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V221: CECI INSPIRATIONS – ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, PARTY!

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, PARTY!

As someone who loves designing for others, I recently had the distinct pleasure of creating something for my own family. In this case, I got knee-deep into race car drivers while doing research for my son Mason’s race car-themed birthday party. The project put me in a nostalgic mood because it had me thinking about my father – not only was he really into car culture, but the race cars that Mason adores and plays with came from my dad. The whole time I felt like Dad was smiling down on me from heaven, and this became the point of inspiration that helped Mason’s party come together.

Something else that brings joy to my life? Being in this industry and having the opportunity to collaborate with creative people like photographer Kristi Drago-Price, Amy Kolz from Village CakeCraft and the cookie artists at Eleni’s New York, who took Mason’s race car theme to the next level. I’m so thankful they found inspiration in my watercolors, applied their own talents to it, and brought the race cars I drew to life. And after all the hard work we put into the party, it was rewarding to see the kids overjoyed by such a simple concept (Mason was so excited leading up to the party, he wanted the party to happen NOW!). For any of you thinking that such an event seems hard to pull off, I’m sharing all my hard-won advice in this week’s Ceci Diaries. One of my favorites? Timed schedules are for school, not for kids’ parties. Now, come join the celebration!

Ceci

THE CREATIVE TEAM: Photography: Kristi Drago-Price Photography On Ceci: Blouse: DVF Pants: Genetic Los Angeles Shoes: Delman Earrings: Kendra Scott Watch: Wintour Rings: SRW On Alan: Shirt: Club Monaco Pants: Levi’s 511 Shoes: Nike On Mason: Shirt: PD&C Pants: H&M Shoes: Nike

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V221: GET THE LOOK – ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, PARTY!

CeciStyle Magazine v221: Get The Look - On Your Mark, Get Set, Party! - Carry your race car theme through the entire party with these fun pieces - Luxury Wedding Invitations by Ceci New York - ceci new york, invitation, birthday party, race car, homegoods, toys, gift ideas, party, nascar, city threads, wilton, oriental trading, smilemaker

  1. ON TRACK: Ensure your tot’s party is truly one-of-a-kind with an ultra-personalized Ceci New York invite like the one I designed specially for my son Mason’s 3rd birthday, featuring colorful hand-painted race cars (various prices, cecinewyork.com).

  2. BEHIND THE WHEEL: Stock up on fun themed favors for your little guests, like these Neon Wheel Yo-Yos ($13.99, smilemakers.com).

  3. EYES ON THE ROAD: Put his racing dreams on the express track with this Kids Racecar Driver Helmet ($19.99, halloweencostumes.com).

  4. SWEET RIDE: Itching to do it yourself? Try this Wilton 3-D Cruiser Pan for a cake that’s sure to get their motors running ($13.99, wilton.com).

  5. FLAG DOWN: Decorate your party space with these Black & White Checkered Racing Flags for a playful racecourse vibe ($5.25, orientaltrading.com).

  6. BORN TO RUN: Bring even more fun to the birthday boy’s day by giving him this Child Jeff Gordon Costume to wear ($34.99, halloweencostumes.com).

  7. MOTOR MOUTH: For a fun twist on party snacks, use these Wilton Race Car Pretzel Molds to make sweet-and-salty treats for the whole gang ($1.99, wilton.com).

  8. RACING AROUND: An easy way to add a racing design to your cake? These Race Car Molded Candles from Wilton ($5.96, amazon.com).

  9. UP TO SPEED: Embrace your child’s car obsession with these Nascar Need for Speed Cupcake Topper from Big Cat Crafts ($2.75 for 12, etsy.com).

  10. DRIVE THROUGH: Capture the speedway mood with this graphic City Threads Race Car Tee ($22.75, diapers.com).

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V221: OUR MUSE – RACE CAR-THEMED THIRD BIRTHDAY PARTY: MASON, PART 1

Our Muse

Be inspired by Mason’s race car-themed third birthday party

Luxury Wedding Invitations by Ceci New York - Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Luxury Wedding Invitations by Ceci New York - Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car themed third birthday party - Ceci New York Luxury Wedding Invitations - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Luxury Wedding Invitations by Ceci New York - Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Luxury Wedding Invitations by Ceci New York - Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation

Invitations by Ceci New York

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Ceci Creative Tips

CECI JOHNSON’S CREATIVE PROCESS BEHIND MASON’S BIRTHDAY PARTY INVITATIONS

Race Car Star - Ceci Johnson creates a fun, memorable invitation for her son's third birthday!

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V221: OUR MUSE – RACE CAR-THEMED THIRD BIRTHDAY PARTY: MASON, PART 2

Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation

View the creative talent behind this event

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V221: EXPERT STYLE TIPS – AMY KOLZ OF VILLAGE CAKECRAFT DESIGNS A CUSTOM RACE CAR BIRTHDAY CAKE

Expert Style Tips

When Amy Kolz first showed me the race car cake she created for my son Mason’s 3rd birthday, my jaw dropped to the ground. I couldn’t believe that what I was looking at was really a cake. It was crafted and sculpted with such care and attention to detail in every way. On the car’s hood, she had changed the logo of the famous racing sponsor DuPont to read “MASON.” The tires even said Goodyear in gold, and the personalized license plate was just icing on the cake (literally!). I was blown away that you could make something like this out of flour and sugar! And everything was edible. (The kids were fighting over who got to eat the wheels.) It was truly a work of art. Coming from someone who typically bakes Betty Crocker cakes from a box, I am truly grateful to Amy for making Mason’s birthday cake so incredibly special.

I found this process so fascinating that I asked Amy to give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her creation so we can see what goes into it. Inspired, anyone?

To learn more about Village CakeCraft and Amy or to commission a custom cake, please visit villagecakecraft.com or Amy’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Ceci

How to Make a Race Car Cake - Amy Kolz of Village CakeCraft gives a behind-the-scenes peek at creating this incredible kid's cake

Amy Kolz of Village CakeCraft

AMY KOLZ OF VILLAGE CAKECRAFT
Amy Kolz is the owner, artist, and baker behind Village CakeCraft. She handles every last detail of your cake or cake pop creation, guaranteeing a one-of-a-kind custom dessert that will be the centerpiece of your celebration. She completed the Institute of Culinary Education’s Professional Cake Decorating Program, studying under renowned cake artists Toba Garrett, Elisa Strauss, and Colette Peters. In 2013 she established Village CakeCraft, a small cake studio dedicated to creating beautiful cakes that taste as amazing as they look. Amy specializes in hand-decorated, 100% edible creations, using a delicious combination of decadent cake, silky buttercream, high quality fondant and modeling chocolate.

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V221: OUR MUSE – RACE CAR-THEMED THIRD BIRTHDAY PARTY: MASON, PART 3

Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation
Our Muse - Race Car-Themed Third Birthday Party - Be inspired by Mason's race car-themed third birthday party - race car, race car theme, third birthday party, birthday, ceci johnson, ceci new york, digital printing, boxed invitation


MASON’S DREAM TEAM: Invitations and Custom Party Accessories: Ceci New York Photography: Kristi Drago-Price, Kristi Drago-Price Photography Cake: Village CakeCraft Cookies: Eleni’s New York

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V221: EXPERT STYLE TIPS – THREE TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CHILDREN’S OR FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT

Expert Style Tips

Three Tips for a Successful Children’s or Family Photo Shoot by Kristi Drago-Price

  1. Make sure that your child has eaten and napped: What often happens is that while people are prepping and getting all done up for the photos, their schedule tends to fall by the wayside. However, it’s really important to make sure that whenever everyone shows up, everyone’s well fed and rested. It’s also a good idea to bring snacks, specifically snacks that can be used as bribery. Nobody’s happy when they’re hungry (and this includes the parents)!

  2. Let the photographer do their job: A lot of the time, parents feel the need to make their kids say “cheese.” Don’t feel obligated to be on top of your child to make sure they’re behaving and smiling. Instead, trust that the photographer is used to working with children and has a bunch of tricks up their sleeve. In general, kids tend to act better with new people that aren’t their parents. Moreover, don’t be afraid to let the photographer have one-on-one time with your child – they’re more likely to be comfortable with the photographer and in front of the camera. Allow the photographer to direct the shoot and know they will ask for your help when needed.

  3. Allow your kids to wear whatever they want (with some guidance, of course): No one is going to be happy if they’re in an uncomfortable outfit that restricts movement and/or the ability to be themselves. Girls tend to be really particular about what they wear and are inclined to hold a grudge if they’re not in their outfit of choice. Allow them to wear their favorite princess costume over their outfit, not only because it captures that precious moment in their life, but because they’ll be happier and you’ll have better pictures. It’s a good idea to bring some outfit options to do multiple looks with – one that the kid wants to wear and one that Mommy wants him or her to wear!

Kristi Drago-Price of Kristi Drago-Price Photography

KRISTI DRAGO-PRICE OF KRISTI DRAGO-PRICE PHOTOGRAPHY
Kristi Drago-Price was the head Photo Editor of BRIDES magazine for over 13 years, lectured at the International Center of Photography, has been quoted in the wedding issue of Photo District News, was a presenter and panel member at PhotoExpo Plus, judged numerous wedding photography competitions, and is the creator behind Editor’s Edge consulting to editorial and wedding photographers. Kristi currently produces photo shoots for freelance clients such as Glamour, Self and Brides magazine while continuing to advance her own photography. See more at kristidragoprice.com.

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V221: CECI COLOR STORIES – YELLOW & RED BIRTHDAY PARTY COLORS

Ceci Color Stories

Use this palette as a stepping stone toward creating your own dream event. Click on the color swatches to see how the colors come to life at a real event or discover more inspiring color stories now.

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V221: CECI DIARIES – CECI JOHNSON SHARES HER EXPERIENCE PLANNING HER SON’S BIRTHDAY PARTY

Ceci Diaries

CECI JOHNSON SHARES HER EXPERIENCE PLANNING HER SON’S BIRTHDAY PARTY

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been passionate about birthday parties. And now that my son, Mason, is getting older and more aware of his big day, I wanted to do something really special for him. So I decided to throw a race car-themed party to remember! To help those of you out there who are thinking of doing the same, I thought I’d pass on some of my tips for planning and organizing a third birthday party.

For all of you who were here last year, you’ll remember the Monster Mash I threw for Mason. It was a big success, but it also helped me make an important discovery. In my desire to make everything just so, I attempted to run things on a precise schedule: 2pm for the first activity, 2:30pm for the second, and so on. I soon noticed the kids could care less. It was like herding cats! This year I knew I just had to let it go, and that’s exactly what I did. I planned a handful of activities – from races in homemade cardboard box cars to decorating Eleni’s New York car-shaped cookies with special markers – and let the kids do whatever they pleased. A win-win for everyone!

As for the actual planning, I’m here to tell you that you should only bite off as much as you can chew. There’s no reason to put all that pressure on yourself. Feeling super creative? Go ahead and make your own cake – there’s a whole bunch of fun baking accessories in this week’s Get the Look that look fun to try – and carry your theme through to your party space with clever decorations. But if you’re lacking time and are looking for something unique, do like me and seek out talented pros who are guaranteed to add polish to your event. In my case, photographer Kristi Drago-Price and Amy Kolz from Village CakeCraft really took things to the next level. Remember, birthdays are about celebrating life, not stressing out about it!

Ceci

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V221: DON’T MISS – PRODUCTS THAT CECI JOHNSON IS LOVING: SARANONI AND PEE-KABOO

Don't Miss

PRODUCTS THAT CECI JOHNSON IS LOVING: SARANONI AND PEE-KABOO

As a working mom, I don’t have the luxury of a lot of extra time on my hands. Come to think of it, working or not, what mom really does? That’s why I’m all about finding great products that get results and searching no further. Enter my two favorite new kid’s finds: Saranoni super-soft personalized blankets and Pee-kaboo potty training stickers. I was recently introduced to Saranoni’s incredibly lush toddler blankets and fell in love with their cozy fabrics. Plus, you can have the blanket embroidered with your child’s name, a personalized detail that I love. Mason and I are excited to snuggle up with these blankets all winter long.

As for the Pee-kaboo potty stickers, I met the founder, Nina Nsilo-Swai, at a woman’s business conference I spoke at in NYC and was immediately struck by her desire to launch such a helpful and unique product for toddlers. At the time, I was just beginning to potty train my son and didn’t want to reward him with the typical candy treats, and was looking for an alternative that would work. When we tried the fire truck design, it changed the potty experience for us. We found it so easy to use, and Mason actually looked forward to going to the potty to make the fire truck appear. For those of you trying to potty train, I recommend giving Pee-kaboo potty stickers a try and helping this new entrepreneur grow her business!

Discover more about these two great kid’s brands below.

Ceci

Snug as a Bug - Luxury blankets for all! From the mini to the extra-large throw, Saranoni creates snuggle-worthy products everyone can enjoy.

Saranoni: From the moment we are born, blankets are a part of our lives. As children we hid under them to protect us from scary noises or to build awesome forts. As adults we use them to swaddle our infants, keep our little toddler warm and cocoon ourselves in them on the couch. Regardless of our age, blankets provide warmth, comfort and security. Saranoni, a luxury blanket company, was started in 2006 based on the belief that the first things your child will see, hold, touch and love should be things you love. So, they have sought to create blankets with sizes, textures, colors and patterns that are cherished by all. From the mini blanket (15×20 inches) that covers a newborn perfectly in the car seat to the adult throw blanket (60×80 inches) that can surround a whole family with its warmth, Saranoni seeks to provide snuggle-worthy blankets for all. Happy Cuddling!

Pee-kaboo - A reusable potty training sticker with a hidden image that magically appears each time your child uses the potty

Pee-kaboo: The Pee-kaboo reusable potty training sticker is a unique and fun way to potty train your child. It helps overcome the ultimate potty training obstacle: actually getting your child to want to use the potty again and again. Simply place your sticker in the base of a flat-bottomed portable potty seat and watch what happens. Each time your child successfully uses the potty – Pee-kaboo! – a charming image magically appears. Your child is instantly rewarded for their efforts and is excited to use the potty again! “I want to see the butterfly,” your child exclaims. “Sure,” you say, “all you have to do is pee-pee in the potty. And Pee-kaboo!” See more here.

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V221: NEXT WEEK’S ISSUE – HAUTE HALLOWEEN

Don't Miss Next Week's Issue

Sign up for CeciStyle now!

Haute Halloween - Celebrate the dark with our glamorous guide

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Download this week's CeciStyle cover here: Large | Small
CeciStyle Magazine V220: Layered Up
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Layered Up
View past issues: StyleFix Archive
Ceci Johnson, Founder and Creative Director of Ceci New York, is the authority on style and invitation design. She is also the author of her highly coveted weekly style magazine, CeciStyle. Loaded with gorgeous tips and takes on invitations, fashion, parties, weddings, décor, gifts and more, CeciStyle is free and full of trusted, time-saving advice.
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