This past week, my little Henry turned 3 – I can’t really believe it! And as is custom here on the blog, I like to share the details of his birthday celebration. If you’ve been coming around here for a while, then you might notice that compared to years past, this celebration was very low-key. It was so low-key in fact, that it all came together (mostly) on the same day! Although this party wasn’t full of my usual party antics (i.e., weeks of preparation, lots of DIY, and lots of fuss!), it wasn’t short on fun or laughter; and at the end of the day, the Birthday Boy had a great party. Let me show you what we did this year!
By request from the 3-year-old himself, our party theme was VeggieTales (even though small and informal, I always have to have some sort of theme 😉 With all that’s been going in our family this year, I just wasn’t up for the work involved with a big party; however, I still wanted the little man to have a birthday celebration. The original concept, per the invite, was to have cupcakes and playtime at a park near my Dad’s house, to celebrate with some local friends and family. Easy, little prep, little clean up, and hassle free but high on fun!
I was pretty excited about our low-key park birthday party until I heard the weather forecast: freezing rain, sleet, wind and SNOW! Not a good day for the park at all. Here’s a snapshot out the window the morning of party day!
Uh oh! Instead of a hassle-free and clean-up-free party at the park, we had to execute our back-up plan: a party at my Dad’s house. Not sure why, but the idea of having a small gathering of people over to my Dad’s house for cake and playtime seemed a lot more formal than just meeting at the park. Suddenly, I felt like I needed to have a little more to offer (especially since people were going to trek out in the bad weather for it!). Thankfully, our group was small with just a few toddlers in tow, but I still wanted to have some party-like things to offer our guests. So the morning of, my sister and I headed out to the grocery store; and in a single trip, we brought home just enough to pull off a great afternoon party!
In a single trip and for about $50, here’s what we bought:
- Makings for goodie bags: squeeze fruit, fruit chews, and lollipops
- Makings for Bob and Larry cupcakes: twinkies, chocolate cake mix, red icing, green icing, black icing, cupcake liners, and lifesavers
- Snacks: cucumbers, tomatoes, veggie dip, chips and salsa
- In-a-pinch entertainment: marshmallows and pretzel sticks to make “creations”
Now, before I go any further, I want to set the stage a bit. Some of my siblings and I were visiting my Dad for the weekend to help de-clutter the house to eventually allow him to downsize. In the midst of running loads to the local dump, running loads to GoodWill, having people come over to assess and purchase items, and the bad weather, we managed to squeeze in this party prep. It was a busy busy day, but amidst the craziness, I was determined to make Henry some Bobs and Larrys for his birthday!
The Larry cakes were made with the green frosting and twinkies, lifesavers for the eyes and black frosting for the eye balls and mouths. While they turned out super cute, I wish I had taken a minute to look again at a picture of Larry the Cucumber (instead of just the one in my mind), as I forgot the noses! Shucks! Henry and all our guests were still able to identify these cute little guys, but if I were to make them again, I would add m&ms for noses and do the mouths in white!
The chocolate cake mix was made into cupcakes, which were then frosted with the red frosting and given the same mouth and eye treatment as Larry. I also added a bit of the green frosting for the leaves on top of Bob’s head. These also turned out cute, but those noses and white mouths would have helped these look more like Bob and less like happy apples 😉 Admittedly, that’s my crazy party planner talking, all of our guests were thrilled with the Bob and Larry treats just as they were!
Setting up for the party took no time at all thanks to some really simple off-the-shelf snacks. In addition to the Bob and Larry cakes, we put out cucumber slices and small tomatoes with veggie dip (in keeping with the theme!) and some chips and salsa. All of these things took little-to-no prep and provided just enough for an afternoon snack!
As for the party decor, we raided my Mother’s incredible “stash” of party supplies, which included an abundant supply of red and green party products. Red and green table cloths, paired with red cups and plates pulled the whole party together!
Oh – and let me show you one of my favorite “finds” of our last-minute grocery shopping trip: VeggieTales fruit snacks! Who knew?!? I was so excited to find these little treats right on theme at our local grocery store. Combined in little red bags (also from my Mom’s stash) with squeeze fruits and red lollipops, our goodie bags turned out simple, sweet, and coordinated with everything else! These little fruit snacks totally made my day…it’s the little things, people 😉
Although it was a miserable day outside, we had a lovely group of friends and family come by to chat, play and sing Happy Birthday to Henry. Even though this party had significantly less “fuss,” we still had a great time!
Once home from our travels, I made some simple Bob the Tomato thank-you cards to send to our guests.
To make these cute little notes, I found and printed out Bob’s face onto glossy photo paper and cut them out with scissors. Then, I cut out white ovals (roughly the same size as Bob’s face) and small green flowers using my Cricut. To assemble the cards, I folded the green flowers in half and used glue to attach each side of the flower to the white oval and Bob’s face to create a card.
I absolutely love throwing big themed parties. I honestly loved every minute of all the thought and prep that went into Henry’s First and Second birthday parties. However, this was a great experience for me to see that even with limited funds and limited prep time, you can still pull off a fun, festive and well-executed gathering! Because, honestly, no matter how many decorations or party favors or themed foods you have, it’s the friends and family gathered around the Birthday Boy that make it special and memorable!
It wouldn’t be a birthday party post around here if I didn’t close out with a look back at my little Henry and revel in how much he’s changed and all that he’s become. Here’s he and I three years ago and now. He’s always been such a handsome little dude!
Before my very eyes, Henry has shed his “baby-ness” and is now ALL little boy. While 3 has already proved challenging (and he’s only been 3 for a few days!), he is also turning into one of the sweetest, good-natured, silly, and kind-hearted kids I’ve ever know. Gosh – I’m just so proud he’s mine 🙂
Speaking of my big boy, I’ve been hard at work on his room makeover. I’ll have an update here for you on Wednesday! See you then!