Brave Themed Birthday Party

The Princess recently turned seven, and this year, she wanted her party to be Brave-themed.

So I came up with some ideas that went with the theme. First we got some molded plastic crown goblets, along with gold paper plates, napkins and forks.

Then, I made Will O’ the Wisps, like the one Merida follows into the forest, using battery-operated tea lights, double-sided tape, some blue cellophane wrap and streamers.

First I put the double-sided tape around the edges of the tea lights,

and then I sort of randomly attached the cellophane.

Using more double-sided tape, I attached thin strips of white streamers under the cellophane. This was also good for folding parts of the cellophane to get a sort of rounded, billowy shape.

And then I used some white lanyard (because I couldn’t find the fishing line that I KNOW IS AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE!!) and hung them in a trail to the door of the party. They looked really great blowing in the breeze, and after the sun went down they looked really cool, as the little tea lights flickered in the night air.

I also made crowns (using paper crowns from the craft store and glue-on jewels) for all the girls. For the boys, I got some ear-headbands, though at this time of the year, I had trouble finding inexpensive bears and had to settle for mouse ears. The kids didn’t seem to mind. For goodie bags, I used gold paper bags, and inside of each was a little teddy bear, bullseye cookies from snack bakeshop and a little bow and arrow set that I made using popsicle sticks and Q-Tips. (Directions for those on Practice What You Pinterest) tomorrow.

For cake, I made little cupcakes that looked a bit like the one Queen Elinor eats that turns her into a bear, and these were butterscotch flavored cake with vanilla butter cream icing. To make the cake, I started with a basic white cake recipe, and then I added a box of Jello Butterscotch Pudding mix.

The cupcakes were baked for 20 minutes,

and once they had cooled, I put a ring around the top with vanilla butter cream icing.

Once all the rings had been placed, I took what was left of the frosting and added red food coloring. (I think that the center-circle of the cake in the movie might be red, but I couldn’t justify using the amount of food coloring it would take to make the icing red, thus mine were pink.) The pink icing was used then to fill the center circle on top of the cupcakes.

For games, we had a tug-of war, and I bought a little toy archery set. The kids had a nice competition to see who could hit the target, though it turned out to be more fun than it was competitive.

It was a really fun party, and The Princess had a great day. Though one other thing I forgot to mention: During the party, I set my iPod to play some Bagpipe music via Pandora Radio to go with the theme. One of the guests (or perhaps more than one…) kept turning it off though. Go figure.

The Mood

Doesn’t it seem like a lot of people around you are angry?  It’s all because of gas prices, I think.  Well, gas prices and the cost of living in general.  People don’t have anything extra.  And when you don’t have anything extra, you don’t have a lot of mirth.

Manfrengensen was at the local Walgreen’s yesterday, and the guy in front of him paid a $40 tab with two dollar bills.  “Times are hard,” the man told the cashier.  He was cashing in bills he’d been saving for three decades.  Guess he thought they’d be worth something someday.  And they were — but the value was only two dollars.

Remember when the bottom fell out of the Beanie Baby market?


First boogie boarding of 2008.  The water was 55 degrees.Going to J’s “moving up” ceremony in a bit.  He turns eight today.  Eight – the “forty” of childhood.  It’s all downhill from here.  Next thing you know, childhood will be over.  He’ll be telling us what’s what with Santa and the Tooth Fairy.  Hair’s going to sprout in places.  His voice will change.  It’s all just around the bend.  Bittersweet. I took this photo of him on Memorial Day after his inaugural boogie board ride for the season.  The water was 55 degrees.

See my stepmom’s expression there in the background? That’s the look of “The Mood.”  The face you see on everyone.

Goose Chase

So now it’s summer, and as always, I am shopping for the unattainable.  Today I wonder, is it possible to find a sleeveless summer shirt that won’t expose my conspicuous cleavage?  I have all these photos of me and my kids at Disney World last year, and every time I look at them I think, Ooh, there are the kids with Cinderella….and my rack. I know this goes against the current fashion mindset, but when it comes to that kind of exposure, I beg to differ.  Less is more.