Category: Parties

Sneak Peek at Averie’s Golden Princess Birthday Party!

Things have been pretty quiet around here lately – at least on the blogging and cookie front.  On the home front we’ve been prepping for Averie’s birthday party!

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail quite yet, except to say that the kids all seemed to have a fantastic time!

I’ll leave you with a couple of sneak peeks for now, and will share some better pictures and a full wrap up later on!

DIY Glittered Vases

I saw these cute little guys at Michael’s in their cheap-o bins and I just knew I needed them for Averie’s birthday party, but there was one problem – I didn’t want clear vases – I wanted them to go along with the party theme…

It's so little and cute!!!

It’s so little and cute!!!

So out came the modpodge, and the glitter.  Unfortunately all I had was coarse glitter, but it seemed to work.  I used clear sealer on top of the glitter to hold it all together.  They came out super cute!

DIY Glittered Vases

Easy Pink Princess Curtain / Dessert Table Backdrop

We know I love party things.

We also know that I love party things that can be re purposed and used everyday.

I wanted to make a backdrop for the dessert table for Averie’s Princess Party and decided I wanted to go a little ‘shabby chic’ and use lots of different fabric.  I also wanted to make sure it was something that we could use throughout the year.  Thankfully our little princess only has one window in her bedroom, and it’s a big window, so I decided we could make a backdrop that could double as a curtain for her room.

I should note that I decided all of this as I was standing in Hancock Fabrics, without knowing the measurements of Averie’s window, and without having a CLUE as to what I was doing, so poor Aaron was on the other end of the phone trying to help me out…

Good news is, I got it all figured out and came home with a stack of fabric.  How much fabric?  I have no idea.  All I did was get at least 2 yards of each color, making sure that the ream length would cover the height of the window with 5-6 inches to spare for tying.  Like I said, I was making it up as I went!  I walked out the store with just shy of $36 worth of fabric – hooray for sales!

Pretty Fabric!

Pretty Fabric!

I started to carefully cut each strip of fabric – about three inches wide, making sure that it would be at least 5-6 inches longer than the window itself.  PLEASE make sure you check that your fabric is the right way before you start to cut it, or you could potentially end up with some strips that aren’t long enough (don’t look too closely at the gold strips in mine…)

After a while, I decided I would try to rip them.  Afterall, it was shabby chic – it didn’t need to have perfectly cut edges.  It worked amazingly well.  I was able to not only get all of the fabric ripped to size in less than 2 episodes of Law and Order SVU, but I was also able to work out some pent up aggressions!!

I snuck into Averies room and pulled down her curtain rod – she had a cafe rod in her room – which is PERFECT for things like this.  I removed her curtain and started tying the strips of fabric on, in random order, trying to keep the knots at the top so they were relatively the same height.  At this point I didn’t worry about the length.

After I was done I hung the curtain back up in Averie’s room and then went along the bottom with scissors to make everything CLOSE to the same size.  Again – shabby chic, so it’s not supposed to be perfect.

DIY Princess Curtain Backdrop

The end result was awesome.  I need to shift her artwork hanging strip down, but otherwise I love it!  I’m almost a little sad that I have no reason to make another one for my bedroom!!


Quick Princess Lunch!

We’ve been crazy busy the last few weeks.  Averie has been very patient with us as we managed multiple shopping trips, cookie orders, cooking and cleaning.  So we finally got the chance to have a ‘stay home day’ and I thought I would do something special for her for lunch.  I told her to stay in the living room and surprised her with her very own ‘princess’ lunch!

This took less than 45 minutes.  Here’s the rundown:

  • Covered the table in leftover wrapping paper
  • Fetched as many princess related toys as I could without her seeing
  • Covered her chair with her fuzzy blanket, tied it on with a cloth diaper and attached one of her hair flowers to it
  • Used a purple Norwex window cloth for a placemat (I couldn’t find ANY of ours!!)
  • Dipped the rim of her cup in syrup and then into pink nonpareils and filled with milk and topped with a paper straw
  • Made peanut butter and jelly and used a crown cookie cutter.
  • Sliced strawberries and arranged them to look like a necklace with a lemon cookie underneath the bottom one that was cut to look like a heart.
  • Put a drop of pink food coloring into cool whip for strawberry dip and added some pink nonpareils on top.
  • Added a couple of butterfly shaped pretzel crisps.
  • Added a ‘glowing’ candle and a glass of sparkling apple cider at the last minute, so it’s not in all of the pictures!

She was a happy girl, which in turn made me a very happy mom!

Super Hero Cookies • The Twins’ B-Day

These were some of my favorite cookies yet — though it might have helped that they were for some of my favorite people!

My nephews had a super hero themed birthday party and my sister-in-law asked if I would bring some cookies.  Of course the answer to that was ‘yes’, and of course they had to be super hero cookies!

I love cookies with bright pretty colors.  Even the leftover mess after all was said and done made me feel cheery!

The comic book word cookies were my sister-in-law’s idea.  I added in the specific super hero cookies.

The party was a blast — there were capes and masks for all the kids that didn’t come already decked out.  A photo-op area (as modeled by my youngest nephew above), and cupcakes and food like crazy!!

Oh – and kids like crazy.  LOTS of kids.  And they had lots of things for them to do.  There was a little park there, the kids ran an obstacle course, played musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey and did a pinata.

My brother and his wife definitely handle the chaos better than I do!  The kids had a blast though!!


Rainbow Birthday Party • Averie’s 3!!

Averie loves rainbows, and she loves painting – so we put the two together and had a Rainbow Artist Birthday Party for her third birthday.


We used Groundswell in Cedar Rapids again this year for her birthday.  It’s such a neat space, and is MADE for kids to be creative, so it was a great fit.


Invitations were postcards from vistaprint – as usual!  We used a photo from her birthday photo shoot with Patrick Frost.  We used the painting she made during the photo shoot as a backdrop for the invitation text.


No birthday is complete without a great outfit for the birthday girl!  Tutu, Flower in her Hair and Shirt are all from Bella Joys Boutique.  Photo Credit to Moment in Time Photography.

Of course it was a little chillier on the day of, so her outfit at the party was a little bit different!

Table Decor

Tables were done in ‘rainbow’ plastic table cloths and white butcher paper was run down the center of the table with crayons on them for doodling entertainment.  Some of the crayons were the multi-colored rainbow ones.  Centerpieces were bright colored baskets filled with multi-colored rainbow popcorn with balloons on sticks attached to them.  We also had balloons all over the floor.  They were supposed to be in an arch over the treats table, but we sort of ran out of time (and patience?)

Lunch Food

Everything else was complicated enough that we kept it simple and had hot dogs and sloppy joes with chips.

We did throw in a rainbow fruit tray though…


You must have rainbow drinks at a rainbow party!

We looked around forever for the Hug Barrel drinks…  I had almost given up when Aaron called to let me know he found them.  We bought more than we needed, but I was okay with that – we used them all summer!!

No party is complete without personalized water bottle labels…

And for the more grown up tastes we had sparkling juices and some soda as well.


Aside from the rainbow popcorn at the tables, we had to make sure there were other rainbow treats for the kids (big and small)!

We had covered oreos in all colors of the rainbow (big thanks to Auntie Las in TX for making and shipping them!), dipped pretzels and rainbow twizzlers (thank you Easter clearance!).  We also had the wax bottles of colored juice and candy dots.


Tillie’s Secret Sweets made us the amazing rainbow cake that’s all over the internet, and she did a fantastic job!  The outside was white, with a rainbow colored top.

And the inside was full of rainbowy goodness!

She also made us cupcakes galore — I made rainbow paper liners to disguise what was inside and the frosting on top was white with rainbow circle sprinkles on it.

And the insides of those?  Well, of course they were full of rainbowy goodness too!


Color A Cookie

I made up some pretty basic rectangular cookies and let the kids attack them with food coloring markers.  It was a pretty big hit!  I think most of them liked it as much (if not more) than the actual painting!

Here’s Averie showing off her cookie!

Fruit Loop Necklaces

This is one of Averie’s favorite craft projects — everytime we have Fruit Loops for breakfast she asks to make a necklace from them!


Everyone thought I was crazy…   the FIRST thing you saw when you walked into the party were two tables that looked like this:

But the kids loved it!

Even some of the bigger kids…

And they really didn’t make too much of a mess…  it could have been MUCH worse.  We have some great friends and family with amazingly well behaved kids!

Gift Bags

Aside from taking home their paintings and the aprons, and whatever cookies and fruit loops might have been left, we had goodie bags with miscellaneous trinkets, toys and art projects in them.

And that’s a wrap.  Averie had a blast, she’s still talking about her rainbow party 4 months later!

Oh – and here’s how I judge if a party was good or not:

I’d definitely call that a success 🙂

There were a lot of pictures up above, but if you want to see the rest, they’re all in this gallery here!

Polka Dot First Birthday Party

I have mixed emotions on this one – the planning and creative fun behind the party is over, which does make me a bit sad.  But the main thing that makes me sad is that all throughout the party she was this happy little girl, toddling all over the place – she’s no longer a little baby, shes independent, sociable and so grown up already!

We celebrated twice — once on her actual birthday at home – her gift from Aaron and I was a chair that she can climb in and play on – she loves to be on furniture and even more loves being able to get on it herself, the chair was too cute and she loves it!  She had a cupcake too and made a mess of it of course!

Today we had her big party – I believe we had ~30 people total there, it was a great time though – we had BBQ chicken sandwiches and everyone brought sides for the party.  TONS of food – and I ate enough for 3 people!  She got tons of toys, and had a lot of fun.  I went a little crazy on the decorations, but honestly – it looked fantastic, and I don’t regret even one second of the decoration making!!  I do regret the late night cram last night – between that and flight delays for Colin none of us got much sleep at all – Colin and Aaron managed about 45 minutes each…

Sarah (photographer) came to the party today to take pictures — in retrospect I’m SO glad I had her come — I was able to relax and enjoy things without having to worry about snapping pictures constantly.  It’ll be nice to actually be IN the pictures for a change too!  It is weird to come home from such a big event without a bunch of pictures though.  Can’t wait till she gets them all done!!

That said, I did take some pictures from her actual birthday and of the decorations – I’ll post those now, but better get off of here after that!  Nana took averie for the night – and I want to try to find our house so I can actually just relax the rest of the time we’re at home — which includes catching up on my friends page… it’s been a while!

Opening Presents in her new chair!

Another view – the buckets all have crayons in them for coloring on the paper on the tables

Gift, Display, Cake, Favor and Drink Tables

Display table


Lots and Lots and LOTS of circles!!!!!!!!!  Thanks to Las for all her help cutting them out and helping me keep my sanity!