Thursday, July 21, 2011

A birthday on a budget

If you know me at ALL you know I go ALL out for birthdays! I live by the philosophy that the day you are born is pretty special, so shouldn't we celebrate with coordinating paper products and amazing cake. I do believe so! Who wants to have a party where the paper products don't match the theme or for goodness sake there is no theme at all! THE HORROR!!!

AK's birthday was Dora themed (sort of). Everything was planned down to a tee. I obviously intend to do the same for my precious twins. Ashlyn Kay's first birthday was a extravaganza to say the least. There were about 50 people invited, hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, baked beans, a wonderful huge cupcake shaped cake, coordinating paper products and a child who could have cared less. Ha!
Not wanting to skimp on the twins I wanted to do the same, but being a stay at home mom of three rather than a working mom of one I have no time, no energy, and have gotten a little more sense of reality. So in thinking of their party (which I started mentally planning in Jan.) I opted for a family party. It will include all of my family, Jeff's family, and some very close friends who should be family. I want it to be special though for several reasons.
The first which is obvious...its their 1st birthday. It only happens once.
Second, their birthday was a little bit, how do say, chaotic. Not really your idea of a happy occasion. I feel like they were jipped last year, especially Palmer. We were so focused on Blake she didn't get as much attention.
Third and final reason is because we have made it through the hardest year of our lives (so far) with twins and Blake has by far surpassed our expectations and she can now be considered a SCT survivor!
I mean when I look back at all of those reason we should actually hold a town parade with a concert to follow. Note to self...find band, animals, floats, and beads to throw-ha.

So with all this being said I want to make it perfect but economical too. This is where birthday on a budget comes in.

Items needed: invitations, cake/cupcakes, paper products, food, decorations.
One good thing about having a family party you don't have to do party favors. So that is a budget savor right there.

1. Invitations. These can be expensive or cheap but not tacky. I chose to look on etsy for a invitation that came in a PDF file then you can print off just the amount you need and buy plain white envelopes at a office supply store.
I purchased a custom invitation PDF from etsy for $12.00 and printed them on cardstock which I already had.

2. Cake/cupcakes. Fortunately if you are having a one year birthday and have signed up for a baby club at a grocery store such as Publix or Winn-Dixie baby club, they typically send you a coupon for a free dozen cupcakes or a discount on a cake. I received two vouchers for two dozen cupcakes from Winn-Dixie. Yay-cupcakes are going to cost me $0.00.
Every one year old needs a "smash cake". You can opt for a single cupcake or a small 5-7" round cake. These are easy to make and you can decorate them however you choose. I actually found someone here in the Birmingham area who makes cakes out of her home. She is doing the smash cakes for the twins at the reasonable price of $12.00.

3. Paper products. I will purchase pink and green plates from dollar general or party city. You can normally find a coupon too.

4. Also, to add a little flair I order cupcake wrappers from etsy that coordinate with the color scheme. They were $8.00 for 24. You wrap them around your finished cupcakes for a super cute look. I also ordered a jar of sugar pearls which were $4.50. I will top each cupcake with one large sugar pearl. Just for cuteness.

5. Decorations. Depending on where you are having it you can always do a vase of fresh flowers (gerber daisies) are always great for kids or their favorite toys if its trucks/trains/cars. Add a small chalk board on a picture frame stand with their name and their age in fun colors. If you want some type of banner there are plenty of felt banner patterns online for free. So many cheap options.

6. Food. Make sure to go kid friendly. For our party we are doing lunch. I have opted for bbq chicken, baked beans, potato salad, and fruit. I will purchase these items in bulk from a wholesale club. Don't forget lemonade, tea, or water. Lemonade is pretty cheap.

With all this said you should be able to come out $50.00 or less. I am going a little higher just because we have a large family and will have about 20-25 people here. I will post pictures on how it turned out!

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