Well, it happened again… I turned another year older. All those that know me know that while aging isn’t my favorite thing, BIRTHDAYS are. This year I let the West Elm party animal appetizer plates inspire a black, white and gold cocktail party that was decadent and slightly silly. I decided to share some photos from the party now because I feel like these might just inspire a fun New Year’s Eve event! Next week I’ll also share the recipes I made for the festive fare.
Read on for a list of DIYd items, resources, menu notes and activities! I’ve linked several items to posts with recipes. There are also a few affiliate links below. A portion of purchases made through affiliate links help support this blog at no cost to readers.
We served the Bourbon Apple Ginger Punch as a signature beverage that was easily accessible to guests. In addition I had the fixings for classic martinis, red and white Hob Nob wine and lots of sparkling wine, including one of my favorite sparklings the Sokol Blosser Evolution Sparkling wine. We also had a selection of non-alcoholic beverages. One of my favorite ways to make a champagne glass feel even MORE special is to add in a lollipop. Either by using homemade lollies or pretty rock candies!
The party was slated as a cocktails and cake party… which, of course we had both of those things. But, I wanted more a more savory fare to fill everyone’s bellies. I’m sharing the recipes for many of these items soon.. but, here is the cocktail party menu:
I didn’t schedule many activities for the party as the food and drinks were the main attraction. I did however set up a photobooth area and made a fun game out of the favors. I did “grab bag” style favors and wrapped up several different gifts from which my gusts to choose. I purchased half of the gifts with the idea of “Whatever will be, will be” in mind. Those presents ended up being games of chance, alcohol, and even a Magic 8 Ball! For the other side of the favor area I chose gifts with the idea of a type-A personality in mind and chose good self-help books, journals, office supplies and the like. Before guests left I asked them to choose a gift and got to watch them open the gifts up. It ended up being my favorite part of the night!
I love savory foods… but, at my birthday there is just nothing like a great sweet treat. At this party I served champagne jello squares, chocolate truffles and a layered chocolate cake I purchased at the bakery at Whole Foods Market called the “Chocolate Explosion” cake. It was super tasty!
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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… I’m not a fan of most party games. Making everyone play something silly has never really been in my bag of tricks. I HAVE thrown parties with games before. And, this Ryan Gosling themed birthday party is no exception. (I’ll share our party game very soon!) But, I like to always have an activity or two that doesn’t revolve around a group activity or food.
One of the areas of the party was set up so that guests could easily sit and chat with a place to set their plates and drinks. I then added in an awesome coloring book, “Colour Me Good Ryan Gosling.” I cut out a few of the pages and placed them on the table to encourage guests to color them. Snacks, crayons, and fun DIY party confetti also decked out the area.
I’m not one to plan out every detail to a party. I prefer my parties to be fairly laid back and casual. To me the perfect party has a few activities, lots of good food and great drink, and a planned out party space that encourages mingling. However, when I am doing more structured events, events venues that I’ve reserved for a certain amount of time, or events on weeknights, I tend to plan things out just a bit more clearly. My recent Hey Girl – Ryan Gosling themed birthday party was on a weeknight at a friend’s house. I knew that having it over at a certain time would be good for everyone involved. I also wanted to draw attention to the different activities that I had planned, so I created this agenda to work partially as an extra decor item as well as pointing out the evening plan.
The first item on the evening’s agenda included leaving the guest of honor a note in her guest book! I love guest books and variations on guest books because they give the guest of honor a way to remember the people at their event.
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I found this amazing “Hey Girl” Flexi Journal by Chronicle Books on Amazon and bought it up right away. The journal is filled with little drawn images of Ryan Gosling with quote bubbles. I encouraged guests to write messages in each of the quote bubbles so that in the future, as Macey filled out her journal, she’d be greeted with happy messages from friends!
When I got to thinking of the whole “Hey Girl” Meme for the Ryan Gosling themed party the ideas sort of over-took my brain. I wanted to do SO much. But, as I advise every bride/diy event planner … I started out with lots of ideas and then began to narrow them down. The favor idea was one of my FAVORITE ideas, so I spent some time figuring out the best way to go about it. I loved the idea of giving guests tea towels (who doesn’t need more of those!?) that were a simple black and white that had a “Hey Girl” message of “Hey girl, let me dry those dishes for you.”
My first attempt at making these tea towels did NOT go well. I was determined to screen press the tea towels. I borrowed my friend Suzannah’s Ryonet home screen printing press and tried following her tutorial and the Ryonet YouTube tutorial. The whole process is very, very involved. The kit included everything I needed and the instructions were great! But, I didn’t give myself near enough time or room for error. It was one of those DIY fails that just really sucks. After I dried my tears of frustration, I scrapped the screen printing idea and went with the iron on transfer method.
I typically don’t enjoy the way the iron on transfer looks on fabrics. There is usually a line around the image that is slightly more glossy than I want. When the paper gets too hot it can yellow. Also, I never know how long it will last. I was pretty thrilled with the way these tea towels turned out though and would recommend the iron-on transfer as an easy way to make these. Follow the instructions on the iron on transfer paper.
Download my Hey Girl Tea Towel print and get started! Image of Ryan Gosling was licensed under CC 2.0 — sourced via Raffi Asdourian . I then modified the image. Tutorial coming!
Supplies (Affiliate Links):
And, just because I thought this would also make for a cute framed print above a drying rack in the kitchen I also made an 8×10 printable. Click here to download you own free Ryan Gosling themed printable!
Love the idea but just don’t wanna make your own tea towels? These sketched tea towels by Dear Colleen are AMAZING and would make for a fantastic gift! They’d be a better quality and have THREE images of Ryan Gosling… so, there is that too!
(PS. I will give screen printing a shot again sometime soon.)
(PPS. Ryan, if you’re reading this… first, EEEEE! Second, we share because we love your work and enjoy the meme. Will take down with a note from you! )
I’m really, really excited to be sharing some pictures from my most recent party today… a “Hey Girl” party for my friend Macey! A “Hey Girl” party you ask? Well, you know the Ryan Gosling meme, right? If not… you may not understand the awesomeness of this party.
Macey turned a year older this year and as she protested celebrations I asked her, “If you could have any party theme for your birthday, what would it be?” She answered, “Ryan Gosling, of course!”
Magic happened in that moment. My brain started firing on all cylinders and (thankfully) my friend Bee offered to host in her beautiful home. The rest is history… well, it is at least a week old now. If you were following along on my Instagram you might have seen a few photos from the party.
I can’t wait to share all the fun details! A Ryan Gosling party is great for a birthday party, bachelorette party, or heck… a baby shower for a baby girl! This was probably one of my favorite parties to date and nearly everything was DIY. Check back over this week and next for the following posts:
I’ll update this page with links to posts as they go live. Printables, tutorials, and a whole lotta fun to come!
In the meantime… answer me this:
I was thrilled when Ting of Cup of Ting asked me to share a kid’s party post with her readers. One of the hardest things for me to learn when I went to having all adult parties to parties that also included kiddos was HOW to throw a party in which everyone could still enjoy themselves at.
I’m excited to share some of the printables I made for my son’s “Welcome to Twosville” town themed birthday party. You can check out the many images and ideas from the party by checking out all of my Twosville posts.
Want something for a town themed party you don’t see above? Email me at jenni[at]awellcraftedparty[dot]com! I will create a custom package for you for $25.
While these printables are completely free of charge for use they are intended for personal use only. Please do not sell these products or send files as they are your own. Please link to this post if you want to share on your blogs.
This post is part of A Well Crafted Party’s Giveaway Week… we are cleaning out the editorial calendar and sharing the love with free printables, party good giveaways, and more! Don’t miss out on any of the giveaway posts by following along via BlogLovin, Twitter, or Facebook!
I bet you thought I was DONE sharing party posts from my son’s second birthday party… hahah, I’m NEVER done. Actually, we just had so many different photos that I wanted to split this up into posts about the decor, food, favors, and activities. Of course, I’ll be back again later today with free set of printables from this party AND a giveaway. Too much fun going on right now. (No such thing.)
The activities for this party were fairly simple. I don’t know about you, but trying to wrangle a bunch of 1-5 year olds does not sound like a fun activity to me. So, I set out items for a couple of activities, focused on making the whole party area a fun place to play, and let the kids and adults play and chat throughout the event. If the group had been a bit older I might have made the whole thing just a little more structured. But, for this age group I think the party turned out well.
Creating the cardboard buildings for the town was my first real project in creating a fun space for the kids. What kid doesn’t like a cardboard box? We made some of the buildings with doors and windows the kids could play in. The only one that was totally off-limits for playing was the ice cream truck due to some construction issues, and because it didn’t have a door the kids automatically stayed away from it. I added in toy vehicles and a toy kitchen to help give the “town” feel while giving the kids more hands-on activities. The toys were nearly as big of a hit as the cardboard buildings and they were just items we already had on hand!
Coloring is great for older toddlers and young children. We put out coloring sheet “Identifications” and let the kids draw their own IDs. Most of the kids just did squiggly lines, but all of the kids above the age of two wanted to color. No crayons were eaten either. So, that’s a plus.
I have no idea why kids find these thing so amazing… but, they do. My son and every other kid at the party wanted a fake tattoo. He went around the rest of the day showing off his football that he chose and patiently sat through getting it applied. So much cleaner and easier than face painting, comes off easily in the bath, and makes the kiddos smile. Why not?
Want even more ideas for town themed party activities? Click on the above tabs for ideas for toddlers, young children, and older children. Have ideas? Leave them in the comments so I can add them to the lists! If I use your idea I’ll link your site (if you have one!) Want more Twosville posts? Click here to check out all of the twosville posts. Want free printables? Check back here at 1 PM PST.[/tab] [tab title=”Toddler”]
I seriously had a whole list of activities we could have used to fit the theme. But, I didn’t want to overload the kids with activities or take too much time/money prepping the party. The below activity ideas would be great for toddlers:
Do you have more toddler friendly ideas? Leave them in the comments and I’ll post them along with a link to your site (if you have one!)[/tab] [tab title=”Young Children”]
Any of the toddler activities or activities used in the original party work work for children above the toddler age, but still not old enough to really be able to handle a lot of structure. The below activity ideas would be great for a town-themed party that has children from ages of 3-5:
Do you have more young children town activity ideas? Leave a message in the comments and I’ll add it to the list along with a link to your site. (if you have one!)[/tab] [tab title=”Older Children”]
Many of the other activities listed on these pages would work for older children. But, once they get older you can also have fun incorporating more activities. Check out my ideas for activities for a town-themed party that has children from the ages of 5+:
Do you have more ideas for town-themed party activities for older children? Leave them below in the comments and I’ll add them to the list along with a link to your site (if you have one!)[/tab] [/tabs]
Party favors are sometimes difficult for me– I don’t want to send home a bunch of plastic, useless items that will just create clutter and end up in a landfill. I also don’t want to spend a ton of money because parties are expensive enough without lots of extra costs from items like favors. I do love party favors though- and rarely like throwing a party without sending guests home with something.
For the little man’s town-themed party I went with edible snacks “for the road.”I got a lot if great suggestions and ideas from Twitter and Facebook however and thought I would share some of those ideas and other ideas that crossed my mind for a town-themed birthday party.
This year’s birthday party was scheduled between in the mid-afternoon, after lunch time and before dinner. I wanted to keep the food simple and didn’t want to worry about a lot of food getting wasted. Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters!
My menu for this event was pretty simple: fruit, veggies, cake, and ice cream. True to form, I still wanted to match the party food up to the theme a little. That is the beauty of having a town-themed party though… you can build your town around your menu and activities!
I found cute little french fry containers at Target and instantly new we had to have a Fast Food restaurant with a healthy twist. So, the fast food restaurant served veggie sticks as french fries. We then built a bakery to house the cupcakes and an ice cream truck to serve the ice cream. We built a cafe for the beverages and served water or juice in disposable coffee cups. My son was thrilled to be walking around with a coffee cup like his daddy.
The list goes on and on!
When it came to planning my son’s first birthday I had a theme in mind for AGES before he turned one. I prepped weeks before the big event. I did it all. As his second birthday came tumbling around I had NO idea what I was going to do to celebrate the big day.
I finally happened upon the idea of creating the town of Twosville. I thought it would be so much fun for the kids to have a town themed second birthday party. It gave me a ton of ideas to work with! It also allowed me to reuse and repurpose many items that I already had in my home— saving a bundle on the party! I used cardboard, tape, paint, and paper to create the town. My family and friends came over to help build the town. We did discover that we should have used some more sturdy and not-so-used boxes to create the town… ours looks a little Suess-like, but I still found it cute and the kiddo’s still loved it. Printables and my son’s toys helped put together the rest of the party. I feel like this is a theme that can be taken to the next level with time and supplies or done even simpler with imagination.
I posted some of my inspiration earlier in the month and a few of the party pics (and the story of the event) were featured on Tiny Prints this weekend. Throughout the week I’ll be sharing items from this party in addition to regular posts. I’ll be sharing town-themed activities, free printables, town-themed food ideas, town-themed favor ideas, and more ideas on how to make the town theme work for any age. Follow along via BlogLovin, Twitter, or Facebook to make sure you don’t miss any of the Twosville Party posts!
All photos are by Portland Lifestyle Photographer Macey of Motormouth Studios. If you are looking for an awesome, affordable photographer in the Portland area then check her out!
The invitations and gift tags (pictured on the party hats) were sent complimentary from Tiny Prints.
One of my all-time favorite invitation companies, Tiny Prints, sent me some lovely invitations and gift tags for my son’s second birthday party. They are now featuring the event photos on their blog!
I’ll be back tomorrow sharing even more from his “Twosville” party. If you are dropping in to see more from the party and to see some free printables, then follow along via Bloglovin, Facebook, or Twitter to know when the post is live!
A few words about Tiny Prints: I’ve now ordered three orders from the company and I can’t begin to tell you how awesome they are. The website works with ease, you can have a designer look over the work before printing, the print quality is AWESOME, and each order arrived in a timely manner. I’ve ordered business cards, invitations, gift tags, and personalized napkins. All beautiful. Definitely check out their website and pin a few items for future events. Since registering on their site I’ve also received discounts in my inbox. Sign up on their site for a free account to see discounts in your email inbox as well.
Disclaimer: I was sent complimentary party invitations and tags from Tiny Prints in exchange for using the products in a party and sharing it with the Tiny Prints blog. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
I’ve been prepping like crazy for my little guy’s second birthday party. My original idea was to just buy a ton of balls in various sizes and fill our backyard with them. The kids would have a blast!
But, as I do… I suddenly got another idea in my head that just won’t stop. Now the crafting has been put into overdrive. People have been over at my house every night this week helping to make this party idea come to life.
I’m so excited. But, I’m also kicking myself not getting the idea sooner and not STOPPING with the ideas. I know better!
Follow along on my Instagram on Saturday to see sneak peeks of the party!