Wednesday, March 4, 2015

an American Girl - inspired birthday!

We celebrated our oldest daughter's 7th birthday on Valentine's Day with lots of pink and red!

I was so excited when Charley was open to celebrating her birthday with friends by going on a Girls Movie Date, followed by cake & ice cream, and then crafts. 

Typically, we host big birthday celebrations . . . which are a lot of fun, but can be a lot of work. I love hosting and 'celebrating big,' but I'm becoming a big fan of intimate gatherings . . . and simple & classic party designs. For me, that means inviting CLOSE friends and family, instead of inviting everyone under the sun . . . and having/making fewer and more simple/meaningful decorations.

Our Charley asked me for an American Girl inspired birthday this year. Her only firm request was that I make a "chocolate cake with chocolate frosting." Done. And done.

We had so much fun!

I played chauffeur for a group of little ladies who all brought their American Doll, or favorite doll, to join in the festivities. I smile every time I think about walking into the movie theater with them (and their dolls). They walked in arm and arm, giggling with excitement. For most of them, it was their first time going to the movies without their parents. So I can only imagine how exciting the whole thing was for them (smile!).

I gave each of the girls a pink purse in the movie theater to hold their very own movie treats; and then I collected them before the party ended so that I could fill them with party favors . . . American Girl Stickers & activity books, heart-shaped lollipops, and lots of Valentine treats.

We headed back to our house after the movies to craft and enjoy cake! 

The girls were welcomed with a 6-foot table that I filled with a variety of Valentine and American Girl crafts. They sipped on Shirley Temples in fancy glasses with pretty paper straws while they all designed their very own American Girl cupcake. 

These doll-size American Girl place settings are crazy adorable! The girls (and their dolls) loved them, too!

After lots of crafting, we gathered around our dining room table to sing Happy Birthday . . . and then the girls (and their dolls) ventured to the backyard for a picnic.

I made the cake topper using hand-made tissue paper pom poms, pearl pink candies, and 3-D American Girl stickers that Charley and I glued to cake pops sticks so that we could insert them into the top of the cake. 

Charley asked me to make a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting . . . and so I did!

I used my absolute favorite chocolate cake recipe to bake her cake. There are a lot of chocolate cake recipes out there, but this one is tops!

The recipe calls for a whopping 1 1/3 cup cocoa powder, which gives it a real chocolate flavor . . . the 5 eggs give it richness and a beautiful texture . . . and the buttermilk helps keeps it moist! It's truly an exceptional recipe!

And then I frosted her cake with a luxurious chocolate butter-cream frosting. I use Ina Garten's recipe, as I LOVE that her recipe calls for adding two kinds of REAL chocolate to flavor the frosting. It's so darn good!!

After hours of play, Charley's birthday celebration was finally done . . .

                and given her big smiles and happiness, I would say that her special day was a success!

Happy, Happy Birthday, Charley!
I love you, Mom

LET'S STAY in touch!
.      .      .      .      .

Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, It's Overflowing, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Baking in Pajamas, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary Day, I'm Not a Trophy Wife, Karen's Up on the HillThree Kids and a FishBetween Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Life With GarnishElizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticJanine HuldieCarolyn's Homework,  Fluster Buster   Designs by Miss Mandee,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to ours, Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrowThe Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid SimpleAnderson + Grant,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Pure Grace Farms A Dish of Daily Life, Bacon Time, Sunflower Supper Club, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with Curls


  1. Oh what a sweet party! Fun, but sophisticated. And I love all the shades of pink. The cake topper is super cute and that chocolate cake looks amazing!

  2. Okay, that cake is frosted perfectly. I need your secret! What a fun way to celebrate with a movie out. I love that.

  3. Oh how fun is this! I was a big American girl fan when I was little, so this sounds like the ultimate party! I love all the decorations, the deep shade of pink, and those cute cake toppers. I bet each guest felt so special, with their little purses and cupcakes. That cake sounds amazing too (pinning!). Fun, fun!

  4. Anonymous7:41 AM

    What a beautiful party. I am currently planning my daughter's birthday celebration and I love what you did!

  5. Wow!! What a pretty party!! Loving the chocolate cake! Those little doll cakes are just too cute! What a precious mom you are to make her birthday so special!! Come link up to centerpiece Wednesday I would love to highlight this party!!

  6. How cute is this! Your simple celebrations are elegant and have a very easy and relaxed feeling. Pink roses and chocolate cake are an awesome combo!

  7. How beautiful! Your decorations and cakes are so cute. Love it all! You're so talented and I'm sure this was a wonderful party for your little girl. Happy birthday to her!

  8. What an amazing mother you are! And your work is flawless!
    I would be honered and thrilled if you would stop by my blog and join the Something to Talk About weekly link party! We start at 6am on Monday's :)
    Have a lovely weekend!

  9. How adorable! I love your little felt cakes! How fun. I bet my daughter would love an American Girl party.

  10. You should get Birthday Party Mother of the Year! This party was so well planned with darling ideas, I can only imagine how much fun those little girls experienced. It may have been a smaller group, but with a movie, crafting, and celebrating with that gorgeous cake, you made it a full day. The faux cupcakes are adorable and so is the cake topper. Like I said, you win the prize!

  11. What a delightful party, I'm sure your daughter loved it. Those little plate settings are just adorable :-)

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  12. Lucky little lady! So pretty and wow, what a cake!

  13. I have to show this to my girls! The LOVE American girl dolls and I know that they are going to request this cake! Yum!

  14. Very cute party Suzanne! Monika

  15. I love the cake and decorations and crafts and can just imagine how much fun those girls had at the movies and playing afterwards! :)

  16. What a pretty party! The cake looks amazing, you can't go wrong with chocolate :)

  17. So cute Suzanne! I bet she loved it. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  18. Anonymous6:27 AM

    What a wonderful celebration, the cake looks so good! Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

  19. I really love this! Gives me lots of inspiration for my daughter's next birthday! I found you on Marvelous Mondays linkup :)

  20. Oh my word! This has got to be the cutest, funnest party ever! AND THAT CAKE! Wow! Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. Such a beautiful birthday party! Pinning it!

  22. That post should be titled as "some sweet things".


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