Month: April 2014

Minion Mayhem Birthday Party

Assemble the Minions!!

Last Saturday we finally celebrated our daughter’s 6th birthday with a Despicable Me Minion theme.  It was a whirlwind day of fun, food and games with 13 little Minion friends!



I only had about 2 weeks to plan and execute, so almost all of the decorations were easy DIY projects thanks to all of the super talented people who have hosted Despicable Me parties before me and who provided their files for {free}.  All I needed was a computer, a printer, a Sharpie, glue and some 110# cardstock!  I’ve included links to all of the sources below.



We hand-delivered her invitations since we had attached a rainbow lolipop to each one (to represent the rainbow party blowers that the Minions used in the movie preview).  I ordered the invitation from Amber at Sprinkles of Sugar on Etsy.  Amber is super nice and she delivered the invites quickly, so I’d highly recommend her and would happily use her again in the future!



Costumes {Adults & Kids}

When the kids arrived, they were greeted at the Minion-wrapped door by Lucy Wilde of the AVL {the Anti-Villan League} and Gru. Admittedly, orange hair is decidedly not my color and this wig makes me look more like Daphne from Scooby Doo rather than Lucy, but the kids thought it was funny anyway.



The story was that Lucy had received reports on an authorized party in the backyard and needed to enlist the help of the guests!  Each child was given a DIY Minion hat in order to transform them into Special Agent Minions!

The Minion hats were made from yellow plastic construction hats purchased at Party City.  I added black pipe cleaners to the top {in three different hair styles}, black ribbon for the band of the goggles, a pint-sized Mason jar lid for the rim of the goggle, and I created an eye in Photoshop.  {You can download the eyeball file here.}




1. Minion Egg Hunt

Once in the backyard, the kids were given empty goodie bags made from plain yellow bags with Minion faces glued on.  The bags would hold their prizes from all of the games for them to take home!


The first game was an egg hunt.  Each child had to find 4 plastic Minion eggs numbered 1-4, with each numbered egg containing a different prize.  Once collected, the eggs and prizes went into their goodie bags and they were given a Special Agent Minion tattoo.  The scavenger hunt was a great way to give the kids something to do while we waited for everyone to arrive.


{Prizes included a ring, glitter putty, a bouncy ball, and a wall walker.}


2. Pin the Goggles on the Minion

I made a simple poster using PhotoShop to play Pin the Goggles on the Minion.  Each child was given a pair of goggles with their name on it and we used double-sided tape to attach the goggles to the poster. Here’s a look at the small version of the poster but you can download the full size version here.


3. Space Killer

Just like in the movie, the kids could play a carnival game of Space Killer!  Plucky Momo created awesome replica images of the spaceships from the movie, so we printed and taped them to the inside of the glass door and then let the kids blast dart guns at them.  {Dart guns, not….}  :)


4. Freeze Ray Dance

This was a good ol’ fashioned game of freeze dance using music from the movie soundtrack, but whenever we stopped the music, we pretended to blast them with the Freeze Ray.


5. Minion Pinata

We purchased a Minion pinata from Party City.

Minion Pinata

I had every intention of taking a picture of it; unfortunately, by the time I found my camera, this was all that was left!  All of the candy that the kids collected was added to their goodie bag.




I layed out all of the food buffet-style for the kids to help themselves.  They feasted on:

  • Miniondogs (mini corndogs)
  • Agnes’s Caterpillars (Cheetos)
  • Pineapple and Blueberries
  • Minion Bananas
  • Cookie Robots
  • Coconutties
  • Merry Minions (Twinkies)
  • Cake
  • PX-41 Antidote (Yellow Lemonade)
  • Anti-Gravity Serum (Purple Grape Juice)

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Cookie-Robots TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Minion-Bananas


Place Settings

We did simple blue tablecloths with the Despicable Me theme paper plates from Party City.  I also printed and cut out an eye to wrap around the napkins and added a face to the cups.



Special Guest Appearance

Sadly, just like in Despicable Me 2, the fairy princess couldn’t make it to our party. Thankfully, Gruzinkerbell was able to step in to read a story to all of the kids and sing Happy Birthday during cake time.  My husband was willing to dress up as Gruzinkerbell for the kids since he knew they would think it was funny, but he made me promise not to post any pictures here.  :)  For those of you that don’t know who Gruziinkerbell is, here’s a photo from the movie.



Before leaving, I also added some Minion goggles to their goodie bags, as well as their very own Freeze Ray {a squirt gun}.  I think all of the kids had fun and as soon as the last guest left, I changed into my PJ’s and went to bed….and it was only 2:00 PM!

Happy Birthday, my little Minion!  Until next year!!!



Sources & Files


Did I miss a file or source?  Please let me know so that I can add it!



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When to Splurge versus When to Save

It’s no secret that I love a bargain, so if I spy an inexpensive replica of something, I’ll gladly snatch it up.  And let’s be honest.  I have kids and my things just don’t always stay in pristine condition, so it’s much less upsetting if something happens to an inexpensive items, versus an expensive one.  But as much as I love my bargain finds, sometimes I feel that buying the real deal is necessary.  As a result, my home is truly a mix of price points and quality depending on what I feel is best for my style and my budget.



Before we get too far into this discussion, though, let’s clear something up.  There is a big difference between inexpensive and cheap.  Inexpensive is a price point.  Cheap is a look.  Inexpensive items can be quality, good-looking pieces, whereas cheap items often don’t look….well, cheap.

What one considers inexpensive or cheap will vary from person to person based on their individual taste and lifestyle, and our perceptions also often change based on the item considered for purchase.  But in general, here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to splurge or save on your home decor.


When to Splurge

1.  Quality/Longevity

Before purchasing an inexpensive item, look carefully at the quality.  Sometimes, you won’t be able to tell the difference, but other times, the item is less expensive because the materials and craftmanship are not great quality.  This is particularly important with regards to furniture, where quality construction will allow a piece to hold up better and longer.

Upholstered side chairs are a great example of this point.  You can find all sorts of beautiful parsons chairs at discount stores offering great prices, but speaking from experience, I can tell you that the padding and seat don’t hold up as well as the more expensive ones, which have better craftsmanship. I have an inexpensive chair in my bedroom for my desk and after just a few uses, the seat is starting to get a bit lumpy.  So when I was ordering chairs for my dining room, I decided that quality construction was a must-have!  If quality is important to you, you might have to splurge.

TIDBITS & TWINE Dining Room 4 REV 2


2.  Authenticity/Brand Name

Brand name is important to some people and while sometimes, a brand name item is truly better quality than a replica, other times, it isn’t, in which case, you’re paying for the brand, not the quality.

{Source and source}
{Source and Source}


3.  Uniqueness

Sometimes you’ll come across those rare or unusual items and often times, those come with a price!  If something is truly unique, you might have to settle for paying more if you really want it.



4.  True Love

This is one of those times where your purchase decision may not make financial sense, but falling head over heels in love with something is often a decision of the heart, not the head!  I’ve come across an expensive item that I knew I could find a similar replica, but something about the replica just didn’t capture my heart the same way, in which case I was willing to pay more for something I loved versus something I liked.  Expensive items often have more detailing than those that are less expensive, so pay attention to the details and if they matter to you, you might opt for the more expensive version.

{This faux rose was more expensive than others I’ve seen, but given how realistic it looks, I feel in love with it the moment I saw it!}



When to Save


1.  Nonexistent or minimal difference in quality

The advantage to discount chain stores and online sites is that they sometimes carry items identical to their more expensive counterparts but at a fraction of the price!  In this case, it just requires a bit of patience and determination to find what you’re looking for at a price you’re willing to pay.  Other times, there is a difference in quality but you might not be able to justify the cost difference associated with it, in which case you might as well go with the less expensive option.

I fell in love with the Restoration Hardware’s crystal Palladian urn lamp for my bedroom, but just couldn’t justify the price tag.  I waited and waited hoping to find something similar and was thrilled the day I found the almost identical lamp at HomeGoods for 1/4 of the price!  Both lamps are crystal and both are French-wired, but the HomeGoods one is about half as thick, resulting in the lower price.  Since I never see the lamps from the side, though, this was a minimal difference to me and I was thrilled with the less expensive option.TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Master-Bedroom-Nightstand



2.  Temporary or rarely used items

If an item isn’t going to get much use or you don’t plan to keep it for long, quality isn’t often a factor.  In these cases, so long as you love the less expensive option, go for it!


3. Budget considerations

For most people, budget considerations factor into our purchase decisions.  When working within a budget, prioritize your wants/needs and allocate your funds accordingly.   You can read more about creating your design plan {here}.

Originally when I thought about including a plate display in my dinning room, I wanted to use vintage ironstone plates; however, for me at that time, I couldn’t quite justify the cost for obtaining the ironstone when I already owned basic white dishes from HomeGoods and Target.

TIDBITS & TWINE Dining Room 15



Keeping in mind that our perceptions of quality and price vary from person to person, in general, you’re usually safe if you buy quality pieces (which are often more expensive) for your long-term foundation furnishings and look for inexpensive accent and filler items.  Next week I’ll share some additional tips for decorating on a budget!


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Minion Mayhem

I briefly mentioned last week that I’m working on my daughter’s Minion birthday party, which is this weekend!



My little one originally wanted to have her birthday at a local kids’ party place and I agreed, but at the last-minute, she changed her mind and decided she wanted to have her birthday at our home.  Her actual birthday was last November so she’s been waiting quite a while to celebrate with her friends and when I looked at the calendar, I realized that the only weekend between now and June that we had free was this weekend!  That was all fine and dandy until Pinterest took hold of me and convinced me that I needed to craft all sorts of Minion-related things for her party.  Honestly, why do I do this to myself?!?!

So here I sit, typing this late at night with no decorating post to share with you.  Instead, I have hot glue burned onto my thumbs, googly eyes inadvertently affixed to my clothes, and a To Do list a mile long!  I feel horrible for not having a decorating post to share with you today, but the last-minute rush to pull off this party is taking up my every waking moment.  I guess I haven’t quite yet figured out how to balance my time between “doing” things and “writing” posts, so today was all doing and no writing.  I feel very guilty and hope that you’ll hang in there with me as I figure out how to balance it all.  Until then, I’ll be feverishly working on plans to keep a dozen 6-year-olds entertained this weekend.

Wish me luck!
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