Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mary Ella's 4th Birthday

I love planning a birthday party. Love it. I look forward to picking a theme every year and now that Pinterest and Etsy are in existence, I have no trouble at all coming up with ideas to go along with whatever themes we choose. 

So far, we've had a pink polkadot 1st birthday...

A candy shoppe themed second birthday...


little mama 3

And a puppy dog themed party for her 3rd birthday celebration.


This year Mary Ella wanted to have an princess party. I wasn't necessarily against having a princess party, but seeing that we'd been to about four princess parties already this calendar year, I asked her to pick a specific princess and we'd plan the party around one of them. She decided on Ariel (or "Eeeeriel" as she calls her), which wouldn't have been my first choice (let's pick the most selfish and disobedient Disney princess and celebrate her, yay!), but then when I looked up "Ariel party" on Pinterest I realized I could turn it into an "under the sea" party with a little sprinkling of Ariel (ha!) and that she'd probably be just as satisfied. Which is what we did.

(invitation from Pink Pickle Studios, via Etsy)

So... here are pictures of our Ariel/Under the Sea 4th Birthday Party! 

I knew I wanted to host it on the patio (i.e. didn't want to have to clean my house) and I'm glad I did because it turned out to be a great day for a July party. Thankfully it rained that morning, so it was a bit humid, but at least it wasn't 100+ degrees.
(We had our patio ceiling fan installed the day before which helped a ton.)

I went with a turquoise/blue/purple theme to resemble being under the sea; I hung shiny turquoise and purple mesh ribbon along the deck stairs and crepe paper streamers in those colors from the ceiling. I also made a banner out of scrapbook paper and a few more streamers.

I made the grilling nook our "kids area" with our 3 kids tables. 
This was also the crafting area. As the kids arrived they made ocean scenes with foam board and foam stickers and jellyfish using an upside down paper bowl, googly eyes, and tentacles made out of cut up streamers in various colors.

I enclosed this area under the steps with a purple vinyl tablecloth and streamers to make "Ariel's Cavern." The kids loved having a little hideout at the party. 

Do you love this potting bench or what?
I found it a few days after the patio was finished at a local antique store. It was built by a man in Hayden, Alabama and he signed the bottom along with a "Roll Tide" so I guess it was meant to be mine. Or at least that's what I told Chad. I love it. It was already this distressed turquoise color and the back of it is an old window. The countertop is stainless steel and I think it adds a lot of character. 
I'll probably be using it more as a buffet rather than a potting bench. It was perfect for holding decorations and all our food/dishes/silverware. Oh, and gifts too!

We set out pictures of the birthday girl and a copy of her invitation as part of the decor.
All the paper goods (napkins, plates, etc) were from Target.

I actually had no idea what I'd do for her cake until the day before the party. I knew I didn't really want to do cupcakes so I decided on something even more time consuming - in true Haley Morgan fashion. :)
I went with a four-layer cake. Duncan Hines white cake mix cannot be beat. 
And neither can their canned whipped icing. It's as good as the real thing. 
I used just white flavored icing for the outside of the cake, and in between the layers I used a can of cream cheese frosting. I bought those turquoise and white pearly balls from Hobby Lobby in the cake section and crushed up some graham crackers to resemble sand, and scattered that along the bottom of the cake platter. I went to WalMart the morning of the party and bought an Ariel figurine set for the top of the cake (there's my splash of Ariel, see? An Ariel party, all the way.) 

She loved her cake.

Oh, and I made the layers 4 different colors: turquoise, lime green, purple and kelly green.
For the oooh-ahhhh factor, ya know.

We used our crab sandbox (that still has no sand) as our cooler for the drinks.

It also made for a cooling station when the kiddos got hot. 

And a bubble machine added that special 'under the sea' touch.
The kids loved trying to catch and pop all the bubbles. 

For our party favors Mom made sugar cookies cut into a starfish shape. We put them in a clear cellophane bag with some crushed graham cracker "sand" and tied a "Thanks for Coming" note to the bags with brown string. Simple and cute. Can't go wrong with a cookie.

More pictures...


Charlie, Amanda and Emma Kate

The Morgan clan (and Les!)

Mary Ella and Addie Jane

Ashley and baby Hudson

sweet Alyssa 

Charlotte, smiling on command of course

About to blow out her candles

Charlie looking at the bubbles (love this)

My nephews Brooks and Case eating their cake and ice cream.

Sweet Tatum loving on Emma Kate

We are thankful for all the sweet gifts we received. 
MeMama bought her this cupcake pillow.

And Charlie gave her a Rapunzel doll!

Love the look on Addie's face. She looks like her cousin Levi here. So sweet. 

This girl was pooped after the party. 

Happy 4th Birthday, my sweet Mary Ella!
I love you so very much. 

blessed signature


Laura Rogers said...

You MUST be a superhero mom. The effort you put into birthday parties always blows my mind and makes me feel tired and like I should start planning my kids birthday parties right now... ha! Seriously though, everything looks adorable and I know your kids are always gonna look back on their parties and remember how great they were. And when they get to be my age, they'll realize that it all happened because their momma loved them enough to make them feel special. I'm impressed. :)

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