Tag Archives: Party

DIY Flamingo Party

A flamingo party theme works for birthdays, showers, pool parties, and barbecues! Easy, DIY, and fun! Great cake decorating tips too! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms!

I do like a good party. I have even been known to go a wee bit overboard. Not like drop the down payment on a Winnebago overboard, but more like having fourteen four-year-olds crowded around my dining room table crafting with glue and scissors. Rest assured I drew the line at glitter. Never glitter. ::shudders::

Littlest Pet Shop Habitats. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

For me, it all starts with a good theme I can sink my teeth into, but I am older and more exhausted now. Can you feel me? I now require my themes to be fabulous with a side of easy. So to that end, one of the easiest ones I have hit upon is a Flamingo Party. The best thing? It works for all ages and types of parties: birthday celebrations, baby showers, bridal showers, pool parties, and barbecues. One advantage to this theme is you can extend it cheaply and easily just by using color. Pink balloons, streamers, and netting can really extend the theme to fill your entire space.

My particular party was to celebrate a thirteenth birthday. For me it all begins with the cake . . . or in the case of the parties I orchestrate, cakessssssss.

Here’s the one I created for the family party:

Easy Flamingo Layer Cake

Decorating With Marshmallow Fondant! A flamingo party theme works for birthdays, showers, pool parties, and barbecues! Easy, DIY, and fun! Easy Cake decorating tips! Look like a pro! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms!

This cake is a great example of a wow factor that exceeds the effort. In other words, it’s easier than it looks. Always a bonus.

Start by making a layer cake from scratch like our favorite, Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake, or just use a box mix.

Next, frost it up with a base layer buttercream frosting.

Mix up a buttercream frosting and tint it with turquoise food coloring. You can find the food coloring I used here. Pssst, you can also use canned frosting. I won’t tell. Pillsbury even makes an aqua blue frosting that saves you all kinds of time.

If you need help with your frosting game, I recommend this tutorial. She mentions using a bench scraper to achieve a smooth frosting surface. I use this one.

The flamingo is made with fondant icing. I generally make my own marshmallow fondant because not only is it significantly cheaper than store bought, it is so much tastier, too. Your guests won’t be peeling it off into a discarded lump on the side of their plates.

I also find it more forgiving to work with. When you are rolling it and transferring it to the cake, I always have less frustration with breakage than I do with prepared fondant out of the package. This excellent video is EXACTLY how I make it.

She also has a video describing how to color it. Two caveats I have for that one, though. One, I almost always color mine by mixing my gel into the melted marshmallows as she describes in the beginning of her tutorial. It takes A LOT of kneading to mix color into a whole batch of refrigerated fondant. I’m talking kneading on the level of a P90X workout. And two, I always wear vinyl food prep gloves so that my hands don’t get stained.

One other tip: it’s not worth it to make black fondant. It takes forever and a ton of color to make it anything but a weird gray. I did it once, but never again. You can find it here. Keep in mind you can purchase a whole tub of white fondant, too, if you just want to skip making your own altogether.

I used leaf cookie cutters to make the feathers. I free-hand cut out the neck, used a small dish to make the circle for the head, and used the same dish to help gauge the size I needed for the beak. The eye was made from a dab of white buttercream and a speck of black fondant. Because the pieces are relatively small, it’s a much easier decorating process than trying to transfer an entire sheet of fondant to your cake. I have yet to be able to cover a layer cake with a sheet of fondant without curling up in the fetal position from the stress of it all. But just decorating with fondant pieces? That’s a hack I can completely manage.

Now remember I said cakessssssss? In my family, each birthday girl gets her own cake to dive into with abandon.

Fondant Flamingo Cake

Fondant Flamingo Cake! A flamingo party theme works for birthdays, showers, pool parties, and barbecues! Easy, DIY, and fun! Easy Cake decorating tips! Look like a pro! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms!

This cake was also decorated with marshmallow fondant, but this one is all about the shape. I baked the body of the cake in a Pyrex oven-safe bowl. Once it was COMPLETELY cooled, I sculpted the body shape with a serrated knife making sure to carve out a complete shape that would work for the neck. The rest of the scraps went to the kids who were watching my every move.

The head is a cupcake. That little beaded necklace camouflages the joining of the head to the neck. Because this cake is personal-sized, I could basically pick the pieces up and wrap the fondant around them. In case you are new to working with fondant, you need to actually ice your cake with a buttercream first so that the fondant will adhere to it smoothly. I did not do that with the neck though. The fondant around that is very thick to achieve the rounded look I wanted. I figured there was enough cake-y goodness in the body and head to make it acceptable that the neck was just for decorative purposes.

And then there were the cupcakes . . .

Easy Flamingo Cupcakes

I’m going to be honest, by the time I got to the cupcakes I was TIRED. I ordered some pretty cupcake liners, some flamingo lollipops, let the kids ice the cupcakes anyway they wanted with the remaining blue frosting, and called it a day. See? Easy! You can’t accuse me of being a perfectionist.

Easy Flamingo Cupcakes! A flamingo party theme works for birthdays, showers, pool parties, and barbecues! Easy, DIY, and fun! Easy Cake decorating tips! Look like a pro! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms!

But—and this is going to sound radical after the previous several hundred words—great parties need more than cake! Check out these fun ideas to rocket your party into the realm of success!

Flamingo Party Ideas







Ellen

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The Unexpected Pitfall of Over-The-Top Kids’ Birthday Parties

The Unexpected Pitfall of Over-The-Top Kids' Birthday Parties: It's all fun and games until it's not. Looking down the road into the future. |Parenting | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Okay, let’s start out with a definition of terms because what better way could there possibly be to get a par-tay started!?

So . . .

When I say over-the-top, I’m not talking about about dropping $40,000 or even dollar bills remotely approaching four figures on a party. Rest assured children has never left my parties with custom birthstone rings nor have aerialists ever descended from my trees. To my knowledge.

Also, my penchant towards over-reaching crafts, cakes, and activities has NOTHING to do with Pinterest as much as I would love to foist the blame on that most fabulous website everyone loves to roast. I WAS Pinterest before it was even a gleam of HTML code in a developer’s eye since I had dial-up internet and a film camera when my first child was born. Chew on that fossilized tidbit for a moment while I adjust my hearing aid and take my calcium.

Now, I have one important qualifier. Since there was no Facebrag to post on, my creations were not perfectly staged in front of rustic wooden fences draped with the prerequisite handmade pennant banners. However, they were enough for other moms to give me the side-eye. Just don’t give my photos the side-eye now. There was no need for the perfect picture.

So that’s what my parties were not. Here’s what my parties were.

There’s the time I hand-painted a dragon on a sheet and constructed a PVC pipe frame to hang it from so the multitude of tiny revelers could joust during my daughter’s “Unicorns and Dragons” party to celebrate her 7th birthday.

The Unexpected Pitfall of Over-The-Top Kids' Birthday Parties: It's all fun and games until it's not. Looking down the road into the future. |Parenting | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

 

Then there’s the time I had a herd of kids construct Littlest Pet Shop habitats using a bushel load of craft supplies. I must note that I never had loose glitter. Giving children access to vials of glitter could be the only criteria needed to diagnose insanity.

The Unexpected Pitfall of Over-The-Top Kids' Birthday Parties: It's all fun and games until it's not. Looking down the road into the future. |Parenting | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

 

Oh, and by the way, my kids have always gotten their very own birthday cakes to dig into. With abandon. We’re kind of famous for it. (The guests generally get their own spit-free cupcakes.)

The Unexpected Pitfall of Over-The-Top Kids' Birthday Parties: It's all fun and games until it's not. Looking down the road into the future. |Parenting | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

 

Okay, one more shout-out to my cakes. Indulge me because I really am sparing you from the one million pictures I want to post from my time hop through my external hard drive, and anyway, how cute is this owl? You don’t have to answer because I already know.

Owl Cake: The Unexpected Pitfall of Over-The-Top Kids' Birthday Parties | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

 

Okay, just one more because c’mon, just look at it. It’s a cake that looks like an ice cream bar on a stick!

Ice Cream Popsicle Cake: The Unexpected Pitfall of Over-The-Top Kids' Birthday Parties | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

 

Seriously, this post has taken me longer to write than a doctoral thesis on fondant because I have gotten so caught up in the wonderful memories. So what could possibly be the pitfall?

Well, they might have been a tad too boisterous, a tad too three-ring-circus, just a tad too much . . . pushing the bar for what passes as a successful party a bit too high. While painting this dragon didn’t set me up for further sticky situations (unless you count being drafted to paint a backdrop for Vacation Bible School and I probably should) . . .

The Unexpected Pitfall of Over-The-Top Kids' Birthday Parties: It's all fun and games until it's not. Looking down the road into the future. |Parenting | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

 

. . . inviting half the neighborhood, the entire class, church friends, and the swim team did set me up for some problems down the line.

The Unexpected Pitfall of Over-The-Top Kids' Birthday Parties: It's all fun and games until it's not. Looking down the road into the future. |Parenting | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

 

See, I set the expectation that if there wasn’t a ruckus with enough guests to field two complete soccer teams and a cheer squad, then it wasn’t a party. This wasn’t really a problem in the easy-breezy early years of childhood where their friends equaled who sat at their lunch tables. However, as kids got closer to adolescence and alliances became dicier and ever-shifting, this made making the guest list more tumultuous and emotionally charged often resulting in a fairly short list of invitees. And this was completely fine . . . except for the party paradigm I had created.

While I would not have changed those early preschool parties for anything, I wish I had scaled my way back as the years progressed so that a sleepover with four buddies would seem like a perfectly acceptable party. To be honest, I’m not sure who it was a bigger problem for, me or my kids.

Luckily this was not a pitfall that trapped me forever. Time and my ever maturing kids have “cured” my over-the-top-ness. And let’s face it, there are worst things to be than a party planner extraordinaire who wants to celebrate the heck out of her kids. My one wish is that you duly note things can get a little rougher in the tween and teen years when parties are not as simple as goodie bags and pinatas. Now, out of my way! I’m going to the kitchen to get a cake under some candles to make that wish come true.

Emoji Cake: The Unexpected Pitfall of Over-The-Top Kids' Birthday Parties | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

-Ellen 

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Doughnut Magic New Year’s Eve Tradition for Kids

Ah, New Year’s Eve. It really is a time for the young, but not too young. While the night is made for twenty-somethings to rock it out, the preschool set is often left completely out. It’s hard to be tucked in at 8 o’clock when all of the focus is on the magic of midnight.

That’s why we were beyond delighted when our reader, Sandra Tuckman, shared one of her family traditions with us.

Doughnut Magic New Year's Eve Tradition for Kids - Make special memories and convince them that being in bed before midnight is cool! | Parenting |Hoilday Traditions | DIY | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

The real magic is how stinking easy it is. The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy should take notes.

  1. Show your precious snowflakes a plate of Cheerios.
  2. Let them sprinkle milk and/or Magic Dust of choice on the little Os.
  3. Explain to your kids they have to be asleep waaaaayyy before midnight for the magic to happen.
  4. Enjoy a quiet glass of champagne with your sweetie at midnight . . . or 10 PM. Whatever.
  5. Remember to replace the Cheerios with doughnuts!
  6. Behold their delighted faces in the morning.

So simple! But remember to match the number of Cheerios to the number of doughnuts. Makes more sense that way  . . . like a bunny delivering eggs or a fairy collecting teeth.

Now you can up your game if it all feels too simple. Remember the Magic Dust we mentioned? It allows all sorts of room for creativity.

  • Sprinkle cocoa for chocolate doughnuts.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar for powdered doughnuts.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon for, you guessed it, cinnamon doughnuts.
  • Use sprinkles over the Cheerios, then do the same for the doughnuts.
  • If you really want to impress Pinterest, you could dip the Cheerios in icing and sprinkles for frosted doughnuts.

PLEASE do this and report back on how it works!

Oh, and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Doughnut Magic New Year's Eve Tradition for Kids - Make special memories and convince them that being in bed before midnight is cool! - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

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I Attended a Pinterest Wedding. They’re Real!

We love Pinterest because it fills a void for us 70s/80s gals now that paper magazines are going the way of the telegraph. Or maybe they are fading away more like David Hasselhoff: they know the writing is on the wall, but they’re still trying REALLY hard. But unlike The Hoff who bounces around from one pun to another, at least magazines still have a solid home in doctor offices. As long as public spaces still need a way to transmit germs, magazine subscriptions will survive.

Anyway, remember dog-earing the page of the prom dress you wanted, tearing out that dreamy picture of Scott Baio to kiss every night before you went to bed, or clipping out that recipe for peach pie with plans to impress your boyfriend? Pinterest is just like that! Minus the clutter, paper cuts, and embarrassing Scott Baio confessions. But there is a dark side to Pinterest. While you KNOW you have to be a freak extraordinary to make the glossy pages of a magazine layout, Pinterest dupes you into believing mere mortals created those beautiful pins. You can really start to feel inadequate.

Did you pick up on my use of “dupe”? Yeah, that’s right. Some of the most gorgeous images and projects on Pinterest are created by talented professionals with actual training. This is what I always comforted myself with . . . until now.

I just went to the most gorgeous wedding straight out of a Pinterest feed, orchestrated by a normal human being. By normal, I mean she isn’t a designer or a party planner. She is however, insanely smart, beautiful, and talented (as you will see from the photos) so maybe normal isn’t the right word. Let’s just say she isn’t a professional. She just should be.

I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Her first step was to burst out of the box, origami it into a swan, and kick it to the curb when she selected her location: the Delaware Agricultural Museum. I am not going to lie. My family’s initial reaction was “what?”

We had been there on a second grade field trip so we had visions of the festivities taking place in the cavernous metal hanger somewhere between the combines and the Smokey the Bear statue; while praying they would be far removed from the creepy dehydrated apple head dolls. Oh, but we were there on a rainy day and never saw the village where beautiful backdrops like a covered bridge, a lovely river, and a windmill abounded. And wait for it, there was also a blacksmith shop and general store. Did you just hear Pinterest’s head explode?

I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Blacksmith Shop Delaware Agricultural Museum | I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

But did the bride book this beautiful location and yell, “Check!”? No. No she did not. She took Pinterest to school and taught it a thing or two.

Go back up to that photo of the covered bridge. Those aren’t garlands of pennants hanging from the rafters. Those are congratulation, birthday, and Christmas cards sent to them from family and friends. Go ahead and get all of the “awwwwwwwws” out of your system, I’ll wait.

On second thought you should save of those warm and fuzzies for these touches:

like the family blessing . . .

I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

and the childhood pictures of them scattered across the candy table.

Wedding Candy Table | I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

There were special touches everywhere!

The bridesmaids’ bouquets of paper flowers totally tricked your eye until you got up closer.

Paper Flower Bouquets | I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

She had these lovely embroidery hoops stretched with fabric and lace decorating the dance floor.

Embroidery hoop dance floor decorations. | I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

There was cotton candy hanging from a clothesline in front of the general store.

General Store Delaware Agricultural Museum | I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

The head table staging was simply gorgeous.

Wedding Main Table Tablescape | I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

The children’s table gave a jaunty nod to The Sandlot. “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”

The Sandlot Inpired Kids' Table  Wedding Ideas | I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

And indeed, the bride killed it with every detail. There wasn’t just one wedding cake, there was a bevy of scrumptious cakes set amongst old textbooks.

Wedding Dessert Table | I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Doesn’t it feel like she even planned for the sunbeams to stream just so? The details! The details!

Picture Frame Backdrop  Pinterest Inspired Wedding | I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

But the displayed Family Blessing should clue you in that the bride and groom cherished family as the most important detail of the day. During the ceremony, they released dove shaped balloons in memory of the groom’s sister.

I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

They personally served their family and attendants dinner, and did better then any couple I have ever seen talking with each and every guest. They also showed their love spreads outside their circle to those who need it the most. Instead of favors, they had each person pick one of two selected charities for a donation from them. Even if you’re immune to the charms of the Pinterest magic, that has to impress you.

And if their altruistic hearts didn’t make you weak in the knees, how about a picture of some beautiful children? Okay, some of them are no longer kids, but they are some fine looking cousins.

I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

And I have to include one of my family. We’re in front of the blacksmith shop for goodness’ sake!

Ellen and her family. | I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

And while we’re speaking of family and cousins, sometimes you just have to grab one and take a picture with Smokey. I was super glad we had access to the museum, too, even if I did have to shuffle quickly past the creepy dolls.

I Attended a Pinterest Wedding! They're real! | Look no further for wedding day inspiration! | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

 

Now go forth and check us out on Pinterest! And if you don’t know what a apple head doll is, I’m sure you can find one there. It’s easier than looking through old magazines.

xoxo, Ellen

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The Super Fast Super Skinny Last Minute Super Bowl Party

The Super Fast Super Skinny Last Minute Super Bowl Party - This menu is easy to prepare and easy on the waistline. - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

That humdinger of all football experiences has crept up on us once again: the Super Bowl! Specifically Super Bowl XLIX where the New England Patriots will be facing off against the Seattle Seahawks.

So be honest. Were you really up on your Roman numerals enough to know that XLIV equals 49 or have you just been unable to escape the constant media blast? We’re just going to admit the TV coverage helped us out. Fourth grade math was a loooooonnng time ago, but to be clear, it was NOT forty-nine years ago. There’s that.

Even though the media helped us with our math skills, apparently we are like Teflon when it comes to really absorbing when the Super Bowl is actually going to take place. Because here we are once again, the Wednesday before the big game, and we are just now thinking about what we need to make to feed our crews on Sunday.

But this year has a twist. We don’t just need a menu that is fast and easy, we need one that is healthy too. See, we’re on a bit of a fitness kick, and we don’t want to blow a week’s worth of workouts on one extra large bag of chips. Healthy can be delicious, so without further ado . . .

Oh wait!

Before we get to the super easy, super skinny menu, we have a Super Bowl Ballot to share that makes watching the game fun even if Seattle or New England isn’t your team . . . or even if you don’t really like football at all. We particularly like the question: “What color of Gatorade gets splashed?” See? Fun for the whole family.

 Click for Full View Printable Ballot

 Okay, NOW we can get on with the menu.

First things first are the appetizers . . .

Lazy Girl’s Greek Dip

We are already starting out with the lazy because we’re feeling you on the time crunch, but with hummus, red peppers, and cucumbers, this recipe is heavy on the skinny, too.

Greek DipClick for Fully Printable Recipe

And now for the Main Event . . .

Skinny Mexican Casserole

This casserole is beefy and cheesy and everything Super Bowl food should be. But what really elevates this dish to MVP status is that a serving is around 345 calories. Score!

Skinny Mexican CasseroleClick for Fully Printable Recipe

It is seriously easy to assemble a couple of these casseroles, but sometimes you don’t feel like bothering with the oven. For those of you who would rather fix it and forget it . . .

Crockpot Chicken Bar-B-Q for a Crowd

This little gem is always a crowd-pleaser. You can even prep it today and throw it in the freezer until you are ready to thaw it out for game day. Hmmm, maybe there isn’t enough time for freezing, but you can assemble all of the ingredients in a Ziploc bag and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to pour it into the crockpot on Sunday. There’s a game plan for you!

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms Crockpot Bar-B-Q ChickenClick for Fully Printable Recipe

Side dishes are our favorite . . .

Crispy Colorful Vinaigrette Coleslaw

We may be guilty of including this one in just about every recipe roundup we do, but it is just that darn good. Every single time we make it, the rave reviews pour in. Its crispy crunch complements everything, and with no gloppy mayo, it’s a healthy way to get some veggies into your gang.

Crispy Colorful Vinaigrette Coleslaw Recipe -- Yummy and no mayo! -- Sisterhood of the Sensible MomsClick for the Fully Printable Recipe

Okay let’s be honest, snacking is our favorite . . .

Old Bay Lemon Pepper Seasoned Pretzels

We’re cheating a little bit with this one. These aren’t exactly low in calories, but when compared to tortilla chips and queso, this snack is the clear winner. Plus, the savory goodness of these pretzels is pure yum.

An easy, yummy make and take appetizer! Old Bay Lemon Pepper Seasoned Ptetzels Recipe -- Sisterhood of the Sensible MomsClick for Fully Printable Recipe

Mmmmm, dessert . . .

Skinny Lemon Bars

These bars are soooooo good it’s hard to believe they’re only about 115 calories per serving. Where’s the confetti cannon when you need it?

Skinny Lemon Bars - Sisterhood of the Sensible MomsClick for Fully Printable Recipe

So that wraps up our menu that is both kind to your taste buds and your waistline, but before you leave, let’s have some fun.

Which song do you predict Katy Perry will perform to open the halftime show?

  • Roar
  • Dark Horse
  • This Is How We Do
  • California Gurls
  • Firework

Answer in the comments!

Happy Super Bowl!

Ellen and Erin

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Who Had a Doctor Who Party and Didn’t Invite Ellen?

I’m in a little bit of trouble. You see I had a party. A great party. Some might even say epic party. And I didn’t invite Ellen.

Oops. I know. Deep, deep trouble, right?

But you have to understand, it was a Doctor Who premiere party and, well, I didn’t think she’d want to come. Sonic Screwdrivers, time-traveling doctors, and daleks aren’t really her thing. Apparently, I didn’t get the memo that when Ellen says she’s a party girl, she’s down for all parties, even those a little left of center.

To make it up to my dear friend who will henceforth be invited to ALL of my parties, I will walk you through the rollicking festivities. If you are a fan or love a fan, there should be enough ideas to help you create your own Doctor Who party.

Doctor Who party ideas--food, drinks, decorations, costumes--Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Decking the Halls

So much of any great party is setting the mood. We are true fans so a lot of our decorating was just pulling out things we already owned and getting the timey-wimey vibe going. Come to think of it, most of the things we used for ambiance were gifts to one of the Doctor Who fans in our house which means they would be perfect for any Companion in your house too.

Need a gift for your favorite Doctor Who fan? We have some ideas. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Doctor Who – TV Show Poster (Van Gogh’s Exploding Tardis) (Size: 36 x 24) Poster Print, 36×24

Last year’s Christmas present to our 11yo son usually hangs on the wall beside his bed, but we relocated this to the kitchen wall for the party and it definitely set the tone.

Weeping Angel Vacuform Mask Standard

We hung this on the wall by the food, but guests started taking it down to try it on. We considered it the gift that kept on giving.

10 Pairs of Red/Cyan Cardboard 3D Glasses – Folded in Protective Sleeve

We gave these out as party favors. Yes, these are reminiscent of the 10th doctor, but they served a purpose too. My kids made a 3-D movie of Doctor Who highlights that they had playing on the computer during the party. Fun AND functional. They also had a Doctor Who theme music playlist emanating from our Sonos before the show started. We go ALL IN when we party.

Note: We also gave out glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets and psychic paper which we made ourselves. The kids (and Whovian adults) loved all the party gifts and I loved that they  were cheap and easy.

Doctor Who Doctor Who 11th Sonic Screwdriver

Um, yeah. If you are a fan, you are gonna need one of these. It has light AND sound. ‘Nuff said.

Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver

This one too.


Doctor Who Postcards from Time and Space

We taped these postcards everywhere! Everyone loved checking out all the classic characters, moments, and scenes. We loved the inexpensive decorations.

Doctor Who Tardis 30″ X 60″ Beach Towel

In the planning phases of the party, there had been talk of building a cardboard TARDIS around our front door and other similar notions/crazy talk/delusions of grandeur. In the end, we abandoned folly in favor of practicality.

This towel could hang in our front storm door and people would get the idea that they were stepping into the TARDIS when they arrived. My kids then strung white lights and funky streamers in the foyer to give our guests that “timey-wimey” feeling. The absolutely best part about buying the towel over diving into an ill-conceived construction project is getting to fight over who gets to use it post-party. Family fun at its finest.

Doctor Who Tardis Cookie Jar Lights and Sounds

We use this all the time for my renowned chocolate chip cookies, but it served as a centerpiece on the food table during the party. To kick the fun up a notch, it makes TARDIS sounds. Epic.

Doctor Who TARDIS Projection Alarm Clock

Another everyday item we repurposed as a decoration to set the mood.

The Eats (and The Drinks)

No party is complete without the good stuff. So here’s some of the food and drinks we served that were Doctor Who-themed. There were fish fingers and custard of course, but also the usual party food fare including my Lazy Girl’s Black Bean Dip.

Jelly Babies
These English sweets are a Doctor Who thing. While the 4th Doctor was particularly fond of them, they became a recurring butt of jokes through every incarnation of the Doctor. These little jellies in the shape of a humanoid child are a must have even if they taste a little funny.

Food Ideas for Doctor Who party---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

  Jammie Dodgers

Whether being used by the Doctor to trick a Dalek into thinking one was a self-destruct button for the TARDIS or being distributed as a Halloween treat, these delicious little jam-filled cookies showed up in many episodes over the years.

Food Ideas for Doctor Who party---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Sonic Screwdriver

Our friend Nicole brought a little something for the adults. Every good Whovian knows every Doctor needs his tool of choice, a Sonic Screwdriver. This one is good enough for all your fans over 21.

Sonic Screwdrivers are a great adult drink for a Doctor Who-themed party---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

In each cup, add one shot of vodka to one shot of Curacao liqueur. Add a splash of Blue Hawaiian punch and another splash of orange juice. Enjoy!

Sonic Screwdriver Punch

We borrowed this one from Trisha Yearwood, but the kids and designated drivers loved it so we consider it a hit.

Drink ideas for Doctor Who party ideas---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Dress Like a Doctor (or a Companion)

We encouraged our friends to dress up like their favorite character and they did not disappoint.

If you need a little inspiration for your own Doctor Who costume, I think we’ve got you covered.

The 4th Doctor

Doctor Who costume ideas---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

The 10th Doctor

Doctor Who Costume Ideas---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

The 11th Doctor

Costume Ideas for Doctor Who party---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

 Ginger Companion

Doctor Who costume ideas--SIsterhood of the Sensible Moms

My girl is spot on for Amy, am I right?

River Song

Costume ideas for a Doctor Who party---Sisterhood of theSensible Moms

My 15yo daughter spent about an hour turning me into the follicularly blessed heroine, River Song.

Doctor Who party ideas---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Check out some other great costumes!

So there you go: a fabulous evening of fun in a nutshell. Should you ever want to host a Doctor Who party of your own, you should be all set.

Just make sure you add Ellen to the guest list.

-Erin


Don’t forget about the Doctor Who Christmas Special due to air on Christmas Day!

If you are one of those people who like teaser trailers and the like, have at it.

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Our DIY Halloween Costume and Humor Roundup

Our DIY Halloween Costumes: Pig, Blind Referee, Pinterest Board, and MORE! Recipes and party ideas, too.  | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

We’re a couple of sensible moms who love Halloween. When you think about it, it’s one of the more relaxing holidays. No big family meals to cook, no presents to wrap, no legends to impersonate (stop trying to make the Great Pumpkin happen, Linus).

Ellen: Pinterest is trying its hardest to up the ante, but you just have to resist. (And in some cases, just resist the awkward.)

Erin: Oh, resist? Like the year you created the zombie wedding to win the Trunk-or-Treat trophy?

It's a nice day for a zombie wedding. Trunk or Treat Ideas. | Halloween costumes  | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

This is what winning look like. Well, at least on Halloween.

Ellen: Hey, that was our elementary school swan song. It was really more about competition in general than getting crazy about Halloween. We have scaled back since then.

Erin: Really? Like the time you brought Pumpkin Spice Lattes you made from SCRATCH to my party?

Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe: Delicious and Easy! Perfect for a Halloween or tailgate party! Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

More pumpkin recipes here.

More pumpkin recipes here.

Ellen: Well, you’re the one who has the annual Halloween Bash.

Erin: Okay, so we both can get a little swept away with the celebrations, but I think we balance it out with the way we drag our feet getting our costumes together.

Ellen: Despite the fact Walmart has been oozing with Halloween since August, I don’t think about my costume until I’m-About-To-Run-Out-Of-Time-End-Of-October.

Erin: Me too, but hey, we always look cute. We’re masters at pulling that mess together at the 11th hour.

Ellen: It doesn’t hurt to have a dress-up closet that looks like this:

DIY Halloween Costume Roundup - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

It just looks bad because there is a mirror doubling the mess. Yeah. That’s the story I’m going with. By the way, I want to go as a bank robber this year and not one stinkin’ black mask in that disaster.

Erin: Gah. It looks like one of those photos where the dog has torn up the door and the rug and the caption reads “I thought you were gone forever, so I panicked.”

Ellen: Well, it was Spirit Week for my high schooler and she did panic every day with the chore of dressing for the theme. In fact, one day her class had to dress up like Toy Story characters. She put her own spin on Hamm: dime adorned bow tie, tutu, duct tape piggy bank slot, and Converse.

DIY Halloween Costume: Hamm the Pig From Toy Story - Pig Ear Tutorial - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Ellen: Only problem was, we did not have pig ears and could not even find them in the store. There were zebra, giraffe, cat, puppy, bunny, cow, tiger, lion, cheetah, and elephant ears. But NO pig. However, we had pink bunny ears so I performed a bit of Halloween origami magic.

Erin: I do love me some ingenuity sprinkled over my procrastination. Behold what Steve and I came up with last year. Indiana Jones and Soccer Girl.

DIY Creative Halloween Costumes - Indiana Jones and Soccer Girl - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Ellen: I must have missed that movie. Are you sure ingenious is the word you’re looking for? You picked some soccer stuff up off of your floor and Steve threw on a leather coat. Maybe lazy fits this better?

Erin: I’ll take ingenious off the table, but I reject lazy. I’ll settle for brilliantly easy. And maybe you should dress up like a Stone Thrower because it’s not like you and Frank coordinate.

Ellen: Not true! There was that one year where I was a werewolf and he was the full moon. I might have just finished the Twilight Trilogy.

Creative Couples DIY Halloween Costume - Werewolf and Full Moon - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Erin: Okay, I’m mildly flummoxed with the adorableness, BUT yours is store-bought and his is just a t-shirt. I expected him to be a papier-mâché sphere or at least have a tinfoil satellite orbiting his head. Or give me some hipster cleverness. He should be wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt.

Ellen: I’ll have you know, I designed the t-shirt on Zazzle. And Look at the milkmaid brimming with ideas. You didn’t make this costume either.

DIY Halloween Costumes - Milkmaild- HILARIOUS - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Erin: No, my sister-in-law gave me this as part of my Christmas present one year and it has been the gift that keeps on giving. Some might say I’ve been milking it.

Ellen: Ba-da-bum. So sexy. But if you want creative, I’ve got your creative. Frank was a blind referee. Get it? A little duct tape for the stripes, the wooden dowel from the zombie wedding for the cane, and the bear whistle from camping plus my sunglasses from my Lasik surgery, and he had a clever costume.

DIY Halloween Costumes - Blind Referee - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Ellen: And just to double dose you with the Williams’ creative “BOOM!”, here is the ultimate Pinterest costume: PINTEREST!

Creative DIY Halloween Costume Pinterest Board - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Erin: Well, I got my own “BOOM!” I’m bringing the sexy so hard this Halloween that Toulouse and Tonic included me in her Sexy Costume Round-Up for Moms.

Toulouse and Tonic DIY Sexy Halloween Costumes for Moms with Erin from Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

There’s more where this came from here.

Ellen: Well, well. Good for you! Those costumes are hilarious. But we need a judgement call here on who is the winner between us. You may be bringing sexy back, but I have minions AND duck lips.

DIY Halloween Costumes - Minions and Pinterest Board - Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Erin: I have an observation. You may say you find Halloween relaxing, but I think it just might be the most competitive of holidays for you.

Ellen: I’m glad you brought that up. Do you think you could have trophies for best costume at your party this year?

Happy Halloween!

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Pumpkin All the Baby Things! Fall Baby Shower Ideas

It’s that time of year again. Time for pumpkin coffee and pumpkin muffins and pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin shampoo and pumpkin dog food . . . oh, you get the picture. Well, if you are going to pumpkin all the things, you might as well not stop at baby showers.

Erin was pretty blown away when she went to this baby shower last fall, so of course she harassed the host until she coughed up all of her secrets. Now we are sharing all of her fall baby shower ideas with you. You can decide for yourself if this party is perfect for your little pumpkin.

Fall Baby Shower Ideas---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms Games

We know we have expressed our opinion about baby shower games in the past, but maybe we are softening in our old age or maybe the sheer volume of fun to be had just wore us down.

Pen and Paper Games

Fall Baby Shower Food Ideas--Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

This is the treasure trove of paper party games. Click on this link and unlock a bundle of Baby Shower Games  which include Bingo, Word Scramble, Name the Baby Animals, Celebrity Baby Names, What’s in Your Purse?, Price is Right, and Nursery Rhyme Quiz. Use a little or a lot. They are adorable, fun, and easy entertainment all packaged and ready to go with cute little pumpkins and everything.

Cutest Baby Contest

Fall Baby Shower Ideas---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Of course if you want to crank the fun up to epic, it’s time to pull out the glue and glitter. This Cutest Baby Contest was the hands down favorite. Simply put, you provide a pile of washed potatoes and a boatload of craft supplies to a captive audience looking for fun. Just sit back and watch the magic happen. One caveat: If you are hosting the baby shower at your house, then skip this game altogether. Glitter is evil.

Decorate the Onesie

Fall Baby Shower Food Ideas--Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Everything about this is fun. Just remember to buy onesies in different sizes, wash everything before the party, and make sure you use only fabric markers and fabric paint. If you don’t, you could have a Nancy Drew mystery on your hands: The Case of the Disappearing Paint.

 Measure the Belly

Fall Baby Shower Ideas---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

This is a game that would have probably made Erin dropkick someone if she had ever been able to summon anything more energetic than a waddle during her pregnancies, but this mom-to-be was adorable and friendly and happier than any pregnant woman we have ever met. Here’s hoping your mom-to-be has the same batch of pregnancy hormones, because people, especially all of the older aunties, LURVED this one. You can order your own Tummy Tape here.

Smell the Diaper

Fall baby shower ideas---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

This is one of the grosser baby shower games but it provides adorable photo opps like this one so who can argue?

Tree of Good Advice

Fall Baby Shower Ideas---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

This is not so much a game as a tree-mendous idea that keeps on giving. Guests write good advice and then hang it on a tree or, in this case, some lovely fall boughs. The best part: you end up with gems like this. My heart melts.

Fall Baby Shower Ideas---Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Prizes

Don’t forget to have prizes for all the good sports who joined in the forced but fantastic frolicking. We loved the hosts’ ideas here too. She said she picked them all up at The Dollar Store.

Fall Baby Shower Food Ideas--Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

 Food

All good parties need good eats. The host of this party had a great spread that was very make-ahead friendly.

Fall Baby Shower Ideas--Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Easy Harvest Punch

This punch tasted like autumn in a glass. It turns out that apple cider, not apple juice, adds the depth of flavor. The recipe even contains instructions if you want to offer a “spiked” version too.

Red Peppers and Feta Bruschetta

Lightly toasted bread provided a great base for this savory appetizer. We would eat these on a train and in the rain and most definitely at a baby shower. Yum.

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Fresh rye bread from Wegman’s was apparently the key to the yum in this case, but the simple idea was well worth imitating. There was not a sandwich left over.

Fall Baby Shower Ideas--Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Pumpkin Dip

Step 1: Place store-bought ginger snap into this delicious make-ahead dip.

Step 2: Sit back and bask in the glow of all the compliments.

Tomato and Mozzarella Bites

So simple, so delicious, and so easy to make ahead of time. This is the fall, party version of one of our favorite summer recipes.

Fall Baby Shower Food Ideas--Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Hard-Boiled Baby Carriages

These made Erin’s uterus hurt a little with the cuteness factor. Bonus: they aren’t that hard to make. Worth every toothpick, let me tell ya.

The CAKE!

You might not be able to have our awesome cousin make this cake for your baby shower but you can take this picture to your favorite bakery and demand some similar cuteness for your party. The oohs and ahhs are worth it.

Fall Baby Shower Food Ideas--Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

And then there is the cake that you MUST have,

but that will not, cannot, SHOULD not be eaten . . .

The Ultimate Diaper Cake

Fall Baby Shower Food Ideas--Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

Finally, here is the link for all the printables . Now you can pumpkin all the invitations and place cards and paper products you want to your heart’s content.

Here’s hoping your own shindig is as sweet as this one was!

-Erin

Fall Baby Shower Ideas--Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

And look at the little Sweetie who came just a little while later!

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How to Party Like an Irish Girl Even If You’re Not

How to Party Like an Irish Girl Even If You're Not | St. Patrick's Day Recipes for Real People | Sisterhood of the Sensible MomsYou might think with names like “Williams” and “Dymowski”, we are firmly in the “If You’re Not” category.

Erin: But you would be WRONG!

Ellen: I come from a line of Kennedys. Not THE Kennedys because I would not be here whiling away the hours with you people. I would be counting my Benjamins while pahkin my cah in the yahd.

Erin: And I have got your Dwyer, O’Neill, Rankin, and Sheehan roots right here. I’m green all over and then some. Even my Dymowski comes with a side of pure Irish grandmother AND I went to Ireland on my honeymoon AND I have a red-haired daughter. I am in the club. In fact, make me president.

st.patrick's day collage

Funny hats and unflattering shades of green just scream great times, am I right?

Ellen: Someone get Erin a crown of clover, but the bottom line is, you can trust us for all things Luck o’ the Irish. And not to start on a negative note, but sometimes it’s just as helpful to know what not to do.

 We do NOT condone celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in this fashion.

rainbow waffle

Pinterest Source

Erin: Save your energy for something really important like that Breaking Bad Netflix all-nighter marathon. Pinterest may have lured you into one honey of a leprechaun trap with this one, but there is no pot o’ gold for you at the end of this rainbow. It’s just woe that lies ahead.

Ellen: There’s a reason I do not make any waffles ever. Waffle irons are too hard to clean, and life is too short for nylon bristles and heartache.

Erin: I might stick it out if the mess was contained to the waffle iron, but this looks like a gift that keeps on giving. Think batter blobs on the counter, sink, floor, brother, sister, cat. I’m out of digits from counting all the ways this mess could multiply.

Ellen: And that’s just one of the great mysteries of waffles. How can waffles be so fluffy and delicious when the batter hardens to the consistency of concrete?

Erin: Um, you are ignoring the technicolor elephant in the room. There are SIX different bags of batter!

Ellen: In neon colors no less.

Erin: These bags beg obvious questions. How do you keep the batter from running all over the place once you snip the ends off of those bags? Is regular food dye really gonna make that cerulean blue color? On a scale of 1 to 10, just how crazy do you have to be to think this is a great idea?

Ellen: And exactly how many people are you planning to feed? That looks about enough batter to make two waffles.

Erin: By the time I made enough to feed my crew, they would be elbow- deep in a box of Lucky Charms, and I would be up to my elbows with a kitchen to clean. I feel like I need to call back 2013’s favorite meme and scream:

46983705

 

But here are some things that are TOTALLY worth your time!

St. Patrick’s Day recipes for real people.

 

For Fit Irish Girls

This smoothie will start your day off on the right foot. You will feel so much better about that extra helping of corned beef and cabbage if you make this your breakfast or lunch on the big day.

The Perfect Green Smoothie

Click here for the recipe!

 

 For Traditional Irish Girls

Nothing says St. Paddy’s Day like a piece of Irish soda bread. This recipe from Erin’s mom is a crowd-pleaser.

Irish soda Bread

Click here for the recipe!

 

 For Fun-loving Irish Girls  

This will certainly hit the spot for anybody craving a wee bit o’ whiskey to toast the day! And if you indulge a little too much, refer to the green smoothie mentioned above.

whiskey sour slush

Click here for the recipe!

So don your best green, sing a limerick or two, and make one of these recipes! You’ll be sure to have your best St. Paddy’s Day yet!

How to Party Like an Irish Girl Even If You're Not | St. Patrick's Day Recipes for Real People | Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

-Erin and Ellen

 

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