For those who follow along with me on Instagram, you’ll know just how HARD it was to nail down a theme for Leo’s birthday this year. Originally I was planning a superhero party until Leo watched Frozen and FELL IN LOVE with Anna and Elsa … he wouldn’t stop talking about how much he loooooved Ana so I decided we would change themes to Frozen! I thought I had it all figured out but then we kept going back and forth on the themes until we HAD to make up our mind and confirm a decision … and Frozen won after all.
I feel as though actually making the decision on the theme was the part that overwhelmed me the most as we weren’t going to go all out for Leo’s birthday this year, we wanted to keep it nice and simple since Annie’s 1st birthday is coming up but for those of you who know me, you’ll know I LOVE throwing birthday parties and tend to go a little bit overboard from time to time. LOL! For me, since I’m not doing design anymore right now, it’s a way for me to get creative and think outside the box … which is why it quickly escalates from a “simple” birthday to a full-blown themed birthday party!
In addition to the theme debacle, another thing that I struggled with was my effort to throw a zero-waste party for Leo. I didn’t realize JUST how hard it would be and while I would say I didn’t quite pull it off, I certainly was SO much more conscious about our decorations and the goody bags. It was quite a learning curve and certainly a work in progress but I am pretty happy with some of the things I pulled off!
While it may look like Leo’s birthday was a bit over the top, it was actually quite simple to put together and most of the decorations we used were either reusable, rented, or borrowed which resulted in very little waste! I was even fully able to avoid using balloons which I thought was going to be the hardest part of all! Thankfully, I scored some ADORABLE paper balls, fans, honeycomb diamonds, bunting and garland from Oh Happy Day!
I ordered these paper decorations in multiple colours and sizes so we could make a big garland out of them (like we used to do with balloons!) and it turned out AMAZING! I love all of the layers and the texture it creates. However, the best part about these decorations is the fact that we will be reusing most of these for Annie’s upcoming birthday in September! I’ll list the items I got from Oh Happy Day with you below as they’re all WAY too cute not to share! I also grabbed the cutest plates, napkins, and wooden cutlery from Oh Happy Day as well, plus these reusable ice cream tumblers for the kids to use during the party and take home with them afterward!
Oh, and the great thing about Oh Happy Day is that they offer compostable items as well, I would have been ALL over these but I had already come across (and ordered!) these compostable plates from Preserve before I realized they had similar ones!
- Honeycomb Balls (in various sizes in the colours light blue, mint, ivory, and turquoise)
- Handmade Party Fans and Paper Fans (in mint and ivory)
- Striped Tissue Paper Fans (in teal and light blue)
- Two-Tone Honeycomb Diamonds (in light blue & white and turquoise & white)
- Triangle Bunting Garland (in blues)
- Bunting Fan Garland (in turquoise)
While we were hoping to go completely plastic-free for Leo’s birthday, unfortunately, I didn’t succeed here are some of the items were wrapped in plastic but the good news is, I was able to recycle ALL of it at our local recycling depot!
While I was in the stages of ordering up all of the times I wanted to use to decorate Leo’s birthday I found that every single day I woke up with a new idea and thankfully Yuriko from Vintage Origami was able to come to my rescue (yet again!) and not only help me streamline and execute all of my ideas but she also brought so many amazing ideas to the table … such as her idea for the popsicle stand!
That’s right, Yuriko connected me with Robert from Okanagan Ice Pops and he made the most AMAZING custom popsicles for the kids and even SPIKED ones for the adults, the flavours were Red Sangria and Peach Sangria and they were to die for!!! Robert was so affordable and incredible to work with, he stayed at the party for three hours and worked his magic!
Yuriko also let us borrow a few of her Christmas trees to set the winter scene, we made snowballs and snowball garland from cotton batting and our friend Anthony even pulled through with a snow machine to bring the winter wonderland to LIFE! Anthony, if you’re reading this, you totally came to our rescue with this snow machine and we LOVE YOU!
The Cake Mama made the most beautiful Frozen themed cookies (she is a miracle worker, people!) and Kathie from Kakes By Kathie made the amazing Frozen cake and cake pops which all of the kids absolutely LOVED! I also rented a snow cone machine but to be honest, I wouldn’t do this again as it was a bit pricey (we only made TWO snow cones the entire day!) and it’s also a bit of a complicated process! LOL!
Before I get to the details of the goody bags … I have to share the details of the STAR OF THE PARTY … well, besides Leo, that is! LOL! You guys, Yuriko (I swear, she knows everyone! LOL!) connected us with a local actress in town, her name is Shanelle Connell and she came to the party and put on a show for the kids as ELSA from Frozen! She sang to the kids, played games, and read them a book (which she signed and gave to Leo!) … she was INCREDIBLE! Leo was so shocked that Elsa was at his party and for the first 15 minutes he could barely look at her because he was so nervous and his “heart was pumping so fast” … lol! It was the cutest thing ever to watch! Once Leo was comfortable with Elsa he really let loose and soaked it ALL in (see 5th image below 😂).
We also had the cutest Frozen photo op cut-out painted by the talented, Emily from Faire Studios, which we ended up donating (along with a few other Frozen items we weren’t able to re-use in our home) to Mamas for Mamas so they could donate it to a family here in Kelowna who would like to have a Frozen themed party!
Last but not least, the goodie bags were tough for me to figure out as I REALLY wanted to fill them with items that wouldn’t go in the trash and even though it took me longer than expected to figure these out, I am so pleased with how they came together! I used custom cloth goodie bags made by Julia from The Market Bags and I included bath bombs from Lush (which they generously wrapped in paper not plastic for me!), chalk from Michaels and natural playdough (Leo’s fave!) from Hello Dough! The kids even brought paper bags to fill up with goodies from the “candy store” we had set out!
All in all, it was such an incredible day spent with family and friends to celebrate little Leo turning 3 and we think the party was a hit in his eyes as he’s STILL telling people that Elsa came to his party to celebrate! Lol! A huge thank you also goes out to Rachelle Beatty and my cousin Stephanie who captured these magical moments! These photos within the blog are a mix from both of them and they turned out amazing!! If you’re looking for any photographers in the Okanagan, these are your gals!