Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Sunday Best

It has been a while since I have done an outfit post, so I decided today would be a good day. Sometimes during the week, I get busy with cleaning and projects and trying to look nice is not really a priority, but I always try to look by best on Sundays when I go to church. I'm not concerned with it being a fashion show, but I see it as a sign of respect. I hope everyone had a great Sunday!
Shirt: Belk $5
Skirt: The Limited (old) $20
Shoes: Target- gift
Watch: Charming Charlie's- gift
Bracelets: Belk (super old) $?
Total- $25
"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV
Today I am linking up with Blissful and Domestic
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Pirate Party

Since we ended up having the kids' joint birthday party in Bristol, we decided to let our son invite a few friends who live locally  over to our house on his actual birthday. It was originally supposed to just be a very simple little get together, but pretty much turning into a full blown party. I just can't help myself sometimes when I start getting ideas.

While on vacation a few weeks ago, I stumbled across these super cute pirate swim trunks and a smocked swimsuit at a boutique called the Swing Set in Amelia Island, FL. They were both 40% off, but still a splurge for us. I'm not quite as do you say..."cheap" (haha) while on vacation.
 I wanted "H" to have a shirt that would look cute with his swim trunks and regular shorts, so I found a plain white polo on clearance at Belk and had it monogrammed at a little shop called Dogwood Darlins. They only charged $4 and did a great job! I just put it with some red and white gingham shorts he already had.
 His breakfast consisted of pirate ship pancakes and cannon balls (blue berries). Although, I don't think he ate much of it cause he was too excited about his party. I found the pirate cup and plate on clearance at Pottery Barn Kids while on a trip to Nashville. (It's starting to seem like I sure do travel a lot.)

So on to the party...

We started the party with lunch. I decided to put the kids lunches in buckets, which would also be useful later on for one of the activities. They each got a cream cheese and jelly sandwich, pretzel sticks (peg legs), grapes (cannon balls), and a juice box. My intent was for the food to go with the theme, but I didn't have it labeled, so I doubt anyone else made the connection. 

The adults had fish tacos, chips, and fruit. I wrapped the fish tacos in red and white striped parchment paper that I found on clearance at Walmart after Christmas for like $.25 for a pack of 40 sheets.
The wrappers for the root beer bottles came from some free printables you can find here.
Umm, yes, my printer cartridge was running out of ink.
I am no baker (or really any kind of cook), so I just used a box cake mix for red velvet cupcakes. The cupcake liners came from Walmart, and the toppers were from Hobby Lobby. I love Hobby Lobby, however, I was not impressed with these toppers. They are cute, but the pack was supposed to have 24 and there were only 19. And 2 of those were broken! Maybe I just got a bad batch. I ended up making a few of my own toppers for the cupcakes on the adult table. Crisis averted! Shew!
I looked around my house and found some pirate decorations for the adult table. I had no idea I had so many things that looked pirate-y.

I didn't do much for the kids' table. Just put down some red and white striped fabric that I already had and my normal place mats. I just used the cupcakes as a centerpiece. I hung tissue paper pom poms from the chandelier and hung a banner on the curtain rod. 

My husband made these great maps for the treasure hunt. I was impressed! He copied the maps onto resume paper, crinkled them up, and burned the edges to make them look old.

We used the costume trunk that is usually in our son's room as the treasure chest. I filled it with tan paper shreds (it was supposed to look like sand) and put all the goody bags on top. The bags were filled with pirate candy (found at the Dollar Tree), sidewalk chalk (dollar spot at Target), a furry stick on mustache (Dollar Tree), inflatable pirate ball (Amazon), and a Ring Pop (Dollar Tree). The labels were from the same free printables I used for the root beer bottles.

The banner and flags were also made from the free printables.
Everything on the "Dress Like a Pirate" table came from Amazon except the bandannas were from Hobby Lobby. I cut them in half to save money.
A baby pool was filled with sand and the kids got to use their buckets and shovels from lunch to search for buried treasure.
I found this pirate pool on eBay. It was probably the best $25 I spent. The canon sprays water and a few of the kids thought it was hilarious to spray their parents, haha. We set up 2 baby pools for the younger kids to play in.

I really wanted to try to make the picnic table look like a ship by making a sail for it, but that seamed a little too complicated. Instead, I found a Jolly Rodger flag at Hobby Lobby. I used the stick from a mop that I got at Dollar Tree as the flag pole. The mop head unscrewed right off. I had to use a little Teflon tape to secure it into the umbrella slot.  

Sometimes I let myself get a little stressed out over party planning. Despite a few stressful moments, like discovering a huge (and when I say huge, I mean about the size of a golf ball, haha) wasp nest under the rail of the deck (where a lot of activities would occur) the morning of the party, this one seemed the least stressful of any I have thrown in the past. The kids seemed to have a blast, and I think the parents even had a good time too.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mickey and Minnie Birthday Party

A couple of weeks ago, we went on a little trip to Bristol, Tennessee and had a joint birthday party for our kids. Originally, we wanted to have the party at our house, but Bristol is a more convenient location for a lot of our family. I had to switch gears from most of my original ideas since the party ended up being at a park. I thought the park would be a fun location for the kids, but it definitely had some decorating challenges. The rules of the park restricted us from hanging anything from beams, trees, fences, etc., so that really put a damper on my plans. I decided to mostly focus on the table decor since I really couldn't do much else. I didn't take the wind into consideration when planning things out, though, and all my decorations were getting blown away. I tried to at least snap a few pictures first.

For the kids' table, I made place mats by cutting the Mickey Mouse shape out of felt. Each child got a party hat covered with wrapping paper that had mouse ears added and a pom pom for the top. I also made Mickey and Minnie favor boxes out of toilet paper rolls to hold coloring pages and crayons. The labels for the bags came from some free printables that you can find here. I also used them for the banner, the labels on the bottles for the centerpieces, and the toppers for the fruit-kabobs. The favors included stickers, candy, mickey mouse fruit snacks, a book, and necklaces for the girls.

And of course no Mickey and Minnie party would be complete without bows, so each girl got a hair bow and the boys got bow ties.

I kept the centerpieces for the kids' table very simple and just used materials I already had. I took a bamboo skewer and inserted it into a paper straw. Just put a dab of hot glue on the end to hold them together. I cut out a Mickey Mouse shape from cardstock and used a glue stick to glue wrapping paper to it and taped that onto the paper straw. I should have made 2 Mickey Mouse shapes (one for the front and one for the back) so it wouldn't look ugly on the back, but I didn't. I put a foam block into yellow pails, stuck the skewer in the foam, and covered the base with red paper shreds. Then, just tied some ribbon to the stick. I love projects that are simple and free! 
I made windmills for the adult tables, but the wind kept blowing them over. I eventually gave up on trying to keep them up.
Even though the park rules would not allow me to hang anything, I wanted to find a way to hang a banner without breaking the rules. I found 2 shepherd's hooks at Jo-Ann on clearance for less than $2 each and they were perfect. Notice the wind blowing the balloons -Yikes!
I wanted to keep the food simple, so we had chips, fruit, a sweets tray, and of course hot dogs (the song is stuck in my head now).

The poor cupcakes melted. They were making a big mess.
The park where we had the party had this cute train for the kids to ride. It was a big hit!
I can't forget about their birthday attire. I'm sure it's no surprise that I appliqued a shirt for my son and made a pillowcase dress for my daughter (since that's pretty much the only thing I know how to make).
I think I learn something from every party that hopefully will help me when I plan parties in the future. At this one, I learned that I need to keep the wind in mind for outdoor parties and I think I spent too much time working on little projects that weren't even very noticeable (like the toilet paper roll favor boxes). I will probably get this party thing down about the time they outgrow these little cutesy parties, haha. Oh well, as long as the kids have fun and they feel special, I am happy.