Tag Archives: Books

Huckleberry Finn First Birthday Party: Inspired by a children’s book

When planning a children’s party there are a lot of places to look for inspiration. Many come from popular movies or video game characters. But there are also themes that are less “in-your-face” too! Think about your child’s favorite toy, book, or outfit. It’s so fun and creative to take something like that and turn it into party décor and activities. For this first birthday party (which are a delight in and of themselves) I was inspired by a darling Huckleberry Finn board book.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic book, and in this BabyLit camping primer version there are such lovely illustrations and clever quotations from the real story by Mark Twain. Think rafts, clotheslines, fishing, and friends. So cute!

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When using something as inspiration, you don’t have to copy every last detail. For this party I used the following five elements from the book to create a festive put-together party without trying to match every detail:

• General campy feel of the book
• Colors and patterns from the illustrations
• Font used in the book
• Clothespins
• Rafts

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1. Campy Feel: Since the book is a camping primer (teaching kids about camping using a classic book), I wanted the party to feel kind of like you were on an outdoor adventure. So without going overboard, I made it feel like one. We grilled hotdogs and roasted s’mores, then stepped it up a notch with fancy toppings and food labels. I also simply held the party outside.

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2. Colors and Patterns: Using the colors and patterns from the book was probably the biggest element I pulled for the party. The colors are so great in this board book – reds, turquoise, olive, goldenrod, orange. It was perfect and great for an end-of-summer bash! I used the colors from the papers for favors and garlands. I had a blast picking out fun campy patterns too – like bandana, faux wood, and polka dot.

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3. Font: The font used in the book was fairly distinctive. All caps and funky. I purchased a cool font called “Press Style” that has a similar vibe to the book and used it to create the food labels, activity, and favors. (Printables coming later this week.) Throwing in a fabulous font is a great way to tie your party theme together.

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4. Clothespins: One of the pages in the book has a cute clothesline (where Huck Finn decides to borrow some clothes) and the clothespins on the line grabbed my attention. Ideas started flying and I ended up using clothespins to hang signs and make favors. I even got mini clothespins to construct the food labels. Who hasn’t wanted to buy mini clothespins? Now you have a reason. It was fun to take a simple element like this and brainstorm fun ideas.

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5. Raft: The raft page is really what hooked me on this darling book in the first place. I used the raft page as inspiration for the party activity. Get excited! I have a full ‘how to’ to share this week AND it doubles as a service project. Score!

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Stay tuned for the pictures from this real life party including “how tos” for the food, décor, favors, and activity. I hope you love it too and start thinking of out-of-the-box things you can use as party inspiration. Click for more Huckleberry Finn Party ideas.





flower arranging book
I love beautiful flower arrangements. So one day when I was at the local bookstore I bought this book: Jane Packer’s Guide to Flower Arranging. I’d never heard of her, but this book is amazing and full of gorgeous photos. Jane makes every arrangement look so easy and effortless. A bit above my skill level, it isn’t too intimidating and it’s perfect to take your florist and say, “I want that one.” Bonus, now I know the difference between a hand tied and a wired bridal bouquet. She even has classes in NYC. I think I need to take one this spring…





martha stewart encyclopedia
I must admit that I’ve wanted this book for a while: Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts. I’ve seen it a few times in passing and refrained from buying it. But while on {another} date with my husband to the book store recently, I gave in. Usually for book reviews on this blog I have read through the entire book. Honestly, I haven’t read this whole thing–it’s huge, over 400 pages. But since purchasing it, I have flipped through it many times, always giddy with excitement.

If Martha Stewart is going to do something, you know that she is going to do it well. And this book is no exception. For example, the entire book is organized in alphabetical order. Want to see half a dozen amazing wreaths? You know where to look. Interested in candlemaking? It’s in there too, under the letter “c.” Also, it includes Martha’s signature step-by-step instructions. And the photographs are gorgeous. They make me want to try everything. Really. It’s truly a delightful book and a great resource to have on hand. I know that I’ll be turning to it time and time again. I would definitely recommend this book.





Thanks for all of the entries! What a great turnout for my first giveaway. After reading all of your favorite cupcake flavors, I came up with a genius idea. I thought it would be so fun to pick a second winner to win a cupcake in a jar, my treat, from Bangerang Bake Shop. Originally on Etsy, I think it’s the first online place to sell cupcakes in a jar. Though I’ve known about it for quite a while, I’ve never tried a cupcake. But they look delish and there are tons of flavors, even red velvet with cream cheese frosting (who knew there was such a following?).
Winner #1 gets the Martha Stewart Cookbook: Harley said, “Just one cupcake flavor? Hmm… strawberry with cream cheese frosting :D If I could only pick one that is :)”
Winner #2 wins the plain jane in a party dress cupcake (or her choice) from Bangerang: Dawn G. said, “I love vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting-yum! My sister-in-law has this book and loves it.”

{the winners have been notified}
xoxo, Brittany





organic and chic coverLike many, I had long been awaiting the arrival of this cookbook: Organic and Chic. Sarah Magid’s website is simply elegant. It’s full of beautiful cakes that conjure up memories of magical tea parties. Her style is unique and pleasing to the eye. It brings me hope in a world saturated with “perfect” fondant cakes. And I was dying to find out how she colored her bright and whimsical frosting organically. So… while on a date with my husband at a book store, I tracked down “Organic and Chic” and my husband bought it for me. This was the full price book store, and this book was nearly $30. As I looked through the book (at the bookstore and again at home and again while on vacation) I always had the same reaction. Disappointment. It seemed to me that she just took regular recipes and then changed the ingredients to organic. Anyone can take Aunt Sally’s famous chocolate cake recipe and change “milk” to “organic milk.” There is nothing special here. And not one vegan recipe. Plus she unapologetically uses artificial fluorescent food coloring in everything. I must admit that I hate artificial coloring and I’m always trying to find new ways to color frosting naturally, while not driving my bakers crazy. I was really hoping for some new insight into this area, because organic cakes would logically be colored naturally, right? Right? I hope it’s not lame to say how I honestly feel, because I normally applaud any step toward organic living, but I wouldn’t recommend buying this book.





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