Dress up your baby in the worst, ugliest gift outfit and invite over some other poorly dressed babies for a costume party and ugly-clothing contest. Dorky gifts, ratty hand-me-downs, and hopeless mismatches can finally have their day.

My brother in the 70's

Try not to be offended if your idea of cutest-outfit-ever winds up on one of the other models. Cute is completely in the eye of the beholder here.

My younger brother Chad (pictured above) models something from the mid-seventies in the hopes that I won’t offend any of YOU with my idea of ugly. I actually think he’s pretty adorable here anyway.

Take lots of pictures, but be careful who sees them!

This is your 25th challenge. Have you done this yet? Share your story and pictures.

  • Comment below and spill the details.
  • Share a picture with us on Facebook.


Cheap Star Wars Birthday Party ideas

What’s the difference between a third child and a first child? The first child has a “Star Wars fourth birthday party” and he’s never seen Star Wars. The third child can hum along the Clone Wars theme song before he can even speak.

With a new Star Wars movie on the horizon and Clone Wars available on Netflix, our children will be battling with lightsabers into the foreseeable future. Since I’m both a big cheapskate and a big fan, I wanted to round up some of my favorite birthday party inspiration. Here’s my take on The Perfect Star Wars Birthday Party on a budget!

Step One: Choose a sub-theme. I’m not kidding. There are so many directions in which to steer your party. Examples below.

Step Two: Pick your activities. Truly any of the activities can be mixed and matched into the different themes. Give some thought to where your party will be and work from there. In your own house? In your backyard? At the park? Celebrate your constraints because they give you boundaries to what would otherwise be a limitless universe of choice.

Step Three: Tie in the decor and food. Once you’ve picked your theme and manageable activities, tie it all together with food and decor. For low-cost decor items, work with what you already have. I have a funky tin lunchbox, an R2D2 mobile, and Darth Tater already, so I’ll start there. You could feature a Millennium Falcon piñata or decorate with any toys from around the house. Print out large character masks or just hang up your tee-shirt collection. Anything goes! ps For a Star Wars party on a budget, your next step is to find printables.

Star Wars birthday party themes (on a budget)

Clone Wars:

The modern take on Star Wars includes cartoon characters your kids know but you probably don’t. Yes, there’s Yoda but no Darth Vader. Your party favors are these temporary tattoos. And, yes, lots of lightsabers!

To eat:

Fruit lightsaber skewers are a healthy Star Wars birthday party treat. Wooden skewer + duct tape handle + Sharpie = adorable fruit sabers.

Fruit lightsaber skewers are a healthy Star Wars birthday party treat

Your dessert is flipping-awesome clone trooper cupcakes. These clone trooper cupcakes from Maija Moments are easy enough that I could do them. Customize your jumbo marshmallow with food-safe markers to be clone troopers (or storm troopers with a slightly different design). And done! Optional extra, she gave each child a birthday candle in their cupcake for wish-making and to head off any lightsaber envy.

Storm / Clone trooper cupcakes by Maija Moments

To do:

Padawan Lightsaber lessons – You can teach choreographed lightsaber fighting moves based on your own knowledge or a quick youtube search for fencing 101. Invite a Clone Wars villain to come and give the children a turn at dueling (Not Vader, ok? He’s still a good guy). See these examples from

Princess party:

Princess Leia and Queen Amidala commingle with ladies in waiting (perfect for your not-so-girlie girl!) doing battle, hunting for treasure, fabricating their colorful costumes. Mom should definitely wear this cinnabon wig. This party is crafty and kicks butt.

To do:

To amp up the glamour, Ashleigh gave the girls spa treatments before meeting a Princess Leia impersonator and dueling outside. I think this is soooo cute. About as close to this as I can get is painting my son’s toenails Elsa blue (outside, of course!).

Star Wars glamorous birthday party with Princess Leia

Pin the {hair bun / lightsaber / jet pack } on the {Princess / Sith Lord / Bounty Hunter} — In my experience, this game takes about 4 minutes and many kids are surprisingly freaked out by the blindfold, so don’t let this be your only activity.

Amy Friend from During Quiet Time made this Pin the hair bun on Princess Leia for her daughter’s party and created a C3P0 mask to cover the kids’ eyes.

Princess Leia Star Wars Birthday Party

Teresa from Capturing the Days another (easier?) version of this game. Marie from MakeandTakes created this Pin the Lightsaber on the Jedi for her Star Wars party using a picture she already had and a few colored slips of paper.

Classic Star Wars:

All the best characters from your own childhood, your mission is to destroy the Death Star piñata, your children will drink blue milk, and Yoda knows everything. Kids Padawans can decorate lightsabers and learn sweet fighting moves.

To do:

Lightsaber creation and battles — My pal, Wendy, turned me on to the idea of turning pool noodles into lightsabers with a little duct tape and some SUPER STRONG scissors. For best results (and cheapest execution) cut them all the way in half. Let kids bash each other’s heads with the weapons or work together to keep a balloon off the ground. OUTDOOR.

Light sabers from pool noodles by wendolonia
photo courtesy of Wendy Copley,


Jedi Training course — my go-to activity is a Dagobah-inspired obstacle course that can involve whatever obstacles you have on hand.

To eat:

Designer and mom, Kristy from Libbie Grove Design, made very cute authentic badass Star Wars printables for her son’s party and happily shares them with you. Her selection includes food labels, Jedi Knight certificates, and more!

Vader Veggies, printable by Libbie Grove

An easy (enough for me) alternative to cake-baking is cupcakes arranged as a lightsaber. I love that Stacie Ann Smith fulfilled her son’s wish for a double-lightsaber this way.

Light saber cupcakes


I can’t stop, won’t stop!

Like I said, the themes are limitless. Now that all the dudes are LEGO’fied, any story arc goes with a LEGO Star Wars theme. This works especially well for younger ones. Coloring sheets make easy placemats and can keep preschoolers occupied while you set up other activities.

What about Bounty Hunters? Think space-age pirate party. For kids too cool for the traditional themes, do it up with Boba and/or Jango Fett with some sort of scavenger hunt. A Boba Fett helmet (or a jetpack) is essential to this party (I hope you can find a good deal on one).

These are the Droids you’re looking for! Build-your-own robots with cardboard boxes and lots of tape.

Other stuff: For plates and napkins, I strongly suggest buying a solid color to match with the rest of your decor. Sure, I’m lucky to have all boys, but I also find my ample collection of blue napkins works for Father’s Day and Hannukah.  You could also pick up just a few thematic plates to serve the dessert.

When I settle into following my own advice and hosting my next Star Wars party, I’ll share my pictures.



Two kids in a room. Or not.

July 24, 2014

We are at a conference for the rest of the weekend, so I am re-posting this one from a couple years ago. Heather and I both live in Berkeley where houses are small, and expensive nonetheless. Our neighboring city Oakland is pretty much the same.  If you’ve seen the show Parenthood, which is set here, […]

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Get kids to listen without yelling {FREE class}

July 23, 2014

We are so happy to tell you that we have partnered with Amy McCready’s company Positive Parenting Solutions to bring a free webinar to you guys on the topic of getting kids to listen – without nagging or yelling. The format includes Amy presenting material and a live chat session where we can all ask […]

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Going all Mary Poppins on my bedroom {Rookie Moms Challenge #29}

July 22, 2014

When school was cancelled for a snow day this Spring (argh!), the first thing I did was jump to the list of Rookie Mom challenges and see if there were any I could complete while home with the boy all day long. There was a perfect one: Challenge# 29, Refresh your bedroom. I took Weston […]

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Activity #24: Be a tourist in your own town

July 21, 2014

Today’s challenge is to strap on your fanny pack and be a tourist in your own town with your little sidekick. Ok, I’m kidding about the fanny pack. But how about you two go somewhere only the visitors ever enjoy? If you’ve never taken the time to see your hometown’s greatest hits, choose a destination […]

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What Not To Wear: Baby Edition

July 18, 2014

Poor Winnie the Pooh. Such a nice guy, but moms are not into him these days. We asked our Facebook page about what types of clothing they refuse to put on their children. While this is a very subjective topic, and I don’t imagine we all share the same opinions on these styles, here are […]

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Bikini at 3.5 months post-partum? Yep! {Rookie Moms Challenge #35}

July 17, 2014

The Rookie Moms Challenge #35 is Buy some new jeans but I switched it up because I needed a swim suit. I should also probably claim credit for taking a baby swimming, but I’ll tell you more about that later. Ok so I confess, I headed out to Old Navy about week 2 postpartum because […]

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What I wish I could do over: Introducing my kid to food

July 16, 2014

My nine-year old son is a very picky eater. I was the same way. The world will not end over this, and he is certainly not lacking in the nutrition department — red bell pepper, raw spinach leaves, and hummus are on his limited list of approved foods. More than anything, it’s inconvenient. Going to […]

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STITCH FIX delivers current clothing to lazy moms

July 15, 2014

I’m pretty sure that STITCH FIX was invented just for me. Since it started in the Bay Area, it is highly possible that someone overheard my weird clothes-shopping peculiarities in some coffee shop and launched it into a startup. That really happens out here. The deal is that real-life human stylists create a box of 5 items […]

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Activity #23: Build muscles at bootcamp

July 14, 2014

By the time my first baby was 10 weeks old, I had not exercised for about 6 months. Baby Bootcamp was my re-introduction to sweating and I loved it. I was not a gym-goer in my normal life, and Baby Bootcamp was perfect for me. Here’s why: Exercising in the company of other sleep-deprived, temporarily […]

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Still crushing the {Rookie Moms} Challenges – Part 2

July 11, 2014

Hi – I’m Leslie from And Her Little Dog Too and my little man, Brooks, is 4.5 months old.  I’ve been working hard at crossing items from the Rookie Moms 52 Week Challenge off my list – Check out Part 1 of my Journey – And I’m back today to share more of how I’ve […]

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