the party!

I suppose I should preface this post by saying I am NOT a party planner. I can swoon over those beautiful parties I see on Pinterest with the best of them, but when it comes to putting things together, I usually fall pretty short! I guess parties are just a knack that some people have, and others don’t. After several years of planning birthday parties for the kiddos, though, I’ve come to realize that I’m always happiest with the parties that are simple, easy, and showcase my strengths (namely, food). I usually like to throw together a few fun little decorations, then serve some delicious food, and just let everyone have fun and relax together. And so far, that has been a recipe for success!

I debated a little about whether I should even post the party ideas, because they’re all so simple and easy, but I decided that maybe they’ll spark an idea or two for you, my fellow non-party-planners. So, first things first, the invitation!

Usually I’m pretty great at printing and mailing out the invites, but because of our trip to San Diego, and then moving the next week, I just didn’t get around to it, so email worked nicely! I just put the invite together in Photoshop, and tried to keep it super simple.

For decorations, I did a few fun little projects that made a big difference in our little living space. First, I made a sweet garland of shamrocks and pompoms!

I made the shamrocks using this tutorial from Paper & Ink I found on Pinterest, and the pom poms with a Clover pom pom maker, using this tutorial. My only recommendation for the pom poms is to make sure your scissors are very sharp! Mine are in need of sharpening, and that made it a little rough on my poor hands. 🙂 I also found it helpful to watch a movie (Safety Not Guaranteed – hilarious and awesome!) while I was working on them, and they just flew by.

I hung the garland across the kitchen doorway, and it made things fun and festive! Oh, and feel free to ignore the not-yet-set-up kitchen in the background… we’re still moving things around and figuring out where we want everything to go!

My next project was a lovely little balloon garland!

I bought the green and gold balloons unfilled at a local party store, blew them up, and strung them together using curling ribbon. They made for the perfect decoration to hang in front of our short and wide living room window! I love a project that takes only a few minutes and has a big impact!

I wanted to do a fun activity for all the kids, and I thought it would be super fun to have a little leprechaun hunt. I found some great inspiration here and put together a few little cards for the kids to find:

It turned out to be a perfect activity for the range of kids at the party, since the older ones could read the cards and help the younger ones find the clues. It was also perfect because everyone got to run around outside and get some fresh air. And all the kiddos, from two to nine, were entertained!

At the end of the hunt, each of the kids got a little baggie with some leprechaun gold and rainbows (aka Rolo’s and Skittles).

One of our favorite birthday traditions (which, sadly, I haven’t completed yet for this year!) is to make a slideshow of the birthday girl’s year. We start with photos and videos from the last birthday, and follow them on all their adventures during the last year. It’s always a great way to see how much they’ve grown, and I almost always get a little teary at how big my girls are getting. It’s also a fun way to entertain our guests while we all munch on cupcakes and ice cream!

It was such a fun party, and we all had a great time! The best part was getting to celebrate this sweet, funny little girl who has brought so much joy into my life. Happy birthday, Lizzy!

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