Birthday party

Hi again, It’s me Adrienne, here for another guest blog post!
Today I want to talk about planning a Birthday party…for yourself!
I used pinterest quite a bit to get ideas, I even made a Birthday board to keep things organized. So first thing when planning a party, when do you want it? Morning, afternoon, night? Then pick a date & a theme. Next step invitations. I just made a Facebook event which I know isn’t all that creative but it was the best & most efficient way to get all my friends together in one place. I picked a sunday afternoon to evening, 4pm-10pm. It was a Birthday BBQ where I requested all guests attending to bring a dish of their choice, so a potluck. I supplied burgers, hot dogs, chips, ice cream cake, spinach dip (made by my lovely boyfriend Dustin) & beverages. Make sure that you find out in advance what your guests are bringing so you can prepare accordingly. You don’t want 6 people all bringing cheese bread. Or no one bringing a veggie tray. Or whatever it is that you have on your menu.

I hosted the party in my parents backyard. My best friend, Jenna let me borrow her small tent to provide cover over a banquet table that I set out. I decorated my table with a plastic tiffany blue table cloth from Party City, then cut a strip of burlap to make a table runner (burlap also supplied by Jenna) & a sparkly ribbon down the centre of that. I then sprinkled these pretty fake gems on the burlap to make it look a little glam. My boyfriend’s friend was kind enough to bring me flowers as a gift so I popped those on the centre of the table & it looked great. I did make a birthday banner for myself. I found the “Happy Birthday” off a free printables site but then cut out triangles for each letter. I glued each letter onto the triangles with a hot glue gun so it would stick really well & dry quickly. Then because I like a little sparkle on things I used mod podge on the top of 1/2 of them (I did every second triangle) & dusted loose glitter on top. I always recommend covering your working space in newspaper so you can tidy up easily & don’t get glitter on absolutely everything. On the other half of the triangles I used pretty trim stickers. I’ll make sure to include a photo so you can understand better. I then used a single hole punch on the tops of the triangles & strung a white thin ribbon through, I used scrapbooking paper for my triangles so they were nice & stiff & not flimsy (just a tip). My Dad & I hung the banner from the front of the tent. It was perfect I was so proud of it! It didn’t take too long to make either. So if you can’t find one you like at the store you can always make one like I did. IMG_0549.JPG

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Something I thought would be fun was to make a wish jar. A wish jar is a jar decorated or not that you ask people to leave wishes in for you. I opted to decorate mine so pulling out the mod podge & glitter, I went to work. I used a small sponge brush to apply the glue & just sprinkled the glitter onto the jar. There was lots of excess glitter that fell onto my newspaper work space so I folded the paper in half & sort of funnelled as much as I could back into the glitter container. I used expensive glitter from Michael’s but you can always get cheaper stuff from the dollar store. It’s all about how much you want to spend & how much effort you want to put in. You can still have a gorgeous party using less expensive things, however in this case I wanted the expensive stuff. I used a hot glue gun to attach the “Birthday Wishes” lettering, which were also from Michael’s, as well as the jar itself because I wanted a big jar. I did look at the dollar store first, they didn’t have any in the size I wanted BUT they did have small mason jars 3 for $2. I bought 15 jars total to be used as drinking glasses. I was estimating 18-20 people to attend my party. From Michael’s, I also bought pink & white striped paper straws & chalkboard stickers to put on the jars! They were a huge success & to be honest I copied this idea from my friend Keltyn (she’s super clever & artistic). In the wish jar I put a pretty piece of tissue paper & glued a bow on the top. It was beautiful!
Now, why is a wish jar important to me? It’s important because when you’re having a glum day or not feeling like yourself you can pop open your wish jar & read all the kind, sweet (or funny) things that your friends have left for you. They are like tiny presents. I am so happy I made one for my party.

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A tasty recipe for punch I found on pinterest I have to share with you because it’s so easy & delicious: 1 can of frozen lemonade, a big bottle of sprite, orange juice & cranberry cocktail. That’s it! So easy! I used the entire can of lemonade, the entire bottle of sprite, 1/2 the carton of orange juice & 1/2 the container of cranberry cocktail. Just taste test along the way. I also meant to put slices of orange & lemon for colour but I forgot but that would be pretty too. Oh & don’t forget to throw in the ice, keep it cold. I told all my guests that they could bring alcohol but to please be responsible, no drinking & driving. Everyone was respectful & responsible. Thank you friends!

I kept all the food (minus the burgers & hot dogs) & drinks inside the house to keep the bugs away & keep things organized. I made sure to hang a garbage bag outside for easy cleanup. A party always needs music so we popped some on. Also balloons! I bought a tank of helium at party city as well as white & Tiffany blue balloons. I had two of my boyfriend’s friends fill them up & gently let them float to the ceiling in the kitchen they looked really festive. This was Dustin’s idea.

Since I was going to be having all different people at my party from lots of different places, it was important to me to play an ice breaker game. I should mention I usually can’t stand playing most games, but this one was played right off the bat & it was speedy. I used a site called picmonkey.com to design a bingo game. I basically found a blank bingo sheet online & used that. Each box you had to write someone’s name. Whoever finished it the quickest won a prize, the prize was a $10 Starbucks gift card. This was fun it got everyone buzzing & excited. I’m so glad I went ahead with making it. Everyone was a good sport about it to. It can be hard sometimes to mingle with people you don’t know.

After the ice breaker game, Dustin & I decided it was time for people to eat. He fired up the grill for me & took care of the bbqing. Everyone had lots to eat I always make sure there is too much food because you never want to run out. For beverages other then my punch, I had icy lemon water outside, ginger ale & coke in a cooler inside & sparkling apple juice, a choice for everyone! Once everyone was stuffed I got to open presents! I can’t believe how spoiled I am! I didn’t request gifts but I got so many & wonderful, beautiful things! Thank you to all my friends, boyfriend & family for all the amazing things you all are so kind

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Now for my favourite part of my party! The piñata! I bought one of those colorful donkey piñatas & filled it full to the brim with sweets from the bulk barn, plus three $5 gift cards to Starbucks because I thought that might be a fun little surprise. However there was a twist, because grown adults could easily smash down a piñata with a stick, I had Dustin & his friend go around my house & find things to hit it with. I got stuck with a plunger! So just imagine me violently swinging a plunger in a party dress while blind folded, too hilarious! I must put a disclaimer though..there was a retractable snow brush in the mix & my poor friend Sarah thought she was good to go but 1/2 of it went flying off into the guests!! Oh dear! Luckily no one was hurt & nothing broke. So we all had a huge laugh about that. Jenna had a whisk, Leah had a cookie sheet. Dustin wrote all the items on paper & we put them in a bowl to pick. I went first & after that we just picked who would be next, it was a laugh riot!

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Once the piñata was smashed & the candy exploded everywhere it was time for cake! Dustin brought out the cake & everyone sang Happy Birthday. I felt so special & lucky at that moment! Everyone had come to my house to celebrate my birthday with me & that truly was the most special gift of all.

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Now, I had bought a bunch of things to make s’mores with on our outdoor fireplace but everyone was too full. So since I have so many s’more supplies I might try & create a s’mores Rice Krispie treat because why not! Dustin brought a game called cards against humanity. It’s rude & crude but hilarious. I don’t recommend it if you’re easily offended; it’s politically incorrect. Maybe go for the family friendly version apples to apples which is also fun.

Guests trickled out between 9 & 10 & everyone was gone by 11:15 pm. It was a huge success! All my planning & pinteresting had paid off! I wrote up thank you cards to all my guests & sent them off in the mail. My party wouldn’t have been complete without all my friends.

So quick recap here for party planning 101 with Adrienne
1. Pick a date & time
2. Location
3. Invitations
4. Food
5. Decoration & set up
6.Party games or activities
7.Music
It’s not hard to throw a party you just have to be organized. Thank you again to everyone who did attend my Birthday, it meant the world to me that you were there. I hope this helps you for organizing your next party. Make sure to look on Pinterest for great party ideas & more!

-Adrienne

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Mini cheesecakes

I’ve never been big into cheesecake. Some people love it, but I’ve never been too excited about it.
Since I’ve started making it at home for other people, I’ve starts to quite enjoy cheesecake.
This recipe is one I tried a few months back for a friends birthday. I couldn’t find Nila cookies so I used a graham cracker as the base. This time, I decided to make my own base from graham crumbs, sugar and butter. I used a cup of graham crumbs, two teaspoons of sugar and a little bit too much melted butter (probably around 5 tablespoons). IMG_8263.JPG

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The bases baked in the oven for 3 minutes on 350 degrees.

On to the cheesecake recipe! I put the cream cheese, egg, vanilla and sugar into a mixing bowl and mixed it all together.

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Then I put the cream cheese mixture on top of the crusts and baked them in the oven for 25 minutes on 325 degrees.

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After the cheesecakes cooled down, I topped them with cherry pie filling.

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These are super easy, delicious and a hit when brought to functions! Or given as gifts.

Teddy Bear/Stuffed Animal Picnic Birthday Party

Birthday parties. Tons of fun, lots of work. On the weekend, we had a party celebrating our daughters second birthday. For a few months, I flip flopped between themes. Chloe is into a few tv shows, but they are the less popular ones that don’t have merchandise at every store. Or any store for that matter. So I came up with the theme Teddy Bear Picnic, but bringing a bunch of stuffed animals that weren’t just teddy bears.

The colour scheme was blue and pink since I found blue gingham plates, napkins, basket liners and table cloths at Target (in the dollar bin at that!). I also found pink gingham plates at the dollar store for the cupcakes.

We decorated two windows with streamers, put up a happy birthday banner, and put all the snacks on a decorated table inside.

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We had lots of snacks, but the themed ones were:
Teddy Graham’s
Bear paws
Pink lemonade punch
Gummi bears

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The activities for the kids were minimal. There was a kiddie pool, stuffed animals, a blow up tent, sidewalk chalk, water table, and backyard toys. There was also colouring and toys inside because it was hot and windy out.

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For cupcakes, there were two kinds. Rainbow bit (from a box) with homemade buttercream frosting, dyed blue and pink, topped with a teddy graham. Then I also made homemade chocolate cupcakes with a honey buttercream frosting.
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For this party, I didn’t go all out. But I also wanted to put some effort in to pull off the theme. I am very happy with how it turned out.
Here is the birthday girl, about to get her cupcake
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Cupcake decoration and photo credits to Adrienne. Decorations and other work credit to Shannon.