He Man Birthday Party

When Dragonfly turned 6 last weekend, he decided he wanted a He Man and the Masters of the Universe themed party. It was a lot harder to find decorations for that theme than it was for Cocomelon, so we ended up making a lot of them ourselves using the Cocomelon party kit we’d purchased as a guide. 

I mostly chose images from online since I wasn’t posting them publicly; I knew that within our own home there wouldn’t be any issues with copyright. I chose 9 images and used them over and over for the different decorations. Invitations were made easily using a template on Adobe Spark (similar to Canva).

Once those were mailed, it was time for the actual decorations. First, to make the Happy Birthday bunting just inside our front door, I popped each of the images into Photoshop and added one letter to each picture. Then I printed them out, roughly 5×7 (so I was able to get 2 per page). Using the Cocomelon bunting as a template, I cut the images out into a fun shape and then attached them using a blue ribbon.

We were able to find a large banner and a package of themed balloons on Amazon. The day of the party, we blew up the balloons and Ballet Boy tied them all together using a bit of ribbon, and we hung the balloon arch on the wall. We supplemented the themed balloons with some plain ones from Walmart. The banner we were able to get was 9 feet tall and 20 inches wide, so it didn’t fit onto the same wall as the Cocomelon banner had. The big kids hung it in the dining room, right over the table where the snacks and cakes were. That ended up being pretty perfect.

I made two kinds of cakes. I did a carrot cake from scratch and chocolate cupcakes using a box mix. When both were baked, cooled, and frosted, I added toppers to each one. I couldn’t find the toothpicks at Walmart, so I used straws to stick them into the cakes. For the big cake, I printed out one of the pictures I mentioned before, but this time without any letters on it.

Our final bit of decor was bringing out all of the kids’ He Man toys. They have loads of them; Will was really into He Man when he was a kid, so when the toys started being reissued he was thrilled and has been buying our kids one or two a month for over a year. So yeah… their collection is huge. After the photo ops were done, though, the kids decided to take the toys back into their room and play with their cousins.

Overall, the party was a huge success. It’s really fun to prepare and host these themed parties. I’m excited to do it all again next year! (We’re all out of birthdays in our family until next July.)

Blessings,

Happy Birthday, Dragonfly!

Wishing a very happy 6th birthday to my Friday the 13th baby today! (Yes, I know today is Saturday, but the year he was born, it was a Friday the 13th.)

Photo from September when we got to “meet” a local alpaca and the kids got to pet and hug it.

We’ll be having a He-Man and the Masters of the Universe themed party tomorrow; look for a post with photos on Thursday next week.

The Year of Boats and Fast Cars

My birthday was in the summertime, and Will went with a theme: boats and fast cars. We were pretty fresh off of our pontoon rental, and since it was early July the weather was still hot, so Will had boats on the brain. So on my actual birthday, we took a lunch cruise on the Willamette River in our state capital. It was a short ride (about an hour), but very pleasant. We dressed up and had a lovely time. I just love being in and on the water!

The other thing he got for me was the opportunity to drive a Lamborghini! He’d heard of Circuit One Events, which offers drives and rides in luxury cars. Options include a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, and a Corvette. A Lamborghini is his dream car, so when he discovered that was an option, it was a done deal. We bought the ticket in July, but the event wasn’t until late September, so it hasn’t been that long since the event. Let me tell you a little bit about my experience.

Funny anecdote: When I was a teenager, my dad had a Corvette. For this reason, I wasn’t that excited by the new Corvette at the event. I told my family about those thoughts after the fact at home, and Ballet Boy told me I was being crazy. “That doesn’t mean a Corvette isn’t amazing. It means your dad was even more awesome than I realized!”

I was so nervous going up to the event! But that’s fairly normal for me; I’m a rather nervous person in general. I was very jittery clear up until I was inside the car. When it was my turn (there were quite a few people there to drive the fancy cars), the staff guy took me up to the car. The first thing I had to do was figure out how to get into the car! There was no obvious door handle like on “normal” cars. I finally got it, though, and then it was time to drive. The gear shift was very different from any car I’ve ever driven before, too. Once I got over a bit of my nervousness (forgetting my right from left as the staff member guided me to putting the car in “Drive”), it was time to drive!

The first thing you notice is the power of the car. The difference between Will’s car (2019 Nissan Sentra) and mine (1995 Ford Escort wagon) is vast. The difference between the Lamborghini and Will’s car was even more noticeable. It was a very smooth drive, even when going super fast. And the Lamborghini could stop and turn on a dime. I tried my best not to “take it too easy” while I was driving. I really wanted to release all my nerves and let loose in the car. And I felt like I had. Until I traded places with the staff member for my turn to ride rather than drive. (That was an extra fee.)

When I pulled over and we traded places, he asked me if I wanted him to take it easy or really push it so I could the true power of the car. As nervous as I can be, I love thrill rides, so I told him to push it to the limit! When he hit the accelerator, I was literally thrown back in my seat! I couldn’t help but spend most of the time giggling (I told you I love thrill rides). At the end of the ride, he told me that he’d maxed out at about 80 mph – quite impressive considering the length of the loop was quite small. I hadn’t paid attention to the speedometer while I was driving, but based on that information I figure I must not have gone more than 45 or 50. Maybe slower. So much for letting loose!

Over all, it was a really fun experience, and I’m really glad I got to do it.

Have you ever driven a luxury car?

Blessings,

Cocomelon Party!

You might remember that Bumblebee turned 3 on Sunday. He’s such a special boy, and we wanted to do something really fun for his birthday this year. One day a few months ago, he figured out how to find his own shows on Netflix (!). He had seen older brothers run the app enough to figure out to tap the “Kids” icon on the accounts screen, and then he scrolled through the show options until he found something that caught his eye. That show was Cocomelon, which is rather a big deal in the 2-4 year old market.

In case you’re not familiar, Cocomelon is an animated show with a series of songs. There’s no story, just songs. The animations are actually quite cute, and the songs vary from classic kids songs (Baa Baa Black Sheep) to original works to more modern “classics” (Baby Shark) to classic songs with new lyrics. Even though there’s no official story for the characters to participate in, it has the same characters throughout. The main little boy is a toddler named JJ, and he has Mom and Dad, along with sister YoYo and brother TomTom. Sometimes JJ goes to “school” (daycare), and he has a “teacher” there (Mrs. Appleberry) and a group of friends – Nina, Cody, Cece, and more.

Bumblebee loves it.

Will and I didn’t realize quite what a phenomenon it was until we started seeing the toys in stores, and because our boy loved the show so much, we started him a collection of the toys. One day a few months ago, I was browsing Amazon for birthday party ideas, and he peered over my shoulder and saw all the Cocomelon decorations. He immediately started saying, “Me have Cocomelon birthday!” So of course, we obliged. We purchased a basic party kit for about $24 that included a cake topper, 24 cupcake toppers, 12 ceiling streamers, a Happy Birthday banner, 16 printed balloons, and everything you needed to hang it all up. We also bought a huge (5’x7′) poster featuring the young kids of the show and a package of matching invitations. From the Dollar Tree, I bought 2 extra packages of plain balloons to supplement the printed ones.

I spent the three days prior baking cakes and making plans for the decorating of said cakes. The three days was because you need to take the time to let your cakes cool and chill with the frosting before you begin decorating, not because it was such a difficult job.

The day of the party, we hung up the big banner and blew up the balloons. So many balloons. Scorpion, Grasshopper, and I did most of the blowing up while Will and Ballet Boy worked on tying them all together into a balloon archway. We then attached the balloon archway all around the large banner. We just hung it right over our existing artwork. It was big enough to nearly cover the wall, and with the balloons added it was perfect.

We hung the Happy Birthday sign (it was one of those with a cardboard cutout for each letter, attached together with ribbon) over the hallway, so it created a kind of natural pathway from the front door to the living room, where we were holding the party. And we hung all of the ceiling streamers up using the glue dots included in our party kit. A bit of furniture rearranging in the dining room (to block off the kitchen but still provide a place off-carpet for children to eat cake) and we were ready.

I decided to make a lemon cake with a lemon curd filling because hello – who doesn’t love lemon curd? It’s hands down my favorite sweet treat. I ended up making 4 layers, but that was too many. Most of the cake didn’t get eaten at all. I also made a cream cheese icing, which I tinted green. For the watermelon stripes (Cocomelon), I used a green apple fruit rollup, sliced up. The cupcakes were just a standard chocolate, but with the same cream cheese icing.

Because Bumblebee is just 3, we kept the game simple, and only did one: Pin the Curl on JJ. This was just a twist on the classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey, but using JJ and his statement hair instead. I gave personal watermelons to the top two winners of the game.

Overall, it was probably the most successful children’s birthday party we’ve ever thrown (sorry, older kids). We will hands-down be having specific themes for our kids’ parties from now on, and won’t be afraid to spend the money on the decorations. It was so worth it!

Blessings,