Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Break: Day 40

We were on our way to get groceries, about 40 miles away, & spontaneously decided to skip the food shopping & stay at a hotel instead. With just the clothes on our backs, we rented a room. (We did stop at Target & each picked out an outfit, clearance swim suits, undies & toothbrushes.)
We slurped noodles at our favorite Chinese restaurant, swam in the pool & are now eating junk food & watching movies.

I feel so naked without my camera & crafty supplies. But this is good. And we're having a spontaneous blast!!!

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Ice Cream Birthday Party!

 The theme of ice cream cones & Summer fun became the celebratory force behind Pazely's 6th birthday party!
The ice cream cone invitations were made with 6 scoops of ice cream. (For our soon-to-be 6 year old.)
I used this Martha Stewart punch, which I, luckily, got on clearance at Michael's!

Some more punching was involved for some garlands I made. I splurged & purchased this 2" Fiskars punch. It's awesome! You squeeze it with one hand. Hardly any work & no ache in your hands from any pushing.
I made 5 garlands, all on a different colored string I purchased from JoAnne's. The  garlands, each 5 yards, had 15 of these circular paper "ornaments" attached. Each "ornament" took 7 circle punches to complete. Calculate that & you come up with 525 circles!! And that's a LOT of punching! I spent almost a week of nights watching movies & making these garlands.
For instructions, click HERE.
I used all sorts of random colors & patterns of paper. I didn't really have a definite color theme---just a bright, happy, summer fun feeling. So this worked---& I could use all my scraps of paper too!

The Goodie Favor Bags.
My FAVORITE part of any party!!!
*Bubbles (Walmart).
*A handmade tag.
*Ice cream themed stickers (Target).
*Erasers (Ziggosfifties.com).
*Foam stickers (Target dollar section).
*Ice cream popper (orientaltradingcompany.com).
*Plastic ice cream bowl/spoon (Dollar Tree).
*Plastic ice cream cone charm (tinythingsarecute.com)--cording from Joanne's.
I packaged them all up in white paper bags. (Found at Walmart in the party section with the plates/tablecloths, utensils/etc.) They reminded me of the freezer-style bags that some groceries stores have to put your ice cream in. I loved that!

The bags were tied off with the handmade tags. I just took manila office supply tags, adhered a  punched  2" circle, & used ice cream stickers from the Martha Stewart brand at Michael's craft store. Tied off with the adorable charms from tiny things are cute & colored string (which can then be worn as a necklace) it just looks adorable.
The kids kept eyeing the goodie bags throughout the party & some even asked, "Who are those for?"

One of the decorations that I think was my favorite touch, were these paper window valances I made from freezer paper. We used the next door church as our party space. I just cut the correct length to fit across the 4 windows, measured even stripes & used a small plate to create scallops. Then I spray painted every other stripe red--using cardboard to cover either side of my stripes. And it wasn't an even coat. Just mostly red. Doesn't have to be perfect.

Horrible indoor pictures, but this gives you an idea of the set-up:
(After the party, I shortened the valances a tiny bit & hung them in the girls' bedrooms for fun.)
The hanging ice cream cones were a purchase from ziggosfifties.com. I love them! They were one of those "had to have" items. They store flat so I can use them again & again! I am bummed though, because I didn't get a lot of full-view party photos.
The "fellowship hall" (kind of like a small banquet room) was a larger venue then I'm used to for my girls' parties. Usually it's a cozy home party. So I don't think the decorations had as big of an impact as they might have had in a smaller setting. It was just an interesting thing I noticed.

When the kids arrived they decorated plain white ice cream parlor hats. Last minute I realized I had forgotten about any sort of party hat! I had planned on purchasing these ice cream parlor hats for the kids, but TOTALLY spaced it! So, I grabbed one that we recently acquired on our mini-mini-mini vacay to Cheyenne (Sanford Pub & Grub), carefully took it apart, & measured it. The morning of the party I made 12 of them! I used freezer paper & tissue paper. Though made completely different, click HERE for a tutorial from pajamacity.com

Big sister models hers:

Tiny party guests!

Next, the kids made sponge balls. Easy & fun! (And they later used them outside for the water portion of the party!)

A treasure hunt followed.
I made up about 8 rhyming clues, sealed in red envelopes, & hidden, that led the kids all over the party room & outdoors.
This particular clue read:
"Pazely's turning 6 you see,
And so that's why I've climbed a tree."
She was like a mini tarzan hanging from that tree. Crazy kid.
Clues were hidden under a chair.....with the sundae toppings.....in the freezer.....in a tree.....near the hose.....behind a bench.....& stuffed in a plastic bag & weighted with rocks at the bottom of the pool! The treasure at the was a squirt guns for everyone! The party guests could play with these at the end of the party & also take 'em home.

The kids came in to cool off & have some ice cream sundaes!!!
The ice cream sundae bar was filled with: Chocolate & vanilla ice cream, mini marshmallows, crushed Butterfinger candy bars, crushed Oreo cookies, brownies, canned blueberries, m&m's, gummy worms, peanuts, teddy grahams, sprinkles, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whip cream & cherries.

I also served ice cream cone cupcakes. It was my first time making them. It was a flop. (I accidentally bought angel food cake mix?!) So, by the time I figured out how to make them for reals, the batch was half of what I had planned. Want to know something funny? The kids weren't the least bit interested in these. WHAT?? Well, Zoey ate 2. Good girl!

I also made a small, plain, square cake with the leftover cupcake batter.

Next up? Piñata fun!! Here's the completed piñata. I used it as a decoration on the cake & punch table until the beating began. See the cherry? I made it 30 minutes before the party started. And I agree with what some of you said: A cherry would complete the look! I'm glad I added it.

Then the outside water fun commenced! I think the bigger peoples had tons of fun too!

I found this game at Walmart & we played a round of it outside. It's like hot potato, but with water balloons. This ball opens up & you stuff a water balloon inside. Set the timer & start passing it around. When the timer stops, the water balloon POPS! If you're stuck holding it, you get soaked!!
The kids also played on the slip-n-slide, threw water balloons, played in our little pool, soaked each other with the hose. There were bouncy balls, sidewalk chalk, velcro paddleballs, scooters, etc for as much outdoor fun as they could handle.
The party could not have been such smooth sailing without all the help I had! Wow. I was overwhelmed (& greatly pleased) with all the extra assistance my friends gave me. I loved giving orders! haha! But it made me realize that I am going to start recruiting more help when I have parties. I just get too scrambled sometimes & more hands means a less-frazzled me.

After the party, the girls & I went on a spontaneous kayaking outing with some friends. We'd never been before. It was great fun & a wonderful end to our wonderful day!!!!
Pazely's "real" birthday is the 30th--tomorrow!
We plan on going for Round #2 with the leftover sundae supplies.
And I might just have to attempt the ice cream cone cupcakes again.
Now that I'm an expert & all.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Week in Review: June 21-27

I could've done a whole collage this week about the actual planning of Pazely's party. Because that's what most of my week was filled with. The day of the party was a seriously great day! I smile everytime I think about it. The tiny party guests had fun. I think the big grown up guests had fun too. I went on the slip-n-slide!!! And then I got to go kayaking for the first time that evening.
39 fun-filled days of summer break down. 54 more to go!!
I'm excited for all the fun still to be had!
Click HERE for a photo play-by-play.

Summer Break: Day 39

A good old-fashioned scavenger hunt!!
I added a bonus for finding things of different colors.
You can also have kids find things in the form of descriptive words: find something smooth, shiny, rough, spiky, flat, round, pretty, etc.
I sent the kiddos off with their list of items to hunt, a marker (for checking off "found" items), & a bag to collect their treasures.
You can set a timer for a more competitive & fast paced game too.
(Oh, & I feel like I should explain the "wasp nest"on their list. Daddy found a few empty ones, we checked them & left them lying around for the girls.)
Scavenger hunts never get old. I loved doing them as a kid---& still enjoy the hunt! There are a loads of items to hunt for & multiple themes of lists you could put together.
Happy hunting!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Break: Day 38

Happily exhausted.
That's what I am.
Pazely had a splendidly fun birthday party! I was creating items up 'til the last minute. I was bummed that more kids didn't show up, but oh well. We had 1/2  a dozen kidlets & lots of our favorite grown up people too.
"This is the best day ever!", Pazely said. So, what am I complaining about?

The girls & I also had an evening of kayaking, after the party. It was the first time we have ever gone. It was SO fun & I look forward to many more kayak-like adventures.

I am tired yet grinning.

I have oodles of pictures to download, peek at & edit. I'll get a Birthday Party post up soon! *Promise*
But for now I hear a hot shower calling my name. And cozy jammies. And a movie on the couch. And some hot tea...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Break: Day 37

Today was a busy whirlwind of party preparations. So the little ones got to hang out with daddy most of the day. That's fun, right? I think they were bummed that mommy didn't have time or energy to get something "fun" together for them. But tomorrow's hooplah & celebration will make up for today's lack of "summer fun". (Believe me, they didn't mope around all day. They had "fun"! But they've really caught on to the whole "one fun thing a day for summer" gig. And they expect it. Which is good & annoying at the same time.)

The girls probably wouldn't consider this the fun thing of the day, but I think it was: a friend brought over a mole he found in his yard. I have never seen a mole up close. They are really gross looking! Freaky-deaky!

Today I baked ice cream cone cupcakes for the first time. Major fail. I accidentally got Angel Food cake & it was just weird. And so then I baked them again with regular cake mix & than I baked a regular cake with the leftover cake batter. And brownies. And I've been hanging decorations & setting up the party room all evening.
And right now I'm scouring the internet trying to find a tutorial on how to make those paper soda hats. Also called soda jerk hats. Or ice cream parlor hats. But coming up empty handed.
I'm tired. And exhausted.
And I wish I had one more week to prepare...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Break: Day 36

Here's PART 2 of the piñata making!
(Click HERE if you missed Part 1.)
I used crepe paper streamers to decorate the ice cream cone. And there are SO many ways you can attach the tissue paper/crepe paper. My techniques are just 2 of MANY! I started at the bottom, with the brown "cone", & wrapped around & around, using good old fashioned Elmer's glue, building the streamers up as I went. I placed a line of glue about 1/2" above the last piece of streamer. I did this until I reached the base of the "ice cream" part. And I didn't pull really tight. I left them in loose waves as I went along.

Then, I realized that I hadn't cut the hole for all the candy to fit inside. So I did that. I used a knife & cut 3 slits, making a little door flap.

In go the sweets!
I also made two small holes at the top of the piñata, about 4 inches apart. I used 50 lb fishing line & doubled it up. But, this didn't work. Clumsy me tripped over the fishing line & it snapped. So, I'll be going to the hardware store in the morning & buying a small, but sturdy & thick, rope/twine/thing. And honestly, this part of piñata-making is always a struggle for me. Once I made a piñata &, after the first hit or two, it just ripped from the top because of the combiniation of weight & a lousy job (on my part) of properly attaching the hanging device. I have not mastered this step. But I'm using a new technique this time with the string/rope. I usually use wire. The piñata is SUPER heavy with all the candy inside too!

Ok, after all that is done, I used light pink streamers & glued them along the edge of the "ice cream" scoop--over the candy hole & everything! (In the picture the flap is not closed. But I closed it & glued the streamers right over the top.)

Next I started on the very outside edge & glued the streamers in a circular pattern, bunching it up as I went.
 Do this on both sides.

I am tempted to get a styrafoam ball & put red tissue paper all over it for the "cherry" on top. But the cherry would sit right where the hanging apparatus goes. If I can find a way to adhere it really well, I may do that. You'll just have to wait & find out until after Pazely's birthday party. Hopefully I'll get better pics of the piñata then too!

As far as our "Fun Thing" for the day, the girls didn't think this was it. They weren't really weren't into this portion of piñata-fun today. THEIR fun involved a new small backyard pool! With all the splashing, Mrs.Piñata Maker decided to eventually head indoors to finish crafting.