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KIDS party


Invite Garden and Jungle Creatures to a Kid Brunch

garden creatures and jungle pancake molds :: caterpillar cakelet pan at williams-sonoma

These pancake molds should be a hit at your next family brunch or the morning after a sleepover birthday party. They may need a little practice so make sure to try them out a few times before you use them for a crowd.

Make sure to brush with oil or butter the griddle and molds. You could use a spray but I am not a fan of cooking spray. You can mix the two sets for more variety. Both cost $18 USD for a set of 3 assorted molds at Williams-Sonoma.

+ Make pancakes in the shape of a snail, a ladybug and a butterfly with Garden Creatures Pancake Molds
+ Get flapjacks shaped like monkey, lion and elephant faces with the Jungle Pancake Molds
+ Delight them with Caterpillar Cakelet Pan & Decorating Kit $36 for the cakelet pan, $16 for the decorating kit


Circus Party Theme for a Boy Second Birthday by Caroline Armelle

circus second birthday party decorations

Every kid is fond of the circus. This festive kid party theme never gets old.  For the busy mom, a circus party is ideal since you can easily buy the basic elements.  Make sure to custom the theme. How you assemble everything is a great way to start. With the help of the computer and small craft projects, you will create a unique circus party decor. Concentrate on the buffet table and a few decorations displayed across the room.

Set the Tone with your Invitations

circus party invitations for a boy second birthday

Go wild with the invite and put inside more that a invitation card like did Caroline for the second birthday of her son. Read how she created her amazing circus party invitations on her blog. Make sure to keep one invitation as a keepsake for your kid.

Popcorn bags are easy to find. Having a coupon on all items extend the circus theme as we used to know it. Pinning  a fabric on the wall transform it in a photo booth. You could lay down a make up table with a couple mirrors, wigs, red clown noses, and  clown overalls. Do not forget to supply makeup removal gear. If talents run in the family or in your neighbor households, organize a 10 to 15 minutes circus inspired performance.

Caroline Armelle’s party was certainly well-executed. Click here for the full story on the circus kid birthday party for a little boy.

+ Images from Armelle – how to craft the circus party invitations
+ Via Design Mom

BABY showers FAMILY KIDS party

Custom Made Kids Party Essentials For a Stress-Free Event Planning

These options are for the busy mother who do not have the time or is not inclined to create her own.

Forget the big chains and visit Etsy to shop for your kids birthday essentials.  With all the talented stationery designers on Etsy, it is an amazing source for cute and unique party themes. The key is to scour the gems. These two Etsy sellers qualify.

Jack and Izzy


You can pick your illustration, scallop, monogram or number that Jack and Izzy will be printed on invitations with matching open-end envelopes, thank you notes, circle stickers, cupcake flags and napkin rings. The colored favor boxes and ribbons are included. You select your color and font. Voilà! You get the foundation for setting up your party.

Jack and Izzy illustrations are perfect for a baby shower or a toddler birthday party. Their kits come as set of 12.

Pinwheel Tablescapes by Crossroads Cottage

pinwheel party hats, party decors by Crossroads Cottage

Pinwheels are a great theme not just for a garden birthday party. Crossroads Cottage made nice pinwheel cupcakes toppers, handheld pinwheels.

She accepts custom orders. You can order harmonizing pinwheel party hats, setting cards, table numbers and invites. She provides many options to dress everything up. There are over 300 designs to choose from.

You can find more products on her Web site Pinwhirls including for the budget conscious, the materials for Do It Yourself Pinwheels.

+ You Pick Round Illustration Party Pack $78 USD at Jack and Izzy
+ You Pick Scallop Illustration Party Pack $78 USD at Jack and Izzy
+ You Pick Monogram or Number Party Pack $78 USD at Jack and Izzy
+ Custom Pinwheel Birthday Party Hats $3.35 unassembled $3.75 pre-assembled (except for the pinwheel) each at Crossroads Cottage
+ Customizable Mini Cupcake Topper Pinwheels $1.70-$1.90 each at Crossroads Cottage


Ready to Print Kids Birthday Party Set by Happy Papers

You do not have to be a good graphic designer to get a custom look at your kids party. More and more designers are selling pdf templates that you can print at home or at local printer shop.

Printable party themes range from invitations, labels, stickers, coasters, placemats up to even party hats and favor packaging. The fact that you print it yourself means that you do not have to worry if you have guests confirming their presence at the last minute.

To get a professional look, it is worth getting a circle cutter. Several models are sold at Arts and Crafts store.

custom birthday set with tag favors

An Etsy seller to watch is Happy Papers. It is run by two Argentinean mothers. I enjoy their creative patterns. Happy Papers also sells their birthday kits in two pack: the birthday set and the party decorations set. Check the content before ordering.

birthday sets by happypapers on etsy

For $5, a typical birthday set provides a ready-to-print template for Birthday Invitations, Party Hats, Goodie Cones, Gift Bag tags, Flat notecards, Gift tags and a Center Box. It is hard to beat. Make a few red and turquoise pom-poms to complement the look of the elephant with the red balloon.

These kits would also make adorable baby shower themes.

Glassine Bags

I found a few affordable sources for glassine bakery bags to make your party favors (see at the bottom of sourcing). Take clues on how charming Happy papers decorated her party favor bags.

+ Birthday Sets at Happy Papers $ 5 to $7 per set
+ Glassine bags, pack of 25 bags – small $2, medium $3, large $4
+ Glassine Lined Paper bags, pack of 100 bags – small $7.49, medium $10.49, large $13.98
+ Via The Little Things


Pom-poms and Balloons for a Boy First Birthday’s Party

balloon first birthday theme for a boy

I like the simple yet effective party theme that Deb of Mumbo Jumbo devised for the first birthday of her son. She crafted red and white pom-poms in different sizes. Her grouping looks great for a boy’s birthday.

It is clever to base your birthday party theme around a shape that speaks to a toddler. Caden really enjoyed the large pom-poms. It shows again that you do not need to spend a fortune on birthday’s accessories to bring joy to the little one (go see how happy Caden was on Deb’s blog).

Deb operates an Etsy shop where she sells adorable custom cards and invites. She used the Balloon birthday invites from her collection to invite the guests. She added a custom touch to the birthday hat by gluing cotton balls.

Making Pom-Pom Tutorial

Since I am not a crafter, I ask Deb to create a tutorial for making pom-poms. Deb did a great job in writing the steps. Plus Deb’s husband took the pictures. This stays a family event until the end.



  • Large cereal box – really you can use just about anything. She used an oatmeal container and a tall glass cup for varying the pom-pom sizes
  • Yarn
  • Scissors

Step-by-step Instructions:


  1. Cut a 2 to 3-feet  piece of yarn. Set aside for later.
  2. Start wrapping the other yarn around the object. Keep going round and round (I went around about 200 times for this particular pom-pom, but you can decide how full you want your pom-pom – also, some yarns will be thicker than others).
  3. Once you are finished wrapping, pull the yarn bundle off of the cereal box.


  4. Stretch well the yarn
  5. Place the yarn bundle on top (centered) of the long piece of yarn from step 1.
  6. Tie a knot around the yarn bundle – make sure the knot is tight


  7. Find the long pom-pom strings and keep a hold of them (so they don’t get cut in the process)
  8. Use your scissors to cut through the loops of the yarn bundle.
  9. Once you have all the loops cut, all the pom-pom needs is a haircut. Start trimming away to make your pom-pom look pretty.

Enjoy your pom-pom and hanging for party decorations. They can also be used for gift toppers as well.

Deb is a talented young mother who enjoys sharing the things that she likes, her craft projects and happy moments from her family life. She wrote more than 300 posts on Munbo Jumbo. Thank you very much Deb for sharing your cute and fun first birthday’s party for your little boy with us.

+ Deb’s Design etsy shop


Vacu Vin Created the Cutest Party People Glass Markers

Vacu Vin Glass Markers

Wine glass markers have been around for a while. Although they are previous attempts to identify any type of glass at parties, Vacu Vin is the first that targets kids and adults with their Party People Glass Markers.

The Dutch creativity emerges with 12 cute characters that they referred as party people. Each figure attaches with a suction cup to any smooth surface. I got a sample from Cadosphere, an online gift store.  They work very well.

These colorful markers are dishwasher safe. It is a fun product that will cheer up any party. One thing for sure, it will entertain the kids for a while. For all these reasons, it makes a wonderful hostess gift.

3 characters from vacu vin party people glass markers

The Tests I made

I did not encounter any problems. In fact, my husband commented on how secure the character stuck to our drinkware.

I wanted to test it further. I left one glass marker on a hot tea served in a cup and another on a water glass filled with ice to see how long they would stick. In these extreme scenarios, the suction eventually gave up. My husband drank his tea at a normal speed and as I recalled, he had no problems.

I give the Vacu Vin Party People Glass Markers the AHWKV’s seal of approval.

Other uses

For a kid birthday party, ever kid could bring home the figure he/she got. Or wrap them in cute bags as an affordable surprise party favor. Each figure costs 66 cents.

Whenever you wish to randomly pick someone name or assign something to people, you could use the characters as identifiers. Simply make in advance 12 tags with a picture and name of each character. Make your tags durable to reuse them at other events.

+ Vacu Vin Party People Glass Markers $7.95 CAD for pack of 12
+ images from Vacu Vin


How to Select a Theme for a First Birthday

first birthday toys

A few readers asked me lately for help on designing a first birthday party. I wrote a quick guide on how to plan a baby’s first birthday party.

1. Consider the Venue

Is it an indoor or outdoor event? How much space do you have? The format of the party may influence the party theme.

2. Party for the Parents

A first birthday party is not designed for your baby. It is an event when the parents, the grand parents, the family members and your friends commemorate the first year of your newborn.

Plan activities and incorporate in your décor elements that summarize the lifetime of your baby. Create a tree of pictures or hang them on a clothesline. Play a slideshow with no music or low level music on the big TV screen.

3. Areas to Play

Plan a few areas for the kids to play. Setup the area where both the guest mothers and their babies will be comfortable. You may wish to put cushions on the floor for the guest mothers to sit down.

4. Time and Duration

Plan for a 2-hour party; during the time your baby does not usually sleep. Realistically, the party will occupy your time at least 3 hours counting the people arrival and departure.

Serve a light meal and a cake. Plan a kid menu if young kids will attend. Since the party is short, prepare your platters in advance. Opt for sandwiches, country pates, cheeses or another types of cold tapas that you prepare ahead. Do not adventure in serving any hot appetizers when you have babies around.

Set up a self-serve drink station. Make sure to put plenty of glasses, drinks and napkins at your station.

5. Hire a Babysitter

Since you are the hostess, you need to take care of your guests. This means that you may require an extra hand to take care of your baby.

6. Ideas for Party Themes

At this early age, I prefer a unisex theme. You can play on geometrical forms or things that stimulate the senses of your baby right now. Think about what intrigues your baby at her or his stage. I like to use mobiles over the buffet table instead of centerpieces.

You can use a toy chime as the inspiration. Animal circus, big play blocks or pounding bench can fashion the building block of your party theme. Repeat the colors and the shapes of the toy to complete your design.

+ Tiny Love DNU Baby’s Wind Chimes Kick Toy $9.95 USD
+ Melissa & Doug Pounding Bench $9.99 USD
+ Baby Einstein Octoplush $12.99 USD

ENTERTAINING KIDS party PARTY ideas + decor

My 2008 Posts in Review: September

I selected those because they bring something different.

chinese birthday party theme :: wine glass clips for cocktail party :: decorating with gray

+ I featured a real-life party with this impressive Chinese theme birthday party for a 8-year old girl. I like the idea of educating kids on another cultures while entertaining them. This unique party was put together by the mother with her daughter.

+ I am a fan of mingling plates. I showed you many models since I started writing this blog. I went to a party before Christmas where my friend had these clips. I think they are the best option since they fit on your salad plates. But there are more, I presented you 7 Plates Designed to Mingle at Cocktails Parties. Note that the Wine and Dine Oblong Appetizer Trays have slightly changed.

+ With photos from my favorite home décor magazine, UK-based Living etc I talked about Decorating with Gray.

A Blog is Born

The attention given to my post on Women Market Statistics on the Web last September led me to start a new blog on Women, Social Media and Technology called On the Web with Kim Vallee. I quietly started the blog in December, a week before Christmas.

If you are thinking about migrating to WordPress, I started a series about why and how to migrate to WordPress. I already published my Must-Have List Before Your Start Your Blog on WordPress. Next, I will write a guide if you are migrating from Blogger.


Milk Bottles as You Never Seen Before



Through their form, function and aesthetics, packaging influences consumption. These are cute food packaging. Design-oriented bottles also make our life easy when we entertain. I found those marvels on Lovely Package, a blog dedicated to the very best package design has to offer.

The Arla bottles of milk were designed to fit the lifestyle of younger Swedish people on the go. I imagine how great grouping those milk bottles will look on the buffet table of a baby shower. Neumeister designed them in collaboration with PriPac Design & Communication.

The pixel look of the milk boxes will suit a robot kid party or vintage arcade video games. It also remind me of stitching. Why not display those at a knitting party?

+ Via Arla Bottle Milk
+ Via Milk Collection


My 2008 Posts in Review: July

Let start with one of best food discovery of 2008.

Jerome and Kim's Parisian Burger adapted from Café Salle Pleyel

+ My husband and I got inspired by the Parisian Burger imagined by Café Salle Pleyel Burger. Our own adaptation tastes wonderful, try it.

Then something that you do not find often on my blog: controversy. Both stories came from events I experienced. Because these posts triggered more comments, I think they deserve to be on my blogging review of the 2008.

kids party favors: pro or con :: my balnea spa review

+ First, I met a mother who was against kids party favors. I am all for party treats but I can understand the reasoning of parents who think this trend has went to far. With the current economic situation, more and more parents will spend less on kids birthday parties. But with a little imagination and time, you can distribute inexpensive party treats.

+ My report of my day at the Balnea Spa with its ups and downs has lead several fans of the Balnea Spa to come to its defense. I want to reiterate my point of view: the staff is well trained on what is expected of them. But they failed on delivering a top notch service when it goes outside the treatments. Frankly, letting your guests move between the pavilions to get their treatments without an umbrella when it is pouring rain is not delivering on a top notch service. Read the story for the details.


Winter Garden First Birthday Party Theme

A reader asked for help on designing a winter garden theme for the upcoming first birthday of her daughter.

This mother wants the overall scheme to resemble winter with touches of white snow. She plans to display little blumebox flower vases with baby breath and white boas. Baby breath flowers symbolize everlasting love. The 6-inch boxes are a good size.

winter garden first birthday party theme 

Setting the Tone for a Fun Winter Garden Decor

A big boa scarf simulates snow. The boa creates a modern feminine backdrop for winter sports kid figurines. Add a touch of glitter by hanging or mixing a few silver garlands. IKEA carries affordable options like the 99-cent pet plastic KALLT that will not break if it falls on the floor.

A plush polar bear looks adorable at all ages. I start by displaying several polar bears. Do not be afraid to mix figurines with stuffed animals. You could adopt a polar bear on WWF to get one more polar bear toy. In Canada, the toys are smaller but they are still lovely. I adopted one polar bear and two tigers in the past.

Imagine a magical scene. Shop before the Holiday to get a better assortment of winter ornaments. The natural birch bark animals enhance the theme. For candlelight, opt for birch pillar candles or pine cone candles. A more safe option with toddlers will be to use birch wood candleholders with LED tea lights.

In a next post, I will present you a gender-neutral winter version that you can assemble on your dining room console table.

+ 10-inch Polar Bear figures – $14.99 CAD at Canadian Tire
+ Birch Wood Candle Holders – $5 CAD on Craiglist Vancouver
+ 6-inch Cube blumebox – $3.99 USD
+ blumebox Boa – $1.49 USD
+ Pinecone Candles – $9.95 – $13.95 USD at Crate & Barrel
+ Adopt a Polar Bear – starting at $50 with a 12-inch plush toy at WWF USA
+ Birch Bark Animal Ornament Set – $23.95 USD at Crate & Barrel
+ Winter Sports Kids Ornament Set – $23.80 USD at Crate & Barrel
+ KALLT Silver Garland – $0.99 USD at IKEA