SQUEEKING IT OUT TO THE END
It’s the very last day of April and I’m just getting this blog post together! It’s been a whirlwind month for us with cheer tryouts, our 15th anniversary with a trip to New Orleans and of course our little guy turned 8! Eight is GREAT!
THE PARTY THEME
So I’m one of those nerdy Mom’s who likes to throw parties with a “theme”. I mean it makes things so much easier to throw it all together if you have a cohesive ending in sight.
I asked the little guy to come up with what he wanted this year and I think he said ‘qixels’ which is a bunch of these little square plastic things that fuse together with water. It reminded me too much of his lego party so I said, “pick again.’
Well, we were both stumped for a while and then I realized that this year he has really gotten into Tae Kwon Do. He is currently on his green belt and loving it. I mentioned this theme to him and he was onboard 100%!
PINTEREST HERE I COME!
With the theme in hand, I immediately opened up Pinterest and started to search for Tae Kwon Do parties. I quickly learned that there was more posts around Ninjas and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when it came to this type of theme. That’s ok though – I’m adaptable!!
I pinned a bunch of stuff to get the creative juices going and this, my friends, is what unfolded…..
FIRST OFF THE KID PARTY
To keep with the theme and just because it was so dang cool we had it at Conquer Ninja Warrior. It’s pretty much a training facility for those athletic types who want to try their luck at the new phenome TV program called American Ninja Warrior. If you haven’t seen this show it’s totally worth watching. It is an awesome obstacle course which requires speed, balance, strength, and a lot of skill.
The facility we went to also throws kid parties I’m assuming to keep the lights on!!!Everyone had a good time!
THE FAMILY PARTY CAME NEXT
We always do a separate family party and this is where the theme gets kicked into high gear. I found these really great invitations and thank you notes that were Ninja inspired and ultimately, they were just really cool. I used them for both parties actually since it all worked so well together.
Sometimes I go all out on decorations but since this was a busy month both at work and with our activities schedule, I just pulled out a few pretty standard ones.
I made a birthday banner by finding an Asian letter set on Pinterest and copying it to scale (FREE HAND!!!) onto the white banner squares with a black sharpie. I then cut black and red squares out of cardstock to mount them on. I found a thick ribbon that I could use to staple the card stock onto so it looked like a sort of old fashioned Asian banner. The banner idea came right from Pinterest and I made it my own adding my visual and artistic flare.
I also made an “8 is Great” sign with the same letter set and made some origami ninja stars. I stopped after six because these origami stars were very difficult to make and for some reason it didn’t dawn on me to make eight. They also didn’t make a picture. *sigh* Mom brain – what do I say?
We hung large white lanterns (on sale from target from a while ago) and small black & red lanterns (from amazon) from the lights over the island where the buffet was and over the table in the kitchen. I purchased ninja theme table cloths from the same place that I got the invitations/thank you notes.
Lastly, we had ninja plates and napkins. Also from the same place that got all our money for the rest of the ninja loot. I love to be coordinated like this. Yes, I’m weird.
THE NINJA PARTY FOOD
Normally, this is an area where I just cannot get it together. I mean some people have little signs all made up with cool names and things. I think I was on my “A” game only once in order to do that. Once.
So this year, two things happened: The Candy Sushi & the Ninja Sword Fruit Kebabs. I got a picture of one of these things. Mom brain, again? 40’s fog? who knows….
The candy sushi was super easy to make. I purchased gluten free pre-made rice krispie bars from Aldi. They are amazingly naturally gluten free because they do not use barley malt in their rice cereal!! YAHOO! We cut each bar in half after unwrapping them.
The next step is to open SEVERAL boxes of Swedish fish – not knowing that you would never in a million years use them all. You place one fish on each of the bars.
Lastly, you unroll sticky gooey fruit roll ups – no wonder dentists hate this stuff – it is sooo sticky! I cut them into strips so that they would wrap around the fish and the bar and adhere on the underside. I did pull them a bit so they would stretch and keep it all together nice and tight.
Amazingly, the kids really enjoyed helping with this part – they thought it was super fun and of course devoured about 2lbs of left over Swedish fish!
HERE COMES THE CAKE
I had to leave this fabulous cake to the end. It really was a masterpiece and I really am enjoying baking and decorating gluten free cakes more and more each year.
Of course I found this design on Pinterest and thought – “YES. This one I can handle.” – because let me tell you, there are Ninja cake masterpieces out there that really must require a cake ninja to create….. way outta my league…. sheesh.
This design is basically a Tae Kwon Do robe with a black belt. I made a 9×13 gluten free & vegan marble cake (recipes from Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats). I let it cool and then I cut it in half so I could fill it with buttercream.
After that I frosted the cake with white buttercream for the uniform shirt. The day before I made homemade marshmallow fondant (because the other stuff that you can purchase is soooo gross and I refuse to eat it – the marshmallow kind is very yummy and edible). I dyed some of it red and some of it black while leaving most of it white.
From here I molded the collar of the uniform shirt and the black belt in the same fashion – carefully placing them on the cake, pressing them into the buttercream so they would stick. I put a all triangle of black inside the collar so you could tell the depth of it. Lastly, I molded a team symbol for the tunic. This not any team symbol that I know of – I just made that bad boy up – a red circle and a hand made ninja star molded out of black.
I’m not the best piper so I had my daughter assist by cutting out ‘Happy Birthday’ from red fondant and we put that on the side of the cake so it didn’t detract from the overall uniform look.
It was a yummy cake and it actually was a lot easier to make then I thought.
8 IS GREAT!!!