Hot Pink Zebra Baby Shower!

Last month I threw a baby shower for my younger sister, Heidi. I am so excited for her, she’s due at the end of this month! She’s having a little girl, and Heidi has been crazy about zebra-stripes for a long time now, so we made her shower a hot pink zebra theme!

It was a beautiful day in the middle of summer, so we held the baby shower outside in my mom’s backyard. There were about 20 guests that showed up, and we had a lot of fun. Each guest had a Ghiradelli chocolate waiting on their seat when they came in.

Chocolate

I made a wide array of food and treats for Heidi’s party. Here’s a list of what was offered, followed by some pictures!

Chex Muddy Buddies (one of Heidi’s favorite things!)
Pretzel Sticks dipped in White Chocolate, with Pink Sprinkles
Hot Pink Sugar Cookies with a {zebra-striped} Hershey’s Hug on the tops
A Cake that was zebra-striped on the inside!
Deviled Eggs
Fruit with Fruit Dip inside of a Hollowed-Out Pineapple
Veggies with Ranch inside of Hollowed-Out Peppers
Pita Chips with a Cream Cheese & Sweet Chili Sauce Dip
Greek Feta Dip with Sliced Baguette
Cous Cous Salad
Pretzel Sandwiches with Reese’s PB Cups inside
Pineapple Lemonade Punch
Personalized Water Bottles

I’m still kicking myself because I never took a picture of the inside of the cake! ARGH!

Refreshments

IMG_5759

IMG_5760

IMG_5761

IMG_5766

 

For the dΓ©cor, my mom strung a giant clothesline across the yard and hung all new little girl outfits on it for Heidi to take home! I also had pink & black balloons, zebra-striped plates with matching napkins & silverware, a clear vase with zebra paper and hot pink flowers, and a zebra ribbon strung across the treehouse that showcased all of the maternity photos that I had taken of Heidi the day before!

Decorations

IMG_5770

 

Here’s a great shot that we took from the porch of the treehouse, of the entire party scene:

Party

 

And here’s my cute little sister, the guest of honor…(she’s already practicing her baby-holding skills!)

Heidi

 

For the shower activities, I had a large mason jar full of candies and guests had to guess how many were in the jar. I also did a diaper raffle where guests earned a raffle ticket for each pack of diapers that they brought, and then I picked a winning ticket.

We played a paper game where guests had to write what the baby name of each animal is (for example, a baby dolphin is called a “calf”), and Heidi’s sister-in-law hosted a candy bar “memory” game where everyone got to leave with a full size candy bar!

Amber

We also played “Pass the Present.” This was a fun activity where the guests all stood in a large circle and one of them starts by holding one of the prizes, and as I read the poem, they have to hand the prize to whomever fits the poem description. When the end of the poem comes, whomever is left holding the prize gets to keep it!

Here is the Poem:

1. The news is out, quick send a cable, the gift goes to the lady across the table.
2. If someone wears a dress of blue, she must take this gift from you. If blue cannot be seen, it goes to the one wearing green.
3. I will now read another verse…please pass to the gal with the largest purse.
4. We are getting tricky, here is a real humdinger! Pass it to the one with the most rings on her fingers.
5. Wow! What a success! Pass it to the guest with the most buttons on her dress.
6. Alas, this gift is not for you. It now goes to the one with the largest shoe.
7. Let’s get this party started girls…pass it to the one with the cutest curls.
8. Mommy is anxious. Daddy is nervous. Now pass this to the lady who drove the furthest.
9. There won’t be time to practice, there won’t be time to rehearse. Pass this prize to the gal with the most money in her purse.
10. We hope you all are having fun. We tried to include most everyone. From the largest purse to the largest shoe, pass this gift to the right of you.
11. We’re ending this rhyme, this is the last poem…the gift you are holding is yours to take home!

I had never done the poem game at a shower before, but I will definitely do it again because everyone loved it!

The last big game that we played was “Sculpt A Baby!” Everyone got a small tub of PlayDoh and they had 5 minutes to mold a baby. Then Heidi got to pick her favorite one and the winner got a prize!

Dough Babies

IMG_5778

IMG_5782

IMG_5783

 

After all of the games were played, it was time for Heidi to open her gifts! The baby girl got spoiled with lots of cute stuff!

Baby Gifts

IMG_5772

IMG_5786

IMG_5787

IMG_5788

 

Congratulations little sister! I can’t wait to meet my niece! πŸ™‚

September 10, 2013. Food, Parties. Leave a comment.

Bridal Shower for My Beautiful Sister-in-Law, Victoria!

I had the honor of throwing a bridal shower for my sister-in-law before she married my brother in July!

I wanted her shower to be really special so that she would know just how excited we are to welcome her into our family! I made tons of food and we played a lot of fun games. There was a lot of laughter, and even some happy & sentimental tears!

My sister-in-law’s name is Victoria, and she LOVES cupcakes! So I did her shower in a cupcake, hot pink, and teal theme.

Invitation

Cupcake Streamers

Here is the menu of food that I made and served at the shower:

Green Salad
Fruit Salad
Pasta Salad
Deviled Eggs
Chicken Salad Croissants
Garlic Cream Cheese Chicken Puffs
Chips & 7-Layer Dip
Chex Muddy Buddies
Cupcakes
Moscato, Soda, & Juice

Foods

IMG_5005

IMG_5006

IMG_5007

IMG_5010

IMG_5012

I had SO many people compliment the Garlic Cream Cheese Chicken Puffs, and they were all eaten up very quickly! They are the easiest things ever. Here is the recipe:

You’ll need: 1 tube of refrigerated crescent rolls, 1 can of cooked chicken, garlic powder, and 4oz (half block) of cream cheese. You mix the chicken, cream cheese, and as much garlic powder as you like all together. Spread out the crescent rolls and cut each triangle in half. Now put a lump of the cream cheese mixture in each triangle and close up the dough, forming a ball. Place all of the filled crescent dough balls on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 325 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Anyway, back to the party…

On the food table I had placed a large mason jar full of chocolates, and as everyone loaded up their plates, they wrote down a guess as to how many chocolates were in the jar. The winner was the person who guessed closest to the correct number of chocolates (I had pre-counted them) and they got to take home the jar full of goodies as the prize.

Guess the Number

Guess the Number

IMG_5091

A fun activity that we did at the party was a toilet paper fashion design contest! We split up into teams of 4, and each team had a model that they had to “dress.” They had to create their most beautiful wedding dress using nothing but rolls of toilet paper, teal streamers, and scotch tape! Once the time was up, all of the models showed off their dresses and Victoria got to pick her favorite one, and the winning team members all got prizes. This activity was a HIT!

TP Dresses

IMG_5047

IMG_5055

We also played a paper game, where the guests had to correctly match the foreign ways to say “I Love You” to their correct country’s language. For example, “Ich Liebe Dich” is German.

After the games and activities were done, and everyone had full bellies, Victoria opened her presents. She got a good assortment of new stuff for her house as well as some fun little sexy things for her honeymoon! πŸ˜‰

Victoria

IMG_5016

IMG_5062

IMG_5073

IMG_5082

IMG_5084

Congratulations Kevin & Victoria! I love you both! πŸ™‚

September 10, 2013. Food, Parties. 3 comments.

Showers Galore!

In the past few months, I have thrown 3 baby showers and 1 bridal shower! I love throwing showers so this was fun for me. I think I love the planning & prepping stages even more than I love the actual shower itself!

Two women at my church were both expecting girls, so I threw them back-to-back showers. One on Monday evening and one on Tuesday evening! It was a lot of fun because it was really just a great excuse for all the women of my church to get together, chat, play games, and eat good food! I had both of the showers be potluck style and it worked out great! We had lots of yummy food both nights and I took care of the decorations, games, & prizes.

Baby Bumps

On Monday night I threw Kathryn’s shower. (She just had a baby girl named Ahlora). Her colors were pink and green, with a baby animals theme.

Kat

Kathryn's Family

A friend of mine from our church was a HUGE help to me for this shower…she made fantastic cupcakes that looked like ice cream cones, made a diaper cake, took maternity photos of Kathryn and brought a poster-board to the shower with the maternity photos arranged on it so that we could all write notes of congratulations on it!

Tabbi

600486_10151407247990303_979947432_n

969101_10151407248345303_571223875_n

During the shower, we played a few fun games. We did a “paper game” where the guests had to write the correct baby name for each animal (example: Goose – Gosling, Goat – Kid, Seal – Pup, etc.) I always do one paper game at each shower, because they are easy and everyone can participate at the same time, which is important if there are a lot of guests. (There are some super fun activity games, like finding tiny baby pins in rice while blindfolded, but when each person has to go individually it can take a long time).

During the shower, we also did the “baby pin” game where each person starts out with one pin on their shirt and you can’t say the word “baby” or your pin gets claimed by whomever catches you saying the forbidden word.

After the baby animals paper game, each guest had 5 minutes to sculpt their best baby out of PlayDoh. That was so much fun, and the creative babies that were molded were awesome! Kathryn got to pick her favorite baby and the sculptor of that baby won a prize.

PlayDoh Babies

IMG_4591

IMG_4592

IMG_4593

One other game that we played at Kathryn’s shower was the “Guess the Baby Food” game, where guests pass around 6 jars of baby food and they have to write down their guesses as to what kind of baby foods they are. They can smell, taste, touch…whatever they want to do to determine what’s in the jars! This is always a fun game! πŸ™‚

Baby Food

Here are some more pictures of the games, and the prize bags. I put the prizes in pretty tote bags so that the bag is a reusable prize in itself.

942881_10151407248760303_521712908_n

Games

Prize Bags

After the games, Kathryn opened her gifts and enjoyed herself. Overall it was a very fun evening! πŸ™‚

Gifts

On Tuesday night I did Meg’s shower. (She just had a little girl named Lorelai). Her baby colors were bright pink, teal, and bright yellow, so I went with that theme.

Again, we had a delicious potluck, fun games, and lots of gifts. We also did the baby pin game again, where guests couldn’t say the word “baby.”

We played the game where each guest has to tear off a length of toilet paper that they think represents how big the mother-to-be’s tummy is, and whomever is the closest wins a prize. This is a game that made everyone laugh as Meg walked around getting measured!

Toilet Paper

We also had a baby-sock-folding-championship! I had a bunch of little baby socks all mixed up on the table, and two people at a time would sit at the table and have 15 seconds to match up as many pairs of baby socks as they could! This continued until everyone had faced-off, then the winners from each round went up against each other until there was one champion! πŸ™‚

945222_10151409122135303_309557988_n

Baby Socks

The third game that we played was another PlayDoh sculpting game, but Meg wanted everyone to sculpt baby elephants. Let the molding begin!

IMG_4605

IMG_4606

Baby Elephants

After games, Meg opened her gifts and we all had some more nice hang-out time together.

Presents

Presents

So…those were the first 2 showers that I threw this summer. I think I will cut this post off here and make new posts about the other showers, because this post is long enough already!
I hope you enjoyed seeing these baby showers, because I sure had a ton o’ fun throwing them!

πŸ™‚

September 10, 2013. Food, Parties. Leave a comment.

Jack’s 3rd Birthday Party – Pirate Edition!

Well, Jack’s 3rd birthday wasΒ last November…and it’s now almost November again and time for his 4th birthday…and I’mΒ just now putting up a post about his 3rd birthday pirate party. Blog FAIL πŸ˜‰

But better late than never, right?!?

I was pretty proud of how Jack’s pirate party turned out, and so was my little pirate captain. All of the guests had a scallywaggin’ great time, and the kids got to engage in fun activities, like walking the plank, decorating treasure chests, and digging for treasure.

I rented a large meeting room and basically turned the room into a pirate zone. I went to Dollar Tree and got one of those giant-sized coloring books about pirates and I colored a bunch of pirate pictures, cut them out, and hung them on the wall for decoration. The I left other pirate coloring books and crayons out for the kids to color too. Other dΓ©cor included a jolly roger flag, pirate birthday banners, a pirate tent for the kids to play in, and random other pirate-y things!

As far as the food went, I made lots of pirate grub. Each dish was labeled with a pirate-y name to make the party more authentic.

I put a big “X” on the floor where people entered, so they knew that they had come to the right spot:

"X"

Some kids even came dressed up for the occasion!

Z Pirate

I’ll show you the food & treats that I made for the party:

I made pirate flag cupcakes, a pirate ship cake (with Playmobil pirates manning the ship), and matey cookie pops. There were also chocolate gold coins scattered on the table.

Pirate Flag Cupcakes

Pirate Ship Cake

Matey Cookie Pops

Dessert Table

To be completely honest, the pirate ship cake fell apart as soon as we started cutting it! I followed instructions from a website to shape the cake, but since it was mostly held together by frosting, it wasn’t too sturdy. At least I got a good picture of it before it became a crumbly mess…and even though it didn’t look pretty after it was cut, it sure tasted good! πŸ™‚

Here are some pictures of the pirate food that I made. I came up with cute names for each dish, and a few months ago I was checking out my friend’s blog post on a pirate party that she did (she named her pirate food too) and she had even more cute names that I didn’t think of. After the pictures, you’ll find a complete list of her & my food names.

Here’s an overall view of the food table:

Food Table

Some close-ups…

59686_10101602970082008_2121796517_n

68259_10101602970391388_441835178_n

75926_10101602970800568_1141625117_n

188409_10101602970221728_394292284_n

230027_10101602970955258_1252051147_n

305498_10101602970581008_243020182_n

395081_10101602969952268_580494786_n

430745_10101602969727718_109534911_n

H2O

Here’s a list of the food that I made:

Taquitos – “Peg Legs”
Cheeto Balls – “Cannon Balls”
Hershey’s Kisses – “Mermaid Kisses”
Goldfish Crackers – “Catch of the Day”
Lil’ Smokies – “Dead Man’s Fingers”
Fruit Kabobs – “Fruit Swords”
Chicken Wings – “Grilled Parrot”
Blowpops – “Matey Suckers”
Orange Pepper on Hummus – made into an octopus
Juice in a big dispenser – “Pirate Grog”
Gummi Sharks – “Shark Bait”
Skinny Pretzels – “Salty Bones”
Ring Pops – “Gleaming Booty”
Gold-Wrapped Chocolates – “Treasure”
Chips & Salsa/Dip – “Ships ‘n Dip”
Deviled Egg “Sailboats”
Green Salad – “Seaweed Salad”
Meat & Olives on toothpick swords – “Sword Kabobs”
Veggie Tray with Ranch
Pasta Salad
Personalized Water Bottle Labels

Here are some more Pirate Food Ideas (from my friend’s blog):

Cheddar Cheese Cubes – “Pirate Gold”
Ritz Crackers – “Polly’s Crackers”
Black Olives in toothpicks – “Cannon Balls”
Fruit on a skewer – “Crowned Jewels”
Punch – “Pirate Punch”
Bowl of Tortilla Chips mixed with Goldfish Crackers – “Fish & Chips”
Bowl of the bagged popcorn called “Pirate’s Booty”
Gummy Worms – “Sea Snakes”

As you can see, it’s a lot of fun making pirate-inspired food! haha πŸ™‚

All of the little pirates that were at the party got their very own “treasure chest” that I made out of strawberry containers. I saved up the plastic strawberry containers all summer and painted them black. Then I wrote each pirate’s name on them with a white paint pen, and drew a skull & crossbones. When the kids got to the party I had stick-on jewels that they could use to decorate their treasure chest with. Then each child had to take their decorated treasure chest, walk the plank to the treasure dig area, and then dig for treasure to put into their treasure chests. The kids got to take their filled treasure chests home with them as a party favor.

For the “treasure dig” I got 4 buckets/bowls of clean sand and buried all sorts of fun things in each one. Some of the items I buried were Mardi Gras necklaces, small plastic toys, plastic gold coins, mini canisters of Play-Doh, bouncy balls, etc.

Here are the kids decorating their treasure chests:

Decorating Chests

533618_10101603006968088_1992899720_n

598559_10101603006533958_608195902_n

Β Walking the Plank:

396711_10101603008095828_715618199_n

Plank

Digging for Treasure:

Treasure Dig

Digging

559187_10101603011628748_614599424_n

Dig!

Another activity that I had at the party was fun for the children and the adults alike! I had a photo area with props. I brought tons of pirate props (hats, swords, parrots, eye-patches, etc.) and set up a background of fabric and “creepy cloth” and had everyone get their pictures taken.

Here’s the background:

Backdrop

And here are some of the fun pictures that people took!

231040_10101602972951258_1925903431_n

539885_10101602977971198_55241670_n

Pirates!

Here’s Jack blowing out his 3 birthday candles!

3 Candles

Another major part of a party, of course, is the present-opening! Jack loved that part and he had lots of nice presents to open.

Presents

550899_10101603014108778_1523010314_n

553828_10101603013699598_1179782243_n

Overall the party was a huge success. I had tons of balloons floating all over the room for the kids to play with, everyone ate lots of food, Jack got spoiled, and the kids all got to leave with lots of goodies. On top of the treasure chests, they each got a goodie bag, a bag of chocolate gold coins, pirate blowers, and pirate jewelry! πŸ™‚

For the Kiddos

Kids

546843_10101603038524848_1261165972_n

I hoped you enjoyed seeing our Pirate Party…stay tuned for a Lego/Ninja/Ninjago themed party coming up in 2 months! πŸ˜‰

September 10, 2013. Food, Jack, Parties. Leave a comment.

St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans!

How lucky that St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday this year! That’s practically begging me to host a little get-together at my house!

I made an “official” Facebook invitation/event page about 2 months beforehand…my brother thought I was completely insane for doing it that early…but I thought it was perfectly reasonable. I needed people to write my name on their calendar before someone else snatched them up for the green holiday! And I got to prove to my brother that I was NOT crazy when one of my friends told me, “Sorry, I’ve had plans for St. Patrick’s Day since last November!” SEE? People make plans early! (To be fair, my friend’s plan involved going to the Broadway show “Wicked” – totally appropriate since the main character is a green witch). Β πŸ™‚

Anyway, this particular party was an “adult” party (i.e. there would be alcohol), so Jack stayed the night at his Omi’s house (we are German and so my son calls his grandma “Omi”). The night before, I decorated the house and went grocery shopping for all of the food that I would prepare. I love the preparation and anticipation of the event as much as I love the event itself!

Here are some cheap decorations that I got at Dollar Tree. It’s so funny because if you look closely at the banner, you can see that that there’s something wrong with it – that’s what I get for getting it for only a buck!

Before he left for Omi’s house, Jack helped me make some green cupcakes. He loves mixing batter…and he also loves to lick the bowl when it’s all said and done!

The batter looks like that green slime from the old Nickelodeon shows!

Fresh out of the oven!

Anyway, for the get-together I had planned on a dinner & game night, with some green drinks. For dinner I made a crock pot full of chili and put out trays of different toppings, so that everyone could customize their chili to their liking. Sour cream, olives, tomatoes, avocado, chips, cheddar cheese, onions, green onions, and cornbread on the side. Trust me, this is the only way to do a chili dinner! Everyone loves it. I learned this from my mother-in-law, who makes what she calls “5-way chili” every New Year’s Eve. (At this party, it was more like 8-way chili due to a few extra toppings).

Here’s how the table looked with some of the food on it. I put all of the toppings into 2 muffin pans for ease of clean-up. The cornbread muffins are on a plate to the left.

Here’s a photo of the complete mantel/table. I put cute little leprechaun window clings on the mirror, and then green tinsel and a subway art print (from Pinterest) framed in the middle.

Close-Up of the printable:

Click HereΒ for a link to the Subway Art Printable.

Other foods that I made for the party were:
*Green deviled eggs – with Avocado! (I didn’t really use a recipe, I just added a smashed up avocado into my regular mixture of egg yolk and mayo and stuff…but for those of you who would like a recipe, I found one here).
*A green veggie tray with green ranch to dip, a platter of dipped strawberries (dipped in chocolate, green candy melts, and chocolate rolled in chopped pistachios)
*Chips with green (tomatillo) salsa
*Green candy-dipped pretzel rods. (The pretzel rods can be seen in the above picture, on the back of the table).

Now for some drinks! My husband went out and bought a few different liquors and mixers that were green. He also bought light beer so that we could dye it green. We even had a green pitcher to put it in! Here’s a picture of Brady pouring himself a nice green beer!

Here’s our little drink table. I made green Jell-O shots, and we even had a Roulette game for green shots. In the shot glasses we made mini Midori Sours, Green Apple mixed with Sierra Mist, and some other random combinations. Spin the wheel and you never know which drink you’ll get…but rest assured, they’re all delicious!

All of the guests that came over had to wear lots of green – the sillier the better (notice my wig?) and get their picture taken by “Lucky” the Leprechaun…and if anyone didn’t wear green (or enough green for my taste!) they had to wear a mini green hat for the night!

Here’s me and Brady, followed by a picture of our little guy, Jack:

Here’s a group shot:

After we all had our fill of chili and drinks, it was my favorite part of the night: Dessert! If the cupcakes and dipped pretzels and dipped strawberries weren’t enough, I also had an Ice-Cream Buffet. Chocolate and Vanilla ice cream, with all different toppings to choose from. Bananas, strawberries in syrup, maraschino cherries, whipped cream, mini M&Ms, Nestle Buncha Crunch, chocolate syrup, chopped walnuts, sprinkles…you name it! Here’s a picture of the deliciousness:

After dessert we all sat around and played board games and laughed the night away! All in all, it was a wonderful evening. Thanks to everyone who came and made it special!

P.S. If anyone out there hasn’t played the game “Blokus” or the game “Ticket to Ride” – you really have to try them. They are phenomenal! And always a big hit with every guest that we play them with! (Pictured above is Blokus)

March 27, 2012. Holidays, Parties. Leave a comment.

A Hot Pink Zebra Baby Shower!

My little cousin is having a baby girl! She’s due any day now, and she asked me to help with her baby shower a couple weeks ago. I made the cake and cupcakes to go along with her hot pink and zebra theme. Here’s how they turned out:

The baby’s name is going to be Kayliana:

The baby shower turned out really cute. Here are some pictures:

Congratulations Brittney! πŸ™‚

 

February 16, 2012. Baking Adventures, Parties. Leave a comment.

Gingerbread House Decorating Party

So it’s February now and I’m finally sitting down and getting caught up on my blog…on stuff from December! Oh wow…I really don’t have any good excuses. But I’m glad that I’m back on board now.

I had a gingerbread party at my house and it was a smashing success. First of all, my cousin was SUCH a huge help to me. I couldn’t afford to go out and buy a pre-baked gingerbread house for each of my guests, so she came over a couple days before the party and helped me bake, cut, and assemble 8 houses, plus 4 small ones for the children. This was the first time that either of us had made gingerbread before, and it was a lot of fun and tasty too. Overall, a good experience. But to be honest, next year I will be using the pre-baked ones. I went to the after-Christmas sales and snatched up 8 of them, for only $3 each. Nobody eats them anyway, they’re just for decoration…so who cares if they’re stale? πŸ˜‰

Jack wanted to help too, of course:

And when we were done, we had 8 of these:

On the day of the party, I set up the table with each place setting having a house, a plastic wine glass, and a mini personal bottle of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider. All of the candies and frostings were in the middle of the table.

Here’s how the kids’ table looked:

And of course, we had to have some good snacks to counteract all of the candy that would surely be making its way into our mouths…! The gingerbread shaped sandwiches were pb&j for the kids. The bowl in the middle is a delicious dip of cream cheese with Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce poured over the top. It’s PERFECT with pita chips…a crowd favorite!

Everyone had a fun time decorating their gingerbread houses and afterward, I took a picture of each person holding their completed house.

After everyone was done decorating, we cleared off the table and played some BINGO! I had wrapped up some small Christmas-y prizes and played Bingo using the leftover candies as markers. Everyone got to take home a decorated house and some prizes. It was a wonderful evening!

February 15, 2012. Baking Adventures, Food, Holidays, Parties. Leave a comment.

Jack’s 2nd Birthday Party – Sesame Street Style!

I’m a little late writing this post…okay I’m a LOT late writing this post. Jack turned 2 in November. But I’m using the holidays as my excuse for being so busy that I’m just now getting back to my blog! πŸ™‚

When I threw Jack’s very first birthday party back in 2010 I was SO disappointed with how it turned out. I was afraid that nobody would ever want to come to another party that I threw because it was so horrible. The room that I rented turned out to be so small that everyone was packed in there like sardines, nobody could see what was going on, what Jack was doing, etc. All in all, I was disappointed. So I was determined to make his second birthday a blast – to redeem myself as a party-thrower, and to make sure that Jack had some good pictures to look at later on in life.

I planned for a few months in advance, planning what treats I would make and what the decor and theme would look like. I googled “Sesame Street party ideas” and found a whole slew of great things! Since I was on a budget, I decided that I was going to make many of the decorations myself, and I love baking so of course I planned on making all of the cakes and sweets. For the food (it was a lunch party) I bought all sorts of sandwich ingredients and had a make-your-own-sandwich bar, and some chips with 7-layer dip.

Here is how the main table ended up looking:

So here’s the rundown: I bought the Sesame Street plates, napkins, and cups at Dollar Tree…along with the red plasticware, the Elmo balloons, and the supplies I needed to make the other decorations. That giant Elmo on the wall behind the table is made out of a metallic door cover that I found at Dollar Tree. It was basically just a huge rectangle of red and I found a picture of Elmo online, printed it out, made a copy onto an overhead transparency sheet and then using my overhead projector I projected the image onto the wall and traced it out onto the door cover. Then I cut it out, added the facial features (made of construction paper) and voila! A giant Elmo wall mural for one dollar! I actually also bought a green door cover and I was going to make a giant Oscar the Grouch, but it was too much work. That Elmo was harder than I expected because when I shined the image onto it using the projector, the light reflected off of the metallic-ness of it. I had to trace the image initially onto a piece of brown mailing paper, cut that out, and then trace it onto the red stuff. Blah. So needless to say, I didn’t make the Oscar one.

For the “Happy Birthday Jack” banner on the wall, I went to Walmart and got free paint chip samples. They have a huge section and there is one brand that makes their samples bigger than all the others (I forget which brand it is right now), so I grabbed the large ones in all of the basic colors, to match the Sesame Street theme. Then I just cut out the letters and used double-sided tape to hang them onto a ribbon. Easy-peasy…and free! Also, if you look around Elmo, you will see a bunch of little pictures all over the wall. I put those all over the room (as you’ll see in the next pictures). I went to Goodwill and bought a couple of old 79 cent Sesame Street books and just cut out all of the pictures and stuck them on the walls. Just to add some pops of color and characters.

Two of my favorite ideas were the fruit platter and vegetable platter – both made to look like Elmo’s face. For the fruit platter I used strawberries and raspberries for the face, blackberries for the mouth and eyeballs, and mandarin oranges for the nose. The whites of the eyes is a fruit dip (cream cheese and marshmallow creme). For the veggie platter I used red pepper and baby tomatoes for the face, black olives for the mouth and eyeballs, and carrots for the nose. The white is ranch dip. Then just for fun, I added a bucket of grapes, because I happened to find a little Elmo bucket at Goodwill for a buck, and it matched the theme.

I made a balloon face for each of the characters, and I thought they were a perfect addition to the main table. This was easy, I basically just cut the facial features out of construction paper, and placed the parts for each character in a ziplock baggie with the corresponding balloon. Then on the day of the party I just had to blow the balloons up and tape the face pieces on.

This picture (above) just shows more of the little Sesame Street pictures that I put on the walls, from the Goodwill books.

Another thing that I did was I made “footprints” of Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird. I had them leading up to the door, as if the monsters had already arrived! These were just made of colored paper and taped to the ground. The custom Sesame Street signs (we had “welcome”, “Jack Street”, “Sandwich Bar”, “Happy Birthday”, and a few more that you can see in the pictures) were made by my husband using the computer program GIMP. He downloaded the official Sesame Street font (for free on the web) and then made whatever signs I wanted him to make! πŸ™‚

For the sweets & treats, I made two large cakes and a batch of cupcakes. The two cakes were of Elmo and Cookie Monster and the cupcakes were mini Oscar-the-Grouches. The crinkly tinsel stuff under each cake is from Dollar Tree. Here’s how they turned out:

For drinks, I had bottles of juice, but I also made personalized water bottles. I made them on my computer with my favorite program, Scrapbook Factory.

Overall, I was very happy with Jack’s second birthday party. I rented a MUCH bigger room, so everyone had ample space to roam about. Jack opened his presents in the middle of the room so that everyone could see everything, and everyone got full from all the food. It was great, and Jack made out like a bandit. Here’s a picture of some of his loot:

And after the party, Jack was pooped out!

February 15, 2012. Jack, Parties. Leave a comment.