Tuesday, December 11, 2012

TWINS TUESDAYS: "Little Bear" Birthday Fun

The twins' birthday is Saturday, so we had a little family party this weekend. Just immediate family -- grandparents, two aunts and uncles, and first cousins. Big Girl's birthday is in the summer, so in the past we always had elaborate picnics, with great aunts and great uncles and second cousins, but I've learned that bigger isn't always better.

Right now, simpler is better. Simpler means smaller. Simpler is less expensive. And this year, I decided to have the twins' birthday party on a Sunday morning, as a brunch. Easy-peasy, right? Morning means not needing beer or wine, or appetizers for that matter. I decided to make a large breakfast casserole, with shredded hashbrowns, eggs, peppers and onions, bacon and sausage. It was a modified version of this:

I didn't follow the directions exactly. I used the recipe as a guideline; added sausage to the peppers-and-onions layer and the eggs poured on top; and made it twice as big. It came out pretty good, and everyone seemed to like it. I kept the buffet options light -- the casserole, some fresh bread, and a giant fruit salad prepared by my mom. Juices and coffee with assorted flavored creamers completed the beverage menu. For dessert, it was simple Funfetti cupcakes, with icing and sprinkles.

The kids love the television show "Little Bear" (as do I!) but since it is old, there is basically no merchandising to be found for this theme. Ebay has some items that are rather pricey, and that is not an option. So what's a mom to do? Make your own!

I created a half-dozen little cupcake picks with wooden skewers, scrapbook paper, and an image printed on the computer:

With the festive icing, and chocolate Teddy Grahams -- a stand-in for our favorite "Little Bear" -- and it was just enough of a theme to carry the day. A few other images printed on cardstock were hung in the kitchen.

Luckily, I was able to cull enough festive paper items, including napkins and plates, from my party goods storage, so there was no need to shell out money for those. I used plain red plates, with yellow "Happy Birthday" napkins. It all went well together. My one regret, but not a big one, is that I didn't get some party hats. I would love to have had little bear ears for the kids to wear.

If you are looking for more "Little Bear" party ideas, there are not many which I could find either by Googling it or searching Pinterest. However, these links might help:

  • LittleToons.com has some great "Little Bear" free coloring printables that would make a great activity or a way to create decorations. There even a great "Little Bear" mask printable that would make a great party activity; print it on cardstock to make it sturdier before the kids color it!
  • Nick Jr.'s website also has free coloring pages, as well as a Thank You note that you can easily print out.
  • Peppers & Pollywogs has some good ideas in this post.
  • I love this party post about making Birthday Soup, just like in the "Little Bear" story. The ideas of using honey bears as favors is also so cute!
  • Using the "honey bear" idea, it would be great to find empty honey bear bottles and fill them with Teddy Grahams or gummy bears or something like that, wouldn't it?

If the twins were older, and had little friends to invite, I would love to use some of the ideas above. Who knows? Maybe there will be another "Little Bear" party in our future.

I am just happy that I was able to put together a very sweet little birthday brunch for my little twinkies on a budget. Twin Moms need that, don't they? Especially with December twins!

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