Thursday, October 10, 2013

alices 2nd birthday party.

and now for the moment youve all been waiting for, the post where i talk about alices birthday party. and i know what youre thinking, that with all this suspense and build up ive been doing this party better be unbelievably fantastic. which in my humble opinion, it was (although since im the one who spent the past month working on it i suppose thats expected). 

the day actually got off to a really rough start, it took forever to get out of the house in the morning and then the last two errands i had to do (picking up donuts and balloons) took over an hour. and when we got to my moms with barely an hour to set up, i realized that i had left alices big present at home. 

but thankfully my sister ran back to my house to get alices present and just about everyone was late, so my mom and james and i ended up having plenty of time to set up. the theme of the party was adventure time, which if youre not familiar with it is a cartoon series about a boy named fin and his best friend (and shapeshifting dog) jake. its totally geared towards older kids but its alices favorite (she has season one practically memorized) so we did our best to make it work for a toddler party. 

the first thing we did was set up a cute little photo backdrop so i could get pictures of everyone that came (but especially alice, obvz), i think this one just may be our christmas card:

first off, please notice alices lumpy space princess inspired dress that i made even though it was somewhat beyond my sewing capacity and i had to basically completely re-write the pattern in order to make it *just* right. also, those buntings? im going to show you how to make them next week. 

i didnt want to go too crazy with the theme, especially since most of the guests hadnt even heard of adventure time, so for the most part the party consisted of somewhat subtle references to different adventure time characters.

like our dessert/snack bar:

which was made up of basically every adventure time food reference we could think of, labeled with cute little adventure time tags i found on for the few folks that would get the jokes. 

we had hot dog princesses:

donuts from mrs witchs garden (i totally splurged and go mini donuts from krispy kreme, because you dont realize HOW IMPORTANT it was that the donuts were perfect and cute):

(also please excuse the less than stellar lighting, it was a VERY bright and hot and windy day and had THE hardest time photographing this party)

and then we had some candy corn, peppermint butlers, and the duke of nuts:

orange slices (to keep you hydrated, just like the business men said):

rainicorn cookies (like lady rainicorn):

and we had two kinds of cupcakes, ricardio cupcakes with heart gumdrops on top (you know, because hes a heart):

and chocolate mr cupcakes (remember in slumber party panic when they were playing truth or dare and he takes off his wrapper and everyone finds out hes chocolate? just me? ok.):

and last, but certainly not least, my mom made this ADORABLE cake for the main dessert (she even made the top tier gluten free!):

for party favors i made little pinback buttons (that button press i bought when i was 18 was seriously the best $300 ive ever spent) using some more free printables that i scaled down to button-size:

even though the party was scheduled from 11-1:30, we had a whole bunch of people (my sister included) that had to leave the party BY 1. so right when everyone finished getting their food, we went right to breaking manfrey the pinata:

who by the way, was WAY too hard to break for a pinata, just saying. 

and after that we sang happy birthday to alice:

which only freaked her out a lot, but she was able to hold it together enough to blow out her candle (which she kept calling "my number"):

and after cake it was time for presents!:

and i really have to say, alice did SO well with the presents. she opened each one nicely, and thanked everyone by name and didnt throw any fits about wanting to play with things, i really wasnt expecting that. she got so many sweet gifts, clothes, toys, ballet lessons (!), but i think her favorite was her "big" gift from us and jamess mom (you cant see it here but she couldnt stop giggling once she saw what it was):

her very own bitty baby doll!:

after presents, everyone started trickle out, and then we went to the beach. even though the day got off to a really rough start, and it was the hottest, windiest day ever, in the end, it turned out to be a perfect birthday for alice. she slept really well that night:

my only regret? we werent able to get a great family picture of the three of us, but at least we got this one:

im sure some of you are wondering, since doing fancy things on the cheap is kind of my thing, how much did i spend on the party? im not 100% sure because i kind of gradually bought stuff through the weeks leading up to the party and a lot of it was mixed in with our regular groceries, but my best estimate for what i spent (not counting some things my mom contributed) is somewhere around $200 (a huge chunk of which i was able to get with a target giftcard i got from doing a focus group a couple weeks prior). 

and that was for everything. the food, paper products, decor, alices dress, our share of her gift, everything. i know thats like nothing for a kids birthday these days (especially with all this pinterest-pressure going around), but alices first birthday party cost us less than $100, so i think ive developed some slightly unrealistic standards for what a party should cost...

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