Peter Pan Party Aftermath Post 9 (Or Here’s the Peter Pan Party Decoration Download)

It’s probably time to talk about the rest of the decorations at my party. Then I really will wrap this up. I promise.

I’m ready to move on from the boy who refused to grow up to Jaws anyway.

Tonight Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is airing a special called, “How Jaws Changed the World” and OBVIOUSLY I set my DVR for that. Plus I have the champagne to pop ready because I looooove Jaws.

And sharks.

They’re sort of my thing.

On Thursday I promise to write a post entitled, “How Jaws 3 in 3-D Changed My Life” complete with a shark cupcake tutorial, but until then…

Peter Pan and the decorations.

This is my quick watermelon carving of Hook’s Jolly Roger, complete with the menacing croc. I wish the windows were level, but alas… I was rushing.

I did a freehand sketch for the sign, and it’s a quote from J.M. Barrie’s novel. I wanted to include it just in case people didn’t understand why there was this weird crocodile lurking around Hook’s ship.

If you want to get yourself a cool croc, I found that guy on Amazon here. It’s not the cheapest croc online, but it’s the best looking, and let’s be honest: that matters. A lot.

This is my (bad) attempt at a papier mache version of Hangman’s Tree. Hangman’s Tree is a departure from J.M. Barrie’s original story (there were multiple entrances into the Lost Boys’ home under the ground).

It was easier to do one tree and explain it on my Neverland map than to get into the whole passage about how Peter fits boys for their own trees, so that’s why I went this route.

Here we have lipstick on the proverbial pig with pearls hanging from Hangman’s Tree.

The entire skeleton of the tree was made with painters’ tape and twisted newspaper. If I had it to do all over again, I’d probably use a few real twigs and maybe even a little chicken wire. For the final layer of the papier mache, I used paper towels. I found posts online saying that makes it easier to cover the piece with paint.

I was in a hurry so I turned on the oven to dry out the tree. It’s probably a fire hazard or whatever but I kept an eye on it and didn’t let the dogs investigate it with their faces.

In retrospect, I think white tissue paper would have been better because I could have achieved a look more like this:

Photo Courtesy of Ultimate Paper Mache

And what would be a Peter Pan party without a little Tink?

I hate Tinkerbell, but you can’t really leave her out of your Peter Pan Party.

She is a scheming bitch, but she’s essential to the story.

The lantern is this little ditty from Ikea. I made Tink out of pins and tissue paper from Target.

At one point I considered hanging the lantern from a ribbon in the yard and surrounding it with green and white suckers, but I decided to reign myself in a bit.

My menu was another freehand sketch, but you could easily trace the silhouette and keep it simple. (Simple is something I SO need to learn.)

Here’s the Peter Pan Party menu situation.

I promise I’ll write my full wrap up post, so we can really fly away from Neverland. Forever.

Not that I’m going to grow up or anything….

We’re Not Wasting Watermelon (Or How to Make Watermelon Margaritas)


“You don’t have margarita glasses?” The horror in my mother’s voice was palpable. You’d think I had just told her I ran naked through the streets of Hollywood for fun. It was day two of her visit and my self-esteem had already suffered some crippling blows.

“Well, no,” I replied sheepishly. My mother continued to inspect my cupboards in the skeptical and judgmental manner only a mother can muster.

I did have martini glasses, white wine glasses, red wine glasses, stemless wine glass…. My barware was not entirely deficient.  Never mind the fact that as a single woman, I have never registered at Bloomie’s, forcing my parents’ friends to begrudgingly stock my cabinets with china, gravy boats, and overpriced crystal platters! I have been slowly building my kitchen despite paying crippling student loans for the last ten years. With the debt I’m carrying from my spare master’s degree it’s a wonder I have any plates – let alone twelve that actually match!

“I probably shouldn’t bring that up,” I thought, remembering the encouraging words my mother spoke at my USC graduation.

“With your debt, no one will want to marry you….”

I digress.

Anyway, I returned home from work that evening to find my mother brandishing a Crate and Barrel bag full of margarita glasses. (God bless my mother. She means well.)

Maybe I should tell her I don’t have any highball glasses either….

So now I own margarita glasses, and they only cost me a bit of my dignity. Tonight I’m going to use them for my watermelon margarita experiment. There’s a lot of watermelon left over after my pirate skiff carving, and I can’t let it go to waste… or straight into the compost bin.

The recipe is below.

Watermelon Margaritas

1 C Tequila
1 C Sliced watermelon
4 oz Triple sec
4 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
Splash of Midori (Optional)

Soak the watermelon in tequila for at least twelve hours. Once the watermelon is saturated with tequila, place the watermelon in the freezer for at least four hours.

Strain the watermelon-infused tequila through a strainer to remove any seeds in the liquid. Pour 6 oz of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice into the blender. Add ice cubes and ¾ C of frozen watermelon. Blend.

You can add a splash of Midori for a little extra melon flavor and a bit of sweetness. It will affect the pink color slightly, but the taste is divine.

Garnish the glass with a piece of the tequila-soaked watermelon.


A Note to My Readers (Particularly if the Reader is my Mother): All stories need “villains.” The villain in this particular story happens to be a lovely and fabulous woman who sends birthday cards to my dogs with checks enclosed. She just happens to be critical at times. We at Dogs, Dishes, and Decor love her very much, but we find her funny. 

Operation: Party Planning Has Commenced! (Or How to Make Watermelon Pirate Ships)

Photographic evidence that there was, in fact, a sippy cup at my party. Note: it was NOT filled with vodka. We are old.

“When did we go from shot luges to sippy cups at my birthday party?!?” I asked, a bit aghast. It was August 2011, and I was beginning to realize things had really changed over the years.

It has now been nearly nine years since the birthday party that will go down in infamy. Let’s just say there was a lot of Lil’ Jon blasting and a girl no one knew was eating spinach dip out of the bowl with her hands. (When people who are going on nine hours of partying refer to you simply as, “Drunk Girl,” you know you’re a mess.) One of us spotted her on Beauty and the Geek years later, and a flurry of texts went out among the crew along the lines of, “Drunk Girl is on the WB!”

These days the only party-goers eating dip with their hands are toddlers. Things change, and that’s OK.

So, anyway, it’s almost time for my next party and I’m already excited.

Tonight, I’m hosting a party planning dinner for one of my best friends with whom I share a birthday. (She happens to save people’s lives for a living so there are now a lot more doctors at my parties than aspiring reality stars.) For the last four low-key years we’ve held a joint birthday party with fabulous food and an ever-increasing number of small children. What we lack in chaos and debauchery, we now make up for in elaborate entrees and aesthetics….

I desperately want to throw a pirate party, and this evening I’m hoping to convince my friend that we need a dessert table, complete with treasure maps, pearls, and a papier mache kraken centerpiece.

I decide to make watermelon boat centerpieces for a little pirate party inspiration….

Feeling nostalgic for my wilder days, I crank up Hank Williams, Jr.’s All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down) and set about fruit carving.

Trader Joe’s only had odd, circular watermelons, so my ships are going to be more skiff-like, but I’ll get over it. This is just a rough draft anyway.

I cut the watermelon lengthwise, and prepare to hollow out the ships. I realize I don’t own a melon baller, and I’m struck with a feeling of intense shame. (I must add this to my birthday list along with the First Aid Flask I desperately want.)

I use an ice cream scoop to hollow out the boats because it’s the best I can do for now. I then place the melon balls back into the boat in case my friend wants to eat the centerpieces.

I cut paper sails and pierce them with wooden skewers. I then insert the skewer sails into the boats. I cut toothpicks and use them to anchor Kermit and Yoda’s feet to their pirate skiffs.

I finish the display by surrounding the boats with a cadre of plastic sharks… just because.

My ships aren’t awesome, but they’ll serve as decent visual aids. Plus they were fun to make.

Here’s hoping the pirate theme passes….

Captain Kermit and his Jedi companion steer their watermelon skiffs through treacherous shark-infested waters.