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Archive for the ‘Parties’ Category

June 19th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Summer Birthday Party Themes

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If you’ve got a summer baby, you might already be thinking about their upcoming birthday party. As a winter baby myself, I was always jealous of friends who were able to have pool and beach parties during the summer. Technically, you can make anything work in any season with just a little creativity and imagination, but for the purposes of this post we’ll focus on some great themes and ideas for summer parties specifically.

  • Birthday Luau – Flower leis, grass skirts, blow-up palm trees, pineapple and coconut treats, hula hoops, etc.
  • Jungle Party - Everything animal print, scavenger hunt, exploration and adventure!
  • Garden Party – Tea time with juice and petit sandwiches, fairy tutus and wings, face painting, etc.
  • Splish-Splash Party – Slip and slide, water balloon toss, bubble fun, and everything wet!
  • Beach Party – Have it at the beach or bring the beach to your home with a sandbox and a kiddie pool.
  • Picnic In the Park – Sandwiches and easy on-the-go food, frisbee, t-ball, playground fun and more.
  • Wild West Party – Cowboys and cowgirls, pretend horse races, horseshoe toss, etc.
  • Mexican Fiesta - Build-a-taco bar and other delicious Mexican fare, Piñata, maracas, etc.
  • Carnival Party  – Popcorn, clown fun with balloon animals and face painting, funnel cake, etc.
  • Nature Party  - Nature walk and discovery! Learn about bugs, flowers, etc. Educational and fun at the same time!

What summer birthday party themes have you done?

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May 27th, 2014 at 10:16 am

Make A Piñata In 7 Easy Steps

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My kids are summer babies, so we’ll be celebrating their birthdays in the next couple of months. And the thing I love the most is that we get to celebrate them in our own backyard. For the past seven years, there hasn’t been one birthday without a piñata, but this year, we’re going to do something different. Instead of getting one to match the theme of the birthday party at the store, we’ve actually decided to make our very own piñata.

Although I’m not the most crafty person in the world and a making a piñata from scratch sounds pretty complicated to me, I found what looks like an amazingly easy tutorial on YouTube and I can’t wait to try to make a piñata with my children.

MATERIALS

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1.5 cups water
  • Large bowl
  • Mylar ballon in the shape of a star
  • 5 party hats
  • Crepe paper of different colors
  • Lots of newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • Glue stick
  • Candy
  • String
  • Scissors

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix water and flour in the bowl until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Inflate balloon and place a party hat on each of its points and attach with a bit of masking tape.
  3. Cut the newspaper into long, 2-inch wide strips.
  4. Grab the newspaper strips and soak them in the paste. Once both sides of the strips are wet, place them on the balloon until you cover it completely.
  5. Wait for strips to dry out completely (this can take up to a day) and then make a hole on the top so you can take the balloon out and be able to fill the piñata with candy.
  6. Then, you can start decorating with the colored crepe paper. Cut into 3-inch pieces and make fringes on the end. Then paste these pieces all around the balloon starting at the bottom and going round and round using the glue stick until.
  7. Fill up the piñata with candy and then make two tiny holes at the top on each side of the big opening and put the string through these so you can hung the piñata.

Photo Credit:  BeforeAndAfterTV

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May 27th, 2014 at 10:15 am

Haz una piñata en 7 simples pasos

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Mis hijos nacieron en el verano, así que vamos a estar celebrando dos cumpleaños en los próximos meses. Y lo que más me gusta es que podemos celebrar en nuestro propio patio. Durante los últimos siete años, no ha habido un cumpleaños sin una piñata, pero este año, vamos a hacer algo diferente. En vez de comprar uno para que coincida con el tema de la fiesta de cumpleaños en una tienda, hemos decidido hacer nuestra propia piñata.

Aunque yo no soy la persona más talentosa en lo que a manualidades se refiere y un hacer una piñata desde cero suena bastante complicado para mí, me encontré con este tutorial en YouTube y se me hace que no es tan difícil. Además estoy segura que a mis hijos les va a encantar.

MATERIALES

  • 1 taza de harina
  • 1.5 de agua
  • Un bol grande
  • Un globo de Mylar en forma de estrella
  • 5 sombreritos de cumpleaños
  • Papel crepé de diferentes colores
  • Periódicos
  • Cinta adhesiva
  • Pegamento
  • Dulces
  • Cuerda
  • Tijeras

INSTRUCCIONES

  1. Mezcla el agua y la harina en el bol hasta obtener una pasta homogénea.
  2. Infla el globo y coloca un sombrerito en cada uno de las puntos con un poco de cinta adhesiva.
  3. Corta trozos de papel periódico de 2 pulgadas de ancho.
  4. Coge las tiras de periódico y mételas en la mezcla de agua y harina una por una. Una vez que ambos lados de las tiras están mojados, ponlos sobre el globo hasta que lo cubra por completo.
  5. Espera a que las tiras se sequen completamente (esto puede tardar hasta un día) y luego haz un agujero en la parte superior para que puedas sacar el globo hacia fuera y llenar la piñata con dulces.
  6. A continuación, puedes empezar a decorar con papel crepé de color. Corta trozos de 3 pulgadas y haz flecos en el extremo. A continuación, pega las piezas por todo el globo a partir de la parte inferior y dando vueltas y vueltas con el pegamento.
  7. Llene la piñata con dulces y luego haz dos pequeños agujeros en la parte superior de cada lado de la gran apertura y pon la cuerda a través de ellos para que puedas colgar la piñata.

Photo Credit:  BeforeAndAfterTV

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May 22nd, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Memorial Day BBQ Planning

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Memorial Day Weekend is almost here! Usually the first big weekend for pools and BBQs, we’re following the tradition and inviting friends and family for a good old-fashioned cookout. BBQs can be pretty simple to plan with some burgers and hot dogs, but if you want to really make a splash, consider some of these ideas during preparation.

  • “Make Your Own” Stations - The best part about hamburgers and hot dogs is the many ways you can customize them to your taste. Consider setting up different stations. Grill chicken, sausage, hot dogs, and hamburgers as the base. Put out a variety of breads and toppers (different kinds of cheeses, sliced onions and tomatoes, pickles, sauerkraut, etc.) and all the condiments you can think of. Add a chalk board “menu” of ideas so your guests have some inspiration (see our recent hamburger post for some great recipes).  You can do this for drinks, desserts, etc. as well.
  • Signature Drinks – It’s easy to throw some beer, soft drinks, and bottled water into a tub of ice and call it a day, but you’ll wow your guests if you offer some delicious and refreshing mixes. Some ideas: A sangria with fresh fruit, a lemonade/iced tea mix, a fruit punch, etc. Walmart has a great drink dispenser with an ice core, so your guests can help themselves.
  • A Fun Music Playlist – There’s nothing like a good playlist to get a party going! Consider fun, upbeat classics and top 40 that guests of all ages can enjoy. Try searching for some summer playlists online if you don’t know where to start, or ask your friends what some of their favorites are!
  • Lawn/Outdoor Games – We don’t have a pool, so we’re planning on setting up a few games to pass the time. Bocce ball, badminton, horseshoes, beanbag toss, and frisbee are some great choices. For kids, a slip and slide or water balloons can provide hours of fun!

Do you have anything special planned for your Memorial Day BBQ? Share your ideas with us on our Facebook page!

Photo Credit: “Burger Bar” - http://www.lovethispic.com/image/14660/burger-bar

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April 11th, 2014 at 8:38 am

Planning an Easter Brunch

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One of my favorite things about Easter is the meal. It’s the one time a year where we eat my favorite meal, breakfast, with lunch as well! There are so many different things you can do with brunch. Here are some things to consider when planning your meal.

Buffet or Served Plate?
Personally, I like to offer my brunches as a buffet. This way, everyone can choose what the foods they like best, and they can control how much they take of each. Seconds are much easier to handle as well.

Planning Your Dishes
When choosing food types, you want to consider the time it will take to make them…simpler recipes will allow you to enjoy your party more. Some things that are easy to make ahead of time are breakfast casseroles, pancakes, quiches, scrambled eggs, waffles, french toast, and fruit and vegetable platters. Also think about things like taco bars or waffle bars, where your guests or family can personalize them and put them together. I also like to include a deli meat selection, pulled pork, or shredded chicken or beef for build-your-own sandwiches. Ham, lamb, and chicken are typical Easter meats, so you can offer one of these as well…especially if brunch is the main meal you’re planning for the day. Here are some categories you can incorporate into your brunch:

  • Egg dish
  • Pancakes, French Toast, Waffles, Crepes
  • Meat Dish
  • Potato Dish
  • Bread Dish (Easter bread with dyed hard boiled eggs is a nice idea!)
  • Light Pasta Dish
  • Salad or Fruit
  • Dessert

Drinks to Serve
Have fun with the drinks – think about coffee, juices, water, and milk. You can also make fun punches or alcoholic drinks like mimosas, bellinis, and sangrias for the adults.

Brunches can be lots of fun, but portions are difficult to control, so make sure you have enough food on hand. My guests always get excited when they hear i’ll be serving brunch – the BEST of breakfast and lunch!!

 

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April 10th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

10 Easter Egg Hunt Tips

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As a child, my favorite part of Easter was the egg hunt in our backyard. My siblings, cousins and I would search the entire property for colorful eggs left by the Easter bunny! Now, as an adult, I love watching the kids have that same experience. Some of you may have only a few children and the hunt coordination is fairly easy, but if you do a multi-family egg hunt it can get pretty complicated…especially when it comes to keeping the peace when the kids have free reign and goodies are involved! Here are ten egg hunt tips to make sure everything goes smoothly.

  1. Decide on a set number of eggs each child will get. I recommend plastic eggs so you can hide prizes inside, but some people like to hide real eggs.
  2. Choose a variety of prizes to fill the eggs with. Make sure things are age appropriate. Some good ideas are: Change or dollar bills, candy, erasers, whistles, stickers, hair clips, small toys, temporary tattoos, bracelets, etc. You can also have one or two special eggs for each child with a note inside that they can trade in for a big toy that wouldn’t fit. You can find some great, affordable prizes at your local Walmart!
  3. If you have a small scale egg hunt, give each child an egg color or size so there is no confusion as to which eggs they should look for. If you have a large scale egg hunt, decide on egg colors or size per age group, i.e. Ages 2-4 can only take red and yellow eggs, ages 5-9 can only take blue and green eggs, etc. That way, they will get the appropriate goodies for their age group and you know how to appropriately hide them so that they’re not too difficult for little ones, or too easy for older ones, to find.
  4. Set an appropriate time for the hunt. Keep in mind when it starts to get dark in your area and allow the kids ample time before sundown. Also keep in mind that the kids will want to play with and eat their prizes right away, so plan it around your meals.
  5. Decide on the area you will hide the eggs in and,  if necessary, use flags to create boundaries so the kids don’t go looking in the wrong places. It also provides an element of safety so you can make sure that they don’t wander off or go into areas where they might get hurt.
  6. Write down where you hide the eggs. I can tell you from experience that it’s easy to forget after hiding a bunch of them!
  7. Hand out baskets to make it easy for the kids to collect their eggs. A fun way to prepare for this is to let them decorate and personalize their egg hunt baskets a day or two before Easter!
  8. Designate egg hunt “moderators” who can help the kids find the eggs if they have trouble and get frustrated. For little ones, they can guide them in the right direction.
  9. Designate a few people to handle photography and take pictures of the kids hunting for the eggs. These moments are precious and will be special memories to look back on!
  10. Make a rule that no one can open their eggs until each child has found all of their eggs. Patience is a virtue!

What do YOU have planned for the egg hunt this year? Share with us on our Facebook wall!

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February 6th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Valentine’s Day Treats

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Valentine’s Day is the holiday of love, and a great way to show your little ones how much you love them (even though you show them everyday!) is by making them some tasty treats! We’ve collected some of the most delicious valentine recipes on the Web right here in this blog post. Everything pink, red, heart-shaped and YUMMY! If you have older kids who bring valentines into school for classmates, be sure to check out the free Valentine’s Day printables links so you can package them into some individual sweet treats.

 

Conversation Heart Rice Krispy Treat Pops

Chocolate Pretzel Treats

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Pops

Valentine’s Oreo Balls

Candy Cane Heart Lollipops

Red Velvet Brownies

S’more Treat Bites

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Pink Velvet Cake Pops

 

Links to FREE Valentine’s Day Printables:

Valentine’s Day Printables

Valentine’s Day Printable Treat Bag Tags

Printable Monster Valentine Envelopes

Valentine’s Day Printable Treat Toppers

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December 26th, 2013 at 8:37 am

Winter Birthday Party Ideas

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I consider myself a winter baby because my birthday is in December. I was always jealous of my friends with summer birthdays because they were able to have fun warm weather birthday parties at the beach, pool or water parks. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve realized that winter birthday parties can be just as fun! Here are some ideas you can try for your winter babies:

Theme Ideas:

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You can do a general “winter” theme or you can focus on certain ideas. Some options are snowmen, snowflakes, penguins, mittens and hot cocoa, Jack Frost, etc. There are endless possibilities for these themes when it comes to decorations, activities, food, etc. This snowman theme from Setting The Mood brings everything together!

Invitations:

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Get creative and save money with DIY invitations. Use a mix of media (glitter, cotton balls, etc.)…whatever you can find that works with the theme. For inspiration, check out these popsicle stick snowflake invitations from Parenting.com.

Food and Treats:

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The main food element is up to you…it really depends on what you think all the little picky eaters will eat, but winter parties are never short of yummy treats! You can do s’mores (with parental supervision), a hot cocoa bar (like the one above from Heidi’s Recipes), candy canes, marshmallow snowmen, decorated sugar cookies, etc.

Activities:

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This is where it get’s fun! Some great activities for winter parties are:

  • Snowman building contest (above photo from TravelMuse)
  • Snowflake/snowmen crafts
  • Sugar Cookie Decorating
  • Movie time (Jack Frost, Frosty the Snowman, and so many others!)
  • Snowball toss
  • Winter scavenger hunt
  • Pin the nose on the snowman
  • “Freeze” dance

Is your little one a winter baby? Share YOUR party ideas with us on our Facebook Page!

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