Adam’s DIY New Year’s Day First Birthday Party

Having lived in Las Vegas for over a decade now, I’ve had some pretty memorable New Year’s Eves.  Last year took the cake, though.  I went into labor on 12/31/15 at 1:40AM which continued for another 28 hours.  Adam was born on New Year’s Day and while last year’s celebration took the cake, I literally made cake this year while watching the ball drop.

I have a philosophy: anything I didn’t do with Ben, I’ll do with Adam.  For example: I didn’t do those monthly pictures Ben’s first year with the sticker that goes on the onesie.  So I did that this year for Adam, or tried to-  often forgetting and posting on Facebook the second or third day of the month, so goes the life of a mom with little multiples. For Ben’s first birthday I was in the middle of my first trimester of pregnancy with Adam so I purchased everything: cake, decorations, etc.  The party went fine, but I thought it was missing that personal touch.

This year I decided to do everything myself.  I started looking on Pinterest three months ago and decided on a theme: black, white, chalkboard, and gold.  I would mix the birthday with New Year’s and have it on New Year’s Day as no one with littles goes out anyways.  I found a lot of chalkboard printables on Pinterest to use for the party.

 

Free printable chalkboard style thank you gift tags which you can personalise and give to guests when they leave the wedding, saves having to send out thank you cards.:


I taped these thank you tags to my party favors which were simply velvet coloring posters that came with markers.  I got them for $1 at Party City.  These tags can be customized to have your name or your family’s name and the date of the party printed on them.  Thy’re free, so are all the printables I used.

These free printable chalkboard banner letters, A-Z, are super versatile. Perfect for parties, seasonal and regular decor, classrooms, and so much more.:


This chalkboard banner was used for the bunting that hung from Adam’s highchair.  I spelled out ONE with it and threaded it through with twine.  On another piece of twine I knotted black, white, and gold ribbons and tulle.  I also made a simple Happy Birthday Adam banner that hung over my fireplace.

084bb308a2a76842d285b286506c6fb2.jpg (564×1600):

I used this chalkboard bunting to spell out ADAM over his birthday cake. I attached it with kitchen twine and bamboo skewers.  It really added a lot to my homemade cake.

I am not a baker.  I would like to be.  I strive for perfection.  So nothing could be worse than a burnt cake at 10 PM on New Year’s Eve!  I still had to clean and decorate the next day!  I used my cake leveller to trim off the burnt bottom and iced my layers.  Once the cake was layered I cut around the rest of the burnt edges.  Then I iced.  Crumbs from the chocolate cake were getting mixed into my bourbon vanilla buttercream frosting!  Ugh.  Thankfully I bought a crazy amount of gold and white sprinkles and viewed a lot of tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest on simple sprinkle decorating.  I managed to make the cake look decent and cover the ugly mixed up buttercream completely.  The cake turned out to be delicious.  Everyone was in shock that it was my first time baking a big cake.  The smash cake and cupcakes went much more smoothly.  I used Dollar Tree champagne glasses to house the cupcakes with black and white M &M’s.  Below is a picture of the pin I used with a link attached.

cupcakes in dollar store champagne flutes:

I had another disaster that night as well.  The Oreo sprinkle pops.  The idea seemed simple enough.  Push a lollipop stick into the cream center of the oreo and dip in melted chocolate.  Sprinkle and cool on wax paper.  The oreos fell apart every time!  I gave up on it and focused on cake instead.
Quick and easy sprinkle Oreo pops DIY, perfect for party favors, a dessert table, or Valentine's Day treats! See more party ideas and party crafts at CatchMyParty.com.:

The next day we decorated and cleaned.  I was so relieved to have my parents to help.  My husband hung all the balloons and I organized the hot cocoa station.  The photos are below.  Everyone had a great time and the party went off without a hitch!  I set up a crafting station for the kids, the toddlers that attended enjoyed the cupcake craft and decorating party hats.  My family wore New Year’s party hats I picked up at Party City in gold and white.  Adam smashed away at his cake and celebrated turning 1 on 1/1.

Art and Literacy Lesson: Where the Wild Things Are Masks

where-the-wild-things-are
Grades: PreK-2nd

#of sessions:2 50 minute sessions

Resources:Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Materials: 1 9″x 11″  sheet of black paper, One 9″ x 11″ white sheet of paper, a black sharpie, a pencil, crayons, scissors, a sheet of lined paper, and glue.

National Arts Standard: organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Idea: creativity, reality and fantasy.

DBAE: art productions, aesthetics.

Cross Curicular Connection: Literacy (students respond to the text by creating a character based on the characters in the story).

Procedures: Day 1: Teacher introduces the lesson and presents the exemplar. Teacher gives an overview of the steps involved with completing the project.  Teacher reads Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and teacher reminds students to pay close attention to the visual appearance of the monsters in the story. After the story is read teacher asks students what animals they think the monsters were based on in the story.  Teacher writes down the responses of the students on the board. The teacher says “We will brainstorm a monster using parts of animals that we are familiar with and mix them together to see what we can make. What animal parts are interesting to you like a giraffe’s neck or shark’s teeth?” The students take turns responding while the teacher writes down their answers. After a list of animal parts are compiled the teacher shows the students how to combine the parts into the drawing of a mask on the board. She that instructs the students to use the list that they came up with and draw their own unique mask in pencil on white paper. The students draw their mask on white paper in pencil and trace with black sharpie marker. Day two: the teacher reviews the steps of the lesson. The teacher reviews the story with the students and how it relates to the lesson. The teacher hands back the artwork and goes over the steps for the day. The children finish tracing with black sharpie marker their mask and begin coloring it in with crayon. When they finish coloring with crayons they cut it out and glue it onto a black piece of construction paper. On the back of their paper students can write on a sheet of lined paper what parts of animals they chose to create their monster.  Older students can name their character, they can describe the character: what it eats, where it lives, what it’s personality is like.
Rubric: /10

Student listened and participated actively in the class discussion of the character development. 1/10

Student neatly and carefully drew in pencil hey mask of the character using compiled animal parts from the list. 5/10

Students work is well crafted and neatly colored. 3/10

Student body list on the back of their project the compiled animal parts they used in their project. 1/10

Galaxy Salt Dough

galaxy-salt-doughWith the My Petite Picassos Playgroup this last meeting we made salt dough keepsakes. We printed our babies’ handprints and footprints in colored salt dough that we colored with food coloring. As we were coloring with the food coloring we noticed that it created a marbled effect until we blended consistently throughout the salt dough. So the other day when Ben was bored and the weather was terrible outside, I decided that he could make galaxy salt dough.  We used the leftover salt dough from the playgroup and added a drop of blue,  a drop of purple, and a drop of pink food coloring to it.  As the mixed the colors together and created a galaxy a fact. Ben played with it for two hours that morning and the following morning he played with it for two hours.

To make salt dough all you have to do is combine one part flour with one part salt and half a part of water. For a large group like our playgroup I do it in my standalone mixer. After we use it it can be kept in the refrigerator to be used again. We still have leftover from last week that is soft and malleable. For older children who want to make a keepsake or if you want to make a keepsake you can air dry it and bake it in your oven at 200°F for three hours. 

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