Throwing A Simple Birthday Party

On Saturday we had a small gathering to celebrate an early 12th birthday for Kaitlyn, a few friends from church came over for lunch and games.  It wasn’t anything extravagant–a light lunch and yard games. She wanted something small and laid back.

Excuse me now while I go weep and wail in the corner that my baby is 12.

Birthdays only need to reflect the person being celebrated. They can be simple and incredibly meaningful. This birthday included:

People: a few friends from church and Grandma and Aunt Lani. 25 total including our family of four and two kiddos we were babysitting for the day. For us 25 is a small and laid back kind of get together.


Decorations: Cost: $3.00 A Happy Birthday banner I pulled from our Party Bin that I insist on using for every single one of the girls’ birthdays. It’s pink with flowers. I bought it at the Dollar Store and has lasted for years. Wild Daisies Kaitlyn picked that morning were also on the table placed in the yellow mason jar.  Colorful straws (Dollar Store) also brightened up the table and served a purpose. Candles for the “cake” were also Dollar Store buys. I broke the 2 in 12. And the other candles were sparkler type things but we had so much wind K didn’t get a chance to blow them out.

Tableware: Cost: $11.00 only because I ALWAYS overbuy. I don’t know how to NOT overbuy paper goods for get togethers, but we’ll use them anyway. Kaitlyn found some beautiful pink and turquoise plates with splatter colors on them at the Dollar Store, with matching napkins. We bought a matching tablecloth for the food table and I grabbed another one from the Party Bin for the picnic table.

Drinks: Cost: $15.00? I’m not sure. Pepsi cans (on sale at the grocery store), water bottles (BOG2) and Homemade Iced Tea We used mason jars for the iced tea.

Lunch: Cost: $40 Hamburgers, hot dogs (BOG2 at grocery store!) , homemade potato salad, chips (on sale), Fruit Filled Waffle Cones (using fruit we already had and waffle cones were on sale)


Cake:Cost: $21.00 Kaitlyn didn’t want cake. She wanted donuts. Boston Cream to be exact. Those gooey circles of goodness filled with bavarian cream (Not white filling. If anyone tries to tell you that Boston Cream Donuts have white sweet filling tell them they have no business eating one.)  and topped with the perfectly sweetened chocolate frosting. I’ve had a few in my day. #goRedSox I ordered them from our local Dunkin Donuts. She was super happy with them:) Would it have been cheaper to make a boxed cake? Absolutely, but how many times does a person turn 12?



Invitations: Free: I sent 5 messages on Facebook and two texts.  I’m tellin’ ya…it was low key. I even told everyone two different times 1-4 and 2-5. So…..then I texted everyone and told them when they get here they get here:). Oops.

Venue: Our backyard. Free, free, free. 

Activities: Cheesy summer camp/youth group games that no matter your age you still like. Cat and Mouse, Ships and Sailors, Statue, kickball. It was very Children’s Ministry/Youth Group. My youth pastor hat kicked in for about 45 minutes. Kaitlyn and Anna had a rehearsal at church right after our party was over-along with 99% of everyone else that was here. Two friends stayed over and they slept in the tent outside. All free. 

Favors: No cost. I don’t typically do favors for birthday parties.

Synopsis: Well…it’s better to have to much than not enough right?  I always overbuy for parties. Always. We had leftover everything but that became meals, drinks and snacks for later and we’ll finish them this week. The few napkins and plates we have left will be used for picnics, etc. this summer.  Kaitlyn had one last “kiddish” birthday party before becoming a teenager and she had fun, which is all that matters to this momma.

Read more about the afternoon on our Meal Plan review from last week. It was a busy busy day!


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