Oct 5, 2012

 rainbows & unicorns - {a birthday party}

Somehow, I have a five year old.  It still doesn't roll off my tongue easily, but I have to say that this is an AWESOME age.  Emma is truly a joy to be around - a perfect sidekick.  For this birthday, she decided that she wanted a small, girls-only party.  It worked out beautifully and she was in her element having a gaggle of girls to follow her around.  I have given her a new nickname as of late - I call her "The Sheriff".   Kinda hard to explain, but aside from her swagger and her penchant for bossing people around, she's obsessed with her pink cowboy boots, so it just seems fitting.

Anyway, this was a fun party to plan.  Emma's at the age where she can help me do some of the work.  We started with our theme:  rainbows and unicorns.  I was going for a look that involved more colors and less characters, so we used as many bright, cheery colors as we could.  And of course, a little glitter.

We started with the invitations.  I bought some digital clip art from Etsy and made the invites in Photoshop.  She added the finishing touches with a glitter unicorn horn.

Party day came and I was SO thankful to have my sis in town to help me.  We were still setting things up when our first guest arrived!  These pics are a mishmash of my camera, her camera, and my phone.   I didn't end up getting as many as I wanted.  Being a former party planner, I should have known better than to try to be in two places at once, so one of these years I'll actually hire a photographer.  But for now let's move on to rainbows and unicorns, okay?  Okay!

The sweets table was a big hit. I made a very simple rainbow banner out of card stock to hang in the window over the table, and used an opalescent tablecloth.   To munch on, we had unicorn candy, rainbow cookies, baby unicorn horns (bugles), fruit horn-a-copias, popcorn, and a smorgasbord of rainbow-colored candy.  I swear, I'm still seeing the world in rainbow-colored-party-ideas.  :)
As the guests arrived, they walked through our rainbow streamer'd front door (see pic above, thank you IKEA!) and we handed out our unic-horn headbands.  SO easy to make!  Just roll up printer paper, hole punch it, and stick a headband through.  I wasn't sure if 5-6 year old girls would even want to wear them, but then I found a sweet pack of brightly colored rainbow headbands at Target, and I was sold.  In the end, they were a HUGE hit!  In fact, the girls decided to decorate them and most wore them for the whole party.

After all thirteen of Em's closest friends showed up, we got started!  The main activity was decorating pillowcases.  Anna and I had drawn a simple rainbow & clouds outline in black permanent marker and left the coloring up to the girls with a big pack of fabric markers.  Everyone loved this idea and had a great time decorating.  Perfect for 5 year old girls - lots of colors, concentration and thoroughness.  In fact, the moms all agreed that Kindergarten has been GREAT for their attention span.  Everyone's pillowcase turned out super cute!

After the pillowcases were done, we had the girls decorate their own wooden unicorn with glitter glue.  This was a big hit too, and we laid them out on paper plates to dry during the party (I swear, give a pack of Kindergarten girls markers, glitter and glue, and you have a party right there!)

Finally - it was time for the cake!  Oh man, this cake was so fun.  And such a hit.  Trust me, it looks more complicated than it is.  I'm not really a baker, but to do this right, you do have to bake from scratch.  It's not hard to make, it just takes a little time.  Even with the bright colors, it tasted delicious and had lemon buttercream frosting.  Cutting into a seemingly plain-looking cake got some pretty rad reactions when everyone saw the bright colors.  :)

After everyone was pumped full of sugar, the girls ran around chasing balloons, chasing each other and of course, we took a 5 minute Parker break.  He approved.

The last activity was a "Pin the Horn on the Unicorn" game.  It was cute to see the girls cheer each other on.  Emma insisted that she go twice, being the birthday girl and all.  (Secretly, I think she's inherited some of my closet competitiveness, ha!)


Upon leaving, everyone got a goodie bag filled with some fun rainbow & unicorn treats - a make your own unicorn sun-catcher, stickers, unicorn rubber ducky, rainbow lollipop, unicorn candy and a homemade rainbow friendship bracelet.

After the fun was over, Emma hung out with the cuuuuuzzzzins and opened her gifts.  She didn't enjoy this part at all.  :) 

It was a blast seeing her running around with all her little friends, squealing and laughing and cheering each other on.  The only bummer was that the unicorn dress I had ordered for her online wasn't made in time for the party, so we improvised.  Not to worry, she had a whole week long birthday celebration and she's still glowing from all the love and support she has in her life.  She's had to put up with a lot changes this year and I couldn't be more proud of how she's navigated through a lot of new experiences without losing her sweetness, her fantastic sense of humor and her edge.  Want to know what she asked for this year?  A drum set. She rocks. :)   Happy birthday Sheriff!!  :)

Sep 14, 2012

 Yew Nork and a birthday

We love going to visit cousin Margot in "Yew Nork" as Emma hilariously flubs.  This time it was to celebrate Margot's 3rd birthday party.  It was a short trip, spent mostly at home, playing, laughing and jumping on beds.  My sister put on an ADORABLE cooking party - complete with custom aprons, make-your-own-pizzas, chef hat craft, decorating cupcakes and delicious food.  Everyone had a blast.  Happy Birthday sweet Margot!  I love these girls with my whole heart. 

These two played and dressed up and chased each other, and told each other secrets.  It warms my heart to see Mini-Erika and Mini-Anna reborn 30 years later.  :)

And like all loved ones, the honeymoon wears off after a few days and we have to do what we have to do to keep them from annoying each other.  :)

(two very tired littles)

Aug 28, 2012

 kindergarten - the highlights

  • A boy tried to kiss her. 
  • She got homework on the FIRST DAY! 
  • She wants to go to St. Louis forever. 

....shew!  :)

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