Mary Virginia’s birthday was over a week ago and I’m just now getting around to the details. Things were so busy last week after the cupcake sugar-high David still hasn’t come down from, Father’s Day, and Mary Virginia getting Hand Foot Mouth Disease. You read that right. Just when I thought Rickets was the only childhood illness Mary Virginia hadn’t come down with, she was slammed by two days with a high fever, two nights of no sleep, and blisters on her sweet little feet.
But, on the bright side, she was well for her party. And it was a great celebration. I’m planning another post about the actual party, but this is all about the special touches — the things that took this occasion from “birthday party” to “strawberry birthday party”.
We chose a strawberry theme because one of Mary Virginia’s nicknames is Mary Berry; not using it as a theme felt wasteful.
Tom and I like to have parties that are simple but special. For us, that means enough food for everyone to have at least seconds, minimal mosquitoes, and a few special touches.
A week or so before the party, I made this birthday banner and hung it in the living room. David called it “Mary Virginia’s party”.
I also made a matching “ONE!” pennant for her chair.
We had a drink table with strawberry sangria and strawberry lemonade and handy labels so no one could drink 18 cups of sangria and claim they thought they were drinking lemonade.
David has never had any sort of juice until somehow he got his hands on some lemonade. After the first taste he stood under that spigot like it was dispensing liquid Christmas. He would empty just a swallow of lemonade into his cup, drink it, and start over again. When I pulled him away he thought the only reason I wanted him to stop was because I didn’t realize how good it was. “Mommy, you want some Memonade? This is GOOD! You will like it!”
The menu was pretty simple. Tom grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, a few friends brought sides, and I set out a giant bowl of veggie straws that the kids went crazy for.
We got this easel art, courtesy of Tiny Prints, and added it to the table. For the party I dressed it up a bit by drawing berries with a dry erase marker — that I wiped right off after the party.
To round out the strawberry menu, we had:
- Strawberry quinoa salad
- Cucumber caprese salad [admittadly not strawberry, but still fresh and yummy]
- Strawberry-blueberry Sangria
- Strawberry cupcakes [This recipe is for a cake, and I made cupcakes. If you make cupcakes you don’t have to make the mousse, but I made it anyway and Tom ate it all with a spoon.]
Our backyard is pretty open, but we have a clothesline on one side. I bought a bunch of streamers, but since the “creative” space in my brain is now consumed with keeping me upright and breathing on such little sleep, I wasn’t sure how to use them. I tossed the streamers to my mom and a friend, and then went back inside. This is what they came up with. I think it looks really cool, and the red ties are unexpected. Before the end of the party, the kids started ripping the streamers down. Or cleaning up. However you want to look at it.
All the kids got to choose a little pot of strawberries or flowers to grow. Those plastic favor bags leftover from our wedding (I used them for goldfish bags, too). The personalized stickers are courtesy of Tiny Prints.
The stickers, I think, made the favor especially special. I chose the photo of her with the bow and scalloped frame because it fit best with the vintage strawberry-ish theme. But I had to make one with the ARMS UP! photo, too, because it’s just so Mary Virginia.
In the days leading up to the party I refused to check the weather, because I knew that if it was going to rain then I couldn’t do anything about it, and if the forecast said rain I would just spend the whole week worrying. On Thursday I checked the weather. The forecast said this, verbatim: sunny, mid-80s, perfect weather for a birthday party, so don’t even worry about figuring out how to fit 20+ kids under the age of five into your home.
And it really was a perfect, wonderful celebration for our little girl. It would be really corny if I said that it wasn’t the decorations, or even the weather that made the party wonderful, but the friends and family that celebrated with us. And I don’t want to be corny, so I won’t say it. But only because those things go without saying.