A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Category: Birthdays

30th Birthday Party

As we start edging toward a new decade in our life, many people find themselves feeling anxious over their past ten years.  Where does society say I should be at this point in my life?  I say to heck with all of that jibberish….just enjoy where you are.  Every year has highs and lows….let’s celebrate the “death” of one decade and happily move on to the next.  That’s exactly what we did when planning the 30th birthday party for our daughter, Karleigh.

Death to My 20s ~

Yes, this was the theme for celebrating our beautiful girl.   We are not saying death to the 20s because they were bad years…quite the contrary.  The past decade has been a great one for her.  However, now it is time to celebrate the new decade ahead.   She’s engaged to the man of her dreams, is living in her dream home, and is the happy mommy of an adorable corgi…Theodore Ruffsavelt or better known as “Teddy.”  I can only imagine what beautiful things the 30s have in store for her.

30th Birthday Party Decorations ~

Those of you who know us, know we love Halloween.  We were SO excited to get the Halloween decorations out in July!!!!  Side note:  I think my neighbors got a bit nervous when they saw me pulling the skeleton heads out in the yard to paint them…🤣)  I looked online first for gold skeleton heads and quickly realized that it would be easy and much less expensive to DIY them.

If you are a Halloween junkie like me, you will already have a bunch of skeleton heads hanging around.  If not, you can easily get some online or if in season, hit up your local Dollar Store.  Buy the cheapest ones you can find.  Even though I did not need to buy any, I took the liberty to check online for you.  PLEASE BE AWARE of size of the skulls you purchase.  They all look the same size in the pictures but vary A LOT when you look at the details.

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The ones pictured above seem to be about the best price I could find for the size.  These are 4.3″ tall, which is a great size.  You can obviously buy smaller ones as well to paint and place around various locations of your party area.  I had this tall stack of skulls that I haven’t used for years (I’m so glad my craft hoarding self held on to it 😉).  It will serve as a new Halloween decoration to use this year after the party…and I love it!

I used the spray paint below.  This is a bit more of an expensive paint than I would normally use for a project like this, but I am including it so you can see the color I used (Metallic Champagne Bronze).  I will say that now that the project is complete, I’m glad I used the nicer paint because I will be using these fun skulls in my Halloween decor for years to come.

We normally like to DIY most of our party decor, but we were in a time crunch so several were purchased.

Skelly the Skeleton ~

Skelly is very loved in our family.  He visits the kids the whole month of October bringing them various surprises.  Check out one of my earlier posts about Skelly here!  For the party, Skelly got to make an early visit this year, intact with a gold boa.  He made for a great backdrop for the pictures.

The Coozies ~

Lauren got to work on her Cricut and made these awesome can coolers.  Karleigh’s 30th is adorned on one side while a skelton head is on the other.  Of course, these are done in black and gold to match the color theme.  These turned out amazing and were a big hit!  A perfect party favor for the guests to take home at the end of the party.

If you are a crafter and don’t own a Cricut, you are missing out!  A true game changer!!!  They aren’t cheap…but I promise you in time they save money for all of the items you purchase that you could be making yourself.

The Shades ~

Another fun party favor offered were the shades.  Sunglasses are always a welcome take home gift.  Of course, for this soiree, we had shades in gold and black!  I created the cards in Canva, punched a hole in the corner and affixed them to each set with a black ribbon.

The Tablescape ~

A tiered tray was the centerpiece holding all of Karleigh’s favorite cookies, fudge and candies.  Addi even jumped in on the party prep by making various flavor candy skeleton heads and tombstones.  We then scattered the party favors, gold feathers, and random gold skulls atop black sheer material and black lighted garland.   I had purchased this garland for my home decor last fall and had a very hard time finding what I wanted.  The link is included below to save you the time I spent…whew!  I was obsessed!

Food & Drink ~

We were trying to decide between theme-oriented food or going with some of the birthday girl’s favorites.  The favorites won out so there was a nice spread of brisket, mashed potatoes, scalloped corn, meatballs, summer salad, watermelon and apps.  Mint juleps were the drink of choice.  Had we had more time, I definitely would have made something like this…Charcuterie board fun by outintherealworld.com.  I love all of the creative ways people are finding to serve charcuterie boards.

I have included many more links than I normally do.  If you are anything like me, you see some crafty ways to entertain that you love and then spend the next 24 hours trying to locate all the goods.  I have mentioned before that I do make a small commission if you purchase from these links so I do TRULY appreciate your support of my small business.  However, whether you purchase from them or not, I hope they serve helpful in locating items and then at least you know what they are called so you can do more searching on your own!  Sometimes just knowing what an item is called is the biggest battle!

In Closing ~

This was a super fun party theme that we enjoyed putting together as much as the guests enjoyed being a part of.  The painting of skeleton heads is super easy while the coozies definitely took more time…so plan wisely.  I believe that a party should be as much fun to plan as it is to attend.  A memorable party always consists of good food and drink, fun decorations, nice party favors and a good picture backdrop.


Love ~




Ninja Themed Birthday Party

Birthdays deserve to be a BIG celebration. Deciding on the theme is the starting point to planning the perfect party for your special kiddo!  Max always chooses a theme that makes DIY creating a lot of fun….this year was no exception.  He LOVES karate so a Ninja Themed Birthday Party won for birthday #5 for our little man.  Once the idea was settled upon, his mama’s  creative gears started turning.   After a few sleepless nights (because she CANNOT turn that brain off when she is planning) Neon Ninja came to life!

From the birthday cake…to the fun activities…to the party favors…to the food….every part of the ninja party was planned in detail!  Our family is rather large, so many of these details are planned with both the kiddos AND the adults attending in  mind.  I must take this time to say that Lauren’s parties always have a large turnout because they are always so much fun!

The Cake ~

Lauren orders all of her cakes and cookies from Becky’s Cakes n’ Caboodles.  She sends all of her crazy ideas and Becky ALWAYS rises to the occasion.

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Purr-fect Cat Birthday Party

Birthday party themes are a big deal in our family.  As each year rolls around, there always seems to be a new favorite animal, superhero or fantasy figure that creeps into our world.  It is only fitting that this new love, whatever it may be, becomes the theme for that year’s celebration.  This year, Addi chose to have a purr-fect cat birthday party!

Party Dress ~

Of course, it wouldn’t be a purr-fect birthday party without a purr-fect dress!  Am I right?  Lauren ordered this adorable set from Etsy.  It was the perfect party outfit from hairbow to skirt!   She was so excited to wear it for her party…check out everything Sweet Sophia Designs has to offer below:

Sweet Sophia Designs has such adorable birthday sets! Check them out with this link!

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PHOTOriffic Birthday Party Theme

Two year old Max declared he wanted a “Just Max” party for his third birthday.  As is usually the case when having a discussion with Max, you can’t help but find yourself chuckling at his responses.  Life is definitely a lot funnier with him in our world!  After a bit, Lauren (his mommy) asked, “Why not?”  And that, my friends, is how the PHOTOriffic birthday party theme came to life!

In true Lauren fashion, creative ideas started flowing right away.  This girl definitely knows how to take a birthday party to the next level.  Even more perfect is that she got to mix her love of photography with her love of party planning!  The end result was a fun photoriffic birthday party theme that can be used for any age…child or adult!

Planning ~

You will need to decide if you want to use just a few pictures or if you want to use a large amount of various faces.  As mentioned earlier, Lauren, (who we call Photo Lo) has an abundance of fun candids so the choice was easy for her.  There are so many fun “faces” of Max that she couldn’t use just one or two.  I, personally, am glad we used a lot of photos as it was fun to reminisce about the different ones throughout the evening.  In fact, there were many responses of, “Bring ET back!”….this stemming from a short period of time when Max wore an ET mask everywhere!

Organizing the photos in one folder on your computer is very helpful.  In this era, we tend to keep a lot of pictures on our phones and on social media apps.  The most time consuming part is going through those pictures. If you have ever searched for a particular picture on your phone that was taken months earlier, you know this many times take longer than you expect.  Once you find ones you think you will use,  copy them into the folder you have created.  This will prove to be very beneficial as you start creating your party props.

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Birthday Door



Birthdays are a big deal! It has always been important to me that our children felt extra special on their birthday.  I began decorating the kid’s bedroom doors early on so that their special day began with a smile.  Back then this mostly consisted of streamers and/or balloons.   (If only I had access to Pinterest in my early motherhood years!!!)   Now there are so many creative ideas to making a Birthday Door!

I waited until the kids would fall asleep.  Those who know me understand that this could be an issue at times….I decompress quickly as the evening rolls around.  I would then tape long streamers from the top of the door frame down to the floor.  I would usually use 2 or 3 different colors, depending on their favorite at the time.  I then would run the streamers across from one side of the wall to the other in the hallway.  These would be at different heights giving them no choice but to crawl through or over them to get out of their room and down for breakfast.  In spite of how tired I may have been, I am so glad that I continued this tradition with our children.  As they got older, it became more apparent at how much they loved this!

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