Farris’ Fifth – a Halloween-themed birthday party

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Do you remember Farris, my Carnival Party muse? Well, I had the pleasure of planning a spooky soiree for her fifth birthday recently, and I’m excited to share the details with you today.

Let’s start with the invitations. The three images below served as my inspiration…

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Michele Purner Designs /  Groovy Graphics / Stamp and Seal

 

I especially loved the image in the center from Groovy Graphics., and it was the one that got the wheels in my head really turning. Farris’ mommy, Gray, is an amazing children’s photographer. With my vision and her talent, I knew we could create something really special, something unique and personal, and something that would make a wonderful keepsake. It took me a while to convince Gray that she had the time and that she could do this, but I’m so glad I pushed her.

So, with four kids between us and no sitter to help, we spent a (crazy) afternoon posing Farris. I had a list of poses that I wanted her to fake – holding a pumpkin, flipping through a spellbook, looking at a raven on her finger, and flying on a broom. She nailed flying on a broom, with a little help from a very pregnant me holding her cape.

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

 

After a little photoediting magic from Gray, this is what we came up with….

 

FRONT:

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

 BACK:

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

 

SIDE BY SIDE:

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

I made the keys with my Silhouette Cameo, attached them with twine, and then we sent the invitations in black envelopes. The birthday girl herself even addressed a few. Sentimental me couldn’t resist including this picture.

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

 

For the decor, I thought it was more important to have a few special vignettes than it was to decorate the whole house. So I focused on staging a few key areas in the foyer, entry hall, and dining area. I had so much fun staging this party and was able to use several things that Gray already owned. Everything else was purchased from Amazon, Michaels, WalMart, and various dollar stores.

 

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

We made sure the kids had fun too, planning several fall festivities.

Apple bobbing.

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Potion mixing (my personal favorite).

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

And a donut eating contest.

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

I’d say a good time was had by all.

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Happy birthday, Farris. I can’t believe the tiny five-pound baby I remember holding is now five years old. It was a joy to plan your party and to be part of this special celebration. I love you, sweet girl!

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

 

Beautiful photos by Gray Benko.

 

 



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Inspiration: a Carnival Themed Birthday Party

Meet Farris.

photo by Gray Benko

photo by Gray Benko

My little muse had just turned 3 in this picture. Her mommy is an amazing photographer, and one of my best friends. This picture sits in their foyer, on top of an heirloom table that I love. (You know I’m a sucker for an heirloom). Anyway, I’ve always been inspired by this photograph. Let’s have a carnival party, shall we?

Carnival, Circus, Fair Party Inspiration and Ideas | the Maypop


Clockwise from the upper left: Candy apples / Popcorn / Cotton candy / Fair food photo / Goldfish game (cute read; the source post author is actually boycotting them) / Goldfish soap (as an alternative) / Pony rides! / Facepainting / Carnival masks / facepainting kit / Dart and balloon game / neon gorilla prizes / Vintage food baskets (I saw some at Hobby Lobby in turquoise and melon too) / Felt corn dog and snowcone (how fun are these? don’t miss her green eggs and ham too) / Lemonade stand banner / Invitation (center photo)

Funny thing is, I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts folder for months, collage and everything ready to go. I suppose I was hesitating to post it, just in case I could share this idea with a friend first. I’m so glad I waited too, because just this weekend, a friend contacted me for help planning her daughter’s 4th birthday party. Serendipity!

She emailed me saying she was wanted “pony rides for the kids” and “something adorable and non-commercialized”. Plus, she mentioned she is a self-professed “sucker for Hawaii and all things luau-ish without being cheesy”.

So I suggested a carnival, Hawaiian style! That’s right – we’re going to put a tropical island twist on this Carnival. I think it will be the perfect way for her to blend the pony rides and backyard games with her passion for Hawaii.

To keep it from being too cheesy, I suggested a sophisticated color scheme, steering clear of red, yellow, and blue. Maybe melon and aqua?

Obviously, we’ll use some of the same things from the carnival inspiration board above, such as the food baskets and face painting. But, we’ll put a twist on things – think pineapple snow cones, rainbow cotton candy, coconut-covered candy apples, and maybe a tropical Betta fish instead of goldfish?

Here is another Carnival inspiration board, this time with a Hawaiian twist.

Carnival, Fair, Circus, Hawaiian Party Inspiration and Ideas | the Maypop

Clockwise from left: rainbow cotton candy / ticket invitation / hibiscus leis (of course!) / bean bag toss game /tropical snowcones, (pineapple flavoring is a must for this party) / hibiscus print* / color inspiration / Alba Botanica sunscreen (the birthday girl’s name is Alba; tell me these aren’t perfect for favors or in a basket on a table) / pony rides / goldfish soap for games or as favors

*(For the hibiscus print, I envision it striped like a circus tent as an accent or backdrop for invitations. I added the stripes. I’m not a graphic designer, but I think you get the idea.)

We’re just starting to plan this event. I can’t wait to see how this little backyard soiree unfolds! I promise to keep you posted.

PS – this party is in Washington state, where the weather is “beautiful in August” according to my friend. I’m super jealous. August in Charleston is just hot and humid, so hot and humid you almost don’t want to move at all, much less have a party in the backyard. Did I mention I”ll be 8 months pregnant then? :)

 



You Are My Sunshine – Olivia’s 1st Birthday Party

I love planning parties, and there is nothing more special than a first birthday celebration. So, when my friend Ashley asked me to help plan her baby girl’s first birthday, I jumped at the chance.

After tossing around a few ideas that didn’t stick, I asked Ashley to tell me a little bit more…favorite toy, book, song, etc. When she said Olivia’s favorite song was “You Are My Sunshine,” I was instantly inspired and knew we’d settled on the perfect theme for a springtime birthday. We decided on a simple backyard party complete with face painting, flower planting, and a picnic lunch.

Liz at a Pinch of Spice created the invitations for us. This is not the first time I’ve worked with Liz; she designed Christmas cards for me a few years ago. She is so easy to work with! I really can’t say enough about how much I have enjoyed working with her. She understands that the little things matter, and she doesn’t mind revisions to get the details right.

You Are My Sunshine Invitation | the Maypop

 

On the menu:

Grandma’s chicken salad on croissants, PB&J sandwiches, fruit, cupcakes, and lemonade. So simple, and so perfect for a backyard picnic. Ashley even put quilts out on the backyard for guests to sit on. I wish I’d snagged a picture of those.

You Are My Sunshine Party Collage | the Maypop

 

A few more details…

Flower cupcakes on my favorite tiered galvanized stands.

Flower cupcakes | You are my sunshine party | the Maypop

I loved the lunch bags with the ribbons. We used a Martha Stewart punch to create the eyelet trim.

Paper Bags | You Are My Sunshine Party | the Maypop

 

Lots of fun chalkboard signs…Chalkboard Signs | You Are My Sunshine Party | the Maypop

Bubble wands, sidewalk chalk, bright gingham pinwheels, and tissue puffs from the porch ceiling.

You Are My Sunshine Party | the Maypop

 

Finally, instead of favors, we set up a flower planting station, and each child planted his or her own flower to take home.

Flower planting station | You Are My Sunshine Party | the Maypop

 

I could share a hundred more pictures with you. This party was such a joy to plan! Happy First Birthday, Olivia!

 

For more You Are My Sunshine Party ideas, check out my Pinterest Board.

And, if you missed them, I shared Harrison’s first birthday here and Whitt’s first birthday here.

 

 

 



A Pirate Looks at One: A Baby Buffet Birthday

My oldest little boy will be four on Sunday. Four. Gulp. Where does the time go?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we, and revisit his very first birthday party.

My husband is a Jimmy Buffett fan; he’s a total Parrothead. When we started talking about Harrison’s first party, he jokingly said he wanted a Jimmy Buffett party. I laughed it off at first…but the wheels in my head quickly started spinning, and this “A Pirate Looks at One: Baby Buffett Birthday” was born.

Grab a lei and join the party! It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

jimmy buffett birthday

I asked my friend Joy to help me whip up the invitations. She helped bring my vision to life with these fun, bright invitations full of references to Buffett and his music.

Jimmy Buffett Birthday Invitation

Here’s a photo of how they came together; I really love the “Baby Buffett” band embellishment.

jimmy buffett birthday party invitation. a pirate looks at one. baby buffett.

And, here are a few more of the fun Buffett party details. I wish I had better pictures, but I had no idea at the time I’d want to blog this three years later.

“Cheeseburger in Paradise” cake, “Margaritaville” cupcakes, complete with candy limes and sugar salt rims, and “Son of a Sailor” sugar cookies.

cheeseburger in paradise cake and margaritaville cupcakes

 

son of a sailor sugar cookies. jimmy buffett birthday

Swedish fish and goldfish…”Fins to the Left, Fins to the Right”.

goldfish and swedish fish fins to the left fins to the right. jimmy buffett birthday.

Parrothead party favors.

beach party favors. jimmy buffett birthday.

And the birthday boy himself.

birthdaycupcake

 

Want to throw your own Jimmy Buffett backyard birthday party? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

jimmy buffett party ideas

Margaritaville DM1000 Frozen Concoction Maker / Lost Shaker of Salt / Margaritaville Cupcakes

Why Don’t We…Invitation / Norpro 188 24-Pack Decorative Cocktail Umbrella Picks, Multicolored
/ 5 O’Clock Somewhere cornhole

Life is Just a Tire Swing, tire swing / Landshark Lager / Cheeseburger in Paradise tutorial

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This is the first time I’ve included any affiliate links, but I’ve been shopping at Amazon for a long time, and I feel confident promoting them as a retailer.