Monday, January 31, 2011

Lego Star Wars Party Part II

Here is the wrap-up of my previous post.

The invitation...
Inspired by this
post, where I got some of the other ideas for the party too.

The pinata...
First my disclaimer: This was our first attempt at a homemade pinata.

The are a lot of tutorials online and some specifically for the Death Star Pinata. We inflated balloons, tore strips of newspaper, dipped the strips in a mixture of glue and water and placed them onto the balloon.

We only had time to do two layers of newspaper, but it turns out that they were strong enough to withstand some hits with the light saber.

I deflated the balloons and then spray painted.

Then we loaded them with treats.

I didn't have time to put any effort into the final stage of decorating the pinata, so this is the pathetic end result. The kids didn't care and some even recognized it as the Death Star. Given more time, I would have used paint to add the details.

The kids loved helping with this project. E said "paper mache is my thing, Ma".
We'll have to make some paper mache Easter Eggs this Spring. I think I could get into that a bit more than Star Wars.

The cake....

I started making cupcake cakes 3 years ago and now it's my challenge every year to come up with a cupcake cake that fits the theme. Evan wanted a Millenium Falcon cake. The shape was not too difficult so we went for it. We found an image online and then Victor (hubby) created a template from cardboard. I put the cupcakes onto the template and filled in the big gaps with pieces of cut up cupcake.

Next, you frost all the cupcakes as if it were one cake and then get creative. I have to admit, I didn't have all that much fun with this cake. It was a cooperative effort between my mother and I and then Victor added some finishing touches. In the end, I really thought the cake came out good, but it took awhile for me to get there.

You can check out some of my other cupcake cakes here, and here. We serve the cupcakes with hoodsie cups so everything is really easy. Who doesn't like cupcakes right?

...and that's a wrap, all the highlights from the big 7th birhday celebration. Now to plan the next party for the Little Miss...

"I love any and all situations where you celebrate creativity."

-Brad Paisley

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lego Star Wars Party PART I

When we finally decided on a date for E's birthday party, I had to kick it into high gear. Typically, I feel comfortable having a good month to plan for a party and toss ideas around in my head. This time I had barely 2 weeks...not really ideal when you have an almost 7 year who is counting on his mom to pull together an "awesome" party with a Lego Star Wars' theme. We managed to pull it together and I am pretty sure everyone had a great time.

E actually had 2 parties on the same day, a friend party from 10-11:30 playing laser tag and a family party that followed starting at noon. It was a LOOOOOOng day, but super fun!

As favors for the friend party, we made pool noodle light sabers. I found this idea online; search "pool noodle light sabers" for other how-tos.

After finding pool noodles during this off season and a trip to Home Depot's plumbing department, we were ready to begin.

We folded the noodles in half and marked where to cut with a marker. A serrated knife worked well to cut the noodle.

Using 2 pieces of shiny silver tape, I covered the bottom of the noodle.

Next, I covered the end (about 6 inches) of each noodle with the tape.

I added the details with the black duct and electrical tapes; every light saber was a little different.

We even threw a couple of pink ones into the mix for the girls....they were happy!

During the afternoon party, we played a game. E helped set it up. He pulled apart 16 lego mini figures and put 4 in each of four glass jars. Then he mixed them up with other random legos. The kids worked with a partner to dump the jar of pieces and assemble the 4 mini figures. The fastest team to put together the mini figures and stand up, won the game.

I intended on blogging all the details of the party in one post, however I'm ready for bed and this is just taking too long. So, I'm going to do it in two parts. Consider this Part 1

Check back in tomorrow for Part 2

**Updated: Click here for Part 2

“The Force will be with you, always.”
-Alec Guinness

I'm linking up with Heather today at Blessed Little Next.


Saturday, January 29, 2011


We've been busy over here celebrating the 7th anniversary of our Little Man's birth. Check in Monday for the complete party details.

"A winning effort begins with preparation."

-Joe Gibbs

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Towers and snow

With all the snow around here, what is a girl to do? Making toilet paper towers seems like a good idea to me.

Little Miss decided it would be fun to wear Mommy's sweater around the house.
Speaking of snow, we're getting another 8 inches tonight. I can't wait to see the sun's been awhile.
"Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood."
-Andy Goldsworthy

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jedi Preparations

This year's theme for E's birthday party is Lego Star Wars. You might think that there is a lot available, but not as far as party supplies go. There are Star War's themes and Lego themes, but not the two put together. So....I get to create my own stuff, something that is so fun for me to do. Little Miss and I put together some Lego Star Wars' cupcake toppers.

First I found an image online and then cropped it to a square.

I put four of the same images together to create a collage. I then printed wallet size photos of the collage image, and cut them out.

Little Miss punched out scalloped squares in two different coordinating cardstocks with a paper punch.

We then taped the toothpick to the cardstock and used a tape runner to apply adhesive to the image and stick it to the cardstock.

A perfect addition to 24 cupcakes.

P.S. I had the whole DIY photographed and then today I accidentally erased the pictures off my memory card...UGH!

“A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

-Frank Oz

Stay tuned this week for more Lego Star Wars fun...

I'd love for you to "follow" my blog and also check out and "like" my facebook page, "A Better Dream Photography". The link is on my sidebar.

I'm also linking up with Heather today for Life Made Lovely Monday. Go check out the other lovely posts.



Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog Headers

I learned how to create blog headers by reading Sarah's blog, Clover Lane.
At the beginning of the new year she does a post of all her blog headers from the year. I decided to "steal" her idea (it's a compliment to her, isn't it?) and post all mine, well, most of them anyway.

If you are interested in making your own blog header, follow Sarah's instructions...they are great! Check out her post with all her headers...fabulous!

"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal."

Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


What an original title...that ought to grab your interest. I'm feeling a bit "off" this week. Perhaps it's due to a lack of sunshine. I could use a beach day right about now; the problem is that it's mid January and I live in New England. The only thing we've had around here is snow; I don't really mind the snow, but I'm pretty much done...all set until next year.

The snow has really been beautiful this year. Although it has done some damage to the trees, it looks so pretty when there are blankets of snow covering everything.

To help remedy the winter blues, hubby made a big snow hill in the back yard. It's been a really fun way for the kids to get outdoors and have some winter fun. I even tried it a few times.

Here are some links of Little Miss sledding and E "snowboarding". Enjoy!

"When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels. "

A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!

~Authors Unknown

If anyone is looking for a good winter picture book to read to their kids, Snowflake Bentley is a great one. And, here is a website that tells more about "Snowflake Bentley".

Friday, January 14, 2011

Links for Kindness

During the holiday season, I saw an idea on a blog (sorry, I can't remember where) about creating a paper chain during advent, counting the days before Jesus' arrival. It was too late to start our own advent paper chain, but I used the idea in a different recognize my #1 rule....being kind. Each time one of my kids was kind, a link was added to the chain. We wrote the kind act with their name and we watched the chain get longer and longer. When the chain touched the floor, we had a family movie night (it's a rare occurance to watch movies at night in our house). We made popcorn, hot chocolate and cuddled up to watch "How to Train Your Dragon".
I didn't anticipate it taking so many links (50 to be exact) before it reached the floor, but it managed to keep the kids interested and motivated. By the last day, they were doing kind things left and right, trying to earn the last few links.

Yes, I realize that kids should be kind, regardless of whether or not there is a treat in it for them. But they are kids who are still figuring things out and learning. The hope is that they start to be able to recognize kindness in themselves and others and become motivated to be kind, even without the "carrot hanging on the string".

This is a way to make the learning fun, for all of us.

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. "
Dalai Lama