Shark Themed Birthday Party

I am excited to finally post some of the details of Jax’s Shark Themed 5th Birthday Party!

We had originally planned to have a Star Wars birthday party but Jaxson decided to change the theme two months before the party date. #whythough. If you know me, you know I plan MONTHS in advance for any party I am throwing, so that change was a huge challenge for me!

I chose the color scheme of white, orange, yellow, light blue and dark blue after falling in love with a Shark themed party put together by the amazing Kara’s Party Ideas. And I couldn’t have loved it more! If you hit a creative road block when trying to throw a party, make sure to check out her site! She is the definition of “goals” for any themed party!

Jax has always had a great love for sharks. Same with myself. They are such amazing creatures. So when he told me he wanted to have a Shark birthday instead of Star Wars, I was super excited! I thought it would be a super fun idea!



This is our AMAZING shark piñata! My dad made it all from scratch and I couldn’t be more in love with it! It has been a tradition of ours (mine and my dad’s) to make a piñata every year since Jaxson’s 1st birthday!


It’s so much fun to make our own and be so proud of the work. I have been traveling a lot for work so I am so grateful to have such an amazing Dad that is willing to help me with everything! I will be sharing a whole piece about this piñata soon!


Best friends. Seriously?! How cute are they?!


I also made a shark photobooth using cardboard, paint, and a red plastic table cover! It turned out so cute! Jax and his friends loved taking photos in it!


PEEP the rainbow coral in the photobooth photo too! My dad made those using spray foam and spray paint! We had them up all over the yard to give it an extra “ocean” theme!

Here are some of my other favorite details from the party:

Invitation and Insert Card : 2 bird studios











Shark Candy Necklaces


Shark Suckers


Sticky Shark Favors


Shark Tank Bubbles


Shark Blaster Gun


Shark Stickers and Tattoos



Blue Striped Mylar Balloons


Shark Zone Balloons


Shark Balloon


Plates: Zurchers: Yellow, carribean blue,

Cups: Zurchers: White, orange, yellow, blue

Striped Napkins


This past weekend was a blast! Full of family, friends, snowcones, waterslides and plenty of fun!


Cheers to my baby boy turning 5!




“Crack Me” Egg Invitations

“Crack Me” Egg Invitations

These egg invitations are great for any kind of party!

I created a handful of these “Crack Me” egg invitations to invite our closest friends and family to Jaxson’s Dino-Mite celebration!

STOMP! CHOMP! ROAR! Jaxson is turning 4! Hooray!


Materials Needed:

Step 1: Blow out the eggs. This is something that can take some time to do. I will have to talk about the full details of that process another time, but basically you punch a small hole on both ends of the egg and blow all the yolk out through one side. You can buy pre-blown eggs from several sellers online. To fit the invitation into the egg, I had to make the hole a little larger, and the invites were roughly 2″ x 4″ and were rolled like a scroll to fit in the hole.

Step 2: Fold the boxes. Quick and easy to fold! They were the perfect size for my project.

Step 3: Stamp your message on the inside of the lid. Or outside! The great thing about these Kraft Boxes is you can decorate them in a million different ways! For this specific project I stamped “Crack Me” that way our party guests would know they had to crack the egg to find the invitation.

Step 4: Add a small bit of Deco Moss to the box to be the cushion for your egg.

Step 5: Close the box with moss and egg inside, tie the twine or string around your box to hold it all in place!


Be sure to leave a comment or share your own “Crack Me” egg invitations! xx-Ray

DIY Candy Kabobs


Since the theme for Jaxxy’s party is “Young, Wild, and Three” I decided to throw a lot of “wild” things in to the mix. Not jungle wild- but crazy-thinking, wild. wild as in nothing-really-fits-a-theme, WILD!

One of my additions to the upcoming party was DIY candy kabobs. They are fun, colorful, and SO easy for anyone to make! + no grilling experience necessary!  I couldn’t wait to share it, so i had to post before his party this upcoming Saturday!

Items Needed:




  1. Take one of your skewers and get it wet with your water. I found this to be an effective step, because the candies would get stuck or not drag down as easily if i didn’t add water first.
  2. With pointy side up, slide candy pieces down your skewer. leave a little room at the bottom for holding room.
  3. Continue sliding candies down, and applying water as needed to the skewer, until your skewer is full. I placed a star at the top of each of ours so the party goers wouldn’t get poked!
  4. Place each skewer in one of your treat bags and tie the end tightly so your candies don’t get dried out.


You can add all kinds of candy to fit your theme which makes it fun for any party!

I am getting so excited for jaxson’s party, i cannot even stand it! #3moredays!! xx-Ray


Pig Roasts and Piñatas

If you have been following along through my previous posts, you will notice that my Piñata making has come hand in hand with trial and error. They are not perfect. They are messy. They are bumpy. They are perfectly imperfect and I couldn’t be more in love with them.

Nowadays, people like to use cardboard to create fantastic shapes, and i am still over here using the good ol’ flour and water mixtures.

Both are great.

So now i would like to introduce you to the luau pinata pig– Meet Winston.


Winston was created for Jaxson’s second birthday party, the backyard Luau. The theme of this birthday was “Hawaiian Luau Style”.

Luau= pig roast.

No, no. I didn’t have a giant pig roasting in the backyard for his party (though i did consider it), but I did create things that fit the “pig roast” theme.

I knew I wanted a pig piñata. I was even going to throw the apple in it’s mouth to make it more fun, but decided not to go that far, for the kids.

How to make a Pig pinata:

Materials I used:

1 balloon
6 toilet paper rolls (or you can use paper towel rolls)
pink paint/sponge paint brush
black sharpie or other marker
glue or tape


  1. I started by blowing up the balloon, tying off the end, and taping the tied end of the balloon down into a coffee mug.
  2. Next, I ripped up pieces of newspaper into thin strips that I would use to create the mold of my piñata.
  3. I then mixed flour and water to create my paste. I used 1 cups flour to 3 cups water. (add more water or flour to create your desired consistency). I made sure it wasn’t too watery, however. You want to make sure the paste is a little thicker or it won’t stick well.
  4. I took a strip of newspaper and dipped it into the paste, ran the paper through my index and middle finger to squeeze off an excess paste, and placed it on my balloon, overlapping each strip slightly so there were no spaces between each paper piece. I continued this process until the balloon was entirely covered.
  5. I let this dry and harden for several hours and then did another layer, and another. I continued to move the balloon around so I was covering all sides of the balloon except for where it was tied.
  6. Once I added all of my layers evenly, I decided which side would be the “belly” of my pig and laid that side up. I grabbed 4 of my toilet paper cardboard rolls and placed them where I wanted the legs of the pig to sit. I attached them with tape and some of my paper mache mixture and let it dry. I did that a few times until they were hard enough to stand alone sturdy without falling. I covered the bottom of each roll so the holes were closed. I used paper mache mixture for that as well.
  7. Once our pig could stand on his own 4 legs, I flipped him over and added the ears and snout using the last 2 toilet paper rolls. For the snout, with my toilet paper roll sitting vertically, I cut it in half horizontally then took each half and cut a slit in it so it was a “C” shape. I connected both of my “C” shapes together using tape and attached it to the front of the pig’s face using more tape and paper mache. I covered the front of the nose with a piece of paper, by cutting a circle out to my paper and attaching it with more tape and paper mache. For the ears, I took our other toilet paper roll and cut that in half horizontally just as I did for the snout. I took each piece and cut out ear shapes. I connected those to the pig using more tape and paper mache mix. I took another piece of my paper and made a little tail. I twisted up paper and made a little curvy tail.
  8. Once all the pieces of the pig had hardened, using a few layers of paper mache, I painted the pig with pink paint. I painted over it a few times so you could no longer see the newspaper coming through.
  9. Once the paint was dry, I added the eyes, nostrils on the snout, and a little smile.
  10. I added a homemade paper lei. directions on how to make those flowers can be found here on Lia Griffith.

Jaxson named him Winston. I completed making him a few weeks before his 2nd birthday party and Jaxson was in love with him. He would talk to him and pretend to feed him. I almost backed out on using him for the party because I was worried Jax would be heartbroken when he was broken apart by all the mini party goers but he wasn’t. he was first up and ready to swing!




Along with Winston the pig, we also had some chocolate pig roasts. And they were DELICIOUS!

How to make pig roasts:


pig mold ( similar found here on
pink Wilton chocolate candy melts (found here)
pretzel rods

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl until it is melted. Use a spoon to mix and melt a little more if necessary. CAUTION: it can get very hot, so be careful. I just melted mine in the microwave.
  2. Pour the melted candy into your molds and lightly tap so that you get air bubbles out.
  3. Once you feel like most of the bubbles have surfaced, lay a pretzel rod horizontally across the mold and pour a little more over the pretzel. Twist the rod until the candy is attached to the rod and the candy in the mold and place in the fridge for about an hour.
  4. Once they have hardened, bend the edges and carefully pop your pig mold out.

I had to cut my molds so that I could lay the rods across each one without bumping into each other. I placed each pretzel rod and candy mold in a cellophane bag, tied off the end, and added a little printed note that says “pig roast”. These were a huge hit and everyone was asking for more!


This time last year was very hectic for us. We had Jaxson’s birthday, an August Bahamas trip, and selling our home all back to back. We were just go, go, go. I don’t know where Ii found the time to pull off his 2nd birthday backyard luau, but I did it! xx-Ray









DIY Pineapple Piñata

Well friends. Today I am going to be writing about how I made my very first piñata that just so happened to be my favorite thing ever (other than Jax), a pineapple!!

Now, please note: I am not a professional piñata maker. Are there things I did well? Maybe. Are there things i could have done differently? Most definitely.

This is also NOT a step by step tutorial.  I definitely wish i had taken better pictures to show how it was made but maybe these steps will help someone that is trying to make their own.

Overall, i was very pleased with how it turned out, being it was my first time EVER attempting a piñata.

how to make a Pineapple piñata:

1 Balloon (i actually used one of his birthday invitation balloons!)
Newspapers and paper
Mixing Bowl
Green Construction Paper/piece of cardboard
Yellow paint/foam paint brush
Yellow Crepe paper
Glue & Tape
Black Sharpie

  1. I started by blowing up the balloon, tying off the end, and taping the tied end of the balloon down into a coffee mug.
  2. Next, i ripped up pieces of newspaper into thin strips that i would use to create the mold of my piñata.
  3. I then mixed flour and water to create my paste. i used 1 cups flour to 3 cups water. (add more water or flour to create your desired consistency). I made sure it wasn’t too watery, however. you want to make sure the paste is a little thicker.
  4. I took a strip of newspaper and dipped it into the paste, ran the paper through my index and middle finger to squeeze off an excess paste, and placed it on my balloon, overlapping each strip slightly so there were no spaces between each paper piece. I continued this process until the balloon was entirely covered.
  5. I let this dry and harden for several hours and then did another layer, and another. Please note: the tied part of the balloon was still taped to the mug, so there was a part that was not being covered with paper and paste. This hole would later be for the candy and “pineapple top”.
  6. After several layers of paper were laid and dried, i took the tape off and unattached it from the mug, popped the balloon, and pulled out the pieces. Nobody wants popped balloon pieces in their candy bags!
  7. With my hard-as-a-rock egg shape, i covered the entire base yellow using my yellow acrylic paint. I did this to prevent any of the newspaper ads from showing through my crepe paper.
  8. I unrolled my yellow crepe paper and folded it a few times. I then cut small triangle shapes along one edge of the paper, making sure i didn’t cute the triangle all the way through to the other edge otherwise it would cut apart my entire strip. Once i had large strips of crepe paper with jagged edges on one side, I began wrapping each strip about the balloon, gluing the non-triangle edge and attaching it on.
  9. I colored each triangle tip with my black sharpie to accent each individual point. I did this for the entire mold to give it some life.
  10. Once I was done coloring my triangles, I took my piece of cardboard and cut a small circle piece that would cover the hole in the top of my “pineapple”. This was my lid. I painted it yellow and attached it to the mold by punching a hole in the mold and cardboard and connected the two with a zip tie. This was a simple connection that allowed me to flip the lid open and close.
  11. I then cut my pineapple leaves using my green construction paper, cutting them at different lengths. Folding each piece at its bottom, I glued the folded part to the lid. I started in the middle with taller pieces and worked my way to the outside with shorter and short pieces each time.


I filled my “pineapple” with toys and candy and let the mini party goers have their way with it! I was pretty sad to see it go, but it was such a blast to make. I may have even screamed a little when the kids finally broke it open!


With a few hours, some supplies, and some creativity, you can also make your own piñata that fits any party theme! Just use your imagination and be creative! xx-Ray

1st Water Birthday Bash

Because he was only turning 1, I had several people ask my why i was making such a big deal about his birthday party.

Well… hi, my name is Rachael.

  1. Everything always has to be MY way and a huge production. Go big or go home!I have always loved to plan and celebrate things. I even helped plan my own baby shower.. yup! that happened.
  2. My little human has an extremely large family, ranging from infants to seniors. Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends. the list is long! Sometimes it is hard for me to  keep up, and I just wanted everyone to enjoy it! It was important that they all had fun and helped participate in celebrating the life of jax. My creative mind could not imagine his first birthday party being in a living room with everyone sitting in a circle starting at him… no way!

So to start this birthday bash, I had to come up with an awesome invitation idea! That is the first thing my party goers would see, so i had to make sure they got excited right away!

I found a place online that made custom order printed balloons. I knew that was exactly what i wanted. you can find similar ones here. I decided what i wanted the balloons to say and ordered! I was so excited when i received that package on my doorstep!


I took each of the balloons and attached them to a little 4×6 piece of thicker craft paper by poking two holes on either side of the balloons end and looping the string through, tying a bow at the end to hold it in place!

I then used some letter stamps that I found in the dollar section of Target to provide directions. i stamped out the words “Blow Me Up” and sent them off in cute little envelopes to all of Jaxson’s party guests!

weather in july is HOT here in utah, so i knew immediately that i wanted to have a water party. i love the outdoors and want to be outside any chance i get! Because it is so hot, I ordered a blow up slide, dunk tank and a shaved ice machine from Plan-it rentals. I love that they are local and offer tons of items for rent that make any party more exciting!


I purchased green paper bags from Zurchers party store, and printed a little label that said “thank you for making a splash at Jaxson’s 1st birthday bash!” and attached each one with a string.



Costco is one of my favorite places to go for cakes.. not so much for the decorations, but I love the big sheet cakes that they make + they taste amazing!!


Next, I had to get a piñata.

I must have you know, I have a thing for pineapples. Actually, more than a “thing”. I love them. Love is an understatement. I am straight OBSESSED. I have a whole board dedicated to them on Pinterest called “Pineapple Love“. I just love the look of them and try to incorporate them in every party! So, I searched high and low, all over the internet land, trying to find a pineapple piñata but none of them were quite what i was looking for. So finally, I searched on Pinterest and found a few cute ideas for DIY piñatas and I decided I was crafty enough to make my own. Again, you might ask “why make your own when you can buy one?” please refer to explanations #1 and #2 at the top of the page. ha! I couldn’t find one that matched that picture in my head so i wasn’t going to stop until I had exactly what i wanted.

Check in tomorrow to find my DIY Pineapple piñata instructions! xx-Ray