Happy Birthday to my sweet Carlee Grace!!! I really cannot believe that my little pumpkin is 4 years old today...You are growing up too fast for this Momma! What a gift of grace you have been to us...you are true to your name. I hope you LOVED your cowgirl party tonight! Momma had fun planning it for you. :)
Yes, it's true... My little girl is 4. Which makes me already start to think about Kindergarten next year!! Stop! Where does the time go?
First off, I have to thank the Lord for all the help he gave me in planning this party and bringing it to fruition. I love celebrating the birth of my babies so much and their birthdays are really special to me. It just means a lot to me how the Lord brought it all together this week when I just wasn't sure how it was going to turn out.
I was sick earlier this week and then my oldest got a sudden high fever out of no where two days before the party--therefore I've been praying that he would be well (and he is) and that no one else would get sick for the party--at the very least, not the birthday girl. Anyone else could stay in the house (sadly). Thankfully, everyone was healthy and able to enjoy the party. Thank you, Father!
And, I was praying about the weather. We live in a small house and to have 30 extra people in it would be: um, tight. And probably stressful. God was gracious and the weather was beautiful and we were all able to party--outside.
And then there was the cake. Making and using fondant was giving me fits and I was feeling so inadequate about decorating and was thinking WHY on earth do I do this??? (Because. I like to make the day special for the birthday child and that's one way I do).
Anyways, after the two older kids stopped and prayed for me about decorating the cake, it all came together. You can see pictures below. It's by no means perfect (I'm not a cake decorator after all. If you need one, I'd be happy to refer you to my friend Christi!), but it did the job and I was fairly happy with it.
BUT, this was a fun, fun party and I loved working on it. I'm soooo thankful it was such a beautiful celebration of one of the lights of my life. So, here's the scoop...
For Carlee's 4th birthday I planned a pink and brown cowgirl theme birthday inspired by Anders Ruff.
When I found this invitation I fell in love with it (although there were so many great invitations on the Anders Ruff site it was hard to pick!) This was the easiest invitation ever! After selecting it from their site, Anders Ruff sent me the jpg via e-mail. I chose to upload it to Walgreens for printing. (To save money you can easily print what you need and e-mail the rest! Again, love the simplicity). However, Anders Ruff does offer, for an extra charge, printing of the invitations. Most people prefer to print on their home printer (they include simple instructions for printing) or take the PDF file to an OfficeMax or Kinko's. These were THE easiest invitations **I've** ever done!!!
One of the many nice thing about Anders Ruff is that you have the option to order just an invitation like I did, OR you can order the whole printable package. (see below)
Amazing isn't it??
As for the rest of Carlee's party planning...
After deciding on the adorable invite, the next easiest project to tie in the theme was to start picking up bandanas. I used three to decorate the front of the food table and the rest I made cloth napkins from. For these, I purchased brown bandanas from the $1 store. To save money, I cut each bandana into 4 pieces and then hemmed the edges with the sewing machine. (Yep, took a lot of time, but I couldn't let the idea go and it was much cheaper than spending $30 on bandanas!)
Once the napkins were made and ironed, I placed the plasticware in an upper corner and
folded the bandana around it, securing it with hemp. I then placed them in this cute little basket that a friend let me borrow (She also made the cute cut-outs on the front with her Cricut. Thanks, Dana!)
For the plates I bought tin plates for the adults and pink paper plates and cups for the kids. (this was mostly due to cost so I saved the tin plates for the adults and had the kids eat off the paper plates. They were probably better off with the paper plates anyways.
As you can see, for the adults, I utilized some pint-sized Ball glass jars and added a pink straw. The glasses were complete with name tags my friend made. I tied the tags on the jars with hemp.
For the decorations...
To add a nice touch to our evening party, I placed sand in the bottom of a couple of quart Ball jars and added a candle.
You might know that for my son's recent lego party, my friend surprised me with a Happy Birthday Banner she made. For Carlee's party, she and I worked on one together. I think it turned out sooo cute---complete with a redheaded cowgirl and all. I proudly displayed it on the front of the food table.
Speaking of food...Each food item had a "name card" and I divided the food and drinks into two separate categories (Feed Lot and Waterin' Hole). :) I kept the food very simple. We had Wagon Wheel Melon (watermelon), S'mores (s'more bars), hay (pretzels), fried taters (potato chips), Gold Rush Crackers (goldfish crackers) rootin' tootin' root beer and pink lemonade.
I made a huge hay bale looking cake and served frozen yogurt (since the birthday girl can't tolerate ice cream.) (If you want to know how I did this cake, e-mail me. There aren't too many hay bale cake ideas out there on the internet.)
For the party favors I used brown paper lunch bags with a tag for the child's name on the front. I printed these on cardstock. You can download the template here. In the favor bags I included some toy horses, blow-pops, sheriff's badges, gold coins and more for each child. (Notice I made the cowgirl a red head). :) It was secured with hemp.
I will admit, I did spend quite a bit of time working on this party, but if you want to simplify yours, then see what all Anders Ruff offers for your party planning. I would have loved to have utilized more of their great product!
Here are some of my favorite invites and packages that they have:
Part of their "Back to School" package--the juice box covers
Moving Announcement--Isn't this great??
Baseball Party Invitation
(Photo Credit for all of the above pictures)
If you are planning an upcoming party though and need to simplify your planning, then you must check out Anders Ruff. You will love their products. They have birthday, bridal, baby, seasonal, and personalized packages. These ladies do such a great job and make your work load much less!!!
Here's a few pictures from our wonderful night. I hope you enjoy them. (I love that a lot of the guests got into the theme of things too!)
My three buckaroos!
The outlaws...er, in-laws! :) I love that they got into the theme of things...
I kept Carlee's party fairly simple, although it did involve a lot of prep time. However, the day of her birthday (today) I wasn't totally stressed out and actually able to enjoy the day with her.
And in honor of Carlee's birthday...I have a giveaway!
Anders Ruff is offering one free custom invitation for a blessed reader. (anything with an $18 price point or less).
Here are some ways for you to enter:
- Check out Anders Ruff and tell me which is your favorite invitation package.
- Like Anders Ruff on Facebook
- Follow Purposeful Homemaking
- Like Purposeful Homemaking on Facebook
- Subscribe to the Anders Ruff Blog (They even have a link for some of their FREE printables!
- Blog or post on FB about this giveaway before August 12. Please leave your URL. Thanks!
**Disclosure: We received a free pdf for Carlee's invitation and I can tell you, I LOVE everything that Anders Ruff makes so the pdf certainly wasn't a bribe! :)