Sunday, September 4, 2011

{Party} A Crab Shack Birthday that Helps the Beach!

For the past six years we have vacationed every summer at the South Shore in Nova Scotia.  Close friends introduced us to the charms of Petite Riviere, Green Bay, and a special little cottage and we have never strayed away.  It is such a magical place where we create wonderful family memories.  We fell in love with everything about our cottage holiday, including little Sperry's Beach {more about the beach later}.

Over the past few years we have celebrated my son's birthday at the cottage {its always felt right since I was pregnant with him our first summer there}.  Gathering cottage friends by the pool for a BBQ was easy and fun and always complete with a marshmallow roast on the beach.  This year we gave Yale the option of having a birthday party in town or at the cottage...after a quick "eenie-meanie-mynnie-mo", the cottage won again!  Since I am always planning themed birthday parties for the girls it was only fair that Yale get his own special party as well.  It was fitting that I had been eyeing a fabulous and fun Crab Shack theme designed by Kim of The Tomkat Studio.  I was so excited to style a party for my sweet boy!

Red, white and blue is my absolute favorite color scheme and since I had just packed away all the 4th of July festive decorations I didn't have to go far to find inspiration for Yale's Crab Shack.  Months before any party I start to keep my eye out for things that fit the galvanized metal buckets, red and white platters, nautical themed towels, striped napkins, and red and blue gumballs {I actually found them at a party store in the States!}.  Somehow the stores are always carrying what I need but searching around the house for items I already have can also turn up wonderful party treasures.

Collecting all the little items is such a fun part of the party planning process....putting them all together can get a bit overwhelming, especially when you buy too much!

After sampling Jenna Durling's {Lil Red Kitsch'n} amazing brisket and delicious cupcakes at our 4th of July party I knew she would be able to wow us again!  She even had a friend drive down and deliver the mouth watering crab cakes, BBQ chicken, brisket, and sauces the morning of the party!  Jenna and I had talked at length about creating something very special for the cupcakes.  She outdid herself with a s'mores cupcake!  The chocolate is hidden under the torched Italian meringue frosting! So yummy.

For Yale's "little" dessert table I wanted it to be a mixture of the rustic crab shack feel with a bit of nautical thrown in.  The red and white striped and blue striped cupcake liners from Shop Sweet Lulu worked perfectly.

And the little nautical themed plates from Michael's added that extra something.  

I knew there was only one person to call when I wanted a crab cookie designed.  Tracey Lowe never disappoints and when I ordered a life preserver cookie she surprised me by personalizing each one with "SS Yale!"

Not only did she create cookie masterpieces she was willing to indulge me by trying her hand at chocolate dipped oreo pops!  They were fabulous!

I ordered a crab themed cake from Nadine of Femme Fondants and I only specified that I wanted little fondant crabs crawling around the cake.  Not only was the cake adorable but it tasted unbelievable!

She even made extra fondant crab cupcake toppers.

All of the amazing paper goods were designed by The TomKat Studio.  Kim is such an inspiration and when I first read about the Crab Shack party she did for her son I knew I would not be able to resist using the theme for Yale one day.  The invitation, cupcake toppers, labels, thank you tags, birthday banner, and cake topper were all part of her original design.  You can check out all her collections here.  I only need to browse her site for a moment to get my creative juices flowing...thank you as always, Kim, for sharing all your ideas.

Yale loved his dessert table!  He wasn't too keen when he realized that the "2 dessert limit" also applied to him, but there were still smiles all around.

After everyone enjoyed seconds and thirds of all the delicious treats we headed down to a spot at the beach for a marshmallow roast.  I passed out s'mores kits to each family complete with graham crackers, marshmallows and a chocolate bar!

I had one last treat I hadn't given out so I carted a metal bucket down to the beach filled with push pop treats.  The pops were layered with red, white, and blue jelly bellies from one of my favorite local sweet shops, Sweet Janes.  Adorable and oh so yummy!  If you can remember the days when you enjoyed a popsicle in the push up style container these treasures will take you back.  I found them online at Shop Sweet Lulu and knew I had to create something fun.

Not far from our roasting spot is Sperry's Beach.  In the early summers at the cottage we would drive the 3 minutes down to the beach, now we walk down the hill {although no one is crazy about the walk back up the hill at the end of the day}.  During low tide you can walk out to the edge of the ocean and "jump" the waves in shallow waters.  Its a small but magical place where you don't need much to keep you entertained.  

So when Yale and I were thinking of how we could support our local cottage community, the Sperry's Beach Preservation Society proved a logical choice.  Preserving public access to this special spot is a priority, so we asked  for donations towards the society instead of gifts.  We will donate over $400 {including money from Yale's own piggy bank and our charity box at home} to the Preservation Society!

I loved throwing this party for my six year old boy....and knowing that we gave something back to the community makes it all the sweeter.  Thank you darling Yale for your giving spirit!

30 acts complete and lots going on for the Fall and Winter!  
Please sign up for the Blood Drive...its right around the corner.
Thursday, September 15th
{click here for more details}


  1. I believe it was Audrey Hepburn that said "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I'm possible.” Well, yet again you have demonstrated that she was right. With a willing heart everything is possible. So proud of all of you for sharing and making what you touch always a little bit better. 30 wonderful giving projects. Phenomenal!
    Love you!!

  2. What a great thing to do for your 6th Birthday Yale! The South Shore is such a beautiful and amazing place and I am so glad you are giving back to the local community as well. Glad you made such memories!

  3. You have such a talent my friend! John and I were sorry to miss Yale's birthday especially after viewing the photos! Keep up the great work and perhaps 40 acts will morph into something much more than a number. :) xo

  4. Happy Birthday Yale! The whole party looks amazing - hope you're all well.

  5. As always ...I bow to the party master!!! Just when I think on party you've done is my fav, you go and blow that out of the water. Looks like you guys had fun too. Love ya tons!!