Archive for the ‘Parties!!!’ Category

My oldest daughter just recently celebrated her 12th birthday.  Since going to Monsters University last June she has wanted that to be the theme of her birthday party this year.  As her birthday grew near she started talking about how she wanted me to print off movie tickets and set up a concession stand like I do when we have in-house movie theater nights for fun.  I started brain storming how we could make our home look like a movie theatre for her birthday and how to make it a bit different from when I surprise my kids with a movie theatre night at home.

The first step was the invitations…

The day of my daughter’s friend birthday party dawned and as my daughter went to school with these adorable…

Monsters University Cupcakes for her class

*Inspiration for these Monsters University Cupcakes came from Pinterest.

I set to work making caramel popcorn, per the birthday girls request.  Only this wasn’t your ordinary caramel popcorn it was…

Monsters University Caramel Popcorn!!!

*I searched the internet for dyed and colored caramel popcorn and could not find a recipe for it.  I found this Holiday Caramel Corn Recipe but it isn’t actually caramel corn it’s just sweet popcorn.  My daughter wanted caramel corn.  So I took our favorite caramel corn recipe for about 14 years now and made a few adjustments!  If you’d like this recipe then like this post and comment below with something like, “Please share you’re Monsters University Caramel Corn recipe?” If I get enough likes and comments, I’ll share it with you!

After the caramel corn was done I got to work at transforming my dinning and living room into

The Schroeder Movie Theatre

I hung red table mats from our dinning entry door, you know the cheap plastic ones that you can buy for $2 at Target or Walmart.  I then strung white lights around the door frame and hung a “Schroeder Movie Theatre” poster that also displays the number 12 because that’s how old the birthday girl is!

I then taped two pieces of black tag board together and put the Monsters University poster we got our daughter for her birthday on it.  I made up a “NOW SHOWING” banner to place above the poster on the tag board and hung it on our living room wall with white lights around it to look like a movie add you would see in a movie theatre.

Next was to ready the…

Concession Stand

That had a MENU…

Full of all the movie theatre outing necessities like soda and a LARGE bowl of popcorn…

…candy and some specialty popcorns like cheese popcorn and that super cool Monsters University Caramel Corn I made earlier that day!

They looked super cute in my coca-cola crate!

My daughter and her friends, and my three younger kids were each given a baggy with money in it to purchase things from the concession stand.  This is always my kids favorite part of movie theater night!

Then the birthday girl and her friends settled down on their bed in the movie theatre with their munchies and sodas and watched Monsters University!

The next day they made sock monsters!

My daughter put in a special request for lime green socks so she could make a Mikey Sock Monster!

We kept the Schroeder Movie Theater display and NOW SHOWING poster up for her family party the following weekend.  Only pulling back the drapes for easy passage as these guests would be going through this doorway more frequently.

We didn’t have a concession stand per se, but I did still set out a large bowl of popcorn and candy in front of our television where we had Monsters University playing quietly throughout the party, though nobody really watched it!  Take note of the cute balloon banner above the TV…the birthday girl made the Mikey balloons!

You may have noted that we didn’t have cake for my daughter’s friend party, that’s because I wasn’t sure they needed cake in addition to candy and caramel popcorn, not to mention all the un-sugared food they consumed that night.  But for the family party we had cake.  In fact we had two cakes!

The Cake Table!

Behind the table hung purple mats (Yes, those wonderful $2 ones from Target or Walmart!) and a balloon banner!

Beneath the balloon banner is a “Happy Birthday” banner that my daughter and I made together!  It’s doors, because…well if you’ve seen the movies you know why!  The banner also sports a Sully and Mikey, and Celia hangs below!

The table below the Monsters “Happy Birthday” banner was set with the cake display!

Lucky for me I have two coca-cola crates.  While the one held containers of popcorn on our entertainment center in the living room, this one beautifully displayed a plush Mike and Sully and our eating utensils!

On each side of this coca-cola crate was a cake!

The Mikey Cake!

The Sully Cake!

There’s more to this Sully cake than meats the eye…for when he was cut into you will see that the cake was made to look like…

Sully’s fur!

I got the idea for the polka-dotted inside from this pin on Pinterest.  However when I followed the link to Once Upon A Pedestal I found I wouldn’t be able to follow the directions for their cake because I don’t have a cake pop pan.  So I set out on an experiment waiting to see if it would work.  The hard part was that I had to wait until we cut into the cake at the birthday party to see if my experiment worked.  As you can see it did!

*If you don’t own a cake pop pan and want to know how I made my polka dot cake without one then like this post and comment with something like, “Please share you polka dot cake secret!”  If I get enough likes and requests for this recipe I’ll share it with you all!

It was a super fun party!  My daughter was thrilled and everyone loved the Monsters University decor and food!  

*If you want are wanting the recipe for the Monsters University Caramel Corn or the Polka Dot cake then don’t forget to like and comment below.  Enough likes and comments and your wish will be granted! But a heads up, I may not get a chance to post them until the week of the 14th because I am going to be enjoying some sun and warmth in Cozumel starting this Friday for 8 days and 7 nights!!!


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For those of you who follow Life Exquisite on Facebook you’ll know that my oldest daughter turned 12  last week!  I am so excited to share pictures of her birthday and even though she has already had her friend birthday party I am waiting until after the family birthday party this coming Saturday.  So you’ll have to wait until next week to see what we whipped up for her Monsters University Movie Theatre Birthday Party.  However, thinking of her birthday reminded me that I missed posting a couple of birthday parties during my time off from blogging.  Today I am posting my 9-year-olds Costume Birthday Party!

Being that her birthday is so close to Halloween this was a really easy theme because everyone was able to come in their Halloween costumes!

The decorations were basically the same for her friend and family party, but first lets start with…

The Invite…

After the invites were sent out and the day of her friend party arrived I got busy decorating!  A costume party is the perfect party for a…

Photo Booth

The photo both was more of a backdrop for opening gifts at the family party but my daughter and her friends really enjoyed it.  I have many, many pictures of them as a group, and individuals.

I then set to work decorating the table for when the costume clad troop would arrive home from school.

The cake for her friend party was my first, and only, attempt at a cupcake cake and was very simple.

The cake table was set a bit differently for her family party and she wanted her cake to be decorated to look like her birthday invitation.

The cakes were the only thing different for her parties but the games stayed the same.  First we played…

Pin The Nose On The Clown.

My daughter and her friend modeled their clown noses post game!

The next game we played was a “Minute To Win It” game where you hold a straw in your mouth and need to use the straw to pick up rings from a table and transfer them to a bowl…without using your hands.  This one was very fun and even the adults got in on the action!

My littlest didn’t quite understand that she wasn’t supposed to use her hands!

It was a simple but very fun party!

Apologies for the blurry photos not sure what my photographer…uh hmm hmm (throat clearing)…was doing:-)


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My son has been planning his 6th birthday party since August when preseason football started and the Greenbay Packers hit the field.  I’m pretty sure you can guess he planned a…


My son wanted his Packer party to be a Packer vs. Viking party because his daddy is a Viking fan and he wanted the Packers to beat the Vikings.  Something I had no problem with:-)

I set to work transforming one of our dinning room walls into Lambeau Field’s scoreboard.

I hung 2 yellow table cloths from the ceiling and strung green and yellow balloons across the top.  My scoreboard is 2 pieces of black tagboard taped together and enhanced with pictures from Packer/Vikings games and the score reflected here is the score from the last game the Packers and Vikings played together (Wild card Packers vs. Vikings 2013).  I also made sure that the scoreboard proudley announced “Lambeau Field Home Of The Greenbay Packers” and their 13 World Championship Titles!!!

The table is set with a field goal post made from PVC and some of my Packer’s memorabilia, except the Packer helmet and that nifty Vikings’ hat with the Packer emblem, those are the birthday boys!

Featured on the left side of the cake table is an official NFL football, that awesome Vikings’ hat that just needed a Packer’s emblem, a copy of my Packers Stock Certificate, a sign I got while at my first Packer game at Lambeau Field and some cute little cupcakes with cake balls on top in the shape of footballs!

Better image of the cupcakes…

On the right side of the table is my Packer flag from when they won Superbowl XLV, my son’s Packer helmet, some Packer Yearbooks, Sports Illustrated, etc.  Also the passes from the tours my husband and I took of Lambeau Stadium and the invite for my son’s party lean against the soda bottle!

A close up of the invitation to the big event!  I made his invitations look like a ticket to a football game!

And the cake…

I should have taken a picture of all of the food but I didn’t and for that I apologize, but we celebrated football style and served up all sorts of football/appetizer type of foods.  Some of them I’ve blogged about in the past like jalapeno popper dip & layered taco dip.  In addition to these we had plain (for the kids) and BBQ cocktail weenies, fruit salad, chicen nuggets and lots of chips.  We also had green punch for the Greenbay Packers!

We were supposed to go outdoors and play a game of football but the day was cold and rainy so we didn’t get to and I had no back up plans as far as games go for this party but we had a lot of fun without games just hanging out with each other!

A few more fun pictures from his friend and family party, where he hit everyone up for money in hopes of getting a Kindle Fire…

His actual birthday when he got a big boy bike without training wheels, a bat for t-ball and some other small gifts, some play time at the park and then Dairy Queen!

And, yes, he got his Kindle Fire!!!

Happy Birthday, Pierce!  We love you so much!!!

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As I was ordering things for my son’s birthday party today I thought to myself, “I don’t think I ever posted my daughter’s Call Of Duty party!”  Sure enough, when I looked back over old posts, it was missing. Guess that show’s you how relaxed I’ve become with blogging.  I need to get a bit better, don’t I?

So here’s a long neglected post…

Gabrielle’s COD party!!!

Of  course for a COD party you need to have lots of orange, black and camouflage!  Thus the guests were asked to wear orange, black or camouflage.  The table was also set accordingly.   I made up a COD banner and printed off COD pictures to decorate the cake table back drop.


P1250215The cakes were super simple with a rifle and dog tags on one…


and a super simple COD II image cake for the other.


(By the way remind me that I need to show you how to make your own images to put on a cake.  It’ not edible but it’s super easy and cheaper than an edible image!)


Our games had to be played indoors so I didn’t get to set up a military type obstacle course like I was hoping to but I did come up with some fun military type games for the kids to play.

Our first game was like hot potato but I called it “Dynamite”. I made up a Rolo dynamite stick like I made for my kids for Valentines day…

…only I didn’t put the “You’re The Bomb” tag on it.  Just a simple Rolo dynamite stick made with red construction paper and a piece of black yarn for the wick.


I had the kids sit in a circle and we played some COD songs that I found on youtube while they tossed the dynamite stick around.  When I stopped the song the soldier holding the dynamite stick was out.  Thus it continued until only a single soldier was left and was awarded the Rolo dynamite stick!

The second game we played was “Minefield” I set black paper plates out on the floor to be the mines and the kids were separated into 2 teams.

P1250248 P1250247

One person was selected to be the teams captain, this person gave directions to his teammates.  The other kids were privates and took their turns being blind folded and listened to their captain as they made their way from one end of the minefield to the other end.  If they touched a plate they would be out.  The point of the game was to get as many team means through the minefield as possible.  The winning team received a Reeses peanut butter cup because they kind of resemble a land mine.  Kind of.

And that was my daughter’s 11 year, Call Of Duty, Birthday Party!  It was simple but fun!

Here’s to the birthday girl!



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We celebrated my baby girls 3rd birthday almost a month ago now!  It was a fun night and she was thrilled with her party…

From the balloons…


To her duck cake and bubbly cupcakes!


She loved the little rubber duck candles so much that she’s still playing with them!


I used blue punch and put vanilla ice cream in it so that it would fizz up to look like bubbles.  The rubber ducky added to it makes the punch look like a bubble bath!


My oldest daughter drew this giant duck for a game of…

Pin the bill on the duck!  I used dollar bills and the child whose bill was closest to the duck bill got to keep their dollar!



The last game we played was one that provided lots of laughter, “Get The Bubbles In The Tub”!  I placed a large bowl full of cotton balls on a chair at one end of our living room and at the other end was an old wash basin.  The object of this game was to apply a liberal amount of vaseline to the kids’ noses and they had to get a cotton ball, which was to play the part of the bubbles, to stick on their nose then run with their cotton ball bubbles across the room and shake the bubble (cotton ball) into the wash basin.  No hands were allowed to be used only their vaselined nose could hold the bubble in place and only shaking could get it loose.  The child who got the most bubbles in the tub one a prize!

The birthday girl was so funny as she stood bent over on her tippy toes, wiggling her little head around trying to get a bubble on her little nose.


She’s running her bubble to the tub…


…and shaking it loose!


If they happened to be lucky enough to get more than one bubble to stick on their nose then that worked in their favor!


Love this one of my nephew!


Here you can see my daughter’s bubble as it’s falling off to the right of her little head.  They really had to shake their heads around to get those bubble in the tub, it was so funny!


We had a really “ducky” party!




Happy 3rd Birthday, Elizabeth!

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Last weekend we celebrated my daughter, Miranda’s, 8th birthday!  Per her request we had a Candy Shoppe themed birthday party and boy was it ever a sweet party!!!


The table was set with all sorts of sweet treats…


…from salt water taffy, Tootsie Rolls, gum balls, M&M’s, cupcakes and more!



(The cupcakes were homemade Wacky Cake with homemade Peanut Butter Frosting and a Peppermint Cream Cheese frosting I found online.  Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese frosting use to be my two favorite frostings but this Peppermint frosting has joined the two of them.  May even be my very favorite!!!)

There was also a great deal of candy decor!


(I got the idea of the balloon suckers and lollipop topiary from Pinterest.)

Even the chandelier was given a little facelift, with a string of pink beads and some cheap candy Christmas ornaments, so that it looked like it belonged in a Candy Shoppe!


My favorite decoration was the old window I painted teal and set with burlap to pin pictures of my daughter in and then her name in flower and butter fly letters set in front of it!



The kids made candy necklaces with life savers…


(Yarn and lifesavers, easy!)

and played a GIANT game of Candy Land in which they were the game pieces!!!  They absolutely loved this!


(It was super easy to set up.  Just print out pictures of the Candy Land characters, ie Princess Frostine, The Gingerbread Man, King Candy, etc., and then lay them out with colored construction paper following the pattern of the game board!  Super huge hit!!!)

Everyone seemed to have a really good time, indulging in sweets, playing games and enjoying each other’s company, especially the birthday girl!!!


Happy 8th Birthday, Miranda!  I love you!

Sorry, No Football Food post this Monday.

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When my son requested to have a pirate themed birthday party for his 5th birthday I was so excited.   You might even say EXTREMELY excited!  Immediately the dramatic side of me kicked in and it was off and running with all sorts of fun ideas to make this the most fun pirate party our budget would allow.

(Warning a TON of photos will now ensue!)

A cake fit for a Pirate!

Nautical Pirate Food!

My son requested all the food and I did my best to put a piratey or nautical spin on it by labeling the foods with different names to fit the theme of the party…

The table replicates the bow of a ship with a sail and jib.

Golden Nuggets (chicken nuggets)

Crabs & Shells (crab salad) & Canon Balls (meatballs)

The Deep Blue Sea! (Blue jello with cool whip that is dyed a light blue and gummy sharks circling for a snack.)  The kids loved that I had put sharks in the jello also!  Definitely a “Cool” snack!

I’m pretty sure this frightful fella was the biggest hit as far as food display goes!  I got the idea from Pinterest and since my husband is an awesome pumpkin carver I gave him the job of carving this watermelon shark.  I think he did even better than the one I found on Pinterest!

Shark Bait (fruit salad inside a watermelon carved to look like a shark) & Polly’s Crackers (gold fish) behind the shark!

Name Your Poison!

A “Name Your Poison” sign sits above the beverage and snack table that is complete with Pirate Punch (blue punch with scoops of vanilla ice cream and gummy sharks floating about!) and Pirate Rum (kool-aid and water)!  (I’m sad to report I didn’t get a good picture fo the beverages, sorry.)

Pirate Ships (oranges sliced to look like a boat and topped off with a Jolly Roger flag stuck through a toothpick)! Another Pinterest idea!  I’ll admit I was disappointed that mine did not float.

Barnacles (a mixture of caramel and salted popcorn)!

The birthday boy (aka Jack Sparrow for the evening) enjoying some Mermaid Kisses (Hershey’s kisses), Sour Matey’s (sour patch kids) & Go Fish (swordfish)!

No Pirate Party Would be complete without…

A Pirate Ship…

We hung a Jolly Roger flag like a mast to our play area so that it made our play set look a bit like a Pirate ship!

 Piratey Signs…

(We had about a dozen signs posted around our yard.  You’ll see more in later pictures.)

A Tattoo Station…

If you ever have a pirate themed party a tattoo station is a definite!  I kept it simple by topping an old crate with a wooden dish full of 50 temporary tattoos, a small old pitcher and bowl filled with cold water and a wash cloth to adhere the tattoos.  I also set out a small “Sea In A Bottle” (Do you remember that middle school science project?!) for the little pirates to play with while being tattooed.   “Savvy Tattoos” (the name I gave our tattoo parlor) was a HUGE hit with not only the kids…

but adults too!

My brother-in-law pretending to be in pain while my husband gives him his tattoo.

 Piratey Games!

Sword Fight On A Plank!

The point of this game was to start with two pirates on the plank and fight until one of them fell off the plank of was disarmed.  When somebody fell or dropped their sword that person was eliminated and another pirate would step on the plank to try his best.  This kept going ’til only one pirate was left standing undefeated on the plank.  The winner received a pirate water gun!

(We used swim noodles because I didn’t want the kids getting rough and hurting each other with plastic swords.)

A Tresure Hunt!

My son, Captain Jack Sparrow telling his crew to gather around the plank as he reads the first clue.

It started with my son, the birthday boy who insisted he be called Captain Jack Sparrow during the party, running out with an old bottle and pirate map in hand yelling, “Guys, look what I found!” (I may have told him what to do.)  They were to follow the map to different areas on our property, that were all marked with an old sign that had piratey names on them, and search for more hidden bottles with clues.

My nephew found the first hidden bottle and second clue on Cannibal Island!

Trying to read the map and see where the clues are leading them too.

Crossing Death’s Path! (Don’t worry there were adults with.)

Port McKenzie!  This is one of my favorite pictures, all those little buccaneers are so serious as they hunt for the buried treasure!

The clues led them to wear the X marked the spot on the map…The Black Forest. Abandon All Hope He Who Enters Here! Now to travel west and find where the treasure nest!

I think they found where it was nesting!!!

The Captain opening the treasure box!

The treasure was full of jewels, penny’s and small pirate booty bags for each little buccaneer! In each bag were penny’s, Rolos and assorted Hershey’s Golden Nuggets. Basically anything golden color because pirates love gold!

Yes, Another Treasure Hunt!

For this treasure hunt the captain and his crew had to dig in the sand for hidden ping-pong balls.  The balls had a number on them that corresponded to an outdoorsy prize like, sidewalk chalk, giant bubbles, frisbees and water guns!

(I did have other games that aren’t pictured one was a game that if the kids or adults used pirate lingo or danced or sang to the pirate music we had playing during the party they would earn a pin.  The person at the end of the party who had the most pins won a prize! I also had a little pirate quiz that went along with some pirate facts I had posted around the yard.  The person who answered the most questions right was the winner of a box of Captain Crunch!)

 Next was gifts and cake!

We had to move indoors due to rain and I was so disappointed that my beautifully decorated Pirate Ship had become a bit of a shipwreck by the time we got to enjoy it.  I couldn’t believe it beacuase I had about 30 skewers in it to prevent that very thing from happening.   Oh well,it still tasted delicious!


The cannons were lit to announce it was time to sing “Happy Birthday, Dear Pierce”!!!

It was a really fun party, one of my favorites to plan and everyone, even the adults seemed to enjoy it!

Happy 5th Birthday, Pierce, I mean Captain Jack Sparrow!!!

*More of my favorite pictures from the party…

(I apologize for my absence lately and sorry to say it may be awhile before I get to post any outfit posts.  I have been laying in bed with a bad back since Sunday afternoon.  I guess the Pirate Party was too much for me:-0.  I’m just now feeling well enough to be able to hold the computer on my stomach.  Hopefully soon I can get some more outfit posts for you all since those seem to be your favorites.  I’m healing slowly but surely and just praying I’ll get well enough to go to my dear cousins wedding on Saturday.)

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