By K.C. Blackwell

I admit I go a little crazy with birthday parties and holidays. It’s not like I’m a great multi-tasker. The house definitely gets a little messier and more breakfast dinners are on the menu when I get focused on an event. I simply do it because I enjoy it. I love sitting in front of the TV at night and putting together goody bags. I love googling hundreds of websites for the perfect cake and favors. I think of the themes months in advance and am always on the lookout for related items. My party zeal started with my son’s 1st birthday party. I had a blast creating an “under the sea” party to celebrate this milestone.

For the underwater feel, I bought several different shades of blue streamers, positioned them on the ceiling in waves and completed the look by hanging paper fish down. After walking through a bubble blower to our front door, the kids came in and were greeted with a personalized beach ball.

For snacking, I placed rainbow goldfish in fish bowls in strategic locations around the house. On the main food table, I bought a net and decorated it with all types of seashells to serve as the tablecloth. I wanted to create a fish house type menu, so I served shrimp cocktail, fish sticks, hushpuppies, shells and cheese and coleslaw. I always try to buy themed cookie cutters because I use them not only for the cookies, but in this case, to cut out fish-shaped pimento cheese sandwiches.

The party cake was a large sailboat (pictured at the beginning of the post)and we made a smaller version for the smash cake. I have to admit, that’s one thing my husband is always in charge of … decorating the cake!

Party favors were simple beach buckets full of bubbles, sunglasses, a fish book and other small toys. For every birthday party, my husband and I put together a birthday DVD with pictures of our child over the year. We set the pictures to music, like Sitting on The Dock of the Bay and other water themed songs for this particular party. As the guests leave, we give everyone a copy of the DVD. They love it and we love having a new DVD each year of our children!

For party favors and decorations I use Party City and Oriental Trading Company. Also, the dollar section at Target is always a great place to look. I buy some craft type items at Michaels and Joann’s and basically anywhere else I discover them! For my cakes, I almost always find them on Hope these ideas help someone on their next party. I know I always borrow ideas from others!