Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This past weekend was filled with celebration for my family. My niece and nephew graduated from High School and we went all out for a great party (more to come on that later this week or early next). But while we had the extended family together, we also wanted to recognize a milestone birthday that my mother has coming up this week. Simply having a cake and singing Happy Birthday did not seem grand enough to mark the occasion; we needed something more to make the moment extra special. Here's what we did. 

I made up buttons as pictured above using this lovely photograph of my mother on her wedding day (searched high and low to no avail for her graduation picture - how perfect would that have been?) and hid the buttons away. Just before we were to present the cake, we called all family and friends together and gave them a button to wear. When my mother was called into the room, she was greeted with everyone wearing the buttons and was presented with one for her to wear as we all sang Happy Birthday. This small and simple gesture of wearing the buttons really made that moment extra special and marked the occasion of her birthday in a very memorable way. Just another example of how it's the little things, those extra little details, that make all the difference.

Oh and by the way, you'll be hearing lots more about buttons and badges. It's my new obsession. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 22, 2009


LOVE the dresses and then I would have a reason to buy these shoes:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This week has been very exciting here at Pumpkin Petunia! While busy preparing for a big family celebration this weekend (which is exciting in and of itself), two of my favorite daily reads featured my July 4th Bike Parade!

Ohdeedoh, part of the Apartment Therapy network, is featuring the parade as part of their great outdoors series. (so exciting!)

And Sara Hicks Malone, former art director for none other than Martha Stewart Baby and Kids Magazines, featured the parade on her beautiful blog Party Perfect. Sara has also previously featured the Wii Bowling Party. Thanks Sara!

I am thrilled to be recognized by two sites that I truly admire. And if you haven't visited Ohdeedoh or Party Perfect yet, what are you waiting for? Click over there!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Summer starts today for my crew (at exactly t-minus a couple of hours!). Sadly, mother nature did not get that memo as I'm wearing a sweatshirt right now and am about to put on some socks. So I whipped up this banner to help set the mood. I'm hoping the sun peeks out to get a better look at my festive creation. At the very least, it will greet the kids as they arrive home and put them in a summer mood despite the gloomy weather. 

Want to help spread the summer love? Download your copy of my Summer Beach Ball Banner below. (Just click on More and select Save or Print.)

If you would like a birthday version of the Beach Ball Banner, email me and I will create one for download, as well.

Beach Ball Banner Beach Ball Banner pumpkinpetunia


P.S. Scribd is not allowing me to link to this in my usual way so if you have problems downloading, please let me know!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Peanut and I have been thinking a lot about the celebration of her third birthday this August. A lot. She has dug in her heels and decided upon a Pretty Dress Party and no mention of bubbles and swimsuits and the fact that the party will be by a pool will sway her. So a Pretty Dress Party it is! But this leaves the color palette wide open ("I love all colors, Mama.") and to be honest, while thinking about the Pretty Dress Party, I've lacked a bit of inspiration - until now. One look at this summer color palette from crewcuts was all I needed. Isn't it lovely?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Graduation Cupcakes from Hello Cupcake

We know we have the invitations and party accessories under control, but there's more to life than party decor. And by more, I mean food and gifts! So here is a quick round up of some fun ideas from around the web, starting with these fun cupcakes from Hello Cupcake.

Candy Cup Graduation Caps from Bakerella

Bakerella never fails to come up with something fun and fabulous. Added bonus, these candy cup caps appear to be quick and easy to make!

These mortar board and tassel place settings from  Craftparty were done for a Kindergarten graduation (how cute is that?!), but would be great for a family graduation dinner for graduates of all ages!


Book of Money from Martha Stewart

When I think graduation gift, I usually think money - but it's a tad boring, right? (well, maybe not to the recipient).  This book of money from Martha Stewart puts an end to that! The book pictured was done for the holidays, but what could be more perfect for the graduate? You could design the book cover as a yearbook, a journal or a mock self-help book entitled: "How to Make One Hundred Dollars in One Easy Step" then the inside page could read "Graduate!" Come to think of it, that's a great idea for my nephew. Shhhhh.....don't tell. I'm fairly certain he doesn't read this blog. ; )

Flower and Bead necklace by JodiL

This necklace by JodiL is reminiscent of the wooden bead necklaces your graduate surely made all those years ago in preschool updated in a playful and chic way. A really fun and thoughtful gift to remind the graduate how far she has come and where she is going as she takes this next leap. Plus, it's really cute!

I have been obsessed with the Feed Your Soul project at indie fixx and when I saw this beautiful print by Valentina Ramos, I immediately fell in love.  You Deserve to Have Your Dreams Come True is the perfect message with which to send a graduate off into the world. Placed in a simple frame, this would make a really personal and meaningful gift. And guess what? The print is free! Available in three color ways from the Feed Your Soul project, you can download this print (and many others) to print at home. How perfect is that?

I happen to have two big graduations in my life this year and I've been going all out! Next week I'll give you a peek of what I've been working on.


A quick reminder to become a fan of Pumpkin Petunia on facebook. You'll receive special fan-only discounts and promotions and double entries for giveaways. So don't delay; a chance to take advantage of these benefits may be just around the corner! {wink, wink}

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

THEME CAKES MADE EASY has a beautiful cake gallery with designs to suit a variety of themes. But what makes this gallery stand out is that they use common candies and products to produce truly professional looking cakes.  

I love these diagrams they provide of each cake, along with a comprehensive tutorial. You can find the tutorial for the shark cake here. (Buffett fans take notice!)

The face is a sugar cookie! Brilliant!

 has a beautiful cake gallery to suit a variety of themes. But what makes this gallery stand out is that they use common candies and products to produce truly professional looking cakes. 

Be sure to check out the whole gallery for more great designs. And while we're talking about cakes, here's a great idea from Real Simple for simplifying the serving of ice cream at parties. Perfect for summer parties where the ice cream tends to melt quickly! 

From Real Simple:
To prevent a sticky situation, start scooping before the party starts. Place individual scoops in a cupcake tin lined with paper baking cups and transfer the tray to the freezer for up to several hours. After the cake is cut, remove the scoops from the paper baking cups (or not) and drop them onto the waiting plates.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Some fabric that I ordered arrived today. I must have been in a very cheery mood while making the purchase because it seems very bright for this cloudy day. Oh, that's right, Petunia was hovering over me giving opinions. So now that it's here, what should I make?

All suggestions appreciated.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


One of our favorite party traditions is our annual bike parade to celebrate Independence Day. This tradition started one year when Pumpkin was in preschool. He was so distraught that we had to miss our town's celebration that we decided to plan our own. It was such a success that we held this event each year until Pumpkin and Petunia thought that they were too "old" to play. The good news is that Peanut will be riding a bike soon, so we can pick up our annual bike parades right where we left off. I am SO excited. 

The photos used here are from our 2005 Bike Parade just because the kids are so little and cute and I love seeing photos of them as preschoolers. Of course, I was just snapping photos for memory's sake at the time so the party isn't documented perfectly, but I think you'll get a good sense of the spirit of the occasion and I'll get a chance to walk down memory lane.

The invitation for the bike parade really sets the tone for the event. We live on a small, quiet street, so we always hold the parade right at home, but a local park would be the perfect location for this celebration. I like to note on the invite that we will provide streamers and balloons and such to decorate the bikes but parents usually arrive with decorations of their own to share as well. 

This particular year, one parent brought crown templates that she cut out of card stock large enough to fit around the children's helmets! I absolutely loved this idea and we used it every year after.

Once all the children arrive, we get right to embellishing the bikes in preparation for the big parade. As you can see, the moms enjoy this part just as much as the kids! Supplies to have on hand are red, white and blue streamers and ribbons, foam letters and stars to attach to card stock license plates, mini flags, balloons, shiny star garlands and some tape. Just take care to insure that the streamers and ribbons are attached firmly to the bike and do not hang down to interfere with pedals and wheel spokes and such.

Once the bikes are all decked out, it's time for lunch!  We just spread out a few tablecloths on the lawn and have one big picnic.

Food for this event is beyond easy. I provide an assortment of star-shaped sandwiches and skewers of red, white and blue fruit kabobs (strawberries, apples, bananas and blueberries are perfect) and the other moms usually bring a few snacks to share as well.

After lunch, it's time for the main event. The bike parade! 

The children put on their decked out helmets...

Jump on their patriotically adorned bikes...

And hit the road!

But I haven't told you the best part yet.
What would a parade be without music? And not just any music. That's right, we break out the bagpipes for this event!

No, not actual bagpipes played live at the parade (although, how cool would that be?). We fire up the ipod and speakers and blast the pipes as the children ride in formation up and down the street, neighbors on their doorsteps clapping and cheering as the procession passes. (Oh how I wish I had video of the big ride that could be uploaded here. You just don't get the full fabulous effect with a photo!)

After several laps up and down the street, the bikes are parked and red, white and blue rocket pops are enjoyed by all as they pose for one final photo in front of the flag. (The same photo in the same spot was taken year after year. I now feel the urge to display all these photos together this year as part of our July 4th decorations. I'll post back with what I come up with.)

I think I'll get Peanut on her tricycle tomorrow. Maybe we can beef up the pedals so she can reach - just in time for the 4th!

Note: The top photo is a shot of some indoor decorations that we always hang just in case party guests need to go inside. An abundance of these folded stars make a big impact and are easy as pie to make. Simple instructions found here.


In honor of my father's birthday and all of my cake decorating debacles that amused him so much (scroll down here to see one of many), I thought I would share the most perfect cake frosting tutorial. This is the only frosting tutorial I have ever seen that made me feel that I could actually frost the perfect cake and it's brought to you by one of my favorite blogs: giverslog.

Here is the tutorial supply list. You’ll need:
—batter for one cake and pans of your choice (homemade cake is usually denser and holds up well under frosting, but cake mixes work too)
—parchment paper and a paper towel
—a pastry bag and tip, if possible, for laying the frosting on the cake (see the cake icer tip below)
—a recipe of buttercream frosting of a thinner consistency, about as thin and spreadable as butter at room temperature

Now head on over to giverslog and learn how to frost the perfect cake - no crumbs!

Happy Birthday Dad. Love You and Miss You. ♥

Monday, June 1, 2009


Sung by Peanut as she sat playing.

"My whole world. I really love it.
Home with my mom.
I'm so proud.
I just wanted to see who gooes there.
It was Mama, every single word." 

I love that girl.