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‘Let’s Have A Ball’ First Birthday Party

May 11, 2016

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And a ball we had! I have to say, this was one of the most fun (and easiest) birthday themes I’ve had the pleasure of throwing. I wanted the party (which served as the first official party thrown at our new house–woohoo!) to revolve around Anders’ favorite things and cute little personality. Since he is OBSESSED with balls, I thought he would be delighted with a yard and pool littered with his favorite toy…beach balls, bouncy balls, and literally any and every ball we owned. And indeed he was!

Here’s some highlights from the party:

  • Bouncy balls party favors. I was on the lookout for large bouncy balls and found them on sale at Target a couple of weeks before the party. Though it was a nightmare trying to navigate two carts full of bouncy balls with my toddler and infant by myself in the store (with constant runaway balls), it paid off. They were a huge hit!

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  • The Mobile Play Patch LA. This is the cutest soft play area setup that is perfectly age-appropriate for infants and toddlers. It’s the ultimate party play patch including a ball pit with over 1,000 balls! The bright colors definitely fit the theme of the party beautifully. The kids LOVED this! It can be set up indoors or out. You can check it out at themobileplaypatchla.com.

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  • Pool filled with beach balls. This was the perfect reason to finally inflate a 12-foot beach ball I found on Amazon a while back. (I used our air bed pump to fill it, which took a good twenty minutes.) It produced many “ooooo’s” and ahhhhh’s,” amusing kids and adults alike! (The small beach balls kept wanting to hover in the corner. Hence why my hubby is shown here trying to disperse the balls.)

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  • Cake and cupcakes. I made the cake and cupcakes the morning of the party using a fabulous applesauce-for-oil-substitute recipe. (Applesauce makes it super moist and, obviously, healthier.) A big thank you to my aunt who helped me frost all 30 cupcakes and three-tiered cake! We placed large, colorful gumballs on top to tie in the theme. Super cute!

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  • DIY boards. The stats and ‘watch me grow’ boards are among my personal favorites. My ‘staple’ at all of my parties are typically some kind of photo board, quiz, fun facts wall, etc. There are stats boards you can order via Etsy, which are great, but I always love doing them myself. I like to personalize them more by adding corresponding photos. (This was one of those wait-til-the-kids-are-asleep projects that I completed around 1am one evening.:))

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  • Center Pieces. We created these an hour before the party from leftover items.  I must say, they turned out adorable. M&M’s, pinwheels, jars, and ta-daaaah! The perfect center piece!

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Overall, it was a fabulous and fun day of celebrating our little one-year old on his first birthday. The kids loved the bright colors and balls galore. (I think the adults were big fans as well!) Even though I’m still wrapping my head around the idea of my little guy being one, I do know one thing for sure…he certainly had a ‘ball’ on his big day!

 

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 Photos by Ashley Burns

Birthdays Family

Birthday Party Recap

October 28, 2015

Bring on the Two’s! We celebrated AJ’s second birthday over the weekend and had an amazing time! His actual birthday was yesterday. Hopefully turning two on “twosday” has some hidden meaning? Like being indicative of the “Terrific Two’s” rather than the “Terrible Two’s?” A mom can hope, right?!

Normally, I would spend the two weeks leading up to a birthday party going Pinterest-crazy. I typically gather around 20 ideas and complete about five of them. (My two staples are always a fun photo collage and a yearly stats board — like the printable stat boards on Etsy, but I always make my own.) However, after being in full-out moving mode and having to pack my house up with every spare minute, it left little time and energy to tackle any of my craft ideas. (Also the reason why I haven’t posted in a month!) Thus, I kept the party small, simple, and fun. We only invited five toddler friends of AJ’s, (i.e. our nearest and dearest friends with kids AJ’s age who he sees often). Since a few brought their younger infant siblings, we also had a designated area for the babies. We were very happy we kept it small as it enabled us to catch up and chat with everyone while still keeping a watchful eye on the kiddos.

Here are some of the highlights and activities from the big day:

Toddler Town 3-In-1 Bouncer: I rented a combo bouncer for toddlers which included a bouncer, two slides, and a little obstacle course. Understandably, this was a huge hit. Since there were only about three toddlers playing inside at once, it made it nice and easy to monitor. I think AJ went down the slide at least 100 times!

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Barney Character: My son is OBSESSED with Barney! Absolutely addicted! So the fact that the biggest celebrity in the world (to him) came to his party was basically the highlight of his life! He was almost in disbelief when he saw his favorite purple dinosaur prancing down the lawn towards the party with the Barney music playing. I’ve never seen him so excited. Barney danced and sang with the kids, followed by a grand goodbye ceremony – during which AJ was quite devastated to see him leave.

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Animal Balloons & Face Painting: After Barney’s exit, the Barney character changed and came back out to make animal balloons and face paint — or in AJ’s case, arm paint. Since, apparently, two is the age where kids enjoy popping balloons more than playing with them, the face painting seemed to be the most encouraged option by the parents.:)

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Pool of Balls: For the infants – including my five-month old – I bought a $7 wading pool and filled it with 200 non-toxic crush-proof balls. All four infants LOVED it! Anders kept refusing to be taken out.

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Music: We brought our music system to play for the Barney hour. However, it turned out to be more useful simply by providing music for AJ to dance. AJ, who is a dancing machine thanks to DWTS and our DWTS friends, danced the afternoon away. The other toddlers would join in frequently which offered many giggles and smiles for the camera. (AJ’s current favorite song is “Bye Bye Bye” from N’Sync thanks to his super cool babysitter who loves all things 90’s. AJ even has his own signature choreography for the song.)

Overall, it was a wonderful party filled with great entertainment, good eats, and some incredibly happy toddlers. Sometimes small and simple can be a great thing! Let the “Terrific Two’s” begin! (Fingers crossed!)

 

 

 

Images by Ashley Burns and myself.