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Friday, May 31, 2013

Moo Moo, Party Review {the animal station}

The animal station doesn’t take many words to explain.  Pay the people, they show up with animals. Enjoy.  Haha

But let me back up.  When Ellie was 4 days old, we went to One Week Boutique where we first saw the Barnyard Discoveries trailer.
They bring the farm to you! :)  I tried to get in touch with them about having a party last year with them, but the dates didn’t quite work out and I wasn’t quite up for planning a huge party last year with just having a baby and all.

So this year, I contacted them in January and booked them!   They are located right around Peoria close to my parents and were wonderfully easy to work with.  Since my budget couldn't afford the huge trailer with all the animals, we did the “private party farm experience.”

They got caught in lots of construction, so when they weren’t here at the beginning of party time, I panicked a bit.  But they arrived shortly and got set up fast.  They even brought a couple extra animals we weren’t expecting, like the adorable pig, Babe.  I can’t say enough good things about them.  They set everything up, stayed with the animals and interacted great with the kids.  And then they picked any mess up and headed out.  And judging by the kids reactions, I think they were a huge hit!!

Here’s a few animal station pictures:
the smaller trailer for the "private party experience"
William meeting Gypsy - the miniature horse
Pool-5133 Pool-5136 Pool-5137 Pool-5142
Avery's not looking too sure
Babe, the pig
Pool-5153 Pool-5158 Pool-5184 Pool-5217
she loved them!
Pool-5376 Pool-5378 Pool-5583 Pool-5584Pool-5596
Pickles the goat - my favorite!

all the party links:
inspiration and agenda
decor and favors
the stations - crafts, animals, games
the photobooth
the food

Moo Moo, Party Review {the craft station}

Now onto the 3 stations that kept the kids busy for the first half of the party.  The first was the craft station.  We love crafts at our house, so I knew I wanted to do a simple activity station.  I chose 2 very simple projects that even 2 year olds could do in about 10 minutes.  I put everything in a bag with the kid’s name on it and then alphabetized it in a tub, so make it super easy to grab each kid’s project when they arrived at the table.IMG_0167 The first thing was simply a white sheet of cardstock where the kids could attach these foam farm stickers.  They came in a pack of 500 from Oriental Trading and I had split them up ahead of time so every kid got one of each shape.  There were bowls of (new) crayons out on the tables if they wanted to add details to their pictures.  Have I mentioned how much I love new Crayola crayons?

The second project was inspired by my love for Dot Paint Markers.  Do you have these?  Because you should.  We used them tons in my classroom and I loved having an excuse to get them 2 new packs for the party.  They are (almost) mess free painters.Do-A-Dot Art Set, 6/Pkg, RainbowimagesI found these farm animal pages from Oriental Trading that are made specifically for the dot markers.  Each kid got one animal page in his/her bag and the dot markers were just out on the table for the sharing.57_6640 Here’s a few pictures of the station in action:Pool-5169 Pool-5170 Pool-5173 Pool-5177 Pool-5203 Pool-5208 Pool-5210 Pool-5222And that’s it for the craft station.  Short and sweet.  Time to ring the red cowbell and switch stations!

all the party links:
inspiration and agenda
decor and favors
the stations - crafts, animals, games
the photobooth
the food

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Moo Moo, Party Review {the outfits}

Once my decor was decided, it was time for the kid's outfits.  I waited until the last week to get this done because I bought short sleeve and long sleeve shirts. The weather had been so back and forth, I wasn't sure which ones I was going to need.  For both of their shirts, I used fusible iron on to get the the cow print and the black background to stick to the shirt.  Then I sewed around it with red thread.  Their names were made out of a fuzzy vinyl.  After making them, I wished I had made their names red.  But oh well, no one noticed that except me, right?
I found Ellie's skirt on ebay and scored it for cheap! Loved it so much!
Her headband was my third attempt.  I just didn't love anything I made until this one appeared.  It really could not have been more perfect with the scrabble tile and the 1!
Ellison's red boots also came off ebay and completed her outfit perfectly!

William was simply instructed to wear white or black. Although he donned the cowboy hat quite well.
I found my cute sundress at Kohl's and my friend Kimberly let me borrow her red boots.  The girl (ok her hubby) mailed them to me, how awesome is that?! 

Moo Moo, Party Review {the decor and favors}

I had a pretty clear vision for what I wanted the party to look like.  There are so many ways to go with a barn theme, so I picked these main colors and stayed with that theme throughout.  I knew I wanted to use cow print, burlap, with splashes of red.
I made lists of my main areas that needed decorations and slowly made my way through the lists.  For about 2 months, I just tried to knock out one project a day (during nap times or after the kiddos were asleep).  Luckily, some of the projects I was able to do with Owen which made it super fun!

Front Welcome Area
My sister had the fabulous idea of putting stars on the path to the door.  She has seen this idea on Pinterest but the flour didn't show up very well, so the next thing I knew she had found some red and silver spray paint and went to town.  She cut a start shape out of the middle of a large piece of posterboard and used it as a stencil.  She did it on the walkway, and also close to the gates in the backyard.  After 1 mow, you can barely tell they were there.  So adorable!
To keep my graphics pretty uniform throughout the party, I bought this digital clipart set off Etsy.  I used these animals and background papers for almost everything I did.
Barnyard Animals Clip Art Barn Clip Art Set Farm Clip Art - cow, goat, pony, sheep, chicken, tractor, barn  (personal or commercial use)
For the front door sign, I printed out EIEIO on cardstock using this free Rio Grande font.  The cow print was a digital paper from above that I just printed.  I could not find cow print paper anywhere.  I found the chalkboard for super cheap at a local kids resale store and my sister did the awesome handwriting on it. The cow balloons are from Hobby Lobby.  I took them to Schnuck's a few days before the party and they filled the, and added the red ones.  There was also a large cow balloon that I used in the backyard.

I knew most people would spend their time outside, but I still wanted to put up something small inside and have pictures of the kids somewhere. I made circles that had each month on it and hung twine from the back.  I hung 2 pictures with small clothespins on each string.  I did the same thing for Owen, but did half year increments.
The other large inside decor were the 2 food tables and I'll be doing a separate post about the food.  But my favorite decor item was definitely the large barn backdrop that I made.  The green "pastures" were just perfect for the cupcakes grazing. I got the cow tablecloth from Amazon.  I also sewed a burlap and cow print bunting and made a matching one for the photo booth outside and a small one for Ellie's high chair.
At the last minute, I hung up this cow that was in my farm folder from my classroom.
And of course, the bathroom needed a sign which read Outhouse - Don't Squat on Yer Spurs.
disclaimer - not a Jenna picture
The Backyard
I had my heart set on a windmill hanging from the swing set.  I took white posterboard, free handed windmill shapes, and spray painted it silver.  But the dowels I taped on didn't offer much support.  So it got put on the back burner.  When Kara and Philip arrived, they saved the day by figuring out how to support it better (thank to Owen's little golf club set) and got it hung up.  Thanks guys!!
The tables were all covered with cheap dollar store red table cloths.  My sister and I taped them all down since there was a nice breeze that day.  We cut out squares of the burlap and cow fabric.  They were taped down as well since the cow print kept blowing away.  I bought pint mason jars (cheap with a coupon at Joanns) and wrapped them with more burlap, red ribbon, and then twine.  Daisies completed the look.
The favor table was in the middle of all the action because I wanted to be sure people signed the photo mat for Ellie.  Owen had one from his first birthday party so I wanted one for Ellie's room too!  I found a bulletin board at Goodwill for $1 that I spray painted red and glued burlap to the middle.  I printed out pictures of Owen and Ellison together and just pinned them on.

In the two large red tubs were the kid and mommy favors.  The kids (along with cowboy hats they got later) for a 6 pack of flavor straws.  When you put them in milk, the milk gets sucked up through favor "beads" and makes for fun chocolate/strawberry/etc milk.  The tag said "thank moo for coming."
The ladies at the party got little burlap sacks that I found on pickyourplum.  I added a little vinyl letter of their initial.  Inside was a small bottle of Udderly Smooth Udder Cream. :)

Above the drink table, I took a piece of red posterboard and cut it in half.  I used hot glue and very carefully spelled out their names and attached twine.  The red frame is usually hanging in my kitchen, but it got repurposed here with a string and a few more pictures of the 2 together.
The craft table donned some more mason jars with flowers and a cute rooster that I borrowed from my Aunt Toni.
Whew, I think that's it for the main part of the decorations!

all the party links:
inspiration and agenda
decor and favors
the stations - crafts, animals, games
the photobooth
the food


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