "Breakfast" theme.  I served sweets (my guests really like sweets) and some breakfast foods.
The decorations changed a lot from the original plan for the party, mostly because it was REALLY hard to find different pieces of Tiffany Blue products that matched!  (Did you know that Tiffany Blue has its own Pantone color?  The exact color is PMS 1847 and isn't available in any Pantone book.)

Due to the lack of matching decor, I decided to use the blue as an accent rather than the main color and to instead use black and white as the main colors of the party.  To emphasize this, I used a black tablecloth with white plates as well as a black and white back drop.

Tip:  Table back drops are a fun way to enhance the party decor.  Also it's fun to dress up a wall if the everyday color doesn't match the party theme.  A cheap and easy way to add a back drop is to use a plastic table cloth and hang it from the ceiling down to the floor.  

As for adding the Tiffany Blue color to the table, I used an awesome icing recipie from Party Cupcake Ideas.  They say to use 6 parts blue and 2 parts green food coloring.  It worked perfectly!  (I added some white sprinkles for added classiness!) 


 
During my quest to find Tiffany Blue items, I happened to find Tiffany Blue Ribbon at the store and I used this on some candy and chocolate covered pretzels for some added flair.

 

A "How To" for these decorative candies is coming soon!

I made doughnut towers out of doughnuts holes and stuck a homemade 'Tiffany" tag into the top for some more "theme" decoration.


Milk Bottles are one of the cutest additions to a party table so I used some ribbon and more "Tiffany" tags to decorate the bottles.  


 
Although the party decorations were a huge hit, I made sure that the Classy Kitty was the center of attention. (Unfortunatly she had to eat her regularly scheduled Chicken and Liver!)  She received some new (not to mention AWESOME) toys and we all got to play.  She is now comfortable in her new home and has adjusted marvelously.  The Classy Kitty Party was so much fun, I can't wait to plan another one!  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How To: DIY Glass Milk Bottles

Lately I have been reading a great book, one that I would highly recommend, “Entertaining Simple” by Matthew Mead.  In his book he not only gives a list of basic necessities for the at- home hostess but also recipes and party ideas for “every kind of gathering.”  I found particularly useful the list of essential elements for parties.  In this section he gives examples of different flatware, plates, and cups, etc, and information regarding how to store or display your collection. (Lots of inspiration for any party planner’s pantry!) 



One piece from the list of essential elements that caught my eye was the non-traditional use of glass milk bottles.  They can be used as glassware or even interesting centerpieces (LOTS OF OPTIONS!)  You can find glass milk bottles online for purchase but that option didn’t fit in my budget.  Instead, I figured out how to repurpose my glass Starbucks Frappuccino bottles into classy party décor and I wanted to share it with you all!

Here is how to make Glass Milk Bottles from Starbucks Frappuccino containers.



Bill of Materials:
Glass Starbucks Frappuccino Containers
Soap and Water
Wash Cloth
Nail Polish Remover

First:  Empty the Starbucks Frappuccino containers (I drank mine!)



Second:  Rinse them inside and out by letting them soak in hot water for a few minutes. 


Third:  Peel off Starbucks label (it might leave behind some sticky residue).  Use a little elbow grease to scrub the sticky residue off the bottle with a wash cloth.

Fourth:  Use nail polish remover to clean off any stubborn adhesive and the date from the bottle.



Now use as a cute way to serve drinks at your next party!



Ta-Da your very own milk bottles! 

TIP:   Keep the caps, you can decorate them and use them again!



Now go have fun using these awesome glassware are your next party!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How To: Pilgrim Hat Cookies

I got this idea from making Witch Hat Cookies for Halloween.  If you change the candy and color of the hat’s band, they are PERFECT for Thanksgiving (and super fun for kids to make too!)  

Here is a “How To” for Pilgrim Hat Cookies!  

Bill of Materials:
Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies
Mini Reese's Cups
White Icing
Yellow  Food Coloring
Ziploc Bag or Icing Bag

First:  Gather up your supplies and make space for your project on your kitchen table or counter.



TIP:  When buying supplies, make sure you buy extra cookies than what you need.  Sometimes the Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies aren’t in one piece by the time you get them home.  (Or you might have little fingers steal one or two in the process!)

Second:  Mix Icing with a few drops of Yellow food coloring and put into a ziplock bag (or icing bag if you have one). 



Third:  Take wrappers off Reese's Cups


Fourth:  Lay cookies upside down on your work place


Fifth:  Put a very thick circle of icing around the circle in the middle of the cookie.



Sixth:  Place Reese's Cup on Cookie



Option 2:  If you aren’t a big fan of Reese's you can use Rolos instead (or mix it up!) 



Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Classy Kitty Party: Breakfast at Tiffany's

Hello Classy Event Organizers!

I have to apologize for my short absence!  I have been a bit busy due to the addition to my household:  A beautiful kitten!



I have never had a pet (other than my betta fish) before, and if you have or ever had a kitten, you know how much work they can be!  But she loves to give kisses and cuddle.

During my absence I’ve spent the last two weeks re-arranging my townhouse to better suite my new kitten, as well as thinking about planning (you guessed it...) a “Welcome to the Family” party!

As you can imagine my fur-baby is a Classy Kitty, so she is going to need a classy party for an introduction to her new family and friends.  I decided to begin organizing the event by using the Party Planning Basics Worksheet (you can find this worksheet here) as a starting point for planning the shin-dig.

Here are my notes so far:



As you can see the details are a bit sparse, so I decided to log onto one of my favorite websites, Pinterest, to get some inspiration for my theme “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

If you have never used Pinterest before, it is a virtual pinboard website, where you can save your favorite “things” via a virtual pin board.  If you want to learn more about this awesome resource go here.

I use Pinterest to track not only my favorite products and recipes, but also my personal style as well as (you guessed again!) party ideas!!

When I have a new party to plan, I first create a new pin board, and then search a few key words and start pinning what I like.  Once I have a decent amount of pins collected to a board, I look them all over to reflect and start making decisions!  

Here are some pins I have gathered so far:




Stay Tuned as the process unfolds....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Party Planning Basics {Freebie}





Need some help organizing your party plans?  
"Like" Classy Event Organizer on Facebook  
{Download the file from the FREEBIES page!} 
and get a {Free} Party Planning Basics organizer 
created by yours truly!  



Sunday, October 30, 2011

How To: Witch Hat Cookies

Need a last minute and easy to make Halloween Treat?  Make some Witch’s Hat Cookies!  (This "How To" is totally kid friendly too!)

Bill of Materials:
Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies
Hershey Kisses
White Icing
Yellow and Red (or Orange) Food Coloring
Ziploc or Icing Bag

First:  Gather up your supplies, and make space for your project on your kitchen table or counter.



TIP:  When buying supplies, make sure you buy extra cookies than what you need.  Sometimes the Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies aren’t in one piece by the time you get them home.  (Or you might have little fingers steal one or two in the process!)

Second:  Mix Icing with food coloring to get that perfect “Halloween” Orange, put into a ziplock bag and cut off corner (or use icing bag if you have one). 



Third:  Take wrappers off Hershey kisses



Fourth:  Lay cookies upside down on your work place.



Fifth:  Put a thick circle of icing around the circle in the middle of the cookie.



Sixth:  Place kiss on cookie.



I decided to make my witch hats extra girly by adding bow streamers to the “band”. 



I hope you enjoy!  Happy Halloween!

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