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).
 

 



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!
 

She-Ra Birthday party!

Princess of Power!!

I am She-Ra!  LOL!  I had fun planning my daughter’s 9th birthday party… took me back a few decades.  I totally remember watching She-Ra and He-man from childhood! (Although, I was more of a Rainbow Brite and Wonder Woman fan.) My daughter started watching She-Ra when I saw it on Instant Netflix and she was an instant fan.  But, when she asked about having a She-Ra party, I was actually a little nervous…. how was I going to do that one and where would I find She-Ra stuff 3 decades after it was popular!  Thanks to some helpful facebook friends, I got some good ideas for crafts and games and finally got my creativity rolling for it. 
As usual, I will just post pictures and explain as we go!  🙂  Thanks for reading!



printed some posters to put in the entryway.  Just found them from Bing and Google Image search on the “wallpaper” or larger options (so they are not pixelated when printing)
Recognize these?



Party confetti and She-Ra images printed out and cut.
As kids arrived, we had them start on the first craft.  I bought these paper swords from Oriental Trading and the girls got to decorate their “She-Ra” swords with jewels and markers and stickers.  A nice easy craft to get the party started.  And the funny thing is when the girls got all into it, there wasn’t a sound out of all 9 girls… I just love girl parties!
After the craft, we went right to snacks and then they watched an episode of She-Ra (I suspected not many of them knew anything about her, so it was good to watch a show first). 
I hot glued jewels to these gold plates and forks… I love how they turned out and will be doing this more often!
Just some fun snacks from Trader Joes.
Stole this idea from Kara’s Party Ideas.  The image was found here.

After watching the episode of She-Ra, we did 4 games lumped together… I called it “superhero training”!  The first part of the “training” was finding the crystals hidden around the living room and returning them to the crystal bowl that goes back into the Crystal Castle. 

Be sure to count your crystals first because they can easily be lost… the girls had to find 20 small ones and 5 larger crystals.  Aren’t they pretty?
 

The next game was to throw the suction balls at Sceletor.  What a scary looking character for a girls party, but it was still fun.

Ok… so nevermind the quality of my pasting together of the papers I printed off.  With the light shining through, I should have lined the back with a thicker paper to hide it better, but I figured a bunch of 8-9 year olds wouldn’t care.
Found these suction balls at the party store… they didn’t stick to the window as well as I’d hoped, but it did help to throw underhanded FYI.

Pin the horn on Swift Wind (She-Ra’s flying unicorn)

My daughter wanted to help with the party and she drew the horse for the pin the horn on the unicorn.  Pretty good job I think!  (oh… and I highly recommend buying white butcher paper in a huge roll from some place like Cash N Carry.  We bought ours maybe 6-7 years ago and STILL have a bunch on the roll!  It lasts forever and we use it a LOT to cover the table for party crafts and other things like this for instance…. not cheap, but when you consider how long it is lasting, it is a great investment!)

And I don’t have any pictures of the last game of the super hero training, and it was sorta added last minute.  We had unicorn flying lessons.  My girls got stick horses for Christmas, so we had 4 of them.  The party attenders took turns on their horses “pretending they were flying unicorns” following a quick little obsticle course I made up of pillows and around couches, etc.  It was pretty cheesy, but they seemed to like it.  🙂

Cake time!

After cake and presents we did the last craft.  I had originally planned on making She-Ra headbands, but got to thinking… these girls will never get to wear these again because She-Ra’s headband is a little… um… out there (literally).  Anyway, so I found these great headbands on oriental trading and you can use wire to bead around them.  Perfect.  I wish I would have taken pictures of each girl’s creation, but the parents started coming and it got a little hectic.  They were all so different and creative. 

headband making supplies.  The beads are all just a collection of stuff I had, and a few I picked up. 
 I got the headbands here.  (Warning, they not the most comfortable since they are metal)  And I printed out the samples they had on their website to help with ideas for the girls.
I started the wire on all the headbands beforehand to make it easier for the kids, but they really didn’t need much help after they got going.
bead and wrap.

This one was created by the birthday girl

And this one by my 5 year old… I was impressed and she did it on her own too!
Party favors (below is what was inside) minus the swords and headbands they made
I was lucky to find these adorable magnetic boards at Michaels on clearance… score!
Happy birthday to my creative, beautiful daughter!  (oh and the She-Ra shirt was bought off ebay… loved this one!)
 

Angry birds party

Birthday party season is on its way for us again this year, starting off with our 7 year old daughter’s angry birds party!  When I was researching other Angry bird parties online, I noticed how so many of them had a real life angry birds game set up in their yards!  I loved this idea and started saving boxes 2 months before the party.  But, since she has an October birthday, it is typically too rainy here in Washington to have the party outside, so we moved all the furniture to one side of the living room, removed anything breakable and set up an area to have balls, boxes, and pigs flyin!  I did think that the game was going to entertain them longer than it actually did though.  I think they got tired of waiting in line or something.  I think they had fun despite the craziness at times!  Here are the pictures:


I just made these in Photoshop, printed and cut them out.
 
Another print and cut project.  Nora had fun taping them on the wall.

Since we didn’t know a lot of people from Nora’s class yet, I wanted to make sure that I knew if there were any allergies, etc.  So, I made up this little sign in.  Pretty cheesy, but helpful info to know!
Angry balloons!



I found a printout for these faces to stick to the balloons.  I just used full sheet sticker paper to print them onto.  They buckled a little, which I expected, but still a fun and inexpensive decoration.
All these little plush Angry birds I got at Costco and Zulily.



Love this large display I found at birthdayexpress.com
 
This is the craft we did as kids arrived: Backpack clips!.  Mine sorta faded because I put too much glue on the back… whoops.  First, put the front side of the image (I had many different angry birds to choose from) onto the circle epoxy stickers (a much better price than I paid by the way),  then glue the back to the bottle cap and you can punch a hole in the top of the bottle cap with a tiny round puncher, stick in a ring and the fastener thingy.  You can also make them as necklaces, but I was trying to be more gender nuetral. 
 
I covered the boxes with white or brown paper and painted the brown ones to look like wood.  The kids arranged the first set and placed the pigs.

 
sling shot from amazon for balloons, but it worked well to fit these little foam angry birds balls. 



This little game would have worked a little better for a calmer party… fyi.
 
I wish I would have taken pictures of the progress as I made this pinata.  I did paper mache over a balloon and let that dry for a couple days, then I cut a square hole in the bottom because a pull string pinata was requested.  Here is the “how to” I have used for the pinatas I have made.  I thought it would be perfect to use the beat up pig for the pinata, so I just printed and cut those pieces to put on.  🙂 

I love making my own pull string pinatas because they actually work!  (I bet you could convert a store bought regular pinata into a pull string as well.)

candy and stickers flying!
 



Just simple snacks this time… those are Angry birds cheese-its!
 
Just happened to see this cookie pizza at Albertsons a few days before the party and how could I not get it!



just bought a plain chocolate cake and decorated with cookies, kit kats, a quickly made sling shot out of wire and black tape,  and these cute little guys

 



prescooped ice cream… so glad I did this!

party favor bags: including tattoos, a mini plush angry bird, angry bird fruit snacks and their craft and candy from the party.

Happy birthday Nora!!

Team Umi Zoomi party

Hey Umi friends!!  We hear a lot about Team Umi Zoomi from our now 3 year old, so when I asked if she wanted an Umi Zoomi party, she was so excited and talked about it for a couple months before her party (and even the few weeks after it).  It is a really cute show on Nick that is a math based show.  But also, it is only in its second season, so as of now, they don’t have any licensed party supplies.  They did, however, have a lot of stuff on the Nick, Jr website… printables, crafts, recipes, games, etc.  So, that was super helpful in my planning.  I printed and cut out a couple table centerpieces, posters, game posters with stickers, placemats, made Milli headbands and Geo’s shape belts, I made my first pinata from scratch!, and made Milli cupcakes, and decorated with other items I found online.  (I will describe more under the pictures.) We invited a few of her little friends and well…. see for yourself!  🙂 
The birthday girl in Bot’s Belly Screen on the photo wall.  Printed these from nickjr.com and attached Bot to a cardboard piece that I folded (at the top) and tacked to the wall.  Worked really well.  So, the kids could just sit on the bench and get their picture taken!  (this one was before I wrote Trina’s name on the poster)

The posters are for a couple games we played where everyone took turns putting on the stickers.  (found on Nickjr.com) and the numbers are from Oriental Trading.

Another nickjr activity I had on the wall (but we never really did the activity) … it was mostly for the older sibblings that came to the party.

Flowers were made (reused) from my Cricut and the laterns and tissue fans were from JoAnn Fabric’s dollar section!

Placemats to color as guests arrive and in between activities to keep the fast kids busy!

Was thrilled to see that they had these stuffed animals at Toys R Us!

Another printable (with lots of assembly required) from nickjr.com

paper fans (made similar to this, but to make them large, you need to glue 4 sheets (12X12) together end to end after creating the fan pleats.)  I put a Milli sticker in the center.

Loved these flower balloons from the local party store
Left this up from the last party we did!

colorful containers from the Dollar Tree

Milli Cupcakes

Milli headbands

Because I would want to know:  The display for the Milli headbands is made from taking a piece of fabric and batting and wrapping it around a Quaker Oats container and pinning it in place.  And the characters are more printables from Nickjr

The pinata just after I added the pull string to it.  I forgot to take pictures of the process of making it, but I used this website for instructions.

printed Umi Zoomi stickers to put in the pinata

more pinata stuffers

the finished product… it was actually super easy, just a lot of fringe cutting and gluing it on, but it actually didn’t take as long as I thought it would!! and the pull strings worked way better than the ones I have previously bought from the store.

Party favors, Geo’s shape belt, Milli headbands and favor bags

Inside is a hand clapper, crayons, magnetic numbers, and some shapes, and a coloring book.  I was going to make the outside of the bags like this, but ran out of time.

Owl birthday party!

Well, its April again, so we just celebrated the 1st of 2 birthdays.  My 5 year old was looking through the list of party themes from the Birthday Express catalog, and she loved the owl blossom party supplies, so we went with that theme.  I started by crocheting amigarumi owls for decorating the room (Ravelry has a ton of cute patterns).  After deciding on my upcoming 3 year olds party theme, we got our orders together for birthdayexpress.com and orientaltrading.com.  I just love getting all those fun supplies in the mail! 

Last week, we had 16 little party friends come to have a hoot at our Owl party.  My little birthday girl had a lot of fun and we even got a sunny day!  Here are the pictures: 

Had trouble with this flipping in a bit.  😦  Oh well
Love these wall stickers from birthdayexpress!  And I can now move them to a bedroom for a cutsie wall


When the kids arrived, we started with a craft:  painting owl suncatchers.  I found these great markers from JoAnns to use instead of paints.  Was super easy for a 5 year old to do, but they do like to glob it on, so it did take a while to dry. 
Owl aprons to put on to protect their clothes from paint!

Next up, I printed and glued this own onto some cardboard… cut the mouth hole out and the kids had a beanbag toss into the owls mouth.

My mom helped by making these super cute bean bag mice out of felt, string tail and a pompom nose.

Decorations over the food
food display… saw the idea for the wood displays and platter stands on pinterest!

we had some allergy kids coming to the party, so I tried to make sure we had things they could have!

Gluten free rice krispie cupcakes

Don’t you just love cupcake cakes?

the betty crocker butter chocolate cake mix was SUPER yummy…  I recomend you try!! and I don’t even usually like chocolate cake!)

Was thrilled to see this on orientaltrading (they were for Valentines, so I even got them on clearance!)

Oh … and happened to find these owl label stands in the dollar section at JoAnns!

pinata

presents
party favors
the boys got a wallet and the girls got an owl purse and they got to keep their aprons, suncatchers, and loot from the pinata.
After the party, the kids got to go outside and play to burn off some sugar.  🙂  Again… super thankful for the sunny day!  Happy birthday sweet girl!

Candyland Birthday Party

Welcome to Candyland!  This was a super fun party to create (but I think I do say that about most of the kid’s parties).  I decided to set up the house to look like a life-size candyland game board.
I did have a hard time getting started, so first I studied the candyland board games:  we have an older one and the new style one.  I actually used more from the older one, because I liked the variety of candy characters/places better.  The new board is a little too.. um.. busy… and the candies are a little more similar to each other.  Anyhoo… so I made of list of the “areas”:  Plum trees, rainbow trail, peppermint forest, gumdrop mountains, Licorice Castle (changed to Licorice Lagoon from the newer game), Peanut Brittle House, Lillipop Woods, Ice Cream Sea, Molassis Swamp (changed this to Chocolate Swamp), and last, but not least the Candy Castle.  I just started brainstorming ideas for each area and jotting those down.
I even made a playlist of candy related music to play, but then forgot to play it… boo.

Then I drew this rough map of my living rooms/kitchen… and how I wanted to set up the “game” (where all the sections would go).

I ordered supplies from my 3 favorite party websites:  Oriental Trading, Shindigz, and Birthday Express.  Also picked up some things from Ben Franklin, Bartells, The Dollar Tree, and Fred Meyer. 
So, I always find it easiest to just talk about the party as we go along.  So, here’s what the guests arrived to:

The giant lollipops are made from ballons taped to a baton I found at the dollar store and then wrapped in cellophane.  I stuck them in buckets filled with sand to keep them upright.
Aren’t these 2 great!  they’re from oriental trading!

As we were waiting for everyone to arrive, we had the kids decorating their goodie bags.  Note: don’t use elmers glue when doing this… took too long to dry… next time I will only use the stickers/sticky backed jewels.  lesson learned.

When everyone got there, we played the game.  I had taken out the colored cards from the board game and each kid drew a card and moved to that color square on the floor.  There are a ton of pictures, so I will just post a bunch!

Some stations had a little goodie bag gift to put in their bags.  We actually went back around a second time to grab those.  🙂
The rainbow trail led to the punchout game and the peppermint forest.

At the other end of the rainbow, I placed a “punch-out” game that I made.  See my previous blog post to see how we did that.  This we also came back to play on our second time around the game, so each kid just took a turn punching and getting a prize.

Candy canes and candycane pencils for the goodie bags.
I added glue and glitter to these popcorn and trash buckets from the dollar store to make them look like gumdrops.
I pinned bright colored blankets over beanbag chairs and pillows to make them look like the gumdrop mountains and the kids had to climb over them!  🙂
Here, I hung streamers to hopefully look like black licorice and the coat rack worked perfectly to make the licorice tree!

hung 2 brown curtaina that I had in my dining room, with pressure rods over the doorway for Grandma Nut’s peanut brittle house.

Inside the peanut brittle house I printed and cut out peanuts to hang from the ceiling and also taped some to the wall.

more cellophane covered ballon lollipops.  didn’t know how to get them to stand up, so I propped up a baby gate and covered it with a blanket.. then stuffed in the dowels.  (note that the bigger 3 lolli’s are attached to white wrapping paper rolls and the 6 smaller lolli’s are on wooden dowels)

You may remember the ball shaped decorations from here:  so I covered those with cellophane and whallah!  Dave helped me with the string between the walls to hang them from.

 Whew… hang in there only a couple more places to visit!

DO NOT EAT… these are play putty.  I was excited to find something for the theme that wasn’t candy!!
bubble wrap on the floor, so they can pop through the ice cream sea (the board game had lot of bubbles around Queen Frostine, so since a bubble machine probably would have been a little too messy for inside, I thought of this. 
not much decoration here.. just some more brown curtains on the floor for the chocolate swamp and a bench for a bridge to crawl over it!
Here is home of King Kandy!  Lots of yummies that the kids got to go around and load up their goodie bags!  (sorry parents)

this would have worked a lot better with dummies instead of these suckers… but oh well.

bought a plain white half sheet cake from Fred Meyer and then decorated it with colored fondant and lots of goodies!

The gingerbread pieces are from the board game

this is the older board game… like the one I grew up with.

Happy birthday to my amazing 6 year old!