Hot Air Balloon Party

Since George’s birthday is this week, I figured I should finally post about Daphne’s first birthday party that happened in May.


I am not an event planner by any means, but I love planning their parties.

I knew I wanted to do this hot air balloon theme almost as soon as she was born. It is so sweet for a sweet little girl.


I got this invitation from this shop on Etsy.

We also used these invitations for the centerpieces. My sister-in-law blew it up, and just cut out the balloon. Then she put it with some other balloons in these gold jars she had. We used battery pack lights in the clouds.


Emily also made a huge hot air balloon photo booth prop.


I did her monthly photos in balloons hung up like they were flying. I found some scrapbook paper that fit the color scheme, and then just used construction paper for the basket parts. I didn’t get a great picture of them at the party, so here was from the night I made them.

We got her onsie from this Etsy shop, and the skirt was from Carters.



And every girl needs a wardrobe change at her parties. Her grandma got this bubble suit from Target.


Tom made the board for the gift table, and then my mom painted the picture. Whenever we change her to a big girl bed, we’ll try to incorporate this into the theme. It is so beautiful.


For the favors, I got these tags from this Etsy shop. I glued them to little favor boxes I got from Party City. Then I filled them with cotton candy I had gotten from the dollar store.

Hot Air Balloon Birthday Party Favor Bag Tags; Digital or Printed

Y’all Hy-Vee impressed me once again! They provided me with two cakes. This is the one that I initially ordered. I just took in a picture and they were able to do just what I wanted. When they found out that it was for a smash cake, they made me a smaller version for free! My love continues to grow for Hy-Vee.


I think there were two many people around that Daphne was a little conservative going into the cake.

She ate it at her pace, and she was insistent she was not going to become a spectacle. The videos were pretty anti-climatic.

It was the perfect first birthday for the most perfect little girl.


She has already grown so much since this party, and I can’t wait to see where she goes before the next party.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Party

George’s birthday was a while ago, and yes I am just now getting to his pictures.

George loves anything that goes and has wheels, so this was the perfect theme for our three year old.

This was a pretty low key party, and it came together so nicely.

I got the invitation from this Etsy shop. (Those blue boxes are just covering up our personal info.)


We love doing our parties at our church because they have this full kitchen, so much space to play, all the tables and chairs we would ever need, and most of all, I don’t have to clean for visitors. Win all around.


The birthday sign I got from this shop. I didn’t get a close up of it I guess, but it has trains, planes, and automobiles on it. We also went really simple on the food. It was mostly snacks. I did not theme the food or have food labels.


We got these books from Usborne. They were one of George’s birthday presents from us. They are so very cool. Those are little wind up toys that drive on the pages of the books. So much fun!


These cupcake toppers are from this shop. We printed these off ourselves, cut them and taped them to toothpicks. Easy peasy. I opted for cupcakes this year over a cake, and it seemed so much easier. Hy-Vee (local grocery) for the win!


Our party give aways were train whistles. I got the whistles from Oriental Trading, and the tags came from this shop. They say, “Thanks for zooming by.” All the paper products, I ordered instant download and printed ourselves.

The table top decorations were all George’s toys. I love little personal and FREE touches like this. We had a couple tables of planes, trains, or cars.


Like I said, I love having it at the gym so there is space to play. We had a couple activities for the kids, and they seemed to love it.

We had a paper airplane station. I wish I would have gotten video of them competing for the best “flight.” It was so fun to see what they created.


We brought all of George’s wooden trains, and they built some awesome track scenes. George was in heaven.


My favorite part of the party was the car making station. This was so easy. I collected boxes from some friends who were moving (perfect timing), and just bought several packs of construction paper. We brought our markers and colored pencils and let the kids at it. It was the “mechanic shop.”

They built some really cool cars.


George had so much fun taking them all for a test drive.


I bought these little car candles off Wish.


We loved celebrating our little man, and it is the one time of the year that I become a Pinterest mom. Seriously though, this was a simple party because most of the stuff for decorations we already had or could easily print off. We had all the craft items, so that wasn’t an additional expense. Including food, I think I spent around $200 when all was said and done.


It was a great birthday for our THREE year old!

Curious George Birthday Party

We had the best birthday party to celebrate George turning two.

The theme was obvious with his name. When we were pregnant, we knew that eventually we would want to have a Curious George party. I still feel like I can pick out his themes for at least one more birthday, but the “curious” really fit his nature this year too.

Ironically though, we do not watch a lot of Curious George. We do read a lot of Curious George books!

Here is everything we did for the party.

We got our invitations from DottyDigitalParty on Etsy. We just printed these off at Walmart photo to mail off. There is just something about sending real mail.

Curious George Invitation


Table Centerpieces-I used cupcake toppers found from JulyPrintParty on Etsy. Then I glued them to pinwheels. I found the pinwheels on Oriental Trading. I really lucked out on the colors matching perfectly! Then the jars my sister-in-law already owned. Score! I found some Curious George balloons on Amazon.


The pinwheels ended up being a huge hit with the kids, and most walked out with two or three. A party favor I wasn’t expecting!


Food Decorations:


I got the banner from LuvibeeKidsCo and printed it out at home.

The serving bowls came either from the church or my sister-in-law. I got table cloths, plates, silverware, napkins, and cups from Target, Party City or the Dollar Tree.

With stuff we already owned, I really only spent maybe 30 bucks between the foodware and table decorations.


We did banana splits, pretzels, and a veggie tray. Easy peasy, and fairly cheap as far as party food goes. Total cost here was about $60.


We put the pretzels in Curious George book pages. These are all books that George had already destroyed. Reuse!


Even though we had the party around banana splits, every birthday needs cake!


A local grocery store did the cake…for 20 dollars. TWENTY dollars!! Midwest folks run to your Hy-Vee for your cake needs. I just took in a picture, and they did this. I did buy the George topper off Amazon.

The cake plate I already owned, and the wagon my Grandpa made for George for Christmas. I loved being able to use it here!


I am pretty fortunate that my mom is an artist. I asked her to make these carnival cutouts, and she did an amazing job! I love having personal touches like these!

I just attached it to my photography stands. So much fun!


We have so many kids in our family and in our friend group, so we know that we have to have things for them to do.

This activity crawl thing my in-laws had in their basement. Win.

This ball pit was the best idea! We half-inflated a swimming pool my in-laws owned and then filled it with balls. We had a couple bags of these balls already, but we did have to buy a few more. We got some at Walmart and off Amazon. We spent about $30 here.


George loved the doodle station! All this was free too. I printed the coloring pages for free off here. And my sister-in-law is awesome and supplied the rest. She also made the big signs! We have talent in our family!



I got Curious George books off Scholastic for all the kiddos to take. Then I clipped these Thank You tags that I got off Etsy from BloomingDESIGNprints. The basket and chalkboard we already owned. Total cost here was about $35.


Someone had gifted us George’s shirt for his birthday last year. I got the adult shirts off Amazon. I have been using Ibotta (which is a way to get money back on your here to start your own paybacks. Seriously, I have been using it for 6 months and have gotten around $100 so far.) I had gift cards from Ibotta that made these shirts free. Score.

We had it in our church gym, which is free and means I don’t have to clean my house. Win win win.

We really saved a lot by doing the printing at home, using stuff we had on hand, and shopping around for the last 6 months. I would seriously wait until I had Amazon gift cards or until I got a special discount code to buy most things online. And all the stuff off Etsy was mere dollars. It is worth planning a year in advance to get great deals.

We spent a little over $200 for this party, which some may think is silly, but it was so much fun. I loved having our family and friends there to celebrate our little man. Birthdays are the one day of the year I feel like you should be spoiled so we will go all out. I love to see how all the details come together.

I already have ideas for his next birthday. I know I am crazy…

Talks with Tom #11

Recently when we were home, we chauffeured our 4 year old niece around.

Tom-Ava K, what kind of music do you like?

Ava-My Little Pony, My Little Pony (singing this to us)

Tom-How about Bob Marley?

Ava-Oh, I have never been there before.

PicMonkey Collage3

She and Uncle Tom have a great relationship!

We were home for her birthday. It was a pretty “roaring” party.

PicMonkey Collage2

As you can tell, she had a dinosaur themed birthday party. She knows all the dinosaurs names and categories. Did I mention that she is four?

Even though the trip was short, it was fun to be there to help celebrate her day.

PicMonkey Collage

My sister-in-law is so creative and did a great job with the theme! I loved taking pictures of the whole day!


Birthday Girl!


Family photo with Longneck