Monday, May 2, 2016

Jake & the Neverland Pirates and the Golden Birthday

You know how things never truly go as planned?  You envision an event going one way, and then it takes a totally different direction?  Well, I had plans for my daughter's 4th birthday.  I had plans.  She was going to have a garden party.  We'd read the Hungry Caterpillar and do some gardening and the kids would leave with a sunflower ready to bloom for the summer.  I had picked up Eric Carle themed gift bags, cute little flower wands (and this was YEARS ago) and everything that went with it.  And I was ready for her 2nd birthday party until....

She really wanted a Sesame Street party.  

Then, I saved all of the stuff for her 3rd birthday until...

She really wanted an Umi Zoomi party.  

So I saved all of the stuff for her 4th birthday.  And you guessed it.  She didn't want a garden party.  She was all about Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  So I went with it.  My brilliant husband incorporated all of the garden stuff into this party by bringing in Tinkerbell (seriously BRILLIANT!) so the garden stuff is gone AND Maren got her dream golden birthday party.   Win-Win!  Here are some pictures from her party this weekend.  

I made a cake and cake pops with the cake scraps.  The cake pops were going to be cannon balls, but I didn't have enough black melting candy.  But I had a ton of red.  So, again, I went with it!


The cake is actually decorated quite simply.  It's the Jake & the Neverland Pirate toys that really make it.  I used brown sugar for the sand and found some candy shells at a candy shop.   The cake itself is white cake and chocolate cake.  I torted both layers and filled them blue buttercream.  Maren's favorite color is blue and this was her request.  I layered the cake with white, then chocolate, white then chocolate so it was also striped on the inside to go with our color theme.  


Tick Tock crock is sneaking up on Hook!!


Did you know that I had to go to three different stores before I could find Pixie Stix?  I mean, what kind of a party would this be if not for the Pixie Stix?  Totally worth it.


Gummy Worms = Fish Bait
Gummy Fish = Shark Bait


Maren got a treasure chest for her birthday and it came in handy for the treasure hunt!  (All of the goody bags were inside).

 

The kids had a BLAST sword fighting outside.  I thought I was going to pass out from laughing so hard.





Uncle Jimmy took quite a few beatings!  



The kids also got to go fishing!  They loved this too!  My husband put a magnet at the end of string and the kids got to fish out metal nuts.  I think they more loved the cheer of the crowd when they "got something!!"  It was cute!


They also played a Hook Toss.  They had to try to hook some diving rings onto Hooks.  Again, cheers made it so fun!


Then it was time to walk the plank!  We had to bring this one indoors because the weather turned rainy.  But that didn't stop the kids.  They went from a really wide board, down to a little skinny one.  They all had so much fun with this!  Again, cheers from the crowd made it even more fun!!



Here's the food.  My husband made the food labels and I think they added so much to the buffet!

Pirate ship watermelon boat.  Lots of fun fruit in there too!


Carrots with Seaweed (spinach) Dip and Cannon Ball olives.


Skully's crackers and cheese.


Fish and chips (Goldfish crackers and potato chips).
  

Gold [chicken] Nuggets and Dead Man's Fingers (mini hot dogs).


Pirate Punch!



Sea Water

Now, on to the treasure hunt!

Arrrrr!


I found this ginormous Jake from Amazon.com.  He was so much bigger than I thought he was going to be!  With the exception of a baby-Evie, the kids all loved him!  And for some reason really wanted to punch him???  LOL!




For some quiet time, the kids decorated their own pirate hats.  I think CJ did a great job here!


Happy Birthday to my little Maren!  We are so proud of our little girl!!  

Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 Academy Awards Party

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

Yep!  Oscars season has just wrapped up and we celebrated in style again.  Our 17th Annual Academy Awards party was in full effect last night and we had such a wonderful time with family and friends.  Some old traditions and new traditions came to be and I'll walk you through our party here.  

I love handing out Oscars and this year was no exception!  In years past, I made chocolate Oscars, but I just wanted to do something a little different this year.  So, when I came upon an Oscar cookie cutter, I couldn't believe it!  I ordered it and baked the day it came in the mail!  

To decorate the Oscars, I went with a gold, red and white theme and changed up the designs on each of them.  Using the color flow technique made for a messy kitchen, but lovely cookies.  These were our parting gift to our guests.  



Packaged in small gift bags and wrapped in coordinating ribbons, they looked the part!


The house was decorated with flowers in popcorn boxes...


...and so many Oscars posters and gear.  


It's become a tradition to make a banner of all of the best picture nominees and place it across the fireplace.  It's the focal point when you enter the house and it draws attention to the last award of the night.  Who will it BE?!


If you watched the 2015 Oscars, you saw that the Lego song, "Everything Is Awesome" was nominated.  During the musical performance, they handed out Lego Oscars.  No, we didn't get one of those, but Danny found a website that provided the instructions to make one.  He ordered each of the individual pieces and created it.  Voila!  Lego Oscar has joined the tradition!



 As our guests arrived, they received a name tag of a nominated actor or actress.  If their actor won the Oscar, they received....


 ...a bag of popcorn and some candy.   Aside from the ballot, it kept things interesting throughout the night.  Our guests had a little more at stake!


Some more Academy Awards posters...


....and past Awards programs.


This year, the Academy was selling a notebook that had words of wisdom from some past Academy Awards winners already printed within it.  As our night went on, we had our guests sign our book, and we'll do this each year until it's full.  I think it'll be a wonderful treasure for us to look back and read about the sweet and ridiculous things our friends wrote year after year.




I always have a good time hiding the paparazzi throughout the house.  ;)  They show up in the most unexpected places.



Now, for the food....  For the first part of the night, the dining room was the location of our appetizers.


"Shroom"  (Room)

Danish

"The 100 Year Old Man Who Crawled out a Fruit Tray and Disappeared"

"Brie" with "Straight Outta Compote"


"Theeb"

"Bacon Cranston"



The kitchen table hosted the snacky, sweets.  Here are "Malt Damons."


Almond "Joy(s)"

"Bridge Mix of Spies"
"Sic-Oreos"


And now for the main course:

"The Revenachos"


 "Mad Mex - Fiery Road"


"Tortilla [Tom] Hardy Taco Shells"


"Ex-Guacina"

"Fajita Shades of Grey"


"Anamorice-a"


"The Bean Short"


"Cate Blanchurros" (purchased from local Fiesta Cancun Restaurant)


"Sour Creed" and "Son of Saulsa"



Finally, the desserts:



"Inside-OATmeal Bars"


"Seven-layer Stalone"

"Lemonardo Dicaprios"

"Bar Wars - The Fudge Awakens"



"S'mores-sha Ronan"

 Don't forget the Oscar cookies!!!


And the winners of the ballot are:

Here's Erin.  Her sister Kristi took home first place and her husband Steve took home 2nd place.  She's thrilled.   ;)


Thank you to everyone who helped to make the night a success and for everyone who shared the evening with us.  We had a great time!