Help me, Pinterest. You're my only hope!
My little man just turned 7. SEVEN. How did that even happen?! It seems like only yesterday he was mutilating diapers and flinging pureed sweet potato at my face. Now he's almost as tall as my friend Kristin, writing in cursive, reading chapter books and charming everyone around him with his larger-than-life personality.
He's pretty amazing.
And if he wasn't already rad enough, he asked me to throw him a Star Wars birthday party!
Full disclosure: I LOVE Star Wars. Love. I've been a fan since I was a kid in the 80's, way before Disney brought it back. So its really easy to be enthusiastic about planning a party when it involves X-Wing chocolates and pool noodle lightsabers.
Finding decorations and party favors was easy, thanks to The Force Awakens swag being everywhere. The part that took a little planning was the food - I really wanted the theme to carry through to more than just the plates and napkins.
I don't know what people did before Pinterest, but within 30 minutes I found all kinds of easy and inexpensive ideas. The hardest part was weeding through all of the elaborate crap. I swear some of that stuff requires an engineering degree, which I nearly had... a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. But that a story for another day.
Point being, I'm not carving a scale model of the Death Star out of a watermelon. Nor am I sewing 15 kid-sized Jedi Robes or building a giant wooden R2-D2 bean bag game. I work well over 40 hours a week on a late graveyard shift, so I need stuff that I can prepare while I'm sitting on my couch half comatose. Things like stormtrooper marshmallows!
They were a huge hit with the kiddos. Large campfire marshmallows, a black cake decorating pen and cake pop sticks. The design is easier than it looks - I literally popped out 16 of them in less than 45 minutes.
Grape sabers were ridiculously easy, and the little ones did a good job not stabbing themselves. I probably could have used a melon baller and had a little more variety, but everyone seemed to like the grapes. And I hate melon balling.
Pretzel Sabers. These things are crazy easy and addicting. Salty pretzel sticks dipped in sweet candy melt... you can easily eat yourself sick. I brought the leftovers to work the next day and inadvertently sabotaged at least 1 coworker's cleansing week. She wasn't very happy with me.
Pool noodle lightsabers are pretty much the best party toy ever! I love these because they're extremely inexpensive, easy to make and you can beat the crap out of each other without doing any actual damage. Plus, one $0.94 pool noodle makes 2 sabers - you can't get less expensive than that.
But I have to say, the thing I had the most fun making was the one I didn't find on Pinterest. HOMEMADE STAR WARS CANDY!!! I was browsing Amazon.com and happened upon some amazing silicone molds on sale. I decided to give them a try and use them as edible cupcake toppers.
They turned out even cuter than I ever expected! I made way too many, though. Luckily I had an adorable BB-8 platter that I found, also on sale, at thinkgeek.com - it made the perfect serving platter for the extra candies.
Speaking of cupcakes...
I was really happy with how they turned out this year! I don't do fondant, so making some elaborate themed cake wasn't gonna happen. The kid wanted chocolate, so I used my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe and had a choice of chocolate or vanilla buttercream frosting. I ditched the themed cardboard cupcake stand and got a big-girl one from TJ Maxx for $20 - that made a huge difference. The candy toppers looked and tasted great, and were just the right amount of festive.
Overall, it was a great party! The boyfriend is a grill master, so the food was delicious. We had beer, popcorn, a slip n slide, The Force Awakens on the TV and some pretty amazing Star Wars photoshop.
I wouldn't mind if little man wanted another Star Wars party next year. Maybe Rogue One themed? Or something else fun, like Godzilla or Harry Potter. Just please... PLEASE DON'T ASK FOR MINECRAFT!