We are currently recovering from birthday party madness at our house. I have always wanted to be able to have birthday parties at our house and be able to invite my husband’s huge extended famil,y and we finally did it! This party was for both Bub and Bubette… kind of. Bub is having a bowling birthday party and we’ve invited his school and playgroup friends so this was technically Bubette’s party. However, since we were inviting mostly family to this and they wouldn’t be invited to bowl with 15 5 year olds, we celebrated both kids. With birthdays four days apart, you do what you have to do.
We decided on an Under the Sea theme, and I ran with it.
I started with these invitations from Etsy. (Obviously none of that is our information.)
I let the invitations be my guide and went with an aqua and orange color scheme for the rest of the decorations.
I purchased the poms prefolded from Party City. TOTALLY WORTH IT.
This is obviously before the party, but this is what the tables looked like most of the time as it was BLAZING hot. Most people dragged chairs into the shaded parts of our backyard. So, the good news is that we can comfortably host 60 people in our house, even if they don’t use any of the actual seating space we had intended to use. (Tip – If you live near a 99 cent store, buy disposable party supplies like cups, napkins, tablecloths, etc. there. It’s about 1/3 of the price for the exact same stuff.)
The buckets on the tables were filled with snacks. Decoration bonus – these are now our park/pool/beach buckets for the summer.
I printed labels for the mini water bottles from here.
I made a super easy bunting that I placed in front of the fireplace, across a mirror and around Bubette’s high chair.
Here’s part of the dessert table pre-cupcakes, but one of the only shots I got of the mirror bunting.
On the table I had saltwater taffy, peach rings and swedish fish, along with cupcakes and marshmallow pops. We also had cookies, cookie bars and lots of fresh fruit provided by my in laws.
My mom was the cupcake sponsor for the party and had the brilliant idea to bring mini cupcakes in lots of flavors from Sprinkles. We don’t mess around with our cupcakes around here.
I made marshmallow pops, of course. Super easy and customizable to pretty much any décor. Kids love them.
I used these sand toys as candy dishes.
My husband was worried that the kids would be bored at a house rather than a park or pool. I wasn’t worried, but I planned a few activities anyway.
I had an activity table with crayons, stickers, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, beach balls and frisbees all from the dollar section at either Target or Michael’s.
I found an adorable whale pinata on Amazon and had to have him.
We don’t have anywhere in our backyard to hang a pinata, so I bought the pull string kind, because my husband wasn’t really into the idea of letting small children swing bats near him.
I have about a million pictures of the pinata, but in most of them people are shoving candy at Bubette. Bub, in a completely out of character move, took off as soon as the candy hit the ground. He didn’t pick up so much as a lollipop.
I bought a bubble machine to give the under the sea effect, and give the kids something to do. In my experience, the problem with bubble machines is that one of the kids usually picks them up, dumping bubble solution everywhere. A friend had the genius idea to put it up on the fence. Perfection! However, this thing blows through bubble solution with the quickness and had to be refilled often.
I made a pin the tail on the whale game, but we didn’t play.
I bought a ton of water balloons and just never got around to filling them, which is a shame, because in the heat they would have been perfect. Would anyone like to come over for a water balloon toss? I have 300 water balloons with nowhere to go.
For party favors, I put bubbles and a few treats in a little bag and sealed them with these cute sea life stickers I found at Target.
I have no pictures of lunch, but here’s our menu:
- Turkey, Ham and Roast Beef Croissant Sandwiches (hello, Costco!)
- Pasta Salad*
- Sea Salt Kettle Chips
- Sodas, Water, Juice
- Assorted snacks on tables (Chex Mix, Goldfish, M&M’s, and pretzels)
*I made the same pasta salad I make all the time and people RAVED. It’s nothing fancy, but I thought I would share the recipe here since it was so well-received. I use macaroni, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, black olives, sharp cheddar and zesty italian salad dressing. I add the dressing to the cooked pasta and refrigerate, then add the chopped veggies and cheese to the cooled pasta and add more dressing as needed.
Someone had a bit too much birthday and was out for the night at 5:00pm (!)
Meanwhile, Bubette broke into her presents, while the husband and I tried to keep our eyes open on the couch.
I’m so happy the kids had such a great time, but I’m a little sad that the party is over. I think I’ll have to turn my attention toward the fact that I’m about to have a two and a five year old on my hands. Two big kids and no more babies. Pass me a cupcake.