Celebrations, Parties

Picnic Time for Teddy Bears!

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I love any excuse for a party.  Unfortunately having only two kids means only two birthday parties to plan during the year, and I now find myself looking for ways to fill that lull between their birthdays.

Cue the playdate!

As mentioned in my Foam Ball Teddy Bear Craft post, my daughter and son both ended up having Teddy Bear picnic themed days in the same week for her dance and his preschool class.  I love the teddy bear picnic theme and already had quite a few party supplies I could reuse so I decided to take advantage of the theme and host a lunch playdate after preschool on a Thursday afternoon.

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To pull off my theme, I didn’t need to look much further than my party supply closet and the kids toy box.  The grass print plastic tablecloth and cardboard picnic basket were leftovers from my daughters 2nd birthday, the trees and white picket fence were used at my sisters Gnome themed bridal shower, and the teddy bears were the kids.  Other items such as platters, jars and baskets were all things I have slowly added to my collection over the past several parties.

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Besides food, the only party supplies I really ended up buying were a couple blue and green checked tablecloths and foam balls from the Dollar Store, some brown and cream paper plates, plastic cutlery, a bit of scrapbook paper and the adorable bear shaped treat containers I used for favors.

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To Doll Up my plain paper plates, I cut ears from scrapbook paper and stapled them to each of the plates.  For a quick and inexpensive banner, I embellished a few of the plates with blue paper bows and strung a them up on a ribbon behind the food table.  For more color and interest, I folded some quick pinwheels from the same blue paper and alternated those with the teddy bears on my banner.

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My adorable “Please Feed The Bears” sign was a bit of a last minute addition and I am so glad I took the little bit of extra time to create it.  All it required was a bit of acrylic paint to handpaint the words onto strips of kraft colored cardstock.  From there, I simply glued them onto a dowel and inserted it into a small flower pot I had on hand.

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The foods were each labelled with some quick tent cards I made up using the cute bear graphics from the invitation.

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I tried to keep the menu simple and kid friendly while sticking with the Teddy Bear Picnic theme.  We had bear shaped peanut butter & jelly Cub Sandwiches, Honey Bear Ham Buns, Veggies with Dip, Chocolate Pretzel Twigs and Fresh Bearies, Bear Paw cookies, and Teddy Grahams.  For drinks, I made up a quick Very Beary punch.

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My favorite food item by far was the Toffee Apple Cheesecake Dip.  The dip was easy to prepare the night before and it paired deliciously with granny smith apples I sliced up right before the party.  Get my recipe here.

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I also finally made this recipe for Ham and Cheese Sliders that I have pinned forever from The Girl Who Ate Everything.  I loved that I could have them prepared ahead of time and just pop them into the oven for a few minutes right before my guests came over.  They tasted great and, as a bonus, I even had leftovers for dinner that night!  If you are looking for food to serve at your next party or even a quick dinner idea, I highly recommend these.

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I  like to send my guests home with a little something and when I remembered seeing these adorable bear shaped containers I knew they would work perfect with the theme.  They came in packs of two in the baby section at Dollar Tree for just $1.25 and made the perfect little favors once filled with mini gummy bears.

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It was a great afternoon.  I finally got to show off our lovely home to some of the ladies have been hearing about for the last year and a half, the kids played so nicely together and I actually got to enjoy some adult conversation.

Thanks to things I already had on hand, this is one of the simplest parties I have thrown together but I think it is one of my favorites because it turned out so cute!

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For more tips on how I pulled off this cute party without breaking the bank, check out my guest post at Moms & Munchkins.

And be sure to head on over to Pinterest to check out all kinds of other great ideas on my Teddy Bear Picnic Board.

 

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Celebrations, Parties

Hangin’ With My Gnomies Bridal Shower

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I had the pleasure of being my sister’s Maid of Honor last August – my first time being in a wedding party!  I was thrilled to be part of my sister’s wedding day and excited because it meant I got to plan a Bridal shower.

When my sister first told me she wanted a gnome themed Bridal shower, I wasn’t quite sure if she was serious about it or just pulling my leg.  After confirming that was indeed her choice of theme, I began designing and acquiring gnome related items.  She was very specific about the style of gnome she wanted so while I found plenty of gnome statues, none of them quite fit with her vision.  In the end, I designed my own gnomes to use on her invites and as cardboard cut-outs for table decorations.

The invite:

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The main food table was decorated with mushrooms, fake grass and plants, and a white picket fence.  A banner with the Bride and Groom’s name was strung across two topiary trees and cardboard cut-outs of gnomes were placed throughout.

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I think that food is one of the most important aspects of a shower, so I spent a lot of time scouring the internet for finger food recipes.  The final menu I made included bacon wrapped dates, baked brie pops, mini twice baked potatoes, veggies and dip in small flower pots, stuffed mushrooms, and chicken salad rollups.

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Other guests were kind enough to bring the amazing fruit bouquet, mango salsa with tortilla chips, and a fruit salsa with cinnamon chips.

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Desserts included s’mores bites and a beautiful cake with adorable toadstool cupcakes made by our friend Katy.

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Drinks were a non-alcoholic watermelon punch and red wine sangria, as well as layered cherry jello shooters.

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For favors and an activity, I had a flip flop decorating station.  The guests were asked to RSVP with their shoe size and favorite color and I picked everyone out a pair of flip flops when Old Navy had their $1 flip flop sale.  Glue guns, ribbons, beads and flowers were provided and guests went to working adding a little extra pizazz to their new sandals.  It ended up being a lot of fun to see what everyone came up with and guests then had a pair of comfy shoes to bring to the casual camp themed wedding.

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Another component of the shower (as seen in the invite above) was donating to the underpants gnome.  Guests each brought a pair of fun new underwear for the bride-to-be and we strung them on a line in the living room.  They were paired with an advice card and the bride had to guess who had given them based on the advice written and the style of underwear chosen.  She had a lot tougher time guessing then I would have expected and there were many laughs shared with the crazy marriage advice and the gag underwear that were about 5 sizes too big.

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Finally, I also made a few gnome themed props from foam core and posterboard to take some fun photos of the bride-to-be and her guests.

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Even though we were stuffed from all the appetizers, we finished the evening off going for dinner and then out dancing.  I had a ton of fun planning  this shower and providing a special day for my sister and now can’t wait to one day be able to plan a baby shower for her!

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