Tag Archives: parties

Top Tips to Plan a “Minions” Birthday for Twins

Top Tips to Plan a Minions Party for Twins | Hardly A GoddessDo your kids love the Minions? Do you love them? Aren’t they so stinkin’ cute? I love them. I am sick of all the kid movies that are so heavy-hearted and not kid-oriented in their storylines. The Minions and Despicable Me 1 &2,(from Universal Studio’s, Illumination Pictures) were such happy, happy kid movies. Love them. Kid movies are not for every one, I know this, and I am not going on a romantic holiday with the husband and going to theme it out with Minions or anything (sheeesh!),  but for the kids, people…It’s adorable and it’s all for the kids.

So if you have read this blog, you know that I hosted a Disney Descendants party at my house for about 500 eight-year-old girls. Well, it felt and probably sounded like 500! It was really only 20 or so, but it was so fun and the girls loved all the themed-out decor, and activities. This time around, I was celebrating for the twins’ birthdays. So twice as many friends, presents, and fun for everyone. I have some tips that I learned from my previous experiences, that are sure to help in your own planning. Warning: Some of this is a bit, tongue-in-cheek, so if I sound crazy, I am probably just teasing a bit!

TOP TIPS for a TWINS Birthday Party

#1. Have the party at a party place. Awwww. Did you think I would have it at my own house?! 20 six year olds, most of them boys, in the winter?! Noooooo. I am not that crazy!

#2. Have the party be an active one. Those little kids need to shake out the energy, and move!  After lots of discussion, we had it at the Y. I loved it. But more importantly, the kids loved it. they ran around and got sweaty, then ate sugar, then ran around again. I did NOT have to send kids home in the midst of a sugar rush! Your welcome parents!

#3. Buy more food than you think you’ll need. Kids actually eat a lot. Especially when they are active. But with little kids, even if it is a drop-off party (and I tried to tell them it was!), some parents and their kids, want the parent to stay. So you need to factor in food for all of those people too, or possible siblings that came along for the ride! For twins, I make each one feel like they have a say in the cake choice too. I have a vanilla lover, and a chocolate one, so I make both. With cupcakes it was easy, so I didn’t have to make 2 cakes!

#4. Ask about any food allergies BEFORE the party. Snacks like fishies are fine for peanut allergies…but not great for a gluten allergy! It’s not a great idea to give trail-mix with peanuts for an option in general, as you never can be too sure of allergies, but ask. I had some snacks that were gluten and peanut free available at our party, but didn’t know about the gluten allergy until afterwards…I offered pizza and lots of gluten-full snacks. The mom was so smart and brought her own little cupcake for the child to enjoy, but I would have liked to have offered more options for him- so ask before the party!

#5. Buy bottled waters and bring a SHARPIE! I can’t stand when my kids get those pouches at a party.  Why? They are already getting sugar in the cake, possible ice-cream, and then the favors. They come home with a belly ache and diarrea. Water is what they all want after running around anyway, and the sharpie works to write their names on the bottles. I wrap the bottles in cute scrapbook paper and clear packing tape to make them match the theme:

water bottles for minions party | Hardly A Goddess

#6. Have more than enough goody-bags. Siblings come. People don’t RSVP. They don’t. People are busy and may forget to let you know they are coming…and bringing all 5 of their kids…So make extra goody bags, because as much as you want to be mad at that parent…It’s all for the kids! I did cups filled with gum, a ring pop, and some minion themed things:

Goody Bags for minions party | Hardly A Goddess

#7. Have fun! The kids know when you are having a good time, so try to enjoy it! You have planned this party, so let yourself relax. You may decide that you’d rather have the next party at home, but enjoy the fact that the party venue that you choose gets to clean it all up!  With a little planning, but little effort, you can have a very fun and adorable party that the kids will love.kids BirthdayFun | Hardly A Goddess

Specifics For a Minions Themed Party:

Dollar Tree Plates, Napkins, and Mylar balloons: $10.
Favors: I-Party and Dollar Tree: $20.
Cupcake Mix, yellow and chocolate, twinkies: $5.
Frosting ingredients, cake decor: $8.
Waters, snacks: $12
Pizza (ask them the best deal and then have them cut the pizza into 16 slices- these are perfect for kid’s sizes and it doubles the portion!): $30
TOTAL Additional cost to party-place: $85

The Y was pretty reasonable for a party place, but I know that they are super expensive. We are limited in March with an inside venue so this was perfect for our needs.

The Cupcakes:

Aren’t these the cutest!? I love Pinterest for my ideas, but honestly, after my cake-balls fiasco, I have smartened up and am careful not to get sucked in by the cuteness factor! If it sounds easy enough on Pinterest, it probably is twice as hard. These were easy though. If you can squeeze frosting from a Cake decorating tip, you can do this. My idea is NOT original- I was totally inspired by this Pin on Pinterest and went from there!

If you can buy these little eyes from a craft store or grocery store that sells cake decorating things, you are good to go!

Making Minions | Hardly A Goddess

Then you just make an assembly line of twinkies, cut in half and lined up on a pan covered in wax paper. Create the minion face and then I put them on top of the newly frosted cupcakes before it set. Done.

MakingMinions2 | Hardly A Goddess

That’s it! Beedoe! Have a great next party!

MakingMinions | Hardly A Goddess

 I am linking with Pin Junkie, Thursday Favorite Things, Create it Thursday, Sugar & Spice.


How to Plan a 9-year old’s ” Disney Descendants” Themed Birthday Party

Disney Descendants 9-year old's birthday partyDo your kids love Disney? Do you have girls? Did they love Monster HighEverAfter High…and now love The Descendants?  Mine do. I have no control over this. They come home, every day just knowing things…things that I know absolutely nothing about, but that now, I just have to know. Things I wouldn’t necessarily choose… But then, I am not 10, or 9 or 5 for that matter. They will always be telling me how to “know” new things.

So…The Descendants. That was the chosen theme for this year’s home-birthday-party. If you are not familiar, here’s a loose interpretation: The villians from the Disney movies, have kids. The kids are the “Descendants.” These kids have been banished from the Island where all the protagonists live. It is arranged to have 4 kids, the children of Cruella Daville, Malificient, Jafar, and The Evil Queen in Snow White, go to school with the Protagonist’s kids: giving them some opportunity.

Sigh. See? I know way more than I want to about things, I don’t really want to know about. Anyhooo….

Here was the plan for the party:

disney descendants party plan

So that is the itinerary that we followed. Of course, I was too busy actually LIVING my life to record it for the blog. I am sorry, but I just don’t have any pictures. What???? I know. Weelll…Barely any.

Disney Descendants 9-year old's birthday party

Cockwise from top: All the items in the Fashion Emergency Game, Flowers and Paper Supplies in pink, purple, and black, The Descendants book with posters (for pin the crown-on-Evie or Mal), puffy-lights decor, the Itinerary for our party, and the goodie-bag line-up.

Here are my tips for hosting ANY type of kid’s party:

(Because you will need all the help you can get… when you decide to host your own birthday party for 18, under-9 year olds!!)

1. Clean the house.
2. Clear the house: put away all toys and extra little things so that 1) your decorations stand out 2) no one messes up the nice things that you have 3) it helps keep everything in order when the chaos begins.
3. Set an expectation for the parents. Don’t stay. Don’t come. Your crazy kids will have way more fun when you give them 3 hours to play at my house. Come to pick them up ON-time. Yes, I want to have them to myself for 3 hours…but don’t be late. When it’s over, it’s over.
4. Set expectations for the kids. I start with the itinerary placed at every place setting. It set them up to know what was happening and when. I stuck to the list, and if I veered from it at all, it was minimal and explained.
5. Overplan. I put a ton of activities on the schedule this year. I learned from last year’s party (link) that idle kids, means trouble. They find their own entertainment, and it’s usually loud. So I over-book our time. Activities take surprisingly less time than you think, if they are done well, and even not rushing through, this timeline was PERFECT for a 3 hour party for 18 participants with each activity.
6. Let someone else help you. I had my husband and my mom helping me the whole time. While I was the main “cruise director” of sorts ushering each task, my mom did the cooking and prepping for the “cake time”. My husband was good about clearing the decks from the previous task, or helping with an activity. It was also good to have him there chatting to the parents while I was still involved with the kids.
7. Have fun! The kids know when you are having a good time, so try to enjoy it! You have planned this party, so let yourself relax. You may decide that you love the parties at home, as I do. Yes, they take work, and yes, you need helpers, but for an inside the house party, you can really make it tailored to fun and activities that the kids will love.

Specifics For a Descendants Themed Party:

The whole party was built around the idea that the kids were part of the story of the Descendants. We didn’t really overdo this too much. Essentially it was just breaking all the kids into 2 teams: Team Evie or Team Mal. All the activities were competitions that the winning team tried to score a point. The team with the most points at the end, won a prize (a YOYO for us).

We started the party on a Friday night (bonus, because the kids already had a day of school to get a little tired-out) at 5:30 and ended at 8:30. I made the mistake of having it on a Saturday and a sleepover…not good. A three hour end-of-week party is way better!

When the kids arrived they found their name and place-setting at the table, which had a print-out of the itinerary in front of them, and a water bottle. This was kind of their home-base. In between tasks, or actually some of the activities took place back at the table, so it was a way to re-group and also so they could always come back to an assigned spot.

The kids were great about keeping up with the program, and also involved with their teams. I used a few teacher tricks like clapping three times, which got them to also repeat the clap, and then quiet themselves (thank you teacher friends!). My mom was the judge for the cookie-decorating contest, and we moved right into another activity away from the table to get them to NOT eat the cookie, and let us pack it in a baggie for them.

It was like Survivor for 9 year olds, except they all survived and most thrived and loved it. I didn’t have to yell once, or interject at all, and it was actually super entertaining to watch them (and hear them…it did get really loud!) have so much fun chasing down a win!
I hope you host your own birthday party at home, because it was fun, and unique and because you can make it your very own. Have a great day and if you have ANY questions, just send me an email or comment below!Disney Descendants 9-year old's birthday party

Linking up with: Winthrop Chronicles

Party-Ready Pantry Basics & Menu for the Week

I love just “winging it” in the summer, because you never know when a backyard party will happen or when a get-together is at your own house…in an hour! But even the most impromptu parties are less stressful with a little planning.

april menu

Some things that I love having on hand all the time, and usually keep stocked in the summer and why:

Canned Beans

  • Make a quick hummus
  • make a bean salad
  • chili
  • baked beans
  • process for refried beans for taco dip

Fun pasta shapes

  • pasta salad- (what did you think I would say?!)

Scallion & Parsely

  • Fresh Herbs, are great to any summer salad, but scallion and parsely are so universally easy to keep and use in so many recipes.  I think they are really neutral too, where no one really has a strong feeling against either one!

Frozen Lemonade Concentrate

  • I have used it a ton this summer already in pitcher-style alcohol drinks for parties!
  • My kids also, love this and it is way more affordable and less waste than juice boxes.
  • There is a super yummy recipe for lemonade-ice-box pie in a pinch.  Not super healthy, but super easy and well…delicious.

Corn Chips

  • For dips- What dip doesn’t want a corn-chip
  • For thickening my taco soup

S’mores makings

  • Yup.

Other On-Hand Items

  • Paper plates & plastic cup. I will explain this with one word: kids.  Lots and lots of kids. I am an earth friendly kind of gal…but I am also Me-friendly, which means I do love to minimize the washing or piling up of dishes and cups by seemingly millions of kids in my kitchen all summer!
  • Seltzer. I love to offer non-alcoholic drinks for the adults, and everyone loves seltzer.  Also, if I make a punch or Sangria, I use seltzer, not soda, as a mixer because it is less sweet and no sugar added.

Do I always have those things on hand? No.

But do I want to? Yes!

In my ideal world, it all goes to plan, but the reality is that well…that is just not the reality!

In that line of thinking, I will share with you my weekly menu for the week.  Do I always stick to this plan? Nope.  But just planning for it, makes it atleast an available option and it helps make me ready, or atleast somewhat prepared for another crazy week ahead! I get lots of ideas from

Menu Plan July 19-25

  • Order pizza (post beach!)
  • Leftover grill food from the weekend, salad
  • Breakfast for dinner (French Toast Sticks and eggs)
  • Crockpot fajitas
  • Chicken done Double Peppered! (Trying this- I think it will be YUM!)
  • Chicken Slaw Salad & MacNCheese for the kids! (exception to the 2 dinner thing!)

How I Menu Plan
Being a “Mean Mom” Makes For Healthier Kids: Meal Planning
5 Great Chicken Recipes to Get Out of a Dinner Rut
H.A.G. Recipe Archives

As always you can check out my link-ups with Orgjunkie.com for more menu plan ideas too!

Do you have any go-to pantry item that you can’t live without during the summer?  Tell me in the comments- I would love to know!