2nd Birthday Party :: Minne Mouse Theme

“The Happiest Girl On Earth” turned 2 at the end of last month! My niece Kevy celebrated in style with a Minnie Mouse themed birthday party and my sister and Crafty Jan put on quite the shindig for this little miss!Isn’t she the most adorable little mouse in the world?! Since they had a pretty big party for her last year, they decided to keep things small this year and kept the invite list to our immediate family – which is acutally pretty big in itself! There were 11 adults and 4 kids so it’s not like this little one was hurting for an audience! The theme was chosen obviously because Kevy loves Minnie Mouse, but also because she got to go to Disneyland that very same morning. What a big day for a big girl!They kept things in Minnie’s signature red & black color scheme. They enlisted me to do the printables and I kept things simple by using a Disney-esque font and drawing some “Kevy ears” then doing what I do best… use and abuse the same design over and over and over again!The banner’s shape on the mantle is supposed to be reminiscent of the old Disneyland sign and the “2” is even wearing Minnie ears.Inspired by the many Disney parties on the web, my sis & Crafty Jan made plates look like Minnie heads – complete with a napkin for a bow! – and even a pinata with ears! How cute is this? Made from a black paper lantern and tissue poms! Love!The cake was another fabulous creation from the gals at The Crimson Cake and Kevy only wanted to eat the ears on top! So cute.hkhTarget seemed to know that Kevy was turning 2 and had plastic plates ready for scooping up! The kid’s table had these as place settings, as well as Mickey shaped sandwiches for their tummies.That Crafty Jan made everyone ears! Glittery ones for the ladies, please! And they were so comfy, we all kind of forgot we were wearing them. I think my husband woke up with them on the next day! Ha!How cute is this birthday trio of mice (soon-to-be foursome?)The party was perfect in every little way. Kevy even matched the tablecloth thanks to my mom who MADE her adorable dress! She’s unreal. Everyone left with Kevy cookies (and black tongues to go with them! That icing was potent!)Thanks for hanging in there with this blog! I know it’s slow going but I swear I am up to my (Minnie) ears in parties over the next few months so there should be a lot of fun posts to come!Now go kick a pinata! (Oh, and a Minnie/Mickey party will be available in the shop soon! If you don’t see it, convo me and I can likely put something together for you.)

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1st Birthday :: Vintage Sweetness

I am literally obsessed with my creative friends. Our friends Michelle & Bryan threw their sweet little girl Eloise the most darling 1st birthday party last weekend. I am kicking myself for not bringing my camera but thank goodness Michelle takes pretty pictures! I’m totally blown away by this darlingly (is that a word?) elegant party. Makes me pray for a girl! But also the fact that she did all of this on a tiny budget makes everything even more amazing. Please note, I had absolutely NOTHING to do with this adorable party. But I begged her to share the details and she gladly obliged! I’m totally amazed by the amount of DIY they did… They turned that 29 cent wood fan from Michael’s (on the left up there) into chalkboards… AND she MADE the paint herself using a recipe she found on pinterest. Seriously!? That’s true elbow grease! Just turn upside down, add ribbon, and look how cute they turned out!
The tents were my (and my boys’) favorite part of the party. They set up a toddler-friendly activity in each one and my boys were in total heaven! She got the idea for them on pinterest and they MADE them themselves. (See? DIY King and Queen right here!) They looked like they were professional – they should sell these suckers in my humble opinion! They got the sheets from Macy’s ($10 for a set, a fitted sheet, flat sheet and one pillow case) and her sister used the extra fabric to make pillows placed all around the party. In case you’re going to knock this party off, (and why wouldn’t you?) the activites they set up were a book station, a bubble station (check out the mason jar bubble holder Eloise’s grandpa made!), a water bead station (bought from the floral section at Micheal’s and SO fun for kids!) and a chalkboard station.
Not sure how well this shows it off, but they hung doilies from twine and hung them all over the house and outside. It was so dear and vintage chic! The doilies were $2 a pack at Walmart and the twine $1 at the Dollar Tree. What an impact for such pennies! And they looked so cute outside as well!The favors were another pinterest idea. She used scrapbook paper from Micheal’s, then sewed them together. They were so cool and were twisted which made them even more darling. I love how she used burlap as tablecloths, tin cans as vases, and vintage looking baskets as display cases. The above photo obviously does not do it justice, but they crafted Eloise’s name out of leafed branches. This was hanging right over the favor table and was such a sweet detail – I wish you could have seen how great it looked in person!
The napkin holders yet again another pinterest idea. She “got” the paint sample cards at Lowes and then sewed those together. Not pictured was all the cute food outside too. This always blows my mind as I am so not good at that stuff, but they made sandwiches for the kids in the shape of a heart and the edges were pinched together. Too cute to eat, I swear!
And if your mouth is drooling at the sight at that table above, you’re glad you weren’t there to taste this stuff or you would have gained about 400 pounds. I think I ate a whole plate of cupcakes… they had edible glitter on them and I kid you not, they were THE BEST things I have ever had in my mouth. EVER! Michelle, her mom and sister whipped up these treats and it truly looks like they went to the best cake shop west of the Mississippi. Even the inside of this adorable cake was beautiful!Look at the detail! I am in such awe on the food end of things. This truly blows my noodle!
So that does it. I really need this new baby of ours to be a girl… I’ve got to have a party like this in my life! Thanks so much Michelle, Bryan and Eloise for sharing such a charming little birthday party. I adored every single detail.

2nd Birthday Party :: Cars & Trucks & Things That Go (Part 4)

It’s fun and games time peeps! The big event was the ‘piñata’ which was extra awesome because it was a no-bats-involved kind. Every kid had to pull a string and it was supposed to fall apart and drop candy that way.Good in theory but totally didn’t work at all. So we just broke it open with our bare hands. But, no bats means no broken faces, so it was a win in my book!I got these small bags from Oriental Trading Company, tied a Goldbug “grab bag” tag to them and the kids could grab candy to their hearts content.I hid a big Goldbug in the piñata and as an extra surprise, whoever found it got to take home the “Cars & Trucks & Things That Go” book itself. The sweet little girl who found it was so excited! I put that bookplate above inside.Aside from the piñata, there were no reals plans for games. I thought the road would kind of take care of the entertainment for the evening and turns out it did. The kids went bananas for it.The Pickle Truck was a hit with the littlest ones……and the big boys too!My mom, true to her fabulously wacky form, decided she’d dress like a crossing guard for the party which turned out to be a game itself!She led the kids on a parade around the house and it was hilarious!The box city was also good when it came to entertaining the kiddos……and the vintage “Town” on the tables was well played with.But the absolute best part of the night was the spontaneous dance party!Seriously! It was off the hook.For all the fun I have putting parties like this together, there is nothing better than when day is finally here and your friends are all having as big of a blast as the kids are. We had the best night ever! Thanks so much for coming along for the ride this week! I’m truly going to try to post more this year. I forgot how much fun this little blog can be.

2nd Birthday Party :: Cars & Trucks & Things That Go (Part 3)

The question I got most at the party was “Where did you get all these license plates?” I was glad to admit that I wasn’t crazy enough to go hunting for them just for the party (though I probably would have if I didn’t already own them, but no one needs to know that!) I actually started collecting them in high school and by the beginning of college I had all 50 states plus a few more to spare. They decorated every dorm/apartment I lived in throughout my college/early post-college years and have since been retiring in a nice little cardboard diaper box. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them for the party but once I saw them again, I knew they’d become a photobooth backdrop.Using rope, I just wove them together, top to bottom and tied them to a horizontal rope up top. The metal in the plates gripped on to the rope on it’s own, so I only had to use tape on the back of a couple of them.The pickle truck started out as a part of the area but soon got taken for some spins around the party. I actually was pretty bad at remembering to take photos of everyone before they left but you’ll get the idea with these pics, I’m sure!The reflective nature of the plates didn’t make for the best pictures but it was still a pretty nice backdrop for a party about wheeled vehicles.What cute little party guests!

The most important thing was that this kid was in Heaven……even if it was hard to get him to take a photo without a cake pop in his grill!Funny little man.
So that’s the booth! Coming up tomorrow – games & how the party got hopping! Stay with me!

2nd Birthday Party :: Cars & Trucks & Things That Go (Part 2)

Part Two — The Food. Ha! What a lie that is! If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, then you’re well aware that the whole food part of parties is totally not my forte! Thank goodness I know how to use a phone and call for pizza! So while, this is technically the “food” post for this party, we’re starting with the showstopper… The Pickle Truck Cake!Ever since I spotted their work at the Olivia party last summer, I have used and abused the insanely talented Alicia and Sarah of The Crimson Cake. I highly suggest that you do the same if you’re a Southern Californian. It seems there is nothing they can’t do! Their reaction to “Can you please whip me up a pickle truck cake?” was “Oh my gosh! We LOVE Richard Scarry! We wish the cake was bigger so we could do more characters!” These are girls who are so passionate about their work and it truly comes through in the quality.Of course since Wiley is so obsessed with pickle trucks, our choice was obvious when it came to the cake. It was adorable. Now, please note, the (highly deformed) cake pops were NOT made professionally. (Hello, Captain Obvious!) I thought I’d give them a spin myself and once again it just goes to prove that we should leave the hard stuff to the pros. For me, these were the PITAs* of the party. But usually the PITA is always food related for me. I just don’t enjoy it. I call them UFO pops. What’s up with that ring? Who knows! But at least it was a “Things That Go” party. UFOs fit right in! The photo above were the good looking ones. But most of them legitimately looked like this. I’m sooooooo good at this stuff. Such a beautiful piece of art.Thankfully when grouped all together, it was hard to see how bad they really looked individually. Plus, shouldn’t every cake pop have a little character?I certainly did not get my mom’s skill when it comes to making pretty things to eat. Crafty Jan whipped up these adorable “things that go” cookies! Now, she should actually go into business!Oreo wheeled cars!Wiley Mack trucks!Big honking buses! And airplanes and helicopters too! She blows my mind! Oh – so that was the dessert… did we actually eat? Yep – but I totally phoned it in. Literally! I ordered 12 large pizzas (they all went!), made pasta salad a raspberry-blue cheese green salad and called it a day. Costco veggie trays rounded out the selection and I’m pretty sure everyone’s tummies were just as happy as they would have been had I slaved away in the kitchen for days. I guess my advice is pick what you’re good at and fake the rest. Hee hee!We had tons of beer, wine, juice boxes, and water bottles. I used the same “Golden Book” pattern on the water bottles as I did on the favors.And life was good for the birthday boy who had about 10 cake pops and was seriously OBSESSED with his pickle truck cake. Part 3 tomorrow! Photobooth time! See you then!

*PITA = Pain  In  The (you know what!)

2nd Birthday Party :: Cars & Trucks & Things That Go (Part 1)

Part One — The Decorations. I honestly, truly thought that for this party I was going to keep things simple, but the truth is that Simple & I aren’t good bed buddies. What we got instead was a full-on explosion of street signs, book pennants, box buildings, and vinyl roads. My brain just wouldn’t quiet down and I knew that if I didn’t “just do it” I would be bummed. So, here goes. Here’s a big fat “Cars & Trucks & Things That Go” KABOOM blast for you.Come on in and let’s get motoring. I mentioned before that I used the pages from about 5 books for this party which left me with the covers. I hung one book shell on the door as a welcome sign but covered Richard Scarry’s name with Wiley’s. Not sure if anyone even noticed that but I’ve realized that so many of these details are things that I do just because it makes me happy even if no one sees. Oh the things I spend my time on.Upon entering, guests were greeted with a license plate wall (more on that later in the week)……a pickle truck made from a box (Wiley’s favorite car in the book), and a vinyl ‘road’ leading you down the hallway and to the party.I bought an irregular 25 yard roll of vinyl on sale from US Cutter and added yellow duct tape to make a proper road. (I am selling it right now in my Etsy shop. *UPDATE* The road has been sold!) It turned out super rad, though I have to admit I totally felt like Dexter while preparing this thing. There’s something a little creepy about essentially tarping your living room. But once the yellow lines were in I felt better about the whole thing.We took all the furniture out of our living room so we could make a circular road for the kids to play on. We got out all of our big trucks, set up street signs, got our box city up and let the kids go bananas.The box city was based on buildings in the Richard Scarry Puzzletown toy that my brother, sister, and I grew up playing with. The real toy “town” decorated the tables. It’s truly the most creative toy ever that even though my parents still have the one we grew up with, we actually scoured eBay last year for all the packs to give my older son as his 3rd birthday gift. They love it just as much as I did.But back to the box buildings. I wanted to stay true to Scarry’s line-drawn style and since I’m not a perfectionist anyway, I kept things super loose by hand drawing the details and purposely not paying attention to keeping things super straight.Town Hall was in one corner……the barn in the other. (My mom made the barn sign which is why it looks better than everything else!) I used makedo bits to make working hinges on the doors. Pretty cool gear for box cities and box cars if you ask me!Using book pages (many of which were drawn on by previous owners and/or upside down… again – I’m no perfectionist!) and seam-binding, I sewed about what seemed like 20 miles worth of pennant banners and strung them throughout the house. (I am also selling these right here in my Etsy shop.) They tied the book into the party a little more and were so bright and colorful they just made me happy.Can you see some of the black sharpie on these pages? I’m glad that these essentially “ruined” books got another shot at life. (If you buy these, please note that they are NOT perfect but they look great all strung up together! Just want to manage expectations here!)I also used book pages to make the birthday boy’s banner. I just printed directly onto the page, cut it out, and sewed it up. This technique was also used for “the loo,” the bag room……and above the food table.Speaking of the loo……Goldbug (who is a big fixture in the book) turned up in there to say “Hi!” My mom had a license plate purse that we turned into a towel holder. Don’t neglect the bathroom, peeps! Now that I mention Goldbug, he seemed to turn up just about everywhere at the party! In the book, he is hidden on every page and my boys know exactly where he is on each one. Using that philosophy, I hid him all over the house. First he hid by the baseboards.Next, he turned up on a mirror.Then he hid behind the Yield sign on the mantle.And finally he popped his cute little face through the window in Town Hall.
Funny little bug. The mantle was decked out with a Dip sign (that my husband stole for me in high school because for some reason that’s what I wanted for Valentine’s Day. See? Even then I was off my rocker.) and a Yield sign that I think someone gave to me at some point because we just found it in our garage when I fished out the Dip sign. The license plates are part of a larger collection that I will explain later this week. I got a Lowly Worm piñata from Birthday Express and used it as mantle decor instead of hanging it. (More on this later in the week as well.) We also found a Lowly Worm stuffed animal that was on sale around Christmas so I snagged him up. My mom made ALL of the cool rosette things you’ve seen throughout the party. I love her perfect touches. We moved our couch and coffee table outside for the younger kids to play on and it worked out perfectly. We also set up the ‘town’ on the table outside so kids could gobble up their pizza while playing. And luckily for us, it didn’t rain – though it did the next morning! The party gods had my back that day!For favors, we sent each kiddo home with 10 personalized bookplates.I bought these cool business card sized clear boxes from Clear Bags. They were just what I had envisioned and I love when what’s in your mind actually was in someone else’s mind at one point too. Thank you Clear Bags! My mom has this fabulous display dealio that we’ve used for everything from cake pops to glitter animals and it was 100% perfect for displaying these.  These bookplates were printed on label paper so that they can be placed into the inside cover of books, so the back of the label was not pretty. Therefore, I put a little thank you note from Wiley in on the opposite side of the labels so it would be cute from all angles.The yellow pattern is supposed to mimic the “Golden Book” spine of the book itself. I’m not sure if the kids were excited about these favors or not – I’m sure they were a little underwhelmed and would have probably preferred a bag full of candy and a plastic yo-yo (I know I would have as a kid!) However, I know now that I’m a mom how much funky little junk can kids accumulate from God knows where so I didn’t want to add to the junk piles in anyone else’s house. If one person actually used these, I will feel pretty good about it.I printed on a page of the book again to make a pennant flag. “Find yours!” Now get out of here! 🙂  More posts to come on food, games, and the photobooth set-up the rest of this week! I hope you’ll keep coming back for more! Have the best day.

2nd Birthday Party :: Cars & Trucks & Things That Go (Invitation)

You’re invited! I’m sure most everyone reading this blog grew up with Richard Scarry books. I know I did. But I had no idea how seriously OBSESSED boys can be with Scarry’s “Cars and Trucks and Things That Go” book until I had my rugrats. (If you have a boy and you don’t yet have this book, seriously go out right now, spend the $9 and get it!) My husband apparently would ONLY read this book with his mom each night as a kid so I guess it’s in the genes, but both of my sons are seriously beyond the point of obsession and are quite possibly addicted to this book. It’s seriously awesome.My littlest guy is the most obsessed one in the bunch so there was no other theme choice when planning his birthday party. He literally talks about ‘pickle trucks’ at least 14 times a day. I know that Richard Scarry is having a bit of a resurgence – there’s “Busytown Mysteries” on TV and games all over the place lately – but I really wanted to keep the focus on this book specifically since it’s my wee one’s first love. I scanned in the both the front and back of the book itself and altered the wording, keeping the font choice the same as the book. Simple as that.On the back of the book where there is normally a blurb about Richard Scarry, I chose to explain the reason we threw our little man this party.I changed the bar code to his initials WSL and his birthday 01.20.10. I’m such a dork at heart.I bought about 5 used “Cars & Trucks…” books online for pennies and cut them up to use as envelopes (as well as throughout the party which you’ll see more of this week.) Every invitee had a different page wrapped around their invite. And that’s that!
So… you’re invited to come check out this party this week! Hop in that pencil car of yours and come on along!