It's been a little over one month since our Titan's 2nd birthday, and I am still reflecting on the memories from that day. A lot has happened since the 22nd of April. We have moved into a new home, there has been torrential downpour in Conroe, TX for the past 30 days, and my husband as started a new career! I wish I could have shared these memories sooner, but as any mom can tell you the adventures of the home-front come first before blogging. We are finally getting our lives settled, so I am now happy to share a Titan's 2nd Birthday Party accompanied by my 8 tips for creating a budget conscious and stress-free birthday planning experience.
What better way to celebrate a Titan's 2nd birthday than with a backyard circus. I'll admit I got a little carried away in preparation for this party, but I I wanted it to be special not only for Atlas, but for all the family that were able to attend. It's not often when both sides of our family are able to get together, so why not make it a special event in celebration of the cutest little Titan I know! Although he'll probably never remember, I am so happy the day turned out perfectly. I hope these photos are inspiration for other mothers out there wanting to one day throw a Circus birthday party. I can understand how throwing a party of this size can be stressful thought to many moms out there. So in that spirit here are my tips on creating a budget conscious and stress-free party planning experience for any Mom feeling over-whelmed with life, toddlers and to top it off parties. Here are 8 tips I used when planning our budget conscious and stress-free party. I hope they are helpful and remind you of what's most important- your little one and a peaceful party planning experience.
1. Recruit Help
This party could not have come together without the help from my family! My mother, a truly talented individual, provided the invitations via 'A Pear of Freckles' a soon to launch paper crafts company she is developing. I can't wait to share more about A Pear of Freckles as I am truly proud of her and excited for her new adventure. I loved how bright and cheerful the invitations turned out, and I am lucky to have a mom that takes such intricate detail in making every moment of my life and my sons life special! Ask around for anyone interested in making your invites, you might get lucky and find someone that is trying to grow a business and may offer the invites as a way to help them advertise. If you do end up having to make the invites yourself, offer some refreshments and have a girls afternoon get-together to make your invites.
2. Enjoy the Moment
I can't believe how much time and effort goes into throwing a party, especially a Titan sized party at that! I did the best I could to make it as effortless as possible, as I believe it's most important to enjoy the day you so perfectly planned. As a mother I am learning that life is not a Pinterest board and I also have to be okay with everything not coming together exactly how I planned. I'm learning to just roll with it and enjoy what's most important, being together and loving every moment! As much as I would love to throw a Pinterest worthy party, I don't want to spend every second staging and picking up after all the kiddos. As a mother I have learned patience and love go a long way, and not to sweat the small stuff!
3. Do Less
We did our best to bring all the delights of a circus to the backyard including cotton candy, popcorn, cracker jacks, big dill pickles and of course carnival games. We decided on three easy carnival games including a duck pond, bottle toss and bean bag toss. As you can tell Atlas was in love with the duck pond, as anything with water is on his favorites list. We found the carnival game signs from a shop on Etsy called JR Creative Designs. They were so easy to print and included carnival games signs, a banner, water bottle tags, cupcake toppers and more! A great price, time saver, and the best was that I didn't have to make them myself! I love all things DIY, but in a realistic mom's world there just isn't enough time to make everything on your own. I recommend printables as they allow you to do less and what's more they allow you to support handmade Etsy shops.
4. Budget Crunch Where You Can
Budgeting is most important to our family, so my first thought of a bounce house included lots of dollar signs. But there are ways to budget crunch even on large purchases such a bounce-house. We saved money by only renting the bounce house for 6 hours instead of 8. Six hours was plenty of time, in fact any more than that would have been a waste as everyone was exhausted by the time pick up was ready. Don't forget to shop around and look for the best deal on a bounce-house you can find. I must have called about 6 party rental places, but in the end it created less stress because I could fit everything we wanted into our budget.
I was worried Atlas wouldn't enjoy the bounce house as we haven't had much luck with bounce house at public events. I kept my fingers crossed and went for it as I thought the bounce house would be fun for the bigger kids as well. We were in luck, because as I suspected Atlas loved the bounce house and it turned out to be the Best Day Ever! Outfit courtesy of grandma from Baby Gap!
5. Plan & Partner
It's important to be mindful of minimizing stress and to not getting carried away with throwing a Circus party. As there is so much you can do, it can seem like a daunting task at first. I recommend actually writing down what you want to bring to the party. Make a plan, a budget and discuss with your partner. In preparation for our party my husband was very supportive in wanting to throw an awesome party for Atlas and our family, but he also reminding me not to make it too complicated. In that spirit, we went with good old fashioned hamburgers and hot-dogs, courtesy of chef 'Ut-oh' who is my Dad and Grandpa to Mr. Titan. I have to say they were delicious, and what's better than easy clean-up and full tummies! I dressed up the hot dogs with some vintage inspired foil hot dog wrappers from Shop Sweet Lulu which made them extra special. I didn't get a picture of the hot dogs, silly me, but you can find them here on Shop Sweet Lulu's website.
6. Be Simple yet Creative
You can come up with some of the most budget conscious and creative goodies by just thinking it threw. These cotton candy treats were my favorite project of the party! So simple and circus like! They hit the spot and were super easy to make. Your materials include pre-packaged cotton candy from Amazon, your printable sticker from JR Creative Designs, a paper baggy, and some colorful twine.
Another favorite of mine were the birthday party animals I made. I found these at Wal-mart for $1.00 each, way more budget friendly then Schleich brand and just as cute! All I did was pick out some polka dot paper, wrapped it into a cone, threw on a pom-pom and wallah birthday party animals! So fun and so cute!
7. Find Inspiration
For desert we made these Circus animal cookie cupcakes from the blog post of Dear Crissy, and although ours did not turn out as beautiful as Crissy's I was happy with the simplicity and ease in putting them together. Plus everyone gobbled them right up! Don't overwhelm yourself by thinking you have to come up with a fresh and new idea for everything! That's what Pinterest and bloggers are for! Utilize their talents and create something easy yet still simple.
By the way you can save big bucks by making your own cake or cupcakes. You may add a little more time to your day, but once again recruit help and make it a fun event!
8. Borrow and Bargain
Is it weird that my parents already had a vintage themed popcorn machine in their movie room?
Ha-ha, the point is don't ever run out and buy or even rent a prop like this. You never know who might have one laying around waiting to be used for your party. Utilize all resources when looking for props, tell people about your party and don't be afraid to ask! Welcome them to your party, and if anything I am sure they will be happy that what they have will be used for such a fun event as a birthday party.
Most of our party supplies was either from Wal-mart, the dollar store or our local party supplies store. I only spent a slight amount of money on specialty items, like these vintage theme popcorn bags from Shop Sweet Lulu. Have a couple ideas for where you can spend a little extra, and bargain shop for the rest. Wal-mart has really upped their game in the party supply section, and I always find the cutest things at the dollar-store.
Isn't she adorable!
So those are my 8 tips for creating a budget conscious and stress-free 2nd Birthday Party! Please leave me comments if you have any further ideas! The idea is to help other moms learn to incorporate a touch of titan and to create adventures for our little titan's. I can say we had a blast and stress-free party, and I would happily do it again. I enjoyed spending time with our family, friends and loved ones, and most of all Mr. Atlas Gray! If you planned a budget conscious and stress-free children's party I would love to see your photos and feature your tips on my blog. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I may feature your party! This reminds me that I need to send thank you cards for all the great loot we received at the party! Thank you to all the family and friends that attended Atlas's birthday, as you made it most special!
Until our next adventure,
A Titan's Mother