Today we celebrated my April Fools Day baby. She turned eight. I can't believe it!
April 1st is always an iffy-guess on what the weather in Kansas is going to be like. We've booked moonwalks and planned backyard parties that ended up cool and drizzly. We planned a day at the park and had to change it because it was the same day as the Easter Egg hunt. It's always something.
Today, though, everything cooperated. The weather was almost 90 and breezy (okay, a little too windy actually but it was nice considering the temp!). The park was empty except for us. I did not have to clean my house.
Since Brooke doesn't like cake (WHAT?!?!), we decided to have an ice cream social.
I packed up all the goodies and decorations and we took them to Beech Lake.
Now, I do have to say, that these pictures and this 'spread' would look A LOT better if it hadn't been so windy. I was having a few issues with that. But I was still happy with everything!
Here's the spread:
I had all the toppings in these cute bowls I got at Hobby Lobby several months ago. (More on those in a bit). I bought the cute chalk-board labels at The Cottage Collective from Paper Goods Creative.
I loved how all the colors looked! We had a bunch of good toppings too...chocolate syrup, homemade strawberry sauce, sprinkles, itty-bitty peanut butter cups, chocolate stars, chopped MMs, chopped peanuts, crushed oreos, marashino cherries, and of course, whipped cream. YUM.
I made this balloon topiary inspired by something I saw somewhere on the internet. Instead of trying to deal with balloons in the Kansas wind, this was a great alternative and gave me the centerpiece I mostly wanted. Now, if I had my head on straight, I would have remembered to get colored tissue paper for the bottom. And if I felt like spending more money, I would have bought balloons in the exact colors as my little bowls. But this mama is on a budget. I used the tissue paper my Aunt Debbie wrapped Brooke's gift in. And I used balloons and ribbon I had in the house. :)
Fill an empty 2-liter bottle half way with sand or pea-gravel (from your landscaping...send the kids out to do it). Wrap a dowel rod (1/2" diameter is good) with some ribbon. Blow up balloons in quantity and color of choice. I used six here. Tie two together on centered on a long piece or ribbon, then wrap that ribbon and tie it tightly around the top of the dowel rod. Repeat with other pairs of balloons. Stick dowel rod down in the sand/rocks. Cover 2-liter bottle as you choose. I would have chosent hot pink, bright green, and bright blue tissue paper but as I said, I was on a budget. So I used the white that I had and wrapped more of the ribbon around it. Then I added some of the happy birthday banner to it.
Overall, room for improvement but loved the concept, and it held up great for the party.
Birthday girl was first through the line!
I don't know why they all felt compelled to sit on the same side of the table!
I hired our babysitter to help me with some of the decorations and game facilitating. The kids love her (She is our teacher's daughter), and she was such a great help to have there!
This game was like a hot potato game. I had a sack-within-a-sack-within a sack for five sacks total. The outside of each one had a task for them to complete. So we passed the bag around like a hot potato and when the music stopped, they read the task and completed it. They included running down to the slide and back, all the boys singing "Happy Birthday" to Brooke, everyone jumping up and down while saying their ABC's, etc. It was fun. The last sack had tootsie rolls in it for everyone and the person who ended up with the last sack got a prize.
This game....it was crazy chaos...and the kids had fun....but it was nuts. We tied one balloon to each kids' ankle. At first we were going to play this in the grass but the balloons kept popping. So we moved it to the shelter area. I didn't even think about the kids RUNNING around and doing this. They were supposed to pop each other's balloons and the last one standing won. There were kids and balloons everywhere. I was just waiting for people to end up on their faces from getting tangled in the ribbons. But no injuries, lots of giggles and cheering and craziness.
After these games we just had the kids play on the equipment for awhile, etc. Before they went home, they got their party favors....which have a story all their own.
I got the bowls for the party at Hobby Lobby for about 42 cents apiece on sale several months ago. I thought it'd be fun to fill them with cotton candy to make them look like ice cream. I spent an hour last night making cotton candy on my little machine. I even caught my machine on fire at one point. They were so cute...looked like this:
Then this morning, I got up, and they looked like this:
Yeah, it's APRIL FIRST in Kansas and it's humid enough to ruin cotton candy that is SEALED UP in a bag. UGH. So I tore them all apart and made this stuff instead (minus the chex mix, and with peanuts added). It was yummy, and didn't get destroyed by the weather.
So in my 42 cent bowls went the popcorn mix, tied in a cellophane bag, with a candy-stick (thirty cents each) and a tag that I made that said "Thanks for coming to my party. Peace, Love and Ice Cream, Brooke"
It was an Ice Cream Social success. Everyone had fun, we had a great turnout, and my girl was happy! So thankful for all the friends that came, for the friends and family that helped out, etc.
Happy Birthday, Stinkerbelle!