teens still enjoy birthday parties!
how did this happen that i have two teens in our home? i remember everyone telling me when they were babies to enjoy baby stage. at that time, all i could think of was to get them grown up, independent, and potty trained! now if i could turn back time, i would love to experience a week of them as toddlers or babies! i think i would enjoy it a lot more, and soak up all the little moments and details of their beings! so, my wish for those of you who have little ones, relax and enjoy the small things! now i have my baby girl turning 13 years old in a couple of weeks, and i can’t believe she is almost my height, borrowing my clothes, and becoming quite an amazing adult! so, since this is a milestone birthday, we decided to celebrate this year with a party at home. since the date of her party was close to halloween we went with it as the main theme. i think it always helps to have a theme picked out and then all the decorations and treats just kind of fall in line. so let’s dig into the party preparations and all the different decorations and activities.
~ a funny note about the nester ~
in my previous life before the kiddos, i used to work at a opera company! please don’t ask me to sing, because i don’t even pretend to have that talent. anyway, i did create the in house graphic design images but, i was also in charge of decorating for our special events which included soirees, auctions, winery events and much more. i loved this part of my job since it was so creative. it is very cool that some of it is resurfacing with this blog!
~ party decor ~
target rocks ~
i bought these party items at target, and they were so cute and so easy to assemble. they instantly made our home very festive and fun. i also love the flower puffs and if you are like me, they end up looking like two separate flowers. so, here is the scoop on how they made them. they had 9 layers of tissue paper (about 16 inches in length) and a firm wire in the middle to hold it together. also, i think it is key that instead of having a pointy petal it had a round edges which looked tons better than the former.
home made banner ~
i bought the pre-made triangles, here is an amazon link: black banner and then i just added the gold glittery letters and little decorative stickers. here is the link to the letters: letters and when you’re all done assembling the panels, string a cute ribbon through the pre-made holes and tada, you have a personalized banner!
~ bring on the treats! ~
candy, candy, candy ~
my daughter’s teenage friends enjoyed munching on all the fun candies. i loved how our local party store had these old-fashioned candy sticks. so of course, i had to buy the ones that would compliment the orange theme!
kara’s cupcakes ~
my daughter is obsessed with cupcakes so, it was a no brainer that she requested them for her birthday party rather than a big cake. in northern california, cupcakes are the biggest rage. so off to the cupcake store i went. kara’s cupcakes is a locally own company and they have a few locations in the bay area. their cupcakes are so delicious, and just writing about them makes me crave them! the great thing about kara’s is not only are they delicious they also offer a few gluten free choices! as some of you may know, my daughter is gluten intolerant, so we just love companies that carry the gluten free options!
our store in walnut creek ~
don’t you just love the display? the store is mainly decked out in pink! it brings back old memories of the cupcakes i ate as a child! i just love that they are making a come back, who doesn’t like a little bite of delicious cake!
website for kara’s cupcakes ~
here is the link to their website: kara’s cupcakes
gluten free ~
here is my daughter’s gluten free cupcake! it tastes exactly the same as a wheat cupcake, i really can’t tell the difference between them. it is so nice that companies are offering an alternative for those who are gluten intolerant.
~ let the games begin! ~
here are the games that the girl’s played.
~ guess how many m&m’s are in the jar
~ pinata with candy
~ hanging donut eating contest ~
string up donuts and the kids need to eat it without the use of their hands. the team who finishes eating their donuts first, wins. the girls loved this game!!!
~ marshmallow rally with chopsticks ~
two teams go against each other in picking up the marshmallow with their chopsticks. one by one, they pick up the marshmallows at one bowl and then run to the other bowl and place the marshmallow in it. the first team to get so many marshmallows in the bowl wins.
~ harry potter jelly bean challenge ~
you use jelly beans that have both the good tasting ones and the twin that taste awful. some of the awful flavors are baby wipes, dog food, and grass to name a few. here is the amazon link:
note all the above games, encourage a lot of screaming and fun!!!
guessing game ~
this is the old fashioned guessing game, but the teenagers still love playing this game! when they were sitting around eating their dinner, they passed this little jar around and wrote their estimates on a piece of paper. of course, the winner got won the jar of candy!
decorate the jar ~
have fun with the jar. i just added a ribbon and the chalkboard sticker and the girls loved how cute it was!
even though they are teenagers, they still enjoyed a fun little pinata! of course, don’t forget to fill it up with candy. i’ve heard of people forgetting to fill them up! we went with the type of pinata that has strings on the bottom that are pulled and one lucky string releases the candy. so, we spared the kids of violently hitting the pinata with a stick! :o)
~ craft ~
mason jars craft~
i set up our craft room for 11 girls. each one got a mason jar that was wrapped in paper. the paper was used as a work surface. i provided little christmas trees, jingle bells, ribbons, and fake snow. i had them hot glue their christmas tree down to the inside of the jar. then we poured a layer of fake snow. they all enjoyed this project and they all came out some beautiful! also, their mom’s were so impressed with their daughter’s creations! despite the fact that they all shared the same material, each jar came out so different! i just love how much artistic expression each girl had!
~ my balloon test ~
so, i tend to be a little skeptical about paying the extra couple cents for hifloat helium balloons. hifloat supposedly keeps your balloons floating 25 times longer than the normal helium balloons. so i thought it would be interesting to see if it is true. i bought the standard helium balloons and the hifloat balloons. when loading the balloons into my car, i asked the sales clerk to identify which balloons were which. after identifying the balloons she added that it will be obvious the next day! i thought, she’s just saying that cause she wants to sell me the more expensive balloons. so, what is in this solution? according to the hifloat website, “it is a patented liquid solution that dries inside the latex helium-filled balloons to form a coating that helps hold in the helium. a single squirt inside the balloon keeps it floating longer – up to 25 times longer!” it is safe, nontoxic and biodegradeable. so let’s see if this is true!
one thing that the party store worker said, is that the balloons are too fond of heat. so of course she made me turn on my car’s air conditioner before she loaded the balloons.
so here are my results of the helium experiment ~
a. the basic helium balloon lasted only about 12 hours.it was obvious….they were lying on our dining room floor after 12 hours!
b. the hifloat ballons lasted about 1 1/2 weeks. although after about 5 days i noticed they had shrunk in size, but still were floating high in our living room. at about one week, they shrunk about one third their original size. interesting side note, my daughter received a really big balloon as a present and it is still floating high (after 2 weeks) and since it was originally huge, its shrinkage is not as noticeable.
so, my conclusion is that if you want to get balloons a couple of days before your party, you can get away with it if you pay the extra money and get the hifloat helium mixture!
so here are the balloons after 5 days. we had one standard balloon that is still floating! it is an anomaly!!! not sure why it’s still floating.
here is the hifloat at about 5 days! they are looking good and still haven’t lost too much in size!
oh boy, we are entering the teen years! look out…
thanks for your visit! let me know how i’m doing, leave a comment if you like or email me! i would love to hear from you!