Category Archives: Birthdays

Ham and Man Party: Cool Daddy’s 30th Birthday


*Disclaimer – I have mentioned a few times on my blog that I am an aspiring vegetarian. This is true. However my husband is not a vegetarian by any means. If you’ve stumbled upon my website by searching the word “vegetarian” and are now face to face with a veritable dead pig festival, my apologies.*


There were just so many photos of this party that I had to put them all in collages or this post would go on forever. Click on the photos to enlarge them. If it still isn’t big enough for you click on it again…then it’ll get super big and not really fit on your screen.

Cool Daddy absolutely loves the ham my mom makes at Easter and Christmas. For years he’s been asking me if he can have his friends over to watch a game and eat ham. For years I have told him no…because who wants a bunch of ham-eating men in their house?! Since his 30th birthday was this last year and because he threw me this Totally Awesome 80s Party for my 30th Birthday the year before, I decided to grant him his wish.

Since his only two requests were for ham and male bonding time I began to refer to his party as “The Ham and Man Party”.

I have to give credit to my husband for the theme idea. When we were taking down the decorations for Adaline’s first birthday party he was balling up a bunch of tulle and said, “Can I have tulle at my party? We can hang tools!” He was joking and he completely forgot about it. Since it was a “ham” and “man” party I decided that should be the theme as well. I would make it “manly” and also “ham-y”. The fellas were going to be watching the Steelers football game so I decided to decorate in gold and black to match the team colors.

(This party was on October 24, 2010…and of course I never procrastinate…which is why I’m posting it now in February 2011 after football season is over and the Steelers lost the Superbowl!
I am very fast, and efficient, and on top of things blogwise…as you can tell. Don’t envy my sweet-sweet time management skills.)

I had a lot of ideas for the “manly” theme. Tools, sports, cars, but I could only accomplish so much in so little time. I decided to focus mostly on the tools with a little football thrown in.

First off, here’s the food. Many different pig products as far as the eye can see.

In the living room where I put all of the decorations (not the room they were watching football in) I wanted to try my best to hide anything feminine to make it as “manly” as possible. I removed everything decorative and covered all of the pictures.

For the decorations we’ll begin with the Happy Birthday sign. I made the letters out of duck tape. This big sign is hiding my enormous bridal portrait (you can see it in one of the photos for Adaline’s party). Working hand in hand with the manly tools/construction theme I covered the mantel with “No Work Zone” tape (yellow and black matching the Steelers colors!), and hung cardboard cut-out tools and mustaches in front of the fireplace. The signs reading “manly”, “masculine”, “macho”, and “studly” were added to cover some decorative floral work above the fireplace.

The construction site cut-out would be used for photo ops like this:

Here are all of the photos on the wall covered with man-related words. This idea also came from my husband who use 80s words and phrases to decorate for my 30th birthday party. I created the signs in Word using their clipart, printed them on yellow paper that I’ve had for years, and hung them using black and yellow Duck tape.

Here are the door ways clad with “work zone” tape that reads “No Work Zone” and “Warning: 30th Birthday Party in Progress”. My man is such a hard worker it was nice for him to have a “no work zone” for a day (But only for a day…then it’s back to work, buddy!).

On the dessert table we have a pig cake, of course! I wanted to make a “Ham and Man” cake and put the pigs head on a man’s body, but my mom said that sounded creepy. Also, I don’t know how to do that. This is only the second cake that I’ve ever decorated, so yeah. My mom made the extra pink cake just in case there wasn’t enough pig cake to go around. Mom made piggy chocolates from a mold and put those on and around the cake. Sprinkled around the cake is “30” confetti. I placed plastic tools on the dessert table (A package of 3-4 from The Dollar Tree), lollipops that read “30 sucks”, and some gross-out candy (gummy ear wax, and vomit), because boys are gross. Needless to say nobody, even the gross boys, would even try the candy.

I used a piece of foam poster board on the wall and added yellow paper and used electrical tape and black duck tape to form the letters “Ham Man” and added some printed “Ham vs. Man” signs above it. There are more “manly” signs on either side with “manly” words on them. I also had white and black balloons, pink piggy balloons, and yellow balloons with dump trucks on them.

Instead of traditional cone party hats I got the guys some yellow (Steelers!) plastic construction hats (manly!) and put pig snouts (ham-y!) around them! The snouts could be removed and worn separately.

We actually didn’t have a table for the fellas to sit at (and they were just going to sit in front of the tv anyway), so I set the place settings on the coffee table in the living room and they could pick them up as they came in. Each setting included a Steelers paper plate, a yellow fork, and a black napkin, tucked inside of a nail belt.

The nail belts are my favorite thing about the whole party 🙂 …The Ham Depot! Get it?! Of course you do…but I’m going to explain it anyway. So “Home Depot” is a hardware store and tools are all manly and stuff, and since it was a “Ham and Man” party I changed the word “home” to “ham” as a play on words.
You know that you think I’m brilliant. Or really weird.
You’d be right on both counts 😉 Moving on…

I got the nail belts at Home Depot for about .80 a piece. I took an orange Sharpie marker and colored in the “E”. Then I colored in the bottom and the rounded sides of the “O”. I then took a small sliver of masking tape to make the dash in the A and also needed a small piece to close the top of the A because the “O” was open on the top and bottom like this ( ) (sorta). And there you have it…Ham Depot belts!

This is the family room where they watched the game. For the most part I didn’t decorate in there because there just wasn’t enough time or space to bother with it.

I got a cardboard football toss game online (note that one of the players is wearing gold and black!) and pink pig footballs. I figured this is another way that the “Ham and Man” party theme seems to flow since football is often referred to and made out of “pigskin”.

I put gold and black balloons on either side of the tv. The helium started giving out on the balloons before the party even started.
(They were Pirates balloons…go figure!)

I covered the wedding photo of me with baseball pics of Cool Daddy in Junior High and High School. I also taped a large goal post to the wall.

The red toolbox (one that we already had) was left opened and had “toys” in there for the fellas. The pig footballs, extra mustaches (that I used on the mantal), yellow water guns, policemen action figures, “flying” pigs, and a goal post headband that you put on and throw a Velcro football at. The guys actually used the Velcro game some, played the football toss game (it almost always fell over), and had fun hurting one another with the flying pigs. It’s just not fun unless it’s dangerous.

When it was time for cake, I put all of the candles on. There were 30 candles on the cake, one of them was a football candle, and 5 of them were shaped like little tools! 30 candles sure can blaze up a tiny cake so we quickly sang Happy Birthday so that Cool Daddy could blow them out.

30 Candles sure do make a lot of smoke!

This is the only “group” picture that I got and it’s not even everyone 😦
Naturally I would’ve loved to have gotten a photo of all the guys in their hats, snouts, and belts, but we just never got the chance, plus…yeah, they were NOT going to do that anyway.

Here’s the Birthday Boy posing with his birthday signs!

Lastly, what does every manly pig of a man want?
…a 50s-syle housewife waiting on him hand and foot!

I stuck around the party serving my man and wearing a referee vest and “Ham Depot” belt as my apron.

I was very tempted to do the whole party in pink. The irony of the Ham and Man pairing is that pigs are pink and I thought about going with a whole pink pig thing and only playing up on the “ham” side and sort of poking fun at the “man” side since it would actually all be pretty girly. My husband actually would’ve found the humor in it, but I decided against it and went with the Steelers colors instead (which worked perfectly with the construction colors).

My husband said that he really liked the theme of the party and he thought it was funny, even if his (stupid) friends didn’t get it.

Happy Birthday, Hubby! (4 months late)

To read more about Cool Daddy go here:
(Back off, ladies, he’s taken!)
*15 Reasons Why My Hubby is Awesome
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster With a Plastic Fork
*How I Met Cool Daddy: Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy: Part 2

Related Posts
BIRTHDAY PARTIES
*Totally Awesome 80s 30th Birthday Party
*Birthday Girl…2 years old: Photos of Adaline at her birthday party
*Ladybug Picnic: 2nd Birthday

*Pink and Green Polka Dots and Cupcakes Party: 1st Birthday

*Celebrating 30 years in 30 days! All of my birthdays from 1980-2009

BIRTHDAY TUTORIALS
*DIY No Sew Party Hat Tutorial

*Ribbon Topiary Video Tutorial (Centerpiece)

*Tissue Number Birthday Sign (Mini-Tutorial)

BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS

*Birthday Traditions: Personalized Birthday CD
*Birthday Traditions: Knife and Cake Server
*Birthday Traditions: Professional Photos
*Birthday Traditions: Photo Puzzle
*Happy 2nd Birthday, Adaline!

+Birthday posts will be published all throughout September 2011 including tutorials, party decor ideas, and birthday traditions!

Lilypie Maternity tickers
Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box


This is the 2nd post in a 12 week series joining
Mommy’s Piggy Tales to record my youth!

Dancing in a box

My paternal grandma was downstairs doing something when she heard my grandpa call from upstairs, “Doris, you better get up here! These kids are stark n*ked up here!” When my grandma got upstairs she found my sister and I dancing n*ked inside of a wet cardboard box. Here’s what happened from my perspective. Our grandparents had just gotten us some bathtub crayons. We didn’t have any bathtub toys at our house because bath time was bath time, not play time, so other than the occasional Barbie…there were no toys in the bathtub. Bathtub crayons wouldn’t work at our house anyway since we had an old cast iron tub (no tile walls) with nothing to draw on, so we were really excited about playing with the bathtub crayons. I had asked my grandma if we could take a bath so that we could play with the crayons. She told us that it wasn’t bath time yet and we weren’t allowed to go inside the tub alone, so we’d have to wait. I was a very obedient child, so I didn’t go into the bath tub. Instead I got a big cardboard box and dumped our toys out of it. I then took it to the bathroom and then somehow (I assume with a cup) began to fill it with water. Then my sister and I got undressed, got our crayons, and climbed inside the box to play. We weren’t in the tub unsupervised and we still got to play with our crayons! I know, that’s brilliant, right? I didn’t know that the cardboard wouldn’t hold the water and it would leak all over the floor. I didn’t know that trying to draw with crayons on a wet cardboard box wasn’t as easy as drawing in a bathtub. I also didn’t know we would nearly give our grandpa a heart attack when he found us dancing in a cardboard box wet and n*ked.

(I know that I was younger than 5 years old when this happened because grandparents moved to Florida in 1984.)
*Unfortunately due to way too many creepy searches leading to this post than what I’m comfortable with I had to edit the title, url, and text within this post in hopes that this will stop it.

 

1984-1985
Kindergarten

I attended Central Elementary School for morning Kindergarten with my teacher, Mrs. Dakis. My mom tells me that I didn’t want to go to school because I hate change. I actually do hate change, or at least I did, but I don’t remember not wanting to go to school. I’m sure that I was scared, but I also remember being excited.

I remember when I first found out that I was going to start Kindergarten. Something came in the mail for me that said I was going to start Kindergarten on such and such a day with this teacher. I remember that my name was written on a cardstock cut out of a Care Bear and there was a string attached for me to wear it around my neck. I seem to remember the bear being Cheer Bear (the pink one with the rainbow on the tummy), but that might only be because Cheer Bear was the Care Bear that I had at home and had received as a gift for my 4th birthday. I remember being at my paternal Grandma’s house when I received the Care Bear name tag and I remember being excited that I was going to go to school. But I only remember that particular moment so it’s quite possible that between then and the first day I began to get frightened. To comfort me my mom told me how great Kindergarten would be, how we would have story time, and then drink milk, and then take a nap on a mat.



When the first day of school came my mom told me that she would be waiting right outside the door when I got out. I thought that she meant she would stand out there all day and I felt better “knowing” that if I needed her I could just open the door. When school was over the first thing that I said to my mom was, “Mommy, you don’t know anything about Kindergarten. We don’t have story time and we don’t take naps. Naps are for babies!” Well, alrighty then. I’m pretty sure that I was fine going to school after that.

 

Liar, Liar! Pants on Fire!
I made a friend at school. I think her name was Amber, but I’m not sure. One day I told Amber that I was going to be having a birthday party at Brady’s Run Park. I was not. What was actually going on was that our church was having the Sunday School Picnic at the park fairly close to my birthday. I knew that it wasn’t my birthday party…but I told her that anyway. I had forgotten all about it until we were at the Sunday School Picnic. Our family was at the shelter when a car pulled up. A little girl with a wrapped present got out of the car. Oops…busted! I had to tell my mom, and Amber, and her mom that I had lied about my birthday. I really don’t recall getting into a lot of trouble. In fact I remember our moms telling us that we could have a play date and maybe I could even ride the bus home with Amber one day (which was exciting for me because I was a walker). Then Amber and her mom got back into the car with the present and drove away. I don’t have any memories of Amber after that. I know that we never had our play date and sometime before the end of the year she moved away (probably to a place where people tell the truth). Amber did not come to my real birthday party that year. I’m not sure if it’s because we didn’t invite her, or if she just didn’t believe me, or if she had already moved away by then. I have absolutely no idea why I lied. It was very out of character for me. In fact while preparing for this post I asked mom if she had any cute stories of me at this age. She told me that I was such a good girl all the time, I never did anything wrong, and there just isn’t anything funny about a little girl who’s always behaving herself.

 

 
The thing that I find weird about this story is…how did two 5 year old girls get the details right? How did I tell Amber the exact day, time, and place with shelter number to come to? How did she then relay that information to her mother…correctly? Why did her mom just take her to a birthday party without there being a written invitation and without speaking to my mother first? I have no idea! But aside from the lying, those were some great communication skills at work!

 

 

You can find links to posts about my 1st-5th birthdays here: Celebrating 30 Years in 30 Days

My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

My Birth Story: I’m always late


For this first post I cheated and asked my mom to write it for me. I figured that it would be more meaningful coming right from her rather than me re-writing what she told me.
 

1979 My parents about 2-3 months before I was born

 
Here is my birth story in my mother’s words:
 
 “It was early Sunday morning 09-30-79, two weeks late and ready to burst, when finally a glimmer of hope that I wouldn’t be pregnant forever appeared, of all places…in my underwear!
 (I was two weeks late! This isn’t unusual for me as I seem to always be late even today!)
  
We called the doctor’s office and to my delight they said “If you’re not in labor, we’ll induce. Go to the hospital.” The sun shone…the angels sang…I was elated! I would finally get to meet my little baby…girl…boy…we didn’t know…we wanted to be surprised!
 
 About 11:00 A.M. they broke my water, after an hour…nothing…so they induced. Labor pains started immediately but after 5 ½ long hours still…nothing. The doctor came in and told us that the baby was getting stressed and the heartbeat was slowing and they would have to do a C-section. My husband looked as though he was going to throw up! I on the other hand didn’t care if they pulled the baby out of my nose with a spoon, I just wanted the baby out and I told the doctor as much!
 
They prepped me for surgery and at 6:15 p.m. We finally got to meet our little baby girl, Jennifer Rian, for the first time! You know with all that was going on in the operating room, I don’t even remember if she cried, but I did.”
 
 
 
 
 

09-30-1979 Me 2 hours old

 
 
I forgot to ask my mom to write about naming me, so I called her to be sure I got the story straight. Here’s what she said:
 
 
“I’ve always liked the name Jennifer, so I named you Jennifer. I always imagined Jennifer having blond hair and blue eyes and I don’t know why but I always pictured you running through a field. We wanted to do something different for your middle name so we took the first two letters from your dad’s name and the first two letters from my name and came up with Rian.”
 
 
I’ve always loved the meaning behind my middle name. I think it’s unique and I really like it (Although for a time during high school I thought it would sound better pronounced Ree-Ann (rather than Rye-en), but I got over that.). Being a Jennifer in the 1980’s wasn’t at all unusual so it was nice to have a special middle name.
 

Well, I’m off to go run through a field! See you next week 🙂

 
 
 

Left: 1979 Mom 6m pregnant w/ me Right: 2009 Me 9m pregnant w/ Adaline

 

 
My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

 

 

Jenn’s 31st Birthday 2010


 
(a.k.a. Happy (Belated) Birthday to me!)


After all of the thrill and excitement of my Celebrating 30 Years in 30 Days posts, I figured I wouldn’t leave you hanging until next year before giving you the edge-of-your-seat details from my 31st birthday on Thursday.
 
 


Cool Daddy invited the Cool Fam over for some cake and birthday festiveness.
 
 

There was a veggie tray.
The meat-eaters slipped some meat in there 😦

 

 

 

There was an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.
(Clearly our DQ hires from only the country’s finest ice cream cake decorators)
I’m not sure who “Jemm” is, but I’m sure that she’s truly outrageous.
(Truly, truly, truly outrageous)

 
 


Here’s what it looks like all lit up!
There is no meaning behind the 8 candles…that’s what we had so we went with it.
(It’s a good thing that there was only 8 of them since I could barely blow them out. I think I need to exercise or something.)
 

 

I had already blown out the candles when my sister said, “Oh, I missed it!” (She was busy taking pictures of her adorable son…like anyone cares about him on my birthday!) So I told her, “Here, I’ll pretend to blow out the candles and you can take the picture!”

 
 


Then we got out Adaline’s old jumperoo to pass on to her little cousin.
He loved it and she loved showing him all of the toys on it.
 

 

Adaline had a dirty diaper and this was the reaction.
 

 

I wanted a picture of me with my little sweetie pie on my birthday.
She did not.
This is the best one we ended up with.
 

 


And this is her smiling only a few minutes later.
(What a snot!)
 

 
 

 

 
 
You might be interested in checking out my daughter, Adaline’s, first birthday party
You can take a look at my 1st-30th Birthdays by following the links on this page.

 

Jenn’s 30th Birthday 2009


 
(a.k.a. Happy Birthday to me!)
 
 

This is it…the last post in the Celebrating 30 Years in 30 Days series 😦
 
TODAY is my birthday!
I’m 31. Woo-hoo (I guess)!
 
 
 


Today I’m going to share my 30th birthday with you.
Check back this weekend to see a post about whatever 31st birthday festivities that may transpire today.
 
 
 


I had been telling Cool Daddy for months that he better plan something big for my 30th birthday. We’ve never been big on celebrating birthdays, but I figured that the 30th birthday was worth some sort of celebration. He really had no idea what he was going to do, but once he selected a theme (a surprise to me) he ran with it. My mom took care of the food but other than that he did everything. My daughter was 2 months old at this point and I was breastfeeding and cloth diapering. Needless to say I was pretty sleep deprived, but I was excited about my party.
 
 
 

We actually ended up with three “celebrations” (one for each decade that I’ve been alive). The day before my birthday we went to Cool Daddy’s parent’s house where they had a cake for me.

 

 


On my actual birthday Cool Daddy got me an ice cream cake from Bruster’s.

 

 
 

That weekend was my Totally 80s party!


Cool Daddy decorated my mom’s house and told the family to come dressed in 80s garb. He had an 80s Diva costume for me to wear and an 80s Pop Star blond wig. As you’ll see in the photos, the dress didn’t fit me (I just had a baby!) and the wig ended up looking more Goldilocks than Madonna. But that’s not Cool Daddy’s fault and he gets and A++ for effort.

 

 
 

On the table he placed the place and napkins so that it said “80”. He also scattered the table with Nerds, Pop Rocks, jelly bracelets, and stickers of My Little Pony. He put a “chair cover” over my chair of honor because chair covers are a running joke in our family. When we got married I wanted chair covers for the reception but for many reasons ended up not being able to get them. Anytime someone says how perfect my wedding was I say, ”Except I didn’t get my chair covers.”

 


 
My favorite part was the 80s phrases. He just wrote different 80s phrases and words on neon paper and taped them to the walls. If I had been doing this I probably would’ve printed it on the computer so that it looked all fancy…but I actually like it better in his handwriting. If we would’ve been having this party in the 80s we wouldn’t be printing things out in snazzy fonts…you’d make it yourself. It made it seem a little more authentic as if it was the 80s when we were having the party. 

 
My cake says “Don’t have a cow Jenn, just chill and have a really rad 30th birthday!”

 

 


Here’s the gang me, my sister, my brother-in-law, my cousins, and Cool Daddy.

 
 
 

THE END.


I’ll be starting a few new series in October.
Details to follow so be sure to stop back!
 
 
 

You might be interested in checking out my daughter, Adaline’s, first birthday party
You can take a look at my 1st-29th Birthdays by following the links on this page.

 

 

Jenn’s 29th Birthday 2008


 
(a.k.a. Happy Birthday to me!)

2008 was a rough year. My dog became very sick and needed two blood transfusions. Fortunately he recovered and is still doing well today. I also became pregnant for the first time and I lost the baby a month before my birthday. Just 5 days before my birthday my HCG levels were back to zero and I had just had an ultrasound confirming that the miscarriage was complete.  My sister’s wedding was four days after my birthday. It was a pretty busy month and a stressful year.

 The family got together on my birthday to have some ice cream cake. Nothing special happened, but the most memorable part of the day was the video. We had finally bought our own video camera and I thought that we should start filming birthdays and holidays again. I don’t know why my family was so confused but people kept randomly singing Happy Birthday. Like, I wasn’t even near the cake…it was still in the other room. So then mom comes in the room with the cake and they start singing again (although mostly everyone is laughing), but Cool Daddy didn’t have the camera on yet. Finally he gets the camera on but he kept saying “where’s night vision? I can’t see anything!”. Then we discover that he was filming with the lens cap on (yeah…it would be hard to see). So I’m half laughing, half crying…and they start singing Happy Birthday again! Now any time that Cool Daddy has the camera we ask him, “Is the lens cap closed?”.

 
 
 

 

 
You might be interested in checking out my daughter, Adaline’s, first birthday party
You can take a look at my 1st-28th Birthdays by following the links on this page.
Be sure to check back tomorrow!
 
Tomorrow will be the last post in the Celebrating 30 Years in 30 Days series.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my trip down birthday memory lane.

 

 

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