Elaina's third birthday is only a few weeks behind us. It came and went pretty quickly, and Elaina Mae had a blast! I was very surprised by how excited she was and how social she was with her little friends and relatives. Going into everything, we had decided to hold her party at our home for simplicity. Her first birthday had a larger guest list so we had rented a space. Last year, we kept her party to our immediate families and god parents. This year, we thought it would be fun to have her regular play group friends over as well as her cousins! We originally planned for a few activities outside though we knew it could be slightly cold. But we thought that'd balance out having everyone over to our house. Well,it turned out to be freezing cold and snowy that very day! So we crammed all 40 of us in our home. Thankfully, we had the playroom to use for the kids. Thanks to everyone for being troopers and squeezing in with us! But really it was super fun and I think all of the kids had a good time!

Now everyone knows that I love a good themed party. I love all the big details down to the smaller special details. So of course this year wouldn't be any different. But really, we did keep most things simple and I used a majority of things we already had.

I really tried to get Elaina in on the ideas as I knew this was the first year she'd really care.
So this year, we were SUPER close to having a Firetruck party! I made the invite and had party supplies saved in my Amazon account, when we changed the idea a month before. Elaina has always had a fascination with firetrucks and especially loved them this year. About a month before the party, we were browsing our local party store when Elaina kept grabbing all of the balls in the bins. Anyone who knows her, knows that she loves any type of ball. Her favorite toy for sure since she was little. So we got the idea for a ball party; complete with ball games. Elaina loved the idea! So off I went designing the card off of the previous firetruck invite I had designed. They were very simple to do and turned out great! I had a little run-down with Staples (printer changing the colors, cutting them slanted, etc) so I had a little frustration with the initial invitation party. But I was limited on time at that point. So we mailed them off!

I also planned for a few games/activities that I thought the kids would like. We settled on a Gumball necklace making station and a ball pit!

I purchased supplies for gumball necklaces and bracelets. Most of the supplies came from Etsy but I ended up finding a pink ribbon at our local Walmart. 

Elaina liked playing with them the night before and even helped me make a few of her own necklaces.

The day before we picked out her outfit. She already had an adorable white A-line flowy dress I had found at Old Navy a couple weeks before and we sat down and made a necklace for her dress. 

And we paused on the day of her party to snap a few pics of her!




She was such a goofball! I ended up bribing her with a little sweet tea for the last photo. :) The large "3" balloon is from Amazon. We had our local party store blow it up for us with the other balloons we purchased.

Right before the party, as tradition, we had our annual pic in a pic taken by my sister. 
I absolutely love this tradition! It's so cool to have displayed in our home and to see how we change through the years!

As for the decor, I tried to keep everything as simple as I could. I made the "Happy Birthday" banner earlier this year. I chose white and gold sparkle because I'll be able to use it every year that way.

We also kept the snacks to the theme but also simple and healthy to offset all of that SUGAR!!
We had Cuties, grapes, round carrots, cheeseballs, sausage balls.

The cupcakes were yellow cake/Strawberry icing made by Schnucks. I found gold toppers on Etsy and we were actually able to save them for next year!

Elaina's candle/smash cake was also made by Schnucks for FREE and I added the black polka dots cake decor that I had purchased from Etsy awhile back. I found the tall gold candles at Target I think. And the gold "3" candle at a local boutique. It was a sparkler candle!!!!


I made water bottle sleeves very easily with her invite in mind. And the black and white polka dot straws were purchased quite awhile back. I can't remember exactly where I got them but possible Target or Hobby Lobby.

We served Blue Raspberry Lemonade (delish!) and Sweet Tea (OF COURSE).

We had TONS of cupcakes!!!!!!


We kept the favors simple. I always like to give a little something to the guests who give time out of their day for us! So we gave gumballs! I found the gumballs on Amazon and I had these paper baggies from another project. I printed labels out and Viola! Done!


Taking a break for some snacks...

THE BALL PIT was a success! We had the idea for a ball pit when Elaina helped us pick the theme. We thought the easiest way would be to buy a large blow up swimming pool and then fill it. The pool was found on Amazon and I found the balls on eBay in packs of 20 from a distributor. When we realized our friends had thought of doing a ball pit for their son too, we teamed up to share the ball pit for both of our parties. 

And it started snowing as her party was ending! We LOVE snow so it was a perfect ending to the day!
All in all, it was a great day. Elaina and the other kids seemed to have a blast! 
Happy Third Birthday to our girl!
I wonder what next year will bring....