Don’t miss a post!

subscribe by email

Parties

Pajamas and Pancakes Birthday Party

Pancakes and Pajamas Birthday Party

My youngest turned 5 last week and we threw her a small pajamas and pancakes birthday party which turned out to be the easiest, most inexpensive kid party on record for me (around $80 total), so I wanted to share the ideas with you.

At 5 years old, my daughter’s preschool friends pretty much are just thrilled to have a play date. Throw in some balloons and cupcakes, and life is really good.

Here are some of the SIMPLE pajamas and pancakes theme ideas that made it extra fun.

Pajamas and Pancakes Invitation

I found this cute pi’s and pancakes invitation on Evite’s premium line, Postmark under “Kid’s Party Invitations.”

Note: ours was NOT a sleepover but you can change the copy when you customize. We made it clear in the invitation that girls were to wear their pajamas and it was a drop off party from 10am – 12pm.

Cost: Free (somehow I had credits, I think I got them when Postmark launched?)

invite

Pajamas and Pancakes Party Menu 

- Pancakes
- French toast sticks with powdered sugar
- Bacon
- Fruit
- O.J.

My husband was the cook, and prepped these french toast sticks to freeze the night before and baked the morning of. He also made a batch of pancakes and bacon before the party started in the morning so everything was cooked and just needed to be heated prior to serving.

I also ordered donut holes from a local spot because, really, is there anything better than a donut hole?

And who knew that a bunch of 5 year olds would be so crazy for bacon?! We kept hearing “More bacon please!”  Just a tip if you through a pajamas and pancakes party, allot for more bacon per kid than you might have originally anticipated!

Cost: $40 

Pajamas and Pancakes Decor 

Ridiculously easy. Birthday girl and I hit our local Party City and she picked out these Summer Lovin’ rainbow plates, cups, napkins and table cover.  I found the  cute rainbow napkins at Target.

For the centerpieces, I filled 3 mason jars ($1.50 ea at Michael’s) and stuck a Dollar Tree silk flower in each.

The morning of, I got a batch of helium balloons filled at my local grocery store and tied one to the back of each chair.

Cost: Approximately $30

pajamastable

girls

table

Pajamas and Pancakes Games and Activities

Here is where I went Old School. Big time.

Games included:

- Make your own fruit look necklaces (supplies needed: Fruit Loops and string.)
- Duck, Duck Goose
- Musical Chairs
- Balloon dance (basically let a garbage bag full of balloons loose in the living room and let them go crazy.)

Don’t underestimate the power of our old childhood games. Girls had SO MUCH FUN.

Cost: $7

musical-chairs

Pajamas and Pancakes Party Favors

So I am on the “ban party favors from kid’s birthdays” wagon, but we did end up with left over donut holes, so I put those in little baggies to send home with the kids, along with one of the helium balloons.

Cost: Nothing additional.

All in all, a great party. Kids LOVED wearing their jammies, breakfast food is cheap, and birthday girl didn’t have to wait the whole day for her party to start.

Thanks for reading!!!

Kids’ Birthday Parties: The Gray Areas

grayareas

Recently we shared a post on our Facebook page that got a ton of comments and shares and I could just hear moms everywhere yelling “Amen sister!”  On that note, we have some really good stuff we share on our Facebook page, if you don’t follow, please click here to like us. I think you will be happy you did.

The post was from a blogger called Scary Mommy (she’s hilarious – highly recommend following if you don’t already) with an attempt to unite moms across America to end the birthday party favor tradition for kids.

I am so on board.

Nothing bugs me more than cheap trinkets cluttering our house, and once the kids leave the party, they likely never touch them again. I would rather the host save their money. Isn’t the party enough for the kids?

Her post got me thinking about another pet peeve of mine regarding kids’ birthday parties and it has to do with what are often two gray areas: are siblings welcome or is it a drop off party?

When kids are little, typically birthday parties are a family affair. But when they get older, some parties start to become “drop off” parties where parents drop the kids and pick them up after.  In my experience, with girls, the drop off phenomenon tends to start around 5 – 6 +.

So I am in the “is it drop off or not?” phase with both of my girls now.  And lots of time it is unclear.

Can you help a mother out? 

On your birthday party invites or evites, or even in a separate email, can you make it clear if it is a drop off party or not?

If it is a drop off party, that’s easy, and I don’t have to worry about my other daughter. Taking that a step further, if it is not a drop off party, can I bring my other child or should I make other arrangements for her?

Tell me what you prefer! 

When it has been unclear, I have asked the hostess if it is drop off or if moms are staying and, being the super sweet moms they are, I have heard, “You are welcome to either drop or stay!”

Which is so nice, but what I really want to know is what YOU want me to do! Do you prefer to have parents there to watch over their kids or you would prefer to not have moms standing around?

Here’s the thing: I will do whatever you want. I just need to know.

Invitation wording: give it to me straight!  

Lately I have gotten a few birthday party invitations where the hostess flat out says, “So sorry – no siblings.” And to that, I say, “THANK YOU!” I won’t bring her! No offense taken here – would you agree? Or would you be offended if you saw this?

So it can be as simple as staying “Siblings welcome!” or “Sorry – no siblings.” Either one does the job.

Same with the drop off part.

It can be as simple as stating, “Drop off party” at the bottom of the invite, or including it in the invitation wording, “Please drop off your child at 11:30am and pick up at 1:30pm.”

Or, on the invitation, you can address it to the “Scheumann family”, which would tell me that the party is a family affair and we should plan on staying.

Or, address the invitation using both of my children’s names so that I know they are both included. Which, typically means I should stay too, unless otherwise noted.

Tell me your thoughts! 

I would love to hear what you all think about this topic. Are you offended if someone says, “No siblings?” How do you feel about drop off parties? What do you do if it is a gray area? Please comment…

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Recipe

 

Last weekend our friends had us over for a family barbecue and the husband made the most perfect ice cream cookie sandwiches so I wanted to share his ice cream cookie sandwich recipe, or rather, technique.

He heard the idea on the radio (is the radio Pinterest for dudes?!) on how to do an easy ice cream cookie sandwich.

You should have seen the kids, they went NUTS, when they saw these!

Slice, Don’t Scoop!

icecreamhowto

1. First you take a pint of ice cream (can’t ever go wrong with any Haagen-Dazs variety.) Then using the warmth of your hands to soften the container, squeeze it while holding upside down until the entire pint of ice cream pops out.

2. Next, use a knife to slide a perfect disc of ice cream!

3. Voila! Your ice cream for the sandwich is done. Then, put in between two cookies (large enough to roughly fit a pint sized ice cream disc.)

I was thinking how cute it would be to do a “make your own ice cream cookie sandwich bar” for a birthday party offering a variety of cookie flavors and ice cream flavors. Fun, right?

These made for some pretty happy kiddos!

icecreamhappy

Bookmark This Dip Recipe!

Crowd Pleasing Appetizer

This crowd pleasing appetizer is so yummy you might be tempted to eat it by the spoonful. Sweet and light, it’s a great dish to bring to share to a summer barbecue.

It’s a nice variation to your staple guacamole or salsa with chips app. Here’s the recipe!

Crowd Pleasing Appetizer 

Sweet corn, avocado and bean dip

Ingredients:

1 can black eyed peas, drained

1 cup frozen white corn

1 small jar red pimentos

1 large red pepper chopped into very small pieces

4 green onions chopped into very small pieces

2 firm but not too ripe avocados cut into small pieces (add to dip right before serving)

Marinade:

¾ cup sugar (we made this last weekend and reduced sugar to 1/2 cup and was still yummy!)

½ cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. Tiger sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together and then pour marinade mixture over ingredients.  Stir and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Right before serving, drain some of the oil off so it is not so runny. 

Then, add avocadoes and stir gently.

Serve with tortilla chips – the scoops work great. 

Earth Day Party Ideas!

Earth Day Party Ideas

Have you ever thought about how much trash and waste goes into a birthday party?

Why not give your next party an ”Every Day is Earth Day” or an “Earth Day Birthday” theme? A green party theme is a ton of fun and there are so many ideas you can play off of.  It might even be fun to throw a party for the earth and make it an Earth Day Party!

Here are some earth day party ideas for an eco-friendly bash – whether it’s for Mother Earth or your sweet little one!

Eco-Friendly Invitations

Of course the most eco-friendly invitation is one that is paperless.

Create an emailed invitation for your eco-chic party on a site Echoage.

If you want to take the idea further and reduce the waste associated with gift wrapping, Echoage allows you to pick a favorite charity (you can opt for one focused on environmental projects) and guests can make a donation in lieu of gifts. This is the greenest giving of all! 

Brainstorm on invitation wording like a party that will be “Out of this World.” Or “Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice. Join us for an Earth Day Birthday Party for…”  Or, “The Best Friends are Sustainable Ones. Celebrate with us at an Earth Day theme party for…”

Eco-Friendly Party Supplies

Playing on the Earth Theme, pick a color palate of browns, white, green and blue for a global-flare.

Opt for reusable plates and silverware versus paper.

If that isn’t practical, consider purchasing party supplies from Susty Party, an eco-friendly party supply company that sells items that are compostable and biodegradable.

AbesMarket.com even sells Greenware disposable cups that are 100% made from plants!

Eco-Friendly Food / Drinks

When shopping for food and drinks, think local. Shop your local farmers’ market for local produce and veggies.

Make your own mini organic pizza crusts, and let kids top theirs with a choice of toppings (including local organic veggies and cheese.)

Serve homemade lemonade with fresh lemon slices in reusable cups.

Eco-Friendly Party Activities 

* Have kids first make their own pizzas so those are ready to pop in the oven when the time comes.

* Planting Station: Buy mini terracotta pots and paint them with chalkboard paint ahead of time.

Set up a table with colored chalk so kids can decorate their own pot to take home. In center of table set up soil and seeds, and help kids scoop their own soil into their pot and then plant their flower seeds of choice. Send their decorated pot home as their party favor.

* Make your own binoculars.  Let kiddos make and decorate their own set of binoculars out of SCOTT Naturals™  hybrid bath tissue rolls to take on their nature scavenger hunt.

* Nature Scavenger Hunt: Let kids explore around the backyard or take a walk around the block as they search for various items found in nature.

* Go Green Story Time: Read a favorite eco-friendly children’s book.

Eco-Friendly Dessert

Playing off the nature theme, have the kids make their own earthy “mudpies” using homemade organic chocolate pudding and toppings with such as whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, pretzels, gummy worms, smashed up organic chocolate cookies, etc.

Or, make an farmers’ market fruit cake like the photo above!

Eco-Friendly Thank You’s

Take a picture of your child with each guest and send them a sweet emailed thank you with a sentiment like “Thank you for being a sustainable friend.”

As you can see, you can have a ton of fun with this green theme. And events like this can spark many teachable moments about the Earth and our care of it.

Resources: EchoageSusty PartyHomemade Pizza RecipeHomemade Lemonade RecipeFruit Cake Recipe on Family FunHow to Make Paper Tube BinocularsHow to Make Terracotta Pots with Chalkboard PaintEco-friendly Children’s BooksOrganic Chocolate Pudding Recipe,  Worms in the Mudpie Recipe

Photo credits: Forks from Susty Party, Fruit Cake from Family Fun, Terracotta Pot from Scissors and Spatulas, Worms in the Mudpie from Raspberri Cupcakes