Friday, December 30, 2011

Final Fun Friday Finds for 2011

It's been way too long, and I realize the Friday is almost over, but here are a few final fun Friday finds for 2011!

Spinach Chips from Michele Made Me .... now on my to-try list!
Stegosaurus sox tutorial from Happy Together - definitely gotta try making these!
Squid dogs - found these on Pinterest and I finally tried them the other week...totally void of any nutrition but fun for the kids!
Super hero shoes...sold out on Etsy but what a fun idea if you can make them yourself!

Okay, I want to post more but it's getting late!  Have a fabulous last day of 2011, everyone!  See you next year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

DIY Monster Truck Birthday Party!

One day this past summer Sammy got a little toy monster truck at a garage sale.  When I told him what a monster truck was, he wanted to know more.  So, I pulled up this YouTube video of a monster truck show.  Ever since then he has been obsessed with Monster trucks, and has been talking about the Monster truck 4th birthday party he would like!  Luckily the Monster Jam came to Minneapolis this month so he got to go with Daddy a few weeks ago, and it was a hit.

FYI, if your kid likes Monster trucks and you don't want to fork over the dough for a ticket, or want to get up close without buying an extra "pit pass," they have the trucks on display at auto parts stores around the city for the public to view for free!  Just go to their website, click on your city/event location, and scroll down until you see the "Truck Display" list for locations, dates and times!

So, in keeping with my tradition of sharing my kids' birthday party festivities and ideas, here's what we did to throw a Monster Truck Birthday!

I did some Photoshopping to create this art which went on the front of his party invitations, which I printed at home and mailed out.

I downloaded some free coloring sheets from the Monster Jam website for the kids to color and spread them out on the table with some crayons.

Now here's an idea I wish I had thought of, but this part I am adding after the fact.  You may know that I'm a professional face painter, although I have yet to paint the kids at any of my own kids' parties...not that I don't want to but because I'm so busy hosting!  But if you can solicit a family member to help, try face painting!
I just recently began selling this great tire track stencil on my face painting website.  The sample track you see above was done using the stencil, black face paint and a "Spongit" sponge dauber.  It takes a little practice to get the right ratio of water to paint to get a clear image, but with a stencil it's easy for even a non-artist to make cool tire tracks on the kids!

I bought one of these great inflatable floaties that looks like a tire for a decoration.  Living on a lake I figured it would also double as a gift that he can use this summer!  His mouth dropped open when he saw it!  The garland you see above it I made with yarn and some flags and tires I printed out on the computer.  Click here to download a 3 page pdf with the "4" flags, the little tires and checkered flag to make your own garland!

I got a bunch of balloons at the dollar store near our house for $0.99 cents.  You don't need to pay a fortune for balloons to go with your theme.  I took a black sharpie and drew a monster truck on one, and wrote "The Saminator" on another!

Instead of buying a boring balloon weight, for the same price I got a fun squishy ball.  It had a loop that was perfect to tie balloons to and it was a toy he could play with later!

 The cake was quite simple with the right "props!"  I made a monster truck rally with some toy cars, and made a couple pieces on the computer that I printed out for the background and sign.  Here are some progress shots...

I baked a 9x13" chocolate cake and frosted it with chocolate.

I used a toothpick to trace out the oval track, and brownies (you could use cake too) to form the ramps.

Then I frosted the "track" with dark chocolate frosting.

Next I added some graham cracker crumb "dirt" and drew tire tracks with a tooth pick.

Finally, I added the monster truck, cars, candles and paper signs! (then took off the foil strips and added decorative details to the edges)

The finished product
I always have fun making pinatas.  My mom used to make us pinatas for our birthdays.  Hers we would whack with a stick in the basement, which was always bittersweet as she put so much time into them!
I started making these ribbon pinatas previous years, because we just didn't have a room big enough to let blindfolded kids swing a stick in.  You can see more on how to make them work in my robot/space birthday party post, but basically each kid takes turns pulling a string until one gets the string that opens the trap door to release the candy.  It's all made out of a cardboard box and toilet paper tubes, paper mache and paint!

I didn't really tie in the menu with the party theme this time...being the day after hosting a big Christmas turkey dinner, I tried to go a little easier on myself this year.  I did lasagna which works great to assemble ahead of time and feed a crowd, some frozen garlic bread which was a hit, salad, and one of my favorite cheesy corn crock pot recipes from my sister in law.  We had plenty of food, between that and my "appetizers" of fruit, veggies, cheese, meats and crackers!

The kids use their goodie bags to collect their pinata candy in...

I always use simple paper lunch bags for goodie bags, then print my own party theme labels on sticky backed label paper to decorate them.  The bags each had a toy monster truck, a pencil with cars on it, a blow-up beach ball, a little jar of bubbles, and some candy.  Here are some links to other monster truck party favor ideas...

Next up...little Toby's 2nd Curious George birthday next month! Stay tuned for photos from that one!

Check out the links below to see some of our previous parties...
Robot / Space Birthday Party
Circus Birthday Party
Thomas the Train Birthday Party

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Preparations...

Well, I haven't posted much lately...sorry!  I've been busy with some fun Christmas face painting gigs, and of course getting ready for Christmas and my winter babies' birthdays!  Here are a few things I've been up to...

I always make tons of Christmas cookies, a tradition passed on to me by my mom.  This year I tried a couple new recipes, but this one is a definite keeper: Cookies & Cream Fudge
Ooooh, just looking at this photo makes me want to get some out of the freezer and indulge myself...

The boys had fun making our "play dough cookies" again this year, and we also made some salt flour dough ornaments that I can't show yet because they are going to be Christmas gifts!  But maybe I'll make a post out of it for you all for next Christmas!

We are now in the midst of hosting out-of-town in-laws, and with Christmas eve tomorrow, then Christmas day, followed by Sammy's birthday on the 26th, I'm one busy Mommy!  This is really the first year I have actually FELT my age due to the holiday busy-ness.  I have been so physically exhausted and sore all over my whole body for the past week it's nuts!  But, hey, Christmas is awesome because Mommies make it awesome, am I right?!  I'm still having a blast!!

I'd love to post a bunch of fun Christmas project ideas, but, well, I'm exhausted.  I have, however, found a lot of fabulous ideas from younger, less exhausted moms on Pinterest lately and you can check them out on my "Stuff to Make with the Boys" board!

Have a very merry Christmas and happy new year, and stay tuned for my review of our big 4th Monster Truck birthday party!


Related Posts with Thumbnails