Monday, September 15, 2014

Lanie's Lady Bug Party!

Well, after one failed attempt at having a lady bug party for Lanie's 3rd birthday I think we pulled it off for her 4th birthday beyond our imagination!  Let's talk decorations first.  So when you have 2 years to plan for a party you can pick things up on sale or clearance when you find them and store them away for the party.  That is exactly what I did!  I found bowls, tins, and basically anything red and black on clearance at either joanns, Michaels or Hobby Lobby and just stock piled.  I had no idea what I would do with some of the items I purchased, but I knew I would find a way to use it...that is just how my mind works.  Buy now, figure it out later.  (and by clearance I am talking like .60 for red tins and bowls!)  I knew that I was going to be having a lady bug party and kicking off the Fridays at the Farm in the same weekend so I played off the colors for both.  Friday colors are red and blue and then I was able to pull black to it for the lady bug party to tie it all together.  I will admit to you all that I had a lot of help with prepping for this party so please  don't think I did this all on my own.  

Okay, so decor was Chinese lanterns.  These are a staple at and easy and cheap.  I took one afternoon a month ago and created Lanie's customized ladybug banner.  I had purchased all the paper last year so that was really nice!  I added the blue to tie it all together and rocked out that sign!  I know many of you know this, but I have a cricut and I'm not afraid to use it.  You can create wonders with that machine.  All of my other party printable decorations were created by none other than Nellie!  She has her own Etsy shop where she sells adorable DIY party print outs.  She created a lady bug party for me and I got to work.   

We used the flag decorations to wrap around the cake pops and also to wrap around the utensils.  Our dear friend, Annie, came over and but the flags out for us which was a huge help!  We wrapped a napkin around the utensils and then wrapped the napkin holder/flag around it.  I was so happy with the way they turned out!   

The main lady bug table was set up in our kitchen.  I used a few old crates to give the table some different layers.  I purchased a 1 foot by 12 foot section of fake turf from Menard's carpet section.  It was on sale that day so I paid under $10 for the fake turf.  I ran that down the table and placed tiny lady bugs on it.   We tried to use red and black colored candies and food to complete the table.  I saw a half circle piece of styrofoam at Walmart one day and instantly thought, hey I could make a ladybug out of that.  So I did.  I spray painted the half red and purchased a round piece as well and painted that black.  I stuck a small wooden dowel in between the two pieces and Boom, instant lady bug.  I added to goggly eyes and painted a white smile on it with white out.  I had the black suckers and poked them in as the spots.  So simple and it only took me maybe 15 minutes.

The dining room happened to match my theme perfectly as well.  No, I did not paint the chairs to match the party!  Those are the colors of my chairs for real.  To be honest, I hadn't even given this room a thought before an hour before the party.  I pieced this together from leftover decorations,  I used the remainder of the wrapping paper from the other table.  At first I was bummed because I wanted to cover the entire table, but the leftover piece worked perfectly!  (I purchased a roll of red and white stripped wrapping paper and black and white polka dot wrapping paper from Party city for 2.99 each and used them as my table cloths). I put the leftover piece of fake turf on the table and put the leftover invitations to fill some turf space!  I used to of the printable signs from Nellie to pull the table together.  I also used more tiny wooden lady bugs and spread them in the turf.  Easy Peasy.  (I got a bag of tiny wooden lady bugs from oriental trading.  50 pieces for 4.99)  

Lanie LOVED her ladybug table.  Having the treats at just the right height was perfect for her to be able to test all the food.  Overall, I am super happy with the way the table turned out.  I forgot to opened the black and red licorice so that was crazy, but other than that, I loved it!  I had purchased butterfly nets from the dollar store a year ago so I put them in a vase with some green shredded paper and tied a black polka dot ribbon around it and had instant height to the table.

 Our beverage table had water bottles and juice boxes wrapped with more of Nellie's printable designs.  Super cute and way easy to do.  Just a little bit of cutting and a piece of tape and you have yourself a ladybug drink station.  My older girls put black polka dots on red cups for the ladybug juice.  Oh man, looking at this picture I realized I had a "happy birthday" banner to hand on the front of the table.  Ooopps.
For the treat boxes, I found cute milk cartons at Michaels and used my 50% off coupon to get them at a great deal.  I cut another Nellie printable out and taped them to the front of the box.  I filled the treat boxes with ladybug items I ordered from Oriental trading.  Ladybug bubbles, ladybug bouncy balls, ladybug squirter and a red twist sucker.  The kids also got a butterfly net as well.  I found headbands with rainbow balls on the end on clearance at Target.  I got old my good 'ole can of black spray paint and made ladybug antennas for people to wear at the party.  I had a friend contact me from my kids school that makes ladybug hair clips. She gave me a great deal on 20 clips and the made Lanie her ladybug bow as well.  It was so awesome to see everyone walking around with ladybug antennas or a ladybug hair clip, clipped somewhere.  I thought that added just a special tough to the party.  Thank you, Cindy, for creating those for me.

Ok, let's talk ladybug games now!  I found red buckets on clearance at Michaels (.25 each) and knew I wanted to make a toss game out of them.  Since we have plenty of pallets leftover from our first pallet craft, we spay painted the pallet black and drilled the buckets to the pallet.  (and by we, you all know I mean Dan, right?)  I used a white sharpie paint pen to write on the pallet and we had an instant ladybug toss game.  I found ladybug wash mitts at the dollar store and my nephew, Christian, filled them with popcorn kernels and sewed them shut and we had the lady bug bean bags.  I won't show you what the game looked like after the party.  Perhaps the plastic bins and heavy fill ladybugs were not a good mix.  

We had a table set up with ladybug activities for the kids to play with outside.  Ladybug bubbles, ladybug glitter tattoos, ladybug beach balls, red and black footballs, and solar ladybugs.  I wasn't out there much to see all the ladybug action, but judging from cleaning up, I would say the activity table was  a success!  I used a piece of wrapping paper to cover the table and use a printable banner from Nellie to hang on the front.  Nothing super fancy, just functional.

 I had a bunch of leftover tiny wooden ladybugs and had seen something on pinterest which sparked my imagination to do a ladybug hunt.  I bought black beans from Walmart as well as white beans.  We put the white beans in a ziplock bag and sprayed spray paint in the bag.  I sealed up the bag, gave it a shake, and I had instant red beans.  They dried really fast so it didn't talk long at all.  I dumped the red and black beans in the sand table and then put the little ladybugs in with the beans and we had a ladybug hunt.  All of the beans are now laying on my sidewalk and in my grass, but I won't show you a picture of that :)  In addition to our ladybug games, we had lots of fun on the swing set, zip line and trampoline.

Alright, let's talk food now.  I am not really good at cooking or baking, I just like to think I am.  I can make a pretty mean cake pop and puppy chow, however.   I knew making a cake pop that looked like a ladybug was possible, but it was simply too much work.  So I went easy.  I had some awesome help making tiny ladybugs out of red and black fondant and then used an edible black marker pen to put dots on the lady bugs.  The pops were dipped in lime green melting chips, rolled in green sprinkles and turned instantly adorable.  I used white frosting as the "glue" to attach the fondant ladybugs and the candy flowers to the cake pops.  The printable flags were the final touch to instant cuteness.  Nothing fancy and nothing hard.  

 I used red melting chips to make ladybug oreo cookies along with black frosting gel.  Again, not the best, but super cute.  We added a few fondant ladybugs to the cheese and sausage tray and the taco dip as well.  My mom created ladybug crackers and also make a fruit tray in the shape of a lady bug.  Both items I saw on pinterest and asked her to copy :)

 I had this grand idea of a ladybug cake.  3 tiers with super cute decorations and a ladybug on the top. However, after having it quoted and toying around with trying to make it myself....pick n' save came in pretty handy.  Just a small red cake with black polka-dots added the final touch to the party.

We had a taco bar for the meal.  Easy to make ahead of time and easy to serve.  

I will stop rambling on about the ladybug party now.  We finished the party by opening gifts outside.  We have a tradition of having the birthday girl sit next to the person giving them the gift.  To say Lanie was spoiled would be an understatement.  I think she was on gift overload.  Baby dolls, lots of Frozen toys, Kinetic sand, crafts, money, a picture frame of her baby bwighton, gift cards for shopping, and a pooping ladybug....what more could a 4 year old want?!?!?

Thank you to everyone that came and made the party a success.  Thank you to all who helped make food or helped clean up.  It was such a blessing to see all our friends and family surrounding us at our new home.  Your support and love over the past 6 months with our new home has truly made our new house feel like home.  This was our first party at the farm and I am just so thankful that God had a different plan than moving us to Texas.  

Now, there's a little boy turning 3 in December.....and the plans are in the works already for his party.  Stay tuned!

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