Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Brayden's 4th Birthday Party (Cars Themed)

During the COVID quarantine earlier this year, my son turned 4 years old. Originally, we'd planned to back up his party into May which then turned to June. Even though it was 2 months late and super small, he still had a blast and that's what truly matters!

The theme for his party this year was Lightning McQueen! I found a LOT of ideas on pinterest and wanted to share them with you here today.

Ka-chow! Brayden's swim outfit (including shoes) were all from Shop Disney last year.

The idea for our shirts also came from pinterest and I had a friend make them. We loved being a part of this pit crew!

At the entry way table, I included a few pictures as well as an "about me" age 4 print out. I'm not sure how long I'll keep those up, but they've been a fun tradition since his first birthday! Also, the "tires" are inflatable pool floats from amazon. They even got a double use - later in the day, we used them to play on the water slide!

Included in each kids gift bag was a sheet of stickers, a grab & go pack, a little toy car, and a "piston cup". I also threw extra candy from the pinata in there, too!

In the living room, I decided to make banners from my silhouette machine again. The one you see on the TV included symbols from the movie (such as a lightning bolt, a route 66 sign, the number 95, and "4th" in the Cars font). The mantle held the traditional "Happy Birthday Brayden" banner as well as a couple of photos and the "FOUR" letters that were purchased from Hobby Lobby. (Basically, I've been keeping those letters every year, adding the additional ones that I need and repainting them to match the party colors.)

In the kitchen as far as food goes, I tried to be as "COVID cautious" as possible, so every platter included a set of grabbers! If the item could be individually wrapped or bagged, it was.

How cute are these tags? They came from pinterest!

Peep the coffee condiment package in the white bowl! (If you're a Walt Disney World fan, you recognize them!) I knew they would come in handy one day! :)

Coffee and parties at my house go hand in hand!

For the main food, we offered hamburgers and chicken nuggets. Nuggets might be my child's favorite food group.

Throughout the house, I had various photos that were taken between our photographer in October as well as our Disney World trip in February. All of the photos that were framed had something to do with Lightning McQueen. These frames are also the same from his prior birthday parties, I just re-paint them to match the party colors!

I used the front table to hold the cake and cookies! At first I wasn't going to do a helium tank but then changed my mind when I saw that I'd already purchased the foil balloons you see here! (Initially, I'd purchased all of the decor back in March when his party was supposed to be in May, so I couldn't remember all I bought!)

The orange cones were in a box of 8 and I placed them in various locations throughout the house. I also purchased the cones on Amazon.

Our same cake friend from previous birthdays made his cake and I think it turned out adorable! I added the cars pieces (they were from his Christmas advent calendar) as well as the Happy Birthday Brayden banner in the back. The candles were purchased from Amazon.

My friend that made his cookies the past several parties also made these! Aren't they precious?

As an added touch, I thought it would be fun to have the Cars movie playing on the TV (without sound) and the Cars soundtrack playing throughout the house/outside on our Alexa home system! It worked beautifully!

As a final indoor touch, I found these posters from the opening of Cars Land at Disneyland and printed them out!

Since a good majority of this party was set to take place outside, we added a few pieces of decor out there, too!

I know you can't see it well, but there's a big "Ka-Chow" on the fence!

Apart from celebrating with family and friends, the highlight of the party for Brayden was his water slide! Initially, I had plans to let him swim and his friends join him from 11-noon, then stop and do cake, eat, open presents, etc. However, when family started to arrive at 11 a.m., Brayden wanted to get out of the pool and hang out with them. It was his party so we went with it!


While waiting for the burgers to finish cooking, the kids took to the trampoline!

Time for presents!

Due to COVID, we sang happy birthday and blew candles out on a cupcake instead of the big cake! Whomp whomp.

This kid is a Paw Patrol fiend! I have a feeling that will be his birthday party theme next year!

Another highlight of this party and something Brayden had looked forward to for a long time was the pinata. He couldn't wait to get to that candy!

After the pinata, it was time to SWIM and boy were they ready! I'm serious when I say that my child did not get off of that water slide from the moment they began swimming at his party to about 6 p.m. that night! It was well worth the money spent to rent it!

After a majority of the kids all left, the adults hopped on the slide with Brayden for a little fun! I seriously loved this thing!!

At the end of the day, it was a great party and we all had a wonderful time! We loved being able to swim, hang out with family and friends, and simply celebrate the life of our sweet "big" four year old! If you'd like to see a video recap of the party, check out the link below! :)

Thanks for following along! KA-CHOW!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Disney Dream Day 4: At Sea Day

Our final day on the Disney Dream was a day at sea! It was relaxing and enjoyable and just the way we like it!

When Brayden woke up that morning, he had a random dark substance smeared all over his face and the bed sheets. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was actually a melted chocolate coin from Pirate Night the night before! Jason said Brayden fell asleep holding all three coins and was unable to locate one of the three in the dark. He assumed it fell down somewhere but was apparently still in Brayden's hand and it melted everywhere! After stripping the bed, I alerted the room attendant that the substance wasn't....you know....and we all had a good laugh over it! (Including Brayden)

Brayden still talks about the melted chocolate coin to this day!

Although we were scheduled for Palo Brunch that morning, we still wanted a small bite to hold us over, so we ordered a little room service. It was yummy, too! :)

Our first stop after breakfast was the Art of the Theme Ship tour. This is a tour I've taken on all four ships and pretty much each Disney Cruise I've done. It's a fantastic way to learn about the history and decor of each ship. If you have a chance to do it on your next cruise, I highly recommend it!

Palo Brunch, anyone?

Our plans for this brunch included the other couple from our travel party. They were first timers and we couldn't wait to hear their thoughts!

Palo brunch includes four tables for the beginning (and middle, and end) of your dining experience. 

One table has fruit, pastries, and amazing sticky buns while the others host seafood and savory options. The fourth table is my favorite though...it's dessert!

My starters! So good!

We also took the opportunity to split several of the main menu items with our friends so we could try out more dishes!

The calzone...

...lasagna... (my personal favorite!)

...parmesan crusted chicken...

...and the sirloin steak!

My favorite part was dessert!

After Palo, we tried our hand at the Ultimate Disney Trivia!

Tisa was our cast member for this trivia challenge and I don't know if you've ever played Tisa's ultimate trivia before, but it's HARD, y'all! She asks questions on things no one ever thinks to look at our count! By that I mean.....how many movie tiles are on Prince Charming's Regal Carousel. Like...what??

The next stop was back in our rooms to change into regular clothing once again. We also might have shopped a little on our way back to the pool to meet up with our friends!

Before dinner that evening, we played our final trivia challenge this one, we WON!

It ended in a 3 way tie and I was able to snag it in at the tie breaker question! "Idiots on a Cruise" reign once more! :)

My trivia medal added to the collection!

The gingerbread house was being built the entire duration of our cruise. We were sad to miss the Merrytime cruise celebration by just a few short days, but we still had Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party to look forward to!

That evening, we took part in a must-do of any Disney Cruise, the "Kiss Goodnight"!

Various characters are out and about in their cruise attire to say goodbye to their guests.

Brayden had a chance to see Daisy, Goofy, and Captain Mickey!

Ahoy, mate!

Although we were sad to say goodbye to the Disney Dream, we still had Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party to look forward to, and we couldn't wait!

Stay tuned for the final update of our November trip (finally) from Disney Springs!

Disney Travel Day: Wine and Dine Expo & Animal Kingdom
Disney Day 2: Wine and Dine 10K & Kids Races & Hollywood Studios/Epcot
Disney Day 3: Wine and Dine Half Marathon & Magic Kingdom
Disney Day 4: Boarding the Disney Dream
Disney Day 5: Castaway Cay
Disney Day 6: Nassau
Disney Day 7: At Sea Day
Disney Day 8: Disney Springs and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

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