Friday, July 27, 2012

Toy Story Party (on a budget)

I chose a Toy Story theme for Lil' Hoot's third birthday because she spent several months prior to her birthday absolutely obsessed with her Toy Story "friends".  From the top left:

  1. I made her a #3 birthday shirt with Buzz Lightyear and Woody patches.
  2. Her birthday sign was made in MS Word using the Gill Sans Ultra Bold font.  It doesn't match the movie font exactly, but it is as close as I could get without Photoshop.
  3. Birthday cookie with Toy Story figures.  She prefers cookies to cake and it was her birthday after all, so she got a giant chocolate chip cookie.  I tried desperately to decorate with icing but, well, I can't be good at everything and I absolutely stink at decorative icing.  Fortunately for me, she was extremely happy with the figures and the cookie.
  4. I was a bit worried about the balloons - one of the few requests from our birthday girl - because there was a national helium shortage (or so the signs said in many stores).  I eventually found a couple of Toy Story balloons at Wal-mart.  The rest of our spread included M&Ms, carrots, grapes, goldfish crackers, raisins, peanut butter rice krispie treats and sugar cookies*.
  5. I made her banner using the same Gill Sans Ultra Bold font.  The gift bags included the alien thank you printable from Disney Family Go.  I got the idea to include paperback books in the gift bags from a friend of mine.  I found a 12 pack of Clifford books on clearance from Scholastic.  I also printed out the Toy Story Fun Book.  
  6. Table decor was kept super simple.  Lil' Hoot chose her party hats - not toy story themed, but again, it's her birthday.  Toy story plates and another printable - Buzz's Refueling Liquid - water bottle labels.  Those were a big hit.
*A note about these sugar cookies.  Absolutely a HIT!  The recipe for the cookies is from Annie's Eats - soft frosted sugar cookies intended to mimic those found at the grocery store.  I have always had a hard time getting sugar cookies to turn out edible but these were easy and tasted awesome.  Added bonus - they freeze great so I made up the dough ahead of time then froze them.  When it came time for the party I just popped them out, let them thaw a bit then into the oven.  One change though, I didn't like the icing so I used vanilla frosting from the Cake Boss.
And I almost forgot, invitations!  I snagged a printable Toy Story invitation from the Disney site then added a Buzz Lightyear image and popped them onto some primary color cards.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Treasure Hunting

Inspired by my daughter's relatively newfound enthusiasm for Jake and the Neverland Pirates, I thought she would have fun with a treasure map all her own.  I drew one up real quick, hid some "gold doubloons" while she was watching the show and then took her outside for an adventure all her own.
She thoroughly enjoyed it and at the very end I hid a special chocolate surprise to eat along with her snack.  I am certain will be repeating this adventure!

I love how a toddler brain works.
"Gee...Mama left this elastic out.  Hmmm...there's a hole in this screen."
A few seconds later,
"Hey MOOOOOOM!  Look, I've got a rope!"