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Welcome to Best Baby Sites . . . the new home for crafting childhood memories {from pregnancy thru the elementary years}. The blog will leave you truly inspired to create the best childhood memories with your kids . . . whether it's crafting, baking in the kitchen or putting together one amazing birthday party celebration. And, you don't want to miss the shopping guide which features the best sites in the industry. This is your place to find everything you need to make planning for your children's celebrations a piece of cake . . .

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7:28AM

From the Archives : a Spectacular Pink & Yellow Dessert Table

I've fallen in love with this bright pink and yellow dessert table {see the original post here with all the close-ups of the sweets and decorations}. The tissue paper poms and the word Celebrate created with fresh flowers is spectacular. The perfect color combination for any summer celebration including baby showers and birthday parties.

Design by Kerri of Sweet Indulgence | photo by Heidi Hope Photography

7:30AM

Edible : Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

There's a wonderfully sweet new cookbook out and it's called . . . Sally's Baking Addiction : Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes & Desserts for your Sweet-Tooth Fix. There are so many super scrumptious recipes in this book from Sally McKenney of SallyBakingAddiction.com that I'm not quite sure which one will be my first to try. I'll of course have to convert a few of the ingredients to be gluten-free and nut-free {some of the recipes are actually already labeled gluten free or vegan}. Each recipe in this cookbook features a full-color photograph which is something that makes me love a cookbook even more. I always love seeing what the end result will look like. Inside this cookbook you will find recipes for Breads & Muffins, Breakfast, Brownies & Bars, Cakes, Pies & Crisps, Candy & Sweet Snacks, Cookies, Cupcakes, and Healthier Choices. Today, Sally is here to share her recipe for Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies {which also happens to be featured on her cookbook cover}. YUM!!!

Prep time: 20 minutes • Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes • Makes: 24 cookies

1 1/4 cups (190g) yellow or white boxed dry cake mix
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup (11/2 sticks or 170g) butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (90g) white chocolate chips
1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles

1. In a large bowl, sift the flour, cake mix, and baking soda together. Set aside.

2. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until creamed, about 2–3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed. Using the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Do not overmix. With a large spoon or rubber spatula, fold the chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and sprinkles into the dough. Cover the dough and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to 3 days).

3. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and allow to soften slightly at room temperature for 10 minutes. 

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. 

5. Roll the dough into balls, about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Roll the cookie dough balls to be taller rather than wide. Place 3in apart onto each cookie sheet and bake each batch for 10–12 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Sally Says: Dry cake mix is used to replace flour in this recipe to give the cookies their distinct “cake batter” taste. Make sure you sift the dry cake mix in with the flour and baking soda—cake mix tends to be lumpy, and the last thing you want are powdery lumps in your baked cookies. Trust me, it’s not pretty!

You can Purchase Sally's Baking Addiction Cookbook Here

7:30AM

A Vintage Airplane First Birthday Party Featured on The Bump

This week started out amazing as I found out that the Vintage Airplane First Birthday Party that was featured a while back was picked up for feature in an article on The Bump. They featured 13 Creative First Birthday Party Themes. You can see the entire Vintage Airplane Birthday Party photo here.

7:30AM

DIY : Fresh Fruit Drink Stirrers + a Watermelon Printable Invitation

I've been seeing drink stirrers everywhere lately - so I figured why not create edible drink stirrers that your party guests {both kids and adults} will love. I only had watermelon and blueberries on hand this weekend - but the ideas and colors for this are endless. {think cantelope, honeydew, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc}. Simply cut the melon fruit into slices and then use a cookie cutter in the shape{s} of your choice. You could even use a melon baller if you wish. Berries wouldn't need any cutting. Bamboo skewers or plastic stirrers are great options to hold your fruit. Amazon has many choices for drink stirrers {and in colors} to choose from.

DIY Fruit Drink Stirrers | as seen on www.Best-BabySites.com

DIY Fruit Drink Stirrers - use any seasonal fruit you like and match your party colors | as seen on www.Best-BabySites.com

And, since you will need to send an invitation to have your guests over to celebrate, how about this brand new one I've added to my etsy shop? It's a print-at-home invitation that is available as an instand download. You simply purchase, download and print away. There's 4 invitations to a single 8.5x11 page, so if you only need 24 invitations - you only need to print 6 pages. You can even import the file into a photo editing program if you choose to type in the party details. Purchase your Summer Celebration Invitation Here and get ready to have lots of fun in the summer sun. And, remember, you don't necessarily need a specific reason to party. Even having family and friends over for a casual get together can be made even more exciting by sending an invitation via snail-mail.

Printable Summer Party Invitation with Watermelon

PS: the envelope featured above does not come with the invitation template. Any A2 size envelope will work, but you can definitely find colored envelopes at Amazon.

7:31AM

DIY : Flamingo Straws and a Mommy / Daughter Sleepover

I came across these DIY Flamingo Straws from Fête Gazette and fell in love with them. There are so many parties these could be used for - but for fun, how about a mommy/daughter{s} sleepover where you join your girl{s} for the night and have a camp-out in their bedroom? I know they would be super excited to get this special night underway. The Carole Hochman flamingo chemise and BedHead Kids flamingo sleep set shown below would be perfect to wear after you have a fun night-time drink together. Maybe pink lemonade? PS: the DIY for these straws say to coat the styrofoam balls in glue and add glitter. I suggest using glitter paint to cover the styrofoam so you won't have to worry about glitter coming off in your drink.

DIY Flamingo Straws : created by Fête Gazette | as seen on www.Best-BabySites.com

Flamingo Sleepwear for Mommy and Daugther | as seen on www.Best-BabySites.com