Tuesday, September 9, 2014

SEA My Birthday Party!

The Headlines:


My daughter turned 8.

She deserved a party.




The theme of this party came to me because my daughter wanted to do a mermaid party.  But, so as not to limit it at all, we opened it up to a SEA theme!

Mermaid Cake
Yep, that's a mermaid.  And so it was.  Here's how we did it.  Brace yourself.

Let's start with the invitations.  For some reason I almost always make my invitations.  I can control it that way.  I just got colored cards at Michael's (which is by far my favorite craft store by the way) and I put stickers on the front which made each one totally unique.  Then I glued a string on it and a NERD to look like a fishing line and bait.


 The inside read:
Come SEA friends… take the bait
Savy is finally turning 8!
Dock: At our "beach house" and it described where we live
Shore Up: Date and time
Pack: Towel and bathing suit
Tickets:  Call Captain Nicole 

That was printed on normal computer paper and taped on with glitter tape so it looked cool!
18 RSVP's… we invited 21 girls.  It was a lot... so I went to work!

First the food.  The good thing about kid parties as they get older is that parents don't really stay anymore!  That makes it a bit easier on me since I no longer have to feed adults.  Let's face it, 5 and under - the parties are sometimes more for the parents than the kids!  Anyways, it takes a lot of pressure off.

SEA FOOD: 
Of course, everything needed to fit the theme!  So we started with a kind of "Sea Food Bar"… 

Food "Bar"
"Bait" was first up.
"Bait"
See, we went fishing a few weeks ago and I realized bait can be very colorful so fruity pebbles worked great!  Next, of course,  was a giant jar of Goldfish… followed by some "Bobbers"… which is something else you use to fish.
"Bobbers"
The kids loved being able to scoop stuff out by themselves using these cool, striped containers they have everywhere now.


Then, I took some pretzel sticks and tied licorice laces on the end…
"Fishing Poles"
to make "Fishing Poles!"  All of the food was practically wiped out by the end of the party so it must have been a hit.

I also made "Ocean Blues"...
"Ocean Blues"/Jello Cups

which was jello placed in dixie cups… with their tops cut off and some blue sugar sprinkled on top. 

We had "Fish & Chips" which was my Halibut sandwich recipe - you can find here - rolled up in flat bread, along with sun chips. Because kids will eat ANYTHING ROLLED!  It's just more fun!

Halibut Sandwiches
We did have some "Seaweed"…
"Seaweed"

which was made for adults.  A few did stay.  It's an awesome green salsa made with apples and Tabasco so it was a sweet/spicy combo people liked!  Plus it went well with the Halibut Roll Up's!  Recipe to follow another time.  

Finally, to drink…

"Sea Water"

we had "Sea Water!"  Which was simply lemonade with some blue food coloring in it!

SEA GAMES:
As I stated before, I wanted to make this party more special than a swim party which all of these girls have been doing all Summer so I decided to do games & activities too.  It started the moment the girls walked in the door.

I had 2 sit down to play a typical Memory Game but with Shells.  Those are actually shells with whistles attached from Oriental Trading.  They all look the same from the top.  

SHELL We Make Memories?
See it closer...

 But what you don't see is that underneath the shells are stickers...


2 of the same underneath each shell belly.  So 12 pairs - 24 shells in all.  To play, all the shells are turned so that no one can see the stickers.  The first player turns over 2 shells and if they match, she keeps them.  If they don't, she turns them back over and the other person goes.  The person who collects the most shells, wins and then goes on to play the next girl.  Whoever won the most games got the prize.   

We also did a 

"Fish Feast" in another part of the house.  One girl sat down at a time, was blindfolded and fed different Goldfish flavors.  There were 6.  Then they had to pick the flavor.  It was a little hard so my Mother in Law gave hints.  The girl(s) who got the most right… won a prize.  It was a super hit!


Then we sent the kids swimming.   But while they were out there I grabbed 3 at a time and took them on a Flip Flop Treasure Hunt called


This one was tough (for me) so follow me here!  While the kids were swimming in the back yard - I hid new pairs of flip flops in the front yard.  So I set the girls up in groups of 3, labeled their shoes


and gave them a clue as to where they could "Find their Flip."  For instance this one says:

FLIP FLOP TREASURE HUNT CLUE #1
Flips like me love the open air…
Unless I feel like hiding in a chair.
Where am I?


Then they would find their 1st flip in the chair, behind a pillow and it would have another clue as to where the 2nd one was… Or it would lead to the mailbox, where another clue would also be waiting with the flip flop.  That clue by the way was:
I love to walk, skip and hop… 
but when I come to you I'm in a box.  
Where am I?

Then they would find their final flip and they had a pair of flip flops from Old Navy to keep.  They were stoked.  It was the perfect age to do it.  Not too young and not too old.  They got it.  I only had to help a few girls!  The clues were hard to come up with since my yard doesn't have a lot of hiding spots.  I basically could only think of 6: mailbox, chair, bush, tree, golf cart and on a rock!  Hence, the reason only 3 girls could do it at a time.  1 girl, 2 clues.  I re-hid and re-used the same clues and hiding places each time I brought out 3 more girls.

The last thing we did was this…

"Make Your Own Sea!"
We basically used Waiwera (which is a water) plastic bottles… but any brand could work.  Do your homework though… some labels don't come off very easily.  Waiwera was perfect because they're tinted a sea green.  Otherwise you have to color your water.

You'll need: the bottle, water, blue and green food coloring, sand, sliver glitter, shells, baby oil and a hot glue gun.

SO EASY…. here's what you do:  put some sand in the bottle, about 10 shells (we added tiny star fish which looked really cool), a pinch of glitter and then fill the bottle with water over half way up.  Next, fill the bottle with the baby oil almost to the very top.  Get your glue gun and glue the top on (for obvious reasons)… your Sea is made.  It's super cool and takes just about 5 minutes.  You can also glue a tiny star fish on outside like above if you wish.  When the sand settles, you can see everything inside like below.

When all the activities and games were over - relief!  It was a lot of work but it kept everyone busy!  I got all the girls out of the pool and ready for cake!

SEA CAKE:
I did what I always do… I fake make my cake!  I barely made it in time but it worked!  First, I ordered my cake from our local grocer.  A half sheet vanilla and a quarter sheet chocolate.  Then I cut the vanilla cake in the form of a Mermaid tail.


I shoved a new Barbie, that my daughter chose, at the top.  Then, frosted the center and placed the chocolate cake on top so the middle would have some girth.  There are no more pictures of me making it because I was in such a hurry I never thought I would get it done! 

I colored the white butter cream frosting (which I also bought from Albertson's) a light blue and frosted the "crumb layer" which becomes a complete mess.  I stuck it in the fridge for like 45 minutes and then brought it out again for another frosting layer which smooths it out!  Then I took a color frosting spray to make her "scales"… threw on some edible glitter, added some brown sugar at the bottom (sand) - done! 


Just as the party started.  Like, no kidding, moments before the doorbell rang.  Phew.  It was really close.  But, as you can see… worth it!


My daughter was pleased as punch… er Sea Water!  
When the kids left the got little goody bags:


It's Swedish fish and some more fruity pebbles/bait - the card says:  

Thanks - SEA friends… it was great.
Celebrating Savy's number 8!
Until we have another date -
Please enjoy this fish & bait!

Lastly, I have to mention - it wasn't very expensive.  Fake making your cake is a bargain!  I found flip flops for $3 each.  The shells and paper products all came from Oriental Trading (it was less than $70)!  It was unlike any party the girls had been to which was why it was so well received!

To think just yesterday she was this old...


Yep, she deserves the Sea… and beyond.
Bon voyage!