Train Birthday Party!

Train Birthday Party!

I couldn’t let the months keep passing by without doing a quick blog post about Gavyn’s 2nd Birthday Party! We chose a train themed party for Gavyn this year, and we kept it simple, but it was still fun to plan! I actually love planning and organizing parties, but with our move being around the corner, I knew I needed to scale back on Gavyn’s party this year as compared to his 1st Birthday Party.

I, of course, started my search for ideas on Pinterest, and definitely came up with a few good ones on there. I even got adventurous and made my own cupcakes and cupcake toppers for this party, and they turned out super cute! I wanted to just highlight some of the things we did, in case you are looking for some ideas for your own train party.


DIY Cardboard Train: My handy father-in-law was able to make us custom-sized boxes and wheels that attached with velcro, and Bryan and I just had to cut out the windows and decorate the train! The train was a hit at the party, and we have gotten great use out of it since. If you can’t have boxes made for you, any type of box would work — just decorate it however you would like! We used string and white balloons to create the engine “steam”.



Other Decorations: I used our chalkboard to make a little sign, and then I searched through all the kids’ toys to find a few trains to use as centerpieces and such. We blew up a few red and blue balloons, too. The tablecloth is from Target.



Cupcakes: I altered a box cake mix to make the cupcakes and made homemade frosting, as well. The toppers were ordered from Ciao Bambino Designs, and I then attached them to blue and red card stock circles. I made the circles using a circle punch. I used hot glue to attach the circles to mini sucker sticks (from Hobby Lobby). This whole project was fun and easy and it made the cupcakes seem a little more fancy!



Birthday T-Shirt:¬†I ordered Gavyn’s shirt from Ruffled Rose Boutique on Etsy. It was fun to watch Gavyn be so much more interactive during his birthday party this year! He loved blowing out his candles and opening presents.



Party Favors: Each kid was given a conductor hat and a train whistle (both from Amazon). The little tags were also ordered from Ciao Bambino Designs, and I just tied them on with a little bit of decorative string that I had.

I had a lot of fun planning around a train theme, and now it’s on to wrapping up the details for Madalyn’s 4th Birthday Party (“Under the Sea”) this weekend! ūüôā




Looking for more?

Monster 1st Birthday Party

Rainbow Birthday Party!

Minnie Mouse Centerpiece Decorations



Rainbow Birthday Party!

Rainbow Birthday Party!


I am going to take a quick break from posts on Bryan to blog about our sweet girl’s 3rd rainbow birthday party! When I was thinking about themes for her birthday party this year, I had a few ideas, but this seemed to be the easiest one and with everything else going on in our lives, I am so glad we went this route! A rainbow theme is easy to pull off for either a girl or a boy and you can make it as simple or as complex as you want! (This was definitely a more simply decorated party that Gavyn’s Monster Birthday!)

I loved the brightness of all the different colors and Madalyn had fun with the rainbow of colors, too. You could throw in different shades of primary colors or even throw in some pink to make it a little more girly, if you want. There are lots of options!











Birthday Cake: Costco (Seriously, their prices can not be beat. And if you have a theme that fits the options they give you for decorating, go with it!)

Rainbow Balloon Garland: DIY (I followed the tutorial on Design Mom, and used this waxed cording from Amazon, and instead of sewing the balloons to the string, I just twisted them together in clusters of four. I then just twisted them around the cord and hung the garland. No sewing needed — super, super easy and fast to put together.)




Balloons: Target & Party City

Plates & Napkins: Walmart – just solid primary colors and mixed together for display; cocktail napkins; luncheon napkins

Candy: Rainbow Twizzlers, M&M’s (we sorted these ourselves), Skittles, Rainbow Suckers, Pixie Sticks

Water Bottle Labels: Chickabug

Party Favor Bags: Amazon

Rainbow Party Favors: Notepads, Pencils, Beach Balls, Sunglasses, Mini Flying Discs

Rainbow Tutu: Etsy

Rainbow Necklace: Homemade

Happy party planning!




Looking for more?

Monster 1st Birthday Party

Minnie Mouse Centerpiece Decorations

Turning One: DIY Pink Ruffle Lanterns

Monster First Birthday Party: Monster Jell-os & Monster Cups

Monster First Birthday Party: Monster Jell-os & Monster Cups


This is the end of my many monster birthday party posts, friends! These little monster jell-0s were a hit at Gavyn’s Monster First Birthday Party! I wanted to give you all the directions on how to make them, since they didn’t follow the regular jell-o making instructions:


Ingredients Needed:


1) Spray the silicone muffin pan with cooking spray, making sure the holes are entirely coated.

2) Make the jell-o, according to the box, BUT use 1/2 of the amount of water. I used 1/2 the amount of both the hot AND cold water that the directions call for.

3) Pour the jell-o into the molds and allow them to set.

4) Add the candy eyes right before you are ready to serve them. They will slide around and melt off of the jell-os after they sit on them for too long, so I would wait to do this until an hour or so before you are going to serve them.

These were a fun snack for both the kids and adults alike!

On a completely unrelated note, I just wanted to mention that the little Monster Sippy Cups I made are another SUPER easy craft that you can do yourself for a monster themed party. I hot glued plastic googly eyes (from Michael’s) onto Take & Toss sippy cups. They turned out super cute and the eyes are actually still on ours (I hand wash the cups!), but you could easily peel them off too if you wanted to remove them — the hot glue is not permanent.


I hope these posts have been helpful! This was one of the most fun parties I have ever planned, and while Gavyn won’t remember it, I hope all the family and friends there had a blast!




Looking for more?

Monster First Birthday Party

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Monster Utensil Holders

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Water Bottle Labels

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Monster Favor Bags

Monster First Birthday Party: High Chair Garland

Monster First Birthday Party: High Chair Garland


One of the other fun and “easier” projects for Gavyn’s birthday party, was this high chair garland. The fabrics that I purchased for this were actually what inspired the colors that I chose to use to plan his party around! I had seen little high chair “garlands” or “skirts” on Pinterest and on other blogs I follow, and decided to make one for Gavyn. This was a project I did one night after the kiddos were in bed, while watching a movie, so it wasn’t intense at all!¬†I am also not a sewer, so this tutorial I have put together is completely non-sew –hooray! (All you sewers out there can feel free to change the directions as needed if you feel like getting more creative!)

Supplies Needed:


  • Fabric
  • Pinking shears¬†(You will want these so that your fabric doesn’t fray or tear when you cut it into pieces.)
  • Jute (Hobby Lobby)
  • Tape/Masking Tape (to attach the garland to the high chair)
  • Optional: Wooden #1 (Hobby Lobby)


1) Cut your fabric into strips, using the pinking shears. The length and size of these strips is completely up to you! I did a few trial and error strips to figure out what would work best on our particular high chair. I used five different patterned fabrics, but you could use as little or as many as you want.


2) Tie the individual strips to the jute. I just tied them in a regular knot and they held just fine. Remember, fabric is light, so it shouldn’t require too much intense adherence.



3) Hang your jute onto the high chair. I used some regular masking tape to attach it to the underside of the high chair.

4) Optional: Attach your wooden number. I used jute to tie it onto the jute string.

That’s it! Super easy and a nice addition to the high chair for the birthday boy’s first cake!


I have one more post to finish up the DIY’s from Gavyn’s first monster birthday party, but then I’ll move on to something else! I hope you can use this specific tutorial and really cater it to any birthday party or theme!




Looking for more?

Monster First Birthday Party

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Monster Utensil Holders

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Water Bottle Labels

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Monster Favor Bags

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Monster Favor Bags


Another fun DIY from our monster birthday party were these little monster favor bags! These are a really simple craft!

Supplies Needed:


  • Solid color bags (mine are from Hobby Lobby)
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick


1) Trace circles for the eyes. Trace larger circles on white paper and smaller ones on the black construction paper. Glue the smaller ones onto the bigger white circles. Use whatever you have around the house for tracing! These are monsters — no need for perfection!




2) Cut teeth out of the white construction paper.


3) Cut little ears out of construction paper – you can use the colors of your choice for this!


4) Glue everything onto your bag. That’s it!



I went a step further and labeled each bag on the back with just a regular name label.


Inside the bags were the following monster favors along with a few treats and some mini play-doh:


Monster Squirt Ball: here

Monster Beach Ball: here

Monster Stickers: here

These favor bags were the easiest of the favors and turned out cute! I like that the monsters look super friendly and fun and the favors were a hit too.




Looking for more?

Monster First Birthday Party

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Water Bottle Labels

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Monster Utensil Holders

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Water Bottle Labels

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Water Bottle Labels


Making these water bottle labels was a little time-consuming, however, they turned out so cute and were one of my favorite touches to the party. If you are looking for a fun DIY to try, I definitely recommend trying these! They will be nice to do for future parties now that I have the technique down. They are waterproof too, which is a bonus!

Supplies Needed:


  • Individual Water Bottles (Make sure your labels will fit the water bottle you choose!)
  • Labels (I purchased mine from Etsy and printed on cardstock at Office Max)
  • ConTact Paper (clear)
  • Scissors
  • Paper Cutter (optional)
  • Packing Tape


1) Remove the labels from your water bottles.

2) Cut out your individual labels. I used a paper cutter (found here), but you could cut them out individually too.


3) Cut out two pieces of ConTact paper that will cover the label. Measure this out using the grid on the back of the ConTact paper and make sure you leave enough room on the edges to that they are sealed. If they aren’t sealed, water and moisture will be able to leak through onto the paper label.



4) Peel the backing off one of the pieces and attach the label to it.


5) Peel the backing off of the second piece and attach to the top of the label. Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles.



6) Cut off any excess ConTact paper on the sides. Again, make sure you leave some of an edge, but you don’t need a ton.


7) Wrap the label around the bottle and tap closed using packing tape.



That’s it! Once you get a system down it really isn’t as tedious as it seems, especially if you don’t need to label many bottles. And, because the paper label is covered, you can put these in the fridge and they won’t bleed or be ruined as they get to room temperature.


Hope you have some fun with this!




Looking for more?

Monster First Birthday Party

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Monster Utensil Holders

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Monster Utensil Holders

Monster First Birthday Party: DIY Monster Utensil Holders


One of the fun DIY projects I completed for Gavyn’s monster birthday party were some monster utensil holders, made out of tissue¬†boxes. They were inexpensive, not very time-consuming and they added some fun flair to the food table!

Supplies Needed:


  • Empty Tissue¬†Box: I used Puffs boxes because I liked the openings of the box and didn’t have to do anything to change their configuration.
  • Acrylic Craft Paint in colors of your choice
  • Paintbrush
  • Round Sponge
  • Black and White Craft Foam
  • Scissors & Glue


1) Paint your tissue box. Let the first coat dry and apply additional coats as needed, while allowing them to dry in between. This shows the boxes after one coat of paint. The orange took several coats of paint, while the blue only took a couple.


2) Use the circular sponge to create little dots with the paint. Dip the sponge in the paint and just press down firmly enough to create a circle. Allow for this to fully dry.


3) Cut out teeth from the sheet of white craft foam. Glue the teeth down inside of the box openings. I used a regular craft glue to do this and they held up great! Don’t worry about having perfectly cut teeth — these are monsters! They don’t need to be perfect looking (honestly, most of the DIY things I did for this party were slightly off in design on purpose because they are supposed to be monsters!).



4) Create eyes using the black and white craft foam. I traced the whites of the eyes out, using a random toy food can. Just find something around you that is the size circle you want for the eyes and use that for tracing. Again, no need for perfection here either! Glue the black circles onto the white, using regular craft glue.



5) Glue the eyes onto the back of the tissue box.


6) Fill your boxes with the utensils of your choice and you are all set!




Simple and fun! See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!




Looking for more?

Monster First Birthday Party

Minnie Mouse Centerpiece Decorations

Monster First Birthday Party

Monster First Birthday Party

Little (well, I guess not so little anymore!) Gavyn had his first birthday party over the weekend, and it was a blast! I had been planning and preparing for his party for months so it was so fun to see everything all come together! We chose a “little monster” theme for his party and it was SO much fun to plan it all. This was the first party I had planned¬†that didn’t involve the color pink in some way, but I loved it!

I wanted to do a quick post with some pictures, but I will be linking up tutorials as I write them for how to do some of the DIY projects I completed for his party, so make sure you check back for those.


























As you can see, the birthday boy loved his cake most of all! ūüôā Happy Birthday, Gavyn!


Birthday Onesie: Etsy

Monster Jellos: DIY

Monster Treat Bags: DIY

Monster High Chair Garland: DIY

Adopt-A-Monster Printables: Etsy

Adopt-A-Monster “Monsters: Amazon

Monster Sippy Cups: DIY

Monster Water Bottle Labels: DIY & Etsy

First Birthday Sign: Etsy (printed at Costco)

Happy Birthday Sign & Monster Cut-Outs: Hobby Lobby

Monster Utensil Holders: DIY

Monster Suckers: Amazon

Minnie Mouse Centerpiece Decorations

Minnie Mouse Centerpiece Decorations

Well, I promise I have a good excuse for the lack of entries lately. Baby Gavyn made his appearance a couple of weeks early at the end of April, and we have been keeping busy adjusting to not only life with a newborn, but life with two little ones! I am happy to report that he is a happy, healthy, well-fed little boy, and his sister Maddy is really enjoying him!

In other news, Madalyn turned TWO (how did that happen?!) a couple of weeks ago and we celebrated her birthday this past weekend. I decided on a Minnie Mouse themed party because Maddy is a big Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fan! I spent a LOT of time planning and making things for Maddy’s first birthday (see her cake, sign, ruffle lanterns, monthly picture posts here), and I knew that I wouldn’t have that time this time around with a newborn¬†by my side. So, I cut back and did just a few little things. The DIY project that I’m going to share here was so fun to do (and easy!).

Minnie Mouse Centerpiece

Items Needed:

1) Styrofoam. I made three centerpieces so I had the supplies for three. I used a 6-inch circle for the head and two 3-inch circles for the ears. I also bought a block of Styrofoam to put into the stand to hold the wooden dowel for the head.

2) Black spray paint and black acrylic paint. I used spray paint for the foam BUT it has to be spray paint that is made for craft foam. Regular spray paint melts Styrofoam. This is the paint that I found (at Michaels) and it worked really well. The acrylic paint is used to paint the wooden dowels black.

3) Wooden Dowels. I used 1/8 inch dowels to attach the ears and 1/4 inch dowels to hold the head up. You can cut down the dowels to be the sizes that you need.

4) Some sort of stand and filler. I used little planters I found on sale at Michaels that were perfect for this project. I then filled the pots with pink paper shred, also purchased at Michaels.

5) Ribbon. I used wire edged ribbon because it was easier to shape a bow.

6) Glue gun.


1) Spray paint or paint the Styrofoam circles. I used extra wood from the wooden dowels to hold the ball out so I could spray all around it without having to touch it in the process. Allow to thoroughly dry. I let mine dry for 24 hours.

2) Attach the 1/4 wooden dowel to the larger circle and attach to the foam in the vase/pot you choose to display these in.

3) Attach the 1/8 inch dowels to the smaller circles and attach as ears to the head.

4) Paint the wooden dowels black.

5) Make the bow using the ribbon you have. Rather than recreate all the steps for you, see the tutorial I found here. Her directions are simple and easy to follow. When you have your bow made, use your hot glue gun to attach the bow to the head.

5) Fill your vase with whatever filler you have to hide the Styrofoam base. And you’re done!

These were so fun to make, and added just something a little special to the basic decorations!

Some other fun birthday highlights…

Birthday cake was from WalMart! For the price, I was really pleased and it tasted great!

We ordered these from the mom of a friend who makes these cookies as a hobby. We loved them!

I couldn’t get a clear picture of the birthday girl as she was running around all day! ūüôā But, her shirt is from Etsy and her skirt was from Nordstorm Rack. I love how her shirt turned out!

We had a blast at her party and while I can’t believe our little baby girl is two years old already, we are so, so, so blessed to have Madalyn Joy in our lives!



Turning One: DIY Pink Ruffle Lanterns

Turning One: DIY Pink Ruffle Lanterns

I have been saving the best post on Maddy’s 1st Birthday Party for last! This idea was inspired by something¬†I saw on Pinterest (surprise, surprise!). (Click here to see the post my inspiration came from.)

We hung these up at Madalyn’s party, but the¬†best part about creating these¬†ruffle lanterns¬†is that I now have them hanging up in Maddy’s room as a permanent decoration! These lanterns turned out really well, but I will warn you that they are time-consuming. I made three of them and they seemed like they would be the project that would NEVER end…however, look at how cute they are! They were worth the time and, in my humble opinion, look better than the ones you can buy at the store.

Want to give these a try? Here’s what you need to know:


  • Paper Lanterns (I used 9.5 inch lanterns that I purchased from Party City. You could do the same size, or go bigger or smaller depending on what space you are trying to fill. You could also do a¬†mix of different sizes. The 9.5 inch lanterns came in a three-pack for around $6 or $7.)
  • 3.5 yards of fabric for each lantern (Again,¬†you might need¬†more or less fabric depending on what size lantern you start with.) Choose a fabric that is lightweight. You don’t need¬†expensive fabric¬†for this. The fabric I used was $2.99/yard from JoAnn’s.
  • Scissors (Simple Tip: Use scissors that are comfortable. You are going to spend a LOT of time cutting out circles.)
  • Ribbon (for hanging the lanterns)
  • Glue Gun


  • Begin with¬†finding a circle that you can use to trace onto your fabric. I used a cardboard circle that was 4″. I lucked out that¬†our Crate and Barrel coasters were exactly the size I needed, so I was able to trace that onto some cardboard. You can use your computer to find a circle that is the size you need, as well. Using a 4″ circle, I was able to get about 350 circles out of each fabric color. (Told you that there would be a lot of circles to cut!) Simple Tip: If you go with a smaller size lantern, you will want to use a smaller size circle, like 3″ or less.
  • Trace¬†circles onto your fabric. Make sure you alternate your rows of circles in order to get the most of out of your fabric. I used a pencil for tracing which was light on the darkest pink fabric, but worked really well on the lighter fabrics.

  • Cut out all of the circles you traced. This is the most time-consuming part of the project. Find something fun to watch on T.V. and it will help pass the time! When you are done, you will have a nice stack of circles like below:

  • Once you have all your circles cut, you can begin to start gluing the fabric to your lantern. Simple Tip: Before you start gluing, figure out how many sections of your lantern you have. Mine had 8 sections. I put about 43 or so circles in each section of the lantern. You can just wing it and place circles wherever you think you need them, but I am¬†an accountant and liked the logic behind having the same amount in each part of the lantern so that it was evenly full-looking.¬†I divided up all of the circles into 8 piles on the floor in front of me.

  • First, fold the circle in half and put a bit of hot glue in the middle.

  • Second, fold the circle in half to seal the glue you just placed on the fabric. You will have a flower-looking type shape when it’s sealed together.

  • Put more glue on the bottom of the folded circle and attach the circle to your lantern.

  • Continue this process with each circle until your lantern is filled. Make sure you switch the directions you put each circle so that the lantern looks flowery and full and so¬†that no white spots are showing through.

  • Simple Tip: I found it easier to glue the fabric circles closed first and then glue them all to the lantern at once. I am process-oriented and this worked better for me. So I had a big pile of glued circles to put directly onto the lantern:

Look at how full and delicate-looking these turned out!

  • Your final step is to hang them up! We purchased little white¬†hooks to put in the ceiling from Ace Hardware (super cheap!). I used a roll of dark pink ribbon from JoAnn’s (around $2.00) to hang all three of them.

I truly love how these turned out! We hung them in a corner near Maddy’s crib so every time we put her down in her crib she points up at them. I’m glad she is enjoying¬†her whimsical d√©cor¬†too!

Sooooo, this project is done! However, once we hung these up I started thinking Maddy’s room could use a few new touches to it and I can’t wait to share those with you soon ūüôā




Looking for more?

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Turning One: Pink Candy Buffet

Turning One: DIY Tissue Number “1” Sign

Turning One: Growing Month-By-Month