As most of you already know, she requested an Olivia birthday party this year. For those of you unfamiliar, Olivia is one of our favorite storybook characters who just happens to have a new show on Nick Jr. She's a pretty cute little pig with a mind of her own and we read about her and watch her on a daily basis. While I'm not really a fan of "character" parties or themed anything, I knew Olivia's red and white stripes would not disappoint. I've been planning this party in my head since March and it was so fun to see it all come together.
We had tons of balloons. Everywhere. They were tied to the food tables and the mailbox and the pretty pinks, reds and whites looked so pretty floating above the party. I ordered a handful of the Olivia balloons on eBay and Ella wanted me to blow them up in June. I convinced her to wait and they added just enough "character" to our party. The red and white paper straws were from Garnish and although they got a little soggy as the day went by, I love how nostalgic they looked.
Poppy was the designated videographer of the day and got some good present footage, as well as the Birthday song.
We served hotdogs and chips and instead of having a separate food table, we divided the goods up between two picnic tables and let everyone fend for themselves. It worked out well and there were plenty of places to sit and enjoy your dog. Doesn't my Ella-via look pretty stinking cute?
Sophie didn't look half bad either. Almost all of our party guests were delighted to wear red and it was so cute to see them all milling around together. The pictures all look so coordinated... I might have to adopt a dress-code every year!
By the time we got around to singing Happy Birthday and cutting the cake, Ella was a little worse for wear. Ninety-five degree temperatures in Alabama plus a bounce house will do that to you. I kind of think it's funny that in the majority of these photographs she either dripping with sweat or covered in chocolate ice cream. That's how you can tell it was a good party.
Let me tell you that I totally lucked out in the cake department. After putting this party together, I was totally stressing out about the bottom line and my original cake plan was moving farther and farther outside of my budget. It was kind of last minute, but Renee at Sweet Magnolia Cakes came to my rescue and delivered the tastiest birthday cake I've ever had! It was chocolate with pink buttercream icing and red & white fondant decorations. Ella was so excited about that number 4 on top! Not only was the cake to-die-for, but my sweet friend Michelle volunteered to make Olivia cupcakes and my oh my were they adorable.
When I tell you that I could not have pulled this off without Garan's help, that is an understatement. Not only did we invade her yard, use her furniture and pick her brain three times a day, but she made four of these stunning ruffled tablecloths just perfect for Olivia's big day. I can't wait to figure out how to use them again.
Ella had a ball unwrapping her gifts and even let her friends help a little this year. It was so fun to watch her select what present would be next and to see who she asked for assistance. Her "boyfriend" Grey was never too far away and that is just how she liked it. She reminded me first thing that morning that he was coming to spend the day and told us very matter-of-factly that he was definitely her boyfriend. I'll let her daddy handle that one!
I thought that by having a family party, instead of the two separate bashes from last year, that I would be doing myself a favor. Well, notsomuch. This party was hard work, but worth every stinking penny and bead of sweat. As much fun as we had it would not have been the same without all of these people. They graciously wore red, pitched in to help and celebrated along with us to make Ella's day. I know I say this every year, but this might be the best one yet.