Hi friends! My two girls have birthdays in January and February so we convinced my very sweet, almost-7-year-old to share a birthday party with her baby sister. It was such a relief but also a little stressful to have allll the friends at one time. I wanted to do the party at home because it is easier for me to do all the decorations over a period of a few days versus a one hour setup at a party venue.
We chose the puppy theme back in November and the girls (mostly the oldest) were super excited to help decorate using the printable birthday set by Diane Robison. For Millie, this means saying puppy 749 times and carrying around the carefully cut-out puppy pictures while I hold my breath.
We found Diane through her daughter Jenny’s dress company, Taylor Joelle. Diane has her illustrations printed on fabric and her daughter makes these beautiful and amazingly comfortable dresses for toddlers. Seriously, how much more “small business” can you get??
We have been fans for a while, but decided to go all-out with Diane’s adorable puppies. I had also ordered the girls’ puppy dresses last summer during one of Jenny’s sales, which she usually announces them on her Instagram account.
Diane also has this great tutorial posted on her instagram about all the different places to get her designs printed and various papers used. I decided to print at home on heavier weight photo paper and was very happy with the results! Diane is honestly such a pleasure… she was quick to respond and so helpful during the process of personalizing and ordering the digital images through her Etsy shop.
The Adopt-a-Puppy station was a huge hit! We had close to 30 kids at the party, so I ordered two types of stuffed puppies. They are about 6″ so the perfect size for little hands. The ABC beads allowed the kids to choose a name for their puppy and create a collar with the pipe cleaners and other beads. They were also able to decorate these cute gable boxes with these stickers so their pups had a cute ride home.
Now for the biggest statement but the most annoying part of the party… the balloon arch. My kids love these balloon arches and I am always a sucker for a good photo op. I will photograph/video a tutorial for this one day, but for now here is a tutorial that is pretty similar to what I do. You can use command hooks and fishing line or masking tape to adhere the arch to the wall. Here are the main tools you’ll need/want to recreate this balloon arch:
I like to use a pattern when attaching the balloons to the strip so there is some space between the colors, but you will find everything bunches up quickly. You can leave every other or every two holes empty on the ballon strip and add more balloons in with just masking tape or glue dots. Once you tape the balloon down, be veerrryyy careful trying to move it or unstick it. We almost woke the baby up multiple times with loud balloon pops during this construction and installation process…. no bueno. For the backdrop, I just used both a silver and an iridescent back drop similar to these.
I definitely had a huge hiccup in the cake plan. I made 6 (yes SIX) cakes to make this adorable bone-shaped masterpiece I found on Pinterest AND two 6 inch round personalized dog bowl cakes. At this point, refer back to the “driving my Type A husband crazy along the way” part of the About Me section.
The cakes turned out beautifully so I decided to make the icing and assemble Saturday morning. I was running low on milk at 11pm on Friday night so I decided to use heavy cream to make the icing. I woke up Saturday at 6am to find my beautiful buttercream transformed to clumpy, butter grossness my fridge. So, onto Plan B!
Luckily most grocery stores had an assortment of Valentine’s Day cupcakes out so I picked up 5 dozen various shades of pink cupcakes and topped them with a mixture of sprinkles. I also made mini pigs in a blanket, a large salad with grilled chicken, tons of fruit, and we ordered pizza. I normally like to either make the majority of the food or the birthday cake, but hey, being able to wing it is definitely helpful when entertaining.
As usual, the Farmer’s Daughter came through with some ahhhmazing florals for the centerpieces. Super classic, simple and gorgeous! I am also obsessed with these adorable puppy plates and the “WOOF” ballon set from Ellie & Piper Party Boutique. My typical set up is to buy a giant Costco pack of plain white, sturdy plates to use for the main entree and then buy some fun dessert plates to have around.
Now… THESE COOKIES. We legitimately spent 15 minutes ooo-ing and ahh-ing over these things. How stinking perfect and precious are they!? My fellow ballet mama, Jan Burgard, whipped these bad boys up for us based on the girls’ invites and we were absolutely floored. She described to me how she cut each cookie with a handmade stencil so it would be “just right” and her amazing attention to detail paid off. The best part about these cookies, besides their price point, is that they are DELICIOUS! Everyone happily gobbled them up within the first hour of the party.
I know the girls and their friends really enjoyed this party and I truly had fun with *mostly* everything during the set up (I’m looking at you, buttercream) I love creating these fun, sprinkle-filled memories & hope these tips can help! Use the comment space below for any questions and/or some of your favorite party tricks!
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February 20, 2020