Thursday, February 26, 2015

Police Birthday Party

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The Headlines:


My son wanted a Police Birthday Party.

Enough said.





First of all, I want everyone to know I realize this post is like a late night act waiting to happen.  "DIY Police Birthday Party" - I can hear the jokes now - but this was no laughing matter.  When your 3 year old says he wants a police party - even after you suggest a baseball party - then guess what?  You're having a Police Birthday!


Selfishly, a baseball party was the way I wanted to go.  The colors, the cuteness factor, the food could be so easy.  But pulling off a police party...?  Not as simple.  How did we do it?  Referring to the picture above, we did not commit a criminal act or fake a 911 call at the height of good times.  More on that coming up.  But first, my theory on kid parties:  have as many as you can when they're young because it's creating a memory they may have for a lifetime.  They're only little once, as I wrote earlier this week.  If you're feeling nostalgic for the years gone by you can read it HERE.  It just seems like I had him yesterday... y'know?

INVITATIONS
Anyways here we go: every good party starts with the invite.  I really need to get a new style but I've latched on to this one the last few years because it's so easy!  I get cards and add an appropriate sticker to the front.


Then I print my own inserts and attach them with cool sticky tape.

Make your words funny and appropriate to keep in line with the theme of the party as pictured above.

CAKE
Next step, figure out the cake.  I always think: what's the easiest thing to make that will fit in with my theme?  This year, the badge seemed the way to go.  As I always do, I "arrange" my cake.  It's not as hard as making it from scratch but looks just as home-made plus it's less dough than a bakery.  Ha!  So I buy a flat sheet cake at the store, pick it up, cut, arrange, frost and decorate it.  Here, I had 2 half sheets of white cake.  I made the frosting.  This is the yummy (like to-die-for), easy peezy recipe:

FROSTING RECIPE
This is what you need:
1 cup butter, softened
2 tspns vanilla
1/4 tspn salt
32 oz powdered sugar
6-10 tblspns of milk

This is what you do: Beat first 3 ingredients with mixer until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with 1 tblspn of milk at a time, until all is blended and smooth.  DO NOT refrigerate.  I made this the day before, stuck it in the fridge, then took it out to use it.  Oops.  It gets too hard.  I had to "thaw" it out.  Rookie mistake.  Not a baker, am I!  

TIP: always double a frosting recipe.  You never have enough.  The more, the better... you can use it afterward for graham crackers or make any treat more fun! 

Then we, actually BP (the husband), cut the shape... and I frosted it.  "HPD stands for Hudson Police Department"


Of course, when you frost do a "crumb layer" - it looks super messy - place it in fridge for at least an hour and then come back and frost it again with a last, thin layer.  Looks much better.  And here's the key to cool looking frosting.  Rather than adding food coloring to it... I just buy this stuff.


It's basically a colored frosting mist which you spray on and it's beautiful!!!!  Not to mention, so much easier than food coloring.  It's made by Wilton's and you can get it HERE - this link will take you to Amazon - free shipping!  See the soft color it makes?  Gorge.  Loooooooove this stuff.  And of course they have it in all sorts of shades, not just silver!


Honestly, my cakes never look perfectly coiffed but I like that better.  I hate the fondant cakes that look too perfect (and frankly taste weird)... mine are always a little "shabby chicy" looking - just my style!

ACTIVITIES
Next up, activities... when kids arrived we gave out Detective "badges" which I found at the Dollar Tree... they're on-line HERE though a bit over priced -when you consider I got them at the DOLLAR Tree!
Here's a closer look.




then we played games.  Now, for 4 year olds, 3-4 things to do, besides cake and ice cream for a 2 hour party is more than enough.  I decided on:

Catch the Criminal 
(fun name for hide and seek - the hiders got to wear mustaches)

Target Practice
(we used play guns and aimed for a target in backyard)

The Detective Dance 
(which was just a fun name for freeze dance - yep that's me leading it below)


I was also thinking about doing an art project with fingerprints.  Or "Pin the handcuffs on the Prisoner" but I got too busy... I also, to be honest... was really crossing my fingers for the big event...  which actually happened.  


The Police came!  No, not to break up the party but to BE the Party!

People we're pretty surprised as I kept it mum to most since I wasn't sure it was going to happen.  As you can imagine, police officers are busy.  But if people happen to behave on the day of your party... they may have a little extra time.  So here's what you do: contact whatever police or sheriff's department oversees the city where you live...  most now have a Community Relations position.  But if the town's too small, they may not.  But either way, do some research and find out who's the right person to ask.  Just remember, the answer is always no unless you ask.  The time of the party is also key.  Sunday afternoon works.  Saturday night would not.  Once you call, they won't make any promises but in my case the emails went to the right people and bottom line, they came.  I can NOT tell you how awesome it was... I cried when they got there, it was like I was seeing ROCK STARS!  And the kids were in awe as much as me!


They got to look and sit in the officers 2 cars.  They brought stickers for everyone and a little goody bag for the birthday boy.  It was, by far, the highlight of the entire party.  Yes, sadly, way better than my Detective dancing!

But always have back-up plans because, clearly, it's never a sure thing.

FOOD
We had this party from 2-4 in the afternoon.  Because it wasn't lunch or dinner I decided to just do yummy snacks.  Sticking with the theme of the party we had to serve this


The "coffee" was colored lemonade.  I just mixed a bunch of food coloring to make it look blackish/brown and put it in a coffee pot!

But after that I was pretty stuck.  What is "Police Food" anyways?  So I just made a sign that said "Break Room" and served what I wanted. Of course there was kid food like chips and fruit but then I added some more "sophisticated" dips for adults.

















I have to tell you the 3 dips I made, came out FABULOUS and I got them all from other bloggers.  They were a Hoagie dip, a Cobb dip and Pizza dip!

The first, pictured above (just barely).  I forgot to take pictures since I was so slammed.  That was the Hoagie Dip and basically it's a deconstructed sandwich.  Meaning, only the insides.  Therefore, you spoon what you want on a piece of bread.  I loved the idea and it was very tasty... find Blogger Theresa Greco's recipe at "Food Hunter's Guide"  HERE - sidenote she's a fellow Arizonan!

Next, was a Cobb dip with bleu cheese, iceberg lettuce and bacon that was incredible!  Not great kid food but this was for the adults.  This creation was Blogger Cathy Trochelman's from "Lemon Tree Dwelling" and you can find it HERE !

Finally, and I'm saving the best for last... was the Pizza dip  by "Closet Cooking" Blogger Kevin Lynch.  This one, is very kid friendly obviously, and it was awesome! Same premise as before, it's basically a pizza without the crust.  You scoop it with bread.  I emailed Lynch and he said it's one of his most popular recipes of all time.  I get why... my Mom, who is pickier than me by the way, gobbled it up!  You can find it HERE... I will definitely be making that and the others again.

That's a wrap people.  I did make this silly sign.  I realize the contradiction - whose side is he one anyways?  But I thought it was cute...



FINAL NOTES 
My "colors" were black and white but you could also do navy blue and white.  I did goody bags, which I also forgot to take pictures of... they had black and white pencils in them, fake mustaches and red licorice.  For the record, I never look at Pinterest or Google for party ideas... the reason?  I want to come up with my own stuff.  Anyone can copy (I do it all the time - highest form of flattery after all) but I do like to come up with my own stuff first.  So once you decide on your party theme, think!  You never know what lies beneath that adorable hair cut of yours?   Then, hit as many Pinterest buttons as you wish!

One last thing, this post contains two affiliate Amazon links.  That means if you happen to click on them and buy the products, I'll get a very very very small percentage of the sale, at no additional cost to you.  I'm trying to save for next years party!  ;)

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