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Saturday, November 9, 2013

This party clearly has a Christmas theme but I must admit that it was actually my daughter's 10th birthday party.  

I was super excited when she told me she wanted an ELF party. There was no turning back or mind-changing this time even if she told me more than four months in advance.

I've decided to share it now because this is when most people would want to host an elf party... although if you do decide to do it in the Spring you will get an awesome deal on all your party needs at post-holiday sales like I did!

In fact, because we'd saved so much on decorations and goodies and because it was the big ONE-O (double digits!!) we splurged and rented our local skating rink for the event.

Here are all the foods that an elf needs to survive! 
(Not pictured are some huge, human friendly vegetable, cheese, & cracker platters.)

A cocoa bar to warm up when you get off the ice.

Complete with "The World's Best Coffee" there on the end.

Party favors - doubling as a way to get some of those extra sweets gone before we all head home!  These were filled up with cute Christmasy trinkets and jingling bell bracelets. 

Simple movie quote decorations

The Cake!
Red and green velvet cupcakes with spaghetti frosting surrounded our little fondant "Buddy."

Like any good elf, we topped the spaghetti with m&m's, maple syrup, and crumbled Pop Tarts.

And if you are really lucky you might just have an awesome friend who has sewn an Elf costume already and will loan it to you for the event!  The costume made our photo booth and party complete! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake

1st Birthday

I decided to throw a Vintage Strawberry Shortcake party for my nieces first birthday. My sister loves Strawberry Shortcake so it seemed a good fit since the guest of honor wouldn't remember it anyway!

We want with all things strawberry for the dessert table except actual strawberries since this was in January. (Some pink "chocolate" dipped strawberries would be a must if they were in season.)
We also made a Huckleberry pie for my brother-in-law because we were celebrating his birthday too and he doesn't like cake and really because it just goes with the theme!

Add some color coordinating ribbon to jars for a simple way to bring it all together

Another Second-hand find turned into a party decoration with just a printer and glue!

We got a few first birthday themed decorations at a dollar store. I traced the shape and made them personalized with some scrapbook paper.

Handmade party favors. Lots of tracing and cutting but it was worth it. I found this pattern for free with a Google search and filled them with strawberry whoppers.
Those pillows in the background were more Second-hand store treasures (can you believe my luck?!)

With a little help from my Cricut Cake I was able to really pull together the them of both Strawberry Shortcake and the pieces we found at the dollar store.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Precious Baby Shower

I like to use the nursery theme for baby showers so that parents can use some of the decorations when it's over. (My husband also likes this because it keeps our basement a little less full!) 

Originally there would have been a cake in the center of this table but I did not like how it turned out so we ate it and did not display it. It's good to be flexible in decorating. 

I start shopping second hand stores early when I know I'm hosting a party in the coming months. This saves me tons of money and gives me time to make-over items to suit the color scheme and party theme.
I bought all these cute clothes second hand as well as the blanket and doll!

To Coordinate the frames, I again shopped at second hand stores. Most of them were gold and pretty ugly but a little spray paint and glaze and they're shabby chic and oh so precious!

There were lots of kids at this shower so I tried to come up with games and activities that they would enjoy too. This one was simple and a fun way to make a parent's worst chore a little more fun. We just drew pictures or wrote notes on the diapers. Mom and Dad chose their favorite and that person won a prize.

Another game we played was like Baby Shower Pictionary but instead of drawing we used play dough and you had to sculpt and shape your word.

Lastly we played musical chairs just for the kids and used lullabies for the music. 

These were the table centerpieces. I couldn't find enough figurines in my second hand treasure hunts so I made these. I used a technique that uses clay, bathroom silicone, and plaster of Paris. (I plan to do a tutorial on this later if anyone is interested). 

Edible centerpieces are another favorite of mine because it makes clean-up so much easier and fewer things to take home or send home with others after.

The kids really liked this figurines as well so I sent each of them home with one as a party favor.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Nursing Graduation

My cousin recently graduated from nursing school. Here's how we celebrated:

These could work as invitations or a sign to decorate the party

Jello "Shots"  These aren't actually Jello shots. Just regular Jello put into syringes. Good thing, because the kids in my family LOVED these! Somehow being able to shoot the stuff into your mouth makes it much more exciting.  

The cake: My favorite thing about this cake is that the two nurses in my family actually analyzed this heart beat! The assessment is that it has peaks and valleys, which is good, but it's really not a healthy heart.  

Another sign used to decorate. We set our kids play doctor things around as well because we all know it's the nurses who use those things the most =) 

A Little Princess - Family Movie Night

This movie was a must on our movie night list because I have two little princesses in my house.
I like the version that came out in 1995 so we watched that one.
Our menu was based on the scene in the attic when the girls awake to a surprise breakfast feast.

If you have a dress up box, get it out and let your girls' inner princess show a bit while you watch the movie.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hello Kitty 
11th Birthday

I told my husband that we were keeping it simple this year and I honestly tried... he laughed when he came home and saw the setup.  My daughter came home and "fainted" then rolled around on the kitchen floor for a bit so it was worth it even if it did go a little beyond "simple."

My daughter loves Hello Kitty so when I saw this at one of my favorite party sights I was inspired! 
I loved that it used such a fun color palette with no pink (my girl is not a huge fan of pink). It was also very affordable because I knew that I could make almost everything myself with a printer, scissors, and scrapbook paper.

I made a banner that said "Hello Katie" and used simple crepe paper streamers for the backdrop.
(Hint: A super simple way to achieve this is to glue the streamers ahead of time onto strips of foam board and gently roll the streamers up. When it's time for the party just tape the foam board up with packing or painters tape.)

Just measure the original label and create your own to go over it.
I left some of the chrome showing on the whipped cream because it went with our party, but you don't have to - just peel off the original label and measure it and design your own.

I looked for months for little buckets and didn't find any so I had to come up with a new plan :( Then just a few days before the party we ended up at Ikea. Hooray! These chrome planters were only $1 each there. 
I wasn't sure they were food ready so I lined each with parchment paper.

A simple label printed out and punched out with a cutter I have from Joann's.

Reusing drink bottles: I poked straw holes in the lids to make them a bit more spill-ready. 
I used my cricket to cut out the bows then used two and glued the ends together so they easily slipped on the straws.

Cupcakes with Cookie Toppers
This is where you'll find a  tutorial on flood frosting cookies - just keep in mind that this is for looks and not so much for flavor.

I made a few kid friendly sandwiches and cut them out with a cookie cutter.
The bow is slice grape tomatoes, the eyes are made with olives, and the nose is yellow bell pepper.

Simple favors:
 Hello Kitty character bottle cap charms for each child, bandaids, tattoos, and notebooks. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Firefly 30th Birthday

My husband recently turned the big THREE - OH. 
Having an addiction to party planning, I could not let this milestone go unnoticed.

I decided to make it a surprise and make it all about his favorite show: Firefly

If you haven't seen the show, this party will NOT make any sense to you. If this is the case, stop what you are doing and go rent (or better yet buy) the show and watch it RIGHT NOW because it really is that awesome!

If you haven't heard of Firefly it's because it was tragically cancelled after filming just 14 episodes.
This did not stop fans from becoming totally obsessed and rallying enough support for them to create a follow up movie finishing some of the story lines left hanging.

Also, some fans have been known to become so obsessed they create corny shin digs centered around the show. See below for more details.

Here's the invitation. The other side said:
{Husband} is turning 30 and we aim to celebrate

Join us for a Firefly inspired dinner
{time and place}
Remember to fly under the radar and land on time - it's a surprise!

Having a cargo bay meant very little tidying up in our front room (which holds my craft corner).
I just stacked some boxes, labeled it, and added some oriental style parasols
I ran out of time before the party so I hid the mess my craft table had become with a bright cloth and stacked some more parasols on top. 

Sadly these boxes don't actually have Bobble-Head Geisha Dolls in them. (If I'd had a bigger budget I totally would have ordered some as party favors though.) These are here because it's mentioned in the show that this is something the crew smuggled transported.

He done good so I made both Wife Soup and fresh Bao.
This was my first batch ever of Bao. They didn't turn out pretty, later batches were better but hard to photograph because they really are good and get eaten quickly. No wonder Walsh was so excited to see fresh Bao.

For "Simon's Protein Cake" I cheated and just used chocolate.

I love that some of our guests dressed the part!

Ice Planets!
Her food was definitely problematic... don't worry though, we found her a proper bowl and spoon.

A few of the decorations

There was also a quote bubble at kid-level reading, "I aim to misbehave."
A corner of our living room was draped in fancy oriental fabrics, complete with pretty lanterns, teapot and cups to represent Inara's shuttle.

Because a lot of our friends and us have young kids we weren't able to actually watch the show so instead we had a few space themed games for the kids to  play. Besides, watching people try to eat Ice Planets is entertainment enough for almost any party!

Proof of a successful party