My daughter is a huge Monsters Inc. fan. She isn't able to sit through most movies in their entirety — her attention span doesn't allow it — but Monsters Inc. is a different story...a silly, sweet and adorable story. We bought her the MI DVD for her birthday a few years ago. She watched it so many times, she literally wore it out.
She nearly blew a gasket when this float went by in the Disney World parade.
So when we heard Monsters University was coming out, we knew we HAD to see it in the theatre. Avery's birthday isn't until August, but we bumped it up to have her party coincide with the opening of the movie. Also her cousins who live far away were going to be in town, so having her celebration early just made sense.
Here's how we threw the EASIEST kids' party ever...
This is the first time in a long time that we outsourced a party and we're thrilled with how it went.
We booked the party room at our local movie theatre and opted for the Premium "Popcorn Party" package (this includes party food, plates and cups. Excludes cake). You can read more about package options here. Something to note, you're not allowed to bring in any outside food (other than cake/cupcakes) so a fruit or veggie tray isn't an option. My kids were crushed. Just kidding. I think they may have fist pumped.
You get the room for one hour before the movie begins. This is enough time for pizza, drinks and cake. We went with cupcakes — not as messy and plates/cutlery aren't required. I planned on making these Mike Wazowski Cupcakes.
Of course I left it to the last minute and didn't. But aren't they cute? If you make them, send me a photo won't you? Or just send me an actual cupcake. ;)
I took the easy way out and bought these mini cupcakes. Mini is the way to go if you ask me. Bite-sized, cute and delish. Little kids can usually only manage one or two. I tried to get green and blue cupcakes to match the Monsters colour theme. These were close-ish. Blue and keylime. My god they were good and the kids didn't even notice the colours. They never do.
A Party Helper is assigned to the room to serve the food and drinks. This is helpful, but it's important to know that she won't be there the entire time, so you may have to refill drinks or hand out pizza seconds yourself. The hour goes by very quickly so opening gifts probably won't happen.
You'll want to have something to keep the kids entertained. There is a TV in the room, but really?? They're going to be watching a movie so they can probably forgo the extra screentime. I printed and stapled together Monsters University activity booklets and brought crayons and scissors.
You can find some adorable Monsters U printables here.
Seats are reserved for party members and each child got a Monsters University snack pack to nibble on during the show. Adults who'd like to stay for the movie pay for their own ticket. Unless you're super generous and would like to pay for them.
Based on eleven kids, the entire party came to just over $200. This includes drinks, pizza and snacks and the movie ticket. Very reasonable and the best part, I didn't have to do a thing! Plus, I got to see the movie! I love the monsters too. I can't wait until it comes out on DVD so we can buy it (and a replacement Monsters Inc.)
One final fun touch, I bought these cute Monsters University t-shirts from the Disney store. Avery's says "We put the fear in cheer." You can find all kinds of Monsters University branded toys, juice boxes, stickers, etc. in stores now, if you decide to do loot bags. Our guests went home with the activity booklet, the drink toy topper and a smile. If you know me, you'll know that I think loot bags are loony, but it's your party so... if loot bags float your boat, have at it.
We enjoyed this stress-free party experience and would recommend it to parents looking for a fun and easy party venue. Avery had a blast and has been talking about it ever since. I'm not really sure what we're going to do when her ACTUAL birthday rolls around in August... I'm thinking ice cream cake and a day of swimming. Maybe I'll bring Avery with me. Haha.
Party on monsters!
Related: A Special Kind of Date Night — dinner and a movie out with your child
*This post was not sponsored in any way. I paid for this party out of my Party Mummy Purse. :)
My friend Cherie-Lynn dared me to Twerk. Of course I accepted, but needed to look up what Twerking is. I assumed it has something to do with social media — working on a Twitter account or something.
I was wrong. So very wrong.
Twerking is a weird, highly pelvic and disturbing dance, that if any child of mine ever attempted in public, would land them in 'Time Out' for eleven years. Young girls Twerking isn't pretty.
Know what else isn't pretty? Old girls Twerking. I tried it and sweet holy hell, there was so much jiggling and violent belly rolling going on... I can't even... there are just no words to describe the horror. And that doesn't even cover my wildly flapping inner thighs and the odd clicking sound eminating from my hips. I'm fairly certain I slipped a disc at some point too.
Girls Twerk while making "sexy" faces. I can't even attempt to look sexy without laughing hysterically. Instead of thinking alluring thoughts, I was making a mental note to increase my calcium intake because osteoporosis is clearly imminent.
Unfamiliar with this abomination called Twerking? This urbandictionary.com definition should help.
Still confused? This three minute how-to video will shed some light on this for you. Before attempting to Twerk however, you'll need to sign a waiver agreeing not to hold me responsible when you break your hip. Or get arrested.
This is where I planned on posting a video of me Twerking. Until I came to my senses. My attempts were disturbing, extremely unflattering and frankly, sad. I pulled a hamstring and worked up quite a sweat. Also, my son walked in when I was practicing and said, "Mum?!?! WHAT are you doing? You look like Roger!" FYI Roger is our horny dog who tries to hump his wife (our petite fawn coloured Chihuahua) every chance he gets.
For the sake of my children and anyone with eyes, I decided not to share. You're welcome.
Are you hot for teacher? Wait, that sets a rather adult tone for this PG-rated post about end-of-the-year teacher gifts. Sorry about that. I also apologize if you have that song stuck in your head and start humming it a school pick up today. Awkward parent-teacher meeting in the maaaaaakinnnnnnng...
You may be thinking, there are already 4,000 posts about the best teacher gifts, so why should I read this one? Well, because if you're a slacker like me and you've yet to hit the mall in search of a gift, this post might save your "but I'm busy and haven't had TIME!!!" butt.
I have FOUR LAST-MINUTE TEACHER GIFT suggestions that appear NOT to have just been picked up on your way through the Starbuck's Drive-Thru on the last day of school...
* FYI — It's all in the presentation. The WORDING of the card (handmade by your child...even better) is the key
1. Field Trip Survival Backpack
Teachers LOVE field trips. Haha. Kidding. No they don't. Bus rides + Responsibility = 6 hour migraine. However, teachers are troupers and take one for the team in the name of education. So why not make it more pleasant by giving the teacher you love a backpack to take along? Find a smallish pack — pretty for female teachers and dude-neutral for the males.
Fill it with supplies like: Kleenex, small pack of wipes, Bandaids, water bottle, notepad and pen, lip balm,Tylenol, mints and a nut free energy bar. (You can find all of these things, minus the backpack, at the drugstore).
Attach a card that says something like, "Field trips are not for the faint of heart. Hopefully this Field Trip Survival Backpack will help. Thanks for showing my child the world."
Thoughtful and useful. I wish somebody had given me one. I had to make my own...
2. Classroom Supplies
Classroom cutbacks......sigh. Teachers often spend their own money to stock up on essentials so your help is always appreciated. Ikea and Target have all kinds of cute bins to use as your present "holder."
Stock small bin with items such as: Mabel's Labels Write Aways (so teachers can make custom labels for their stuff...you can pick these up at Wal-Mart), a Scholar's Choice or Staples gift card, blank paper (teachers go through a lot! You can pick up paper packs at the Dollar Store), rolls of stickers (Costco sometimes has them), blank note cards, glue sticks, post it notes, etc.
Include a card that says something like: "You give so much, now we'd like to give back. Thank you for making my child's classroom so warm, inviting, and exciting! Here are a few things to hopefully make your classroom even more comfortable for you and your (lucky!) students next year. Have a great summer!"
Teachers work up an appetite so feed them. Buy a cute reusable lunch bag. You can find these everywhere!
In the bag stow: a pretty cloth napkin, a set of fun cutlery (Winners/Homesense is a good place to look), a water bottle and a gift card to a local restaurant located near the school.
On the card say something like: "You feed my child's imagination, now we'd like to feed you! Please enjoy a lunch on us. Thanks for everything you do."
4: TGIFs (Thank God It's Finally summer) Gift Pack
My son has an (awesome!!) male teacher. What am I getting him? Beer. I'm not talkin' a six-pack of ordinary ale either. Only the good stuff will do.
Packaging it is up to you. In a box or if you can find an oval aluminum tub (Ikea, garden store, hardware store...), fill with a dozen or so premium brands — mix and match to make a sampler. Include a beer stein and a bottle opener.
On the card say something like: "It's Miller time! Thank you so much for making my child's year such fun. He's learned so much from you. Enjoy your summer. Cheers!"
Why qualifies me to write this post? 1) I'm too busy to get my sh*t together and have left everything to the last minute yet again 2) I was a teacher for over a decade and I can tell you that teachers love and appreciate a thoughtful gift. And a pat on the back. And booze.
Related: More teacher gift ideas
Image Cred: Backpacks, labels, lunch bag, beer