Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Easter 2002 - Sheep Cupcakes
{mini marshmallows for body & ears; large marshmallow halved for head}

Spring 2004 - Lollipop Flower Cupcakes
{blow pops, fruit-striped gum leaves and an out-of-focus camera}

Easter 2005 - Bunny Rabbit Cake
{bake a 9" round cake, cut in half, stand halves on side, frost and decorate)

Easter 2006 - Bunny Baby Hat
{made from the sleeve of a men's t-shirt from MS Baby Magazine)

Can you tell that I've been organizing some old photos? But I promise that it's not all about the past. I have a new Easter printable (available for free download) all set to go for tomorrow, so be sure to check back!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Congratulations Petunia for being named NiCE Person of the Week over at Operation Nice! Click here to see the complete story. And if you have never clicked over to Operation Nice before, you're in for a treat. This is a daily must-read to start your day off right and if you're having a bad day, it will absolutely restore your faith in humankind.

Thank you Melissa, not only for taking the time to recognize Petunia, but most especially for spreading the NiCE! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009





For your chance to win, simply go here to make a donation, any donation at all, to the Breast Cancer 3 - Day and be sure to reference Pumpkin Petunia in the notes. The larger your donation, the more chances you have to win! For the complete story and more information, go here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Today is a great day! Not only is it my little girl's birthday, but it is also the day that I am finally able to introduce my new line of wish necklaces. And let me tell you, it's been a long time coming! After endless delays in customs (the charms are handmade in Australia) and my packed schedule of work and children and life, it seems it has taken forever to get to this point. But thankfully, we're here!

So without further delay, I am thrilled to introduce a new line of wish necklaces, each representing a specific wish: a wish of love, of friendship, of luck, of hope and of peace. The centerpiece of the necklace is a stunning sterling silver and stone charm, handmade by an incredibly talented jewelry artist based in Australia, strung on an 18" sterling silver chain. When these charms finally arrived at my door, I immediately knew they were worth the wait! Each color charm represents a different wish: pink for love, teal for friendship, blue for hope, green for luck and hint of gray for peace (this gray is much more subtle than it appears in the photo). Make a wish each time you wear the necklace - then Trust. Hope. Believe.

Wish necklaces make the perfect gift for graduations, birthdays, mother's day, bridesmaids or anyone who can use a good thought and a wish come true. And who couldn't use one of those right now? So, head over to the shoppe to check them out and be sure to become a fan of Pumpkin Petunia over on Facebook to take advantage of our fan-exclusive discount (fifteen percent!).

Note: If you're a fan of our discontinued line of wish necklaces, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we will still be offering limited quantities of our ballet slipper and cheerleader megaphone wish necklaces at least through spring and early summer to accommodate recital and cheer tryout season. The bad news is that all other styles are no longer available. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Well, I was planning on saving this post for April 6th which is Opening Day at Fenway, but once I started sifting through the photos of this party we had for Pumpkin in February of 2007, I just couldn't wait to share. I really shouldn't work on Opening Day anyway, it being a major holiday and all.

The most important thing to know about Pumpkin, in general, not just for the purposes of this post, is that he loves baseball. Not just loves as in it's his favorite game to play or that he really enjoys it. No. Loves as in he's obsessed, it's all he thinks about, he was the only preschooler I knew then or since that would sit and watch an entire baseball game on TVEvery day, twice on Sundays, if we would let him. I know some adults who do not have that kind of attention span for televised baseball! So this post features one of the many baseball-themed parties that we have had for Pumpkin. Oh, and save for the Wii party that we just had for his tenth birthday, if the theme wasn't baseball, it was football. What can I say? He comes from a long line of sportsaholics.

{Magazine Cover Thank You Note}

This particular baseball party took place at an indoor baseball facility where the boys spent most of their time in the batting cages. While the boys waited for their turn at bat, I was equipped to paint their faces with baseballs, team logos and the numbers of their favorite players, setting them up for a photo op that would later appear in the form of thank you notes. 

{Cake. And (top left) cd favors in blow-up replica of Fenway}

Since the party was not at our home, a new concept to me at the time, I felt like a free spirit! Not having to clean and decorate to prepare for the party made me feel like I had all the time in the world - so I decided to make the cake.  The idea was to make a baseball on a base, that way we could have two kinds of cake, yellow cake for the base, and chocolate for the ball. When you ever see a ginormous baseball sitting on a graham cracker crumb sprinkled base at a baseball game, I'm not sure. Let's just say that some things are better left to the professionals. Although, Pumpkin definitely looked at it through Red Sox colored glasses as he proudly announced: "My Mom made that!"

{CD Jacket}

Coinciding perfectly with the start of Spring Training, this party was a fun way for Pumpkin and his friends to gear up for the coming season and begin sharpening their skills after a long winter. To fire them up even more, we put together a cd for each guest with a playlist of baseball-themed songs to listen to throughout the season, complete with a custom jacket to commemorate the party. See a copy of the playlist below. 

{CD inside jacket playlist}

The best part about this party for me (aside from Pumpkin and his friends had so much fun and the cake was eaten quickly, so there is very little physical evidence of it's existence) is that two years later, parents of the party guests still tell me all that they have the magazine cover thank you note tacked up on their fridge or they still listen and sing along to the cd in the car. I love that momentos of our parties linger on and the guests remember the good time that they had. That's what it's all about!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Hope yours was as fun as ours. There is a good deal of green in Peanut's outfit, by the way. I don't want you to think we didn't fully acknowledge the day. The green is just hidden by all that pink!  (otherwise known as her daily uniform)

Oh, and since it's in the photo and I've been meaning to show this to you, check out the ribbon wand I made for Peanut out of a bunch of Christmas scraps. That's right, scraps!

The plastic ring held a new scarf for Petunia and the ribbon came from wrapped packages, but was unable to be reused for a similar purpose because it is embossed with a store name. All too pretty and full of potential to be discarded, so we made a ribbon wand! I just looped the ribbon through itself and onto to the ring, securing the knots with a bit of glue and voila! - a ribbon wand. Peanut dances and runs and plays games and cuddles with it. I think it may be her most prized possession. Well, after the crown and tutu, of course. The girl does have her standards.

Éirinn go brách!


Monday, March 16, 2009


{Marsha with Sarah's Girls}

Here is your chance to WIN a Custom Party Package!

I am so excited to tell you about my good friend Sarah's participation in the Breast Cancer 3-day walk in Washington D.C. beginning on October 9th. Eager for a chance to help, Pumpkin Petunia is offering up a complete, custom party package worth up to $290 and you can enter to win just by making a donation to Sarah's cause! (details below) 

Here is what Sarah has to say about why she's walking:
I am walking in memory of Marsha Bassi and I wish I could express how Marsha touched my life. She was one of those special people that you meet that instantly becomes a long lost friend. Her humor and kindness pulled you in and she had a unique voice that I hear every time I think of her. She is gone now, on January 18, 2009, Marsha lost her battle with cancer. She leaves behind four daughters, and for that, my heart aches. I will be walking for Marsha in October, but also for Kendra, Jillian, Victoria and Rebecca.

Please support me as I take an amazing journey in the fight against breast cancer! The Breast Cancer 3-Day is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.
Between now and March 26th, make a donation to Sarah's fundraising efforts and you will be entered to win a Custom Designed Party Package from Pumpkin Petunia! Here are the details: 

Have a special birthday, baby shower, engagement party....any party coming up??? This raffle is for you!! Support Sarah in the fight against breast cancer with your donation. Any donation will enter you in the drawing for this wonderful package, but the more you donate, the more chances you have to win!!

Up for raffle is a fantastic Custom Designed Party Package from
Pumpkin Petunia!! This package consists of a base of 25 custom invitations and 25 thank you notes, along with 50 cupcake picks, 50 water bottle labels, 50 tags, 50 candy bags or if you prefer favors, seating cards, table numbers...it all depends on your party! Jo-Ann will work closely with you to put together the perfect package for your needs. This package has a value range of $240-$290!! Don't have any party needs right away?? No problem!! You have 18 months to redeem your package!

A great deal, right? So click on over to Sarah's Bosum Buddies Facebook Page for more information and to help spread the word, then head directly to her 3-day fundraising page to make your donation (be sure to reference Pumpkin Petunia in the notes to be entered to win). I'll be waiting right here to work with the winner in creating the party of their dreams. And knowing that it's all because they made a donation to help in the fight against breast cancer will make it all the more special.

Don't forget to pass this along! You wouldn't want your friends to miss out on this opportunity to help and great chance to win!

Friday, March 13, 2009


... and a sneak peek!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Living in the Boston area, St. Patrick's Day is a pretty big deal, so we always like to do a little something special to celebrate the day. An all-time favorite of ours since the preschool years (keep in mind that Pumpkin is now ten!) has been to hand out lucky pennies! This is honestly the simplest classroom handout you will ever do, but the kids get so excited that you would think you just handed them a nugget of gold.

The first step is to go to the bank and get some shiny new pennies. Over the years, my luck with the banks in my area have been mixed. Some years it's no problem at all, other years I have been told that they do not have any new pennies. No new pennies?!?!! How is this possible? I'm not sure, but if this happens to you as well, you can take the alternate route of cleaning some pennies yourself (go here for penny cleaning formula). If you clean them yourself, they will not be as shiny as if they were new, but the kids do not notice at all, so not to worry.

Once you have the pennies, you have already completed the most time-consuming part of this project! Simply download the design template here, print on the cardstock of your choice and cut as indicated. (Hint: the cards are 3X3 squares) Then attach the pennies to the cards using glue or double-sided tape and you're done! We usually put the cards in small glassine or cellophane envelopes to hand them out, but only because I tend to have those types of supplies on hand. The cards are perfectly fine to hand out as is.

Everyone can use a little extra luck now and again, so have fun with this quick and easy project and maybe as you're spreading some cheer, you'll find yourself a bit o' gold at the end of the rainbow this St. Patrick's Day.

Oh, and no shenanigans! OK, maybe a little...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Congratulations Wecare4much! You have won the Stationery Set giveaway! Just let me know the color and style you prefer, and the name, of course and I'll get the set printed right up for you and send it on it's way. Yay!!!

ETA: Sorry about the crazy fuzzy photo. Yikes!


I know, not exactly a ground breaking move. But hey, at least I'm there, right? So if you'd like to receive special offers and discounts, catch a sneak peek of new designs or share photos of your own parties and special events, become a fan today! Fans will also receive double entries to blog giveaways. This is especially great news as I have tons of great giveaways lined up from some awesome companies!

Become a fan now by clicking here and selecting "become a fan."

Don't forget to check back later today for the winner of the Stationery Set!

Friday, March 6, 2009


I am so thrilled to finally introduce the new Stationery Sets that have just been added to the shoppe today! Choose from any sport or hobby silhouette available in the shoppe, choose your color and provide a name and we will create a beautiful gift set sure to bring a smile to your face!

Each set includes 15 letter-sized sheets with 10 envelopes, 4 flat notecards with envelopes, 2 foldover notecards with envelopes, 6 bookplates, 20 dot stickers and 2 pencils beautifully packaged in a resealable cellophane bag. Phew! That's a lot of stuff.

Just in time for all those spring parties and events, the set is available for a great introductory price of $20. But what's even better than a great personalized gift at a great price? A giveaway!

Comment on this post which design you would like best on your Stationery Set and you will be entered to win. Want an extra chance to win? Post about this giveaway on your blog or website, link to it here, and you'll be entered twice! Giveaway will end Monday night (March 9th) at midnight EST and I will draw a lucky winner on Tuesday! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Doesn't hurt to ask.

{Orla Kiely pear shoulder bag via allaboutcute.com}

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Petunia has had a love of flip flops for as long as I can remember. When she turned four, we told her that she was old enough to start wearing them and to celebrate this milestone, she decided to have a Flip Flop Birthday Party! Since her birthday is in March and we live in New England, everyone was more than ready to start wearing flip flops. So the invitations were sent, pedicure appointments were scheduled and the whole family arrived sporting their flip flops (yes, there was snow on the ground).

This was such a fun and simple party to plan. The first order of business, of course, was the party girl's party dress. A quick search on ebay landed us with the perfect Lilly Pulitzer flip flop dress, new with tags!, at a great price. Once we had the dress, the party decor was easy; streamers in bright, spring colors and flowers cut out of flourescent-colored paper. Add a few lanterns and some paper cutouts of flip flops and you have yourself a party. 

I made a simple sphere floral arrangement from gerber daisies for the table and arranged some other small bunches of leftover daisies around the house. A variety of salads, including a killer chicken salad from the Nantucket Open House cookbook, were served in brightly colored beach pails and a huge fruit bouquet was served with dessert. 
The cake: a beach scene with flip flop candles, of course!

The palm tree was a cast off from a promotion at one of the aunties' or uncles' offices and the presents were stored in a small, inflatable pool. Simple simon and tons of fun!

Afterthought: I think everyone should take some time to revive pictures of old parties. This party was four years ago and I can hardly believe it has been that long. The little boy in the floral shirt, that's Pumpkin. He turned ten this year! It's so fun to relive these moments. And my house looks so different too (we change things a lot around here). That room in the last photo is now our dining room!

Monday, March 2, 2009


Gosh, I have so many things to share with you that I hardly know where to begin! This week, and likely part of next, will be devoted to spring celebrations. No matter that we just had a foot of snow dumped on us, all the more reason to start thinking about spring!

So let's kick off our spring celebrations with First Communions. I understand that this celebration is a very specific one that does not necessarily have mass appeal, but the truth is, I have First Communions on the brain right now as Petunia will be receiving hers this spring. Another reason I want to devote some time to First Communions is that, while it is a holy celebration to be sure, it's participants are small children. With all this in mind, I have worked hard to create invitations that are both fun and respectful of the occasion.

My absolute favorite First Communion design is this cross fashioned from baseball bats. How cute is this? And before you get all "Oh my, I'm not sure that's appropriate," you should know that these designs have been market tested over coffee with a group of women fondly known as the Church Ladies. This group of women, ranging in age from 65 to 87, attend a local church each and every day. We figured that if the design was alright with them, then it was alright with us, if not, the idea would be scrapped never to be heard from again. Well, their reaction surprised even us! At best, we were hoping for a lukewarm response of "I guess it would be OK", but what we got was resounding approval. They thought the design was "Wonderful!", and just for the reasons we hoped. Spurred on by the church ladies' approval, we came up with a hockey design as well.

Each of these designs is available in your choice of colors, including blue, green, pink, purple and teal. Coordinating thank you notes, cupcake picks, water bottle labels, favor bags and labels are also available. 

Not a sports fan? No worries. More traditional designs are also available.

To see the complete line of First Communion products, click here. Check back tomorrow for more spring party ideas and a quite possibly a giveaway!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Everything about this is absolute perfection. If this doesn't inspire you to plan a spring party, I don't know what will. {Karl Juengel photography via oh happy day!}