I'm sharing a few of the tips and tricks I used for Wells' Birthday Party with you today! She wanted a pink and purple princess party. I wanted a non-Disney theme so I chose to translate that into a color scheme rather than a specific character. Right now Wells is into "all the girls" so I didn't want to go out and buy all new theme decorations for one year when I have so many pink napkins and cups leftover from her previous parties.
I kept the food really simple. I purchased popcorn and animal crackers from Trader Joes for the kids to snack on at their leisure. My mom made the cupcakes and I dip-dyed marshmallows for something sweet. I also did a cheese plate for the moms and left that in the kitchen. Having everything accessible to everyone allowed for me to play host but not server the entire time. It also kept the budget really low because I wasn't trying to provide a variety of things. Also, it's a kids party. It wasn't the time to showcase my best dips or fancy spreads.
I found these pink lemonade pouches and chilled them in the fridge for a few days before placing them in a giant silver punch bowl. This went on the food table as well. The pink cups and fancy straws were filled with water. I didn't want a sugar overload or spills all over the house!
For the adults, we had La Croix, iced tea, beer, and wine. I set out a bottle of red wine, white wine, and prosecco. I also had a pitcher of pink lemonade from Trader Joe's for making a sparkly cocktail! Everything was set up in the kitchen so people could help themselves. I found it helpful to keep this separated from the kids drinks as well.
Set up ahead of time. If at all possible, set up as much as you can a few days before the party. Get out, and wash off, your serving pieces. Set a sticky note on each piece so you know what goes where. This is also really helpful in case you have someone to help you put the food out just before the guests come. Check on your paper plate or napkin supply. Decide if you need any utensils or not so you aren't running around town two hours before the party trying to locate one last thing.
I've found this really helps me to relax the day of the party. Essentially all that is left is a quick clean of the house. I'll pour myself a drink and set the food out right before our guests arrive so I'm already enjoying my own party from the start.
Decorations. I always find one spot to really decorate and then leave the rest of the house alone. It's not in my budget to make multiple areas look festive. I set up a card table in our dining room for all the food and drinks for the kids. I placed a plastic pink table cloth over a white linen which made a big colorful impact. I also strung a little line of twine at the ceiling to go across the top of the table and hung pieces of scrap ribbon in various pink colors. I also cut a piece of flower garland into several pieces and hung that as well. It made for such a pretty table backdrop and didn't cost anything! I'm going to do this from now on!
My mom surprised us with a dozen balloons in various shades of pink and purple which also made it really festive! We tied four to Wells' head seat at the table, which also had a giant pink gauze ribbon around it. And a few by our front porch and around the dining room. The kids loved playing with the balloons!
I also bought a gorgeous handmade bunting from my girl Elisabeth. You might already be praying for her little dragon slayer George, but if not please add him to your list. He is Tagg's age and is currently in Boston healing from his third open heart surgery. I also proactively bought one for Tagg's Birthday in blue and green! She supplied the letters to spell out Happy Birthday but I ran out of time to iron them on. She made it double sided so that the non-lettered side could be hung in Wells' room throughout the year. I already have it hanging above her mirror! LOVE! You can find her on instagram (@erob77) to find out more about George and supporting his cause for childhood heart defects and the miraculous melody valve.
I snagged the How to Be a Princess print from Wells' room and set up that up on the food table for another layer of color and fun! I spray painted two dollar clearance art pieces from Walmart in a ballet slipper pink. I interned to do a gold glitter letter project with those but ran out of time. The cupcake pinata is from Target.
The only activity we planned was a pinata filled with dum dums for the end of the party. The children all had full access to our dress up and toys and books so I didn't see any reason to pay for something extra for them to have fun. I think that worked perfectly and everyone had a blast!
Overall, it was such a fun time! By planning ahead I saved myself so much stress on the afternoon of the party. I kept the food simple and pre-made so I wasn't worried about cleaning up the kitchen or burning a dip right before my guests arrived. Focusing on one area for decorations helped make a large impact for a low price.
What are some tips and tricks you've found helpful at your parties? Children's or otherwise. Please share!