So I really meant to do this last week, when it would have actually made sense since I was showing you guys all the birthday party pictures and DIYs and jazz but then the week got crazy and it just didn’t happen. Instead, I’m giving them to you today. You know, just in case you have any birthday parties coming up. Or an inexplicable need to hang Happy Birthday signs from your window. I won’t judge you. I was actually sad when we took ours down because it made that little nook ever so festive.
For these, I printed out two of each page so I could have a front and back to each letter and glued the two sides together. Then I used a hole punch and twine to tie them together. I also used these exact same printables for the garland hanging across the fireplace, so you can use these either vertically or horizontally. The garland shown above says “Happy Birthday Caitlin and Megan” but if you want a similar look with multiple vertical garlands, you can just print out the say “Happy Birthday Happy Birthday.” Or something.
I really liked how these little placecards turned out, even though I made them last minute. I’m including the pdf for these (without text) as well. I like them because they are kind of messy looking, so I think they would look just great with the food dish handwritten as they do with the printed text. Well not my handwriting, because it is awful. But I’m sure y’alls is better.
As the younger sister, I spent a large part of my life looking up to Megan and even emulating her. Those pink plaid bell bottoms that I wore in 6th grade were only worn in attempt to be as cool as my high school sister, and I’ll bet you wouldn’t be able to tell us apart on the phone if you tried. She was always an incredible role model, inspiring me to be a better person and to be kind and thoughtful when I could. I am so lucky to have her. Happy Birthday to the best big sister ever!
See? She’ll even give you her favorite stick. I seem to be discussing something very important with that girl but she seems much more concerned about her eye.
Oh, and also, there’s cake! Megan requested this delightful vanilla cake with strawberry frosting for the party. I was feeling really proud of myself. I buttered and floured the pans (not really sure if I was doing it correctly, but I did it) and remembered to leave out the butter for softening, and despite having to pick out some dropped eggshells from the batter I pretty much baked the cake correctly. Unlike last time. I guess I was just getting cocky, because I forgot to leave the cream cheese out for the frosting, with a slightly lumpy result. Megan actually assembled the layers while I was out playing with streamers, as she is really much better at that stuff anyway. Regardless of any lumpiness or unevenness, it turned out delicious. I was cutting pieces and putting them on plates for people – wedding style – and those plates just kept disappearing. That thing was pretty large and it was just about gone after 15 minutes. So I guess the people like it.
- 2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature (whoops)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
- 3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
- 3 cup cake flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 cup sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 7 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 6 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup seedless strawberry jam
- 2 1/4 lbs strawberries, sliced, divided (yah we didn’t use nearly this many)
For the cake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans (they used two 9-inch rectangular cake pans but I wanted it to be round). In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add vanilla and sour cream and beat for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture in three additions, beating after each addition. Divide batter into pans.
Bake cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and cool for 10 minutes. The recipe said 50-60 minutes, but mine were done by about 42 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges and the turn cakes onto rack to finish cooling. I refrigerated mine overnight before assembling.
For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in sugar and then jam. Beat cream in separate bowl, chilled, until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into frosting. Cover and chill until it’s firm enough to spread.
Place one layer upside down, spread a small layer of jam, followed by a small layer of frosting, covered in chopped strawberries. Repeat for the second layer. Place the top layer right side up. Cover the sides and top evenly with the rest of the frosting.
Here is the free printable for the little watercolor birthday signs I made. Just print, cut out, and glue onto a pie pop stick.
Since Pete and Sarah’s rehearsal dinner had an irish theme, Megan wanted the paper products to have some sort of irish symbol, potentially in the form of a gaelic knot. I found this gaelic knot paintbrush that seemed perfect for the place cards that we paired with an irish font requested by Pete’s mom Susan. For the table numbers we thought it might be better to go with the same wreath paintbrush from the lovely Besotted Blog that I used for the Thanksgiving printables instead of another gaelic knot because we didn’t want it too literal (i.e., all of the irish things everywhere). I think they turned out quite lovely, particularly with a touch of lavender. I’ve included the pdfs for the blank place cards and table numbers (1-8) for you guys to print for free just in case you have any irish festivities coming up.
In one of the pictures that inspired Meg’s Illuminated Canvas post, there was a pretty black graphic print. I liked it so much that I figured I would go ahead and make one too. You see, I am trying to keep my Christmas decorations relatively low key this year because we just (literally, last night) put in an offer on a house and if all goes well my schedule could be pretty hectic over the next month or so. An easy framed print seemed to be more my speed since my decorating can’t be quite as involved as Megan’s (and let’s face it – whose is?). I’ve always loved “The Night Before Christmas” and this quote makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Can’t you just see Santa flying his sleigh? We had this fantastic pop up book of the story that has been loved to pieces, and I can still envision every single page.
I made mine for the awkward size that is Ikea frames, but I resized it for a little larger than 8 x 10 so you guys can print on 8.5 x 11 card stock and fit them into any 8 x 10 frames you have laying around the house. If you aren’t crazy about your frame as is, I highly recommend spraying with gold spray paint. Because there just can’t be enough gold. There is also a white and green version just in case you don’t want to use all of the black ink in your entire printer. Editor’s note: Colleen is totally exaggerating. You will not use all the ink in your printer so don’t be nervous.