Monday, March 24, 2008

Fun Cowboy Birthday Party for Children

Are you planning a birthday party for your child or grandchild? Do you want it to be special and fun? Are you at a loss for ideas? Do you have a large group of people attending but are limited on what you can spend?

Below are some great ideas for a cowboy or cowgirl birthday party.

1. Invitations-Cut out the form of a barn in white paper. Make sure you have a barn door on the front, center bottom of the barn. Take a picture of your child dressed in a cowboy or cowgirl costume to later glue inside the barn doors. Cut an opening in the center of the barn doors. Next, cut a piece of deep red card stock in half, fold them in half, then glue the barn onto the face of each red card stock. Glue the picture of your child on the inside of the barn door.

You can write on the front of the card in black marker, "Howdy Partner" "You're invited to". Then on the inside write, "You are invited to our little cowboy's birthday party". Add where, when and time. Lastly put, "Come and enjoy some good old fashioned chili and corn bread. Dress-up your cowboy or cowgirl for a Western picture and tell him (or her) they'll have a rootin, tootin time. Hope to see y' all there".

2. Costumes-Most party stores have plastic cowboy hats and handkerchiefs that children can wear. They both cost around $1.00-$2.00. If you want a full costume for your child, you can purchase it through costume companies.

3. Food-A large pot of Chili can feed a big crowd with minimal cost. Add delicious corn bread, birthday cake and ice cream. For the children, serve pork and beans and hot dogs.

4. Decorations-Decorate the table with a red and white checkered table cloth. The cake can be decorated in white frosting. Purchase plastic horses, and fences. Use green frosting for grass, frost two corners of the cake with the green frosting and place the horses and fences in each corner. Decorate the center of the table with blue, red and orange balloons to keep with the cowboy scheme.

5. Entertainment-Have the movie "Toy Story" playing out of the way of the large group to keep children entertained. Also, for small children, parents may bring rocking horses they can play on.

6. Games-Cowboy bean bag toss and a large cowboy poster with the head of a cowboy cut out. Have each child take turns getting their picture taken with their head in the cut out circle. Later place the picture on a wanted poster (small, long envelope size) and mail to each child.

7. Party Favors-Purchase miniature brown paper bags and raffia from Target or a party store for little goodie bags. Also, purchase miniature bubble bottles. Place a copy of the picture you took for the invitation into the slit on the bubble bottles. Lastly, add candy or other fun items in the bags with the bubbles. Hole punch two holes at the top and tie with beige raffia. As each child leaves, give them a goodie bag and a sheriff's badge. (Badges can be purchased at either Target or a party store)

Not only will the children at the party have a great time, but the children will be so entertained that it affords parents an opportunity to mix and mingle. This will be a memorable experience for everyone.

Some other fun party themes could be the following: pirate, fireman, super hero, warrior, soldiers, magician, Barbie, princess, fairy, Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, or Disney Themes. Be creative and have a lot of fun planning birthday parties for your children.

--La Donna Jensen, co-owner Aaron's Online Boutique, owner of Network Marketing Income, Internet entrepreneur, 20 years marketing and sales, author.

To see pictures of various items for your cowboy party and to see costume ideas visit

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Are Webkinz Really the Best? Or Just Hype?

Webkinz are the latest toys in the market and kids simply love them. They are not just stuffed toys as with their code comes a new world to escape into - the Webkinz World. Here you can adopt and then take care of your adorable furry pet as it comes alive. Interactive sessions through games make them even more likeable; gaining them huge popularity world wide. Like always, some pets have come out as favorites and the top three pets chosen by consumers are Webkinz Black and White Panda Plush which is at number one, followed by Webkinz Googles and in third place is the Webkinz Beagle.

1. Webkinz Black and White Panda Plush

This plush stuffed animal is priced at $11.99. It is a highly adorable animal with its various fabrics and surprisingly available in both beanie and cotton stuffed variants. Its size is around seven and a half inches. Unlike other Webkinz pets this one's secret code is not attached to the ankle but is found around the arm with which you can access Webkinz World. The age suggested by the toy makers is between 3-7 year olds.

2. Webkinz Googles

Another hit among the Webkinz animals is the Webkinz Googles which are about 8 inches long and priced at only $9.99. You are sure to fall in love with this extraordinarily shy pet with its funny beak and cute little webbed feet. Living deep in the forest and near ponds these creatures are extremely mysterious and perfect for kids. However it is not recommended for those under 3 years.

3. Webkinz Beagle

This newest addition to the Webkinz dog collection is a must have making it top the charts. This cute 10" long white and brown stuffed dog is priced at $13.00. It is the perfect interactive pet and a must have for all dog lovers. 3 -7 year olds will thoroughly enjoy the Webkinz Beagle.

For More information, please visit: Cheats for Webkinz and Cheat Codes for Webkinz

Dixita is an article writer for various organizations across the globe. This is the first time I am trying out article writing for myself. For more information about me, do visit: Webkinz Cheats

Friday, March 14, 2008

Planning A Children's Treasure Hunt Adventure Birthday Party

Putting on a great party for your child can be much more simple than you may think!

Here are some basic party planning suggestions.

Play some background music on the CD player as guests arrive.

Have a craft table set up with a simple craft for the kids to do as you wait for everyone to arrive. These make great take home favors and can easily be adapted to a variety of themes. Some possibilities include painting sun catchers, decorating door hangers, painting a wooden craft, stringing beads on a necklace, glue sequins on a picture frame cut out of foam paper sheets, or color in theme coloring sheets.

If your party is for children ages 5 and up, it is a good idea to have a main event. This could be a treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, a rented bounce house for the kids to jump in, or centers set up for the kids to go through.

A lot of times favor bags are saved for the end of the party, but right before present time is also a good time to hand them out. This is especially nice for younger kids who get jealous watching the birthday child rip into all those presents!!

At present time when everyone is very excited and things can very quickly get chaotic, here is an idea to make each present giver feel special. Set up 2 chairs and have the birthday child sit in a chair and have a chair sitting next to her. Have each child take turns bringing up their present and sitting in the chair next to the birthday child as they unwrap and admire the gift. This makes the gift giver feel special and also gives the birthday child a chance to say thanks to them.

Saving cake time for the end is nice because the time can be adjusted as needed. If the party is running longer than expected, guests can quickly eat and go. Or if there is extra time, guests can eat and have a little free play time.

Keep your menu simple by serving these sure kid pleasers:

Fruit skewers (bamboo skewers with grapes, pinapple chunks, watermelon, strawberries) served with strawberry dip (for dip mix 1 small tub of cool whip, french vanilla instant pudding mix and a small amount of cream or milk. Cool in fridge until ready to serve.)


Pizza BitesSpread 2 T pizza sauce over English muffin top with shredded cheese and microwave

Mini pig in the blankets (all you need is 2 crescent packages and a can of cocktail franks. Cut each crescent triangle into 3 and wrap one around each individual frank. Bake 375 degrees for 12 minutes)

Chicken Nuggets with ketchup & honey mustard sauce

Sub sandwiches (get a few French bread loafs in the bakery section of the store and make up subs with cheese, ham, lettuce, tomato. Cut each sub into 4-6 pieces. Leave mayo & mustard in cups on the side)

Jello jigglers

Mac and cheese in a crock pot

Dish of candy

Now for the details of the party: The basic idea of the party is a treasure hunt adventure. It can easily be adapted to a variety of popular children's themes such as pirate parties, tinkerbell parties, or pirate/princess parties. As the guests arrive you can divide them into teams and each child will be given a special treasure hunt shirt in the color of their team to wear for the party (and take home as their special favor.) Then each team is off on an exciting treasure hunt that incorporates fun adventures along the way such as a pirate coin toss, pin the patch on the pirate, tattoo stop, a balloon toss, burying your team under the pillows and blankets in the birthday child's bed and much more guaranteed to get the kid's giggling!!

The clues should lead you around the house to common areas like the mailbox, birthday child's bed etc. and include indoor and outdoor clues. This is so much fun for the kids!! For younger kids each team should have a leader (parents that stay for the party) that follows the team around and offers hints when needed. Your clues can include challenges to do along the way that they have to take pictures of themselves doing to prove they completed it and this gives you lots of cute and priceless pictures of the party!

Visit for the step by step treasure hunt adventure birthday planning guide. You will get all the templates you will need to create a magical party from start to finish. Without all of these templates, you would spend hours searching around for ideas, creating invites, coming up with and designing the team t-shirt, and MANY MANY MANY more hours trying to create the treasure hunt!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Beanie Babies 2.0 - Just In Time For Easter Baskets

Ty, the creator of the Beanie Baby craze, is taking on the online virtual pet world with its release of Beanie Babies 2.0. Ty hopes to compete with the success of Webkinz, who has dominated the virtual pet world with little competition. Ty will sell stuffed animals that come with a code that unlocks a virtual world on their website. Once online, the code provides access to games and chat with other Beanie Babies 2.0 owners.

How Do Beanie Babies 2.0 Compare with Webkinz?

Both Beanie Babies 2.0 and Webkinz provide a virtual world for children to interact with their pets. Webkinz has a jump on Beanie Babies 2.0 with far more games available and more ways to interact with the pets. However, Ty will no doubt be adding to their virtual world as they release more stuffed animals. Both sites allows users to chat. However, Ty's site allows open chat with other members with parental permission. Webkinz only allows safe chat, which limits users to programmed chat responses. They also offer a lot of customization with their site. For example, you can decorate your pet's house, buy hats and clothes and even earn badges. Ty's site is still developing and will need to catch up quickly with the Webkinz site if it plans to compete online.

Where Can You Buy Beanie Babies 2.0?

Beanie Babies 2.0 are available in the same retail outlets where the previous Ty beanie products are sold. The stuffed animals retail for approximately $7 each. Some large grocery stores are selling the stuffed animals as well as drug stores like Walgreen's and Longs. As always, these stuffed animals will be found in Hallmark stores for collectors and gift buyers. Petsmart also will be selling them. Finally, if you can't find your favorite animal in a retail store, stocks the full line of the first release of animals.

Beanie Babies 2.0 Make the Perfect Gift for Easter Baskets

It's obvious that Ty planned to make their new Beanie Babies 2.0 an Easter favorite this year. The choices in the first release of animals are perfect additions for Easter baskets. Look for Babeet the lamb, Hopsy the bunny, Quackly the duck, Shearsly the lamb and Woolsy the lamb to be in huge demand as Easter draws closer. There is even an Eggs 2008 the bear for collectors, as well as Luckier the bear for St. Patrick's Day.

Ty hasn't forgotten the collectors with this new batch of Beanie Babies. They included Dutchess the poodle, Pico the chihuahua, Rascal the dog, and Purry the cat among its choices for this first release. Cats and dogs have been favorites for Ty collectors throughout the years of the beanie baby craze. Finally, they remembered the cute factor for the children who will be playing with these animals online, Fluffball the hamster is already proven to be in short supply in stores, along with Leaps the frog. If you plan to add these stuffed animals to your Easter baskets this year, be sure to shop early.

Christine Perry invites you to learn more about Beanie Babies 2.0 and Webkinz. Be sure to vote for your favorite.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Teddy Bear Care - Looking After Your Much Loved Furry Friends!

Teddy bears need their owners to take care of them. Whether they're expensive antiques, artist bears or much-loved childhood friends, teddy bears deserve to be treated well. Daily wear and tear is tough on your bear - treat him carefully or he may need hospitalization and expensive repair.

Protect your bear

Remember always to pick up your teddy bear by his or her body, never by an arm or an ear. If you mishandle your bear you'll break up the stuffing, leaving a saggy arm or a loose ear. Try to keep teddy in an even temperature and don't leave him in strong sunlight as this will make his fur become brittle and fade. If your bear is an expensive antique then consider housing him in a glass-fronted cabinet, or at least give him clothes to wear to protect his fur - this is also great protection for much-loved and slightly threadbare bears.

Repairing your bear

Major repairs will require professional surgery, but it's quite easy to undertake minor work at home. The most common areas of wear on a teddy bear are his pads and paws. You can cover worn pads with a piece of felt, cut slightly larger than the original pad and stitched securely around the outer edge. This will prevent his stuffing from escaping. It will also safely preserve the original pad and protect it from any further wear and tear. Don't forget to check teddy's seams from time to time. It's easy to insert a few stitches, don't wait until the whole seam gives way.

It's not as hard as you might think to make repairs to your bear's face. Replacement eyes can be purchased and stitched on from the outside, although safety eyes are more complicated to fit and do require the removal of the bear's head (not to be attempted unless you are confident about what you are doing). Noses, mouths and claws can be re-stitched in embroidery floss or wool.

Storing your bear

If you need to put your bear away for a while, don't ever put him in a polythene bag as he won't be able to breathe. Seriously - any trapped moisture won't be able to escape and your bear may become mildewed. Much better to wrap him up cosily in a brown paper parcel as this will let him breathe. A strong cardboard box packed with tissue paper is also ideal. Don't ever store an unwrapped bear in an attic as he is likely to be found by clothes moths who may burrow into his fabric to lay their eggs. Garage storage should also be avoided as they are likely to be damp which will adversely affect your furry friend.


New bears only need occasional brushing with a soft brush. But if your bear is more heavily soiled then brush him first to remove any loose dust and debris. Then take another soft brush and dip it into a solution of washing liquid (designed for woolen fabrics) and apply a little of the foam to his surface - taking great care not to over-wet him - using circular movements. When you've treated the whole bear, then gently rinse him off with another soft brush dipped in clean water.

If your teddy does become too wet, then blot the excess water off immediately with a soft towel. Leave him to dry naturally, never ever tumble dry him, or even place him in an airing cupboard or anywhere too warm.

While he's drying, why not pass the time by sending some of our free e-cards to your friends. Many are of the Devon Bears and all are guaranteed spam and virus free. And while you're online, do check out our other products featuring images of our favorite furry teddy friends.

Helen Dickson is the owner of DevonBear Designs. She designs and makes a small range of really practical - and pretty - textile items and stationery all inspired by the wonderful coast and countryside of South Devon, England. Helen is a talented watercolour artist and all DevonBear Designs products feature one of her images. Visit her site at