Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Party - "Park" Style

We hosted our friends for a fun summer party - for the adult crowd this time.  The theme was trailer park/redneck/whatever you want to come as, but just have fun.  And fun we had!!!  All of our friends put so much time and effort into their costumes and "accessories."  This party was an absolute blast!!!    Here are pics of the food, decor and fun.  I'll try to include details

Our menu would not earn us any spot on any Food Network Show, that's for sure.  We served hot dogs, spaghettios, mac and cheese, beef jerky, bologna and cheese sandwiches on Wonder Bread, pork rinds, Cheetos, spam, chips and beer dip and a few other appetizing dishes.  I served most of the food using ice cream pails, cool whip containers and butter containers.  I used leftover plates and napkins from other events and used paper towels.  It screamed class!  Here are a few pics of the Hostess Cake and the sandwiches.

This party was the perfect venue for cheap, but tasty drinks.  I made Wap, served really cheap beer like PBR, Natural Light and Red Dog.  We also had Boone's Farm.  To make the drinks taste extra yummy, I made Redneck Wine Glasses using Kerr jars, candlesticks from the dollar store and epoxy glue.

I found candy cigarettes and lovely ash trays from the dollar store.  Everyone seemed to appreciate the lost childhood favorite!

Pink flamingos seemed to say it all for the party.  I found some in the dollar aisle at Target and also from Oriental Trading Co.

My husband made this sign and I painted it for the front yard.  He then decided the lawn needed a little dressing up with the items from our garage :)

Nascar posters also were put to use to class up the place.  I found an entire box of them on eBay for a really good deal.  The guns came from the dollar store.  The orange and black signs were from Shopko.

Much to our neighbors' dislike, my husband let the grass grow out the week before the party and then decided to cut a few strips and leave the lawn mower sit in the front yard.  It was a great added touch.

Wisconsin recently passed a very "liberal" concealed weapon carry law.  This has caused a significant amount of for-profit companies to descend on Wisconsin promoting their concealed carry classes.  I found these signs for the party - they seemed to fit the theme a little too well!

Photo Booth Backdrop
The centerpiece to this photo backdrop was the garland deer I found at Fleet Farm at the end of Christmas.  It was a perfect fit!  I used camo covering, made my own lineup height measure and reused the racing banners from Ethan's Cars party.  I found the cardboard deer at Dick's Sporting Goods. 

I put together some photo booth props - hillbilly teeth, plastic flowers, trucker hats, a mullet wig, some racing flags and a shot gun.  I also had tattoos for those who came without.

The crowning jewel of the party was our neighbor's RV.  It was so perfect for the party and was quite the conversation piece.  I had to give it it's own address :)

This party was really a lot of fun.  Thanks to all of our friends for coming out, playing along and having such a great time!  I'm looking forward to more summer fun!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Carnival Favors

We are getting closer to Ethan's big birthday carnival!  He is very excited!  I wanted to share a few things from our party preparation.  I plan on having carnival games for the kiddos to play where they will earn a ticket at each game.  The tickets can then be turned in for prizes (the party favors) at the prize station.  I wanted to share two of those prizes.

My philosophy on party favors is that I like to give the guests something useful rather than something that is going to end up in the bottom of some basket a day later.  The price of party favors can add up, so I like to spend my money on things the kids are going to use.

If I can, I like to find ornaments for favors that match the party theme.  My mom and grandma started a tradition for my sisters and me when we were babies, giving us a different Christmas ornament or two each year so that when we had our own Christmas tree, we would have ornaments from our childhood to fill the tree.  In turn, I think it is fun to give an ornament as a special memento that when the kids pull them out each year to put on the Christmas tree, they have memories of their birthdays.  I found these ornaments at Kohl's last Christmas on super-duper clearance (plus my 30% off - LOVE Kohl's!)

What kids doesn't like to play with chalk?  I purchased an economy pack of chalk and broke it down into "individual servings" for each of the kids using cello bags.  I think you could package pencil shavings in a cello bag, add ribbon and it would look lovely :)  I adore cello bags!  For the chalk, I topped each bag with the printable paper from my carnival printable package from Dimpleprints.  The tags are from Anders Ruff.  I added a ticket behind the tags, and voila, a cute carnival prize!

(As a side note, yes I am a printables junkie.  I usually use two or three sets per party because I can never narrow it down!  There are too many talented graphics designers out there!)

I am just loving this carnival party!

This weekend we are finally having our Trailer Bash.  I am looking forward to a night out with my adult friends!  It has been a long few months and we could all use a good laugh or two!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

{Real Party} Camouflage Fun!

So we all know there are lots of blogs and sites out there that feature the perfect party - the staged ones, the ones photographed by expensive photographers, the ones that could be featured on TLC's Outrageous Kid's Parties.  And for me, as a full-time working mom - full-time employed and full-time mom, I drive myself crazy trying to reproduce something that frankly, is not real.  Don't get me wrong, I love to get inspiration from those (staged) parties, but I need to bring myself back to reality and remind myself perfect is not real.  And perfect does not mean fun for kids which in the end, that is what a party is meant for.  They do not care if the sweets table is perfectly symmetrical, if there are labels on food they know perfectly well what it is or if the invites "set the tone" for the party.  They just want to have fun.

If nothing else, I hope that real moms like me get inspired to do something special, not perfect, but special for their kids and that their kids are just as excited about their party as they are.  Fortunately for me, I have a great friend who I was able to feature her real party a few weeks ago (check it out here). I am so excited to bring you another real mom's party that she threw for her son.  I met Melissa threw my friend Tina (who knew, another party planning momma named Melissa!).  She bounced some ideas off of me for her son Charlie's camouflage party a month ago and claimed she was not a party planner.  I think the pictures tell another story :)  This party is adorable and I'm told was a ton of fun!  Here is the party in Melissa's own words.  Details of the party and sources are at the end.

"I am a total novice... what I did learn and had to calm myself on the day of the party was I HAVE to have a backdrop for the treat table!  Such a mistake that I didn't but it was fun for my first attempt :)"  Melissa picked the camo them because, "that is what Charlie said he wanted was an "army" party which to him meant army guys and camo!"  She said she was "dreading [the theme] at first because I thought it would be hard but must be what lots of boys like" because "who would have thought it was that easy to find camo stuff!"

For the activities, the kids "went on a "mission" with clues to find their prizes at the end. That is where they got a bag with the sunglasses and gummy army jets. Then they were each issued a marshmallow gun (painted camo and pink camo for the girls) and we had a marshmallow war!"


Melissa definitely did not skimp on the sweets or the favors for the kids!

These marshmallow guns were made and painted by Charlie's dad!!!  How cool is that!

* Gummy Jet Fighters & Gummy Army Guys - Albanese Confectionery
* Camo Sunglasses - Children's Place
* Favor Pack - Party City
* Rock Candy, Candy Sticks and most other candy - The Bulk Food Store  
* Canteens for kids to drink from along with dog tags - Party City 

Invites: Vista Print 

Boys Shirts: Maddie Bug Baby on Etsy

* Labels made by Melissa with her Toy Story cartridge for her Cricut.
* Banner:  Vista Print
* Camo Pennants:  Party City

*Vegan Cupcakes for the Birthday boy from Bake Cupcakery and Catering.
 *Cakepops, Dipped Pretzels and Dipped Marshmallows, made by Melissa

Congrats Melissa on such a great party!  Can't wait to see what you do next!