“Oh the Places You’ll Go” Birthday Party

One of my favorite parties to date is the Dr.Suess “Oh the Places You’ll Go” birthday party I planned for my son Jake’s 1st birthday.  I had so many different themes I wanted to use, but I ended up going with Dr.Suess because I loved all the bright colors and fun rhymes.  Now I realize that the first birthday party is pretty much for the parents, but I think a party is always in order because every parent deserves a celebration after making it through their first year of parenting!  We invited close family and friends and had an afternoon filled with fun, food and cake/cupcakes.  I kept the food pretty simple; we served mini ham & cheese sandwiches, “Hop on Pop” popcorn, “one fish two fish” swedish fish, pretzels, GoGo Squeeze applesauce and cupcakes.  For first birthday parties I love doing a “first years banner” including one picture from each month (12 pictures total).  It’s such a fun thing for your guests to look at and its a neat keepsake to put in your baby book!

ImageThe primary colors used were red and blue, with accents of green and lots of stripes and polka dots.  We used balloons and streamers throughout the house and placed Dr.Suess books throughout the house on display.  All of the food, drinks and cupcakes were gone by the end of the party and the kids had a wonderful time running all around the house!

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All of the cupcake toppers, water bottle labels and decorations were done by Splendid Celebrations. 

ImageOne of my favorite details from this party was Dr.Suess’ “The Birthday Book”.  When people arrived at the party, there was a poem asking them to sign Jake’s book and it will serve as a keepsake for many years to come of our dear friends and family that helped him celebrate his first year of life.  When you do this though, make sure to have several of the same type/color of pen so that its the same throughout the book; and preferably, use a non-gel pen as they tend to smudge when people rub against them!

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As people left the party, the kids were given goodie buckets with bath/pool toys, silly straws, bubbles, chalk, and a bag of snacks (puffs, goldfish, crackers) and the adults were given a bag of whoopie pies.  This is always an extra step to provide your guests, but I always think its a nice idea to give a little token of appreciation for the people who are sharing in your life experiences!  ImageSo while your baby may have no idea what is going on during their first birthday party, I know I will have fun showing them pictures from their birthdays earlier in their lives.  Everyone loves a party, especially when it involves a baby smashing a cake!  I hope everyone is having a good week and getting excited for Thanksgiving next week!!!! Make sure to get out to get your turkey sooner rather than later. 

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Friday Favorites — Halloween Prep

Happy Friday everyone! Hopefully everyone made it through their week and got to see more sunshine than we did down here in NC….fingers crossed we get to see the sun this weekend!  With Halloween only three weeks away you can’t go anywhere without seeing candy corn, costumes and pumpkins.  We have the pumpkins and costumes covered, but will wait to get the candy until the week of Halloween to avoid having the temptation in the house….if we bought it now I’m afraid I would eat it all before the little kids even got here!

My favorite things this week all pertain to Halloween and are relatively simple to make/decorate/do.  I normally try to bring in a little something to school for the kids and teachers, and if I have leftovers my co-workers luck out as well!  I will be making this candy corn bark this year because it is super simple to make and transports well: http://www.brit.co/dipped-treats/

White Chocolate + Candy Bark

If you’re going to host a Halloween party this year, this is a great party activity for kids and adults: http://www.positivelysplendid.com/2012/10/pumpkin-bean-bag-toss-game-with-jo-ann.html  If you’re not up for sewing, just use some paint and draw numbers on the actual pumpkins instead.  You can buy beanbags at Target or any toy store.

This time of year brings alot of opportunities to host people whether it be family, friends, neighbors or co-workers; as with anything your best bet is to focus on good food and drinks and keep decorations simple.  When you can, use natural items to decorate such as acorns, pumpkins and leaves.  This site has five great table decoration ideas to use at your next get together: http://www.temp-tations.com/5-fall-decorating-entertaining-ideas

Mini Pumpkin Place Card on Pumpkin Plate

And when in doubt, go with my motto……..KEEP IT SIMPLE!  The best part of this time of year is the time we get to spend with our family and friends.  Everyone enjoy your weekend and the nice fall weather!

Halloween Printables….for free!!!

Halloween Printables….for free!!!

If you’ve never checked out the website Kara’s Party Ideas then you’re really missing out!  I have spent hours looking at all the amazing party themes and ideas that she has blogged about, and its such a great resource for party supplies as well.  Definitely check it out and plan on spending more time looking around than you think you will!

http://www.karaspartyideas.com/2013/10/free-halloween-party-printables-labels-more.html

Friday Favorites

Back to Friday favorites after a week off last week….I totally unplugged last Friday to enjoy my last day of maternity leave with my little man at home.  Needless to say we all survived the first week back at work and school! While the warm temps make it feel more like summer than fall outside, we are excited to start decorating the house for fall; starting with pumpkins!  My first Friday favorite is one of our fun fall family activities: Ganyard Hill Farms in Durham.  It’s a wonderful place to take the kids to play in the big corn pit, go on the hay ride, slide down the big tunnel and pick your own pumpkins.  Admission is $12.50 per person (under 2 free) which includes all the attractions and one pumpkin.  Check it out: http://ganyardhillfarm.com/Image

 

The next thing on my favorites list for this week can be found on GroopDealz: https://www.groopdealz.com/deal/peel-%26-stick-dry-erase-thankfulness-decals/6730 .  It’s a little early for Thanksgiving stuff, but this site always has great crafting supplies for the holidays and tend to sell out, so if you see something you like you should not hesitate to buy it! 

My last favorite of the week doesn’t pertain to fall, holidays or party planning; it has to do with family.  My mom gave me this for my birthday this year and I keep it by my bed to read every morning when I wake up.  I hope everyone is as lucky as I am to have had at some point a mother as amazing as mine.  Not only is she my mother, but she is my best friend and my “person”.  I hope I can be half the mother she is to my sister and I.  Image

Fun daily bargain site

Fun daily bargain site

If you’re anything like me, you get a ton of emails daily from an assortment of daily deal sites ranging from clothing to kids gear to travel/hotels.  Groop Dealz is by far one of my favorite daily deal sites that reminds me alot of etsy; unique clothing, jewelry, housewares, and most importantly unique party supplies.  I have found great bridesmaid gifts, party favors and party decorations on this site and have been very happy with everything I’ve received.  If you don’t have a party coming up that you need anything for, its also a great place to start your Christmas shopping!  Have fun shopping!

Cake!

Cake! 

I hope that everyone has had a nice weekend and enjoyed the beautiful fall weather (at least down here in the south!).  We had a wonderful weekend filled with good eating, a visit from my sister, Auntie Lala, the farmer’s market and a great visit to the lake to walk and feed the ducks.  The weekends at our house always means yummy food and a special treat…..this weekend was frozen yogurt, a family favorite.  Tonight I want to give a shout out to my favorite cake/cupcake baker around here (in my opinion); Burton’s Bakery.  She has made amazing treats for my son’s birthday parties and she is our go-to for any occasion we need specialty desserts.  The bonus is that she’s a local business, and I’m a big believer in using small local business whenever possible.  Check her out for your next occasion! https://www.facebook.com/BurtonsBakery

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Sweet Southern Comfort….

One of my very dear friends is getting married next summer here in North Carolina and is hoping to have an “antique/rustic/personalized” wedding (yes, that is quite a description for a style but its going to be amazing and so them!).  It’s all in the early planning stages, but since I’ve already had my wedding I’m hoping she won’t mind me helping out with hers. Everyone loves a wedding!

One of my favorite ideas for weddings, or any event for that matter, is using mason jars.  You can use them for centerpieces, candle holders, favors, and about a thousand other things.  This website has some wonderful ideas for using them: http://www.theweddinghunter.com/2012/01/10/hunted-wedding-decor-mason-jars/   If you type in “mason jar weddings” on Pinterest you are guaranteed to find lots of cute ideas  and its also a great way to save money on bigger ticket items like centerpieces.  My favorite “everyday party” use is filling them with m&ms and making them a centerpiece (for kids birthdays you can put their age in candle form in the jar as well). 

When planning your wedding, birthday party or any other event make it your own and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.