Charlie’s Skylander Party

Charlie. My Charlie. He is obsessed with the video game Skylanders. Beyond obsessed. From the moment he opens his eyes in the morning, all he wants to do is talk about the game the characters and their cool moves. It’s a little crazy, but it’s also kind of cute…in a Rain Man sort of way.

And then there’s Robert Welkner: the middle-aged professional gamer that Charlie is convinced is his BFF. Robert Welkner makes Skylanders You Tube videos and Charlie thinks they are awesome. Charlie talks about him like he’s his real-life best friend: “Robert Welkner thinks ____,  Robert Welkner likes ______, Robert Welkner can beat level _____ really fast.” I think it’s safe to say that Robert Welkner has definitely reached hero status in Charlie’s mind. Charlie even told me that when he grows up, he’s going to live with me and be a professional gamer.

1148921_10201789676887402_1065089096_n(photo from Instagram)

Dream big, little man. Dream big.

With all that obsessive madness in mind, it became very, very clear that the only option that could even be considered for my little man’s 5th birthday was a Skylanders-themed party. For those of you who don’t have little boys, this post will be totally confusing and strange. But, if you’re like me, you’ll totally get it. There are things that I know about Skylanders that no self-respecting grown woman should ever know. Ever.

I feel compelled to say that I did NOT come up with any new ideas here. I’ll add links so that you can find out exactly who to credit for the creativity and awesomeness.  I also feel compelled to say that this is not a “look-at-me-I’m-a-super-mom blog”. This blog is not all about how awesome I am at doing things. It’s not a blog that teaches people how to do stuff. This blog is about me. Being real. Some moms are creative…I’m resourceful. I’m totally OK with that. Totally.

Here’s the decor –

treasure box - notjenny.comI used a pinata that I found at Hobby Lobby to double as the table decor. The pinata and the coins were used later in games.

chompy lanterns 2 - notjenny.comI bought green lanterns at a party store and added cardstock  mouths to make “Chompies”

hanging vines - notjenny.comI found this tutorial for making the hanging vines, but because I never, ever, ever plan ahead like I should – I didn’t have time to order crepe paper. So – I used regular tissue paper instead and I’m happy to say that it worked out just fine. Yay procrastination!

symbols - notjenny.comI found the Skylanders elemental symbols here and was able to get it as an instant download. I’m outrageously thankful for organized moms. They make my life a lot easier.

skylanders party -

sheep cupcakes - notjenny.comI made vanilla sheep cupcakes purely for the sake of keeping the peace. Charlie loves chocolate cake and Avery loves vanilla cake. Vanilla cupcakes made for a nice compromise. Plus, they are kind of cute.

Charlie really, really wanted a cake that looked like a portal…but I’m really, really not a baker and fondant freaks me out. Maybe one day I’ll have the time and patience to learn how to decorate cakes with it, but for now – my cakes taste yummy, but usually look like a hot mess. With a little help from the “internet fairy”, I found a happy medium. I used my very favorite cake recipe ever and this photo as inspiration.

skylanders cake -

The games –

trigger happy guns -“Trigger Happy Target Practice” – I bought a Halloween cauldron that I found at a party store and some play guns from the dollar store and spray painted them gold.

pop fizz -“Pop Fizz and Exploding Soda” – We went outside and made some Mentos explode in Coke. The kids were super excited about that. I wish that I had thought to buy different kinds of soda for the activity to last longer. We could have compared the different heights of the spray and… there I go being a nerdy teacher again… awesome.

smashing chompies - notjenny.comSmashing Chompies – This activity would have been more fun outdoors, but it was super cold the day of Charlie’s party . So… We did it in the kitchen. Where the acoustics are ah-mazing. Not my best idea ever.

winged saphires - notjenny.comSearching for “Winged Sapphires” in blocks of ice – I froze floral gems from the dollar store in ice trays and had the kids find as many gems as they could after the ice melted.

We also hunted for golden coins that were hidden all through the house and broke the treasure box pinata to get candy.

charlie party - notjenny.comCharlie and his friends had a fun day and made lots of fun memories. I love my little 5 year old boy and I have the hot glue gun burns to prove it.

Avery’s Minnie Mouse Birthday Party

Fresh on the heels of our trip to Disney World, Avery celebrated her 7th birthday. In fact, on the plane ride back home from our trip, Avery planned every detail of her party. If you know my little girl, you will not be surprised that she planned her own party. For those of you, however, who don’t know Avery, she is precocious, knows exactly what she wants, and is quite possibly the best person I know at delegating tasks. David and I have always said that she will either grow up to be the CEO of a major corporation or the dictator of a third world country. One of our close family friends describes her as the type of kid who will grow up to have a hyphen in her name. Despite  all of those budding “leadership skills”, she has such a tender and sweet heart. She’s a really great kid.

So – armed with my laundry list of assignments and less than two weeks to get them done, I started the party planning process…while trying to unpack, clean my house, homeschool my kids, teach Sunday School, and volunteer at a consignment sale.

Thankfully, I found a really great digital invitation from a store on Etsy. The word “digital copy” makes me happy because history has proven that invitations and I don’t get along. I always order them too late or forget to mail them out in time. Always. Having a digital copy meant that I could print them and give them to our friends at church or just email them. Major details and I just don’t seem to mesh well. I’m embracing it. I’m too old not to.

Minnie Mouse Red w Photo2With the invitations behind me and a million online resources in front of me, I made my very limited time frame work. I did not have one single new idea for this party. I’m also not claiming to be creative super mom. I am, however, going to claim my mad “pinterest searching skills” and some fairly decent crafting skills. So there you go. I’m listing every single resource for this party at the bottom of the post… so if you are like me and don’t like to re-invent the wheel, you’ll know where to go for the details.

My take on the Mickey Mouse/Minnie Mouse wreath is a hodge-podge mash up of a million different ones that I found on Pinterest. The first one I made cracked into a million pieces when I was trying to connect the three Styrofoam circles. To have lost all that work after wrapping that stupid yarn around that foam 8 million times was almost more than I could take. David was sitting next to me when it cracked and wisely said nothing. I think he may have even stopped breathing for a few minutes. Smart man. 13 years of marriage has taught him a thing or two.

minnie mouse wreath -

minnie mouse partyThe food table covering was created out of my dislike for plastic table covers. Initially, I thought about using burlap as the table topper, but it’s stinky… and I didn’t want to spend that much. So – instead, I bought a roll of brown craft paper and cut and folded it for the table topper. I cut a rectangular plastic table cloth in half and taped it to the bottom of my table to make a “skirt”.  Less plastic makes me happy.minnie mouse party -

minnie mouse  cakeThe red cake stand was something that I bought several years ago at Target. I think they were sold around Christmas time. Since then, I’ve used those cake stands for just about every birthday and holiday party. I bought two of them and I can stack them for cupcakes or desserts. My two cents: If you find a cute cake stand, buy it. You will never regret it.

Another tried-and-true favorite of mine is the Ta Dot fabric by Michael Miller. I love, love, love it. It never gets old to me. It comes in a ton of colors, and I love them all. For this party, I bought 2 yards of the fabric (see below for details) and just cut the selvedges to make a table cloth for my dining room table. Easy peasy.

minnie mouse treat bags - notjenny.comDoesn’t washi tape make everything look cute? Muah, washi tape. I love you too.

minnie party - fruit cups

OK.  So here’s the part where I want to just stop and say… I’m a glutton for punishment.

Here’s what I thought when I saw the photo of the Mickey gloves on Pinterest: “oh my goodness! look at those cute gloves! I have to make them!”

That’s all that went through my brain. There was no thought of how long that making the gloves would take, how detailed they were, or that starting the project the night before the party might not be wise.

5:30 a.m. came quick, y’all..and this crazy lady was still sewing. Good gravy. Here’s a little tip: if you make these for a party, start reaaaaaally early.minnie gloves in basket - minnie partyNeedless to say, I made sure that everyone left with a pair…whether they wanted to or not.

For those of you who are not gluttons for punishment, here’s another tip: use a sillouette or Cricut catridge to cut out Minnie Mouse faces. Because that’s the non-punishing way to do it. If you are like me, you’ll just cut 12 heads and bows by hand. Learn from my mistakes, friends.

minnie mouse ice cream cup

mouse ears detail

minnie party dessert table

Avery’s request for entertainment was to have a bounce house and I said, “absolutely”. Bounce Houses are the single best party invention on the face of the earth. They are just so stinkin’ easy. Everybody jumps, everybody is happy, the end.

mouse ears -

By the way – how cute is my adorable sister in those Minnie ears? She’s so awesome.  Avery loves her aunt as much as I do. This photo makes me smile.

make a wish -

minine party birthday - notjenny.comSo – she’s seven. I can’t believe it. And another party is complete. I feel blessed to be this kid’s mommy. And even more blessed that I don’t have to sew any more Mickey hands any time soon.

As promised, here are the details: