kids birthdays

Taylor Swift Rockin’ Birthday Party

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My daughter wanted a Rock ‘n’ Roll / Taylor Swift themed 8th birthday party. I love to run with a theme and this was one was a lot of fun! We started by sending out ticket invitations that I made on my computer and printed at home. ticket Decorations

I didn’t like the paper goods selection for the Rock ‘n’ Roll theme that the party stores sold, so we went with pink, black and zebra stripe patterns on the decorations and paper goods. My daughter and I handmade a lot of the decorations. We made our own glitter paper and used it for mini Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars for each child attending the party and a list of the days events. We hung some of these decorations surrounding a Happy Birthday sign on a silver backdrop.

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Some other decorations we used were streamers, balloons, wall stickers to decorate the pool, some fake rocks, a VIP Entrance sign, a VIP guest list and a Happy Birthday sign on the chalkboard in the kitchen.

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We went with chocolate cake and Funfetti cupcakes this year. The cake was in the shape of a guitar, I used a pan I had from one of my son’s previous birthdays. For the cupcakes, I bought a cake stand on Amazon and a lot of records on Ebay. I washed the records and used them as the tiers to hold the cupcakes. The cupcakes looked awesome. To me, the cake looked like a giant bowling pin and, of course, as with chocolate cake, the frosting ended in specks of cake mixed in.

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Games and Prizes

We have a pool and had other outdoor games like basketball and volleyball, but I made up a few Taylor Swift themed games as well for the kids to play. I’m done with the piñata days. I also purchased replica Oscar trophies and gold medals for prizes.

  • Guess the Song Based on a Lyric
  • Taylor Swift Trivia
  • Musical Records Played to Taylor Swift songs (Idea of Musical Chairs, except using records on the grass that the kids had to sit on when music stopped)
  • Put the Taylor Swift albums in order of release

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Goodie Bags 

All the goodie bags had Pop Rocks candy, glow sticks and sunglasses. The boys’ bags also contained boy rockstar tattoos while the girls’ bags had a girl tattoo and a microphone lip gloss.

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Finally “Taylor Swift and her Swifties”performed Shake It Off. You will have to excuse a few technical difficulties with the music in the beginning, but was still fun!!!

Links to Amazon Purchases for the Party 

vip signpink startableclothballoons

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Birthday Gift Ideas for Kids

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Among our family friends, there are a lot of kids who have a summer birthday. As they get older, it’s always a challenge to pick the right gift because they seem to have everything and also because I try to get something with meaning. I feel like every girl ages 7-9 at this point has a ton of bracelet making kits and painting projects. But some of these crafts that I bought I thought were more appropriate for girls of this age who may want to start making their own memories or put meaning behind their projects. I love to shop online and purchased these gifts on Amazon. Every picture has a link directly to the item on Amazon.

This gift is for a boy turning 7 who is now into Pokemon. I know from when my son was into Pokemon trading in third grade that the cards add up fast. I liked this binder because it came with the pages ready to fill.
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This gift is for a girl turning 9 who my daughter is good friends with, but doesn’t see too often. I never saw this sign before, but since purchasing it, I have seen it in two stores. Both that I have seen are more glittery, but I like the traditional wood block of this sign. Can’t outgrow this style!

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This gift is for another friend of my daughter’s who is turning 8 and loves ballet. Eight is an age where girls start to keep momentos from events they attend and I think making their own scrapbook would be a really fun activity to display their memories! It’s also a good age to purchase a piece of jewelry and luckily there is a lot out there to represent current interests.

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This gift is for a family friend turning 7 who is having her first small sleepover party (she is also a Red Sox fan!) I tried to tie together the sleepover theme of her party with the Nancy Drew Sleepover Sleuths book and the pillow pet and then tied in her love of the Red Sox with the pillow pet and Ballpark Mystery book The Fenway Foul-Up.

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The (Imperfect) Craft of Cake Baking

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By no means am I going to be the next contestant on Cake Boss, in fact I really loathe baking. If you go on Pinterest and search Kids Cakes, I am put to shame here, but, I love my kids and a good themed party, so I have taken on the task of cake baking and I do it with the best intentions! I know it’s boxed cake mix and canned frosting, but every year this task comes with tons of frustration and I always swear I will buy next years cake. Some aren’t great photos because I always forget to take a picture before I serve the cake so I cropped the best I could. Also, I think I am the world’s worst froster. I would always get cake bits mixed in even if I froze the cake a bit first. I found buying whipped frosting helps with that. Here is a small gallery of some cakes of the past.

This was Elsa's Ice Castle. The rock candy was supposed to be tiered, but I did have it lit from the bottom and sparklers on it
This was Elsa’s Ice Castle. The rock candy was supposed to be tiered, but I did have it lit from the bottom and sparklers on it
Version 2
I also made cupcakes and shaped them as a snowflake to continue the Frozen theme
Version 2
This is my best attempt at a Lego Ninjago character named Lloyd


Don’t look too close! This is a frosting disaster!
The look on my daughter’s face is like, “Ooooh, yikes, at least you tried mom!”
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This cake had no specific design, but my son built this really cool candle holder
These cakes were supposed to be Lego bricks. Idea, good. Execution, not so good.


This party was ocean theme. I made a mommy fish with her school of baby fish
Baseball/Yankees Theme
These were cupcakes shaped into an anchor for my daughter’s teacher who retired and is going to spend her days sailing on her boat