Cool Minecraft Party Ideas

Dude.  It's your birthday.  Have some cake. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHow is he 8 already?  It’s crazy.  My husband and I can still remember my water breaking plain as day.  I mean, you don’t really forget something like that.  Of course back then, I wasn’t sure what was happening and made my husband google it.  Oh the laughs we had about that.  But enough details about fluids.  My oldest turned 8 and of course he wanted a Minecraft party.  I didn’t want to throw a big party this year and you know how quickly themed parties can get out of control (ahem, Lego Dance Party complete with kid discoteque…).  So instead, I billed this as a playdate and had him invite just his cousins and a few school friends over one Friday afternoon.  It worked out really well.  It was small, but still really fun and I know some of you are probably looking for cool Minecraft party ideas.       

Coming soon, the coolest shirts ever.  Put whatever you want on them! // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis kid.  He’s super awesome.  But gone are the days when I really get total say over his parties.  He definitely has a point of view and I really have to sell him on some of my ideas.  Oh, I kinda also waited until the last minute to pull this together so color me surprised when I figured out that none of our local stores really sell any pre-made Minecraft party stuff…Time to get creative. 

Minecraft inspired birthday party decor // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI looked on Etsy but didn’t really have enough time to order any party decor.  So I purchased some Minecraft themed digital papers and created a super simple Minecraft birthday banner with brads.  I tell you what.  No one else has that party decor so he thought that was pretty cool.  I’ll tell you something else.  Kid’s don’t really understand what Happy Cake Day means.  But “birthday” was far too many letters for me to cut out.  And saying Happy Birthday is just like, so cliche. 

Cool Minecraft posters make party decor hip and original.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI knew I needed to add in more Minecraft touches.  So I spent some time online browsing.  I came across these cool Minecraft propaganda style posters and knew they would be perfect.  I printed out a bunch of them and tacked them to the wall.  The kids thought these were pretty awesome.  And when the party was over, I let my boys move some of them in to their rooms.  I felt like their graphic design was good enough to have it be art on their walls.  

Black, green and white is the perfect color combo for a Minecraft party // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI thought about the creepers (do you know Minecraft? There are these things called creepers.  and they are shades of green) so I used their color scheme in my kitchen area for the plates and cutlery.  It really just helped to play up the Minecraftedness of the party…

 

ice cream sundae bars are where it's at for kid's parties.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe also decided to forgo the cake in favor of ice cream for the party.  We used the black, white and green color scheme over here too.  I did create a wall hanging above the table of what I thought were squid…but all the kids thought they were endermen.  Either way.  It was Minecrafty and it worked.  I didn’t get a photo of it though.  

No cake needed.  We made ice cream nachos for my son's birthday party and they were a big hit!  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe could have done just normal ice cream sundaes but we decided to do ice cream nachos instead.  I mean, really that is just an ice cream sundae but my mom made waffle cones and we broke them up in to pieces and those were the chips.  I also made mini chocolate cupcakes as a topping because how often do you see cupcakes as a topping for an ice cream sundae? 

Timed skittles game is easy, cheap and a great activity to play at kid's parties!  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comBut how do you keep kids entertained?  My husband and I watch Jimmy Fallon just about every night (well we tape them because we are too old to stay up late enough to watch them when they are really on) and he plays some really amazing games with his celebrity guests.  So I tried to figure out which ones we could modify for the kids and to fill in any gaps I searched for “minute to win it” style games.  These kept the kids really engaged and because each one was done in heats, they all hung around to cheer each other on.  Another great part was they were super inexpensive!  I presorted Skittles for the game above and two kids went head to head and had to separate them by color using only one hand.  The first one done, wins.  It doesn’t really seem like they would be that in to it but they seemed to really enjoy it.  

Kid-friendly flip cup for a fun birthday party activity. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comYeah, we played flip cup.  So?  Ok, so not the traditional drinking game flip cup but a more kid friendly version.  I thought about using soda for a split second and then just realized we didn’t need any liquid.  AND we started preparing them for their college years…

Jimmy Fallon inspired water wars game is perfect to play at kid's birthday parties.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comBut the most fun game was water wars.  I saw Jimmy Fallon play it with Li Lo and just knew the kids would love it!  On the invitation I asked everyone to bring a change of clothes or swim trunks.  I bought a cheap deck of cards (in case they got ruined from the water) and used plastic cups.  All you do is split the deck and have two kids face each other.  Each kid turns over a card at the same time and whoever has the higher number gets to throw water in the other persons face…so funny right?!  I think my husband had them do best of 3 and then that winner advanced to the next round.  

Water war is a super fun game to play at a kid's summer birthday party //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI can’t wait to do this again!  I ordered some pizza for dinner (which I’ve never done before and it was SO easy!) and then it was time to send the kids home.

Easy and inexpensive kid's party favors from Target // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI had thrown around some Minecraft favor ideas with my son (like cool Minecraft socks!) but he was not in to it.  So instead we went with these fun mustache glasses party favors from Target and a small water gun.  

Go Pro is the PERFECT gift idea for little boys.  It provides hours of enjoyment for the whole family and also helps teach responsibility. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAll my son wanted for his birthday was a Go Pro.  And he got one.  I really wish he would have had this before his playdate.  Just think of the footage we would have had of the water wars!  So I guess this is the least Minecrafty party you could possibly have.  But it worked and still looked pretty cool.

 

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Cucumber Basil and Lime Vodka Cocktail

*I was sent a bottle of American Harvest Organic Vodka for this post.

cucumber-and-basil-vodka-cocktail-for-summerUm, yeah.  Cucumber.  Lime.  Basil.  Each of those things screams refreshing to me.  Then put them altogether in a cocktail and of course you aren’t going to hate it.  This cucumber basil and lime vodka cocktail might just be my summer drink for 2014.  But let me tell you a little bit of a funny story…

American-Harvest-VodkaSometimes brands send me alcohol to use in posts.  Just like American Harvest did.  But most of the time I already have an idea for something I want to make with it.  The bottle arrived with a little recipe booklet and I flipped through.  Each cocktail sounded more delicious than the last.  And then I came across this cucumber number. 

slicing-cucumbers-for-the-vodka-cocktailI sliced up the cucs, quartered the limes and got almost through the entire recipe before I realized…

refreshing-vodka-drink-perfect-for-summerthat the drink is pretty much straight vodka.  Like, there is a little bit of lime juice from the muddling but it’s pretty much a big old cup of icy cold vodka.  You would have thought I would have figured that out when I read the recipe the first time.  Or made my grocery list of things I needed for making the cocktail.  But no.  I’m a total lightweight so I was super concerned that I would not like it and be drunk just from one sip.  I am happy to report that while the cocktail was on the stronger side (again, the whole thing is pretty much vodka) the taste was fantastic!  The basil, cucumber and lime took a little of the edge off but the real star is the American Harvest Vodka.  For real.  I wouldn’t just say that since they sent me a bottle of vodka.  I could totally see drinking these this summer.  Like, really slowly.  Over several hours.  With lots of food in my stomach.  And a baby sitter for the kids.  And some Drinkwel.  But I have heard that organic vodka’s are not as likely to induce a hang over…

summer-cocktail-vodka-basil-cucumberWhat I loved most about this cocktail is that the flavors were so crisp and clean.  The ice made this super easy to sip and the fragrance from the basil and cucumber made it a really enjoyable from start to finish.  It goes to show that with the right brand of spirit, you might like something you were never a huge fan of before.  This has also happened with me and whiskey.  But still not probably going to drink that straight.

You can find the full recipe right here (I didn’t use the agave because I don’t generally add sweeteners to my drinks)

*Thank you for supporting the brands, like American Harvest, that let me do what I do.  All opinions are mine.

 

Beer Floats

Banana bread beer floats are a refreshing treat for summer.  And dessert too.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comDo this.  For real.  Beer floats are kind of amazing.  And this one, with banana bread beer(!) is super yummy.  I was thinking these would be fantastic for Father’s Day celebrating.  Or a man’s birthday.  Or Saturday.

Banana bread beer floats!! YUM!  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy local supermarket has been carrying craft beers for the last year or so, so I didn’t even have to go track this down any where fancy.  They also have a chocolate stout version (which I used here) that is GOOD.  There is no recipe for a beer float.  Add scoops of ice cream, pour beer on top.  Drink. 

Make a beer float this summer!  This banana bread beer is perfect.  Or try a stout with chocolately flavors!  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comIt’s dessert and adult beverage in one.  I don’t see why you wouldn’t have one of these on a balmy summer night.  Have you ever tried a beer float before? 

Beer floats are perfect for summer.  And Father's Day.  And any other manly holiday. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comJust like a regular float, the beer foams up when you top the ice cream.  But please drink responsibly, and by that I mean make sure the kids know this is not a root beer float.  And don’t drink and drive.  And don’t drunk text.

 

DIY Painted Cutting Boards

fruit face on neon cutting board  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOh hey there.  I’m going to come right out and say that I don’t love things that aren’t entirely useful.  And this one is not 100 % useful in my opinion.  But like Kristen on RHONY, it sure is pretty (if you don’t get that reference, you don’t watch enough television).  So anywho, these are DIY painted cutting boards.  But the paint is not food safe.  So you would have to sort of hand wash this.  So I would really only serve things on it that aren’t super greasy etc.  So see, it’s kind of dumb.  But I just couldn’t take the plain wood.  Something had to be done.

Take plain cutting boards and make them cooler with a little paint. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI picked up a two pack of these cutting boards from HomeGoods and LOVED that they were two different sizes.  But they were so gosh darn plain.  It’s like the little black dress that needs some accessories.  As is, these serving platters would have bored my guests to death.  And I would feel really bad about that.  

Tape of geometric sections and paint to create a custom serving piece with a standard cutting board. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSo I taped off a bunch of random geometric patterns and painted a bunch of different colors.  I love color. 

DIY neon painted cutting boards for entertaining.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSo much better, right?!  I’m thinking that I could use some sort of sealer over the painted area to make it more hand-wash friendly.  Not sure if Mod Podge or anyone else for that matter makes something that is food safe but as long as I aim to place food on the center section I am certain I will not poison any guests.  DISCLAIMER:  If you make this you assume all risk for your guests, family and anyone else you feed off this hand-painted board.  Poisoning people is not cool so use caution when painting anything that will be used in conjunction with food.  

Painted geometric cutting boards // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comDang, look how cool that fruit looks now that it is served on these hand painted cutting boards.  I mean, I totally want to hang out with that fruit don’t you?  Need to see how these fit in to an entertaining set up?  See them here.

 

16 Delicious Recipes for Outdoor Entertaining

*This post is sponsored by Foodie and Mode.  All opinions are mine.  And in my opinion, these recipes look freaking awesome and I can’t wait to make them.

Check out Outdoor Entertaining

by Sharon Garofalow (Cupcakes and Cutlery) at Foodie.com


Ahhhh, Memorial Day.  Does that signal the start of summer for you too?  I mean, we still have about a month left of school (I know, it is SO late!) but that doesn’t stop us for hosting barbecues and kicking off the summer grilling season.  But eating outside sometimes means we either make a signature dish over and over (because we nail it every time) or that we are scared to try something out of the ordinary because eating outside provides a host of challenges (breakable plates, temperature control, grody bugs).  These 16 recipes for outdoor entertaining are just what you need for all your upcoming parties.  I’ve included some drinks, entrees and side dishes for creating a delicious meal for your guests or even just your family.  I’ve included some familiar dishes, like a bbq burger that looks crazy good (and has a little whiskey in it…) but I’ve also included some not so traditional grilled items like Grilled Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Fries.  How good do those sound?!  Make what you are comfortable with but don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  I speak from experience when I say that even if you make a mistake in front of people that you don’t know very well, it is not the end of the world.  It happens.  More than I care to admit.  I remember this one time in particular when I realized I had used tablespoons instead of teaspoons a little too late.  Oops!  But it wasn’t the end of the world.  And they’ve even come back since.  I am excited to get creative this summer with my recipe repertoire.  And I’m going to start with these Basil Beerades.