Monday, July 27, 2015

candyland birthday party

Jaina turned THREE last month. This was one of those milestones when she actually seemed to change overnight. Three-year-olds can do simple addition (3 people in our family + 1 baby = 4 people in our family). Three-year-olds have vivid imaginations ("Pet my doggy, Mommy!" It's a string.). Three-year-olds like to pick out their own clothes (usually every piece in exactly the same shade because it "matches"). And three-year-olds ask "Why?"

I had a blast getting her party ready. We chose a Candyland theme together months ago, and I've been pulling things together.

With New Baby on the way and being on "no lifting" orders from the doctor, I was determined to keep this year's party as low-key as possible. It was really nice to just have the party at our house, however squished it may be, and casually set up over the course of the week.

However, coming up with a candy-themed menu for a kid who's only ever had, like, 8 pieces of candy (not kidding) was rather tricky. We got creative, though. Everything within little hands' reach was fruit, vegetables, popcorn, and cheese. They had to ask to get to the good stuff.

Here's a tip on the cupcake-cones. Do NOT store them in an enclosed container. 
They become a soggy mess. Had to make round two the night before the party.

Babybel Cheese Pops

My friend (and practically cousin), Laura Harbold made these gorgeous Candyland gamepiece cookies for the party. Hire her! She is so talented. And they tasted great, too. Sugar cookies with lemon icing. Yum!

I just had to have the game pieces from the Candyland version I grew up with. The classic gingerbread men were a must. Thankfully I found someone to borrow the old game from since the one Mom and Dad had must have disintegrated over the years! These guys (washed, of course) became the cutest little cupcake toppers. I also used Starburst for the game path and the sugared Air Heads gummi rainbows.

The tortilla pinwheels on the left are one of my favorite appetizer recipes. They have roast beef, asparagus, and horseradish in them. Way yummy.

The cloud in the background was from the Rain Baby Shower I did a few years ago. The candy garlands were painstakingly threaded by me. Not sure I'd do it again. They were a sticky, gooey mess to make, and gumdrops and marshmallows are surprisingly heavy. The fishing line stretched a bit over the evening, but thankfully didn't fall down completely. 

Definitely the best version of Candyland. Princess Lolly is so cute!

Favors were just as hard to plan as the menu since I know our friends don't really do candy with their kids either. I found really cute ice cream cups for each kid, added stickers, crayons, coloring cards, one of Laura's special cookies, and a toothbrush. ; ) I also found the cutest little cupcake rattle for a tiny baby who was at the party! I was tickled about that. 

To make the coloring cards, I downloaded coloring pages that fit the theme, resized them to fit four to a page, and printed them out on card stock. I really like how they turned out, and I'll definitely use that for favors in the future.

Ten minutes before the party was supposed to start a huge rainstorm rolled in. Half the party was supposed to take place outside, so we had to bring things in pretty quickly. One part of the decor that isn't pictured is the giant lollipops and cellophane wrapped candies I had out front.

We started with a life-sized Candyland game for the kiddos. We taped a construction paper path from the front sidewalk, past the lollipops, to inside, through the living room, kitchen, and dining room, then it was supposed to go out back and end in the castle tent.

It was extremely hard to find graphics for the 80s version of the Candyland characters, but I eventually found some that someone had made. I made posters of each character and had them at all the "special" game spaces.

Two kiddos actually remained focused till the end! Yay! Pretty good for a toddler game.

She knew the pretzels were the only thing she could help herself to. I think she ate half the bowl.

I made Jaina's cupcake bow for the party. First time I've ever attempted the whole "boutique bow" thing. It's harder than it looks.

Over my shoulder you can see Princess Lolly and the lollipop game space on the ground.

Playing with the fancy new baby carrier!

Yup, totally pulled a Ryan Reynolds and put baby's feet out the bottom. We figured it out later.

Just three very pregnant mamas making candy necklaces with for their kiddos.

Even with the rain and only having my point and shoot camera this was my favorite party for Jaina so far. She really had fun and loved having her grandparents and friends over. She kept showing everyone her favorite foods and decorations and "introducing" them to all of the character posters. I'm glad my girl loves to party as much as I do!

Party Credits
Party Styling: Kara Hallead of Kara's Domestic Life
Desserts: Kara Hallead and Charlotte Sprenkle
Gingerbread Gamepiece Cookies: Laura Harbold
Peppermint Lollipops: Inspired by Find It Make It Love It!
Kool-Aid Marshmallow Pops: Inspired by The Decorated Cookie
Tablecloth fabric: Joann Fabrics
Favors: Party City & Dollar Tree
Sandwiches: Giant Food Stores

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