Star Wars PartyThroughout the year, my son has begged for a Star Wars party. The theme was an easy decision. Over the past six months, I've heard the buzz about this really neat business that does parties, camps, and classes. As soon as I looked into The Idea Lab, I knew that we had to have his party there. With the help of an amazing list of local vendors, I was able to put together a fabulous event as we celebrated my son's fifth birthday. The goal of the party was to make it fun, unique, and memorable. I believe that we accomplished that task.
Best Vendors in TownI have connected with a ton of vendors in Houston and the surrounding areas, and I am so lucky to have an opportunity to work with the best of the best. Throughout the year, I get to know vendors of all kinds, and I love to pull them together for events and parties.
Idea Lab:The party was held at the Idea Lab. I chose the location in the Energy Corridor because their big space can accommodate large numbers. It's a three story building with plenty of room for lots of guests. We had 40 children at the party along with their parents. The theme of our party was Jedi Training. The children gathered in the gym area and played with balls, listened to music, and mingled while we waited for the other guests to arrive. We did a large group activity together and made light sabers out of pool noodles. The children added foil and tape to decorate their light saber, and it was a party favor to bring home. The kids enjoyed making their light sabers and had even more fun playing with them later during the party. Due to the size of our party, we broke into groups which consisted of four stations. The stations were Bantha Quicksand, Wampa Snow Balls, Jedi Training, and a vendor station. In the Bantha Quickstand station, the kids were able to dig Star Wars items out of quick sand. They got their hands dirty and loved every minute of it. Who doesn't love putting their hands in a gooey substance and squeezing it between their fingers? The kids not only had fun playing with the quick sand, but they also enjoyed finding the Star Wars items that were stuck in the tubs. I love how the Idea Lab connects their lessons to the theme of your party. In the Wampa Snow Ball station, the kids made snow balls. During this activity, the kids measured and poured flour and oil. They used their hands to stir the items together to make their snow balls. They had a blast squeezing it between their fingers, rolling the mixture, and forming the snow balls. Once they created the snow balls, the group went outside and threw them at a target. You should have seen the smiles on their faces during this activity. In the Jedi Training station, the kids navigated through an obstacle that included skills such as jumping, crawling under a structure, knocking down sticks with their light saber, throwing a ball into a target, and battling Darth Vader. I thought that all of the Idea Lab activities were educational, hands-on, and very fun. My favorite activity was the Darth Vader battle part of the Jedi Training station. The kids had a blast, and they enjoyed using their newly made light sabers. After the activities, we moved to the party room to enjoy pizza, drinks and cake. The room was large and easily able to accommodate our guests. Our party package came with pizza and juice for the children. They also provided the tablecloths, plates, and napkins. They offered a variety of decorations as well, but I used my own decorations. It's always nice to have a birthday party at a venue where you can get everything provided for you. It makes it so much easier for the parents, and you can focus on enjoying the party with your children. I added a few adult pizzas for a small cost so that we had plenty of food for everyone. The staff at the party was amazing. They were positive, hard working, and great with children. They helped the kids measure and pour, instructed the children from one step to the next, and navigated them through two hours of fun. The venue did a fabulous job of matching up the appropriate number of staff members to the size of our large party. They helped me set up and unload my car, ran all of the party activities, and helped me clean up and load my car again. The Idea Lab is an awesome place to have a party. We are signed up for several camps at the Idea Lab this summer, and we cannot wait. Please visit the website or Facebook page for more information. Click here to learn more about the Idea Lab.
Bluebird Sweets:Bluebird Sweets made an amazing Star Wars At-At cake. The cake was absolutely stunning from the structure to the details to the taste. If you picture a perfect cake, this is it. Andrea, owner of the cake business, put her heart and soul into this masterpiece. When I mentioned that we were interested in getting a Star Wars cake, she was excited about the challenge. She rose to the occasion and delivered. She exceeded our expectations. We already had very high expectations from Andrea after enjoying the amazing "Under the Sea" cake that she made for us last month. I learned that Bluebird Sweets can really make any cake. In my opinion, Andrea should have a local cooking show that demonstrates her skills and work. She is definitely doing exactly what she should be doing, and we are so lucky to be able to benefit from her creativity. What's nice about Bluebird Sweets is that you can purchase a simple cake, a complex cake, and everything in between. Bluebird Sweets will work with all budgets. If you tell Andrea your vision, she will bring it to life. Bluebirds Sweets not only produces cakes that are aesthetically pleasing, but they are decadent desserts. They also provided chocolate cupcakes in addition to the cake. Please visit the Facebook page or website to get more information.
Aldoria Cakery:Aldoria Cakery specializes in making custom cakes, cupcakes and cookies for all occasions. Ryane was inspired by her grandmothers in the kitchen, and the name of her business is a collaboration of her grandmother's names. Ryane's business is located in Pearland, but she will meet you or deliver depending on your location in Houston. You can count on Aldoria Cakes to create the perfect wedding cake, groom's cake, birthday cake, sculpted cake, or cake for any special occasion. In addition to cakes, Ryane makes specialty cookies. If you want cookies, there are no limits to what Ryane can do with them. Once you give her an idea, she will take it and run with it. We provided the Star Wars decorated cookies as party favors. Aldoria Cakery bakes cookies that are delicious and decorates them to perfection. The cookies at our party were so beautiful that we didn't want to eat them, but we did. We ate them and they tasted yummy. I asked Ryane to make a variety of cookies to represent the various Star Wars characters from the movies. The kids had a blast sifting through the different cookies to choose their favorite one. Aldoria Cakery is a business that is so easy to work with, and you'll love the outcome. Please visit the Facebook page or website for more information.
ELA's Treats:ELA's Treats specializes in custom made cake pops. They are always made to order, and they are fresh and delicious. You can customize the cake pops to match your party colors and theme. Erika offers a variety of flavors including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and funfetti. Each cake pop comes wrapped individually, tied with a ribbon, and includes a personalized favor tag. The tags are adorable and are double-sided. You can also get the cake pops together as a bouquet. We provided the cake pops as party favor as well. We kept the design simple but added shiny silver icing and sprinkles to them. I loved that the cake pops came wrapped with personalized tags. At the party, they were easy to display on a cake pop board that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. It was so nice to add this special treat to our party without having to spend hours preparing for it. The cake pops were very tasty. The cake part was moist, and the icing was yummy. It was fun to offer a variety of choices as our party favors, and I am so glad that I used ELA's Treats for our cake pops. Please visit the Facebook page for more information.
A Charmed Affair:When I need a character for an event, I always go to A Charmed Affair. I have been working with Kaitlyn for the past few years, and I love everything about her business. A Charmed Affair has the best costumes and characters in town. To be honest, we see characters all over the city. My kids always enjoy seeing a character. I love working with A Charmed Affair because the characters look the most natural to me and the costumes are top notch. I love to follow their Facebook page so that I am continually updated with their new characters. As I see them come through my Facebook newsfeed, I immediately begin to think about a party or event that would work with them. A Charmed Affair is a progressive business that is rapidly growing. The business started out with princess, and they are adding lots of space heroes to their performer list. As soon as my son selected his party theme, I contacted A Charmed Affair. I knew right away that I wanted to book Rey for our party. We love to add characters to our parties because the kids always enjoy the surprise guests. A Charmed Affair has had many TV appearances over the past year, and I truly believe that it's because they are the best in town. If you are present on Facebook, then you've probably seen their work advertised for the Magical Winter Lights, TLC's "The Little People" birthday party, Discovery Green events, and lots more. Please visit their Facebook page and website for more information.
Crowning Details:Crowning Details is my favorite event planner in town. I love to brainstorm with Julie because her ideas take on a different twist. Crowning Details has a DIY Styling Plan, a Full Service: In-Stock Themed Plan, and Full Service: Custom Themed Plan. You can work with Crowning Details in a minimal way or hire them to do everything for you. Crowing Details offers unique, printables for all occasions including birthday parties, baby showers, invitations, gift tags, favor tags, banners, and other printables that you might need for any event. You can find Crowning Details materials at Bering's and online. Julie and I have worked together on many events large and small. I will contact Julie for something as simple as a teacher gift tag or card, or I will call her for a huge Kid Event like our Alice in Wonderland High Tea at the St. Regis Hotel. She will work with any budget, and she has amazing ideas. Julie is always helpful in planning a party, and she makes it seem to easy. For this party, she shared her round Star Wars "Happy Birthday" sign, Star Wars centerpiece printables, and lots of ideas. We talked about color choices, how to spruce up the food tables, and how to add decorations that were fun but different. For each event, Julie sends an email with ideas and links to make purchases. To be honest, I dropped the ball big time on this event. We were out of town for ten days and dealt with a death in the family. I failed to order several of the items on time, but we made it work anyhow. I intended to order paper tablecloths, a really neat backdrop from Shindigz, and special cupcake wrappers. Julie also suggested the photo backdrop in addition to the snack ideas. What I love about her ideas is that you can easily implement the ones that you want or the ones that work best with your budget. If you browse Pinterest, you will find pins for Crowning Details everywhere. Julie's work has been featured on Hostess with the Mostess, Mingle, Catch My Party, Spaceships and Laserbeams, Kara's Party Ideas, Bloom Designs, Evite, and lots more. She is busy doing photo shoots for big companies like Oriental Trading. If you want to work with the best of the best, then you want to work with Crowning Details. Please visit her Facebook page, website, and Pinterest page for more information. You can read about our Alice in Wonderland High Tea Party here or our Frozen Summer Bash here.
Magnolia Bloom Boutique:Magnolia Bloom Boutique specializes in helping you add the perfect little details to your event. They offer a wide range of items including tissue tassel garlands, personalized banners, themed confetti, cupcake toppers, confetti balloons, and more! If you're busy like me and don't have time to do it yourself, this is the perfect business to contact. Tiffany is great at putting together a list of ideas to coordinate with your event, theme, colors, etc. When I contacted her, I knew exactly what I wanted. I was very specific about what I was looking for in my decorations. What I loved about our conversation is that she also had equally great ideas. She will work with you whether you are Type A like me and know exactly what you want or whether your looking for someone to offer ideas and get the ideas flowing. Magnolia Bloom Boutique made a ton of decorations for our Star Wars themed party, and I loved all of them. I believe that with her help, it pulled everything together. She made the tassel banner for the food table, the "May the Force Be With You" banner and star cut outs for our photo backdrop, the "Happy Birthday Pierce" banner that went behind our food table, the confetti filled balloons, and the confetti for the kid's tables. One of the Idea Lab staff members asked me if I was a wedding planner. I chuckled at the idea. I then told her that I had the best party vendors in town, and she agreed with me. Tiffany is a joy to work with, and she's fast. She creates the small details that make your event stunning in the end. If you need help with an event, I would definitely recommend Magnolia Bloom Boutique. I can envision using her in the future for more events, birthday parties, etc. I really want to order some of her jumbo confetti filled balloons with tassels for a photo shoot of my children. It's on my list. Please visit her Facebook page and Etsy page for more information.
Tiny Tots Nursery Decor:Tiny Tots Nursery makes custom nursery and wedding letters in fabric and lace, milestone chalkboards, chalkboard signs, wedding chalkboards, shower decor for bridal or baby, school and classroom decor, party favors including hand glittered wine glasses and tumblers, etc. Every order can be customized. Sarah made a milestone chalkboard for my daughter's birthday a few weeks ago. We used the board on the cake table at her party, and we hung it over her bed after the party. Every night, we talk about her "Under the Sea" themed board. She is three years old, and she doesn't read. She will ask me to read it to her, and we talk about all of her favorite things. She likes to point out all of the pictures like the crab, mermaid, and fish. I knew that the blackboard would be the perfect decoration at her party, but I had no idea that she would love it so much in her bedroom. Tonight, she asked me to read it to her. As I was going through the details, she began to ask me about my favorites. She also told me that I need a board over my bed. I love how this milestone blackboard has become such a big part of our daily night routine. With that being said, there was no doubt that I just had to order one for Pierce's birthday. Pierce and I were both excited to see the board because we loved Berkeley's board so much. When he saw it, he was so excited. He loved the pictures, the green border, and the details. Who doesn't love to hear all about themselves? Like Berkeley, the board is hanging above his bed, and we talk about it daily. Pierce's Star Wars board was the perfect decoration to add to our food table. I enjoyed watching our guests walk over to the table and read about him. It will be fun to see how those details change, but we'll also enjoy reflecting back on what he loved as he was turning five years old. Sarah, stay tuned. You may be a part of our yearly birthday celebrations from here on out. Please visit the Facebook page and Etsy page for more information.
Houston Clown Fun:Houston Clown Fun provides a variety of services including Houston clowns, face painters, balloon twisters, Easter bunnies, Santa Claus, etc. I have worked with Houston Clown Fun in the past, and I love working with Sharon. She is so kind and easy to work with, and she has an amazing team of artists all over town. Houston Clown Fun is located at Ikea every Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for free balloons and magic. You can also find Houston Clown Fun at the Kroger on Westpark and 59 for free face paintings and balloons. They are there on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Houston Clown Fun sent the face painter, Susan, to our party. Susan did a wonderful job painting the kid's faces and arms. The parents loved her work so much that they hopped in line too. I loved that Susan painted anything that was requested by the kids. If necessary, she looked up a quick picture to ensure that she made every child walk away with a smile. I also loved that she painted several Star Wars themed pictures to go with our theme. Please visit the Facebook page or website for more information.
Sweet Pecks PhotographyWell, I had a photographer booked for months, and I thought that I was all set for the party. Unfortunately, our scheduled photographer cancelled at the last minute due to an illness. Life happens, of course. But...yikes, I had less than 48 hours to find a photographer, and I was at the airport trying to get on a plane for a quick, 30 hour trip to Indiana for a funeral. I will be honest, I panicked at first. Although it's not a need, I really enjoy having a photographer at my parties and events. Let's be real. I take a ton of pictures. I absolutely love pictures. But, I am not a photographer. I don't have a fancy camera with a special lens, and I don't know how to edit pictures either. Photographers work hard to capture the perfect pictures, and they spend countless hours editing the pictures just enough to make them perfect. At the end of the day, I had to let it go. I posted a quick post on Kid Fun, and I decided to call it quits. I told my closest friends and family to bring their cameras, and I figured that we'd make it work. UNTIL... Sweet Pecks Photography came to my rescue. At about 8:30 p.m. on the night before the party, I received a Facebook message that said something like this, "Beth, my client just cancelled. Do you still need a photographer tomorrow?" Yes, yes, yes...I do! Shary is amazing and not just because she came to my rescue. But let's talk about that for a moment. How awesome is it that she stepped it up and helped out at the last minute. We all know that things happen on the business end and on the client end. I am so grateful that she reached out to me. Now, let's talk about her work... Well, if you go to her website and browse her portfolio, then you will immediately know that her work is amazing. Sweet Pecks Photography offers child and family sessions, maternity sessions, bump to birth sessions, newborn sessions, fresh 48 sessions (within the first 48 hours of birth), a first year milestone collection, a 1 year cake smash session, etc. Shary is open to other events and extended sessions like birthday parties. It is very different to shoot a birthday party than to do a portrait style photo shoot. There is a lot taking place at a party, and there are many things to photograph. I asked Shary to do two things: take awesome pictures for all of my vendors and capture the life of the party. She took over 500 pictures, and she was able to get everything that I wanted and more. As you can see from this post, the pictures are amazing. I love her angles, focus, and style. Thank you Shary for coming to the rescue and photographing our party. I love all of the pictures, and I would highly recommend you to anyone. I really appreciate your last minute efforts to help our party come together in every way possible. Pictures are my life, and I will scroll back through these pictures often and remember how grateful I am for you. Please visit the Facebook page and website for more information.
SnacksThe Idea Lab provided the pizza and juice for the children, but I like to provide extra snacks as well. With the help of Crowning Details and Pinterest, I found a ton of cute ideas for Star Wars themed food items. I decided to do a mix of snacks and treats. I served Princess Lays (Lays chips), Boba Que Chips (bbq chips), Storm Trooper Scoopers (scoop chips), Asteroids (orange cheese balls), Pedawan Popcorn (white cheddar popcorn), Darth Cheddars (cheese nips), Poe's X-Wing Laser Blasts (Mike & Ikes), Kylo Ren Light Saber Blades (twizzlers), Edible Ewaks (gummy bears), Han Solo's Rolos (rolos), Thermal Detonators (whoppers), Jedi Juice (Capri Suns), and Luke Skywater (water bottles).
Celebrating with Friends:Aside from all of my fabulous vendors, I would love to thank my friends who supported me this week. I lost my aunt to a horrible battle with cancer. I decided to go to the funeral even though it took place on the Thursday/Friday before the party. My son's party was at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, and I booked my flights accordingly. I was scheduled to depart at 5:00 a.m. on Thursday and return at midnight on Friday. My friends (Lisa, Ami, and Sarah) 0ffered to pick up items for the party, and I cannot thank them enough. As it turns out, my flight was cancelled, and I spend an awful 8 hours at the airport trying to make to the funeral. I was devistated when I didn't get a flight and returned home. Despite the fact that I didn't leave town, my friends still helped with the picks ups and allowed me to rest. Ladies, thank you from the bottom of my heart. The party on Saturday was awesome, and we loved spending time with everyone. I cannot believe that my "baby boy" is five years old and entering kindergarten next year. Our celebration couldn't have been more perfect, and I am thankful to everyone who was a part of his very special birthday.
Other Party Posts:Berkeley's Under the Sea Birthday Party - Click here. Quillian Center & Noah's Ark Pool - Click here. Home Depot - Free parties - Click here. HPD Mounted Patrol - Free parties - Click here. Fire Stations - Free parties - Click here.
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