Posts Tagged ‘we like to party’

Caroline’s First Birthday: Good Ideas

Friday, December 16th, 2011

This feels a little bit self congratulatory (especially since the party hasn’t even HAPPENED yet, so I have no proof these things actually WERE good ideas) but I am pretty excited about some of the stuff I’ve put together. This is the 4th party I’ve thrown since I discovered how much I LOVE hosting, and I’m finally getting the hang of it. And by “getting the hang of it” I mean “not spending a zillion dollars on unnecessary crap” and “make sure the guests have fun instead of just making the pictures look good”. So here are a few of the details I think are worth explaining a little more in depth than the coming soon post-party picture post.

DIY lace paper

A fancy hole punch can make regular paper look expensive. I bought this Martha Stewart edge punch at Michael’s with a 50% off coupon I tore out of a magazine. I’ve had it in a drawer for months and has started to think it was a dumb purchase, but it ended up being PERFECT for Caroline’s invitations. Then I carried the pattern over to the signs for the cocoa bar, food labels, cocktail recipes and the favor bags. One $10 box of blank invites and one package of white cardstock was the only other cost. There are tons of patterns that would be cute for other party themes, but the lace worked nicely with my snowflake decorations.

Party favors

I’ve spent a lot of dough (PUNNY!) on stupid crappy plastic party favors in the past, but I’m really excited about this idea. I made two double batches – one pink, one blue – of sparkle play dough (using this recipe I found on Pinterest), divided each color up into 10 smallish balls, popped them in sandwich bags and stapled on a label. It worked out to pennies per favor and I think they kids will really like it. I also made a triple batch of plain white glitter play dough I’m going to have out with a bunch of plastic cookie cutters for the kids to play with at the party. They’re all going to be COVERED in glitter but I figure then they’ll just match my theme better.

Christmas tree turned into a Caroline tree!

Twinkle picture in action

I figured since the Christmas tree was already prominently featured as part of our decor (because it is a GIANT TREE covered in lights in the middle of the room where we have parties) I should make it more Caroliney for her birthday. I am very conscious of the “My birthday never felt special because it was too close to Christmas” problem EVERYONE I MET told me about when I was pregnant. I dreaded telling people I was due December 26th because they always told me about their mother/brother/cousin/dog who was born that week and has hated it their whole life. My attempt to prevent that feeling in Caroline is why we are having this party at all, so I’m doing my best o make the day ALL ABOUT HER. But really, photos + clothespins on the tree is a cute idea with ANY photos.

Which reminds me I made this:

I crack myself up.

 

DIY Pull String Pinata

I think this is the project I am most excited about. Ever since I saw Young House Love’s party post about their daughter’s 1st birthday I’ve been dying to try making my own pull-string pinata. The idea is a one year old is too young to smack a pinata with a stick (and also hello December birthday in New England, we’re INSIDE, maybe giving kids bats to swing isn’t the best idea) put they can pull a ribbon and have the treats fall out. To make the base, I followed their tutorial here. My original concept was a giant snowball or snowflake but I like how this ended up even better. I just folded coffee filters in half and glued them around with hot glue, overlapping layers.

Close up of the coffee filter petals

My last good idea isn’t so much a really good idea as just a “Why didn’t someone TELL me that before?!” I bought a small glass pitcher at Goodwill to put the cream of coconut in for my grown-up drinks. I figured no one could identify white stuff in a glass pitcher as cream of coconut, so I was just going to write on the glass with a black sharpie and it would be my cream of coconut container FOREVER. But it turns out magic eraser takes permanent marker off of glass super easily.

p.s. I have terrible handwriting

It also worked on clear plastic, which is perfect for my dipping sauces. Regular dry erase would get smudges and illegible as soon as it got dripped on/touched but I tried smudging the sharpie and I can’t.

I’ll try to have a full party recap up on Monday, unless I am so exhausted I end up sleeping straight through Sunday. It’s entirely possible.

Thirty Hand Made Days

Halloween Party!

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Wheeeeeee! It turn out inviting every single person I saw for three weeks didn’t mean any of them wanted to drive out in a snowstorm to attend my Halloween party, so I didn’t end up with the huge crowd I was worried about anticipating. It also turns out all it takes to wear out my kids is running in circles for three hours (at least an hour of which was LITERAL running in circles – our first floor makes loop). Good to know, hard to replicate on a daily basis.

Most of the food was inspired by Pinterest, so check out my Halloween board here for details. I also used the free printables found here for some of the decoration and labels. I also FINALLY used the cookbook I got at The Creative Connection that had all the cute “gross” food in it. The rest of the stuff is a mish-mash of craft store decor and Target purchases that are probably not really worth listing. I’m going to force myself to limit the photos on this post to a reasonable semi-reasonable almost reasonable number, but check out the blog Facebook album for ALL the rest (probably only something you want to do if you were actually here and want pics of your kid.) They’re all kind of terrible, because the light in my house is terrible without sunshine – and we don’t get much sunshine during freak snow storms – but I can’t stop myself from putting them up anyways. It’s a sickness, really.

Pumpkin decorating station

The kids loved it, but next time maybe I won't set out so much glitter.

Spooky mantle decor

Little Evan's best friends are adorable

Hot dog mummies, dead fingers, ghost lollipops, zombie pizza (which was way cuter before it was cooked)

Clementine "pumpkin" pyramid

Sparkling cider & V-8 Fruit Fusion as spooky drinks, chocolate coverd rice crispie treats, mini donut eyeballs, ghost pretzel sticks

Sea monster veggie dip

Trifle with Death trifle

Penant banner & pumpkin lights

I don't think E was very happy I made him wear a costume

Too-dark photobooth was still a hit

Thanks for coming! Have a great night! Dinosaur rawr!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who came, and also HUGE apologies to anyone local who I didn’t invite in time. I passed them out at Stroller Strides a few different days but kept forgetting who had gotten them, so I promise you were SUPPOSED to be invited and I just suck. Next time I’ll just put a general party announcement on my Facebook and hope no creepy strangers show up. But YOU’RE not a creepy stranger, you’re a blog friend, so next time you’re invited too.

Whew. Now I’m going to spend a week cleaning my house and hiding from the thought that Caroline’s 1st birthday is in less than 7 weeks. Poor second child’s probably getting a store bought cake and a balloon.



Get Adobe Flash player