Tag Archive | party

Puppy Party!

Puppy party is a really common theme according to Pinterest, so many ideas I only took a fraction.

According to my favorite developmental book series, this year’s birthday needs lots of quick activities and plenty of loot for the guests.  Apparently 6 is the most self-centered age after 2 (and before 12) and they are all concerned with fairness and/or getting the most.  I can see that with Zoe in some ways but get 10 6-year-olds together and it’s like getting smacked in the face with 3d models from the book.  The loot aspect (their word) was not hard, we already had planned activity 1-3 to include making/getting something that was theirs.  The ‘doggie bag’ at the end was pretty trivial really.


As kids arrive they recommend an independent style art project so as kids arrive they can just join in.

#1 – adopt a puppy – Oriental traders had the best deal so each pup was $1 IMG_8994

#2 – make a collar for the pup – we used pipe cleaners and letter beads.  This one ended up needing a bit of help since the holes were small and some kids are not confident spellers yet but they liked them.  About half the pups were named after the kids, they know how to spell that for sure.  I got WAAAAY too many beads (1pack of 250 and 1 500) but I didn’t want to run out and now I have extra for all my future letter bead needs


#3 – decorate a dog house – I pre set up these boxes and cut out a half circle so the dogs could peek out.  Some kids really used the markers and stickers, some didn’t, but it filled the time nicely as kids were arriving.


Niamh played party game director as they played ‘fetch’ where she threw balls and they ran around the yard.  They also played some version of tag…  They got semi-bored of the games in about 10 minutes and so we did the classic pin the tail on the dog


not that you should have any trouble with this game but things that made it easy for me were;

  • I used leftover double sided tape from another project and left the paper on the ‘outside’ sticky so they could peel away while waiting in line
  • I put the board on the kid easel that way it can be played anywhere, no wall needed


We all went in for a snack – I amended my earlier version by using peeps instead of cupcakes because the frosting made a mess last time and the peeps hold the candy in better.  Unsurprisingly a pretty glass full of candy was well received by the group.



added a gummy bear option for our dairy free friends – good trade because they don’t fall out as easily as hard candy!


While snack was consumed (and many m&ms spilled on the floor) we opened presents – dull to most involved so we kept it snappy and rolled into another little game “doggie doggie wheres your bone” that they played a round or 3 while I got the cake ready.

Top off the party with cake and pre scooped icecream (best party hack ever!  scoop into cupcake papers and keep in a cupcake tray in the freezer until serving) and fruit.



puppy cake – not pinworth but tasty


We had one other activity set up; a photobooth.  Sounds more complicated but it was a tablet on a tripod with a special tablet holder for hands-free use.  I set the tablet to stay on and I activated the voice activation so they could say “smile” and it would take a picture.  I had some props and a backdrop but they moved it a bit to suit themselves.  Given how tech savvy the kids are this was awesome activity.  They took 300 pictures, 8-10 are classically good, and there are a ton that are crazy fun over all for the set up it was a hit.


This took a whole hour and a half, they were not joking about them running through the activities.  However, our education system has conditioned them all to love “free choice” so I told them all that after one group picture they all had “free choice” and there were cheers.  Soon the squeals of glee threatened to take the house down and my friend and I churned out balloon animals and swords to the point where no kid left the party without a puppy a house a collar 2-3 balloon creations the official ‘doggie bag’ and some with a helium baloon (if they asked).  One of our favorite friends left with 50% less because she would forget her head if it were not attached and I found her sweater under a chair and her puppy in the yard etc.



boxes are ‘cupcake boxes’ from oriental trader 


Other than the whole lice thing it was a wonderful party on a great day with minimal fuss.  The only regret is that with this theme Zoe’s extreme desire for a real dog is now cranked up to 110.

Pinterest Truth


weather; rained for 24 hours and now we are GREEN and sunny and nice

nap; maybe – resting at least, I could use one because spring = allergies = bad sleep

house; maintaining basic party clean and looking meaningfully at my closet


Yesterday I posted this picture.  I got the idea from this


I got the idea from this pinned post.  Looks easy right?  Totally!  Now look at this picture and see if you notice something about it…

verbal contract change on a napkin-012

maybe a little less perfect, little less even, little more cream on the glasses and candy on the tray….


Let us start a the beginning so you can benefit from my research

51lhlqat7ll-_sl1498_I ordered these plastic 1 piece champaign glasses and if you look in the questions part on Amazon there was obviously another woman looking at the same pin but she didn’t seem to notice that they are MINI cupcakes.  The glasses themselves look nice but are on the flimsy side.  Let’s just say that we started with 10 and now only have 5 post party.  Maybe if I bought the ones from the pin it would be better?


What you need;

10 champaign glasses

1 5lb bag of candy, we used about 2/3

20 mini muffins.  I originally made double so I could pick the nicest looking ones but it is good to have a backup set as you will soon see.

whipped cream for topping.

Assembly is easy – M&M into glass, add cupcake (unfrosted), add frosting to cake in glass to avoid mess on the glass. (ha!)


So I’m sure if you give the physics of the situation 3 seconds of thought  you might  note that filling a flute with M&Ms and topping it with a cupcake and a squeeze of cream might lead to tipping over problems.  Boy did it!!!  If you look closely at the picture you see my attempt at anchoring the glasses with bluetack to the tray and that helped… a little…

Walking 2 steps in my kitchen had one pitch over and crash into its neighbor.  Candy all over the tray and floor and 10 kids outside waiting.  I frantically salvaged the candy from the tray and was very glad that I baked 20 mini muffins so I re did the two.  Slowly and carefully I got to the door only to wonder how will I get out this door?  I did my best waitress one hand tray hold and got out only to have the door bump my elbow and about 5 kamikazed to the pavement.  No breakage!  just candy loss so I put it back together (again) and did more cupcakes (again) and I was very glad I didn’t clean up the whipped cream gun so they all still looked good but Lars took over and he traversed the nice flat yard to the waiting kids.

The positive – they all loved them!  Nothing but smiles.


So I can’t say this is really a pin-fail but while the creation is super simple I advise making them for a dessert buffet and not trying to walk.  Alternative if you have them clustered really tightly maybe they would lean on each other for support?  Can’t say for sure.  However I can’t stress enough how tippy these really are – you have been warned 🙂

Weekend  at pennsic 

If you focus on fun you can find it. 

I’m an aunt!

My sister had a baby boy today and all is happy in the world.

Meanwhile…. in MN… I decided to take on some of her pain and I’ve had whiplash-like neck pain for days and my tooth hurts… fortunately the tooth is the one scheduled to be dealt with on Thursday and I have a husband that has studied some high-end massage technique so hopefully things fall into place asap.

In other news, WordPress will now let me upload!IMG_2342 IMG_2332 IMG_2329 IMG_2324

Zoe is 5

Dear Zoe


As of 1:16 today you have been on the outside for 5 whole years.  Your birthday has been much anticipated and you ere up and celebrating bright and early (but not too early, you learned something in 5 years)


I’ve instagrammed along the way but last night we set up the kitchen for you and this morning was fancy pancakes and eggs fresh from a friend’s chicken (named Pink Robin, Rainbow, or, Batman).  You totally loved the special touches and even noticed the high quality of the eggs. Today is one of the last school days so I didn’t want to take away from that so Fiona and I brought you an awesome cupcake cake at school and said an extra hello and birthday hug.  When you’re in preschool mom visiting makes you a rock star (how long will that last?) After school we will open presents and then go to a friends house and at some point you will officially blow out candles on your brownie cake (by request, aka, a pan of brownies)IMG_5344

At just 5 years old you have people equally saying “She is 5 ALREADY!” and “She is ONLY 5?!?”  The difference is usually people who remember you being born v people you have conversations with.  You holds your own in an adult conversation and frequently you are the one to start them, you are not shy at all.  I’m constantly amazed at how you recall information and applies it to a new situation.  (almost makes me feel bad about perpetuating fairies etc).  Back on MLK day we discussed, on an elementary school level, about segregation and what MLK was fighting for etc.  As kids do, you asked me a half dozen times to tell it all again but it sunk in because well over a month later you heard the song “Why can’t we be Friends” and said that you thought it must be about the time of segregation.  I’m serious…  I don’t use baby words 99% of the time and your vocabulary is pretty good – you actually said exactly that.

Physically you are on target for height and weight, just rolling into the 5T size, we will see at your well child on Monday but I’m getting 50%.  Your eyes are the darkest of the three and your hair is right in the middle at a not quite brown but not quite blond.  You love haircuts and look great with a fresh cut, your hair really does not grow fast so the cut lasts a long time.  There is nothing you won’t climb but you will occasionally say you are afraid of heights but I think its for the drama.  You absolutely sleep with as much light as possible but I think it is so you can play at night.  Bedtime has gotten much better over this year, we almost never have a meltdown (just sometimes) and at least 75% of the time you stay in your room now.  You are not totally dry every night yet but better all the time, I’m fine with that since you don’t freak out about it, you come upstairs for a new night shirt (of mine) and sleep on my rug.  You also potty trained for daytime in 3 days so I’ll give you this.


You seems less overall musical then your sisters but you sing well with tune and pitch.  You actually make up songs tons and will sing to me what you want etc, I say not musical because you seldom request any music yourself and don’t overly care for the music tv shows.  You biggest issue is always volume, excitement = volume, Upset = volume, awake = volume. You are just a loud talker and someday you will be able to talk to a huge crowd without  a mic but in our little house/car/bathroom  it is loud.

You love to play with little figures, you have for ages.  You will create long long stories with them and play alone or with Niamh for an hour or more.  You have toned down being a puppy (named pup-pup) all the time, but, you always want to pretend to be ‘the pet’ in games.  Your animal love has grown to include horses, Zebra’s, dogs, Giraffes, and owls are still top of the list.  Sometimes you suddenly start crying because you don’t have a horse.   Sometimes you also start to cry because you never met your Dad’s mom and you added a line in our God-Bless litany that is “and all the people who are dead but alive in heaven” I’m not sure how to correct that concept so I’m letting it go because I have no idea if I’m right or you are (or neither or both).

Suffice it to say your logic is locked on and if I give you a good reason 80% of the time you goes with it.  The 20% is when you are hungry or tired or just whatever because you are by no means an easy girl all the time.  Sometimes you really are, you helps me with projects all over the house, we talk, you play and all is well and sometimes you are the opposite.  I don’t think you are out of line for your age at all, even if it makes some days very frustrating.  On the positive you always seem very interested in what I or anyone is doing and will watch and learn.  Hopefully this keeps up but so far you are pretty handy on the loopy loom, you draw really well, and you can write all the letters upper and lowercase and you are so close to reading you can smell it, oh, and you love smelling things… not sure where to add that tidbit of Zoeness.

You are absolutely ready for kindergarden next year.  This year you went to 3 day a week full day preschool and loved it.  You learned tons, met friends, and I think it was the best choice for you.  You even rode the bus and I’m so glad that I had the confidence to let you because Niamh was our safety net (not that you needed it).  Niamh by your side gives you a ton of extra brave points and I think that is why people always think you are older, you lump in with her nicely.


You have very firm ideas about what you will and won’t wear.  We boxed over half your wardrobe because it was more or less in your way but now you love all the things in your closet.  This makes it easy on everyone and you love getting dressed or PJ’s on to ‘surprise me’.  It is hard to pin down your favorites because you change your mind often.  Right now you love red and wants to be a police officer but that is literally just today.  Your dislikes are more firm, she does not like polka dots, things that are not fancy, or the color green but other then that dislikes change constantly too.  You always eat pizza, pizza rolls, and candy and you are a juice-a-holic but other foods are a coin toss.  In the end you mostly like the food if you agree to try it.


You are still 2x independent and always surprising me.  You pack things, remember things, climb to get your own things…  Mostly its good.  I love telling you to pack lunch for us all because you do it!  You love watching TV but nowhere near as much as Niamh, you get bored and come find me or you draw and watch all the time.

I need to wrap this up but 4 was a big growing year.  You are an articulate and thoughtful and loud and outgoing little girl (sorry, you object to ‘little’ so we say middle girl).  I can’t wait to see what happens next year.

Love you

Mom (and Dad)