Sunday, July 1, 2012

We Found Nemo: Madelyn's Finding Nemo Birthday Party!

It's that time of year again...the culmination of months of's Madelyn's birthday!  This year, because of Benjamin's March arrival, we decided to host the party at an offsite location to minimize the cleaning, set up and clean up that would have to take place at home.  Finding a location, however, was a huge challenge since I knew that I wanted to be able to bring all of the decorations, food, drinks and desserts myself (even though we were having the party offsite I didn't want it to be any less personalized since Madelyn and I have so much fun working on our parties together).

Finally we settled on Charlotte Aquatics for a few reasons:
1. this is where Madelyn takes swim lessons (and we HIGHLY recommend those) and she considers this her pool
2. the pool only hosts one party at a time so the entire facility would be ours alone
3. we could bring all of our own food, drinks and decor
4. we just love everyone there and knew they would make it a very fun event!

Once we had a pool we then easily decided on a Finding Nemo theme since it is one of Madelyn's favorite movies.  Once again, however, this is not a very current movie and party accessories were NOT easy to come by.  Here is what we cobbled together for, what I think, was a pretty nice birthday for a 4 year old.

Here was our invite that Patrick designed in Photoshop:

Like all parties, planning started early and Madelyn and I decided on, shopped for and assembled favor bags (with some help from Grammy).

The ribbon below is from Jo-Ann Fabrics and was used as our accent for everything.

Here is what we selected for our big kid favors: Nemo goggles (Dollar excited we found these!), orange and white dive sticks (also Dollar Tree, very Nemo-esque), Nemo fruit snacks and water bottles (Michaels with tags I designed in Photoshop).

Here are the finished bags all tied up pretty!

On party day, me and my crew of party set-up professionals swarmed Charlotte Aquatics with bags and boxes and laundry baskets of food and decorations.  In a cloud of dust that Pigpen would be proud of a party was formed.  Here was our o-fish-al (I just cant get enough of that) result!

A few buffet table shots...I love the Nemo ribbon that Patrick's mom found (although I am not sure where) matched my little Nemo ribbon perfectly so we used it as a table garland.  The centerpiece of the table was delicious blue punch made with blue Hawaiian punch, lemonade concentrate and pineapple juice.

Fish (gold fish of course) and Chips with Dip and Veggies and Dip.

Bait (gummy worms and gummy octopus)

Bell Pepper Octopus on Hummus (thank you Pinterest!)

Patrick's awesome shark watermelon bowl (another Pinterest find)!

"Jelly" Fish Sandwiches for the kids plates (fish cookie cutter from Jo Ann Fabrics) and finger "sand"wiches (egg salad, ham salad, chicken salad, pimento cheese and cucumber tea sandwiches) for the adults.

Another Pinterest find- wrap your silverware in napkins and tie with twine and a "lifesaver"...very nautical and has the added benefit of lending a minty aroma to your party!  (Silverware from the Dollar Tree, napkins from Party city, blue caddy from the Target Dollar Spot, twine and lifesavers from Walmart).

The kids table all set up with place settings and favors.

Everyone worked up a hearty appetite with a little swimming, sliding, rope swinging, water gun fighting and water basketball playing before lunch.

Lunch is served!  The kids got their jelly fish sandwiches and a little aquarium cup of blue jello with Swedish fish in them.  They could then choose any other items from the buffet that tickled their fancy!

Up close of favor bags and bottles:

The babies (we have a lot recently) all got under the sea tub books from Dollar Tree:

One very excited 4 year old and her Nemo before lunch!  (note: the Nemo balloon was impossible to find anywhere near us in Charlotte...this one came from a grocery store in Ohio with Grammy and Grandpa)

And during lunch...

After lunch we brought out the good stuff!  Crush Cookies (chocolate dipped oreos to look like Crush)...

Pearl Pops (cake pops made to look like Pearl the octopus)

Peach Pastries (cake cookies cut and decorated with frosting and sanding sugar to look like Peach the starfish)

And CAKE!!!  Grammy made the Nemo and Dory bouncing on Jelly fish cake from Here and a personal cake for Maddy with a fondant sea gull on it that said "Mine"...hilarious!

Madelyn was very excited that the inside of the cake was all different shades of blue and got darker as you went deeper in the "ocean" since blue is "totally" her favorite color.

After a fabulous day of playing in the pool and eating a lot of food, we had one exhausted baby...

And one worn out little lady!

Happy Birthday Maddy!!