For months we’ve been planning Lilly Beth’s pink & purple flamingo party — the ultimate culmination of all of LB’s favorite things. It just so happened that our timing was perfect with store’s summer entertaining launches; the mass availability of flamingo party goods was definitely helpful! The week of her party we hit up Michael’s and they had a huge spread of flamingo and palm party goods — banners, plates, tumblers, drink canisters, you name it. Target’s Dollar Spot was another godsend; we got everything from the mini lawn flamingos (also available here) to her inflatable ring toss game (similar), to a tiny flamingo-shaped chapstick (and girlfriend’s OBSESSED with chapstick), there. A trip this morning demonstrated they’re still not done unveiling all the flamingo goodies either — they had precious printed straws (similar) and all kinds of cool things, so if you’re planning a ‘mingo party STOCK UP!
I’ve learned a lot over the last four kid birthday parties I’ve thrown: don’t plan a party that coincides with naptime, don’t get too ambitious with DIY projects if you don’t have the time to do them in advance, bake anything special in advance (cakes and cookies can be frozen!), check back frequently with party supply sources like Marshall’s and HomeGoods since inventory changes so often, balloon arches will stay immaculate 24 – 48 hours after construction & balloon arch strip is your best friend, not every party needs an elaborate food spread, don’t get so caught up in the details that you miss the guests and the experience, ultimately it’s about the kid you’re celebrating and not the details… you get the picture. For this party, I knew I wanted to bake her cake (bakery cakes are stunning but $$$, and rarely allergy-safe!) but not take on any crazy cooking endeavors (she requested pizza and chocolate milk, so Domino’s and Yoo-Hoos it was!). I also am ALLLLL about the edible party favor (anyone else feel the physical pain of purchasing cheap plastic trinkets that are just going to get thrown out immediately by the partygoers’ moms? just me?) and had a cute flamingo cookie cutter from years ago that I just had to use. I practiced my best sugar cookie recipe (soft but holds its shape — the secret is to freeze the dough after you’ve cut them out but before you bake!) and made a second attempt at royal icing (not remotely perfect but did the job).
Ever since my 24′ balloon wall for the Church of the Hills 3rd Birthday party, I’ve gotten more ambitious with balloon structures. I love balloons, since they make a visual impact without much fuss or expense, and I love the reaction the girls get when they see “their party” hung up on the wall. For the past four parties, I’ve put up my balloon wall table right to the left of our front door as you walk in to our house (also visible from the main stairway), so it’s the first thing you see and immediately sets the tone – PARTY TIME, y’all! In the past, I’ve done cute signage for drink dispensers and varying heights for stacking food, but this time I just did the cake on the main table on a simple clear cake stand (exact one in white) and put up a picture of the birthday girl in complementary colors.
One project I knew I wanted to repeat this year was the custom coloring pages as interactive birthday cards. I googled flamingo & birthday cake clip art and created a little graphic with bubble letters (SO EASY!). The only unfortunate part was that the “coloring station” got covered up by birthday presents so we all forgot to color them. There’s always something that goes totally forgotten! Ah well.
We saw this pineapple pinata at Target a few weeks before the party and knew we had to have it! It matched the design of our Zazzle invitations perfectly. The pinata stick was a Walmart find — it took a good deal of hiding it and keeping it out of reach from two little girls who were determined to rip off all the tissue paper (and eat it), but it served its purpose well (and will be used for years to come — all the cousins, ages 1 – 10, are super into pinatas right now, haha!). We found the little flamingo-printed party bags at Michael’s. Most stores have pinata candy mixes, but we had to go for something allergy-friendly for Lilly. We found a jumbo bag of mixed Tootsie Roll treats (gluten-free, peanut free, tree nut free!) on clearance from Easter and filled in the rest with watermelon Dum-Dums. (Did you know Walmart carries solid color lollipops in bulk in their party section?) That thing was HEAVY by the end of all the candy-stuffing! (I’m also totally a fan of non-food pinata treats… dollar sections, party sections, and Amazon have plenty of little trinkets that work great. Bubbles, chapstick, stickers, window clings are all options that are not *too* junky. And definitely pinata party bags are “good enough” as the parting favors!)
LB got this ADORABLE little flamingo purse from our dear friend Mariah — so perfect, right? I’ve seen them in store at The Children’s Place but couldn’t find it online. Tooooo cute! Lilly literally thanked God that night “For Jesus, Easter, my party, and my purses.” Another huge hit was a purse that came with a pretend bottle of nail polish (it actually unscrews and has a little brush for “painting” — PERFECT), pretend lipstick, a little iPhone dupe, credit cards…. the whole gamut. Girlfriend is SPOILED!
Photography – John Michael Simpson
Balloons – Amazon, Walmart, Dollar Tree
Balloon Decorating Strip – Amazon
“Let’s Flamingle” Banner, Flamingo Cake Plates, Goody Bags – Michael’s
Pineapple Cocktail Napkins – At Home
Mini Lawn Flamingo Cake Topper, Flamingo Ring Toss Game, Flamingo Coasters, Pineapple Pinata, Tall Birthday Candles, Lavender Forks – Target
Custom Flamingo Bubble & Dress – My mom
Custom Flamingo Birthday Coloring Pages – DIY