I've decided the earliest age to throw a big birthday party is three. Up until now, birthdays were fun, but they were not something my daughter anticipated, got excited about, or really understood in the moment. This year that all changed. I talked it up a lot this year to help her prepare. (Talking my daughter through future events really helps prepare her to get the most out of a situation. I'm not sure if this is universal with children her age or if it's just because she's so shy, but she always does better when she knows what to expect.)
For the past few months, we have been watching the birds through a big picture window by our dining room table. I started to explain what a birdhouse and birdbath were, and she told me she wanted them. I told her she could ask for them for her birthday, so every time someone asked what she wanted for her birthday, she said, "I want a birdhouse and a bath for the birdies." This made picking a party theme easy (and a present theme, for that matter).
My newest addiction is Pinterest. It's THE answer to the question, "What do I do with my old magazines if I don't want to throw them out?" Don't read magazines anymore. Find everything online and save your favorite stuff on Pinterest. You can organize your boards by themes and pin your favorite pictures/inspirations together. Each picture will link back to its original source, so if there's a recipe, DIY project, or more details that you're looking for, all you have to do is click on that picture. Never again do I need a magazine or a notebook.
I. LOVE. It.
And I love snooping through other people's boards to get new ideas. So, I started a party board (this link will only work if you have a Pinterest account. If you want to start one, message me, and I'll send you an invite), and I pinned all my favorite decoration and favor ideas there. I didn't use everything, and I've added a lot of other random party stuff since, but I'm really excited about the results.
The party was a smashing success, and my daughter even thanked me for it afterward. Sigh. Perfect. Enjoy!
Activity: Paint-Your-Own Birdhouses. I found these cheapest at Hobby Lobby with either a coupon or when the unfinished wood was 40 percent off.
This was my favorite area. The bunting is a handmade gift from a dear friend. We have used it over and over again in our home. The DIY egg-carton flowers tutorial is here.
Scattered throughout the trees were these hanging lanterns. The tutorial is here.
My amazing dad, Eric The Balloonman, is a handy resource for birthday parties! These balloon columns were all him. They really made everything look magical. Thanks, Dad!
Cupcakes courtesy of Sam's Club. I can't recommend them enough. Beautiful. Delicious. Cheap. I'm gushing. Seriously.
Let the party begin! Birdhouse painting was a huge success, but I made the mistake of not checking to make sure all paint was washable. Good thing most of the invitees were boys who could take off their shirts ;-)
My hottie hubby (no pun intended) slaved over the grill most of the party. It was in the mid-to-upper nineties for the party, which made the grill the least likely place to want to spend your time. He's my hero. He didn't complain once.
If you want people to attend/stay at your party, my personal belief is you must feed them. And feed them we did!
There was no shortage of help unwrapping presents. Smile.
A few of my favorite shots of the birthday girl.
And one of my favorite shots from the entire party--the aftermath. Party = complete success.
All photos courtesy of my talented mama, Judy. Thanks, Mom!