Holy cow. My kid is five! That means I’ve been a mom for five whole years. It seems unreal to me. In my usual style of trying to not freak out over this change and making sure my family knows I love them, I went all out for his Paw Patrol Party this birthday. (Parties are my love language in case you didn’t know.)
In years’ past I’ve chosen the birthday themes. This year I gave up that duty and handed it over to the kiddo. He went back and forth a few times between Legos, Star Wars, Angry Birds and Paw Patrol. I honestly didn’t really want to do any of the above because I am not a huge fan of character themes because I want to create as much as possible and licensed characters don’t lend themselves easily to that. However, if you saw the kid smile at the idea of a party full of his favorite characters… well, you would understand why I caved and went for it.
Finally after some searching of the interwebs I drilled down a few ideas for each of his favorite themes and made him choose one. He landed on the save-the-day puppy dogs in Paw Patrol.
Much of this Paw Patrol party was purchased and put together all the way down to the cake. I have been incredibly busy as of late and had to figure out places in my typical party planning routine that could give and still allow me to throw the party I wanted to through. Those items included purchasing printables rather than making them, hiring entertainment instead of trying to do it myself, and ordering a cake rather than baking it myself. #StoreBoughtandProud y’all.
(By the way you should check out the newest edition of Mama Bear Magazine out in October 2016 for more on the art of the low-key party and more awesome articles on motherhood! It’s currently on sale.)
As guests arrived they were able to pick their Paw Patrol hat, get their face painted, enjoy snacks and color their Paw Patrol badge. We then ate a lunch of hot dogs, chips, and “ruffage” (i.e. veggies). After lunch we played a game of Pin the Badge on Chase and then a Paw Patrol Mission where they found puppies throughout our backyard. Once all the puppies were found they got to fill out adoption papers and get their first official family photo with their new little puppy stuffed animal.
One of the places I really splurged on this party was in hiring a Face Painter. I discovered Shining Faces when I went to the 365 for WFM Party in the Parking Lot and immediately called them the next day after my experience. They were fast, great with the kids, and incredibly talented. Manja was FANTASTIC to work with at the party. I asked her to come prepared to paint Paw Patrol faces and she not only came knowing how she was going to do the faces, but came with pictures for the kids to choose from. The kids and adults loved her. It was my favorite part of the party by far!
After the Paw Patrol Mission came cake and ice cream!
The menu was super simple as we currently are living without an oven and I just don’t have a lot of extra time on my hands. Here is what we served that fit the theme:
In addition to the themed items we served individual bags of chips, juices, and soda pops. The adults also had the option of a fruity sangria to drink.
I think kids like party favors even more than I do. I wanted to make sure all the kids got some fun stuff to bring home with them. The first thing that they got once they came in the door was a Paw Patrol hat. I created all the hats myself using a variety of items found here and there.
This is a little difficult as I didn’t take step by step photos or create fun illustrations. I will have to work on a tutorial later. Mainly, I used a little ingenuity to create these hats. Below are some instructions, but mainly, where I purchased the supplies to create the hats.
Marshall hats were the easiest of all the hats! I purchased Firefighter Hats* on Amazon and spotted black and white felt at my local craft store. I cut an oblong shape from the felt and simply hot glued the ears into the hat.
I bought foam construction hats*, tan felt, and pink felt to make the Rubble hat. I cut two 2″X3″ oblong shapes out of the tan and then a 1.5″X2.5″ oblong shapes out of the pink. I then cut off the bottoms of all four felt pieces so that they had a straight edge on one side of the oblong (we’ll call this the bottom). I hot glued the pink onto the tan. I then placed a bit of glue in the bottom center and pinched the pieces together to give a little crease in the ear. I then hot glued each ear onto the construction hat.
I picked up blue foam visors and matching blue foam at the craft store to create these hats. I then used pink and dark brown felt to create the ears. I cut a shape similar to the top of a police hat from the foam and glued it into the visor. (Tip: Cutting little slits in the edge of the foam connecting to the visor helps to get the needed curved edge.) I took yellow ribbon and glued it to the edge of the visor to create a little variety on the hat. I then cut a badge shape out of the foam and glued it to the visor in the center of the hat. These were the most difficult of all the of the hats because the police officer hat shape wasn’t easy to imitate without some major trial and error. I created the ears similar to the ears of rubble, but instead of a rounded edge on one side I gave them a bit of a point.
While this hat actually came together fairly easily, it took some back and forth with design ideas before I landed on one I liked. To create this hat I purchased pink foam visors, a darker pink foam, and tan felt from my local craft store.
I flipped the visor onto itself and glued it into place as I wanted this hat to sit squarely on the head without anything coming up over the face. I then cut a long strip and two 2.5 in circles out of the darker pink foam. I placed the long strip across the hat and glued it in place. I then placed the two circles on the strip of foam next to each other (like the goggles on Skye) and glued into place. Finally I cut dog ears from the felt, making them slightly big and wavy, and glued those into the underside of the hat.
We gave away a ton of fun little items. I’m sure the parents weren’t super thrilled, but I tried to make sure that everything would be fun activities the kids could do and not just junk. (*Affiliate Links)
Mother’s Day is around the corner! Writing about all of these amazing working mothers has certainly got me thinking about Mother’s Day a little more than I normally would. It has made me want to tell my mother and mother-in-law just how much I appreciate them. Makes me want to snuggle up with the two boys who made me a momma. These DIY Mother’s Day Flower Arrangement tips make giving flowers easy and inexpensive.
Flowers are such a beautiful way to say that you are thinking about someone. But, with prices starting at $50 for a nice small Mother’s Day flower arrangement it is fairly cost prohibitive to many. I typically love giving flowers in addition to a small item that will last for some time or be a sweet treat for that person. Often spending $50 or more on flowers is just out of my budget. Thankfully, I know a few tricks to make a DIY Mother’s Day flower arrangement look like a million bucks.
Use one flower (or one color scheme) in a low vase to make a simple, but beautiful, flower arrangement. It doesn’t take much time to make an incredibly easy flower arrangement. Your mom will love it, I promise!
Floating one or two stems or buds of flowers in water is a cost effective way to make a statement. These don’t last as long as some flower arrangements, but they are beautiful! The photo above shows a beautiful black lily floating with the bud of a white rose and some lily grass. If you would like some sparkle, try putting some sequins in your vase as well!
I love using unexpected vessels for flowers. Use bottles, cans, baskets, or boxes to house your arrangement. (You may need to put a small vase or jar in to hold the flowers with water, but the outer vessel can be anything really!) Get a beautiful serving bowl for a gift and put the flowers in it! Two gifts in one. We used picnic boxes for flowers on the tables at my sister’s cheery Summer Wedding. Guests received their lunches in the same boxes so it was a lot of fun seeing them all together.
Last year we had a little Mother’s Day tea on the coffee tables in our living room. I simply sprinkled the tables with the buds from a few flowers that I picked up at the store and snipped out of my yard. The table looked festive throughout the entire tea party. The buds do get a bit wilted over a long period of time. But, this was a short tea party so I was able to make a small, low arrangement in a jam jar after the party that I was able to enjoy for a few more days.
These DIY Cherry Blossom Branches will last for years and are so pretty to look at! A large vase with these sticking out would be a stunning gift.
I love real flowers. Sometimes when wanting to create a fun, whimsical look and to save money I’ll combine paper flowers and leaves along with inexpensive real blooms.
Tissue paper flowers are easy to make, inexpensive and a lot of fun. Plus, they don’t die!
I was absolutely honored when my friend Joan offered to host a sprinkle for me and my newest baby. A sprinkle is similar to a shower, but is designed to be a smaller celebration for a second child because the mother likely has some items from the first time around. I was super touched that she would want to throw me a party in the midst of her own move into a new home. My friend Alicia jumped in to help with the sprinkle and the two of them even outdid the amazingness they pulled off in my first baby shower that they hosted together— A Robot Themed Baby Shower. I offered up my backyard for the party and they based the color scheme to match my newly decorated porch area. This is a LONG post with lots of ideas for hosting a Portland-rain themed baby shower as well as some free downloads! If you enjoy this post, I’d be super duper happy if you PINNED an item to your Pinterest board or SHARED via your favorite social media platform.
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They themed the party around the “Sprinkle” theme as well as my love of all things Portland, Oregon. The Pitter Patter in PDX Baby Shower was born and with it came Food Truck-themed foods and rain drop decorations. We even got to be spoiled with some local gourmet ice cream! I ordered event sized portions of King Creamery’s amazing ice cream flavors. It went perfectly with the theme… also, the champagne pear sorbet was simply the most amazing sorbet I’d ever tasted in my life.
Joan is an amazing graphic designer and she created a beautiful rain themed items to use throughout the event including the above Facebook invitation cover. (The image is free for personal use in case you’d like to throw a Portland rain themed baby shower! Just click on the image, right click to save to your computer and upload to your Facebook event cover area!) She built a cloud out of balloons and pillow stuffing utilizing this great “How to Build a Cloud” tutorial from The Farm Chicks.
Joan utilized the graphics she used on the invite on the labels she created for the awesome party favors she put together. Utilizing the same graphics and color scheme in different areas throughout your party can help pull together different elements to make the party look professionally put together! Joan found corn on the cob from a local farm that simply goes into a paper bag with a little oil and is instantly microwave popcorn! How cool is that? I have a fantastic umbrella that has the “Thank You” in several different languages printed on the inside of the umbrella. We added that detail at the last minute because it went with the theme AND was the perfect addition to the favor table!
We kept the beverages for this party pretty simple with sparkling waters, coffee, tea and—because it was a Portland theme— beer! Joan created little tags for the coffee cups to make it coordinate with the Portland theme. She named the coffee shop “Bumptown Coffee” a play on words from the famous Stumptown coffee! Seriously one of my favorite details. The coffee cups and sleeves (aff link) were totally affordable from Amazon and she simply printed up her label on round 2-inch sticker sheets (aff link). An affordable and simple way to bring the coffee bar up a notch for a party!
My absolute favorite detail of the party was the food. Now, that isn’t JUST because I was 8 months pregnant and eating everything under the sun. Though, that helped. The girls came together with different ideas for Food Truck themed food. Joan then made these amazing little food trucks using a great free template sourced from The Fox is Black and an artist by the name of Goopymart. The food trucks included Mac and Cheese, Please!, Sweet Elvis PB&J, Nom Bowl, Taco Taco Taco, and The Waffle Beneath My Wings. The food containers such as the paper food trays with wax paper and the bamboo bowls (affiliate links) added to the whole “food truck” feel. And, of course, we had a REAL Portland food vendor present with the cute little event size King Creamery ice creams. They do home delivery of their monthly flavors with their club membership, but they also cater events.
I don’t have any photos of the cute little activity that Joan put together for the event. She had hand cut out felt items so that guests could help put together a mobile for the baby. (There is a great little tutorial for felt mobiles over at Craftiness is Not Optional.) I seriously prefer crafts and activities over baby shower games, so this was perfect for me! In addition, she whipped up cute little cards with a link to a meal train that she had set up for me on mealbaby.com. It was amazing to have food delivered those first few weeks after the baby was born.
Joan, who has a rad little business with her husband called Stogle Studios, put together these fun designs for the party’s food trucks using the template from The Fox is Black. You can download them and use for free for your next party! Want to create your own? The template is free to download over at The Fox is Black’s Food Truck Design Contest Post! (Personal Use Only)