Monday, April 29, 2013

Birthday Party: Chef & Baking Party

This party has recently been featured on Kara's Party Ideas!
This little man loves to be in the kitchen!  Every time he hears the timer buzz, he runs for the kitchen to check whatever is cookin' in the oven.  So, a chef party was perfect for his 2nd birthday!  We were so lucky to not only help plan this fun party, but celebrate at it, too!
There were two main decorated areas for this party - the food tables and the activity table.  Notice the fun touch of photographs of M in the kitchen.  Mom is a photographer and photos play a huge part in the life of this family, so it was a perfect touch.  The activity table was pre-set up for baking when guests arrived.  This helped not only with stress for the hostess, but also added to the party theme and decor.
The food was part of the decor - but it was a simple, delicious menu.  Juice for the kiddos (wrapped in crepe paper to match the colors), lemonade for the adults (LOVE these paper straws) with muffins and fruit cups.  The party was in the morning, so light food was perfect.  Some simple touches were red cupcake wrappers, colored straws, chalkboard signage throughout, ribbon around the bottom of the cups and red forks.  A great tablescape and party is in the small things!
And check out this cake!  Brianna designed the cake to fit the theme and with a couple extra touches, it was the perfect centerpiece.  The Melissa and Doug fruit cutting set was a perfect touch to the cake (and it came from M's own play kitchen).
 There were two main activities throughout the party.  The first was making the cupcakes.  We divided the ingredients into four cups - flour, sugar, oil and soy milk.  (This party was 100% vegan!)  Mom and Dad combined some of the smaller ingredients into the bigger cups - for example, vinegar and vanilla were pre-mixed with the soy milk.  Yes, we used red solo cups!  Very inexpensive and with the small addition of the chalkboard tag, it fit in perfect!
 The kids mixed the ingredients and while the cupcakes were baking, they played with homemade kool-aid colored play-doh (which smelled delicious but tasted salty).
 Each guest was sent home with their homemade playdoh container, a spatula and an apron (handmade with love by Grandma)!  The Birthday Boy had a special chef's hat.
 Overall, this party was a huge success and so much fun - and that's the point, right?  The Birthday Boy was surrounded by people who love him and everyone had a great time.  The activities were a huge success - even for the littlest party guests (15 months or so).  Remember, a great party is in the small things - and in the good company!  This picture of Mom and M shows just that!
 Be Creative!

Photos provided by Neyssa Lee Photography.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Playdate Party: Monsters

Want to throw a party but don't have a good excuse?  Why not plan a playdate party?  It doesn't have to be extravagant.  Once you have a theme in mind, invite a handful of your child's friends to join you.  Playdate parties don't have to be filled with activity after activity - choose one craft or activity and serve a treat.  When you're finished with the craft, let the kids free play while the mommy's visit.

What inspired this monster party?  Leftover monster stuff from Halloween a couple years ago!  I also found an $8 bag of monster stuff at our local consignment store.  Add a few cupcakes (decorated with my daughter) and we had a party!
This banner came in the consignment store bag and I created the little monster boxes for my Halloween mantel decor a couple years ago.  I love getting two uses out of something I spent time creating! 
We served waters and juice boxes and I raided my daughters toy box for little monster stuffed animals.  A great party is in the small things!
My daughter helped decorate these cupcakes and we had leftover monster bags (from Oriental Trading) from Halloween.  Each bag had a sticker sheet, tattoo and pieces of candy.  I always try to have a small take home gift to say thank you for coming.  It's a nice touch and really doesn't need to be expensive.  Although the adults may remember the party details, often times the kids won't - but you can extend the party a little longer when they open their gift in the car or when they arrive home.
These fun hats were in the consignment store bag - but they were fun and perfect for the kiddos to wear!  The glasses/noses came from Oriental Trading - again, a Halloween leftover.  I asked the kids to take them home, too - cleaning up and cleaning out my leftovers!
The table was pre-set with the craft and activity.  We started by playing in our living room until all the guests arrived then moved to the dining room.  All of the decor and Monster-type activities were reserved to one room.  This helped with clean-up but also helped center the party on the craft and snack.  The monster magnet crafts were in the center (again, a Halloween leftover from Oriental Trading) and each child chose one.  I created an example of each so the moms could help without looking at instruction sheets.  Unfortunately, this craft did not include adhesive-backed pieces - so we used mini cupcake tins with a squeeze of glue and q-tips to apply it.  I prepared the glue minutes before guests arrive (the last thing on my to-do list) so it wouldn't dry out.
We all had a great time!  I think the kids really enjoyed it and the moms enjoyed the company, too!  Again, it wasn't expensive - I used leftovers and spent no more than $15 on "extras" (the consignment store bag, cupcake mix/frosting and misc supplies).  It was the perfect way to spend a raining morning!
Inspired?  What will your next Playdate Party look like?
Be Creative!

Friday, April 12, 2013

1st Birthday: Super Hero Party

For this little man's first birthday, we wanted to keep it small, but fabulous!
I had the super hero party idea, but Creative Imaginations - Super Hero Collection paper was the real inspiration. It made the whole party click and come together.  I add a few small things here and there and BAM!  Party!
We had the party in the evening and served cupcakes and desserts.  I used the sticker sheets to create fun cupcake picks and the word blurb paper everywhere!  The colors were vintage super hero - reds, blues and yellows.  I used the large superhero emblem as my template to create a simple "Happy Birthday" banner (sorry, no picture!) and hung the colored streamers in the main rooms of the house.
We sent the cousins and friends home with little goodie bags with superhero coloring books, crayons and tattoos.  The adult guests also when home with a little snack.
The party was small, but special - our little guy was the center of the celebration and it was just big enough to make it special but small enough for it to be remembered.  First birthday parties can be tricky since the little ones won't remember them, but regardless of whether you go "all out" or keep it small, they are a great excuse to get friends and family together.
Be Creative!