Camryn’s Birthday

3 May

Cam turned seven last Friday.

Since her besties have all moved away, we decided to have a family celebration at home and then take her to a local bouncy place that she loves.

I asked her what kind of birthday cake/cupcakes she wanted and she said “Hello Kitty” so I took that information and ran with it.

I did the majority of the baking while she was in school Thursday so that Friday, all I had to do was a little dipping, a little decorating, and a little set up.

We set up a little Hello Kitty treats table in her bedroom and when she got home that afternoon, I told her to go change into some shorts so that we could go bounce.

She was so surprised when she walked into her room and saw everything set up. It was a really precious moment.

She saw the table and asked me if it was all for her. Goodness gracious.

Since I used quite a few things from my lunch packing stash to make her day so sweet, I wanted to share some pics with you guys to show you how you can use bento supplies for something other than making lunches.

I also wanted to share some budget friendly party tips that I hope you might find useful.

Here are a few pictures from her special day:

 

cam's 7th birthday treat table

I’ve done a lot of treat/dessert tables for various parties and I really like having a background of some sort. It ties everything together and provides a great focal point. I once spent days making a huge paper floral backdrop for a party but that’s a story for a different day. It’s not work if you love it, right?

Hello Kitty paper background: I found some HK coloring paper rolls at Michael’s (local craft store) for $1 a piece and immediately thought that they would make a perfect backdrop. Incidentally, I found HK coloring paper rolls at Super Target next door that were twice the size so if you’re looking for this paper, check Target and your local craft stores.

I’ve also used this paper to line tables at a party so that party guests could color if they wanted to. You’d be surprised by how many adults actually end up coloring.

Hello Kitty garland: This is just HK themed scrapbook paper that I bought at Michael’s. I cut triangles, punched holes in each corner and strung a ribbon through to hang it. Scrapbook paper is very inexpensive and can be used in countless ways. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a party without it.

Red tissue puff decoration: I’m sure you’ve seen these everywhere. This is just 8 small sheets of tissue paper folded accordion style, paper clipped in the middle to keep together, and then fluffed up by gently separating each layer. I can usually get a pack of 12 sheets of tissue paper pretty much anywhere for .99 or less.

Red table cover – A set of two plastic table covers that I purchased at Super Target for less than $2. The cheap table covers tend to be thin so I like to double up whenever I can.

Framed Hello Kitty pictures – I found the frames at Michael’s for $2 a piece. The pink starry background is scrapbook paper that I already had in my stash that I cut to fit inside the frames. The HK graphic is just a set of stickers that I also found at Michael’s. This project cost me about $11 to make but that was only because I could not get my mobile coupons to work. I ALWAYS use a coupon when I shop at Michael’s because it regularly saves me 30%-40%.

Hello Kitty figurine: This is Cam’s piggy bank. It normally lives on the shelf of her headboard but I re-purposed it for her party.

Hello Kitty, Keroppi, Chococat, and My Melody decorations: These are cake toppers that I purchased here. These have been featured in a few of Cam’s lunches.

Pink and white striped boxes: These served two purposes: They acted as risers for some of the food plates and they hid Cam’s presents! All of her presents fit into those cute pink striped boxes. I purchased them at Target for $2.99 a piece, stuck a few HK stickers from the same pack that the framed stickers were in on the side and called it done. The best part, is that I can use these boxes over and over.

 

cam's 7th birthday

Let’s talk about what’s on that table.

The Glass bottles are Starbucks Frappuccinos that we drank over the course of the week, ran through the dishwasher, and soaked in vinegar to get the sticker residue off. When they were dry, my husband rimmed each one with a Hello Kitty sticker, added a little strawberry juice to the bottom of each bottle, and then topped them off with lemon/lime soda.

I bought the silly straws at Michael’s for $1.50.

I love the way these bottles look on a party table. They would be adorable rimmed with rainbow sprinkles and filled with strawberry milk. These were supposed to be rimmed with Pop Rocks but my husband forgot them when he ran out for a couple of last-minute things that day. :/

During Cam’s party, we dropped big chunks of cotton candy into our sodas. This is really neat to watch. The soda bubbles up and the cotton candy instantly disintegrates. This would have been made much more fun with the addition of Pop Rocks. Maybe next year.

The four small red and pink candies at the front of the table are vanilla Oreo truffles that I molded using some of Camryn’s Moon Sand molds and covered in red or pink candy melts. I washed the molds in the dishwasher before I used them.

In the glass jars off to the right side of the table are strawberry Pocky, Hello Kitty cotton candy (yes, there is a HK brand of cotton candy!) which I found at Wal-Mart, and strawberry malted milk balls. She had so hoped the Easter Bunny would bring her some of those last week but he (ahem… she) couldn’t find any.

 

cam's 7th birthday

I think now is a good time to tell you that my kids normally don’t eat a lot of sugary foods but on their birthdays, they’re allowed to go nuts.

Now let’s move on because we need to discuss those cones. Their cuteness is still killing me. They were also really easy to make.

These are normally made with cake balls but I personally don’t care for cake balls. They just don’t do anything for me (probably a texture issue) so these babies were made with donut holes. Yep. Store-bought donut holes which made the process so much easier and they fit the mini cones perfectly.

I put a few mini m&m’s in the bottom of each cone. Then I dipped the bottom of each donut hole in some pink candy melts and set it in the cone, pressing down a little to ensure a good seal. When the candy is dry, it seals the donut hole to the cone so you can dip the entire thing in the candy melts, let the excess drip off, and let dry. I melted a little chocolate for the drizzle on top, and used a spoon to guide the melted chocolate down onto the cone to give the appearance of dripping chocolate. Then I added a few sprinkles and a red mini m&m before it dried.

These were by far the cutest food item at the party. Yummy too!

Next up…marshmallows.

Sparkly marshmallows couldn’t be easier to make. If you like peeps, these will be right up your alley. To make them, just insert a toothpick or super cute food pick of some sort (preferably one that matches your theme) into the marshmallow, dip quickly in clean water, and then roll in sparkly sanding sugar. That’s it. I like to set mine on wax paper until they’re dry.

To make the red-bottomed marshmallows, which photographed hot pink instead of red because her room is dark and my camera is old, just dip marshmallow bottoms into melted red candy melts, allow excess to drip off, add sprinkles if you want them, and set on wax paper to dry.

To make dipping easier, I ALWAYS add a little Crisco or veg oil to my candy melts. If you don’t there’s a good chance it will seize up on you and you won’t get a smooth, shiny finish. I only use Crisco for fondant work and candy melts but if that grosses you out, you can use coconut oil.

Just add a couple of tablespoons of your oil of choice per bag of candy melts, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, pop back in for 30 seconds, stir. Repeat until smooth and melty and dip until your heart’s content.

Insert lollipop sticks before dipping if you want to serve them on sticks which is always super cute and fun for little ones.

 

 

cam's 7th birthday

I just loved these white sparkly marshmallows with the red HK bow picks.

cam's 7th birthday

Pictured above are slices of pound cake that I cut with a flower shaped cookie cutter and covered in melted canned frosting.

Let’s pause here because I can hear some of you gasping.

Yes, I am normally a from scratch kind of baker. But it is much easier and often cheaper to buy the canned stuff, zap it in the microwave until pourable, and then use it to cover baked goods with a satiny smooth finish. I haven’t been able to accomplish this with homemade frosting.

On top of each piece of cake is a red (yes, red.) marshmallow fondant decoration that I made using my new bento tools. They worked perfectly with the theme. The blue sevens are actually the L from this set turned upside down.

cam's 7th birthday - hello kitty cookies

 I love how cute these cookies turned out. Even though there isn’t a lot of detail, you can still clearly tell who it is. These are just simple sugar cookies that I cut into HK shapes using cookie cutters, spread with a little vanilla frosting, and topped with marshmallow fondant that I cut and stamped using the bow from this set.

 

hello kitty & friends cupcakes

 

For her birthday, Camryn had strawberry cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. We girls like Hello Kitty’s friends just as much as Hello Kitty so I made sure to include them too. HK’s friends were all made very late at night by me out of marshmallow fondant. I bought the Hello Kitty cupcake toppers from my favorite online bento supply store.

 

Camryn's new bento

Camryn was so delighted to find the new Cutezcute Baby Night Owl bento box in one of her gift boxes. She had her little heart set on this bento box for a while so this was a fun surprise. I have to say, this bento box is small but it’s beyond adorable. It’s going to take some planning on my part to get her lunch to fit in there so stay tuned for updates.

At this point my camera had died and I was snapping away with my phone so I apologize for the blurry picture.

After a few treats and presents, we headed out to the bouncy place. There was no one there when we arrived so for a while, Cam had the whole place to herself.

 

She was in absolute bouncy heaven until about 6:30 that evening when she came running over to me crying about not feeling well. We had planned to go out to dinner after bouncing but when her fever spiked and the full wrath of the impending bout of strep/scarlett fever hit, we knew we would be in for the night.

And that’s how it all ended. It wasn’t pretty but she had a brand new Kindle Fire tablet with a neato squishy pink cover to keep her mind off of how bad she felt.

Even though her day didn’t go quite how we planned, I’m just thankful that she was able to enjoy most of it.

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