My daughter's birthday was 2 months ago and I am just now getting around to organizing the photos and posting about it after receiving a few requests. If you know me, you have to know that I LOVE birthday parties! I probably got this love from my mom, who always made each birthday celebration special. I can think back to fun times at Showbiz pizza for my 3rd of 4th birthday (or maybe both because I was obsessed as a kid), to an ice skating party, movie theater party, and troll themed party, to name a few. So yes as I think about it, it is probably genetic, I get my over the top party planning craziness from my mom.
Knowing my daughter would be turning 3 just a month after baby C's birth I decided to start planning early this year. After our trip to Disneyland in March, A (my daughter's nickname since in utero) told me she wanted a mermaid party… the Pinterest inspiration board began! While at Disneyland my mom started collecting the Ariel buttons that said, "let's celebrate," she started collecting them everywhere we went throughout the trip. The 2 of us together are bad news, as our imaginations start to run wild.
This was going to be the 1st party we've hosted in our new house, using the pool. I was nervous about the pool and watching all the toddlers, luckily my brother committed to life guard duty. Having a party in June in Fresno is always a crap shoot, will it be 100 degrees or not?… well, it was the first day to reach over 100. Yipee for us! With this in mind, our activities were all mostly water based. We set up a slip in slide, a water table and of course used the pool.
I ordered the invitation, which for some reason is always a hard commitment to make. I got them from Inspired Lil Parties on Etsy. I did make a mistake, I ordered invites for every person in attendance rather than every family. Whoopsie Daisy.. Can you say, Pregnancy brain?!
I decided "jelly fish" would be our main decorations for the party. I channeled my inner Anthropologie Visual Manager hat (from a former profession- many moons ago) and started an assembly line to make jelly fish with paper lanterns, cut plastic table clothes, crepe paper streamers and tulle. I enlisted help from everyone that came over to "pinch and pull" the plastic table cloth strips to create the jelly fish tentacles. I was pretty excited to hang these little guys and now have them in my storage closet to use for future parties at YCA.
Since food is "my thing," I wanted the kids food to fit the theme. We made macaroni & Cheese (per my daughter's birthday request) and floated hot dog 'octopus' in the mix. I made 'sushi' rolls with rice crispy treats and swedish fish and 'oysters' with mini vanilla wafers, blue frosting, & a white pearl six-let candy.
I ordered Wahoo's Fish Tacos Party platters for the parents food and it turned out to be delicious. They provided platters of Chicken, Steak & Fish tacos already prepared with sides of rice, beans, chips and salsa. I think it was a good deal for the amount of food provided and they were really easy to work with. I would definitely suggest using them for a party where you might need catered food. The cake was my absolute favorite item of the entire party. It was made by Pitter Patter Cakes here in Fresno. She does a a fantastic job with the design AND it tastes delicious too!
I try to stay away from bottled waters at parties because there are always half full bottles that go wasted. I set up a big jug of water and and big just of "sea water," that was actually a refreshing punch (recipe below). The kids had a blast playing on the Slip-n-slide and I set up a craft table for everyone to paint a picture frame. It was my intention to snap a picture of each child to send a printed picture with the thank you card that could be put in the frame, but I did not make it that far this year.
To be honest I ordered an adorable sand craft mermaid bottle necklace from Oriental Trading that did not arrive in time. In fact the crafts, along with some decorations I ordered, arrived 1 hour after the party ended. I have not had much luck ordering from them… next time I have to remember to order months in advance.
For the party favors, I made candy skewers and attached them to rolled up towels. I thought towels would be a fun favor incase anyone forgot a towel and it is a something that can be used rather than a little toy that gets thrown away.
Sea Water Punch:
- 1 2-liter bottle of 7-Up
- 1 can of Pineapple Juice
- 1 can frozen lemonade
- 6 cans full of cold water
- 1 pkg blue raspberry Kool-Aid
I really wanted to order a Whimsy Tails blanket for A as a gift but never ended up purchasing one. I am obsessed with how adorable these blankets are. I also just found out about a local Fresno vendor that makes adorable Mermaid bathing suits and tails. I will definitely be ordering from Oh Sew Fancy for future events.
Well, my daughter's birthday is now less than a year away and I am already starting to day dream about what we will do next.