Friday, July 18, 2014

Mary Ella's 6th Birthday: A Rainbow Unicorn Party

July 2014Mary Ella started planning her rainbow unicorn birthday celebration about 2 days after her 5th birthday party. She's always loved unicorns and "rainbow" was her favorite color on every school paper until this past year, so it was due time to bring some unicorn fabulousness (and lots of color and glitter!) to the party scene.

I'm really not lying about her planning this shindig. Every time we were in a store and she saw something rainbow colored or unicorn related, it was "Oh MOM! We could use that at MY PARTY!" and would say it like her party was the next day. So we collected random things (paper products, stuff for favor bags, etc.) over the last few months. I may not remember all of my sources so some of them will be best guesses! 

One thing were NOT in shortage of was unicorns. We find one nearly every time we go to the thrift store. So decor was pretty easy. I always say one of the easiest things to do for kids parties is to 
a) pick a theme relating to something they really love (because if they love it they'll more than likely already have tons of "stuff" related to it!), and 
b) use what you already have related to that theme! Whether it be unicorns or a specific Disney princess or Legos or trains. It's so easy to just pull stuff from their rooms and use it as decor.
Not every unicorn really matched the party decor, and none of them are really all that spectacular, but they are treasures to my girl, and she can tell you where each one came from, so I loved displaying them as a focal point for the party. I loved hearing her tell her friends that the one on the far left is a music box, about how the one beside the wreath was special because we found him with a broken-off horn and how her Mimi gave her the colorful ones with the huge eyeballs. :)

Mary Ella and I did decide to transform a few of them, though. All part of the fun! What's a party without a little re-doing, right? Hehe! Here's a few thrift store BEFORE & AFTERS:

A $0.39 unicorn print (just used magic markers, paint around the outer border, and glitter.)
July 2014

These were the tiny unicorns we used to top her cake. This was a junkie' find on our way back from a weekend beach trip in May. We used acrylic paint (and tiny brushes) to add some color.
July 2014

And we've had these rubber unicorns for a couple years now. We used acrylic paint to turn their manes and tails rainbow-colored. Also touched up their 'corns' with some metallic gold.
July 2014

DSC08716And nowadays you can get just about every color tissue pom ALREADY MADE! This is a huge time saver. And the best part is they can be reused as long as your kids don't step on them. Not that that every happens around here. Target's new party aisle has hanging tissue lanterns in nearly EVERY color, even some patterned ones, as well as matching plates/napkins/striped straws. You no longer have to turn to Etsy or other sites to get this stuff. Which I think is great!

Walmart actually had these rainbow-colored tissue poms as well as the pinwheels I taped to our chalkboard. 
And guess what else Walmart had? For the second year in a row, Walmart saved the day with Mary Ella's CAKE! I couldn't decide what I wanted to do for cake, and really didn't want to make the rainbow-batter layered cake (we've done that before and while it's fun and cute, it takes a bunch of time and calls for a huge kitchen mess with all the food coloring, cake pans, etc.). So I looked online one night at the cakes that Walmart offered, thinking maybe they had a unicorn one I could just order. Well, even better! They actually make a cake REGULARLY called... wait for it... 

T H e      R a i n B o W     B L a S t       C a K e   !!!

Look at that beauty!  (Top shelf on the left!)
Enough artificial dye to kill a small country, but when I saw it I knew it was "the one."

We also did a little BeFoRE and AFteR with our cake, adding a few extra colorful touches:

Here's the BeFoRe picture of the cake -- simple, white, a few rainbow-colored speckles on top...

July 2014

and the aFTeR:


{we used M&M's and rainbow colored sprinkles and our thrift store mini unicorns.}

And the inside looked like this:


And the cake was  s o o o o o   y u m m y ,  people.  Like, one of the best cakes ever.
 So moist on the inside and the icing was perfect.




We drank Gatorade and I had ice water and Coca Cola Classic for the moms.
I just bought 5 of the $1.00 bottles of Gatorade, each in a different color.
(So basically everyone left with a blood sugar well over 500.)

{glass milk bottles from Old Time Pottery, straws from Target I think?)


I use wrapping paper for table cloths at my kids' parties because it's cheap, easy, and you can roll up the mess and chunk it afterwards. Rainbow-ish wrapping paper from Target.

I honestly can't remember where in the world the plates and plastic cups came from because I've had them so long. My guess would always be Target or Walmart? The gold stars are another mystery, but they added some sparkle to I was glad I found them in my stash of random supplies. The birthday banner is from last year too - Walmart for the win. 


(And speaking of banners, I keep EVERY banner I ever use/make. I store them in a file box like this one. I have a pink fabric-scrap banner that I've used at Emma Kate's birthday party, 2 baby showers and a teacher appreciation luncheon. So definitely save your stuff! You never know when you might use it again, even if just for a family birthday dinner !)

Addie Jane spent a few days with us before the party so I let the girls take the lead on these favor bags. Found the idea here, via Pinterest, and had everything on hand already. White paper bags and construction paper is all you need! (Oh and we added gold glitter, of course!)

July 2014


Our favor bags included just a few odds and ends from Amazon and dollar aisles. Glittery pencil, stickers, rubber bracelet and a unicorn horn lollipop.

July 2014

I used my Ikea roll of craft paper for the dining room, where the girls sat. I tried my best to draw a variety of different unicorns and had markers and crayons out so that they could color them. This was basically just something to do as they waited on everyone to arrive.



And an extra special treat was having their faces painted similar to the painting they do at Disney!
My friends Misty and Tara graciously agreed to come and do this for the girls, and they all loved it.









The girls also painted a unicorn sun catcher (Hobby Lobby) before leaving.




I still can't believe this girl is   6   y e a r s   o l d .   S I X  !!!
I'm so proud of her. She is brave, passionate, a dreamer with a great imagination and quiet confidence. She loves her friends and her family. She can be a bit sassy and stubborn, but she gets it honest. And she still pouts and sometimes still needs a nap, which reminds me that six years old ain't that old after all. :)  I love her so much.

July 2014

And just for my records:

-Her current favorite things are: unicorns, anything and all things Frozen-related (particularly Elsa), My Little Ponies, Palace Pets, playing school and making/writing books, reading Junie B. Jones and Pinkalicious and Fancy Nancy, and watching {mommy-approved} how-to videos on YouTube. Like how to make Anna and Elsa cakes, how to do Elsa makeup, how to use hair chalk, how to create your own Elsa dress... you get the picture.

-She chooses playing over TV, but she likes movies.  We saw Maleficent in the theater the day after her birthday. We both loved it.

-She's lost 3 teeth and her tooth fairy money must be flaming hot because it burns a hole in her pocket the minute she wakes up. We're working on saving our money. ;)

-She loves to dress up in big girl clothes and "fashions" as she calls them. Loves to pose in the mirror with a headband or a belt or pretend-makeup on; but she is shy about doing it for other people or even for the camera.

-She likes to read but is even shy about reading in front of us. Likes to read to herself most of the time and she will ask us for help if she needs it.


She would stay on the beach all day long. Loves to swim and has been swimming like a champ this summer, although she prefers to keep a mask on to go under the water.



A few pictures from her actual birthday...

July 2014

July 2014

July 2014

July 2014

Happy 6th Birthday, Mary Ella Morgan! 
You make your mama very proud. Love you.


Mariah Olson said...

Hi Haley,

My name is Mariah Olson, and I am a representative of Birthday Express. My job is to search the internet for outstanding children's birthday blogs that deserve recognition. When I came across your party for your daughter Mary Ella's birthday, I knew immediately that there was a great deal of time and effort spent on this celebration! The special details that you included like a beautifully decorated Unicorns on the cake and the rainbow decorations made the party. I liked the idea of having the girls color in all the unicorns you drew and the unicorn favor bags were a nice touch. All the guests looked like they had such a great time, especially getting their faces painted!

On behalf of Birthday Express, we would like to offer you our "Best Birthday" badge for throwing such a sensational party. Congratulations--you and your little one deserve it! If you are interested, let me know and I'll send it your way. I can be reached at

Again, congratulations, and thank you for your time!

Best Regards,

Mariah Olson

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