Monday, September 5, 2011

A Star is born...

Juliet and I have been so lucky with the wonderful staff we have found over the years. One of our very first employees is also a wonderful actress who after only two years in Los Angeles is on her way to becoming a regular face on the small and big screen. We are SO proud of Ana and wanted to share a little bit about her with you.

Born and raised in the midwest, Ana knew from an early age that she wanted to be an actor. Ana’s first amateur role was playing the understudy for Annie in the sequel Annie Warbucks at the Springfield Theater Center, in Springfield, Illinois when she was 10 yrs old. After completing 2 yrs of college at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a theater performance major, Ana moved to LA to try to make it as a professional actor and began landing small roles in television series within the first few months of living on the west coast. Her big break came within two years when she landed one of the lead roles in a pilot for ABC Family from creator Brenda Hampton. Even though the pilot did not get picked up as a series, it has opened doors for Ana, and she can currently be seen in a recurring role playing Dylan in The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

In Ana's words: "Of course none of this would be possible without the COOP! I started working here a month after I moved to LA and Lucinda, Juliet, and the rest of the COOP family have been essential to my success out here. They are my home away from home and I am eternally grateful to them for all of the love and support they continually pour out to me!!"

Ana's first episode for The Secret Life of the American Teenager is the Season 4 mid-season finale titled "And Circumstance" which airs on Monday (Labor Day!) September 5th. Continue to lookout for Secret Life's newest red-haired character in 2012 when Season 4 continues! Way to go Ana!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I have always loved the story of Max and The Wild Things, with its' ability to transport me into a far-away place, so when the opportunity came to put together a Wild Things Party, I was thrilled and not a little obsessed! I wanted it to be simple and whimsical, but with pops of color. As most of the accent colors at the COOP are either yellow or orange, I thought yellow and brown would be the perfect compliment. I hand-made all of the yellow tissue balls, and painted the block letters to spell out the birthday boy's name. I printed expressions used in the book, and chose exactly the right ones with help from my son Dashiell. I wanted to keep the main table simple with just the GOLD CROWNS and cake. I couldn't believe the expression in Max's eye on the cupcake - AMAZING! The party favors were so cute - everyone received a Wild Things mask and wand, and the boys got a tail and ears and the girls a yellow tutu. I LOVED every small detail ( my mom always said, "God is in the details" ). It really was a divine party that had adults and kids alike screaming "Let the Wild Rumpus Begin"!


It isn't often that we get to see the colorful COOP in a whole new perspective, but when our photographer extraordinaire - Greg Fiore - sent us these pictures from a recent party, I had to share. I love the emotion that is caught in each and every one of them - so cool - so COOP. More of Greg's work can be found at


Who doesn't LOVE a LUAU? Especially one that is bright and colorful and geared to a gorgeous little lady turning the BIG ONE! Parker is a beautiful, happy girl, so mom and I wanted to make her party super colorful and happy, just like her. We chose the two colored hula skirts as opposed to the single color which really made everything else pop. We had grass skirts lining the tables, straw hats, colored leis and even pink flamingos in the windows. Julie helped add to the magic with an incredible cake (the figurine on top looked just like the birthday girl) and cupcakes. It was a really wonderful party for truly great people.


How sweet is this Airplane Party. I loved how all the colors of blue and yellow came together to really make the FABULOUS pilot hats stand out. I made a runway on the table by using tape which was really simple but gave a cool effect. All of our little pilots went home with a die-cast airplane, a pilot's hat, and a wax moustache. For the girls we did the pilot's hat, and a yellow tutu, which was super cute.
I have also included some pictures from our previous airplane party as the favors looked so adorable, with the pilots reflective sunglasses and of course Julie's cake from Blue Cupcake was as always, beyond.