Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Liam's 2nd Birthday Party

Ah yes, its been almost two weeks since our little Peanut boy has turned 2, and as always, I am just now getting to blogging about it! 

Very excited about his Dr kit
This year, I was less stressed about throwing his party. I had done it before and was determined to spend half of what I did last year. (which was WAY too much). That also included Peanut's gifts. As most of you know, we view Christmas as a holiday about Jesus and not just about gifts. So he only gets a few small things. He also doesn't get much throughout the year. Let's be honest..he still has some unopened gifts from his birthday last year. However; his birthday, is all about him! That doesn't mean we have to break the bank though! The ladies at church and his babysitter were telling us how much he loved playing with the kitchens. So, we made that our goal to get him that as his "big" gift. We also found a couple of other small things he had really wanted or we knew he would like. The search began. I found several items online, but $50 for a kitchen wasn't doing it for me. 

I had looked everywhere. My last hope. A Once Upon a Child about 25 minutes away. I went in, and there she was. It was in great condition. I looked at the price tag. I looked again. And was $8.50. I've never grabbed anything up so fast in my life! On my way to the register, I saw some DVDs. I am always looking for Mickey DVDs for the little guy. There was one for $6.50. Not bottom dollar, but better than a $15 price tag for a new one. At our local Once Upon a Child, I found a Mickey set. I had found one at Walmart he was always eyeing that was around $20. This one had a ton more included and retailed for $60. I got it for $20. The best part..everything was unopened! The only thing we paid for new was the Dr. kit and lambie. He LOVES Doc McStuffins. When I got the lambie for the little girl I babysit, he was always stealing it and upset when she took it home, so I got him one. He loves using his dr kit, and even helped his dr. at his appointment. She got a kick out of him knowing what everything was for! Kyle grabbed some balloons from dollar tree for him to wake up to. He LOVED them. (the simple things in life). He also got to pick out some PJs from walmart. They were $6 and he rarely gets clothes that aren't used, so its nice to do sometimes. (& yes, we all wear used clothing, not just him!)

He also had some birthday waffles with sprinkles!! 

As many of you know, I enjoy am obsessed with party planning. At the risk of sounding like a psycho, I have already started planning next years.....anywho.. with every birthday, we make an effort to do something as a family for his birthday, and then have his party that weekend. This year, his birthday was on a Friday, so we held his party the next day.

For his birthday, we headed to the aquarium. He was about 4 hours from being 2 technically, so I wasn't lying when he still got in for free... =/ We also stopped by Jungle Jims. It is pretty neat, and got a great deal on organic bananas ;] We also went to Cici's for lunch. All you can eat pizza for about $15, and Peanut ate for free. 

Yes, he basically kissed everything at the aquarium (well, the glass mostly...)
Now to his party..the big reveal! Liam has loved Mickey since he was about 2 months old. It also helps his mom loves is obsessed with Disney. Although Mickey parties are a bit overdone, I knew he would like it, and also knew it would be fun to put together. Here are his invitations. I made them myself using photoshop and also had a pre-party photo shoot with him. I had a few different pieces I found on etsy for inspiration (1) (2).

I basically did a mirror image for the thank you cards and used a different picture from our shoot. I used word play to make it its own.

Now, if you remember last year's party..the Toy Story party I spent way too much money on...I pretty much tried to buy everything in colors only, the cheapest route, or DIY. I think the party turned out pretty great!

Here's the thing with the balloons. I think they really add something to the party, but last year spent WAY too much. This year, I contemplated buying a helium tank and buying my own balloons vs ordering some from party city. The big Mickey comes from this set. Its $16 and the helium is included. I actually picked them up the night before the party, and they were still going strong 3 days post party, and I ended up popping them since the cat wouldn't leave them alone. The happy birthday balloon and the small Mickey are from the Dollar Tree (the ones we got for him to wake up to). Yes, that does mean they were just a $1 each! Helium and ribbon included! The balloons on the highchair were from a pack of about 25 balloons I found at the dollar tree. All in all, I spent a little less than $20. That's how much the helium tank was alone!

Bless my sweet hubby who iced the cupcakes. Not too impressive, but he sure is helpful!
I REALLY wanted a cupcake stand, but I didn't want to pay $8 for something that I was only going to use this once. If I had bought a neutral one, my attempt at saving it would have ended up in me getting it out next year only to find it trashed. So I found this awesome tutorial! It involves cardboard, hot glue, and soup cans! I also got the cupcake toppers from here and just edited where it said "Celebrate" to "Liam" and "Is 2". The sad part was, they didn't really fit with the topper and being on the stand, so I made a ton and didn't even use half! I printed them out, cut them, and hot glued them to a cut Popsicle stick. The "2" Candles were from the dollar tree.

I found the cupcake liners in the party colors at walmart. I got 75 for $1.50. I used the extras to hold our goldfish. I worried a box or two of goldfish wouldn't be enough, so I bought a big box at Sam's Club for about $9. Guess what? I still have two huge bags of goldfish to go through now... =/ 

You have probably seen this idea floating around pinterest. I couldn't justify spending $20 or more on a veggie tray to feed everyone, especially since people usually only eat the celery and carrots. I got the clear cups at Dollar Tree. They come in 10 packs. I price matched the ranch dip for $1, the organic baby carrots for $1 a bag, and the celery was around $1.10 I believe. I got 3 of each. I had a ton of carrots left. Everyone loved this idea! & It saved me a ton of money on veggies!

Something else I didn't get a picture of, was the watermelon bites =[ I have a Mickey cookie cuter I got online awhile ago for about $0.75. I sliced the watermelon and used the cookie cutter to make Mickey shaped watermelon bites. They were a big hit, but I had them in the fridge when I was taking pictures =/

I had found the idea for "Minnie's Bowtie Pasta". The problem was, I had never really made Italian pasta salad that didn't come out of a box. My late brother-in-law used to make the best pasta salad for holidays and events. Since he passed, my sister has been making it. She was nice enough to pass it to me for the party, but it's a bit of a secret, so I'm not going to share. You can google a lot of different ones though. This one was a big hit!

I price matched the chips for $2 a bag. We just had original wavy and BBQ. I also price matched the dip for $1. I got the little cups at Dollar Tree. (Are you seeing a theme here??) Again, everyone enjoyed just grabbing and rolling right along. 

The cups were from the dollar tree, just regular cups that happened to go along with the color theme. I got the Hugs juices from Sam's club. Again, bought way too much and have a ton in my fridge. I spent about $8. Could have gotten away with a pack of juice boxes. (oh well, at least its yummy). I also made the water bottle labels and hot glued them around the bottles. We also had a variety of soda. I bought about 6 bottles and price matched them for $1 each!

What's a Mickey party without hot dogs? I price matched the hot dogs for $0.99 and the buns for $0.89. I got about 9 of each so that everyone could have about 1.5. I took a large pot and put about two packages in at a time to cook them. Then, I put them in the crock-pot on warm and they were delicious! I had a couple packs left over. I also served them with relish, mustard, and ketchup. I just used my own condiments from home and still have plenty left. We also put them in a muffin tin for easy serving, but I forgot to take a picture. 

I got the large dinner plates from dollar tree. There were 16 in a pack I believe. I also got small yellow dessert plates, and these red polka dot napkins from dollar general. They also came in packs of 16. The utensils were from dollar tree. I got 3 different packs (red, yellow, and black). They had forks, knives, and spoons, with 48 in each pack. I didn't use a great deal of these and will be using them for our next party!

If you remember from last year, I used this same holder for our utensils. It is an old formula canister I washed out and plan to use it for every party. I made the wrap on photoshop, and honestly just hot glued it on top of the Toy Story one from last year.

As I did last year, I used this table as my main table. It's in the back or the room, but its really the first thing you see. This year, it had Mickey toys on display, as well as a book for everyone to sign (last year we did a time capsule), and pictures of Liam from his 2nd birthday shoot. Remember that balloon bouquet from party city? Those are the other pieces of it. I also saved a few dollars by just having them clip the balloons and bought my balloon weights at dollar tree and tied them myself. 

Here is what we did as a "guestbook" for this party. I got the idea from here. I found this book at our local Once Upon a Child for about $3. It just so happened to be Mickey Clubhouse theme which is what the party was instead of just a random Mickey book. Friends and family loved writing on the pages and now when we look at the book there are all kinds of wonderful memories and thoughtful messages for him!

I will just be honest. Last year I spent way too much on goody bags that I forgot to pass out. Not to mention, most of the stuff was not age-appropriate and even a tad dangerous. This year, I bought these red bags from dollar tree. They came with 10 in a pack. Then I bought Mickey crayons, also from dollar tree, which came 3 in a pack. I printed off coloring pages and included those in there. I found suckers on clearance from dollar general which went in. I think a huge bag was like $2. Then, at Babies R Us, I found organic puffs. They had about 6 in a pack, and the bags are HUGE! Each bag was $2.50. I think I included one more Mickey item from dollar tree in there, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was.. Nothing fancy. & Since most of them are still too little for games, I passed them out so they could color and not just be sitting around. 

I got this banner from here. Again, I just photoshopped it into saying "Happy Birthday Liam" instead of "celebrate". I hole punched each corner and used left over ribbon to string it together. This is obviously before guests arrived because believe me, he got a ton of gifts! (spoiled boy). The banner is much bigger than it looks and was a huge element to the party.

Here are my lovely helpers ;] If you can see, I got 6 tables cloths, two of each (red, yellow, and black). They were guessed it, Dollar Tree! I placed the "Thank You" cards at each chair for the guests to look at and take with them afterwards. 

Here is the sign that was on the door to greet guests as they entered. Just something cute I made in photoshop and taped to the door. 

Here are the centerpieces. I took pictures while I made them. They are super cute, easy, and CHEAP! All you need is tissue paper, toilet paper, and ribbon. I also made the Mickey heads that went in them. I will have a post on the details soon. At each centerpiece was a couple of Mickey related toys. Some figures, some stuffed toys. Again, utilizing what we already had!

Here is the birthday boy chowing down. As he does at home, he really just took his time, soaked in the attention, and half of the food went in the trash. At least he looks cute doing it...

Here he is enjoying some cake...

Ugh...please ignore hubby and kid look cute though...
My hubby and I wore our shirts we got from Disney World. Liam's was custom ordered from this lovely shop. My Minnie Ears and his Mickey Ears (which served as his party hat) were from Disney World as well.

I, again this year, made a slideshow using Windows Movie Maker. Just pictures of him from this year, set to his favorite songs and songs that reminded us of him this year. It played on the TV behind us as background noise mostly throughout the party. 

So, here's a breakdown of the party.
Food & Cupcakes: $50
Rental Building: $100
Custom Shirt: $23
Printing of Decor, Invites, and Thank you Cards: $25
Party Supplies (Cups, plates, goodie bags etc): $30-40
around $230. 
Yes, that is still a bit high, but thats more than $100 less than I spent last year! That darn rental fee is what kills it! Don't you worry my frugal friends, next year, the party will be in our 1100 square foot home! ;]

So there you have hit! Having a hip DIY Mickey Party! Thanks for reading & feel free to share!

Liam's 1st Birthday Party