Friday, April 25, 2014

Cookie Monster & Elmo Party With Guest Blogger, Angela of the The Mommy Stories

A big thank you to Angela from The Mommy Stories for this awesome photo filled write up on having a Cookie Monster & Elmo inspired party!
**All photos by Angela Avery


our little sunshine's Cookie Monster & Elmo party!

I am pretty sure when I was pregnant with one of my children I stumbled upon this blog post by Annie's Eats and said to myself, I MUST have a Sesame Street party someday!

(My sister wrote out her welcome Happy 2nd Birthday Addisyn chalk announcement. So cute! She wouldn't let go of her new shopping cart for the picture.)

Then I had a daughter who was totally obsessed with what she called Elmo (really Cookie Monster) her entire second year of her life. So, voila, Sesame party it was!

However, I'd also had the idea of a You Are My Sunshine party. It was the song my mom used to sing to me as a baby and now I sing to my daughter, so I thought it was sweet to do a party. She's also so sunny, smiley and happy, it was fitting for her. When she showed her true love for Cookie Monster and eventually the real Elmo, I decided, why not, let's just combine two themes?

It was fun this way actually. I was a bit nervous, not sure if it would tie together. We made it work super fun, all for her, of course. What worked with doing the two themes was not going over board on either one. I didn't do all the many, many ideas I found on Pinterest. I just did a few for each theme and it came together great.

(She wasn't impressed to have to stop and say "cheese" in the middle of playing that morning before guests arrived!)

We luckily were given this adorable Cookie Monster shirt from her cousin. I got the headband at Target last summer. The tutu my mom found at a consignment sale, so adorable. Who doesn't like tutus for a girl's birthday party?! The tights were also given to her from her big cousin, she wore them last year at her birthday, too. So cute.

I loved how her outfit said everything about her... she's a Cookie Monster lover, enjoys food like he does, bright and sunny like her outfit and totally girlie, yet with sneakers on to signify she's ready to run and play with the big boys if she needs to. This is totally my daughter. 

We decided on a morning pancake breakfast because that would cover the You Are My Sunshine theme, as well as pancakes are one of Addisyn's favorite foods. I loved doing a breakfast party. We set everything the night before and only had to entertain the kids for maybe two hours in the morning before the party. Then the party was over at their nap time, so they went right down. It was a great timeframe. We started the party at 9 a.m.

We sent an Evite invitation online. I love these, they're just easy and a good way to keep track of who can attend. The invitation read:

Addi is our sunshine, our only sunshine, she makes us happy when skies are gray... and she is also in love with Elmo and Cookie Monster! Join us for a sunshine morning breakfast, brought to you by the letter A and the number 2. Come hungry for pancakes and more sweet treats.

I work in a middle school. I knew I wanted the letter A and the number 2 somewhere for my daughter's party, to match Sesame Street, however I'm not artistic at all. I knew where to go - I asked the art teacher to send me an artistic student. She sent me a sixth grade girl who listened to my ideas and then ran with it. She created that sign above, "Addisyn's Street" for the door to the party. I loved how cute and Sesame Street-like it looked. Just a sweet touch, and I was super glad I didn't have to attempt to make it myself :)

We had the party at my grandparents' house that we rent out in the summers. It was perfect, large, open, nothing in it since it's a rental house. We had plenty of space inside and out on the deck for everyone. Love that I didn't mess up my own house, too!

I set up this table for the kids. Unfortunately, maybe 4 of the kids actually sat at the table. It was just so busy and everyone was running around. I thought it looked cute though, oh well!

This banner below was made by the wonderful Jessie Estes. She gave it to me for my son's fishing party a few months ago, and it worked perfectly with our color scheme for this party, too. Loved it! I got so many compliments on it, and had to admit I wasn't the one who made it :) 

Another Dollar Tree special! I got all of the cups and plates, table cloth, silverware, etc. from the Dollar Tree.

The blue and white straws I found in the dollar bin at Target. Loved them!

The cone hats were a MUST in my mind. I just kept picturing all of my young birthday party pics, we always used to wear cone hats. I ordered them on Amazon, two packs for about $10 I think it was. Again, only a handful of the kids actually wore the hats. Oh well, I tried to be cute!

The birthday girl's seat! Her awesome Cookie Monster hat was hard to find. Most Sesame Street things are either for first birthdays or all Elmo. I found this at a random party store I found in New Hampshire when just driving by. Love it :)

A funny thing that emerged when planning was the color scheme of yellow (for sunshine) and blue (for Cookie Monster), which are my husband and my wedding colors. Our daughter was born the day before our anniversary, we call her our anniversary baby, so it was fitting that her party was with these two colors!

For treat bags, I made them simple. We were having an Easter egg hunt where the kids would get treats in the eggs, so I wanted the bags to be smaller. I also am always aware of not giving people tons of junk or extra things to just add to their already-packed house full of kids' toys, so I tried to pick things I thought people would really use.

I had these paper bags in the kitchen and last minute before the party decided to put the treats in them, drawing a sun and their names on each bag. It was so simple, I loved it!

I'm usually a little overboard with party planning, I liked that with this party I scaled back a little bit on my creativity and Pinterest-ing. I couldn't do all of the bigger ideas I had because we chose to invite so many kids this time. I can do more when we don't invite so many people, but we loved having more people at this one. It worked out great!

Inside each bag the kids were given a box of Sesame Street crayons and some Crayola bath soap, both found at the Target dollar bin. Then each child got a Sesame Street coloring book, "Sunny Days," perfect for our Sunshine party. I found those at Dollar Tree and Target. We threw in some eggs, too.

For food we had everything you can imagine at a breakfast! We had SO many compliments on the food. It was awesome. My husband did an amazing job cooking. The best part was we prepared everything the night before, only had to cook pancakes and throw things into the oven that morning. It was so easy.

We had two platters of French Toast Creme Brule, my husband's family recipe, SO yummy! I made an egg, cheese, mushroom, peppers, onions, etc. bake casserole. Then we had cheese and grapes, watermelon, chocolate chip cookies (of course, Cookie Monster's favorite!), Panera muffins and croissants, danishes, etc. We also had chocolate chip pancake muffins with maple syrup (back left corner with Elmo cupcake toppers in them), these were yummy but the wrapper stuck to them, unfortunately. Then bottom right of the above picture we made banana cupcakes... slices of bananas, spread peanut butter over it, top with coconut and a blueberry. So cute!

Then there was Cookie Monster made out of blackberries and grapes, with yogurt eyes! LOVE this :) We made a small version since blueberries aren't in season right now. My sister made the Cookie Monster and the sunshine cheese platter. Love how these turned out, so cute, easy to make, and looked awesome.

I had been looking for a You Are My Sunshine sign for months, just hadn't found one reasonable enough. Two weeks before the party I was scrolling Facebook and found this on Sassy Steals. LOVE that site!

I made the blue notecard signs for a few of the food dishes that morning. I was proud of myself going another simple route here. Usually I type up notecard signs for food, they look cute, but then get tossed out, I don't think many people care about seeing them. This time, I went simple and just wrote a few out, not for each food, and it looked fine and was helpful to identify what certain foods were.

My husband made this adorable pineapple spread. So cute!

I didn't get a great picture of it, but we had a yogurt and pancake bar of toppings (shown below on the counter in front of the stove).  We put out two kinds of yogurt and some granola, then we had the following toppings for either pancakes or yogurt:
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • raisins
  • peanut butter
  • sprinkles
  • chocolate chips
  • cranberries
  • coconut
  • cinnamon 
  • 3 kinds of maple syrup (blueberry, strawberry and plain)

For the cake, I knew we didn't really want to give out cupcakes at 9 a.m. so instead we had mini muffins for the kids or cinnamon buns. For my daughter, I made a simple stack of pancakes cake! It was very messy, so non-traditional, but worked great, she loved it!

I just put 4 pancakes stacked on top of each other, sprinkled with rainbow sprinkles and strawberries, with whipped cream. Then I added her candles, done! It was a messy cake, but she smiled, it worked.

Note to self: wait until pancakes are cool before topping... it all melted! haha

Big brother wore his Elmo T-shirt for the special occasion!

Just a little reading in the middle of her party. Love this :) 

After the kids ate, we did cake, and then we did presents. I usually do presents and then cake, because I have a busy boy who after eating cake cannot possibly sit still to watch someone open presents. We did all the food first at this party though since it wasn't real sugary cake, it was all breakfast treats.

She loved all of her baby dolls and girlie toys :) So fun! 

Then after presents we went outside for a huge Easter egg hunt! Her party was the day before Easter Sunday, so of course I had to toss in a third theme to the party, Easter! Ha! I went a little crazy with themes this party, but come on, after I realized the party was right near Easter I thought, how can we not have an egg hunt? It was perfect. The kids LOVED it.

I got all 130 eggs at Dollar Tree for $5. We filled them with erasers, rings, balls, stickers, coins, jelly beans, and chocolate eggs.

We did two egg hunts, one for the 3 older boys (3-7 years old) because we knew they'd outrun the younger ones. They had their own section of eggs to find. Their eggs had lots of coins in them, real money. Then we did a baby and toddler hunt for the 10 months to 2 1/2 year olds. It was so cute.

We also had chalk and bubbles for the kids to play with outside as activities. 

Overall, a perfect party. We had so much fun, tons of food, so many people told us how great of a day it was, sunny and outside, egg hunt and yummy breakfast.

Can't believe our little sunshine is TWO!

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