Last May, I put this “summer camp” themed birthday party together for my sweet Haddie. As much as I love party planning, sometimes life gets busy & you have to put other priorities first……that was the case for our family last year. Even though we were riding the crazy train & I couldn’t devote as much time as I normally would planning her birthday, I wasn’t going to let it get in the way of giving her a a really fun day….. I just had to pick a theme that would allow me to be more casual.
My Aunt has this gorgeous property just outside of Portland, Oregon. It is five acres with half of the acreage being heavily wooded with these majestic 100 year trees. It is a magical place that my girls both love. With being short on time, I figured a rustic theme like a “summer camp” would be a great choice…and with a perfect setting (like my Aunt’s property) at my disposal, the theme seemed like a no brainer…..so we went with it.
I really wanted to keep the food simple & casual, so we went with a s’more bar. I made a bunch of cookies & homemade marshmallows and loaded the table up with every kind of candy bar you could imagine, as well as Nutella & berries. The kids LOVED being able to to create their own s’more masterpieces (my favorite being Benton and his three chocolate bar stacker which sent him into sugar hysterics about an hour after the party)
I learned a lot from throwing this party….. I do better on less time. I was forced to make decisions fast and didn’t have the time to dwell on or sweat the small stuff. Going forward I have taken minimalist approach to party planning. And, I have to say I love what I come up with more now then I did on parties past when I took months & months to plan. Plus, the kids had a wonderful time….which was the point of having this celebration to begin with.
And since this was a real party, I wanted to share some of the after party with you.
Here is what happens when you leave a four year old and her bestie unattended with a table full of treats and an empty teepee…….
party design & styling, fabric bunting, camp haddie garland, baked goods, wooden name tags, drink labels, welcome happy campers sign & photography: stevie pattyn
photography: tara bamford of third book photography
butterfly nets & pop-its: dollar tree