2 Places to Shop Sustainable Party Supplies – Great for Weddings Too!

Upcycled Birthday Banner – $64.95 from Green Planet Parties!

Hello there! At Make A Birthday Wish we try to do our part by sharing  DIY, healthy, and sustainable ideas for

everything from planning daily lunches to your families birthday parties and celebrations. Today we’ve got two great places to shop for sustainable, fair trade, and eco-friendly party supplies that are perfect for your next birthday, anniversary, or even wedding! Each site features handmade goods and supplies made from eco-friendly materials. And in case you are wondering, does going green mean you have to sacrifice style? Not at all. Check out some of our favorite goods from each site!

Green Planet Parties – The goods on this site are more suited to birthdays, but ther eare still lots of ideas for other celebrations as well. We especially love this recycled burlap birthday banner loaded with crafty rustic charm!

 

 

The other place to shop sustainable party supplies both online and in some Whole Foods Stores is:

Susty Party – They have so many options for cups, plates, straws, napkins, and party kits available in some well-designed prints and colors. Their cups are now being carried in select Whole Foods Stores! Check out these whimsical compostable paper straws?

Susty Party Paper Straws – $6.99 per Pack of 50.

And how about these cups you can find in Whole Foods? Love the prints, and these are completely non-toxic, compostable, and manufactured with 75% blind labor in partnership with Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Clovernook is a non-profit that aims to empower people who are visually impaired. How awesome is that?

10 oz Compostable Cups by Susty Party- $4.99 per pack of 12.

Do you try to make smart choices that are good for people and planet when planning your events?

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Valentines Day Ideas for Single Gals & Guys

As you may have noticed we didn’t post on Tuesday and Thursday like we normally do. We’ve decided to shake things up a little and just post once a week. So look for new posts full of great tutorials, recipes, and party planning essentials on Fridays!

Last week we posted recipes and gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. But not everyone thinks Valentines Day is that great… especially if they are not seeing somebody. But remember it’s a day to show the people you love how much you love them. So forget having a boyfriend or girlfriend and celebrate with friends or family instead. Here are some great ideas from around the web for celebrating and gifting on Valentines Day, even if you don’t have a boo!

Single Ladies Valentine’s Day Brunch – this tutorial from Design Love Fest is amazing. Heart-shaped waffles with prosciutto? Yum! She even gives tips on how to set the table and a “single ladies” playlist to play while you and your friends nosh away on a delicious brunch. This recipe and idea would honestly be great for a girls birthday party! Check out the tutorial and the blog.

Image & tutorial from Design Love Fest.

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas for the Single & Unattached – This collection of ideas from Lovely Undergrad is great! We love the ideas of manis/pedis on Valentine’s Day! Check out her list if you are in a new relationship too!

Image from paulie-nka.

More Ideas for Single Ladies – Jenesequa has even more ideas for girls that want to celebrate without a guy. Some require you to be 21, but the ideas could easily be adapted for younger girls too. Maybe your daughter and her friends could get together and host a sparkling drink tasting party instead of a wine party, or have a little co-ed get together? Either way, younger or older, these ideas are perfect for Valentine’s Day or any special girls night out (like birthdays! 🙂 ).

 

Image from Jenesequa.

Are you doing anything special for Valentine’s Day?

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3 Free Party Planning Resources

Planning a party big or small can be overwhelming. From the food to the decorations to the activities… there are a lot of aspects to cover. Today we’ve gathered some resources to help you keep organized while your plotting the details of your next soiree!

Party Planning Checklist by Handmade Charlotte. How cute is this printable?

Party Planning Checklist by Handmade Charlotte

Kids Birthday Party Planning Checklist by Catch My Party. This handy list is great if you are planning a party for your little one!

Kids’ Birthday Party Checklist by Catch My Party

Birthday Party Printables by delicateCONSTRUCTION. These four printables will have all your party prep bases covered.

Printables by delicateCONSTRUCTION.

Do you make a checklist when you are planning a party?

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3 Healthier Ways To Indulge In Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!

Who doesn’t love cookie dough? We will fess up to having cleaned a spoon or two that was covered in the stuff. It is so sweet, so comforting, and guess what it doesn’t have to be so unhealthy! Today we’ve got 3 recipes to share with you that offer healthier ways to indulge your cookie dough craving. These treats would be great for parties or girls night, or even just good treats for your kids!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt – this glorious recipe comes from The Suburban Girl Gone Country and has been circulating Pinterest boards! We tried it out and it really does taste like cookie dough (different texture but similar taste). We used unsweetened plain soy yogurt and a little stevia in place of Greek yogurt. This would make a great snack for kids, especially if you are trying to get them to enjoy yogurt (and get their calcium)!

Image & Recipe by The Suburban Girl Gone Country

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Truffles – These truffles from Chef Chloe are less sinful then traditional cookie dough. She omits eggs and uses vegan margarine. But we’d be interested to try using yogurt or apple sauce for part of the margarine to cut back on fat. The best part about this recipe… you can control your portions by just having one (OK maybe two) truffle(s) at a time.

Vegan Cookie Dough Truffles – Image & Recipe from Chef Chloe

Healthy Cookie Dough Dip – You won’t believe the secret ingredient in this dip… and neither will your friends. This dip is gluten free, high in protein, and can easily be made sugar free & vegan! Make up a batch and indulge mostly guilt free… we promise you won’t regret it!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dip – Recipe & Image from Chocolate Covered Katie

Are you a cookie dough fanatic? If so let us know what you think of these recipes!

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Happy New Year! Looking Back to the Best of 2012!

Image from the Huffington Post.

Happy New Year to all our readers and supporters out there! It was a fantastic year in 2012, we were able to help bring joy and relief to hundreds of kids in San Jose during their birthday months. And in 2013 we hope to reach even more :). With 2012 behind us it is important to reflect back on what was good, so today we have our top 5 posts from this past year! You guys really like to craft don’t you ;)!

Make A Birthday Wishes Top 5 Posts in 2012:

  1. DIY Decorations: Paper Stars – A great tutorial for handmade paper stars perfect for a party or just because!
  2. DIY Party Decorations: Pennant Banner – Both fabric and paper options abound in this post!
  3. DIY Owl Crafts: Part 1 – Seriously adorable owl crafts at a variety of difficulty levels! Who doesn’t love owls?
  4. DIY Crafts: Button Bracelets – So simple and so cute. These make great little gifts or packaging additions.
  5. 3 Party Favor Packing Ideas We Love – And apparently you love these unique ideas too!

What was your favorite post this past year? And what would you like to see more of in 2013?

If you are interested in supporting what we do at Make A Birthday Wish or learning more you can go to our website by clicking here. Have a great New Year’s Day!

Our Favorite Cookie In A Jar Recipes

Cookies are amazing any time of the year, but fresh baked cookies at Christmas time takes amazing to an all new level. If you are looking for great cookie recipes to bake up for a party or searching for a great gift idea we think you’ll love these recipes we have collected from around the web. Some of the recipes even accommodate special dietary needs (vegan & gluten free).

Cranberry Hootycreeks from All Recipes

Cranberry Hootycreeks – Recipe from All Recipes.

These cookies look great in the jar and taste delightful. You could even change out the cranberries, chocolate chips, and nuts to suit your personal tastes. Dried currants, walnuts, & white chocolate chips could be a lovely combination! This recipe would make a great gift for a neighbor, coworker, or as a hostess/host gift if you are visiting family or friends over the holidays.

Julia’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Recipe from All Recipes.

Chocolate chip cookies rank at the top of most people’s favorite cookie lists. Simple, chocolatey goodness. This recipe is very delicious and again provides opportunity for experimentation (different kinds of chocolate chips, or swapping chocolate chips for M&M’s etc..). If you aren’t sure what cookies your friend would want, chocolate chip is a safe bet.

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies – Recipe from Oh She Glows

This recipe promises thin, crisp, and chewy chocolate chip cookies that even those on the most restricted diets can enjoy. But don’t get us wrong, these cookies aren’t really a compromise. They are kind of amazing. Angela’s recipe uses a mix of almond & oat flour to create this crowd pleasing cookie. Scroll to the bottom of her post to see the recipe!

Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies From Oh She Glows

Gingerbread Men Cookie Mix In A Jar – Recipe from Food For My Family

These gingerbread men are tasty and adorable. We love the idea of attaching cookie cutters to the jar to really complete the gift! We love this recipe for a holiday staple! Shaina even included free printables—holiday gifting can’t get much easier!

Gingerbread Men In A Jar Recipe from Food For My Family

Have you ever given cookies in a jar before? What are your favorite recipes?

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4 Handmade Gift Tutorial Collections We Love

We hope you had a wonderful and loving Thanksgiving! But with the next round of holidays right around the corner there is little time to catch your breath. Don’t worry, we’ve collected some links to great tutorials for you and your kids to make handmade gifts this year! Handmade gifts can save money and are so much more personal. Oh and there are a lot of ways to reuse materials or repurpose scraps—making the handmade option more green! If you don’t have time to hand make gifts this year you should think about supporting artists and crafters that do hand make beautiful things on sites like Etsy! These tutorials make great gifts for kids and adults alike! We love the blog Everything Etsy, and she has rounded up 101 Simple Handmade Gift Tutorials for Kids! These would be great for your kids to make for their friends, or for you to make for them!

101 Simple Handmade Gifts for Kids by Everything Etsy

The 36th Avenue Blog has a list of 21 handmade gifts for guys! Great for husbands, boyfriends, dads, brothers, or just friends! Definitely worth checking out!

21 Handmade Gifts for Guys from 36th Avenue

The Huffington Post even came out with a list of last-minute handmade gift ideas that is worth perusing! These are great small gifts that would be worth making to have on hand for those times when someone unexpected comes over for the Holidays!

Homemade Gift Ideas: Quick and Easy Last-Minute Gifts by The Huffington Post

The blog The Tip Junkie is another great go-to gift-making guide. We love her collection of hand-made gifts you can see here.

Tip Junkie’s Homemade Gift Tutorials

 

Are you trying homemade gifts this year? Need some ideas? Let us know what you want to learn to do!

These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things: Cupcakes

This week we have been craving cupcakes, and with a mission of bringing birthday cheer to the children of San Jose, it’s no surprise! So today we wanted to share a few of our favorite things—some inspirational pictures from around the web of beautiful and delicious cupcakes! We hope you enjoy and get inspired to create some fantastic cupcakes for your next event!

Hippo Bubble Bath Cupcake from The Cupcake Blog

Tiramisu Cupcake from Cupcake Project

The Muppets Cupcakes from Allison Mae

Mustache Cupcakes from Coco Cakes Cupcakes

Oreo Cupcakes from Bakerella

Owl Cupcakes from Flickr

Owl Cupcakes from Buzzfeed

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes from Une-duex Senses

Skull Cupcakes for Halloween by My Recipes

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes from Cake & Allie

Have you made an amazing cupcake, or do you have a recipe or image to share? We’d love to see them!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes for Fall Birthdays!

Pumpkin cupcake filled with caramel and topped...

Pumpkin cupcake filled with caramel and topped with cream cheese buttercream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With summer leaving and fall beginning we are excited about fall flavored cupcakes! Today we have a recipe for gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes with orange cream cheese frosting—yum! Enjoy these at your next fall birthday bash, or just because it’s fall!

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups Red Mill’s gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk you can make it by combining 1/2 cup of milk with 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar and letting it stand for 10 minutes before mixing in)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup raisins (your favorite variety—we love golden raisins here)

Frosting Ingredients

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven.
  2. In a mixer (or using a large bowl and a hand mixer), beat the butter, molasses, brown sugar, and honey together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. (Start on low-speed and increase to high-speed to get the mixture light and fluffy.)
  3. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and pumpkin purée. Beat until well mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients—the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  5. Use a wooden spoon to mix in the pecans and raisins.
  6. Arrange paper cupcake holders in a muffin tin. Spoon the batter into the cupcake paper cups, filling them close to the top of the cups. Bake about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven to a rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Directions:

  1. Beat the cream cheese, butter or margarine, orange peel, and orange juice until creamy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar until blended and smooth.
  2. Spread icing on cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with walnuts!

What is your favorite fall flavor?

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3 DIY Flower Inspired Party Decorations!

At Make A Birthday Wish while we are busy planning birthday parties for children in need in San Jose we love to stumble upon great DIY tutorials for making your own party decorations. Getting crafty saves a lot of money and is way more personal and fun. So today we have 3 great tutorials to link you to for creating beautiful flower inspired decorations perfect for your next party, or maybe just around your home!

Paper Flower Backdrop Garland – This tutorial comes from the great blog Ellinee Journal and the results are simply beautiful! Click here to see the step by step instructions!

Giant Tissue Paper Flowers – This tutorial is from the blog Spoonful and these whimsical flowers would be great to hang or place on a stake as described in the instructions. To see the tutorial click here.

Floral Party Hats – This tutorial was created by San Francisco based party planner and blogger Jordan Ferney! Her blog Oh Happy Day is so adorable and these party hats are to die for! To see the tutorial click here.

 

Which is your favorite floral party craft?

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