Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer Means Birthday Parties!




















It's a wonderful time of year. It's warm, school's out, and for some reason there are a million birthday parties! If you're like me, you not only like going to them for the entertainment value they provide your kids, but you like throwing them (for the entertainment value they provide you in coming up with creative ideas that remind you of being a kid!).

My daughter is turning 2 next week and I've been planning her party for months! I said that I was only going to go crazy for her 1st party (where I rented silver wedding platters, a silver fountain with pink lemonade and pink frills galore!), but who am I kidding - it's GRACIE'S BIRTHDAY!!! You're only 2 once! : )

So, this year, I was inspired by Michelle H.'s wedding that she had memorial day weekend at the beach! Gracie's 2nd birthday party is a "Backyard Beach Bash!". I've ordered six 6' tall inflatable palm trees, pink flamingos, a mermaid centerpiece, and of course, a birthday cake built like a sandcastle (and that's just for starters!)

We've got inflatable slip 'n slides, toddler pools, sprinklers and an enormous whale pool to be constructed in the backyard - poor Doug, he's the groundskeeper for the event, so I suspect he'll be blowing up beachballs and yard toys all night the evening before!

At first, I thought we'd have an "elegant" beach bash, but that simply isn't enough fun. Tacky, wacky, pink and expolsive is the route we're going! I figure I better get all my party plans in before Gracie is old enough to have plans of her own. Soon she'll probably just want me to drop her off at the mall with her friends and all my dreams of pink poodles and flowers will be left at the curb!

It's nice to know I'm not alone in this pursuit of birthday party fabulousness! So many of our divas love to throw a party in diva style. For instance, my good friend, Steffie T. just had an Air Museum party for her 5 year old where you could actually watch planes take off and land on the runway - talk about the perfect setting!

Or, my sister-in-law, Allison L., who threw a double whammy carnival birthday party for her 3 year old and 1 year old - she had a cotton candy machine, carnival games, corn dogs, popcorn and pretzels!

The nice thing about these parties is we get to use our imagination - bringing in memories of our own childhood. These parties are not to be mistaken for the pricey, out-do the neighbors, kind of events. We keep the costs down, but the imaginations high!

We'd love to hear what you've been doing for your kids!

1 comment:

DITK Crystal said...

The birthday fairy visited Benjamin during the night and decorated his nursery w/ balloons, streamers and happy birthday signs. So, when he woke up his room was covered in birthday surprises.

We had a monkey theme party w/ a moon bounce, chocolate fountain, carved fruit and veggies, palm trees and monkeys everywhere. Favors were personalized onies ( Addison went bananas at Benjamin's 1st Birthday party) w/ a stuffed monkey, bubbles, banana runts and a monkey designed cookie. It was over the top but the best 1st birthday party ever. Oh, did I mentioned we had a huge banner personalized to celebrate Benjamin's 1st birthday.

Year 2...We totally stole the idea from Gracie's 1st. But, we are having a Splish Splash Backyard Water Park Bash. Equiped w/ waterslides, sprinklers, and swimming pools. Plus, a bubble machine. Favors...Personalized towels w/ beach buckets filled w/ lots of goodies. Food and drinks....hot dogs (turkey, beef and veggie w/ whole grain buns) plus snow cones and fun in the sun themed cupcakes w/ mini cups of ice cream in a variety of flavors. Not to mention, 100% juice boxes and organic milk to drink

Easy Chicken Pasta

Easy Chicken Pasta

What's For Supper Ya'll?

White Beans, Pasta and Chicken
8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)
Directions
1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.
4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Posted by Stacy Nelson, Easy Dinner Recipes.blogspot.com

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