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Friday, May 2, 2014

A Circus Birthday Party

This past weekend we had The Greatest Show on Earth aka Julianna's 1st Birthday!



If you read my previous Blog post Planning a Circus Birthday then you know the I decided to go with a circus theme for my little Jewel's 1st Birthday.  I had a blast planning this circus and It really did turn out just like I had imagined. We had a little scare when the stomach bug hit us ALL but we knew the show must go on and thankfully everyone was healthy and well the day of the party! Jewel had so much fun at her party and I am pretty sure big sister Josse had even more fun but I guess that is to be expected at a 1st Birthday! We all know that 1st Birthday's are really just an excuse for family & friends to come together and celebrate a precious little life. Jewel will never remember her 1st birthday but I sure will and it will be one of the best, most cherished, memories of my life (and that right there makes it all worth it!) And Jewel will love having pictures of her very 1st birthday to look at her entire life. I LOVE looking at all the pictures from my 2nd birthday party! I wore a fluffy pink dress, my cousin flew in from Arizona and we took a trip to the beauty parlor to have our hair curled in ringlets and Sacrament's most renown clown Choo-Choo, made a guest appearance. My god-father Gary Joe gave me a shiny pink tricycle, and then I bit my poor cousin Dominique on the cheek because my god-father was giving her too much attention (she still has a scar!) I feel like I remember this entire day...but to be honest, I think it is just all the beautiful pictures that make me feel that way (I am not too sure if you can remember things in such detail from when you were 2 years old lol). Although I have received some criticism in the past for my "over the top" parties I still love planning them.  My husband has made me promise to tone them down but I am pretty sure I will always go into wayyy to much detail when I plan anything (it is in my DNA). Some people love to cook, or watch sports, or work-out and I love to party plan. Well enough rambling here are the pictures of Julianna's 1st Circus:



I loved how the Decorations turned out! I had KM Party Decor do the balloons. I have always wanted to have a balloon arch at a party and this was the perfect excuse to have one. I figured balloons would be an inexpensive way of giving the party a "circus feel"! Then I had my amazing hubby and wonderful father in law hang red & white plastic flags that I ordered from Oriental Trading Co. The combo looked perfect together!







For the tables I used red and white material as toppers. My mom is so amazingly creative and she went on ebay and found the cutest antique circus toys to sit around! We also found Circus tent ornaments on clearance at Pier 1 for $2.00 each after Christmas.









I loved how cute the party plates & napkins looked with everything! Those gems were from Oriental Trading Co as well! I also ordered a few paper cut outs that matched the plates/napkins from OTC & the most adorable circus direction stand!




I mentioned in my previous post that I love the use of "signage" at parties. The amazing Christina Hernandez who designed the invitations also designed some cute circus signs for me to sit around. I then just took black frames I had, and glued on bows to give them a festive look. I also sat around 3 flower arrangements in plastic popcorn containers. I thought it was a cute little touch to the party. Plus who doesn't adore hydrangeas???





It has become a "tradition" for us to have a book for the guests to sign when they arrive. We did this at all of big sissy Josse's parties:  (baby shower)  Cirque Du Bebe!, (1st birthday) An Under the Sea Mermaid Party!, (2nd Birthday) An Abby Cadabby Birthday Party and then we continued the tradition at (Jewel's baby shower) Julianna's Shabby Chic Baby Shower.  I was having a hard time finding the perfect circus themed book for the sign-in; there really need's to be a Fancy Nancy goes to the circus book!  Luckily, my mom stumbled across the best site that lets you personalize books. We found a precious clown book that we got to personalize for Jewel. It was the perfect sign-in book. Jewel will love getting to read a book all about her, plus read all the sweet notes her friends & family wrote in the book.




When it comes to showers/birthdays, people of all ages love to win prizes! I always have the guests self address an envelope for a raffle. The guests have fun winning a prize and it makes it easy on me to send thank you cards because the envelopes are already addressed! I have done this at every party I have ever hosted, had, etc. At this party cotton candy was the prize!



The guests also grabbed a party hat as they came in! I learned my lesson NOT to hand make every single party hat at Josselyn's 1st birthday (it took hours and I watched them get thrown away after!) However, I did have to embellish the polka dot hats I found just a little. I hot glued some puff balls and ribbon around them to give them a little custom look and it took 20 minutes tops!





Like I mentioned in my Planning a Circus Birthday I love birthday banners especially when I get to use my mom's amazing Cricut machine! I ended up making 3 circus inspired banners for the party and I bought a cheapo one at Hobby Lobby. It does take me forever to make these because I have to try and work on them when both girls are asleep (which is like never!) So I basically made them between the hours of 10:00pm and 1:00am. But they turned out super cute and they cost me about $3 to make versus $20-$30 a banner on Etsy. One banner said "Julianna's 1st Circus" the one above the food said "Concession Stand" and the one above the snacks/desserts said "Circus Treats". Oh yah...I also added an adorable fabric banner to the mix this time! My mom has mastered fabric banners so she whipped one together for the party with red, blue and yellow fabric strips.








I went with a variety of circus/carnival inspired food for the "concession stand". I had a hard time making up my mind so I did a little of everything. We served corn dogs, hot dogs, beef sliders, soft pretzels, chips, popcorn, cracker jacks, caramel apples and then I tried to be healthy by adding in fruit kabobs (in the party colors) and a vegetable platter (in the shape of a clown). I must give a shout out to the master chef MaryBeth (my sister) and the produce chef (one of my friends) Kathie Harden.








You can not have a Circus party and not have some "circus treats" for the guests! Once again I tried to give a variety of the fun treats you would eat at the circus! I served cotton candy, red licorice aka "ring master whips", orange candy peanuts aka "elephant peanuts", gum balls aka "clown noses", gummy bears aka "circus bears", choclate covered pretzels aka "magician wands", clown face marshmallows & chocolate dipped marshmallow, circus shaped cookies & cupcakes. A big thanks to the dessert master the amazingly talented Christina Hernandez.





 





I am not a huge CAKE person because I would rather have a whole table of desserts instead of a cake (and I know you prob don't agree but I hate messes and refuse to do a smash cake!) However, because my older daughter does not think it is a party without a cake (and my mom "YaYa" agrees) I am forced to have a cake at every party! I will say, I do love the look of a cake that goes perfect with the party theme so I did get super excited about the cake once I started searching Pinterest for circus cake ideas. I decided to go with a small 1 tier smaller cake so that I could still do a table full of desserts. Jewel was not a fan of the cake and she refused to even touch her cupcake (thank goodness I did not sit her in front of a smash cake haha). But I'm pretty sure the rest of the guests loved the cake & desserts. If you need a cake for your party I highly recommend The Sweet Life Cakery! Not only are the cake designs amazing but they taste delicious.




I kept the drinks pretty easy for the party. We just had a canister of water & tea and then a bucket of soda pop!




I did not want to have to figure out 2 hours worth of Entertainment for the party, so I went the easy route and hired a clown! I was very pleased with Poppins the clown. She not only did a great show for the kids but she was phenomenal at face painting and she made some very high tech balloon animals for a grandma clown.









I did have a craft table with Circus color sheets and paddle balls for the kids to color. I also had some circus games for the kids to play. The kidos won tickets at each game and at the end they traded them in for their party favor.







I have never had a designated photo spot at any party I have planned and I was so excited to finally do one! I ordered a circus back drop from OTC and then found some random photo props at Hobby Lobby & the Dollar Tree. I'm pretty 100% sure that the adults (my self included) had wayyy more fun with the photo booth than the kids did haha But adults need to have a little fun too!











I found so many cute ideas for party favors and I had a hard time narrowing it down so I did a little mix. All of the kids took home a box of circus animal crackers (I glued tickets around them with a little thank you note to give it a personal touch) and they got a balloon on a stick. The adults got to fill up a little bag of dry roasted circus peanuts. 





All of this hard work party planning paid off when I saw all of the adorable kids running around like wild circus animals having a Blast!  We had around 60 of our family & friends join us for Julianna's 1st circus party and as I looked around the room I was so grateful to have all of these wonderful people come and celebrate my precious baby Jewel. She truly is loved but not only me but a whole village of people.









 
My party planning partner in crime my Mom!



There you have it... The Greatest Show on Earth, Julianna's 1st Circus Extravaganza!






*Balloons: KM Party Decor
*Cake: The Sweet Life Cakery
*Pictures: Arielle Humphries Photography
*Invitations/Signage/Desserts: christinah@relevantlife.com

*For more pictures visit my Facebook page

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