A Tale of Two Parties

My darling creative, sparkling, wonderful Em turned six last month, and she is so loved it required two parties!

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The first party was for three of her friends after school on her actual birthday.  Em is an artist through and through, and to celebrate that each friend celebrated her inner artist!

Art Birthday Party invitations! #artparty #bdayinvitations

We got a little excited about these invitations…there was a little extra glue going on.  But it was all Em’s idea and she was super creative with how she wanted to decorate them!

When the girls arrived after school, there were art supplies waiting for each of them at their seat.

An Art Party @ Rub Some Dirt On It An Art Party @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Each girl painted her own picture on her canvas, and then we filled cupcake necklaces with sand art.  They all loved it and the time flew by!

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And of course, colorful cupcakes!

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It was a really fun way to celebrate her actual birthday and she felt super special.  She felt even more fabulous that weekend, when all our family came up for her family party, this time an animal theme she designed all her own!

The cousins loved the animal masks, and the girls all wore matching dresses made by Nana.  It was so adorable to see them all together!

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Em used our many Schleich animals to decorate her cake and Nana and Papa’s house, and there were plenty of “party animals” to go around!  Her ideas for animal touches were so fun! I’m glad I let her help decorate this year instead of trying to surprise her as usual.  She really knows what she wants, and her vision is always great!

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Including these creepy-eyed stuffies (not my favorites but my kids LOVE them) in lieu of goodie bags for the kids!  They were such a hit!

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Em knew exactly what she wanted for food as well, and with some creative wording, she was able to get all her favorite foods at the party!  Such a smart lady.

Animal Birthday Party Food #animalparty #animapartyfoodideas Animal Birthday Party Food #animalparty #animapartyfoodideas

Em remembered how Papa orchestrated a scavenger hunt for her presents last year and made a request for another go round.  He obliged and she tracked down all the amazing gifts bought and made for her, including a professional easel handmade by her Auntie Amanda.  What a lucky lady to have such a beautiful day!

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Mmmmm….and a yummy cake made by Auntie Jenny.  Loved by so many, this precious girl.

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Happy birthday, dear Em!  You deserved every minute of happiness from your celebrations!

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A Paw Patrol Paw-ty!

Little H had a pretty fabulous family birthday party over the weekend, if I do say so myself.  It had a lot to do with the guest list, with lots of family making the trek up north to celebrate us, but the birthday girl herself was pretty darn cute.  It doesn’t hurt when big sister takes the time to make sure you are party ready, from your fingers down to your toes.

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Thanks to Pinterest and the dollar store, I found plenty of easy ideas for Paw Patrol party food, including serving it in these over-sized dog bowls with silly pup wording.  I’m pretty sure the Chew Toys were gone before the party even started, and I may have made my kids addicted to Cocoa Puffs!

Paw Patrol Bday Party @ Rub Some Dirt On It

With the party set up, it was time to welcome family and enjoy the unseasonably warm spring weather.  What a day!  All of Little H’s cousins were there to celebrate, and because they range from teenager to not-much-bigger than H, I called in reinforcements.  Nothing brings cousins big and small together like bubbles, and nothing makes me happier than bubbles and sunshine.

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Indoors, nothing made Little H happier than an entire house decorated with the Paw Patrol everywhere she turned, filled with people who love her, yummy food, and awesome gifts.  It was the perfect day to be a three-year-old.  Or related to a particularly fabulous three-year-old!

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And cake!  Mmmm…an extra perfect day to be three.

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Such a glorious celebration, so much love!  So grateful to everyone and so proud of Little H.  Happy birthday little one!

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It was definitely a day to remember!

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Turning Two, Part 2

A 2-year-old balloon-themed birthday party with family, told in photos.  Of course there was lots of smiling, fun, snuggling, kisses, thoughtful presents, and spoiling of children all around.  The fun speaks for itself!

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The only blemish on an otherwise glorious day was that Em was too sick to be there, and Daddy was with her at the ER so they missed the party.  But we sent lots of videos and lots of love!

Thank you to all our family and friends for making both her birthday celebrations days to remember!

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Jax’s 6th Birthday: More Than Meets The Eye

This year, when Jax turned six, he didn’t just turn six.  He transformed.

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He wanted a Transformer birthday party, and even though we didn’t do the usual go-big-or-go-home friend party because his big gift was a trip to NYC with Dad, I couldn’t resist playing on his love for all things Optimus Prime and Rescue Bots to give him a small family party that was more than meets the eye.

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His Auntie Jenny gave him an Optimus Prime costume for his gift, and with a little help from blue rock candy Energon, he was powered up and energized to have a fantastic birthday!

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Auntie Amanda and Uncle Chris came up for the day and, as usual, they got down into the trenches for some Autobots vs. Megatron action.

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Then we played Pin The Autobot Shield on Optimus, and even Little H got in the game!

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And finally, we played an intense few games of Kick The Can Transformers-style, which is basically  good guys protecting the All Spark (which is a sort of Tranformers treasure of some kind–at least that’s what I’m told) from invading Decepticons in an epic battle of good vs. evil.  Basically, I was excited to have a chance to play Kick The Can with my kids and this was as good an excuse as any.  Jax was excited to defend humanity as all good Transformers do.

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My boy is six!  His presence in my life is more than I could have ever asked for; he is such a special boy.  This year is going to hold so many new adventures for us all!

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Love you, Jax!

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Cool! A Frozen Birthday Party!

As with all little girls her age, Em is fully and completely in love with the movie “Frozen” and all things Anna and Elsa.  So it came as no surprise when she asked for a Frozen-themed birthday party last month when she turned four.  The tricky thing is that Disney apparently wants to keep Frozen in super-low supply and high demand, so finding anything Frozen at a regular party store is as likely as adopting a pet unicorn.  That doesn’t slow this mama down, though.  I’m cool like that.  Pun intended.

Frozen Birthday Party decor

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Amazon and Oriental Trading have tons of snowflake and winter-themed decor.  That plus a few well-placed princess accessories equals just as much joy for a little girl as a Disney-trademarked party (for probably half the cost to mom and dad).  I stuck with teal and purple for the colors, and went with a winter theme.

I found some great Frozen-inspired food ideas on Pinterest, including Sven’s Antlers (pretzels), Olaf Noses (carrot sticks), Hershey’s Hugs (with a Hi! I’m Olaf and I like warm hugs! sign), and as much white and powdery food as I could find.  Don’t forget the sparkly snow confetti!

Frozen birthday party food ideas

Frozen bday party food ideas

Do you want to build a snowman?

Speak of the devil.

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Lastly, all I required was to transform Em into Elsa.  I found a beautiful Frozen-inspired headband on Etsy, and my sister gave Em the perfect Elsa french braid.

Frozen-inspired bday hair

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After that she felt practically royal!

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(This was the best buy ever, at Party City.  It was like $6.  I will keep it forever and use it on rainy days and for an inevitable future princess birthday party for Little H!)

After that she was ready for a rousing (and absolutely amusing for everyone involved) game of Pin The Carrot On Olaf!  She cut out construction paper carrot noses for everyone who would be at the party (which was great because no one could deny her when she handed them a carrot with their name painstakingly written by her on the back), so everyone could join the fun!

Pin the Carrot On Olaf! A great Frozen bday party game! #frozen #frozenparty #frozenbdayparty #frozengames Pin the Carrot On Olaf! A great Frozen bday party game! #frozen #frozenparty #frozenbdayparty #frozengames

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The videos were hilarious.  I had forgotten how much fun this party game could be!

We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging with family as Em opened her presents.

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And of course there was cake!

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Just a regular homemade cake, with her Magiclip Anna and Elsa dolls for flair!

Frozen Birthday Party Cake

It was a wonderful time for everyone there, and as always, we are grateful to family for making the trip and for such thoughtful gifts!

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This birthday girl certainly thought it was a super cool day!

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Happy birthday to our little princess!

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A Super Birthday Party

We celebrated my birthday boy this year with a fabulous superhero birthday party.  It had all the bells and whistles of a super celebration, and Jax loved every second of it!

It all started with a fantastic Superhero Invitation, styled to look like an edition of The Daily Planet, inviting people to our house last Sunday.  Jax and his sisters wore their supehero best.

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And we had masks of every color (bought here) for Jax’s buddies to put on as soon as they arrived.  The masks also served as their party favors, and the kids loved to get into character.  This is especially nice for any friends who aren’t as obsessed with superheroes as a certain five-year-old I know, because they aren’t character-specific.  The kids could pretend to be whoever they wanted, and certainly did!

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We feasted on the superheroes’ favorite snacks to get our energy up for the games that would follow.  I had a lot of fun researching these tasty treats!

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Once the kids were ready for action, we started with a rendition of musical chairs called Musical Heroes, where the kids walk around on a path of heroes’ photos.  There are enough photos for every kid so there is no jostling for a spot (which could lead to fighting, which I wanted to avoid).  I had a matching hero action figure for every picture, and when the music stopped, I pulled a hero out of a hat and whoever was standing on that hero’s picture was out.  The last hero standing got a prize. Musical Heroes

Then we were alerted to the presence of some “bad guys” (also known as their dads in hoodies and $1 masks) who needed to be captured and wrapped up in streamers.  This was definitely the best part of the party!  The dads performed their parts admirably and the kids loved vanquishing these foes!  They were only released once they agreed to join the good guys’ side.

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Unfortunately, before they were captured the bad guys dropped some balloon bombs in the yard that needed to be diffused.  The kids loved the chance to pop, stomp, jump on, bounce on, or do whatever needed to be done to destroy these bombs!

Diffuse The Bomb Superhero Party Game

Afterwards, they noticed a few more villains lurking in the nearby woods, but luckily we had some water balloons handy to defeat them and make sure they never came back!

Water Balloon Bad Guys

Note to self: packing tape doesn’t work so well on trees.

After the games came cake and presents.

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Then time to burn a little more energy before the heroes retired for the day (and maybe a nap).  Hilariously, the kids took some boxes that I had wrapped for a party idea that failed and decided to first demolish them, and secondly, go sledding down our hill in them!  It was a great way to end the party–lots of laughs and smiles!

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I think my little superhero was as happy as could be with his superhero party.  The kids all had a lot of fun, and I had fun planning it, too!  Anything to commemorate the biggest hero in my heart!

An awesome superhero birthday party! #games #food #masks #superheroinvitation #costumes #heroes #villains

Time to hero up!

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A Tea Party For Em

This year I kept it fairly simple for Em’s family birthday party, but the notion of having a tea party for her and her friends as a birthday celebration had been tickling my fancy all winter.  I decided to have the kids over for a sunny, spring tea party outside, which I am pleased to say was an even bigger hit than I anticipated because both boys and girls love tea parties!

I put two plastic kids’ picnic tables next to each other and covered them with a purple vinyl tablecloth with a sparkly sheer fabric remnant from JoAnn Fabrics on top as a “table runner.”  Then I bought a few yards of ribbon and some scrap-booking butterfly decorations to create her fabulous birthday chair at the head of the table.  I also made her a matching pennant banner with her name on it, but somehow forget to photograph it!

On the table I reused the spray-painted Mason jars of flowers from her family party and some real silver and glass dishware to hold simple snacks like berries, sliced cucumbers, pretzels, and butterfly crackers with cheese that the kids could munch on while playing.  There were individual bubbles that I had purchased at Valentine’s Day and held onto across the table, plus necklaces, bracelets, and crowns for the kids to adorn themselves.

Our friends came dressed up in their “fancy” clothes–from a seersucker suit to ties borrowed from Daddy–it was an adorable hit!  And of course the mamas looked great, too.  I was so glad everyone got into the spirit of the party and used it as an excuse to dress up–we SAHMs don’t always have a chance to look fancy!

I also wanted to have something else for the kids on hand to do, so they wouldn’t get into too much mischief with all the breakable dishware around.  I filled our water table with beads and threw out a handful of pipe cleaners and the kids each made a decorative bubble wand!  It was great to have something to send them to do if they were getting underfoot, such as, “Jax, have you made a bubble wand yet?” and of course they would hurry over to see what it was all about.  Having a craft or something similar (like the treasure hunt at Jax’s pirate birthday party) is always good to have in your back pocket with all the excitement of a party.

After the kids had played  hard and were ready for lunch, I served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with pink lemonade tea poured from a real glass teapot into china tea cups on paper doilies, much the kids’ delight!  The fact that the cups and saucers were real china  made it all the more special.  The kids were so careful and serious–they didn’t spill a drop or break one thing!

Not that it mattered because I got it all at Salvation Army for fifty cents a piece!  The kids brought them home as their favors, so I’m glad that none of them bit the dust, but I was sure to have a few extra to send home for younger siblings and in case of emergency.  None needed.  The kids were so darn cute!

 

Please note Matt’s correct use of the lifted pinky while drinking his tea.  Such good manners!

 After the cupcakes for dessert I pulled out a tray full of bubble solution and the kids used their newly decorated bubble wands before they headed home.

It was a lovely day for all the kids who came, but mostly for my sweet little Em who loves all things girly!  I could not have hoped for a better time with a better group of friends.  What a wonderful day at a very special tea party!

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