Spencer’s Lego Birthday Party

Spencer turned seven not too long ago. Birthdays for our family are a big deal! His party was a huge success and thanks to my new Cricut Air, I was able to make some awesome goodies for his party! We kept the cost down because we DIY’d a lot of his party! Here’s the highlights from Spencer’s 7th birthday party!

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Using Lego-like blocks (bigger than Legos but smaller than Duplo blocks), we put together two frames to hold the forks, spoons and the napkins in-between. We got the napkins, plasticware and yellow plates from the Dollar Tree. We had black contact paper (used to line shelves) and with the Cricut, created two eyes and a smile. We simply stuck the cut-out contact paper down on the yellow plates!

Using my Cricut again, we cut out labels for the food. Kept it simple for the kids! Pulled pork (from GFS), hot dogs grilled and then soaked in beef broth in the slow roaster, German Potato Salad (the hubby’s mom makes and it is my favorite), pasta salad (again, made by my mom-in-love) and a variety of chips! Looking for Lego font? Look no further! Here’s the font I used: http://www.urbanfonts.com/fonts/Legothick.htm.

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The piece de resistance (get it? Lego movie? LOL) was the Lego cake pops! 3 different flavors dipped in primary colors candy melt with coordinating sugar sprinkles! We used the Cricut Air to draw on the happy face and cut out each Lego head! Then I used a 1.5″ scallop circle punch in primary colors for the back label. All of it hot glued to a lollipop stick! Super cute and super easy! 

We don’t like to use tablecloths on the picnic tables. Sure, it would be simple to pick up some primary color tablecloths at the Dollar Tree but the park where we have his party always has this wonderful breeze that comes through the shelter house. Wonderful till you put down tablecloths, lol! We use tablecloths for the food table, gift table and the goodies table but we try to use centerpieces that are functional. These Lego popcorn boxes were perfect! Printed them, taped them together with double-sided tape and filled it with microwave popcorn! Super cute and easy! I also used the Cricut “print and cut” feature to create the personalized Lego men. I just put a skewer between the identical Lego men and taped it all together with double-sided tape. Make sure you put the pointy end in-between the Lego men, don’t want someone to accidentally get poked! Here’s a link to the Lego popcorn boxes: http://halegrafx.com/printables/free-printable-lego-building-block-popcorn-box/. It takes two prints to create one popcorn box. They are nice and big! Perfect for centerpieces!

IMG_2591IMG_2592IMG_2593IMG_2594 We made our own personalized banner to welcome folks to the shelter! We used the font mentioned before to create each letter. Using the Cricut, we cut each letter 3 times. First in yellow, then in a slightly smaller size in black and lastly an even more slightly smaller size in white. We used red cardstock for the individual pennants. We used white ribbon to string it all together (taped it on the back of the pennants to keep them straight). Super cute and super easy!

IMG_2590 Normally we make our own tissue balls. They always look great and are inexpensive to make. However, Dollar Tree now sells them 2 for $1 already cut and ready to be fluffed! Worth the $4 to have 8 tissue balls! They had primary colors available. So go check Dollar Tree out before you make your own!

IMG_2595We try to always have signs that lead to the shelter house. This helps folks know they are heading to the right party! Again we used our Cricut and cut out the letters on yellow cardstock. We also cut out the Lego heads using the Cricut. We were going to glue each of the cut-out letters onto the black foam board (again, only $1 at the Dollar Tree) but decided that would be too time-consuming lol! Instead, we removed the letters and used the remaining stencil to just tape down again with double-sided tape. We bought 2 of the black foam boards and with a box cutter, cut the foam boards into 4 even pieces. We went to the local hardware store and got 8 paint stirrers for free! They are perfect for creating sign stakes! Cheap and easy to make! 

IMG_2605Spencer wanted a pinata for his party! We made his lego pinata and it was super easy. Way cheaper than buying one. We bought cereal at our local wholesale warehouse. It was a double-sized box. Then we took a wire hanger and bent it to fit inside the box. We taped the box shut in several layers of packaging tape. We covered the box with blue tissue paper. Just wrapped it up like a gift. Then we took styrofoam cups and cut them off to about 1.5″ in height. We covered it in blue tissue paper and hot glued it onto the box. Then we took blue crepe paper and folded it in half in 2-foot sections. We cut a slit half-way up to create a fringe. Then we glued it down onto the box (going around the new styrofoam pegs). It turned out awesome! We filled it up with candy and it was ready to go. It was definitely a highlight for all the kiddos who got a chance to whack it!

IMG_2608A dear friend of ours goes to a lot of auctions. She lucked into sleeves upon sleeves of Chinese take-put boxes! Perfect goodie box for all the kiddos who came to Spencer’s party! We used the Cricut again to draw on the faces and cut out the Lego heads. Using double-sided tape, we attached the heads to the front of the boxes. We filled it with toys, candies and a thank you card! The kiddos loved it!

IMG_2578IMG_2585 We made Spencer’s personalized cakes using regular 9×13 cake pans. To make the Lego pegs, we made cupcakes. Trimmed them down and turned them upside down. We piped on the bright colored frosting and wallah, a personalized Lego cake! 

Lastly, we made family shirts for the special occasion! We used the outline of a Lego man and put a number 7 in the middle of it. We each had a different primary color. On the back, we also each had different names. Spencer’s shirt had “Emmet”, Steve Jr’s shirt had “Benny”, Steve’s shirt had “Lord Business” and the back of my shirt had “Wyldstyle”! We used the Cricut to cut out the Lego body and the names using iron-on heat transfers. We picked up the plain gray t-shirts at Hobby Lobby for less than $5 each! They turned out perfect! Spencer’s Lego party was a huge hit and we were blessed to have so many of our family and friends come out and celebrate with us! 

Upcycle a Container!

IMG_6170Upcycle!

So what do you do to when you made a homemade treat for your bestie’s birthday but need a cute container for it? You upcycle your oatmeal container! This turned out cuter than I would have imagined! 

Supplies:

  • 12×12 Paper (2 if covering the large oatmeal container)

  • Double-sided Tape

  • Scissors

  • Curling Ribbon

  • Empty Oatmeal Container

  • Regular Tape (Not Pictured)

Super easy! I quickly rinsed and dried out the oatmeal container. Do it quickly with as little water as needed. It is just a paper container so if you fill it with water and let it sit for any amount of time, I’m guessing it will disintegrate. Lay the oatmeal container on it’s side to measure the paper. Easy for me since I had a plaid print. The height of the container lined up to one of the lines in my plaid paper. Cut out the measured paper. For the small container, it was short about 1/2″ when wrapped around. I just cut a strip to cover the exposed area.

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What I liked about the oatmeal containers is that you can slide your scrapbook paper up under the lip with ease. Using double-sided tape, tape down the edges (didn’t take much, two at the top and two at the bottom). Apply the double-sided tape to the edges of the 3/4″ strip you cut to cover the exposed area. Carefully cover the exposed area.

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Cut several 12″ strips of curling ribbon (around 15). Tie a knot in the middle of the ribbon. Using scissors, curl the ribbon. Using regular tape, tape to the container lid. Tadah! Pretty and functional! Beth is going to love her Puppy Chow filled, designer canister! 

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Elvis’ Banana Minions

12-10-15Meet our Elf on the Shelf, Elvis! He’s been back since December 1st creating havoc on a daily basis much to the joy of our youngest son, Spencer! Had to share today’s Elf staging because we just thought it was so darn cute! 

This is simple! Just print, cut and tape. We used double-sided tape. We cut out one extra “one-eyed” goggle for Elvis to wear. Yep, these are little pieces so cutting them out is a little challenging and so is applying the tape. I found it easier to rip off a larger piece of tape and with scissors cut off tiny slits. Just a little effort with patience and you too can have these awesome Banana Minions (thanks Gwen because I won’t ever spell bananas wrong, lol)! 

Just click on the link and print! It’s that easy and each sheet can make 10 banana minions! Enjoy and Happy Holidays from our happy home to yours!

Click to Print: Banana Minions

Elvis is in the House!

Whew! I haven’t posted lately. It’s been super crazy with our kindergarten kid and our high school senior! But it’s that time of the year again and Elvis is in the House! Elvis is Spencer’s Elf on the Shelf. Just wanted to share Elvis’ shenanigans for the past couple of days. First, Elvis left magic candy seeds for Spencer to plant in sugar.

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Spencer was so excited to “plant” his magic candy seeds in our sugar container!

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Elvis returned the following morning with a special note!

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Spencer grew giant candy canes from his magic candy seeds!

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Hope your Elf on the Shelf is bringing lots of smiles to your precious babies! Elvis is working wonders in our very blessed home! Happy Holidays!

Easy Peasy Puff Pastry Neapolitans

craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comThe hubby came home with puff pastry sheets when he ran to the grocery store…I knew what that meant! He was making our Easy Peasy Puff Pastry Neapolitans! If you like cream puffs, then you will love this dessert. You can’t live in Columbus, Ohio and not like cream puffs. We are home to the famous Schmidt’s Sausage Hause. They serve awesome, authentic German food and are known for miles around for their super huge, extremely tasty cream puffs! Nothing beats a Schmidt’s Cream Puff but these Easy Peasy Puff Pastry Neapolitans come very close! Simple to make and if serving this dessert to friends, they will think you are master French chefs. Your secret is safe with us!

Printable Recipe: Easy Peasy Puff Pastry Neapolitans

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Ingredients:

  • Pepperidge Farm Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets

  • 3.4 oz Jell-O French Vanilla Instant Pudding

  • 8 oz Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed

  • 1 Cup Milk

  • Powdered Sugar

  • Chocolate Syrup (optional)

Directions:

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into squares approximately 2” in size.

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Bake according to package directions.

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While pastry is baking, whisk instant pudding and milk together for 2 minutes by hand in a medium-sized bowl.

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Fold in the whipped topping. Place pudding mix in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.

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Once pastry puffs are cooled, split pastry squares in half.

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Dollop and spread the pudding mix onto the bottom pastry puff.

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Put puff pastry top back on top of pudding mix. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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But why stop at just powdered sugar? Everything is better with chocolate! Drizzle chocolate syrup over the top. Be sure to serve immediately. If not serving for a while, cover the pudding mix in the fridge. Put neapolitans together just prior to serving.

This is definitely a family favorite for the Packs!

 

Spencer’s Harley Davidson Themed 5th Birthday Party

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If  you have read the About Me page or the Our Phight with Pulmonary Hypertension page, then my elaborate birthday parties for my kiddos makes sense! I would be a fool to not recognize my time is limited and it is my deepest desire that my children always fondly remember that their momma did everything possible to make their life amazing! As always, we make sure our kiddies’ birthdays are huge blowouts and this year was no exception!

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We of course have to talk decorations! I do go all out but I also cut costs everywhere I can! I’ll start with the table centerpieces. I like them to always be functional and these Motorcycle Tray printouts were perfect! You can find the Motorcycle Trays HERE on Etsy. Once purchased, it is an automatic download! No waiting for something to be shipped. Just download and print! Of course my printer broke just a couple of weeks before the party so I did have to spend some money to print things. I took this pattern to FedEx/Kinkos and had them print it on their fancy laser jet printers for around .79 cents a page (it takes two pages to make the tray). I lined the trays with wax paper and bought a 10 count box of microwave popcorn. When you are putting the trays together, you can literally size the trays to your needs. I went larger, almost square in size to create the table centerpieces. I then dumped one bag of microwave popcorn into the trays! Yummy and stylish! You certainly can decrease the width and turn these into awesome goodie trays to give to your party goers!

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Next, I made my own tissue balls. The price folks want to charge you for them are absurd because they are stupid easy to make! If you buy your tissue paper at Hobby Lobby (they have a wide assortment of colors), they come perfectly square. You can make one large tissue ball (which is what I did) or cut them into 4 pieces and create 4 smaller tissue balls. Here’s a photo below with simple directions on how to make these.

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It’s a fun way to brighten up the ceiling for any party!

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I wanted to make some personalized signs to hang from the rafters of the shelter house. I wen to Dollar Tree and bought black foam core poster boards. My husband used his box cutter to cut each board into 4 even pieces. Using photoshop, I took a picture of Spencer on his Hot Wheels Motorcycle and created a picture with an orange background with text that said, “Spencer is 5!” The text I used is called FFF Tusj and you can download this font HERE. This font looks awesome blown up! I made sure the picture was sized to cover the entire print area of a normal size 8.5 x 11 size piece of paper.

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Again using photoshop, I created the personalized bar sheilds that said, “Happy Birthday Spencer”. I taped down the motorcycle picture on one side and the bar shield on the other. My husband took a phillips head screwdriver and punctured the top corners. I tied black yarn creating a hanger. They really turned out cute! Here’s the bar shield for you below ready to go,  just right click and save the picture to your computer. Open Word and insert the picture. Click on Word Art and add your child’s name using Arial font in white color. Resize the Word Art it to fit across the middle black section. Tadah!

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I always like to put little signs coming up the sidewalk to the shelter house. It lets people know they are heading in the right direction!

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I made 4 signs again using photoshop with the last sign being the same picture of Spencer on his Hot Wheels Motorcycle! I also had these printed at FedEx/Kinkos. I made all my signs the same size, so no weird cutting needed. Actually no cutting. I just taped the 8.5 x 11 paper to each piece of black foam core poster board. Again, I used the FFF Tusj font.

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Again, my husband took a black foam core poster board and cut it into 4 even pieces. I went to the local hardware store and picked up 4 of their free paint stick stirrers. Using duct tape, I taped a paint stick stirrer to the back of each sign. The paint stirrers were then pushed into the ground! Simple and easy!

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We also made some long signs. I opened Word again and used Word art to make the letters. I could get about 6 letters on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. I just printed it on orange paper and again sticking with the theme, I used the FFF Tusj font. The hubby took another black foam core poster board and cut it evenly (long ways) into 3 sections. I did cut the letters square (again using the industrial paper cutter at FedEx/Kinkos) and then taped them down to the cut foam core poster board. The “Fuel” sign hung above the food tables. The “Pit Stop” sign hung above the goodie bags table and lastly the “Garage” sign hung above Spencer’s gifts table.

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I do specialize in cake pops and sell them locally. Spencer had over 100 Motorcycle cake pops that we displayed on our handy dandy cake pop stand my hubby made out of  1 x 3 inch wood slates.

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I also made 4 dozen cupcakes and put them in these awesome Harley Davidson cupcake sleeves I found on ebay. You can find them HERE. They were super fast shippers! If you have ever priced cupcake sleeves, you know they are pricey. Even if you make your own, they are pricey because you can only put 2 on each sheet of paper. These though were very reasonable priced and only $19.99 for 48 sleeves. They were really awesome and had a plastic feel to them. They also were reversible! I put the chocolate cupcakes in the sleeves showing the Harley Davidson logo. For the white cupcakes, I reversed the sleeves to show all orange. Made it easy for guests to pick which cupcake they wanted.

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We always make one special cake used for the “Happy Birthday” singing and the blowing out of candles. We don’t cut the cake at the party and always save it for later for just our immediate family. Saves us on the cost of plates and forks! We also don’t have to buy ice cream! There were more than enough cake pops and cupcakes for all the guests! This year, I made my very first tiered, fondant cake! It was a blast to make and I even made the marshmallow fondant from scratch! If you have ever eaten normal fondant, you know how crappy it actually tastes. The marshmallow fondant is made with marshmallows, powdered sugar and just a touch of water! It’s really yummy and easy to work with.

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The goodie bags were purchased at Flower Factory. They were around $3.00 for 12.

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I took his photo of him sitting on the Hot Wheels Harley Davidson Motorcycle and using photoshop, I added, “Spencer is 5! Thank you for celebrating with us!”. I again used the the FFF Tusj font. I resized it to 2″ x 3″ size.

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I then created a new project that was 4″ x 6″ size. I was able to add 4 photos to the 4″ x 6″ project. I sent the picture to Walgreens and printed them for 10 cents a copy costing less than $4.00 to make enough picture copies for 48 goodie bags. While at FedEx/Kinkos, I used their industrial paper cutter to cut the photo into fourths. Those went in to each goodie bag along with candy and some fun toys I bought at the Dollar Tree. Simple, fun, inexpensive and totally personalized goodie bags!

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Lastly, we made our yearly family t-shirts that we always wear at Spencer’s birthday party. We also wear the shirts the rest of the summer to different events like fairs and such. I bought the t-shirt transfers at Michaels using my 50% off coupon from my Michaels app on my phone (cost after using the coupon was only around $5.00). I found a motorcycle picture and using photoshop, added a large number 5 behind it. This became the fronts of our shirt. The white t-shirts were also bought at Michael’s on sale 2 for $5.00! So total cost for 4 personalized t-shirts was only $15.00!

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Then I used the same font for the number 5 to make the words to be put on the back of the shirts (I was able to get 2 words on each sheet of 8.5 x 11 transfer paper). My husband (who is an avid motorcycle rider and a Harley Man) helped me pick different models of Harley Davidson to put on the shirts. The hubby was “Road King”. I was “Soft Tail”. Our teenage son was “V-Rod” and lastly, Spencer was “Sportster”. These transfers print using your standard deskjet printer that most people have in their homes. We trimmed the transfers close to the pictures/words. We followed the directions and ironed the transfers on the front and back of the shirts. They turned out awesome!

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We’ve had the Hot Wheels Harley Davidson motorcycle for many years. It originally was our oldest son’s Christmas present when he was 3-years-old (he’s now 17.5-years-old). It hasn’t ran in over 10+ years because the batteries were worn out. We always hung onto it thinking our grandchildren could play with it. We didn’t know at the time that we would have our second child 12.5 years after our first and only child, lol! Spencer always loved sitting and pretend riding on it. We went to Batteries Plus and bought 2 new batteries. We brought it to Spencer’s birthday party and he was to the moon happy when he realized it actually worked!

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He spent the rest of the party riding around the park and giving his cousin, Uriah rides!

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It was a roaring great time and another birthday that I hope Spencer will look back on when he’s older. I hope he is able to say, “My momma threw me the best birthday party!” Thanks to all of our family and friends who came and made it a precious memory for our entire family!

Happy Birthday Spencer!

 Weeeeee! Birthday Express felt this post was worthy of a “Best Birthday” badge! I’m touched and humbled.🙂

“On behalf of Birthday Express, we would like to offer you our ‘Best Birthday’ badge for throwing such a sensational party. Congratulations–you and your little one deserve it!”

– Mariah Olsen, Birthday Express

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Oreo Cream Fluff

craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comIf you check out my recipe archive, it’s obvious I favor making desserts! If you are visiting and there aren’t any home-made dessert goodies found in the kitchen, then you should leave immediately! You are at the wrong house! LOL One of my favorite quickie desserts are the Pillow Sandies. I can’t begin to describe the yummy sensation of whipped topping melting in your mouth with yummy crumbs from pecan sandies! Not to mention it is a 3-ingredients dessert (my favorite kind of recipe). I started thinking, I bet this recipe would work on just about any cookie? So the Oreo Cream Fluff was born! Again, 3-ingredients is all it takes to achieve a creamy, chocolaty and fluffy taste explosion! Give this easy and cool dessert a try! It’s perfect in the summer time! No oven, no cooking…just dip and drop!

Printable Recipe: Oreo Cream Fluff

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Oreo cookies

  • Milk

  • 16 oz container of frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions:

Pour milk in a glass this is wide and deep enough for you to dunk a whole Oreo cookie in.

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Dunk one Oreo cookie at a time in the milk. Place the dunked

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Oreo cookie in a glass dish in an even layer.

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Cover the Oreo cookie layer with a layer of whipped topping.

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Repeat steps 2 and 3, two times more ensuring you have three Oreo cookies left over.

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In a sandwich-size Ziploc, smash the cookies using the side of a meat tenderizer.

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Spread the crushed Oreo crumbs all over the last layer of whipped topping. Cover the dish and place in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours to chill. Scoop out and enjoy! Store any leftover in a covered dish in the fridge.