Balloons, bunting banners, and buffet tent cards: just a few of my favorite birthday party essentials. No detail too small when planning the perfect birthday party! Am I the only one that stresses over having every detail just right? Three years ago, I planned my son’s first birthday party, but it seems every year since, I try to see how I can top the previous year’s party. Crazy? I think so! It’s not like my kids really care or even appreciate all the hard work involved with pulling off such a fabulous celebration, so why do I continue to do it?
Uh oh, isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome? Well, I’m not saying I’m insane, maybe just a little nutty, but I do like having a cute theme and incorporating the decorations, food and everything in between into an adorable party. I can’t deny it. I like all the oooohs and ahhhhs from the moms that take notice of how hard I worked and value all the effort it took to make this a grand event! I do take loads of pictures in hopes one day my kids will look back and realize how much preparation and thought went into planning their birthdays to be so special.
If you are anything like me when it comes to party planning, Pinterest and Etsy are my go to sites for creative ideas. Etsy is a site where you can find all your party essentials that you can easily “convo” with the shop owner to customize most items and easily purchase, equaling less stress and mess. We just celebrated Cooper and Camille’s birthday less than a week ago, and I’m already thinking about what theme we should do next year. My kids are a year and 5 days apart, so I’m always on the lookout for boy/girl themes I can incorporate into a cute party. Thank goodness we celebrate their birthdays together because I’m not sure we could afford separate ones, and I’m most definite my body could not stand the stress of planning two parties so close together.
For my son’s first birthday, I decided to go with his favorite book as the theme, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” He still loves this book, and back then, we read it multiple times a day. I wanted him to have a spectacular 1st birthday. Keep in mind, I was a bit limited (tired and exhausted) and as large as a baby elephant because I was 9 months pregnant with Camille. I actually delivered Camille 8 days after Cooper’s party. I was proud of my first party attempt from the decorations, food ideas and the cupcake creations. It turned out great in my opinion. Sure, I was, and still am, an amateur party planner, but I am giving myself an A for effort, after all it was my first party and I was pregnant with baby brain!
The next year was Camille’s 1st and Cooper’s 2nd birthday, and we decided to collaborate their birthday with my nephew who was turning 3 the same month. After much deliberation, we decided on an LSU football and cheerleader themed party. Of course, I had to outdo myself from the previous year’s party. I wasn’t pregnant this year and having two small children wasn’t going to slow me down, at least that is what I thought! I ordered some adorable personalized table top decorations from the Etsy shop, Play Patterns, a local business owner out of Walker, LA. My friend and I spent hours (what were we thinking) on making LSU (purple and gold) cake balls, that nobody even noticed because they ate them in one bite. As if that wasn’t enough, we ordered 3 separate cakes for each of the birthday kiddos! Camille wore an adorable smocked LSU dress at the beginning of the party, and she made a wardrobe change mid party to match Cooper in similar appliquéd outfits. I even ordered a cute LSU dress for myself to wear to keep with the theme of the party, and Greg wore an LSU Polo. How perfect (or crazy), right?
Last week, we celebrated Cooper and Camille’s 2nd and 3rd birthday with a Mickey and Minnie Mouse themed party. Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog! You can thank me later for not being able to get that song out your head. I have to admit, I was pretty pleased with my mad party planning skills and everything looked super cute! I ordered a very cute birthday banner from the Etsy shop, Paper Party Girl, and she even personalized one for me as well with very short notice (I’m talking days). I bought personalized water bottle labels, candy bar wrappers and even made cute little buffet food tents to go along with the Mickey/Minnie theme. My food table looked precious, and the decorations were fabulous. I even got a phone call from a friend that told me I was in the wrong business and needed to be a professional party planner after seeing my pictures on Facebook. It definitely brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart to see my hard work didn’t go unnoticed!
So just how will I top next year? Will I just let go and have it at Chuck E Cheese? No mess, no fuss, no stress…in the words of my three year old, “NO WAY”! Let the insanity continue!
I am right there with you! Cute party themes and details are the stuff life is made of! I can’t let it go either! My take is that if you enjoy doing it, have at it! As we learned yesterday, your kids WILL be grateful one day!
Thanks Ashley for the moral support. It is definitely something that brings a smile to my face when I look at all the pictures and I know one day it will bring a smile to their faces too!
My oldest son has had aviator Mickey Mouse party as his first birthday, Thomas the train was his second birthday party which I dressed him up in cute osh kosh overalls as a conductor, 3 rd bday was yo gabba gabba , 4th bday was tonka trucks / construction theme, 5th bday was toy story which can def be for both boys and girls, then last September we celebrated our twin boys 1st birthday party and that was a Sesame Street theme focusing a lot on Elmo and Cookie Monster , we just had our last baby in January a baby girl can’t wait to plan her big first!!! We are however in the process of planning a thing1 and thing2/ dr Seuss theme 2 nd bday party for the twins, I’m excited about this party being I love Dr.seuss 🙂 I think planning nice over the top parties is a great thing and I’m sure the kids will appreciate it one day, maybe even go on to make their children parties the same way, my mother would always go all out for my bday parties and now I do with my children as well. Themes I have considered for boy/ girl parties are Mickey and Minnie of course, Dora and Diego , toy story( there is a lot you can do with this theme), dr. Seuss, cowboy/cowgirl theme, I would say most disney movies can inspire a boy/girl party to be honest!! Lovely parties by the way !!!
Wow Ludy, you sound like the REAL professional party planner. I love all your party themes and ideas. I definitely think a cowboy/cowgirl would be a cute party for next year, with a barnyard theme. I have lots of friends that work at the LSU Ag Center and live on farms so I bet I could even get some farm animals to be special guest at the party! Good luck with the Dr. Seuss party, it sounds like you have your hands full between your son, twins and daughter! Happy party planning 🙂
We went the easy route with the pink cupcake theme for my daughter’s 1st bday. This year we overdid it with the Bubble Guppies theme complete with a number of etsy and eBay purchases… I’ve got a newborn and somehow managed to make Bubble Puppy favor bags without help from the toddler. Next year I’m considering a joint party for my son’s 1st and her 3rd but with an entire month in between I’m not sure if I can do it. Birthdays are expensive. 😉
Stephanie, I LOVE Bubble Guppies, and actually thought about doing that instead of the Mickey/Minnie Mouse party, however my kids are a little more obsessed with Mickey/Minnie so they won! I think going easy and simple with a pink cupcake theme was probably very classy and elegant! I think you can definitely pull off the joint birthday party. Do it while they are young and they can’t complain about having to share because you won’t be able to pull that off forever!
I love this Janie! too cute! I am one of those types who loves planning themed parties too. I get stressed out and say “i’m not doing it again” and then I want to go above and beyond. THis year, we’re thinking of doing a “camping” theme for Andrew since he loves the outdoors so much! 🙂
I definitely think you could have a career as a party planner though! 🙂 Great work on this parties!
Thanks Andie. I LOVE the camping theme for Andrew’s party. I can’t wait to see the pictures from his party, I know everything will be over the top and super adorable! I am going to help a friend plan an O FISH ALLY ONE birthday party for her son this August, so I may have some cute fishing ideas that you can add in to the camping theme.
Janie, you did an awesome job planning Cooper & Camille’s birthday parties!! I definitely over did it on Addison’s first birthday party even though I thought I was keeping it simple with a pink and orange cupcake theme. Ha! This year, I’m doing a watermelon theme since her birthday is right in the middle of summer heat. Hopefully it will all come together like I’m picturing it in my head.