Showing posts with label Party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Party. Show all posts

Fourth of July Pool Party 2018

Jul 5, 2018

I can't believe we've been having our annual July 4th pool party for five years! We started it the year after we put in our pool at the last house. Everyone had so much fun at the first party that they asked if we were going to have it the next year. It ended up snowballing into an annual event!

Earlier this year we installed the terrace pillars and railing. It also ended up being the perfect spot to add bunting.

This green sweet potato vine had choked my pink petunias I planted earlier this summer so I added red vincas a few days before the party. When I was digging in the pots I noticed there were actual sweet potatoes under the dirt about the size of a golf ball. I guess that's why they call it a sweet potato vine! I also added small American flags to each pot. I just love how festive it turned out!

Here is the biggest change! We added landscaping to the back yard along the fence line. We started behind the hot tub and went all the way around the pool and up the side of the house. It's kind of hard to see anything but mulch in this photo. I will show you more as soon as I take pictures. It was nice we were able to finish just two days before the party. We also installed a drip system for the potted plants, added more landscaping and patio lights, and put in a new outdoor speaker system. We were able to DIY everything so we could have everything on our wish list. We spent an absurdly small amount of money for everything. I will go over those details in my next post in case you are also wanting to make exterior updates. There's still a bit more to add and tweak, but it's basically done. Our backyard has come a really long way from last year!

A quick family photo before the party started.

Thankfully, I have one friend that always remembers to take a photo during a party! She also has a home decor Instagram account. Follow Leigh @ourwoodforesthome.

I've been reflecting back this year on how my kids and my friends' kids have grown up over the past five years. They were so little back then, and now most of them are tweens and teens! I'm also thankful to have such great people in my life for so many years. I love their company and watching their kids grow up with mine. I hope they have fun memories of going to the Clark house for the 4th of July when they get older!

My Kids Halloween Party Details

Sep 15, 2017

Last year I threw my first Halloween party for the kids. It was something I had always planned to do since my boys were little because I remember having so much fun at them when I was a child. For some reason they aren't popular where we live and my kids have never experienced one except at their preschools. I realized my two younger kids were going to be too old for one soon, so there was no time like the present. I've always thrown birthday parties together at the last minute at a play place or something really low key at home. This was definitely new territory for me. Thankfully, a friend of mine who has experience throwing creative and unique parties for her kids agreed to co-host it with me.

The most exciting part for me is the decorating of course! I usually decorate for fall instead of Halloween. Since we were throwing a Halloween party I decided we needed to have something creepy outside. The boys were so excited because they ask me every year for a graveyard. I've said no for the longest time because they broke every single gravestone in the past trying to hurdle over the top of them after school. I guess they are getting older because not one of them was broken this year. It looked creepier at night with the strobe light in the graveyard and orange lights in the spiderweb. The spider also goes up and down when someone walks up to the front door. It scared the adults more than the kids!

We threw the party in the backyard so I also decorated the back porch. Most of the kids were elementary school aged, but there were a few younger siblings. I put It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown on the outdoor TV just in case one of the preschoolers needed to chill out if they got overwhelmed. I don't have young kids anymore, but I remember giving them a snack and turning on the TV would make them zone out for a while.

The hardest part was trying to figure out the games. I finally settled on a couple of different races for the kids. I used wood stakes and Halloween themed crime scene tape for the lanes. It was easy and inexpensive. We did a three legged race, a head balancing pumpkin race, and a jumping bag race.

I honestly didn't need to have any games. They had a blast just running around the backyard and doing their own thing. My oldest son was going to stay in his room since this was a little kid party, but he came down to eat and immediately jumped in to help with the races without me even asking him.  He's so calm and patient with younger kids, but they listen to him. Maybe he could be camp counselor next summer?

The good thing about throwing a party for kids is the menu can be simple-hot dogs, pizza, chicken nuggets, etc. We had the party outside and opted for as much food that didn't need to be kept warm or cool. There's also the issue of flies so I had to get creative of how to cover the food. On Pinterest, it seems that there are no flies and food never gets cold on those nicely decorated tables. I used glass canisters I already had with inexpensive Halloween labels I bought at Target. We brought out pizza and hot dogs once everyone arrived. My husband had cooked the hot dogs before the party and we just warmed them in the oven for a few minutes. It's much easier than having to grill in the middle of the party.

The biggest hit was the chocolate fountain at the end of the party. I noticed one was 50% off one day and picked it up on a whim. It was only about $30 and thought it might come in handy one day. I heard from the other parents that their kids talked more about the chocolate fountain than anything else. Go figure! Unfortunately, I made the mistake of setting it up on the counter here. I noticed the next day there was chocolate all over the patio. Note to self, set it up on a table in the grass next time. Our poor dog, Mario, was also covered in chocolate. We couldn't figure out why he had brown spots all over his back the next day and then we realized it was chocolate because he was waiting for the kids to drop food at the counter. He got his chocolate, just not in his mouth!

We also had cupcakes and donuts at the end of the party. It was a good way to get them to settle down because they were running all over the backyard. Say "cupcake" and they will come to the table!

My creative friend also made a photo booth for the kids. The moms had a good time too! She made the signs we held up as well. That's her in the middle. I would have never thought of this in a million years!

By the time Halloween was over with last year, I felt like I had celebrated for a week straight between getting ready for the party and Halloween night.

It was so nice to have finally given the boys a Halloween party to remember. I wasn't sure if I was pushing my nostalgia on them, but since they have already asked for another party I'm guessing they had a great time. I still haven't decided and try changing the subject when they ask. I figure if they push the issue we can have another one now that I know exactly what to do!