Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ladybug Bonanza

My little Charlotte turned one at the beginning of February. And, here's the thing: I LOVE kid's birthday parties. I love going to them, and I love having them. I started doing big birthday parties with Molly's first. They seem to keep getting bigger. I'm sure it is completely my fault. Molly was really the first child of almost all of our friends, so her first birthday was pretty much just a party for all our friends and family. Because she was born on Memorial Day, her party was planned for that weekend. Memorial day weekend meant big backyard BBQ. The next year, more of our friends had kids, so there were more children at the party. We still did a backyard party; theme: Minnie Mouse. Last year, even more of our friends had kids, and all the kids were getting bigger, so we had a birthday party outside again (theme: butterflies). Now, as any of you who have kids or have ever been around kids know, kids take up five times the space of adults. I know, this seems completely illogical - "kids are way smaller than adults," you say. But, trust me, you could easily fit 30 adults in my house; 30 children - no freaking way! This is why the outdoor party is such a good thing. We just kick all the kids out the door to play in the backyard.

An example of the craziness that is a ton of kids inside for a birthday party. This was Molly's 3rd when we came inside briefly to open presents. Mass chaos, I'm telling you.
All of this background to explain Charlotte's party. She had the unfortunate luck of being born in February. This means, unless we do an igloo-themed party, we can't have it outside. But, we've only ever had birthday parties at our house, and I wanted to have Charlotte's first in our home. So, the guest list was cut way down. Serving dinner for everyone was nixed. We had to pare everything down. Well, that was the plan. Then, I came up with a theme: Ladybugs. Then, I Googled ladybug birthday parties. Then, I started planning. The ideas just came flying at me, and I couldn't stop myself! First, it was the cute red and white polka dot dress for Charlotte. Next, it was the ladybug cake. Then, red and black Twizzlers, kids' drink bottles painted with ladybug spots, ladybug crackers ... The list goes on and on. I had a blast! A friend recently said that I was amongst some fierce competition for kids birthday party planning. I swear, I don't mean to go crazy. But, everything is so cute, and I just have the most fun going with a theme. Again, maybe it's that creative outlet that I need. Although, I do have to admit, my brilliant idea to make a banner like one that I saw on Etsy was probably a bit ambitious. All the time and effort it took me - I'm pretty sure it would've been worth it to spend the 30 bucks to buy it from Etsy.

I am putting some pictures up here because I came up with so many of my ideas by looking at what other people had on the web. So, maybe other people can steal some of my ideas, just like I stole other people's. Or, you can laugh at my going overboard and tell yourself that I am completely insane. I KNOW my husband would agree with you on that point.

The banner turned out really cute, but would've been just as good had I just forked over the $30 for the one from Etsy. 

The sweets table. Red Twizzlers. Red and black Twizzler bites. The tablecloth was actually some fabric that my mom happened across at Hobby Lobby. 
The treat bags. I borrowed my friend's "Cricut" to cut out all the letters for these and the banner. I gotta say, that Cricut is pretty freaking amazing.
The spread. I found the cute plates and napkins here.

The ladybug crackers. Super cute and tasty.

We came up with this one on our own. We took cheese Bagel Bites, cut pepperoni into the shape of wings, then added an olive for the head. They were popular, clearly, I couldn't even get a picture before some were already gone.
The birthday cake. I saw a picture similar to this online and had my mom make it. Now, I am not able to bake or decorate anything that could look remotely like this. Luckily, I have a mom who can.

The birthday girl. Yes, I bought a bib to match the theme. Online shopping can be dangerous.

Now, all of this work and planning, and did Charlotte appreciate it? Well, no, of course she didn't. Did she have a clue that any of it was really for her? No. But, it made me happy to do it for her (well, let's be honest, a lot of it was just because I was having fun). So, how did she repay me? She got up that night at 3AM and decided that she was up for the day and mommy should be, too. Ahhh .... paybacks are a bit@#.


  1. Love it and so long as you have fun doing it that is all that is important!!!!!! Keep doing what makes you happy!!!!

  2. The whole thing is amazing. Made my jaw drop when I saw the photos last week. You and Jen should get together and plan weddings and birthdays. Not a detail missed!
    By the way, I'm sorry Molly and Charlotte won't be able to come to Penny's parties. They would be like "huh? this is a party? Penelope your mom is so lame! There isn't even a theme" :)