The purpose of our family blog is to share our life journey with family and friends. Our family consists of Ben and Barbara (married Dec 2002), Caroline (born Sept 2006), Andrew (born Feb 2009) and Dixie (our dog). We hope that you will enjoy following us and all of our adventures and mishaps!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Berry Sweet Birthday Party!

The theme for Caroline's 5th Birthday party started many years ago - back when I was a little girl and had my own collection of Strawberry Shortcake figurines. Funny to think that these are now considered vintage toys! Thankfully, my mom saved my figurines and Caroline has enjoyed playing with them at my parents house. Of course, she prefers the new "Sassy" Strawberry Shortcake, but I couldn't plan a Strawberry Shortcake party without including "my girls!" I think for many of the moms at the party, they brought back fond memories.

I really ran WILD with Caroline's 5th Birthday Party this year! The theme started with her mentioning she'd like a Strawberry Shortcake themed birthday party (the day after her 4th Birthday)!

I really enjoy designing my own birthday party invitations (plus it saves $). This invitation was super easy. I just googled Strawberry Shortcake images, grabbed the image I liked best, and added a border and text boxes - Quick & Easy! I then printed onto heavy card stock and bought envelopes at Michael's. Invitations: CHECK!

I started looking for decorations at Party City, Michael's, Wal-mart, etc, but only found slim pickings... so I turned to my "go to" for cute stuff - I was so excited to find a downloadable Berry Birthday party template from Dimple Prints that was "just what I was looking for" & the price was perfect (a steal at $10). From the printables, I was able to make a banner, lollipop sticks for the muffins, food labels, signage for the house, and even come up with a fun craft idea! Not bad for $10, eh?

So here are the details you have been waiting for -

1. The Welcome Sign: I used a printable from my awesome etsy find and then visited the Dollar Store for a 50 cent piece of posterboard, pink boa & ribbon. Total cost: around $2, and oh so cute!
2. I borrowed a friends cricut to create these super, cute berry friends (my daughter thought they looked like the Berrykins from the Strawberry Shortcake cartoon). I used this to embellish the banner I made & personalize the decorations.
3. I borrowed this idea from my sis-in-law (thanks!)...I picked up a bag of red & pink polka dot balloons from Hobby Lobby, and decided to just blow up the balloons and forgo the cost of a helium tank. HUGE HIT w/ the kids - they could toss the balloons around, not to mention they were great ground cover for the house and really added to the party decor!
4. I used our outdoor flag stand to hang extra berry pennant sign.
Want more details...I thought you'd never ask!

5. When the guests arrived, we used our playroom as the "holding room" - where the girls colored Strawberry Shortcake pictures while they waited to have their nails painted.
6. All of the guests received rose colored, strawberry glasses - another BIG HIT (Party City find)! We also had a Strawberry Shortcake movie playing in the living room.
7. In the dining room, we had 2 youth painting the girls finger &/or toenails. They really turned out cute! They used red paint as the base, added white polka dots and topped the nails w/ a green stem (Voila! strawberry finger nails for all).
My daughter is crazy, crafty (not sure who she gets it from (Ha!)), so I knew I had to come up with a craft for the party. Who says you can't have a Berry party when Strawberries are out of season? One idea I saw was to have the kids take home a strawberry plant, but since this party was held at the end of August, that was not an option, so we made our "own"strawberry plants - Much More Fun!! First the girls painted their own clay pot, then they took colored craft sticks & glued strawberry pictures to them and last, they got to embellish their pots with pink crinkle grass (Dollar Store find) and fun, berry stickers (clearance at Hobby Lobby).

In addition to making the strawberry pots, we also had a sack race using burlap sacks (borrowed) and had fun with parachutes. The kids also played on the outdoor play equipment. I even pulled out my sewing machine and made, adorable strawberry bean bags; however, we forgot to play the toss game (oh well! they were at least fun to make).

How yummy does this cake look? This is the recipe that my friend's grandmother made for me when I was a child. It turned out GREAT! I did use a strawberry, cream cheese icing recipe to help cut the sweetness.

Creating the menu for the party was very simple. I started off with trying to center the foods around the names of Strawberry Shortcake's friends, but quickly realized they were all "sweet, dessert" names and that wouldn't do! Instead, I just took off w/ the Berry theme! Here is the menu I selected:
Menu for Strawberry Shortcake Party:
Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam Sandwiches (cut using Pampered Chef press)
Blueberry Muffins (decided to use the cupcake tower to display & add height to the table).
Strawberry Marshmallow Pops (super easy and so Yummy!)
Regular Potato Chips
Tray of Washed Strawberries and Whipped Fruit Dip
Strawberry Applesauce
Pink Lemonade, served in red cups with red fun, straws

Guests left with a good bag (courtesy of Party City) filled with all kinds of Strawberry Shortcake trinkets and candy.
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