This year's party was a blast! I loved the crazy amazing costumes everyone had, I loved the bright happy textiles and surprisingly, I loved the food. (Cocunut Basmati Rice might be my new favorite food.) My favorite part was surprising everyone with a Henna artist there to do Henna tatoos. Everything went perfectly and I'm pretty sure everyone had so much fun. Now for the clean-up....
This year's party was the least stressful one I've ever hosted. It was a blast and I honestly wouldn't change a thing! It was unscripted but because the company had other 'goals' to the game it made the flow so much easier then other unscripted Murder Mystery Parties we've had in the past.
You can see/download more pictures of this years party HERE.
Yeah I'm one of those Mom's I swore I'd never be. I posted about Ethan's birthday (complete with video!) just a few days after his party. He's the oldest and I was excited for him. Owen on the other hand not only has to be third in the pecking order but his birthday happens to be just 3 weeks after his big brothers and that usually means Mommy hasn't recovered from the first celebration of the year (let alone be ready to put on another one!). I did throw him a party and I did write the traditional letter to him so props there, right? I just haven't gotten around to posting his party though-- to much to do and too little time. That doesn't mean it wasn't a standard Joanna-thrown party though. It was a perfect party for my three year old which, it my mind that deems it a success!
Owen is my Mickey Mouse boy so it was a no brainer thinking of a 'theme' or color scheme. I wanted it simple and not over the top cartoon-y (not easy with Disney in my opinion!). So I chose yellow, red and black as the colors. Since we only invited 3 of his closest friends (and their families) it wasn't a big group and it was really intimate and low key. I'm a big believer that the age they are is the number of kids that the birthday child will be happy with and that you as a parent can manage. Trust me when I say that I LEARNED THIS THE HARD WAY! (just sayin'). As soon as the kids came Owen gave them all their own Mouse ears that we had made and while some weren't used to the weight on the top of their heads, these were still a big hit. I printed off a pattern online, bought black headbands and stiff felt from the craft store and in less than 15 minutes had all 4 of them drying. (Owen's had a birthday hat added to his ears and the girls had little red polka dot bows). Super simple craft project that cost about $1 a piece.
We had Mickey Mouse Clubhouse pictures for the kids to watercolor as they were arriving and then they still had a chance to dry before we sent them home later. Once everyone was there I gave everyone little candy bracelets to make, they had little mickey charms (found them at Walmart) and while Owen was okay making this it was probably too hard of a project for the two year old guests- this is something for kids over 4 but, the siblings LOVED them (oh well, live and learn!)
After that is was time for the food... this was 100% based on Owen's favorite foods. Know your audience, right? Besides it was SIMPLE and that was my goal! Taco Salad bar for the grown-ups (with homemade chipotle dressing. YUM!)
and for the kids we had Hot Diggity Dogs (mini corn dogs), Mickey mouse shaped chicken nuggets, chips, and juice boxes. I made up and printed a bunch of these blank labels and used them throughout the party to label food, drop a thank you note in the gift bags, etc.) Super handy!
oh and the kids favorites were 'toodles' and Mickey and Minnie's that I made up. Owen wanted his own Lego cake pops like I did for Ethan's party but that didn't exactly go with my 'theme'. I searched and searched the internet for Mickey ideas but didn't find anything I was excited about so I kinda made up my own combining every technique in Bakerella's cook book but, the end result was something that everyone loved. I used devil's food cake/icing this time, mickey shaped candy confetti (found only at Walmart- ugh) and red/yellow sprinkles, red, and white candy coating and black candy coloring. Not sticks this time, just served bon-bon style.
Since this was a total crap shoot and I had NO IDEA if they'd turn out I made a bunch of different designs.. the ears were piped out of the candy coating on wax paper, left to dry then pushed into the balls before the coating had time to dry. If I were to do it again I'd dip only in red and make the mickey with his cute buttons and the minnie with the polka dots but the mickey head confetti tastes like Sweet Tarts so the kids fought over those ones.
Since I was making the cake balls I knew we wouldn't need much of a cake... more for ceremony then anything else. So it was tiny and practically personal sized but Owen LOOOVED it. (The candles were pretty cute too- found them al Walmart too- ugh)
After cake it was time for presents and gift bags and everyone was on their way. The gift bags we made ourselves and were just simple red bags found for .25 a piece at the craft store. I bought another .50 worth of white buttons and had yellow felt at home. We stuck the ears in the tops and filled them with a giant mickey lollipop, mickey fruit snacks, stickers, m&m's and a bouncy ball. They might have been my favorite craft project of the party.
It was adorable, the kids were happy, my house wasn't turned upside down in planning, preparing and executing it and best of all Owen knew it was just for him. SUCCESS! Needless to say though, I'm glad that we decided not to throw our kids a birthday party every year because I'm ready for a break!
Last week Ethan's teacher decided to take a little different approach to teaching him and assigned him a book to read and learn all about then present a little book report to the class about the book.... she knew the subject matter was perfect for him.
In the story it talks about all the different things a robot can do. He can cook, clean, mow, sing, dance, bake and the very best thing he can do is be a friend. So all the little orange buttons on the bottom Ethan wrote what to do and then the kids took turns pushing buttons and making Ethan do various different activities. When they pushed the friend button he would give them a hug! It was adorable! Since one of the buttons was bake he wanted to make something special for his class and while I was looking up cookie recipes he found Bakerella's Cake Pop Cookbook. There was no talking him into anything else.
He was super happy to share such a fun thing with everyone and so proud of himself for knowing everything about the book. I was proud of how far he's come! This little man works so hard on everything he accomplishes in his life and to see him do something like this at eight was something we didn't think we'd see. He is amazing.
Halloween. This weekend has been my busiest weekend all year by far! Straight from my party to the kids festivities! Good thing Sean and Spring are here in town to help us get through it! This morning the kids got up early and watched the new Tinker Bell movie and then we all loadded up and went out for brunch. It was soo good but planning on doing that right in the middle of Owen's naptime wore me out. We came home and the kids went down for quiet time while we cleaned up some of the party decorations and then it was time for dinner, costumes and trick or treating! Kepler was the most amazing Buzz Lightyear ever. (Spring handmade it complete with flashing lights) Philip was a Lil' Devil. Ethan was Darth Vader. Lorali was Padme' Amadala and Owen was the cutest Yoda. It was kind of drizzling all evening so I was nervous going out in it but the tempurature was perfect. It only took Owen 2 doors to figure out that he would get candy if he just said "Tick-Teet!" and "Tank-Too!", it was adorable. Kepler and Lorali were little jabber boxes with eachother the entire way but Ethan. Oh boy! He had a hard time right off the bat. His gloves weren't laying right, his lightsaber was too hard to carry, his shoe was wet, his trick-or-treating bag was spinning too much, his mask was itchy.... you name it, nothing was right. He had fun and couldn't stop talking about it when we got home it's just hard as a parent to help him see the fun and excitement in it when he's so obsessed with the little things. His autism certainly does creep up and force it's way into our heads, forcing us not to ever forget, even for one night that it can rule our lives on a moments notice. I'm so glad he was at least able to push through it and settle down once he was at home. It was a fun Halloween my favorite part was having Kepler and Philip here. They are the funnest and Sean and Spring at my party yesterday were uber helpful. Seriously, having family live close to share holidays is the best! Happy Halloween!