Category Archives: Kids Table


Well at last I am showing off the party that I did at the end of July for a  birthday in the park.  This was such a colorful and playful party theme, perfect for two brothers to share ~ Brenton turned 1 and Landon turned 3!

My dear friend Melissa, also owner of Laugh and Love Photography, took all the pictures of this party that I did for her sweet boys.  Every detail was spectacular and Melissa , along with our kids, helped create many of the items used to pull the party together.  The kids all had a great time and a party sure to be remembered for years to come.

I created the invitation with colorful cardstock and hand painted fingerprint dot border and custom food stickers ~ the kids finished up the invite with their own fingerprint caterpillar ~ darling!


 As the guests arrived at the park entrance, the pathway was lined with apples made out of foam this board painted by Melissa to set the tone of the party.

The Kids each had their own caterpillar banners, which was an inspiration from an invitation that I saw on creative party place website  and the happy birthday was done in primary color circles.


The kids helped out with making these runners for the kids table and the craft tables.  They were made of colored tissue paper and STA-FLO starch~ super easy decoration and a great way to tie in the theme of the party to your table design.

I loved this cocoon pinata.  It was adapted from a beehive pinata I saw over at  Barefoot by the sea‘s site.

Melissa really wanted to have a balloon caterpillar, (originally seen on creative party place) but with the wind being a factor at a park setting, I recreated the look using paper lanterns for the body and a paper mache head.  It was great and I made hanging fruits out of colored napkins, cellophane bags and curly ribbon.

I found these great snack cups and a variety of other paper products on the Eric Carle website and I found snacks that would be fun for hungry caterpillars and kids too ~ here we served crispy peas, rainbow gold-fish crackers and honey pretzel sticks.  I painted rocks to look like fruits to use to weight the table cloth down ~ they turned out darling. 


The food table was very colorful and followed the book with fruits of the week and all the other delicious foods the hungry caterpillar consumed.  The tags were hand-made and identified each item.

The cake was amazing.  I painted the back board with frosting to resemble the book and the cupcake caterpillar was made by Chelas Cakes.  She can be found on face book and it was so easy to put together.

The party favors were fun and colorful as well.  I made fruit tags and filled the bags with gummy worms, caterpillar food, homemade rainbow play dough balls, stickers and bug puzzles.  Sticking out the top were fruit lollipop sticks.


Melissa’s sister Theresa painted the kids faces with whimsical bugs as well as helping Melissa paint the boards that greeted the guests.  The photos do not do them justice ~ they are fantastic!

Bean bag toss is always a fun thing to keep the kids entertained during a party while they wait for the next activity to begin.

There were two different crafts for this party.  This one is making a caterpillar on a popsicle stick.  The other craft was making a fruit plate with tissue and liquid starch ~ we were unable to do this craft due to the winds.

Well I think this picture of the two brothers says it all ~ they really enjoyed their Hungry Caterpillar birthday party!

Hope you have enjoyed this wonderful theme as much as I enjoyed putting it together ~ Nicole


For consulting or booking information for this party theme or other custom parties, please contact me at for more information.


Sources for this party are

Eric Carl website for paper cups and napkins

Dollar store for plates, favor stuffer and misc. needs

Cake created by Chelas Cakes

Michael’s Craft Store for supplies

Invitations, tags and Party Planning provided by Elegance Catering and Events

Photos provided by Laugh and Love Photography



Well for those of you who are Angry Birds fans, this is the party for you.! I am working on my sons 7th birthday party which  is coming up in a week and I wanted to give you all just a peak at what is crashing into our house. 


Back to School Bash ~ Sneak Peak


It is the middle of July and the “Back to School” campaigns has begun at all of the retail stores.  It is hard to believe that summer is almost over and a new school year is about to begin. So I decided that I wanted to start a new tradition for my kids and throw a back to school party to get excited about seeing friends and the new year ahead.  Change is hard for my son and I really wanted to end the summer on a great note and to set the tone for first grade with a positive vibe. 

I have planned the party at a local park in August, just a few days before school starts, with activities such as a back-pack relay, balance the ruler race, sack races and much more.  Everyone will bring their own lunch and a pencil to exchange with their friends along with a snack idea to share for the moms ~cause we run out of ideas quickly. 

The party favors are simple ~ a school supply bar filled with erasers, pencil topper, glue sticks, sharpeners, post-its and a few other goodies ~ which is sure to set the mood for school to begin.

So check back in the middle of August to see how the full party comes together.  Should be a great day and I know my kids will have a blast swapping summer adventures with their friends.

Enjoy the rest of summer ~ Nicole



Play Dough – it’s so fun


Since my kids were young  playing with play dough has truly been a staple in my activity cabinet. I have always purchased play dough and had small containers in my purse for restaurant wiggles and for traveling and larger containers for play dates and parties.

 Recently I decided to give homemade play dough a try, to my amazement it is so easy and fun to make. There are so many color possibilities and adding scents is great to. The other day I made lemon play dough and it turned out soft bright yellow and smells great.  

 I like to add a bit of super fine glitter to play dough for children 3 and older – it gives it a fun shimmer and my daughter loves anything with sparkle.  There is a lot of salt in homemade play dough, so be cautious when using with children under the age of 2 that have a tendency to still put things in their mouths. Homemade play dough is a great gift for friends birthdays. Get a few fun containers, some simple tools and wrap it up with a pretty ribbon and labels such a fun gift for hours of enjoyment.  It can also be a great party favor for a Play Dough Party or any themed party you may be having.  Play dough is so versital and is truly a classic ~ so pull out your flour and roll up your sleeves and make a batch or two!

 Home Made Play Dough

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup salt

2 teaspoons cram of tartar

1 cup water ~ add scent, zest from fruit or glitter to water if desired

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon food coloring

Combine dry ingredients in a sauce pan.  Mix liquids and gradually stir them into dry ingredients.  When mixture is smooth with no lumps, cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly until ball forms ~ will look like mashed potatoes.  Remove from heat and  put onto board and knead until smooth.  Store in an airtight container or zip lock bag.  Will last for a few weeks or even a month if sealed well.

Hungry Caterpillar Party Sneak Peak

I am pleased to be helping my friend Melissa Sears of with her son’s Landon and Brentan’s combo Hungry Caterpillar birthday party.  The preparations are well underway and  I wanted to share with you just a peak  at a  few of the handmade items that will make this party extra spectacular.


Handmade dot table runners for the craft and kids tables.

 So please come back in late July to see the entire party that will leave the kids hungry for more!





Indiana Jones Adventure Party ~ Part One behind the scenes

Indiana Jones was such a great theme to work with and it was my sons favorite party yet.  We used a lot of scene ideas from the movie but our main inspiration for this party was from the Lego wii game and Lego DS game.

So our adventure began about three months before the party, saving large appliance and furniture boxes to create the backdrops and the catacombs.  I had 12 large boxes that I cut windows and door ways to create tunnels that dead-end and space that they had to get really low to crawl through.  I marked the boxes with a letter system so that once they were mapped out, I could take them down and stack in garage for storage over the next few months.

My next project became the temple of doom prop.  This also started from a large box, which I cut out to make one really large piece of flat cardboard to work with.  

I sketched out a large skull that would be large enough to cover the entrance of the tunnels and marked out the eyes and the lower half of the skull I ripped below the nose to look like an ancient  ruin.  I covered the eye holes with shiny red cellophane and then painted the skull to look old and dirty then covered with cobb webs and spiders. 

I attached cardboard columns that I painted the same way and drilled them into the wood structure for support.  The final touches were hand-made torches that I made to look like wood, tissue paper flames and a blinking reflector light that I hid in the top to flash in the dark ~ it really looked like flames.

Once this was assembled I stored it away as well and began work on the secret entrance.  This was also a large refrigerator box that I split at the seam and created one long surface that covered the entire entrance to my garage opening.  I cut a small door in the middle and covered the entire outside surface with hand painted paper grocery and lunch bags.  I painted the bags with brown, dark army green and gold then smudged and crumbled up the paper so it looked like rocks.  I used a stapler to attach it to the cardboard surface.  I had a tall palm tree that I painted the surface and tucked in wooden skulls along the bottom.  This was the entrance to the lagoon/jungle area and once the door was closed it set the tone of the party as guests arrived.

The final hand painted prop that I did was the jungle / lagoon area.  This was two refrigerator boxes that I painted separately then attached with zip ties.  The scenes closed off the inside to this garage and didn’t allow access behind it ~ therefore creating a darker and smaller jungle area. 

I painted more rocks as I did before and then I took another large palm tree and added flowers and jungle life to the scene as well.  I had more skulls laying along the bottom and then the second scene that was attached was a water fall that was three-dimensional and cascaded down the wall.  I used packing material and painted it different shades of blue and it looked great ~ side note the paint does flake off.  I took lots of green streamers and hung them from the ceiling to the floor in different heights to make it feel like vines.

Along the left wall I made a hieroglyphic map with different symbols and I presented in a scroll like fashion.  There were eight tiles and then I had eight corresponding tiles that were placed on the floor.  As in the movie and game, Indiana had to translate the symbols in order to get access into the cave.  The kids had to translate the symbol into my son’s name to move onto the next challenge.  I printed the symbols out on khaki paper and used grocery bags, crumbled up and a long bamboo stick and twine to hang it on the back side of the secret entrance.

There are so many components to this party that I hand made myself and once the large pieces were out-of-the-way I was able to get my kids involved with the rest of the party preparations. 

The next thing that I did was the goody bag that was inspired by Dr. Jones himself.  I want the kids to have an out fit that would resemble the main character and so I found black canvas totes at Michael’s and I cut the handles, burned the edges so they would not frey and then sewed the ends together to make one long strap so the kids could wear it across their body.  I then used a sponge and muddy brown paint and sponged the paint on both sides of bag to make it look dirty and worn. 

My son loved helping with this project.  These were presented to the kids as they arrived along with an Indiana Jones hat~ found at Michael’s and a hand-made map laying out the obstacle adventure course for the party.

My son also helped to paint the paper swords that are shown above. I found these at the dollar store and wanted the kids to have a machete like sword when traveling through the jungle and these were perfect.  I also found compasses at the dollar store to put in their bags to find their way. 

Another project that I needed to work on were the custom maps.  These were a lot of fun to make and follow the movie to a T.  I found scrap-book paper at Michael’s that had map, globe and airplane graphics ~ which saved me time in having to print it off the computer. 

I then crumbled the paper really well and then burned the edges to give it that old look.  Since I had to put the flames out anyway I submerged the paper in water and then let it sit in sun to dry ~ you do not want it to wet or it will break apart.  Once it was dry I then marked out the party with red marker and had four points of interest.  Since most kids couldn’t read yet I used a picture at each point on the map and a number next to it.  They looked great and the kids had no problem figuring it out.  I did do one large map in the same technique to put on the main table ~ Indiana’s desk in his cabana ~ were the party starts.

The next thing that my son wanted at his party was the giant boulder.  Well you must have a bolder when you think of Indiana Jones.  So I got to work on creating a big boulder that would roll after the kids during the obstacle course. 

I took a large paper lantern ~ found at Pottery Barn Teen ~ and covered it with newspaper, brown lunch bags and liquid starch.  My kids loved this project and it was something they could easily do.  I had previously made grey/green paint and once the paper had dried, we sponged the paint on to make it look like a rock appearance.  This ball took a couple of days to make because it needed to dry really well and then the painting time as well.  The finished product was super durable and looked great.

The final item that needed to be prepared for this party was the spit guns and Mala Ram target for the obstacle course.  I originally saw this on Roots & Wingsco blogspot site and had to do it for our party.  I took one character, Mala Ram, and drew his silhouette onto construction paper and then transferred him onto black felt.  I made the accents with red felt for the area that the poison darts needed to hit.  This target was then attached to the tree in our backyard so the kids could easily access it when doing the task. 

The next step was to make the spit guns and this was really not difficult, just a bit of time.  I went and got pvc piping and cut them down to 12″ each and covered them in green duck tape ~ so they looked like a vine tube.  The poison dart was a green nurf target with Velcro on the ends ~ I found these at Wal-Mart.  The game was now complete to put up for out guests.  The dart is placed all the way down into the tube and the pipe is held up to your mouth and the kids blow the dart toward Mala Rams chest.

Well the preparations for the party have been completed and now it is time to re-group before the party day.  I gathered all of the other accessories that I needed for this party such as burlap, tan canvas fabric scraps, crates, buckets and card board boxes that I made to look like crates of explosives ~ which I placed at the bottom of our drive way to mark the party entrance.  We also have an electronic jeep and I used this for kids to take their picture in.

The work is all done and now it is time to put the party together for the kids.  I started the day before assembling the catacombs in one garage and decorated the inside of the boxes with cob webs, spiders, glow in the dark skeletons, there was a snake pit and a room full of treasure in a chest.  In the other garage I transformed it into  a secret entrance and the jungle area.  The cabana was put up the day of the party and all the last-minute touches were complete about an hour before the kids arrived ~

Please see the entire party layout in Part Two:

 The Indiana Jones Adventure Party ~ Let the Crusade Begin.

Indiana Jones Adventure Party ~ Let the Crusade begin

Join us for an Indiana Jones Crusade

The invitations turned out great and were designed with the Lego characters being chased by the gigantic boulder.  We had lots of adventures planned so we suggested that the kids come in their adventure outfit and ready to crawl, escape from danger and to look for the lost treasure in the temple of doom!

This is the secret entrance wall covered in rock and the cabana is set up for the kids to gather, get their Indiana Jones hat and bag, grab a snack and look at the map for the first adventure.  I rolled out a carpet on the ground, covered pillows with burlap for floor cushions to sit on and covered tables in canvas material and green army netting to make it appear that they were are in a desert cabana. 

Gummy eyeballs were just thing to have at this party ~ the kids gobbled these up so fast.  I found these at World Market around fall time.

I made these chocolate mummy pretzel sticks.  I found the molds and melting chocolates at Michael’s and poured the green in first then the white on the top.  These were easy and fun to do.

This was the meeting area inside the cabana and I made the box crate on the table and filled it with a simple candy skull necklace craft while we waited for all of the guests to arrive.  Some of the kids put the necklace on as part of their costume ~ super cool.

All of the kids have arrived and have their hats and bags on.  They have started their crusade through the jungle ~ our backyard has a lot of birds of paradise trees and over grown flax plants which was perfect for a jungle walk.

The obstacle course started with Lego building.  I took the Melissa and Doug cardboard building blocks and set them out and the kids could make whatever they wished as long as they used all the blocks provided.

Then onto the wooden plank.  There were lots of snakes under the plank and they had to be careful not to fall in ~ Indiana Jones does not like snakes!

The next stop was to try to hit Mala Ram with a poisonous dart.  The darts were made of pvc pipe, green duck tape and Nerf darts.  The Mala Ram is made of felt so that the darts would stick once fired.

Our sand table served as the dig for the golden jewels.  The kids had to find 5 jewels and put them in their bag and then crawl through the tunnel, grab the crystal skull off the throne ~ chair covered in fabric ~ and run from the giant boulder, back through the tunnel to safety.

The kids then regrouped downstairs and were broken up into teams and they were now going on a scavenger hunt.  Each location had a clue that led them to the next step closer to the Temple of Doom.  The first clue was to pick a weapon and to dress like a local native or be Dr. Jones.  The weapons were soft Nerf balls or squirt guns ~ which do you think was the most popular?

While the other team was having a shoot out, the second team was translating the symbols on the wall of the jungle.  The kids had 8 symbols on the scroll and a corresponding set of symbol tiles on the ground.  The kids had to find the symbols with the letters that spelled out my son’s name.  once they put the symbols in the correct order they received their next clue.  They got this concept rather quickly with the help of a parent.

Each group alternated between activities so that they both had a chance to play the different activities.  The next step was being wrapped up like a mummy.  Once the kids got to the bottom of the roll of toilet paper the clue was taped inside the roll ~ this was the final step before going into the catacombs.

Inside the tunnels I put cob webs, spiders, snakes, bats, rats, and treasure


The kids entered into the tunnels one at a time and there were two exits.  It was a bit dark in some areas ~ I put lots of windows, holes and gaps along the way so some kids would not get frightened.  Each child was given a handmade torch to light their way. 

These were made out of paper towel tubes, painted in muddy brown and I made red, yellow and orange tissue flames coming out the top.  I tucked a battery operated flickering candle int he top to use like a flashlight.  These were fun but hard to keep the light in place.

Each child went through several times and then the final clue led them back to the cabana for cake and presents. 

My son Turner and I designed the cake together.  We wanted a waterfall and Indiana Jones falling over the edge.  All of the other Lego characters hanging out on the cake on motorcycles, in trees, etc.  I am not a cake decorator so I had Vons make a two tiered round cake and they cut a section out on the top for me and made the waterfall in blue.  Turner and I gathered the rest of the plants, Lego figures and items we wanted on the cake.  We washed them well before we put them on the cake.  So here is what it turned out to be ~ it was spectacular.  I even had edible glitter flakes that we put on the waterfall to make it shimmer like water.  It was cool!

Well the day was packed full of adventure, mystery and fun.  The kids had a blast and my son was thrilled with his 6th birthday party.  I hope you are inspired to throw an adventure party of your own ~ a good time is sure to be had by all.

Sources for the party

Event Planning by Elegance

Invitations by

Basic cake by Vons

Inspiration for Mala Ram Felt Pattern & Spit Darts by www.Roots&

Items for favors and games came from the Dollar Store and Michael’s

Inspirational ~ Obstacle Course Party

My son’s school today was the inspiration behind this great theme ~ Obsticle Course Party.  What a great way to get the kids and adults moving than to organize a fun course for all to enjoy.


There are so many fun ideas that can come together for this party. Colorful invites with primary colors would set the tone of the party.  When the guest arrive they are given a t-shirt with a number on it and  then off to the course they go.

Hoops, cones and balls make a great challenge


Sack races to the line and then try to throw a bean bag through the holes ~ this was hilarious and what great exercise!

 Mats of all kinds are great for extra padding when rolling into the obstacle course and a balance beam to wabble across to the end of the course.

Above there is a ladder run which can be flat on the ground or raised up for bigger kids. 

Crab walks, jumping on one foot, rolling, crawling through a balloon tunnel are just a few additional things that can be added to your course.

Party favors would be simple and easy such as the numbered t-shirt, pool noodle, plastic hoops, rubber balls, bottled waters with the birthday child’s initial and a star cookie medal  for the everyone to remember the day. 

Get inspired to move with this fun-filled birthday idea for all ages or better yet have a obsticle day at the park with friends ~ Have fun….

The source for this party came from our Shark Olympics at our elementary school and also from Martha Steward Kids ~There is a whole party layout for help and inspiration..

We all Scream for Ice Cream

When I think of ice cream so many memories come back to me from my childhood.  The sound of the ice cream truck driving up the street or walking with my cousins to the local market to get a big stick.  We all have a favorite moment associated with this delicious, creamy, sometimes fruity treat that puts a smile on everyone’s face.

Elegance would like to set the tone for you to recreate your own fun memories with this cold delight by having an ice cream party.  I am having a sprinkles and fudge party this weekend and I want to layout some of the fun things to make your ice cream party colorful, sweet and bring lots of smiles to your guests face ~ especially the kids. 

I am doing a backyard setting with colorful plastic polka dot tablecloths in different colors and have fun serving pieces for my toppings to be displayed down the middle of the tables.  For your toppings you could use clear colored plastic bowls, wood bowls, tin buckets, or colorful paper ice cream cups. 

What to serve the ice cream in can be just as fun as the toppings.  I have often served ice cream in a variety of cones ~ waffle, cake or tulip cups. 

Hollowed out oranges, limes and lemons make a great cup or you could serve your scoops in a darling paper cup like the ones I found at Michael’s craft store.  The cups have a fun polka dot pattern and are perfect for one scoop, have a wooden spoon and a lid for those that can’t finish their delicious treat. 

You could also serve your scoop in a paper cone such as the ones you would put a slushy in or a tin container such as the this one shown.  There are so many ways to make it fun and creative.

For my toppings I will be using colorful clear ice cream dishes for jimmy sprinkles, crumbled cookie bits, mini m&ms, gummy treats, nuts, cherries, I put the chocolate, Carmel and strawberry sauce in small squeeze bottles for little hands to handle. 

When I was growing up, we would make homemade ice cream with the old machines that had a large wooden container with a moat around it for ice and rock salt and a lid that fit tight with a crank ~ it made the best ice cream. 

Today there are so many fun machines and tools to make your own ice cream from scratch.  Here are a few of my favorites.

There are  great ice cream machines out there at different price points and the one I have used was by Cuisanart and loved it.

The ice cream ball which can be taken anywhere ~ camping, the park or beach (I have even rolled it around my living room carpet) can be found online and in camping stores and come in two sizes.

For ice cream sandwiches I love the ice cream sandwich molds in different shapes from William Sonoma ~ I have farm animals and they are fun for the kids as well as this quick pop maker by Zoku

Whether you make your own or purchase it, use a machine or simple pop molds from the dollar store, ice cream will set the tone for a sweet summer gathering of friends and family.


Barbie Princess Party

My daughter Kendall just loves Barbie and princesses of all kinds.  So when I asked her what kind of party she wanted for her third birthday she simply said purple sparkles and Barbie.  Well that is what she got a purple sparkling wonderland attended by Barbie, Princesses from all lands, knights and princes alike.

 The entrance was lined with royal flags, bubbles blowing to guide guests to  a sparkling crown entry which lead the way for a day full of fun fit for a princess. 

The Menu

Nibbles for the adults and kids, lemonade with fresh berries, waters and a candy bar filled with treats, star cookie wands, handmade chocolate crowns, cupcakes and more.

 The Crafts were simple and great for 3 year olds.     

Create a sparkling wond

Decorate a crown with jewels and glitter

Decorate a Castle was a great guest book for kids and family as well as showcasing the little artists at the party.

The castle was the main focal point and inspiration for the sweets table.  The castle is from Step 2 and I used shiny purple scrap paper and fabric paint to cover the towers and created the flags to coordinate with the colors

I wanted a special cake to fit the theme and took in a mini Kelly doll to Arroyo Grnade Bakery and they were able to scale down the original design ~ it was perfect!

I made the sugar cookie wonds and they were such fun.  Simply make your favorite sugar cookie dough, roll it out in a star or shape of your choice, and sandwich a bamboo skewer in between two cookies, decorate with sprinkles and bake ~ once cooled tie a ribbon around the top and place in a cookie holder (I found these on clearance at Michael’s but you could use a flower pot, bucket or decorative piece filled with foam and a weight to hold it down).

This game was cute ~ crown the frog prince! I really wanted to do kiss the frog with lip gloss, but didn’t think the boys would like having lip gloss on and the mess on the windows may have been to much ~ but cute. 


Sources for this party are:

Photography by Melissa Sears of

Mini Barbie cake and cupcakes by: Arroyo Grande Bakery

Cupcake liners and stand found at Michael’s

Star Cookie Wands by: Elegance

 Invitations by: Elegance

Decorate a Castle can be found on Amazon

Favor boxes and craft supplies were purchased from Dollar Store


A special thank you goes out to Melisssa Sears of Laugh and Love she has an amazing eye for capturing the fun spirit of the kids and her family photography is breathtaking ~ check her werbsite out at

Also a huge thank you goes out to Arianna and the girls at Modern Hostess as they spotlighted this party on their site in May ~ Their site is a great inspiration for all of you who like to entertain, gather with friends and share amazing ideas on how to be a great modern hostess. 


Hope you enjoyed this truly royal celebration!