Strawberry Shortcake and Friends: Orange Blossom Birthday Party

I loved Strawberry Shortcake when I was growing up. I loved the way my little doll smelled and I even had a Strawberry Shortcake motorized bike when I was in the 5th grade. It went about 3 mph, but man I loved it! So to see the whole gang coming back for this generation, I’m so geeked!

I had the pleasure of throwing a 4th birthday party for a friend’s daughter who loves Strawberry Shortcake and her friends. But in wanting to do something a little different, we decided to put one of the friends in the spotlight and threw an Orange Blossom party!

If you’re not familiar with this character, this is Orange Blossom:

image from Cartoonito

image from Cartoonito

She is described as Strawberry Shortcake’s main friend. Cartoonito says that Orange Blossom always solves any problem with a smile and loves being helpful. She runs Berry Bitty City’s town market, Orange Mart, which has everything you could need!

So, to the party! Wanna see some pics? Yes? Yay!

sign

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banner

gifts

For food, we had the simplest of menus: pizza, fresh fruit, an orange punch, and water. I felt a little guilty about the amount of sugar that was on the dessert table, so I tried to sneak someone with a smidge of sustenance in…

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fruit

flowers

water

straws

sunflower

I just love those sunflowers…they make me smile.

For all of the food labels, I edited a printables set from BellaGrey Designs, customizing it to the menu. I used the cupcake toppers to make the medallion on the straws by simply punching holes opposite to each other and sliding them onto the straws. For the water bottle labels, I used an image of Orange Blossom herself (not part of the printables set) and the same graphics for the cupcake toppers.

We even had an orange tree 🙂

tree

My husband was laughing as he helped me assemble them. I asked what was so funny, to which he replied, “these oranges look like pumpkins.” I looked at him with a straight face and said, “they are pumpkins…I’m just hoping the kids don’t notice…”

My improvisation can be found over at Oriental Trading…lol

After the kids ate, we went and played a few games. I found a list of Strawberry Shortcake themed games here. I improvised them a little to accomodate my age group and their energy levels. The kids were able to “pick” their oranges from the tree for one of those games.

game

I had the kids move their orange from the starting line to the finish. Without using their hands or feet. It was hilarious…scooting and laughing everywhere! Of course, the one boy at the party came from out of nowhere and beat everyone. He earned himself first dibs on the dessert table, after the birthday girl of course!

The dessert table had the kids wide-eyed with expectation. Moms were saying to let them have as much sugar as as they wanted. I’m not brave to take all of that energy home…

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…steamers are your friend…

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For the gift baskets, I used berry boxes that I found over at Think Garnish and embellished them with an orange bearing the child’s name and green ribbon. I filled them with an orange, a bag of candy, crayons, and notepads, bubbles, or silly string; for the seals on the candy bag, I printed the cupcake toppers onto sticker sheets.

 

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I worked with several party friends to put this all together…they shared their talents to make it such a beautiful success. I informed mom that her party was hosted by all parts of the country…thanks ladies ❤

necklace

k cookies

flower cookies

cupcake

pops

cake

oreos

The birthday girl was so excited!

girl

balloon

She was so happy that she sat with me during that entire church service the next day ❤ I’d say that shindig was 4 year old approved! Happy birthday darling Kelsey!

confetti

Styling, Photography, and Sugar Cookies by Creating Awesomenessity!

Printables and Banner by BellaGrey Designs

Candy/Baking Cups by The Pretty Party Shoppe

Bubble Gum Necklaces by Autumn Lynn’s Chocolate Sins

Marshmallow Pops by Sweet U Off Your Feet

Sparkle Sticks (with the Marshmallow Pops) by Painting Paris Pink

Chocolate Covered Oreos by 4 Kids Cakes

Rag Garland and Yellow Table Runner by Cupcake With Character

Paper Tassels and Sparkle Table Confetti by Tutus & Bowties Events

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Logan, Be Curious!

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a first birthday party for the most adorable little guy. His name is Logan and he didn’t have a good prognosis for the future when he got here, so it was truly a blessing to be able to celebrate this milestone 🙂

sign

Mom tried to warn me that everyone falls in love with him when they meet him…I was absolutely no exception! He had me from the first time he smiled at me…my husband will just have to share 🙂

logan

Mom wanted to have the party around the theme Curious George and it turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself 🙂 He absolutely loves Curious George and we held an open air party at our local Overton Park, with the theme “Curious Logan/Be Curious!”

pic

balloon

When I spoke with mom, there were some elements that she wanted from some of the ideas I’d researched on Pinterest. She requested the “Man in the Yellow Hat” cup and plate settings that I’d found from another Curious George party. It fit perfectly with this (popular) theme and I was delighted when some of the kids arrived and recognized the place settings!

yellow

Since it was a kids’ party and we were in the park, I wanted to keep the elements as concise and organized as possible. The lunch containers doubled as functional decor…each one contained chips, Curious George fruit snacks, a themed sugar cookie, and a napkin; each container was tied with red and white twine which held eating utensils.

box2

cookies

For lunch, there was a simple menu which consisted of hot dogs and cole slaw + the items in the lunch boxes. The drink station had sodas, fruit juices, and water; the water bottles were personalized to match the party with labels which said “Logan is One!” and “Be Curious!” The adults ended up with the fruit juice because the kids came through and swiped the caffeinated beverages. I suppose they needed the energy for the playground?

food

drink1

I also made up a scavenger hunt based on a template that was shared from Tip Junkie. I customized it based on our park, but it turned out to be futile…the playground was apparently all the entertainment the kids needed and/or wanted…

scavenger

The dessert table had a cake and cupcakes…everything in different flavors so that there was a little bit for everyone to enjoy. The confetti cake was made to match his birthday sign and was a yellow cake; the cupcakes were chocolate and strawberry, both with cream cheese icing.

logan name

cake1

cupcake

I also made a confetti smash cake for Logan. After everyone sang Happy Birthday to him, it was his turn to dig in to the cake.

smash

song

This was as smashed as his cake got. Apparently, not all one-year-olds enjoy destroying their cakes. Go figure!

smash2

It was a hot Saturday, but we had lots of shade and lots of love to go around! Everyone had a great time and the kids played to their hearts’ content.

gma

bags

Event Styling, cake, cookies, favor bags: Creating Awesomenessity!

Photography: Isaac Singleton Photography

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The Wedding Series…Big vs Little Kids

The age-old debate…

Should we invite kids? Should this shindig be for the over 21 crowd? What will my friends and family think if I say “no kids?”

Our families didn’t like it. My mom was pissed and argumentative. Some of them didn’t show up because they couldn’t bring their children.

I felt bad for all of 5 min.

It was OUR day.

There was no true Bridezilla moment involved, but there is something to be said about people respecting your day and wishes for something that is truly about YOU and YOUR SPOUSE-to-be.

Don’t get me wrong. I love kids. Both my nieces and nephew were in the wedding.

kids

What I loved more was actually being able to look back on that all-important day and being able to remember it and not trying to read lips because someone is fussy and screaming during the ENTIRE ceremony. Think I’m over exaggerating? Check out these stories.

This is something about which I feel/felt very strongly: the wedding day is supposed to be a reflection of you and your intended. If you don’t want kids, don’t have them. I’m not knocking anyone for having children at their wedding, but due to different factors (read: expensive food we didn’t want picked over and/or chucked across the room) we decided to just keep our guest list age 12 and up.

cakeed

I must admit…this may be a bit Bridezilla, but I know my people…

So how did we handle the backlash?

We hired a babysitter. A real, professional caregiver with a license, references and everything!

This may seem a bit unconventional, but man, it was a life saver…

Especially since we had a relative show up with a kid (who we’re not entirely sure was even hers) at the last minute , whom she proceeded to try to sneak in.

Being that we had our ceremony and reception at a local hotel, we spent the extra money to rent a room and have the babysitter be upstairs from all the action. This allowed us to 1. have our special day be what we wanted and 2. alleviate fears of parents who (naturally) worried about their little ones.

To keep it as fair as possible, we paid for our minis to be with the babysitter and let other parents know that if they absolutely had to bring their kids, that the service was available to them. Our minis didn’t care…they were actually quite excited to be able to play with each other freely and be out of those fancy clothes 🙂

The fabulous Martha Stewart even put her 2 cents in on this topic. And of course this is an appropriate response, because, ya know…it’s Martha!

If you do want/have to have children at your wedding, here are some ideas on how to keep them entertained:

  1. There is an entire website dedicated to keeping weddings kid friendly,
  2. Find ways to include them and keep them content,
  3. Set up a corner or table just for them during the reception, have kid-friendly food and activities available!

No matter what you decide, remember that this is about you and your S.O. Yes your family is important, their opinions matter, but it’s not about them in the end.

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It Goes Beyond Ourselves

Today is Earth Day!

There are so many tips on what to do to conserve Earth’s precious resources and this post would be a never-ending story if I tried to share them all! I, myself, am a bit of a recycling junkie…from putting everything in the recycling bin, to upcycling stuff I find on the side of the road. Call me a tree-hugger or hoarder, I’m doing my part!

One of my favorite sayings is this:

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If you’re already into conservation efforts and want to get the little ones in on it, this is a link to some great ideas. Socially, financially, economically, and morally, this thought resonates with me:

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So, have a Happy Earth Day and I hope that today, and every day, you’re encouraged to be a little more kind and considerate to Mother Earth and each other 🙂

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Double Trouble

At the end of December, I had the pleasure of hosting a double birthday party for my nephew and niece. He turned 7 on the 6th and she turned 5 on the 26th. Of course they wanted completely different themes…Spiderman and Barbie Princess. We scheduled the parties for the 21st…and then I caught the flu. We rescheduled for the 28th. Then other people caught the flu. Turnout wasn’t the best, but I planned to do something for the kids anyway. It really wasn’t their fault that their favorite aunt ended up battling contagion.

So here are some of the pics from the party. Again, special shout out to the hubby and my cousin who turned our garage into a wall from New York City and a scene from the Amazing Spiderman…

A month later, our garage still looks like this. I can't take it down...

A month later, our garage still looks like this. I can’t bring myself to take it down…

These were the invitations. I also learned to wake up first, as I left these on the floor when I was done and the following morning almost destroyed them all…

spidey invites

Gift bags FULL of Spidey stuff…silly string, puzzles, Spiderman tattoos, superhero bracelets, those grow-in-water Spiderman towels, coloring books, candy…

sgift

I think the pasta was my favorite just because it turned out so vibrantly!

pasta

And the cake!

scake

ashton

Barbie Princess Meaghan got to have all of her pink stuff. I love that little girl. The color pink, not so much.

princess

The girls even got their royal goblets. Those were a hit, even with my dad who wasn’t supposed to have one.

goblets

meaghan

That’s not the birthday girl in the middle…

All in all, it was a nice time. The kids that were able to make it out had a good time and I think the adults might have more fun than them. Next year, I’ll get my flu shot on time *sigh*

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A House Full of Sugar

A few weeks ago I had one of the best nights of my life.

My friend called at the last minute looking for a babysitter for her two little ones. Since I’m having the baby cravings, I was delighted to help her out. Since I’m crazy, I suggested inviting my niece and nephew over to make some new friends. So on a spontaneous babysitting gig, our home was filled with the pitter-patter of 4 sets of feet belonging to minis ages 3, 4, 5 and 6.

I don’t try to fully ascertain how my hubby felt about it, but at one point amid mass screaming, I realized that he’d disappeared and that an adult beverage was missing from the fridge. All I could think was that this very well could be real life…

The kids came over. They played Twister. They played Connect 4 Launchers. They laughed. They ran. They screamed…and remembered to say “excuse me” on their laps through the kitchen. They watched Finding Nemo for the bajillionth time. They put Guitar Hero stickers all over themselves and each other.

I promised them that if they were good, we’d paint sugar cookies. This led to the tribal chanting of “Are the cookies done yet? Are the cookies done yet?” Those were the longest 10 minutes on the planet.

Since this was a spontaneous babysitting gig, I didn’t have time to make the canvas sugar cookies for them to draw upon, which would have been pretty sweet to see the little artists work. Aunt KC decided to wing it and just make sugar cookies from the package and let them paint straight from the oven with icing and edible markers.

Lesson learned? Drawing in icing with an edible marker is not a good idea. Pretty sure I’ll have to replace that set, but the memories and time spent with the kiddos? So incredibly worth it! Plus they dedicated one cookie each to me. I adore those munchkins…

Can’t say auntie will be jumping at that opportunity again any time soon. Good to realize that I haven’t lost all of my faculties.

Make It Awesome!