On Friday evening it was decided that we’d be hosting a birthday party for Cody’s uncle’s 60th birthday on Sunday. He’s a hoot of a person who does everything for other people and is so selfless. And we couldn’t let a milestone birthday go by without celebrating. No matter how thrown together it would be. We invited all of his neighbors because his street is really close, and then the other members of the family and extended family. To our surprise, everyone said yes! Cody had a fishing trip planned Saturday which gave me the space to run errands and throw stuff together. Luckily his two sons ordered fajitas from a local Mexican restaurant, so I just had to do decor, appetizers, drinks, and cake.
When I’m shopping for something in store, I always start at the cheapest option, then work my way up. So in this case I went to the dollar tree first where I was able to buy most things on my list, then to Big Lots, then Target.
I set up a mimosa station on the kitchen island. Because no matter where you want people to hang out, they’ll hang out in the kitchen, which is actually totally fine with me. There’s so many cute ice buckets out there, but I love this igloo ice bucket because it holds ice really well and is much larger than a typical ice bucket. I was able to put 3 bottles of champagne (I bought Totts brut), and 3 juices in there with still plenty of space for ice. Another great thing about it being so large is I don’t have to worry about filling it up throughout the party. I’m probably the only person who cares about aesthetics at a mimosa station, but I like having these under $5 glass carafes so all the juices have a consistent look and brands don’t matter. They also have a built on chalk label so you can write the names of the juice on there. I filled up with pineapple, mango, and orange juice. Next to the ice bucket I layered these plastic champagne glasses that are 6 for $1! So cheap! And next to the glasses I layered a bunch of water bottles with these fun water bottle labels. To finish the island (AKA mimosa bar) off, I sprinkled confetti all around. I love confetti because it makes a space look fun, but also people don’t set their stuff down on confetti. It kind of says this counter has a purpose, put your purse/ jacket/ whatever elsewhere without you having to say anything.
Traditional Birthday Decor:
I feel like the more cheesy or cliche it is, the better when it comes to birthday parties. I bought a pack of birthday hats and party blowers and one of those typical paper-mache centerpieces and decorated the bar with them. You’d be surprise how many people get nostalgic or just want a goofy photo and will put on the hat. Each item was from the dollar tree so to decorate the bar and get goofy photos cost a grand total of $3. I also found a cute felt “happy birthday” string banner that looks like it could be from anthropology but nope, dollar store. I guess it was cheap because you have to string it yourself, but it didn’t bother me! I can’t find it listed on the dollar tree website but it was in store.
Because I didn’t have to provide the meal, I just put out a few appetizers and sweet treats. My favorite go-to appetizer (because it’s so darn easy) is to grab a tray and drop a block of cream cheese in the middle. Pour some raspberry jalapeno jelly on top of the block (really dose it) and then wrap wheat thins all around it. It is such a good dip and it’s always gone by the end of the party. I also have one of those trays that has 3 tubs in it. I added red salsa, green salsa, and guac and put it next to a bowl of chips. For the sweet lovers (me), I found these adorable scalloped containers at the dollar tree and filled them each with a variety of sweets. I had birthday popcorn, candy fruit slices, and vanilla creme cookies in the three buckets. I also had these smaller containers that I filled with gumballs and kind of put them on different surfaces around the house as both a decoration and a sweet treat.
I mentioned the mimosa station already but we offered a few coolers of drinks outside too. We had a cooler with water, lemonade, and sprite. Then a cooler of beer, and a cooler of white claws. Cody’s parents ended up bringing a second cooler full of Trulys so we had plenty of drinks to go around. I ran out of time but I always like to label the tops of coolers so people don’t have to dig around to find something they like, and also don’t feel awkward like “is this personal or is this fair game” it’s clearly labeled. For the serving ware, I put our coffee maker and stuff in the cabinets and converted our little coffee bar to a drink station. I added cups, a bucket with ice and scoop, napkins, stirrers, straws, and then the liquor bottles and mixers.
My favorite purchase of Saturday was this cake pan! It comes with different sized spacers so you can make any number or letter. It’s so much better than buying a cake pan shaped like a 6 and a cake pan shaped like a 0 that I won’t ever use again. I made the 6 first and made it chocolate. I waited until it cooled completely then made a vanilla 0 (it was secretly gluten free but no one noticed.) I wanted to get a cake board but omg they are so expensive. Who would have known. And to get one large enough to hold two cakes side-by-side would have cost about $30. I decided to take a large piece of cardboard and wrap it in foil then put the cakes on that. It worked perfectly and I don’t think anyone noticed. I next iced the cakes with a tub of cream cheese frosting and covered it in rainbow jimmy sprinkles. I then took a premade tube of piping icing and lined the edges. I’m so excited with the way it turned out. I pretty much took up my entire breakfast nook table but I sprinkled confetti around the edges of the cardboard as well.
Since you know I’m all about budgeting, I placed my cost for everything below:
Total Price for Party: $100 (plus beer and seltzers)
Mimosa Bar: $29
- $20 champagne
- $6 juice
- $3 champagne glasses
- $1 party hats
- $1 centerpiece
- $1 banner
- $15 raspberry jalapeno dip (the jam is $12 but you’ll be able to use it like 10 times)
- $10 chips and dips
- $7 sweet treat filled scallop buckets
- $20 cake pan
- $15 baking goods
Drinks: as most parties go, the drinks are the more expensive part. I would say we spent around $75 here but I did not tally it up and we have a ton of leftovers so I wouldn’t be giving you a fair number.
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