Paw Patrol Party 5th Birthday

Paw Patrol Party 5th Birthday

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.

Paw Patrol Party Ideas

 

Paw Patrol Party 5th Birthday

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.)

Paw Patrol Party make your own badge station.

 

Entertainment / Paw Patrol Party Activities

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.

Paw Patrol Party with Face Painter

Face Painting

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!

 

Paw Patrol Party Food

Paw Patrol Party Food

Paw Patrol Party Food from A Well Crafted Party

Paw Patrol Party Food from A Well Crafted Party

Paw Patrol Party Food

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:

  • Pupcorn – We basically popped some popcorn, added a little bit of salt, drizzled white chocolate over the lot and then sprinkled with multi-colored sprinkles. (Made To Be A Momma has a great recipe for party popcorn!)
  • Puppy Chow – This one is a family favorite. My mom makes Puppy Chow each year with Chex cereal, peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar. It is simple to make and highly addictive. (The original recipe is via Chex and is called Muddy Buddies.)
  • ‘Ruff’age – (aka Roughage) Vegetable Platter
  • Hot Dogs – we had all the usual fixins for these and put them in these great printable Paw Patrol hotdog holders. I love quick and easy DIYs!
  • Barq’s Rootbeer!  

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.

 

DIY Paw Patrol Party Hats

Paw Patrol Party Favors

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.

How to make Paw Patrol hats: (*Affiliate Link)

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.

DIY Hat for Marshall from Paw Patrol

Marshall-

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.  DIY Paw Patrol Party Hats from A Well Crafted Party

Rubble- 

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. 

Chase

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.

DIY Paw Patrol Party Hats from A Well Crafted Party

Skye- 

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.

Paw Patrol Party Ideas from A Well Crafted Party

Other Paw Patrol Party Favors

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)

Paw Patrol Party Ideas from A Well Crafted Party

Sources:

Paw Patrol Party Ideas from A Well Crafted Party

Tips for Serving a Multi Course Meal (without a personal chef!)

Tips for Serving a Multi Course Meal (without a personal chef!)

Someday I will hire a personal chef to cater a party for me. Actually, someday, I absolutely will hire this personal chef team and sit back and enjoy being served throughout an entire party. That will be a treat in itself, however, I also really love to cook and serve for my parties. I enjoy the whole process of planning, executing and serving dishes to my guests. Many of my parties are fairly simple with serve yourself or buffet style dishes of foods. Occasionally, I like to serve multi-course meals (either plated or family style) and when I do, I like to use the following tips/tricks/hacks to make the dinner more enjoyable for everyone involved. 

Tips for Serving a Multi Course Meal (without a personal chef)

I am the first person out there that will recommend hiring out (or purchasing out and bringing in) for large parties and life events. I value the talents of others and their ability to make my life easier more than I can say. These tips will work for just about any type of party, big or small, but they still require the work be put in. Hiring a chef, ordering catered items, renting dinner ware, hiring a cleaner or hiring a server are absolutely time and sanity saving options for important events. This list is for someone who really wants to do it themselves, whether because of circumstances or because they enjoy it.

These tips will also help for those trying to save money in their party budget for other area. I do stress that you know your limitations however because saving a few dollars here or there and being disappointed in the end will only make it feel like you wasted the money you did spend. I enjoy throwing parties, preparing dishes, and cooking foods. I’m pretty good about timing things out as well. I am terrible at getting the house spick and span before a party. I often hire that portion out and do the entertaining part of it all myself. Know your talents, your limitations and your resources and have a fantastic party!

1. Prep what you can before the party day.

This seems easy, right? Prep anything and everything you can for your party before the big day hits. It is trickier than it seems however because some items don’t keep as well as other items. Anything that you can prep without compromising the quality should be prepped as far in advance as possible. When creating my menu, I often try to get at least one or two items that can be prepped prior to the big day on the menu. Some menu items that can be prepped early include soups, sauces, vegetable cutting prep and many dessert and drink items. Need a simple syrup for your speciality cocktail? Whip one up nearly a week in advance and store in your fridge. Want to serve a dessert of cookies under ice cream? Prep the cookie dough up to a couple of months in advance and store in your freezer. This works great for home made crackers as well!

2. Pre-plate what you can before the party begins!

A lot of my multi-course parties combine a mix of serving dishes family style and plated. Family style is easier on the chef (and whoever does the dishes afterwards) and the plated style of serving is often easier on guests. I tend to serve the dishes that have to be made or finished during the party as family style and pre-plate (or even pre-dish for an all family style meal) what I can. Salads can often prepped an hour or so before the party, wrapped in cling wrap, and stored in the fridge. If you are serving an individual cheese course or a cheese platter you can also prep these early and put in fridge, just make sure you get it out with enough time to get it to room temperature before serving.

3. Include Entertainment at the Party

Include some form of entertainment at your party so that time between courses goes unnoticed. A little time between courses is actually great because it gives your guests time to really savor the course before it. Too much time can be a drag, but with the rest of these tips and a little entertainment no one will notice a time slag. I often do a photo booth, music, questions at the table or even drink pairings that guests can talk about in between courses.

4. Serve a menu that doesn’t all need to be served HOT.

Planning your menu carefully is very important when you are doing it all and wanting to actually sit down and enjoy your meal with your guests. I try to serve at least a couple of items that can be serve chilled or at room temperature. Salads, appetizers, cheese plates and desserts are easy places to put in items that do not have to stay hot before serving.

5. Utilize warming and cooling appliances.

Take advantage of any and all warming and cooling appliances that you have in your home. I clean out my fridge as much as possible before a coursed meal so that I can pile in pre-prepped plates of items or pre-cut elements that will come together for a portion of the meal. My oven, if not in use, is set to warm and all hot dishes are carefully stored in the warmer so that they can still be served. (Be careful to not let hot food dry out in your warmer. Cover with foil and try not to put in to stay warm for too long.) My crock pot is typically in use for sauces or soups that are prepped in advanced, but need to be served hot.

What tips do you use when serving a multi-course dinner to friends or family? Comment below!

Posts with Multi-Course Menu Ideas:

Italian Dinner al Fresco Menu with Free Printables

Italian Dinner al Fresco Menu with Free Printables

Pregnancy cravings are no joke. Add to that my desire to entertain… well, a simple craving for an Italian meal turned into a multi-course extravaganza. I researched formal Italian meal courses and found out that Italians, they know how to dine! Out of my research (and cravings) came a 9 course meal that lasted four hours long!

I can’t say that the entire inspiration for this party was my pregnancy cravings… though, they certainly took a big role! The other inspiration was Kohl’s. When Kohl’s asked me  how I celebrate summer I knew the answer was “Dinner al Fresco” and went shopping with that in mind. After coming across the Bobby Flay Home collection of melamine tableware I knew that I’d be serving an outdoor Italian feast.

Read on for my Italian dinner al fresco menu, table decor resources AND free printables so you can throw your own outdoor Italian feast!

Italian themed dinner menu and free printables — A Well Crafted Party

Italian themed dinner menu and free printables

Free Printable Wine Tag

Resource List

Menu for an Italian Dinner al Fresco

Italian Dinner al Fresco:

In my massive craving for Italian food I went on a research binge to find out different ideas for a coursed out Italian meal. What I discovered is that Italians LOVE their food! A formal Italian meal has several different courses to it. Now, typically they wouldn’t list the aperitivo course on a menu because it is meant as a sort of opening to the meal. But, I just love a big full menu, so I included it. Below is what I did for our Italian meal. Please note that I am not Italian, nor have I had the pleasure of going to Italy. I wrote my Italian menu from researching different ideas and coming up with recipes. They may or may not be authentic Italian food. However, the menu items are delicious. Also, I used Google Translate to help me figure out how to word the menu items on the menu I created.

Apertivo Ideas for Italian Dinner

Aperitivo:

The opening course that usually features a cocktail, Prosecco, champagne, wine  or sparkling water may also be accompanied by light appetizers. I served Prosecco, Italian Olives & Caprese Bites.

parmesan stuffed grilled artichokes

Antipasto:

The antipasto course is slightly heavier than the apertivio course. Sometimes you’ll see either an aperirtivo or antipasto course offered at restaurants, but I went all in and did both. I chose to serve my garlic and parmesan stuffed grilled artichokes for this course.

Primo or first course in Italian meal

Primo:

The primo course is a heavier course than the antipasto, but lighter than the secondo course that comes next and is often served hot. Typically it is a pasta dish, risotto or soup. I chose to serve a clam spaghetti or Spaghetti alla Vongole. I’ll be sharing my recipe for this soon because I make my Spaghetti alla Vongole a tad different than other people out there, but in the meantime you should check out the Spaghetti Vongole from Jamie Oliver! YUM.

Secondo or second course in Italian meal is usually the meat course.

Secondo: 

The secondo course is quite a bit heavier than the primo course and is typically the meat dish. It is often served alongside a contorno which is a vegetable side, either cooked or raw. An insalata (salad) can be served with this or after this course. I chose to serve my meat on top of my insalata or contorno (whichever you please) with a beautiful grilled flank steak served on a bed of arugula with freshly shaved parmesan and lemon. (Recipe coming soon!)

Italian inspired fruit and cheese plate

Formaggi e frutta:

A cheese and fruit plate comes next in this extravagant meal. While most of our meal was served family style I prepped individual plates for the cheese and fruit course. I served a beautiful Italian gorgonzola and fontina cheese alongside grapes and grilled figs that were drizzled in honey. Just so you know… figs and gorgonzola are beautiful together.

Dolce Course or dessert course is one of the most important courses in my opinion.

Dolce: 

One of my dear guests asked if she could bring anything to the event and I happily took her up on making a dessert because she is one of the best people in the world to ask to bring dessert. She never disappoints and didn’t disappoint on this lovely evening. She brought locally baked shortcakes to top with local strawberries and fresh whipped cream. Such a nice way to round out the meal.

Caffè:

Just when you think you are done… there is more! The caffè course is typically served last unless followed by an ammazzacaffè. I got this part wrong on my menu originally but fixed this for the printable. I put the digestivo after the caffè. It honestly didn’t make much of a difference though. We served a nice rich espresso. For all those non-Italian palates in the room (everyone) we had some whipped cream to top the strong coffee and sweeten it a bit.

Digestivo or Ammazzacaffè:

The digestivo is a drink to conclude the meal. It is typically a liqueur of some sort. We served Limoncello.

To say we were full after this evening would be an extreme understatement.

 

Dinner al Fresco menu and free printables

Free Italian Dinner Printables:

If you’ve been reading long then you know that I’m obsessed with the ease of printables. This party was no different. I created up some fun Italian-inspired printables to bring together the table. Today I’m giving them away… for free! If you like free printables then please take a moment to sign up for my newsletter. All of my newsletters promise never before seen content, goodies, opportunities or printables for subscribers ONLY. And, of course, if you use some of my free printables I’d love to see them in action! #awellcraftedparty on any social media images so I can see and share. Now… onto the goodies:

Instructions are listed on the printables. To download, click on your selected printable, hit download, and save to your computer. Print according to instructions. Printables are for personal use only.

Free Printable Wine Tag

 


 

A big thank you to Kohl’s for asking me how I celebrate Summer. This was a lot of fun to put together. Kohl’s provided me with a gift card to help in celebrating summer. Thank you for reading posts that help support this blog. I only talk about companies that I have used, liked and feel that my readers would benefit from knowing in my blog posts. I regularly shop at Kohl’s for their great selection and prices. Please refer to my policies for more information. 

 

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