Monday, November 23, 2015

Brown Bear Brown Bear Birthday

Our daughter just LOVES the Brown Bear Brown Bear book.  She recites it all the time as she sees birds in the sky or ducks at the park.  I thought it would make a perfect theme for her 2nd birthday.

Invite: I found the image background online and added the text to it.  The fonts I used were "Return to Sender" for the colorful shaded words and Comic Sans for the white text.  I printed these and then added bright colored card stock behind them before sending them out to guests.

I always like my kiddos to dress in theme if possible.  For this party, I found some Brown Bear Brown Bear fabric on Etsy and purchased one yard.  I bought the coordinating fabric, ribbon, and buttons at Joann's.  My amazing mother sewed this beautiful dress.  She is so amazing, she even did it without a pattern!  Thanks Mom!! Oh...and isn't my daughter just the cutest in it! Just loved it.

Entry Decor:  I made this entry sign with a little help from my 4 and 6 year old.  I basically cut up a white poster board into 5 pieces and gave the kids paint.  They each got 3 shades of their color.  Then they painted randomly all over the piece of poster board.  Once it was dry, I made patterns of the animals from images found online and cut them out.  I glued them together and put them on the sign, but this method gave the animals the same look as the ones in Eric Carle's book.  The letters I cut from my Cricut.

I made these centerpieces for each of the tables.  I made the wraps on the vases using Photoshop and
printed them on card stock.  I filled the vases half full with gumballs to add color.  The animals I ordered off of Amazon.  They were part of our birthday gift to Jenna. I made simple tissue paper flowers for the top.  It was a windy day, so I did have to tape the flowers down.

I made a Brown Bear Brown Bear birthday banner. I couldn't find the brown bear paper, so I used an image I found online and used Photoshop to make it a wallpaper.  I then printed it on card stock to use as the background.  The letters were cut with my Cricut.

I already had various colorful napkins from past parties, so I decided to incorporate all the colors into Jenna's birthday.  I designed the napkin rings on Photoshop.

Party Activity: Besides a jumper outside, the only activity I had was for the kids to create their own Brown Bear, Brown Bear book. The kids really enjoyed creating their books.

I had the necessary animals, googly eyes, yarn, etc. packaged in individual Zip-lock baggies.  This way those kids that didn't want to make their book at the party could just take the baggie and paper home.  I also had a box of the "common" materials in the center of the table.

Here is my daughter's finished book before we put it all together.

These are the directions I placed inside each Zip-lock baggie.

Menu: I served Hot Dogs with all the fixings - chili, cheese, onions, jalapenos, avocado, pickles -- whatever the guest's wanted to add.

I also made bear shaped peanut butter and jelly with a bear cookie cutter I found on Amazon.

 For sides, I served various fruits to match the colors of the book.

I couldn't forget Goldfish crackers alongside other chips.

I saw this fun cake online and just had to try it.  It was actually very easy. I adapted the recipe I found online a bit.  I made three 9 inch round cakes.  I used two for the head and the other for the ears.  The nose is an upside down cupcake.  The eyebrows are a mini chocolate donut cut in half lengthwise and then covered in the frosting. The eyes are Wilton's chocolate melts warmed a bit in my hand.

I also made cupcakes.  I used Photoshop and my Cricut to create the cupcake toppers.

Favor:  Aside from the Brown Bear book craft that the kids got to take home, I also made small bags with Chocolate Teddy Grahams inside.  The tag I modeled after my invitation and created on Photoshop.

I found a chocolate lollipop mold of a brown grizzly bear at Calico Cake Shop in Buena Park, so I couldn't resist make chocolate bear lollipops for the kids as well.

It was a super fun birthday party for our little girl.  She had a blast.  After the event it was:

Mommy, Mommy...what do you see?  Sleep, Sleep..calling to me!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dia de los Muertos Party

With our monthly dinner falling on the Day of the Dead holiday, I chose Dia de los Muertos as my November theme. I love this holiday because of the bright colors, the focus on culture and tradition, and the idea of honoring the spirits of the dead. Oh...and I love Mexican food.

Invite: I designed the invite around an image I found online.  Since most of my guests were coming straight from work, I didn't mention dressing up or wearing makeup.  I did pull in the traditional aspect a bit asking guests to bring a photo or decoration in memory of a lost loved one to place on the alter.

Entry Decor:  I made this sign for my entryway.  I drew the skull (with a little help from my overhead projector) and colored it in with marker.  I made the tissue paper flowers and cut the lettering on my Cricut.  The font is Matador, and it can be downloaded for free online.

For the "alter, " I borrowed skulls, candles, and some of the other items from friends of mine.  These items really added to the cultural aspect of the party and saved me money in attempting to purchase decorations.  I also made candle favors for each guest which I placed on the "alter."

Table Decor:  I set my table with a black tablecloth and placed colorful serapes to add a festive flare.  The amazing centerpiece of the skeleton with a top hat I borrowed from a friend.  It was perfect!  The brightly colored candles were also borrowed. I bought colorful vases from the dollar store and made tissue paper flowers to add to the table.

In front of the flowers, I painted sugar skulls.  I found these orange Halloween skulls at Michaels at 75% off and just painted them to look like sugar skulls.

For a place card, I bought mini blue and green margarita glasses from Party City and mini bottles of tequila from BevMo.  I carved the guest's initial out of a lime, cut the slice out, and placed it on the rim of the glass.   Carving was a bit difficult in that I couldn't find a good tool to help me do it. I ended up using a small flat-head screwdriver, so they didn't come out as perfectly as I'd hoped, but they were still cute.  I also did these last minute to avoid the limes drying out.

I bought these napkins at Target and then made the skull rings around them.  The pink and blue skulls I found at Michaels in the bead section.  The skulls were expensive, but luckily they were on sale and I had a coupon.

I made labels for my wines that went with the theme. They were made from images I found online and just created a label around them.

For wine charms, I used these colorful mini rubber skeletons I found at Target.  There were 8 in a package for only $1!!  I picked them up originally not sure what I would use them for, but decided they were perfect for wine charms.

Behind the table, I added a collage of tissue paper flowers.

Menu: We started off with chips, salsa, and guacamole as an appetizer.  For the main meal, I created a Taco Bar.

I made this banner with scrapbook paper and real tacos.  Don't you just love it?

I decorated the Taco Bar with candles and more of the items I had borrowed from my friend. I just love how these additions bring out the festive nature of this party.

For the Taco Bar, I had both hard and soft shell tacos as well as mini tortilla bowls I made.  For the meat, I made shredded chicken in the crock pot and cooked carne asada on the grill.  The chicken is only 3 ingredients - one jar of salsa, one packet of taco seasoning, and your chicken.  Cook it on low for 6-8 hours and enjoy!  All the fixings made for a super yummy meal.

We also had Mexican corn, rice, and beans.

For dessert, we had "fried" ice cream and churros.  The churros I bought already made from Costco on my way home for work.  I warmed them in the oven and cut them in half.  The "fried" ice cream is not really fried at all, but was very tasty.  I started by making round balls of vanilla ice cream.  While these were hardening, I made the mix.  It is just corn flakes, butter, cinnamon, and sugar.  I baked it for a bit in the oven.  An hour before the party, I rolled the ice cream balls in the mixture and placed them back in the freezer until serving time.  I chose to garnish them with a dollop and whip cream and a cherry.

Favor:  I made these super easy candles for my favor.  I bought the candles at the dollar store.  The sugar skulls I cut out of my Cricut and then used Mod Podge to adhere them to the glass.  I used leftover beads from my napkin rings to string on the end of ribbon and tied this around the top. Cheap and easy!

We had so much fun at our Dia de los Muertos dinner.  Thank you ladies for coming!