Putting on a birthday party for a dozen toddlers when you are almost 9 months pregnant is no easy task. Luckily my daughter knew exactly what theme she wanted for her birthday party months ago so I could start preparing in plenty of time. We are big Disney fans in our family so when she said she wanted to incorporate “Finding Nemo” and “The Little Mermaid” this year, I knew combining them into an Under the Sea birthday party was the way to go!
Birthdays were huge for my family and me growing up and I strongly desire to pass down that same tradition to my children. We end up celebrating over more than one day, often an entire week. Plus this year, I knew this was going to be my daughter’s last birthday before another sibling came along, so I went a little above and beyond to make it extra special.
We started our Under the Sea birthday month by going to see her first theater movie, Finding Dory. We were lucky that it was still playing at a local discount theater near our home. We bought popcorn and she ended up loving the experience and watching the entire movie. We did, however, choose seats with no one next to us or in front of us so she had the freedom to stand up, walk around, and ask questions throughout the movie without disturbing anyone else.
On her actual birthday, we continued our Under the Sea birthday adventure and took her to the Legoland Aquarium and explored all of the sea life we could, including the tank that included “Nemo” and “Dory” in it.
The weekend after her birthday, we had her Under the Sea birthday party with some of her local friends. One of the first jobs I was ever offered was to be party planner and at one point I thought that was what I wanted to do with my career. I love to plan parties and try to incorporate every detail I possibly can to go along with the theme. I spent a lot a lot of time on Etsy and Pinterest comparing possibilities and picking my favorites. Here are some of the shops I collaborated with for some of the décor, food, and invitations:
Invitations: Little Birdie Prints https://www.etsy.com/listing/387072238/under-the-sea-invitation-girl-pink-under?ga_search_query=under+the+sea&ref=shop_items_search_8
Water Bottle Labels: Party Innovations 09 https://www.etsy.com/listing/128855421/printable-under-the-sea-birthday-water?ga_search_query=under+the+sea&ref=shop_items_search_12
Bubble Party Favors: Mad Hatter Party Box https://www.etsy.com/listing/287392111/under-the-sea-favor-under-the-sea-bubble?ga_search_query=under+the+sea+bubble+favors&ref=shop_items_search_1
Cake/Cupcakes: Sweet Little Baker http://www.sweetlittlebaker.com She not only makes amazing cakes, she also makes cupcakes, macaroons, cake pops, cookies, and more!
I made the rest of the décor myself using party items from Party City, including the seaweed and the jellyfish. I also made the Candy Sushi, the Sand Dollar cookies, the Crab sandwiches, and the Starfish sandwiches myself (with my husband’s help of course). We also had a collection of candy gummy sharks, gummy worms (bait), and goldfish. We also had an area outside where the children could make a “Nemo” aquarium sensory bottle!
Once all of the food and décor was planned, it came time to pick her mermaid attire. I specifically hand picked certain shops to collaborate with on these items since they were very important to my daughter. First, I picked out her mermaid tail. There are a lot of fantastic shops that make high quality mermaid tails but they were not in my budget. Luckily I am an avid Amazon shopper and was able to find a blue mermaid tail for less then $20 in her size. Technically the mermaid tail was open at the bottom and was walkable, but knew it wouldn’t last long, so I also bought some mermaid leggings for $16 on Etsy from Aribella Collections https://www.etsy.com/listing/455290408/baby-toddler-girls-little-mermaid?ref=shop_home_active_13
Then I picked out her top. Since she is only 3, I didn’t want her to wear a bikini top or shells or something of that sort, I wanted her to be covered up but in something festive and that matched the mermaid tail she desperately wanted to wear at her party. Since she was going to wear a blue tail/leggings and we were having a lot of clownfish orange in the décor, so naturally I wanted a blue and orange combination. I found the lovely and talented Jenine Addison from Addison’s Custom Design. This superlady is the mom to a 3-year-old boy and an 8-month-old boy, runs her own shop, and goes to nursing school. The direct link to her shop is here https://www.etsy.com/shop/addisonscustomdesign?ref=l2-shopheader-name And here is the direct link to the custom shirt order she created for me https://www.etsy.com/listing/471860064/mermaid-birthday-outfit-mermaid-birthday?ref=hp_rf I love her shop because she is quick to respond, pleasant to communicate with, and can customize almost anything you desire. She makes quality clothing and will make any celebration memorable whether it’s a birthday party, a holiday, or another milestone as she has over 55 items in her shop you can customize! And she is generously offering a 10% discount for you! Use PARENT10 at checkout to take advantage of this amazing deal!
Lastly a mermaid needs mermaid shoes! I was scrolling through Instagram late one night and literally hit the jackpot while coming across a shop called Bina’s Blooms. The shop owner, Sabrina Sohl Garcia, is incredible and like the owner who made her birthday shirt, this talented woman is also a nursing student, a successful shop owner and a mom! She began sewing at 14-years-old, which was passed down from her mom and Oma. I also love the fact that she is also from Southern California. I love this shop because she has so much to offer and such a pleasure to work with. The styles of her booties are gorgeous and perfect for girls and boys! Besides the mermaid booties that I instantaneously fell in love with, she also makes Pow Wow booties that are comic book by nature and a super fun design. All of her booties are lined with soft fleece and are very cozy for little feet! To buy her electric blue mermaid booties click here http://www.binasblooms.com/product/mermaid-booties and to shop for any other items click here http://www.binasblooms.com/products To find her on Instagram for sales and new products, follow her here https://www.instagram.com/binasblooms/ And she is offering all of you a 20% discount code by using PARENTOLOGIST20 at checkout!!
The conclusion of her Under the Sea birthday month included a trip to Disneyland. A mom as pregnant as myself had no business going to Disneyland, but I remind you that we have annual passes and only went for a few hours each day and went very slow and took a lot of rests. The key is going on rides with quick lines and watching a lot of shows that you can sit for long periods of time, which is easy to do with a toddler! The most important reason we went was to take her to have lunch with various princess characters at Ariel’s Grotto in the Disney’s California Adventure Park. She was able to wear her mermaid birthday attire once again and meet The Little Mermaid herself. It was a very special experience and a very special birthday. If you ever go, make a reservation in advance and request to sit outside so you have a beautiful view of the park. Not only will your little one meet Ariel one-on-one, he or she will also meet four other princesses that visit your table and take photos and sign autographs. Plus, she was able to have a complimentary birthday cupcake and was sang “Happy Birthday” by the server!
Not every birthday will be this extravagant but as a mom, seeing the smile on her face all month long was all I needed to know she felt special, loved, and happy. And that was what mattered to me the most.