Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Birthday party (on a budget)

As most of you know, C's birthday was yesterday.

We normally don't do a big to-do for birthdays.

There are a few reasons for this:

1.  It's just unnecessary to do every year (in our humble opinions).

2.  They're kids:  tape a balloon to a wall, call it a party, and they're happy.

3.  It gets costly.

Emphasis on #3.

When A was just born, we decided to set a guideline for our kid's birthday parties.

1.  A family party at one.

2.  A friend party at the house at 5 (or kindergarten...).

3.  A destination party with friends at 10.  (We said 10 because we're HOPING that by 10, they will have outgrown Chuck E. Cheeses and Bounce Party- two of the most expensive birthday party places.  Think bowling alley, boys!)

Anyway....this was C's year for a friend party at home.

When A. was in kindergarten, we decided to use the weather to our advantage and have a sledding party.

This year was no different.  Since this summer was so hot, we decided to do a sprinkler party!

I received an email from in June for a really good deal, and scored 20 invitations with envelopes and sticker seals for less than $12.00.  (Add in 8.36 for postage, and I don't think that's too shabby!).

Then, I scored a Lightening McQueen slip-and-slide on clearance at Burlington Coat Factory for $4.96.

This was in addition to the older slip-and-slide we had been given a while ago. 

I thought it would be fun for them to race.  :)

I filled up our tall/short pool during the day to let the sun heat the water...and wahlah....backyard fun.

For those that thought the water was a wee bit too cold, we had soccer nets up, basketball hoops, the jungle gym ready for action, a craft, and sidewalk chalk waiting.

I purchased a dozen balloons from Party City for $10, and affixed them to the lawn with golf tees.  (Thanks for the idea, Pintrest).  The effect was cool at first, but we lost 4 balloons before the party began.  No biggie.   Each year, I also let the boys pick out a large character Mylar balloon for their birthday.  They love that tradition.  C. picked Batman....for $8.99.  (sorry, no pic).

For a craft, and an addition to their goodie bags, we had DIY super hero masks.  (It just fit, since C. is a HUGE superhero fan).  My mom's school has a special machine to cut these masks.  So, aside from the 3.99 self-stick stars and .99 elastic (both on clearance), this craft was cost free and had a high rate of return.  See for yourself:

Oh'd that last one get in there?  (hehe!)

A. came up with the idea of "Balloon-ie Ball" which essentially means keeping a balloon in the air.  I added the "racquets" by taping free Home Depot stir sticks to some paper plates. fun.

I decided that I didn't want to deal with scooping ice cream along with serving cake, so I decided that an ice cream cake was the way to go.  In accordance with my need to come in under budget, I decided to make it myself.

C. threw me a curve ball and decided to ask for a batman cake.  This is what I came up with:

The Funfetti cake mix was on sale for 1.09 a few weeks ago, and so was the Blue Moon ice cream I used to fill it (2 for $5).  I purchased the butter cream icing for a total of $4.13, and went to town.  A professional cake decorator, I am not.  But hey....homeboy was happy.

I purchased all tableware from The Dollar Tree (in plain red and blue- like spiderman colors), and spent a total of $6 on all of that.  No one noticed that they weren't official Spiderman I think that's a win.

The most expensive venture of the evening were the goodie bags.

We had the lunch sacks, so I decided to go with those.

The spring water was from Meijer, bubbles from The Dollar Tree, Spider Man pencil from The Dollar Tree, and Gummi fish swimming in blue M&M's from Meijer.  (Thanks Pintrest for another idea!)

Total cost for all these goodie bags ran up near $26.  But, I didn't purchase a whole bunch of cheap candy, and it fit in with our sprinkler theme, so I was happy with that decision.

So, total monetary outgo for a fantastically fun birthday party was:  $89.01.

My goal was under $100, so I'm VERY happy with that!

Here's a few picture highlights of the evening:

I LOVE Q's face as he hits the water.  :)

Home base for the grown-ups.  :) And craft zone, and gift zone, etc.

Thanks, Michelle, for all your help!

I know, I know...he's a bit blurry, but still so cute.

The "big boys" were trying to stay upright on the slippery slopes.  :)

One of his best buds, Evan.

Dear C, If you ever want to marry Molly someday, that would be a-ok with me.

She's one of my favorites.  :)

Look!  I got my whole family in one picture! 

How stealthfully awesome of me.  :)

This is all the kids- sitting QUIETLY - AFTER being sufficiently sugared up - watching C. open gifts.

I was amazed.  :)

By the end of the clean-up, the boys were wondering what to do with the balloons left over.

A. was itching to release one into the sky,

so Dave and I told them to release them all.

Adios, balloons!

What a fun night!

Thank you to everyone who came out and joined the fun!


Anonymous said...

You throw a super fun party - we'll be there anytime! Thanks for the shout-out and for that lovely photo :)

mrsmarkdave said...

I'm so jealous of your ability to come up with such brilliant ideas. And I think your cake looks fabulous!!!!!!

Sarann said...

Great work, looks like a totally fun party and very reasonably priced.

Justin leon said...

it is not accessible for the parents to celebrate the kids birthday party Boca Raton at high budget but this event must not be ignored and must be celebrated even with low budget to bring the smile at kids faces.

Andrea Laura said...

Plan your Birthday Party in washington DC with Find info for birthday party events, birthday party celebration in Washington DC.

Birthday Party Washington DC