The pulse of the party is its' theme.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Baby Girls Birthday Non-Party

So, we did not get to do a party for baby girl this year. I had ideas and I had plans, but my sweet little girl decided she wanted a big gift instead of a party.....well she probably would have liked to have both, but my wallet did not agree. We ended up getting her a super comfy, super nice, mattress set. Really one of those things that you have to pay up for. Hopefully she will have for many many years to come. She will also be moving into an apartment this year, so perfect timing for this gift.

But how can I let my baby girl wake up on her birthday and not have some sort of celebration? I of course did my paper signs and hung a birthday banner., it dawned on me, this will be my last year doing "teen" signs. How time flies. I decided to go out and buy her a comforter for her new bed. I wanted her to have something to open up on her birthday. I don't know how much of that is wanting them to have a good birthday and how much of it is me wanting to hang on to their youth :)

Since we weren't having a party....I had the idea for us to all have a nice family dinner at Wildfire. She could invite her boyfriend my son would bring his would be so grown up. Well the boyfriend and girlfriend had work, so it turned into just a nice family dinner with the hubby and kids. We don't get many of those anymore, so I was fine with that. We had a lovely time, they brought out desert with a candle and then we headed home.

It takes some time getting used to having adult children. All of those parties we used to have. I wish I had more pictures. Shame on me.....I forgot my camera on this day as well.
Well, no cool pictures or cool party ideas to post on this one......but sometimes, it is just about spending the time together. I hope she will remember that when she thinks back on her birthday.......well, that, and how comfortable that crazy mattress is!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Audio Monkey Graduation Party

So after years of helping out with school projects and making last minute cupcakes, my days of having a child in school are just about behind me. My oldest just graduated from college and I could not be more proud. He took a few detours along the way, but once he found his calling, he went after it head on. I am also proud to say that a week after graduating he landed his first job on an Emmy nominated court tv show. Not too bad. I wish him much success and of course had to throw him a party to celebrate!
I mentioned before that I got the idea for this party from the Steez picture of a monkey wearing headphones. I purchased a copy at target for my sons room a few years back, as I used to call him my little monkey head when he was a baby and he was going to school for Audio, the picture just reminded me of him.
We decided to have a small BBQ at our house. I had a limited budget on this party, so I got myself ready to craft! I made the invitations myself with note cards I purchased at the Swoozies
going out of business sale. I stocked up and it was great having them on hand for this very reason. I think they came out pretty good.

Here is the Steez picture I mentioned was in my sons room. I moved that into the living room and placed over the fireplace as a focal point. I made my own little banner and attached it to the monkeys. Sticking with the audio theme, I drew some headphones on there and added a little graduation cap to the monkey on the bottom. I took my color scheme from the monkey picture. The paper balls are from Martha Stewart. I had these left over from a baby shower. They are super easy to make, and people always comment on them. Fun and easy decoration.

Ahhhh, my personalized banner making. Now that I have my new paper cutters, this project was much easier to tackle. I added the monkey and the school logo.

I keep a ton of card stock on hand. I had some that went with my color scheme and I used twine to tie everything together. It also gives off a more natural vibe.

Here is the finished product. Below the banner I placed stuff from the graduation ceremony. I had his cap and the programs from the ceremony along with his degree.

I wanted to display some pictures from the ceremony for everyone to see. Rather than doing the typical poster board thing, I had this idea to hang them on the same twine over the buffet, so that everyone could see as they went by the table. I did not have any clips, so I just used a hole punch and strung them in chronological order. Since we only had two tickets to the graduation, this was a nice way to share the day with everyone at the party.oh was my attempt at making homemade monkey bread. I had this idea that I was going to bake homemade favors for everyone to take home. What goes with a monkey theme? Monkey Bread! Well, I have to admit, I had never had monkey bread before. I came out just fine, but was way to time consuming for me. I thought I would try mini loafs of banana bread, but that also took a lot of time. I was kind of disappointed as I had started to make the cute little favors bags.

These were the supplies needed for the favor bags. I thought the paper lunch bags went with that natural look and we already had them at home. You just use scalloped craft scissors to trim the top of the bag. I made little tags to glue on the bag. Used a hole punch and the twine to tie up the top.

One of the finished favor bags. Too bad my baking skills were not up to task. Would have been nice. With this idea off the table, I tried to come up with something else that went with my audio monkey theme. Duh, what do audio monkeys eat? Simple, easy, Bananas!

I used the tags I made for the favor bags and just tied them to a couple of bananas. I wrote the name of the event along with "Thanks a Bunch!" How cute is that? I put them on a little table near the door, so people could take on their way out. This was also an appropriate snack as my son and some of his friends are vegetarians.

Back to the decorations. I used card stock and ribbon to make these vase covers. I absolutely have to have fresh flowers when I throw a party. Who doesn't like flowers? It is an instant decoration. Making these covers for the vases, just personalizes the event. I went with sunflowers as they fit in with my color scheme and they had them in bulk at Costco. They have such a great deal on flowers at Costco!

So, this monkey theme had to be subtle and not something a 2 year old would have. I found this cool table cover at Target. I think it gave off a jungle theme without being goofy. It also matched the new plant we bought for our deck. I also, placed extra bananas around the party as decoration. Subtle. These were my attempt at party picks for the cupcakes I made. With my limited budget, I decided to make these cute chocolate banana cupcakes I saw online. The picks were more time consuming than the monkey bread, so I only made a few. Just as well, I like the look of the cupcake on its own!

I loved the way the cupcakes turned out. Just made chocolate cupcakes and then added a little banana extract to the frosting. I placed a dried banana chip on each one. My mom also brought some banana bread and brownies, so we had a nice little dessert bar going on.

My husband did all the grilling and my daughter helped out with the salads. We had veggie burgers and veggie skewers among the other BBQ fare. Yummy Sangria was a big hit as well.

So, I am a little behind the times with the whole downloading music thing. I wanted keep my monkey theme going with some monkey music. I burned my very first cd and every song had a monkey connection......This Monkeys Gone to Heaven by the Pixies....Shock the Monkey, Peter Gabriel.......Last Train to Clarksville, by The Monkees.......just to name a few.

I was also able to get my hands on the sold out Musical Monkey. I love this dancing monkey. I found it online and it was sold out everywhere. I found one at a store in SanFransico and they shipped it out to me. You just plug him into your ipod and he dances along to whatever song you have going. He also has speakers, so he is not just cute, he is useful.

Here my son and his girlfriend enjoy a little dance from the musical monkey.

That's it for the Audio Monkey Graduation Party. I was very happy with this theme. It was just enough without going monkey crazy or coming across as childish.

I had a great time and hope my son did too!