Last weekend we hosted Jason’s Pokemon Birthday Party. Prior to planning this party, I knew very little about Pokemon, but I think my research paid off and I pulled together the theme pretty well. Based solely on the fact that my daughter is now requesting a Pokemon party for her next birthday, I’m concluding that the party was a success by the kids’ measures as well. But that might have been the pinata envy talking. (more…)
Jason requested a Pokemon-themed birthday party this year. It’s a hard theme for me to get excited about, mostly because I know very little about the game and even after watching an episode of the cartoon series, I still feel largely uninformed and uninspired. I’m trying to roll with it though, and so far, he seems pretty happy with our party planning.
Last week, I finished the invitations which are based on the design of the character trading cards. (more…)
This weekend, we celebrated Jason’s 7th birthday with his friends at Legoland Discovery Center, probably one of his favorite places in the whole world. I love throwing birthday parties for Jason and Jenna, but this one was almost entirely handled by the nice people of Lego. In fact, both my husband and I had trouble leaving the house because we felt like we were forgetting something. This was by far the easiest of all of our kids’ birthday parties so far, and while I miss the fun of planning and creating, I also know that Jason could not have been happier with his party.
For the favors, I ordered a Lego stamp and created Lego-themed notebooks and carrying cases to hold the notebooks and a few other goodies. I’m not a big fan of giving (or receiving) favors that will just be thrown away, so I usually try to create something with a longer shelf life. Jason and Jenna are always packing up cases, bags and other containers with toys to take on the go, so when I saw these little suitcases at Target, I knew they’d be a perfect favor box.
The cake was provided by Legoland and Jason wasn’t too pleased when I wiped all of the dye-filled frosting off his piece. Sorry, Jason.
Our friend Dustin’s handmade gift-wrap has become a tradition at Jason’s birthdays, and this year’s design didn’t disappoint.
Happy Birthday, Jason!
Jason turned seven today. S-E-V-E-N. Can you believe it? Jason couldn’t. When we wished him Happy Birthday this morning, he commented that he couldn’t believe he was seven! I couldn’t agree more.
Tonight we celebrated with steak (Jason’s favorite food), chocolate cheesecake (possibly my favorite food) and a few presents. This weekend, we’ll celebrate with his friends. Happy Birthday, Jason!
We celebrated Jenna’s 5th birthday this weekend. She requested a Hello Kitty Rainbow Flower party, a theme I found a bit difficult to tie together in a cohesive way. The chosen location – a local children’s art studio - added an ‘art’ theme to an already heavily themed party. But in the end, it all came together just fine. Lesson learned: don’t settle for one theme when you can have four. Happy Birthday, Jenna!
Here are a few scenes from the festivities:
With just one week until Jason’s 6th birthday party, I went into Lego overload this weekend. The theme is Lego Monster Mash, a mash-up of Lego and Halloween. Here’s a peak at the party planning, along with a few templates.
Lego eye photo booth props: PDF template
Mr. Lego Pumpkin Head
Lego Mummy Juice Boxes: PDF of the Lego eyes
Jason is having a Lego-themed birthday party this year, and after considering Lego Police, Lego Ninjago and nearly every other Lego-related theme, we’ve finally settled on a mash-up of Legos and Halloween. It will be somewhat based on the new Lego Monster series, but I’ll be taking lots of liberties. I haven’t really worked out many of the details yet – and at two weeks away, his party is going to be the least-prepared for party ever – but I’m feeling pretty confident that I can pull something together in the next couple of weeks. In fact, I finished the invitations this weekend and even put together a little garland, which Jason seems pretty happy with.
To attach the Legos to the twine, I added a row of glue near the very top of the brick, placed the string on top and then added a bit more glue over the string to keep it secure. Jason doesn’t usually get excited about garlands, but this one he definitely loves.
Explaining to an almost-five-year-old that he isn’t five on the day of his birthday party is nearly impossible. I gave up on that conversation fairly quickly. But today is Jason’s actual birthday. To commemorate, I took photos of all of the ’5′s I saw during our trip to Disneyland.
Happy REAL birthday, Jason!
A Bug’s Land, Disney California Adventure
Space Mountain, Disneyland
Toy Story Mania, Disney California Adventure
Space Mountain, Disneyland
Promotional Poster, Disney California Adventure
Star Tours, Disneyland
Soarin’ Over California, Disney California Adventure
Earlier this summer we took a family trip to Disneyworld and J+J absolutely loved the Toy Story Midway Mania ride at Hollywood Studios. When we started planning his party a couple of months ago, it seemed like the perfect party theme. Not many themes seem readymade for a bounce house, which Jason also LOVES. More recently, of course, he’s turned his attention to Star Wars, and despite his pleas for a Star Wars birthday party over the past couple of weeks, I was not successful in combining Toy Story, Carnivals and Star Wars. I am simply not that creative.
But despite all of this, Jason had a blast at his party. Here are a few scenes from the recent festivities…
For more details on the food, see this post on planning a carnival-themed party menu without using dyes or artificial flavors. I especially love this recipe for homemade caramel apples. Oh, and if you’re wondering what I did with the leftover caramel apples, three words: Caramel Apple Oatmeal.
Fun & Games
Did you notice the light saber bounce house scenes? Someone definitely had his heart set on a Star Wars party.
I expected the bounce house to overshadow the other activities, but the photo booth turned out to be the real hit. J+J LOVE dressing up these days, so guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. I got the idea for the backdrop and alien eyes here and here.
Jason’s party is just around the corner. It’s probably time for me to stop collecting ideas and start implementing a few of them. Of course, since requesting a Toy Story party, Jason has since turned his attention to a galaxy far, far way and has been insisting that his party be Star Wars themed. Doesn’t he know mommy starts planning months in advance?
We’re going to Disneyworld for Jenna’s birthday this year, and while it seems like everyday will be a celebration of sorts, I’m also planning a special event for Jenna’s third birthday. Disney offers many options for adding birthday festivities to your vacation (see here and here), but I wanted something that was a bit more unique – and, more importantly, not princess themed. Jenna hasn’t yet become obsessed with pixies and princesses, and I’m going to maintain that while I can – though I realize this trip could be the turning point.
After much research, I decided to organize a private cruise for our family during the Epcot Illuminations fireworks display. J+J love fireworks, and the private boat will give us an opportunity to celebrate Jenna’s birthday away from the crowds that we’ll be enduring all week. The boat also provides a built-in theme that goes hand-in-hand with all of the nautical stripes showing up in spring fashions. So, I’ll be packing a few sailor hats, some stripey shirts, boat shoes, and, voila, a party theme that won’t clash with the safety orange life vests we’ll inevitably be wearing.
- Illuminations Cruise (Private cruises are available for the Magic Kingdom and Epcot fireworks displays. View more info about Disneyworld Resort specialty cruises.)
- Boys Nautical Hoodie from Hanna Anderssen
- Mickey Mouse Pin
- Child’s Sailor Cap
- Sperry Topsider Boat Shoes
- Striped Dress from Hanna Anderssen
- Keds Red Maryjanes
- Mickey Mouse Cake (Disney will create custom cakes for delivery to any resort restaurant or hotel. If you’re having a cake delivered to a boat, the options are more limited, so we’ll probably go with the standard Mickey Mouse cake. As an alternative, we could have a custom cake delivered to the hotel and carry it over.)
- Red Stripe Party Supplies
- Pepperidge Farms Fish
- Nautical Cake (If we went the more custom route, we would probably have something along the lines of this cake created, but with Mickey and Minnie, of course).
- Toy Telescopes and Compass.
- Custom Disneyworld Maps (You can create your own map of Disneyworld and each of the parks and Disney will send them to you for free).
For my son’s 4th birthday, we threw a rock-themed party (aka Jason Fest 4) for Jason and his friends. I haven’t come across a lot of rock-themed children’s party resources online, so I’ve compiled my ideas and inspiration here.
The ‘Mod Your Guitar’ Station
As guests arrived, we directed them to the guitar station, where each child was given a personalized guitar and strap. I provided crayons and a large assortment of stickers, and the kids provided the creativity. Here are a few examples of their creations:
I found the pre-cut guitar shapes at Michaels, along with the ribbon. I attached the ribbon strap to the back of the guitars using coordinating duck tape. I also covered the table in neon rock-themed stretchy bracelets so the kids could also decorate themselves a bit too.
The stage was the focal point of the party, and our plan was to set it up in the backyard under a canopy. Thunderstorms on the day of the party quickly put an end to that, and we had to create the stage area in the playroom. The stage included: a keyboard (which we already had), large speakers, an amp and an assortment of musical toys (microphones, tambourines, etc.).
I was very lucky in creating the drum set because I happened to find a Rock Band drum set at a thrift store for under $10. (If you don’t have such good luck, you can also check out this post on making a toy drum set.) I spray painted the drums and attached a large hat box for the bass drum, which was also painted silver and decorated with a large 4 made out of vellum.
The speakers were largely inspired by a window display at Crewcuts. I started with two large square boxes and two rectangular ones. Using posterboard and a circle cutter, I cut out holes of varying sizes to create an iconic speaker look and then used spray glue to affix to the boxes.
I also found a great post on rock-themed furniture that provides inspiration for additional props that could be incorporated into your party decor.
Food and Favors
We chose a pretty bold color palette – orange and turquoise – and we incorporated it into everything, including the food. In fact, nearly all of the food was orange: buffalo wings, sweet potato chips, cheese, carrots, orange slices and guitar-shaped cheese sandwiches. Most of our guests were in the 2 to 6 year old range, so we kept the menu pretty simple.
I also made a cake and ordered cupcakes from a local cupcake shop:
You can’t tell in this photo, but I made a fondant cut-out of a guitar for the top of the cake using the same guitar icon that appears on the invites.
I ordered the cupcakes from What’s Up Cupcake and then topped them with cupcake toppers that I made using the paper and guitar design from the invitations.
There are lots of ways to go with favors and lots of inexpensive music-related toys that could be added to a goodies bag, but I think most people either throw these away or use them for a very short time, so I went a simpler route and packed bags of guitar-shaped sugar cookies. I made the cookies myself using this cookie cutter.
We’re celebrating Jason’s 4th birthday this weekend! I spent an entire evening this week looking at his baby pictures. Some look so much like Jason to me, same goofy grin and crazy long eyelashes, but others look like another baby entirely. I think I had forgotten how dark his hair was when he was born. Most of it fell out, then there was an awkward comb-over-looking stage, and finally his new hair came in blond.
Happy Birthday, Jason!
Just starting to think about Jason’s 4th birthday: