Thursday, July 22, 2010

"You are my Sunshine" Birthday Party---Food and Decorations

With so many things to share, these birthday posts are going to have to be broken up into several parts.

And, as I eluded to yesterday, be prepared there are a TON of pictures!


With a summer party, the weather can be very unpredictable, especially here in the South. After rain showers throughout the morning and an uncertain evening party forecast, we choose to keep the outdoor decorations minimal.

Among my favorite outdoor decorations: the wreath {which I made myself} and monogram flag in my baby girl's signature colors of pink and green.
I am {and have always been} a fan of balloons! After all nothing screams P-A-R-T-Y more than oodles of brightly colored polka dot balloons!


My newest find had to be one of the biggest hits with guests: poms! Guests complimented the festive tissue poms of all sizes displayed throughout the house.




Chinese lanterns are an easy and affordable way to incorporate your party colors in any space.



Although I'd like to be able to say that I made both the birthday and personalized name banners, I can't. Kim from My Creative Side deserves all the credit for these adorable customized banners.



Even the downstairs powder room was decorated for the occasion with a summer photo display and vibrant coordinating paisley hand towel.


It's all about the details:

People notice the smallest things.
{1} flip flop kitchen towel (TJ Maxx Home Goods)

Go the extra mile by adding your personal touch to everything you can.
{2} lemonade canister (Bed, Bath and Beyond) with fresh lemonade and sliced lemons/ water bottles with personalized labels (Save your money, make the labels yourself!)
{3} fresh flowers with ribbon/ straws for drinks

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Tie in your theme colors wherever you can!
{4} bright metal bins (Target) with citrus cups (Target)

When planning your party layout, think of ways to maximize traffic flow.
{5 and 6} I placed the lemonade in one location, the main food in another, and the water, beer, and desserts in yet another location.

Keep in mind the age of your guests. Provide options for both kids and adults.
{7} 2 bright metal bins (Target) one with personalized water bottles and the other containing adult beverages (beer)

Think about the food you'll be serving. What do you need: napkins, forks, plates?
{8} I kept all of our paper goods organized in a utensil storage bin (Target). Because we were serving heavier foods, I opted for plastic plates (TJ Maxx Home Goods and the Dollar Tree) instead of paper.

Depending on the time of day when your party is scheduled, think about providing guests with food alternatives in addition to cake and ice cream.
{9} GG's party kicked off at 5 o'clock, right at dinnertime. The menu for our guests included: pulled pork barbecue, buns, coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad, baked beans, chips, watermelon, grapes, and pineapple.


I love the look of fresh flowers! I purchased a large assortment of alstroemerias and carnations from our local supermarket in our party colors and arranged them in vases throughout the house. When choosing flowers ahead of time, be sure to pick hearty, long lasting flowers that will look as lively come party time as they did the day you first bought them. Even though I purchased these flowers on Wednesday and arranged them on Friday, the alstroemerias and carnations still looked great for GG's party on Saturday.


Pièce de résistance: The dessert and candy table

With enough candy to give even Willy Wonka a toothache, I don't even have to tell you where the kids {and some adults} spent most of their time!
Gillian Grace's smash cake was a show stopper and though they're difficult to see, each cupcake is adorned with an edible fondant flip flop. I must admit, the cake and coordinating cupcakes turned out even better than I could've imagined.
I filled glass vases of all shapes and sizes to the brim with pink, green, orange, and yellow candies. To finish the look, I glued coordinating ribbon around each piece of glassware.
Our local bakery did a fabulous job creating the hot pink flip flop sugar cookies! With so much sugar in one place, I'm sure some of our guests had a little trouble getting to sleep Saturday night.


You are my Sunshine: Table decorations

I purchased die cut suns from a teacher's supply store and cut 12 round pictures of Gillian Grace from each month. After gluing the round pictures on the die cut suns, alternating yellow and orange, I hot glued the suns on dowels from Micheal's. I placed a ball of modeling air dry clay inside plastic pink and green ice cream cone cups (Dollar Tree) and stuck the dowels inside to secure them in place. To cover the clay, I used white gift wrap shred (Hobby Lobby). For a little extra pizazz, I tied yellow ribbon trimmed in orange stitching around each dowel. Guests loved all the sunny pictures of GG from throughout the year!

This party was a true labor of love and though extremely tiring, I enjoyed every single minute of it. Planning for this party began months ago and I couldn't have done it though without the help of my parents and, of course, Bret.

Stay tuned, there's plenty more birthday party posts yet to come.

Tomorrow: The Birthday Girl and Her Friends

Did you see something here you liked? Want to know how I made something or where I found a particular item? Email me and I'll be happy to help!



Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

I LOVE seeing all these pictures of birthday parties, but there's one thing missing....the birthday girl! Where is she, I want to see GG! Heehee. I know, just kidding. The decor is gorgeous, I am running out to get those metal bins for my party TODAY! Ours is this weekend and I did the same thing, poms and balloons will be everywhere. It's on Sunday and we have that tropical depression coming in so I'm afraid our pool party will become a house party :(

Kristin @ Ellie-Town said...

I love it! Every single little detail! You throw my kind of party, girl!

M's party is going to be a pool party at my parents' house and we are not even mentioning the R word because we will be in BIG trouble. So, 6 weeks out, we are predicting total sunshine!

Love your theme, too. Perfect!

Southern Belle Mama said...

Ok, I almost didn't get past the first picture. I was stuck there drooling at your fabulous house! It is the classic southern home!

And, are you for hire?! :) You planned the perfect party down to the last detail. Anyone would be lucky to be a guest at your home!

Karen said...

Wow Shannon, you have completely outdone yourself! What a beautiful party you had for Miss GG! Your house is my Southern dream come true, seriously! You may find me lounging around that front porch of yours one day! :)

Everything looked great, I can't wait to see more pictures!!


SassySillySpunky said...

Shannon you pulled off such a perfect party for your little GG. I LOVE your attention to detail. I think I might have to use the personalized water bottle idea...LOVE IT!!

Miss GG is SO lucky to have a Momma who is as thoughtful and loving as you. The love you have for GG really shows in the details of this party!

Way to go!!

I Do Declare said...

Adorable!!! I love the water bottle labels! The dessert table looked fantastic, too!

Andrea said...

Everything looks amazing! I bet she had a great time! Your home is gorgeous, I especially love the style on the outside!

mama k said...

Wow!! You did a great job decorating!! :) Looks like so much fun!

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

GEEZ LOUISE SHANNON!!!!!!! What amazing decorations!!!!!!! I love EVERY single thing you did!!!! It's all amazing. The colors, the repetition of circles, all of the little touches. It's so great! :) I can't wait to see that sweet little girl tomorrow!

Southern Reflections said...

What a sweet birthday...I just LOVE it!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to decorate for parties!!! :-D You did a wonderful job...Makes me excited for my little girls coming up next!! Your princess is beautiful, as always!!

KatieJones said...

I need to know how you made that cute wreath!!!

Kat said...

goodness, what an amazing little party!!! I love just all of it. Great job on the tissue pom poms. I have started making those too at parties and they are so easy and really add a lot!

Jennifer said...

So, are you for hire??? All of the tiny details really make the party and you didn't forget any!! I love your house and your decorating style to begin with. And with all of the decorations, amazing! The pom pom's are great, they add color in a fun way. And the dessert table..OMG! You did awesome.

liz said...

I can't decide if I like the cake and cupcakes or flipflop cookies best.

Mungee's Ma said...

Your house is to die for. To.Die.For. I am swooning over it. Must close browser window due to extreme jealousy. May I hire you to help me finish planning Mungee's party?

Brittany Ann said...

It's beautiful! Great work! And I love that wreath!

Sweet Southern Prep said...

Oh my goodness, I absolutely love every single decoration! Thanks for sharing!

Oh, and your house is beautiful! It seriously looks like a dollhouse. :)

Laura@Cowboy Boots said...

ok i think you missed ur calling as party planner.

you thought of everything and everything was totally awesome! she will love looking at these one day!!!

ohh and if you ever me i'll buy ur home and move!

Casey said...

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful and beautiful party! This little girl is loved so much! The house is beautiful by the way

Annie said... sure do know how to thriw a party!! everything looks so perfect!! :)

Candice said...

Wow, you really went for it...great job. Maybe you should be a professional party planner!

mama k said...

I will start working on a gators sign soon :) And yes, somehow through google searches and tutorials, I redesigned my blog all on my own! :)

Studio JRU said...

Stopping in from New Friend Friday here... Oh My Goodness! WOW... what a party! I don't even know where to start. Every little detail is just wonderful. Fantastic job. So much fun! :)


Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

What an amazing birthday party! You seriously did a wonderful job. I love everything! The decorations, candy table, cookies, and cupcakes/cake are awesome!

Ashley E. said...

I love these ideas!!!

LeeAnn said...

Oh my gosh Shannon! Everything was soooo pretty!

I hope my kids never see this because they will be so mad that their 1st birthday parties were nothing fancy like this! LOL