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Ryder Paul Turns THREE: Part 2

WARNING: Longest post ever. Oops. Hopefully it’s worth the read! 🙂 Tonight I’m sharing pictures and details from Ryder’s 3rd Birthday Party. I have a love for throwing parties! Especially for my babies. I decided I was going to keep Ryder’s small this year because I knew I’d be throwing a big bash for Blakely’s 1st! (Their birthdays are two weeks apart, so it is very busy during the month of July.) 

It was pretty easy for me to decide on a theme for Ryder’s party because he looooves tools and anything construction related. I spent some time looking up parties on Pinterest for inspiration, which I recommend doing. Then you don’t have to come up with the look all on your own. Once I decided the theme and look I was going for (I knew I had to have those cute goodie boxes for the kids – adorable!) I found Mandy’s shop, One Fine Party on Etsy. 

One Fine Party is absolutely amazing. I emailed her right away because I fell in love with her style and knew I’d have a lot of questions for her about making everything custom. She was so great at responding quickly and always showing me mock ups before she made the bulk of everything so I could approve the designs. I took a few things she already had in her shop, but we also created a few more things specifically for Ryder’s party. 

After working with her (for months, seriously!) we also created Blakely’s party from scratch. We worked together to make everything for both parties and every piece turned out beautifully! I honestly can not say enough good things about Mandy and the quality of her work. I highly recommend her shop. Blakely’s party was a different ball game (more time needed for us to get everything figured out) but I will talk more about that process when I blog about her birthday party. (Her birthday party is this weekend. EEK! I can’t believe she’s going to be one. My bitty baby girl.)

Planning Ryder’s party was a little easier and straight forward because Mandy already had most of the things I wanted in her shop! If you are looking to make a simple party really cute, you can add a few things that already exist in her shop and it would be little to no hassle. AND you have an adorable party. #winning

I go above and beyond because I’m freaking nuts and no one can stop the madness in my head. This really was a simple party with our closest friends and family. I think we had 8 families at the party (at a nearby park) and it was so simple, easy to set up and FUN for the kids. The weather worked out perfectly and it was a wonderful day. Ryder understood it was his birthday and loooved everyone singing “happy birthday” to him and eating cake. 

I had Mandy make these signs for me and I just taped them onto cute paper straws.

I ordered these construction sign suckers online from Candy Warehouse. They were so cute! I also couldn’t find orange bubble tape anywhere so I bought those online from Candy Warehouse as well.

The construction hard hats were part of Mandy’s shop. Making it so easy! Almost everything I needed came straight from her shop.

The Toolbox Treats were so freaking cute. The kids loved filling them up with goodies! They each got a toy dump truck, suckers, bubble tape, “nuts and bolts” (aka gummy candy), “dig in” (aka cheese puffs”), bubbles, a water bottle and a hard hat.

**Note I held party from 10:00am-12:00. Because we had so many snacks – and cake – we decided we weren’t going to serve lunch. One less thing for us to think about!

This was the best we could do. Ha! The struggle is real.

My best friend, Kristin.

AKA K.Lo, Kiki (Ryder’s Godmother).

Click images below to be taken to Etsy site for that item. (Click arrows on right + left to scroll through photo links.)

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Party Planning + Hosting Tips:

1. Plan way in advance. (This means months for me.) Have a theme picked out and an idea of how many people you’ll be inviting. 

2. Have decor items purchased and in hand 2-3 in advance. (Everything from ordered custom goodie bags, labels, signs, cups, plates, table clothes, etc.)

3. Order cake from nearby bakery 1-2 weeks in advance.

4. 7-4 days before the party start putting labels on water bottles, ordering balloons, getting drinks, snacks, etc ready to go.

5. About a week before party I like to make sure the birthday boy/girl has the shirt or clothes I’d like him/her to wear. Make sure everything fits, wash it, keep it separate so that’s one last thing I need to dig out of the laundry the day of the party! Ha. 

6. If people offer to help, let them! I have the sweetest friends who are all willing to pick up the cake for me the night before the party, come early to help me set up, go grab the balloons from store the morning of the party, grab bags of ice on their way to the party, etc. Everything little thing you can take off your to-do list, do. Friends want to help. They don’t mind. At least, I don’t think they do. LOL I love helping my friends in anyway when they are the ones hosting an event/party. 

The night before the party:

1. Clean the house (if hosted at your house) OR pack up the car with what you can so you don’t have to load it in the morning. 

2. Have everything single thing you possibly can already set up. This way, all you really need to worry about is food, drinks, music, etc. 

3. I personally like to shower and blow dry my hair so I don’t have to worry about this in the morning when I have 207 other things to do. Again, just trying to make the day of the party as smooth and easy as possible. 

The day of the party:

1. Pick up filled helium balloons.

2. Pick up ice.

3. Set up the table, food, drinks, etc. 

4. HAVE FUN! Duh. 😉

(**Note: Get yourself ready FIRST!! If you end up running really behind, you can always continue setting up the food and drinks when guests arrive. It’s a little bit more awkward/stressful when your guests arrive and you still haven’t put a bra on and are in your pjs running around like a chicken with your head cut off!)

I hope these little tips help! I spend a lot of time preparing and planning parties. I enjoy it! It’s definitely more enjoyable for me when I’m not stressed about it. The more time you give yourself to plan, order cakes, goodies, balloons, pizza for the kids, etc, the better! Parties are supposed to be fun… NOT stressing you out! 

When Ryder turned 1 we threw a HUGE party for him. I planned it for about 6 months. My mom was living here in CO at the time and she is very crafty. I would show her all the things I wanted to have and she’d say, “oh, I can make that!!” And she was right, she could. Which is amazing. But also very time consuming and can cause stress. I loved that we created so many things ourselves, but that isn’t realistic for all of our parties for our kids! (Looooots of trips to Hobby Lobby.) Which is why I am so happy I found One Fine Party on Etsy. She is already a pro at making these things! You just tell her what you want and BAM. It’s done. Perfectly and adorably. I love every single thing and will cherish these little moments celebrating our growing babies.


Later that day… We only let Ryder open up our family gifts + 1 gift from a friend. We still have all the other gifts waiting to be opened! I think it can be overwhelming for young kids to get a TON of new shit at once. This way he can play with a few new things and we’ll open a gift here and there to spread out the excitement for him. So, sorry for majorly delayed “thank you” cards. 😀

Our big gift to Ryder was this water table. We had it set up for him so when he woke up from his nap it was ready to play with! (We’ve made the mistake many-a-times where we give him really cool gifts, like his tool bench, still in the box. Then the overly excited kid can hardly contain his excitement while we spend the next hour putting it together. Oops. Rookie mistake.)

This “Rad” hat and adorable grill was a gift from Ryder’s friend who recently moved away. (We miss you guys!!!) Ryder LOVES this grill. He seriously wakes up from naps asking for his chicken. LOL Honestly, he’s the funniest kid ever. He makes us eat his carefully prepared food and I love it.

My three babies. All looking way too old. Love them more and more each day!

Tooth got Ryder a mini tool bench where you can make all kinds of cool things with the parts. Even TJ was entertained all. Night. Long. LOL Daddy for the win!

HUGE shout out to my hubby. He has always supported my desire to throw ridiculous birthday parties. He does a lot of work to help prep for the parties (getting drinks, cleaning, setting up tables, watching kids, dressing kids, packing up the car, etc) and never complains. He is very helpful and I so appreciate him letting me put so much time, money and energy into this hobby of mine. He’s too good to me. But seriously, who doesn’t love a fun + cute party?! 🙂

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