Monday, May 16, 2011

Jude the Dude turns three!! Vintage Train Themed party!

This train party was sooo much fun to plan. Jude is a huge train fan so it was a no-brainer when deciding what to do for his 3rd birthday. I came up with some fun ideas and also searched the internet and found some really great ideas, to make this a awesome train party!

The day started out super windy which was a challenge when setting up outside but we rolled with it and the party turned out to be wonderful!

LOCATION: Goat Hill Junction (in Costa Mesa, CA) such an awesome location to have a party. They have mini train rides for all your guests. The public ride days are conducted on the 3rd Saturday and Sunday of each month from 10:00 am - 3:30 pm. Check out the website.

INVITATIONS: I created these in photoshop and had them printed on linen paper. There was a front and back design.

BIRTHDAY BOY SHIRT: I had this shirt made from a cute etsy shop Planet Pudge

DECORATIONS: I made some signs in photoshop to use at the party.

I ended up buying one very cool old suit case off of ebay, a old coca cola crate, a orange suitcase from land of nod, and some wood crates from Michael's craft store. I added dry flowers to my crates and also made a bunting banner with train scrapbook paper.

PARTY ACTIVITY: I had purchased wooden trains from discount school supply and had markers and crayons for the kids to color their own train.

They also road the train. This was the best part about the party.. the majority of the time the kids were off riding the train. :) I think my kids road it all 5 trips and they avrg. about 15 min rides. 

The CAKE: I made the cake myself using three loaf pans, three mini doughnuts that I made in my baby cakes doughnut maker, mini oreos, regular size oreos, a ice cream cone, and popcorn.
HOW TO MAKE IT: I trimmed the top off one loaf that was my base. (I also cut the corners off the front so it looked like the front of a train) Next I trimmed off the top of my 2nd loaf and, cut about 1/4" off that, then cut it in half and sandwiched them together and placed it on the first loaf sitting towards the back standing up. (that was the main car of the train) I also used one of the tops to the loaf and cut it to fit on top of the train car. Next you place the mini doughnuts in front of the main car. (I used toothpicks to hold them together) Now to prepare your coal car. Cut the top off then cut 1/4" off. Next cut into the the center of the car only half way deep and cut out a rectangular shape. Crumb coat all your cakes and put it in the fridge. Take it out and ice your cake. Decorate it with all your goodies. I had a thin metal wire that I strung the popcorn through for the steam. The smoke stack was the ice cream cone that i dyed with food coloring. You just need to cut the bottom half off to stick it into your cake. Put your wheels on... crush some oreos for your coal and tada you have your train cake. After I made it I had to keep telling myself that I am not a professional cake maker and that I am just a mom.... but everyone was impressed with the cake so that was cool and it tasted oh so good which is all that really counts anyway. :) (not sure if my instructions are easy to follow but I thought I would share.)

I also made mini doughnuts. I stacked two in a cupcake liner. I also dipped oreos in chocolate and made railroad signs. They tasted sooo good!

The Cake and Mini Doughnut Platform: Aimee with The Beach Barn made this beautiful cake platform. It was such a beautiful addition to the party! I think it made my cake look a bit more polished.

The TABLES: I decorated the inside of a suitcase to hold the plates and napkins and made a railraod sign.

THE GOODIE BAGS: We had two sets of goodies. One for the kids to open at the beginning and one to take home. The first one I used blue bandannas and tied them up like hobo bags. Inside I had a train hat, a train whistle, and a chocolate coin for train fare.

The Other goodie bags. I made to look like little luggage. They turned out great! Inside I had Cracker Jacks, pixie sticks, and train cookies that came inside cute little cardboard train boxes  from:

Me and my sweet boy! (photo taken by Jenner Rose Photography)

OUR PARTY GUESTS: They are always what make our parties the most fun! My husband and I are so fortunate to have such wonderful family and friends. All of our friends joined us and even some family from out of state were able to make it out for Jude's special day!

Check out my video of all the party guests.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Popsicle Stick Flowers and Flower Box

For mothers day we decided to make my mom "Nana" to our kids a crafty gift.

Materials Needed:
  • Popsicle sticks (roughly about 50ea depending on the size,  I just got out my big box) 
  • Liquid Water Color. (you can also use food coloring and water or just watered down paint)
  • A photo
  • Card board
  • Decorations Optional (buttons, gems, glitter glue, card stock letters)
  • Hot Glue
  • Styrofoam Block
  • Cups for your liquid water color 
  • Glue (we used hot glue because we needed to have these dry quick)

Ok lets get started: 

First prep your materials, give your kids the Popsicle sticks to dip them in the cups be sure to have them dip both ends. They can also paint these with a paint brush or even Q-Tips.

While they are doing that cut a circle into the card board and your photo as well. Glue them together.

 Let your Popsicle sticks dry... I'm loving how some look tie dye.

Once they are dry cut them in half. (Be sure to leave a few sticks whole, you will need it for the stem of your flower and two for the front and back of your flower box.  Line a few up across the front of your Styrofoam I cut my block so that it would be the length of a full Popsicle stick. I glued the full stick down across all the smaller ones, then glued that to the Styrofoam. Do that on all the sides. I also then added my Card stock letters to the front.
(See photo below)

Your next step is to glue your stem on to the back of your card board circle.

I did two sets of petals. First I glued down the half sticks.

Then I cut about a 1/4" off of the remaining sticks and glued those in between to fill in the gaps. 

Then we decorated them with buttons. 

All done for a Crafty gift for someone you LOVE! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Craft Kits

After winning a $30.00 Klutz gift card from The Frugal Find I ordered 3 craft kits from Klutz website. I had it in 3 days! Seriously they are fast shippers. 

I love doing crafts from kits, mostly because they make it easy for you by having everything included, and on rainy days you have it at your finger tips. We have used two of them so far, but I thought I would share with you what we made and rate them for you.

First one was mostly for me: BALLOON TWISTING

OK this craft was a lot of fun for my kids. It was like having their very own clown living with them. I was making all kinds of things right off the bat. They loved it. The book has super easy step by step instructions. After the first two I was like I can do this at my kids birthday parties.... but then it starts to hurt the fingers, which made me re think that idea. :) . I also began to wonder how those balloon people make so many of them.

All in all I thought it was great and even doing a few occasionally will be fun. Even better idea is I can make them to put on top of birthday presents. :)

Here are the kids with a few of my creations. 
I made two snakes, two flower corsages, butterfly wings and a hat. 

The next one we made was: A Puppy making kit
These turned out sooo adorable.  My daughter loved making these. I did help out quite a bit but I think she was so excited with the cute little puppies that she didn't care. While they were drying she kept asking if they were ready to play with. 

Basically the kit consists of pipe cleaners some felt and fuzzy yarn. You bend and twist the pipe cleaners to make this adorable dog and then add the fuzzy yarn for fur. The book has wonderful instructions. Great for a rainy day activity. Mostly because once you create these adorable little crafts your kids will want to play with them. :)

I didn't get any snap shots of our puppies but they turned out really cute!

The last craft kit we bought is: Fairies 
(once we do this one I will have to share)