Category Archives: Birthday Parties

A Doll and Me Tea Party

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Much to the grandma’s delight – these birthday pictures are finally making their way into shareable internet land.

I sorta had a computer picture storage overload problem – I guess 50,000 high res pics can do that to a machine. Oops. 

So after thinking all were lost, and sobbing my eyes out and praying imprecatory psalms on all creatures great and small and basically denouncing all things good and pure, my sister came to my rescue. Man. Pregnancy hormones are no joke!

And let me know they weren’t lost afterall. 🙂

Love my sister.

So here it is – a lovely tea party for my little six year old Kami and her friends.

All 14 of them. And their 15 dolls.

Smallest house we’ve ever lived in. Biggest indoor bday party we’ve ever thrown.

The more the merrier, right? 🙂

It was also one of the cheapest. I utilized the dollar store’s baby girl shower section and pulled off some pretty frugal hacks to make this an American Girl doll party – without the American Girl prices.

 

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Upon arrival, every girl got a tea hat, some pearls, and a pink bow for their dolls. (hats, $1 each, Target. There weren’t any left for Easter. But Philly people don’t wear hats for Easter anyway, right?  So it all worked out ok that I took them all. 🙂 Mini pink Bows, Dollar Tree, $1 for 20.)

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American Girl Tea Party

 

Each doll had their own little treat boxes to take home their special surprises. (Which were, one pack of baby hair clips  – 50 on a sheet – for $1, courtesy of Dollar Tree. They also had a special craft that was added to these boxes later.) I got the doll’s names from the mamas the week of the party so they could all have their own name tags and keep them all straight too.  (Mini pink boxes, Dollar Tree, $1/12 pack.)

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The dolls even got their own cupcakes. I asked though, and they said none of them were hungry! So they all shared with their girl mommies. 🙂

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I pulled out my grandmother’s china, some china from a friend, my wedding china, and a new tea set that my girls gave me for Christmas. We had just enough for everyone! And believe it or not, three, four, and five year old little girls are fantastic with china.

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File0116After a delicious lunch (of which I didn’t get many pics of the food – I was rather busy. With the 15 dolls. And their 14 mommies…), we made some jewelry for the dolls.  Another frugal hack – making jewelry for the dolls meant we were making tiny necklaces. It took 3 packs of beads, one pack of elastic string, and only about 15 minutes. Most of the girls stayed super engaged – even the younger ones. And I was so thankful for my husband and my neighbor who stuck around to help tie all those tiny necklaces together. 🙂 The girls put their doll’s necklaces in their doll’s treat boxes to take home with them later.

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It ended up being quite the party. But we made some beautiful memories. And that’s what I wouldn’t trade for anything.

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The Fairy Garden Party (budget style!)

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Oh boy, was this party a beautiful day full of fairy wings, glitter pixie dust, and…..zoo animals.

Thanks to a new blog friend, Erin, I had several ideas to choose from for this party.  And thanks to our local zoo, I had all the entertainment I needed to keep the 3 and 4 year old fairies occupied!  But because not every one has access to the awesome zoo – here’s the party photos to keep everyone inspired.

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So, I didn’t use my frappacino glasses for drinks this time. Just as vases for my dollar store silk flowers.

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I didn’t have time to get helium in my balloons. So, a needle and some ($1.50) ribbon sewn through the tied part of the ($0.97/package) balloons made the perfect festive birthday garlands. Dollar store tablecloths that I layered for extra color effects and tied up in corners with ($2.50) rolls of tulle added to the girly magic.

Now, for the FOOOOOOOD! 🙂

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These were chocolate chips, a little extra frosting from the cake, vanilla wafers, and hershey kisses.

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These honey bees were downright awesome. Here’s the recipe I used.

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Some cherry tomatoes cut in half and a couple of cheese sticks were all I needed to make these cute little edible mushrooms.

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Hee hee. Funny story. The “caterpillar-snake-fruit-wands” were quite the adventure for my mom, my sister, and I. When I couldn’t find good looking watermelon to make the stars I wanted, we improvised with strawberries. Thinking, “caterpillars would be adorable!” They kinda ended up looking like snakes though. This is what they were supposed to be.

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So kids’ parties are full of sugar as it is. So for my punch, I do 100% juice, in a “matching” color to my theme, and water it down with club soda. And give it a cool name. Like Pixie Punch.

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These were the adult’s favorites for sure. This is the recipe I used for these.

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Hee hee hee. 🙂

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We had peanut butter and blackberry jam sandwiches and cheese sandwiches  – the birthday fairy’s favorites!

And now, time for the fairies to join us after their little walk through the zoo.

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Boy were they excited!

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The first stop was the Fairy dress-up station where the party goers got their wings and pixie dust.

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This is where the magic happened for my little birthday fairy. She loved watching her little friends transform into magical fairy creatures.

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Including herself!

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Next the girls picked out their party food and enjoyed their lunch together.

Then the cake….

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The tree trunk and tree top were rice crispy treats  molded into the correct shape, and covered in marshmallow fondant. The fairies are attached with simple floral stem wire I got at Hobby Lobby.

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She’s not the best candle flame blower-outer. (I mean, really! This was only her fourth chance to practice!) So she got one candle. Big sis still had to help a little, much to the birthday fairy’s chagrin.

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“No, Col-we. I’M gonna blow out the candle!” 🙂

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“Now, I’m a princess fairy!” (but not until after having wings, a necklace, a tiara, and a red flower in her hair…)

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— Special thanks to my lovely fairy queen mother and fairy sister for helping make this party such a super success. 🙂

It’s a Pizzeria!

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Welcome back to Party Week here on KimzKitchen. I’ve had some parties in the archives to post about for awhile now, and thought I’d feature them all in the same week. I hope you’re not gaining as many pounds as I would be if I were really having all these parties in one week. 🙂 If you’ve missed some of the fun, check out the Valentine’s party and the baby shower.

Next week will be some before and after photos of my January organizing project – that will be fun too, but parties are a great way to prequel that. So, this party, for my six year old budding chef, took place last October. It was SO FUN! All she wanted was to cook with her friends. This is what we came up with.

And truth be told, this was the simplest party ever. I mean, the kids made their own lunch, they played the games they wanted to, and they even filled their own treat bags. But shhhhh! Don’t tell any of the moms that showed up. They thought I did all that work!!

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Every kiddo got their own apron (I used the apron Chloe already had as a pattern to cut out the fabric with pinking sheers (so no-sew!), then I quickly sewed on some red bias tape for the ties.

It took me about 75 minutes (and $8 worth of fabric) to make 12 of them.

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Papa Murphy’s to the rescue – they provided these awesome pizza kits, already set up and ready to go for $3 a piece. And they gave me a “you’re-a-super-cool-person” discount, (or maybe it was a “you’re-about-to-have-12-kids-make-pizzas-at-your-house-and-we-feel-sorry-for-you” discount) so they were only about $2.40 a piece.

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Why they were awesome – they came with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni all measured out, the dough already flattened, and on it’s own cooking tray. I ❤ no dishes to wash!)

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Chloe decided to take charge and give the kids directions on how to prepare their pizzas. She’s a good teacher. 🙂

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While the pizzas were baking, the kids tried their hands at the Arcade “Room”. My husband built all these awesome silly games out of cardboard boxes.

The kids got tickets that they turned in later at the prize counter.

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Thankfully, we had a lot of moms and aunts and uncles to help out.

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Chloe’s Uncle gave the birthday girl a few extra tickets I believe. 🙂 (I got these tickets at the dollar store – you can find them here, too.)

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Once the pizzas were baked, it was time for lunch!

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The kids having access to all-you-can-want parmesan cheese shakers (that I got for $1 a piece at Walmart) made the lunch quite the blast for them.

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(See those glasses again? This could have also been called “100-uses-for-used-Frappacino-Bottles” week.

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Chloe didn’t want a birthday cake this year – she’s not a huge sweets fan anyway. So when I suggested a Birthday Dessert Pizza, she jumped on the idea!

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Next was prize table time. The kids used the bags that were at their spots at the table to put their prizes in. See? Filling their own treat bags. Hee hee hee. 🙂

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The prizes were all dollar store finds that Chloe and I went shopping for the week before.  We selected things that were as brightly colored as we could.

Putting them in glass jars and trifle bowls and vases made them super visible (and I had all those glass things at home already.) The pinwheels were the biggest hit.

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The birthday girl got a new bicycle (that she loves!) and a day spent cooking and playing with all of our family. I’d say it was a hit of a party!

A baby shower for my sister.

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Seeing that it’s turning into Party Week here on KimzKitchen, I thought I’d feature a baby shower.

A few months back, my sweet little sister (the one with whom I share a bday, actually!) was pregnant with her first little boy. As hard as it was, I wanted to do a special shower for her. She was married pretty quick-like out of state with military obligations, so a wedding shower didn’t work out. So, this baby shower was a big deal for my other sister and I. It turned out pretty cute, I think.

Here’s a few photos from her day.

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My mom, and my sister, and my nephew. 🙂

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See, told ya I use these glasses for everything! These straws came from here.

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(Super easy!) Doughnut Tower Instructions

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Savory Mini Vegetable Quiche

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Southern Grits Bar (Basics for Beginners Recipe coming soon)

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Sunrise Punch

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I was pretty nervous about gift-opening time. I still don’t do well with looking at baby boy clothes – and especially then, was absolutely terrified of watching this part of the shower.
Thankfully I was given a downright Heavenly idea of heading up a craft gift – which kept me supremely distracted, but also without being a distraction. 

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Had to include this one – seeing little Kyle there ^ made me smile.

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These little pirate faces will go perfectly in my nephew’s nautical nursery.

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Everyone at the shower signed their own handprint pirate, so now my sister can remember the love shown to her that day.

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I still have to send her the birth stats to put over on the side there…now that my house is organized, I should get on that. 🙂

A party day with my Valentines.

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Valentine’s Day was going to be a pretty big day with a guest post going live on another blog, Kyle’s due date, and a plan for a big dinner night in with my husband that night.  I needed another distraction though. Well, maybe I didn’t. But I kinda did. And I love parties. 🙂

We started with a quiet breakfast. There’s just something about waking up to a decorated table that makes my girls excited. Well, that and drinking milk in martini glasses. Gotta love de-cluttering finds. 🙂

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Heart Pancakes with strawberries – easy breakfast. *Whew!* Along with a handmade card from me, and roses from their daddy.

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So, I’ve learned, if I want my girls to have a Valentine’s Party, I just have get to throw one.

Several gals from my church with little ones, and semi-big home schooled ones joined my girls and I for the “big” party at our church Thursday morning. (According to Chloe, breakfast was the “little” one.) It was a blast. But then anytime you have 13 kids from 2 months old all the way to 7 or so, it’s bound to be, right?

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Starbucks frappacino bottles – these guys have been used for every party I’ve had in the past 2 years. I get my straws here.

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What can I say? My girls are hopeless romantics.

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We played a few games – “Make a giant stuffed animal pile relay” and “a Southern Snowball Fight”
(real creative names, huh?)

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I can’t say enough about these paints – I LOVE them! They don’t drip, poison if eaten, stain if spilled, or make any sorta mess. 🙂

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Make your own Valentine Mail Bags…

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…Then fill them with Valentines for your friends. 🙂

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Good grief.

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Good grief.

Sometimes I’m gathering up all my energy to cook a meal. Or sometimes I’m walking through a crowded IKEA store. Sometimes it’s at the park with my girls.

I never know when I’ll see something that will trigger memories of Kyle, or worse, my memories of my dreams of Kyle.

Sometimes I feel like it never happened – that it was all a bad dream – and that now I’m awake and I should go do dishes. Then, I open my freezer and bags of frozen breast milk fall out that I’m holding for a friend.

Kyle’s milk. it says, on the name line.

Then there’s those wretched anniversaries. For the one month anniversary, I was home for several days by myself – my husband was visiting his dying grandfather in Florida. He desperately didn’t want to leave, but I thought I’d be ok.

It’s incredible the things that go through your mind, the moments you relive, all because of silly numbers on a clock or on a calendar!

Every. Single. Memory. It all came back as if I were looking on again while it happened. I felt contractions. I remembered that blessed morphine dose I got to give me a break from the pain for an hour or two so I could get a visit from my girls. I remembered my sweet sister’s laboring over photos – that I still can’t look at. I remembered the tears that were shed by nurses on my behalf behind curtains and closed doors. I remembered holding him. And around the time he was born in my arms, 1:30 AM, I finally let myself fall asleep. Then when I woke up, I just wanted that moment – that awful moment – when I passed on his little body to the funeral home man to come and go quickly.

I had made plans with a good friend visiting from China to meet us at the park that day. Hoping it would keep me from being in terrible despair in my room all day. But, honestly, I didn’t feel like doing anything. Thankfully, my girls are very self-sustaining. They were completely happy to find a movie and their two favorite boxes of cereal.  I heard them talking… “Mommy’s still sad today, Kami. I’ll just get you breakfast today.” “OK! Col-we! Let’s just watch a movie!” “Kami, I can’t find any bowls. We’ll just have to eat the cereal like this, ok?”

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Later that morning, Chloe came in and checked on me. I told her, “Chloe, Mommy’s gonna be really sad today. It’s Kyle’s one month day. But he’s not here to have a little party for him. So I just miss him.”

She gave me the prettiest smile and said, “Oh mom, how about we have a baby Kyle picnic, then, at the park? We can have a picnic and play and run. It can be a baby Kyle party.”

While that would probably get most mama’s hearts and turn them around for the better, I was beyond easy convincing at this point. “But, Chloe, Kyle won’t be there.”

Apparently, Chloe was beyond easy convincing too. “But Mom. It’s OK. It’s just a celebration. For Kyle. Cause he’s in Heaven. So it can still be good. And here….”
(She ran to the kitchen and grabbed some blue daisies another friend and delivered to my house the day before and brought them into my room.) “….we can just take these to him today at his flower place.”

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My daughter is a genius. The other title for this post was going to be “(Not so much) Like Mother, Like Daughter.”

Chloe proceeded to make a picnic lunch. She’s quite the inventive cook. Peanut butter and rotisserie chicken sandwiches with lettuce? Hmm…..hey. At least they were triple deckers. This was one family outing I was happy to be on a diet. 🙂

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Seeing those smiles and yogurt mustaches was just what I needed. It got my mind off the ticking minutes. And got my mind on what I had right in front of me. Two beautiful gifts I’ll never deserve. And sometimes I think they’re angels. I guess I’ve been blessed with a lot of angels.

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Chloe even got a hopscotch lesson. And a spanish lesson. And a quarter.

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Then it was off to what we call the “Flower Place”. Where in the place of harsh, cruel, death, even in January, new grass was growing. And I felt like it was somehow a picture of my heart. I was feeling a little bit of healing. A little bit of growth. And it had all been watered by my never ending flow of tears. Without those tears, without that death, that grass wouldn’t be there. And my heart would never have grown to a place where it would be able to feel like it does now.

So, while in the depths of difficult hard grief, I’m learning that even when I go through deep waters, God will be with me. When I go through rivers of difficulty, I will not drown. When I walk through the fire of oppression, I will not be burned up; the flames will not consume me – because God is my God.  So, my grief, while mostly terrible – is sometimes good.

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 — Isaiah 43:2,3

Ballerina Birthday Party – Step 2

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If you haven’t been invited to the Ballerina party yet, go check out the invitations here.

Once you’ve seen those….welcome to the party! 🙂 I had so much fun with this one. A couple of things i’ve learned. Tulle and elastic are my friends; and 3 year old finger foods are a piece of cake to prepare. The only thing I cooked the day of the party was the Mac n Cheese – and even that was prepared the night before and just baked off in the oven. I love to cook, but when you can easily cook…why, that’s even better!

The Menu:

Gingerbread Strawberry Cream Cookie Tarts <—- I was inspired by this cute little recipe!

Make-your-own Cracker Sandwiches

Salted Coconut Oil Popcorn <—— Here’s the printables for the super cute little boxes!

Carrots with Homemade Ranch <— my little ballerina’s favorite “begetable snack”

Pink Marshmallow Lollipops (Thanks, Mom!)

Pigs in a Blanket – made by her super sweet 5 year old sister!

Red Apples with Strawberry Cream

Homemade Mac n Cheese <——- the birthday girl’s all time favorite meal ever.

Angelina Ballerina’s Pink Rose Cake

The Favors:

Yay for my Cricut! I made little Ballerina paper dolls for each little girl to take home. (Along with their own tutus they all got in their invitations. Each ballerina came with three different colored tutus. Little velcro circles (bought at Walmart!) made the outfits easy to take off and stick on – especially for the chubby little 2 and 3 year old fingers.

The Decorations:

The table cloths on all the tables was some discount pink fabric I got for $1.50/yard. The pink tulle was $.59/yard and the elastic was $.39/yard. What can I say? I’m cheap. 🙂 I sewed the pink tulle onto the elastic to fit around the bottom edge of the dining room table – which made a little “tutu tableskirt” – it was super cute. And super easy!

Each of the girls tables were small tables I pulled from our school room (and a friend’s house!). I used my grandmother’s china. And my starbucks glasses. 🙂 (At this point, those things are a tradition for every party at our house….)

And balloons. I love balloons. My girls love balloons. And again, they’re super cheap. BTW – interesting note. Did you know that Walmart will fill your balloons for a quarter a piece? If you buy them in their store – which they’re only $1 for a pack of 12. Head on back with your balloons to the bakery section and they’ll get you all set. (Just call ahead to check first!) I’m actually not a huge Walmart shopper. But I’ll go anywhere for helium balloons. 🙂

The Games:

Find Angelina’s Lucky Penny (in the sand box)

A Ballerina Class (with a (free!) library Ballerina DVD)

And just because this post doesn’t have enough photos yet…how about one of the birthday girl?!