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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

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You all know I’m cheap careful with our money, so it should come as no surprise that when I was considering what type of party I should have for my son (Bob the Builder? Veggie Tales?), I decided to go with an All-American Boy party because I could get all the July 4th stuff cheap the day after the holiday (Charlie-man’s birthday is the 9th). Even though it was really affordable (yay!), I was really excited about all the cute stuff I got or made for the party. Monica helped me out with a few of the projects and then was there to help set up, so I want to send a big thank you out to her! 🙂

I made Charlie’s invitations on Picmonkey (stay tuned for a tutorial on how to make your own!), and since I didn’t have time to mail them because I am a last-minute kind of girl, I just sent them as an attachment to an email. I know that probably breaks all kind of birthday party invitation rules, but I figured my friends and family would love me anyway. I had planned on having the party at a local park so that the kids could play on a big playground, but the weather was supposed to hit 101 degrees, and we Bucks Countians can’t handle that kind of heat. Thankfully, a good friends of ours let us move the party to their house so we could be near a pool. Crisis averted! (Or so I thought…)

I hit the jackpot with the Target dollar bins (is there ANYTHING you can’t do with supplies from the dollar bin? Seriously, they totally should be paying me!), and cleaned out their fourth of July goodies like big stars, cute pails with handles, adorable sunglasses and a couple of other things I can’t think of now.

Changing the location messed with all of the plans I had for decorating, but we managed to tweak some things and come up with this backdrop for our food table (this is pre-food. Darn that I didn’t get a picture of it all set up lookin’ fine!)
I love this pennant banner that we made, and can’t wait to fill you in on how we made it, and what I’m doing with it now that the party is over!
I also made and printed out a few food labels (as if anyone needs help identifying Chick-Fil-A nuggets, right?!). I did these last minute-of course!- and so decided to poke a hole and stick a toothpick through to help the sign stand. Worked like a charm! Monica may have said that this was ingenious. 😉
I think this table runner was my favorite feature of the whole party! It was super easy, but deserves a post all of it’s own. 🙂
My mom gave Charlie this chair for Christmas, and I thought it would be the perfect spot for him to open his presents. We added a little banner (from Target) to the bushes behind his chair and two little pinwheels to either side. A red blanket completed our present-opening spot!
Each kid got to choose a pair of sunglasses to take home, and to help them “stay cool”.
This is when the drama started. A major storm with lightening, thunder, and high winds blew in fast and knocked down all of the decorations and ended our party rather quickly! I’m thankful for such helpful family and friends who didn’t care at all, and helped clean up the place in a hurry!
We took a few minutes to eat our brownie-fruit kebabs (recipe from here)..
…..and eat our cupcakes, and then wrapped things up.
So, it was not exactly as I had envisioned but it sure was memorable. I love this sweet, funny, little boy more than words can express. Happy birthday, Charlie-man!
Have you ever had any major weather drama during a party?
Did it make you wonder why you even bother, too? 😉





The comments +

  1. Christina says:

    awww he looks like he had a blast anyway 🙂 Lucky finds at Target!! I looove the set-up for the gift opening…it looks gorgeous! 🙂

  2. I love it! The whole thing, but I also love that you’re last minute and cheap! A girl after my own heart! I managed to grab a few of those things from Target last week too and was so tickled! Last Fall my sister had an outdoor carnival party for 3 of her kids’ birthdays combined. We had wooden booths set up and all these signs she had spent months making. An hour before the party, the backyard turned into a major wind tunnel and things were just destroyed. We frantically cleared every piece of furniture into the living room and moved the party indoors, but I felt SO bad for her. Things were just ruined and it wasn’t the same. : (

    Glad you got the majority of your party in!

  3. Love this party. My daughter’s birthday is July 5 and my mom always tries to convince me to do a July 4th themed party because the decorations are cheaper after the holiday. I always decline but maybe next year I’ll give it a try.

  4. Brilliant! about the sale 4th stuff. But ‘oh snap’ about the weather … we watched a wedding get rained out down here a couple of months ago. It was a beautiful day all day and then about 2 minutes after the bride walked onto the beach the storm rolled in so quick and all heck broke loose. Looks like you guys recovered well. 🙂

  5. Lori says:

    Not weather, but my tissue paper wide brimmed hat caught on fire.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A few years ago, I planned an Indiana Jones themed party for my son. The setting was a picnic pavillion in a local park- they had a wooded trail with obstacles and an awesome rope swing. We had planned lots of games and snake pits, and the kids even got to eat “monkey brains” (jello) from monkey heads (coconut cups). Anyway, the night before the party we had a big storm. Imagine my suprise when, driving back the park road to the pavillion, we encounter a HUGE tree blocking the path. With an hour until the party started, there was nothing we could do, but it DID fit well with our theme:) The kids and parents just had to walk a bit farther than planned to get to our location.

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