The previous owners of our home built a treehouse in the back yard. Structurally, I wasn't worried, but one of the steps leading up to it is missing. Even though it is a big step, Littlecjc could still climb up and I was pretty sure she would be the littlest kid at the party. I knew I didn't want the kids climbing up, and my mother suggested that instead of trying to draw the kids' attention away from the structure, maybe we should draw their attention to the underside of it. We turned the treehouse into Charlie's Grotto. (Oops, I guess the secrets out on my Littlecjc's name!) Oh well, here's how we accomplished keeping all the kids off the treehouse.
We wrapped a plastic tablecloth around the top of the treehouse, and covered the stairs with fish and beaded necklaces.
We hung a hammock underneath and filled it with blue colored balloons so that you got the feeling of being under the sea. We added the streamers and the fish shower curtain, and even put a few fish on the tree.
We made the sign to hang with Sebastian and Flounder to help hide that treehouse railings were really just covered with plastic.
We couldn't find a true candelabra to place our dinglhopper, knife, and spoon in, but we did find an iron chandelier that we hung from the ceiling to that affect. An added other knick-knacks that seemed like items Ariel might have collected.
The kids loved this little play area and spent a majority of the party here. Until we pulled the ballons out and let them play with those.
We also got a bubble machine that was running off and on during the party that the kids got to play with as well as a ton of bubble wands so that each kid got plenty of bubbles.
My mom also had the perfect little table for gifts to sit on, thanks to an old college art project of one of my cousins. She also had the cutest little truck that we sat in the middle of the fish, gift table with little goody bags for the other kids to take home.
I also have to point out the adorable Flounder gift wrapping job on my mom's gift. Is that not the cutest thing?
Now as always, what's a party without themed food? I guess I should start with our beverage set-up.
We had sea water, which if I remember correctly was water with some squirts from one of those water flavor enhancer add-ins to give it the color. The other container was Ursula ink, or what is more commonly referred to as tea. The different coolers around this table contained ice, juice pouches, water, and some adult beverages.
Now, onto the food...
My crockpots had shells and cheese and sea urchins (aka meatballs.) The cheese dish was king shells, which was an amazing veggie and cheese stuffed jumbo shell. The empty dish was eventually filled with sea snails, or mini hot dogs wrapped in a crescent roll. The Sebastian sandwiches were just chicken salad with eyes attached. I was grateful for help, so I didn't say anything, but yes I know the eyes should really be facing the other way if I was going for a crab shape.
The other side of the table contained some fruit, seaweed dip (spinach dip) and fish and chips made with goldfish.
Here's a closer look at our shark watermelon and banana dolphins.
And here's our octopus vegetable platter.
Oh look, you can kind of see my sea snails now.
When preparing food for a party in my family, you can't just stop here, you also need a dessert table. That's right, not just a cake but an entire table of goodies.
I made several little chocolates shaped like different shells, that I used both as a border around the cake and toppers on my chocolate covered oreos. I had some extra so I also just left a bowl with those sells in it. Here's my oreos.
I made some dinglehopper cake pops using these cute miniature forks that I found at the dollar store.
The cake was far from perfect, but I was proud of it since the only other decorative cake I've ever made was for Littlecjc's first birthday party. (Feel free to check that out too, if you missed it. It was Frozen themed.) Anyway, here's my Ariel inspired cake.
My mom also made these amazing Flounder cookies!
I can't believe my little mermaid is three already? Where does the time go? Of course, since I've taken so long to write this post, she already halfway through this third year. Jeez, that's crazy.
Oh, I also had a special birthday shirt made for her. Since you can't really see in this picture, it's Ariel (or I guess it could be any mermaid) sitting on a shell with the number 3 on the inside. Super cute!
I guess it won't be long before I'll need to start planning for next year. Feel free to leave me some ideas!