I have this thing with lavender. It’s a big part of my life right now. It helps me sleep, it’s keeps me sane during the busy day, it’s my favorite gift to give and I also think it adds an amazing burst of flavor to all kinds of foods. I created this Roasted Almond Recipe with Lavender for Minted’s blog, Julep. Hop on over to their site for the full recipe. I think I’m going to go snack on these right now…these are a perfect quick snack to make when you have friends or family coming over. Everyone loves a good snack!
Two days after Christmas we held a birthday party for my son at Pump it Up. Two days after THAT was his actual birthday. We always have family over on the actual day for cake and ice cream. But this year, you know, on account of because I am crazy (we’ve already established this right? I don’t need to keep saying it.) I decided that since it was his 4th birthday, he needed to have 4 cakes. So this happy little guy got to ride around the house on his new Envy Prodigy scooter. I had cakes in the oven. I had no time for discipline.
I used the rest of the Minted party decor I had ordered for his party at the house. This is our banner wall. True story, this banner is still up. As I type this, in February, the banner is on the wall behind me. It just looks so cute! And it was super easy. The Minted items come printed and ready to string. They are printed on really nice quality paper and make decorating super simple. Here are 3/4 of the cakes. One was still in the oven at this point. We had a yummy cherry chip cake, a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, an angel cake with meyer lemon glaze, and a dump cake. Yes, a dump cake. If you have never had one, you need to. I’m going to share the recipe with you next week. It is super simple and everyone always goes crazy for it. And kids (and my husband) laugh when they hear the word “dump.”
And oh yeah. I had made the cake toppers from the Minted party stuff before Christmas. And then found them a few weeks after the party, unused. How cute would these have been on the cakes? Total fail. I am not a baker so trying to get all four cakes done really through me off my game. But I will just have to save these for another time.
So there you have it. 4 cakes for a 4th birthday. For 8 adults and 4 kids. We had a lot of leftover cake. And since my other son is turning 7 this year I figured that if I wanted to do a party with one cake for each year I better do it now. Even my crazy has limits.
*This is not a sponsored post for Minted. I had a credit with them and decided to try out their party decor. I am so glad that I did. It saved me a ton of time and everything was still super cute.
This kid turned 4 at the end of December. He requested a party at Pump It Up. Since I love planning parties, this was not something I was excited to do. I mean, how the heck was I going to decorate the party with all those primary colors all over the place? Yes, many people choose to do parties at places like Pump It Up so they don’t have to decorate. But I’m crazy. And since the party was right after Christmas (2 days after…) I thought doing only a little bit of decorating away from the house was the best idea ever. And just look at that face. He gets everything he wants. And we had the best birthday at Pump It Up in Irvine.
To sum it up, I love Pump It Up. I booked the party for a Thursday to save a bit of money and since it was Christmas break, everyone was available. Do you know who else loves Pump It Up? The kids! We have been to parties there as guests before and the kids always had a good time. But the staff at Pump It Up Irvine, where our party was, is amazing. From the moment we got there, they helped out with bringing stuff in from the car, helping us with items that needed to be refrigerated and are absolutely amazing with the kids.
While the kids were playing in the first bounce room (if you have never been, they split the party time up between 2 rooms which is awesome because it keeps the kids from getting bored) I asked (ok, just about begged) for the staff to let me in to the party room to start decorating. I think they made concessions for me to let me go in earlier than normal because I’m sure they could sense the crazy by the look in my eyes.
The staff is super attentive and so good with the kids. They get in there and play with them and help to keep everyone safe. I’ve always noticed this on previous visits, but was extra aware of just how well they were making sure everyone had a great time, safely. I am in awe of how the staff is able to keep the party moving smoothly and while remaining super fun.
And at the end of every party, the staff gathers all the kids for a group photo. The kids are usually pissed because they want to keep jumping but you throw the words pizza and cake out there and they smile and cooperate.
I think this chair is the main reason that M wanted his party there. And the crown. He sat in that chair the entire time in we were in the party room and never got up once. He ate his pizza there. He ate his cupcake there. His cousins posted up as his security when other kids wanted a turn in the seat. He asked to bring it home with us.
Because I had heard that they don’t give you much time to decorate I really needed to keep the decor simple. Minted’s ready-made party decor saved me big time! And since Pump It Up has helium on-site, I figured that between balloons (always super festive) and the Minted party stuff the party would be pretty cute.
We chose the Cakeasaurus theme because my son LOVES dinosaurs and used it where we could around the party room. I covered the tables that clashed with the party decor with inexpensive plastic table cloths. It helped to tone down the over all brightness of the party room decor (which I’m not saying is bad, just not my aesthetic).
Minted has a few accessories to go along with the paper party decor like these grey and white striped straws. I added some flags to just a few of the straws to bring more of my color scheme in. And who doesn’t love paper straws?
For the tables I needed to do something that would be quick to set up and almost all disposable. I got a bunch of white plastic table cloths from the .99 cent store and used paper streamers that I twisted and taped to the tables with silver tape. I added little plastic dinos that I knew the kids would want to take home with them (or were cheap enough that I didn’t have to worry about getting them all back – on a side note, I got enough back that I used them as part of the Valentine’s that M gave his classmates. Word up). And for some extra fun, I added succulents I cut from my back yard. I also brought in the silver paper goods, but they include paper plates, napkins and cups when you book a Pump It Up party. I have heard people talk about how expensive the parties are but they really include a ton of stuff for the price. And I’m sure I would have spent just as much, if not more if I had held a party at my house. Big thank you to my mom and sister-in-law for helping with the super fast decorating. I met back up with the party in the second bounce room and had plenty of time to enjoy watching the kids have sweaty fun.
My sister-in-law is rad and made the cupcakes for me. I am in love with the little dino picks that she found. By serving only cupcakes, I didn’t need to worry about silverware, extra plates or the mess of cutting a cake.
I used one of Minted’s blank coordinating cards for the favors as well as the stickers to seal the favor bags. Another thing I loved about Pump it Up is when it was time to pass out the favors, our party gal walked around with my son to make sure that each kid got a favor.
Nothing about this party was that revolutionary. I chalk that up to it being the holidays. I don’t know about you but I tend to slow the blog down around Christmas. And then I think it is so nice to not feel an obligation to anything that I think about quitting entirely. I pretty much jumped online one day and just bought a bunch of dino themed items to order for the favors. Throw in some chemical laden dino shaped gummy snacks and you are good to go. B T Dubs, I always get bored and start the blog back up again with a refreshed attitude. But Minted really saved this party for me. I didn’t have the energy to make everything from scratch but still wanted it to be cute which their stuff is!
The staff managed everything. From passing out the pizza to all the kids and making sure they each got what kind they wanted to making sure each got the right cupcake flavor they made it happen. They made sure we stayed on track in terms of time and even got everyone to start singing happy birthday. They took all the pressure off of me and allowed me to just interact with the guests. As the party was wrapping up I realized that they had everything that we needed to take home with us, from the gifts to leftover food, on a cart waiting to be loaded in to our cars. They were ON IT. But we never once felt rushed. It was a delightful birthday party experience.
This is not a sponsored post. I had such a great experience hosting a party at Pump It Up Irvine that I wanted to share it with you. Many other adults at the party told me how amazing they thought the staff was with the kids too. It is obvious they like what they do. From the minute I made the first call to ask questions and finally book the party, they were helpful and friendly. My sister-in-law booked a party for my niece at the Anaheim location after our party and had the same experience there. If you are thinking about holding a party at Pump It Up you should totally do it. I’m sure we will be booking there again!
All images (except photos 1, 11, 16, and 18 which are mine) by Dez and Tam Photography – the most wonderful people around. I heart them SO much!