happy friday + a joint birthday party...
21 Oct 2016
Last week, Ruby turned 5 (five!) and yesterday, my little Coco turned 2 (what?!). I still do not understand how time really does go by so fast. With two October babies, this year, we decided to throw a joint birthday party. I was nervous about having one big party with kids in a range of ages...but I'm so glad we did. It was definitely my favorite party to date, and I was the least stressed about it and was able to enjoy myself the most of any of their birthday parties of the past. Here are a ton of very cute photos from the day and more about what we did if you'd like to see more...
The decor for this party was one of my favorites ever. With a floral theme, it wasn't hard to decide that we'd deck out the park with flowers and colorful poms. Thanks to my team, we made over twenty of these amazing giant neon paper flowers to place all over the park. They were so fun and all the kids were so excited to get to take one home after the party was over. (Oh, and a DIY for those flowers coming soon!)
Paper poms are my go-to for instant decor. They are easy to put together and look great both individually and in a cluster. Since the park I reserved was way bigger than the size of our party, we decided to focus our attention for decor on the gazebo area to serve as a focal point of the event. We also added in these amazing streamers all across the edges of the gazebo to add to the explosion of color.
For food, I was determined to make everything hand-held. I've been to so many kids parties, so I know how hard it is to chase after your kids while trying to feed them (and yourself) all within a short period of time. So taking utensils out of the equation was key.
We worked a local restaurant, Botanica, to make a beautiful spread of garden-inspired bites. From mini blt sandwiches and chicken salad bites to a medley of roasted vegetables and dips, it was both delicious and good for a you (and a great way to offset all the sugary treats that came soon after). The wooden tables we rented served as really rich backdrop for the amazing food and were easy to wipe down and clean afterwards.
For treats (and the cake shown later in the post), we had mini donuts made by Whisk & Whittle. They were the perfect size for little hands and for popping in a bite (or six) while playing in the park.
Paper plates are a must for every outdoor party as it makes clean-up a breeze. Luckily there are so many cute options these days, too. And, you know I'm all about the mix-and-match!
Since the park we used doesn't have a playground, I wanted to have a few activity areas. The first was a necklace-making station which we made by getting a bunch of supplies at the local craft store and providing colorful shoe laces (the ends make it easier to string beads). This table could run itself without me having to really supervise as the big kids were able to make necklaces on their own and parents helped the little kids when needed. I refilled up beads and string partway through the party as needed, but otherwise, it was a great activity that didn't require too much work.
The cookie decorating station was one of my favorite parts of the party as the kids (both little and big) had a blast decorating the cookies in a mix of fun frostings and sprinkles. Coco pretty much spent the entire party eating sprinkles with my brother and loved every second of it.
We worked with Sugarcraft who provided sugar cookies in shapes to match our theme as well as topping colors based on our color palette. After everyone decorated their cookie, the treats were wrapped up, labeled with their name and given out at the end as their party favor.
I had a couple extra kids tables out for the kids to eat at which we covered in white kraft paper. And, so that it wasn't just an empty table, I put out a bunch of rainbow crayons—pretty soon the table turned into it's own work of art!
Kids love face painting. It's usually Ruby's favorite thing at any birthday party or event we go to. So I searched on Yelp for someone local and then worked with her to come up with four floral-themed options that the kids could choose from. We made a simple sign-up list so that the kids didn't have to wait in line and then would come back when it was their turn. Even the adults got in on the face painting fun, too!
And then, for some easy and cheap fun, balls and bubbles are always a hit. I ordered some inexpensive mini beach balls and bubbles online and let the kids have at them.
We spread picnic mats with pillows on the grass and had a few high top tables near the kids' activity stations so parents could eat and chat while keeping a watch on their kids nearby.
In lieu of gifts, we asked our friends to bring a new or gently used book to be donated to Baby2Baby. We collected over 60 books for children in need, and we loved telling our kids why were collecting books for other kids instead of collecting presents for them. Ruby and Coco's gift was their party and having all their friends there to celebrate together. Every year, Ruby and I take the donations to Baby2Baby together so she can see where they go off to.
Finally, instead of a traditional cake, we opted for stacks of mini donuts (as shown earlier). This made it super easy to serve and no utensils (or even plates) were needed. As soon as we blew out the candles, all these tiny hands were ready for them!
We had a wonderful day surrounded by some of our favorite people celebrating the two littlest loves of my live. The weather was so good (not like 100 degrees like last year) and everyone had a great time. It was well worth the time of doubling up and having one big party for both kids in one fell swoop!
P.S. I know there might be questions about some of the vendors or items used so I tried to list all of them below, if I missed anything...please ask in comments and I will let you know!
Photos | Casey Brodley
Location | Brand Friendship Garden in Gledale
Food | Botanica
Donuts | Whisk & Whittle
Cookie Decorating | Sugarcraft
Face Painting | Miho of Rainbow Painted Smiles
Large Tables & Pillow rental | Circa
Kids Tables & Umbrella rental | Party On
Paper Tableware | Oh Happy Day shop
Paper Decor and Balloons | Poppies for Grace
Paper Flowers | Oh Joy DIY (coming next week)
Calligraphy | @thegirlwhoischanging
Book Donation | Baby2Baby (who also accepts a ton of other items for children in need)
Outfits | Ruby is wearing a vintage dress we found earlier this year while we were shopping at Shareen Vintage with her Pons sandals. Coco is wearing a skirt and top by Crew & Lu and shoes by Pons. I am wearing a vintage dress. Bob is wearing an Apolis shirt and WVintageVibe floral tie.