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Planning for Party – the mini series: Episode 8 – April Fools on Me

Thanks for tuning in, this “mini-series” will be the daily play-by-play, panicked countdown of a mom on a mission to pull off an original and memorable birthday for my soon-to-be three year old. I’ll take you through the last week of planning, because of course, that’s the fevered crunch time. And naturally when everything goes awry…

T – minus 1. Tomorrow is par-tay day.

OMG, talk about April Fools Day. That’s me, poster child! It’s 11:15 a.m. and I just wrapped up some work things I HAD to do, although my email flood needs to be damned if I can tear myself away.

I am about to jump in with both feet. On your mark, get set, GO MAMMA GO!!!

11:55 – stuffing bags. The crayon rolls, with all their flaws, are adorable. My only complaint is that the box of crayons are not in rainbow order. That would really speed things up if I didn’t have to sort by color. Why didn’t the manufacturer think of that?! The only other speed bump is having to take a white marker and draw over the “invisible” ink spots. Grrrrrr…… And the ribbons should be either longer or shorter. I can’t tie a bow at this length. Oh well, deal with it. Still cute.

2:25 – Goodie bags completely done. Looking average but acceptable from the outside. I was careful not to duplicate the colors of toys in each – and boy vs. girl colors. Yes, I am way too detailed for as little time as I have.

Each bag contains: crayon roll with crayons inside (handmade and crayons from US Toy), bright animal jelly bean egg (Krogers), crayon eraser (US Toy), crayon bank (US Toy), crayon key chain (US Toy), crayon bubbles (US Toy). Red bags for boys, yellow and green for girls. Closed with a crayon clip (Also US Toy – my secret treasure chest). Of course.

If I have time later, I’ll add a thank you to the bags under the clip. If.

2:36 – Styrofoam for centerpieces cut (dang that was a lot harder than I thought it would be!). I am using the Styrofoam balls from Michaels – I forgot to measure them but I am pretty sure they are either 5” or 6”. In case you are making these, here is a link to JoAnn where they already have the balls cut. I didn’t cut them in half, I probably cut a third off the bottom, but you could certainly use these.

I’m movin’ now!

3:45 – I have spray painted the Styrofoam balls bubble gum pink and set them to dry in the backyard.








Have I mentioned that we own two pugs? Two pugs that apparently decided to snack on my centerpiece bases. Seriously. This is what I found.








Did I also not mention that crunch time is when everything goes awry? Yup. I didn’t have extras, so I sprayed it again, teeth marks and all, and shoed the dogs inside and started on the cans which I am making look like crayons and will serve to be the balloon weights.

I cut scrapbook paper to match the balloon weights and drew crayon wrapper lines on them – free hand. I probably should have done this on the computer to make the lines cleaner and straighter, but this was so much faster. I grabed two cans of Rotel tomatoes and hot glued the paper onto the cans, glued the triangle-shaped balloon weights to the top and tied some rainbow ribbon around it. Good enough.

The paint was dry outside so I grabbed my big box of crayons (I used about 70 total for both centerpieces) and started to shove them into the ball. I found that the crayons went in slightly easier if you poke the ball with a barbecue skewer to start the whole. The first one – that wasn’t the pug snack – went quickly and easily. The one with the teethmarks was a little harder.  But it’s DONE!!! Yea!

I am officially 4 hours behind schedule. I should not have slept last night. L

Next up: the frosting and creating the crayon cake. OMG, this is still such a work in progress in my mind.

I found some tips for fondant online. This I thought this was the best!

But a bit overwhelming. I think I’ll take a shower first….


11:30 p.m. –

It’s a good thing I have low blood pressure and I released my inner Martha long ago. I should have known that on April Fools Day MAAAANNNNYYYY things would go awry:

  1. Pugs ate the centerpiece  (earlier). The resulting fix was to use it anyway (no backup Styrofoam balls) so one is a little wonky. And Princess Cupcake wanted to pull all the crayons out when she discovered them. At the party – fair game. Before we leave, uh no ma’am.
  2. I decided to go for it and make the chocolate covered pretzels. (Easy peasy, pretzel rods dipped in melted colored chocolate on the ends. Cover the middle with your “crayon wrapper.”) However the crayon wrapper file that I have already, I discovered, is not editable (I used it last time before for Orange Day at school and had iTodd create if for me).  So I printed it out, glued on white paper to cover the part I didn’t want – like Orange Day and her school name — and Xerox copied over it.
  3. Before dipping the pretzels, I discovered that I have only 1/3 of a bag of pink (her signature color) candy melts and NO pink paper (Princess has been raiding my stash) so I go with green instead for the chocolate pretzels. Originally I wanted to do multi colors – but I am too tired to take the additional time to melt more primary colors. So GREEN it is. I have plenty of green paper so it’s a go.
  4. Hubs helped with crayon labels for chocolate pretzels. He says (and he may be entirely correct, I am delirious at this point) that I told him to put the labels on sideways. So I had to un-label them all and redo them while he just shook his head and went to bed. Clearly not as obsessed with planning the perfect party like I am.                                                        pretzel crayon wrapper
  5. I thought it would be cute to make the party hats look like crayon tops so I had hats in 5 colors and I was going to draw stripes at the fat part of the hat. But when coloring the crayon stripes on the party hats, both Sharpies stopped working. They were brand new chisel point Sharpies, fresh out of the packaging. I can only guess that the wax from the hats did something to them. But naturally, the ink didn’t run out until I was fully committed to the stripes. I didn’t have enough hats to go without stripes and it would look stupid (if anyone even noticed) that half had stripes and half didn’t. Argh. Stripes – which I had to do freehand – are quite wobbly. And sparse on the later hats. Truthfully, will anyone realize that I tried to make all the kids look like walking crayolas?crayon hats
  6. Here’s the biggie major detour. Princess Cupcake said she didn’t want a crayon box cake (and I was sooo looking forward to working with the fondant – not.) but a PINK cake. Thankfully, I had planned for the switcheroo and purchased a couple of bags of jelly beans to decorate the cake with in a pinch. But honestly, I am not sure how this is going to turn out now. I have no idea how I’ll decorate a large pink square with beans. I still feel like I should throw in a 3-D crayon somehow. But admittedly I felt huge relief that I didn’t have to cut fondant tonight – and immediately started adding up all the returns I now have and suddenly the party just got noticeably cheaper and my smile got bigger. Cha-ching!

Then it hit me.

I could make a pink crayon box cake.

At this point, I am welcoming an “early” turn in as I will be getting up early to make frosting for the cake, decorate it, frost and decorate the cupcakes, wrap the pretzels, get the balloons, go to Sams for the other food, and iron her dress…

Oh! The dress. I forgot to tell you. So I got my supplies out to make her a cute shirt for the party – knowing it was a significant risk. She lately will only wear twirly sundresses and it is the subject of much discussion in the mornings. She nixes everything that has low twirl factor. I went to her closet to find her Happy Birthday tutu (couldn’t find it) thinking I could bribe her into wearing a cute shirt with the tutu – and low and behold, staring right at me, I found the polka dot dress with rainbow colors that her Aunt Kim had sent her. And it’s twirly. I scratched the shirt off my to-do list faster than you can say “Party City.”

Notably, everything is packed up in one place waiting to be loaded into the car because my biggest fear is to forget something that I invested loads of time in. They are only giving us 15 minutes to set up. I don’t think we can make it into the doors of the gym in less than 30 with all this stuff.

To bed, to bed.

Come back tomorrow for the party photos when it all comes together. Or does it?


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