Tag Archives: birthday

A Lumberjack Birthday Party for Moose

A Lumberjack Birthday Party
If there’s anything that makes my heart pitter-patter, it’s a good theme party. (Besides you, dear husband.)

And it’s been far too long since I’ve thrown one.

The reason you haven’t heard from me in the last week is I was busy planning a Lumberjack Party to celebrate Moose’s birthday with friends. TIIIIMBER!!!!

Today I’ll share decorations and I’ll follow-up with a post on the Lumberjack Dinner Party menu.

This was the largest sit-down dinner party we’ve had in this house so far – our new record to beat is 11 people at our dining room table.

For a general theme I was shooting for woodsy, rugged fun!

Every good party centers around food. So the dining room was the first place I started.

A Lumberjack Birthday Party

Instead of a formal, fancy centerpiece, I created a meandering trail of center “items”.

Some of those things included: Ikea Lanterns + pinecones, my Coffee Can Centerpiece with Rhody leaves, green wine bottles with red berries (Michael’s), white candlesticks and birch tree tealight holders (from my Mom – borrowing is a beautiful thing).

I laid down 2 yards of green buffalo plaid flannel from Joann Fabrics as a runner.

A Lumberjack Birthday Party

For the place settings I used woven chargers (Pier 1) with my yellow everyday dishes and red napkins.
The adorable mason jar glasses were favors from my cousin’s wedding. The heart is made from chalkboard paper! I added some adorable red striped straws that I bought from Amazon a while ago.
You know I love a good before and after photo:
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
The sideboard in the dining room was where the “Toppings Bar” was located:
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
The Nearly No-Sew Autumn Bunting has been hanging there since the fall, and the “runner” was made of plaid wrapping paper from the Dollar Store.
I added some natural colored raffia (to look like wood shavings) and pinecones.
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
I should just write my Mom’s name all over this post. The hilariously appropriate “Got Moose?” napkins were also a gift from her! She found them at Marshall’s.
She was a key part of this party theme coming together!
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
Of course the graphic designer inside of me couldn’t help myself.
I made labels for all the toppings and desserts and stuck them with toothpicks.
I used the font “Tall, Dark and Handsome” for all print materials for the party. It’s a free download from DaFont.
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
I moved the Front Porch Desk inside to hold the desserts.
The “Timber!” sign was made from wrapping paper and drawn on with chalk. I also strung red and black streamers throughout the house (also from the Dollar Store).
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
The ADORABLE cake stand was borrowed from my friend Heidi. She had the cutest “gnome” birthday party and lent it to me!A Lumberjack Birthday Party
For the “S’mores-on-a-Stick” holder I put my dear Moose birthday boy to work.
I chose a perfectly shaped log from our stockpile and he drilled dozens of holes in it to place the s’more sticks in.
A Lumberjack Birthday PartyA Lumberjack Birthday Party          A Lumberjack Birthday Party
And… I couldn’t help myself. I made more cupcake flags.
They had woodsy phrases on them, like: “Hey There Lumberjack”, “Moose”, “Timber” and “Happy Birthday”.
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
In the hallway I hung the remainder of the red plaid wrapping paper and made a little photo station. I bought some felt rectangles from Joann Fabrics and cut out beards and mustaches.
How can one be a Lumberjack without a massive amount of grizzly facial hair?
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
And of course there was lots of plaid, flannel, Carhartt and Lumberjack Hats to be had.
Don’t mind the cut-off heads.

A Lumberjack Birthday Party

For the mantle I used some wooden trees (borrowed from my Mom – so I don’t know where they are from, sorry!), built a few log cabins out of Lincoln Logs and added raffia and pinecones.

A Lumberjack Birthday Party

The bunting is the same I used at Christmas. It’s made from burlap.
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
PHEW! That was a lot of photographs!
We had an AWESOME time with friends. Happy Birthday Moose!
I’ll be back later with food details – YUM, YUM, YUM!

Oven Problems & Microwave Cakes


I have this thing where I can’t bring myself to buy store-bought desserts.

I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t do it.

Usually this is a good thing – I don’t buy them so I don’t eat them.

But it was somebody’s birthday recently

And, of course, our oven chose to die. And I mean croak. 20-minutes-later-the-frozen-pizza-is-still-frozen kind of dead.

To eliminate confusion: this is not an after photo. Just re-using photos here people!

The oven breaking was unfortunate for a few reasons:

  1. It was actually kind of new and the only working appliance that came with the house
  2. We were hoping to sell it on Craigslist and make a few pennies
  3. We weren’t planning on buying a new oven right now.

Such is life. Certainly such is the renovating life.

Anyways, back to the topic of cake. Specifically, birthday cake.

I “pinned” this recipe from Taste of Home ages ago for Moose’s b-day and bummed when I thought I couldn’t make it anymore. (There are bits of chocolate cake in one of the trifle layers – hence the oven problem.)


Welp, I have officially made “microwaved cake”. It wasn’t bad. Not great, but not bad.

We are now in search-mode for our next oven. But, like most of our projects, we are presented with a bevy of issues we inherited with the house.

I am pretty sure they built this entire kitchen around the stove.

Seriously. The oven fits quite snugly between the window molding and the cabinets.

More importantly, we are extremely constricted in our stove options due to the height we need the oven door handle to be. It has to be tall enough for the drawer to open underneath it. If we decide to go with the double oven or a warming drawer that has a handle we also need the handle to be relatively flat, so the cabinet door can open easily.

Also, if we end up choosing a gas stove (which we both prefer to cook with) we will need to run a gas line across our basement – adding cost to our project.

Ideally, we’ll end up with something like this:

(The Sprite sign is random, but one can only justify spending a minimal amount of time photoshopping their own kitchen photos.)

We will build an endcap on the left-hand of the stove and maybe some funky non-flammable and easily wipeable artwork.

Due to our handle restrictions, right now we are leaning towards the fancy double stoves (and no! not just because they are swoon-worthy to a baker like me!), because the top handle are more likely to give us the height clearance we need.

Until then, I’m not baking a single thing. : )

And before I forget – a note on switching from a wall-mounted microwave to a hood:

So far I love it. Our microwave was mounted really low, so it’s nice being about to see into the pots on the back burner. While we eventually will put a small microwave in our pantry, the old clunker is downstairs on the basement workbench.

I’ve discovered the main reasons I use the microwave are to reheat my coffee and melt butter. Now I’m just trying to drink my coffee faster, and a little less butter never hurt anybody!

What kind of stove do you have? Any recommendations?

Happy Birthday.


Happy Birthday to me and Happy Birthday to Withywindle.

I just so happened to start Withywindle on my birthday last year.

You see, I’ve always been a writer.


I wrote short stories as a kid. I didn’t want to be a princess. I didn’t want to be a ballerina, or a marine biologist or a movie star. I wanted to write and illustrate books. In kindergarten we had to draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up. I drew a lady holding a book with the word “authir” next to it.

(Although, a year later, according to the first grade yearbook, I had changed my mind and wanted to become a Mary Kay.)

I was the Features Editor of my high school newspaper and the Editor-in-Chief of my college newspaper. I have a degree in writing. My first job was at a magazine. And, as you may know, I read like a fiend. The concept of Word is inescapable to me.


After I graduated from college, I followed my passion for graphic design and that is where my professional life has taken me.

A little over a year ago I ran into an old newspaper friend at the library (the social scene for logophiles).

“What are you writing these days?” he asked. Surprised at myself, I had to tell him I was writing nothing. In fact, I couldn’t remember writing anything notable in the two years since my senior thesis paper.

He shook his head. “That’s not good,” he said, “You have to keep with your writing.” I agreed.

That night I went home and started Withywindle. Something I never really intended to do, but I can’t journal consistently. I’ll journal every day for three months and then I won’t pick it up again for a year.

I published my first post on my 25th birthday. Since then I’ve been so blessed with support, encouragement and readers. If you are reading this – thank you!

Now if only it were socially acceptable for me to dress like this on my birthday….


Happy Birthday Withywindle. And Happy Birthday to me.

A (Grown Up) Princess Birthday Party

One of my best friends, Abs, celebrated her Princess Birthday recently (Princess birthday = turning the number of years as the day you were born, ex: 24 years old on the 24th.) Neither of us believe you’re ever too old for birthday parties, so we celebrated.

1. “Tiara” cake – Funfetti with caramel frosting
2. Royal Jewels candy
3. “Scepter” wands – Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
4. Polka Dot Dessert plates (from my Mom, Dot)
5. “Fairy Cocoamother”
6. “Who’s the fairest one of all?”
7. “Enchanted” Fudge
8. Golden Spun Ribbon
9. These marshmallows were DELICIOUS!