Have you seen the new PBS Kids show Splash + Bubbles? Will has been loving it. He is so interested in all the names of sea creatures and is learning a lot!
When I asked him what kind of party he wanted this year, he rotated between lots of things, but finally landed on Splash + Bubbles. The only problem? The show is SO new, there are hardly any Splash + Bubbles toys available and nothing out there for themed party gear. I decided to plan loosely - more ocean themed, with a few Splash + Bubbles tidbits here and there.
Let me just say here that the more theme parties you do, the cheaper they become. More and more, I'm collecting a stash of reusable things in the basement that make parties a little more budget friendly. The more neutral, the more use I get out of things! For the bigger purchases, like cake stands and bowls, I like to stick to whites and natural wood tones with a few gold and silver things here and there. Then, the specific theme color scheme can be pulled together with a cheap pack of party napkins and plates. #winning
Those of you who follow my blog and parties are probably starting to notice I'm sticking to a pretty basic decorating template all the time, too. Cupcakes on one side, party favors on the other, a centerpiece that takes up a lot of room (less need for more decor), and tableware down the middle. Following a loose template helps me keep things simple (if it works, don't fix it!) and even more budget-friendly.
Party Lovers, please stop spending billions of dollars on beautifully decorated cakes. Go to Wal-Mart and buy a dozen white cupcakes for $7 and add some toppers of your own. I found some Splash + Bubbles clipart online for free, printed them on card stock, cut them into circles, and taped them to some leftover lollipop sticks. From there, we cut apart some clearanced plastic aquarium sea weed to make a little arrangement. These cupcakes turned out to be my favorite so far!
These little fish bowls are plastic and very inexpensive from our local pet store. I already had one on hand for the kids' pet shop play center - score! Shopping my house before buying party gear always, always, always pays off.
Major thumbs up to Target for their new Cheeky line of party ware. Every design is adorable. Glad I had an excuse to buy these plates!
And seriously... What's an ocean themed party without SHARK GUMMIES?! Praise the Lord for Amazon Prime and their selection of specialty candies with free shipping. Hugs, Amazon.
Simple party favors and Splash + Bubbles tags made from free online clipart and leftover Washi tape. Will LOVED writing his own name on each card (with Mama's help, of course).
And yes, I bought a stuffed octopus. It was totally frivolous and silly, but I saw it on Target online and it spoke to me, alright?! Will has since named it Oliver and sleeps with it every night. Overall, I still think it was $15 well-spent.
Will's favorite food nowadays is sandwiches, (Please insert a super awesome Joey Tribbiani GIF here...) which is totally fine by me, because does party food GET any easier than sandwiches, chips and a cutie?! No. No, it does not.
I would like to take a second to brag about our neighbors. These kids are just the best. Though half of them are already in middle school, they are still sweet enough to play with Will and Charlie and still seem delighted to attend their parties. I know this season won't last forever, but we are relishing every moment we can. Will and Charlotte worship the ground they walk on, and we are so thankful for the enormous blessing they are to us. We love our cul de sac family.
Let me give you one more piece of unsolicited advice here and recommend NOT planning or investing in party games. We have just packed up and gone to the park with Will's friends the last two birthdays, and it's been great. Throw in a game of kickball, and it's even better.
Happy birthday, little man. We love you so!