Adopt A Pet (Beanie Boo Cats & Dogs) Birthday Party

My daughter just turned 8, and this year we decided on an Adopt A Pet (Beanie Boo Cats & Dogs) theme for her birthday party.  I’m not sure what was more fun, preparing for the party, or the party itself.  My daughter and I spent so much quality time planning and crafting together in the months before.  Be sure to watch my video compilation (above) of the party.

Beanie Boos can be expensive so I started purchasing these little kittens and puppies early, taking advantage of the 60% off coupons from Michael’s as often as possible.  We picked out 6 kittens and 6 puppies and then I set out to find a fence and fake grass.  Both were fairly inexpensive at Lowes.  I used my Circut Expression 2 to make the “Adopt A Pet” banner and then did a little photo shoot to use as the cover of the invitations.

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I wanted to plan a fun activity for the beginning of the party while the guests were arriving, so I created a super fun game of Beanie Boo Bingo.  I have included the pdf below if you want to print out this game to use for your child’s party.

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Beanie Boo Bingo pdf

Once all of the girls arrived, I let them choose their pet to adopt.  I was a little nervous about this part because each animal was different and I wasn’t sure if the girls would get their hearts set on one and be disappointed.  I asked them to think about 2 or 3 that they would love to adopt and then said we would draw numbers to see what order they would choose.  We let the birthday girl have the first choice and then went from there.  Thankfully it all worked out and everyone was happy with their pet.

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The girls got to sign an adoption certificate to make it official.

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Here is the link for you to use.    pet adoption certificate pdf

I purchased a dozen white gable boxes from Hobby Lobby to use as pet houses, cut a hole in each for a door, and the girls got to decorate a house for their pet.  This was such a fun activity and I love watching all of their creativity as they designed a sweet little space for their pet to live in.  IMG_2424IMG_2425IMG_2426IMG_2491IMG_2492

I set up another station for the girls to make a collar for their pet using pipe cleaners and beads.  These Dollar Tree veggie trays were perfect for holding craft supplies.  I have used them over and over for several projects and they have held up really well.

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I also made leashes and blankets for each of the pets.  I found the paw print ribbon and gold rings and clips at Michael’s.  One spool of ribbon made 12 leashes.  1 yard of paw print fabric, 1/2 yard of puppy fabric, and 1/2 yard of kitty fabric made 12 small blankets about the size of a baby burp cloth.

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We played a couple of fun games.  “Give The Dog A Bone” and “Pin The Tail On The Kitty.”  I used poster boards to draw a Kitten and Puppy.  Then I made three bone shaped bean bags, mounted the puppy on one of our corn hole pieces and cut a hole for the bean bags.  These old fashioned party games were so much fun!

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I kept the food pretty simple because we also had hot dogs and fruit for dinner.  I collected yogurt cups in the months leading up to the party, then used a sharpie to draw a “fish” on half of them and a “bone” on the other half.  I filled the cat dishes with Goldfish Crackers and the dog dishes with Scooby Doo bone shaped graham crackers.  I covered two pieces of styrofoam with pink wrapping paper to display them on.  The Dollar Tree was a goldmine for decorations and pet themed items.  I found the large black dog dishes there and filled one with pretzels (sticks) and the other two with Trader Joe’s chocolate Cat’s Cookies.  I also purchased three paw print jars from the Dollar Tree and filled them with candy.  The pink and teal hanging paper lanterns were 2 for a dollar as well, making the table setting very affordable.  I have included a pdf of the cupcake toppers, activity signs, and “DIG IN” sign for you to print off from home.  (see below)

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beanie boo cupcake toppers pdf

dig in party sign pdf

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cats & dogs party signs pdf

A month later, my girl is still saying that her Adopt A Pet party was the “funnest birthday party ever!”  I would definitely have to agree!

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Valentine Hearts Cake

Wilton’s Candy Melts are one of my favorite gems to use for fun holiday treats.  Last year I used them to make a batch of yummy Valentine Marshmallow Pops.  This year I picked up three bags from Michael’s in red, pink, and white to use for Valentine’s Day, and got to work creating these fun and festive swirly heart cake toppers for our family Valentine Cake.  I love how they turned out, and my family (kids especially) loved eating the oversized candy hearts!  Check out my simple tutorial to learn how to make these cuties using cookie cutters as templates.  I’m excited to try them for other holidays too.  Imagine green 4 Leaf Clovers for St. Patrick’s Day, pastel eggs for Easter, patriotic colored stars for the 4th of July.  The possibilities are endless!  You can use them to top a cake like I did, make smaller ones for cupcakes and cookies, or even top a cup of fruit with whipped cream for a healthier version.

For more Valentine Fun, check out these other links:

Valentine Words of Affirmation for Kids 

Valentine Craft: Cookie Cutters & Paint

Valentine Paper Garlands 

3 Simple St. Patrick’s Day Treats

If you are planning on making some St. Patrick’s Day treats, here are 3 simple options for you…  Pretzel Shamrocks, Shamrock Oreo Cookie Pops, and Shamrock Marshmallow Pops.  All of these treats use Wilton’s Candy Melts, which you can find at crafts stores like Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics.  Watch my tutorial to learn how to make these tasty treats!

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Click on these links for more St. Patrick’s Day fun…

St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt

Make a Rainbow of Color: Skittles Science Experiment

Rainbow Fruit Kabobs 

Valentine Marshmallow Pops

If you are looking for a cute and simple, no bake, Valentine Treat…look no further.  These Valentine Marshmallow Pops are quick and easy to make and they taste delicious!  They are perfect for taking to class parties or passing out to friends.  You can even hole punch a small Valentine card or paper heart on the top and bottom, and weave it through the top of the lollipop stick, for personalized treats.

One bag of Wilton’s candy melts makes about 26 pops and the decorating possibilities are endless.  Let your kids help you make these for a fun family activity and an opportunity for them to express their creativity.

For more helpful tips on making these adorable Valentine Pops, watch my tutorial!    Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Octagon (Geometric) Bulletin Board

I have had this huge stack of cork tiles in my son’s room for several years… just sitting there…  taking up space!  So this week, I finally decided to do something fun with them!  I created a geometric bulletin board for my 10 year old son’s bedroom wall and I am so happy with the way it turned out.  It was a bit tricky getting the right cut to create the octagons, but with a little help from my husband, (who measured and cut the template for me) I was on my way.  A couple of coats of paint and some command strips later, and these cork tiles became a really cool memo board for my son to pin up a “few of his favorite things.”

Watch my tutorial on how to create your own Octagon Memo Board.  This would be perfect in a bedroom, a dorm room, or an office.

Here are a couple of tips:

Use different textures of paint for contrast

Paint at least 2 coats on each octagon

Leave some octagons unpainted

Lay out your tiles on the ground and play around with different configurations before hanging them up

Use command strips to hang each tile on the wall

Also featured in this video is a collection of my son’s amazing origami creations, strung up across the top of the Octagon Bulletin Board.  He has spent hours making these incredible creations, one intricate fold after another.  I love seeing them all on display in his bedroom.  For those of you who love origami, check out MicahsToyReviews to learn how to make some origami creations of your own.

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Children’s Art Corner

My daughter loves art!  She will sit for hours drawing, writing stories, and coloring pictures.  I have several areas set up around our house with art supplies, but I recently decided to put together a more intentional art space for her.

Michael’s was having a huge sale one day, so I headed over (with my coupons of course) and picked up these metal A R T letters,  the chalkboard box for crayons, and the off white tray for paper.  The rest, I already had around my house.

These adorable chairs were made for me by my brother when I was a child.  They were in my childhood room, painted light pink, with dark pink carpet covering the seats.  My mom gave them to me several years ago and I repainted and recovered them for my daughter.  The wicker table belonged to my mom, who passed away a year and a half ago, so it means a lot for my daughter to have something so special to remind her of her sweet Grandma.

I bought the metal bucket years ago at the dollar store and it has held colored pencils in various locations around our house.  Now it has a permanent home.  I had used the mini white shutters last year for my Christmas mantle, but realized they were the perfect addition to this little art corner.  The finishing touch was this bright and cheerful pennant banner.  I had already cut the triangles for another project, so it only took me a few minutes to thread them through a piece of twine.

I absolutely love when I can use what I already have to create an inviting space for my children to enjoy.  This little art corner has already gotten a lot of use in our home and is the perfect setting for inspiration to take place!

DIY Framed Chalkboard

I absolutely love chalkboards!  They are so versatile and you can change them anytime to create a new look in your home.  You can add quotes and drawings to go with seasons and holidays.  The possibilities with a blank chalkboard are endless!

When we moved into our home over a year ago, there was an odd roll up door in the living room.  It seems like the previous owners had used it as a sort of bar to serve drinks, but we didn’t quite know what to do with it.  We have talked about closing it off, but haven’t gotten around to it.  A couple of weeks ago, while sitting in my living room, I was struck with inspiration.  I saw the frame around the roll up door and thought, “I wonder what it would look like if I turned this into a giant chalkboard?”

A few coats of chalkboard paint later and project complete!  I am happy to report that it turned out even better than I expected! I used Rust-oleum ChalkBoard Paint from Lowes.  It took 3 coats of paint to cover the area thoroughly.  I let each coat dry for at least an hour before adding another, and one 30 oz. can of paint did the trick.  I purchased a white chalk marker at Michael’s and found a fall quote on thankfulness that I love.  I used our projector on my new chalkboard to get the quote just right and then traced it with the chalk pen.  I filled in some of the lighter areas with a regular piece of white chalk to create some contrast of texture and I absolutely love it!!! I already have a Christmas quote picked out for December!  This is definitely a great addition to the decor in our living room.

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