For Valerie's birthday this year, we chose to do it out of the house for the obvious reasons of cleaning, food prep,etc. with a newborn. We also have touch up painting to do among other things and aren't quite ready to entertain. Valerie chose Build-A-Bear for her birthday, and I couldn't have been happier with the results. At first I thought, "That's crazy expensive".. but then realized I was only paying $10-15 (we set the limit at $15.. so you decide how expensive of a bear they can choose from and the party lady gives them the choices) for each kid plus a .75 cent cup of ice cream and homemade cupcakes at the food court. Easy day!! I think I'd have spent twice that, atleast.. on a meal, decor, games, goodie bags,etc. at home. This way every kid got a super awesome gift for coming too and with little kids (like Ellie.. lol), it's sometimes hard to have all the glory go to the birthday kid!! Three of the guys Derrick works with have 2-3 year old little girls and our new neighbors came as well.
At any rate here are a few pictures of the party. We had a great time! A special thanks to my Mom who stayed and helped with the kids, especially Maddie. My parents so wonderfully kept Val and Ellie for us for a couple days beforehand to let me catch up on housework and rest and drove them back up here Wed morning!Valerie was originally going to have a butterfly party here at the house. Since we had to bail on that, I atleast kept her invites and 'cake' in a butterfly theme. These cupcakes looked *gorgeous* in person but unfortunately the one picture that was snapped for me before they got handed out.. was over exposed and blah. Atleast you get the idea. The butterflies were piped onto wax paper with chocolate and colored candy melts and let dry.. it's easier than it looks. I can't take credit for this idea - I followed the instructions on Annie's Eats food blog! She's fantastic! http://annies-eats.com/2009/05/26/butterfly-cupcakes/