You guys! Custom straws are RAD? Isn’t it the coolest?! I ordered some custom name Krazy Straws for my kids for Easter and since I was placing an order for custom straws, I figured I might as well make one that said “rad” too. Even drinking water is way more cool with these, right?!
YOU GUYS! How rad is this little baby poncho!?! Our friends threw their kid’s a fiesta themed party a month ago and I thought this was SO great and perfect for those of you that have babies or little kids and are planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! They made this adorable little pullover out of a placemat! Genius, right?! They nailed this theme and the entire party was amazing. I wish I had saved the invitation because it was adorable. It was essentially 3 cards sewn together to look like papel picado. Which really isn’t that surprising considering that our friends run a custom invitation company. So if you have a little one, then you need to make them a poncho. That is all there is to it!
I freaking love those pre-made banners they sell in the stores. You know, the ones with mostly primary colors and they say the generic terms like, “happy birthday” or “happy anniversary” and are held together with brads? Urban Outfitters sometimes carries them that have profanity in them too, but my kids don’t know what all those words are yet and I’m not going to teach them on a special ocassion. For years I have been making my own custom banners, using the same simple idea and brads. I have no idea why I haven’t shared them before. But you simply have to start making these for anything and everything. My oldest son requested a Minecraft party this year. I didn’t want to have a real party. I billed it more as a playdate and invited just a few school friends over. That being said, he still expected some decorating. Turns out Party City doesn’t sell Minecraft stuff. 2 days before the party is not the time you want to be finding this out. So I decided to make my own DIY Minecraft Birthday Banner.
I found Quality Kids Crafts around my youngest son’s 2nd birthday. I made one of these brad banners that said “Miles is Awesome. And 2.” To make it easy, this site has a few ready made sayings that you can just print out and cut. But they also have each letter of the alphabet and numbers too. Which is perfect for making your own signs. I’m not going to lie. These take some time. Especially if you are crazy like I am and want to add your own patterns to the letters. But if you are just printing and cutting, they really don’t take all that long. Most of my crafts can be done while watching Naked and Afraid (my new favorite show) or another show of your choosing.
You might be looking at this photo thinking, “that doesn’t look like a spy party!” And you would be correct. My youngest celebrated his birthday right after Christmas and this year I wanted to keep the party really small. Since I only get two chances a year to throw a kid’s birthday party, I usually go crazy. But seeing as this birthday is so close to the holidays, I decided to do it different. This year we had only family and a few of the neighborhood kids, who would have probably played together that day anyway. And while my son wanted a spy party I didn’t have the energy to get too themey.
So instead of throwing a traditional spy birthday, we threw a spy birthday party disguised as a regular birthday party. Genius, right?! I just put together a really simple invitation and then since we only needed to give out a few, I bought each kid an invisible ink pen and wrote a secret spy message on the back. I know it is hard to see but the message just told them that there was a secret spy component to the party and to get ready for some fun in the secret lair. This killed two birds with one stone, easy decorating and a happy spy obsessed kid.
The decorations in the house were kept to a minimum. Aside from the balloon sign and marbled balloons from the first image in this post, I only decorated one other wall in my house. This wall will eventually be a super cool gallery wall with all of our fave artwork. But since it was blank I decided to put up a temporary gallery of the birthday boy. I had these photos printed from Pinhole Press. They are actually vinyl so they could have been stuck right on the wall! But because I knew they weren’t staying, I put them up with washi tape. And this is the first wall you see when you enter the house so there was no doubt we were celebrating a fifth birthday.
There were just a few ways that I made sure this party was spy themed. In an empty area of the kitchen I put up the “Disguise Department.” I gathered all the dress up items that my kids already had and then picked up a few more things to round it out. Since I knew about the theme for a few months, I was able to get a screaming deal on most of this right after Halloween. I mean, a good spy uses disguises, am I right?
I’m not sure what these people are disguised as but we had a really fun time at the party watching how the kids put themselves together. You guys. Stick on mustaches with kids will never get old. But stick on eyebrows and sideburns are hilarious too!
I knew that I wanted to have a spy lair in the backyard. Since I have the most amazing friend who is a printer I decided to take a photo of this area in the backyard and have him print it, life-size, on a banner. This would disguise their secret spy area. The day of the party was soooo windy and I was worried we weren’t going to be able to use it. That is why my husband’s bowling ball bag is right there (omg, did I just write that? Yes, my husband has his own ball and shoes…nerd). Totally takes away from the amazingness of the banner but we didn’t really want it to fall on the kids.
I wanted to keep the party really free-flowing so I just set out a table and put out all the spy toys we had and the spy kits I had picked up from the dollar store. Since most of these kids play together anyway, I knew they would come up with their own games to play. My niece was the oldest kid there and she is a natural leader. She took it upon herself to give out spy assignments and decide who was good and who was bad. It all went really smoothly. I had one other activity (a shooting practice) for the kids but it was far too windy for it. Boo.
You may remember these balloons from a post I did before Christmas. They are reusable so I used them again for this birthday. I’m obsessed with them. And these marble balloons that I found at Party Lab. And I added a yellow finger-knitted garland for a pop of color. I had made them for my Christmas tree so just grabbed one to use here too.
I kept the food really simple. We had the party in between meal times so it mainly needed to be snacky. I made caramel corn and a bread salad (hopefully Kristin will share the recipe soon!) and my neighbor made some chocolate chip cookies. Now let’s talk about the cake! Kristin humored me and made a cake similar to one I had seen on pinterest. I LOVE how it came out! I’m pretty sure every single person at the party asked about it and my son thought it was so cool! I topped it with a topper by Little Cat Design Co available at Sweet and Saucy Shop.
Pinhole Press also makes labels for bottles. I freaking love this picture of the birthday boy so I decided to make a quick label for the beer at the party (while this is a kid’s party, I always have some drinks for the adults too. Grandpas like beer. Grandmas like wine. Super easy).
I also had juice for the kids and some Boxed Water. Here’s the thing, most people at the party had never seen Boxed Water before. The kids chose to drink water over the juice which made me super happy. And that never happens at a party! It was a total conversation starter and the boxes are recyclable. So rad. And they just look super cool. This is a MUST for your next party! Buy them here.
Then we sang. Here you can see the marbling on the white chocolate on the cake. It tasted amazing too. Kind of hard to take this kid seriously, right? And I’m not sure why my kid’s always end up without shirts…
In the brown lunch bags I gave each kid their own disguise kit including mustaches, eyebrows and a pair of sunglasses. It was super simple but seeing how much fun they had with the stick on stuff at the party, I knew it was a good decision.
This party was super easy to put together and the kids had a GREAT time! As long as my kid’s let me have a little say with their party themes I know I can throw a party everyone can be happy with. And how great is that shirt by Prefresh!? Not sure why it isn’t on my child…
How do you give your kid’s the party they want while still having fun with it.
My older son recently graduated from the Disney Channel to Disney XD. Its totally a sign that he is getting older. He’s not in to the shows he used to love but enjoys exploring new ones with older characters. He REALLY enjoys television as a whole (he takes after me for sure) and while some people may frown on kids watching a lot of TV, I have seen first hand how he has picked up some advanced concepts (like cause and effect) and a pretty amazing vocabulary. Recently he began watching the animated series, Max Steel on Disney XD. So when this sponsored campaign came up, it was the perfect fit and I was excited to be able to include my kids. Since the major themes of the show focus on friendship and that working together makes you stronger, we were excited to invite a few of their neighborhood friends over for a Max Steel viewing party.
The show, Max Steel, shares the adventures of teenager Max McGrath and his alien friend, Steel. While both have their own super powers, they realize that when they work together and combine their strengths, they transform in to a “turbo charged” superhero. And what little boys don’t like superheros?
The boys were sent a Turbo Sword with Interactive Steel to try out and imagine what it would be like if they had “turbo power.”
The boys were SO excited when the sword showed up. While my oldest was all about the sword (in his head he is a master weapons expert), my youngest immediately went for Steel. Both boys say that Steel is their favorite part of this toy because they can pretend they are Max and because there are so many different way to play with him. What I love about this toy (available for purchase at stores nationwide for around $29.99) is that there are many different ways to play with it, all of which encourage imagination. The sword makes battle sounds and says phrases from the Disney series so the kids can pretend they are in the story.
The Steel character comes with a stand that makes it look like he is floating, much like he does in the show, but he can also be attached to the sword and your shirt to let you pretend you are Max. When Steel and the sword come together, the sword lights up blue with “turbo energy” and offers several phrases straight from the Max Steel story lines. The boys were able to play with each piece separately and then takes turns using the pieces together. From a parental point of view I like this toy. While it does make noise, the volume is just right and the sounds are not shrill or annoying. The built-in motion sensors weren’t over sensitve but I did manage to pick up the sword and press the activate button several times when I tried to quietly put away toys after the kids went to bed…oops.
Another way my oldest son takes after me is with party planning… He became very involved and it was actually a really fun way to get to spend some time with him and teach him a few new things. He decided that he wanted to create the invitation so I taught him the basics of Adobe Illustrator. I removed some info from it above, like address and names, etc. but I think it came out really good! He took to the program really well and even created some other party decor that we posted around the room.