wedding and baby inspiration, diy, design and other loveliness

Super Mario Brothers Themed Carnival Party

When it comes to celebrations for my kids, I like to go all out without going all out. Like any normal middle-class family, we have to have to budget the costs as well as our time when it comes to throwing a party.

This year, my youngest is turning four and I asked him what kind of party he wanted. Naturally, he made it difficult with a request of a Super Mario Brothers themed carnival party. He loves Mario and he loves carnival type games. Anything that requires you to throw something to knock down, he’s into it.

Fortunately my sister-in-law is also down with celebration chaos and together we dived deep into a rabbit hole of DIY carnival ideas and games. We decided to create eight stations of carnival games and deck them out with Super Mario Brothers decorations. Since it was summer, we were able to rent a picnic area at our local park and serve some BBQ.

Rather than rent expensive carnival looking tents, we used our blue pop up tents and added “curtains” with red table cloths from the local DollarTree. This was an easy an inexpensive way to create a carnival feel without breaking the bank. It also helps that Super Mario Brothers use a primary color scheme.

In each tent, we split it in half into two games. I bought wooden dowels and pounded them down into the grass and bought some colorful pennants from Amazon, cut them up and used them as game dividers between each tent.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a good photo of the tents but you get the idea:

THE GAMES!

Big Boo Balloon Darts (Ballon Darts Game)
Out of all the games, this was our pièce de résistance: the balloon dart game. My SIL and I labored away at this game and it was actually a big hit! We used a foam core board and some water balloons to create this game. If you wanted to, you could essentially stab a bunch of holes into a foam core and stick the balloons wherever you wanted. Wanting it to look cleaner and more cohesive, we measured, lined up and color coordinated. We made two of them and mounted it onto a kid easel. I happened to have some old darts from an electric dart board and used those for the kids to throw. The hard work paid off because this was definitely the favorite of the carnival.
*While these are darts are not super sharp, parental supervision at this game is definitely required*

Super Mario Can Toss (Milk Jug Toss)
I cut out some N logos and taped them to some plastic cups. The kids used whiffle balls to knock down the tower.

Toad Bowl (Inflatable bowling)
This was just an giant inflatable bowling game we happened to have.

Bucket Bowl Toss
We used stakes and I cut out some mushrooms and added a point system. Taped them down to some DollarTree (yay!) planters and the kids had to toss balls into them.

Star Corn Hole
I looked into ordering a custom corn hole but they are not budget friendly. Instead, we took an existing corn hole and added the star design to it to make it more “Mario”.

Warp Pipe Ring Toss
I picked up some noodles and cut them half and staked some dowels into the grass and put the noodles over them for an easy ring toss game.

CheepCheep Fish Bowl (Fish Bowl Game)
You know that really annoying ping pong fish bowl game that you can never win at? We made a dumbed down version of that as well.

Basketball Game
I really wanted to do a basketball type game and decided to DIY our own.
From the very resourceful DollarTree store, I purchased a tri-fold presentation board and two basketball hoop games. I designed and printed out a new background for the the board and hoops with the infamous question mark blocks.

To secure them onto the board, I used zip ties and threaded them to the back of the board. We also had to tape down the whole thing onto a table since it needed to be weighed down.

We also hung these guys on the trees but didn’t get a picture of them.

A lot of times, I focus a lot on the feature table but at a park and battling the elements, sometimes you just have to make it work and it kind of becomes “Ugly Delicious”. It has all the makings of a nice table, just not visually pleasing.

The kids also got to wear some Super Mario themed visors.

As part of the favors, I made some bookmarks and attached them to coordinate with Pocky/Prez. flavors: Chocolate, Strawberry and Pretzel.

Hope you enjoyed reading our party as much as we had planning it!

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Golden State Warriors Birthday Party

My youngest one recently turned two and we decided last minute to throw him a birthday party. He loves sports which is great for us because we are a big sports family. He particularly loves baseball and basketball and since the Golden State Warriors had just won the 2015 championships, we decided to throw him a Dub Nation party. Having two kids and not much outside help, I really had to limit myself in the party planning process. As much as I love doing it, I had to set some boundaries (or more like my husband had to :)).

I think the natural idea for any type of sports themed party is to do ticket invites so I had a little photoshoot with my little guy, added some blue lasers in photoshop and off to the presses it went. A friend had donated her laminator to me and I had been going crazy doing some DIY foiling with it. We also got lucky as USPS just released some awesome looking Wilt Chamberlin stamps. Also sent an invite to my homey, Steph Curry cuz you know, we tight like that. 😛

golden-state-warriors-basketball-ticket-invite

 Since it was summer, we had the party at a nearby park. Everyone came decked out in their Warriors gear.

Decorations at a park are a pain so we just went with some simple blue and yellow decor. The fun part for me was redrawing the starting line up in this chibi-like cartoons. I really get a kick out of redrawing anyone and anything into these little characters. It’s a weird hobby of mine.

gsw

By the way, my Silhouette Portrait cut these bad boys out. I never have to buy another birthday banner again, EVAR.

warriors-birthday-party-sign

Years and years ago, at the advice of a friend, my husband bought me a button machine for my birthday. Initially, he didn’t understand what in the world I would use a button machine for. Well, DH, it is to make awesome button party favors for our son’s birthday, obvis.

golden-state-pins

 

Now let me tell you about this double shot basketball hoop. I searched around to see how much it would cost to rent this thing. Everywhere I checked was going upwards of $350 for 2 hours. $350??? I figured a used one on eBay must be less. Fortunately for me, it was on sale on Amazon for a whopping $160. Add to Cart. Done. Despite the brunt of building it and dragging it to the park, it was a hit. My son LOVED it. He couldn’t even reach it but he absolutely loved it. I’ll admit, my husband and I stayed up a few nights duking it out as well. Great for kids AND adults!

double-shot

doubleshot-bball

 As my kids get older, there has to be a little more entertainment at these parties. We brought out our Little Tikes hoops for some toddler balling action.

games

 

Food. Food is very important. There must always be enough, and there must always be a ton left. We hired an amazing taco cart guy who made their tortillas fresh ON THE SPOT. It was some legit tacos. We also had a few other more kid-friendly snacks. Would’ve loved to have made some basketball-themed food but time got in the way.

tacos

tacos-party

food

 

family

 

Happy Birthday, little one! Keep practicing and most importantly, enjoy playing!!

GSW party details

Golden State Warriors Thank You Card

 

 

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Preston’s ‘Toad’ally Hoppin’ 1st Birthday

I have a toad’ally awesome kid’s birthday party to share with you! A friend from high school, Kristen, threw a fabulous first birthday party for her son Preston and was grateful enough to share with us all the wonderful details of the day. A lot of the desserts and decorations Kristen did herself! I loved how they came out with the theme because really it was very personal and apparently very Preston.

“Inspiration for theme: Preston’s love for a little frog on his Jumperoo at 4 months old inspired me to do something magical with this bond. Preston would coo, talk and drool all over the plastic frog for hours. No matter which way we would spin the jumperoo seat, he ALWAYS went back to Mr. Frog. This love sparked the idea for a fun, colorful, and classy birthday party. Much thought went into the fact that most party guests would be adults. With a fun and simple theme, I just let my creative juices flow. This was my first party, and I can’t wait to upstage it next year. The ideas are already brewing! Others who helped tremendously: My Mother, Maureen helped with baking and decorating. I also have to thank my fabulous husband, Brett, for going along with my ideas, no matter how crazy and over-the-top they were.”

frog-party-invitation
A cute humongo toad greets you at the door. You know this is going to be a good party.

green frog party theme
ribbon-wreath
toad welcome sign
streamers bunting
I love these little pails that people get to fill up with delicious treats. Get ready for the awesome dessert table!

party pails
green candy snacks
green dessert table
Look at all those yummy desserts!

green oreo cookies

“Pond water” and JellyBelly drinks for the kids

Drinks for the adults

Their playroom is so awesome!

playroom
The beautiful mommy.
Best mommy ever! She let this little guy go to town on his own birthday cake. I love his matching onesie.

Complementary thank you cards.

Kristen, I hope you do continue to throw more wonderful parties in the future!
Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

Credits:
Logo Design (Tad, the Frog): Design Moose Creative Group
Stationery Design: Kristen
Party Printables Design: Kristen
Frog Cake & Cupcakes: Cakes By Teresa, Fort Collins, CO
Frog Sugar Cookies: Etsy: CookieMamas
Muddy Krispies, Layered Jello Shooters, Drizzled Oreos: Me & My Mom, Maureen



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