Indiana Jones 7th Birthday

With 3 kids, I’d have to say that I’ve done a few birthday parties here & there. But, this one is definitely one of my Favorites!!!

Invitations:
These invitations were super easy to make & gave a good feel for the Indiana Jones Theme.

Entertainment:
What’s Indiana Jones without a few snakes?

The snake guy we hired was absolutely AMAZING! Despite the fact that a gigantic lizard pooped all over my dining table multiple times, I was very pleased.

Although I am far from a reptile lover, I couldn’t be happier with the look on my son’s face while holding all of the different snakes & lizards.

Activities:
Before the reptile show began, the kids were put on a Mission. The Mission to find their Bravery! One must be brave to handle snakes & lizards 🙂

We had 4 tasks to complete in order to accomplish our Mission of Bravery.
1. Mission Funding: Searched for gold coins, which were spread out all over our backyard grass.
2. Diamond Quest: What Indiana Jones Mission didn’t include diamonds? NONE! The kids had to dig for over sized diamonds in a large bin of sand. This became a big hit when we had about 30 minutes to kill before the snake guy came. A handful of kids would dig up all of the extra diamonds, bury them again & repeat. Great Fun!
3. Key of Bravery: One must “unlock” their bravery inside in order to conquer the snakes. Each kid had to stick their hand in the Treasure Chest and pull out a key. The Treasure Chest (piñata) was full of cooked spaghetti & keys from the scrapbook store.

4. Conquer the Snakes: Each kid had to take their new found bravery, run up the slide of our playground & conquer a rubber snake. Who knew allowing the kids to run up the slide would be such a big hit.

When the kids first arrived, they were given their own Indiana Jones satchel. This is where they could store all of their new found treasure while completing each task (gold coins, diamonds, key & rubber snake)

Cake:

My all time favorite detail of every birthday party…The Cake! This snake cake was so fun to make. I decided to make it a Red Velvet cake as my son wanted the insides to look like blood. Of course! Do you expect anything less from a 7 year old boy?

The body was made out of 2 bundt cakes, which were cut & arranged to make the curve of the body. We are a cream cheese frosting kind of family, so that is what I used. However, doing so did make the icing a bit softer then if I used something a bit more stiff.

Although this cake was super cute, it was A LOT of cake! We had a ton left over, which was a bonus for the birthday boy.

So there you have it… Another year, another kid older, more happy memories!

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Let them eat cake….

Well in this case, they ate various mini tarts 🙂

I had the great honor of preparing the desserts for my good friends Engagement Party. Considering I had never prepared desserts for 70 people before, I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. Due to this, I was super, oober organized, had a clear idea on what I wanted to make & how I wanted it to look. In the end, it all turned out great & I made my dear friend a very happy Bride to be!

Cream Puffs

Chocolate Mousse Mini Tarts

Raspberry Mousse Mini Tarts

Lemon Tarts

Fruit Tart

Mickey Mouse Birthday

In writing this post, all I can think of is…..MY BABY IS 2!!! How did this happen? How did my littlest monkey turn into a BIG Boy?

Ok, I’m done! I put my Mommy emotions away now! Now back to the Big Boy birthday celebration.

We decided to celebrate the big occasion by doing a low key family birthday party & then head to Disneyland. Clearly, Mickey Mouse had to be the theme. Not only was it appropriate for a soon to be Disneyland trip, but the little guy is truly obsessed with Mickey Mouse.

*Cute personalized shirt was purchase on Etsy.

As usual, I hit the internet for some inspiration and came up with the below:

Invitations:
*Since we didn’t have an actually “party” I opted to send an email to the family & not do invitations. I then realized, in 20 years Wyatt is going to ask me “Hey Mom, what happened to my 2nd birthday invitation in my baby book”. So… 1 invitation for the baby book will be made in the weeks to come 🙂

Decorations:
As usual, we called upon our beloved, beyond talented Balloon Guy for decorations. He did not fail us!

Cupcakes:
For the cupcakes, I decided to use my Tres Leche Cake recipe & turn them into cupcakes. In my opinion, they seems a bit heavy & dense but everyone seemed to enjoy them. I’ll work on tweaking the recipe & post my results at that time.

To make the Mickey head top, I used our babycakes Cake Pop Maker.

I used a Chocolate cake mix for the head, mini-marshmellows for the ears, and dipped it all in melted chocolate. Big hit with the kids!

Quick & Tiny celebration, with BIG memories for all of us!

Elmo Birthday Party

Thinking back to when my daughter turned 2, I remember trying to come up with a cute theme. In the past, I wasn’t a big fan of using obnoxious cartoon characters, such as purple singing dinosaurs, as the theme. But, when you think of the interest level of a soon to be 2 year, you really don’t have much to work with.

In our case, Elmo won over the heart of my little girl. How could I possible deny her of her love for a big, furry, red monster?

Invitations:
After seeing a cute show ticket invite on Etsy, I decided to make my own with a design software I have on my home computer.

Decoration:
Once again, we hired our favorite balloon guy who, without a doubt, impressed everyone.

Cake:
Each year, I challenge myself to come up with a homemade (or partially homemade) cake design. This year, was no different. 1 Elmo Cake, coming up!

I used a boxed cake mix, which I baked in a ball cake pan. Once baked & cooled, I cut a portion of one side off so the cake would stand up straight.

The eyes & nose are large cupcakes, which are attached to the head with wooden kabob skewers. Ice everything up with Elmo colored icing & you have yourself an edible Elmo head.

Note: Other cute Sesame Street ideas include

Cookie Monster

Photos: By Jen Grove or Flicker

Strawberry Shortcake Tea Party Birthday

Sydney’s Strawberry Shortcake Tea Party last month was overflowing with cuteness!

We had all of the little girls dress up in their “Berry Fancy” Dresses and it was too cute to watch them all twirl & drink “tea” from their flower cups. So much fun to be a little girl!

Invitation:
For the invitations, I used Red & white card stock, green gingham design craft paper, green ribbon, white artificial flower, 1 paper brad, and a red jewel. All found at your local craft store.

To make the strawberry shape, I just searched online for one I liked, enlarged it to the size I wanted, then cut out a template. The template was then used to trace the strawberry shape on the red & white card stock.

The “stem” (aka green gingham paper) was just a free form shape I drew. The top of the stem is longer so I could fold it behind and have a clean edge on the top.

Put the Red Strawberry cutout on top of the White, put the stem on top of the Red & fold behind the white. I then used a hole punch to punch a hold in the upper right corner of all 3 papers & added a paper brad to hold everything together.

From there, I looped the green ribbon & hot glued it on top of the brad, followed by the white flower & red jewel.

The invitation wording was printed on regular white printer paper & glued on top of white Strawberry shaped paper.

Decoration & Food:
The table was the main decorating canvas this time around.

Red Table Cloth, Flowers, bowls of jelly beans, and Flower tea cups (which were their favors) were all set out on the table. Homemade pinwheels stood in clear vases with dried black beans.

To make your own pinwheels, simply pick out any kind of decorative scrapbook paper. Cut 2 pieces in any size square. Your paper must be SQUARE for this to work! Glue the 2 pieces of paper together so each decorative side faces outwards.

From there, fold 1 corner diagonally making a triangle. Unfold & do it again the opposite way (see picture below). Cut along folded lines 3/4 of the way up (DO NOT cut all the way to the middle). Punch a hole in the center & on the same side of each square corner.

Put a paper brad in each of the corner holes, then pull up and insert into center hole. Fasten brad, glue to a stick & there you go! You now have your very own Homemade Pinwheel.

PB&J and cheese tea sandwiches, big red strawberries, grapes & popcorn were served for lunch. Alongside, strawberry milk in their adorable flower tea cups.

Note: Adorable Flower Teacups were purchased on Amazon.

Cupcakes:
This year opted to not do a big themed cake as I had zero ideas on what to do. So cupcakes with a Strawberry twist was the way to go.

I used a vanilla & Lemon boxed cake mix. Made both according to the directions on the box. I normally replace the oil with applesauce for a moister cake.

Once cupcakes were baked & cooled, I cup a cone hole in the top so I could fill it with the most AMAZING Strawberry filling ever, Strawberry Gelée.

Now for the icing! I used store bought cream cheese icing, added some of my homemade Strawberry jam & mixed until I got the perfect shade of pink. Pipe icing onto cupcakes, added sliced strawberries to the top of the Vanilla cupcakes & a yellow jellybean to the Lemon cupcakes.

They were so YUMMY! My neighbor who rarely eats sweets inhaled one in record time. The best compliment if you ask me 🙂

Ladybug Picnic

When our sweet Sydney had her 3rd birthday, we decided to have a Ladybug Picnic at the Beach. This was the first time we did a birthday party outside of our home & boy was this a challenge. The amount of stuff required for a family of 5 to hit the beach is enormous! Not to mention all the stuff required for a birthday party. Birthday Party stuff + Family of 5 beach stuff = way more than I or my husband can carry! Luckily, we had the help of my husbands family!!!

The ladybug theme was really easy! Bonus was that the beach was randomly swarmed by ladybugs that day. Everywhere you looked, you could find a ladybug on the sand. Very Cool!

Invitation:
To make the ladybug invitation, I used black construction paper for the body & head, red card stock for the wings, wiggly eyes & a paper brad to attach it all. These invites were all hand delivered so I could make them bigger & not worry about having to fit them into an envelope.

Cake:
The cake didn’t turn out exactly as I had envisioned but still cute & Sydney still loved it 🙂

I used a boxed cake mix (again, I hope to make my cakes from scratch after I take my pastry class), filled a rounded bowl (for the ladybug body) 1/2 way & baked. I filled another smaller rounded bowl (for the ladybug head) 1/2 way & baked.

Once baked & cooled, I placed both cakes into the freezer for about 30 min. This makes the cake easier to ice and handle & it wont fall apart in your hands.

To decorate, I used red fondant for the body, black icing for the head, oreo cookies for the spots, red licorice for the antennas, and mini marshmallows for the eyes. The original plan for the mouth didn’t work out so we had to use the mini marshmallows.

Star Wars meets Harry Potter Birthday

My oldest son, Jackson, was OBSESSED with Star Wars right before his 6th Birthday. Naturally, we picked a Star Wars theme for his party, which was at a local jumpy house place. But of course, his obsession changed to Harry Potter a week before his party. This shouldn’t have surprised me as he does this every year.

Since his party was a week away & the invitations were already sent with a Star Wars theme, we decided to stick with it. Did you actually think I was going to switch up the weeks & weeks of planning I had already done? Ok, some you may have thought I would. But I Did Not!

Invitation:
The invitation was done on a Design software I have on my home computer, then uploaded to Zazzle and printed on a Customizable Photo Puzzle. Each guest was given a puzzle invite which they had to put together to “decode” the message.

*Invite wording courtesy of Personal Party Invites

Star Wars Cookiecake:
Since the party was at a local jumpy house place, I did not have to do any decorations. We opted for the Pajama Movie package , where the kids jumped for an hour then watch a movie for an hour (Star Wars Clone Wars).

We decided to make Cookiecakes (Cookie that looks like a cupcake) vs. a large messy cake. With the help of my sister in-law, Nancy, we rolled out different colors of fondant, used a biscuit cutter to make a circle that would fit on top our cookiecakes, and used Food Markers for the details.

For the actual cookiecake, we used pre-made Pilsbury cookie dough and stuffed them into a greased cupcake pan. Bake as normal & VOILA…you now have Cookiecakes!

Add any type of icing to act as the “glue” and place the finished Star Wars Fondant heads on top. These were so much fun to make & Jackson LOVED them!

Harry Potter Ice Cream:
Now how does Harry Potter play into all of this? Jackson’s party was on a weekend but his actual birthday was on a Thursday where we celebrated at his favorite local diner with family. Since his new obsession was now Harry Potter, I was compelled to come up with something quick. After much thought and searching for inspiration & ideas online, a Harry Potter Owl was created.

A simple scoop of ice cream from the restaurant was ordered. My other sister in-law, Melisa, helped me add coconut for the feathers, yellow M&M for the beak, chocolate pretzel cut into 2 circles for the eyes, chocolate chips for the center of the eye, sliced almonds for the top feathers, and a chocolate wafer cut in half for the wings.

Super cute + Super Yummy = Super Happy Birthday Boy!

Dr. Seuss Birthday

Our youngest son, Wyatt, celebrated his 1st birthday last year with Dr. Seuss. This theme was so easy to get excited about. I mean really, who doesn’t LOVE Dr. Seuss?

*Hat & Shirt courtesy of Etsy.

Decoration:
We have an amazing Balloon guy, who we’ve used a few times, and knew he would bring tons of balloons we could use for decoration.

Invitation:
The invitation was created on a Design software I have on my home computer, printed on card stock, then cut to size.

*Invitation wording courtesy of Etsy.

Cake & Cupcakes:
Since I didn’t have to put too much effort into the decorations, I mainly focused on the cake & cupcakes. Cat in the Hat Sheet Cake and Thing 1 & Thing 2 Cupcakes

The Cat in the Hat Sheet cake is just a Vanilla Cake from a box. Hopefully, after my Pastry Class this Fall I will be confident enough to make my cakes from scratch.

After finding the perfect Cat in the Hat picture online, I used white fondant to trace & cut the image. Luckily, my husband has the “artsy gene” and can draw pretty well. He used Food Markers (like the ones you use to draw on cookies) and was able to copy the image onto the fondant. AMAZING if you ask me 🙂 Well done honey!

From there… Let the piping begin. About a billion blue icing dots were added around the words. Once the entire cake was covered, the Cat in the Hat image was placed onto of the blue icing dots.

As for the Thing 1 & Thing 2 cupcakes, they were really simple. Again, a boxed mix for the cupcakes. I used a Red Velvet cake mix with a Cream Cheese frosting. Pretty standard.

Once the cupcakes were baked & iced, I placed blue cotton candy on the top to look like Thing 1 & Thing 2 hair.
*Note: You need to use the fluffy cotton candy you find at the fair or amusement park. The one in the big plastic bags. Not the packed in a can stuff you get at Target. Since we realized, at the last minute, the packed in a can stuff wouldn’t work, my sister in-law, Nancy, had a brilliant idea and ran over to Chuck-e-Cheese. They of course, had the fluffy stuff 🙂 Great thinking Nancy!!!

Note: The cotton candy will start to melt the second you put it on the icing. Due to this, we added the cotton candy right before we served the cupcakes. Bummer part of this was we couldn’t display them during the party.