My two youngest kids are one month apart for birthdays, so I always like to make it a joint party. The only problem is, they seldom agree on a theme. This year, I decided I would set up the living room for one theme and the dining room for the other, and just try to go crazy. Going crazy was the easy part – #storyofmylife.
It ended up being picture… er, Pinterest perfect. I think I can claim “NAILED IT”, don’t you? I adored seeing these little dinosaurs roaming my dining table amongst the newly potted succulents. Now if only I could keep the little plants alive, that would be a DIY feat.
My five year old was so excited with all the fancy dino-decor that he watched “Jur-nastic Park” with Daddy that night after everyone was gone. Yes, I’ve ruined my child by not keeping the husband from letting him see dinosaurs eating people on TV. I have no idea what the fascination is, but I’m glad that this phase has phased out since March, when we actually celebrated. His favorite toy in the world for about three months was his Lego dinosaur… that you have to spend at least fifty bucks to procure through a SET that most likely will end up in scattered pieces in three or four different rooms of your house… and the vacuum.
My daughter purchased some “fake” Lego-like toys that we affectionately call “Chegos” because they come from China, and gave them to the youngest for his birthday. Although they aren’t an exact replica, they are strikingly similar and CHEAP!!! I couldn’t believe it. She got nearly ten dinosaurs for less than fifteen dollars. ALL of them were the same size (sorry T-Rex, no advantages for you anymore), but they were a hit for quite some time!
Even though we are gluten and sugar free for the most part, I figured some of our guests might not be. Transitioning from gluteny, sugary cake to a more paleo-friendly version is rough. Admit it. I don’t miss it now, but that first six months to a year, I was really missing my buttercream and yellow-cake.
So, in honor of friendship, we made an order at HEB for a sugary cake with buttercream icing. I decided it would be a nice alternative for the “grown up cake” I planned to make for the sugar-free people. The lady at the local grocery store scratched her head a bit when I asked her to draw rings for planets. I already had plans for adding the plastic toys I had found at Walmart as toppers. At the last minute, to save time, I just let her create circles of color for planets instead of me making cake balls in different sizes. I dream big, but the clock was ticking.
It tasted good. That’s all that mattered to the kids. The adults went crazy over the sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate “Paleo” cake (and I just love that it had dinosaurs roaming on top). I’ll share my re-vamped recipe for this in a later post – I have to find the note where I wrote all my substitutions to the original recipe first. It was the best paleo-friendly cake I’ve had yet. I crumbled gluten free oatmeal cookies and cacao nibs on top.
I wish I had some of this cake sitting around on the counter right now. I wouldn’t be writing this post. Just sayin’.
I actually couldn’t find plastic dinosaurs, so I had to dig in our huge plastic animal tub to find a bazillion of them for the party. I not only used them on the cake, and found some really cute bigger ones cheap at Walmart and Dollar Tree, but I also tried my hand at party favors using a slew of them. It was my favorite thing from the party (besides the chocolate cake)…
Even the grown-ups wanted to take these home. I admit, I did use real candy. With March being so cozy with Easter, we had plenty to pick from. I even gave them some of my Spry Peppermints that I’m still trying not to be addicted to. I found these cute jars filled with fruit (and sugary syrup) at Walmart for like a dollar or so a jar. It was easy to clean them up and glue and spray them. Such a fun idea. I suppose if you were made of bucks, you could glue storm trooper Lego men up on top, too.
Speaking of a fun way to marry Star Wars and Dinosaurs, I scored big at Dollar Tree with these “dinosaur light sabers”!!! Bonus: they make NO noises.
In the living room, on a small table, I draped a black plastic table cloth from the ceiling all the way down, nearly to the floor. I used wedding pearl stickers and diamond stickers to create a “star” backdrop on it. I purchased a happy birthday sign that looked pretty “Star Wars”, and I set all the star wars themed toys we had and a basket of light saber bubble wands for the kids up there. All the presents were set at the base of this table. It turned out cute.
I painted my own death star with crayon and water color, and was informed by the FIVE YEAR OLD that I hung it upside-down. Well, at least he knows his Star Wars, even if he can’t read yet. There were so many cool Star Wars toys and party favors to pick from that I hesitate to even mention them. They had bubbles, drink cups, crazy string, coloring books, yo-yo’s, figurines, etc. You can’t go wrong with Star Wars if you don’t want to DIY. A trip to Walmart and you’ll be set – albeit broke.
The fork holder for our food table in the kitchen was actually a toothbrush holder I found at Walmart. I bought a blue paper confetti for the Star Wars tables and green and brown paper confetti for the dinosaur areas. The party plates, napkins, and cups were tucked in a little brown chest I got half-off at Hobby Lobby.
People didn’t seem to leave very confused. I think all-in-all, it went over fine and both boys felt like their theme was represented well.
These photos show also the wall colors that looked much better with the dinosaur party than my now gray walls would have. The color I have up on the walls now would have gone better with the Star Wars side of the house. I’m thinking next year they will probably want something like Minecraft as a theme, so a gray background will look fine!
I created their gift bags out of brown paper bags, ribbon, scissors, some scrap paper, black sharpie, and glue or tape. We let them use these to take home their candy jars, bubble wands, plastic dinosaurs, dino yo-yos, and whatever other things I have forgotten we put in them.
I was going to put this sign on our bathroom door, but didn’t get it printed in time (idea from Pinterest, of course):
I don’t care who you are. That’s funny.
We didn’t actually get to a few of the ideas we wanted to do… but you can always knock yourself out by visiting my Party Board on Pinterest and subjecting yourself to all those late night projects. I’m warning you, though…. sometimes Pinterest lies. It isn’t always as easy as it looks.
Happy party-goers agree, though: when mama takes time to try and make it special, it’s ALWAYS worth it.