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April 01, 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


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