Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Birthday Party: Strawberries!

There is not much cuter than a one year old on her birthday!  For this little one's birthday, we focused on strawberries and expanded with colors.  Pinks, reds and bright greens are fabulous together and really helped make this party pop.
How do you choose your party times?  It can be tricky when you're trying to avoid nap time as well as mealtimes - but the best option is to choose a time that works best for the birthday girl or boy and hope family and friends can make it.  Having a fussy birthday baby only adds stress!  For this sweet birthday girl, the party was timed just right - not around a meal and not around nap time - and everyone was happy from start to finish.
Keeping with the theme, we planned a Strawberry Shortcake Bar for the treats and it was yummy!  The homemade shortcakes fit perfectly into the cups - topped with berries and whip cream - and they were delicious!
Cupcakes are often the easiest way to serve the masses and not have a lot of prep during the party (cutting the cake, plating the cake, serving the cake).  It's super easy to place a candle on a cupcake for the birthday boy or girl, sing Happy Birthday and allow guests to choose a cupcake at their own pace.  AND there are so many fun cupcake toppers out there to choose from!  Mom ordered these fun strawberry toppers on Etsy and they were perfect!  Perfect colors, yummy taste and adorable!
For drinks, we served pink lemonade (a small touch to stick with the color scheme)!  Covering these mason jars with cupcake tins was a perfect way to keep our drinks spill proof and the green straw added a fun pop of color.
For activities, we kept it simple - one year olds can't communicate their favorite things yet, so it's sometimes refreshing to keep it simple.  A few themed coloring sheets and playing with the new toys did the trick.
Two of my favorite small touches from the party were the polka dot balloons and little pink boxes placed throughout the house to add pops of color and theme.  The other small touch were the real strawberries planted in red containers and placed throughout the party space. These small touches not only added pops of color, carrying the theme beyond the food table, but also contributed to the overall theme of the party.
Check out those awesome wall puffs!  This unique spin off the traditional hanging puffs allows the party planner to add texture and depth to a tablescape without a ladder!  They were simple to make (1/2 the work of hanging puffs) and they are so much fun!
Handmade by mommy and friends, these personalized bracelets were a fun, final touch for kids to take home.  The strawberry beads were purchased off Etsy and the beads and string were purchased at a local craft store - together, they were adorable!  We printed custom bag toppers and ta-da!  A beautiful and fun favor for the kids to take home.

This was such a fun party to attend!  What's the next party on your calendar?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Birthday Party: Star Wars

Trying to plan a fun party for your boyfriend or husband?  Let's be honest, most guys don't like big parties... to celebrate or not to celebrate - that is the question.  I say CELEBRATE!  Not many people out there (male or female) will get angry or upset when it's all about them.

One of our great friends recently turned 30... the big 3-0.  He's generally a quiet guy who doesn't like a lot of attention - but he loves Star Wars.  This isn't just a watch the movies Star Wars fan, but a read the books fan.  So, we decided to plan a Star Wars birthday party... and make it a surprise.  Shh!!!
Because it was a surprise, it was much easier to choose a neutral location for the party - and what better than a movie theater?  Our local theater has a birthday party option and it turned out to be pretty cost effective!  Not only could we bring in any movie to watch (which worked out with our theme), but they also provided drinks and popcorn to all the guests.  What kind of deals can you work at your local theater?  Choose a favorite movie and you instantly have your party theme.
Star Wars is a long movie - and because all of the guests had to work the next day, we had to start the party around dinner time.  We served all sorts of delicious and themed food!  It's amazing all the different Star Wars themed food ideas out there.
These fun cupcake toppers were handmade by a shop on Etsy and turned our adorable.  Keeping with the pops of green for color, we chose mostly Yoda toppers, but added a Darth Vader for character.  Although big cakes can be fun, cupcakes are a simple way to serve many and add to the theme.
Candy bars are a fun, tasty and inexpensive favor - especially because you can make your own label and call it good!  However, Birthday Guy is vegan - which means inexpensive milk chocolate was out of the question.  But instead of bagging the idea, we decided to make his favorite treat (peanut butter chocolate bark), wrap it in aluminum foil (which only added to the theme) and wrap with our label.  It wasn't as easy as buying store bought, but it was more cost effective - and it still turned out super fun!
Are you looking to plan a party for a special someone?  I'd love to hear your ideas!