Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Fun - Birthday Party Edition

It has been a fun, but very busy few weeks for us.  We go camping over Labor Day weekend and this year it included Little Miss’ birthday!  Don’t worry she wanted to go camping for her birthday!  It is a tradition she loves.  Our Labor Day camping doesn’t always fall on her birthday, but this year it happened to.  So this girl was able to get not 1 birthday party from us, not just 2 birthday parties from us, but 3 birthday parties and a birthday lunch, wait no she ended up getting 2 birthday lunches.  She totally lucked out this year because of how the calendar fell.  We do make birthdays a HUGE deal in our house.  They are an unofficial national holiday and they are the day we get to celebrate whoever’s birthday it is.  We don’t spoil our kids every single year with big parties, but every couple of years and on milestone birthdays they do get to have a party with friends.  We learned years ago it was easier to have the family party one day and a friend birthday party another day so that neither friends nor family get ignored during the party.  So that is part of the reason that Little Miss ended up with so many parties this year.  Her first party was really not much of a party.  It really just consisted of cake I made and took camping with us and all of our friends who were there where we camp sang Happy Birthday to her.  It got dark very fast on the day of her birthday because it also happened to be the day most of the families came up camping so they were busy setting up late so she got to open a couple of presents from us the next morning.  On her birthday, we also went over to a neighboring town near where we camp and she got to have birthday lunch #1.  When we got home from camping we went to lunch with Grandma and Grandpa and we got to celebrate her birthday with them just a little so that is how she got birthday lunch #2.  So how did she get parties 2 and 3?  They were scheduled.  We knew we would be gone over her birthday, but she hasn’t had a birthday party with friends for a few years now so we decided this year was a good year for a friend birthday party.  We had the family birthday party the day after the friend party because Sundays work for the family to get together.  As I share some pictures of the birthday fun, I will also give you some tips of how we made it all work (this year it was definitely a “we” effort as hubby helped me tons!).

1.  Keep birthday parties with friends small  -  We let Little Miss only invite 4 friends.  This kept the party small, kept the cost down, and it allowed her to focus on each of the friends that came to the party.
A Glimpse of Normal Blog, Friday Fun, Birthday, Jungle, Monkey, Cake, Cupcakes, friends,
Cupcakes and snacks for the friend party.  They got to decorate the bottom row of cupcakes as one of the party activities.

2.  Plan ahead  -  Little Miss chose her jungle theme since she loves monkeys and then from there I planned out party snacks, decorations, and party favors.
3.  Decorate simply  -  I like for Little Miss to pick a birthday theme and then I can base my decorations on that theme.  This year I truly lucked out when she picked monkeys and the jungle because as soon as I started searching Pinterest (of course I had to search there) I found vines were the common party theme for jungles and monkeys.  I created paper bag vines by cutting paper bags in strips, taping the strips together and then twisting the vines.  Then I just added in streamers and balloons from the dollar store.  I also found a cute flower garland on Amazon that matched my jungle theme.  Since I was making the vines and getting the other things from the dollar store, I felt I could splurge for the garland that was around $5.  Little Miss loved her jungle and the girls thought it was pretty cool (family also loved it the next day at the family party).
We turned the living room and dining room into a jungle
4.  Keep the party simple  -  For the friends party, we knew we had only a couple of hours.  So we planned out 3 activities plus eating cupcakes and opening gifts.  This was just the right amount of time and activities.  The girls really seemed to have fun.  For the family party we did lunch, presents, and then cake and ice cream.  Lunch for 20ish family members (I didn’t do an exact count that day) was taco salads.  Taco salads are cost effective and fill people up.  I love to feed people without breaking the budget. 
Party favors!
5.  Have fun!!!  The day is all about the birthday person so make them feel special and loved.
This is her cake for her family party.  She liked the thin frosting look.  I added the monkey stickers to block out her name.

What do you do for birthday parties?  Do you go all out?  I would love to hear how your family celebrates.


  1. We also use birthdays to really celebrate and spoil the person. I think the monkey theme is adorable. - Lori

    1. Thank you! She LOVES monkeys! So I think this is the 3rd time she has picked a monkey theme and now I have to try and remember what I did before so I do new things. :)

  2. Love the cake! Great birthday ideas thank you. We usually do family only birthdays but may do some friends next year and it makes sense to have two. Well wait...we have two already. One for extended family and one for just the immediate that will make 3. Well thank you for the tips to keep it small. :)

    1. Hope the tips help and yes we usually end up with multiple family parties too because it seems some part of the family always has to have a different day. Guess it spreads out the birthday love.

  3. Birthdays for the adults are low key events... This year I didn't even get a present! The lad gets what he wants... time with homeschool friends playing in a park.

  4. I love the theme she chose - cute! Great tips for birthday parties. We usually make a big deal of the birthday person as a family, but only do full-on parties once in awhile - on what we call the "golden birthday" (when their age is the same as their birthdate, so if the birthday is on the 8th and they turn 8) and milestones.

    1. Golden birthdays are fun!!! The only golden birthday left in our house is my son.


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