Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Retro Gaming Celebration

At this juncture, if you have read any of my previous party related blog posts you have gathered a few things: I suck at directions, I procrastinate, and most importantly - I make creative shortcuts and "bandaids" to save my ass. I started planning a summer party that sort of celebrated my birthday, my man's birthday, and just a gathering in general. I always have to have a theme because that is just how I operate. We chose a retro gaming theme.

Decorations were a breeze thanks to digital downloads on etsy. I got a pacman set of printables, and a mario set of printables. Cut the items out and pasted them to an existing party banner we had.

I used electrical tape and star balloons from the dollar store to make these guys:

Made a pirhana plant:

I saw this on the internet at some point in my journey to create the perfect party. But the day of when I went to find the directions for this I couldn't find it anywhere, seriously anywhere. So I went from memory on this.

I didn't want to bake an official birthday cake since it wasn't an official birthday party. I had decided that my clear and only alternative was making 143 cupcakes and building Mario with them...
 Not bad right?This was the finished product.

I found this ditty on Pinterest and followed the blog links to secure the knowledge I needed to convince myself that A-this was going to be super easy,  B- It was going to take no time at all , AND C- I was going to succeed with flying colors/minimal stress. Go ahead and laugh for me now. The internet is deceiving, and it gets the best of us.
The Daily Dawdle demonstrates this phenomena: http://www.dailydawdle.com/2012/11/16-hilarious-pinterest-fails-nailed-it.html.
I actually documented several of my steps just so I could finish up with a NAILED IT meme of my own, because I realized at the grocery store that this was going to be a much more serious undertaking. But I had already committed and there was no going back and going to the bakery and buying a cake like a normal human being was simply out of the question.

Here is the blog that I used as my guideline to create this nearly impossible treat: http://www.cuteasafox.com/2010/09/mario-party-credits.html?m=1
I applaud her for giving a very detailed diagram to follow as well as a few pointers involving frosting color combos, and the foam board trick as a platter. I too, procured a foam board that I quickly filled up WITH MARIO'S HEAD. Then freaked out because, where the shit is this huge Mario going to reside until the guests show up? Luckily I had a HUGE black table cloth and a HUGE dining room table that did the trick. If you don't own an excessively large table to fit this on. Run, turn back and run. Go to the bakery and buy a cake like a normal human being.

My half ass ingredient and directions list:


1) 3 boxes of cake mix - the back of the box will tell you that one box makes 24 mini muffins. THIS IS A DIRTY STINKIN LIE. One box produced enough mix for 48 mini muffins for me. Maybe I am magical and like Jesus I too can feed a multitude with just a few things. Doubtful. Just buy 3 boxes of mix (maybe an extra in case you jack something up along the line). I have several leftover boxes of cake mix thanks to Duncan Hines' misguidance. Maybe the person who made that up is eating half of the batter before it hits the muffin pan? That is 50% off, that is a big deal Mr. Duncan Hines. I should write them and ask for a refund for all these cake batter boxes I now have to store and not eat. My apologies for getting severely sidetracked. 
2) The stuff the cake mix requires. Eggs, oil, milk, whatever. 
3) Cupcake papers and an ungodly amount of mini muffin pans. Go ahead and ask everyone you know if you can borrow their mini muffin pans because there is no way in hell you own enough to get the job done.
4) Time. From start to finish this project took 2 days. Two. Days. Don't have two days to waste? Go to the bakery and buy a cake like a normal human being.
5) Large ziplock bags (if you do what I did and bake the night prior).
6) Frosting. This is up for debate, but I used 4 containers total, and wound up with a ridiculous amount leftover. Oops. And for the brown frosting? JUST BUY CHOCOLATE. Don't try to mix up brown. Just don't. I did, so just trust me and buy chocolate frosting.
7) Food coloring. I got a box of the contemporary colors.
8) Dark chocolate shavings. Unless you have a better idea for making black icing. For the black cupcakes I used brown frosting topped with dark chocolate shavings.
9) Printed copy of the diagram so you can build this monster with ease. I hit a snag here and will get to that snafu later in the Directions.

DIRECTIONS (I started this endeavor around 9:00ish pm):
1) Print copy of the diagram.
I thought it would be nice to include my husband and have him do this step for me since our printer at home is on the fritz. He even went so far as to texting me a pic of the diagram in his hand so I knew it had been done. All a farce. He came home without it. His one job was to deliver the one sheet of paper. My advice? Go ahead and let go of any hopes that you will have help with this endeavor and resolve that you will be a lone wolf in a baking hell. You may be able to trick someone by telling them it is a simple craft project you need assistance with. You will be on the fast track to doing this 100% solo if you say anything along the lines of "I am baking and decorating 143 cupcakes and then I am intricately organizing them according to a diagram".
2) Bake the mini cupcakes according to the package directions - don't forget you will get much more from each box. Dirty liars.
3) Let them cool.
Once you get to this point you may actually start crying because in the grand scheme of things you really, aren't even halfway done.

4) That last step wrapped up at 1:00 am for me, so I counted out and bagged them according to what colors they would be frosted with. Thought this would save time the next day.
 If you don't have a psychological issue with organizing the shit out of everything you can just go to bed without doing the bagging by number and color ordeal. Yea, do that instead.
5) Get some sleep.
6) Few hours until party time: Start mixing frosting colors. I wish I had photographed how we mixed our colors. My husband jammed the mixer blade into his drill and mixed them for me. I think I was too busy saying, "OHMYGOD what are you doing to the frosting" to actually take a picture. His methods worked well, he earned forgiveness for forgetting the diagram.
7) Frost all of the cupcakes according to the diagram that you may have to be following via your smartphone. Or your printed diagram if you are so lucky.
8) Find the biggest surface in the history of ever, and start building your Mario. This was actually the most fun part for me.
9) Walk out of the room. Pour yourself a drink, chug. Walk back into room take a glance at your amazing work of art and start singing WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS MY FRIENDS. Replace I with We if you feel so inclined.
 I seriously felt like I won the lottery when I realized that I actually made it look like Mario.
10) Take lots of pictures. There must be photographic evidence, because if someone touches that shit before you document it you have every right to kill them. Slowly and painfully.
11) Psychologically prepare yourself for party guests devouring the whole operation.
12) Eat and enjoy.
13) Drink 3 pitchers of sangria with your friends and play retro video games, then go back and eat more cupcakes. Rinse. Repeat.


  1. Party, decorations, food, and sangria were awesome! Great job putting it all together.

  2. Thank you very much! Glad everyone enjoyed it. It was a good time!