My boy shares his birthday month with not only his dad, but also with his one and only cousin, and one of his aunties. As a family, we decided that the kiddos would share a birthday party this year and it was a lovely success.
We had originally planned this party thinking that we would have our massive garden for lots of running around, bubble blowing and frisbee tossing. But, things with our new condo moved so quick that we ended up in a very different space for ringing in the births of these very special people.
Despite this difference, I feel that we had a lovely time, with the best bit being able to be together as a family. We ended up going with a turtle theme; I like the gender neutral aspect of a turtle theme and I also needed something that was devoid of any prepackaged marketing or media overload.
The decorations were a combo of mine and my sister-in-laws creations. She made a lovely felt and scrapbook paper bunting, and some tissue paper flowers. I photocopied a bunch of covers from Franklin the Turtle and cut them into a bunting.
The deco-piece that I was most impressed with was the repurposed embroidery hoop that we hung over the table. I wrapped crepe paper around the hoop and then hung strips of crepe paper from the hoop in 2 cm intervals. I then put marbles inside some balloons to weigh them down and attached them to the hoop. But, the best part was taking the initials of both birthday kids and painting them in a sea foam and suspending them with the fishing wire. Yah! Loved it.
For the food we went with Aodhan’s favourite fries served inside paper cones (so easy to make). We made fruit kebabs and served them inside a watermelon turtle that my husband carved to perfection.
We also offered veg and hummus, using the great paper cups in green ordered through the lovely Etsy shop In The Clear.
For dessert, we offered turtle cookies, chocolate cake pops and some divine turtle cupcakes that my sister exhausted herself baking. I had so much fun making the drink containers. I used stout mason jars, and removed the lid insert and replaced it with some laminated scrapbook paper. I cut a little ‘x’ in each circle for the straw to slide through. I was so impressed with these – no spills, easy to hold, cute to look at!
We made a ‘Turtle Toss’ by cutting out a cardboard box into a turtle shape and we used some of the bean bags that Aodhan has hanging around to toss through the target.
After the food we spent some time building some turtle habitats. This was fun! We used small tubs, sand in two different colours (for water and land), plastic turtles in varying stages of a turtle’s lifecycle and rocks. We also requested an amazing session with Creature Quest that lasted 45 minutes and introduced the kids to some beautiful and fun animals. This company is education focused and 100% ethical. We were incredibly impressed with the presenter, she knew exactly how to talk to the kids and shared so much interesting information with us about the critters she brought with her. My favourite had to be the hedgehog. So tiny.
Aodhan said thank you by offering each guest a mason jar full of homemade playdough (I used this great no-cook recipe from Nurture Store), complete with a turtle from Toobs, some stickers and all of the bits from their turtle habitats (minus the messy sand). Aodhan and I also made some chocolate turtles to include in the thank-yous, and I was really pleased with how well they turned out.
I was terribly disappointed with the online shop: Turtle Max. At the beginning of May, I ordered a variety of turtle party supplies that I thought would work well in the thank-you bags and save me the extra work of making playdough. However, as the date of the party inched closer, I realized that our package was not going to reach us. As I sit here on June 19th, I am sad to report that the delivery has still not been completed. I contacted Turtle Max on three separate occasions and got little more than a “sorry, out of our hands” kind of reply (the last time, they didn’t even grace me with this). I think that when you are dealing with party supplies you have to pad your budget with some ‘oh, crap, we messed up this delivery and a kid is going to be disappointed if I don’t express post this backup parcel” money. Shame on you Turtle Max. I will be seeking a refund through my credit card and making sure other parents know just how dodgy your customer service is.
But instead of leaving you on that negative note, here are some other cute photos from the day!
Happy Birthday to my beautiful boy.