Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Three Day Weekend Fun~!

Sorry all it has been a few days since my last blog. Again motherhood, working and other things have all gotten in the way of blogging but not party planning.  I am currently working to plan an end of the year preschool party! Theme:  SUMMER FUN! (more on that later).  But first I want to give all of you who have cast one vote or voted daily for my blog on the Top 25 Party Planning Moms a HUGE  thank you! It means a tremendous amount and I can't wait to share what becomes of being part of the top 25. The voting is not over and remember you can vote daily for the next 9 days. Keep it up! You can either click the link HERE or the badge link on my home page up in the right hand corner.

Memorial Day Weekend

This past weekend my husband and I took the kids East and spent some time in Bend.  You know how the best laid plans don't always work out well that was our weekend.  We did however have some fun.  First the weather was ridiculous. It was supposed to be sunny and warmer than what it had been except that it had snowed (YES I SAID SNOWED) early Friday morning.  So when we arrived it was wet, rainy and cold. Oh but we were gonna do some fishin! We went to our favorite twin lake for part of the day and fished in the rain. We had one bite!

We went to the High Desert Museum. I had never been to this place and was unsure of what would be in store or even if my four year old would like it.  Oddly enough this was the best place to spend a few long hours letting him explore and learn about wildlife, the forestry weather service, and play!

There was so much to do! We helped an old settler's town do their daily chores, saw Smokey the Bear, played with the weather station, tried to climb a rock wall (Ty did well with that) saw all the Birds of Prey, Otters, Bobcats, Lynx and other desert reptiles!

A good tip for parents: It is a bit expensive for admission but you can return as many times as you want throughout the same day until a certain time. So go when it opens. It opens 9 am daily! Be there first anyway because by 11:30 the parking lot is full and you will be fighting crowds.  Four year old's and younger are free admission (so that saved us a few bucks).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

CARS vs. Toy Story

Well Cars (the Disney Pixar movie) won!

Birthday Party for year 2 was built around the Cars theme.  For my two year old Cars was the best movie ever for.  He loved it!  So of course we celebrated with Cars theme.  Here's what we came up with.

 Again with home made cupcakes. Of course purchased cup cake toppers.  Kids liked them and they were plastic cars and some sugar tops to eat.  I make this Lightening McQueen cake, piped it and everything. I even made a practice cake LOL.

 Purchased the table cloth, banners and coordinating paper plates and napkins. Streamers for the ceiling but they were of the black and white checkered flags and there you go!

 This is the best picture of the cake (above)... and below is my two year old eating a healthy snack before the party begins!

This was only the second birthday party that I had planned several years ago and really the creative juices had not begun flowing to the extent they are now! My husband would probably prefer the way it was which was go pick up the party supplies and throw the party pretty simple huh?  Instead of paying attention to the minor details that I spend an inordinate amount of time doing.  It is fun !

Eric Carles 1st Birthday Party

I figured since I haven't blogged about some of the birthday parties we have previously held for my first born that now would be an especially good time! But also isn't it the case when you have planned and hosted a party and the party is complete that once you are done you come up with even better ideas.  I thought maybe I would replicate a birthday party theme but for a different celebration like a preschool graduation party and display those cool new ideas! But for now here is an Eric Carle themed birthday party I threw for my son's first birthday. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Of course I have the cutest invitation made for this party.  Unfortunately I did not keep them so I can't show you. However, I ordered a picture type invitation from some company that had the background of the very hungry caterpillar and Brown Bear stories and put my son's picture and the details of the party on that invite.  Everyone loved it!

This book by Eric Carle is one of my favorites and you can certainly do so much with this theme it is unreal. However, for my son's first birthday this was the theme! His birthday is in January so I am trying to keep outside party themes to a minimum!

We have a large family so I thought it would be neat to have both the cupcake caterpillar with large cupcakes and a sheet cake with the Brown Bear, Very Hungry Caterpillar and the colors that you find in most of Eric Carles books. 

For the decorations I went online and ordered the Eric Carle's party kit. It came complete with headbands, streamers, happy birthday pennant, a pin the tale on the elephant game and a booklet of ideas for planning.  We put streamers on the ceiling and ordered colored balloons with a chameleon (a character from one of the Eric Carle books) and called it good. 

 We decorated the old house with Eric Carle books  and played the Pin the Tail on the Elephant game. (What a horrible picture of me!) Kids had fun. Little did I know that my son was fighting an ear infection that day and was not really wanting 50 family members and a few friends over to celebrate his first birthday.

Isn't the birthday boy so adorable. But really you can tell he was not feeling well!

I would love to do this party over or just make it a preschool party for the kids in my son's preschool class. I have so many other ideas for the kids games, art activities, invitations and games it is unreal! Once I do that I will surely post those pictures and the planning process that I went through to get that party done.  I tell you being a full time working mom but wanting the best experiences for your children it is worth the sacrifice of sleepless nights and planning over time to make those parties a success!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What a great party idea!

Recently my husband and attended several school auctions. As an educator I feel it important to support both financially and with our presence through volunteering our kids and community kids with their own educational adventures.

I am always planning my kids' parties! My son who is four who doesn't have a birthday until January 2013 loves the fire trucks, all trucks really and he is in to Lego's too! However, while at the last auction my husband bid and purchased a birthday party! How do you do that and what party might you ask would this be? Well we purchased a "Fireman's Birthday Party".

A friend of mine donated the items.  It is like a party in a box. Comes complete with a Fire Truck pinata, napkins, coordinating cups, Fireman's hats, party favors and invitations. AND the best part of all the local fire department will pick your kiddo up in the Fire Truck and drive them to the station where the party will be located.  Now of course being a party planning mother, I  know I must add a few things to this party!

So I have a venue, I have favors, invitations, among other things, I need: cupcakes, home made cupcake toppers which I am going to use my Cameo Silhouette to help out. I have already picked an image that I will print and cut out with the machine and tape to toothpicks. Once complete I will amend this post and share! Minimal decorations will be needed, because of the venue itself but I will need to speak to the fire department and see what type of tables there will be and then I will plan the table decor! So there you have it a birthday party which we paid way too much for that is partially complete but that supports both educational  settings in our community and will be a ton of fun for my son and 9 of his friends at some point. Not sure if we will do this for his 5 year old party or one year later because of the car seat issue. I don't really think they allow booster seats in the fire trucks. Another thing to figure out. LOL

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Planning a Story Book Themed Baby Shower

The Event

I have been planning and prepping to host my a Story Book Themed Baby Shower for my sister who is pregnant with her first born.  I have been planning this party for a few months now and have pulled together some fabulous ideas!


In planning a party or event I often find that a theme helps to structure your plans. Sometimes it can be limiting but for the most part it gives you something to focus your efforts around.  I also think it is a good idea to work with your client, friend or family member that you are hosting the party for and discuss their thoughts around theme.  You wouldn't want to offend or take the party in a direction that is inappropriate or just whacked out.  So after discussing with my sister, knowing my sister and her husband it was decided the theme would be 

"Build a Baby a Library."  


What cool idea could I use to create neat invitations?  First thought, send everyone a book shaped invitation. I began my search online (Pinterest, Google Images, Pottery Barn Kids etc.) I stumbled upon Pottery Barn Kids website where I found the cutest invitation. 

I so badly wanted it.  But after following the directions a million times that were provided I realized I must not have had the right programs in Adobe and that the download and manipulation of this invitation would not work. Maybe someone else could try this download and let me know how it works.  Time for a different idea. 

After continuing my research on invitations I found that this idea was super cute and fun. I could even put a twist on it.  A Library Check out card invitation.  There were several that I found from websites like:

So from all of those ideas because I didn't want to purchase and I work in education, my first thought was to see if there were any Library pockets and checkout cards available at work. Using one of those for a template would be easy. I could use my computer software to do the rest.  Here's what I found.

I decided to create a template after scanning one of these library cards into my computer! I decided not to use the pocket that I found, because I only had one and I didn't want the invitations to be plain o' drab.  I had super cute 12x12 scrap book paper that needed using and since I didn't know what gender the baby was, I could use a variety of colors!  

Still a bit plain for my liking and really no notion that it is for a baby so I added a round colored button to the pocket to spice it up a bit. Sadly I did not take a picture of that.

Along with the invitation, there were three bookplates that the guests were asked to use in the book they were bringing in lieu of a card.  Because this was my sisters FIRST baby I wanted her to be able to receive not only books but needed items off of her registry. This theme is Great for second or third babies with families who have the necessary items to welcome their little one home.  

I made cute little envelopes as well to keep the invitation cute and non-gender specific!  Remember when making your own cards, and envelopes to take them to the post office to have them weighed there might be extra postage. I took apart an envelope that was regular sized and that fit the invitation and used that as my template.  Because I added the button onto the pocket I needed to pay an extra twenty cents to hand feed the envelope into the postal machine.  


 I went all out on the home made decorations. I was not about to purchase a canned party decoration package so here goes.

I made two lanterns out of book pages.  The picture above does not do it justice so here are few others.

These were super easy to make. Just buy a lantern shade (IKEA or World Market is where I found mine) cut out circles from old torn up books purchased from Goodwill or other thrift store and take your trusty glue gun and glue them on. Then use decorative ribbon or string and tie a knot around the inside wire hanger and whallah there you have a beautiful decoration.  

I also hand sewed a bunting using book pages, ribbon and my sewing machine. See below.  Curious George all the way. What a great gift to also give the person you are celebrating. This could be used to decorate the baby's nursery!

I also decorated the buffet table, dessert table and each of the round tables  with a different book theme. Take a look.  

Madeline. One of my favorite books. I don't often get to read this with my two boys. But thought since we don't know the gender this would be a great one to display and give to my sister. Took me a while to find the Eiffel Tower but I did thanks to Salem Real Deals.


Dessert was brought to us by Saint Cupcake in Portland, Oregon!  I made the cupcake toppers.  Look how cute they are!

Party favors included book worms and book marks! Bookworms were boxed up gummy worms! The guests enjoyed!


Because our venue was an old school I made use of the chalkboards.  On them I wrote a variety of things. 



These were two of my favorite book sayings/phrases that I wrote onto the chalkboard.  I also made sure to post a poll to have guests post their guesses on the baby's arrival date, gender, lbs, and length! Take a look!


For the games we played a Dr. Seuss Trivia game and Bingo. All in all the event was fabulous. My sister received a variety of books for the baby's library and even books that were read to both her and her husband were given from each of their respective parents. It was great!