Tag Archives: Birthday Party

Bubble Party Scrapbook

18 Apr

Today is round two of Isobel’s party. These are all fun shots of the day. If you want to know the details of how the bubble-themed party went down, please go here.

Anthony really wanted to make favor bags for the kids to take home, so we bought a bunch of non-gender-specific toys, fun stuff really, and wrapped them up in bags the color of sunshine. I mostly chose the contents of the bags based on stuff I loved as a kid: bouncy balls with stars inside, bubbles (of course), temporary tattoos, stickers.

Oh, and of course fake mustaches. Because I enjoy taking a group of innocent children and turning them into hipsters. What? It’s a victimless crime!

Everyone enjoyed the these giant inflatable hamster balls. I mean, they’re not really hamster balls, but that’s what we called them. I’m pretty sure that the little ones don’t even know what a hamster is, but we got a couple of them to shout “I’m a hamster! I’m a hamster!” when they climbed in the ball.

So many people mentioned they would love a larger version of this ball for themselves, and if you follow me on twitter you’ll notice I posted a photo of a very similar ball being sold at Costco. It’s much larger than the kind we had at the party.

I’m really glad they were such a hit–they were bitch to inflate.

I love this photo because it totally looks like John is in the middle of singing some intense opratic aria.

By far my most favorite part of the day was when a bunch of kids climbed up in the play house and the adults took turns throwing all the small beach balls in at them while they simultaneously threw them back out, all while giggling and shrieking and obviously having the best time ever.

It was hard to get a photo of the action, but it was fun to try.

My daughter inexplicably kept yelling, MMMM! IT’S YUMMY! While we did this. I saw her rub her belly and pretend to eat the balls.

No, I have no idea why.

It was good times.

It was cramped quarters and enthusiastic play, but there were no tears, no shoving. All the kids were having a great time.

Ok, just noticed I’m in this shot, so some of these photos were taken by my Dad.

This is Isobel’s cousin Serena.

That’s also her behind that wooden beam.

Victoria (in green) loves to help people, so he started pushing Noah in the swing. Noah’s like, “Awwww yeeeaaaah.” 

There’s Kingston! Or as I call him, Hercules. Or as Isobel calls him, “Chicken.”

When you have a party for a young toddler, they probably won’t care about sticking around to open presents. Isobel opened exactly one before running off with Victoria. So I got to do it. Here I am, pointing at something. Like  a gangster.

Isobel and Baby Kingston act as if we are their own personal rickshaws.

(We are.)

Aunt Alana painted this for for the birthday girl. Isobel was totally impressed by glitter.

Lastly, and for no explainable reason whatsoever, we found this hat as we were cleaning up. It’s for B-Day Girl Karen.

I have no idea who this is. There are no Karens among my friends or family. I can’t even think of anyone that I know named Karen period. But someone does! And they made her this hat. So happy birthday, Karen! I guess!

Isobel’s Bubble-Themed Party

12 Apr


I have so many pictures and things to say about Isobel’s party I’m going to break it up into two posts to give your scrollin’ finger a break. This first post is going to deal with the nuts and bolts of the party; the set up, our ideas, our theme. If you’re looking for party inspiration or want to know how I narrowly avoided a visit from a clown, you’ve come to the right post. The next party post will focus on the ridiculousness that occurs when you get a bunch of toddlers together, stuff them full of cake, and then let them run around for a couple of hours. In short, hilarity.


If you remember, there was a lot of back and forth discussion in the family about what to do for the party. My MIL loves a good party, and not only that, she loves to throw a good party. I am not exaggerating at all when I say some of the best parties I’ve ever been to where thrown by my MIL. House parties, dance parties, birthday parties, family parties—Anthony’s whole family really knows how to have a good time, and Anthony’s Mom especially, knows how to organize it. And Isobel is just the light of her life. When she thought ‘birthday party’ she wanted to pull out all the stops: bounce house, clowns, face painting, free ponies in the gift bags.


Anthony and I wanted the complete opposite, and besides, we thought she was too young to enjoy such an elaborate party. It was a bit frustrating trying to come to an agreement, but you know, every child should be so lucky to have a grandparent so involved in their life, so invested in their care and happiness, that they would be excited to organize an entire circus around their birthday. And even though my MIL desperately wanted to go all out, she was always respectful to Anthony and me.


We decided to go with a bubble theme, but I use that term very loosely. For example, I looked for bubble-themed invitations, but I didn’t like any that I found. I took some photos of bubbles incase I wanted to turn one of those into an invitation, but ultimately I decided to go with the invitation above, which I made in Photoshop. It doesn’t obviously scream BUBBLES! but I liked it the best. Honestly, we could have gotten really involved in this bubble theme, but we decided that what we wanted most was to relax and enjoy the party. We played fast and loose with the bubble theme and that worked for us.





We hung lanterns and used polka dot tablecloths and streamers to play on the bubble theme. We purchased a bunch of small beach balls online, as well as two large red balls the kids could fit inside of. They were round! Like bubbles! But more importantly, the kids loved them. My MIL also sprung for an inflatable bowling set, which the kids loved but didn’t use as intended. It didn’t match the theme, but we didn’t care.

Anthony’s grandma insisted on cooking the bulk of the meal, even though well over sixty people were there. This is no big deal for Grandma: she can host a party for 100, do all the cooking, and not bat an eye. We were willing to hire a caterer but she wouldn’t hear of it. She made her amazing rice and beans, salsa and condiments, and my FIL cooked up meat for tacos that we bought, preseasoned, from a dive restaurant in Ceres that makes the most amazing food. People would not stop raving about the tacos.

Along with the balls, of course we had to have… bubbles. These were a big hit with all the kids, no matter the age group.

I love that even the very little kids knew exactly what to do.

At one point, Angela caught Isobel with her hands wrist-deep in the bubble solution, pretending to wash them.

We covered one of the tables with butcher paper and my MIL purchased a bunch of paper crowns for the kids to decorate. We had crayons and jewel stickers and adhesive letters. All the kids loved these, even the big kids.

A couple people made crowns for Isobel, which was really sweet.

Here’s another shot of the giant ball.

Everyone loved the giant ball.

The swing set had been installed in Grandma’s back yard as a Christmas present to the kids. We have several young children in the family right now. Party goers took full advantage.

We had ZERO kids throw fits at this party. It felt like a miracle, but I also think it was due to the fact that there were so many different activities to engage them. The only crying is remember is when Noah, a two year old himself, had to go home. He didn’t want to leave the bubble party. How can you blame him?

The cake was a regular sheet cake from Costco. We could have gotten all theme-y with it, too, but we liked the cheerful rainbow on it.

So there you have it: how to have a relaxed, no fuss, lightly themed-birthday party.

Little Big Links: Party

9 Apr

Custom Thank You Notes: The featured idea is for baby shower items, but it works with any party. I’m sending out standard thank yous, but including a picture of Isobel and a picture of themselves or their kid, too.

Mini Fondue Kit: This favor idea is for adults only.

Collage Favor Kits: Although meant for children, I’d be stoked to get one of these.

Fabric Party Streamers Tutorial: Make them once, use them for years to come.

Make Fringy Streamers: So simple I could have done this for Isobel’s party.

LPC Party Planning Spreadsheet: the party organization chart of my dreams.

DIY Hello Kitty paper lantern tutorial: Anybody out there love Hello Kitty?

Spray Paint Thrifted Glassware: this looks so lovely. Perfect for a baby or bridal shower.

See also Little Big Links: Cake.

Little Big Links: Cake

5 Mar

Megan Boley’s Demi-God of Cake — When Megan’s husband turned 30, she recreated a cake in homage to one of their favorite webcomics. A citywide search for multicolored marshmallows commenced.

How to make a faux-mercury cake stand— 99% of the time I am vehemently opposed to any craft that makes things look “faux,” but this is truly gorgeous. And real vintage mercury glass is expensive.

Cookie cutter cake — Such a brilliant party idea–cut shapes out of sheet cake with a cookie cutter.

Cloud Birthday Cake — The kind of cuteness that makes me die inside.

Eggshell Cake — Baking a cake inside an eggshell.

Shark Cupcake Toppers — I want to have a boy (or borrow one) to justify making these.

Dog Cakes — I wouldn’t dream of posting cake links without including Cake Wrecks. The white dog? With the brown frosting? Disgustingly accurate.

Angry Chicken’s Starburst Cake — She took Starburst candy, flattened it, then cut shapes out of it to decorate her daughter’s cake.

For more links, follow me on Pinterest.