So, it IS possible for me to do alot of stuff. I'm a busy momma. I just recently took a new work-at-home job, I have a photography business, I have a big dirty house, 3 fun and lively kids, I am the social coordinator for my friends and my LIFE class at church. I don't do any of it very well, but I get it done. Apparently, now I am a blogger, too. Any who, I promise that when this Truthful Mommy is able to pull off fairly impressive things, I am going to share them with you!! Maybe even guide you along to help you do them and inspire you to get out of your comfort zone.
When Number 1 turned 6 recently she asked for a camping party. Considering that she has a January birthday, that was going to have to simply be a theme. Not a bona fide camping affair. Just the mention of it stressed me out a little. I could just see my home being invaded by lots of frozen, loud, sugar crazed kids at some point of the evening. But, a camping party with weeney roasts and marshmallow toasting sounded frugal, if nothing else. Hot dogs are cheap and kids rarely even need a bun. Mustard and Ketchup, check, already own that. Chips and…canned fruit of some sort to appear to be concerned about the health of the attendees...can be done on the cheap for sure!
Then the Princess tells me that I need to be sure that she has a cool Happy Birthday banner like I made for Numbers 2 and 3. Ok, to be fair, I went ALL OUT for Number 1’s first birthday. It was a bit much, but he was my very last first birthday. I made him a rockin birthday sign and had his cute little mug on EVERYTHING. When Number 2’s birthday rolled around 2 months later all I had to do was add his name on the end and it was done! Their banner was much too boyish for her, so I was on the search for a banner. It had to be homemade and it had to be free. We are doing no-spend January so this is where I had to get creative. She also informed me that she didn’t want cupcakes; she wanted a real cake and it needed to be decorated with tents. That is what I get for asking. What do I look like, The Next Great Baker??? Well, I may just be……and, it turns, out I can still be crafty if necessary.
The how-to for the banner is long, so I will post that tomorrow. Stay tuned. But for today I will show you the stuff that I made for the party and my very amateur attempt at a decorated camping cake. I searched around on Pinterest and googled camping parties and to my surprise there were ALOT of ideas. Apparently we are not the first family to come up with such a cool birthday party. I got some really great ideas; put them all together and this is what happened:
I made the invitation with Photoshop Elements. I made the background with a grunge texture. I wish that I could remember for you what the name of the texture is or where I got it from. But I can tell you that you can get all kinds of awesome free textures from places like The Coffe Shop Blog and Brusheezy. Most likely this one came from one of those places. Then I downloaded a free font for the wood sticks from Dafont.
This was only easy with the knowledge of Photoshop and knowing how to find my way around fonts and textures. As was the case for the rest of the things to follow. It was time consuming but mostly free, if you don't count the paper it was printed on and the ink. However, if textures and downloading free fonts sounds like a foreign language to you, I say go on Etsy, search for someone that designs things for parties and buy it from them. They are quite creative and talented on there!! They design just about anything and you can simply pay for the design, they will email you the file and off you go printing! Easy cheezy.
Next I attempted some labels for the give aways, trail mix bar, and nature hunt bags. Not at all necessary. You could always take a sharpie, write on a brown sack and be done with it. But I was so happy with my invitation that I took on the endeavor.
We printed these circles onto sticker paper, cut them out and put them on the outside of plastic snack baggies then filled the baggies with mini marshmallows, honey graham bears, and M&Ms for a s'more-to-go.
These were also printed on sticker paper, cut out and put on the outside of brown paper bags. The plan was to set up a Trail Mix Bar so that the kids could mix their own concoction. It never happened. We had way to much activity to fill the time and never had time to open the bar. But it is a great idea! I have 20 bags labled like this if anyone is in need of some Trail Mix Bar bags.....
The kids LOVED the nature hunt. They each got a bag and had to go out to the woods with Ranger Daddy and find everything on their list. Once they found their items they had to come back and claim their prize. The prize was their choice of a flashlight or bug catcher.
(Got both of those at the Dollar Tree!!)
So, after a nature hunt, roasting weeny's and mallows by the bonfire, busting open a pinata and much horse-playing in the tents....I relunctantly allowed them ALL to come into the house for cake. And here is the finished product....
The trees are sugar cones piped with the star tip. (I know, that sounds like I know what I am talking about, but I really just took direction from instructions online) The tents are graham crackers iced, the logs in the campfire are broken pretzels, the stones are chocolate covered nuts, the tiny marshmallows came out of a hot cocoa packet and placed on tootpicks, and the stream is laffy taffy. Then for the grande finale, I lit all the candles in a bunch to look like a real campfire. It was a big hit!!
So there you have it. I made it happen. The kids had a blast, the parents were impressed and Number 1 was a very happy camper!! Hope this inspires you to do something out of your comfort zone!!