In Celebrations


It’s no secret to anyone who knows me – birthdays are a BIG deal. Especially when the person of honor is cute as can be and turns three!

It still pangs a bit to say my baby is three years old, but her celebration was an ocean of fun. Check it out.

The Decor


One of my favorite budget-friendly ways to decorate and carry out a party theme is by covering existing wall decor with gift wrap. It’s inexpensive and really makes an impressive pop. Here, I simply used a metallic blue paper (Hobby Lobby) and draped it with fish netting (Oriental Trading Co.) then adorned with starfish and shells. Easy, cute, cheap and it took less than half hour to wrap all the hanging art and pictures in our house. I’ve done this for all of Jax’s parties and I do it with festive wrap at Halloween and Christmas too.


These chalkboard signs have become a bit of tradition for Jax’s birthdays and I have made a commitment (to myself) to have them made for her until her fifth birthday. I think they are a special way to commemorate milestones and the magic of birthdays to a young child. They also make a nice focal point for your festivities. This sign was created by the lovely and talented Terra of TMG Chalkboard Designs. She is such a lovely person, friendly and easy to work with and she does beautiful custom chalk boards for all occasions.


It’s imperative to start collecting decor items early on in the planning. And scour yard sales and swip swap pages on Facebook for related items. I scored this shell picture frame for next to nothing and lots of other sea-inspired items on season-end clearance.

I tapped in to my crafty side and made these jelly fish from paper lanterns and strips of plastic table cloths. It was an easy, but somewhat time consuming, project that I spread over the course of a week. I adored the end result. They added just the right pop of color and vibrance and danced in draft of the AC.

Don’t be afraid to tap into all resources. I begged my sister to bring me real beach sand when she came to visit from San Diego. She laughed at my obscure request but delivered 5 pounds of soft sand that I used for centerpieces.

The Activities


Most parents will agree it’s pretty difficult to keep a pre-schooler engaged. So at a party for this age-group it’s important to have fun, stimulating activities that will hold their short attention spans. I nailed it with what I came up with – a bean bag toss, decorating (and filling) treasure chests, and making ocean wave sensory bottles.

bean bags 2

I had the bean bag toss game custom made by Blue Gardenias out of Tampa, FL. This was the first time I worked with them but definitely not the last. Nicole, the owner, is very talented and the game came out exactly as I envisioned. I sent her a picture of the artwork we were using for the invitation and she hand painted a near-exact replica. When it arrived I was speechless and the birthday girl immediately put it to use and has been playing with it ever since.

A friend of mine hand-sewed the little bean bags and embroidered them with Jax’s name and the number 3. So precious.

The kids got a stuffed mermaid or sea creature as a prize for participating and they lined up to play over and over.

treasure chest 2

I ordered these little treasure chests, gold coins and self-adhesive gems from Oriental Trading, set out a basket of markers and let the kids go to town.

treasure chest

It was precious seeing their little faces in serious concentration as they worked on their masterpieces.

ocean wave items2ocean wave items

The ocean wave sensory bottles were also a hit at the party. I got a little crazy with the bottle selection. Seriously, I perused my grocery store’s water aisle, sizing up numerous bottles until I found one with a shape I liked. The brand happened to be on sale so I stocked up and diligently made sure every bottle and cap was saved and washed.

I put the bottles out along with everything needed to make a miniature ocean in a bottle — a dispenser of pre-colored “sea water”, baby oil, beads shaped like various sea animals, tiny sand dollars, shells and starfish and a sign with instructions.

ocean waterJax’s crazy cute mermaid outfit is from Sincerely Ryleigh Couture. I can barely stand the awesomeness of it. It’s actually a swim suit. The top was actually supposed to have halter straps but I didn’t even notice they were missing until we had a wardrobe malfunction – haha. I reached out to Ashley from SRC and she was absolutely mortified, apologetic and is making good on the error. Fantastic customer service to say the least!

Thank you for tuning in to part 1 of Jax’s mermaid party. Come back tomorrow to see more details, including the ridiculously inexpensive but totally epic party favor that I fretted endlessly about and almost nixed but ended up earning me praise and tons of cool points from the pre-school set and their parents.



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