Tag Archives | party planning

Royal Wedding Anniversary Party

Royal Wedding First Anniversary

Has it been a year already since William and Kate tied the knot?  April 29th is upon us and marks the date the entire world watched this once-in-a-lifetime event when a girl became a real princess.

Here at the Spilsbury home, my girlfriends and I shared that day cooking, eating and writing (work for me), while putting together this festive menu for the Royal day.

Royal Wedding Menu

A Royal Affaire-Fare


My friend researched Will’s favorite meal, and found that Cottage Pie is allegedly the Prince’s choice.  Get the recipe by clicking the image below, or here.

Cottage Pie by Toni Spilsbury, The Organized Cook

Cottage Pie, a favorite dish of Prince Williams, is a tasty version of the Shepherd’s Pie.


This recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding was not easy to prepare- that’s why I’m so glad that my daughter, Rayana made it!  Chopped up pitted dates are the main ingredient for this high calorie dessert.  Oh my goodness- was it ever so decadent and delicious!

Get this recipe by clicking the image below.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I haven’t figured out how Kate Middleton could possibly keep her figure if this high-calorie desert is actually her favorite.


In an effort to create an appetizer both simple and regal, I used the “something red”- “something blue approach” for these easy-to-prepare crackers that I named “Westminster Crackers”.

Westminster Crackers

Westminster Crackers- so regal... so simple.


What better martini choice to celebrate the Royal Wedding than a “Blue-on-Blue” martini.  Don’t worry- it was after noon.

Blue on Blue Martinis

Blue-on-Blue Martini


Kir Royale- you’ve probably had the cupcake, now try the drink that inspired the tasty treat; champagne poured over Creme de Cassis.  Drink one of these and you’ll begin to feel like part of the (Royal) family!

Kir Royale

Kir Royale Recipe


Red strawberries and blue blueberries give this lemonade a royal touch.

Royal Lemonade

If there were a royal lemonade recipe- this would be it!


Hey, look who stopped by to have a martini with us!


our royal guest


After a day of cooking, sampling, watching the wedding and reading all the buzz, here’s the menu we came up with titled “A Royal Affaire-Fare”… even after a Kir Royale and “Blue-on-Blue”, I think we did a fine job.

royal wedding menu

A Royal Affaire-Fare





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40 Is The New 20

40th Birthday Celebration

“I don’t want a party”, I insisted.  My husband isn’t great at keeping surprises a secret.  “I’d rather use that money on something useful… like a jar of Creme de la Mer…. or Botox”, I persist.

It doesn’t help that my birthday falls on January 1st- New Year’s Day.  You can insert assumption here that having a birthday on this holiday is fun, when it’s anything but.  My birthday has always been a nuisance- falling just days after the Christmas craze and interfering with all things holiday.

What’s ironic is that my youngest daughter is also a New Year’s baby.  That’s right, we’re a couple of January 1st Capricorns that proudly share our birthday with the likes of Howard Hughes (I don’t know why I throw that part in, other than to give a great example of just how stubborn we can be).

My thoughtful husband insisted that a party it should be.  After all, I was turning 40.

Oh, that’s right.  Can I just sleep through the holiday?  That would be a gift in itself.

I have to admit that his thoughtfulness and super-sweet intentions make up for his belief of how easy it would be to put together a party on the busiest party night of the year- New Year’s Eve.  And, New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas to boot.  And it also probably didn’t help that I wasn’t as forthcoming as I could have been at giving friend contact information to him as he requested- with wanting to “keep it small” and all… if we had to do it at all.

After a fabulous dinner, we headed over to my “surprise” party and instead of being greeted by all of our friends, here is what I saw.

Did you ever see the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie Bradshaw turns 35 and her friends throw her a birthday party?  But she ends up sitting at her birthday dinner table all alone while one-by-one her friends are held up for one reason or another and can’t make it.

Well, that was about it for me.  My friend, Lisa, sat waiting for us at the party table.  Messages from friends came pouring in.  One had a fight with her husband, the others live on the far side of town and feared traveling far- not because of DUI check-points- but because of drivers under the influence, baby sitters backing out, and so on…. and so on.

40th Birthday Party

After a few photos were shot and posted on Facebook, comments from friends went up like crazy.  That’s right, they were all at home- and on Facebook.  Apparently Facebook has now taken the place of having to actually attend an event when one can now virtually be there.  I’m not judging.  I would be at home in my PJ’s watching movies with my kids on New Year’s Eve if it wasn’t my birthday and my husband was insisting we celebrate.

I wasn’t crushed, but my husband was.  A few more friends showed up.

40th Birthday Party

With a table of cupcakes, champagne and food we quickly made friends with the group next to us, and my dear husband felt immensely better after successfully coordinating a serenade of “Happy Birthday” with our new friends.

I felt even more special for these custom cupcake toppers from my good friend at Bella Grey Designs.

40th Birthday Party

cupcake topper designed by Bella Grey Designs

And as for turning 40?  Well, Oprah once said that 50 is now the new 30.  So, that makes 40 the new 20, right?  Right.

40th Birthday Party

The bottom line is- I had a ton of fun and drank too much champagne.  Happy 20th Birthday to me!  And thank you, my dear, sweet, thoughtful husband, and all of my friends- real and virtual- who celebrated with me.




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She Bop

So what did Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, The Breakfast Club and I have in common this past weekend?

We all celebrated my niece’s 14th birthday at my house- 80’s style.

With my husband and kids away for the weekend in Utah, I had promised my gorgeous niece, Mira that she could have a sleepover at my house for her birthday present.

What I learned from this experience of having very little time to plan and make party preparations  (thanks to a more-than-usual hectic week) is that a little imagination can go a long way.

With the party seriously just hours away, I had to think- and think quick- about how to make her 80’s Party come to life.


How To Throw An “80’s” Party

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

The Cupcakes

Mira’s only request was that there be neon-colored cupcakes- a request I thought would be no problem thanks to all the recent blitz about cupcakes… thank you Cupcake Wars.  Unfortunately, none of my local cupcake boutiques were offering up neon, and it was too late for a special-order request.

With a can-do attitude and a handful of ideas, I headed off to Michael’s Friday night and purchased two black poster boards for $.59 each, a box of Duff neon food coloring, some bright feathers, candy and gift trinkets.  And, after swinging by my grocery store for some cake mix and powdered sugar, I was set.

neon cupcakes

Duff neon food coloring found at Michael’s

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

watch out Cupcake Wars!

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook


The Decorations

Next, I printed out different images from the 80’s- album covers, movie posters, etc.  It wasn’t difficult for me to find these images since I’m a child of the 80’s, my brain was able to remember names easily.  I cut out the images, glued them to the poster board and splashed neon paint on it.

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

bringing back memories


Every party needs a party table.  Starting with a base, I built from there.

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

setting up


80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

just about done- the party is just minutes away!


The Food

Along with some pizzas, tater-tots and chicken wings (they are, after all, 14-year old girls), I made some neon-colored spaghetti to serve with either alfredo or marinera sauces. The girls loved it.

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

neon-colored spaghetti


80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

We are ready! Let the 80’s party begin!


80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

Happy Birthday Mira!

Party Time

I assumed the girls had a great time, or as I gathered from the laughing- no shrieking- coming from downstairs all night.  It sounded like Justin Beiber just walked into my house about every 20 minutes… until about five in the morning.  They played Just Dance, called boys on the phone, made random trips outside to the trampoline.. and ate every last cupcake.  Oh, to be 14 again.

As I locked myself in my room away from the noise with a glass of wine and my laptop, I watched this video that made me want to shriek myself- thank you, Chromeo and today’s youth for embracing just how fabulous and fun the 80’s were.  I’m trying not to feel old, but my niece is throwing an 80’s-themed party the way I would have thrown a 50’s-themed sock hop in my younger days.

Ouch.  I feel another glass of wine coming on.

See if you can identify dances from different 80’s movies in this super-fabulous video by Chromeo:

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