Flamingo Themed Birthday Party, Designed by Crowning Details, Hosted at Discovery Green

Crowning Details Flamingo Party at Discovery Green
Photo: Crowning Details
We were tickled pink to have a Crowning Details Flamingo Themed Birthday Party at Discovery Green’s Celebration Tent!

This year my daughter asked to have her party at Discovery Green and for it to be Flamingo Frozen Bunny themed. Which seemed perfectly reasonable, except I wasn’t really sure where to find Flamingo Frozen Bunny party gear.

Each year we take donations rather than gifts. Mostly because I can’t stand the thought of picking up one more random toy off the floor. And also to teach the kids about giving.  After more discussion, she said her birthday money would go to help the Flamingos at the Houston Zoo.

Houston Zoo Flamingos

We even went to the zoo and picked out her Flamingo. The tall pretty one was adopted by Brooke. (We now have a certificate to prove it.)

So, I did my best to get Brooke excited about the Flamingo theme (only) and asked my friend at Crowning Details for some help. And it was our prettiest party yet.

Let me tell you everything you need for your own Pretty Pink Flamingo Party.  Without a doubt, Julie from Crowning Details made it perfect.  And, without a doubt, I had real concerns about how expensive her suggestions would be.

I can happily report that the Crowning Details suggestions were all budget friendly, with Dollar Store and grocery store suggestions, and all details were very well thought out.  And having it a Discovery Green was a huge success.

My favorite comment from a guest was, “You are a working mom.  How did you pull this off?”.  “Oh, this little thing?  I just threw it together.”.  (Which no one believed.  So I introduced them to Julie.)

Look below for pictures and a shopping list!

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How to Make a Drawstring Bag – Great for our Polar Bear Birthday Party!

These instructions are for how to make an easy drawstring bag. I added a face to mine and used them as favors for my daughter’s 7th birthday, but they could be used for any occasion or even just around the house as a fun way to keep all those toys and games with a million little pieces organized.

Finished Draw String Bag
One of the great things about these bags is that you can make them of any size, as long as you have enough material! I chose to make mine polar bears to fit my daughter’s party theme, but you could do just about any animal by simply changing the color or pattern of the fabric. My son is already asking for a tiger bag made of out some tiger-striped material that we found!

The materials I used were: white fuzzy fabric, black yarn (with a needle big enough to thread it through) for the mouth, black buttons for the eyes, black pompoms for the nose, blue craft cord, a safety pin, black thread and white thread.

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Ideas for Planning Polar Bear Birthday Party! (Or Any Animal Themed Party!)

It’s Shanna! This year my daughter decided she wanted a polar bear theme for her birthday party. Everything we did was specific to polar bears but most of our ideas could easily be adapted to other animals too.

Birthday Party at the Park
Read on for details on selecting a polar bear charity (instead of receiving gifts), creating two polar bear games and making the cake and party favors!

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DIY Simple Recipe for Snack Mix and Free Printable Tag

Hello again!  I know my dear friend Pranika is our food guru on Big Kid Small City but this time of year crafting and baking kind of merge for me so I’m bringing to you a simple recipe for a snack mix I created as well as a free printable tag that you can use to package all your goodies!  So grab a few simple ingredients and let’s get making!


Fall Snack Mix Supplies

Here is what you will need:

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Harry Potter Wands – DIY Crafts for Kids! Perfect for Birthday Parties or Costumes!

Hi!  My name is Olivia and I am a mother of two fun little girls, preschool teacher, and owner of Olivia’s Ultimate.  I love to sew, cook, eat, shop, and craft!

When Jill asked me to guest blog with crafting tutorials I laughed out loud.  Ironic since I have started and stopped my own little blog about five million times promising myself to keep up with posts! 😉 However, this may be the perfect opportunity to force myself to share all the fun things I get to create and not feel the pressure of keeping up with my own blog…only the pressure of Jill.  Kidding.

So for my first tutorial I kept trying to think fall.  Pumpkins, ghosts, turkeys…aack!  As a preschool teacher we do handprint crafts daily and I couldn’t get them out of my head.  After all, you really need/want me to show you how to dip your hands in paint, right?

Luckily for you my oldest daughter’s birthday is coming up and I am in party planning mode!  She is OBSESSED with Harry Potter.

When she first told me she wanted a HP party I said, “But baby, some of your friends have never even read the books or seen the movie.”  Apparently that didn’t matter to her.  Obsessions transcend all hesitations of others “not getting it.”

So for the last few weeks I’ve been diligently pinning Harry Potter party idea after idea onto my trusty Pinterest board and today I started doing instead of pinning.  First up, WIZARD WANDS for Olivander’s !

Harry Potter Wand and Book Main Photo

As most 7 year olds in the Muggle World will be arriving at the party sans wands we must provide them with one, right?  Here is how we made ours.

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Joe’s Hero Birthday Party – Celebrating Firefighters, Police and Military on the 4th of July

Joe has been waiting and waiting to turn 5.  All school year long, he watched his friends turn the fabulous 5.  When it came time to plan our own party, Joe exclaimed he had been waiting  years for this birthday.  And it’s true.  He’s waited his whole entire lifetime for this big day.

With such a *big* day to celebrate, Joe wanted to be sure to pick the best theme.  Unable to decide between firefighters, police and military, we decided to celebrate all Heros.  It turned out to be the perfect theme since we had Lt. Uncle Russ attend, had a Houston Firetruck stop by and a curious police officer drive by a few times.

Since Joe is more popular than both of his parents combined, and we needed to invite a lot of other 5 year olds, we held a simple party at our tiny house.  We set up tables and games outside and hoped for sunshine.  On July 4th, we started at 3:30pm and walked over to the firework shows at 9:00pm.

For such a marathon of a party, we kept things simple.  One the menu were fish sticks (at Joe’s request), spinach salad with dried cherries and candied pecans, fruit salad, make-your-own patriotic parfaits and dipped strawberries.  The cake, with the US Navy Seal (at Joe’s request) was from HEB.  Our *signature drink*, for this fabulous 5 year old birthday party, was a watermelon smoothie (with and without rum).

For fun, the kids played in the water, played Pin the Badge on the Fire Dog, broke the Fire Engine Pinata, searched for Sheriff’s Badges in the sandbox and played and played and played.  At dark we handed out Flashing LED Rings and Glow Sticks.

One of the most *fabulous* parts of this 5 year old birthday party was the Houston Fire Truck that came by.  For years we have been taking cookies to our local fire station.  Here the wonderful firefighters know Chief Joe and take good care of him.  On the morning of the party I sent Joe and his dad over with a cookie cake, that I had had HEB personalize with, “It’s Joe’s Birthday, please drive by our party!”, in frosting.

To our delight, as the party started, we heard a siren out front.  The firemen were coming home from a call and stopped to see Joe.  The firemen wished Joe a happy birthday, talked with the children and let them see the truck.  This.Was.Amazing.

The rest of the day was spent talking with friends and wondering if the firetruck visit was real or a dream.  We did not give out an extra party favor this year, and if anyone were to comment on it, I’d just say, “But we had a firetruck.”.  (In fact, for any mistake or shortcut I take in the future, I play to say, “But we had a firetruck.”.)  And as if the firetruck excuse is not enough, we had also stuffed the pinata with extra good gifts like Sheriff’s Badges and Hero Rubber Ducks Duckies.  (And don’t worry, no one is really complaining.  I just like to talk about the firetruck.)

And speaking of firetrucks, we raised some money for the Houston Fire Museum.   Instead of gifts, Joe asked for a small donation to the Museum. He raised $75 for his favorite place and was pleased-as-punch to deliver it today.

All in all, the party was a big success.  Starting with the new school year, I’ll be reminding Joe that it’s okay to wait for his birthday, because he gets to have *fabulous* 4th of July party!  (And I will probably remind him of firetruck visit.  Daily.)

Pirate Treasure Hunt – Perfect for Pirate Parties

My kids and I love scavenger hunts.  Usually we search urban Houston for items on our checklist.  Look HERE for our latest scavenger hunt.

Our checklists are great for Joe who is learning to read.  These lists are not as good for Brooke.  I think my friend has come up with the perfect solution.

Today at a 3 year old Pirate Birthday Party, my friend had a Treasure Hunt for pre-readers.  To start, she gave each group an envelope with a picture inside.  The kids had to identify the picture and go to the pictured place for the next clue.

Each place they went had a new envelope with a picture of the next clue location.  The kids went from the bench to the slide to the turtle to the playground and more.  At the last spot, the kids found a treasure chest full of prizes.

This certainly took more planning and effort by the birthday boy’s mom, but it was a huge success.  I’m going to use this cleaver idea soon!