Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moving to Texas Party

In just a few weeks, we're moving back to Texas. My son doesn't remember living there and in an effort to help raise the excitement for the move, we decided to have an early birthday party/moving to Texas party last weekend...complete with cowboy gear and western everything. We invited his entire pre-school class, so we had about 20 kids plus parents. It was a great time!

At the door, we had cowboy hats and bandanas for the kids (and some for the parents as well). I bought them in bulk from The Oriental Trading Company and they were a hit!

My friend made this lovely festive wreath for the front door. The color scheme was perfect and it doubles as a 4th of July wreath (minus the cowboy hat I added). Thanks, Jamie!

We had tons of yummy food, all Texas-themed. Tex-Mex Bean Salad, German-style sausage, "Gulf-Fish", Chicken Feed, Longhorn Cornbread Muffins, Mac 'N Cheese Bites, Stars at Night Watermelon Salad, and Ensalada Verde were among some of the fixin's.

We also had Texas sliders and mini pigs-in-the-blanket style hot dogs, which were both a hit! Most of the recipes I used were from Cooking Light to make things a little more healthy for the kids.

But alas, who can resist a dessert table! So fun to set up and decorate.  Here are some of the goodies up close...

Cowboy Pops: marshmallows dipped in dark chocolate rolled in graham cracker crumbs s'mores style. Yum!

Heart of Dixie Cupcakes. I didn't make these because nobody can top the deliciousness of Vanilla Pastry Studio. I did make the cupcake stand out of cake circles, styrofoam, cans, and some ribbon. However, I can't take credit for the awesome idea.

 I made little mini-cheesecake parfaits with fresh strawberries and blueberries and my friend brought peppermint patty brownies that were gone in a flash.

These popsicles are healthy, kid-tasty, and super easy. I used dixie cups for the form and blended fresh strawberries with a tiny bit of frozen raspberries, mangos, and pineapples to add sweetness (totally optional). I let that layer freeze and then added nonfat vanilla yogurt crammed full with fresh blueberries.

The kids (and adults as my friends are pictured here) loved them and as a side note, I've been able to use the leftovers to entice my son to finish his dinner.

I did have a little bit of candy on the dessert table against my better judgement, although we didn't have any meltdowns, which I count as a win.

We had drinks outside. I made these water bottle labels and printed them at home using water-resistant labels from Labels by the Sheet.

I also had lemonade for the kids, which was filled in mason jars topped with themed-cupcake liners that I hole-punched for the striped paper straws.

 And of course, ice-cold beer for the parents.

I put together a few games for the kids, which were informally played since the blow-up pool in the backyard was the main attraction.  This was "Pin the Tail on the Horse". We also had some plastic horseshoes and "Lasso A Horse".

 And a bean bag toss...

And "Ride 'Em Stick Pony" from the pony corral. My mom put together 4 stick ponies from socks, poly-fil, yarn, and felt. She used the tutorial posted on Chickabug. They came out amazing and the kids loved them!

Here's another picture because they are just too cute. Thanks, Mom!

I also put some butcher paper up on one of the fences with some finger paint, a tarp, and some foam cowboy stamps. The kids had tons of fun painting and making a mess. (They also enjoyed rinsing off in the pool, which was rather murky by the end of the party).

For added easy outdoor decoration, I put up Wanted posters on the fence for each of the kids. Most took them home and they were excited to see their faces when they arrived.

Small favor bags to take home.

The birthday boy had an amazing day and is now more than ever excited for our move. Mission accomplished! Yee-haw, we come!