Posts Tagged ‘Party’

Penelope’s Birthday Party Part I


Phew! It’s over!

I really wanted to make a big deal out of Penelope’s birthday this year. I’ve never planned a party for a little one before, so it was definitely new territory for me. I had a lot of fun being creative, but it was SO MUCH WORK. I see why most parents only do parties every other year, or so for kids. I’m still exhausted. GEEZ.

Penelope’s invitation took hours and hours to put together. Mostly it took so long because I was a loser and didn’t read the Silhouette manual on how to cut vinyl. Yeah. I figured it out after 8 hours of trying. Not kidding. Turns out Silhouette’s FAQ’s are really helpful. Go read the manual, then go read all of the FAQ’s. You’ll thank me later.

I also wasted hours and hours on brain-dead printers. At first, I wanted to avoid printing at FedEx Office because they’re expensive and slightly annoying. I thought printing at the local UPS store would be smart. Worst idea, ever! First, it took the ladies 3 days (THREE DAYS!) to print 10 color copies on card stock. Seriously? Second, the colors were not even close to what I had designed. Third, the employees were annoying and told me that colors always come out different than the computer screen. Yeah, always is right if you have a crappy printer and don’t know how to use it.

By the time I gave up on printing at the UPS store, I was in a bind and needed the files printed ASAP. I headed over to the FedEx Office down the street thinking they’d get the job done fast. NOPE. After an annoying conversation with the employee there, I left. UGH. I sat in the car with my iPhone (hallelujah for the 3GS) calling around different print companies to see what they could do on such short notice. I remember DownEast had done some printing with Documart just downtown so I called them. I explained the type of print job I needed and asked how long it would take him to do it. His response, “Seriously?! They’d be done in less than five minutes.” NICE.

The guy at Documart was on the ball, and he didn’t charge a million dollars per copy, either. Hooray! Seriously. Three cheers for competent and kind printers!!

The Envelopes:

  • I used American Crafts Moda Bella craft paper
  • I designed a CD case template in Illustrator and cut it out with my handy dandy Silhouette
  • I hand addressed each envelope
  • I designed the circular PEN sticker to secure the envelope closed and cut it with the Silhouette

The CD:

  • I burned 4 of Penelope’s favorite dance songs to CD for attendees. They aren’t children’s songs, but they had clean lyrics (CD included: Calvin Harris, Discovery, Yeasayer and Hey Champ)
  • I designed the LISTEN sticker and cut it out with the Silhouette

The Invitation:

I was really excited how the invitations turned out, despite all of the setbacks. After I mailed them, it was like a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders! This invitation would’ve been much more labor intensive if I didn’t have the Silhouette to do half of the work for me. I love it! Stay tuned for Part II, the party!

Click here to read part II: The Party

Click here to read part III: The Thank Yous

A last-minute celebration isn’t the worst thing in the world.


Life for the Esplin clan has been a little hectic, as I’ve mentioned in every blog post the last couple of weeks. Since we’ve been so transient, it was a little hard to plan the birthday celebration for Penelope that I had in mind. While I’ve had to come to terms with reality, we didn’t seem to have any shortage of laughter, cake, ice cream and family.

cake & Penelope

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have enough time to send out proper invitations, so I settled for pingg invitations and good ole fashioned phone calls. Pingg is fabulous, except when you don’t have everyone’s email addresses. Sadly a couple of family members fell though the cracks and weren’t informed of our partying.

lemon cupcake

cake face

My theme, if any of this had any sort of theme, was yellow. I love yellow, and Penelope brightens so many people’s lives that it just fit. I wasn’t able to get yellow cupcake cups or yellow napkins or yellow flowers (again, seriously only 24 hours to prep for this thing), but I did find my mom’s awesome wedding plates that had a ribbon of yellow, my yellow table cloth and some yellow wallpaper for Penelope’s happy birthday sign. Find the tutorial on how to make your own banner, here.

birthday banner

I now realize how much effort my parents went to when it came to celebrating my birthdays. They always made such a big deal out of us kids. Stay tuned for a special birthday tutorial & download!

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