Monday, May 6, 2013

a party for maddie girl...

 looking back now, i was a little crazy to think doing graduation friday and a big birthday party for maddie on saturday afternoon, not to mention matthew leaving early sunday morning for the summer to nashville would be too much.  but for sake of family in from out of town and me being an eternal optimist (or eternally in denial...or eternally spreading myself too thin?) we jumped in and made it one big party weekend.  i'd love to take all the credit for this party, but i have to give much of it to my mom.  she came in the nick of time; with her creative touches and great ideas it came together pretty well!  i was a little frantic up until the party started, but once our family and friends came it ended up being a kick back day at the was the perfect celebration for our one of a kind maddie mae!

how it all came together...
i knew i wanted to incorporate animals into her party.  the girl lives for them.  you will find her, almost 24 hours of the day, with a basket filled with little animals.  everyone knows her love of little frogs.  i am finding them all over our house, the car and the neighborhood.  we decided a party animal theme would be perfect.  maddie's second love is the park.  once she has her basket in hand she is demanding to go outside.  i searched out a park in a central location to all of our guests, but also one with low hanging trees- i knew i would want to hang decorations.  we hung paper lanterns, paper flowers and pinwheels above the cake and food table.  over the banquet tables we hung two ribbon hoops and a pennant banner.  the ribbon hoops were so simple to make!  we took two different sized hoops, folded the ribbon over the hoop (we left about 5 inches on the inside) and just stapled the ribbon right below the hoop.  so easy, and we surprisingly didn't need as much ribbon as we thought.  it added so much to the party!  for centerpieces we too long wooden boxes, stacked wheat grass in.  we glued animals to wooden skewers (the kind you can pick up at the grocery store) slipped a paper straw over the skewer and stuck it into the wheat grass.  it was like a little animal parade down the table.  one of the easiest things for the party were the tablecloths...i threw white table cloths on and then ran a roll of paper source wrapping paper down the table.  it added so much color (i used the red and pool dots paper) and eliminated the stress of buying/making/renting table cloths.

something for the road...
one of the highlights of the party were the kids take home favors.  we collected glass jars for the last couple months (my mom saved some amazing jars from trader joe's) and spray painted the lids.  we hot glued small animals on top and filled them with some of maddie's favorite treasures.  stickers, whistles, bouncy balls, a frog and a parachute guy offered entertainment at the party and long after.  they were easy to make and looked great set out on the tables.  we had a basket with paper animal masks on sticks and a jar of animal noses for the kids to pick out.  i was surprised how much the older kids got into the animals and picking out just the right one to take home.  we threw out some lawn games and a few balls and the entertainment was taken care of!

they all come for the food...
with graduation the night before i knew we'd be pressed on time, so we had to be creative with food.  for the kids we did bag lunches.  it was the first time i have used a printer to print on lunch sacks.  the options are endless and i'm pretty sure i'll be using paper lunch bags for just about everything.  we packed them applesauce, string cheese, goldfish crackers and either a peanut butter and jelly or turkey sandwich.  we had everything ready to go the night before, made the sandwiches, packed the lunches, sealed the bags with washi tape and stacked them in the fridge.  the kids grabbed a lunch and sat on quilts for a picnic.  for the adults we had our favorite sandwich shop make up a couple trays of sandwiches and one of our favorite salads.  we made a fruit salad with white chocolate chips and pistachio nuts (the best combination) and put them in jars in a tin filled with ice.  it kept the salads cold the entire time and the lids kept bugs away.  we added some chips and tins of drinks and called it good.

but really it's about the cake...
it just happened to be my dad's birthday the day of maddie's party, he happily shared the spotlight with maddie and we sang them both happy birthday.  we got the cakes from cupcake chic in orem...i'd use them again in a heartbeat!  they made one 7 inch cake and two 5 inch cakes, one stacked a little taller than the other.  the decorating went great with our theme, the animals on top were a perfect finish.  i'm still craving a piece of the lemon cake.

i had so much fun putting the party together.  it's something that i so look forward to doing.  there's just something about celebrating these little girls that makes it so special.  i'm grateful for amazing family and friends who add so much joy.  when i started planning gracie's first birthday party matthew and i decided we'd request no presents and we've continued on with that tradition.  matthew and i give the girls birthday gifts (matthew always picks out the best presents) along with grandparents, but feel that we'd like the focus to be on gathering with family and friends for a great event honoring their birthdays.     while it may not always be the popular choice, it has worked out nicely so far for our family.

i have a few months off before our next party, gracie is already making plans for her end of the summer bash...i can't wait!

and lastly, the girls tops are from peek (found here)...they have already become my favorite summer top.  my pants (here, and on sale) and top (here) are from j crew.  i could live in them both.


  1. You're photos are so beautiful! As if your fam!

  2. This is such a cute party! I love the print on the lunch bags. I can't believe you did all that in one weekend! You must be supermom.

  3. Love this! What a great theme! So many cute and fun details! I love the salads in jars, super smart!!

  4. Love this party theme! Can I ask where you found the wooden boxes for the centerpieces?