In putting together our event guest welcome gift we were excited to be able to include a few wonderful, complimentary items from Dr. Teal’s and Nature’s Gate. All opinions are my own.For more information about my sponsored content please visit my policies page. This post contains affiliate links which are marked with an *.
Our anniversary party was very similar to a wedding with guests coming in from other states to help celebrate. We didn’t have the opportunity to make wedding welcome baskets. (A tradition that really became popular sometime in the past 10 years after our wedding.) I love the thoughtfulness of the idea to welcome those who took the time and money to fly or drive a long distance with a small gift. So, when we invited family out to join us in celebrating I knew I wanted to have some gifts for them.
We rented a local AirBnB for my family to stay in during their stay. I didn’t want them worrying about food or toiletries when they first arrived so my guest welcome gift was put together with that in mind.
I’m giving you a bit of sneak peek into the bags that were created for our anniversary party favors, but I had extras so I used it for the welcome gift as well.
In the bag we put some basic groceries to help them have necessities for the first day at the AirBnB. We included some local items as well including Franz Bagels. We had cereal, milk, bagels, cream cheese, coffee, and half and half.
We added in some toiletries into a box that would both help them feel more at home and also help them destress a little. Come on… family is always a little stressful wether for a wedding or a 10 year anniversary party. 😉
We included shampoo, conditioner, body wash, kids body wash, some Dr. Teal’s Body Oil* & Dr. Teal’s Body Lotion* and Nature’s Gate Sport Sunscreen*. I figured that the oil and body lotion would go a long way in de-stressing them after a long day of family fun. The sunscreen is something I’ve started to give to EVERYONE because I believe healthy skin protectants are one of the best gifts to give after going through skin cancer surgery twice now.
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)
When I got to thinking of the whole “Hey Girl” Meme for the Ryan Gosling themed party the ideas sort of over-took my brain. I wanted to do SO much. But, as I advise every bride/diy event planner … I started out with lots of ideas and then began to narrow them down. The favor idea was one of my FAVORITE ideas, so I spent some time figuring out the best way to go about it. I loved the idea of giving guests tea towels (who doesn’t need more of those!?) that were a simple black and white that had a “Hey Girl” message of “Hey girl, let me dry those dishes for you.”
My first attempt at making these tea towels did NOT go well. I was determined to screen press the tea towels. I borrowed my friend Suzannah’s Ryonet home screen printing press and tried following her tutorial and the Ryonet YouTube tutorial. The whole process is very, very involved. The kit included everything I needed and the instructions were great! But, I didn’t give myself near enough time or room for error. It was one of those DIY fails that just really sucks. After I dried my tears of frustration, I scrapped the screen printing idea and went with the iron on transfer method.
I typically don’t enjoy the way the iron on transfer looks on fabrics. There is usually a line around the image that is slightly more glossy than I want. When the paper gets too hot it can yellow. Also, I never know how long it will last. I was pretty thrilled with the way these tea towels turned out though and would recommend the iron-on transfer as an easy way to make these. Follow the instructions on the iron on transfer paper.
Download my Hey Girl Tea Towel print and get started! Image of Ryan Gosling was licensed under CC 2.0 — sourced via Raffi Asdourian . I then modified the image. Tutorial coming!
Supplies (Affiliate Links):
And, just because I thought this would also make for a cute framed print above a drying rack in the kitchen I also made an 8×10 printable. Click here to download you own free Ryan Gosling themed printable!
Love the idea but just don’t wanna make your own tea towels? These sketched tea towels by Dear Colleen are AMAZING and would make for a fantastic gift! They’d be a better quality and have THREE images of Ryan Gosling… so, there is that too!
(PS. I will give screen printing a shot again sometime soon.)
(PPS. Ryan, if you’re reading this… first, EEEEE! Second, we share because we love your work and enjoy the meme. Will take down with a note from you! )