Friday, April 10, 2015

Lego Star Wars Birthday Party

We recently celebrated Ethan's 5th birthday! Last year my son had a Lego birthday party, but his love for Lego's has only grown. This year he insisted on another Lego birthday party, but this time Star Wars style! 

I somehow forgot to take a picture of the entire table, but for decor I did happen to take some individual pictures of the tables centerpieces. I kept things simple. Down the center of the table I placed pictures of my son defeating Darth Vader at Disneyland last year, placed next to some of my sons Lego Star Wars ships. The kids thought it was the coolest to see my sons pictures and ships on display. 

Since this was a Lego Star Wars party, there definitely needed to be some Lego building involved. First on the agenda was for them to build their own Star Wars ship. I bought each guest their own Lego ship to build. I got these at the check out stand at Target. I gave them each a bag with their Jedi name on it so they had a place to put their ships. I have to admit that I was sort of dreading this activity. The kids were age 4-6. I was worried that I would be the one to end up building all of the ships. I just told the kids that they could follow the instructions or be a master builder and use the pieces to build their own ship. You know what, it worked! Most of the kids were able to build this all on their own, and pretty quickly. Bonus: this taught my son that he can now build Lego's 100% on his own. Now he is so obsessed with doing it on his own that he has taken apart all of his previously built ships and rebuilt them just to prove to himself that he can do it! It has been a life changer not have to build all of my sons Lego's, and probably the best thing about throwing this party!

 Look how pleased he is with himself!

Next, we moved on to a little Jedi Training Academy. First up was the obstacle course. Each guest was given a pool noodle light saber for this activity. 

We started off by having the kids jump through hula hoops while using their light saber to attack Lego Darth Maul and Lego Darth Vader. 

My husband also had a Lego Darth Vadar that he tried to get the kids with while they were walking across balance beam- one pool noodle that I sliced in half. 

Then they traveled at light speed- crawled through the boxes- to then fight their way through the storm trooper forest- balloons with storm trooper faces. 

Then they got to use their light sabers to pop bubbles. 

We also did a death star and tie fighter ball toss.

And they got to bowl over storm troopers. Its hard to tell, but their were storm troopers taped to the bowling pins. 

Next we moved on to our death star pinata. I just paper mached a beach ball. 

Then it was time for lunch. The main dish was cheese quesadillas. I had some stars wars ship pancake molds from William and Sonoma. I used them to cut out the tortillas. The kids had the option of an x-wing fighter, millennium falcon, or a tie fighter shaped quesadilla. 

We also served Vaderade. 

We also had some light-saber looking pretzels...

Jello in the shape of Lego's and Storm troopers and Darth Vader...

Some Princess Lays...

And some Obi-Wan Kebobis!

My son really wanted a cake, but I didn't have a lot of confidence in my ability to decorate one. I made cupcakes first as a back up, just in case I failed at the cake. The cake is clearly not professional, but it turned out better then I imagined it would. So we ended up with cake and cupcakes. 

The cupcakes are topped with chocolate Darth Vadars and Storm Troopers. 

Then for the goodie bag each kid got their own Star Wars mini-figure and a Star Wars fruit snack. It was a simple gift, but they also got to take home their Lego ship and light saber, plus candy from the pinata. I put them in clear bags and taped them shut with a Lego Star Wars sticker, 

I got the mini-figures off of Ebay. They are actually knock off ones from china, but they are only $1 each. Their quality are great. They work perfectly with Lego's, you would never be able to tell the difference. At least my 5 year old can't and that's all that matters!

We had a great time celebrating Lego Star Wars style!

-Some of my favorite things about 5 year old Ethan:
-He is super sweet with his sister, and is always thinking about others.
-He is still obsessed with Lego's. I mean obsessed! A majority of our conversations everyday revolve around his latest Lego creations.
-He is also super into doing science experiments.
-He LOVES all sea creatures! We ended up having to get a membership to the Nature and Science museum because they recently had an exhibit on whales. He just kept wanting to go back to the museum to see it.
-His favorite sea creatures are squids. We recently checked out a documentary about colossal squids. He was so fascinated with it that when we finally had to take it back to the library, he cried. He says that it has inspired him to become a marine biologist.
-Ethan is so optimistic and is such a positive kid. I love this little boy of mine!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Strawberry Loving Two Year Olds!

Annabel and my niece, Ellie, recently turned two! In fact their birthdays are just a day apart from each other. Whitney and I coincidentally were pregnant at the same time. Our due dates were two weeks apart. I came a week late. My sister came a week early. And our daughters ended up being born less than 24 hours apart from each other. Unfortunately, these two cousins live in different states and don't get to see each other too much. This year they happened to be together on their birthdays so we decided to take advantage of it since who knows how many times that will be the case (although, hopefully many times! ) And since these girls love their strawberries, we through them a little strawberry themed birthday party to celebrate them turning two!

I had way too much fun putting this little party together. Everything turned out so cute! And best of all the girls had a great time!

First on the agenda for the evening was a yummy dinner eaten at a very strawberry themed table.

 Strawberry lemonade was on the menu for the evening.

Strawberry Fanta was also available.

We ate the most delicious salad made with strawberries, balsamic rubbed grilled chicken breast, mandarin oranges, feta cheese, sesame seeds and a strawberry poppy seed dressing. Yum!

We also had delicious red pepper pesto paninis and just to mix things up a little we offered some watermelon since there were plenty of strawberries in the salad. 

After dinner it was time for games. Our first game was "picking strawberries". I had made each cousin a strawberry bucket with their name on it. I hid brachs strawberry wrapped candies around the yard. The kids got to go find them and put them in their buckets. Oh wow! This was a hit. We were re-hiding the candy all night for the kids to find. They loved playing this game!

 They were too cute picking strawberries in their matching strawberry outfits!
We eventually had to cut off the candy hiding so that we could get to our strawberry pinata before it got too dark. By the way, I am kind of obsessed with making pinatas. After I made one at my son's Lego party, I realized how easy they are to make. I love it!

Of course, we finished the night with some of my mom's famous strawberry cake! It is so delicious!

Happy Birthday you cute strawberry loving two year olds!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ethan is 4! We Celebrated Lego Style!

Hey a new post! Well actually, I doubt this post would have made it to the blog except that I blog a twice a month on a friends craft blog. I just shared Ethan’s birthday party.  Since I happened to have this ready to go, I thought I would share it here too. I took out most of the crafty stuff, but if you are interested you can read more about all that on this post.
Ethan just turned 4 and he insisted on having a Lego birthday party. This was no surprise to me as he lives and breathes Lego's. He is obsessed! After he settled on the idea of  a Lego party, I may have made the mistake of letting him view other Lego parties on Pinterest. He ended up having some very specific requests like a Lego head pinata, Lego jello jigglers, Orange Lego juice boxes, and an Emmett birthday cake. Because my son was so excited about his Lego party he helped me almost every step of the way. He helped make the crayons, and the jello, and the pinata.Working with him was my favorite part of putting this all together.
E has never been a huge fan of coloring or doing any kind of art project. Until, one day we went to the library and checked out a book about how mini-figures are designed. The first step in the process is drawing out the design. Ever since he read that book he has loved designing and coloring his own mini-figures. I thought we would start the party by doing one of my son's favorite activities. I gave each child a stack of  blank mini-figure pictures, and to make it extra fun, some Lego shaped crayons.
My next idea for an activity came from the Lego Movie! What is Emmett's favorite T.V. Show?... "Honey, Where are my pants?" I thought it would be fun to finally find "Honey, Where are my pants?" man, his pants! We played pin the pants.
I found an image of the "Where are my pants?" man, and I had it printed onto a 16x20 poster. Then I printed out a pair of white pants for each kid. I also attached a label with each child's name to the pants. That way we could know who was closest. 
Our next activity, by request of my son was to have a Lego head pinata. I was super intimidated by this at first. I wasn't sure how I was going to make one. I found this great tutorial. It was actually really simple to make. Although, I made my pinata about 3 times the size of the pinata in the tutorial. The one they share is pretty small.
Then for the last activity of the party I gave each kid a Lego base with wheels. I let each of them build their own car.
Then we raced them!!! This was by far the favorite activity of the day. I could have let the kids sit around around the Lego table and build for the entire party, and they would have been completely happy.
After some car building we got to have cake! Ethan discovered this YouTube video about how to make an Emmett cake and that was all that he wanted and could talk about for weeks before his party. Even though the video lays out every detail about how to make it, I knew that it was still beyond my capabilities. I hired a good friend to make the cake. I am so glad that I did. It turned out to be the most amazing cake!!! My son LOVED it! I LOVED it! I didn't want to ever cut into it.
At the beginning of the party, every child got a goodie bag with their name in Lego font. They got to take home some Lego crayons, their mini-figure drawings, candy from the pinata, and as a Thank you I made some Lego cookies for them to take home.
And for a few other details. We also had orange Lego juice boxes.
I also used my Lego molds to make Jello jigglers.
My son had a blast at his Lego party! I'm glad that I could make turning 4 so much fun!


Happy Birthday

A few things about our 4 year old:

He is the most optimistic kid. I felt this is was a very appropriate choice of a birthday theme, because to him EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! He loves life and he loves to find any way to make life fun!

He is also extremely literal. Everything is exactly as it is. He will dress up as Ironman, but he never believes that he is Ironman. I’ll say, “Hey, it’s Ironman.” He’ll respond, “No, It’s Ethan in an Ironman costume.” Or he’ll play like he’s going on vacation. I’ll ask where he is going. He’ll tell me, “Nowhere. I am just pretending.”

He loves science. He is on a first name basis with Bill Nye the science guy. “Mom, I just learned from Bill that…” It cracks me up every time. This kid will talk to you about Volcanoes, the Moon, Dinosaurs or Clouds all day.

He clearly loves Legos. We call him our Master Builder. He will sit at his Lego table for hours and hours just building the coolest things. Although, don’t let him hear you call him a Master Builder. Remember his literal side… Since he wasn’t in the Lego Movie, he couldn’t be a master builder :)

He is the tallest kid. Literally! We just got back from his 4 year check up and he was 110% for height!

I love Ethan’s energy and enthusiasm for life! There is never a dull moment with Ethan!