Am I an event planner? No. Do I like to think I am an event planner? Yes. Was I an event planner in a past life? DEFINITELY!!! You see October is my favorite part of fall (actually it is the only part of fall I like). Why? Because I get to celebrate my birthday and my daughters birthdays… all within 4 days (yes… you read that correctly, the three of us in 4 days)!!! Needless to say October is a crazy month.
But let’s be honest… I don’t celebrate my birthday anymore. It is all about my girls. With my girls being 2 years minus 1 day apart, I get to do one party for them (that is until they are older and want separate celebrations). That one party is always a big party as I invite family, family friends and classmates for each girl. Needless to say I am always looking for the most cost efficient ways to create a memorable party.
To start, the first thing we do is pick a location. Yes my house is probably the most cost efficient option but we have done that before. The thought of having to clean my house, to have people come over to dirty it, then have to clean up again is not appealing (I am sure I am not the only one that feels that way). Spending the extra money knowing I do not have to really set up or clean up is worth looking for a venue… so we searched for a location. With so many options out there… bounce houses, trampoline parks, bowling, museums, aquariums, the movies, art parties, etc… we chose one that can accommodate a lot of children with out having to pay for additional children. The Star Factory (which actually goes well with the theme of the party) was the perfect location for this years party.
With the place chosen, we next had to choose a theme for the party. Fortunately this year choosing a theme was easy. My girls love to sing and dance. They also love the movies Sing and Trolls… which are both filled with lots of upbeat and catchy music. Since my oldest made the final decision about the place, I gave my youngest the honor of choosing the theme and she selected Sing (it actually went easier than I expected).
Knowing the location of the party and having selected a theme, it was time to start thinking about the invitations. Since I had my oldest daughter, I have always tried to send unique invitations. However, invitations can get pretty pricey. With technology today, that cost can be reduced if not removed. Going with my party planner tendencies, I chose to have a custom invitation made by Creative Party Designs… a mompreneur who was very easy to work with, had a quick turnaround time and translated my vision perfectly!!! I purchased the digital image (which most guests received via email and text message) and printed out a few for my daughters’ classmates (which is another great way to save money).
As for decorations…
This is the part that always gets me as I have extravagant visions in my head (thanks to social media and TV) and not enough time or budget to make it come to life. For my sanity, I decided to keep it simple (at least my version of simple) and only really decorate the cake table. All I have to say is I am so thankful for The Dollar Tree, Joann Fabric and Craft Stores and Amazon Prime!
For the guest tables, I simply covered them in a black table cloth and used a bowl (from the Dollar Tree) filled with chips as the centerpiece (a steal in my book)!
The Cake Table was the masterpiece of the party. I wanted it to take center stage and it sure did. Below are the pieces that made my vision come to fruition.
• Background stand (Amazon)
• Red Curtain Stage Background (Amazon)
• Black Sequin Table Cloth (Amazon)
• 4 and 6 Number Balloons (Amazon) I took them to Stop & Shop to fill them with helium and at the same time I bought the plain gold latex balloons.
• 8” Paper Mache Letters, acrylic paint, spray paint, mason jars – from Joann Fabric and Craft Store. Creating their names in marquee-like fashion was a fun DIY project that I got my girls involved in (they painted and I spray painted) and they loved!
• For the kids souvenirs I decided on organic cotton candy made by my friend at Le Puf Organic Cotton Candy. The pictures do not do it justice… all of the kids loved it!!!
• Cake stands for the cotton candy purchased from Home Goods a couple years ago (yes… looking around the house was important to help save money).
Birthday Cake by Nana
Words cannot express how lucky we are to have my mom in our life. When my oldest was born, she picked up cake decorating as a hobby and she has flourished. She has created things far beyond anything we could imagine for every celebration. I gave her the theme for the party and full creative reign. The final product made everyone’s jaw dropped. It was incredible and the center of the cake table!!!
Fail Safe Food & Drinks
Food tends to be a splurge for us as we are not big fans of pizza. However, keeping it simple and easy was our goal so we catered to the kids. We bought organic juice, water and ordered pizza. I will say… there was not one complaint!
With the party location, theme, invitations and decorations set… the last piece of the puzzle was the girls’ outfits (something extremely important as a mom of girls). I wanted something fun and filled with star quality and had originally planned to make them tutus… but in true Mami life, things did not go as planned. However, our plan B probably turned out better than my original idea. I ordered custom shirts from Lakeside Creations (another mompreneur who was easy to work with and delivered my vision) and pulled a sparkly tutu skirt from their closet. They loved it!
I was completely thrilled with how the day went. I supported local mompreneurs and found ways to save money and simplify the event without stressing too much. That however did not matter as the most important judge of the party was the reaction of my daughters and the joy they had celebrating their special day with family and friends. What are some of your favorite birthday party memories?