Strawberry Shortcake Party!

Welcome to Berry Bitty City!

Strawberry, strawberry, strawberry shortcake!  The song is still in my head 3 weeks later!   LOL   This party turned out cute, but I wasn’t on top of things as I normally am (I have to start months early for the April birthdays since we have 2 of them and I ordered the stuff early, but didn’t get to the crafting part early enough) … so it was a little stressful at the end.  But it all worked out and my daughter had a great time!  We had about 16 kids or so this time.  The kids arrived and started on a coloring sheet/maze activity, then we played some games, had some cake and she opened her presents. 
 
Strawberries are cut from the Hello Kitty cricut cartridge

 
My wonderful older daughters did all the coloring of the dots with some sharpie markers!  We just taped on the leaves and stem.  (warning… don’t let your kids play with these balloons when you take them down… the sharpie comes off everywhere… TRUST me!)

Strawberry confetti from birthday express, Table cloth from oriental trading.  The maize printout and coloring sheets are from the strawberry shortcake website.

My grandma crocheted these Strawberry shortcake dolls for me when I was a kid and I still had them.  They are amazing and worked great for centerpieces!



balloons from birthday express

This was a HUGE decoration that worked great for filling up a wall!  And only $6 at birthday express 

Images from google and bing image search.  Again… make sure you go to advanced search and search only for images with a high resolution to look better with printing!

 
This piñata was an idea I found on Pinterest from Grey Luster girl.  She is amazing at parties and had a lot of fun ideas!
I did make it into a pull string piñata because my girls prefer them.  (my string broke this time though… which was a bummer).  For instructions on making a pull string piñata see HERE

 
Strawberry Shortcake pin the strawberry on the vine game from Shindigz

Birthday girl!!

 
I made a bunch of these out of felt and we used them to play a musical chairs game.  Most of the kids have never played that before and were not happy about me taking them away.  LOL.  But it was fun to watch them figure it out.
 
We had strawberry shortcake music in the background!  You know… the ones that are still in my head!  (there are a lot of different strawberry shortcake albums available… we liked the Strawberry Jams and Let’s Dance the best.)



For the food, we had strawberry applesause, Strawberries, dried strawberries, Chocolate wafers, Pretzel thins, homemade suckers, cupcakes, and beverages.  Most things are from Trader Joes. 

I love making candy!  It is a pretty fast process if you have all the right tools.  I bought this hard candy mold from sugarcraft.  I also recommend getting the large candy funnel… Works great!  THIS was a helpful blog when I first started to make candy (without my mom, that is)!
chocolate cupcakes

I made a simple buttercream frosting with powdered sugar and butter (but I only used about 1/2-2/3 as much sugar as the recipe called for) and I added strawberry flavoring to it.  Oh man.. it was so yummy!

Remember these?  I don’t think I ever did say how I made them… They are from the flower shoppe cricut cartridge… probably my most used cartridge!  So many things you can use flowers for!  Anyway, you use a fancy pearl pin to pin them to the Styrofoam ball topiary.  (Be sure to store them out of the sun when you aren’t using them because the colors can fade)
 

Enjoying some goodies!
Ok… there were so many fun favors to do this time… I may have gotten a little carried away.  It was still under $5 per kid though which is my max.  🙂 
So, I bought THIS cricut cartridge just for this party and it made the 3D strawberries in the basket and the basket.  So fun!  Inside the 3D strawberries are strawberry daiquiri jelly bellies.  And also in the basket there is a packet of strawberry flavored Annies fruit snacks and strawberry Kelloggs pastry crisps.

These mini hand sanitizers are from bath and body works and I tried to find the fruity scents and just make my own label for them in Photoshop, printed on sticky paper and stuck them on!  🙂

Also there are coloring books and bubble wands ($1 each at Michaels).
 

 


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Ice cream party!

Ice cream birthday party

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!  Actually the screaming didn’t get too loud!  🙂   Ok.. I’ll be honest, I never really know what to say in these intros, but sometimes I feel like I need to introduce each party!  🙂  Bla bla bla… I’m more of a picture person myself, so let’s just get right to the fun stuff!  🙂
 
First up the decorations:
I sorta threw this together last minute… I had made a large crocheted ball a few months ago as part of an experiment that didn’t work out.  And I had some of those cardboard like cones from Michaels from a previous party… so I hot glued on a ribbon hanger and rubber banded the tulle over my crocheted ball and shoved it in the cone.  Would have been cute with some beads glued on top for sprinkles. 

inflatable cone… what I am going to do with this after the party?

So, I painted this cone for a game, but realized it was too small… so it just became a decoration.

(Ice cream try number too for pin the cherry on the sundae)

to make ice cream cone garland… see THIS blog post

I saw these cute ice cream balloons on Pinterest, so I tried them… they are helium filled balloons, but what I found out was that the weight of the cone (paper) was so heavy that they wouldn’t stay up in a bouquet… so I just tied them tightly to each chair and that worked.  Still a fun idea though… if you try this with a lighter weight paper and it works, let me know.

I ran out of time to make a piñata, so I bought this at our local party store… I think it may have been the first time we used a piñata that wasn’t a pull string one… it was interesting!  (my girls are not much into hitting with a bat)
This was one of the games.  I had 4 buckets and filled 2 of them with some pom poms I made with this brilliant contraption.  And I bought these cute ice cream scoopers.  So, the game was a relay type race… there were 2 lines of kids and they had to scoop a ball of “ice cream” and run across the room to the empty bucket and drop it in and run back, then the next kid goes.  Which ever line finishes first wins.  We played a few rounds of this.  It was a nice calm active game for them! 



I may do a blog post about this game too.  Have you all heard of the Cupcake game?  It is a super cute easy game for kids.  I spent a bunch of time creating a game like it, but it was making an ice cream cone or sundae instead.  5 kids could play at each game, so I made 4 games total.  I will link to the post after I blog about that. 

Pin the cherry on top of the Sundae!

 

I found this cake pop kit on clearance at Michaels and it was just perfect for the party.  It was pretty easy to make… the instructions were well written and they looked adorable.

lot of syrups!

Lots of toppings!



and MORE toppings!  (I am always happy when I get to use this fun ferris wheel serving piece from what used to be Southern Living at Home.)

Here are those finished cake pops

popcorn cones

ice cream bowls from Oriental Trading

 
We had a ton of different cones, but the majority just wanted to use the fun bowls.  The plates and napkins were from Birthday Express

I had my helpers (sis and mom-in-law) pre-scoop the ice cream onto a cookie sheet and stuck it in the freezer.  Then when it was time to serve… we dumped them into bowls and they were ready to go.  This was super helpful and make things fast and not as messy!

chocolate chip mint

and vanilla

She didn’t want a cake, so candles went into the ice cream scoop!  🙂



party favors (in the green bucket there are THESE ice cream shooters for the boys)

These party pails were from oriental trading and they had the idea HERE

inside the pails there was Ice cream scented nail polish, tattoos, ice cream lip gloss and stickers.  (just the sticker and tattoos in the boy’s favors)

Note: on the instructions from Oriental trading… the didn’t say anything about how they got the blue / purple/etc color under the iridescent glitter… I just hot glued on some ribbon of the same color and then glued the glitter stuff on top!

 
Happy birthday sweet girl!
 

Around the World birthday party

A couple nights ago, we celebrated Elise’s 7th birthday with an Around-the-World birthday party.  We had 12 girls here and we boarded Birthday Airlines and visited 7 different locations on 7 different continents.  It was a fun party to plan and she and the other girls had a great time.  Here are the details!
When each girl arrived, we welcomed them and I took their picture (to put it their passports later), then they went over to see Agent Elise at the US Customs and Immigration table where they were given a passport with their name inside.  I got these cute little passports from Oriental Trading.

Then the girls were given these itineraries to color while we waited for the other guests to arrive:
So, we then all loaded the “airplane” (and all the kids grabbed onto a rope).  We (my husband and I) introduced ourselves as the pilot and flight attendant and we described briefly that we will be visiting different countries and getting souvenirs from each place we visit. 
our name tags

1st stop:  North America – USA – Minnesota – Mall of America
We made a stop at the Mall of America in Minnesota (upstairs in our room) as our USA stop.  There, the girls took turns “shopping” for their luggage to take on the trip.  They also received a USA glitter tattoo and a red, white and blue sucker.  Then we “stamped” their passports for the next stop.

forgot to take a picture before the party, but all the purses were lined up top.
the “luggage” they each picked one

2nd stop: South America – Peru
We flew back downstairs to Peru (the dining room) where all the kids were able to decorate maracas with wood markers. The maracas were the souvenir.

For each country, I printed out their flag, map and a few pictures from the country.
the inside of the passports… there was a country stamp and I printed an animal or icon on sticker paper to stick in there.

3rd stop: Africa – Kenya
Next up was Kenya (the living room).  Here we played Safari bingo.  I made bingo cards with a lot of different safari animals.  There was no prize for the winner, but the girls had a fun time.  I didn’t have bingo markers, so I used cut up post it notes… worked ok, but they really stuck together, so it was a little difficult for the girls to use, but the good thing was that they stayed in place if they moved or bumped their cards.  
The souvenir for Kenya were safari animal charms (2 per child) in a little package I made out of ziplock snack bags (because I forgot to buy tinsy jewelry type ziplock bags… these would have been much better.)  They also got to keep their bingo cards (which they were surprisingly excited about).  🙂
Oh.. and we played African music in the background during the game.

4th stop:  Europe – France
After “stamping their passports”, we headed over to France in the family room.  Here, thanks to Instant Netflix, we watched an episode of Madeline (was supposed to be the one about the Eiffel Tower, but there was a technical issue and they watched the one about the Louvre).  Madeline is a cartoon about a girl from France.  While they were watching the 20 minute show, it gave me time to set out the food and cook the pizza.  After the show, they collected their Eiffel Tower charms (ordered from Etsy and shipped from China… he he) and their Euro chocolates (from World Market) and they took a quick train ride to Italy for some pizza, breadsticks, salad, fruit and juice boxes.

After lunch we headed to our 5th stop:  Asia – China
China needed to be in the entryway (I was running out of rooms).  In China, we played pin the tail on the dragon with a dragon I printed out and taped together to make a large dragon and I printed out extra tails.  (it was hard to find a dragon that wasn’t too scary looking!)  I had also purchased supplies for making a ribbon dragon craft, but the kids were getting a little restless at this point, so I just sent that home to make with their mommies.  It would have been a lot of glueing anyway.  They also got these gorgeous wood fans and a fortune cookie for their souvenirs.

Next, off to the 6th place: Australia
Australia was in Elise’s bedroom and here we played a fun game with the girls.  We formed 2 teams and had a kangaroo hop race (with a globe between their knees).  🙂  Good to get a little of that energy out.  The souvenir was a pink or purple boomerang and an inflatable globe

Last stop (bet you can guess): Antarctica
Antarctica was in the kitchen, but we needed tables, so it was more of a fly by Antarctica (too cold to stop there anyway, right?)  The activity for here was melting their ice to find the prize inside.  We gave each girl a cup of hot water to melt their ice cube and inside was a chain (so they could put their charms on it)

I also printed out pictures of the kids I took in the beginning onto sticker paper and they put them in their passports above their name. 
The plan was to fly back to the US for cake, but we technically never did fly back.  We just stayed where we were, sang Happy Birthday for ice cream cake.  Then, opened presents and the girls had time to free play a little before their parents came to pick them up.  It was a really fun party, I think!  Happy birthday Elise!!

5-year old Hello Kitty party

After a half year off, birthday season has come once again.  So, to start things off, Nora decided she would like a Hello Kitty party this year.  I love Hello Kitty, so it was a fun party to plan and relatively easy. 
First off were the invitations:

I bought the Hello Kitty cartridge for my Cricut die cut machine to make these and headed to Ben Franklin to get the cute papers.  For the inside, my super easy trick to adding the words is to print them out on Avery clear full sheet labels found at an office supply store… I love this stuff!  Then you can just cut it to the shape you want and stick it on exactly were you want it.

For the decorations:  I made some more Hello Kitty wall decor from my Cricut and put them all over the walls along with printing off some larger Hello Kitty faces and Daniel (the boy Hello Kitty) because there were boys coming to the party. 

The printed Hello Kitties are a little trickier… since you can’t find large images online with supercrisp edges, I usually find some that I like and “trace” them in Adobe Illustrator (which is a designer’s program that can create images that look crisp and sharp no matter how big or small you stretch stretch them).  (Note: I didn’t make the poster)
I also had the girls go around the house on a Hello Kitty treasure hunt to find little things for decorations like stuffed dolls, books, etc.  And then I bought the licensed plates/cups/table cover, etc. 

For the games:  I did 3 games, plus a pinata.  As we were waiting for more guests to arrive, my wonderful helper and husband, Dave, had the kids in a circle and played “hot potato” using a ball of yarn as the “potato”.  The kids were having fun just tossing it around really fast that we never did end up using the music (we picked the DisneyMania rock version of “We are Siamese” from Lady and the Tramp).  The second game was pin the bow on the Hello Kitty (bought this one).  For the third game, while the kids were eating, I hid a bunch of mice around the room and then had them all get on their hands and knees like Kitties and hunt for the mice.  🙂  They were pretty freaky looking mice too… I was thankful to find them in the Halloween section of the party store.  The pinata was a pull-string one (and it actually worked this time!!) and we filled with candy (of course), stickers, and silly bands!

Food:  This was a pretty easy one this time… only required about a half hour or so of prep time before the party.. it was awesome!  Mini pizzas (English muffins with a little pizza sauce and cheese and baked until the cheese melts), Papa Murphy’s pizza for the adults, strawberry (PINK!) gogurt, strawberries and apples cut up into a little fruit salad, caesar salad for the adults.  Drinks: PINK raspberry lemonaide, Pink strawberry milk or water.  This time we had all the kids sit down at the table and dished up in the kitchen and handed all the kids their plate (was a lot easier than having them all go through a line).  I forgot to take a picture when the food was out, but here are the before pictures:

The cake was from Fred Meyer:  white with white whipped frosting and german chocolate in the middle… it was SUPER yummy!

For the party favors, when the guests first game, they got either a flower clippie for their hair or bow ties for the boys (but the boys didn’t really want to wear them, oh well).  I made the flowers out of pink and yellow Sculpey (with 2 holes in the middle of the flower) and baked them, then used pipe cleaner to add them to silver barretts.  As the guests were leaving, they got a bag with the rest of the favors:  I found some 100 piece puzzles for a really good price at Michaels (Hello Kitty or Princesses for the girls and Toy Story, Cars, etc for the boys), glow bracelets, and for the girls, Hello Kitty lip gloss (Target) and for the boys, a couple sports $1 items.

 

 And that’s about it!  Happy birthday Nora!!

Cayley’s Max and Ruby party

Yesterday was Cayley’s 3-year old birthday party.  Since she loves Max and Ruby, we wanted to make that the party theme.  Thankfully I started planning this over a month ago because there are no licenced Max and Ruby party supplies.  So, I had to get creative and come up with my own ideas.  So … I started with these websites that I found:
A blog from someone else who did a Max and Ruby party, the author (Rosemary Wells) website, and Nick, Jr.

So, I worked on printing out coloring activities for the tables, printing out most of the “bunny party” ideas from the authors website, bought a homemade Max and Ruby pinata from ebay (super cute), made lilypads and a grass poster for to decorate the bathtub for one of the games, printed out stickers, ordered mostly solid colored plates/cups, books and windup toys for party favors, etc…

So here was my party schedule:

11am – Kids arrive — color on tables and eat lunch
11:30 – Ring toss game/Pin the tail on Max
11:45 – Watch Max and Ruby – cake episode (momma hides frogs)
12:00 – Game – Find Max’s frogs and put them back into the pond
12:15 – Pinata
12:30 – Sing Happy Birthday and Cake


Now I will just let you follow along with the party pictures.  Let me know if you want to learn more about something!

Setting up:

The spread:
The cakes:
Max’s cake
Ruby’s cake
The guests arrive:
Games – part 1 (ring toss and pin the tail on Max):
Watching a Max and Ruby episode:
Game – part 2 (find Max’s frogs hidden in the living room and return to the pond):
Pinata:
Cake:
Party favors (minus the candy necklace… didn’t get the pic quick enough):
Happy Birthday Cayley!!!