Wow, it felt so weird typing “3rd birthday party“. It feels like we JUST had her 2nd birthday party, but I guess that is how it’s going to be from now on, isn’t it?
Years flying by, until I look back and realize that it’s been 18 years and I have a beautiful adult girl who is ready to embark on her own life journey. Crazy, scary and empowering, right? But I guess at this moment, I will just focus on my little adorable precious 3 year old who STILL to this day talks about her birthday party. Almost daily. When she wakes up, she starts babbling about how when she turns 4 (or sometimes it is seven), she will have a birthday party and it will have an amazing cake with pirates on the bottom and princesses on top, and how all her friends are going to come ( then she lists all her friends by name) and how they are all going to sing happy birthday and open presents. Sometimes she tells me it’s going to be a Peter Pan birthday party.
The process of planning this party was slightly lengthy from the initial stages of the concept. Initially, Lexi was all excited about a Frozen party. I had a ton of ideas for it, too, but as Frozen was getting more and more popular and all the parties were being done with a Frozen theme, I was starting to cringe at it. Either way I figured I would do what she wanted to do, and there were some amazing concepts I had in mind. Then one day almost out of nowhere, she announces that she wants a Jake the Pirate birthday party. So I start thinking up ideas for that, pinning photos on Pinterest and planning it all out. Needless to say, it’s a lot more difficult to do non-character Pirate (I didn’t want to do Jake character specifically) party for a girl than it is Frozen. So everything seemed to be going good until literally 3 weeks before the party (luckily I hadn’t ordered anything yet), she changes her mind to a PRINCESS PARTY. Normally, I would have to stick with the Pirate theme, but since I hadn’t ordered anything yet, after some thinking I decided to go to the ultimate time expense of doing a Pirates and Princesses party. Double party, so to say. Everyone would get to pick whether they want to be a pirate or a princess, boys and girls.
So here is what we had
I used bits and pieces from different brands to decorate the tables and the room. Three main brands featured in the party are Chasing Fireflies, Minted and Seedling, each one of them capable of carrying a whole party on its own, but for my purposes, I wanted to combine some of them to create what I had envisioned.
This is where the fun begins. Having decided on two different tables, I had to think of two different decors that would be complimentary, pirate and princess decors. Browsing Chasing Fireflies, I bumped into their Birthday party sets. And low and behold, both pirate and princess themes were there, in multiple designs. I picked out the right colors and selected the items from the set that I really needed. It’s almost like a full birthday table in a box. Most packs include plates, cups, napkins, tablecover, forks, spoons and you can buy additional accessories separately.
In addition for table decor, I bought cheap plastic coins from Amazon and gathered black beads from a previous event for the pirate table and used the colorful confetti from the Seedling party box for the table decor base, randomly spreading it all over the table before I set the plates down. Speaking of confetti, it was a perfect mix to combine glossy and shiny confetti from a Seedling box with Minted printed table circles.
Each table had a cardboard centerpiece: pirate ship and princess castle, both of which we had to assemble ourselves. At first in all the pre-party chaos, I was worried that we wouldn’t have to time to do it, but once Lexi and I sat down and started, I have to tell you: It’s a treat of its own. It was so much fun putting together, even for someone as busy and impatient as me.
Lexi loved helping me with it and then spend the rest of the day playing with the figurines and begging to build the second centerpiece, which she did with her grandma the next day. This certainly served not just as a decoration but as a toy and a craft all in one. The finished product has movable pieces with little figurines to role play with, and an actual drawbridge for the princess castle. Huge thumbs up!
For the above the table decor, I used Minted which had very similar style for both their pirate and princess decorations, with red and white stripes mixed with solid black for one and dark pink mixed with light pink for the other. A special note on Minted banners, how cool are they? Being able to get the photos of the birthday boy or girl into the happy birthday banner without being cheesy was amazing. Such great quality and awesome look.
I love the look of pom poms. I hate hanging them. So this year there were a few in the birthday packs I got and sure enough I made sure Andrew hangs them up. We had pom poms from Seedling boxes hanging over the food table and one of the kid tables, pom poms from the Princess kit from Chasing Fireflies suspended over the princess table.
I had hung the tassel garland from the Seedling Decorations over the couch and had family members inflate the oversize massive balloons from the same Seedling box, which ended up being one of my favorite decor pieces. Now I want to make sure there are always giant helium filled balloons floating around every birthday party, even if it took a whole tank to just inflate the two of them 🙂
There was just enough gas in the helium tank to get a few balloons up with the dancing ballerina weights attached to them. Another adorable decor items. As the balloons floated around these ballerinas danced up and down until little Emma decided to gather them together and proceeded to dance along with them. A fun toy and a decor item, once again.
Let’s talk a bit about her birthday dress! I am in love. I wanted one for myself 🙂 Honestly I could not have dreamed of a better dress for her princess party. Short and flirty, sparkly and adorned with bows and a tulle skirt. She was just adorable in it.
Lexi’s dress (from Chasing Fireflies) was hung on the wall in anticipation of the party, something I saw on Pinterest and thought was an amazing idea as part of the decor. The princess/flower garland was a part of the princess theme from Chasing Fireflies and the criss crossing felt pompom garland from a Seedling box dressed up the empty windows further.
I also made sure to pull out some of the bigger toy pieces, like our Hape piano and kitchen set, and American Plastic Toys Dollhouse as well as the Locks and Latches Activity Board. Though kids didn’t really play with the toys much, they served as sort of place holders for the empty corner.
As I have done with previous birthdays, I had ordered a large print from Bay Photo to put into a frame as a wall centerpiece. It displayed one of my favorite photos of Lexi with a crown clip, the princess of all Princesses that day.
This was the “fun for kids” part: thinking of accessories that the kids could use to make it even more theme specific. For pirates, it was obvious we needed hats, swords, treasure maps and telescopes. For princesses, we had paper crowns and star wands. The guests LOVED this part of the party: getting dressed up as pirates and princesses, and to my surprise, more kids, boys and girls alike, chose to go with the pirate hat and the foam swords than the tiaras and wands. That sort of made me happy. Look at this adorable pirate.
All the kids were super excited to take the swords and telescopes home, too. Some even specifically asked for them 🙂 All the links to the products are below for those interested.
Last two times we made tea sandwiches for food and they worked fabulously. I have to admit, personally, I love those tea sandwiches and would do them all over again, but I am learning to not reach higher than my time allows ( slowly but surely, even though I still often overcommit myself). So this time, I looked into catering from Whole Foods. They have a pretty good menu and use only the highest quality ingredients (not necessarily organic unfortunately, but the closest that I have found). We ordered wraps and sandwiches and there were more than enough food for the whole party and for left overs and they tasted great. Next time I am definitely outsourcing the whole food thing again 🙂
For additional snacks, we cut up fruits and veggies and offered them on a tray. I couldn’t resist ordering cake pops for the party, as well since they are my favorites.
As part of Minted decor order, I had the food cards with cute pirate and princess designs on them for TREATS and SIPS.
For refreshments I decided to keep it as healthy as possible and not bring in even more sugar into the mix than there already was between the cake and cake pop, so we went with simple kid size water bottles decorated with the custom printed labels from Stuck on Me.
This is a whole separate story. I saw this type of cake on Pinterest and instantly emailed it to the bakery I always use for events. I said “I want THIS but two layers!” It did cost double the rest of the food combined, but it was worth it. Lexi still talks about it 🙂 The bottom part was for the pirate part of the party, the top was the princess part with a crown that displayed Lexi’s age. The pirate part was the part for adults, Grand Marnier infused cake. The top was simple vanilla with strawberries for the little ones. I remember hoping that they don’t confuse the two and get our kids drunk 🙂 Just kidding, of course, but the thought did cross my mind.
All decor resources in one place