Comic Book Birthday Party

Play-Doh Factory Party

For Griffin's third birthday, he chose a Play-Doh theme.  Considering today is Play-Doh day I thought I would share one of my favorite parties I've ever thrown. PLUS, I want to reminisce about when my baby was three instead of SIX GOING ON 20!

Inspired by the us in russ, I decided to go with a Play-doh Factory theme. The invitees received tubs of Play-Doh informing them the Factory was hiring. (Cutest RSVP response goes to Abigail's mom who sent me an email informing me of Abigail's Play-Doh qualifications!) 

On the day of the party, we welcomed the new recruits who received aprons and busboy hats. Each guest then had to stamp their "time card" and take a photo for their employee ID card. (I added their names in Photoshop and intend to send the pics with our thank you notes.)

Then, our new factory employees made their way to the "Production Line" where they made their own magic Play-Doh with Kool-Aid. They each got to pick what color they wanted by choosing a Kool-Aid flavor. We premeasured out the dry ingredients and then had water and oil available for (parent-led) mixing. 

Next up, everyone made their way to "Research and Development." Some very generous friends had loaned me a wide assortment of Play-Doh toys. I spread them out along two long tables and let them go at it. Griffin literally sat at the R&D table for an hour straight. He didn't even get up to greet his buddies when they arrived.

I turned my dessert table into the Factory itself. I decided to try cake push pops for the first time since I thought they were reminiscent of Play-Doh tubs. I had fallen in love with rainbow mini-cakes a while back and decided to make rainbow push pops instead. My stepdad made a long holder for the pops that I put in the middle of the table to look like a conveyer belt coming out of a cardboard box I covered with gears. I was SO happy with the result. 

The push pops were a huge success, as was the party itself I have to say. As everyone left, they came to "Product Packaging" and I gave them their time card, some animal-shaped cutters, little mini rolling pins, and the Play-Doh recipe. 

How I STOPPED ruining Christmas

My journey with Christmas began in 2009. Up until that point, Nicholas and I had always traveled to our family’s and spent the holidays in someone else’s home. When Griffin was born, we spent our first holiday season in our own home and it was wonderful. The next year we traveled to Nicholas’s family for the holidays, which was hard, but we still only had Griffin so the trip itself was easy. 

As many of you already know, 2011 was the year that changed everything for our family and how we celebrate the holidays.

Nicholas lost his job in mid-November and we decided to celebrate Christmas without Consuming. We borrowed a tree. We canceled our Holiday Open House. We gave gifts of time and energy instead of presents. 

In many ways, that Christmas was the best thing that ever happened to our family.

The Secret to my STRESS-FREE Holiday Season

This is a guest post by my dear friend Jessica on an exciting co-venture we're launching!

When it comes to parenting, I get quite a big wrong. My kid eats mostly sugary food for breakfast. He asks for dessert after EVERY meal. Last year, I handmade pretty awesome “Camp Ryan” birthday invitations (complete with old maps cut and folded into envelopes) and then forgot to mail them. And recently, I tried teaching him that if you’re smart, you should probably find other ways to express yourself other than using adult words (i.e. profanity); so now whenever he hears a four letter word, he blurts out, “Mom! That person isn’t smart.” 

Oh geez.

I realize these aren’t exactly end-of-the-world parenting failures, but they’re not necessarily things I’m proud of or like to publicly acknowledge. 

Luckily, there are a handful of things I seem to get right. Planning for a memorable and less stressful holiday season is one of those things. My type-A personality combined with a history of infertility fuels my passion for ensuring we wring every drop of magic and excitement out of Christmas.

While there wasn’t anything specific that happened, I just remember being very frustrated that the joy of the holidays continually lost out to the rush and stress of this busy season. My initial plan was to cut back. For two years, my husband and I didn’t exchange gifts. Then, I didn’t host any holiday meals or get togethers. Maybe we saved some money and a little bit of frustration, but ultimately, cutting out items moved me even further away from any Christmas joy.

A few years into cutting back, nothing seemed familia

Unique birth announcements for boys

When Griffin was born six years ago (SIX!??!), beautiful photo birth announcements had only recently become available to the masses. I spent a half an hour getting the perfect shot while he napped and ordered my sweet little birth announcement from Tiny Prints

By the time Amos arrived two years later, I wanted something a little more unique. I fell hard for the "Hi, I'm...." design on WestWillow and had my friend Emilee take the beautiful shot of Amos. 

Fast forward three and a half years later and the Hi/Hello motif is EVERYWHERE. I wanted something unique and something that spoke to Felix's third brother status. After months of searching, I finally decided to design it myself! So, the beautiful photo was taken by Brad Rankin and the announcement designed by your's truly!

Did you send birth announcements? Got a great source for unique designs?