Backyard Boardwalk Birthday Bash

3 Aug IMG_1643

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Madison is 9!  How in the world did that happen?  She wanted a Beach Party for her birthday but since I wasn’t about to fill my backyard with sand, I thought a Backyard Boardwalk Party would be a fun compromise.  

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I found these great Cedar Garden Walkways on Amazon and thought they’d make the perfect boardwalk to set the scene.  I used one at the entrance to the party as well as a large sign to welcome the guests as they entered the backyard.  

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As you can see, our Boardwalk had many fun things to explore.  Water World, boardwalk games, a snack shack, beachy crafts, and a souvenir shop made this a party to remember.

Let’s start at the Snack Shack…

IMG_1640All of the snacks had a beachy theme and included pretzels (starfish), goldfish crackers, cheese balls (beach balls), twizzlers (pool noodles), lifesavers, gummy rings (inner tubes), and blue gatorade (salty sea water).

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A little further down the boardwalk was a craft shop, “Crafty Creations” where the girls decorated flip flops, decked themselves out with metallic tattoos, and colored beach balls.

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Another fun thing to do at our boardwalk was to play carnival-style games.  We had a fish bowl ping pong toss, bean bag toss, and ring toss.

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The hit of the whole party was Water World. I purchased a large inflatable water slide and the girls had a blast sliding and splashing. We also had water guns and water balloons for a water fight.

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I also set up a “Boardwalk Boutique,” where I stocked the party favors.  Each guest chose a beach towel and a pair of sunglasses with interchangeable frames from the shop.

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After lots of fun in the sun and visiting all of the things our boardwalk had to offer it was time for lunch.  We grilled hot dogs and had mac and cheese.  

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Madison chose cupcakes over a cake for her birthday this year.  I found this really fun Ferris Wheel cupcake stand that made the perfect centerpiece for our dessert table.  We also had old-fashioned lemonade that I served in glass bottles, along with salt water taffy, and swirly cotton candy flavored lollipops.

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Madison and her friends had a blast at our Backyard Boardwalk.  It was such a fun theme and I really enjoyed putting it all together and loved the way it turned out.  

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Happy 9th Birthday, my dear, Madison.  I hope all nine of your wishes come true.

XOXO,

Mommy

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Madison making her 9 wishes.

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Madison and Mommy

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BFF’s for 9 whole years!

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Petting Zoo Birthday Party

7 Jul IMG_1471

IMG_1488We recently celebrated FIVE glorious years with our youngest princess, Molly Kate.  Molly has a real affection for animals so I planned a Petting Zoo Birthday Party for her.  We had Pied Piper, a traveling petting zoo company set up their animals right in our backyard.  We had bunnies, ducks, chickens, a lamb, a goat, a pot belly pig, and a pony for pony rides.

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As the guests arrived they suited up at the “GIT YER GEAR” table.

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In addition to the petting zoo and pony rides, I had a face painter come do some animal face painting and I had a couple of craft tables with farm themed crafts from Oriental Trading for the kids to make.

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I know how much kids love snacks and treats so I had a table set up in the yard with some farm themed treats.

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We had farm animal cake pops from BangPOPShop on Etsy.

IMG_1478Rice Krispie treats make great “Hay Bales,” Oreos were “Tractor Wheels, and Chex Mix was “Chicken Feed.”  I also had “Moo Juice” which was chocolate and white milk that the kids drank from old fashioned milk bottles.  It wouldn’t be a farm stand without fresh produce, so I used pink berry baskets to hold blueberries, strawberries, carrots and grape tomatoes.

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I had a “watering hole” with water bottles for the kids and a “watering hole” with beer and wine for the adults.

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The gorgeous cake was made by the fabulous Daryl of Frosted by Daryl.  The cake was so delicious!  This was the first time ever that we have not had a single piece leftover!

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IMG_8877 IMG_1620 IMG_1623 IMG_1625It was such a great party and the kids really enjoyed getting to pet the animals and ride the pony.  They each went home with their own pony on a stick to ride on their own.

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It was such a blast celebrating Molly’s 5th birthday.  I absolutely loved how it all came together. Here are a few more pictures and of course, a happy birthday wish for my little animal lover.

I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Molly.  You are such a fun loving and outgoing little girl.  We are so happy to be celebrating your 5th birthday with you.

We love you so so much!

XOXO,

Mommy

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Rainbow Loom Birthday Party

27 Mar IMG_8180

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Morgan Paige is 7 years old!  

I.CANNOT.TAKE.IT!  

Someone please STOP this crazy train!  

Six was so fun, so I can’t wait to see what seven has in store.  

This time last year, Morgan was obsessed with two things:

1. Stuffed Animals

and

2. Rainbow Loom.  

She had a Teddy Bear Picnic for her sixth birthday to celebrate her love of stuffies, so this year she asked for a RAINBOW LOOM birthday party.  

For those of you who don’t know, Rainbow Loom is a plastic loom used to weave colorful rubber bands into bracelets and charms.

For this party, we went with all the colors of the RAINBOW in the decor.  All of the decorations were DIY and super easy to make.

I enlisted the kids to help with much of it and they really liked getting to craft with me.  

The cake table was once again the focal point of the party.  

We decided to go old school and link together strips of colored paper.  Do you remember doing this as a kid? The kids loved making these! I love that they totally resemble the Single Rainbow Loom bracelets!  

I usually cover the TV with decorated foam board, but this time I put a video tutorial on pause and used the intro image as the the backdrop.  Later in the party we played the tutorial so the guests could learn how to make a bracelet.  

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For the table, I used a simple white table cloth.  I got a great deal on these on Amazon.  They don’t wrinkle and they are easy to clean.  They are just the best!  And cheap too!  

For the banner on the front of the table, I used a simple colorful circle design along the top of each flag to resemble the tiny loom bands I find all over my house

The cake table featured “Rainbow Juice” also known as GATORADE in all the colors of the rainbow.  

I poured the Gatorade into these French Square Plastic Bottles from the TomKat Studio.  

Morgan and Madison made the bracelets that adorned the top of the bottles.  This was another DIY made by kids that made a nice impression and served as a small gift for the guests.

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Also featured on the table was “Loom Band” candy which was simply gummy ring shaped candy.  

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The sugar cookies were made by my wonderful cookie mama, Carrie Budke of AngelCakes in Rye, NY.  The simple chevron design on top of the cookies really popped against the white background and looked a lot like the Fishtail Rainbow Loom bracelets.  

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The cake was from Cerbone’s Bakery in Rye Brook, NY.  They decorated the outside of the cake with colorful circles to resemble the loom bands.  I asked them to make a plain white fondant circle for the top so I could decorate it with real loom bands and one of Morgan’s loom hooks.  

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To keep it a little on the healthy side, I made fruit cups with fruit in all colors of the rainbow and filled Chevron Rainbow Candy Cups with Skinny Pop Popcorn.  

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Another cute touch was the dress form that I dressed with a rainbow tutu (tutu last seen here, dress form last seen here) and a rainbow loom belt and necklace that Morgan made.  

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In my dining area, I placed a bunch of colorful balloons above the table and a long chain of colored paper links on the sliding doors.  The long chain made a pretty backdrop for the table and the balloons always bring lots of drama and color to the space. 

 I kept the table decorations simple just using a small rainbow suitcase found on Amazon as a centerpiece and strands of rainbow chains from Oriental Trading that I spread down the middle of the table as a runner of sorts.  I also recycled the rainbow streamers on the chairs from Madison’s Arts and Crafts party a few years back.  

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Each place setting had a divided organizer full of Rainbow Loom rubber bands and a large foam letter sticker sitting on top.  The guests found their initial and started coloring a rainbow coloring page while waiting for everyone to arrive.

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After coloring, I brought out a bunch of foam and felt stickers and the kids went to town decorating and personalizing their new Rainbow Loom Band Organizers.  This was great because it not only served as the craft for the party, but also part of the party favor!  

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In addition to the organizers, they also got a Monster Tail which is the new travel loom made by Rainbow Loom.

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After decorating the kits we headed to the living room floor and opened up the new Monster Tail kits.  I played a tutorial I found on YouTube which taught the girls how to make their first bracelet using the new Monster Tail Loom.  

Full Disclosure: It was a little difficult helping twelve girls loom for the first time!  If I had it to do again I would have enlisted the help of a few older girls.  

Here is my husband getting his loom on! So thankful he was able to help!

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My 8 year old was a big help too!  She picked up the pattern really quickly and was able to help teach some of the younger girls who were new to looming.

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The girls did a great job giving it a go and I hope they are having fun with their Monster Loom and new loom band organizer kits at home.

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After making bracelets (or trying to at least), we sang Happy Birthday and had cake and treats.  

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Morgan was so surprised to see the inside of the cake as we cut into it!

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This was by far my easiest party to plan and throw.  I loved that the decorations were simple DIY projects that the kids could help with.  I also loved that I was able to incorporate the favors into the craft and main party activity.  It went really well and Morgan finally got to loom with her friends- something she has been wanting to do for quite some time.  

I leave you with a few more pics and a happy birthday wish for my sweet 7 year old, Morgan.  

I hope your birthday was all you wanted it to be.  Keep being crafty and creative! Never let anyone dull your sparkle!

XOXO,

MOMMY

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Lego Friends Party

27 Jun

I am so excited to share the details from my daughters 8th birthday.  Madison is Lego Friends obsessed at the moment.  Lego Friends is a line of Legos targeted toward girls that follows five friends and their lives in a fictional town called Heartlake City.  The Lego line depicts the friends’ houses, hobbies, cars, and favorite places to spend their free time.  Madison was not into building with Legos until this year and the Lego Friends line has piqued her interest.  She is slowly building the entire Heartlake City in her bedroom and plays with it daily.  She also enjoys reading the books and watching the TV series.

For this party, I chose a blue, pink and light purple color scheme.  I found a printable set on Etsy and used that as the base and inspiration for the party.

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 When planning a party, I generally start gathering ideas by creating a Pinterest Board dedicated to the theme.  You can check mine out here.

 

Next, I type out a list of everything I plan to do with the party from the guest list to the activities to the shopping list.  It helps to have everything all in one place and to cross things off the list as I go.  I found the original planner here and modified it for my needs.

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 Invitations

Step 1 is to plan the guest list and send invitations.  I usually let Madison invite 14 people (including herself and her sisters) because that is the max I can accommodate at home and I feel it is a manageable number of little kids since I am typically running the parties solo.  We sent these invitations a few weeks before the party.

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Activities

The next step in the planning process is to speak with Madison about activities she’d like to do.  For this party- she wanted to build a Lego Friends set as one of the activities.  She also wanted to get candy and prizes, but she did not want a pinata.  I also like to incorporate a themed craft and some games as well.  I started with Madison’s ideas and came up with a list that I thought was manageable and fit the theme- Lego Friends coloring pages, decorate a picture frame with Legos, build a Lego Friends set, make a new mini-doll figure, build the tallest Lego tower in 60 seconds, Lego tube race, guess how many Legos are in the jar, and Lego Punch-a-Prize,

As the guests arrived they received a light purple caddy that included all the things they would need to complete the party games and activities.  The plan was for them to take the caddy with them from table to table as they rotated through the activities I set up in different areas around the yard.

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Activity 1: Build a Lego Frame

I found some white plastic frames at Michael’s and thought they would be perfect for the girls to decorate using Legos.  I ended up ordering a ton of Legos on Amazon, but also got some at the Lego Store from the Pick-A-Brick wall.   I lined each edge of the frame with double-sided tape so the girls could just stick the Legos on to the frame in the colors and pattern of their choosing.  I also printed out pictures of the Lego Friends to put inside the frame.  The girls really enjoyed this craft.  (Please note: if you are ordering Pick-a-Brick from Lego Store online, make sure to place the order well in advance.  They apparently come from Poland and take 3-4 weeks to arrive. I learned the hard way and had to rush around trying to find Legos at the last-minute because my order was not going to arrive in time.  I did find them in the colors I needed on Amazon though and with prime shipping and guaranteed two-day delivery, I’m kicking myself for not trying Amazon in the first place.  They have EVERYTHING!)

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Activity 2:  Build a Lego Set

I bought two varieties of Lego Sets for the girls to build.  I found them on Ebay sold in sets of 10.  I removed the sets from their poly bags and put  the pieces and directions into clear bags with bag toppers from the printable collection.

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 Activty 3: Build a Lego-Doll Minifigure

I found a seller on Etsy that sells Lego Friends mini-doll figure parts.  I bought a set of these and put them in a tray for the girls to create their own Lego Friend.  I heard many comments coming from the girls about how awesome they thought this project was.  Little girls and their dolls!

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Activity 4: Lego Friends Coloring Pages

I put a pack of  crayons shaped like Lego minifigures into each guests’ caddy.  They are from this Etsy shop and came packaged in pretty organza bags.  The girls used their crayons to color a Lego Friends picture and then got to take them home.

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Activity 5: Guess How Many Legos?

I put a jar of Legos on a table along with post-its and pens and the girls tried to guess how many Legos were in the jar.  The girl who came closest got to take the jar of Legos home!

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Game 1: Lego Race

I saw the idea for this game at this Modern Lego Party.  I found the clear tubing in the plumbing aisle at Home Depot.  I bought a 10 foot long hose and cut it in half to create two 5 foot tubes.  I filled two cups with Legos- the skinny ones fit through the tube the best.  Each girl partnered up with another girl.  The goal was to get the cup of Legos through the tube to their partner as quick as possible.  I had two teams racing one another at a time.  The winning team advanced to the next round.  The two winning teams faced off in a final round.  The partnership that won got to pick a new Lego Friend set to take home.

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Game 2: Build the Tallest Tower

The goal of this game was to see who could build the tallest Lego tower.  I gave them 60 seconds to grab legos and build as fast as they could.  I let them keep the tower for participating and the winner won a new Lego set.

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Game 3: Punch-A-Prize

Madison didn’t want a pinata, but she did want to get prizes.  I found an idea on Pinterest for an alternative to a pinata called a punch box.  I made mine from craft board.  I cut 8 circles through the craft board using an Exacto knife, then I wrapped it in turqouise wrapping paper.  I cut the wrapping paper from the circle and then placed tissue paper over each circle to create a thin layer.  I placed prizes on the tissue paper- mostly girly things from Party City (lip glosses, body glitter, lego erasers, butterfly bubble necklaces, bouncy balls, and butterfly barrettes).  I taped plastic bowls on top of the prizes to hold them in.  The girls then chose a circle to punch through to grab their prizes.  I liked that the finished punch boards looked like Legos.

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Party Favors

In addition to the Lego crayons, the Lego frame craft, the build your own mini-doll figure, and the Lego Friends set the girls built, they each went home with a Lego necklace.  I got them on Etsy and added a little bling to each of them.  Some of them got rhinestones and others got pearls.  I put them in little organza bags from Party City.  The girls really liked getting these.

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 Dessert Table and Candy Bar

I love creating dessert tables because it is a great way to convey the party theme and colors.  I always start with a backdrop for the table.  For this one, I covered craft board with pink and white polka dot fabric then I layered on square and round paper plates to mimic a large Lego Brick.  I  attached the printable happy birthday banner from the printable collection to the board with ribbon.

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Madison wanted cupcakes so I had Lego cupcake toppers made by Carrie Budke of AngelCakes.  I placed them on an acrylic cake stand set atop a giant Lego box.

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I used various acrylic boxes filled with Legos and colored candy for the candy bar.  We had purple and blue jelly beans, purple lollipops, blue candy dots that reminded me of legos, pink m&ms, and pink chocolate coins.  The girls had a bag in their caddy which they were able to fill with the candy to take home.

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In addition to the cupcake toppers, Carrie Budke made sugar cookies with the Lego Friend characters, Legos and the Friends logo.  They were darling and delicious!

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To combat all the sweets, I added grapes to the table.  I put them in little polka dot cups and stuck in a tiny fork topped with a printable paper flag.

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Table Decor

I set a long table on the patio to fit all 13 girls.  I printed Lego paper from the printable collection and attached them together to create a table runner.  It was fun and colorful!

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I set each place setting with a clear plate that I customized by placing a Lego themed paper design underneath.  I placed a cup of popcorn on each plate so the girls could snack while they completed the activities.  Each caddy also had a sports bottle for the girls to fill with either water or Raspberry Lemonade and take it along with them from station to station.

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 The Centerpiece

For the centerpiece, I filled two acrylic containers with Legos and made a mini banner which hung between them.  I used some of Madison’s Lego Friends sets that she built to fill in the centerpiece as well.

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Other Decor

I made these giant Legos out of boxes and colored wrapping paper to fill out some empty spaces on the patio.

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A welcome sign hung on the gate to pique the interest of the guests as they arrived.  It says, “Let’s Build!” 

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This was such a fun party to plan and host.  I am starting to love Lego Friends just as much as Madison!  I am excited to see what eight has in store for us.  Should be a fun age!

Happy Birthday my super sweet and smart, Maddie girl.  I love you with all my heart.

XOXO,

Mommy

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Popsicle Party for Molly’s 4th Birthday

2 Jun

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Molly’s been saying, “I can’t believe I’m going to be four,”  for months now.  It is so cute when she says it.  Well the day finally came- my baby is 4! It’s hard to believe that everyone in my house is now potty trained, sleeping through the night, and eating regular food.  The past eight years were a whirlwind, but we reached the light at the end of the tunnel and things are getting easier in some ways.

On to the party!  Popsicles are Molly’s most favorite sweet treat in the world so it was no surprise that she’d choose a popsicle theme for her birthday party this year.  

I started with this printable package I found from Cupcake Wishes Store on Etsy.  It was exactly what I was looking for and the colors the perfect coral, peach and yellow.

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It was the perfect afternoon for a backyard party, with the exception of the 15 minute rain shower we got as the guests were arriving but it passed over quickly and the kids barely noticed.  

We had 16 kids attend and they all enjoyed an afternoon of popsicle fun.  We ate popsicles, played pin the popsicle on the stick, made popsicle crafts, and hit a popsicle shaped pinata. Molly had a fantastic time and was very happy with her popsicle birthday party.  

I set up a long kids’ table on the patio and decorated with pink, yellow and orange.  I made the runner for the table using colored popsicle sticks.

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Have you heard of kinetic sand?  If not, you should get some!  It is sand that has a soft texture but never dries out and does not make a mess. It is fun for the kids to play with.  I used two boxes of it to create the centerpiece. I found the sand at Michael’s Crafts.

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For the place settings, I taped a sign from the printable collection under a clear plastic plate to create personalized party ware. And wrapped a napkin and a water bottle with a strip of striped paper to add a little color to it.  I only served finger foods, so utensils were not necessary.

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Each guest sat in a chair which I personalized with their name and printable sign from the printable collection.

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This is the treat table.  The banner was made using popsicle sticks which I covered with Washi Tape, paper printables from Cupcake Wishes Store on Etsy, and ribbon.  I glued popsicle sticks into a star shape for either side of the banner.

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Molly wanted cupcakes instead of a cake so I made strawberry flavored cupcakes from a box with white icing.  Did you know Mike and Ike’s look like popsicles if you stick a toothpick in them?  So cute and so easy!

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Can’t have a popsicle party without popsicles, so I put them on ice just before the guests arrived.

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Carrie Budke of AngelCakes made the popsicle shaped cookies.  They came out super cute.  

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I always like something healthy on the table, so I opted for watermelon which I cut into triangles and put them on a popsicle stick.  An instant watermelon popsicle- I bet they would be great frozen too.

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I was short one table, so at the last-minute, I decided to bring a bookshelf outside and used it to hold the party favors and a drink station as well.  It worked out really well.  I used the sand bucket to hold the ice and served regular and pink lemonade in these beverage containers that I recently found at Kohl’s.  I love them!  This station was a hit with the kids.  They got a kick out of filling their own drinks.

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For party favors, each guest got a personalized favor box with a popsicle mold to make their own popsicles,  a popsicle bubble necklace and a freezer pop sleeve from Metal Mom Boutique on Etsy and a bundle of Freezer Pops.

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I set up a little seating area for parents who stuck around with some “Poptails” and treats for them to enjoy as well. A poptail is a little Prosecco or Champagne poured over a popsicle.  Yum! 

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Decorating my yard is a challenge.  We don’t have any place to hang things from, so I borrowed this idea I saw on Pinterest…pool noodles and wood strips make cute little popsicles.  I stuck these around the yard and in the garden.

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The kids each got a little bag to collect pinata treats.  The pinata got busted open after two hits but at least Molly was able to get a shot at it.

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For the Pin the Popsicle on the Stick game I personalized a paper popsicle for each guest and simply glued popsicle sticks on the striped paper.  At first it served as a nice backdrop and decoration for the party.  

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Then all the kids were blindfolded and had to try to stick their popsicle onto one of the sticks.  Many were able to land on or close to a stick.

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In addition to the games, I had popsicle crafts set up on a craft table.  They were able to decorate popsicle stick frames, foam popsicle magnets, and popsicle scratch art.

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I think the best part of the party is when they all sat around together eating popsicles.

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All in all it was a beautiful day and beautiful party for a beautiful four-year old.  I’m glad I can make her party theme dreams come true.  Happy Birthday, my sweet Molly.  Mommy loves you!

XOXO!

Mommy

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A Teddy Bear’s Picnic

20 Mar IMG_0724

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I can’t believe my Morgan is 6!  Where does the time go?  She is super into stuffed animals right now and plays with them a lot.  Any time I take her to the toy store, she usually chooses a new stuffed friend.  She just loves them.  

So for her 6th birthday, I suggested a Teddy Bear’s Picnic theme and told her we’d stuff teddy  bears as the craft and party favor.  She immediately agreed and got really excited and told me not to tell her anymore because she wanted to be surprised for her birthday- she’s also into surprises and really wanted a surprise party- do 6 year olds have surprise parties?  

Anyway, off to planning I went and decided on a pink, khaki, and brown color scheme for her party.  The theme was Teddy Bear’s Picnic, but it was too cold to hold it outside in March so I decided to host the picnic inside in my dining area.  Normally, I’d move all of our furniture out and rent kid tables for the kids to sit in, but we recently got a new dining room table which seats 10 so I decided to just use that- at 6 years old the kids are more than able to sit at a regular table with regular chairs anyway.  

The paper invitations set the mood for the party and got the little guests intrigued about the theme.

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I’m just going to walk you through each step of the party beginning with set up.  This is our dining room all decorated and waiting for the guests to arrive.  Besides stuffed animals- Morgan LOVES balloons- this was a simple and easy party decoration that made a big statement.  I ordered about 30 pink, white and gold balloons and just let them go on the ceiling of the dining room above the table.  I cut the ribbon short enough so they wouldn’t hang in the girls’ faces and used scissors to curl the ribbon.  Simple!

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Here is a view from the living room.  The guests sat at the dining table- I have a long bench which sat 4 girls and 4 dining chairs plus 4 folding chairs.  I kept the table decor simple with fresh flowers as the centerpiece.

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I also set up a drink station with mini water bottles and Orange Juice in a beehive beverage dispenser.

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Each place setting had a pink gingham placemat with a teddy bear drinking cup filled with Organic Chocolate Milk.  Beside that was a tiny honey jar (bears like honey right?) filled with maple syrup.  I served French Toast sticks for lunch so the girls could dip into the maple syrup if they wanted.  (Breakfast for lunch?…Yes, please!)  How cute are the wooden forks jazzed up with pink polka dot washi tape?  LOVE!

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I heated the french toast sticks just before the guests arrived and tossed them into these cute picnic boxes alongside fresh strawberries and Teddy Grahams.  I decided to do lunch in the beginning of the party so the boxes were waiting for the girls when they arrived.

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You know the famous Teddy Bear Picnic song? “If you go into the woods today, you’d better go in disguise”…I had teddy bear headbands for the girls’ “disguises” rather than party hats.

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As the guests arrived they were greeted at the door with this sign I made from cardboard strips taped to a piece of wood.

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I always have a sign on the front door too.  I like how it sets the mood for the party from the outside in.

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We have a new built in corner unit that I staged with party decor galore.  I cleared it out of its usual decorations and added pink and white tissue poms, paper lanterns, and teddy bears, of course.  In front of the TV, I placed the backdrop which I cut to fit the space nice and tight.  The backdrop is just two pieces of craft board taped together and covered with linen fabric.  I used tacks to hang the Happy Birthday banner.  

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The birthday girl opted for cupcakes rather than a cake so I made a batch of those and decorated with chocolate icing and pink pearl sugar crystals.  I added the cupcake toppers to match.

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Inside the picnic baskets on either side of the cupcake tower are the wonderfully delicious and adorable teddy bear cookies made by Carrie Budke of Angelcakes.  She never disappoints!

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I didn’t hire any entertainment for this party.  I planned a craft, and two games, lunch and cupcakes.  An hour and a half was the perfect amount of time.  The craft was the main activity.  The girls were stuffing their own bears to eat lunch with at the picnic.  Then they decorated tee shirts for the bears and printed birth certificates. I did hire a couple of teenage girls to help run the craft stations and games.  I set the craft up into 6 stations- similar to Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Station 1 was “Choose Me.”  The girls chose from 5 teddy bear “skins.”  I ordered these from an online company, Bday Bears.  They are great quality and came with everything needed for a bear stuffing extravaganza.

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Station 2 was “Stuff Me.”  After selecting a teddy bear, the girls sat in a circle in the middle of the living room and stuffed the bears with stuffing fluff.  They could make them as soft and cuddly as they wanted.

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Station 3 was “Stitch Me.”  This station was set up at the dining table.  The girls found their seat, chose a little heart to wish upon and stuff inside the bear before zipping up the magic zipper on the back of the bear.  Once the zipper is zipped it is locked into place.  No sewing required!  Since Station 3 was at the table it was the perfect transition for lunch.  The girls enjoyed eating a picnic lunch with their Teddy Bears, but as soon as lunch was over they were ready for Station 4.

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Station 4 was “Dress Me.”  The girls got a teddy bear sized tee shirt and I gave them fabric markers and felt stickers to create a new shirt for their bear.  This was really cute.  The girls took their time and added lots of detail to the shirts.  This station was a favorite for sure!

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As the girls finished decorating they went to Station 5, which was “Name Me.”  I created a teddy bear birth certificate in photoshop and my teenage helpers helped the girls type the names and special details of their teddy bears and then printed the certificates for them.

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Finally, the bears were placed at Station Six which was called “Take Me.”  I had picnic baskets lined with gingham fabric that we set the bears in to await the trip to their new home.  

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After the teddy bear making stations, we played games.  I made Pin the Bow Tie on Teddy Bear,  which was a huge hit!  Kids really love these simple games.

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 I had bought an entire CD of bear themed songs from iTunes and had that playing in the background for the entire party.  We played the tune, “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” for the Pass the Teddy Bear game.  When the music stopped the girl with the bear went to her table spot to get ready for cupcakes.  I bought two copies of the book “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” for the winners of the games- yes I had winners and no one got upset!

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After Pass the Teddy it was time for cupcakes!  They sang happy birthday and enjoyed, cupcakes, cookies and Gummy Bears–boy did they enjoy Gummy Bears–those were probably the biggest hit of the day.

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I know Morgan really enjoyed her party.  She had a smile from ear to ear the entire time.  I’m so glad I could take her love for her furry friends to the next level.  She truly cherishes her birthday party bear and the five others she made after the party with the extra bear skins and stuffing! LOL!

Happy 6th Birthday to my “beary” sweet and special little girl!

Mommy loves you!

XOXO!

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St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast

16 Mar

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This post is super late, but if you’re last minute like me I hope it can be super inspiring.  As you know, I like to celebrate holidays with my kids by making them a special breakfast.  From holiday themed tableware to holiday themed food, I try to make it pretty special for them.  Last year, we celebrated St. Patrick’s day with a breakfast from “Lucky the Leprechaun” and a scavenger hunt for his pot of gold.

“Lucky” left them a bag of Lucky Charms cereal which could be eaten then or saved as a snack for later.

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I made them a Pot of Gold at the End of a Rainbow.  For the rainbow I used strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, green grapes, blueberries, and purple grapes.  I used powdered donuts for the clouds, a pancake cut to make a pot, and scrambled eggs for the gold.

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They also got milk which I colored green with a tiny bit of green food coloring and a paper straw with a couple of fruit loops to make a rainbow.

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In the center of the table were some gold coins and the first clue to begin the scavenger hunt for the pot of gold.

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Madison read the clues which had the girls scrambling room to room.

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Until at last, the pot of gold was in the fridge.  They were rewarded with skittles and little chocolate coins as a treat.

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I enjoy making my children smile with these little breakfast treats, but these special breakfasts are truly a treat because they don’t get to eat Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, donuts, and candy on a regular basis…although they’d love to!  I started the Lucky Charms tradition years ago, but wanted to add another element with the fruit.  Looking back at it now, it was a lot, but they had fun and made memories and that’s all the matters to me.  Now I’m off to set up tomorrow’s special breakfast.

HAPPY ST. PATTY’S DAY!!!!

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Valentine’s Day Breakfast

2 Jan

Happy New Year everyone!  2014 is upon us.  Our next special holiday is Valentine’s Day which will be here before we know it!  Ever since my kids were very little, I’ve always made Valentine’s Day special for them.  I usually make them a special Valentine themed breakfast and include a little gift from the “Lovebug.”  Each Valentine’s Day, the “Lovebug” pays a visit to reward the girls for acting in loving ways throughout the year.  The girls really look forward to Valentine’s Day.  Last year, I cut pancakes into heart shapes using a tiny heart cookie cutter.  I sprinkled them with some powdered sugar.  I also trimmed the tops of strawberries to look like hearts and placed those on a skewer and served it along side the heart pancakes.  I served pink yogurt in a pretty glass and of course a cold glass of pink milk finished off this special breakfast.  The “Lovebug” left the girls a fun gift bag with inexpensive treats inside.  How do you make your Valentine’s Day special? I’d love some extra special ideas to implement this year. 

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I hope you enjoyed your special Valentine’s Day girls.  Mommy loves you!

XOXO!

Ringing in the New Year

27 Dec

Are you ringing in the New Year with your kiddos this year?  We have made it a New Year’s Eve tradition to ring in the New Year with our kids and some family friends and their kids.  I wanted to share what I did last year to make New Year’s Eve fun and exciting for the kids.  They enjoyed it so much and can’t wait to see what is in store for them this year. 

On New Year’s Eve, we let the kids stay up until midnight or until they pass out from exhaustion (whichever comes first). We also like to spend time with our adult friends so I decided to keep the kids entertained each hour leading up to midnight by creating countdown bags full of fun activities to keep them occupied during the party.  

IMG_1168The kids were super excited to open a new bag each hour.  

Our schedule for the evening went something like this:

The guests arrived around 6:00 and we started the evening with kid and adult friendly foods and drinks.  The kids became acquainted with one another and played together, but by 7:00 they were ready to do something.  It was the perfect time to start the first bag of the evening.

7:00  The 7:00 bag contained all the items needed for a movie night- a new DVD, microwave popcorn, and popcorn boxes.  The kids sat in the media room and watched the movie while enjoying popcorn.  The adults got some adult time and everyone was H-A-P-P-Y!

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8:00 Time for an intermission.  The kids took a break from the movie to open the 8:00 bag which contained all the fixings for ice cream sundaes!  We served the ice cream in fun old-fashioned ice cream glasses and the kids got to choose their own toppings.  After ice cream they continued the movie which ended just in time to open the 9:00 bag.

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9:00 Game time!  This bag included games both the kids and adults could enjoy together, including one new game- Spot It!  The kids and the adults played games together for the hour and had a blast!  

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10:00 Dance Party!  The 10:00 bag included an iPod touch and speakers that was set and ready to blast kid friendly tunes.  I also included festive necklaces and glow sticks to add to the fun.  The kids and adults were ready to let loose at this point and danced the hour away.

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11:00 At this point the kids were getting tired, so I was glad I planned a low-key activity.  I printed some New Years Eve coloring sheets I found online and a New Year’s Resolution sheet.  The younger kids enjoyed coloring while the older ones concentrated on writing resolutions for the New Year.  I also included some Christmas Crackers for the kids to pull.

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12:00 Just before midnight we opened the final bag of the evening which included noise makers and 2013 glasses to wear to ring in the New Year.  

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The kids had such a blast.  I can’t wait to plan this year’s party!  Here is a snapshot of the night in photos.

Movie Time!

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Ice Cream Sundaes

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Game Time!

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Dance Party!

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Coloring, Making Resolutions, and Christmas Crackers

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Ringing in the New Year!

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Thanks for following along. I hope you got some ideas to make New Year’s Eve a blast for your kiddos.  Wishing you all the best in 2014!  Happy New Year!  

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Cheers!

Easy Christmas Breakfast

10 Dec

We have a little tradition in our family that my kids look forward to each holiday. It has become known by my girls as a “special breakfast”.  With Christmas around the corner I wanted to share the breakfast they woke up to last Christmas morning.  For this breakfast, I chose a turquoise and red color scheme and used paper plates for easy clean-up (and because I don’t own red plates).  I had some paper doilies on hand and used those as placemats.  The breakfast itself is super easy to put together and super cute. All you need is a box of Entenmann’s Pop’ems powdered donuts (any brand will do, but that is what I used).  Using three powdered donuts, stack them on top of one another on a plate to make a snowman.  Chocolate chips were used to make the eyes, a slice of the end of a baby carrot became the nose, and a small tube of black frosting was used to draw a smile.  For snow, I used shredded coconut.  I sprinkled the plate with some blue sugar crystals to add a little sparkle. I always like to serve fruit with breakfast, so I made a candy cane out of sliced strawberries and bananas.  Recycled Starbucks Frappuccino bottles make great milk bottles.  I topped mine with another donut which I bedazzled with blue sugar crystals and stuck a striped paper straw through the hole.  The kids absolutely loved this breakfast!  They’ve already asked if I can make it again this year.  We shall see…whatever I come up with this year, I can’t wait to see them smile on Christmas morning.  Happy Holidays all!  

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