How to Host An Unpinterest Party And Still Like Yourself In The Morning

Birthday Party at Estabrook Park

I can’t believe it either, but Crab Rangoon turned one on Monday. Man, how the year flew by!

In a classic case of Second Child Syndrome, it hit me around Easter that we probably needed to have a party for her. This after having a massive blowout for Eggroll’s first birthday. With Eggroll, we had custom printed invites, a beautiful spread of food, and decorations that hang in our house to this day, more than two years later. Oops.

So first of all, this post serves to give you permission to not go for the Pinterest Perfect party and instead figure out the best way to enjoy the big day. It also serves to alleviate my guilt.

Eggroll’s party was at our house where every corner of the first floor was crammed with guests. We were going to have pretty much the same guest list this round, so I suggested to Randy we go to our neighborhood beer garden to let everybody spread out. Also, this way 1. I wouldn’t have to clean and 2. Kids would have access to a slide and grown-ups access to beer. He agreed, we picked a date, told Memaw and promptly… Forgot about it again. Oops, times two!

Once I came back to it, I jumped on Evite and picked the first first birthday party themed invite that, no lie, matched plates and napkins I already had. This theme talked about “break out the bubbles”, so that gave us our trinket giveaway idea for the kiddo guests. Perfect.

After over-purchasing for a recent catered lunch, I had two big packages of leftover deli meat in the freezer. Voila! A sandwich buffet became the main part of the menu. I bought two kinds of sliced cheese, mustard, mayo, fresh bread, lettuce, and tomato. I also got a big bag of baby carrots, chips, salsa, guacamole, and hummus. Oh, and a bag of grapes because kids love grapes. We also had two gallons of water and a box of juice boxes.

Birthday Dinner at Estabrook Park

I might not put my all into the rest of the party, but I’ll always put my heart into cake and dessert. I tried a new version of puppy chow that frankly didn’t do it for me, but the cake was delicious! It was perfect chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting and sprinkles. Fancy, huh?

Birthday Cupcakes

We got to the park about 30 minutes before the party and set up the minimal decorations while the girls played with Memaw in the park. We opened the bags of chips, carrots, bread and fruit and ta-da, we are ready to party! More friends arrived and everyone seemed to have a ball. Most importantly, the birthday girl seemed to have fun and this mama got to enjoy my big girl’s big day without having to keep the buffet full or the dishes washed.

One Party Two Birthdays

This was not my finest hour as a professional chef, but as a mama who wanted to focus on the important things (like smiles from the birthday girl), it was perfect. It may not look great on Pinterest, but it’s the best way to party in the real good life.

Mama Enjoys First Birthday

So lesson 2: let me make the food (I promise I do great work when I’ve got my professional chef hat on! 😉 ) and buy the cake from the grocery store. No toddler cares about tablescapes or a hot, gourmet meal. Have something to play on/with and access to drinkie drinks for the adults and you’ll be just fine. Relax and party on, friend.