Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cowboy/Western Party

Tonight I'm featuring Ethan's 2nd Cowboy/Western Birthday Party.  We had this party in our backyard.  The kids had a great time!

The Decorations

I made "Wanted" signs for each child who attended the party. 
I took pictures of the kids in Western gear for the posters.

I made several Western signs and posted them throughout the party.
Ethan's Birthday Poster
Lanterns from IKEA.  Fabric stars from Hobby Lobby.
This was supposed to be our "hitching post."
The Food
I made the cake.  I am no professional baker by any means...
The Activities
My husband wouldn't let me get a pony, so this was my substitute. 
A co-worker has horses and let me use one of her saddles.
Potato Sack Races
The Favors
The Birthday Boy
Happy 2nd Birthday to my Sweet Ethan!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Buckets of Christmas Wreaths

With 4 days to go to Christmas, I thought I'd do a post dedicated to my obsession with wreaths before I bid adieu until the next holiday season.  I've always had a thing for wreaths, why I do not know.  And as I began to decorate my house this year, it began to dawn on me that perhaps my fondness for wreaths may have crossed the line into needing a 7-step program :)

Square wreaths are probably my favorite.  Here are the ones I have for the Christmas season:
These wreaths are from Pottery Barn, many years ago.  I have them hanging on my mirror above my mantle.

Another Pottery Barn square wreath from several years ago.  I found these wreaths at the end of the season on clearance and picked up one for each of the doors in our home.  I love the simple look of them.

I just made this wreath today using the Martha Steward Gingerbread wreath as my template.
Gingerbread-Man Wreath 
I used my own recipe to make the gingerbread men and didn't quite follow her directions (Shhhh...don't tell Martha.)  Stay tuned for a post on how to make this wreath (Melissa style).

I plan to use my wreath for my Gingerbread party I'm already planning for next year using Paula from Frog Prince Paperie's ADORABLE gingerbread party printables.  Check them out here.

Gingerbread Christmas Cookie Printable Party Collection - DIY, SALE

Here are some pictures of my more traditional wreaths.
I love the look of doubling or tripling wreaths and using ribbon to link them for hanging.

In our home, wreaths are not just for walls (of course because I've sort of run out of walls and doors!) 
I hang wreaths on the back of my dining room chairs.

I've also used them to adorn other home accessories, like these lanterns I purchased from Pier I on clearance. 

When I have to pack this all away at the end of next week, I'll look around my house and think it looks naked.  My husband on the other hand will be happy the "clutter" is packed away for another year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grace's Hannah Montana/High School Musical/Rock Star 6th Birthday Party

I am finally getting around to featuring Grace's 6th birthday party.  Prior to having this blog, my fellow party blogger, Betsy Pruitt from Belly Feathers was kind enough to post this party on her blog.  I am eternally grateful!  She was part of the inspiration to start this blog and has been so helpful as I continue this journey! 

Grace challenged me for her 6th Birthday.  It wasn't long after she turned 5 when she decided she wanted a High School Musical and Hannah Montana party - as if one Disney star wasn't enough!  As I think I've noted before, I'm not too crazy about "character" parties, let alone having two characters in one party!  But as any mom out there would do, if that's what your child wanted, you'd do it.  So like the baseball party, I gave it my all :) 

I thought one way that I could "de-character" the party would be to tie it together with a "Rock Star" theme.  The "rock star" aspect of the party really pulled it all together.  And the best part of the party, was the look on Grace's face when she came home from school to see all of the decorations and especially the stage.

This was the first year I let her have a "friend" birthday party.  I still think it's important to celebrate birthdays with family.  So I decided to host her friends from 11:00 to 1:00 and then have family arrive at 3:00.  That arrangement worked out great!  I only had to decorate and get ready for one day.

The guests were invited to come dressed as their favorite Rock Star.  The girls looked adorable!  This party was so much to plan and even better to throw given the excitement of all the girls!

The Invite
Rock Star Party Invitation

The Favors

The Favor Containers were actually Easter baskets from Kohl's that I got at 90% off from the previous Easter!

Favor Tags - Ciao Bambino from Etsy
The guitars were full of Hannah Montana and High School Musical items, all fit for a rock star!
Each girl also received a microphone headset, blow up guitar and feather boa.
Each girl also received her own backstage pass that I created using my Creative Memories Digital Scrapbooking Package.  They were placed in backstage pass holders from Oriental Trading Company.

The Decorations
I printed off 8x10 backstage passes to place next to the posters.

I also created a number of signs to be placed around the party.

The Stage
Grace insisted on having a stage for the party.  When I told her we wouldn't have a raised platform, she was a little disappointed.  However, when she got home from school and saw this stage, she was ecstatic!

I made the speakers using large cardboard boxes.  I spray painted them black and used a stencil I created to make the circles on the boxes.
A vinyl sticker from UpperCase Living that I placed on the "stage floor."

The Activities
We had a Hannah Montana Tattoo Parlor and a Girl Power Salon.  I had make-up, fingernail polish, hair extensions and hair spray paint for each girl to create her own rock star!
I purchased cardboard guitars from Oriental Trading for each child to decorate.  I added the black center circle prior to the party so the kids would have a reference point from where to decorate the guitar.  

The girls played "pass the microphone" - our version of Hot Potato.

I had a guitar pinata.
And a rock star birthday party wouldn't be complete without karaoke!  My great neighbors let us use their karaoke machine.  I purchased a Hannah Montana karaoke C.D. from Great Party.  All of the girls LOVED karaoke.  I think we heard "Best of Both Worlds" 30 times.

Ethan was quite the karaoke singer!

 The Food

Cupcake Toppers - Ciao Bambino from Etsy
I adventured into cake making for this party.  Because some of my family (including me) is celiac, we have two cakes at most functions - one that tastes good and a gluten-free one.

The Birthday Girl
Grace's dress was from Etsy (the shop no longer is listed on Etsy).
Rock Star Guitar Dress Jumper Top - Sizes 3M-4T-Black, white, bright pink fabrics

Ethan's shirt was from the same seller on Etsy.
My rock stars!
I gave the adults who helped with her friend party, t-shirts that said, "Security."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas at our home.

It's hard to believe that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away!  It's probably hard for me to believe because I've been getting ready for Christmas since before Thanksgiving!  It takes me quite a while to get our home ready for Christmas and given all the hard work, I like to enjoy it for a while.  I'd thought I'd share some pictures from our home.

Table centerpiece
I made the ornaments using vinyl clings from UpperCase Living.

The lanterns were a set of 6 lanterns from Pier 1 that I got on clearance - they are really outdoor lanterns.  I added the berry wreaths.  Our stocking holders are from Ballard Designs.

The garland was inspired by a picture in a Pottery Barn catalog.

My Aunt Debbie of Debbie Daanen Photography took these pictures of the kids last year for our Christmas card.  I had them made into canvases to hang at Christmas time.  Ethan was priceless when he saw Santa.  The picture of him climbing on the chair waiving to Santa was not staged.

Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season!

Buckets of a Girly Baseball Party

As I write this, we here in Wisconsin have had quite the snow storm.  We received over 12 inches of snow and the wind has made it "blizzard like" conditions.  I'm not sure what the weather men mean by "blizzard like" - it is a blizzard!

So, I thought I'd post about something that reminds me of warmer times of the year - baseball!  For Grace's 4th birthday party, for some reason, she decided she wanted a baseball party.  Now this was before she had any sort of "girly" party - no princess party, no fairy party, nothing pretty.  I was a little disappointed, but that's what she picked, so I went with it.  In the end, I loved the theme.  It was a lot of fun.  And again, this was WAAAYYY before I had discovered party-blog land - back in 2008.  But I thought I'd share anyway.

The Decorations

I took white paper lanterns and adhered red ric rac to them to make them look like baseballs.  The place mats are from Pottery Barn Kids from their baseball line of party decorations - back when they had birthday party themes.
Grace's 4 Year poster.
The Favors
For the favors, I found popcorn containers from the dollar aisle at Target and filled them with baseball related items.
For each party, I try to find a Christmas ornament that goes with the party theme for the guests.  Then at Christmas time, they can remember the party.
I made each child a baseball shirt using iron-on transfers.  Their "jersey number" represented their age.
The "team logo" said, "Grace's 4th Birthday Team"
Each child also received a personalized baseball hat.  The girls' were pink with a "bling" baseball on the front and their initial in "bling" on the back and the boys' were blue with their initials.
The Food
What's a baseball party without Cracker Jacks?  I took red ric rac and baseball ribbon and tied it around the Cracker Jacks boxes.
I made peanut butter rice krispie treat baseballs.  The glass jar has baseball gum balls inside.
Gluten free baseball cupcakes.
I had the cake made at a local bakery.  The day of her party was of course horrible weather.  When my husband went to pick it up, the top of the box literally blew off and landed back in the cake.  The bakery had to re-do the entire top of it!  The frosting on top ended up being 3 inches thick!  But it was yummy!
The Birthday Girl
Looking back she looks SO young!!!  I found Grace's outfit on Etsy.  It was so long ago, that I don't remember from where.  Her hat was from a seller on eBay. 
I made Chris and I a shirt as well.  My number was 21!
I think this party shows that you don't have to be a "professional party planner" to add personal touches to your child's birthday party.  And, if your child choses a theme you're not so thrilled about - go for it!