Carnival Birthday Party – Leilani Rogers, Photographer

Boy am I behind on blogging! Lest you all think I haven’t been hard at work this summer, I will confess that summer is always hard on me structure-wise. I need the down time and so I am not as diligent updating the blog as I should be! But here it is the first week of school – and I’m feeling motivated! Maybe I’ll even catch up on a few sessions I really loved from the last few months. In the meantime, you can always see the most current work on my facebook page.

This past weekend my daughter had her 7th birthday party. Little known fact about me: I love party planning. I’ve always gone all out for my kiddos’ parties because I enjoy thinking outside the box and getting creative and it’s the perfect excuse to do both. I also love to see my kids’ faces light up, and I get so many hugs and thank yous from them. So it is well worth the effort for me (even if I’m staying up till 1am folding fortune tellers and doodling signs).

Sasha chose to have a carnival party this year, which was awesome because her older brother Drew had a carnival party just a couple years ago and I had saved all the games and some decorations. Score! All we had to do is “girl” it up a bit. Whereas her brother insisted on having a bouncy house, she wanted face painting and some kind of craft to make with her friends. Done, and done!

For the decor, I kept it pretty simple considering some of my past parties! For partyware, I found a darling new line of products at Target called Mara Mi. The colors worked with what I already had from Drew’s party and it was feminine enough to put the girly spin on the party we were looking for. For other decor I got a few fun items from Wish Works Party Boutique. My favorite were the balloons! Notice the darling little girls, boys, cats and dogs dangling from the ends. Unfortunately the balloons lost their floatability by morning, so I taped a few to the walls. Hehehe. There’s ALWAYS a way! I rather like how they looked, too! I also found some fun stickmen/paper cut outs (from Hobby Lobby) that I covered in scrapbook paper and hung as a border. The fun little mason jar/cups are from One King’s Lane. Along the center of the table (not pictured) I had a jar of clown noses and “ringmaster mustaches” for the girls. And gumballs. Always gum balls! They are a fun splash of color and the kids eat them up so there’s nothing to store when the party is over.

As the guests arrived, they got their face painted. I ended up doing this myself, although I'd originally envisioned hiring an artist to come do it. That didn't pan out. But it was fun and I kept it pretty simple, so it went fast. After their faces were painted the girls visited the "kissing booth" where they had to guess how many Hershey's kisses were in a jar. They each wrote down their guess and their name on a small piece of paper and put it in a bucket. They would find out who had won the jar of kisses at the end of the party. They each then received a small bucket of popcorn and 4 tickets and we headed outside for games. I arranged the games to be sort of an obstacle course. They had to proceed in order from one to the other until all 4 stations were complete. First they had to balance an egg on a spoon, down the patio stairs to the "tightrope walk". They had to wear a big feather in their hair so they looked the part as they crossed the tightrope (a ribbon in the grass). Then they headed over to the potato sack race. In groups of 6 they raced across the lawn and then hopped onto the trampoline to show off their acrobatic skills. They had a blast doing all this! We finished up outside with a pinata and then headed indoors for craft time. For our craft we made fortune tellers. I made so many of these when I was a little girl! I guess they haven't really made a comeback yet. For shame! The girls loved making them and telling each other's fortunes!

I really wanted to make a photo booth, too... but time got away from me. I already had a fun photo panel from Drew's party, but I also found a cute set of props (Mara Mi brand again!) from Target, and the girls had fun posing with them just inside the house against my white doors.

Finally it was time to eat cake. Sasha blew out her candles, made a wish and everyone dug in. When they were finished Sasha opened her presents. At some point during this she decided it would be fun to tackle each present-givier with a big hug. It became kind of a silly game of the girls cringing with delight to see who's present she would open next, thereby receiving the next tackle! Anyone who knows this girl knows she loves her some big old hugs!!!

This was such a fun party to plan and we're grateful to all who came. Can't wait for next year!

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