Over The Top Mommy

Parties

Take Your Birthday Party to Blink, Inc. For a Fun Photo Shoot

I was invited as a guest of Blink, Inc. for a photo session in order to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

As a party planning mom, I get excited when my daughter’s birthday rolls around each year because it’s another opportunity to plan a special party for her. It’s become a bit more challenging though as she’s gotten older. Gone are the days of having a big house party with characters or a bounce house. blink-inc-cardsblink-inc-birthday-buttonThis year my daughter just wanted a “Girls Day Out” at the mall with her friends. I think they’re at the age where they want to be out and be seen. She requested lunch and shopping and “just hanging out”. I thought of something super fun to add to her day….I booked a BFF birthday photo session for the girls at Blink, Inc,! (She absolutely loved it when we visited last year.) She was ecstatic when I told her about the addition to our plans for the day!blink-inc-posesBlink, Inc. is a photo studio staffed with professional photographers that are ready to photograph you the moment you walk in. It was so easy to make this fit in with our party schedule, you just go online to their site and choose a time and date at the location that works best for you, and book an appointment to go into their studio.
blink-inc-birthday-hatsBlink, Inc.studio is already set up with an all-white, blank backdrop, giving you images that look and feel like a professional, editorial fashion shoot. The lighting is set up to make everyone look their best! (They even flashed out MY wrinkles!)blink-inc-usThe photographers at the studio are experienced and will work with you ,not only to make it a fun experience but also to assure you get the images you envisioned in your head. Our photographer talked with us a little bit before we started and we showed her some of the props we brought for the shoot and gave her ideas of what I was looking for.blink-inc-confettiYou’ll want to come into the studio with an idea of what you’re going to do because shoots go by very quickly. We brought tiny party hats with us, a “Birthday Girl” button, and some confetti, to use as props in some of the pictures. Our photographer, got a lot of cute shots though, most without props. I love that the girls were just dressed as their regular, everyday tween selves because their littler personalities really showed in the photos.blink-inc-circle

blink-inc-friendsblink-inc-laughing-with-youSessions at Blink, Inc  can be scheduled for 10, 20, 30 minutes, or even longer, and start at just $25 for a 10 minute session. You’re able to see your photos as they’re shot, because Blink, Inc. offers a real-time delivery system. Pricing for images begins at $10/image with the option to purchase the entire shoot at a great “Buy All” price. Your images are delivered  almost immediately to your computer or mobile device so you can view, download to share online and even print at home.blink-inc-jumpWalk-ins are welcome but reservations are always encouraged at Blink, Inc.. To learn more  about the different types of sessions you can shoot at Blink, Inc. or to reserve your own in-studio appointment, please visit http://www.blinkinc.com.

A very special thank you to our favorite Blink, Inc. photographer at the Fashion Island location, Morgan! 

Plan a Summer Pineapple Party With The Help of Oriental Trading Company

Summer is in full swing around here!  I like to stock up for anything from impromptu playdates to crafting time to pool fun by ordering online from Oriental Trading Company. Have you seen all of their fun summer party and crafting supplies? I can’t get over these pineapple sunglasses! They’re on the top of my “needs” list! pineapple-sunglasses-oriental-trading-companyLately, I’m a little obsessed with pineapples! I love anything and everything “pineapple” and totally agree with this expression:  be-a-pineapple

(To print out your own copy, grab my free pineapple printable here.)

Just looking at all of the adorable pineapple-y things they have on the site, has inspired me to plan my own “Pineapple Party”. pineapple-party-supplies-oriental-trading-company

more-pineapple-party-supplies-oriental-trading-company

I have so many cute ideas running through my head now, all inspired by these adorable pineapple party supplies, starting with those pineapple sunglasses! Whether you’re planning a fun house party, a beach get together, or something splashy by the pool, Oriental Trading Company has everything you need for your favorite theme! have-a-pineapple-party-with-oriental-trading-company

Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too.

I was provided with products in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own. Some images are property of Oriental Trading Company. 

 

Fresh Brothers Pizza Knows How to Throw a (Birthday) Party!

One of my favorite places to eat is Fresh Brothers Pizza! In addition to their delicious pizza, I always have to order some Fresh Knots and couple of Meatball Sliders while I’m there! Luckily, my family loves Fresh Brothers as much as I do so we never have a problem finishing all of it. Oh, I’m hungry now just typing about it and looking at the pictures!

fresh-knots

meatball-slidersFresh Brothers offers healthy options made with fresh ingredients! When it comes to our kids and their nutrition, it’s important that we provide them with as many opportunities to eat healthy foods as possible. Did you know that Fresh Brothers has a Fresh Kids Special Sauce, which is a mix of finely ground veggies blended into their pizza sauce? They use it on the kids pizzas and kids can’t even taste the difference! The Fresh Kids Special Sauce is just one of the ways they cater to kids. They also offer several gluten-free options, including gluten-free pizza!

the-girlsWhen I was looking for somewhere to take my daughter and her friends to celebrate her birthday, I knew exactly where I wanted to go! Fresh Brothers! Our children are invited to a ton of birthday parties throughout their elementary school years and we’re all aware of the quality of typical “party pizza” being served at these parties. I can feel good taking the girls to Fresh Brothers for a party because the entire concept behind the restaurant is providing guests with the freshest ingredients. (Hence the name “Fresh Brothers”)

balloonIt was so easy to schedule a Fresh Brothers “Make Your Own Pizza Party”! We live close to the Newport Beach location and I had a choice of having our party outside on the front patio or inside. We opted for inside and when we arrived, there was an area “reserved” just for our party, with drinks for each guest (that I had pre-ordered) and some Fresh Brothers balloons.

party-table

reservedWe were greeted by our party hostess “Kylie”. She was really great with the girls and so patient. The girls were excited to start the party by getting to decorate their own pizza boxes first. Fresh Brothers provided the markers, crayons, and stickers to decorate them with. This was the perfect activity for these creative pre-tweens.

decorating-their-boxes

more-box-decorating

birthday-box

the-birthday-girlNext, each of the girls got to make her own pizza. They brought out dough and every imagineable ingredient the girls might ask for, to top their pizzas with.  After they finished making their individual pizzas, the pizzas were taken back to the kitchen to be cooked in the pizza oven.

working-hard

make-your-own-pizza

their-own-pizzasWhile the girls waited for their pizzas to cook, they had fun playing with pizza dough! A huge pizza dough was brought out for all of them to break up and share. They loved creating different shapes and making things like mustaches with the pizza dough.

pizza-doughThe table got quiet when their pizzas were delivered fresh from the oven. Although they had the option to take home any leftover pizza in their decorated pizza boxes, there weren’t any leftovers. That’s just how great the pizza tasted! I ordered a Greek Town Special Salad for myself! I love their salads.

mmmmmm

greek-town-special-salad

pizza

The week before our party, I stopped by Fresh Brothers and picked up an empty pizza box to use for the adorable matching cake I had made. (The cake was something we saw on a Nerdy Nummies video.) I also grabbed some of their adorable stickers to use on the favor bags. I just love their smiley face logo, don’t you?

pizza-cake

favorsAt the end of our party, each girl received their very own Fresh Brothers t-shirt! So cute! And the back says “I made my own at Fresh Brothers“! Such a fun keepsake!

tshirtsA Fresh Brothers Pizza Party is perfect for guests of all ages. It was a lot of fun for my daughter and her friends and I got to enjoy the party too while our party hostess took extra special care of us!

thank-you-fresh-brothersTo read more about party options at Fresh Brothers, click here. Fresh Brothers currently has locations in Los Angeles and Orange County. To find a location, click here. Connect with Fresh Brothers Pizza on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

A very special thank you to Fresh Brothers for hosting my daughter and her friends for a “Make Your Own Pizza” birthday party. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

A Pixie-Dusted Playdate to Celebrate the New “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast” Movie! An Afternoon of Girls, Curls, Fairy Catchers & Fun!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TinkandNeverBeast #CollectiveBias

Pixie-dusted-playdate

In our home,  just the mere mention of a new Tinker Bell movie coming out on DVD creates a level of excitement that’s off the charts! It could be our love for Disney movies. It could be my own personal connection with Peter Pan (since I’m “Wendy”). It could be that I believe in fairies! Whatever the case, we were ecstatic when we heard that “Tinker Bell and the Legend of NeverBeast” was coming on DVD and in celebration, I decided to throw a Pixie-Dusted Playdate for my daughter and a few of her friends, so they could all watch it together.

I-do-believeAs soon as March 3 arrived and the DVD released, I practically flew right over to Walmart to grab a copy for us! Oh and these slipper socks were a “need” also!

tinkerbell-and-the-legend-of-the-neverbeast-dvdI fell in love with these sparkly green slipper socks so I bought some pom poms and put them on with my glue gun! How simple is that? It was like Instant Tinker Bell! 

For our Pixie-Dusted Playdate, I wasn’t sure where exactly to begin the planning because I had SO many ideas going through my head, so I hit up Pinterest for ideas and created a Fairy Party board. There are tons and tons of ideas for food, crafts, games and more! I wanted to gear ours toward the pre-tween age since my daughter is 9 and her friends are 9-11 years old. I know that the girls at that age are still imaginative but I also know that nowadays I am also kind of competing with such things the girls’ iPods, cell phones, and their Instagram accounts. I just wanted to have some fun things for them to do that would keep their attention and interest and not be “too young” for them. So, I had an idea. I gave up my (usual) total control of planning this playdate alone and let my daughter help! I asked her to brainstorm some ideas she thought her friends would be most interested in doing. She was so helpful and was there to assist with the set up, gathering things we needed and making samples. Look how cute these simple signs turned out that she made, too!

neverland-and-pixie-hollow-signsI asked the guests to arrive at our Pixie-Dusted Playdate dressed “springy” attire. As a special surprise, I hired a hair stylist to do the girls’ hair. I know they love that sort of thing and why not make them feel extra pretty?  I love that Tinker Bell wears a bun but I envisioned my daughter and her friends with more of a free-flowing fairy hair look.  While they took turns getting their hair done by the stylist, the others were working on one of two crafts that we’d planned.

more-fairy-friends

free-flowing-fairy-hair

fun-with-craftsmake-a-fairy-catcherOur first craft was “Make a Fairy Catcher”.

The girls were excited when they saw the area set up and expressed how cute they thought it was which really made me happy to know I’d picked out something age-appropriate. They really took their time to make each one just they way they liked it. Each one was so cute and perfect to catch a fairy with!

fairy-catcher-goodiesHere’s what you’ll need to make your own “Fairy Catchers”:

  • Mason jars with tops, 1 per guest
  • “Magic” stones
  • Spanish moss
  • a variety of silk flowers
  • multi-colored “Magical” gems
  • small trinkets, such as ladybugs, butterflies, and paper flowers, to put inside
  • teeny, tiny teacups for the lid of the Mason jar
  • a few different colors of tulle
  • a hot glue gun

I-love-the-little-ladybugsInstructions for “Fairy Catchers”:

  1. Choose a Mason jar and have the guest write their name on the bottom of the jar with a permanent marker.
  2. Remove the lid from the jar and put some “magic” stones in the bottom of the jar.
  3. Place some Spanish moss on top of the “magic” stones and fill to your liking.
  4. Cut some silk flowers off of the stick and add to the jar. Using multiple colors makes it even prettier!
  5. Grab a handful of “Magical” gems and toss inside.
  6. Add some small trinkets, such as ladybugs, butterflies, or paper flowers, to your catcher, as well.
  7. Glue a small teacup to the top of the Mason Jar, using a hot glue gun. (Parents should help with this part.)
  8. After the glue is dry, replace the lid onto the Mason Jar, until you’re ready to use it.
  9. Choose some tulle to wrap around your jar, tie a bow with it, use a little bit of hot glue to secure it to the glass, and finish off with an embellishment of your choice. (We used metal flowers.)
  10. Now your “Fairy Catcher” is ready to use.

creating-their-own-fairy-catchers

I-know-Im-going-to-catch-one

butterfly

a-tiny-teacup

what-kind-of-a-fairyI loved the way that each girl’s fairy catcher turned out. I also loved the little conversations going on while they were working on them.

decorate-1Our 2nd craft was also something that my daughter came up with. It was a “Decorate Your Own Teacup” craft. It was so simple to set up and the girls needed no help with this. (other than me baking the cups in the oven)

Here’s what you’ll need to set up your own “Decorate a teacup” station:

  • 1 white ceramic teacup for each guest, prewashed (coffee mugs would work too)
  • 1 set of permanent markers in a variety of colors
  • 1 package of baby wipes
  • 1 roll of paper towels
  • 1 sample cup for others to see, if your guests are on the younger side.

decorate-your-ownInstructions for decorating the teacups:

  1. Have each guest select a cup to decorate.
  2. Start by having them write their name or initials on the bottom of the cup.
  3. Encourage them to make their designs colorful and decorate all the way around the cup and even inside the cup.
  4. Mistakes can be easily “erased” (prior to baking) using a baby wipe. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel prior to resuming the decorating with pens.
  5. Bake cups on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove cups from oven and allow them to cool down before distributing them to guests.

*Please inform guests that cups should be handwashed and not placed in the dishwasher.

concentrating

 

cups

inside-of-cup

my-mom-is-going-to-love-mineAfter all of the girls were finished having their hair done and they’d all done the crafts, they took a break to have some tea and fairy cookies while they finally got to watch the highly anticipated “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast” movie. There were giggles and there were tears, but overall, they loved it!

fairies-comeAfter the movie was over, the girls sat down outside together in a circle to play “Down By the Bank”! Before each round began, they’d place a fairy prize in the middle that was up for grabs! I don’t know if they realized that I’d purchased a fairy for each girl or not because regardless, they were going to each be going home with one!

downtink-prizeAfter they played a few rounds, it was time for cupcakes! We like to save the best for last! During our party planning, my daughter was the one who planned what kind of cupcakes to serve. I ordered a dozen simple, white cake/white frosting cupcakes from the store bakery and she topped them with a few fondant flowers, and stuck them into a polka dotted cupcake liner all on her own! So simple and inexpensive but they looked elegant!

how-to-transform-cupcakesTransforming plain cupcakes into elegant-looking ones is as easy as 1-2-3! 

cupcakes-all-around

cupcakes-for-3Cupcakes and fairies in hand! I’d say life is good for these girls! 

After all of the guests left and we were just sitting down taking a break, I asked my daughter if she had fun at her Pixie-Dusted Playdate that afternoon? I adore her response!

best-playdate-everHave YOU seen “Tinker Bell and the Legend of then NeverBeast” yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

We found the DVD and the adorable fairy dolls at our local Walmart in the entertainment section and in the toy section! We also found everything we needed for our “Pixie-dusted playdate” there! It was a fun afternoon!

walmart-aisles

Score Big on Game Day with Cheez-It and Chocolate Dipped “Football” Strawberries!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are 100% my own. #BigGameSnacks #CollectiveBias

big-game-day-with-cheezitThe Big Game Day is approaching quickly! It’s almost party time! I’m going to let you in on a little secret here…I don’t really worry about who’s playing in the game or who even wins it! Don’t get me wrong, football is fun to watch and all, but my real priorities on that day usually include:

  • watching the hilarious commercials
  • catching up on the latest gossip with my girlfriends who come to our Big Game Day party
  • enjoying lots of good food at the party

Hey, I know what’s important! I love any excuse to throw a party that involves food and this is one occasion that requires some major snacks!  We usually order pizza or cook up some hamburgers at half-time so I like to set out simple types of things on the food table such as veggies, popcorn, chips & dips and some sweets for guests to grab during the game.

When I was out shopping for our Big Game Day party, I picked up a box of Original Cheddar Cheez-It Grooves crackers and a bag of new Cheddar Cheese Cheez-It Crunch’d.  As you can tell, we are big Cheez-It lovers in our house.

cheez-it-bags The Cheez-It Grooves definitely live up to the description on the box: best of Cheez-It and a chip in one!‘.  Cheez-It is dedicated to using only 100% real cheese which is baked into every delicious cracker. I’m going to set them out next to some veggies and ranch dip for the party.

Cheez-It-GroovesThey are delicious! 

I never knew the cheddar cheese Cheez-It Crunch’d existed! They’re new and just appeared on store shelves last week. Crunch’d is Cheez-It’s first-ever crunchy puff made with 100% real cheese. I was dying to try them immediately so I opened up the bag as soon as I got to the car!  I’m not the only one who does that, right? They are so good by themselves! For our party I plan on throwing them into a big bowl along with mini pretzels, buttered popcorn and some chocolate candies. It requires very little time and is a great mix, combining the salty with the sweet in a bowl.

4-easy-ingredients

cheez-it-crunchd-snack-mixI like to put something into the bowl that guests can use as a scoop and set out cute little cups to scoop the mix into. This eliminates “little hands” in the bowl  that everyone is taking from.

I’m a pretty big fan of sweets so I also decided to make these adorable chocolate dipped “football” strawberries for the table. They’re very simple to prepare and Emi even helped me do the white piping. (She did an awesome job!) I’d suggest making a double batch since they probably won’t last very long on the table.

chocolate-dipped-football-strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb strawberries, rinsed and dried
  • 1 bag of brown chocolate candy melts
  • 1 bag of white candy melts
  • vegetable oil (you won’t need much)

washed-and-dried-strawberries

Preparation:

  1. Prepare your work area by putting some parchment paper down on the countertop. This is where the strawberries will be drying after they’re dipped.
  2. Place the brown candy melts into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Take out and stir. (They won’t be very melted yet.) Heat for an additional 30 seconds and stir again. Add a tiny bit of vegetable oil to the bowl and mix in. The oil just helps to make your mixture a little bit smoother. Let the mixture settle for about a minute before starting to dip the strawberries. dipping-the-strawberry
  3. Dip each strawberry into the bowl, slowly turning it by its stem. Then use a spoon to cover the strawberry with the chocolate up to a fairly high point, trying to stay even all the way around the strawberry. Remove from the bowl and set onto parchment paper to dry. drying-on-parchment-paper
  4. After the chocolate has completely dried (I stick mine into the fridge), prepare the white candy melts exactly like you did the chocolate ones. Transfer the white mixture into a piping bag (you can use a plastic sandwich bag) with the tiniest tip and pipe on the white football accents. If you make a mistake, you can quickly scrape off the white melt with a toothpick since it won’t be dry yet. Again, wait until thoroughly dry before serving. piping-the-footballs

yummy-strawberriesIt was really fun for my daughter to get in the kitchen and help me with these! She’s got a pretty stead hand for piping! 

I found everything I needed to make my Big Game Snacks at Walmart! Both of the Cheez-It products were on the end of an aisle so I could just grab and toss them into my basket!

cheezitsI think my snack table is all ready to go for the Big Game with all of the necessities! Can you think of anything I might be missing?

game-day-necessitiesWhat are YOU most excited for on the day of the Big Game? Do YOU have any special recipes that you serve on that day?

Connect with Cheez-It on Facebook and Twitter too!

Happy 100th Birthday, Morton Salt Girl! #MortonSaltGirl100

Disclosure: I received a free party pack of products from MomSelect and Morton to host a MommyParty! No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own. salt girlI grew up with Morton Salt in our house. My mom used it for cooking and baking and the Morton Salt Girl was just an American Icon that I always recognized. Now that I’m a mom, I love sharing things from my childhood with my own daughter. Everytime we bake or make a recipe for a meal, we use Morton Salt. She even knows which salt to grab when we’re at the store doing grocery shopping. She’ll even say “the salt with the girl on it”, reach for the Morton Salt, and toss it into our shopping cart.

salt girl 1Did you know that the Morton Salt Girl turned 100 this year? Yep, she first appeared on the Morton’s Salt package back in 1914. (The company actually established itself in Chicago in 1848.) She sure does look good for being 100 years old, don’t you think?

IMG_5629When I was presented with an opportunity to throw a “Morton Salt Girl 100th Birthday” Celebration MommyParty, I was excited! I’m always up for a party and celebrating something like that is so much fun. My own daughter also gets really into it. She loves a fun theme. So, I decided to invite over a couple of my girlfriends for a casual girls’ night one weekend. One of them brought her daughter over to hang out with mine. I let my daughter plan some fun activities to do at the party with her friend. While we relaxed on the patio with some drinks and appetizers, the little girls had some birthday celebration fun of their own.

new napkinsI set out some special snacks for the girls to munch on, which included these adorable, personalized M&Ms and some (salted) popcorn. The little girls ended up combining the 2 to make one of my most favorite mixes…popcorn and M&Ms! It’s like my movie theater go-to! They brought us each our own little bowl to enjoy.

popcorn 1

M&Ms

popcorn mixedThe girls loved drawing and painting that night and were even drawing the Morton Salt Girl. Although I grabbed a snapshot of this “works in progress”, she didn’t want me to post pictures of the finished products because she didn’t like how it turned out. Honestly, it was adorable!

They used the die cuts included in my Morton Salt party kit as game pieces and  played quite a few games of “Morton Salt Girl Tic Tac Toe” outside in the front yard, on their big, giant pillows. I love their creativity!

playingtic tac toeLater on, the girls informed us that they had plans to dress up like the Morton Salt Girl and wanted me to take their pictures. It was their Morton Salt Girl Photo Booth. Looking at these pictures makes me giggle because both of the girls have pretty long hair and they worked really hard to make it look short, just like the picture of the Morton Salt Girl. Their favorite part about the photo booth setup was getting to use the special Morton Salt Umbrella! What do you think? I’d say they “Nailed it!”, wouldn’t you?

mia umbrellaumbrella 1We had such a fun time getting together for a little “girl time” and watching our girls be creative while we “big girls” caught up with each others’ hectic lives. Happy 100th Birthday, Morton Salt Girl! I only hope I look as good as you do when I’M 100!

To learn more about Morton and The Morton Salt girl, click here.

Our “Decorate Your Own Cupcake” Party at Casey’s Cupcakes

It’s no secret that I love parties. I love throwing parties. I love being invited to parties. I love attending parties that are hosted at a location, especially when they’re done really well. I am always on the lookout for fun & unique places to have parties. For me, it’s not only important that party packages are reasonably priced to fit in my budget, but also that the party itself, be something I’d be proud to invite my guests to. I think we’ve all had at least one disappointing experience at an establishment that promised a good party and delivered the opposite. 
Emi and I recently had the opportunity to experience a “Decorate Your Own Cupcake Party” at Casey’s Cupcakes. I can honestly say that I was as excited as Emi was, if not MORE excited, for al the days leading up to the party! I can’t think of a better match for us, since Casey is “The Queen of Cupcakes” and I’ve pretty much titled myself “The Queen of Parties“! Oh I think I forgot to mention that everything in a Casey’s store is pink! Again, it’s a perfect fit for me since my favorite color is pink! For Emi, an extremely pink dress was a necessity for her to wear on this special occasion, as was a pink hair accessory AND some pink lipgloss! She was channeling her “inner Casey“!

Emi was ready to party and came prepared with her Casey’s Cupcakes backpack AND even carried my camera bag!

When we arrived at the Woodbury Town Center location in Irvine, Emily was very excited to see balloons just right inside the store! 

 

 

As soon as all of the children had arrived for the party, they each got to choose a tiara or a crown to wear for the party, which they also took home as a keepsake after the party. 
The children were then led into the Casey’s Cupcakes Party Room. 
I loved the way the room was set up. I also LOVED the beautiful chandelier!
The private party room is very pink and was beautifully decorated for our party. There was an elegant cupcake holder in the center of the table, an array of yummy frostings to choose from, and a beautiful assortment of sweets to adorn the cupcakes, including Sixlets, jelly beans, sprinkles and even Peeps bunnies. The Peeps seemed to be an especially big hit with the mommies! (I won’t name any names though.)  
Sixlets, jelly beans, Peeps and sprinkles! So many goodies to choose from!
It’s hard to resist licking your fingers when there are yummy frostings on the table!
How adorable are they?
Immediately after this pic was taken, I’ll bet you can guess what I did with that Peep?
We had a choice of pink lemonade or hot chocolate to go with our cupcakes! What a perfect afternoon snack!
Emi and the other kids had so much fun decorating their own cupcakes. Casey’s Cupcakes really went all out to make every detail of the party special, down to the adorable, pink boxes and bags to carry home extra cupcakes in!

When the party was over, Emi was happy to take home one of the Casey’s Cupcakes balloons! She is a HUGE fan of Casey, has many of Casey’s logo items at home AND even has a Casey’s doll. 

Before we left, Emi insisted on recreating Casey’s signature pose, featured in the logo. I swear my daughter is the most fun!
What do you think? Did she pull it off? 

If you are thinking of throwing a party anytime soon, whether it be for a special occasion, such as a birthday or graduation, or even a girls day out, you should look into one of the party packages that Casey’s Cupcakes offers. They currently have 5 store locations and their Woodbury Town Center location is in Irvine and has a private party room, which is the one pictured in these photos. They offer a couple of different party packages at this location. The “Tea Parties & Tiaras” party is an amazing offering and can easily be adapted to include crowns if you have boys in your group. 

Casey’s description of a “Tea Parties & Tiaras” Party:
Aspiring princesses will feel like royalty for a day at Casey’s Cupcakes! Our regal offerings start with a sparkling Apple Cider welcome and a Princess Tea. The lady-in-waiting will enjoy a private party in the party room in a setting inspired by a classic Parisian cafe with a glamorous Hollywood twist.….And what would a princess be without a Tiara? 
The Tea Parties & Tiaras party is an all-inclusive package which includes:
*Private Party Room at the Woodbury Town Center store location
*Sparkling Cider Welcome Beverage
*One delicious cupcake per person to decorate (with an option to add a 2nd)
*Choice of Creamy Frostings
*Assortment of decorative toppers
*Choice of Casey’s Cupcakes Fine Teas
*Tea Service per person
*Tiara Keepsake
Casey’s can work with you to tailor a party to fit your occasion and party size. Our party was beautifully done and is something we we’re proud to share about with other friends and family. 
It’s also fun to just stop by one of Casey’s location in the afternoon for a cupcake and a drink with your favorite little (or big) person. Casey’s is one of our favorite pastimes! 
Casey’s Cupcakes offers “Date Night” during the week! 2 cupcakes and 2 drinks for $10 from 4 p.m.-close!
To inquire about pricing and availability and to make a reservation for one of Casey’s parties, please call 949.424.9250. 
To visit the Casey’s Cupcakes website, click here

Our Own Oscar Party at Home

I literally spent the weekend cleaning the house. I actually felt like I’d accomplished something in the way of achieving “clean house status” yesterday, and the way I know I’ve reached that point is because I finally vacuum everything and make vacuum lines to finish off a room. Let me just tell you that cleaning my house always includes a sorting of Legos, Calico Critters, Strawberry Shortcake toys, American Girl accessories and a grip of art supplies. Although I do enlist Emi’s help with this, I also need things to be put back in an orderly fashion, so obviously I’m heavily involved in the organizing.
After I mentioned something to Emi yesterday afternoon about watching “The Red Carpet”, a lightbulb must’ve turned on in her head! It seemed that she immediately started planning her own version of an at-home Oscar celebration. She started pulling out every towel in our linen closet that had red in it, and was taping them down, on the floor together along our kitchen floor, with regular scotch tape. Then I watched her make a minimum of 4 trips up and down the stairs to get bring every trophy she’s ever earned, down from her room, which she let me know were going to be our “Oscars”.  At first I was hesitant and found myself saying “not right now” about what she was trying to do, because I didn’t want the living room to get messed up after I’d JUST cleaned it all up. That’s when I stopped to think about whether that was really so important? She’s 8 and has the most incredible imagination ever and why would I want to put a stop to that? So I could have my clean living room? THAT’S what I had to ask myself and it was at that point I decided to just sit back and let her do whatever it was she intended to do. Emi envisioned our Red Carpet to look a certain way and was planning our entire Oscars event, and that’s just what I allowed her to do.

After she was done laying down our beach towel version of the red carpet, she proceeded to make each of us a “VIP Ticket”, which we had to wear around our necks. Every time we entered or exited the kitchen, she had to check it to make sure it was us.

She also had a clipboard with the names of those who were allowed to enter the our Oscar ceremony.  If your name wasn’t on that list, you weren’t getting into OUR Oscars ceremony last night!

Did I mention that the area was roped off, with curling ribbon, and we had to wait until she cut the ribbon to get in?

In the seating area for our Oscars, aka the living room, she had chairs set up with drinks at a little table and a sign on the table that said “Reservation”. (I think she meant “Reserved”)

She tried her hardest to get me to change into a fancy dress, but I was already a lost cause in my pjs, as was her daddy. As we sat on the couch, watching the real Oscars on TV, Emi kept presenting us with “Oscars” for different things, as she stood underneath the TV. I think I won for “Best Female Chef” and another one for something else that’s hilarious but I won’t mention here on my blog! (hehe!) Daddy won the Oscar for “Best Male Chef” and something else too. We were both lucky because each time we won, Emi was the one who stood up and made a speech for us!

Emi never ceases to amaze us with her imagination and creativity and I couldn’t stop giggling when she came over and presented us with our “swag bags”! Each one said “Swag” on it, and contained a snack-sized bag of either Christmas or Valentine’s M&M’s, a JIF peanut butter to-go, and a hot pink paper straw! Seriously, does she know how to hook us up or what?

Did I mention that Emi got our cat to walk our red carpet to accept her Oscar for “Best Kitty”?

It was so much fun watching the Oscars while we had our own celebration at home with Emi. Don’t get me wrong, by the end of the night, my living room looked like someone threw a high school party in it, but I have to ask myself if worrying about having a clean house is worth her NOT getting to have that time to engage in imaginary play? I know many parents would probably not allow this. I’ve even heard people making comments about how when they were little, they could ONLY play like that in their own room, but I think the tradeoff is worth it. My house isn’t on the market and up for sale. I didn’t have guests coming over later. My mother-in-law wasn”t coming over anytime soon to do the white glove test. If there’s no real reason to say no, then why do so? I’m fine with knowing that sometimes I’ve gotta go with the flow and live in the moment! How many more moments like this are going to come along? This is what life is all about for me…living in these moments with Emi!