And I love these posts because it thrills me to no end to share how everything came together: from the inspiration to the how-to's, all with links & resources in case you're inspired as well.
I'm finding as my girls get older, the parties are changing. Less "at home" parties. Which, at first, I had a hard time with. That is, until 2 years ago for Pazely's Pool Party. Easiest. Celebration. Ever.
I love planning every stressful detail of their parties. But I have loosened up a bit, not having to have so much control over every aspect. And Zoey's recent 11th birthday party was no exception.
Zoey decided she wanted to have her party at Get Air Trampoline Park. Our family had never been there before, but we heard how much fun it was. A huge building full of trampolines. Trampoline basketball. Trampoline dodgeball. Jump on trampolines into a giant pit of foam. Hundreds of feet of trampoline runway to hop & flip & bounce on. So much fun!
I decided to come up with a complementary theme to carry out through the invitations, decor, & favors. Zoey liked the thought of airplanes & clouds.
I immediately went to work on the invitations. I designed the little paper airplane in "Inkscape", a free illustrator program. (Yes, slight inspiration from my paper airplane tattoos.) The postcard-style notecards + envelopes are from Target. Love, love, love the quality!
Pinterest provided the inspiration for me to make these lovely 3-D clouds. The link sends you to the HGTV blog. Follow the video for complete instructions on making a small cloud mobile. I ended up sketching out my own clouds. I wanted them a bit bigger than the printout from HGTV, so I made one cloud fit on an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of white cardstock. After assembling, I tested them out in my house. They were just perfect! (After the party, I hung the clouds in Zoey's room. They are so sweet! They spin ever-so-gently.)
Here are the clouds hanging in the entrance of the party room we rented at the birthday site.
The trampoline park provided the tablecloths, paper plates & napkins. And I was good with that. From there, I just slapped some paper cloud cutouts on the wall & several folded paper airplanes.
I have NEVER been good at making paper airplanes. Until now. I am awesome now. After testing out several folds, my favorite airplane ended up being THIS flyer, from the blog Doodlecraft. I scattered these paper airplanes on the party tables & even made little wire stands that each held a paper airplane like a piece of art.
For the party favors, I kept things simple. Giant cloud cookies wrapped in a cellophane bag, tied off with a handmade keychain & embellished with a paper airplane-shaped shrinky dink.
Little Miss Tia helped to frost all those scrummy yummy puffy treats. The sugar cookie recipe is the same I use for Christmas cookies every year. It is a long standing family recipe & it is super delicious!
I had the hardest time finding a cloud-shaped cookie cutter. Online ordering wasn't an option due to my *cough* last minute *cough* planning. But I did find a bone shaped cookie cutter, & simply bent it into a cloud shape. Is that the most odd thing, or what? I think they look like clouds, but one little girl at the party, who was holding a cookie in her hand, asked, "What is this supposed to be?" I said, "It's a sugar cookie! I made them!" And she said, "No. Like, WHAT is it supposed to be?" And then I realized she didn't "get" that it was a cloud. Oh well. I tried.
My sweet mother helped me to put together the keychains. They are adorbs, don't you think?! I purchased the keychain part at Michael's. After searching the web & finding only shops in China with the option to buy the charms in bulk, I almost gave up. (China?! I need them NOW!) And then I found Etsy shop Beads to Beauty, based out of New Mexico. The lovely shop owner, Heather, scooted my order off immediately & saved the day!
The shrinky dink embellishment on the bag was a last minute thought. The favors just needed "something else". If I would've had more time I would have attached magnets to the back of the shrinky dinks. But I didn't have time. Or magnets. So I used super sticky glue dots & stuck 'em to the bag as is. I literally made the shrinky dinks just an hour or two before the party started. I apparently love it when the sweat starts forming on my upper lip.
Zoey picked the flavor of cupcake: cookie dough. This was a first for me. THIS is the recipe I followed. It was a bit of work, but SO worth it. These are my most favorite cupcakes I've ever made. I am rather impressed with their deliciousness. I seriously cannot shut up about these cupcakes. I made a little change in the filling: The recipe calls for eggs & baking soda. I omitted both.
And here are those paper airplanes again. I folded 2 1/2 dozen of these in miniature, then hot glued them to a toothpick, to use as cupcake picks. I do admit the frosting technique I used looks like that tiny fake poo you can buy in novelty shops. I need to work on that.
After all the kids jumped for 90 minutes, it was time to head back to the party room for sugar & prezzies. Talk about a sweaty mess of little humans. One of the BEST parts of the party was that I didn't have to clean up! Woot! Woot! See, this "party outside of home" thing has some major benefits.
Here I am, delivering goodness & happiness & yummy treats to all the little people.
Sometime soon I'm grabbing some gal pals & we're gonna venture onto the trampolines by ourselves while the kidlets are all in school. It's great exercise!
Happy birthday to my big girl!
I did hear the customary "This was the best party EVER, mom!", so I know it was a success.