OK, it’s time for one of my favorite annual posts- JZ’s BIRTHDAY PARTY DETAILS! Every year, I go all out for his birthday because well…#onlychild and I LOVE a good theme party. This year, the little guy requested a Ninja Turtle Bash- so that’s exactly what we had- complete with a visit from his favorite ninja turtle, snow cone truck, and pizza spot!
I am so excited to share his party invitation because my friend Jill, owner of Page and Parcel designed and made it and the adorable matching pizza envelops! Jill is an AMAZING one woman show and her creative studio specializes in visual marketing strategies, brand development, logo design, custom invitations and event materials. Inside scoop- she is being featured in So Scottsdale magazine September issue because she is that dang fabulous!
We opted to rent a gymnastics facility to let the 32 wild five year olds run wild. It was great to have them contained in 1 area so parents could socialize. After an hour of gym time, the kiddos played a massive game of “Hide and Seek” then it was time to eat and wait for the special visitors to arrive.
For lunch, we had Giordano’s catering since naturally Ninja Turtles LOVE pizza and Giordano’s is our favorite deep dish pizza in town. We love going to the restaurant but this was the first time we used them for catering and I was SO impressed with the spread, it’s no wonder their catering options are so popular. They offer everything from pasta (my favorites are the Chicken Alfredo and Lasagna) to sandwich platters (our guests loved the Italian Beef!) and of course pizza! I can’t say enough great things about their catering menu- every dish arrived fresh and was perfect to feed a hungry crowd.
The thin crust pesto chicken pizza was a huge hit with adults and the deep dish cheese and Parmesan crusted pepperoni were JZ’s favorites. For lighter fare, caprese skewers and bruschetta were the perfect options.
For all the keto and low carb lovers, how amazing are these salads? I’m telling you- I’ve had a lot of experience with catering, and often times catering doesn’t taste as good as the food in the restaurant but Giordano’s catering is as fresh and delicious as when you visit the restaurant. Speaking of the restaurant, if you haven’t been to their location over by PV Mall you’re missing out. It’s great for families, date night, or a big group of friends.
After lunch, we devoured the dessert table- and when I say dessert table I mean the cutest TMNT themed sweet buffet I’ve ever seen. All the styling and décor was from Nancy Mantei. If you need a party planner extraordinaire, she is your gal. From balloon design to the cutest customized pizza box favors, she is a creative genius and can handle everything so you can actually enjoy your party. I actually gave her no direction and just let her do her thing this year and it could not have been better. Plus she did all the set up in 30 min-it would have taken me at least 3 hours. (linking her contact info below because I have already gotten a ton of inquires about her) You can also see all the amazing stuff she creates on her Instagram at @NancyMantei_EventsAz
The cute burlap banner below is from the cutest Etsy shop, Willow Lane Shoppe They make all sorts of handmade party décor including hats, banners, and tutus for any theme.
The cake from Sweet Yummyness was double layered with the top layer featuring a vanilla cake with strawberry filling and the bottom layer chocolate on chocolate. All her cakes are nut-free and safe for kids with nut allergies, which was wonderful since one of JZ’s friends avoids peanuts. You know how sometimes cakes look gorgeous but then they don’t taste that good? That is not the case with Sweet Yummyness- the cake was equally delicious AND gorgeous. One more thing to note- I didn’t give any creative direction or inspiration at all. I literally put all my trust in her work after seeing how beautiful her creations are on Instagram and obviously it worked out GREAT. (link below to her IG and Facebook)
What’s a party with just one cake right? I first discovered Mango Cakes on Instagram and her creations are like nothing I’ve ever seen. In addition to cakes, cupcakes, and cake pops- she creates the most amazing decorated number or letter cakes topped with macarons and edible décor. Seriously, look at this thing- everything was edible! Of course it tasted great too- and it was really easy to cut and serve, something I never took into consideration. I already told James that I want one of these for my next birthday because they are just so beautiful. Check out all her designs at @mmangocakes on Instagram.
In addition to cake we had cake pops and caramel/chocolate dipped apples from Sweet Fusion Events. Again, these were SO dang cute and tasted phenomenal. The red velvet ninja turtle cake pops were so decadent and each pop was shaped like a ninja turtle or piece of pizza. Important to note when dealing with cake pops- you need to make sure the treats are either self standing (a really good idea if you’re making a dessert buffet!) or if you need a stand. I LOVED that Sweet Fusion was collaborate about my vision and made even the triangle pizza slices self standing. The caramel and chocolate dipped apples were each made into a ninja turtle or Shredder and served as décor, favors, and dessert. Triple threat right there for ya! I was able to sneak an apple home and had it for dinner after the party. I considered it a serving of fruit for the day. Sweet Fusion makes all sorts of sweet treats and I cant speak highly enough about working with them! (link below to her IG)
Continuing on our sweet journey, ABC Cake Decorating Supplies in Phoenix provided the images for the treats and Tina from Jo Mama’s Cupcakes made adorable dipped oreos with the birthday boy’s face on them. What is so cool about these is you can get customized edible images for anything with your logo or a picture (even an I- Phone picture works!) from ABC Cake Decorating Supplies. Tina has a variety of dipping options to choose from including milk, dark, or white chocolate and if you want them individually wrapped- she can do that too to protect the image. She can even create cupcakes, small cakes, and various chocolate treats in addition to the Oreos. Our guests got such a kick out of seeing JZ’s face on their dessert. So if you’re looking to add a fun element to any party or gathering- look no further than local favorite, ABC Cake Decorating Supplies and Jo Mama’s Cupcakes.
Did you know that Green Apple popcorn is a thing? And it’s SO good! The ninja turtle colored popcorn is from My Popcorn Kitchen located on Scottsdale Rd. and Thunderbird. They have SO many yummy flavors including seasonal flavors every month. This stuff is addicting and makes great gifts, especially around the holidays. Whenever we’re in the area, JZ and I love to stop by and get a little snack to eat in the car. His favorite flavor is cheddar cheese and I love the spicy varieties, although, we may have a new favorite in this Green Apple treat.
The pizza cookies are from Silver Rose Bakery and truly looked like real mini pepperoni pizzas. Fear not, they were delicious sugar cookies and didn’t taste like pizza at all. Silver Rose Bakery can create customized cookies for any theme or event. Again, these came individually wrapped which I appreciate so guests could enjoy the cookies at the party or take one for the road. Silver Rose Bakery is located in Peoria but they provide goodies valley wide.
In case anyone was still craving something sweet- The Kona Ice truck made an appearance and JZ got to serve all his guests custom snow cones. If you have kids you probably know what Kona Ice is, but if you don’t, it’s a mobile snow cone stand on wheels. The Kona Ice truck is available for parties, sporting events, and school functions. That’s actually how we discovered Kona Ice- they visited JZ’s school and summer camp weekly. The really cool thing about Kona Ice is that you can decide how much and how many flavors to top the shaved ice with. JZ always goes for Tigers Blood (a cherry-ish flavor) and rainbow where he mixes a little bit of everything! I happened to LOVE wedding cake and strawberry and James went for grape and green apple.
And of course we couldn’t have a Ninja Turtle party without a visit from a Ninja Turtle! JZ chose Michael Angelo and Casey Jones and they were AMAZING. They are so interactive with the kids (and adults) and posed for tons of pictures in addition to visiting with everyone while they chowed down on pizza. Fun fact: I discovered Superhero Rental of Arizona last year when we needed a Darth Vader. Apparently Darth Vader was friends with the Ninja Turtles- go figure!
PARTY STYLING/BALOONS/PIZZA BOXES/DECOR: @nancymantei_eventsaz 480-227-4441 www.facebook.com/nancymanteieventsaz
INVITATIONS: PAGE AND PARCEL https://www.pageandparcel.com/
SNOW CONE TRUCK: Kona Ice https://www.kona-ice.com/
CAKE: @sweet_yummyness www.facebook.com/sweetyummyness
CAKE POPS & CARAMEL APPLES: @sweetfusionevents
OREO PICTURE IMAGES: ABC Cake Decorating
Dipped Oreo Treats: Jo Mama’s Cupcakes: Tina James (602) 618-1078 firstname.lastname@example.org
“5” MACARON CAKE: @mmangocakes
Pizza Cookies: Silver Rose Bakery 623-499-2222 @silverrosebakery
Turtle and Casey Jones: Superhero Rental of AZ
VENUE: SCOTTSDALE GYMNASTICS AND TRAMPOLINE