Saturday, July 21, 2012

Curious Liam's 3rd Birthday Party

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Today was the day!  The day my weeks and weeks of research (Ok...hours of research on Pinterest...I confess!), supplies collecting, baking, and crafting finally paid off.  Today was my son's 3rd birthday party!  We decided to go with a Curious George theme for several reasons.  One, my son acts more like a monkey than a toddler.  Two, he watches the Curious George shows ALL the time.  I have seen every one.  MANY times.  And there are probably 100 episodes.  At least.

Thanks to the help of my sisters, my mom and dad, my husband, and my mother-in-law, plus several borrowed items from other family members, we were able to pull off a reasonably successful birthday party I believe.

 Here are goody bags we did for the kids.  They had Curious George gummy snacks, glow stick bracelets, crayons, and a Go-Go applesauce squeezer.  Kind of random, but they were affordable, useable, and not completely comprised of junk food (though that is never a bad kind of gift bag).  We wrote the names of the kids on them before they left.
 Here is our "picture wall."  My dad is a professional photographer, so I tried to give him a decorated spot in which to take pictures of the guest with the birthday boy.  I love pictures (can you tell?  There are one or two here).
 My incredibly talented sister painted Curious George.  He was life size, and a dead ringer for the cartoon George.  My son was just enamored and amused and thrilled to have George at his party, and he made for cute pictures!!
 Got to have a close up.  My son has always kind of lived a monkey themed life.  We will never theme our kids room etc. after monkeys again though.  We had his nursery done in monkey theme, and all the stuff we got him  before he was born was monkey themed, and we ended up getting a baby/infant/toddler that sometimes acts more monkey than kid.  The next baby we had, his theme: Winnie the Pooh.  A nice, relaxed, laid back character :)
 Cupcake toppers!  All the printed designed items were from Photo designz  on Etsy.  Great great value, and the printables were fantastic!
 His favorite candy...these and Starbursts.
 This banner was a pain.  It went so much better in my head than it did in real life.  That said and done, after many re-doings of tape and string, we got it up, and I absolutely loved it.  The whole thing said "Happy 3rd Birthday"
 This is a family staple at parties.  It is our version of 7-layer dip, affectionately dubbed "Dave's dip" for the uncle that brought the recipe home from home economics class one day.  Today, it was Jungle dip!  (Those are olives on top...just sayin'.  I thought I bought sliced...oh well.)  We did these individual servings and had individual brown paper bags of chips to go with them.  Portable, individual, and tasty!  Bring on the double dipping to your hearts content!
 We served burgers for lunch.  This is a shot of the menu that I made for people to order their burgers.  They got to choose from a single or double patty (or veggie), their choice of hot toppings (bacon, green chilies, caramelized onions), and cheese (homemade mozzarella, cheddar cheese).  We also made up two "Curious Liam Specials."  The guests marked down the toppings they wanted, and we cooked to order.  Then they got to help themselves to the cold toppings bar we had out also.  Homemade hamburger buns, homemade BBQ sauce, homemade mozzarella cheese (yes, homemade.  There is a previous blog post on it if you don't believe me), caramelized grilled onions, roasted diced green chilies, maple bacon, cheddar cheese, and all the regular burger fixin's as well.  These made for some tasty burgers if I do say so myself. Sorry there isn't a waited long enough to eat their burger for a picture.  My husband the grill master slaved away (and I mean SLAVED away) at the BBQ for a long time in 95+ degree heat (not including the 450 degree heat of the BBQ) cooking all the onions, peppers, burgers, and bacon.  He was such a trooper and it wouldn't have been the awesomeness without his grilling expertise. 
 Homemade dill pickles. 
 This was fruit salad in little waffle cone bowls.  So good, so easy, and so fun!
 On to the desserts...I love desserts by the way.  This is the cupcake spread.  We had vanilla with meringue frosting, and devils food cupcakes with meringue frosting.  The cupcake toppers were part of the printables package from Print Designz, as well as the buffet labels.
 Close up!

 I made caramel apples with chocolate and white chocolate drizzle for party favors for the adults.  Homemade caramel for them of course.  This was one of my favorite parts of the whole party spread, I was so happy with them.
 I was lucky enough to find monkey cupcake liners.  Who knew, right?
 For a monkey party, you must have banana something.  My banana something--frozen chocolate dipped bananas.  Some were plain, some were rolled in peanuts, and some were rolled in Reese's peanut butter cup morsels.
 The whole dessert spread table. 
The last dessert we had was vanilla milkshakes.  I made homemade chocolate sauce, and homemade caramel sauce (Oh my gosh...I wish I could have an I.V. of that caramel sauce...) for people to drizzle in if they wanted to flavor it.  These were a big hit and were gone as soon as I turned my back.  It was funny.

I tried to get the best deal on everything, and spend the least amount I had to while getting what I really wanted.  This involved many trips to Walmart (the shake cups, trays, candy jars, ribbon, and colored table cloths all Walmart, and under a dollar each), Target (napkins, dessert and appetizer plates), Sam's (squeeze bottles, cups for the dip, red dinner plates), and more stores too.  It was so nice to have a themed party, but not have it looked like Party City threw up in my house.  My goal was to not have it look like that happened, and I am happy with the outcome.

We also had a Curious George bounce house from out in our backyard.  This was the best money spent on the whole day!  Our son was over the moon!  He bounced and bounced and just had a blast.  I highly recommend splurging on one if you have an energetic child like we do.  It just made him so happy. 

A gigantic thank you to Larry Berger Photography, who took all these dazzling and drool worthy pictures.  A picture is worth a thousand words, and these all say "Yummy yummy yummy!!"

Overall, it was a lot of work, a lot of research, a lot of driving to a million different stores to get the best deal (I bargain searched, I really tried to do this as inexpensive as possible), and a lot of man hours.  In the end, it was SOOO worth it.  I think our son had a great time, he enjoyed the bouncer, the presents, the blowing out of birthday candles, and probably all the attention in general.  Heck, for a 3 year old, I guess you can't expect much more :)

Happy Birthday Curious Liam!  


  1. I can't believe he's already three! And I'm SO sad that I couldn't make it (we drove up to Santa Maria Friday night instead of Saturday night--too many errands I had to run and a cousin who just had a baby)! Everything looks drool worthy just like you said and now I shall forever be bummed for missing it. But I'm glad it was awesome, though! You put so much work into it and it looks like it paid off 1000%!

  2. I can attest to the fact that the party was GREAT--because I was there!! :) You are very creative and talented, Lindsay! The food was yummy--kudos to Paul for the perfect hamburger with the amazing bun! Loved the pickles, Lindsay! I'm a party city type of gal--and so I appreciate all of your ingenuity, Lindsay!! :)

  3. Everything looks so great. I love all the different foods you did. So creative. I also like the big drawing of Curious George. Such great books. Great work. Jodi @

    1. Thank you! My son is in love with the books and show. I think he sees a kindred spirit in George...goodness knows I see it. My sister did the large Curious George cut out. Thank you for visiting my site and taking the time to comment!

  4. This is adorable!! Love the idea of having Winnie the Pooh be the next nursery theme though. Just made a post about that little bear. ;0)

    You did a great job. The frozen bananas are a nice idea. And woah, that life-size George is fantastic!! Love the idea of a "photo booth" for the guest and birthday boy. Fun memories.

    -Lauren from

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I would love it if you would add some of your party ideas to my very first link party, check it out on the blog archives, it was posted on sunday. Thank you so much!

  5. This is interesting analysis about Birthday Party Decorations.I really like it.
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  6. My son Liam is turning 3 in October and I am going to copy allot of your ideas for his party. Thank you for sharing. I do have a question...where did you get the labels that you put on the goodie bags?

  7. My son Liam is turning 3 in October and I am going to copy allot of your ideas for his party. Thank you for sharing. I do have a question...where did you get the labels that you put on the goodie bags?

    1. At the beginning of the post is a link to Photo designz, and that is where I got them.

  8. i like that post, its so nice. for any type of boxes for your product contact Liquid Printer. Liquid Printer is the best On Line Printing and Packaging Company. which delivers you free shipping at your Door steps.


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  9. Wow!! What a party theme!! You really had great time there I can see.. I am appreciating your monkey party theme idea. Good work!!

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  10. Can you give me ideas/direction as to how your sister made the cutout? I want to make one for my daughters party. Thanks! It's all adorable!

    1. Hi!

      Unfortunately I don't have a great answer to this. My sister is an exceptional drawer and I think she looked at a picture and then freehand drew this onto a large piece of cardboard box, and then cut it out.

      Sorry I can't be more helpful. Hope your party goes great!

  11. What an amazing birthday party preparations and photos! Thanks for sharing them with us. Last week I visited Chicago for first time and visited few event venues Chicago for party too. I like all party spots and would love to celebrate my birthday in Chicago!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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