And the celebration goes on …

We quickly realized after our last MOPs that we would need to do a blog post with all of the ideas that were shared during discussion time.  After adding this to the blog, I will add what I can to the “Party Central” document before posting it.  Thanks to all who contributed further ideas!

Another fun theme:

I am not going to remember everything was mentioned about this theme at our table, but since some of you might have boys who like Star Wars as much as mine.  Buy white t-shirts for the kids – have them be “Jedi in Training.”  (Could tie a fabric around the waist to make the outfit more authentic.)  Use gold stars as directions or as the kids move around from stations.  Buy metallic wrapping paper rolls from a dollar store (or maybe from an after Christmas sale) – keep the wrappers on and let the kids use them as light sabres.  A good starting point for a fun party! (Thanks, Maggie!)

Three more location suggestions:
Club Kicks

Dance, Cheerleader, Tumbling or Karaoke Party
$100 for 1.5 hrs or $75 for an hour party (for younger kids)
12 party participants ($5 per extra child)
Comes with instructor & host, games, tables & chairs, trash cans & clean up.
You provide food & drink, tableware, decor, party favors.

Hotel Birthday Parties:
Swim, order in pizza, microwave popcorn, bring your own DVD player & movies to play in the room, free breakfast & more swimming in the am!

Campus Life House (located at 65th & Pine Lake)

For a $50-100 donation, you can rent this house.  There is a large living room that could seat up to 40 people, kitchen, game-room, patio w/grills and lots of outdoor play space (including hoops!). Call 402-420-7475.

Bonus suggestion: Brittainey’s group suggested moving your party to the garage during the winter.  Have a dance party there (using space heaters placed in the corners to avoid little feet).  You could also show  a movie out there – have the kids sit in boxes for a “drive-in.”  Your garage can expand your home!

Combo parties with a fun theme when 2 kids have birthdays close together…especially when one child is a boy and one is a girl.
We thought of…
Mickey & Minnie Mouse
Sports & Cheerleader
Pirates & Mermaids

Here is the link for the baking soda rocks recipe (scroll down to the very end of the blog post, right before the comments. Pictures helpful!)–

Alicia’s Dirt Cake

Bake a chocolate cake in a 2 quart batter bowl.  After cooling, put the cake upside down on a plate.  Add crushed Oreos to the top along with gummy worms.  Looks like a big mound of dirt – big hit for boys!

Sarah’s Cake How To Clarifications…

Tips to Making a Layered, Shaped, 3D Cake!

Make it ahead of time!  This will help with time management as well as make decorating your cake easier!

If I have a party on Saturday, I’ll typically bake my cake(s) on Monday or Tuesday and freeze them!

I cool my cakes on wax paper, once cool I wrap them up in it and put it into gallon sized freezer bags or in large Rubbermaid containers.  You can cut and build with them without worrying about having a big crumbly mess!

Then I pull the cake(s) out on Friday to frost and decorate.  It will defrost overnight and be party ready on Saturday!
A frozen cake will not flake and crumb into your frosting like a freshly baked cake.  Nor will they fall apart.  I pull my cakes out when I am ready to decorate them – always the day/night before the party!  That way the cake has plenty of time to warm up and I’m not stressing about the day of the party!
I do NOT recommend decorating a frozen cake and then immediately serving it to guests!  🙂

Frosting Tips
If you are piping frosting or doing stars all over a cake, you’ll want a buttercream frosting that includes Crisco!

Typically you use equal amounts of butter & Crisco.

If you want a pure white frosting, go with all Crisco & make sure you use Clear Vanilla.

(If you use Butter & Crisco with Clear Vanilla it will be a nice white, just not a pure white.)

For Black Frosting (or fondant) make it Chocolate first!  Use powdered baking cocoa in your frosting and then decrease your powdered sugar amount.

Then start adding black gel/paste icing coloring – you can find Wilton’s icing colors at Michaels, Hobby Lobby & I’m sure other places as well.

For Red Frosting…just know it takes a lot of icing color to get a true red.  Be sure to buy the “No Taste” Red.  You may also want to consider buying Red/Black frosting from a grocery store bakery.

You might want to put a non-tinted frosting on your cake first when using red frosting on the majority of your cake…that way people can scrape off the red frosting and just eat the yummy frosting!  J

All the icing colors will deepen a bit after they set, so if you are really close to the color you want, it will probably be perfect the next day!

Fondant Tips

Marshmallow Fondant is easier to work with than regular fondant and it tastes really good too!  (Especially the chocolate fondant!)

Follow the instructions on the website!

Remember Crisco is your Friend!  Crisco the inside of the bowl you will use, Crisco your stirring spatula, Crisco your hands!

I even Crisco my cupboard that I roll my fondant out on.

When the recipe calls to sift your powdered sugar, do NOT skip this step!  If you do, you’ll have lumpy fondant!  J  (I know because I tried skipping this once!!!)

You can use vanilla flavoring in your fondant or you may want to experiment with other fun flavors!

If you want white fondant, be sure to use clear vanilla or another clear flavor.

Color your fondant by using gel/past icing color – do NOT use liquid food color!

When using fondant to decorate a cake, you still use frosting!
Frost your cake first, then roll out your fondant to drape across your cake, use your hands to shape it to your cake & then trim off the extras.  You can tuck a bit of the extra under the cake or add fondant balls or rolled fondant to the base of the cake to your cut edge doesn’t show.  The frosting is the ‘glue’ to hold your fondant to the cake!

If you want to try fondant out, I suggest making a “just because” cake & have fun playing around with fondant when you don’t have the stress of decorating a special cake for a big party!  🙂

Take pictures of your cake as soon as you finish!!!  That way if a cake-astrophe happens to it prior to your party starting, you have photos of your masterpiece!  🙂

Well, we have probably have not exhausted all birthday options, but you are maybe exhausted from all of the reading that we have given you on parties!  We will soon be posting the document that we handed out last week with additional information from this post and from Kristin’s talk.  If you think of further ideas, please feel free to comment on here or on Facebook.