We sent out little free e-vites with a picture of K in her swim suit because we decided to utilize the blessing that is our neighborhood pool during her party. Because I was almost at my due date and feeling way more sluggish than usual my BFF was precious enough to send a bunch of dolphin themed items from The Oriental Trading Company. I mean, honestly? How thoughtful is that? A true friend! I really DIDN'T end up doing a ton of decor so those items were just the icing on the cake for her little party and we were so thankful. Without further ado: the pictures!
We'll start with the details:
We pretty much always have a coloring table at our birthday parties. You can find free coloring pages for ANY party theme. Easy peasy!
I no longer have access to a cricut like I did in Lexington so now I have to get a bit more creative with how I do cut outs like these. We printed a dolphin silhouette onto card stock and then I cut them out and glued on googly eyes. Pretty simple.
Good ole' card stock - tons of uses! I also found all these beachy themed stickers in my "retired" scrap booking loot. Score!
All the cups, plates, napkins, and these lei's were purchased in the clearance section at Party City (a perk of a September birthday in the Carolina's when it's still hot enough to use such clearance items).
I bought this dress me up plate years ago at a Southern Living Home party and I swear I've used it more times than I can count for birthdays, holidays, scriptures, just whatever. I love it. There is a little bowl right in front of the plate containing "super awesome" tattoos...it was with the Trading Company loot from Chelsea and they were a bit party hit.
These little creations were compliments of Pinterest. Vanilla wafers for the sand, jelly belly's for the ocean and gummy dolphins on top. Perfect little send home treats.
More trading company goodies - dolphin bracelets.
These little cups were from Chelsea too and we just added some personalization to them. So cute!
Now for the fun:
We started things off in our neighborhood pool once all the guests of honor arrived. I found this float a few days before the party on clearance at Walmart (again...perk of being in the South in September :). We tossed some water balloons at the pool too but I didn't get any pics of that.
Oh these sweet girls - Kennedy's besties!
Sweet "Ellie Belle" as I like to call her. I can't believe how much she has changed since September!
Jennifer and I got in on the rafting action, because: why not?
Right as the clouds starting rolling in for a little summer shower, we headed back to the house and got the kids dressed and then headed back out once the shower ended for some more outdoor fun.
These. These things are so super fun. These are called Guar Gum bubbles. A quick internet search will provide you with recipes, some amazing pictures and some tutorials on how to create your own. Do it! Your kids will love it.
Then, you too can snap hilarious action shots like this one and all that follow!
I mean, seriously! How cool is that?
This throng of children chasing bubbles was getting a little cray so we ended up separating the "littles" and the "bigs" and that made for a much more enjoyable giant bubble experience, but the giant bubble mob pics are pretty funny too - see for yourself.
I love how in the above picture the "bigs" are trying to act all cool and hold the "littles" back as if they aren't every bit as excited and then in the next picture you can tell they totally lose composure and act a fool once the bubble is almost released. I mean, I'ma keep it real with y'all - these bubbles are so awesome, I want to chase them too.
These pictures just make me happy. I've been reading a new book called "Nobody's Cuter than You". It is Melanie Shankle (aka "Big Mama's/www.thebigmamablog.com) third book and I can already tell it's going to be another favorite for me. The book is about friendship and in the book she recounts some of her childhood and adolescent friendships with other girls and reflects on how even then - those friendships had a purpose and were precious. I mean, I know you can't/don't/won't keep all of your friends from all your life's stages - but some you do and will and I love that she's got good friends right now in these gals - they're so darling and she loves them so and they have fun together and that's pretty awesome when your 7. And hey, after we moved here I reconnected with a girl who I first met in 7th grade and her daughter is the one below in tie dye. True Story!!! You just never know.
Sister decided to kick a bubble. Ha ha!
After bubble popping, we took it back indoors for pizza, caesar salad, fruit and then CAKE!
The cake was something I was back and forth about but ultimately decided on this ruffling technique because I thought it looked like waves. I used brown sugar for the sand and we had the painted sea shells from a craft we did a few years ago (we picked those shells up on our beach vacation). There are some gummy dolphins on top but you can't really see them in this picture.
I was really happy with how well the cake turned out. My only disappointment is that I was going for an ombre look to the icing and that is WAY harder than you think because icing dye comes in containers that make it kind of tough to really measure it out and it takes a good bit of icing dye to get rich color so it's hard to get drastic differences like I was going for. All in all though - pretty and delicious cake.
Please excuse all the upcoming blue teeth photos. Ha!
Time to open presents! Y'all remember these? Skip Balls!
Reading and Horses/Ponies are two of her favorite things. Put them together and you get the best gift idea ever. Thanks Nana and Pawpaw for her new chapter books - it took her approximately a week to tear through them all. This kid is a READER.
You know how at Christmas and at Birthday's there's always a "big gift". You know, the one thing that either A. they really wanted super bad or B. was super expensive and thus it got named the "big gift". Well, next up was her big gift. She'd been asking me for an American Girl Doll because her older cousin AH has one but those things ain't cheap and my kids honestly spend WAY more time pretend playing (house, horse, doggy/kitty) and playing outside than they do with their toys and so I wasn't sure it was a wise investment for us. Enter my sisters offer to give her (yep, you read that right) their older American Girl Dolls that they don't really play with anymore. Um, yes...yes, we'll take them thank you very much. So: it's the BIG GIFT and the best part is - it didn't cost a thing. The best!
Even more thoughtful than them giving us their dolls: the fact that my niece took it upon herself to include a precious little note about the dolls and how much they meant to her and how she hoped K would enjoy them, etc. So, so sweet.
I mean, honestly - did you have to wipe tears away because I did. Love, love, love.
Kennedy and her sister have shared these dolls well and they have dressed them, had tea parties with them, had them ride their our generation horses (pictured below), etc. A treasured and perfect gift for sure.
This horse was from her friend Sophia and I can't even begin to tell you how much she has played with this thing. My girls LOVE horses. It's like they have that part of KY in their blood.
My Mom and Jim got K a locket and she loves it - she's wanted one for a long time.
My girls live in boots in the winter. Skinny jeans and boots or leggings and boots are pretty much an every day thing. These boots were given to K from Grandaddy and Gigi.
It was such a fun party. It's hard to believe she'll be 8 at the end of this summer. Going way to fast. Let's end on a less depressing note - some of the cutest party guests: