Monday, July 16, 2012

minnie memories

Kerigan says, welcome to my Minnie Mouse backyard BBQ birthday!  Come on in!

The invites...

I have to say, this theme was the most fun I have ever done.  Perhaps it was because it was summer.  Or that it was my first of many girly parties, but I had a blast with it!  I have never really been into the princess thing, and I have been such a "boy mom" for the past 5 years that I had to flip that switch in my brain and move from monkeys, trains and Kung Fu Panda to bows, polka-dots and Minnie!  And it was sweet success.
I spent literally hours and hours preparing for this party.  Everyone kept telling me I was doing too much, but to me, your daughter's first birthday can't be big enough!  I went all out.  And yes, she won't remember it.  But I will.  And everyone that was there will too.  It was a spectacular evening.  A celebration of one special little girl.
And we did it up BIG!
All the kids had Minnie/Mickey ears (I made them, and they were way cuter and cheaper than the ones in the party store!) and goody bags.  I made all the signs and tags on the computer.  The sacks were red (I loved the size!) and I just put white dot stickers on them.  Good thing I am a teacher and don't work in the summer!  I would have never had time to do all of this during the school year.  Maybe a summer birthday won't be so bad for my girl after all!  
I couldn't find much of the classic red Minnie decorations.  Everything in the party stores is pink.  Don't get me wrong, I love me some pink, but when I think of Minnie Mouse, I think RED.  So I made up my own decorations and threw in some polka dots.  And it came together beautifully.

I went to our local scrapbook store (my happy place) and spent an afternoon hand cutting these shapes and letters and tying them all together.  I was so excited about how it turned out!

Yes, I taped all the water bottles, cut the Minnie heads from a punch and glued the bows on by hand.  Worth every minute!  Have you ever seen a cuter water bottle?  It made the water taste better!  And yes, my shoes were definitely part of the decorations!
Guests were sent home with a homemade sugar cookie- my great grandma's secret (and it has become famous!) recipe.  I picked up a Minnie/Mickey cookie cutter from Disney and we wrote K's, 1's and polka dots on them.  They were adorable.  And delicious.
We had to add her Minnie hat from Disneyland.  I fell in love with it when I saw it!  Perfect for a classic Minnie party.
I had photos of Kerigan with Minnie at Disney framed in fun frames as centerpieces.  And I made her monthly banner (hanging on the windows in the background).  Here's a close up...

These were super easy to make, and fun to have hanging around!
Apothecary jars filled with jumbo marshmallows, licorice, and whoppers... right with the color theme, don'tcha think?  Her cake was not my dream cake, but I had to cut corners somewhere.  We went with taste over the three tiered eye candy I really wanted (and saved about $100 in the process).  It's from a delicious little specialty shop in town, but they don't do Disney.  Darn those copyrights.  So we improvised, and it was delicious.  And that's what really counts.  A certain little miss had quite the first taste, as I have to dedicate a whole blog post just to smash cake photos because I took so many!
And those of you who haven't figured out this little trick...scoop the ice cream ahead of time and put into cupcake holders- ours were red and white polka dot, of course!  And we added two mini oreos for ears.  They were a hit! (And I was so glad I had done it in advance!)
We had a lovely little backyard BBQ, complete with a kiddie pool, sprinklers, a water table and a bouncy house!
Papa grilled his heart out in his polka dot apron...
And there's nothing quite like ice cold lemonade in mason jars on a hot summer night.
I had such fun decorating even the yard with signs and girly Minnie couch cushions and black and red puffs hanging from tents and umbrellas...

I love this picture.  Our family and friends sitting together, chatting, kids playing in the pool (see Jayden squirting cousin Jack with a super soaker?)  Just fun.  Outdoor, backyard fun.  Yes it was over 90 degrees outside, but we really didn't notice.

Even Uncle Jay and daddy jumped around!  And the kids bounced way higher when daddies got in on the fun!
Cousins Evelyn and Abby having fun in the sprinkler!
Sisters in law... the big family I always wanted! (And that's sweet little baby Kennedy, the newest Huegel cousin).
And my precious birthday girl?  Yep, she's walking.  And she's so delicious, isn't she??
Her special present from mommy was her Minnie bracelet, or "pretty" as she calls it.  She is obsessed with my "pretties" so I thought it was only fitting for her to have her own on her first birthday.  It was big time stuff.  She felt so grown up, can't you tell?
Hearing her say "Pretty" just makes my heart melt.
She marched herself right over to the pool... and this is what happened next!
Yep, she ended up in it!  Big kids and all.  And she loved every minute.

Uncle Keith soaking the kids!
This was one of those parties I'd always dreamed about.  Family, friends, BBQ, togetherness, backyard fun, and celebrating!
Grandmas are simply the BEST!
It was simply amazing that all day as we were decorating and setting up the yard, the sun was blazing and it was unbearably hot.  I was worried no one would want to be outside.  Just as the party started, the clouds rolled in, and a storm was on the horizon.  Now I was nervous it would rain which would force people inside!  Neither happened.  The clouds cooled it off about 15 degrees, and the storm blew right past us, but didn't rain on our parade party.  It just made it bearable to be outside.

Papa is so amazing at grilling- he even cut the hot dogs into real "dogs" and gave them little ears!

Mommy and Daddy with our special birthday girl!
Andrew with his buddies Logan and Landon, this is the funniest picture from the day!  Ha!
Kerigan and her little boyfriend, Harrison.  She's smitten, can't you tell?
Kerigan with Uncle Jeff
Classic cousin pic!  We've got ears... say cheers! (we're just missing sweet Brooke, she was sick...we missed her!)
Our family~ We love you Kerigan!

Cake and presents to come... it was too much for one post!  But here's a little preview...

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