Alice in Wonderland Tea Party

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*Please enjoy this guest post by my friend Emily, about her daughter Ellie’s Alice in Wonderland themed birthday party. Emily came into my life about 4 years ago and she has been a dear friend ever since. Girl has got birthday party planning talent, always has! This tea party was soo good! The other moms and I were talking at the party about how this party blew all of our parties out of the water. You win! So creative. Take it away Em…teaparty (6)

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When my daughter told me that she wanted her 6th Birthday Party theme to be ‘Alice In Wonderland’, I was elated! That was, until I found that you cannot really purchase many Alice themed decorations. As much as this discouraged me, it also got me excited, and my creative juices flowing.

I wanted our backyard to be as much of a ‘wonderland’ as possible, with a long tea table at the center of the party. That was my main focus. We had plain table coverings,  mismatched plates, napkins, and chairs. For table decorations I made two floral arrangements with some clearanced floral/fruit mixtures, and filled the vases with sap moss. Along the table we displayed our finger foods, and queen of hearts heart shaped sandwiches on various platters. My favorite table decoration had to be the white rabbit statue that I searched high and low for (Hobby Lobby). Of course, no tea party would be complete without the tea pots and cups! This was the most challenging. I thrifted for weeks, looking for the perfect mismatched tea cups, and two tea pots. The tea pots were the toughest, and I ended up finding some at TJMaxx, for super cheap!

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The rest of the decorations were pretty easy, once I realized what I had to do, make them! I blew up images of flamingos for the croquet mallets, cheshire cats for the tree, directional arrows for the tree, a photo of the caterpillar on the mushroom (which I taped a dowel onto to stick into the ground), clocks to hang around the yard, and little ‘drink me’ tags to tie onto kool-aid drinks. We had croquet set-up for the kids to play, and used giant playing cards folded over to make the tunnel for the balls to pass through (found at Party City).

For the cake I made the Mad Hatter’s hat.  I also made cut out sugar cookies and frosted them saying; Eat Me, Take One, and Try Me. The party favors were mini Alice In Wonderland books, mints with playing cards on the wrappers, and a tea bag.


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We also had my daughters classroom Grandmother come and do face painting for the afternoon. With her talent, and low cost, we couldn’t pass it up! The kids loved it! There was no shortage of fun had between the face painting, tea party, croquet, musical chairs, and bounce house. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, or more well behaved kids. It was a blast!

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Fourth of July 2013

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A quick post to share some pictures from our fabulous fourth. We headed up to Bay Beach in Green Bay for the day, ate at The Urban Frog (highly recommend!  Great gluten-free options and mostly organic foods), and then off to celebrations and fireworks for the evening! I hope you all had a fantastic 4th! We are especially thankful for our blessing of freedom and independence in this country. Also, I love fourth fashion in case you couldn’t tell. I love wearing red, white and blue on any given day but give me fourth of July, and I will give you 3 matching, patriotic, cheesy boys. Love having 3 boys, also, get used to it guys.

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Mom went on the tilt-a-whirl and felt ridiculously sick the entire time. I am such a ride wussy these days, what has happend to this body of mine?! So the ferris wheel was all yours boys.

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Remy: fake smile extraordinaire.

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And today, we head to the beach. God Bless America.

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Our weekend

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Life is pretty grand these days.This summer has been a blast so far and I am so thankful! The boys are at perfect ages for maximun enjoyment of summer activities and we are loving every single second of it. Friday night we had our friends Katie and Mark over with their 3 boys for a cook out and drinks, Saturday morning I hit the farmers market with Remy>>strawberryfest (20)Saturday afternoon we went to Strawberry Fest, Sunday after church I had a wedding shower for my gorgeous friend Jessy, and then we did a little slip and slide and swimming to beat the heat. In between all that we finally finished painting Jack’s new bedroom and I can’t wait to share pictures soon! I give this weekend 5 gold stars, and my life these days, infinity.

strawberryfest strawberryfest (1)If you have never been to Strawberry Fest in Cedarburg you have to check it out. There are tons of little booths of craftys to buy, strawberry brats, strawberry beer, strawberry SHORTCAKE, but the best part is all the food trucks. Oh my goodness. We got the best sharp cheddar and pepper jack grilled cheese sandwiches on Texas toast, a fabulous Gyro, and the best plate of Mexican food I have ever tasted, all from food trucks right next to each other  The music is fantastic and there is quite a lot for the kiddos to do. Cedarburg is one of our favorite little spots in Wisconsin and Strawberry Fest is just one of the reasons why. We have even talked about moving there…

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A total of 5 cute grandpas complimented the boys straw hats and it was suuppppeer adorable.strawberryfest (14) strawberryfest (7) strawberryfest (8)

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Pirate treasure hunt party

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Our son Jack recently turned 5 and he really wanted to have a pirate party. I don’t mind pirates but I realllly don’t like that everything pirate-y has skulls and crossbones on it. I don’t like what the skulls and cross bones stand for and frankly think its ridiculous that they are branded all over children’s clothing. So I was determined to throw him a pirate treasure hunt party without using any skulls or crossbones which ended up being quite challenging. Here is what I came up with….

(the banner behind the couch I made using poster board, scrapbook paper, cut out letters, and twine.)

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Jack wanted a treasure hunt, so I started by making a huge pirate map on easel paper with 5 “stops” on it – and I even burned the edges a little bit to make it look really pirate-y. This took me way too long, but it turned out really awesome and of course I didn’t snap a picture! I sketched about 3 maps before I had it perfect and then cut the map into 5 pieces, one for each stop. Then I rolled them up into mini pirate maps, and tied them shut. Each stop had a clue that went with it, so the kids were able to find the stop and the map for the next clue would be hiding at the next stop.

For example: the first stop was “The Pirate Outfitters” and the clue was “find the place where the captain sleeps, to get your gear and look like a real pirate”. On the map and at the stops there were corresponding shapes and numbers to make it easier for the kids to match them. When they found the each stop, the next clue would be there for directions on how to find the next stop. *this took way too much thinking for me to figure out how to orchestrate this treasure hunt, so I hope the way I am explaining it makes sense?

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I made the invites on Zazzle and just covered up the skull on the flag of the ship with a picture of Jack. I think they turned out really grand.

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The first stop was the Pirate Outfitters. Here the kids each got a sword, eye patch, mustache, and tattoos. I could not find eye patches without skull and crossbones on them so I improvised. I bought ones with the crossbones on, peeled them off, hot glued scrapbook paper over them, and then hot glued a wooden letter of each kids initial on top of that. They turned out really cute.

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pirateparty1 (21)The 2nd stop was “Jack’s Tavern”, and the clue was “find the place where the captain eats”. Here we had gold nuggets(cheese), crispy buccaneer veggies (veggies and dip), fruit swords (fruit on little drink swords), cannon balls (chocolate yogurt covered rasins), sea pearls (vanilla yogurt covered rasins), ahoy crisps (veggie chips), banana spilt bars, and my humungous 5 layer poke cake. We sang happy birthday and were onto our next clue!

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The 3rd stop on the map was walk the plank. It was originally supposed to be outside, but the weather that day was rather uncooperative so we moved it to the garage on a table. The clue to get here was “find the spot where the captain parks his bike”. With our help, each kid had to walk the plank with his sword.

pirateparty1 (14) pirateparty1 (11)The 4th stop was to decorate the loot bags. I bought red and white bags, stickers, markers and crayons and let the kids decorate away! This was our last stop before the treasure so after each kid was done I had them put their name on their bag and Ralph took them and filled them with the prize bags I had pre-filled. I didn’t get too many pictures after this point because I was leading the treasure voyage and it got a little crazy at the end!

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Our last clue was “find the place where the captain plays, when you get there find the captains favorite hiding spot. Hint: it is the color of an apple”. They found the red tent in the playroom downstairs, only to find out that it was LOCKED! WOAH. Tucked in the lock was one last clue to find the key. After the key was found, they opened the tent to find a giant treasure box (found at Hobby Lobby) and inside was their loot bags they decorated, with tons of gold money and prizes in them. Every kid got a kite, a package of crayon rings, goldfish, sword glow sticks for the boys, princess wand glow sticks for the girls, fake gold money, fake paper money, bubbles, and some other snacks. Plus they got to keep their eye patches, swords and take home some tattoos.

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Overall the party was a huge success! The kids seemed to have a lot of fun!

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Jack graduates 4-K

jack (1)Last night my baby graduated from 4-K, which means next stop: Kindergarden. Gulp. Jack’s preschool had the cutest little ceremony. They sang a few songs and then put their little homemade graduate caps on and sang a song called “when we grow up”. This is the point where Jack’s mama totally lost it. Cue the tears; some happy, some sad. When you read the lyrics below you will understand why I got so emotional. I know you hear people say this all the time but it really only feels like yesterday was the day Jack came into our life and instantly made it better. Now he is 5 years old, becoming more independent every single day, not needing his mama as much as she would like, and he is going to KINDERGARTEN. I simply cannot believe how time flies. When you have kids you automatically get advice from other parents like, “enjoy them while they are little because they grow so fast” and it couldn’t be more true. You never realize how fast it really goes until you raise your own children.

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Mommy and Daddy are incredible proud of you Jack Timothy, you are truly a blessing in our life and you have learned so many new things in 4-K this year. MUAH.

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Now picture thirty 5 year olds belting out this cute little tune…

When we grow up in a long, long time
Just you watch me, I’ll go far.I’m gonna’ be a superstar.
When I am 10, I’ll learn to cook.
When I am 10, I’ll read chapter books.
When I am 10, I’ll play guitar.
Just you watch me, I’ll go far.
I’m gonna’ be a superstar.

 
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When I’m 16, I’ll go on dates.
(this is the exact point where I lost it. I was like HE IS NEVER GOING TO BE 16 WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?)
When I’m 16, I’ll stay up late.
When I’m 16, I’ll drive a car.
Just you watch me, I’ll go far.
I’m gonna’ be a superstar.

 
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When I’m 35, I’ll fly a plane.
When Im 35, I’ll have a big brain.
When I’m 35 I’ll own a car.
Just you watch me, I’ll go far.
I’m gonna’ be a superstar.
When I’m 101, my skin will be bumpy.
When I’m 101, I might be grumpy.
When I’m 101, I’ll put my teeth in a jar.
Just you watch me, I’ll go far.
I’m gonna’ be a superstar.
When I grow up in a long long time,
Just you watch me, I’ll go far.
I’m gonna’ be a superstar.

 
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