Friday, April 25, 2014

{Party Bee} Jake & Ava's Rootin' Tootin' Cowboy Birthday Party

Another year has flown by and my babies have grown a little older, taller, smarter, and more beautiful than ever! To celebrate my wee ones growing another year older, my husband and I decided that we would throw both of our kids a joint birthday party with a cowboy theme! We decided upon the theme because it is a classic, it works for both genders, and it is just plain fun (and I had the same theme when I was in the second grade)!
My first decision when creating the printables and decorations was determining the colors and patterns. I chose red, black, and brown/tan because they were gender neutral and are colors typically found in western themed decorations. The patterns, paisley, cow print, and gingham, are typical of farms/cowboys and were easily accessible (which is very helpful). The part that I loved most about the theme was that nothing had to be "perfect" as it was to look more rustic and weathered which was nice when I realized my printing wasn't exactly how I wanted it and my cow print wasn't all exactly the same or precise! Definitely took some of the pressure off since I am just naturally a perfectionist.
Because the party was for both of my kids, I had to personalize the printables, food, and decorations to include their initials and ages. I wanted to represent each of them individually yet equally, but also together as the party was indeed for the both of them. Therefore, I created cookies in the forms of 2's and 4's, painted paper mache letters using chalkboard paint (so they can draw on them after the party), but the cake was for the both of them as well as some of the larger printable designs.
A fun element of the party was coming up with fun and clever names for all of the food that fit with the theme! One of my favorites was "Happy Trails Mix"!
Also, for mom's who aren't confident in their baking/decorating skills, cow print is the way to go! All you have to do is start with white chocolate covered Oreos or white icing on sugar cookies and then add different shaped globs...precision isn't required and in fact the less precise the better!
Putting up signs printed on Kraft paper was so much fun! They were not only helpful in identifying the tables, but they were additional items that carried on the cowboy lingo.
Mason jars at a cowboy party is a must! They not only look so cute, but they are reusable so it helps reduce the amount of trash! I also attached little tags with jute twine so that guests could write their names on them.
The children's tables had place settings in the form of coloring pages purchased from an Etsy seller. Along with the coloring page, each child received a juice box, party bag, Sheriff's badge, a cowboy hat, and a scarf!
My husband and I came across this amazing bounce house online that offered something for almost all ages and it kept with our theme! The kids had tons of fun on it!
I have always loved photo booths at parties as it is fun for the guests and it leaves the host with many memories!
Our little buckaroos loved their party, but trying to get a photograph of the two of them together proved  to be a little difficult!
One thing we always like to do is dress according to our theme! Not only is it just fun to add a little costume to the party, but it makes for fun family photos!
They were smiling from ear to ear all through their party, I think they had a rootin' tootin' time!
Unfortunately the day was quite windy and we couldn't light the candles, but they pretended pretty well! Besides, all they really wanted was the cake!
Happy Birthday to my little buckaroos!
Mommy and Daddy love you both very much!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

{Queen Bee} Tips for Creating a Budget Friendly Dessert Table

Dessert tables have become all the rage these days and they are a lot of fun to create. However, as beautiful and fun as they are to put together, let's be honest, they can be a little on the pricey side. But do not fear, you don't have to empty your entire bank account to create an amazing dessert table. Just follow my tips for a budget friendly dessert table and you can have both a stunning table without having to break the bank!

1. Never go into a Hobby Lobby, JoAnn, or Michaels craft store without a coupon in hand or on your smart phone! Not only do these stores place coupons in circulars or the paper, but if you sign up for their email distribution list, you will receive coupons weekly. You can save 40%-50% per item with these coupons! (Extra tip: JoAnn's will allow you to use multiple coupons per visit)

2. Twine goes a long way! Ribbon is always such a cute accessory to packaging items, but you will be spending a lot more on spools of ribbon than if you buy a spool of twine! I love to buy my twine from The Twinery.

3. When purchasing decorations, packaging, or party favors, don't forget to check our your nearest dollar store or Target "dollar" section! 

4. Though I love the websites and candy stores that allow customers to buy candy in bulk, that still can get really expensive. So instead of filling large apothecary jars with an abundance of candy, try using smaller containers or individual treat bags for guests to take with them.

5. Sometimes you can buy the perfect color coordinating candy at your local stores on clearance at the end of holidays!

6. Try selecting items for the table that have a great impact at a low cost, such as water bottles, soda bottles, and to-go bags or boxes.

7. Use decorations that you may already have around the house that work with your theme, such as picture frames, holiday decorations, vases, jars, buckets, toys from your child's room, etc.

8. If you don't have wood crates, hat boxes, or risers, try using sturdy cardboard boxes and wrap them with paper or paint them.

9. You don't have to buy ready made tablecloths or table runners. These can easily be made by going to the fabric store. Plus, you have so many more options of patterns! (If you go to JoAnn's, don't forget to take your coupon!)

10. The candy that you use to hold up cake pops, Oreo pops, and marshmallow pops, etc. should not be expensive as they are really only fillers for the jars. Try using less expensive and easily accessible candies such as Frooties (these are like Tootsie rolls but are fruit flavored. They are great because you can buy them by color/flavor), Candy Corn, M&M's etc.

11. When buying color specific candy, don't forget to check your grocery store's candy section...M&M's offer packages that contain just green, red/purple candies, York Peppermint and Almond Joy pieces come in blue/white and blue/brown, and of course Reese's pieces are orange and brown.

12. Bake cupcakes yourself! These are so easy and are so inexpensive to make. Leave the more complicated baked goods to the experts.

13. Price around for the best printing prices. Different copy centers have different pricing, make sure you are choosing the best price in addition to the best quality. Also, don't forget about the smaller copy centers!

14. Paper pom poms are incredibly easy to make, but Party City sells them at a pretty good price. You might pay more for the tissue paper than if you buy them already put together.

15. Always check out the Oriental Trading Company for party decorations/favors. They have just about everything you can think of to fit your party needs! Don't forget to take advantage of the periods of time when they offer free shipping (helps if you plan early enough)!

16. Paper mache letters/numbers make for great and inexpensive center pieces or table decor.

Lastly, if you plan your party early enough, it will allow you to find the best deals and you will spend less money. Plus you won't be nearly as stressed!

Happy Party Planning!

Sunday, April 20, 2014