Every year I try to focus on something that Little Bird is particularly fond of when I start planning for her birthday in November. We celebrated her first birthday with a cute monkey theme. For her second birthday, the fairies united and we celebrated with a woodland fairy motif. All landlubbers and scallywags were present for the girly pirate party we had to celebrate her third birthday and this past year, turning four, would be no exception!
Ice cream seems to be its own food group in our home....go ahead and judge :)
That said, even though her birthday is in November, I couldn't stop thinking about the idea of having an ice cream social for her 4th birthday party. My in-laws are gracious and kind enough to let us have these parties at their home and attendance is in the 65 - 75 range!
I always begin with designing the invitation (one of my favorite parts) to set the theme in motion. This year, I used an actual ice cream cup with lid to cargo the message that we were getting ready to celebrate - wooden spoon included! I tied a bow around each one and bought padded envelopes to package for mailing. With a laundry basket full of invitations, Little Bird and I headed off to the Post Office. Keep in mind when designing an invitation how much postage will cost to send an invite, it may make you think differently about what you are sending out. This last tidbit of information...well, I chose to ignore my own advice and I think it cost close to $2 each to send these out.
Next, I start thinking about activities and party favors! I found these adodrable lollipops at Beau-Coup Favors on the web. Then, I made a logo-like sticker "Ashlee's Sweet Creamery" and attached them to each party bag. Each bag was filled with ice cream-inspired favors: bubbles in the shape of an ice cream cone, lip gloss in a tub that looked like a mini pint of ice cream, notepads and color crayons, etc. Topped each bag with some tissue and a bow. Using craft-brown paper bags, gave to an ice cream sack that you might use when taking ice cream home from the creamery.
Cupcakes with sprinkles make parties complete!
Having ice cream be the main focus of the party, other food and snacks were fairly simply to provide. The children's menu included: mini corn dogs, Chicago style popcorn, chicken nuggets and chips. Small canned sodas and water were on-hand to quench thirst. The adult menu was a roasted turkey, potato rolls and condiments, pasta salad and a meat & cheese spread with adult beverages served as refreshments.
Building sundaes was the MAJOR activity, however we had a few other things lined up to keep things lively!
A candy necklace making table was on hand for kids to have -insta-snack around their neck! Thank you Pizzazzerie for your amazing book that is focused on candy-making with kids! By the way, Happy Birthday to Pizzazzerie's owner who celebrates her birthday the same day as Little Bird.
We are lucky enough to have a wonderful friend who is extremely talented at making balloon characters and came to help Little Bird celebrate her birthday. Thank you so much Misty!
I especially loved watching how interested Little Bird was in learning how to make the balloon characters and how sweet of Misty to be so patient and give her a few lessons.
Birthday girl is ready to rock it!!!
This is my nephew jumping with excitement!
|Gathering of the loot|
This was all before the cake and ice cream! Daddy built an ice cream stand (unfortunately, I don't have a very good picture of it :( ) and each person came to the stand to get their scoop of ice cream so that the sundae-building could begin! Afterwards, we sang happy birthday to the Birthday Girl, ate cake and everyone was happy, happy, happy!
Early on, I learned to hire a photographer to handle capturing the moments that I know I will miss while I am running around playing hostess and mamma to the Little Bird! I happen to be extremely fortunate to have so many uber-talented friends! All of these amazing photos were taken by Heidi B Photography - a special thank you my sweet friend!
I loved these little pearly blue chocolate candies - very yummy and they go nicely with my handmade table cloths :)
THE birthday cake
Another birthday party has come to end, this mamma is tired and at the same time just so dang happy to have this Little Bird be my girl and watch all the amazing things she does each and every day!
It goes without saying...
Our sweet Little Bird - Don't ever forget how much your Mom and Dad love you! You mean the world to us sweet girl and we couldn't be more proud to be your parents.
Happy 4th birthday Miss Ashlee Jae!
Not quite sure what her 5th birthday party will be yet, but rest assured we will be celebrating with happy hearts and lots of confetti!