How to Throw an Epic Tween Boy House Birthday Party

Not to brag, but, the words Epic and Legendary did get tossed around! But I’m getting ahead of myself. So, a few weeks back I asked my son what he wanted to do for his 12th b-day party.  Two eye rolls and one exhale of disgust later he replied, “I don’t know…nothing too babyish, no stupid themes, dumb games, or cupcakes.” And just like that he managed to crush my party throwing soul! No stupid games or cupcakes?! I live for Bingo, Hot Potato, saran wrap balls, & frosting piled a mile high on cupcakes!  I may not have liked it & it might not have been easy, but I accepted the challenge!

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Theme

First things first, theme! No stupid themes…no sharks, clowns, etc. Hmmm, he is a huge fan of Stranger Things on Netflix and as he embarks on adolescence a lot of stranger things are going to be happening, lol! Cheers to the double entendre theme, lol!

Decorations

I am not a huge crafty kinda gal, but thankfully Sugarberry Lane had this momma’s back! And they can have yours too! They create custom banners, party bags, cake/cupcake toppers, etc.

Sugarberry Lane

Phone: 419-944-6305

Email: funonthelane@gmail.com

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Sugarberry-Lane-1356968484446294/

Balloons were from Party City…FYI, you can order and pay for balloons up to a month in advance. I totally recommend spreading out payments when it comes to parties & planning ahead!

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Food

Since my cupcakes got vetoed & the main character in Stranger Things is obsessed with Eggo Waffles, we had a Waffle Bar where the kiddos could make their own waffle creations.

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Games

As the VR Mobile Game Trailer rolled up I could literally hear the kids’ jaws drop!

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The trailer was lit; it came complete with Xbox 1, PS4, Virtual Reality PS4, VR Race, Car Simulators, & Nintendo Switch. It seats 30+, is climate controlled, & most importantly there is no playing Hot Potato or Bingo onboard!

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I HIGHLY recommend you book VR Mobile Game Trailer for your next party, whether it is a b-day party, diaper party, graduation, bachelor, etc. this SWEET gaming trailer will take your party to the next level!! Be sure to like their FB page so you can stay up to date on any deals, new systems, games, etc.

VR Mobil Game Trailer

Phone: 313-715-8093

Website: http://www.vrmobilegametrailer.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vrmobilegametrailerllc/

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Entertainment

Moving right along with our theme, Jake from Frogtown Exotics brought a couple stranger things for the kiddos to see, hold, & pet! And, I’m not gonna lie, at first I was afraid that this might be too baby-ish, but boy was I wrong!

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Not only did the kiddos have a blast, seeing, touching, and learning about all the amazing reptiles and amphibians Jake brought, but a lot of the neighbors drove a bit slower as they passed by our house, lol! The highlights included feeding a tortoise carrots, holding Fluffy the snack, & petting a crocodile.

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Jake was amazing with the kids, very patient, kind, & did an amazing job of teaching the children about the various reptiles and amphibians and the importance of appreciating and respecting each. If you are looking for something awesome to do with your scout group, church group, at your next party, etc. you’ve gotta give Jake a call today!

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Frogtown Exotics

Phone: 419-350-7453

Email: Frogtownexotics@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ToledoFrogtown/

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***Disclosure: I partnered with VR Mobile Game Trailer & Frogtown Exotics to promote their services.  In exchange, I received service to use at the party. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

 

 

A Harvest Birthday Bash!! You won’t believe what brought me to tears!

A special little lady turned 5 back in August, yes, I said August. Haha! Funny, I always thought it would be awesome having a birthday in August mostly because mine is in freezing cold winter, January! Well, it turns out that the week before school starts is a bad time to have a birthday. Our budget was blown on back-to-school clothes and supplies and to be honest I didn’t have it in me to plan a party during that hectic time of year. We seemed to add an afterschool activity as each week progressed. Thus 8 weeks later and we are finally having that party and that is the story of how an August baby celebrated her birthday in October. I suppose it is better late than never!

Total confession, I have always wanted to have a Fall Harvest gathering, it always looks so romantic in the magazines, the colors, the activities, etc. so my wish came true! And let me tell you, it was everything I thought it would be and more!! I could not have asked for a more beautiful day, it was sunny, temps in the mid-70s, and just a nice light breeze, it was perfect!! It should be noted that I was a bit concerned when I was literally wearing my winter coat and gloves while we prepared for the party the week before.

I had inquired what our little Gracie girl would like to do as the craft for her party. Her response was one that while exciting and fun would require some thinking on my part. She requested that we make pumpkins into Cinderella carriages. Let me tell you, those pumpkin carriages were a challenge, one I graciously accepted. 5 trips to Hobby Lobby, 3 returns, 2 trips to the Dollar Store, a lot of trial & error, and 1 quick stop at Jo-Ann Fabrics later and we had all the supplies we needed to make the pumpkin carriages!!

 

 

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I ended up locating the Styrofoam pumpkins at the Dollar Store, SCORE!!! It was a good thing they were only a dollar because I ended up eating away at the Styrofoam of the first few with spray-paint. FYI, when spray-painting Styrofoam do make certain that the can is at least 8 inches away, it will require you purchase more paint because you will have to apply more coats/layers but at least your project will not be destroyed. The doll rods, wheels, and most everything else was purchased at Hobby Lobby, I did have to make a stop in at Jo-Ann Fabrics on a Sunday to get more spray paint after my little mishaps. But it all turned out well in the end, challenge accepted, completed, and I gained some knowledge along the way, total a win-win!

 

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As I stated the day of the party was gorgeous!!! All her friends arrived, we chatted, kids played, and then the festivities began!

The children assembled and decorated their Cinderella carriages……

 

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We played fun games….

 

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And then it was time for the cake!! The birthday girl requested that each child make their own cupcake. I have to admit my first reaction when I heard this was one of disappointment, how could we not have a beautiful cake? I had this glorious image in my head of her in front of a perfectly adorned cake and all her friends gathered around singing. I suggested to her that we have cupcakes to decorate and a cake to blow out the candles. And her response literally brought me to tears!!! She looked up at me with those big baby blue eyes and exclaimed “Mom, it goes God, others, then yourself. God would want me to give everyone their own special cupcake. And can we please get everyone a candle because I am excited for the day they were born too!!” And that sealed the deal, plain cupcakes decorated by a bunch of 4 & 5 year olds it would be!! There isn’t a cake fancy enough in this world that would have meant more to me than those words that came out of her little five year old mouth. So everyone decorated their cupcakes and received a birthday candle!

 

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Then it was time for gifts. I have noticed that gifts have become a sensitive topic. There are those who request a donation instead, and I think that is a wonderful option, and we might do that one day too.

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The reason why I allow gifts now is because I believe it helps the children learn how to politely accept a gift, to truly value the thought behind the gift, and to learn how to graciously respond to receiving a gift they may already own or perhaps do not favor. It is my hope that they learn these qualities when they are young so as adults they can appreciate every person’s gift, no matter the monetary value, because let’s be honest some of the best gifts are the ones that hold no monetary value!! Speaking of gifts, it would be amiss if I did not mention the amazing moms who attended, they helped out so much, taking pics, cleaning, being on piñata duty, etc. they allowed me to enjoy the party too, I am so blessed to have them in my life.

 

 

 

I have to admit, I was a little sad to see the day end. It wasn’t like one of those romantic Fall Harvest gatherings you see in the magazines, with the colors, the activities, etc. it was better!!

 

5 Trends that’ll make your Kiddos Summer Party Sizzle!!!!

1.  BIG SUMMER BASH in lieu of birthday parties: There seems to be a big trend forming, parents are opting to spend more on one HUGE summer bash for their kiddos as opposed to hosting big birthday parties for each child. I must admit, I am 100% onboard!! Don’t get me wrong we will still do something small for each child on their birthday but we won’t be doing the ridiculously complicated Pinterest worthy celebrations like we did in the past. We just hosted our BIG Schools out for SUMMER Bash yesterday & it was an absolute blast!! We will totally do it again next summer! In fact some of the kiddos were begging us to have another one next week! Yep, it was that much fun! LOL!

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2. Bounce House: When I think back to my own childhood, and the parties my kiddos have attended all the really awesome ones always had a bounce house/ inflatables.  Those were the parties we would talk about for weeks, months, even years to come! The Bounce House/ Inflatable is still ALL the rage! The kids love the bounce houses! And it is nice on the parents, it gives us a break, we can literally just sit and watch instead of having to occupy their attention with a ½ dozen other activities. And I will be the first to tell you there is no competing with the bounce house; it is in a class of its own! Yes, I speak from experience. During our Summer bash I made an attempt at getting the kiddos off the giant inflatable waterslide to participate in water balloon & water gun activities and they could care less…the only way they were getting off that waterslide was if GOD told them to, via lightning. LOL! IT WAS A BLAST!! The kiddos loved it! Huge thank you to FUN FACTORY for bringing the FUN!!

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3. Decorate Your Own (DYO): No need to purchase that already decorated cake or cookies, the latest trend is having the kiddos decorate their own!! WHAT!?! You heard right. Bake your cupcakes, cakes, and/ or cookies and then set up a frosting and decoration station/table. Or better yet, do what I did and outsource, have someone do it for you. Sweet Cheeks Treats made/baked all the cookies and supplied the frosting in these awesome easy to use frosting bottles.

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It was the coolest! The kiddos had fun coming up with their own designs for their fish, ball, and dolphin cookies! Not only did Sweet Cheeks Treats supply the cookies she also saved me time, energy, and patience, huge thank you!!! Tip of the day: Whenever possible, outsource, save your sanity!

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4. Photo-booth:  How often do you get to wear a sombrero and fake mustache? And then be a beautiful princess two minutes later? Not often enough, right!?! The photo-booth is the perfect opportunity for the kiddos to use their imaginations and mix & match various props in order to produce the silliest photo. Most party stores (Wal-Mart, Target, Hobby Lobby) often stock a small photo-booth kit. Simply set up the backdrop (a shower curtain and/or tablecloth works well), layout the props, and have an adult designated as the photo-booth photographer…to add to the fun you could upload photos  to the computer and have everyone vote on their favorite and then give the winners a prize!

 

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5. Piñata- I know what you’re thinking, really, that is so old-school, right!?! Well, old school is cool now days. We picked out this beauty at Wal-Mart but practically all stores seem to have them these days. But I will advise that you take into consideration how many kiddos you have and purchase one that will hold enough goodies for everyone. This guy offered slim pickings for our guests so we will have to go for a larger size next time. Also, get creative with what you stuff your piñata with, it doesn’t need to be candy…Chuck-e-cheese tokens, coupons, tattoos, stickers, etc.

 

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Summer Parties are the BEST! Whether you have yours in the beginning, mid, or late summer, there is nothing better than getting together with family and friends. Remember, it is the people in your life that matter most! So, in the midst of all the chaos and fun be sure to pull up a towel, chair, cooler, etc.. just grab a seat and make time for those that matter most. Cheers!! BRING ON SUMMER!!

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So, what are your thoughts on having a big party in lieu of a birthday party for each child?

 

Simple & Jazzy Mason jar Vases

 

I adore a simple, yet elegant, table-scape and the Mason jar vase with a burlap wrap is the perfect inclusion!

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It is so simply to make these! All you need is:

  • Mason Jars (I like varying heights; it adds more depth and dimension to the table-scape)
  • Glue Dots
  • Ribbon and/or Burlap (I like to add some layers to a few)

 

When deciding on the mason jars I recommend varying the heights and always have an odd number…thus, 3, 5, or 7 jars…depends on the size of table.

 

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Simply wrap burlap around jar, allow overlapping slightly, just under ½ an inch so there is space for the glue dot. Cut the burlap. Place glue dot on jar. Wrap cut burlap piece around jar and add a second glue dot to adhere the burlap.

 

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Repeat step with ribbon and overlap ribbon on burlap. I only overlap half the jars to allow for a bit of color, pattern, and texture. 

 

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And then add water, plant food, and flowers to jars.  If you are adding roses like I am you might want to prepare them a day or two before the event so they are open and gorgeous the day of your gathering.

 

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Also feel free to add fun beads, fake pearls, etc. to the jar, jazz it up as you please. Have fun with it!

 

5 Reasons Why you need to Book the Easter Bunny (Discount included)

5 Reasons Why you need to Book the Easter Bunny

In the past most parents would take their children to the mall to wait in a long line for a very long time to visit the Easter bunny. Then pay way too much for a photograph of their child either screaming or looking in the wrong direction with a Bunny who looks as though he has seen better days. And then half the time the darn photo would fall out of the cardboard frame on the way back to the car! Ahh, the memories!! Haha! But that was the 80’s now we have options. This is the day and age when information comes to you and why should the Easter Bunny be any different?

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Here are the top 5 reasons why you should have the Easter Bunny come to you this Easter:

5. Hygiene! This Bunny isn’t the Mall Bunny! God bless the Mall Bunny but who knows what kind of germs may be lurking on his furry coat…we are talking snot, boogers, spit up, etc. (I am reminded of a funny line from Baby’s Mama, “is that chocolate or poop?” Haha!) No thank you!

4. Convenience! No more having to work around the Mall hours. Schedule a visit around your family’s Easter gathering…around your family’s schedule.

3. You can be Lazy! Or not! So you don’t feel like going out and getting the kiddos candies & treats, no worries, the bunny can bring it, no joke!! The Easter Bunny can bring treats for all the kiddos for only $2 a child!! Just make certain you count accordingly…and even if you don’t that Bunny is so on top of things he will probably have extras (true story! I miscounted and didn’t have enough baskets but the Easter Bunny saved the day by bringing extra treats!). Or, if you do have everything ready to go you can make arrangements with the bunny to deliver it to your child!!!

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2. Economical! Instead of the single pic from the mall you can get as many as you would like!! In fact they encourage you to get as many as you would like! Also, there is something absolutely magical about allowing your child time to warm up to the bunny (like my daughter needed) and even engage in a conversation. One of the little girls at our gathering told the bunny she was sorry she didn’t have carrots for her, it was priceless. And all us adults thoroughly enjoyed watching the 2 year old take it all in…it takes time to make memories, they can’t be rushed and this Bunny understands that it is more than just a photograph. The price can’t be beat, $75 for a half hour and if you split it with other guest it can be even less! (Also if you mention Mom on the go in Holy Toledo you will receive a 10% discount!!!)

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1. Memories! Memories to cherish for a lifetime! It is not only the expression on the toddler’s face, or the preschooler’s screech of excitement when the Easter bunny walks through the door but it is the expression of pure joy on the grandparents face knowing they were able to witness such a treasured moment. The Easter Bunny isn’t just for the kids but an experience for all!

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I am so thankful for our memories of our visit with the bunny, I shall treasure them for always. thank you so much Fairytale Memory. Schedule your visit today!! Click here and be sure to mention Mom on the go in Holy Toledo to receive 10% off!!!

 

Also, why not think outside the Easter basket….the Easter bunny is also fun for Baby showers around this time of year, Church events, work events, playgroup events, possible proposal (what girl could resist an engagement ring for the Easter bunny?), etc.

Disney Side: The Adventures of the SAHM Princess: Part II

(In case you missed it here is Part I) It was the night before the big Party!! The Sofia the first Valentines bash!! And the SAHM Princess was busy at work, cleaning up the house, rearranging furniture, preparing food, etc. Just then her dashing Prince arrived home from working out of town. The Princess was torn, does she continue preparing for the bash the next day or does she sit down with her Prince?  It should be noted that little ones also needed to get to bed and Valentine’s Day treats needed to be baked, so you see the SAHM Princess had quite the dilemma.  At that moment she wished she had little mice friends to help complete the chores, bake treats, and get the kiddos ready for bed, and a Fairy Godmother to make her look like a well-rested beautiful SAHM Princess as opposed to her current state which included  yoga pants, disheveled hair, and tired face! She contemplated singing a lovely song to really capture the moment but she was just too darn tired. Instead she put kiddos to bed, baked treats, burnt treats, chatted with her Prince, and managed to get all the preparations completed before the guest arrived….come to think of it, there might have been a little Pixie Dust involved! Oh, and those burnt treats, no worries, the SAHM Princess realized it didn’t matter if the treats were homemade, the guest weren’t coming because of the treats they were coming to have fun! So she served store bought cupcakes and no one was the wiser. Look at all the fun had….

 

 

 

And she enjoyed a lovely afternoon with other SAHM Princesses and their little Princesses and Prince…she realized the true value of friendship has nothing to do with the size of your castle, what kind of carriage you arrive in, what kind of Ball gown you wear, or if your food is homemade or store bought. The true value of friendship is being there for the good and the bad, for having compassion for all living creatures (yes, even our little mice friends), and a heart filled with joy. The SAHM Princess was truly thankful for all her friends, family, dashing Prince, and the opportunity to host such a magical event!!

 

The SAHM Princess wishes to send out a huge thank you to all the amazing sponsors who helped make this bash absolutely memorable!!

  • Thanks to all the guest
  • HP CMYK Promotion (Create Memories You Keep)
  • All
  • Snuggle
  • Wisk
  • MomSelect

Special thank you to Disney, Maria Bailey, BSM Media and everyone who helped make this possible!!! I don’t know how you did it!! There was obviously a lot of time, effort, energy, & perhaps some magic (in the form of Pixie Dust?!) that went into making this such a huge success! Thank you a million times over!!

Disclosure: I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.

 

Homegating: Mocktails, Fazoli’s Snacks, Coupons & More!!

 

The Super Bowl is coming up and I don’t care if you are a Seahawks fan or Patriots fan, any football game is a great reason to get together with friends & family for fabulous food & fun!! It’s Homegating time baby!!  And in order to do up your homegating party right be sure to include these 3 steps:

1-Team colors are a must! Use table décor, foods, & drinks that are the same color as the teams.

2-Have fun with it! Use foods as serving dishes…I am such a sucker for food that doubles as a serving dish for more food! Haha! Melons, peppers, and bread are my go to foods for serving dips/sauces/other food.

3-Keep it simple! Don’t stress-out! There is nothing that kills a party faster than a crazy stressed-out host. Don’t over work yourself.  Repeat after me, “the frozen food section is your friend” visit your locale Wal-Mart’s frozen food section for some yummy Fazoli’s snacks to complete your snack table spread.

Team Colors….

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Mocktails are a fun way to show team colors and enjoy a flavorful drink.  It is fun to include the kiddos in Homegating parties when possible. (If you are having an adult only party feel free to add vodka or flavored vodka to your drink and make it a cocktail).

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So how did we get the colors to separate? The liquid with the highest sugar content goes on the bottom and ice is a must! We used Cran-Apple juice, Watermelon juice drink, and various flavors of Gatorade but you can hit up the juice and flavored drink isle to make any colors you wish.

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Foods as serving dishes…..

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Pepper Pot Dip Dishes

 

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Keep it simple….

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 Click here to get Fazoli’s Snack coupon

Lastly, here is  a video clip from our segment on WTOL in case you missed it…..…

 

 

Who will you be rooting for Sunday? Are you hosting a Super Bowl party? Have any suggestions for additional simple, go-to recipes that should be added to our Homegating menu?