The festivities are now over... and we had a good time. Let me share a bit of Caleb's 4th birthday party!
I made a last minute decision to make it a themed party-- a camping themed party. This was quite hilarious to Doug... since Caleb's never been camping (allergies + asthma + tent = not good) but nevertheless, Caleb was excited. Although, he made sure to let everyone know that it was only a "pretend" camping party. No actual camping was to take place.
So, if you know me... the decor mattered. But this year the party decor budget was small. So I actually managed to pull it off for... drumroll please... $1.25. Just the cost of one roll of twine from Dollarama (sidenote... should they not now call it dollar-and-a-quarter-rama?) and a lot of online/recycling bin scavenging. Here are the details.
Found in my own home... jam jars and tin cans from the recycling bin decorated with twine for treats and cutlery. I clipped a bunch of random flowers from my flower beds and stashed them around the house. I was going for the whole wildflower look... and since my flower beds are looking a bit wild these days, it was a great place to start :)
I spy another chalkboard... I had a couple stashed downstairs (all the other chalkboards are currently on a summer wedding tour... possibly coming soon to a wedding near you) and added them to the decor. The cupcakes... s'more cupcakes. After googling 'smore cupcakes' and researching various options and recipes I went with Betty's recipe. Thanks B.C. It was definitely not dairy free... but I was reassured that they were tasty. There were many many other fabulous looking smore cupcakes recipes out there-- ones that involved homemade marshmallow meringue and others requiring the use of a blow torch... but I decided to play it safe. Betty Crocker is definitely within my range of baking abilities.
We needed some kind of hanging decor. I hate balloons... more specifically the aftermath of random balloons wandering around the house and then the trauma that Caleb goes through every time one of his beloved balloons pop... so I decided to go with bunting. Totally free... just go check out Lindsay's blog for instructions and a free flag download. I just printed them off at home, hot glued the flags to more of that dollar store twine, and hung it around the dining room. When Caleb woke up from his nap he walked into the room and said "wow Mom... that looks so pretty!!" I gave him a big smooch :) If only he would have known how much fun his mama had crafting it up all afternoon without his "help".
Oh, and I wrapped all his presents in newspaper... and tied it all up with twine. Oh la la... matchy match :)
Treat bags... paper lunch bags. I used these gift labels-- available to download and print for free online-- tied up with that dollarama twine again.
Even Emerson benefitted from my dollarama shopping spree-- new hair elastics. She seems to like them-- although she went down for her nap with two pony tails and awoke with none. I found one elastic in her crib. The other one is MIA. I'm thinking I'll likely find it in her diaper someday soon.
Caleb says he really really doesn't like her pony tails. He thinks they look like horns. He went on to express his strong dislike of pony tails on ALL women-- even his mama. For some reason, they just don't do it for him. Let it be know to all the ladies-- if you ever (like in 20 years or so) want to attract Caleb's attention... pony tails are a major no no.
After dinner (hotdogs for the kids... of course) they went on a dinosaur hunt. I gave them all dollar store flashlights-- very needed at a camping party-- and told them to go find all the dinosaurs that were "hiding" around the house (dinosaurs also courtesy of dollarama). They loved it.
This picture cracks me up. Caleb's expressing his enthusiasm. His two buddies are in the background thinking "How much sugar did this kid eat? What is in those cupcakes anyways?"
Then it was time to sing happy birthday and blow out the candles. Caleb blew them out well... and he also managed to spray his mama in the face as well.
Caleb enjoyed his cupcakes... well... at least he enjoyed the icing and chocolate on top :)
And then it was time for presents. I set up the kids ikea tent in the living room to house the gifts. I had planned on setting up our real tent in the backyard for them to play in... but alas... the weather's been quite unpredictable. But the living room tent was still fun.
Let's say opening gifts was a group effort.
It was a fantastic party. We had fun. Caleb felt special. And I discovered a newfound love of Dollarama (seriously... they've got some good stuff... I could write an entire blog about how to decorate your house and parties will dollar store finds!)
Today... the aftermath.
Lego building... play dough making... treat bag consuming... backyard bubble blowing... party leftover eating.
And half way into the day I looked down and realized a treat bag race car sticker had been inconspicuously placed right on the front of my shirt. Nice. Classy.
Nothing says... "Hi. I'm a mom." like an outfit accessorized with race car stickers.