A – DAY
If you read my post on August 7, 2015 then it’s no surprise to you that I had a birthday party to plan! If you’ve previously attended any of my children’s parties, you would know that I spent the two weeks prior to “A”-DAY with my Event Plan in hand, running between Michael’s, the Party Store, The Dollar Store, Target, and Walmart.
My mom found this brightly colored RuffleButts birthday outfit at Buy Buy Baby and thus Aria’s First Birthday theme was cemented. She is the brightest and bubbliest [and sassiest] 1 year old I’ve ever known, so of course she should have a birthday party just as bright.
Invitation // Polka Dot Cheeks [listing by request only]
After we returned home from our vacation at the end of July, I was in full bright, beach ball bash planning mode. I started slowly gathering supplies, pacing myself to avoid becoming overwhelmed [a problem I’m all to familiar with as a procrastinating Libra], and by time the party was 7 days out, this is what my dining room looked like:
I prepared all the decor in advance so we could enjoy time with my mom, my sister and two sweet nephews when they arrived a few days before the party.
I’m glad I did because a ghost took up residence in our house and dammit if the banners didn’t fall at least 5x before we took our efforts to a higher level [push pins in my woodwork!*!*!]
Watch Me Grow Banner and Monthly Beach Ball Printables // Polka Dot Cheeks
Happy Birthday Banner // Polka Dot Cheeks
Watch Me Grow
For the first 12 months of her life, I have took a picture with Aria and a chalkboard. I used Photoshop to fill in all of her monthly details [as I remembered them]. I mounted these photos on scrap book paper and displayed in the Watch Me Grow banners above. I also designed and printed a 16×20 “chalkboard” printable, mounted it on white foam board from the Dollar Store and hung it above her high chair.
Chalkboard Printable: Polka Dot Cheeks
For Noah’s Mickey Mouse themed 3rd birthday party, I set up a “photo booth” of sorts. I mimicked the set up for Aria’s party and added some beachy props from Momma and Munchkins [free**].
Grab a Prop, Strike a Pose Printable // Polka Dot Cheeks
Tiki Bar Sign // The Dollar Store [similar]
The kitchen table was covered in another $.97 tablecloth from Walmart. On top sat a square vase adorned with goggles, the longest lasting arrangement of flowers ever [2+weeks] from Kroger [$5], and food tents in front of each buffet item.
Lunch Plates: Party City // Cups: Walmart [similar]
Food Tent Labels: Polka Dot Cheeks
Guests Like To Eat
We learned a few years ago to keep the food easy and cheap. My mom prepared homemade cole slaw and baked beans, my mother-in-law provided the fruit salad, and Taylor made a Paula Deen Pepper Corn Salad. After researching and pricing sandwich tray options, Meijer won out at 25 sandwiches for $22. We also made a handful of PB&Js on the fly which luckily the guests found to be an adorable menu item.
In our dining room, the cake and gift bags found their home for the party. One long and medium width box stacked on top two smaller boxes, wrapped in the pink and white paper [seen above], made up the dessert display. It’s a cute and cheap way to display all those yummy goodies and keep out of reach from little toddler fingers. The cake topper was a last minute find in the clearance bins at Michael’s. This would be very easy to duplicate with leftover tassel garland from above, but for less than a $1, it was worth purchasing.
I printed out flip flops, beach balls sunglasses, little circles that read “ONE” and “Aria’s First Birthday” and mounted them on vegetable skewers that I cut in half to serve as my cupcake toppers.
Cupcake Topper Printable: Polka Dot Cheeks
The Dollar Store gift bags [similar] were filled with random finds from the Dollar Store like flip flop bubbles, water guns, and colorful leis. Each bag had a beach ball cut out tied together with a tag that reads, “Thanks for celebrating with us. Hope you had a ball”
Gift Bag Tag Printable: Polka Dot Cheeks
I added some of that wrapping paper and tassel garland for a pretty background while Aria opened her gifts. As you may have read in previous party planning posts, I am a firm believe in the little details. A little balloon hanging here, a little beach ball hanging there, and a few drink umbrellas scattered about can really go a long way in maximizing your theme without over-exerting your wallet. Here are some of the little details the other pictures didn’t capture:
Balloons: Walmart and Michaels [similar]
Decorations are all fine and well, but what makes a party pop are the people. Aria’s guests came to party all the way from South America, North Carolina, Washington DC, Cincinnati, plus our family and friends that live right down the road.
Of course the Birthday Girl was too excited to take a morning nap, so we were on borrowed time when we finally got around to singing the birthday song and blowing out candles. She didn’t take to the cake like her big brother, but for the first time in a year we saw a glimpse of some lady-like behavior.
Remember how I said I spent $60 on Noah’s first birthday cake? Here’s more evidence why I will never purchase more than a $15 8″ round and whip up a quick batch of cupcakes. I couldn’t give away the cake in a house full of children!
By 2 pm, the guests had gone, the kids were down for naps, and the house was partially cleaned up. Another party in the books and a 4th birthday party on the horizon, luckily I have my Event Plan printable to keep me on track…but I swear, this time I won’t go overboard ;)!
Planning a party? Need to keep it together? Download your free Event Plan printable now!