Posts Tagged ‘party’

banana birthday party!

banana birthday party on elsie marley

My youngest turned 4 last week and we had a little birthday party to celebrate. He is very heavily into two things at the moment: cheetahs and bananas. Deciding between a cheetah party and a banana party was difficult, but bananas won out in the end. There aren’t a whole lot of banana themed party goods out there, so we had to make up our own.

banana phone on elsie marley

For a craft, we made a bunch of banana phones–you know the banana phone song don’t you? They are just tin can phones that we made with yellow cups and string. I thought they would be a little tricky for 4 year olds to make, so I made one for everyone ahead of time. We put them out with markers and stickers, and the kids decorated their own phones. I have to admit I was surprised they worked–and so well!

banana favors on elsie marley

For favors we gave out bunches of bananas! What else?! I scratched the message on with a toothpick. I’m kicking myself for not writing “thanks a bunch!” How did I miss such a perfect pun? Oh well.

banana birthday party by elsie marley

I was going to write banana jokes on the bananas too, but ended up putting them on the bags for the pinata candy. Here are a few more, because I know you need some bad banana jokes today:

  • Q: What kind of  key opens a banana? A: a monkey!
  • Q: Why are bananas never lonely? A: Because they hang around in bunches.
  • Q: How do monkeys get down the stairs? A: They slide down the banana-ster!
  • Q: What did the banana say to the monkey? A: Nothing, bananas can’t talk!

banana pinata by elsie marley

The candy bags were for a banana pinata, of course! And really, the pinata stole the show. The kids helped me make it. It might look super involved, but pinatas are actually super easy and super fun to make. Oh Happy Day has a ton of tutorials on pinatas if you are curious how to make them.

banana pinata diy by elsie marley

Mine is just cardboard and masking tape. Next time I will double the amount of masking tape because the pinata broke before everyone got a whack at it. The kids are getting bigger and stronger. They were too busy frantically gathering candy to be upset, though.

banana birthday party by elsie marley

The birthday boy got a few good hits in and that’s all that matters.

banana birthday party by elsie marley

The party was in the afternoon, so we just put out a few snacks. They were all yellow: yellow peppers, yellow watermelon (which the kids were afraid of, but was actually totally delicious), yellow tomatoes, banana chips, and lemonade.

banana birthday party on elsie marley

Instead of a birthday cake for dessert we had banana splits! There were bananas (of course), three kinds of ice cream, whipped cream, and real cherries for the top. The birthday boy was in heaven!

banana birthday party by elsie marley

And here is the banana birthday party aftermath:

banana birthday party by elsie marley

It was a banana blast!




fire and ice birthday party

fire on the ice

February birthdays can be kind of a bummer. I know because I have one–and so does my son. So I try to throw parties for him that make people with summer birthdays jealous. There will be no awesome tail gate sledding party for you, Gemini. Ha ha!


This year, my son wanted a winter picnic party on the ice (take that, Cancers). Also requested were, marshmallows, glow sticks, a cake shaped like a 6, and popcorn. All birthday wishes granted! I wasn’t too sure how the cake would turn out, but it seems there is nothing more frosting can’t solve.

glow swords

I stumbled on these glow swords at Target, and wow! were they a big hit! I had planned to have some sort of balloon game with glowing balloons (a la pinterest), but you need 1. clear balloons (not just white ones), 2. super bright glow sticks (not the skinny, cheapy ones from target), and 3. actual pitch black, not 7pm.   Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

glow swords

The kids didn’t seem to mind.

roasting marshmallows on a frozen lake

Before the epic glow battle, we built a big fire and roasted marshmallows. By the way, roasted marshmallows in your hot chocolate is the best thing ever, which is also how my son described his party.  I have to agree–nothing better than turning 6 with a giant fire on a frozen lake!



sledding party

sledding party buffet

We celebrated my little boy’s fourth birthday this past weekend–a week late. On his actual birthday we were all too sick, or if not sick then too crabby, to do much of anything.  But this week we were better! We ventured out of the house! And we had a sledding party!


My son actually came up with the idea (is he secretly reading crafty blogs?) while we were in Hawaii oddly enough. And it seemed perfect: the sky had just dumped ridiculous amounts of snow on the midwest. But then we got back and it was 40 degrees and you could see the grass! In February!  The day before the party it snowed a few fluffy inches, just enough to fly down the hill on. Thank you weather.

homemade marshmallow favors for the sledding party

It was a small party, so making favors was a pleasure rather than a production. We made vanilla marshmallows, which we packaged in waxed paper bags all prettied up with snowflakes. I doubled my friend Lily’s recipe for hot cocoa mix only used regular sugar and threw in a few teaspoons of salt for good measure.  Some of the hot cocoa mix went into jars I scrounged up and with the rest I made a vat of hot chocolate for the party. And then made a vat of whipped cream to go with it.

hot cocoa mix and whipped cream

Obviously, I stole the tail gating idea from Courtney and actually I think this was the first time I’ve ever even been to a tail gate party. Not a lot of sports fans in the family.  It is awesome (if you didn’t know). And it is super awesome for a little kid’s party. They just come and go when they please, while you help yourself to another spoonful of whipped cream in your coffee. dontmindifIdo.

Slowly everyone’s toes froze and it was time to go home. But before that there was much sledding and snacking and frosting on faces. I say it was a success and my big four year old boy says so too.

the rainbow birthday party: part two

When we were thinking about what food to have at the party, my kids and I made a list of all the rainbow colors and the foods that matched. Turns out an assortment of rainbow foods makes for a pretty fantastic sandwich. So we had salami sandwiches, fruit, and chips. And I bought some grape jelly for pb&js too.  My daughter wanted to know where the blueberries were, but they are very much out of season and at 4$ for half a pint I opted for blue chips instead, which are pretty much purple. Oh well. You try and think of a blue food that isn’t jello.

So the food was easy, the cake on the other hand was a pain the in ass, but I knew it was going to be.  The cake is what started the whole rainbow thing in the first place, so we had to have it. My daughter was sitting next to me while I was on the computer one day and spied this rainbow cake. That was sometime in the summer and she has been talking about it ever since.

So I knew I had to make a six layer cake filled with buttercream and covered with piles of fluffy white frosting.  I’m sure she must have told her friends she was having a rainbow cake, but it looked like a plain old white cake, so I’m guessing they just didn’t believe her. But when we cut the first piece everyone lit up. And it was an awesome surprise–sort of like a cake pinata (except this is a cake pinata–do not let your children see this, or you will be cursing me the night before their birthday).

If the cake weren’t a rainbow honestly it wouldn’t be a very good cake. It’s tastes a little like a wet sponge, but you are eating a rainbow so your brain tells you it tastes like a rainbow. It’s virtue lies in it’s dye-ability,if I were to make it again (ha) I would use a different recipe. The frosting is a swiss meringue buttercream with some lemon flavoring thrown it. The recipe calls for an obscene amount of butter. I used less than half and it was delicious.

For the favors we made rainbow glitter playdough. After cranking out six batches of playdough I can make it at the drop of a hat now. Why I didn’t make a big batch and split it 6 ways, I don’t know. Whatever, it’s a good recipe for a mom to have memorized anyway. We packed it in jars and I wrote the guest’s names on paper rainbows for the top. Luckily my daughter got an awesome playdough kit for a present, because I forgot to make any playdough for us.

There were definitely a lot of projects for the party, but my kids helped with all of them and none were really all that complicated. I’m not usually an all out crazy birthday party mom (or at least I didn’t think I was), but I had fun with all the projects. And the anticipation make the actual day even better I think. But rainbow fever has not abated–my daughter now wants me to make her a rainbow costume for halloween. Any ideas?

the rainbow birthday party: part one

a rainbow birthday party: part one

Almost every party we’ve been to recently has had a pinata, so of course my daughter asked (and asked and asked) to have one at her birthday party. But those pinatas are impenetrable! After about 10 rounds of the kids taking turns whacking the thing (and after one burly dad tries, and fails) someone has to get the scissors or and ax or some sharp object and pry the damn thing open, by which time the kids have lost their minds waiting for the candy. So I thought I’d make my own, which took a lot more time than I bargained for, but a lot less tissue paper than I imagined. And after everyone got three turns, one kid smacked it to pieces.

With all the leftover tissue paper I made some martha poofs for above the picnic table. I forgot how easy these are and how pretty. My daughter gasped when I she saw them!

Inside, we hung rainbows and clouds from the ceiling. We were going to make raindrops too, but somehow forgot. Both projects were very simple and clever and the kids helped with both. The rainbows are made by cutting paper into progressively shorter strips and then stapling them together at the ends. I found the directions for the paper rainbows via the crafty crow.

The clouds are so awesome I can’t get over it. They are made by winding a piece of wire into a corkscrew shape and then twisting into a floof of polyfil. Ingenious. You can find the directions to make your own clouds on ohdeeoh.  These will definitely stick around for a while, maybe even become the long overdue mobile above the baby’s bed.

Enough for now, I’ll be back tomorrow with rainbow food and rainbow favors!

rainbow birthday party: part two