Ice Cream Social

This party was FUN FUN FUN.

The little girl that this party was for, had recently found out that she is allergic to wheat, eggs and nuts. Eek! So we knew if we did a cake that it would need to be a vegan cake. Price was the only real issue with that (spendy).

A couple weeks before, my daughter and I had been at Target and in the Dollar Spot we had seen some items to use for an Ice Cream Social/Party. We just had to buy them since they were so cute and we knew that we’d use them at some point. So as soon as I knew the allergies of this little one, I knew we had to do an Ice Cream Social. I purchased Breyers Ice Cream. The only ingredients were: Milk, cream, sugar, tara gum, vanilla beans, natural vanilla flavor and natural flavor. WIN! I got both chocolate and vanilla in that brand. I was so excited to plan all the details and then the coolest thing happened! I posted on a social media site that I was looking for a wooden lemonade type stand that I could use for this party, but didn’t want to spend too much. Everyone who posted, just kept telling me how expensive it would be to have one made. I got a private message from someone though asking me why I wanted one built. I told them what I was going to do with it – ice cream social party, but that my kids would use it a lot and we’d use it for neighborhood get together’s too. The guy told me that he would make it for me for FREE!! What? Seriously? Who does that? Let me tell you how that made my day… my week… my year. Honestly. My family had been having a lot of struggles with work problems, health problems, etc. and this was just something amazing to me. This person didn’t know me or my family at all and yet offered to do this for us. It still blows my mind. So that amazing stand became the centerpiece to this party. I’ll do another post on all the ways that stand has been used since.

Here’s the party:


This 11×14 print is amazing. Red Barn Studios will add your custom info and then print this out on heavy cardstock. It was a perfect touch to this party.


Another great Target find was this from the Dollar Spot. SO PERFECT! 


Just for a little fun, I added this pool float. I found it at Walmart and it was the perfect for the little kids to climb around on.


LOVE LOVE LOVE! Here is the custom made stand I talked about earlier. I also found this high chair on craigslist for free and painted it. The banners are from Target too. 


All the banners here (top and bottom) are from Target, as well as the chalkboard and the sprinkle cups. The mini jars are from Dollar Tree. Random toppings from Target & Walmart. The large glass jar is from Walmart as well. 




Paper runner and party bags are from Target Dollar Spot.


I was lucky enough to have a friend make me these cupcakes for the party. They are beautiful! 

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13th Birthday Parties

My twins are 13! Mind blown. I just can’t believe how quickly time has started to go by. Looking at old pictures and it seems just like yesterday that they were babies and I was just trying to “survive” with having three kids under three. Flash forward to today and I have two amazing, smart, talented, kind, beautiful teenagers. 

As always, my daughter chose her birthday theme. She has been talking for a while about wanting to do a party at a Hotel. So that’s what we did. Figured it was a special way to celebrate becoming a teen.

My son only wanted a few friends to go to PlayLive. That’s a local place here in our mall that is all about gaming. Xbox, PS4, etc, you name it they have it.  Sadly, all the kids that had said they were coming cancelled, with the exception of one. Ho hum. So he took the one friend and they had a great time. They went to PlayLive and then off to do some Go Karts. He wants to have some more friends over next weekend and maybe just have a low key sleepover or something.

Only got a couple pics from his birthday, but they are good ones. My ex husband normally does my son’s birthday and I do my daughters. What that really means, is that I plan everything for both parties, and he just executes and pays for one. LOL.


My daughter has some great friends. One of the hard things about choosing a hotel stay for your birthday party, is the amount of people you can invite. She knew that the room slept 6, so after accounting for her and me, that left 4 friends to invite. She didn’t want to mix groups of friends because she wanted everyone to be comfortable and have a good time. So she invited some of her “cheer” friends. Some of her school friends knew this, and got together to throw her a surprise birthday party at a local bowling alley. These friends planned and executed the whole thing (with the exception of having me get her there and me bringing the cupcakes). How sweet and mature of these friends! She truly had a great birthday all around. Made me a little sad for my son and how things didn’t quite go his way. Hard to share a birthday and to not compare of feel sad/jealous. But he was great and never made her feel bad about any of it.

The hotel party was a lot of work. Honestly. Every time I throw a party like this, I say “I’m NOT doing that again.” But then the next year comes and I get roped into it again. Ridiculous. Ha. So here we go. Let’s just cheers to next years right now. LOL.

First off, we looked for a hotel that was not too far away and that had some amenities that would be fun for the girls. As well as something that wasn’t crazy expensive. We settled on Embassy Suites. We’ve stayed at this hotel chain in other cities before, when we’ve had to travel for Cheer, but never at the one close to our hometown. A couple of the reasons we chose this hotel: they have a large enough pool and hot tub, they offer complimentary reception in the evening of check in, and they offer a complimentary made to order breakfast in the morning. I knew the breakfast especially would help cut down on cost, since we could just wake up and go down and have the same breakfast (for free) that we would have at a restaurant. For dinner that night, we just ordered pizza from a local place and had it delivered to the hotel. That was cheap and easy.

My daughter and I got to the hotel as soon as our room was ready. She wanted us to have the room decorated before her friends got there. So we set up all the decor we had planned and dropped off our bags and the food we had packed. Then we headed to pick up each of her friends. Everyone had such a great time. This party was definitely one for the books. Hope you think it was great too!

Hotel door hanger invitations. Red Barn Studio always brings my ideas to fruition. You can visit her shop here: . I LOVE these invites. The girls could use them (instead of just throwing them away) since they have the back side…. great for teenagers wanting to keep people out of their rooms. 😉

Next up are some touches for the party….


Custom cookies. I love local anything. One of the mom’s of my son’s classmate makes custom cookies. She made them perfectly to fit our theme. These went into each of the girls’ gift bags.


More custom cookies. These were for the girls to eat – and table decor. They were sooo good. Seriously one of the best cookies I’ve had in a while.


My daughter wanted the theme of this hotel party to be PINK (as in Victoria Secret PINK). So we got a few shopping bags from there and added some great things for the girls. LUSH bath bomb, VS eye mask, face mask & shampoo, conditioner and lotion (had custom labels made along with the invitations).


Large number 13 balloons for decor.


Pano of the hotel room. This room was great. It was two separate rooms (main with pull out couch, table, etc and this one with beds). 


We got each of the girls a gift bag (above) and a pink bathrobe. My daughter from the beginning of planning wanted to do bathrobes, but they were so expensive. But then, randomly one day on I found a huge sale. These bathrobes were $49.50 each .. and they were $9.95 for one day only. WHAT???!!!! Although it was still just under $50 for the 5 of them, it was an awesome deal and something the girls will be able to use over and over. And let me tell you – they pretty much wore them the entire hotel stay; to and from the pool, around the hotel, to breakfast, etc. 


Desserts for the night and while the girls watched a movie.


Here’s a close up of the gift bags and bathrobes.


First thing the girls did after checking out the room and gift bags, was do a scavenger hunt thru the hotel.

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Here’s some proof of how much they loved the bathrobes. Haha. They even wore them outside. 


And in the elevators as they ran around the hotel.

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… and to breakfast. Haha.

They swam and ran around and had the best time. Overall it was a success. Off to thinking about next year. 😉

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To be honest, I’m not a big fan of Valentines Day. Why? I guess I just feel like it’s kind of a retail, money making holiday. I’d rather try to celebrate my love randomly and more than once a year. 🙂  But I do know that my kids love this holiday. They get to have school parties and give their friends Valentines. We’ve done all kinds of gifts to give in the classrooms. From Dollar Tree boxed cards to handmade. Thinking about the holiday coming up, I figured maybe I’d do a post about a couple Valentines that we’ve done that were super fun and their friends raved about.

Minecraft themed Valentines. We found blue rock candy at a local store and separated it into little clear bags from Michael’s Craft Store. Then I found an awesome blog that had a free printable for the card. I just printed, had my son sign his name and attached. Here’s the link to that blog/printable:

Minion themed Valentines. Soooo easy. Buy some twinkies and then print the minion picture and tape it around the twinkie. We then put a sticker on the back that had the To and From on it.


This one was great. Sadly, the blog where I got the card portion from is no longer up. But it could be something easily done in a Word document and printed out. Just some Pop Rocks in a clear plastic bag with a label stapled.


Now… my FAVORITE Valentines we have done. We went to Michael’s Craft Store and bought mustache candy molds (with a 50% off coupon of course). Then we bought pink and black candy melts and made the mustaches, using cake pop sticks. Then just found a mustache image and put into Word with a pink background and the wording we wanted. My daughters friends LOVED this.


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Construction themed 2nd birthday party


This invitation I found on Etsy. So perfect. 

For my son’s second birthday, our home was under construction for an addition (I’ll talk about that in another blog post). So it seemed like a no brainer to make his party a construction theme since that’s what was happening around the house. I started by planning the party favors. I wanted the kids to be able to use things at the party, but then get to take them with them. So here’s what the kids got: Hard hat (yellow or pink), bubbles, a custom wooden hammer and a Home Depot tool belt.


I had the hammers custom made by a business on Etsy: .  Then I bought bubbles from Dollar Tree and printed custom labels to wrap around. The hard hats you can find at Oriental Trading, they come in pink or yellow. The tool belts were a hug hit and super cheap (.77 cents). You can find them here:

The inflatable signs were from Oriental Trading too. We decided to just use our house plans that we had laying around for the table covers and some Caution tape. It was an awesome touch. This is where the kids picked up a hat of their choice and their construction gift bag.


Also made for good photos. 🙂


Next I found this construction coloring roll at Target. I lined a table with that and cut off the top of one of the hats to use to hold crayons so that the kids could all sit around it and color.


For all the other tables, we used our house plans, along with construction sign suckers we found at Oriental Trading.


We had the main table set up twice. Once for food/lunch and the other for dessert time. I used a black plastic table cloth from Dollar Tree and then some yellow duct tape lined down the middle to make it look like a road. Then grabbed some of my son’s large CAT toys for decor.


We had “dirt” cupcakes and smores “dirt” bites. As well as some large chocolate rocks I found online. What a huge hit.


To me, the best part of throwing a party are the little touches you add that make it your own!









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Picnic under the stars baby shower

My sister wanted to decorate her son’s room in owl’s and also loved the moon and stars type theme. So for her shower, I did a picnic under the stars theme with a touch of owls. I think it turned out just right.

Entry way decor. We were in the middle of our home addition and so we tried to dress up some of those areas. This entry table had an picture for all the guests to write a message on. It had an owl and the new baby’s name. I then framed it and gave it to my sister along with the baby’s initials for wall decor. We played a couple games, pictured below.


Food station. Wrapped fabric with self adhesive stars around the silverware for a
“star” touch.


Close up pictures of the center table decor. The first initial of the baby’s name (which also became a gift to her) with flowers and silver glitter stars and burlap runner.


The cake! I ordered a cake from Whole Foods bakery, because their cakes are amazing!! Then I made the cake topper with cut burlap, paper stars, twine and stamps. Love how it turned out.aug-sept-2013-317

Food table. Picnic decor. All different sizes and kinds of baskets with picnic like food: muffins, cheeses, fruits, crackers, etc with chalkboard signs.


I’d love to do this theme again!



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Danielle’s SURPRISE 40th Birthday Party

One of my closest friends was turning 40 and I knew we had to celebrate. She went to Hawaii earlier in the year with her childhood best friends to celebrate, since they all turn 40 this same year. But she still needed to have the rest of her friends shower her with birthday wishes for this milestone year.

Surprise parties are a lot of work. Let me just start with that. We had to sneak, plan, stalk, etc for weeks. A few of the easy things were that we know she loves pink. So that was a starting point. I wanted to have the party be classy and elegant, as I felt a 40th birthday should be. I was in Target one day and came across rose gold bulb string lights and rose gold candles in the Dollar Spot. I knew they were perfect and they kind of became the focus of the party.

Part of party planning for me is going around my house and seeing what I have that I can use to decorate. I found a few mason jars and burlap table runners. As well as a wooden cake topper that I had from a previous party. So I went to Michaels Craft store and got some Krylon metallic rose gold spray paint. I painted the mason jars and the cake topper. Then it was time to figure out the little touches. The day of the party I went to the local Farmers Market and got 3 large bunches of flowers to use in all the vases I had.

We ordered food from a local stores deli, so that made things super easy the day off. The cake …. always needs to be a center piece. So we ordered from the same lady that did my son’s Star Wars cake (in a previous blog post). The cake was chocolate two tier pink and had diamonds on a bow. Just the birthday girls’ style. For drinks: we decided to have cider, beer and water. We had sparkling pink lemonade and rock candy champagne drinks. Those two drinks added a great decor touch. Beautiful.

In the end, she was completely surprised! We did it! Here’s the party pics. Hope they give you some inspiration for a future party and thanks for reading. Enjoy.


The party girl and I. I forgot to mention that we bought her a tiara to have her wear during the party. It was perfect. 


Overview of the party space. 


Pictures of friends on string lights. 


Serving station. Great place to display some of her baby pictures. 😉


Drink table.


Rock Candy Champagne drinks. These were a huge hit. I bought pink rock candy sticks and put them in glasses, with champagne poured over the top. The sugar melts, making the drink sweet. Some people also added a splash of sparkling pink lemonade. Yum.


The food/cake table. 


Close up picture of some of the decor. The string lights and candles I spoke about above as well as the painted mason jars with the flowers from the farmers market and the cake topper and burlap. I forgot to mention that I found the letter “D” (friends first initial of her name) at Michaels Craft store and painted it with the same paint as the mason jars, etc. 


A close up for color .. and that tiara! 


Cake by Cakes by Jessica. Cake topper by Charlie Chalk Designs.


Balloons! Balloons make the surprise. Picture perfect.


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Monkey themed birthday

Monkey’s! Who doesn’t love monkeys? A few months before my little one turned one, he got a monkey hat, that both him and I were in love with. Then he got a stuffed monkey from someone and somehow between those two things, it grew into his birthday theme.


Is this not just the cutest?

I had seen an invitation online where they attached a candle to the invite and I thought that was perfect and exactly what I wanted to do. I gave some details and ideas to an Etsy shop ( and these envelopes and cards were created. PERFECT.


This is the envelope for the invitation.


Invitation. I then attached a yellow candle on each invite using super glue on the back of the candle and tying some brown yarn around each. 


Finished invitations.

We were going to have the party outside and I knew I wanted him to be in his high chair for when he had cake. I had seen some ideas online of making the high chair a photo prop too. So I went online (craigslist) and found an old wooden high chair that someone was selling for $10. I picked it up and decided to sand & paint it the color of the invitation. I couldn’t have asked for it to turn out better. summer-2012-065

Now on to the decor. I decided to try to stick with the color of the invitation for the whole party. I bought bubbles from Dollar Tree and then printed the same design that was on my envelopes out to wrap around the bubbles (just used large packing tape to go over the top to secure the labels on and to make the ink not run if they got wet).


They were perfect for the kids to play with… 


And also for some good pictures beforehand. 🙂 

I ordered these custom suckers from Oriental Trading and made/printed this little sign to go with them.jts-1st-bday-007

Outside tables: mix of table cloths from Dollar Tree and Walmart, solid color balloons, big green leaves from Oriental Trading, real bunches of bananas and little plastic cups of banana candies and some little paper monkeys hanging from the balloons.jts-1st-bday-009


I used two tiki torches and a string of leaves and put a picture of my son from every month (1-12) since he was born. jts-1st-birthday-009


Now lets talk about dessert. My sister in law is amazing. She made all the desserts for this special day. The cupcakes were a mix of flavors: chocolate banana with peanut butter frosting and banana with banana frosting or peanut butter. And chocolate dipped bananas with either coconut or nuts. jts-1st-bday-020

My son had his own smash cake. It was banana cake with peanut butter frosting. He LOVED it … probably a little too much.jts-1st-bday-022


Here’s a few more party pics to end this blog post. Enjoy.


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