Lego Dance Party Kid’s Birthday

Finally!  I’m sharing my son’s 6th birthday party which was a Lego Dance Party.  My son is beyond obsessed with Legos and dancing, individually.  So why not put them together for a super fun party!  We turned our patio in to Club Lego and turned up the music.

I knew that I wanted some of these dance diagram posters for the “club” but I also wanted something Lego themed to match.

I reached out to Steph and told her my idea.  She got it exactly!  I was so happy with these posters!  And lucky for you, she is offering them as a download on her site!

Here is the birthday boy on the dance floor.  Nevermind the overgrown rosemary bush that also wanted to attend the party…To make the club, I bought those $3 sheets from Ikea and ironed on large Lego brick images to some of the panels.

I found the striped fabric also at Ikea and I think the colors were super fun, a bit 80′s but still totally modern and used it throughout the entire party.  At this table, we invited the kids to build a Lego building to enter in to our contest.

There were a few smaller kids at the party also so I wanted to make sure they had something to keep them entertained also.  I found these awesome dancing page from Anorak Magazine a few years ago and modified them to include Legos also.

Inside was the food table.  At the very top of the photo, you can see some garlands that we strung across the dining room to add some fun.  They are made from rubber bands that I had found at Wal-Mart and also where the color inspiration for the party came from.  Lauren helped me create the wall decorations.  This was the last in a long line of parties and I was severely lacking creativity.  I am so lucky to have friends who don’t mind helping!  The tubes were filled with large silver glitter and spray painted Legos to match the party colors.  I really didn’t want to do one of those parties where every single thing had Legos in it.  Instead, I had my dad make some Lego inspired wooden flowers, I made a few Lego containers to hold suckers and my mother in law bought a few Minifigures that were also dance related.

I like to do my parties in the afternoon and while I feel like I need to serve a whole meal, I like to serve a heavy snack.  I decided to do a make your own pasta bar so that people could eat as much or as little as they wanted.  I made sure to provide sweet and savory options and these could be made as healthy or as delicious as guests wanted them.

In addition to the pasta bar, we had allergen free dark chocolate Lego bricks, gummy Lego bricks and Minifigures and cereal necklaces.  How rad is that wood stand my dad made for me!  I can’t wait to use it again!  Want to know what we served for drinks? Check out this post here!

And it isn’t a party unless there are cupcakes from Meringue Bake Shop.  My son loves her allergen friendly cupcakes!  And we had multiple kids at the party with food allergies so I was so glad that they could all eat them!

We can’t get enough of Kristin’s whacky cakes so of course we had to have that too.  The day was sooooo hot and the allergen friendly chocolate didn’t hold up the same way as previous cakes.  Lesson learned.

This is our 4th whacky cake.  It was quite obvious that most of the kids knew what to expect.  They attacked that cake like I have never seen.  And of course all the parents who had no idea what was going on were mortified.  It was pure cake chaos.  And I loved every minute of it.

And then things started to get going on the dance floor.  I decided that if the kids had some Flutter Fetti they might get in to the dance club spirit.  I was right.  It was also a pretty easy way to add color to an otherwise plain space.  And clean up was not as bad as you might expect.

 

How amazing are these photos by Dez and Tam!!

We had a dance contest.  The birthday boy and two fun-loving adults got to be the judges.  We played three songs (which looking back could have probably only been 1 but these kids love to dance) and then declared a winner.  The winner got a CD of some of my son’s favorite dance music.

 

And then it was present opening time.  Isn’t this always the best part of any party?  Since it was a Lego themed party, rest assured he got about a trillion Lego sets and somehow we only got 1 duplicate.  But we had a BIG surprise for him.  He has been talking about the Lego Death Star set for a while now and one of our friends suggested that everyone coming to the party pitch in for it, you know, if they wanted to.  We didn’t force people to turn over their wallets to us as they entered the house.  So after all of the other presents had been opened, his dad brought out a very large box.  I’m pretty sure he knew immediately what it was.  He’s smart like that.

 

Look at that pure joy!!!  I loved watching this unfold!  He declared it the best day of his life.  He stood on a chair and thanked everyone profusely and then asked to open it.  Thank goodness the party was starting to wind down.  (P.S. his awesome shirt is by Mini and Maximus, one of our fave brands.  He almost wouldn’t wear it because he said he is the President of fun).

 These Lego heart necklaces were the favor that I gave the little girls who came to the party.  My mother in law helped me put all of these together.  Thank you, Marie!  The little boys were sent home with a Lego brick crayon and Minifigure and some Lego coloring pages.

There was a lot of fun had in this dance club.  Check out those big round awesome lights we had!  My husband’s friend owns a staging and lighting company and he let us borrow them for the party.  They changed color and totally made it seem more club like.  Thank you, Anthony!!

After all the guests left, we decided to have a simple dinner on the dance floor.  It was a really nice way to end the day.

The third photo from the top and the last 3 in the post were my photos.  All the rest were taken by Dez and Tam.  They just seriously continue to blow my mind in every way.  These are photos me and my family will cherish forever.  If you’ve never thought about having a photographer at your kid’s parties, you really should.  Your photos don’t have to only be focused on party decor and details.  A lot of what you don’t end up seeing are the amazing guest photos that are taken.  Most parties have tons of family so it is a great way to get really good, recent photos of everyone.  And to see the kids interact is amazing.  You should definitely contact Dez and Tam before your next party!!

Huge thank you to all my vendors:

Direct Edge Media :  Invitation printing (not shown – they still need to be photographed)

Hearts and Laserbeams : Lego and Dance posters

Meringue Bake Shop : Cupcakes and Whacky Cake

DPS : Dance Club Lights and Speakers

Dez and Tam:  World’s Best Photographers

 

*It’s about to get real, folks

I was working on this post when I found out that my grandmother passed.  I was very upset and when I pulled myself together and came back in to the room, I noticed my son sitting at the computer typing away.  I freaked out because I had been uploading all these photos for what seemed like hours.  And they appeared to be all gone.  Later, when I was a little more in control of my feelings, I decided to log back in to see how much work I would have to redo and this is what I found…

I love you to the moon and bak

Written by my sweet little 6 year old who knew I was hurting and wanted me to know that I was loved.  So of course I had to leave it because it was the sweetest thing ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Real Party} 3rd Birthday “Old School” Party

I wasn’t going to have a birthday party for my 3 year old this year.  You know, just save the parties for the milestone birthdays.  That lasted a few months but as my son’s birthday started getting closer ideas just kept popping in to my head.  I knew it wasn’t going to have a theme.  For lack of a better descriptor, I kept it “old school.”  I just wanted it to be a birthday party, with balloons, cake and confetti.  I loved the printables Jenny created for The Sweetest Occasion so I had Lauren help me whip up an invitation inspired by them.  At the beginning planning stages, I only wanted the party to be black and white.  That didn’t last long.  Apparently I love color.  P.S. These amazing photos, unless otherwise noted, were taken by Dez and Tam.  They are super awesome and I love them.  P.S.S. this post is crazy long.  You better get started.

photo by Cupcakes and Cutlery

I kept the decor pretty simple.  I hung balloons and party blowers from black and white twine.  And hung party hats and garlands around the backyard to keep it festive.

photo by Cupcakes and Cutlery

I kind of have a thing for yarn.  There are so many kinds and colors to choose from and you get a lot of it for (sometimes) very cheap.  For this party I had seen a post about finger knitting and became obsessed with it over the holidays.  I finger knitted all the garlands for the party while watching TV (I watch a lot of TV).  I loved that they seemed sweater-like which made them the perfect winter garland.  And I wanted to add lots of colors so I made all kinds of poms for the hats.

I really love how this banner worked out.  Totally simple and not perfect.  I like my parties to be a bit unfinished, not too perfect.  I mentioned to my sister-in-law that maybe she could try to write my son’s name in yarn and she totally did it!  She is a crafty crafterson (she started this blog with me WAY back).  And it looks awesome.  I’m a big snacks person at parties.  Yes, most of the time they are of the sweet variety.  But if you look carefully to the far left of the photo there are grapes and carrots.  So there.  Vegetables, represent!

Every good party has confetti, right?  Well, I hate messes.  So the best way to get around confetti all over my house for weeks is to jar it up.  It is pretty and shiny and contained.  Lauren noticed, a few weeks ago, that I had succulents growing willy nilly in my back yard (duh! but in my defense I don’t go outside if at all possible so how would I have seen them?).  I used some small clippings to add some life to the table and added color by putting sequins under the dirt.  I love how they turned out!

With the snacks, I kept them easy and either black and white or somehow birthday cake related except for the fruits and vegetables.  I probably should have chocolate dipped those too.  I named the chocolate, graham cracker and sprinkled dipped marshmallows “mobile” s’mores but really aren’t all s’mores mobile?  We’ll chalk that up to trying to force creative naming at a very late hour the night before the party.  And the cake batter bark is really something you all should try.  The recipe is from How Sweet It Is and was super easy and freaking delicious.  I rounded those out with store-bought Oreos (I ain’t ever going to make a home-made version of something that can be easily purchased.  That is not how I roll.  And besides, how would I be able to get in all those modified chemicals if I make them at home???)  And have you tried the vanilla cupcake flavored Gold Fish crackers?  You.  Should.  Yum.

It isn’t a party without Push Cakes by Meringue Bake Shop.  She kept the flavors classic but made them vegan so my food allergic son could partake.  What I love about her vegan options is that no one can ever tell!!!  They taste just as delicious as a “normal” one.

And cupcakes by Meringue Bake Shop.  What?  I like my sweets.

This cool cake above does not have a name yet.  Kristin (Meringue Bake Shop) has been fiddling around with these for a while.  Consider it the next version of a smash cake.  Logically, I would have shared the rest of the pictures right after this one but sometimes my brain revolts against being smart.  You’ll see more of this cake in a few minutes.  Just know that it is awesome and you want one.

Photos by Cupcakes and Cutlery

In keeping with the “old school” party theme, I wanted to serve punch.  From a punch bowl.  And I did.  But I didn’t get a picture of it.  I like to provide a drink for the kids that can be jazzed up for the grown ups.  In this case, I decided to infuse vodka with fruit to provide a “special” option for the adults.  I followed this tutorial here.  I recommend this as a party trick.  It is not necessary to use the finest vodka as you are adding flavors and it is a mix-in for the punch.  And if you choose a fruit that is in season, your costs can be cut even more.  You do need to plan ahead for this so you should give yourself about 5 days if possible.

This is the party I decided to test out my confetti shooters at.  Have you seen the tutorial yet?  Go check it out on You Are My Fave.

I don’t generally have a lot of party games or activities for the kids at my parties.  I like them to be able to play and I hate feeling like I have to follow a schedule for fun.  BUT what is a traditional birthday party without Pin the Tail on the Donkey?  I asked Lauren to help me come up with a cool donkey and she did just that!!!  And I am beyond lucky to have a friend, Ryan, who owns the best print shop in Orange County, Direct Edge Media.  Holla!  He never makes me feel like my crazy party printing needs are over the top.  This was printed out at 4′ x 4′.  It worked as double duty.  It was a game but also added interest to an other wise boring area of the backyard.

For the tails, I was able to cut out the tail in Illustrator and shrink them down so they matched the game board.  I used the Glue Dots craft dots from the classroom packs to add the sticky factor.  These worked perfect because the classroom pack comes in perforated sheets.  I was able to put the Glue Dot on the tail and leave the clear paper on and I just pulled each one off when the kid was ready to take their turn.  I love Glue Dots!

I should have just used a ready-made pinata.  Well, I mean I did, but of course had to jazz it up too.  My son kept asking for an Elmo pinata (on the day of the party.  Please don’t think he was asking me for weeks and I still went ahead with my crazy customizing.  No, only after did I spend the time and get frustrated with how it was turning out did he tell me he’d prefer Elmo.  Thanks, kid).  I don’t usually do a pinata but it totally fit my non-theme.  I only put a bit of candy in, since one of my son’s has multiple food allergies, and then added some fun toys to fill it up.

I stamped plain white paper bags for the loot bags.  I felt weird promoting violence amongst children for a moment but they got that it was just humor and I did not see any elbows get thrown.

I put together a really simple photo backdrop.  I used white curtains that I have from Ikea and hung them on a tension rod that fit perfectly between posts in my backyard.  Then I used different colors of party streamers to add some color.  I had a leftover gold wreath that I found on sale at Christmas and thought it would be a nice little touch.

How ridiculously adorable is my niece?!  She is wearing the latest in photo booth props.  I had leftover garlands from Christmas (yeah for January birthdays!)  And to keep with the confetti thread running through the party, I took extra party hats, sprayed them with adhesive and stuck confetti on them.

Photos by Cupcakes and Cutlery

I found some ready-made photo booth signs at Party City and since the colors matched I decided to use them.  I took out the ones that were really inappropriate and left the ones that would be funniest.  How cute is my husband’s grandmother?  To be fair, I did not tell her to say “cheese.”

Finally!  On to the cake!  So as you can see, the cake is covered in a hard shell of chocolate.  We all sing and then let the kid go nuts with a hammer!  See more examples here (about midway through the post) and here.

I prefer to serve these instead of a big cake.  I always provide cake for any adults that want it in the form of a Push Cake or cupcake but for the kids, I do this.  They get SO excited about it and I love to let them just go to town!  There are always so many rules and this is one time that they get to be all grabby and shove cake in their mouths by the fistful.  We do this outside so clean up is a breeze.

In the past I have cut the cake in to chunks for them to grab with their hands after it has been smashed open, but this year I went with these amazing heart forks.  They worked perfectly!!

Near the end of the party, my husband couldn’t contain himself any more.  He had to bring out the Angry Birds game he built our sons for Christmas to share it with the other kids.  They LOVED it.  Almost  as much as my husband.

It was a really fun to see all the kids and dads cheering when the characters fell.

Photo by Cupcakes and Cutlery

And for a favor I sent the kids off with a simple black and white sucker.  And possibly diabetes.

I want to thank a few people for helping me make this party possible.  I seriously wouldn’t be able to get all party crazy without support and I really appreciate it!!

Marie (my mom in law) – Thank you for always being willing to help out with party crafts or even watching the boys so I can get party stuff done.  You are the best favor putter together there is.

Alyson (my sis in law) – Thank you for sharing a craziness for parties with me and sharing your awesome crafting skills.  I know whatever task I give you, you will make it amazing.

Lauren – Thank you for always being there to help me with graphic design and drawing needs.  Especially when it is odd things like donkeys.  And at short notice.  You are awesome!

Ryan - Thank you SO much for always printing my party stuff.  Not only is the printing work amazing, but you are always so generous with me and never look at me sideways when I ask you to print a huge zedonkey on short notice.

Dad – Thank you for always letting us borrow your ice chests and for being willing to pick things up, drop things off, cut things, grab ice, whatever I need.

Mom – Thank you for making sure I always have an extra set of hands to get the party set up the way that I want it.  You always offer to make more punch or keep an eye on refilling things so I can focus on my guests.  You even clean my bathrooms for me.  You are amazing.

Taryn- Thank you so much for leaving your family and helping me set up the party on the day of.  I really appreciate it.  I know it is just a party but you are there to help me and make sure that I get to do things the way I want.  And to make sure I don’t fall off of ladders.

Dez and Tam - I can’t say thank you enough to you guys.  I SO appreciate that you are willing to take pictures of my parties.  The memories that I get to keep from each of them mean more to me than you will ever know.  It is a luxury that I know not everyone has and I am a very lucky girl to have two such talented photographers, and now friends, at my parties.

Kristin – You are ridiculously busy but you never say no to me. :)  You are willing to bake your heart out for my parties and provide my guests with delicious memories.  You are a great friend to me and I appreciate your support in everything!

And to my husband – Thank you for just going with it.  You know that I am going to probably spend too much time preparing a detail that only a handful of people will notice but you know it is important to me so you just go with it.  I love you.