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)
Well, it happened again… I turned another year older. All those that know me know that while aging isn’t my favorite thing, BIRTHDAYS are. This year I let the West Elm party animal appetizer plates inspire a black, white and gold cocktail party that was decadent and slightly silly. I decided to share some photos from the party now because I feel like these might just inspire a fun New Year’s Eve event! Next week I’ll also share the recipes I made for the festive fare.
Read on for a list of DIYd items, resources, menu notes and activities! I’ve linked several items to posts with recipes. There are also a few affiliate links below. A portion of purchases made through affiliate links help support this blog at no cost to readers.
We served the Bourbon Apple Ginger Punch as a signature beverage that was easily accessible to guests. In addition I had the fixings for classic martinis, red and white Hob Nob wine and lots of sparkling wine, including one of my favorite sparklings the Sokol Blosser Evolution Sparkling wine. We also had a selection of non-alcoholic beverages. One of my favorite ways to make a champagne glass feel even MORE special is to add in a lollipop. Either by using homemade lollies or pretty rock candies!
The party was slated as a cocktails and cake party… which, of course we had both of those things. But, I wanted more a more savory fare to fill everyone’s bellies. I’m sharing the recipes for many of these items soon.. but, here is the cocktail party menu:
I didn’t schedule many activities for the party as the food and drinks were the main attraction. I did however set up a photobooth area and made a fun game out of the favors. I did “grab bag” style favors and wrapped up several different gifts from which my gusts to choose. I purchased half of the gifts with the idea of “Whatever will be, will be” in mind. Those presents ended up being games of chance, alcohol, and even a Magic 8 Ball! For the other side of the favor area I chose gifts with the idea of a type-A personality in mind and chose good self-help books, journals, office supplies and the like. Before guests left I asked them to choose a gift and got to watch them open the gifts up. It ended up being my favorite part of the night!
I love savory foods… but, at my birthday there is just nothing like a great sweet treat. At this party I served champagne jello squares, chocolate truffles and a layered chocolate cake I purchased at the bakery at Whole Foods Market called the “Chocolate Explosion” cake. It was super tasty!