If you’ve read my previous blog posts you know I’m a HUGE fan of themed events, so naturally I have my son’s birthday parties for several years already planned in my head. For Sonny’s first birthday we did FIRST TRIP AROUND THE SON(NY) with a space theme for his actual birthday and an Ice Scream Social(ly) distanced event for friends and family event. You can read all about it and see the décor for his COVID friendly birthday bashes, including an ice cream truck, on the HH Blog! For his second birthday we knew we wanted to have a small family gathering at our condo. The theme was appropriately TWO Fast featuring vintage race cars. My inspiration came from Pinterest (click here to follow us). I knew I didn’t want a typical, or easily accessible party décor, car theme and I’m trying to avoid character parties as long as possible. Luckily, my grand idea aligned with Sonny’s interests this year because he is OBSESSED with cars. Specifically red and blue cars, so I ran with it and created a cherry red and baby blue cars with black and white checkered accents second birthday party. This theme could NOT have been as successful if it wasn’t for my mom and aunt’s amazing Cricut abilities. They spent hours bringing my vision to life and I couldn’t be happier with the end result. They made banners, cupcake and cake toppers, clothing, backdrops and more perfectly themed décor. Invites were created on Canva and sent via Evite at zero cost!
Sonny’s outfit naturally had to be “on point”. My mom and aunt custom made his t-shirt to match the theme and he loved wearing the red car shirt. The best basic tees are from Target Cat & Jack. They are cost efficient, fit great and wash well. Definitely an everyday go-to in both Katie and my houses. The obvious shoe choice was checkered Vans and he rocked skinny black jeans (again, Cat & Jack). My (horribly) on theme checkered joggers were found at Ross for $5 by my Mom randomly. I never pass on an opportunity to coordinate and the price was right!
Food & Desserts
A perfectly executed theme must include appetizers and desserts that coordinate. Again, I was inspired by Pinterest and created card tents and signs on Canva I put in $2.29 frames from Ikea. If you don’t have a Cricut, Canva, or the time to be creative this exact theme can be purchased on Etsy. No shame in that! Donuts were Spare Tires, chocolate covered pretzels were dip sticks, while the bar cart was the fueling station, the desserts and apps were a pit stop, gifts were placed in the loading zone, tools were utensils, nuts and bolts were the dips and charcuterie apps, and the speed limit was 2! Guests enjoyed the cutest custom themed sugar cookies as favors.
Balloons & Backdrop
Katie is the queen of balloons and somehow convinced me I could do a garland again for Sonny’s birthday. When I say I loath (making) balloons I’m not exaggerating. I’m not very good at it and it’s extremely time consuming. I ordered two balloon topiaries from Party City in red and blue with giant mylar black 2’s. Pro tip: if you spend $50 on ANYTHING at Party City you get FREE balloon delivery! I was so impressed with their selection and the delivery was perfection. But back to my balloon garland fail… I ordered a checkered backdrop from Amazon, created a vintage red race car on circuit, and (attempted) a balloon garland. A must have when attempting balloon art is an electric pump! You’ll save yourself a lot of time. If you’re looking for balloon tips check out Katie’s Best Balloons post.
For more party planning tips and tricks check out our previous guest collaboration with Nicole Abruzzo. She is the ultimate hostess with the Mostest! Read We Like to Party now. My best advise when planning a birthday party is pick a good theme and have fun with it! No matter what you (and your kid) choose will be perfect. Even though we love themed parties we know our kid isn’t going to remember the fancy balloons, perfect party favors, expensive gifts or elaborate dessert table. What they will remember forever is how much you love them! Which reminds me… take lots of photos so you have those memories forever. We spend so much time prepping for the event that seems to just fly by. Snap all the photos and make sure to get some good ones of your kid if possible. My only regret was I spent so much time getting everything ready I didn’t get any really good photos of Sonny or us as a family at the party. So that leads me to my next and final piece of advice. Get professional photos every year. I was on the fence about getting 2 year professional photos of Sonny because lets be honest photo shoots with children are nerve-racking. The anxiety and anticipation is dreadful. I literally lost sleep wondering what version of my son I would be getting, but it is always worth the stress when you get a good photo. LUMAnate Photography captured the best pictures and I’m forever grateful since I couldn’t get those quality shots with the chaos of hosting a party.
Whatever your party plans we hope you can enjoy yourself! After everything is said and done you deserve some “me time” and a big glass of wine.
XO - Amanda