Baby Girl’s 11th Birthday Party

Difficult to believe but Baby Girl just celebrated her 11th birthday yesterday!

 I can’t believe that the baby we wished for, for soooo long, is 11 years old!!!  Where did the time go?  Time keeps moving so quickly and without my permission.

I wish there was a “pause” button so I could just sit within a moment and really, really take it all in.

It seems like yesterday that I asked my grandmother what her favorite time in her life had been.  She was in her 80’s and she was looking back over her life and she answered, “When the girls were little (my mom and aunt)”.

I took what she said to heart and have thought of it often when I would be feeding Baby Girl in the middle of the night.  It would be just her and I sitting in her nursery and I would try to memorize everything about those nights; the smell of her hair, neck, the way she would gaze at me with half sleepy eyes…

My beloved Gigi has been gone now for nearly ten years and my sweet Baby Girl is now 11 years old…

As a way to celebrate the passage of time, we always have a birthday party for the kids.  Sometimes big, sometimes small, but always on a budget!

This year was no different, except now we are entertaining ‘tween girls!  Baby Girl has an amazing cirle of friends and she could not wait to celebrate with them!

 We had 12 girls over for a “Pool Slumber Party”!

{Our beautiful birthday girl!}

{Our beautiful birthday girl!  The party was at my parent’s home because they are totally cool and they have a pool!}

I made the bunting on my computer and had it printed at my local print shop, Copy4Less.  I had about 60 color copies printed, cut and drilled (2 holes at the top) for less than $40.  A lot of bang for my buck, if I do say so myself!






{I was shopping for a client when I found this stand. You know me, I HAD TO HAVE IT!!! It was just $40 at Home Goods}






{I have had these acrylic plates for years and I never get tired of usung them!  One of the few purchases I have ever made at Walmart. (I am a Target girl...}

{I have had these acrylic plates for years and I never get tired of using them! One of the few purchases I have ever made at Walmart. (I am a Target girl…}


{A sweet dessert bar}

{A sweet dessert bar}

{Inexpensive desserts~ Twinkies, Swiss Rolls.  Perfect for a sweet tooth!}

{Inexpensive desserts~ Twinkies, Swiss Rolls, Oreos. Perfect for a sweet tooth!}

{Costco mini brownies.  They are cute and yummy!}

{Costco mini brownies. They are cute and yummy!}

{Red velvet cake from Costco.  Yummy and only $9.99!}

{Baby Girl’s favorite ~Red velvet cake from Costco. Delicious and only $9.99!}

{The Party Girls!}

{The Party Girls!}

I am not usually  a “dump a bag of chips in a bowl and order a pizza” kinda gal, but that is pretty much what I did this year.

{Usually Baby Girl wants a “dinner party” with steak, potatoes, salad… Pizza is so much easier! 😉 }

I have to say, all of you Moms that have been doing that for years, YOU ARE REALLY, REALLY SMART!!!

It felt like hitting the “pause” button and I could just enjoy the party and watching my Baby Girl have the time of her life!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady


The entire party cost less than $190 (including my adorable black stand).  Not too bad for feeding 12 hungry girls dinner and breakfast!

Printing $36

Chips- $10

Pizza $40

Desserts $30


Waffles {Bisquick} – In my pantry

Bacon- In my freezer

Paper Straws $10

Black Stand $40

Party favor {Pink Pool Noodle} 12 for $1 each

***I had the mason jars, plates, lemonade, scrapbook paper, ribbon, linens, starfish and dessert stands***

Buddy’s fanSTACHEtic 16th Birthday Party

It is difficult to believe that Buddy turned 16 this past weekend.  How is it possible?

 Time just keeps flying by without my permission…

Birthdays have always been a big deal at our house.  Mr. Cabana and I started a tradition when we were dating, to celebrate our birthdays for a whole weekend.   For one entire weekend we can do whatever we want and the family has to just go along with it,  without any complaints.  {Because as you know, ONE day a year is just not enough!}

So with this “Birthdays are a big deal” thinking, we had been asking Buddy for months (and months…) what he would like to do for his big 16th birthday.  (Party? Hollywood?, Getty Museum? Drive In movie night?…)  And the answer we got over (and over, and over?)  “I. Don’t. Know.”

Now for a planner like me, do you have ANY idea how difficult it was to hear those three little words?  And it is not like I could take control and plan something for him on my own.  I mean, after all, I am dealing with a teenager.  I am not completely off my rocker!

I finally gave Buddy a deadline to decide whether or not he wanted a party about 7 weeks ago.  He decided, that “No, he did not want a party.”  Ok, fine.  {Well, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t fine with it, but it was his decision.  I mean who doesn’t want a birthday party, am I a right?}

So flash forward to five (5!) days before his big day.  His best friend is at our house telling Grant that he going to be so disappointed come his birthday if he has nothing planned. He knows Buddy very well!

You see where this is going, right?

Five days before the BIG 1-6 and Buddy decides that “YES! I actually really do want a party!”

Really?!?  Seriously?!?  Are you KIDDING me?!?  NOW you decide to have a party?  With. 5. days. notice?

Did I tell him “No! You missed the deadline I set for you.”  Or “No! I can’t possibly plan a party in 5 days?” Ummm, you know me, right?

My answer went something like this, “Yes, I can pull it off.  But do not expect a whole lot.”

I had to get my mind around the fact there would be not a fabulous invitation being sent out (hello!  5 days people!), most custom items were out, ordering anything was out…You get my point, right?

So I immediately sent out an Evite {when in a pinch, these really are pretty great}, Buddy sent out a text with the Evite link {thank goodness for teens and their technology!}, I sent out an SOS text to my friends knowing that they have great items for me to borrow, and jumped onto Pinterest.  All of this probably within 10 minutes of Buddy telling me about a party.

Flash forward 5 days {Some things just were not able to be pulled off.  Movie of Buddy through the years? Not finished…Oh well}

{Buddy and his friends are off for a day of fun, while I work on the party}

{Buddy and his friends are off for a day of fun, while I work on the party}


Use This




Buddy and Baby Girl  {his server for the night}

Buddy and Baby Girl
{his server for the night}






{Found this image by doing a search on Google Images}


{Yes, I reused the “Wet Your Whistle” chalkboard from another recent event. Hey, it saved me a few minutes to work on something else!}


{My girlfriend Pam had the bushel baskets and adorable burlap sign from her son’s recent HS grad party. We made butter and caramel corn for the baskets}


{Lunch bags for popcorn bar}


{I found these great bowls at Michael’s for just 99 cents! They had been marked down 70%!}





{My girlfriend Sherry’s mom made the fabulous mustache runners for Sherry’s son’s recent HS graduation. I told you my friends have great stuff to borrow!}

{Game Time!}

{Game Time!}





{Once it was dark, we played "The Princess Bride" outside at our drive in movie theatre}

{Once it was dark, we played “The Princess Bride” outside at our drive in movie theatre}



{Chocolate Mustaches}

{Chocolate Mustaches}


{Buddy and his cousins}

{Papa enjoying a Twinkie from the Sweets Bar}

{Papa enjoying a Twinkie from the Sweets Bar}


{Mustache cake.  Bake a cake in a round pan, when cool cut in half in the a mustache shape}

{Mustache cake. Bake a cake in a round pan, when cool cut in half in the a mustache shape}

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady


{ Sources}

SunshineAndPop (Etsy) for Bottle labels and buffet cards

Michael’s for mustache molds

Bushel Baskets and cellophane bags from Shinoda

A “Glamping” We Will Go!

The BIG 1-0!!!

 Baby Girl has turned double digits!

Come on in!  Your invited to celebrate us!

To celebrate this momentous occasion, we decided to have a Glamping sleepover.  What is Glamping you ask?  “Glamour Camping”!  Sure girls can rough it, but why not “rough” it in style?  For the first time ever, we were allowing a slumber party in the playhouse!

As with any party for Baby Girl, we started with her color scheme.  This year we found clearance invitations from Michael’s that had a fun teal blue pennant tied across the invite.  The 30 invitation kit (I only needed 8) was $9 and came with everything we needed.  We then headed to Jo-Ann‘s to search for scrapbook paper that we could make pennants from (matching the teal blue theme).  Instead of finding what we were looking for, we found something that she liked even better…

Slate blue with brown polka dots, red apples and straw scrapbook paper.  Yay!  Looks like I finally get to use fall colors for a party!  Since we were throwing her party 2 weeks after her birthday (mid September- technically still summertime), it was going to be the last weekend of September- Officially Autumn!

But since I had already found a great bargain with the invites, I was still going to use them even though they were a tad “summery“.

If you follow me on Pinterst, you may have noticed my Board “Baby Girl’s 10th Birthday”.  I pinned all sorts of great ideas; many that did not fall into my budget or Baby Girl’s final “vision”.  I have found that Pinterst is a great place to start when planning a party and looking for ideas.  Don’t be intimidated by the “perfect” parties!!!  (Seriously, how much are some of those fab parties?) I have found that those pics can often make me feel inadequate and frankly they can stress me out!  So pin away, but go easy on yourselves with the expectations! No matter what you do, enjoy the process!!!

Welcome to “SNR Glamp“!

The Glampers “sleeping tent”.

Cabin #10

I love to use pictures for an inexpensive, yet fabulous decoration. Print pics on your home computer and sprinkle around the party.

Our little pirate

Homemade shredded beef tacos, caesar salad and pink lemonade. Bon Appetite!

Dessert Bar

S’mores Mix: Golden Grahams cereal, mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips.

The Glampers from Cabin #10

We have a tradition during the gift opening that makes everyone feel special.  Whomever’s gift is being opened, they sit with Baby Girl.  What I love is that I always have at least one picture of Baby Girl and each of her guests.  Plus, we have a visual gift list to help with thank you notes.

One of my favorites things that Baby Girl did was when it came time to give her glampers their Glamping survival goody bags, she called each girl up and told everyone what she loved about her friend.  It was so sweet to hear how each girl was special to her for different reasons.  We all need to embrace our differences!  (I hope they remember that as they head into the teen years!)

A new tradition was born last year at Baby Girl’s birthday slumber party~ Ding Dong Ditching!  Of course I could not just let them run loose, disturbing our quiet neighborhood without leaving a little treat!  Ding Dongs wrapped in cellophane bags and tied with ribbon.

All set to ring some door bells!

If you have been reading my blog, then you know we love to have Drive-In movie nights and Baby Girl’s party was no different.  They bundled up and laughed their way through a family favorite “RV” with Robin Williams.

As we all know, you can’t go camping without roasting marshmallows!

For some reason they all wanted their marshmallows seriously burnt!

Before the girls were sent to bed in “Cabin #10” they closed out the party singing Karaoke.  Unfortunately,I was forbidden from taking pics during the show.  However, Baby Girl’s rendition of Green Day’s “21 Guns” was epic!

After a few hours of sleep (literally!), the glampers awoke to a breakfast of homemade waffles and bacon (Baby Girl’s favorite!).

Thanks for coming to Baby Girl’s 10th Birthday Glamping Party!

Hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as this great group of girls did!

My purchases for the party were as follows:

{Michael’s}Invites $9,Fall garland (4) $8 a piece,8 Brown Chargers $8,8 Spa socks $4 (50% off!),8 Sleep masks $4 (50% off!),8 tissues packages $4 (50% off!),4 Nail File kits $4,Notecards $2,Cupcake liners $2. {Jo-Ann’s}Scrapbook paper $6. {Home Goods}8 Dinner plates $3.99 each. {Smart & Final} Mason jars $9 for 12. Desserts $12. {Dolly’s Sweet Dreams Cotton Candy} 10 containers for $20. {Shinoda}$67 total-Ribbon (brown gingham, brown and blue stripped, red),Twig Ribbon,Fall Leaves,Brown Market, Bags, Cellophane Bags,Artificial apples,2 small artificial tress. {Feed Barn}4 Bales of Hay $60. {IKEA}Chandelier $40,Mirror $40,8 Blankets $3.99 each,5 red frames $1 each. {Wal-Mart}Small bales of hay $4 each,Door swag $20. {Donated}10 jar candles. {Market}$40 for chuck roast, tomatoes, onions, tortillas, romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, croutons

Mr. Cabana had a sheet of plywood that I used to paint the glamp signs.

Party total (approximately)-$440

Now, I don’t want you to think that I spend $440 on Baby Girl’s birthday parties normally.  I don’t.  (Remember, her Valentine party was less than $40.)  But…Since it was her 10th birthday (and I now have a Blog!), I justified the extra money.  You only turn double digits once, right?  Some of my purchases (the chandelier and mirror) will be re-used over and over (and over and over…).  See? I am REALLY good at justifying the extra expense.

Was this a “perfect” party?  Yes!  Because Baby Girl and her friends thought so and they are the discerning of clients!  But do these pictures look like the ones I drool over on Pinterest?  Nope.  And I am actually ok with that!  As I have been more than forthcoming about my lack of photography skills (I am trying to take more and better pictures!), I would love to have had a professional take the pictures of the Glamp.  Ahhh, maybe someday…

Buddy and his best friend, Branden. They were such good sports and took the glampers “ding dong’ ditching.

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

Pretty Sweet Party

Happy Monday!

Wow, we are having another glorious winter day here in Southern California.  Temps in the mid 70’s today. Ahhh, I am starting to feel Spring just around the corner!

I thought I would share a bit of Baby Girl’s 9th Birthday party.  If you have learned anything about me, it is that I LOVE to throw a party.  But also that i do not believe you need to spend hundreds (thousands!) of dollars to have a great looking party.  Trust me, when it comes to kids, do you really think they care that you paid $5 per cupcake or $100 for the cake?  If you have an unlimited budget, awesome!  Call me and I will plan an EXTRAVAGANZA for you!

But for the rest of us, it is about using what you already have, borrowing what you don’t and purchasing inexpensive items that can be “dressed up” to look more fabulous.

One of Baby Girl’s birthday gifts pulled double duty~ A large canvas (gift) on a vintage easel (gift) with a sign welcoming the party guests. I always have a sign, picture, wreath… at the door signal that we are having a party. I like making guests to feel welcome from the moment they come through our front gate.

Nothing makes a party like personalizing the decorations.  Bunting and banners are always a popular and inexpensive go-to party decoration.

Until I have the budget to purchase a Cricut (a machine that cuts shapes, letters…), I think hand-painting the bunting works just as well.  And who doesn’t love to paint? I added sparkly buttons to dress it up. The banner cost around $5 to make.

And you thought a feather boa was just for dress up! Well, here is another use for a boa~ Dress up your chandelier.

Behind the curtains panels is my bedroom window.  I found these panels at Ikea in a 2 pack for $19.  The frame came from Ikea as well.  A family friend has a banner shop and he did the vinyl for me.

Each party guest had a bucket with their name for water, napkin and utensils.  I found them at Ikea for $1 each.  Baby Girl LOVES straws and don’t they look adorable in the mason jars?  Yes, you have seen me use them before (Valentine Cupcake and Hot Chocolate party).  It is an easy go to for any party!

When planning a party, I always come up with a color scheme and use those colors over and over; from the invitation (I need to make another one from this party because they were SO DARN cute! But of course we gave them out and forgot to keep one! Ugh!), to bunting, plates, napkins and candy.  I bought the taffy, watermelon balls and white malt balls in bulk (approx. $20), the labels on the jars were made from leftover paper from the invitations.

I found this idea on Pinterest and just knew the girls would go crazy for it!  And they did.  And so did the teenage boys!  I think Buddy and his friends had as much as the girls leaving the treats and hiding.  I have to admit, playing ding-dong ditch and hanging around to watch the door open was very funny!

The party revelers~They had to have their picture taken at my friend’s house that was our first Ding Dong victim!  I think a new tradition was born that night!

Having a party soon?  Contact me and I can help with styling your event!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

90 Birthday Candles

Before I get started, did you all watch Timree on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” Tuesday night?  Wasn’t she fabulous?!?!  And she maintained her composure when Vickie (or as some might say, “Ickie”) was so rude regarding her name.  Yes, Vickie, Timree is a REAL name for a REAL lady!  Timree has been receiving emails from all over the country and she surpassed 1,000 likes on her Facebook page.  CONGRATULATIONS Timree!!!


It is not everyday that you know someone who has reached the milestone of 90 years old.  I have a great friend Gail, and her mom, Miss Irene, turned 90 years old last month.  In honor of her 9th decade, Gail and her family hosted a beautiful party in Irene’s honor.  It was my pleasure to help Gail style the room for the many friends and family members that had travelled from as far away as Scotland to attend.

Renee, Kevin, Bret, Irene~the birthday girl and Gail

The colors for the party were red, white and black.  About 100 people were expected to attend the party and we knew that the room was not big enough to try and have a seat for everyone.   One of my go to options for parties it to rent pub tables.  People can stand around them to eat and drink and they do not take as much floor space as a table with chairs would.

As many of you know, I do not believe that you have to spend a lot of money on decor to make a party fabulous.  Gail borrowed glass bowls and mirrors for the centerpieces and I purchased shredded black paper ($8  for 1 bag) and rosette balls ($2.95 each).  The artificial rose petals were donated by a florist friend of Gail’s.

Centerpieces for the tables. I turned the bowl filled with black shredded paper upside down onto the mirror.

Miss Irene has a big sweet tooth, so I just knew she had to have a candy dessert bar.  And who doesn’t love their name in glitter?  (Do you recognize the boards?  They are the same boards I used for Baby Girl’s Valentine party pennant.)

All of the jars were filled with red, pink, white and silver candy.

Gail made labels for these little cups for the candy bar.  They were the perfect size for the treats.  She found them at  Smart & Final.

And it surely would not be a birthday party without a cake and cupcakes! The piano theme was in honor of Irene’s lifelong passion for singing.

Gail’s friend Jill Pinson was the fabulous baker that made the cake and cupcakes. Can you believe she does this as a hobby? I would hire her anytime!

The cupcakes were absolutely GORGEOUS and delicious!

Irene has made picture collages for many years of family and friends. They were perfect for creating a personal touch to her party.  Everyone enjoyed looking back over the years of happy (and younger!) times together! I always try to use pictures at parties.  The guests feel special when they spot themselves in a picture at the party.  Plus, they are a great conversation starter if you happen to be hosting a group of people who may not know one another. Lastly, they are an inexpensive way to add high impact.

I just want to say “Thank You” to Gail, her family and most especially Miss Irene, for allowing me to help create a memorable 90th birthday party for her.  I can’t wait to plan her 100th!!!

HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY IRENE LILLY!!!  And may you have  many, many more!

The Beautiful Birthday Girl

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

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