|Wasn't this just yesterday?|
So, last year for Natalie's first birthday, we hosted a cookies and milk themed party. Mom and I made 4 different cookies, 2 or 3 dozen of each. I bought glass jars to display all the cookies. Even little milk boxes in a vintage looking bucket of ice. We had banners and streamers and balloons! It was quite the production. At the end of it all, we sat back - exhausted. Even though we had a wonderful time, Natalie enjoyed all the attention, and our guests seemed to leave happy, we vowed that we wouldn't go over-the-top, until the birthday princess was big enough to really remember and appreciate it.
Not to mention that we went way over budget!
And! since I'm pregnant with little number 2, I wanted/needed a stress-less, easy party! :D
Natalie's Favorites Party!
Natalie loves going to the park and sliding down the big slides. She loves bubbles, fruit snacks, chocolate, and stickers. She loves pink and, of course, bows. Most of all, she loves being with her little friends from our play group!
This made the party easy to plan and it all has come together beautifully - even the weather!
I budgeted $100 for this party.
I decided to have the party at our local, neighborhood park. I knew this was going to be a bit of a gamble with the weather in March being unpredictable. The forecast looks promising though and we had a back-up-I-really-really-hope-we-don't-have-to-use-this-plan which was to cram everyone into our house, that I haven't had time to thoroughly clean . . . Luckily, sunshine and warmer temperatures that are well above freezing are in our future. Yipee!!
Another positive to planning it at the park is that it is free!
To keep things simple, not to mention obvious, we're having the party at the playground. So, I didn't plan any games. Since the majority on the pint-sized guest list are 4 and under, I figured no one would mind not having a regimented get together.
This is what I have been real excited about. Since we're on a budget (and really, who isn't these days?), I was worried that all the cash we had allotted for the party and gifts would be spent on favors. That's when the true theme of the party came to life - Natalie's Favorites. I came up with a kid-friendly, parent-approved, and inexpensive goody bags that all came together for $1.74 - including packaging! I know, I know, how could this be?! Well, I will tell/show you!
I went to Family Dollar on a mission. My list was simple - stickers, bubbles, and mini chocolate bars. I couldn't find the stickers, but the bubbles and chocolate bars both came in 6 packs priced at $3.00 - not too shabby. Next, I went to Michael's (my home away from home). There, I bought green tulle ($2.99 for a 20 yard bolt) , pink paper bags ($2.99 for 12), and stickers (2 packages of 6 sheets priced at $1.99 each). I already had a Costco sized box of fruit snacks at home, so I didn't need to purchase those specifically for this occasion!
Each kiddo will take home a bottle of bubbles, a piece of Hershey's chocolate, a package of fruit snacks, and either Disney Princess or Angry Birds sticker sheet.
I folded over the top about 2 1/2", punch 2 holes about an inch apart, then looped and tied tulle in a pretty bow to secure it.
and Ta da! The finished project.
Bags - $2.99 for 12, $0.25 each
Tulle - $2.99 for 60 feet, $0.04 per 12" piece
Fruit snacks - $9.60 for 80, $0.12 each
Bubbles, 6 pack for $3.00, $0.50 each
Stickers, 6 sheets per package at $1.99, $0.33 per sheet.
Chocolate, 6 pieces for $3.00, $0.50 each
Grand total = $1.74 per bag!
So for 12 treat bags to be enjoyed, it only cost $20.88! I'll take it!
I like to use tulle when wrapping gifts for a couple different reasons:
1) It travels well. If I stick something in the mail, I know that when it's received, the ribbon isn't crushed and looking like it just went through hades and back.
2) It's inexpensive! For 20 yards of the stuff, I can use 24" of it for roughly $0.10.
3) It can be used again, which I just love. If I get a tulle bow on a gift, chances are I'll save it and use it again for something else!
I could go on and on about it, but I shall spare you. Bottom line - it looks nice and looks fancy.
The Cup Cakes
Cup cakes are the best, aren't they? And it doesn't hurt when a good friend of yours just so happens to be a freelance baker (https://www.facebook.com/sunshinebakery01). Loving these connections! With a friend gifting them to Natalie, I didn't have to worry about ordering or making them myself. Plus, her's are going to be so much cuter that I could ever, EVER hope to make them. Bake on, friend! Bake on!
Snacks, drinks, and what they go on
Simple is best, in my opinion. I don't like to provide food that I won't eat later. You know, just in case no one is hungry! Natalie and I made ham and turkey pinwheel sandwiches - well . . . she licked the spoon and I made the sandwiches.
I picked up a big fruit bowl from Costco and plan on serving chips too. Done and done.
As for drinks, we decided to provide waters, a jug of sweet tea, and juice boxes (for the kiddos). I don't like to have soda in the house. I never drink it and my darling husband is trying to limit his intake. Natalie thinks that flavored sparkling water is soda, so I don't mind her drinking that!
I have enough pink Solo cups left over from the birthday party last year to hold us over. In the $1 section at Target, I found pink and green plates, napkins, and even a plastic table cloth! Target really is heaven on Earth.
Fruit Bowl - $9.00
Pinwheel sandwiches - $9 to make
Chips - $3.49
Bottle Waters - $3.00 for 24
Juice boxes - $8.50 for 32
Cups - $0.00
Plates - $3.00
Napkins - $3.00
Table cloth - $1.00
Total - 39.99
This means the GRAND TOTAL of our Natalie's Favorites Party is $60.87!
The Birthday Bow
Of course, my little model is going to be sporting her Happy Birthday Bow. Check it out on Etsy!
The Birthday Girl
We're so proud of our little girl. I feel so incredibly blessed to be her momma and can't wait to see what life has in store for her. It's my prayer that she continue to be strong and brave, loving and willing to help others, and always remember where she came from.
I just wish she could stay little for just a bit longer. I guess I'll just have to get as many little hugs and kisses as I can!
stay tuned for pictures from the party!
Until next time!
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