Party Planning

Rain or Shine Themed Birthday Party

Hey mommas,

Luna is officially TWO!!  I still can't believe it.  It's SO true what they say ... the days pass slow but the years go by sooooo fast.  And the toddler years are this crazy mix of wondrous and terrible.  One second Luna is wrapping her legs around me and giggling madly and the next she's having a meltdown over a fallen block tower.  Which is exactly why I wanted to throw a Rain or Shine themed party this year - it sums up life with a toddler so well!

When planning Lu's birthday party, I had a simple color palette in mind:  sunny yellow, sky blue, and a fluffy shade of white.  Then I tied in dark blue and a pretty shade of pink for accent colors.

Once I figured out the color scheme, I started working on the invitations.  They were actually really fun to make!  I used a free app called Adobe Spark and it was incredibly user-friendly.  It only took me an hour or two to create a design that I really loved:

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Next came the decorations:

Our party decor included a sky blue banner, a DIY ombre raindrop backdrop, and fluffy white balloon clouds.  I also found a giant gold number 2 balloon for only a few dollars at Hobby Lobby - a perfect addition to the backdrop!

We covered the table in a white linen tablecloth and added some more fun elements from Hobby Lobby:  sunny yellow forks peeking out from cloud-blue napkins, layered blue plates, fun snack cups, and paper straws in blue and yellow.

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As for the accents - the little white clouds, the two-tone suns, the raindrops - those were all done BY HAND!  It would have been soooo much easier if I had one of those crafting machines that does the work for you ... but I don't.  Instead, I used a sharpie to draw cloud/sun/raindrop templates, traced them on card stock paper, and then cut each piece out individually.  Then I used a hot glue gun to glue the pieces onto straws, cups, and strings for the backdrop.  It was kind of nuts!  But also really fun!  Were the decorations perfect?  Not even close.  But I don't think Luna minded and I was really happy with how it turned out :)

For refreshments, we served fluffy white popcorn, cups of diced fruit (apples, strawberries, and halo oranges on top), and fresh iced orange juice.  We also ordered catering from Subway.  As a parent, I always appreciate when there are healthy options for Luna so I wanted to do the same for her party!  Well, mostly .... we still had cake and ice cream!

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Tiered cakes are my absolute favorite - especially bare cakes.  They look really put together, plus they're easy to make at home.  This was actually my second time baking a bare tiered cake - I also made one for Luna's unicorn-themed birthday party last year!

I did consider baking a cake with rainbow layers this year ... it would have been PERFECT with the Rain or Shine theme, right?!  But that would have taken a lot of effort and extra time that I didn't have.  And since I was using pink as an accent color, it was just easier to make a boxed strawberry cake and call it a day. 

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Lastly, we topped the cake with a little handmade banner (two paper straws, decorative string, and little hand-cut triangles spelling out Luna's name).  It was just one more way to celebrate our sweet girl's big day.   Two years down and a lifetime to go ... and rain or shine, I wouldn't change a single second of our time together.

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With love,

Lace

Luna's 1st Birthday Party

Hi everyone!

On Sunday, we hosted Luna's first birthday party at a local park.  Friends and family came from all over to celebrate our sweet girl's big day and I was so happy with how it all turned out!

For the last few months, I've been planning all the little details for the party. I wanted it to be simple and sweet .... a white tablecloth, pale pink plates, white porcelain platters, and a sparkly gold unicorn cake topper.  Even though I knew exactly what I wanted, it took a lot of effort (and trips to Hobby Lobby) to bring all the elements together.

It also took a lot of people to make it happen!  I'm so thankful for all the help we received from so many different people.  Like ... see those beautiful floral arrangements?  My mother-in-law made them just for the party!

Another thing that was a group effort?  The cake!  It was my first time making a tiered cake and it was so. much. fun!  My mom mixed all the batter while I was greasing the pans.  Then I baked, stacked, and iced the layers.  My friend Caroline made the unicorn cake topper and my mother-in-law added the final touches with the florals.  If you love this cake as much as I do, let me know in the comments and I can post instructions for how to make it!

Did I mention that this was my first time EVER hosting a party and it was for 40+ people?!  So intimidating!  Even with all my planning, things were a little chaotic on the actual day of the party.  Luckily, several people showed up early to get everything in place while my husband watched Lu back at the house!  We also added a few finishing touches, like hanging the photo display (my friend Skyler's idea) and adding simple high chair decorations (courtesy of Caroline):

This was actually my husband's high chair when he was little.  All these years later, my mother-in-law was still holding onto it.  I was so glad we were able to incorporate it into the party - it was perfect for Luna's (cup)cake smash!

Speaking of, is it bad that I was a little bit happy that Luna was mostly disinterested in the cupcake?!  I was so anxious that she would LOVE it and never want to eat anything else ever again - but that wasn't the case at all!  She was actually way more interested in the fresh strawberries than anything else.  Still, I owe my mom a huge thank you for picking up a dairy-free cupcake just for Lu on her big day!  Otherwise, we might've needed to hang a Don't Feed the Baby sign around her neck to keep well-intentioned guests from giving her the full-dairy version everyone else was eating!

All in all, the party was so much fun ... although it did require a little damage control afterwards. There are a lot of things you CAN control when you're hosting a party and a few things you can't.  As much as I love our friends and family, there are some big personalities in the mix that resulted in a few hurt feelings.   But in the end, I hope that the good outweighed the few tense moments and everyone had fun.  I know I did!

With Love,

Lace

P.S. How gorgeous are these unicorn and rainbow cookies?!  My friend Skyler made them from scratch as favors for our guests!  I'll be interviewing her about her home-based cookie business in the next few months so stay posted for more mouthwatering cookie snaps!