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Monday, April 30, 2012

The Mystery Party: Part 1

Well, I mentioned on facebook that this party just about did me in, but it turned out great and I have so much to share.  This post will set the scene for you…invitations, decorations and the cake.  I will follow up with posts on the crafts, the mystery and the goody pack.

As soon as Erin said Mystery Party, I jumped online to scour the internet for ideas.  It was nice to have Pinterest help me along too.  I found most of my inspiration from The Decorologist, Focus Jennie and The Moore Minutes.   The Decorologist gave me a jump start with a fantastic free printable invitation – thank you!!!  For the free printable go here.  All we did was change the color scheme and the names and places of course.

The Invitation

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Decorations

We kept the decorations fairly minimal.  I delegated most of this job to my 10 year old.  He drew and cut out giant question marks and traced my husband’s work shoes to leave mysterious footprints leading from our front door throughout the house.  I thought it was so fun that the whole family got involved in the process, not to mention it gave me one less thing to worry about.  A win-win.

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Our little detective is on the case!

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These door pictures really remind me that I need to paint them ASAP!

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We threw some candlesticks and rope on our foyer table along with the game Clue, some mystery books and an old suitcase to set the mood when our guests walked in.

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Oh, and I can’t forget the “Top Secret: Off Limits” signs we posted to close off the stairs and the office. Two reasons for this…it looked the part and it kept everyone on the main floor (plus, my office and upstairs might have been a bit messy, shhh, don’t tell).

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And it seemed to me that black and white just worked for this party, along with the accent color of yellow that Erin chose for the invitation.

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The Cake

Erin and I both agreed that a plain white frosted cake with a black question mark was the perfect cake for this party.  However, when I placed the order, they steered me clear of black frosting.  They said it would stain our teeth for at least 2-3 days.  I really didn’t want to be remembered as the mom who stained a bunch of 2nd grade girls’ teeth, so we got our thinking caps on.

This is one of those times when the fallback plan ends up being better than the original.  We made the question mark out of mini-Oreos and the dot out of a large Oreo.  The only mistake I made was not to buy an extra bag of Oreos to hand out with each slice of cake.  Take note, and I’m not kidding, those girls were beyond giddy about those Oreos!!

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Please ignore the divot where an Oreo fell.

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We also kept the menu to the very basic - pizza, lemonade and water.  I’ve done more food at other kid’s parties, but when it comes down to it, they are so excited, they just want to scarf something down quick and move on.

So those are the basics to set the scene.  In my next post, I will give you the lowdown on the fun stuff - the crafts, clues and take home gift pack.  Good stuff to come!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hoedown Details

Howdy, y’all!  I believe I owe you some details from the Hoedown!  So here you go…

The Invitation

I found lots of inspiration from a Hoedown featured at Country Living's website including their awesome invitation.  I made a mock-up of a similar invitation.  Originally I used gingham paper, but couldn’t find it so I recreated this one with paper I had on hand.  You can use any western inspired paper for the background.

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I also made an invitation like this…

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The third option was a store bought bandana print invitation. Guess which one Erin picked. Guess which one I picked. So our compromise was to paste this on the inside of the store bought invitation.

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This is what I made for her thank you notes, but she decided that she wanted to write them all herself without filling in the blanks.  It took a while, but she did it! 

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If you’d like a copy of one or all of these, email me and I can send it to you.  I’m not tech-savvy enough to make it a download here.  I just made them in Microsoft Word.

Upon entering the party, we tied a bandana around each girl’s neck. We invited everyone to dress in western clothes, so I opted not to give out hats in case they had their own (on top of the fact, bandanas were cheaper and I could use the extra ones for decoration).

 

The Crafts

As with most of my parties, I started it with the craft so the girls could get started while they were waiting for everyone to arrive.  I got the craft supplies from Oriental Trading.  Click on each item below for a direct link to that particular item.  If I did it over again, I would lace the journals ahead of time or at least make sure they all have a pointy piece of tape on the end to make it easy to lace.  Spent a lot of time putting tape on the laces during the party…make sure to at least do that beforehand!!

Faux Leather Journals

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The girls laced and decorated the journals with foam stickers and gems.  The lace was long enough to use as a “flip in and out” bookmark.  For the end of the bookmark portion, the plan was to use beads, but we ended up tying little ribbons because the beads I had didn’t have big enough holes.  Those giant tubs of beads you grab at the craft store would definitely have big enough holes, I just didn’t have that particular kind.  Oops.

Faux Leather Bracelets

  • Also decorated with gems, foam stickers and Sharpie markers

Go here for Other Faux Leather Jewelry Options

 

Activities

Loot Bag Treasure Hunt

The activity the girls liked best was when some “bandits” (my son and nephew) stole the bag of loot.  The girls chased them around a bit and got such a kick out of these masked men.

erins birthday jake and carson are banditss

Next, the girls were given clues to find the loot bag.  They LOVED this!  They found the loot bag in our mailbox.  Inside the bag were a bunch of pennies.

Each girl was given their share of the loot and then went shopping at The Penny Store.  We put store items inside mason jars - pencils, pens, suckers, lip balm.

Lasso the Horse

I just picked up some dollar store wreaths to use as our lassos.  We had three lassos, so each girl got three tries.

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Other Activities

  • good old-fashioned pin the tail on the donkey
  • freeze dance
  • hot potato
  • random time fillers: tattoos, drawing pictures, dress up with playroom costumes

 

Cow Print Goody Bags

loot bags

I was lucky enough to find a farm inspired 12-pack of bags at Michael’s last year.  It included a bandana print, cow print and denim print.  Erin liked the cow print best, so we used all those for the goody bags and kept the others for another day down the road.

Another option would be to use plain brown lunch bags and tie them with rope and mark the bag “Susie’s Loot” or something like that.  You could also use the bandanas as goody bags.

Inside the Goody Bag

  • faux leather journal
  • faux leather bracelet
  • penny store “purchases” (lip balm, pens, pencils and sucker)
  • bandana
  • plastic horses from the cake (dollar store)

 

Other Ideas I didn’t do, but I found along the way…

  • crazy chicken laid eggs everywhere – egg hunt
  • make your own trail mix
  • snake in my boot – try to throw a rubber snake to land inside the boots
  • pictures taken for a WANTED sign
  • paint terra cotta pots for a cactus
  • do panning for gold – use kiddie pool, spray paint rocks gold, add sand and water – turn in gold to buy candy, etc.
  • paint a frame and add horse foam stickers or wooden horse cut out
  • cowgirl hats
  • use old appliance boxes to create a town or jail
  • old crates, barrel, fence

There really are a ton of options to make this party special.  Pick one and ride like the wind!

To see more décor from the party go here.

Coming soon…The Mystery Party.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mad Scientist Party

Before I close out this birthday series with Erin’s Mystery Party, I have to share the Mad Scientist Party my sis-in-law threw for her son.  She knows I kind of have a sickness, an obsession of sorts, when it comes to kids’ birthday parties. So she asked me to poke around for mad scientist ideas.  I was more than happy to oblige!

She booked a group to come in to do all the fun science experiments, so all she really needed were a few of the finishing touches.  I created a Mad Scientist pinboard on Pinterest and pinned away.  My main focus was on food presentation and décor to make it extra special.  Here’s what she ended up doing…

To gain access into “Will’s Science Lab”, the kids placed their hands on the handprint as fingerprint identification to open the door.  Adorable, right?!

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She made lab coats out of men’s t-shirts simply by cutting up the middle and using double-face tape for the collars.  Each lab coat had a silly scientist name tag and a bio-hazard badge too.  I love that she gave Will some mad scientist hair to go along with it!  Isn’t he too cute?!

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Look out for these cuties in the Olympic swim category, not kidding.  Rock star swimmers.  Oops, got sidetracked.  Back to the party…

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The cake was adorable with green slime letters and beakers.  I’m always in awe that she makes the cake herself every year!  Every year I say I’m going to make the cake, but then when it comes down to crunch time, my sister or Kroger save the day.

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To add to the fun, she attached creative names to the food containers and used measuring cups and funnels as table décor and containers.  I’m loving this insect juice!

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They did all kinds of fun experiments, but I think the biggest hit was the Mentos/Diet Coke experiment…the kids had a BLAST!  Yes, that pun was fully intended.  Can’t pass up a good pun.  I just love how this party turned out, don’t you?

Since my sis-in-law and her family live in Texas and we live in Michigan, it was nice to be able to join in the fun a tiny bit from miles and miles away! Thanks, Shelley! Can’t wait to see you on Lake Michigan…not soon enough!!

Make sure to check out my Mad Scientist Party pinboard for more awesome ideas.  There were just too many to list here!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Awesome Artwork Giveaway

Here’s a funny thing.  I started a Plumberry Pie Facebook page and never told you about it.  Weird.  Still need to put a link here too.  Anyhow, I would love if you stopped by and “liked” Plumberry Pie that way you can receive mini updates on projects and links to other people’s awesome ideas that I find along the way.

One of the reasons I bring this up, is that I just FB’d about a fantastic giveaway at 4 Men 1 Lady and nobody would know that unless you actually knew about my FB page.  Geez, I need to get my act together! Smile  If you love the beach like I do, you’ll love this Hawaiin inspired artwork.  Check it out at 4 Men 1 Lady, the blog that started it all for me!  This was the first blog I ever read and it snowballed from there.  So I am forever grateful to Michelle even though she has no clue who I am!  She just renovated an ENTIRE house and I am anxiously awaiting the reveals of every room.  She gave us a peek into her bathroom yesterday, which displays some of the art I’m talking about.  Check it out!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Guest Post: Randee's Bakery Party

About a month ago, Erin went to a Baking Birthday Bash and I knew I had to share it in my birthday series.  They made their own pizza, decorated their own cake and took home adorable chef hats, aprons and a rolling pin!  So cute I could not even stand it.  Then there was this awesome post on such a party by  Randee at Randee's Organized Chaos.  So I thought, this party would be better explained by her.  Every detail is covered perfectly. 

So let me introduce you to Randee.  Without having met her in "real" life, I can just tell through her blog and emails that she exudes neverending energy and creativity and is super sweet.  Enjoy her fabulous Bakery Birthday Party, you won't be disappointed!

HI!!!  My name is RANDEE from 
Randee's Organized Chaos

I want to thank Kim for having me today!!  I am SOOOO excited to be here!  SQUEAL.....

Today I am sharing my daughter's baking party that we had for her 6th birthday!!  It was a BLAST!!!  It is a long post BUT worth every minute to see what kind of CHAOS I created for myself!!!

Mary-Catherine's 6th "BAKING" Party
When I started planning MC's 6th birthday party, I was at a loss! I kept thinking about the things that MC loves and she loves to cook and play around in the kitchen. Saturday mornings are her favorite mornings because she gets to get up and cook breakfast with her Daddy!! These are the moments that she will always remember and learn to cherish! SO the "BAKING" Party idea was decided and the wheels started turning!!
First I had to create an AWESOME invitation! I had just made a bunch of tissue paper pom-pom's so I started playing with that idea!
Below are the pics on the cupcake and the finished invitation!






I made the cupcakes by cutting 4x4 pieces of tissue paper! Layer them in any order that you want! Then fold accordion style and secure with a piece of floral wire! Pull each individual piece VERY gently towards then center! You will have a small flower! Fluff until you achieve the desired look you want! I then took cupcake liners (several together makes it more sturdy) and placed a dot of hot glue in the liner and place your "cupcake" down into the liner! I topped the cupcake with a small red piece of bubble gum!! WAY TOO CUTE!! I then place the "cupcakes" into small gift boxes and tied with ribbon! My friend Sarah Martin made templates for the tags and now I can make any tag I want!! HOW EXCITING!!! The tags read all of the info needed for the party! There were 3 different tags!


Now that I had created this AWESOME invitation, I had to create a party to live up to it!! I started by making an apron for each girl! I think they turned out GREAT! I made MC's different since she was the BIRTHDAY GIRL!

So after finishing the aprons....with much help from one of my best friends ever Alyne....I decided that they all needed matching t-shirts!! I KNOW, I KNOW....my neurosis kicked in!! They had to have shirts to make the pics look great!!! DON'T say it, I NEED HELP!! ;)

I made little flowers from left over fabric from the aprons! I just cut different size circles and layered them and sewed them together with a button for the center!!!

See pic's below!


I made garland out of the cupcake liners by stringing them together with a large string!! Be sure to tie a really big knot at the ends!! JUST FYI....not that I would have any reason to stress this point!! ;)

Every girl had their own tray that had spoons, spatulas, and a rolling pin!! I made the rolling pins by cutting up dowel rods! The girls had their own cookie dough and on the table I had "mixums" for them to choose from! I had different candies, oatmeal, nuts and marshmallows! They had a blast mixing everything and then cutting out their cookies with cookie cutters!







I will have to say that the ICING was the HIT of the PARTY!!


I found the trays, spoons and spatulas at Dollar Tree



I hope that you enjoyed this party as much as we did!!  It was a LOT of work but worth every HUG, GIGGLE and SMILE from my baby girl!!  ;)
I would LOVE for you to come visit me!!  I can also be found on FB or Pinterest

Seriously, how adorable is that party???!!!!  Those invitations are just so clever and cute too!  Randee, thanks so much for sharing your awesome party!  Be sure to stop by her blog for some other fabulous and creative ideas!

Happy Monday!
Kim
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