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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Kids' Birthday Parties : Celebrating 1 and 4

I'm not quite sure how I'm going to be able to handle two kids' birthday parties every March.  I just did my first set of them this year, as our little guy turned 4, and our sweet girl, 1!!   And, WHEW! what a crazy whirlwind of a couple weeks!  I've heard from numerous moms now, who have up to 3 kids (or more!) with birthdays just weeks, or even days, apart!  HOW do they do it?  I'm now understanding why some kids have joint birthday parties....and it's definitely a possibility for next year. Ha!  {I think the guest list likes it, too, as it's just one party to hit, instead of two in a row...at least for now, while the kids are young enough that the parents must come to the party, too.  Which begs the question, when do kids go to parties by themselves, sans Mom and Dad?}.  Anyway.  Our birthday parties are over! Makes me relieved...but, boy, were they fun!  So fun, in fact, that I already have an idea for next year!  {You'll just have to wait to hear more details on that ~ PLENTY of time!}

So this year we had a Curious George and a butterfly-garden party as our themes. Lots of details went into my planning...although, I hate to admit, all were certainly not successfully executed.  Now, in my defense, some of it was due to uncooperative weather {i.e., too much wind and heat}, but for the most part, I liked how they turned out.  The final consensus {when comparing the two we just had} is that home parties are the way to go if you're going to have lots of decorative details.  It's just too hard to transport and set it all up elsewhere.  Just hope your home {or yard, as in our case} is big enough to host all the attendees!

So our first party was our Curious George party. We had it at a local Train Park, per my son's request. {Curious George and trains don't really have anything to do with each other, but these are the things he wanted, so that's what Mommy did!}.  The wind was making our balloons go crazy and bump into our food, so much so that you couldn't even see the food, so I couldn't set up the table as I would have liked.  Additionally, we had to place heavy items on the napkins, as they kept blowing away.  Also, I couldn't put out some items, due to the heat that day {it was about 87 degrees}, which would have made them melt.  But, that's okay.  I'm sure I was the only one who this all mattered to, ha!

Curious George Birthday Party
 {COLORS}:
*Primary colors with a twist: red, yellow, turquoise and brown

{FOOD}:
*Banana Split Bar {instead of cake and ice cream} ~ afterall, what monkey doesn't love bananas?!
*Banana Split Cupcakes.  I know I said we wouldn't have cake.  But my friend just opened her own cake/cupcake business {Little Sister Cupcakes}, and so she brought these!  Too cute!
*Fresh-squeezed lemonade.  Always refreshing...and better than processed sugars and chemicals in soda.  Oh, and it's yellow...gotta match the drinks, too!
*Juicy Juice boxes.  I prefer cute cups to match, but with a "destination party," if you will, sometimes, you just take the easy way out and simplify.
*Home-made Banana Bread
*Chocolate-Pops shaped like "Curious George"
*Tropical Monkey Trail mix {dried fruits, M&Ms, pretzels}



Our fresh-squeezed lemonade dispenser {from Home Goods - LOVE that store!}
Banana Split Bar


Banana Split Cupcakes
Banana Bread & Tropical Trail Mix
 {DECOR & DESIGN}:
*Balloons.  Always a fave for kiddos, and a key element in the Curious George movie! {If you haven't seen it yet, go rent it!  George goes for a crazy balloon ride with Ted {a.k.a., the Man in the Yellow Hat}}!
*Banana bunches to hold down the balloons...and later be used in our banana splits {love it when decor can double up to be fully functional, as well!}
*Party printables, to include food labels, "thank yous" and a hangable banner

  {FAVORS}:
*Favor bags: red bags tied shut with a "thank you for coming!" scalloped circle. inside were crayons {from Gourmet Play}, a hand-made Curious George coloring book {blank pages}, Curious George stickers and some monkey gummy fruit chews.
party favors
Among the many lessons learned through this one, be sure to add lots of HEIGHT to your table!  It just looks so much better.  Meaning, go to a local home store, and stock up on neutral-toned {ideally white or cream} cake plates, platters and serving dishes, etcetera..especially TALL ones! {Will do better next year!}

Next up was our 1-year olds Butterfly-Garden Party.  We had a bit cooler weather, but still wind {and who says we never have wind in Arizona?!!}.  Aside from the wind, though, this party was easier.  Mainly because it was at home, so I could get everything ready in my own time.  But also, since our backyard is contained and much smaller than a train park, you could give the kids a bit more freedom and not have to watch them like a hawk!


Butterfly-Garden Party
{COLORS}:
*Red, pinks {light and hot}, orange, yellow and keylime green with just a hint of black

{FOOD & DRINK}:
*Cupcakes: Chocolate and Strawberry Shortcake
*Fresh fruit salad
*Rock candy {nicknamed "Sweet Sugar Sticks" for our party!}
*Butter-fly sugar cookie "snackers" {bite-size}
*White-chocolate-covered Spring Oreo cookies
*Fresh-squeezed strawberry lemonade
*Strawberry milk for the kiddos {in Starbucks bottles with striped paper straws ~ so cute!}
bite-size butterfly sugar cookies
white chocolate-covered & drizzled Spring Oreo cookies
Rock Candy


Strawberry Milk

{DECOR & DESIGN}:
*Bloom wooden double-bowl for cookie display
*Seed bomb bags {from Anthropologie} for table decor
*Felt butterfly stickers strewn on tops of tables
*Large Tree Branch with paper butterflies attached
*Hanging Butterflies & Paper Bloom Balls {pattern available at adams blankie}
*Butterflies on Sticks {in ground by backyard gate}
*Anthropologie-inspired fabric "tulip" flowers {in ground by backyard gate}
*Cupcake liner white wreath (on backyard gate} with "Welcome!" sign
*Party Printables, including food labels, "thank you" tags, banner and cupcake toppers
*A "Wish Bowl" Time Capsule with guest-written sentiments for our sweet girl to open/read on her 18th Birthday!
*One HUGE hand-made tutu by Mama...she's gonna LAUGH at these pictures when she's older! :)

painted tree branch with paper butterflies {and you can see one of the hanging paper blooms}
Cupcake Liner Wreath
Fabric "Tulips" {with burlap butterflies} - Anthropologie-inspired


"Wish Bowl" for time capsule guests' sentiments {to open at 18th birthday!}
birthday banner...the wind blew all the letters together :(
 {FAVORS}:
*Large butterfly sugar cookies in cellophane bags with "thank you for coming!" scalloped circle tags.  These were basically my first sugar cookie experiment {I had done a practice set about a month ago}.  You can definitely tell they weren't professionally done, but they weren't bad for my first go.  And they saved me about $50  or so from ordering elsewhere!

Party Favor Butterfly Sugar Cookies

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and ideas from our parties this year.  Please feel free to share your party theme ideas - would love to hear them, as I'm sure all we party-planning parents would!

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3 comments:

EMonaghan said...

THey sound like great parties! I'm planning my son's 1st now- airplane theme. THanks for the suggestions!

Cherry Blossoms said...

I think they both turned out adorable! Love the idea of the banana split bar.

Welcome! said...

Thanks, ladies! EMonaghan - I love the idea of an airplane theme - what are you doing for it? Cherry Blossoms - yes, and banana splits were MUCH easier than cake!