Thursday, February 5, 2015

Go, Dog. Go!: A (Budget-Friendly) Second Birthday Party

Miss E turned two last month (hard to believe, I know!). Since she is old enough this year to actually have some little friends to play with, I thought it would be fun to do a friend party this year instead of the adult/family party we did last year.

Seriously, when did she get big?!

I spent some time trying to figure out what type of party to do.  I'm not a huge fan of licensed characters or overdone themes, but I didn't want it to be cheesy.  I also wanted to do something she would recognize and enjoy.

I couldn't do another Frozen anything

Sorry Elsa...

I thought about doing a popcorn theme since she loves popcorn (or "pawcawrn" as she calls it).
but the mess!

I thought about doing a shabby chic, or light pinks and golds, or something girly.
but it just didn't feel right for a "kid" party.

With all of the busy-ness of moving late last year, I also didn't have time on my side as I started to plan out V's party. Then, while reading our bedtime story for the umpteenth time, it hit me:

My daughter's favorite book is Go, Dog. Go!

So, being the overachiever and Type A planner (and overly confident Pinterest pinner) that I am, I started planning a Go, Dog. Go! party.

Pinterest wasn't much help. Apparently, it's not a super common theme.  I'm all for being creative, but goodness gracious, I really had to tap my creativity resources for this project.

I found some really great ideas after searching for Go, Dog. Go! and Dog themed parties.  Taking them from our theme and adapting them to who I knew would be attending got me on a roll and off I went into party creating madness.

I had a friend of mine design our invitations based on some I had seen online.  She did a great job and it turned out adorable!

I wanted to keep things simple, since the average age of party goers was around 2 1/2. We did hot dogs  and lil smokies (big dogs and little dogs, get it?!), fruit, veggies and hummus, and chips. Easy enough! To cut down on mess and clean up, we did a "picnic" in the living room on plastic tablecloths. The kids got a kick out of getting to have a picnic when it was snowing outside.

I made these garlands off of Pinterest (so easy! so cheap!) to decorate and threw some balloons in the mix to spice things up (and what toddler doesn't like balloons?!)

For our activity, we made our own party hats ("Do you like my hat?").

In lieu of a pinata, I found this great idea for a rainbow punch pinata on pinterest.  It was incredibly easy to make and was a huge hit with the kids. Much more age appropriate too than swinging sticks around and potentially causing a visit to the hospital.
That's usually a party damper. Best to be avoided. Blood and birthdays don't mix.

A lot of our time was spent just playing, though. Little ones are very easily entertained and quickly distracted.  Everly had so much fun with her friends, and the party really turned out well.  In all, we had 8 little friends show up, even though more were invited.  A freak snow storm decided to start that day, so due to weather, several friends couldn't make it.

I was so happy with the results of the party.  All in all, we spent under $100 to pull it all off, including decorations and food! I'm loving our current house because of all the entertaining possibilities! I'm looking forward to more parties in the future.

Happy 2nd birthday, E! We love you!

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