7 Bright Ideas For A Sunshine Themed Party!

sunshinepartyLet’s face it. Children are literally the light of our life but throwing them a birthday party can quickly leave one fading into a darkness of despair if things don’t go perfectly. Especially if it’s a first birthday party for your only child and you plan on inviting lots of people, consider it triple doomsday if the party doesn’t go off without a hitch. It is what is it. We want perfection. Totally ridiculous? No way! You’ve got this. Whether it’s a Sunshine birthday party or a baby shower, here are excellent ideas to get you started in executing a Sunshine Party.

7 Bright Ideas For A Sunshine Themed Party

1 – INVITATIONS/THANK YOU NOTES

Invitations are like the receptionist at your doctor’s office. First impressions set the tone for how the main event will go. If this is a party for a small child consider timing the party around nap times in order to maximize attendance. Click here for examples of Birthday, Baby Shower and Thank You Notes.  Three Kids and a Baby Daddy’s Pinterest Sunshine Party Page also has several “inviting” invitations such as these for you to explore (courtesy of artier.com and meowchie.snydle.com)

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Courtesy of artier.com
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Courtesy of meowchie.snydle.com

2 – DECORATIONS

From the moment your guests get out of their car, you may wish to begin tying your theme together. Whether it’s a color coordinated bow with balloons on the mailbox, a door hanger or a related party theme item on the front lawn, the possibilities are endless. Here are some easy ideas for Sunshine decor.

  • High Chair Decoration like this one, purchase one like the one below off Etsy.com or make your own!
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Courtesy of Etsy.com
  • Homemade Sunshine paper crafts placed in mason jars.

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  • Burlap Banner that can be reused for any future party. Simply attach die cut sunshines or “Happy Birthday ___” and hang above the food table.
  • A creative, cost effective idea I found is to grab large sample paint color paper from Lowe’s or HomeDepot and cut in the shape of triangles to make your own Banner.
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Courtesy of Pinterest.com
  • The food table. Here is a wonderful example!
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Courtesy of Sweetlychicevents.com
  • Door Hanger

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    Courtesy of Pinterest.com

3 – PAPER PRODUCTS

Either purchase plain yellow paper plates, yellow napkins, yellow cups or get these sunshine themed plates here.

4 – CAKE or CUPCAKES

The cake means more to the parents of a one year old than it does to the child, however, it has to look fabulous, taste awesome and you need a small one for the kiddo to dive into for pictures! If it’s a baby shower, petit fours are a yummy option as well. See below for some ideas.

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Courtesy of Pinterest.com
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HeavenlyBites.com

5 – FOOD

Remember that the timing of when the party is hosted determines how much food you should provide. Meal times tend to be heavier meals and morning or afternoon parties can get by with a few finger foods. They key is selecting food that matches your theme and/or theme colors!

  • Examples: Sunshine Sandwiches made with a sunshine cookie cutter (pimento cheese, chicken salad, ham on the inside with the cheese on the outside, etc. Lemonade is the perfect beverage for a sunshine themed party.
  • Fruit and vegetables skewers that match your color theme cut out in mini sunshine shapes, as well as chips and dip. Kind of like this but use the small sunburst cutter found in this twelve piece mini cutter set.

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6 – ENTERTAINMENT

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How about a Photo Booth made out of cardboard and painted?  Grab some free cardboard from a local auto parts store, purchase some cheap paint and viola! Cuteness overload.

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Courtesy of Pinterest.com
  • There are always the stand by entertainment options of games, water play, bouncy houses, etc.

7 – FAVORS

They key with favors is to send a message of thanks to those that made a special effort to celebrate your event with you. Kids especially love goodies as we all know. Find an inexpensive way to show your appreciation.

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Courtesy of Catchmyparty.com
Pinterest.com
Pinterest.com

These are just a few of my very favorite findings on hosting a Sunshine Themed party. Please feel free to pin any of these ideas and more from the Three Kids and a Baby Daddy’s Pinterest site under “Sunshine Party” and “Like” and “Share” these blog posts so this little site can grow!

As always, designate someone to take lots of quality pictures because you will be way too busy to handle that. We don’t want to miss a second of the fun memories. Happy party planning!

P.S. Be sure to subscribe by e-mail to get the latest posts.

 

 

Minecraft Birthday Party!

by ThreeKidsandaBabyDaddy.com
by ThreeKidsandaBabyDaddy.com

Two years ago, I threw my eldest a Minecraft Birthday Party at a local bowling alley.  It was all the rage with boys at that point. Who would have thought that my DAUGHTER would join the millions of children around the world that are addicted to this video game! As my dad says, “It’s more like MINDcraft if you ask me”. He is probably right. However, my brother and I were addicted to Tetris and some Dracula game as kids and we turned out to be quite opinionated individuals that aren’t controlled by some mind numbing entity (except maybe the smartphone and who isn’t, right?).

In Minecraft, kids get to learn about the elements, construct elaborate buildings, fight off creeper/zombie creatures and blow stuff up with TNT. My oldest child, the persuader of the bunch, frequently comes up with reasons as to why this game is different and he should be allowed 30 more minutes of fun before turning the iPad off. “But mom, it’s an EDUCATIONAL tool. You learn how to craft bread from wheat, that leather comes from cows and and that diamonds REALLY exist!”

It’s a childhood DREAM. Minecraft is a phenomenon and so many kids want this for their party theme. Unfortunately for all of us parentals out there limited on TIME and money, Mojang (Minecraft parent company) has failed to broaden their marketing products beyond paper cutouts and foam swords that run us $20+ each. For example, I considered ordering cake toppers online but after discovering that it costs around $30 for 14 cupcake toppers I passed REAL quickly on that idea!

SO! Included below are some very practical party ideas I have accumulated for anyone needing to plan a Minecraft party on a dime AND in record time. In my house, the basics for a birthday party consist of invitations, goody bags, inexpensive decorations, pizza, cake and some form of entertainment to occupy the crazed animals. There are many arts and crafts ideas floating around the internet.  Frankly, this mama ain’t got time for all that and the kids I know won’t all sit still for that long.

Keep it simple and make it EASY on yourself.

Decorations: Rectangular Stone Table Cloth, Square Green Plates, Black Napkins, Red Utensils for budget shopping. If this is your first child and you REALLY want to go all out then there are pricier options to go with, such as an 8 person Party Pack, Minecraft Balloons or a 16 person Deluxe Miner Themed Birthday Pack that includes balloons and labels and such. There are also Minecraft Pinatas, such as TNT, Pig and Green block styles if you can stomach the price tag for the 10 minutes of fun.

Printables:

BIRTHDAY INVITATION:  You can create your own invitation for FREE on picmonkey.com like this one below. Google “Free Minecraft background download”, save the desired picture to your desktop, go on to to picmonkey.com and select “Edit Photo”, upload your Minecraft background picture and add text using the “Freshman” font.

minecraft birthday party invitation

There are several inexpensive sites that allow you to download a predesigned invite and edit it for under $5 and are immediately available to print. A quick google search will provide you with a viable option.

GOODY BAGS: I don’t know how your children feel about handing out goody bags to their guests but it’s all the rage in my home.  My daughter INSISTED that we sit down together at the dining room table and have a “mother-daughter” date assembling these “Enderman” goody bags. We cut out free Minecraft images that I printed off from a Google search (see below), attached the candy to the assigned food labels she chose and glued the purple eyes on the “Enderman” goody bags. Furthermore, she talked incessantly about boys, friends, hair, what she wanted for her birthday and how much her brothers annoyed her. 🙂

Black Bags, white cardstockPurple Paper, Ring Pops for Blue Diamonds, Twizzlers for TNT, Hot Tamales for Redstone and Rolos for Gold. Viola…Goody Bags done. Printables seen in the pictures below can be found at datemplate.com.

datemplates.com
datemplates.com
Ring Pops for Blue Diamonds
“Enderman” Goody Bags
Hot Tamales for Redstone
Hot Tamales for Redstone
ringpops
Ring Pops for Blue Diamonds
Rolos for Gold
Rolos for Gold
Twizzlers and Cherry Balls for TNT
Twizzlers and Cherry Balls for TNT

Yes, it was a little time consuming and you have to throw any OCD Perfectionism out the window when letting your seven year old staple or glue anything BUT, it was a fun thing to do together.

The Cake: PUBLIX…LOVE THEM…Whipped this up for me in 24 hours because this busy mama had a bazillion things going on at one time and FORGOT to order the week before.

Publix Minecraft Cake
Publix Minecraft Cake

FOOD: Pizza, Watermelon, Pretzel Sticks and “Healing Potion” (Sprite, Green Hawaiian Punch & Frozen Lemonade)…Kept it SIMPLE.

Hmm…I was just informed by my eldest that “Healing Potion” is RED not GREEN. Apparently, I fed my child and her friends POISON POTION. Oops. As you can see, the stuff was a hit and all attendees lived to battle another creeper on their choice electronic device. 🙂

Minecraft Healing Potion
Minecraft Healing Potion

Entertainment: We rented a very reasonably priced water slide and the kids emptied out my stockpile of liquid hand soap on the trampoline.

The diva darling’s favorite gift was this little guy right here, lovingly referred to as “Mr. Oinkers”. If you need a Minecraft gift for a girl, the Minecraft Pig should not disappoint!

"Mr. Oinkers"
“Mr. Oinkers”

In conclusion, I have pinned several other Minecraft Birthday Party ideas to the Threekidsandababydaddy’s Pinterest account for your convenience. There were a lot of “Super cute but don’t have the time” ideas that much more crafty personalities than myself may enjoy.

Was it the most elaborate Minecraft party ever done? Why no. Was it cute enough, didn’t break the bank or mama’s sanity and was an environment of fun and enjoyment? Why YES.

So, the next time there is an opportunity for a Minecraft Party in your home, it is my hope that this little blog post helps make the process a little easier and more fun for you and your loved one. Game on children and remember all us parents do for your cute little selves!

Another party in the books!
Another party in the books!

 

The Blue Tractor Baby Shower

13120541_614262545417182_639698965_oIn honor of the upcoming birth of my only brother and sister-in-law, family friends and I threw the mom-to-be a baby shower recently.  Immediately, I knew the shower would revolve around some sort of farm theme.  Why? I come from several generations of crop farmers in South Alabama.  My brother joined in the family business after graduating from college and, ironically, my sister-in-law ALSO is from a farm family.  Although her family farms cows, she is a MUCH better fit for the world of peanuts, cotton and cucumbers than yours truly ever has been! She loves the farm life and has been a God send to my baby brother. Now what type of farm theme? Hmmm.

Crops? Eh. I know those cucumbers put me through college but they get rotten, smell like the STENCH OF DEATH that can be detected for miles and then these black, flying bugs invest the home front.  Seriously, it’s like an infestation.  Cucumbers + baby shower theme = inappropriate jokes for YEARS.  Furthermore, cucumbers have to be HAND GRADED on a wet line, which means one has to stare at a conveyer belt for HOURS and physically throw out the bad ones.  I volunteered to help one time, got motion sickness and almost threw up (an OSHA no no) on the product.

images-16Also, I’m allergic to peanut dust and COTTON…oh man, OH MAN.  Mom took me to a cotton gin to “educate” me on the family business when I was ten’ish and it was BREATHTAKING! Literally. I instead became educated on what it was like to fight for one’s life due to CO2 build up in the lungs! ASTHMA from that point forward. Thanks for the hairy chin corticosteroids. Farm life, as you can see, isn’t for everyone. No crop themes. Cows are cute but they don’t have those on their farm now.

 

But who doesn’t love TRACTORS right? After we learned I would get to be an aunt for the first time (YAY) to a bouncing baby boy, it was a DONE DEAL.  A tractor themed baby shower was on like donkey kong!  Now, our family doesn’t do John Deere (you know, the green ones).  They prefer the BLUE ones from New Holland.  Those that know me well know that I LOVE to host parties.  My rule of thumb is that you must always have a theme and stick with that theme throughout your planning and implementation.

Feel free to switch up the colors as needed if you want to duplicate any of these ideas (there are also RED tractors from Massey Ferguson). For any of you desiring to plan a tractor themed baby shower, VIOLA! Here is how you do it.

Supplies: Go to amazon and purchase these items…

Click here if you need a beverage dispenser. (One of the BEST purchases I’ve ever made. I use it for every party. Very durable.)

Click here if you need a tiered tray server and here if you need a stackable organizer.

Clear cups, napkins and forks.

Click here for the Cookie cutter for sandwiches (you can make chicken salad, pimiento cheese, etc. and cut out tractor sandwiches)

Click here for the Cookie cutter for cookies (note this is not an Amazon Prime product so order in advance. Also, please don’t wash it in the dishwasher like I did and melt the sucker! I like this cutter for cookies better because the impression allows for easier icing decorating.)

Click here for the Icing for cookies: Blue, Black and white – One of each should do it for 3 dozen cookies.  (I liked the icing in the bottles for cookie decorating.  I’m not a pro by any means but it was like PAINTING and the baby mama can hang with that.)tractor cookies

COOKIE RECIPE: Click on the Pinterest Board “Tractor Baby Shower” on Threekidsandababydaddy.com and you can find the link for the recipe I pinned from Sallysbakingaddiction.com. (I substituted the almond flavoring for LEMON and it tasted FAB. It made between 2-3 dozen, average sized cookies.)

Peanut Butter Bon Bons: I found a recipe using butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar (SUPER healthy). Get the chocolate to coat them here. I used white (2 bags), 1 dark blue and 1 light blue.

Peanut Butter Bon Bons

DECORATIONS: Go to Amazon.com and buy the following turquoise mesh ribbon and cobalt blue mesh ribbon (or whatever color you prefer.) Napkin rings like this one would be a good choice to string the mesh through and pin on each corner of the food table.  The napkin rings pictured in this blog were some I had purchased from Pier One MANY years ago and just happened to find them tucked away in a drawer. Also, the white tablecloth was a wedding gift. Lucky Me! There are many table cloth options on amazon if you need one. FYI – An average 6 person, rectangle dining room table is 72 inches.

Table Decor

   food table

petit fours

The New Holland Ride On Toy Tractor was a Birthday Present for my three year old, but if you would like to purchase one and double it as a baby gift then you can get it here or the small toy tractor here. It makes the PERFECT entrance decor.

new holland toy tractor

Here in Dothan, Alabama, we have a FABULOUS store called “The Artist Tree”. They ship to out of town customers also. I HIGHLY recommend! They are on Facebook also. My go to gifts these days are creative door hangers! All I had to do was get them a picture of the invitation and they whipped up this wooden hanger that could double as a home door hanger AND be used to add baby stats to display on the hospital door, then in the baby’s room. It ties a shower theme together nicely.  I mean…LOVE.

The Petal Pusher is a local florist that coordinates with other florists all over the country to give the customer exactly what they want.  Below is the floral arrangement they made and even has blue pacifiers attached to the flowers! Too stinking cute!  They also provided us with the corsage for the mom-to-be.

Flower Arrangement

In conclusion, more ideas for a tractor baby shower can be found on threekidsandababydaddy’s Pinterest account. Baby’s are one of the best events to celebrate and why not go all out! Future party ideas to come. Can’t wait to meet the sweet baby boy in just a few months!

Secretly, I kind of hope he throws lots of tantrums in public, keeps my brother up (not my sis-in-law, hope he is an angel for her 24/7) and is strong willed like his father. Mwahahaha. Pay back for all those “This is how you need to parent sis” (during these last 10 years of NOT having children of his own).

Either way, I feel certain that the kiddo will be taking his first ride on a blue tractor while still in diapers. Oh! Maybe my brother will get stuck in the New Holland with a code brown, no diaper bag and in the middle of a very large field. Yes! I’m just kidding. Not really. 🙂

Party on people! Enjoy the fun moments.