Monday, August 26, 2013

A year later... Millie's Littlest Pet Shop Party!

Yikes! Can't believe I haven't touched this ol' blog in almost a year! But nothing brings me back to the blog like birthday parties... Will I post again after birthday season is over? I do not know. But for now, let's just enjoy the highlights from Millie's 6th birthday party.

This was the year for Millie's "small" party, since last year was her big Rainbow Unicorn Party. I originally intended for their "small" parties to be something like having one friend over, getting pizza, watching a movie, etc. No invitations, no decorations, no THEMES. However, last year was Addie's "off" year (since the year before was her big Wizard of Oz party) and I made the mistake of letting her do a theme. Bad idea... give this party-lovin' mama a theme and suddenly, I can't. stop. party. planning! So, since I let Addie's "small" party last year be a Dolphin party with 3 friends, I had to let Millie's "off" year include a themed party with a few friends too, right? I don't want to be labeled "unfair." But I SWEAR, from now on, the "off" year parties will just be 1 friend and pizza! I will not allow them to give me a theme. That is just way too dangerous. Enough, I say!

Now that I got that off my chest...

Millie decided she wanted a Littlest Pet Shop party. Hmmm... I really don't like commercialized character parties. But she insisted, so I obliged. Plus, I thought maybe it would help limit my instincts to go all out since I wasn't as into the idea. And it did help. I really didn't do as much for this one. But I still thought it turned out rather cute.

Every party starts with an invitation, right? Instead of buying the store-bought version (which wasn't very cute), I had Millie set up a little scene with some of her Littlest Pet Shop guys and we snapped a picture. I used Walmart's photo shop to make these invitations. Easy, cheap and personal!

The party was on a Friday night, so we started with pizza. See, I didn't even do themed food! This was easy peasy and the girls loved it!

After dinner, we headed into the dining room where the Adoption Center was set up. Millie had helped me earlier by setting out all her Littlest Pet Shop characters. I bought 3 new ones that needed loving homes, so Millie's guests could adopt them (an idea I saw on this blog).

The pets joined in on the celebrating, complete with party hats and gifts. Millie's touch. ;)

Trying to decide which pet to adopt. Decisions, decisions...

After adopting their pets, we gathered around the table to decorate homes for them (another idea I stole from the above-mentioned blog - she had great ideas!). The little boxes were in the wedding-favor section of the Dollar Tree, 12 for $1! So we added gems, foam decorations and had ourselves some cute little homes for our pets!

My "model." Yes, I know it looks like a 5-year old did it. I was in a hurry! Plus, I didn't want to intimidate the children with an amazingly artistic house... ;)

Even Tate got to join in on the fun! Looks like he had something important to say here... ;)

After our houses were made, it was cupcake time! 
I got the idea for these cute little cupcake toppers from the blog mentioned earlier (surprise, surprise!)
These are just some of the dozen I made (this is actually a pic from our little celebration with her tonight, I forgot to get a pic of them at the party!). 

Everyone got to pick their own cupcake topper.

So, the "ice cream cone cupcakes" are cute, but we decided we wouldn't make them again. The cones get soft and no one in our family was a fan of that. But at least they were cute! :)

Blow out the candles, Millie!
There really are 6 there... one is just hiding.

Millie and her guests!

 Finally, it was present time! She got some really nice gifts and loved them all!

Addie and Tate used their own money to buy Millie this Littlest Pet Shop roller coaster (notice the Target clearance sticker of course!). Addie actually asked for extra chores to do to earn money to buy her brother and sister nice birthday gifts. What a sweetie. 

There was a little time left before the parents came, so they used their time wisely and played hard!

All in all, I'd say this little party turned out quite well! Millie loved it and had a ton of fun with her little group of friends.

Soon I'll be posting pics of our little family celebrations for Tate's and Millie's birthdays (Tate's was Saturday, Millie's was today!). Adeline's is next week, but we're putting off her party until a few weeks later. I think it'll be a fun one!

Monday, September 17, 2012

dolphins and unicorns and football, oh my!

We've finally arrived at our last birthday post of the year.  I'm sure you're all very relieved.  That's the great thing about having 3 kids whose birthdays are all within 10 days.... it's crazy for a few weeks, but then we don't have to do it again for a whole year!

We've already covered their individual birthdays, so this is their big, combined family birthday party.  I've never been able to get them to all agree on one gender-neutral theme, so we stuck with dolphins for Adeline, rainbow unicorns for Millie, and Tate requested football.

My attempt at a football cake.  
Fortunately, football shapes aren't so difficult to cut out.  Unfortunately, my homemade icing was a little too runny so the lacing on the football was a little smeary.

Since the girls had each already had their own cakes at their friend parties, we combined theirs onto one big cookie cake.

 Party time!
We started out with lunch.

Then moved on to presents.
The kids were ready and eager to dive into the wagon of gifts!

A Flashpad from Nana and Baba! A great car activity!

And Twinkle Toes too! Here she's hitting the bottoms to show how they light up, hence the blurriness.

Millie got a new dollie from Nana and Baba,

complete with a handmade dress and nightie!

And Tate scored big with his very own Lego set from Nana and Baba!

Then ALL the grandkids got a big surprise from Nana and Baba...


Looks like Uncle Trent was pretty excited about that too.

Time for cake!

Another birthday season is now behind us.  Glad that the craziness is over... but sad because now my babies are 3, 5 and 7!  Is it just me, or does it sometimes seem like life is in fast-forward?  Where's that pause button when I need it?!  :(

Thursday, September 13, 2012

adeline's dolphin party

Adeline turned the ripe ol' age of 7 on September 3rd.  I know - SE-VEN!  I can't believe my firstborn  has already reached an age that requires two syllables!

As you can see, she was pretty excited about it:

But she was probably mostly excited about her "little" party.  As you may recall, she had her first big "friend party" last year, and we had told her that this year it would be much smaller.  Like just a few friends hanging out.  No big deal.  Really.  

Well... Addie is too much like her mother when it comes to party planning.  By the time her Wizard of Oz party was barely over last year, she was already in the works of planning her Dolphin Swim Party for this year (she's a HUGE fan of the movie Dolphin Tale - like maybe even obsessed).  I kept reminding her that it was going to be teensy weensy.  That there really was NO need for planning because it was really more like just having a few friends over to go swimming.  But all throughout the year she was making lists of different dolphin game ideas, songs to play, snacks to have, decorations to make, etc, etc, etc.  I didn't want to crush her dreams and thwart her party planning capabilities. But I also knew Millie was having her big party just a week before and I really didn't want to have a mental breakdown.  So we came to a compromise of sorts.  She could have 3 friends over (I had originally said 2, but then realized that would make an odd number and that's never good in such a small group of young girls) and I would make a cake and have a few snacks, but she would have to do the decorating, games and activities.  She was all about that.  So here's what it ended up looking like:

By her request - a dolphin cookie cake.  Complete with 2 kissing dolphins and a "Lego Addie" lounging on the beach with an ice cream shake under an umbrella.

The lovely decorations.  Okay, so I did make the banner, but all the dolphin masterpieces are completely her own.

We decided whales would make a nice snack for a dolphin party.

Another request - dolphin-shaped cookies.  Fortunately she already had a "toy" dolphin cookie cutter.  It wasn't the best, but it worked.

You'll notice the lovely dolphin mosaics on the tables.  Those were craft kits sent by Nana B. before her birthday so she could make them to use as decorations.
The napkins and cups we already had, but I did splurge a tad and bought the plates when I ordered stuff for Millie's party from Oriental Trading.  But they were still only $3 for 8, so I guess it wasn't that much of a splurge.

The one other thing I bought was the party favors.  The whale boxes were in the Dollar Spot at Target, the stuffed dolphins were from the Dollar Tree and the goldfish and M&Ms we already had.  So, a total of $6 on party favors.

And here are the guests!
Little sis Millie (she was a freebie), cousin Clara, a friend from her 1st grade class and one from her 2nd grade class.  A pretty good mix.  And they all got along really well too, considering nobody really knew each other.

This is a better picture of how they really acted:

 They all got "inked up" in our dolphin tattoo parlor....

And played "Pin the Tail on Winter" (If you've seen the movie, this will make more sense to you)...

Had some yummy food...

Opened presents...


So, it was fun.  But still more work than I had anticipated after just finishing up Millie's big party.  We told Addie that the next time we say, "small party," it'll be just ONE friend over for pizza, a movie and possibly a sleep over.  I thought she'd be sad about that, but she seemed almost more excited at that possibility.  Wish I would've known that a few weeks ago... ;)

After her friends left, we had dinner and then celebrated her birthday as a family.  And no, I wasn't about to make yet another cake, so we just cut some pieces from her party cake.

She was pretty excited about her Lego Friends sets.  Since their birthdays, these girls have been building with their new legos like crazy!

She was also pretty excited to try out her new Dolphinz Petz Nintendo DS game.  Anything dolphin-related is the key to this girl's heart. ;)

So now that makes 3 birthdays and 2 parties down.  1 party (our big, combined family one) left to go.  Those pics to come soon!