Thomas and Friends Birthday Party

Hi! So happy to be back! This was last year’s birthday party for my baby boy! He was turning 3 YEARS OLD!! I just can’t believe how fast time flies. So my son absolutely loves Thomas and friends trains, like obsessed.  So it was obvious that his birthday would be Thomas themed.  The good thing about having a Thomas-themed is that they actually sell Thomas birthday supplies, unlike the previous birthday party I had for him! (see “Bubble Guppies Party” post)  This party was so much easier because of that.  Many of these ideas were inspired by ideas I found on Pinterest.  I think it’s helpful to people who are looking for a Thomas-themed party to see a bunch of simple ideas all on one page versus many ideas scattered and you get to see how it all goes together.  So let’s begin:

The Food:

I decided to do a couple of cute foods in addition to the traditional birthday food (e.g. hamburgers/hotdogs) because I just have to when I do a party 🙂 These were ideas I found on Pinterest, but I have linked the original pinned to these pictures.  They are super easy and cute!

 

 And of course the cake or should I say cakes! As I said in my previous birthday party post, it’s tradition for my grandmother to make a cake for every person’s birthday party.  So knowing this, I made one cake vanilla and she made the chocolate cake, so everyone would be happy.

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My grandmother’s cake!!

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The cake I made!

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Inspired by Pinterest!

The Decor:

All the decor came from Party City.  They had Thomas EVERYTHING!! Invitations, plates, napkins, party favors, balloons, Happy Birthday Banner, etc.

The invitations were very simple, yet cute.  They came with an envelope and Thomas themed stickers too!

Thomas Invitations-frontThomas Invitation-backFrom: Party City

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I bought this cupcake stand and the cupcake liners before realized I wasn’t making cupcakes, so I just put the little snacks I made in the liners and set them out on the stand. Super Cute!!

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As you can see it was all Thomas themed products! (So simple)

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Inspired by HWTM

Even decided to make train tracks for my little guy (with the help of my sister, considering I was 5-6 months pregnant:-) )

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Although this is technically not “decor” it did help bring the decorations into other parts of the house.  It’s a “Pin the Funnel on The Engine” game.  The kids loved it.

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The Handsome Birthday Train Engineer!!

He even had a his and his auntie Emma’s elves help out with the party!!

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Once again, it was a successful party and I loved it more because my son was able to enjoy it more as well.  Now that he’s older he gets to enjoy the games and especially the cake eating party of parties.  Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this Thomas and Friends themed birthday party! Feel free to comment your favorite part of this party or you’re own ideas for a Thomas party! Thanks again!!

It’s been a while!!

Oh wow! I know it’s been forever! I have just been busy with life and a 7 month old who has decided that sleeping at night is no longer fun.  So I’m really sorry.  I hate it’s been so long, for real.  Hopefully now that I’ve just gotten use to not sleeping I can get back to sharing my knowledge of random stuff! Thanks to everyone for continuing interest on my blog! Plan on a new post soon!

Bubble Guppies Party!

So since I am have decided to discuss birthday parties, I figured I would keep going with my son’s birthday parties.  For my son’s 2nd birthday, I decided on a Bubble Guppies theme because he was in love with them.  I was inspired by many ideas from Pinterest, so I can’t take all the credit for these ideas.  However there are many times I find something I like and then I put my own spin on it.  Furthermore, this was before they started selling Bubble Guppies party supplies so everything had to be made.  Nick Jr. has a lot of free printables for their characters so you can use those for your parties(http://www.nickjr.com/bubble-guppies-party/).  That is where I got a lot of my printables.  Anyways, for this party there was many things that I found from Pinterest and Etsy, but I refuse to pay for something that I can do on my own as well as more in line with the theme I have in mind.  After finding my inspiration, I start working.  My first task at hand was the invitations.  As I said, Nick Jr. has free printables, but I don’t like the idea of the write in the info type of invitations unless I have too or don’t have the time to create my own.  Ok so here are the invitations from Nick Jr.

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They were ok, but not what I wanted.  After some searching for the characters, which is quite easy (just use Google image search).  With some creativity and time playing around on my computer, I came up with this:

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I just printed them out and sent them to all my family and friends.  Aren’t these so cute?! If people are interested, I would be willing to try and attach the document of these invites so you can use them and add your child’s name, year, and personal information.  Just comment to let me know.

Anyways, on to the party! I was prepping for this party like weeks in advance.  Everything had to be printed and cut out and put together.

The Decor:

Most of the decor was from the Nick Jr. website (http://www.nickjr.com/bubble-guppies-party/)

 

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 These were the games for the party!

 

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This was the kids table (there wasn’t that many kids, but it was mostly to look cute anyways)  Like I said there was no Bubble Guppies party supplies like there are now, so I just used blue, green, and orange as my colors.  The centerpiece was also from the Nick Jr. website.

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This door wreath was made by me.  It was so easy and cheap.  It was poster board cut into a ring, then I glued pieces of blue tissue paper onto the ring.  After it was dried I just added bubble guppy stickers to it.  I had some sparkly letters leftover from a welcome home poster for my husband who had just returned home from Afghanistan about 3 months prior, so I used that for the #2.  I taped a piece of string to the back of the number and then taped that string to the back of the wreath.  So easy and from my opinion it turned out great!

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In addition, I made my son a “Birthday Boy” shirt.  It was so simple.  They have the iron-on transfers at Walmart.  You just print your image and iron it onto the shirt.  I created it with the same theme as the invitations.

Last, but not least, I made the birthday banner.  Like I said, this was before Bubble Guppies birthday supplies was sold in stores.

 

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The Food:

Although I did the traditional foods for the party, I did try to do some cute little things that were in line with my theme.

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I bought all the sand buckets and the little containers from the Dollar Tree. I bought them during the summer months since I knew there would be none during December (which is when my son’s birthday is).  I put the chips and lettuce into the buckets.

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(http://seevanessacraft.com/2012/07/diy-tutorial-goldfish-marshmallow-pops/)

Found this cute idea for marshmallow pops on Pinterest! So easy to make and everyone loved them!

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Lastly was the cake! Now this was suppose to be a 2-tiered cake but it did not work out as intended.  However, as you can see, it was still cute. Also, I made cupcakes so there was no issue of running out of cake.  The crazy thing was I decided to put it together the day of the party.  My husband was in charge of getting all the food the morning of the party and as men tend to do, he did not listen to me when I said I needed the bags of powered sugar and only bought the small boxes of powered sugar.  I was unaware of this until it was too late.  I was freaking out, people were showing up for the party and I had run out of buttercream icing and only had a small box of powered sugar left.  Thankfully a family friend saw me panicking and stepped in and made a icing using marshmallow fluff and the powered sugar.  Thankfully, she was there to save me cause I was on the verge of a breakdown!  I learned a valuable lesson that day…Never let your husband do the shopping.  Although he was trying to help, it would have been less stressful if I had done it myself.

So as you can see, there are Bubble Guppies on the cake.  I am not one of those people that can create characters from fondant or paint them on with icing.  But I needed Bubble Guppies to be on the cake. After some online research I decided to use printed (on paper) Bubble Guppies and gum paste.  They were so easy to make, however they were not edible. I just printed out the characters and cut them out.  I rolled out some gum paste really thin, then placed the pieces of paper on the gum paste and using a butter knife, cut around the figure. (I’m assuming you could use fondant as well, but not sure).  I did that the night before, so they could dry out and become hard.  I used a little bit of water to place them on the gum paste (not too much, it is paper) and then let them dry again.  Once I put the icing on the cake (the next day) I just stuck them in place, were I wanted.  since they were hard they can stand up (like Mr. Grouper is).

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As you can see it was super cute with all the main colors… Green, orange, and blue.  And it was delicious.

Overall, the party was a success! Other than my icing freak out moment, it was great.  Hope you liked this party! If you have any questions or ideas to add leave a comment.  Thanks everyone!!

Safari Birthday Party!

This party I am going to discuss was my baby boy’s 1st birthday party…So I might be a little emotional thinking about it.  I can’t believe he will be 4 in less than 5 months. 😦 Time goes by too fast! Also I didn’t get as many pictures as I would like, therefore this is going to be somewhat short.  Anyways, before he was born I had decided on a safari animal theme for this crib bedding (and the nursery I never got to decorate). When his first birthday came around, I wasn’t sure what to do since he hadn’t started watching TV and therefore did not have a favorite cartoon or anything.  I looked online and saw the little safari animal themes for 1st birthdays.  I decided why not.  It turned out so much better than I believe it would.

When I decide on a theme, I kind of get a little obsessed with that theme and everything has to go with the color, characters, etc.  As my first birthday party I would say it went well.  Also, I want to throw in the fact that my family are very picky-eaters.  For example, I bought the Walmart brand of mayo instead to Dukes and I got an earful about that. HA!  I’ve always been considered the weird on because I eat things outside of “norm” for my family and yet I am still considered a picky-eater by most people, including my hubby.  With that said, I knew that I would be making hamburgers and hotdogs for this party because there would be no doubt in mind my family would eat that.

Anyways, I went looking at local party stores to find the plates, cups, birthday banner, etc.  At that time we were stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC.  I found the perfect ones.  They were so cute.  I can’t find any pictures of the plates, napkins, or cups but they were the same theme.  Here’s the banner:

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Look at my birthday boy! The local party store had the bib, highchair banner, and mat to go under the highchair (easy cleanup)!

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When I was planning this, I decide to make my theme everywhere, including with the food. (I told you I get obsessed!)

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(Found the “Tiger Tails” idea on a website, so I can’t take the credit for it, but unfortunately I cannot remember which one it was)

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Ok so these “Monkey Meals” were suppose to be chocolate covered bananas, but for some reason the chocolate wouldn’t stay on the bananas (I think that it was too thick) so my sister improvised and this was what they turned out to be.  Oh well, can’t expect everything to go perfect.  This was the only thing that went wrong so I can’t complain.

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These cupcakes were made by me and I must admit they were delicious!  I made the cupcakes with white cake (from the box) and the icing was lime cream cheese frosting.   I just lined the inside of my frosting bag with some black gel dye then, added the white frosting and this was the results.  Super easy!!

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These cakes were made by my grandmother (the birthday boy’s great-grandma).  It’s tradition in our family for my grandmother to make a cake for any and every family event.  I had asked her to make only one cake because I knew I would be making the cupcakes but she got excited and made two! 🙂 They were yummy so whatever!

So for my first birthday party it was an ok party! Nothing too special but it turned out good.  It was simple but I hope you like the simple food ideas for your safari party!  Just thinking, this would be some cute ideas for a baby shower too!!

Any one else have any good ideas for their safari themed party? Post a comment and let me know what you thought of my party, post, or both!!

Simply Seasoned Baked Salmon

First of all, the fact that I am blogging about a salmon recipe is crazy.  I am such a picky-eater! I have never had salmon until a few weeks ago and never was willing to try.  I like some fish but mostly breaded and fried.  (I’m from the North Carolina 🙂 ) So the idea of a non-breaded fish did not sound good at all.  However, me and the hubs were trying to go on a healthy diet and he found a recipe for tuna.  I was very hesitate but figured the worse that can happen is I end up not liking it and eating chicken instead.  We went shopping and of course we couldn’t find tuna, but did find salmon.  We ended up not following the recipe at all, but still ended up with something probably better.  The hubs and I cooked it together the first time since I had never cooked salmon before.  I specifically told him that I’m use to breaded white fish and I needed it to be well done and some type of crunch.  The seasoning was picked out by me and he did the cooking.  So I must give him most of the credit.  ❤  However, I have cooked it a couple more times by myself and it’s just as good. Anyways, on the recipe. This is not a exact recipe.  It’s mostly a personal preference thing.  I like my food with lots of flavor, but you can adjust the seasoning as much as you like.  With that said, this is a very simple recipe and you can’t really go wrong.

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(This is a picture of the first time we cooked it)

Ingredients:

– 3-4 tbsp butter/margarine

– 2 to 2.5 tsp McCormick’s Sazonador completo*

– Salt and pepper

– 2 pieces of salmon

* This is like an “all seasoning” season.  I’m in El Salvador so I’m not sure what the exact equivalent is but something that will go good with everything.  Here’s a picture of it:

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I’m almost out! Nooooo!! Anyways, on the directions for this deliciousness! 🙂

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.  Place salmon (scales down) in a baking dish. Melt butter in microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. While butter is melting, use a fork to poke the fish.  You want to make sure all the seasoning and butter get down into the meat.

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Brush melted butter onto salmon pieces.  Make sure you get the sides as well.  Most likely you will have extra butter but that’s ok.  You can use it later to continue marinating while it cooks.

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Next, you are going to add salt and pepper (as much as you would like, but not too much salt, the “all seasoning” will make it a little salty as well ) and then the “all seasoning”.  You want to put a pretty good amount  because this will become the “crust” of the fish.  I did around 2 teaspoons.

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Then, you are just going to put it into your preheated oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take it out and use the butter that’s in the bottom of the pan or the extra melted butter you have and brush it over the fish some more.

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It should look something like this after about 20 minutes in.  After you have brushed on the butter, put it back in the oven for 10-12 more minutes.  After 10-12 minutes, you can take it out and brush some more butter and if you need to sprinkle a little bit more seasoning.  Then you are going to turn your broiler on low. Put the fish back in and cook for 5-10 minutes.  The longer you cook it the more crusty the top will be.  If you put the broiler on high it will cook a lot faster, so watch it carefully.  Either way you can cook it as long as you want with the broiler until the fish looks as “done” and you like it.  Here are my finished results:

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This is what it looks like, if you want it a little more “burnt” on top (like the first picture), just leave it for longer.

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Hope you all enjoy! Let me know how it turns out for you! 🙂

How did I name my blog??

Ok, so I read something that it is customary for the blogger to explain how they came up with their blog name. It took me about a day (on and off) of thinking of a name.  I wanted something personal, but not too detailed in case I decided to change my mind about my blogging topic.  I went through numerous ideas.  At first, I thought I would only blog about food recipes, but then realized I don’t have that many right now and that’s not all I love to do.  I remembered how much I love planning parties.  My mom always said I needed to be a party planner.  I planned my first party (which was a surprise baby shower) at 19 years old.  Seems so long ago that I was 19 years old.  Wow time flies. (Sorry about my tangent) I was planning the baby shower for my mom who decided to have her last baby girl when I was 19 years old (almost 20).  She has 3 daughters, each are 10 years apart.  So I have two baby sisters, one is 10 years younger than me and the other is 20 years younger than me.  However, I love them girls like they were my own babies.  I always refer to them as my first and second babies.  (Another tangent)  Maybe I’ll do a post, if I can find some pictures, of that baby shower.

Anyways, I was going to go with something with “Nerdy mommy” in the title.  I consider myself a nerd of sorts.  After trying different ideas, nothing was working.  They were just too long or didn’t make sense.  So I ditched the “nerdy” part and then I started thinking about “what is my blog going to be about”.  I kept thinking “parties and food”, “parties and food”, “parties and food”.  Then I really started getting creative.  I thought about maybe using some Spanish since I am living in El Salvador and it’s becoming a big part of my life.  “Fiesta!” Fiesta and food, was good but I wasn’t sure if that was it.  After writing it out a few times and saying it to myself, it stuck with me.  I decided this was my blog name.  It was very simple, explanatory, yet at the same time unique, which are all the things I wanted.  It was not as personal as I had wanted, but I figured I could just use my posts, recipes, pictures, etc., to add my personality to this blog.  So Fiestas and Food was born!! I declare July 23 ‘Fiestas and Food’ Day!!! YAY!!