July is insane. So much to do, and up until about a week ago I had no idea when any of the deadlines were. But we have a moving date. It just so happens our move-out date is at least a week before our move-in date. *sigh* But such is life! And I’m so thankful that our new neighbours (my in-laws) are OK with us crashing in their basement again while we wait to move in. (At least, I’m assuming they’re OK with it. Sean just said that’s what we’re doing.) Basically the painters can’t come back and put on the final coat until after we committed to being out of the Pink House. So there’s that. Plus we’re waiting on water/septic… yadda yadda yadda.
Anyways. In the midst of my growing anxiety about “how is this all gonna’ get done?!” we had a birthday party for Little L. How is she two already?!?
Much of what needs to be done for moving isn’t starting until this week, so last week I had a bit of time/headspace to pull a party together. Since it’s a family party, that makes it a little easier to send out an invite a week before, so I whipped this up in Illustrator and e-mailed it off:
I had my colour scheme: warm pink and mint green, and my theme: puppies. The girl loves puppies. ”Puppy” was actually one of her first words, amongst: Mommy, Daddy, and Hallelu. :)
The plan was to have it outside our new house. Basically in the middle of a field. We simplified plans and prep by just doing dessert: cupcakes and s’mores. As the day approached, however, it looked like the weather would not be accommodating. (Rain. Lightning. Wind. Good stuff like that.) I just assumed we’d move everything inside our house (we can turn on lights now!), but Sean wasn’t so keen on having lawn chairs scuff up our new floor. So my (again) accommodating in-laws were kind enough to let us crash their place (again!) for the party. It took a little re-figuring what I was doing with decorations, but it worked!
I concentrated the majority of my decorating efforts in one area (with some balloons and some pompoms elsewhere).
Here’s what I did:
-Brown kraft paper table runners. Since the party was originally slated to be outside I figured this could be taped to tables without flying around like a table cloth. I was going to draw little white paw prints on them, but didn’t in the end.
-Bunting. Easy, cute, high impact decoration. I had a bunch of that sweet printed card stock (in my colour scheme!) already, so I did up a bunch. I actually had more than what I put up, because outdoors I was planning to string it from some bamboo garden poles I’d gotten at the dollar store. I’d also planned to do some bunting in some coloured tissue paper, but since I didn’t have many places to hang it indoors I changed plans and did some hanging pompoms instead.
-Paper cupcake decorations. Last year I topped cupcakes with little Starburst roses. This year L wanted cupcakes again, so I sat down one evening and cut and glued some little puppies out of paper to put on top. Paper is WAY more my medium than fondant or icing. I used a glue gun to attach them to cut-up straws, which I inserted into the cupcake. I like how they look like they’re licking the icing.
-I also made a few more puppies out of some craft foam I had around, and placed them around the room.
-I had also planned on picking up a bouquet from Costco and splitting it up into some smaller vases (if we’d been outside). A good tip on flowers is to pick up your flowers a day or two before - especially roses - so that they can open to full bloom in time for the party. That way you need less flowers in an arrangement. But a couple days before the party I noticed these purple flowers growing out behind our garbage cans. Classy, I know. They were obviously weeds, but they were free and pretty! I threw some in an old glass milk bottle, and voila! ”Floral arrangement”. :)
They didn’t match the colour scheme, but it worked. And did I mention they were free?
Overall, it was pretty cheap:
- I already had all of the paper supplies, dishes, and (for some reason) helium on hand.
- I bought the kraft paper, cups, and napkins, tissue paper, and a small pack of balloons at the dollar store. I also bought the bamboo sticks hat I mentioned, as well as a small package of wedding bubbles (which I thought the kids could use outside) that we didn’t use.
- I even invented punch from things already in our fridge/freezer (lemonade + pureed frozen strawberries + Sprite).
And I simplified by:
- Doing it offsite (so I didn’t have to have my house clean.)
- Serving only dessert.
- Doing decorations I already knew how to make that wouldn’t take long.
- Making cupcakes from a box mix and buying icing.
And in the end, this little girl had a wonderful night, and went to sleep listing all of the special people who came to her party, and the things she liked about it: “Cupcakes! Puppies! Presents! Balloons!”
Love that girl.