Thursday, February 2, 2012

Down On The Farm - 3rd Birthday Party

This party was a true labor of LOVE. I worked on this party for months and months. It was all I could think (and dream) about for a long time.

My girlfriend Sarah and I have girls that were born on the same day. Our girls see each other as often as we can get together and one of their favorite things to do is go to Underwood Family Farms.

She looked into having a party at Underwood Farms in Moorpark and we decided to have a joint party to celebrate the girls' third birthday. Each of us have gone a little crazy for our kid's parties for the past two years and at least this year we decided to pool our resources and time. It's hard to throw a party and make it to your best friend's on the same day!

The girls were born on Halloween and the farm is very busy with their fall activities each weekend so we booked the party for the weekend after their birthdays. If you're a local and you've never been to the farm, you have to go! Weekdays the farms are filled with mommies and their little ones. They love to run around and we love how tired our kids are on the way home! They have strawberry picking in the summer and pumpkins in the fall and everything else imaginable in between.

This is going to be a super long post so you might want to bookmark it and come back to finish.

I guess I'll start with the part that everyone sees before the party...


I'm the type to research and save photos of all my favorites (funny I'm not on Pinterest yet because I already have my own type of Pinterest on the computer). I spend too much time online the way it is (go nap time!)

Anyhow after researching tons of farm images, I came across a kit from Amanda at A-Manda Creation called Funky Farm. From there, the invites were born!

For me, the excitement of any party starts with the invites. We both really wanted our guests to say "Wow, I can't wait to go to this party, how fun!". An invitation card is great but we wanted something really memorable... Even if it took me hours to put them together! Not everyone has time to do all that but I'll show you some other projects that take no time at all!

I started by printing the back layer in a red/white gingham. Then flipped the paper and printed the inside of the invite. I then printed the front of the invite and that's where the fun began! With an Exact-o knife. I carefully cut open the barn door and window. I then got to use a new tool, my Making Memories Instant Eyelet Setter, to create a space on the barn door to tie them shut with twine. The tool is fun as it punches holes in the paper, then you add the eyelet and punch it closed but it's SUPER loud! Definitely had to do that part while the family was awake.

I glued the top and bottom pieces together with my all time favorite glue stick (Scotch Wrinkle Free). I trimmed them, added a little gold glitter (for the girly chicken feed). Glued a glittery silo top and then added a 3-D sunflower made with yellow glitter card stock. All those steps seem to take forever but finally they were all done! Guests called to say how much they loved the invite and that made all the effort pay off.

We didn't want our guests to feel as though they needed to bring a gift for the other little girl, so each of our girls had their own invites that didn't mention it was a joint party. BUT as we hand delivered each invite, each guest to be also got a t-shirt. (that did have both girls' names on it)


This was fun for the kids but also practical for us. We were having professional photographers at the party to capture all the fun and wanted to make sure that all our guests were noticed as they ran around the farm riding the ponies, trains, and feeding the animals.

With the same barn design from Amanda's Funky Farm kit, the "FARMER [Name Here]" shirts were created. We also used the tagline "Love, Maddie and Bella" or "Love, Bella and Maddie" (to keep it fair) on many of our projects.

We had guests from 9 months old to size 5T so we needed to size accordingly for each shirt but the kids all looked great. They were easy to create. We ordered blank Rabbit Skins t-shirts from Be sure to order a size larger and wash before using any iron ons. They will shrink and I'm glad I saw that part of the reviews for that brand. I researched every aspect of the party details and this site had the best prices and I think I found a coupon code online to make it even better.

The tags asked our guests to be sure to wear their shirts to the party. We went with short sleeve and figured parents could layer with a longer shirt under if it was chilly given our party was at the beginning of November in the early morning.

I found this wonderful seamstress on Etsy, Rachel Moroz that was so kind to make the girls skirts. She doesn't have an Etsy store currently but was working on a website to feature her work. I'll be sure to update with a link when I get her new info. The skirts were so darling!

Here's our inspiration photo (it's a bloomer/diaper cover):

And here's a photo of the girls in their skirts & shirts:

Maddie called it her "Jessie" skirt. They both really liked their cowboy boots but you know how three year olds can be and we were just crossing our fingers they would want to actually wear their party outfits on the big day. Their shirts were purchased at Walmart (good place to find plain shirts) and ironed on.


I found these barn boxes on Etsy at one of my favorite sellers The Homespun Hostess

There was a mixup with her manufacturer. The boxes shown in her store are more "barn" looking and perfect for our kids' lunch boxes but I received gable boxes. She was really sweet when the mistake was discovered and she sent me some awesome colored twine as an "I'm sorry".  Apparently the manuf. no longer makes the adorable barn boxes and didn't tell her before substituting. She was great to work with!
I can't wait to shop in her store for paper straws, my newest party LOVE.

The boxes contained stuff that kids love, crackers, a juice, grapes and a cheese stick. We also made "chicken feed" bags, aka chex mix.  The boxes were perfect to take with them on the farm for a snack. Every kid ended up devouring their goodies before cake and then used their boxes to house their beanie baby farm animal during the animal search.

Sarah displayed the boxes at the party using the ginormous cupcake holder her hubby made for her Bella's first birthday. (Told you we go all out for birthday parties!) The boxes looked great on the table. I printed the label using full sheet sticker paper and just cut around the design. Easy, easy!

These water bottles turned out so cute.. I couldn't get enough of the cow print with the gingham, can you tell?!

Napkin wraps are easy and really helpful to guests so they grab everything they need at one time. Especially for a kids party where they often have one kid walking and another in their arms.

All the adults enjoyed bagels with all the fixings and muffins. Sarah also made this adorable fruit salad bowl out of a watermelon in the shape of a pig! 

It's too bad the "details" photographer didn't remove the foil! BUT, it is a cute shot of my food tag. Found these cute frames at Michael's for $1. You can bet I'll be using them for future parties.


These were feed bags we made for the kids to take out on the farm. We bought full carrots in bulk and chicken feed from a local store. We repackaged the feed into snack size baggies and made a "chicken feed" sticker. Printed on full sheet sticker page and used a circle punch. (Turns out the farm does give each kid an ice cream cone filled with feed so the animals were well fed that day!)


The cake was absolutely amazing. My co-hostess works with a wonderfully talented woman that loves to make cakes and it shows! Because we had such a large group we decided cupcakes were the way to go and we found some cute examples online. We wanted the girls to have their own cakes to blow out their candles and that's exactly what we got! Everyone was blown away by the work and detail that went into this cake design.. and it tasted delicious! I can't wait for my next party just so I can order another cake!
(I don't want to post her info with permission but if you're local to Ventura County, shoot me an email and I'll get you in touch with her.) Prices were super reasonable, I'm a cheapskate so if I say that, you know they're good.


M&M sleeves were new for me and now I'm hooked. I usually find M&Ms on clearance after the holidays and use say red from Christmas for Valentines day. Maddie is a great M&M color separator and will work for chipped M&Ms.

For this project, I created a barn box from a tissue box and then a variety of farm animals. We handed them out to all the kids while they visited the farm after the party.

The cheapest place I found bags was at They're called 1 x 8 PolyPro Lip and Tape Bags and come in a pack of 100 for about $9.00. They sent a bunch of sample bags for their other products with my order which I thought was pretty cool. It says their minimum order is $35 but I didn't have any problems submitting mine.

Here's the barn box:
And here are a few of the animals with "Thank Moo" tags. I made about 30 of these!

For a fun game we hid (farm related) beanie babies on a large hay stack and had the kids each find one to take home.

GUEST BOOK ( & table decor)

Using an online photo site we created matching photo books of the girls life together that tells the story of how Sarah and I met and has photos of the girls through the years together. Using a photo book as a guest book is a great way for guests to see your little one and how much they've changed. It would also be great for an Anniversary party or any birthday for that matter!

Something sweet to greet you at the door... a sign, and candy.

You can't tell from this photo but each flower was made from about 6 or 7 layers of cut paper all glued together. I also used a brown ink and distressed the petals to give them a more dimensional look. Same idea as the invite flowers (seen below) but a little more detailed. Why, oh why did I do that? lol Next time, less detail on the small stuff like favors. Once the M&Ms were gone, so were the flowers. :)

This birthday banner could be used for a farm/western theme for a boy or girl. I made it girly by using a red sequined string instead of ribbon and embossed and distressed each letter to add some texture.

Here's the only picture we have of it from the party. We had photos of the girls from their photo shoot (JUST SHOOT ME) blown up (Costco has super cheap prices) and hung on the wall to decorate the outside of the party area. 

I made this awesome banner using bandanas found at Michaels and cow material. I turned out sooo awesome. Unfortunately our photographers didn't capture them or the animals hanging from the ceiling. I think this is also the only photo of our table runners I also created by sewing bandanas together. Not all bandanas are sized equally but it was a fun project.

Here are some photos I took at home. I always try to take detail photos of my projects before the party just in case I don't get a good shot (or our paid photographers!) during the fun.

These guys are about 9" tall and were made from the Create a Critter Cartridge on my Cricut.
I put an eyelet on each one so we could hang with fishing line and they didn't rip. It also gave me an excuse to use my new eyelet tool again!

Stopped for a family photo

Maddie and her daddy on the wagon ride that started the party.
Bella and her parents, Scott and Sarah.
The two birthday families together.

At one point about half way through the party, Sarah and I just hugged each other. We couldn't believe that the big day had finally come and it was so much better than we ever imagined. Everything was PERFECT! It certainly was a birthday to remember! Now, to start planning for the big 0-4! 
(That's a milestone birthday, right? wink wink)

All photos from this post (with the exception of indoor project details) were taken by JUST SHOOT ME photography in Moorpark, CA. 

While I would not recommend this particular vendor, I think it's important to hand your camera to a friend or family member and have them be in charge of taking photos. Make sure they aren't a 10 year old who likes close ups of bugs or that's what you'll get.

Just like your wedding, your two-three hour party goes by in a FLASH and all you'll have are memories and photos to look back on. If your memory is anything like mine, you'll be glad to have the photos!


Don't forget thank you cards for all your guests that came out to celebrate with you. With the day over, it's a fun way to share highlights from the party through photos. We printed ours on photo paper and backed with printed piece of card stock.  Sarah printed a photo and sent in a black card. She then wrote her thank you with a metallic pen, very cool!

p.s. Yes, I realize it's February and I'm finally blogging about a party that took place in November. First of all, you just read the entire post. It's taking me all day to write it so imagine trying to gather your thought and photos. :) I hope I remembered it all!

1 comment:

  1. OH MY GOODNESS! I love it ALL. It must have taken you forever to work on all of those adorable detailed projects. My-oh-my! Great job!