Monday, December 14, 2009

"The Seaweed Is Always Greener..."

"...Just look at the world around you/Right here on the Ocean floor/Such wonderful things surround you/What more is you looking for?"

After attending a very elaborate "Golfing Under the Sea" party thrown by my friend Tracy, Natalie was inspired to ask me to do an "Ariel Under the Sea" party for her 4th birthday. I agreed because The Little Mermaid was one of my favorites when I was a kid.

Lucky for me, Tracy was willing to let me borrow all of her amazing decorations!

Not only did Tracy let me use her fabulous glittery stuff, she also came over and helped me set everything up. The hard part of having a child with a birthday in early December is trying to decorate around Christmas. What a friend Tracy was for helping me figure it all out!

Ariel herself floated through some seaweed to greet Natalie's guests!

Loved this glittery stuff!

We always play Pin the __ on the ___, depending on the theme. This year, I attempted to draw my own Ariel so the girls could play "Pin the Flower on Ariel."

I made little purple flowers with a scrapbooking punch I had. I'm a pretty crappy artist, but I suppose if a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds can tell this was Ariel, then I'm not that bad.

Tracy has a gorgeous, cardboard ocean background that we used to cover up the built-ins in our addition.

We thought it would keep the kids out of the toys, but we should have known better. At any rate, it made for a nice backdrop.

It was Tracy's idea to hang glittery blue-green "seaweed" from the molding in the family room.

Then we hung some little seahorses, an octopus, and some fish from that.

We did the same in the dining room.

More seaweed and sea horses in the kitchen. Tracy hung a fishing net over the front window too.

I always use a little Christmas tree as a centerpiece and decorate it for whatever theme the party is. This year, I used some of my own sea shells and some of Tracy's glittery stuff and topped it with a glittery purple ribbon and pearl "bubbles."

I bought one Ariel balloon at the party store.

The rest were the white kind you blow up yourself and I decorated a few with left-over Little Mermaid stickers.

I know, I know. The ceiling fan in the kitchen is hideous. But there's not much we can do about it right now. I tried to dress it up with some more of Tracy's treasures.

Trying to save some money, I made the cupcakes myself this year.

T's mom still had an Ariel figurine that belonged to my sister-in-law when she was little-bitty. We borrowed it for Natalie's cupcake. She wanted pink icing, as you can see.

I made the toppers myself with a flower punch and more left-over Little Mermaid stickers.

First game of the day: Pin the Flower on Ariel

We didn't have a potato for "Hot Potato," so we played "Hot Flounder" instead and passed around a plastic Flounder figurine to the tune of "Under the Sea."

Then somehow the plastic jellyfish I had got lost, so the girls took turns trying to toss Flounder into the shark's mouth. No one seemed psychologically damaged by this game.
Prizes were rings and necklaces that my mother-in-law had leftover from a girls' church tea she did.

Time for presents!

I love how the girls always start sitting down, and as they get more excited they crowd around until it's one big wrapping paper fest!

Uncle Matt and Uncle Mike stopped by to give Natalie a new pink Barbie bike. It has training wheels, a bell, and a basket. I am a little jealous myself.

"Happy Birthday to you!"

I've never seen such a rush to get to homemade cupcakes, Breyer's ice cream, and juice boxes!

Goody bags! I shopped for these all year, so I didn't spend a chunk of cash at once.

Bubbles with a quote from The Little Mermaid on the front.

The party was over, so the girls rode off into the sunset on Natalie's new bike....

Time to start planning the next party! Michaela Byrd turns two in January!

PS. If you've never seen The Little Mermaid, it's the cutest! Here's a clip:

Linking to The CSI Project

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  1. How adorable, and such cuteness on a mere shoestring....way to go, Manda!!! I know the girls LOVED it!


  2. Wow! You really put a lot of work into making Natalie's birthday party special. I love all of the Ariel decorations!

    BTW - I have a ceiling fan in my bedroom that is the sister to your kitchen one. I really am not bothered by it, even if it is a little out of date. :)

  3. Wow, you did such an amazing job and went all out w. decor! Those cupcakes look amazing with the embellishments! Glad it was a success.

  4. Wow, I love the way you transformed the space so it was completely themed! The cupcakes look great, too!

  5. Stopping by from SITS! Great party!!! Lucky girl!

  6. So cute!!! Way better than the little mermaid party I had in 1st grade :-)

  7. Amanda,
    You gave me way too much credit. All I did was lend you the stuff and come hang a thing or two. I LOVE how you added the seaweed and shells around the cupcake stand. The tree turned out amazing with the purple bow. The cupcakes are always better when they are homemade! The Ariel you drew was EXCELLENT! I can't believe you free handed that one! It looks GREAT! Maybe I should buy that off of you and laminate it to add to my party tub. It was SO cute! I'm so glad Natalie had a great birthday. If you talk her into a jungle theme for next year you'll be all set to borrow my stuff again :)

  8. Amanda, you should be totally proud of that party! It looked amazing, and beautiful, and like a four-yr-old's dream!
    And it still makes me feel old the TLM was one of your favorites when you were little!

  9. whoa, I love the christmas & ocean decor combined... and look at your cupcakes! the little touches are everywhere- fabulous!

  10. Amanda!
    You did such a wonderful job!! Everything looks just fantabulous!!! Might I say you ARE an artist - well done on the Ariel likeness! So many little details that you covered - WOW!

    My eldest is getting a big boy bike for Christmas - I can't WAIT! ;)

  11. cute party! I think ariel looks awesome :)

  12. Wow, what an incredibly magical party for a little girl!

  13. Amanda, how wonderful! What an adorable party. And it sounds like you really kept it within your budget--good for you! Isn't it wonderful to have a friend who will really help?

    I can't imagine trying to plan a child's birthday party at Christmastime, but it looks like you have it well under control. Someday she's really going to appreciate all the work you put into making her birthdays special.

  14. Those cupcakes look to good to eat but I want one!! haha So fun and so cute. THanks for stopping by my blog :)

  15. How cute! It looks like they had a wonderful time! My daughter just turned 5 and we had a party for her last Friday. I just love those ages. Fun party!


  16. I think your drawn Ariel was fantastic! You did such a great job working a themed birthday into your Christmas decor. Your little girl mut've felt so special. Beautiful job!

  17. What a great themed party! I'm sure your little one loved it. Stop by my blog and say hi :-)

  18. Happy Birthday Natalie!!!!!!!Wow, what a great party for a big girl! Love the decorations, the games you adapted were perfect and with sound also :) Your drawing was wonderful!

    The cupcakes looked delicious and if you wouldn't have told anyone you made them I am sure they would have thought you bought them(way to go making your own picks)(but homemade always taste better).

    Looks like all the girls had a wonderful time and I love The Little Mermaid (I think it might be my favorite ;) Wish I could have been there to help celebrate.

    Pat yourself on the back for such a successful and inexpensive party. Way to go girl!!!!

    The girls are so adorable!

  19. Such a cute idea for a party and you decorated so wonderful! I love all the sea creatures, the cupcakes, and the Ariel you drew. I used to have a little Ariel figure like the one of the cupcake that I got a loooong time ago from a McD's happy meal.

  20. Way to pull off a party! I think you did a fine job on Ariel, it looks great.

  21. Amanda, I'm so impressed w/your Ariel! You need to keep drawing/painting. I'm gonna make sure I send you my paint kits, if you'll test them out for me!

  22. love the quote on the bubbles! So cute. Great party :)


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