The Everyday Occasions Store:
tour of our home
browse my SUMMER recipes
Shop the store
the everyday occasions store
ribbon Pink Bakery boxes
kitchen brush set
summer sugar cookies
IMG5 IMG8365
linens kitchen
summer collection enamelware
hydrangea cupcakes linens
IMG3135 IMG9178
linens blue & white containers
summer essentials
clean bottles collection
baking sheets & parchment
herb pots
platter collection
kitchen essentials
baking supplies
m78 m79
baking supplies bread board collection
linen storage ideas
m88 IMG8861
Baking pantry house & home details
IMG6260 IMG0728
summer packaging favorites Summer Recipes

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Surprise Birthday Party for Joy | Spring Flowers & Lemony Cake

My Mother-In-Law, Joy, had a milestone birthday last week (as I mentioned in my Lemon Meringue Cupcake post) and all of the kids planned a surprise party for her.  I don't get to do too many hands-on events anymore since I hung up my event planner apron 3 years ago, so always jump at the chance to have some party planning fun.  I was in charge of all of the pretty stuff - invitations, flowers and cake. 

I did all of the prep the morning of the party and kept it all simple and fun.  Mike and Emma when to the flower market in the morning with me and we bought everything that was yellow, white, springy and smelled good.

Daffodils.  Of course.

White peonies with yellow centers.  Sigh.

Perfect lemony renunculous. 

White hyacinth.

Parrot tulips.

When I'm making multiple arrangements, I start by dividing up all of the flowers amongst the vases so I know what I'm working with.

I love putting the really pretty flowers in single vases - makes them stand out.

Some arrangements starting to take shape.  I like using the peony leaves - great shape and texture.

I used hydrangeas to fill out the large bouquet.

 Now, on to the cake.  I used just a bit of organic lemon extract to make the buttercream a little lemony.

This was my first time making real Swiss Buttercream.  It is now my new obsession.  I'll do an entire post dedicated to the method and recipe soon.  So creamy and luscious. 

Was going for the color of creamy butter.

I made the cakes the night before and put them in the freezer.

Cut each layer in half - to have a four layer base.

Used a large piping bag to make the icing application easier. 

Fast forward to the party set-up.  I started running a little low on time, so I had to forget the camera for a little while.

Here is one of the larger flower arrangements.  In the willow wrapped vases (soon to be re-stocked!).

I printed a photo of Joy from her younger years with "Joy" script that matched the invitation.

I lined the envelops with gold polk-a-dot paper.  I designed the invitations - they were printed on Paper-Source lux cream paper.

I used Gold Celebration Candles on top of the yellow cake - and filled in all of my imperfects with flowers : )

Here is one of the other smaller arrangements - love the ferny looking filling... but can't remember the name!

Happy Birthday Joy!

We had the party at a restaurant owned by one of Joy's friends called Vivilore.   I wanted to show a couple of photos of the restaurant, too - they've done such a beautiful job decorating.  It is a real find in KC.

It is very "Restoration Hardware" meets fine European antiques feeling.


  1. Jenny all your arrangements were beautiful. Could you tell me what flower market you go to?

  2. Absolutely beautiful, you did a fantastic job! Happy Birthday to Joy, you can really see Mike's resemblance in the lovely photo!

  3. Stunning . . . loved the flower arrangements in the different vases. I'd love to know the Flower Market name too. Wonderful mix of flowers. One of my favorite things to do. Gather my vases together and gather my flowers, leaves, vines, stalks and then begin the "playing!" I recently did just that for a baby shower. A little girl and I concentrated on lime green, pink, white and pussy willows . . . great fun indeed!

  4. Oh, how beautiful! I turn 60 in June! Hint! Hint! Lol...

  5. Do you put the cakes in the freezer because it makes frosting them easier??

  6. The centerpieces are beautiful

  7. Jenny,
    What a beautiful party. The invitation, cake and flowers are wonderful. Your MIL undoubtedly felt very special on her milestone birthday.

  8. Thank you for sharing ! I live in London and would like to place an order from your store.Do you ship abroad and if so what is the rate please Thank you


home entertaining and ifestyle expert
join the
The Everyday Occasions Store: IMG1667 ribbon m12 Pink Bakery boxes IMG9415 linens IMG0864 kitchen IMG0153 summer collection IMG3148 enamelware IMG0170 platter collection pastry bag roll of 100 IMG8499 m85 bread board collection LogoBlack2 m31 IMG9619 home m6 IMG8992 recipe m66 SummerIndex1