Posts Tagged ‘party’

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, One Year Old Is What You Are

Monday, July 27th, 2015

We celebrated Lincoln’s 1st birthday party on Saturday with a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star themed party. I fell in love with the star idea while rocking Linc to sleep in his room – there have been glow in the dark stars on his ceiling since we bought the house. Plus I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he is a sparkly, twinkly baby personality-wise. He’s my little star.

You can check out my Lincoln’s First Birthday Pinterest board for a lot of the recipes and inspiration for all my ideas. I’m putting the post after a jump so all 2 bazillion photos aren’t on the front page for the next month…

twinkle twinkle little star first birthday ideas


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Caroline’s Undersea Wonderland Mermaid 4th Birthday Party

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Last year, right after her princess party, Caroline asked for a ballerina party. I was really excited about that, since a winter ballerina party could be Nutcracker themed and there are SO many adorable possibilities there. Luckily I didn’t do much (any) planning early, so when she changed her mind and asked for a mermaid party instead I didn’t have to undo anything to throw a mermaid party.

I didn’t do as much as I have in the past (her winter fairy party was my favorite and also was CRAZY involved) but since the kids are bigger and more able to entertain themselves I just threw a bunch of balloons on the floor and they took care of the rest.

My theme was Undersea Wonderland, since obviously that’s where mermaids live. I had the very talented Becca from Jumping Jax make a custom invite and printable decorations for me. She is fast, creative and afordable (she also did Evan’s pirate party) and I highly recommend her.

Most of my party supplies came from Oriental Trading Company, as they usually do. This year, they gave me a budget and sent me a bunch of awesome stuff for free, although I ended up ordering twice as much stuff as they offered so I gave them a big pile of money anyway. Story of my party-planning life: budgets are not my strong point. But Caroline has an excellent party, everyone ate all my food and I would definitely say this was another successful birthday.


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Mermaid treasure

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Sparkle jelly fish made from Oriental Trading Co lanterns

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Real life: pen on the wall of the stairs and my husband’s dirty socks in the railing

Undersea Wonderland 4th Birthday Party

These giant balloons are my favorite birthday tradition

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Glitter EVERYWHERE, but I love how these look


Undersea Wonderland 4th Birthday Party

Undersea Wonderland 4th Birthday Party

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These are my gooey vanilla sparkle cookies, just renamed.

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Ha ha ha ha School of Fish

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Mermaid wands

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Octopus rolls were an unexpected hit! It’s just crescent roll dough sheets cut into shapes with edible eyes stuck on.

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Seaweed dip = spinach dip

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Crabwiches! Eyes glued to toothpicks, sandwiches are ham and swiss

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Sand dollar sugar cookies (same ones I made for Evan’s pirate party). Caroline cut these out herself. HERSELF. Like, my sister supervised but Caroline rolled and cut the dough entirely herself.

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Cheese triangles as shark teeth

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I bought a special starfish cookie cutter for these

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Puff pastry cut into stars with cream cheese frosting filling, sprinkled with a little gold sugar to make them bumpy

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Oyster cookies! I used two different kinds of Pepperidge Farm cookies (one is shortbread, one is coconut) and the same frosting I used on the cake

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The “pearls” are chocolate candies from Oriental Trading Co.

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I broke my own rule and made a cake. The cake itself is from a box, but I made cream cheese buttercream frosting.

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I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME looking for a mermaid to go on top…and found this one on our Christmas tree. It was Caroline’s ornament from last year.

Undersea Wonderland 4th Birthday Party

The sand is graham cracker crumbs, the writing is a sparkle frosting pen, and I even bought special teal food coloring to make the frosting ocean-colored. Caroline picked the candles.

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Rock candy from Oriental Trading Co

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These were WAY cuter on Pinterest, but as much of a mess as they are the kids loved them and they looked cute on the tray

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I sent E to buy “mermaid beer”. This was the best he could do. It was delicious though!

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Blue punch mixed with Sprite = sea water. We also had pink mermaid punch, but I somehow forgot to take a photo.

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Straws from Oriental Trading, flags from Jumping Jax

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HERE’S A TIP. Don’t make sea glass candy. Melt Jolly Ranchers on parchment paper instead. Dust with powdered sugar. DONE. I mixed it with my jelly sharks because I ran out of bowls.

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Fish sticks. Obviously.

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Ocean Jello. Man, there was a LOT of blue food coloring at this party.


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Party favors

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Make the sand/seashell ornaments

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It needed some adult supervision but they all came out really cute

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My sister drew this for me approximately 30 minutes before the guests showed up. She is very talented.

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Waiting her turn…

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The kids LOVED this game

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Cake eating counts as an activity

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So does mermaid punch

Cake time!

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Happy 4th Birthday Mermaid Caroline!

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Thank you to Oriental Trading Company for some of the supplies! I got the 4 balloon, the other balloons, the straws, the lanterns, the pearl chocolates, the necklaces, the wands, the straws, and the rock candy from them. Plus other stuff I’m forgetting and/or forgot to take pictures of (like the green crepe paper that turned my bookcase into a seaweed forest.

The shells and craft supplies are from Michael’s. All the fabric is left over from her previous parties, as are the lights and the crystal curtain behind the food table.

Caroline’s mermaid costume was her Halloween costume. It’s from Chasing Fireflies, a super awesome place to get costumes. Evan also wore his shark costume for part of the time, but we had to take it away when he started attacking guests. True story.

You can find links to most of the inspiration and products on my Pinterest board here. Not everything from my party is Pinterest-worthy. It’s not professional or super fancy or perfect and after 5 years of throwing parties for my kids I am TOTALLY OK with that. We had a wonderful time. I had a ton of family here and they were all so so so helpful. I could never have gotten even half this stuff done without them. An hour before the guests showed up I handed Baby Linc to my sister’s new fiance and abandoned them. He did great. Better than great. I hope I can convince him to come back for Caroline’s party again next year.

Thank you to EVERYONE who came and everyone who helps and everyone who made Caroline’s day so special.

As always, ask me if you have a question on where something came from or how I made something. Apologies for the weird colors/lighting on the photos, it got dark at like THREE O’CLOCK so this were taken at a crazy high ISO under overhead lights.

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Sunday, December 21st, 2014

BIRTHDAY WEEK! Today, Sunday, the day after Caroline’s party, I’ve finally managed to think about the fact that Christmas is 4 days away and I can’t even FIND half the gifts I bought the kids (no for real, WHERE DID I HIDE THEM????).





I only burned myself three times and the beer was an effective painkiller.





Proud of his gold star from the dentist


Wraps make good blankets when you use the stroller


You brought me to a casino AGAIN?!



School uniforms don’t have sock and shoe requirements







She insisted on the jaunty hat


Screw you candy thermometer, you are USELESS


He’s disappointed none of those things are food



Daddy chat time


Outtake from my attempt at a santa baby picture. I have 30 more like this.





Cookie time with Aunt Carolyn


I do not want to talk about what is happening here.


Two fancy ladies at The Nutcracker



Two selfies in a row is ridiculous, but the birthday girl is too cute


A shark playing Pin The Tail On The Mermaid


In the Rainbow My Little Pony game, EVERYONE WINS

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Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Caroline has 1 more week of school and Evan has 2 more weeks. They are signed up for absolutely no summer activities, which might be a huge mistake on my part but for now I’m looking forward to it – we have enough memberships and passes to keep us busy on boring days and I really don’t want to be forced out of the house on the days where I’m too pregnant to do anything besides watch Harry Potter movies.



I don’t actually know what time she got up, but she was asleep by 11 am.


My secret apple orchard


Too lazy to grill our own food means 5 Guys takeout on the patio



Park playdate with her very best friend in the whole world (and some statues)


Yogurt City for dinner





She’s helping me pass my NST


Cup thief (it’s just melted ice)



Field day for both kiddos!


AND swim lessons! Busy day.


I love my Target Starbucks but sometimes a girl just needs an Icee.



Won’t stay inside even in the rain




A long week finally caught up with him



She’s obsessed with the rhododendrons


Impulsive dinner out at Voodoo Grill and the best shrimp po’boy I have EVER eaten





She wore this for most of the day.


She looks really happy because…


…BOUNCE HOUSE. We love birthday parties.

The whole weekend has been gorgeous, which means the house is trashed, the laundry is piling up and we’ll probably have ice cream for dinner again. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so I’ll catch up then. Or maybe Caroline and I will go to the aquarium and I’ll just ignore the mess. That seems like more fun.

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Evan is 5! A Pirate Birthday Party

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Evan choose a pirate birthday party for the big FIVE and it was super fun.

My dad pointed out (several times) that a pirate birthday party might not be the MOST appropriate theme for a bunch of 5 year olds. Murdering, robbing, raping and pillaging don’t really seem like good party games for kids, but based on the internet pirate is still a really popular theme.

“Popular theme” can mean two things – easy to find supplies is the good part. TOO MANY IDEAS is the bad part. I could have used an extra 6 months to plan the perfect pirate party but I’m sort of glad I didn’t give myself that time. This might actually have been my lowest-stress party to date (although it also might have been one of the most expensive – SO MUCH pirate stuff on the internet!)

OK, now for pictures because you’ve probably already skimmed this whole intro. Blah blah blah my kid is 5 blah blah so big blah blah blah some people came over. I’ll source stuff at the end, if I miss anything let me know and I can add it.

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I drew that chalkboard map with chalk pens. It is not impressive but I am very proud.

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She ate so much her belt didn’t fit anymore.

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Also, apparently tiny ginger pirates have pet lizards instead of parrots.

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Once again my parents and my in-laws came for the party, so I had a ton of help prepping food. There actually wasn’t TOO much to do this time, besides cutting  fruit/veggies and making sandwiches. I made the cookies and cake and jello ahead of time and counted on my cute names to make boring food more exciting.

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The empty spot on the bottom right is “Catch of the day”, which was fish sticks (a bigger hit than I expected – they were all gone at the end!)

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E carved that watermelon with my instructions being “I dunno, like a ship”. It’s even better than the one on Pinterest.

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Really excited with how blue these came out – just blue jello!

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GONE at the end of the party

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Turkey, cheese and hummus in a spinach wrap

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One part weird blue raspberry sugar water that came in jugs at Walmart, one part Sprite Zero

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Bottle of pineapple soda, bottle of Sprite Zero, half a bottle of orange soda, bottle of orange/peach/mango juice from BJs

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Second try cake! I still hate frosting them myself but it looks adorable and was very, very tasty (I made lemon curd for the filling)

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All the kids got to hit the pinata and LOVED it.

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Eventually E hit it – first he broke the bat, then he smashed it open with a hockey stick.

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The stomp-rockets were the first gifts Evan opened and E wore all the kids out playing with them in the yard

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My Pinterest Inspiration Board – lots of the food ideas came from here
Plates, napkins, round banners, table cloth, straw, chocolate gold coins, pirate shower curtain (backdrop) – Target
Hats, swords, 5  balloon, pirate balloons, pirate flag, torn sail netting, pirate mugs, popcorn boxes, fake coins, treasure maps, pirate tattoos – Oriental Trading Co
Sword toothpicks, flag toothpicks, pirate pennant banners, pinata, gummy sharks, pirate masks, skull shaped cookie cutter– Amazon
Pinata favor bags, buried treasure, candles – Walmart
Evan’s costume & Caroline’s tights – Costume Express
Caroline’s costume – made by my awesome friend Leah
Signs and watermelon ship sails – designed by my awesome friend Becca
Plank (board & cinder blocks), galvanized tub, sand, twine – Home Depot
Lots of fabric – JoAnn’s
Recipe for sand dollar cookies – Delicious Inspiration

Ta-da!! That really was a great time. SO glad the weather (mostly) cooperated (it wasn’t actually warm enough for Evan to be barefoot) and the kids all got to play outside. We had friends stay all afternoon and when they left my kids COLLAPSED into bed. I love parties.

I’ve got a BUNCH of hats left over, so if anyone is throwing a pirate party I’ll give you a great deal. Plus also masks, toothpicks, fabric, banners…yeah. Lots of stuff. Someone please have a pirate party.

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