The picture on the left is on his real birthday, with the chocolate cake I always make. I had suspicions there was something brewing, which is why he is blowing out candles on a slice of cake rather than the whole thing. Smart move on my part because the rest of us were spared his virus, which was in full effect by 2:00 AM the next morning... poor kiddo.
So, the situation I find myself in every year is one many of you probably do too - birthday's get to be a bit of an exhausting affair. There is the celebration on the actual birthday for our family, with homemade cake and festive balloons and decorations in the house and then shortly there after is the party with friends. (more cake, more decorations, entertainment, treat bags, themes) I'm always looking for ways to keep things simple, yet still special. The last couple years we've rented an off site location so that Charlie can invite more friends than a party at our house would allow. While this makes party hosting a whole lot easier, these locations typically come with windowless, charmless, party rooms. Making me miss the quaint at home parties I've had in year's past, like here and here. I know kids really don't care, that having a great time with their friends is all they will really remember, but I get so much joy (even when it's tiring) of trying to personalize and make things look special. This year was a breeze though, since most of the creative work was done, not by me, but my dear friend Jen, who is one of the co-owners of Charming Touch Parties (CTP). Jen and her good friend, Val, run CTP, an event planning business with an etsy store that creates personalized paper party goods. Jen was one of my very best friends and roommates in college - she always gave the most beautifully wrapped gifts and had the best decorated room. That same thoughtfulness and attention to detail now goes into the products they create for every occasion you can imagine. When she offered to help with C's party, I was so excited to see what she would do! Their items are all handmade and can be tailored to your specific theme or event - such a fun mail day when they arrive!
Charlie's party was held at the University of Cincinnati Recreation Center. C is a HUGE Bearcats fan so all the party supplies were created in the red and black school colors. The party included rock climbing and swimming. I envisioned old school pennants which Jen created for the table with a chalkboard font. And there were lots of C's for Cincinnati (but also Charlie!). The straws with the flags and the gift tags for the party favors were my two favorites things. Oh and the cake topper - I LOVED the cake topper, maybe that was my favorite... When Charlie walked in the party room he had the biggest smile on his face - JUST LOVED IT! Maybe they do appreciate all the decorations and extras more than I give them credit for - he noticed everything. :)
The room was in the pool area and impossible to photograph because it was super dark. I had about 15 minutes to set it all up before the party started so I didn't have a ton of time to take pics, hopefully this gives you a little glimpse though. I can't believe I forgot to take pics of the tables, half were lined with chalkboard paper as a runner (from Target) and the other with Kraft paper runners (also Target). We served pizza for dinner and the cake was made by Servatii's.
Such fun memories! Many thanks to Jen and CTP for all their help (even from all the way in Geneva, IL) with this party. It wouldn't have been the same without all your creations! xx