A Polka Dot Birthday Affair

Polka Dot Birthday Party Theme

I finished planning and gathering supplies for my grandson’s upcoming Camouflage Birthday theme. It’s now time to focus on my granddaughter’s birthday. May will be a busy month with two birthday parties a week apart.

As a school principal with three kids, my daughter has little time for party planning, so I offered to help. My granddaughter’s name starts with an “O” (Olivia). A polka-dot theme seemed an ideal choice. Olivia’s only request was that pink was included in the party colors.

Polka Dot Birthday Theme InvitationYellow, pink, black and white are the themed colors of choice. The invitation (shown left) include a black and white polka dot bow in the upper right corner. I printed 6 x 9 envelopes with the same design but arranged the objects to allow for postal mailing.

 I did a quick run through on the table setting placements. I know it sounds crazy, but I leave for vaction next week and have little time to get my dots in row (yes, pun intended).

Prepping the table setting for the upcoming party.

The final table setting will include linen tablecloths (light pink with a black overlay), polka dot balloons attached to each lunch box and glass stemware tied with a ribbon. Pink lemonade with a lime wedge is the party beverage. I found the grass mats online. The cost was minimal and I can reuse them for other party events.

The menu is simple. PBJ sandwiches from Costco, pink yogurt and fruit kabobs. No cake or cupcakes, just mini cinnimon rolls with a candle in each one. This was Olivia’s request. Besides, kids tend to eat only the frosting and the rest goes to waste.

This is a “Pamper Me” party. There are four girls and one adult to work each Pamper Station. There are Mani, Pedi, Hair and Make-up stations. The hair station includes French braiding along with extension feather clips. Of course, Justin Bieber will be the background music. Yippee, I can’t wait (NOT!). The sacrifices we make for our grand kids.
Birthday Party Goodie Bag Purse

The purse goodie bags are from Oriental Trading (very reasonable). The contents include:

  • Flower hair clip
  • Pedicure set
  • Flower emery board
  • Pink nail polish
  • Mascara
  • Tinkerbell mineral make-up face paint tatto
  • Buterfly tattos
  • Lip gloss
  • Fairy dust candy straws
  • Polka dot compact brush
  • 2 Feather hair extensions
  • Ankle and wrist jingle braclets
  • Bling rings
  • Colorful bead necklace

Total cost of each goodie bag (I only need four) is $17.50 each. Plus, they can use some of these items at the party. Contents were purchased from Oriental Trading and Forever 21. The Tinkerbell mineral make-up stamp was from an online party store. It was the most expensive item at $3 each but can be reused multiple times.

The final party touch are white chair covers. I didn’t count them in the party costs since they can be used when hosting my personal events. Black, white and pink tulle dress the back of each chair along with a large black silk gerbera flower.

I will take plenty of photos once the table and party decorations are officially in place. Look for printable templates so you can create your own polka-dot party.


Printable Easter Brunch Invitations

Printable Easter Brunch Invitation

This is my first year hosting a post-mass Easter brunch. I’ve always done Easter egg hunts and baskets for the grand kids, but never gathered around a table with those I love to break bread.

These are the invitation and menu for this year’s Easter Brunch. Feel free to print your own copies using this MS Publisher template. Type in your own information and print on card stock. Punch two holes in the top of the invite. Thread a colorful ribbon through the holes. Double-sided tape works great for attaching the menu to the backside of the invitation.

Template prints two invitations per 8 1/2 x 11 page and easily fits inside a 6″ x 9″ envelope.

Easter Menu Template

So…what is Blimpy Girl’s Easter Menu? Considering the wine-guy loves Lox, smoked salmon is a must.

The Menu Agenda:

Printable Easter Brunch Invitations



Craft Day: Mail Carrier Bags

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Olivia delivering mail from her hand made carrier bag.

This week’s pre-dinner craft with the grandkids were mail carrier bags made from recycled grocery bags. I cut off the top portion of the bag (to acccommadate their size) and punched holes on each side of the bag. A piece of twine was threaded through the holes. The twine ends were knotted and secured in place with packing tape.

Supplies are assembled.I happen to have plenty of shipping stickers since my business ships daily. I dispensed a few of those along with stamps and mailing labels I printed online.

With scissors and double sided tape in hand, the kids decorated their carrier bags and filled them with junk mail I had saved. I also gave them envelopes to address. They filled the envelope with papers that were earmarked for the trash.

 My three-year old grandson cutting out his postage stamps.

I recycled small postal boxes and the kids stuff small goodies into them and taped closed. I never thought I could find a use for the massive amount of  junk mail I receive. This project recycles some of that paper, if only for a brief time.

My grand kids [age 3, 5 and 8] played with their mail carrier bags while I prepared dinner. We are storing them for future play time.

Fischer stuffing his bag with mail.

Leap Year Frog Puppet

The 2012 Leap Year fell on a Wednesday. I loved it because the grand kids stay every Wednesday for an overnight. As usual, Blimpy Girl, NeeNee, had a fun pre-dinner event planned.

Frog puppets were on the agenda. I had a device that allows you to record sounds. I recorded a croaking frog sound and then hid the recorder under the paper bag. Every time the kids tapped the counter, the frog would croak. They loved it!

Twelve frog heads were hidden around the house for the kids to find. Three of those were marked for special prizes. This week there were no monetary prizes. Instead the kids searched for three coupons:

  • I get to pick the movie for the night
  • I get a special NeeNee and Poppy day
  • I get to pick who I want to sleep with on my overnight stay (oddly enough, they fight over who gets to sleep with us).

 Here is the printable paper bag puppet. Hope your little peeps enjoy it as much as mine did. I also included a coloring page and maze.

Brown Bag Frog Puppet

Fat Tuesday Apple Dessert

Shredded Apples, Raspberries... Yumm

The grand kids missed Fat Tuesday at my house, so we made it a Fat Wednesday. Instead of Paczki, we had a baked apple, raspberry and strawberry dessert. Topped off with whipped cream, of course.

Fat Tuesday Apple Dessert

The kids loved that I designated dessert as the first course for this special celebration and they decorated Mardi Gras masks while waiting for dinner. My friend, Mike, who lives in Louisiana, shared with me what Mardi Gras really means (outside of the publicized craziness).

“The “real” Mardi Gras is truly a family event with lots of floats, parades, Gumbo cook-off’s, Cochon de lait (roasting a whole pig), BBQ, and really just visiting with everyone in town that shows up for the “from Fri night to Tuesday evening” party that goes on along the 5 mile parade route.  There are 11 different parades during that time and somewhere around 250 floats with people throwing beads and playing Cajun music, and everyone keeps their shirts and blouses in the down position here.”

Mardi Gra Fat Tuesday Mask for Kids


  • Shredded apple, no need to peel
  • Applesauce
  • Fresh raspberries, 5-6 per serving
  • Fresh strawberries, one per serving
  • Low-fat whipped cream in a can
  • Pinch or two of ground cinnamon

  Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras MasksI used  three (4) ounce porcelain ramekins for this recipe.

How To

Place 1/3 layer shredded apples in each ramekin, add 1 tablespoon applesauce and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder. Top with 5-6 fresh raspberries.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Place a whole strawberry in the center of each dish and garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon powder. It’s not a paczki, but the kids sure enjoyed it. It was a great lesson for them in American culture and how others celebrate special occasions and holidays based on their heritage.

 Here is the link for the printable mask the grand kids colored. Attach elastic string to each side of mask and cut out the eyes with an Exacto knife or box cutter. Use crayons, markers, adhesive jewels, colorful feather and ribbons to jazz-up the mask.

Pizza Placemats

Pizza Placemat Hide and FindThis week’s place setting was all about pizza. Dinner was ordered from a local pizza joint. Of course, I had to make the place setting match the theme (because I’m anal and that’s what I do!)

Four pizza slices were missing from each 8-piece pizza pie place setting. The pizza slices were hidden around the house and each child’s name was written on the back that noted a special prize. Not every pizza slice yielded a surprise.

My oldest grand son, Carson, found a pizza slice gifting him a library day with NeeNee (that would be me). My grand daughter gets to pick out a special bed time book. My littlest guy (age 3) found a special helper pizza slice. He so loves helping.

This pizza slice was hidden (and taped) next to framed wall art.

These simple meal time place settings don’t have to always have to be about money or gifts. Kids love coupons which that gift special treats. My grand daughter loves the opportunity to help with dishes. My eight year old grand son enoys picking out a special movie for us on NetFlix. My three year gets excited about showering by himself.

Heck, make coupons for special alone time to bake cookies, an hour for doing a craft, printing out coloring pages on the computer or reading books. We are all finacially strapped, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find creative ways to enjoy time with our kids or grand kids.


Bridal Shower Panty Envelope

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This post is so far removed from food but I must share. My daughter thought this rocked and she’s taking it to a bridal shower tonight. The same shower I blogged about in my last post (the artichoke spinach dip).

A Panty Envelope

I call it a Pantie Envelope and tucked inside is a pair of new pink panties for the bride to be. The shower hostess asked each attendee to purchase a pair of panties in the style they wear. The bride must then guess which pantie belongs to each girl. Very clever! Of course, Blimpy Girl jazzed it up a bit. Come on, you can’t walk into a bridal shower toting pink panties in one hand and artichoke dip in the other.

Here’s the how to:

Secure a 5/8 inch wide ribbon strip to top edge of 81/2″ x 11″ card stock. You’ll need double-sided tape or glue. I prefer tape because there’s no mess or drying time. Once ribbon is secure, fold the paper to meet the bottom edge of the ribbon. You want the ribbon to show. Close the sides of the envelope with double sided tape.

Cut a piece of ribbon and wrap around the front and back of the folded envelope. Secure with double sided tape (that double sided tape is really my best friend). Cover a 4.25″ x 2 1/8″ manilla  tag with printed paper that is trimmed to fit the tag. Punch a hole  at the top of tag and also along the right top edge of envelope. Thread a piece of ribbon through the punched hole to keep the gift tag in place.

The heart shaped “Guess Who?” was created in MS Publisher and taped to the tag. Slip the panties into the envelope and you’re done! I made this in under 10 minutes. The next time you attend a bridal shower and the Guess Who’s Panties game is played, you can showcase your favorite pantie type in a handcrafted pantie envelope. Keep in mind big girl panties won’t fit in the envelope and you certainly don’t want to admit you wear them, especially at a bridal shower.  Go purchase a pair of hottie tottie panties and really stump the bride.

Tip: If you don’t have manilla tags on hand, simply cut a piece of card stock to size and place your printed design over the card stock paper.


Repurposed Gift Card Message Book

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How to make THIS…

Empty Toilet Tissue Rolls Make Great Crafts

look like THIS!

Repurposed Toilet Tissue Rolls: Valentine Craft Idea

No wonder I can’t sleep at night. I’ve got crazy ideas about empty toilet tissue rolls dancing around in my head. I may be a nutty, aging woman, but at least I’m a creative nut.

Here’s what we have, 5 empty toilet tissue rolls folded in half (BTW, you can also use empty paper towel rolls and cut to size). Use the edge of a fork to smooth down the edges (you’ll need to do multiple sweeps to get the rolls really flat). Once flattened, print colorful designs to cover the rolls. You can create your own designs or use gift wrap.

Use colorful paper to wrap the toilet tissue rolls.

 My theme was Valentine’s Day, but you can decorate for any occasion. Cut your decorative papers to fit the rolls. Double sided tape is simple and mess-free for keeping the paper intact.

Cut out hearts from the same papers and adhered to the face and back of the covered toilet paper rolls.

Add decorative embellishments to the face of the covered rolls.

Use a hand-held hole punch to stamp out holes for the binder rings. The binder rings will keep all the rolls intact to create a flip-book. One-inch book binder rings were used for this project. If you want to add more rolls, use larger rings.

Cut card stock paper to fit width and depth of flattened rolls. Cut size will depend on the width of the roll. Tissue rolls have varying sizes. My rolls were 2 3/4″ x 4″ once flattened. Bright pink was my color choice.

 Cut cardstock to fit inside each toilet roll.

I purchased “blank” playing cards from Wal-Mart and taped to card stock. Position them so you have a “tab” area protruding from the toilet roll. Print your messages and apply to the blank card with double sided tape. This gift was for my daughter. I printed quotes that pertained to a mother-daughter relationship using MS Publisher. Just type your own message and format the fonts and colors to your liking.

Insert message cards into each roll.

 Gift cards fit perfectly into each slot. I put a $5 gift card into one of the quote sleeves. You can insert cash, or nothing at all. 

The finished product!

Add ribbon for the final touches. Your imagination is the only limit.

Smartie Valentine Candy Airplane

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Smartie Candy Valentine Airplane

 I think it’s already been established that I’m OCD. I could have just shopped a local retail store for Valentine cards. But, oh no, not me!! My compulsive disorder kicked into high gear and I decided to make these candy airplanes for my grand son’s third grade classmates. Of course, then the other two grand kids wanted the same.

I had problems with the gum wings drooping. My solution: a wooden spoon (the kind ice cream places use as tasting spoons). You could probably stack multiple pieces of gum for more stability, but I was trying to keep the cost down and the tasting spoon seemed like a better option. I might even consider sending small yogurt cups for the kids to use with the taster spoons. That is to be determined.

I ordered the red rubber bands online at Amazon Marketplace (Christy’s Toy Outlet). A 40 ounce bag was $4.99 plus $3.95 in shipping. You might be able to find them locally, but I didn’t want to spend time and gas driving from store to store. Trust me, you will have enough red bands to make over 100 airplanes… should you so desire.

How to make a Smartie Candy airplane

 I set up an assembly line for making the candy airplanes. Here is what you will need:

  • Lifesaver candies. I purchased a bulk bag of different colors and flavors.
  • Sticks of gum
  • Wooden tasting spoons (optional)
  • Rubber bands (I used red)
  • Smartie candies
  • Curling ribbon (about 8 inches per airplane)
  • Airplane trailer tags (I printed mine here, courtesy of Shabby Chic Crafts)
  • 4 x 8 poly bags (purchased from GoPlanetEarth.com)
  • Printable “FROM” tags that read, “Have a HIGH FLYING Valentine’s Day”
  • Hand-held hole punch
  • Scissors (for curling ribbon and cutting tags)


 Get your assembly line ready if making large quantities. Take the wrappers off the Lifesaver candies. I bought mine in bulk so they were individually wrapped. Thread the rubber band through both inner circles of the Lifesavers. These will be the airplane wheels.

Place gum stick on the wooden spoon. Secure in place with the rubber bands. These are the airplane wings. Next slide a Smartie candy between the Lifesaver wheels.

Tie curling ribbon to end of the Smartie candy and attach the Happy Valentine trailer. Place the prepared airplane in the 4 x 8 bag along with the “FROM” card.

I used clear adhesive circles to close the top of the bag. Scotch tape will work just as well, or, a heat sealing machine (not exactly a household item, but I have a couple for my business).


You can decorate the gum stick with foam shapes (small hearts). I didn’t want to spend the extra time since I was making quite of number of these guys.

Happy Valentine Smartie Candy Airplane