princess party: the wrap-up

The princess party I mentioned a few weeks ago was a success! We did a small family party on Maggie's actual birthday, and she had so much fun that she was confused when I told her we had another party with her friends coming up on the weekend. For her family party, I made the cake (with a little help from the birthday girl herself). I'm not much of a baker, so I used a butter cake mix and added a cup of sour cream — it makes it a little richer, and it was so good! I iced it with a white chocolate icing, using one of the Cake Mix Doctor's icing recipes.

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If you're like me and don't bake much, her books are such a huge help! The recipes are simple and come out great. Having said that, I have found it virtually impossible to produce a cake that actually looks good (I just have no luck!), but at least it tasted good. And Maggie was thrilled with the "princess sparkle sprinkles."

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The family party was low-key and fun, and then I got to work on the "kid" party. I created a cute little invitation design (the princess image came from here) and sent it in an email instead of as a paper invite (I was running out of time, and wanted to give everyone a little notice!).

maggie's invitation for web(I took the specifics out for this post to keep the internet crazies from knowing too much)

I printed out princess and knight images with the kids' names on transfer paper and ironed them onto inexpensive t-shirts for favors - they were a hit! Here's Maggie wearing hers at the party, and one of the boys' shirts:

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We ended up having the party at a local restaurant. It's a small place that happens to be owned by my dad and brother-in-law, so we picked  a low-traffic time, set up the back room with tables wrapped in white paper (from Michael's) and crayons, and played "pin the kiss on the frog" (from Wal-Mart!) on the patio. It was lots of fun.

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So that's the princess party in a nutshell. Anyone else seen any great kids' party ideas lately?

I've added this post to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family. Go over and check out all of the great tips!

school lunches

Have you heard of the now-famous bento box preschool lunches? 2595743954_dc1a75533e

Wendy Copley's blog, wendolonia, features some various categories, but the amazing bento lunches that she prepares for her son are the main attraction over there. The adorable arrangements look so creative and so much more nutritious than my kids' lunches....they make me vow that this year it will be different. This is Luke's first year of all-day school, so previously he only needed a snack, but I always tended to overpack since I was unsure of what he would eat. Maybe if I step up the presentation (photo-worthy kiddie lunches!? sheesh!) I'll have better luck with him. I speak from experience when I say that a half-squished pb&j in a rumpled baggie is not the most enticing thing after a rough morning of reading and math (thanks, mom!).

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It's hard to believe that school starts next week, and that my little boy will be a kindergartner! What do you do to make back-to-school go smoothly? Lunch ideas? Routine ideas? I want to get off to a good start!

photos from wendolonia