We had a St. Patrick’s Day party for the girls this weekend. I figured that with Piper’s birthday in February and Tatum’s in April, I would just pick a day in March and have a party. We went to the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach. We LOVE that place and having a naturalist for an hour was amazing. Unfortunately, it rained all day on Saturday, so we were inside. The naturalist was prepared and had a craft, story, and a lesson on owls and bunnies which the kids totally dug (Piper has a bunny lovey that she sleeps with every night and Tatum an owl, which is why we chose a woodland theme and had a lesson on bunnies and owls). We still had to go on a hike because the rain makes it even more fun, right? Piper said, “On our hike we were looking for leopardchauns! I saw one I really did! Mom, what’s a leopardhaun?” And then today she was telling a friend about her hunt for leprechauns and he said, “what does a leprechaun look like?” Piper responded, “like a leopard, but longer and littler.” Obviously, she has no idea what a leprechaun is.
Tatum loved the little “lesson” and that night she talked about the bunny that she got to pet. I didn’t want to do lunch, so instead, we had some themed snacks. We had “bug bites”, ants on a log, goldfish crackers, and trail mix, along with a pasta salad made from birthday noodles. Oh! and for dessert there was homemade apple cake that our exchange student made and dirt cups for the kids. I delegated people to bring snacks, not because putting peanut butter on celery is so difficult, but because it is so EASY nobody minds helping!
I love parties and I love planning and decorating for them. However, I never want to go overboard. There are so many websites these days with a zillion and one ideas and then there is Pinterest, which I willed myself to stay away from while I was preparing. I wanted it to be cute, but I didn’t want to spend the days and weeks leading up the party consumed with the details and in the meantime neglecting my house or kids or something. Everyone looks at party planning differently, but this is just me. I know myself and I know that I can become consumed. The day was perfect and the set up and take down was minimal, but it still had some cute touches that made it fun for me to decorate.
Some of my favorites:
I made fabric pennant flags out of some cute fabric. I have plans to redo the girls room, so I made them for the party and will hang them in their room soon. I also made these pom poms out of crepe paper that I will hang from their ceiling. And then the party favors. Oh how I hate goody bags. Don’t get me wrong for those of you that do goody bags, that’s great. Piper LOVES them. Her one request was that I would do a goody bag for her friends. I just don’t like spending a lot of money on something that’s going to break, or get lost, or thrown away when they leave the party. And if I get something really good, I don’t want it to cost a lot of money. And so, I purchased peat pots (10 for less than $2), bought a big bag of seeds, and filled white coin envelopes with the seeds. Piper stamped the outside of the envelopes with woodland animal stamps and I wrote “thank you for coming” on them. We put goldfish crackers in them that I purchased after Valentine’s day, so they were in pink little packages and I paid 1/2 price! Double bonus! I picked up cute pencils at the dollar spot at Target, and then my one splurge were the seed bombs. Brian thought of giving everyone seed bombs. Apparently, there are some gumball machines around here that give you a ball of seeds that you can throw at a dirt patch. I looked online and found an Etsy store that made us pods of 2 seed bombs in the colors of our choice for only 65 cents a pod! I was pretty happy about that! And then, every kids likes a little bit of candy, so I actually just raided our candy jar and found lots of dum dums from the pinata we had for my grandma’s birthday a few weeks ago. That means less sweets in my house and a little sweet for each little sweetie :). The favors looked really cute decorating the table, the pencils came in handy for one of our games, and I spent just around $1 per child! Not bad! And the best part was that Piper was super excited to show the kids their favors and the seed bombs. Our neighbor came up to me and said, “I really like these because every things is healthy and good for the planet.” He’s now my favorite neighbor kid ;).
The nature center doesn’t want parties to open gifts on site because of all of the paper trash, so we asked that people put in to get the girls an American Girl doll. Piper has wanted Julie. She asked for Julie for Christmas, but instead I found Samantha at a garage sale for $5, who could pass that up!? (shhh, she thinks Santa brought it). So, we picked out Julie for Piper and Kit for Tatum and invited our guests to our home for Brian’s famous corned beef and cabbage. The girls opened their dolls when we got home and were super excited. I considered getting Tatum a baby doll, but I could just see Tatum wanting what Piper had and touching her doll and Piper saying that she couldn’t and on and on. So, even though she is super young, she got her first American Girl doll. And as expected, they both love them.