Tag Archives: party planning

A Duck Dynasty Birthday Bash!

Up until a few months ago, I had somehow managed to live a Duck Dynasty free life. Blissfully unaware of what I was missing. No knowledge or care for the antics of Willy, Jace, Uncle Si, Phil or the rest of the gang of duck call millionaires.

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Internet Photo

Then, one fateful day in February, my sister posted on Facebook just how “Ha-Pay, Ha-Pay, Ha-Pay” she was that the new season of Duck Dynasty was starting that night. Duck what? I commented. What are you talking about?

She tried to explain but ultimately said “you just have to watch it for yourself”. I was hesitant as I am not a reality TV show watcher; House Hunters, House Hunters International and about a million cooking shows are as close as I get. But a show about millionaire rednecks? “It is so funny” she promised. Why not. Curiosity won out and my family and I tuned into Duck Dynasty for the very first time.

And you know what? We laughed.

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And laughed and laughed and laughed.

And watched about 9 straight episodes because it was funny and kind of like a train wreck where you just can’t seem to look away.

There was a lot to like and a lot to laugh at. Lots of funny one-liners, sibling rivalry and the antics of adult men who act like 10 year olds. An I am who I am and proud of it attitude and of course crazy Uncle Si and his wild stories and complete annihilation of the English language “I’m what some people call, hey cultured, ok? I’m like a fine stinky cheese”.

Cultured. Not exactly what I was thinking.

Actually, watching Duck Dynasty was a lot like being back in my husband’s small hometown in Indiana. Seriously, his little brother’s groomsmen had names like Meat and Cletus and Buck. I’m not making that up and I’m still hoping there was a nickname or two in there.

But “cultured” isn’t what Duck Dynasty is about and something I’m pretty sure those guys could care less about. In fact, the patriarch of the family, Phil “The Duck Commander”, would refer to anyone who is cultured (or lives in a sub-division) as a “yuppie”. And he doesn’t mean that in a good way.

What Duck Dynasty is about is family, faith, sticking together, praying together and loving each other no matter what. It’s about being comfortable with who you are and where you come from. It’s good clean fun and something I feel good about letting my kids watch. That is saying something these days.

And, it’s funny.

My nine-year-old in particular LOVES it so when it came time to start planning his birthday party, I thought how about a Duck Dynasty birthday party? FUN! He was all for it!

Here’s how it turned out …

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A Duck Dynasty Birthday Bash

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The birthday boy bearded up and ready to party!

The Invitations

I love to make my own invitations and always have a lot of fun trying to be clever. Don’t laugh at me but I use word … as in Microsoft Word. I do everything in Word, it is all I know. Not very sophisticated or computer savvy but effective enough.

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I put a cast photo from the internet at the bottom of the invitation and then folded over the top two-thirds, concealing the interior of the invitation. The Duck Commander logo, which I also found online, along with “You’re Invited” printed on brown cardstock and then adhered to the plain white “fold-over” completed the outside of the invitation.

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For the interior of the invitation, another internet picture – this time of Uncle Si with his famous “HEY JACK!” started things off just right. The rest of the invitation read …

HEY JACK!

IT’S A PARTY!

Ha-Pay, Ha-Pay, Ha-pay (which is what Phil always says and that’s how he says it Ha-pay) Birthday David!

Let me be more “pacific” … (remember how I said Uncle Si has a gift for completely butchering the English language?)

Where: On Brewer Land (something is always happening on Robertson Land which flashes on the screen regularly) with our address.

When: Date and Time

Come sharply dressed in your best cammo and bring a swimmin’ suit. And come hungry ’cause Miss Kay’ll (the family matriarch famous for her cooking, including some non-mainstream livin’ off the land type ingredients) be cookin’ up squirrels and frog’s legs.

RSVP to the Duck Commander at …

It is easy, fun and inexpensive to make your own invitations. If Microsoft Word and I can do it, believe me, you can too!

If you would like to print my invitation, you can do so by clicking the following links and then going into the text box(es) and changing the wording as you like.

Duck Dynasty Invitation Printable.

Duck Dynasty Invitation Front Art Printable.

The Decorations & Favors

I had a great time putting this party together. I love planning the decorations and decking out the dining room table. Our dining room has been adorned with many themes over the years … Spiderman, Princesses, Cowboys, Surfin’ at the Beach, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Thomas the Train, CARS, Artist easels and canvases and now … Duck Dynasty.

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We camo’d up for this one. I ordered duck blind fabric for the table-cloth and plastic camo netting for the background – which I hung from the chandelier.

Oh the things that have hung from that chandelier.

The wooden crates came from Michaels and added some elevation to the table scape. I like to make the cake the centerpiece of the table and then decorate around it.

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I printed up a lot of fun Duck Dynasty images from the internet and incorporated them into the design, along with a lot of swamp creatures and critters that I picked up at Michaels.

Here are the images I used along with a couple of funny quotes …

Duck Dynasty Party Image Printable

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This was the birthday wish on the cake. I mounted the photo and salutation on orange card stock, taped a drinking straw to the back and stuck it into the cake. Easy. Cheap. Awesome!

Here is the Printable Cake Topper – just go into the text box and change the “name” before you print.

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This is my favorite part. I found some of the funniest one-liners and quotes from the show, printed them out and hung them from the chandelier with raffia.

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I don’t care how cultured you are, that’s funny!

Especially to adolescent boys. Who are not cultured.

And their dads. Hmmmmmmm.

Okay, and me.

Here are the quotes if you would like to use them …

Duck Dynasty Funny Quotes Printable

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I have a confession. I’m funny about party favors. I like quality favors. It isn’t about how much you spend but quality is better than quantity; whether it is one cookie decorated in the party theme and wrapped adorably in a cellophane bag or a few items kids will actually play with. All of those little junky plastic piñata fillers make me crazy. Please don’t take offense to this. I’m not judging. I’m just saying that at my house, those little things end up in the garbage about 4.2 seconds after we walk in the door; sadly making their way to the nearest landfill. I know I’m not alone here.

The Duck Dynasty Party Favors

Nothing was very expensive but it all fit the theme well and hopefully will be useful and/or played with. And will avoid the landfill at least for a while.

Duck-Dynasty-Party-10I know my kids have been wearing beards and bandanas for days. And blowing duck calls.

Loud duck calls.

Okay maybe the plastic spinning tops that don’t spin and dog choking rubber bouncy balls aren’t so bad.

Click the items listed above for the link to purchase. If there is no link, they were not purchased on-line and were purchased at a party or craft store (Michaels or Hobby Lobby).

Additional Party Supply links …

Camo Party Supplies

Duck Dynasty Party Supplies

The Food

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Whenever I throw a party, I like to lay out all of the platters and serving dishes ahead of time and then put the items on them that they will be used for; well the non perishable ones anyway. That way I won’t be scrambling around at crunch time looking for service items. It frees me up to scramble around at crunch time in other ways.

It is either organization and good planning or OCD. Either way, it keeps me straight. And sane.

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I also like to make descriptive food “place cards”. Who am I kidding, I LOVE to make them.

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Especially when you can make them theme oriented and fun!

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The Duck Dynasty Party Menu

  • Gator Tail with spicy BBQ dip (grilled chicken skewers, gator tastes remarkably like chicken)
  • Miss Kay’s Boudin Sausage Bites with BBQ dip
  • Buffalo Style Frog’s Legs (curiously similar to hot wings)
  • Bayou Baked Beans
  • Pulled Pot o’ Squirrel (pulled pork in the crock-pot)
  • Swamp Grass (coleslaw – a must with pulled pork and soft rolls)
  • Caprese Salad, Yuppie Food
  • Watermelon and blueberries, arranged into “Pretty Yuppie Food”
  • BBQ chips, tortilla chips and salsa
  • Purple grapes
  • Veggie tray with carrots, grape tomatoes and sliced cucumbers
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Do you see my note pad and Sharpie there? My list is never far away. Nor is my Sharpie. I’m partial to orange at the moment.

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And of course, no Duck Dynasty Party would be complete without a big pitcher of Uncle Si’s famous (or infamous) iced tea.

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Only ours wasn’t sweet. Sorry all my southern friends, we’re Yankees – or south westerners at least. There’s no “sweet” in our tea.

Printable Menu Tag 1

Printable Menu Tag 2

The Cake

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I use this three-tiered stand a lot and decorate it according to theme. It is easier than a stacked cake and leaves more surface area for decorating. Of course we had to have ducks and a few beavers and their dam; which the Robertson men do battle with on a regular basis. I used stick pretzels to make reeds on the side of the green duck cake and to make the beaver dam on the chocolate cake.

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Which by the way was a Sugar-free/Gluten-free chocolate cake.

And it was delicious. And I got to have cake.

Ha-pay, Ha-pay, Ha-pay!

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I also put out a pecan bars and peanut butter and jelly bars.

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David loved the cake and that is what matters most!

And he got all nine candles out in one breath!

The Fun

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Well, cammo, bandanas and beards are fun of course! And Nathan is fun!

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And friends are fun!

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And water balloons are fun!

Duck-Dynasty-Water-BalloonsEspecially when you have to toss them to your partner without breaking them.

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And built-in entertainment is fun.

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And easy for mom and dad.

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We had also planned to do some duck target shooting with Nerf guns but as is always the case, the kids really just want to run around and play and swim. So that’s what we did.

Family, friends, food, fun, cake and presents.

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And a Duck Dynasty floor mat. The greatest gift ever.

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An attempt was even made to redecorate the entry hall.

Sadly, a line had to be drawn.

As a kid, I didn’t have big blow-out parties with thirty of my “closest” friends at giant expensive venues. Don’t get me wrong, those parties are just fine and great fun; we just did it a little differently. We did family parties at home and I loved it. Those are some of my favorite memories and that is how I approach birthdays now that I am the mom. I have done a few of the big venue parties but for the most part we stay at home, in the company of family and friends. And lots of food.

I hope my kids will one day look back with the same fondness that I do. I hope they too will have wonderful memories of the fun we had at home with the people we love.

And of how they were celebrated.

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday David.

Note: The “printables” shared in this post contain images obtained from the internet and are not official Duck Dynasty merchandise or for sale in anyway. They were created for use at my son’s party and I am simply happy to share. There is a link in the post to official Duck Dynasty Party Merchandise.

Lucy and Ethel Plan a Halloween Party

We love being a part of Cub Scouts! David is learning new skills, we have made wonderful friends and are having A LOT of fun – Nathan can hardly wait to be a “Hub-Scout” (as he calls it) when he gets older.

Last Thursday was our Halloween Pack Meeting/Party. I am the Assistant Committee Chair and I LOVE putting a party together so I took up the party planning reins. Thankfully my friend, fellow party lover, Wolf Den Leader and kindred Pinterest addict, Eileen, became Ethel to my Lucy and helped me put the whole thing together.

Just like Lucy and Ethel were prone to do, we went a little crazy! At one point (I think it was when we were discussing the white chocolate dipped pretzel topped brownie skeleton treats) Eileen’s husband looked at us and said, “you know they’re just boys, right?” I think he was insinuating that the stack of hand dipped pretzels topped with a puffy Marshmallow face all resting on a homemade brownie decoratively wrapped in a cellophane treat bag, would be lost on them. I think he was suggesting that the “Cake Walk” would be just as successful if we were to just buy cupcakes at Albertsons.

Silly guy, doesn’t he know that this is our chance, our long awaited opportunity to try out ALL of the amazing ideas we have been pinning on our Halloween boards for months?

So between the planning meetings which doubled as play dates, text messages, phone calls and midnight e-mails, here’s what we came up with:

Games and Activities

We had two activity stations and five game stations, mostly because we have five different dens so each den could be in charge of a game and the den parents could rotate through making sure there was always be a parent at each station to help. Each game had a bucket of candy and small Halloween themed toys to be handed out to the kids when they finished participating.

The Guessing Table – At the entrance to the party was “The Guessing Table” where we had mason Jars filled with gumballs, eyeballs, malted milkballs, cheeseballs (aka: pumpkin poo) and candy corn. I used white jumbo cupcake wrappers topped with Halloween themed wrappers as decorative (and really easy) lid covers. We set up orange and yellow gift bags behind each jar for the boys to put their guesses in and whoever had the closest guess won the jar.

The Guessing Jars

The Eyeball Guessing Jar

For the “Eyeball Guessing Jar”, I topped it with a treat cup filled with candy so that the winner would have something yummy and not just eyeballs. Although I can’t imagine any elementary school age boy who wouldn’t be thrilled just to win a jar full of squishy, sticky eyeballs.

Grandma and Nathan making their best guess.

The Craft Table – Eileen ordered canvas treat bags from Oriental Trading Company for the kids to color and then use to hold all of the candy and goodies they would collect at each game station.

Coloring Treat Bags

The Costume Contest – Before the games got started, we had all of the kids parade across the stage for a costume contest. We had three of the pack leaders judge the costumes based on Originality, Imagination, Wow-Factor and “Selling-It” (being in character). We had some great costumes and all of the winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) put a lot of thought, creativity and effort into their costumes and each received a prize that included a black light (which here in the desert is great for night-time scorpion hunting – if you like that sort of thing, which I don’t), a frozen yogurt shop gift card, Halloween pencil and a bag of treats.

Eileen asking Nathan who he is for the Costume Contest, “I’m Nathan B.” he answers matter-of-factly. Eileen tries again, “But whooooo are you?”  “Naaaathaaan Broooweeeeer” he says slower and much more clearly so that the confused lady with the microphone can understand. Actually, he was “Chop-Chop” one of his super cool and much beloved Skylander characters.

Our Winner, Jacob the Giraffe!

Dara and Davin, the coolest Mother/Son Zombie team I know!

And David is a Ninja, three years running. He does make a good Ninja. Actually this year, he is technically “Snake Eyes” from G.I. Joe so he’s not really just a Ninja … again. Sara was a very pretty Genie but in the craziness, I missed getting a picture of her – I’ll get one on Halloween!

Let the Games Begin!

Station 1, Games for the Little Goblins and Ghouls – We set up an area, removed a little from the main chaos and craziness that comes with a large group of 6-11 year old boys, for all of the little brothers and sisters that came. I can’t believe I never got a picture of this station but we had a pumpkin bean bag toss, sticky spider web splat game, toilet paper pumpkin bowling (TP rolls with ghost eyes and mouths drawn on stacked in a pyramid and then bowled over with a small pumpkin – so cute) and pin the nose on the pumpkin.

Although I don’t have a picture, the TP bowling was inspired by http://bedifferentactnormal.com

Station 2, The Toilet Paper Mummy Race – Teams of three boys, two at one end of the race one at the other end, one boy would wrap another in toilet paper (using the entire roll), the newly mummified scout would then run down to the other end where he would be unwrapped by his waiting team-mate and then race back to the start. I’m not sure if the actual “race” part of the activity was successful but the kids sure had a lot of fun wrapping each other in toilet paper!

Mummified!

Grandma “mummifies” Nathan.

Station 3, Pop Goes the Pumpkin – Young children overly excited with party fever and consuming way too much sugar, why not add darts to the scenario? There were a few concerns about this but when did Lucy and Ethel ever let the threat of danger or potential harm stop them? Actually “Pop Goes the Pumpkin” was very safe, a lot of fun and VERY popular with the boys. Inspired by a Pinterest Post from http://marthastewart.com, Eileen took two foam core presentation boards, taped them together and then covered them with black cloth. The balloons were taped to the board in a pumpkin(ish) shape and she put a green paper stem at the top to complete the effect. Two big black garbage bags filled with extra balloons were standing by to replace the popped ones. We blocked off the area around the dart board and only one set of plastic darts was used so that just one boy at a time could shoot thus minimizing the risk of life and limb to the parent volunteers.

“Pop Goes the Pumpkin”

Station 4, Fear Factor Challenge – My friend Jenn, Cub Scout Treasurer extraordinaire, took this one over and did a great job. She covered bowls filled with “interesting” things for the kids to reach into and see if they could guess the contents. Were they feeling slimy worms or spaghetti noodles? Cockroaches or banana peels? Peeled grapes or gooey eyeballs? You get the idea. Gross and perfect for boys! Wipes and hand sanitizer were a nice added touch.

Ewww, gross what is in there?

Station 5, The Cake Walk – Timeless and a necessity at any Halloween Party! Incidentally, neither Eileen or her husband had any idea what a “Cake Walk” was – how is that possible? To have never walked around and around in a circle desperately hoping for your number to be called so you can victoriously march up to the cake table and select whatever delicious treat your heart desires. It really is unthinkable.

The Cake Walk Treat Table

My youngest son, on the other hand, is the greatest cake walk competitor of all time. This child is serious about his cake walk and it is hysterical! We discovered this last year at his pre-school Halloween Party. He patiently and methodically stepped from number to number, no pushing, crowding, hurrying, he was all business – which was made even funnier by the fact that normally he is a run-away train barreling through his day at 100 miles an hour. When the number was about to be called he would wait intently, eyes wide, ears straining to find out if he was the winner. When his number was not called (and it was not, many, many, many times) to our amazement, he never got frustrated or upset he just continued on patiently walking around and around that circle somehow sensing that his “day” would come, even clapping for winner after winner as they walked up to select the sweet treat he was so determined to win. Finally, after what felt like a thousand trips around that circle, his number was called and you have NEVER seen a more excited, proud little guy. His patience and “never give up” attitude had paid off and as he approached that cake table to claim his prize, he reached out and selected … the tiniest individual cupcake on the table! I am NOT making this up, all that and then the tiniest cupcake on the table. But he was happy, thrilled actually, and that was all that mattered. Much to our amusement, the same exact scenario played out at the cake walk this year. About a thousand methodical trips around the circle and when his number was called, he proudly walked to the table and claimed … an individual cupcake. The table was filled with whole cakes, and dozens of cupcakes and he chose one lone little cupcake, just enough – so adorable! Okay, I’m done with my “mommy moment”.

Nathan anxiously waiting to see if his number is called.

Look at that intent little face and if you look at the bottom of the picture do you see how he is standing perfectly placed on top of his number (the orange square)? ALL BUSINESS. Precious boy! Okay, now I’m really done.

Some of our Cake Walk Treats …

The Skeleton Brownies – Ethel, I mean Eileen, did make them and they were amazing!

The skeleton Brownies were inspired by http://wantsandwishesdesign.blogspot.com

Jenn made “Brains in a Jar” – Yummy! Cake on the bottom, topped with raspberry preserves and then covered with light grey tinted frosting piped back and forth to look like brains. So cool! I do have some talented friends. This somewhat gross but really cool “Brains in a Jars” idea came from http://totallyloveit.com.

Candy Cups as a fun alternative!

My candy cups were inspired by http://thesugardiva.com but I put the cupcake wrapper inside of a small plastic cup for a little more stability.

So that does it for the fun and games, now onto the Party Food.

Sacks and Treats – We had a snack and treat table which, thanks to the help of our pack parents, was overflowing with apples and caramel dip, snack mix, cookies and cupcakes.

For the snack mix, I mixed equal parts pretzels, cheese crackers, cheese puffs, mini caramel rice cakes and then threw in some small ghost shaped marshmallows and fall colored plain M&Ms for good measure.

We also served a “Witch’s Brew Punch”. Our Committee Chair Tammy took care of the punch but the recipe came from one that both of my grandmothers often made; in truth was probably served at every bridal and baby shower from 1964-1975. Lime Sherbet Punch is green and foamy and delicious – PERFECT for a Halloween Party, especially if you freeze gummy worms into pineapple juice ice cubes and throw them in (which is only successful if you actually remember to bring them, which I did not).

Witch’s Brew Punch

Here’s how you concoct this venomous brew …

  • 2 Quarts Lime Sherbet
  • 2 Liters Chilled Lemon/Lime Soda, ginger ale, or squirt
  • 1 – 46 oz. Can of Chilled Pineapple Juice

Scoop the lime sherbet into the punch bowl (or cauldron) and let it sit for 10 minutes or so as it will foam up better if it melts a little. Pour the cold soda over the sherbet and then add the chilled pineapple juice. Throw in your pineapple juice gummy worm ice cubes (if you remembered them) and a chunk of dry ice for the spooky effect above.

All in all, the party went off without a hitch and the kids had a great time! I can’t thank my very own Ethel (Eileen) enough for all of her help and great ideas. I am quite sure there will be more Lucy/Ethel adventures in our future.

So for now “Thor” (my other amazing helper) and “The Mad Housewife” (me, inspired by the wine label), wish you a Happy Halloween! I hope you can use a few of the ideas here to make it sweet, fun and festive.

Thanks to the Pack parents and leaders for all of their help making our party such a success and thanks to our local Albertsons for donating cakes and punch supplies, they are always willing to help us out and I thought they deserved a shout out! Also, thanks to all of the talented “pinners” out there for their ideas and inspiration!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!