I am finally posting Jane's birthday party!
I asked her what she wanted her birthday to be like and she said "wa-wa". Which means water. She's such a little fishy. She loves swimming, the bathtub, a glass of water, the water park, water slides, fish, whales, otters. Basically, anything and everything to do with the ocean and water. Instantly I knew I wanted to partner with our friends at the Vancouver Aquarium to create the perfect ocean themed party.
Since her birthday is right after Christmas the last thing we wanted was more toys and clothes to fill up our little apartment. There really wasn't anything she needed so rather than getting gifts we actually asked our friends and family to donate towards an animal at the Vancouver Aquarium. They have a few options and ways you can help support the ocean life around Vancouver and one of them was to adopt one of the animals in their care. So after very little research, I stumbled across Hardy, a newly rescued otter pup who was only a few months old at the time. Clearly, he was an easy choice because of how cute he was! What the adoption does is help cover cost of feeding, care and medical treatment.
We adopted an otter for her birthday and she received a little otter stuffed animal, a photo of him and a certificate of the adoption which we put up in her room. It felt a lot better doing something good with her birthday rather than receiving toys or clothes. This is going to be something we do again in the future with her birthdays and we suggest this idea to you for your next party. Who knows, maybe next year we will support saving the bees or plant some trees or something.
Anyway, without me continuously rambling on about saving the ocean haha welcome to her ocean themed party.
Ocean Themed Party Decore
We wanted to do a more modern twist on the ocean theme. Rather than having big plastic blow up sea creatures, sand, palm trees and hula skirts we kept it very modern.
I made the dessert table backdrop out of tissue paper circles and made a few paper jellyfish to hang above us. The goal was to make the guests feel like they just stepped underwater. Balloons were chosen in the colours of bubbles and water. I used around seventy balloons to create two balloon garlands. We also borrowed a canister of helium from friends to blow up other balloons all around the space.
We used shades of green streamers and twisted them to look like seaweed on the ocean floor. Jane's Aunty is a teacher so she had her Kindergarten class make absolutely adorable jellyfish decorations that were hung amidst the seaweed. These little googly eyed jellyfish were a highlight of the party. Each one was so cute, some were smiling, some had birthday wishes written on them and one was decorated like a cat. It was so sweet to have decor that was so thoughtful. (I highly recommend this is you have a child in preschool, a teacher friend or children in grade school. It never hurts to ask if their class can make a fun little craft. If you're having a car themed birthday party how fun would it be to have a bunch of handmade little cars for decor? So cute! )
Ocean Themed dessert table
The desert table for her ocean themed party turned out much better than I imagined. We were fortunate enough to have her party in an event space in a nice building downtown Vancouver. Two of the four walls were floor to cieling windows, one was tile and the other was concrete. Which was the perfect neutral place to set up the desserts.
I made ocean jello cups, hired a fabulous baker for her cupcakes and asked Jane's other Aunty (also a fantastic baker) to make the cake and macrons. The best thing about this is that everything came together beautifully. Everyone who had a hand in the party was given the same colour scheme.
Just to the right of the dessert table was our aquarium set up for the otter we adopted. We had a little donation box with a picture of Hardy on it as well as the certificate framed and a few other goodies.
Ocean Themed Party Food
Other than the delicious sweet treats we enjoyed we were swimming in appraisers and delicious food. (Get it? Swimming.. because it's ocean themed? Anyway.. )
How adorable are the little labels on each of the different appies? They turned out so well and are totally on theme. The banana dolphins really take the cake though, those little guys are just to cute to eat!
Ocean theme party game
Chris and I host a number of very themed, decorated and fun parties every year (Halloween being a big one, every inch of out entire house get decorated). So, a well known fact for those guests who have attended a number of our parties know there is always a game with a boozy prize to be won. And in Jane's case her party was no exception.
I created a list of ocean themed questions to ask the guests and they had to write down what they thought the most common answer to those questions was. It's basically a spin off family feud but there aren't any teams. I asked things like "What's something in the ocean that starts with the letter S?" To which everyone writes down their answer and we move on through the rest of the questions.
The answers are all based on the most common answer from a pool of 100 people. (All the questions and answers can be found online.) After we get through the 8 to 10 questions everyone's papers are collected and the winner is announced. In this case the winner was just shy of a tie between our neighbor and an 11 year old girl. So our neighbor received the prize of a bottle of wine and the girl received a few packs of fun dip.
This game is great because you can play it with all ages and have various prizes and themes. One thing we like to do is mention a few of the silliest or obscure answers we received, often times that person will receive a consolation prize.
Big thank you to everyone who came to celebrate Jane's 2nd Birthday and a massive shout out to all who had a hand in helping make her party a reality. Daniella Stewart for the most delicious cake and macarons, Hope Connelly for the best cupcakes I've ever had (seriously), Angela Stewart for all her fabulous ocean themed food, my hubby for helping me build the stand for the dessert table backdrop and for putting up with having decor piled up around our house for two weeks (oh and for bringing McDonalds while setting up for the party, I was getting hangry.)
And a big BIG thank you to Shana Either from Life as Wife and Mom for helping with set up and taking all these gorgeous photos.