Saturday, December 31, 2011

Little Monster Party

That 1st year always seems to go so fast! For my 4th child, we celebrated her 1st birthday 2 days after Christmas! I was a little worn out (aren't all moms after Christmas?), but to me it's important that we do something special to mark this milestone.
I decided to try and see if I could do everything for the party with stuff I already had on-hand. It was easier to do than I thought. I picked a little monster theme. It wasn't my original idea, I have seen a few of these in bloggerville. But, it was simple and cute. So, the invites were made with scrap paper and pink felt. We just had a few friends over.
The Invitation:

We still had all our Christmas things up, but I wanted something that looked like a birthday party, and not just like Christmas (I think this will be a challenge her whole life- we've never had a December birthday in our family before!) So, I had left over green stuff from this Alien party
and pink stuff left from this Princess party so we combined them. My kids put eye balls on the balloons and tissue puff balls, but they are facing the other way, so you can't see them in this picture.

The Food:
For the food we had a chicken soup, veggies, and cheese ball and crackers, and these little monster sandwiches above. (Sorry, I'm a terrible photographer- no close-ups!) We cut the cheese jaggedly to look like teeth, and the eye balls are olives stuffed with cream cheese tooth-picked to the top. They turned out cute. Also some fruit with a "monster fluff" fruit dip (marshmallow cream and cream cheese with a few drops of neon green food color) I made Oreo truffle pops and dipped them in green chocolate, then added mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips to them to be the monster eyes. Some had 1 eye, some 2 eyes, and some 3 eyes.
It's best to stick them in a block of Styrofoam, but I didn't have any, so I wrapped some empty cardboard boxes in wrapping paper, and stuck the pops in it. It worked great, and I think the pink boxes looked really cute on the table.
The polka dots tied all the party theme together, and it was really easy to add eye balls to about anything. Even the oranges on the fruit tray had mini marshmallows and whole cloves stuck in them to look like monster eyes. My daughter donned her polka-dot dress, and doesn't look like a monster at all! (I know- she's adorable!)
The Cake:

The cake was really simple. I used 2 6" pans, and 1/2 of my ball cake (one pan). I made each layer a different color to make it fun. After it was all stacked, I used my huge star tip and just piped the pink frosting on so it looked like crazy monster fur (super easy!) I forgot to set aside icing for the eyes (I had made it all pink!) So I just cut a marshmallow with scissors, and stuck 2 Jr. Mints on. Worked great!
The funny thing was, although my daughter had fun blowing out the candle, she actually doesn't like sweet stuff (except for apples) so, she didn't want to eat any of the cake. Instead she had a great time feeding spoonfuls of frosting to my friend. (I was holding her- ere no pictures)

The Pinata:
That big pink furry monster on the far left is actually a pinata! It was really fun and easy to make. We blew up a balloon (actually 2 so my kids could each work on their own), and used this recipe for the paper mache paste:
2 cups flour
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon salt

Just mix it together, and dip your strips in it, squeeze the extra paste off between your fingers, then lay the strips on the balloon.

We only did 2 layers on each one... it really needs like 5, but we were 1st timers at this!

They hung to dry overnight (they need a few days), and yes, we couldn't resist making lots of jokes about out balls hanging over the dining table!
When we filled her with goodies, she ripped, hence the duct tape fix, and the pretty bow to cover the duct tape!
Hope you enjoyed seeing our little thrown together monster party! Since we did it so frugally, with stuff we had on hand, we were able to spend more on the birthday gifts!
I'm linked to:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Snitch Cake and little Snitches

ok, so while I'm waiting for the ten comments from the previous post, I thought I'd sneak this one in about the cakes.

This was the picture I used as a guide:

This is the cake we had for the party:

I'm really kinda proud of myself for getting that gold color so spot-on. It was acheived using a combination of cocoa powder, yellow, and orange food coloring, and what really made it taste good was some Vanilla, nut, and Butter extract (the same stuff we used to make the butter beer)

The cake was a little small for the crowd we had, but we were feeding them so much other stuff, and loading them up with candy, so I didn't feel too bad giving them small pieces of cake.

Inside the cake, I had put a plastic Easter Egg, with a "resurrection stone" (a ring pop with the plastic ring part taken off) and a key to unlock my daughter's bedroom where "Honey Dukes" was located.

Being the huge Harry Potter fan that she is, my daughter also wanted the treat she took to school to also be Harry Potter themed. There is a boy in her class with the same birthday as her, so she wanted to do something besides cupcakes.

I had seen a recipe for Oreo Truffles on this blog, and thought this would be the perfect chance to make them. After we made them, we wrapped them in gold candy wraps (bought at Hobby Lobby- Wilton brand) and put the white feathers in for the wings.

we even boxed up a few to take to some of my friends who helped with the party.

I'm linked here at Inspiration for Celebration

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hogwarts Party part 1: Invitations, Decorations, Diagon Alley

We sent out letters just like we did for the last Hogwarts Party with the same owl cookies. (This was when I couldn't find my camera battery charger, so we just took pictures with my husbands phone) I have seen much cuter owl cookies out there, but we had a lot to do, so we just did the same ones. The green ink, Hogwarts emblemed letters got a lot of kids pretty excited...
We had 23 kids, but I think 2 showed up later.
the little girl in the front on left is my 4 year old daughter, wearing an old pillow case so she could be a house elf.
Diagon Alley was accessed through the Leaky Caldron.
I made my appearance as temporary head master, and instructed all the students that they will need to purchase: a quill, book, and wand. No animals today! And, their accounts at Gringotts would be charged for all their expenses.

My daughter tapped the bricks, and I pressed the garage door opener in my pocket.
confession: the brick drop cloth was supposed to go up with the garage when it was opened, but we ran out of time to get it working. Apparantly we don't have any duct tape on hand. So, it just opened behind the drop cloth and the kids walked around. They didn't seem to mind.

Diagon Alley:
After the bricks were tapped, the kids walked into this:

The empty table actually held the wands on a silver tray. They were caramel and chocolate dipped pretzel wands, and so I had kept them in the fridge until just before the party... yes, it's still that hot here!

The books and other items were displayed here. Not sure if you can read it, but the glass box says, "Invisible Spider. Caution: extremely poisonous" (it was empty)
We also had a few rats and snakes around.

We also had a Vanishing Closet. (which hopefully you will see in a later post, all painted and nice) we put a few little yellow and white feathers at the bottom.
This is my friend, Maria, who also taught the Potions class. She told the students that she did a potion wrong and grew another head! (That's the vanishing closet on the left)

I guess my daughter decided to risk disappearing for a moment...

This was a combined party for my son who was turning 11, and my daughter who turned 10.
Confession: I bought fabric to make 2 sets of wizard robes. I only got one finished. Luckily my son is a good sport, and was just as happy wearing his new US soccer jersey:)
The kids had lots of fun exploring all the cool things in Diagon Alley.

With supplies in hand, students made their way to:
Platform 9 3/4
This was hung from the balcony above the front entrance. Each student ran through, and then we made our own train (Hogwarts Express) on the other side before entering Hogwarts (the front door)
Here is the view looking from the front door.

After I get 10 comments, I'll post about the Sorting Ceremony and the Classes, but here are some of the decorations for you to see:

We had a house banner for each of the 4 houses, which hung from the ice cream parlor:

And we had all 4 house crests above the house cup displayed here:

A few more signs put around the house:

I couldn't get my portraits to talk and move, but we included some pictures of famous Hogwarts students:I still owe my son a game of this:

We also had some chains and an Azkaban wanted poster of Sirius Black, and lots of posters all over the house. Like "Cupboard under the Stairs" under the stairs, a "Privet Drive 4" outside, and on one of the doors we had an eyeball stuck on (Mad-eye's, of course) and on the bathroom mirrors we had written: "Moaning Myrtle was here"
I had 4 friends come over the day before to help get all the decorations up... it took all of us, but it was fun.