Category Archives: itty parties

superhero birthday party

super hero party invitation

Come to our party!

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superhero party

Easy party craft…paper plate Captain America shields!

superhero party

Little heroes creating their super shields.

superhero party

Part of our superhero training–toss the Kryptonite through the hoop.

superhero party

Another part of superhero training–”Hulk-smash” the city.

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superhero party

Will is three!

superhero party

superhero party

I was going to label these Kryptonite, but remembered that Kryptonite is a bad thing…

superhero party

A peek inside the treat bags.

superhero party

Treat bags for all the superheroes as they fly home.

My little superhero has been “planning” this party for months on his own, telling me that the cake should be a red heart with Avengers stickers all around the sides and a toy Nick Fury on top.  I didn’t quite do that, but his cute little ideas definitely helped inspire this party.

For the invitations, I put to use the goods from this photo session and tried my best to put it all together in Photoshop (links below for fonts and graphics).  I really wanted it to look like it came out of a comic book.  What do you think?

The decorations were pretty simple to pull together, really.  Enough white butcher paper to cover the table, some bright cups, plates, stripey straws, and some nicely designed Iron Man napkins.  I wrapped every smallish-sized box in the house (including boxes of pasta, with pasta still inside) with more butcher paper, and glued yellow “windows” to create skyscrapers.  The windows aren’t exactly straight, but hey, I was in a hurry (as always).  I loved Will’s idea of putting a toy superhero on the cake, so not only did we do that, but we scattered them all over our table cityscape as well.  Heroes are always in the city, fighting crime, right?  I found “BANG” and “POW” graphics online to add a little pop to the scene.  At the last minute, I had the idea to put some newspaper on the table since Clark Kent and Peter Parker work for the newspaper, but since I don’t subscribe and I was out of time, I had very little to work with.  My son, Ben, however found a great newspaper article he had stashed away that featured Spidey.  Perfect!  We had Hulk stomp through the grapes, and Iron Man protect the strawberries from any bad guys.

Of course, I had to include tissue paper pom-poms…what’s a party without them?  So I had some red and aqua blue ones floating over the table.  Since my husband loves superheroes as much as Will does, we happened to have a couple framed prints to hang on the wall, which I personalized with a comic-style speech bubble.  Then I added a few blasts of yellow stars to finish off the wall.  The console table in the other room was covered with superhero books and masks.

What do you feed little superheroes?  Captain America star-shaped watermelon, Hulk grapes, popcorn, pretzels, Iron Man strawberries, raspberry sherbet and a patriotic cake (topped with toy superheroes and other fun things).

Since our party guests were just little guys, I had to think of a very simple craft for them to work on as we waited for everyone to arrive.  Hey, how about super shields made from paper plates?  Yes!  I stapled a strip of red elastic onto the back side for a handle, and then provided a pile of superhero stickers for them to plaster all over their shields.  Success!  They loved it, and it was nice that they could do it on their own while I was answering the door.

Superhero Training was next.  Each hero had to display their shield throwing skills, toss “Kryptonite” through a hoop, and detonate bombs (black water balloons).  They “Hulk-smashed” the “city” with big, green fists, and shot down a bad guy (a Loki figurine) with “webs” (Silly String).  When their training was complete, each one received a gold medal to show off their bravery.

We always end birthday parties with the “fishing pond.”  Kids love it!  Old-fashioned games are the best.  Wooden dowels with strings and clothespins attached are the “fishing poles.”  We cover the railing with a blanket so the kids can’t see into the pond, and they fish over the railing for a surprise.  My older kids sit on the stairs below and help the little kids catch a treat bag to take home.  Inside the treat bags there were patriotic butter mints from the party store (perfect for Captain America!), blue Hershey’s kisses “bombs”, red licorice “laser lassos,” and “anti-Kryptonite” rock candy sticks (because Kryptonite is a bad thing for Superman…this builds his immunity to it).

Such a fun day, watching Will soaking up every minute of his dream party.  I hope this gives you lots of inspiration for your own superhero party!

P.S.  Fonts I used for the invitation and decorations found here and here.  Here are the PNG files I found for the yellow explosion stars, BANG, BAM, POW, KA-POW, and speech bubbles one, two, and three.

party in paris

Nina had no clue that Aunt Hailey and Uncle Brad would be coming in disguise as special guests. Shhhh! Let's surprise her!

Nina had no clue that Aunt Hailey and Uncle Brad would be coming in disguise as special guests. Shhhh! Let’s surprise her!

Our chef's moustache fell off!

Our chef’s moustache fell off!

paris party  paris party paris partyparis partyparis party

paris birthday party

French name tags.

paris party

Each guest had their hand stamped upon arrival…sort of like a passport. The girls loved it!

paris party

Bienvenue à Café Nina!

paris birthday party

Joyeaux anniversaire, Nina!

paris party

I printed these cute coloring pages for the girls to work on while we waited for all the guests to arrive.

paris party

Paper city of Paris from Made By Joel (link below) doubled as decor and party favors.

Paris party

paris party

paris party

Pain au chocolat and mousse au chocolat…mmm!

paris party

J’adore Paris!

paris party

Gateau de crêpes, anyone?

Bon appetit!

Bon appetit!

paris party

Paris birthday partyParis party

paris party

Party favors I found at the Target dollar spot. Perfect timing!

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paris party

Small bags of chocolate “bisous” and candy hearts.

paris party

Bienvenue à Paris! So happy you could join us!

I have lots to share with you about this one. Definitely my favorite party so far (although the Beatles party ranks up there too!). After Nina decided she would like a Paris party, I was super excited to start pulling it together.  So many ideas kept running around in my head, I couldn’t wait! After a long, dreary month of having Hannah in and out of the hospital with her appendicitis, it was actually like therapy for me to get this party going.

Blue and yellow seemed fitting for the decorations, to reflect the charm of French cafés and flower markets. I bought a 25 foot roll of sky blue butcher paper, then repeatedly traced half of a dinner plate all along its edge.  I cut along the lines where I had traced, then painted white stripes along the banner to create our nice little café awning. Yay! So happy to hang this in my kitchen!  It instantly transformed the space.  Next, I pulled out a Paris mural I painted seven or eight years ago (for a church activity, but I knew I’d use it again someday).  Luckily, it was just the size of my kitchen wall, so I taped that up as well.  I tossed some yellow and blue balloons around the room, hung blue and white tissue poms from ceiling, added a yellow tablecloth, blue plates, red cups, and red and blue patterned napkins.  My little Eiffel Tower made a great centerpiece among the pain au chocolat (croissants baked with  chocolate inside), and the mousse au chocolat (cheater’s recipe!).  As if we needed more sweets, I made Nina’s birthday cake by stacking a couple dozen crêpes together with layers of strawberry jam and whipped cream.  I’ve wanted to make a cake like this for years, and now I finally had a good excuse! A cute little banner of French flags completed it.

For past parties, I’ve asked my brother Trevor to come as a pirate, and my sister Erika to come as a fairy godmother. I tried to think if anyone could come dressed up as a special surprise for Nina, and voila! I remembered my sister Hailey’s and my brother-in-law Brad’s amazing Halloween costumes. When I asked them if they’d join the party as a French street mime and a French chef, they were as excited as I was about it. We had to be very careful to keep it a secret from Nina. Hailey texted me when they were in the neighborhood, so I made sure Nina was downstairs when she and Brad came in.  I quickly snapped a few photos of them before they went into hiding.

The music really helped set the tone for the party.  I highly recommend it!  I played Duo Gadjo Radio on Pandora over our system using Bluetooth.  C’est parfait!  Give it a listen.  When the girls arrived, my mom and my sister Erika stamped their hands with an Eiffel Tower stamp, and pinned on a French name tag. Originally I had planned to make little passports for the girls, and stamp those instead of their hands, but I ran out of time. They liked having a stamp on their hands anyway.  They all learned to say, “Je m’appelle…” My name is…

Tables and chairs were set up downstairs for coloring while waiting for everyone to arrive.  I printed copies of this cute coloring page and the girls were very detailed in coloring it!  I had thought of doing an art project involving paint and glitter glue to create an Eiffel Tower painting, but you know, I already had enough to do!  Here are other coloring pages of old France, l’Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre.

Once all the guests had arrived, it was time to go upstairs and explore Paris…and what did we find there? A French street mime! Nina smiled so big when she saw Aunt Hailey.  Our lovely mime did an impromptu act, then each of the girls took turns being the mime (just like charades). I thought up some ideas for them to act out, just in case: mime game ideas  All the miming was so great, especially with the Frenchy music still playing.

Then it was time for treats at Café Nina. But where was the chef?  We rang the service bell on the counter, and ta-da!  Out popped a jolly chef from the pantry, complete with a French accent!  The girls were laughing and so surprised, especially Nina.  I’m so glad the whole plan worked, it was so funny!  Our chef served all the food, and after that Nina opened her gifts.

We had a little bit of time left, so I turned on the movie Madeline.  For a younger crowd, the cartoon versions of Madeline would be great. Most of the girls had never seen the movie, or even heard of the books! So it was a fun way to end the party.  Each girl went home with an Eiffel Tower tote bag filled with matching notecards (thank you Target dollar spot), a travel size paper city of Paris to cut and color at home, and chocolate “bisous” (kisses).

Joyeaux anniversaire Nina! Et merci beaucoup Hailey and Brad! You made this party so much fun.

Feel free to use at your next Paris party:

bisous
jemappelle
frenchflags (For cake banner–print and cut on the lines. Fold in half and trim into triangles or leave as rectangles. Secure flags with a glue dot after lining them up on a string between two wooden dowels.)

cinderella pumpkin party

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cinderella party

Prince Charming taste testing the batter.

 

cinderella partycinderella party

princess party

Pin the Kiss on the Frog Prince.

 

princess partyHear ye! Hear ye! We hereby declare that this was the most fancy princess party in all the land!

I wish I could take credit for all the beautiful decorations in the castle today, but a friend of mine so kindly gave them to me.  Yes, honestly so nice!  She recently did a Cinderella Pumpkin party for her one-year-old, and when she found out I was planning a similar party, she offered me all of her lovely decorations.  How could I say no to that?  Thank you, Ambria!  Your decorations were perfectly royal, indeed.  All I had to do was paint a few pumpkins (that we still had from Halloween) to top it all off.

As soon as all the carriages had arrived with the little princesses, we played Pass the Pumpkin (Hot Potato), Pin the Kiss on the Frog Prince (which I actually made seven years ago for Hannah’s 4-year princess party! Happy I saved it.), and had a Royal Ball with real princess music (aka the cheesy Disney stuff). It was hilarious watching all these little girls twirl around so seriously! Little Prince William Charming was pretty outnumbered by the ladies so he never had to dance alone.

The menu included Magical Fruit Wands, Bibbity-Bobbity-Blue Pumpkin Cookies, Royal Cupcakes, Heart Sandwiches, and Pink Princess Potion. Sometimes I wonder why I make so much food for these parties, because these little kids usually take two bites and they’re off! Still, it’s fun to put together.

For the party favors, I bought some candy pumpkins before Halloween and saved them for the treat bags.  Then I added some sparkly rings, mini wands, princess notepads and lollipops. Super simple.

Happy birthday to Her Royal Highness, Princess Olivia!

adventure time party – c’mon and grab your friends

adventure time party

adventure time party

I need to brush up on my Finn the Human language skills, but I did my best!

adventure time party

adventure time party

Green cupcakes to look like Finn and Jake’s treehouse.

adventure-time-party

adventure-time-party

Getting ready for an adventure time.

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adventure-time-party

Nina is pro.

My first climb...yikes!

My first climb…yikes!

adventure-time-partyMy boy is thirteen.  Thirteen!  I was just thirteen, how can this be?

For Ben’s party this year, I thought it would be a great idea to take a bunch of boys somewhere other than my house…somewhere like an indoor climbing gym? YES!  Ben loved the idea, and it went along perfectly with the Adventure Time theme he chose.  So I designed the invitations, and looked forward to not having a massive mess and sweaty boys running all around my house! Haha!

I’ve never been so happy with a cake I’ve made before.  Isn’t this Finn cake cute? Or should I say “flippin’ awesome”?? Let it be known, I’m not the best at decorating cakes, but this one was really fun and pretty simple.  Just a lot of piping and some black gel icing (leftover from Hannah’s Beatles cupcakes).  We also had green frosted cupcakes, you know, trying to make them look like Finn and Jake’s treehouse.

I really took the easy way out on this party after I discovered these free printables. All of the party decorations were downloaded and printed from this site and it saved me a ton of time, which was good because we had two days to pull this together after coming home from a family vacation. Ta-da! Everyone learned to climb, including Olivia (who turned out to be a party pooper, quite literally, but that’s another story). The party was so much fun for Ben and his friends, and it was GREAT to come home to a clean house!

beatles party

Beatles party

Nine song titles on the invitation...can you spot them all?

Nine song titles on the invitation…can you spot them all?

Beatles birthday party.“YOU SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY?IT’S MY BIRTHDAY TOO, YEAH! THEY SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY! WE’RE GONNA HAVE A GOOD TIME!”

Beatles birthday party

To welcome our guests…kind of dumb, I know, but it makes me laugh.

Beatles party decorations

Hello, boys. Aren’t you all looking handsome tonight?

Beatles party

An Etsy print and a collection of Beatles music.

Beatles party

*Pictogram to solve while waiting for all the guests to arrive. Can you figure out which songs are represented? The winner gets a prize!

Beatles party decorations

Lesser known photos we found online, such as Paul having tea on a train and the Fab Four at the Eiffel Tower.

 

beatles party

HELP album inspired party favor bags.

 

Beatles-party

Penny Lane penny rolls I designed for prizes and favors.

 

Beatles party

Beatles journals I stitched up for party guests.

 

Beatles party

Beatles party

We all live in a yellow submarine…

 

Beatles party table

Beatles party

Strawberry fields forever!

 

Beatles party

Who is who?

The girl who is quite possibly the world’s biggest Beatles fan just celebrated her eleventh birthday in a very Fab Four sort of way.  This party has been a long time in the making.  About six months ago, the idea of a Beatles birthday party popped into my head, and Hannah’s reaction to my idea was a big smile, big eyes, and a big YES!  Since then, she and I have been churning out ideas and writing them down on our master “BEATLES PARTY IDEAS” list. The goal was to make it fun and Beatles-ish without breaking the bank, and I think it was a success!

First, I incorporated as many Beatles songs as I could into the invitation, and printed them out myself. Brightly colored decorations were inspired by the Sgt. Pepper album, and I cut black cardstock records to hang from the ceiling, complete with the Apple Records label.  We put up Hannah’s Beatles posters, pulled out her postcards and vinyl albums, and printed and framed lesser known Beatles photos we found online.  Hannah has the framed photos on her dresser now, so she can swoon over them whenever she pleases.

I made the big menu poster so the girls would see the connection between the Beatles songs and the food. Everything was relatively simple…just pizza and soda, chocolate dipped strawberries, a bowl of green apples to represent the Apple record label, Fudge Stripe cookies turned on their backs to resemble vinyl records, and Twinkie* yellow submarines decorated with Skittles and straws, and Swedish fish swimming about on the platter. The trickiest part was decorating these cupcakes with the Beatles’ faces, but they turned out okay…? And of course we were blasting Beatles music all through dinner!

On to the activities! Hannah and I came up with a Beatles playlist and corresponding prizes for a game of “Name That Tune.” We gave the girls a split second to hear each song and whoever named it first won the prize (although after two prizes they had to let the others have a go at winning). I was amazed at how quickly some of the girls named the songs…Hannah has trained her friends well! Here is our playlist and what we did for little prizes:

Come Together – Hershey’s bar with the Abbey Road photo wrapped around it
I Feel Fine – Sugar Babies (“Baby’s good to me you know, she’s happy as can be you know!”)
Penny Lane – Two penny rolls
Paperback Writer – Cute pencil and matching eraser
Mr. Postman – Cute pencil and matching eraser
Strawberry Fields – pack of strawberry gum
I Want to Hold Your Hand – nail polish
Octopus Garden – packet of Swedish Fish
I Want Money – one bill of Beatles play money
Taxman – one bill of Beatles play money
You Never Give Me Your Money – one bill of Beatles play money
Can’t Buy Me Love – one bill of Beatles play money
Twist and Shout – small package of Twizzlers
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window – cute travel packages of Kleenex tissue
All My Lovin’ – roll of Sweethearts candy
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – package of ‘pepper’mint gum
Boys – Ring Pop (since RINGo wrote this one)
Across the Universe – package of Starburst candy
Here Comes the Sun – small bag of Sunchips
Golden Slumbers – eye mask from the dollar spot at Target
Yellow Submarine – packet of Swedish Fish

We had a few extra prizes left, so the girls played Hot Potato with Beatles music until all the prizes were gone. Other activities we considered doing was making cardboard guitars like these, or painting yellow submarines, however, we just didn’t have time. Instead, the girls drummed, strummed and sang their little hearts out to Beatles Rock Band, and finished off the night by watching one of the funniest movies ever made, HELP.  If you have never seen it, I HIGHLY recommend it.

For the party favors, I printed paper sacks with an image from HELP, and filled them with Beatles buttons, stickers, Penny Lane penny rolls (see below for free printable!), and “RINGo” Pops.  Some other possible prizes and/or party favors would be these adorable music boxes. They really do make a great little gift for any Beatles fan.My girls are working on collecting all of the Beatles songs available. You could also do Beatles posters, magnets, or tote bags (all very inexpensive on Amazon.com). The list is endless, and it really just depends on your party budget. Another fun shopping site is fabfourstore.com.

This was by far the most fun party we’ve ever hosted, and I think we may do it again for another little Beatles fan in a year or two.

 

For you! pennylanelabel (simply cut and tape around penny rolls) and beatlesjournalcover
*Beatles pictogram can be found here.
*Although Hostess Twinkies are no longer available, most grocery stores offer similar store brand versions.

woodland pixie party

woodland pixie party invitations pixie houses for party woodland-party woodland party woodland party woodland pixie party woodland cookies woodland pixie party woodland pixie party woodland pixie party woodland-pixie-party woodland-pixie-party toadstool notebooks woodland-pixie-party woodland-pixie-party woodland-pixie-party woodland-pixie-partyMy little Nina is seven! To celebrate, we sprouted an enchanted forest in our kitchen and welcomed a flurry of little pixie friends. I wanted the invitations to look like little tree branches, so I pasted the party info onto cut and flattened lunch sacks, rolled them up, secured them with baker’s twine, and topped them off with a cardstock leaf.

Nina loved prepping the pixie houses (whipping cream cartons), and we gathered little twigs and acorns for gluing onto them at the party. The owl treat bags came from Target’s dollar spot…they were meant for Valentines, but they were perfect for our party. We filled them with little strawberry candies, freshly picked from a nearby magical forest, of course. I ran the little notebooks through my sewing machine to embellish them with torn lunch sacks and snippets of fabric. I was so happy with how they turned out! And here is where I learned how to create the toadstool pencils.

The fairy feast was a success with items on the menu such as Snowy Forest Branches (pretzel rods dipped in white chocolate), Forest Friends (sugar cookies using IKEA cutters, I ran out of time to frost them!), Fairy Berries, Gnome Walking Sticks (veggies & dip), Dwarf Gems (sparkly gumdrops), Magical Fairy Nectar (lemonade), and of course, Enchanted Toadstools (cupcakes). I wanted the cups to look like toadstools, but I couldn’t find any polka dotted ones anywhere! So I took matters into my own hands and painted white spots onto red paper cups. The mobile over the table was created with cardstock leaves hot-glued to small branches.

My “Pin the Accessories on the Garden Gnome” game was a hit and overall, I’d say all the little pixies flew home happy.

More ideas for another time: Wooden bird houses from the craft store (instead of whipping cream cartons) for the pixie houses,and cut felt twigs, acorns and leaves to glue on to them. The real twigs and acorns kept sliding off our little pixie houses. Invitations could be made with a birch print scrapbook paper, or white paper with tree bark designs simply drawn on. And how adorable are these straws?

nina is 6!







Olivia loved her donut so much that she decided to feed some to her baby doll too.


This little girl is growing up much too quickly.
Where’d my fat little baby Nina go?
I honestly can’t believe she is 6 years old!
I asked if she thought it would be fun to do a pajama party, and of course she was super excited about that. Since we don’t really do sleepovers, we had everyone come in the morning dressed in their pj’s. All her little friends were off track too so it worked out perfectly, even though it was a Thursday.
I was going to make sleep masks for each of the girls, but get this…when I went to JoAnn’s to get all the fabric, lo and behold, I stumbled upon a bin of pink satin sleep masks on sale in the very back of the store. I just about clicked my heels right then and there because they were only 50 cents! That saved me a ton of time and money. Then I bought some craft foam stickers so the girls could decorate their sleep masks when they came to the party.
My sister Erika came and helped me run the little manicure station, then we had a rousing game of Bingo, woo! Actually it was a pretty quiet crowd. Erika and I were laughing about how serious and quiet everyone was being. Next came presents, Hannah read the Charlie and Lola book, “I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go To Bed,” and then came the towering donut cake! Does it get any easier than that? Sheesh, I used to go crazy with birthday parties when Ben and Hannah were little. We’d invite 25 kids and I’d spend weeks planning and preparing. Then I realized that the kids really don’t care if you go over the top. They just love to have their cute little friends over all at once, open a few presents, and eat a bunch of sugar. Simple! So yes, I have drastically simplified over the years.
I simplified so much that after they were done with their donuts and orange juice, we still had 45 minutes of partying to do, and I was totally unprepared, haha! So we cranked up the tunes and played freeze dance, did a few rounds of “hot pillow,” played more Bingo, and did Simon Says. They loved it! And they didn’t know the difference, right? They all got to “fish” for their goodie bag before they left, and Nina was a happy girl.
That night we went out for smoothies, watched Dennis the Menace {funniest movie of all time} and had popcorn downstairs.
Happy birthday Nina! I love you!