Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Birthday 2! Bug-tastic

Well, we did it.. We survived another year of parenthood.. well actually SHE survived another year of our parenting and of course we had to celebrate!!
Here's our little touches that made our birthday BUG-Tastic....

1. The Theme: WHAT do you do for a theme? possibilities are endless, I decided after MUCH debate, well.. basically me debating with myself.. to do bugs. It's kinda generic (so easy to find fun treats that match), gender neutral so (boys can have fun too), and well.. super cheesy.. In short .. PERFECT

2. The Cuppy-Cakes: Once again we decided to go with Stater Bros, they beat out all the competitions prices by $50 at least?!!! WHAT?? When you're planning a party for 100 of your closest friends money matters friends, money matters.. So I got the ladies at Stater Bros to make grass-ish icing on the top and slapped on some MEGA cute bug gummies from Oriental Trading- the were delicious and cute (note: you could EASILY make these by hand I just didn't have the time to whip up 106 cupcakes)

Also got some boxes from Fed-Ex FREE (thanks Julie!! <3) and wrapped them in cute paper, VOILA! Instant, cheap, FAST, cupcake tower.

3. Food: We went light due the crowd size, Veggie Straws from Costco, M&Ms (birthday girl's fave), MORE gummy bugs and the cutes little pretzel buggies you've ever seen!

 The bug pretzels were one of my bestie Kara's ideas (I have AWESOME friends), basically you dip your pretzels in colored candy melts, wait to dry, dip the heads in black melts (dark chocolate would probably work- I ordered black), QUICKLY place on your candy eyes then decorate as you wish! We made bumblebees (bum-bum bees according to the bday girl), green bugs, lady bugs and blue bugs. Candy eyes and colored melts were surprisingly cheap I ordered them from the Country Kitchen- they also provided the inspiration. CLICK HERE

4. Games/Location: We chose a park, THANKFULLY Cali has the best weather and parks are plenty! PLUS since our party was later (3:00) we didn't have to reserve it so it was FREE!!
We chose Discovery Lake park, which came complete with small sand playground, splash area, lake with walking trail and lots of SHADE!

Since our kiddos were mixed ages but for the most part pretty young we did game "stations" so the kids could play at their leisure. All with appropriately "buggy" names and signs we created from posterboard and dowels from Michaels.

There were Bubble Bugs (a bubble station), Water Bugs (for the splash area), Buggy Ball (for a ladybug ball we put in the play area), Chalk Bugs (for sidewalk chalk drawing), Bug Hunt (Oriental Trading had bug shaped Easter eggs on clearance which we put a couple "bug eggs" aka M&Ms in) and Be a Bug (with wings and headbands for all) my PERSONAL favorite! Headbands courtesy Oriental Trading and wings from the Dollar Tree of all places!! SUPER CUTE!

5. Treats: No party is complete without a take-home treat for everyone so we found some cute bug boxes on Oriental Trading, decorated them with paint pens, and stuffed them with bug stickers, tattoos, rings, necklaces, bug eggs and magnifying glass.

6. Entertainment: The kids were enough entertainment of COURSE, but our big treat was having a special musical guest- Clint Perry and the Boo Hoo CREW! He came, he danced, he joked, he dressed up as a pirate and my daughter could NOT get enough.. For only $75 for a half hour it was a STEAL!

7. Decorations: God created a pretty beautiful outside- can't really improve on that right? But we definitely added a little touch or two! My wonderful friend Julie (here she is again- fantastic right?) made these beautiful tissue paper poms (it took HOURS-shes just awesome awesome) and hung them from the trees.. Can you see it in the right hand corner? AWESOME! They really set the mood, and then the beautiful banner made by my friend Nikki (reusable!) was just perfect..

8. Guests: I invited the best people in the world, all our friends and family (we only have a few local family but my Dad flew in) and almost all of them showed up... You can't ask for better friends and family.. Thank you all for coming and helping and just loving us!!!

TIPS (things I've picked up along the years)

1. Opt for a FREE location: this saves money you can use on bigger things- try back yards, community buildings, parks you name it!

2. Choose an "off" theme: We chose bugs and thankfully almost everything bug related was spring theme so was on 50-80% clearance. Shop for your theme in off season and you can get DEEP discounts- pick up your next birthday items now for next year and save some MAJOR $$$$.

3. Get 1 BIG Entertainment item: Wether its a bounce house, balloon artist, Elmo character (1st birthday) or LIVE music, its totally worth it and the right thing shouldn't cost more than $100. Can't afford a big ticket item? If your party is big enough talk a local band into coming for free to get their word out or you could even find sponsors (strange but not unheard of).

4. Go big or go home: Big parties are NOT for everyone, choose what fits your personality/budget and plan accordingly- no one cares. The birthday baby REALLY doesn't get it until they get older anyway.

5. Get Help: friends are awesome, get as many friends to help out as you can- their creativity and friendship can add so much richness to a party.

6. GOOGLE it: Pick a theme and search away, more than likely someone has done it before and had GREAT ideas, use them.

7. Shop around: Shop Party City as a LAST resort, check the Dollar Tree (or other dollar stores), Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon and especially Oriental Trading. Those colored plates you had to have you may be able to pick up for a $1 at the dollar store.

8. Splurge a little: Where it counts the extra little splurge is fun, like my little one's shirt is custom made to match the theme and with her name/age- courtesy ETSY. It was $20 which is a little rich for just little shirt but quality made and I LOVE it! We will wear it quite a few times, this matched with a custom Tutu from my friend Meagan's Tutulicious company.. too cute for words..

9. HAVE FUN! Things will go wrong, will break, get lost, not show up, or just plain stink- shake it off and realize no one (not even THAT Mom who compares her baby to yours EVERY time you see her) will realize the little things you missed and will just see the awesomeness which is birthday.


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