Monday, April 7, 2014

The Not-So-Pinterest-Worthy Carnival Party

You know those plans that you have in your head for months and months about how something is going to turn out and then when it is time to put those ideas to life it just doesn't quite turn out?
Oh no? Yeah me either. :/
Last weekend, we celebrated Chyenne turning six years old with what was supposed to be "the greatest birthday on earth" according to her invitation. (Edited for privacy but the bottom said the location and something about an inflatable slide, horse rides, tons of games etc).

I had planned everything out and I had made everything all adorable. I printed off handmade signs for every game and food. I printed off individual labels for individual bags of cotton candy and even stuffed the bags with the sticky goodness myself. I made beautiful birthday banners with glittery cardstock and pretty printed paper. I baked a very simple cake (which isn't like me at all) along with very simply cupcakes (without toppers!!!). I was going the "easy route" and simplifying everywhere I could because I wanted the actual party to be great! I even cleaned the house, knowing that it was an outdoor party.
Oh did I mention that before the party I took the time to make about SIXTY balloon animals?! Yes I kinda sorta taught myself how to make balloon animals to make the party super special.

I hand-painted several cute photo props...

Luckily Chy adored them all. 

I printed off a ton of signs and labels for everything.


Picture over a dozen of these signs, one for every game... (Template found here:

It rained for two whole days before Sunday, the day of the party, yet God graced us with an amazing sunny blue sky. Everything was coming together nicely... until it was time to take everything outside to set up.
The wind was horrid. Absolutely terrible. 


We set up the adorable pallet carnival stands (courtesy of a great friend), tables, chairs, pennant banner, and the bouncy slide. Then, we went to put the balloons in place when the wind picked them up and carried them probably a million miles away...
Thankfully, I still got a cute picture of Chyenne with her precious balloons after I slaved, err lovingly filled them with helium and torturously adorningly tied ribbons to them.
I was so upset--so I tried my best to run after the beautiful balloons that matched the colors of the party so well. Too bad nobody was there to photograph THAT!
So, I took a deep breath once hubby sent a friend to the nearest store to get a few more balloons and began to hang the banners that I spent forever making by hand (and silhouette machine, but still).
And the devil wind decided to kick it up a notch again--it blew ALL of the letters off of my precious banners!!!
At this point, I wasn't upset anymore, I was pissed. We rushed around like crazy people retrieving the scattered letters and I painfully stapled each one in place.
It wasted SO MUCH time. At this point, I realized I hadn't done my hair or makeup or anything yet. And believe me, I looked terrible. It was still about an hour from party time and I had half a million games to get from inside the house onto the hellacious windy lawn. I was stressed!
So I ran to and from the house countless times carrying tables and chairs, table cloths, ribbons, popcorn, cotton candy, game pieces, game signs, balls, boxes, etc etc until people were arriving (early, mind you) and offered to help set things up while I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
I didn't even get good pictures of the before. Which is one of my favorite parts about actually throwing a party. Selfish, yes, but still what I enjoy.
It was finally about 30 minutes into the party when I remembered to grab my phone and take some pictures before I breathed a sigh of relief. The kids were running around wild, smiling from ear to ear while the parents were commenting on how cool everything was. I guess all of that made up for all of the disaster of everything. 
We had fake money to give to the kids upon arrival so they could buy their own tickets. What kids wouldn't want to be in charge of a ton of money and tickets!? At least that panned out well.
I also had adorable cardboard boxes printed with a little thank you for the kids to put their prizes in.
We served nachos, large pickles, popcorn, cotton candy, sugar cookies, cupcakes, cake, and ice cream cones. We also had bottled waters and kid drinks.
We had an inflatable slide, horse rides (which left many kids in a long line for quite a while, but they didn't seem to mind), face painting (until the kids took over and decided to paint each other instead of wait for an adult to help), balloon animals, photo props, a ton of photo booth props (most of which went unused because the wind kept blowing them away), belly boppers (sumo wrestling inflatable things), bowling, sack races, balloon pop, ring toss, cover the spot, knock 'em down, puppet show, bean bag toss, tic-tac-toe toss, and large bouncy balls.
Although this party didn't turn out quite like I had envisioned for approximately 11.5 months, it was still a hit with the kids and my new six year old had the time of her life.
So, the moral of the story is, don't try to overdo things by yourself--or if you do, don't let the wind anywhere near your party! ;)
Without further ado, the not-so-pinterest-worthy carnival party for my girl's sixth birthday:

The first picture of the birthday girl in her mama-made hat and meme-made tutu.

The bouncy slide was a hit!

The wretched wind was even knocking down the bowling pins! WHAT?! 

I couldn't even take all of my cute hand-bagged popcorn and cotton candy out of the baskets because the wind was blowing it all away!

I also couldn't set up my pretty cupcake stand due to the wind, so I had to set out some pans. All of our napkins and plates and such had to be kept in walmart bags... oh that was attractive. :/

Thankfully, the kids didn't seem to mind.


Again, I didn't get any good picures... here are a few pictures that a friend took.
 Everything was disheveled and it drove me absolutely crazy.
Yet again, I was the only one who seemed to mind.
The kids had a blast. The parents even seemed to enjoy themselves.

That sweet smile on the face of my birthday girl? All worth it.

When it was time for cake, Chyenne was shoveling popcorn into her mouth as fast as she could before blowing out the candles.

This little class clown caught a frog a few hours before the party and carried it around in a box for most of the day. HILARIOUS!

The birthday girl ended up with a ton of crafty loot and a whole lot of money! lol.

Anddd a new bike from Daddy.

Despite how crazy the birthday party ended up Chyenne said it was the best day of her life so far. Although I didn't get pinterest-worthy photographs of the "perfect" party I had envisioned, I'm glad it turned out how it did. It was messy and fun. Just like childhood should be. I'm still hoping my sisters got a few better pictures of the d├ęcor than I managed to.

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