Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com
 This post is sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines.

Today’s post is in celebration of YOU! We’re having a party here on the blog, and you’re invited to come as you are. It’s IBC’s first-ever Come-As-You-Are-ty.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

As you’ve probably guessed from the title of this post, it’s going to be a fun (and quirky) day here on IBC. For the past two years I’ve partnered with Carnival Cruise Lines to share everything from recipes to home decorating tips. Working with them continues to be a joy for me. Part of their philosophy is to invite guests to “come as you are.” The underlying message is that EVERYONE is welcome on their ships.

This philosophy also means that you’re encouraged to be yourself. For example, if you like to get dressed up in a tux or gown for formal nights, you can do that. However, if you’re more comfortable in your floral Hawaiian shirt, then wear that. It’s all good. Of the many qualities I admire in a company, being inclusive and allowing people to be themselves are high on my list.

With that in mind, I decided to create a party around the same idea. So what do you get when you mash up their philosophy and a party? A fabulous Come-As-You-Are-ty!

To kick off the festivities, I created a mascot. Combining my affinity for cats with the uniqueness of a unicorn, I thought a caticorn would work perfectly. Plus, if there was any “animal” that could teach us to be ourselves, a caticorn would certainly be it.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

And this is where the inspiration for the rest of the party began. Is this caticorn not the best thing you’ve ever seen?

As with my last Carnival-inspired celebration, I wanted to offer a few ideas so you could create your own Come-As-You-Are-ty.

First, we’re going to need a treat. Of course, it’s going to be a sweet. And yes, it’s going to fit with our caticorn theme.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

We’re making Mason Jar Cakes!

I decided to make these cakes for the party for several reasons. First, they’re something different and unexpected. Second, I thought I could have fun by varying the color between the layers of cake. Serving it in a clear glass mason jar would showcase the layered colors inside. Finally, I had this crazy idea of gluing miniature cats to the lids to make sure this party stuck to it’s quirky theme. There’s a method to my madness.

Let’s start by prepping the jars. You will need: mason jars with lids (I’m using the half-pint size.), super glue (Gel works best.), tiny cat figures, and non-toxic paint (spray or craft). For the cake recipe listed below, you’ll want 24 half-pint jars.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Begin by removing the ring and lid from your mason jar. Using a small amount of gel-based super glue, attach the cat figure to the center of the lid. Once the glue sets, paint the ring and the lid the color of your choice. (Even though the paint probably won’t come in contact with the cake, I recommend using a non-toxic paint.) Allow the paint to dry overnight.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Now, let’s move on to the cake.

I created my cakes and frosting to work with the colors and theme of the party. The recipe will give you those directions; however, feel free to have fun with it and use your favorite colors and flavors.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

I wanted my cake to match the jars lids, so I did light and dark aqua. I just added food coloring until I achieved the colors I was after.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

To create some contrast, I dyed the frosting in shades of pink and orange.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

In this recipe, we are using a box cake mix. As I’ve said in the past, I actually like boxed cake mix, but you’re welcome to make your cake from scratch should you prefer that. Bake the cake in a half sheet pan. You’ll be using a cookie cutter to cut round pieces from the cake, and the half sheet pan will give you the perfect thickness.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

With the cake baked and cooled, use a round cookie cutter (the size that fits into your mason jars) and cut out rounds of cake.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Then layer the rounds in your mason jars. After each layer of cake, pipe or spread a layer of frosting. Shake some sprinkles on the frosting for pizzazz.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

You’ll start and finish the jars with cake. Finally, top each jar with a colorful cat lid, and your treats are ready to be served.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Mason Jar Cakes

makes 24 mason jar cakes

Here's what you will need:
2 boxes of cake mix (I used funfetti.)
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons milk
Food coloring
Colored sprinkles

Begin by preparing both cake mixes according to the package directions. Add food coloring to each of the prepared batters to achieve the desired color. (I used teal gel food coloring.) Bake the cakes in two greased and floured half sheet pans. Follow package directions for baking. You'll know the cakes are done if a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

In the meantime, prepare your frosting. With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and salt for about three minutes or until smooth. Then, one cup at a time, add the confections sugar, mixing between each addition. Next, add the milk until the desired consistency is reached. (More powdered sugar may be added to thicken the frosting.) Finally, beat in the food coloring until the desired color is achieved.

After both sheet cakes have cooled, cut out cake rounds from each. Use a round cookie cutter that is the same size as your mason jar (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter) to cut out the rounds. You will need need a total of 72 rounds (3 rounds per mason jar).

Begin by layering the cake rounds and frosting in the mason jars. Start with a cake round, then frosting and sprinkles and then another cake round and more frosting and sprinkles. Finish off with a third cake round. Top with your cat-ified mason jar lid to complete.

Print

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Voila!

Now tell me, are these not the cutest (albeit slightly weird) things you’ve ever seen? I couldn’t think of a more appropriate treat for this type of celebration.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

These will certainly be an unforgettable dessert for your guests. I also love that since these are packaged up so nicely, your guests can take their dessert or the empty jar home as a little memento of the party. Every party needs a fun favor.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Okay, just a few more things and we’ll be ready to celebrate.

When planning any party, I always recommend first selecting your color scheme. If there’s one thing that can unify party decor, it’s color. I like to stick to 2 or 3 colors. With this party, I broke that rule and went for a rainbow of pastels. It seemed appropriate.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

With my color scheme in mind, I picked up party hats, party horns, and lollipops. I also shopped my own house for cake stands and napkins.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

My caticorn also made an appearance as a fun graphic element. And as a special treat to my lovely IBC readers, I’ve created a free 5×7″ art printable. I’m hoping this little guy will be a fun reminder to be exactly who you are. You can download my caticorn here.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Now it’s time for our final Come-As-You-Are-ty element: I’m serving Carnival‘s take on the classic cosmopolitan. They’ve switched up an ingredient or two to make this drink uniquely their own. Any guesses on the special ingredient?

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

With its signature pink color, it’s the perfect choice for this celebration.

Come As You Are-ty | inspiredbycharm.com

However, I’m going to make you wait for the recipe. (Whomp. Whomp.) This post has gone on long enough, and I want to make this party to last as long as possible. Join me back here next week as we say cheers with this delicious Carnival Cosmo and wrap up our Come As You Art-ty.

In the meantime, click on over to Carnival and start planning your next vacation. I know you want to! You can Come-As-You-Are-ty for an entire week!

Carnival Logo
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.

Comments

  • Barb Rajchel at

    Happy and whimsical post Michael love everything about this post and just 💜 the caticorn!!!

  • Elle at

    Your “unikitty” is so cute! Clever caticorn. The cake is fun, too!

  • Sara at

    Can I be your best friend?

  • Denise at

    This post totally made my day!! I was sitting here feeling like such an “unfun” mom and this has totally inspired me to have a come-as-you-are-ty with my littles. Thank you from saving my kids from boredom!! 🙂
    P.S. Is there any way I could get a larger file for the printable? I would love to use it in our play room.

  • Carla at

    Where did you find the tiny cats?

    • michele k at

      I found mine at The Dollar Store, Michael’s also has them.

  • Nancy at

    You are the cat’s pajamas. I I always suspected it but this blog proves it.
    Smiles,
    Nancy

  • Karen at

    Okay, sir. This is too, too much! I’m not even a cat “person” but come on! I want THAT cat as my avatar. So many great ideas. Thanks,sweetie.

  • Sarah Pacheco at

    Thank you Michael! I truly needed this post!!!!!
    By the way,, it’s wonderful!

  • Guerrina at

    What fun! And I needed some fun today!

  • Karen at

    Oh my god….. How clever and what a nice idea for even a kids birthday party. Thank you for helping me see outside the box. This beats a cupcake! Doubles as a party favor! Guess you could also frost the cake prior to cutting.

  • Kelli in Arizona at

    These are adorable. Thanks for sharing! Can I ask where you got those spoons? They are incredible, I love them!

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