Roy G. Biv.

Lunchtime poll: Has everyone heard of Roy G Biv?

Hint: He was NOT a member of Bel Biv Devoe.

My mind was blown last week while decorating for the SIMPLEST, can-be-pulled-off-at-the-last-minute-if-necessary, EASIEST, most inexpensive birthday party theme evah. My darling husband, who has been alive on this earth for a full eight years longer than I, and who has successfully made his way through the American public school system, has never heard of Roy G Biv.

Me: Hey babe, can you arrange these vegetables in a rainbow?
Husband: *starts with purple, then picks up yellow*
Me: No, do a real rainbow. With Roy G. Biv.
Husband: Who?
Me: …
Husband:  …
Me: *gets scared because everything I know is a lie*

Red-Orange-Yellow-Green-Blue-Indigo-Violet. Roy spreads rainbows wherever he goes.

Babystar loves coloring. Actually, she loves all of it: drawing, painting, cutting, glueing, stickers, decoupage, cubism, whatever. Babystar is here for all of the art.

Also, making friends in Colorado is proving more difficult that anticipated. Everyone is suuuuper nice. I chat up all the parents at the playgrounds, and everyone is friendly enough. But not like, hey we should get the kids together again friendly. I am TRYING, I swear. I will happily accept any tips and pointers you have, and if you live near Boulder, do you want to meet at the library tomorrow? 🙂

(Babystar HAS made one really awesome friend in Colorado but she is not pictured for reasons of I didn’t want to ask her mom hey can I post pictures of your kid all over the internet because I would like to continue this budding friendship.)

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We decided to have a Coloring Party for Babystar’s third birthday. It was the perfect small birthday party for guests of all ages. Babystar chose plates and plates and napkins and hats and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner from Target ($21.23) and she was SO PROUD to have picked them out herself. I definitely gave her the ‘rainbow’ idea but she could have chosen literally anything and it would have worked with the coloring theme.

party hats

We decorated with crayons and markers and colored pencils. I did buy new crayons ($2.48 x3) and markers ($14.99) and colored pencils ($14.99) and pads of paper ($2.19 x4) for the occasion but we needed to restock the art cabinet anyway. Also, boxes of crayons make GREAT party favors. You could buy all new art supplies, use what you have, or some combo in between to make this party as outrageous or as chill as you like. The secret is in the sorting. Group the crayons/pencils/paints/whatever in color families and boom — instant decor.


I also bought three bright bouquets of flowers from the grocery store ($11.97) for the party room. I trimmed the stems and handed each bloom to Babystar to decide how they should be arranged. She actually divided them by color even before she saw the crayons and pencils divided that way. Three year olds are really smart. (I recommend Trader Joe’s or Sprouts for cheap bouquets, if you have either of those chains nearby.)


I ordered the cake from a local baker mama and it turned out AMAZING. She made cupcakes too per Babystar’s request. There was no cost for the cake because we bartered,  but you can go as expensive or inexpensive here as you like. The joy is that it is so EASY. Go colorful or go home, ya know. Make some cupcakes and play with frosting and food coloring a little bit and you are all set. I skipped the ice cream because I usually forget to serve it anyway and so many people are dairy-free these days and ice cream is really messy and kind of expensive and no one really cares and I suggest you do the same.

Snacks can double as decoration! I bought fruits and veggies and arranged them on white platters in the aforementioned ROYGBIV formation. I also had a couple of dips and a bowl of animal crackers on the snack buffet. I spent $46.72 at the grocery store for all of the food, and of course there were plenty of leftovers for snacks throughout the week.

And finally, we turned this regular coloring party into a super awesome birthday party celebrating Babystar with the help of an app* ($4.99). Yay for 2018! Yay for Technology!! We turned pictures of Babystar into coloring pages and asked everyone in attendance to color and sign at least one. I mean, Grandpa might not want to draw pictures for fun, but there is no way ANYONE will say no to coloring a picture of the guest of honor. I put the pictures in an envelope with her birthday cards from this year for a super awesome keepsake. Mom of the year over here, y’all.


Oh, I almost forgot about the presents. My usual rule is that the PARTY is the present, but I wasn’t at all sure she would have any guests at her party. Luckily, she did. But I bought the gifts before I knew that would be the case. We now have a ‘birthday Poppy‘ (which is currently on sale but I paid $19.99) and a ‘birthday Branch‘ (currently on sale but I paid $14.99) and a Troll Tree ($29.99). The colorful wrapping paper was $2.99.



*There are plenty of free apps that turn pictures into coloring pages but we found the best luck with one that cost $4.99. Your mileage may vary. Try the free ones first, for sure.


Babystar is one year old today. I have all the feelings.

Gone is the cooing sack of sweet potatoes that is content to stare at mama all day.

Gone is the tiny nuzzling squish that would happily sleep on mama for hours.

Gone is the fragile flailing little Tiny so easily fascinated by spinning mobiles and shiny mirrors.

But that’s ok. I am already madly in love with this opinionated little monster that likes to practice her standing when she wakes up in the middle of the night and likes to practice her tumbling while nursing and throws food on the floor even when she is still hungry and looks directly at me while climbing over to the fireplace bricks because she knows she should not do it but needs to check just one more time to make sure the rules haven’t changed in the last thirty seconds.

She can clap hands and STAND UP and give kisses and laugh maniacally while crawling at top speed around the corners of the house to hide but then stop to let me catch almost up to her before taking off again.

Yesterday was the big O-N-E birthday bash, project managed by the Teenager AKA Babystar’s best friend.

The party was perfect. Babystar loved it (likely due to a perfectly timed epic nap right before the party thank goodness). She did look a little concerned a few times, perhaps wondering why there were so many people in her house and where were all of her toys and why is the couch different but her godmother kept handing her watermelon and she had some other small people to play with so she was overall pretty chill. She didn’t even cry when everyone sung happy birthday. (You know, we didn’t do candles. Maybe all the babies are crying because they think their cake is on fire. I would cry if my cake was on fire. I am getting misty over here just thinking about burnt wasted cake.)

We decorated with gold stars and a ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ theme, and used gold, navy, and light pink as our main colors. The Teenager made the cutest cake ever. And then she made cake pops as party favors. (Show off.) The rest of us worker bees hand painted signs and hung tissue paper balls and strung so many stars. It turned out great but of course we were party prepping (and tag team baby wrangling) riiiiiiight up until the first guests arrived so I do not have many pictures of the pretties.

Hey Pinterest People, when do you take the pictures? I love all you do and learned a trick or two for Babystar’s party so thanks for that, but DUDE when do you photograph everything?

IMG_4936 (1)




We made birthday crowns in lieu of party hats, using star foam stickers to decorate the adjustable foam crowns.

The real fun was out on the patio with water guns, pinwheels, and sidewalk chalk.


The birthday girl’s party outfit was from this etsy shop. She refused the adorable headband. It was so so so so cute on her little bald head but NOPE.


And now it’s time for the breakdown.

PaperieOffPark – customized invitation printable, $14.00

Oriental Trading  – plates, hanging stars, crowns, pinwheels, garland, star glasses, $62.08

Just Artifacts  – mason jar lids, paper straws, wooden forks (a pinterest fail that I will share with you another time), way too much in shipping costs, $39.21

JoAnn Fabrics – cake pop sticks, candy melts, lollipop sticks, glitter paper (to make stars for cake topper), cardboard cake pop decorating stand, $20.16

Micheal’s – Happy Birthday balloons, star stickers, more star stickers, kraft paper, star garland, acrylic paint, paper flags for drinks, pails, bubbles, chalk, envelopes, card stock, giant plastic bin (we used outside for drinks on ice), $40.19, $41.82 (two trips)

Ikea – pitchers, napkins, $18.23

Target – pails, water guns, mason jars, $36.42

SunshineChloeCrafts on etsy – outfit, $24.99

Costco – hamburgers (we made way too many burgers), hot dogs, buns, potato salad, potato chips, fruit bowl (for skewers), veggie tray, bottled water, $96.73

Trader Joe’s – prosecco (to booze up the lemonade for the grown-ups), $45.09

Harris Teeter – cheese, potato chips, beer, watermelon (we cut star shapes to add to the fruit skewers), cucumber (we cut more star shapes to add to veggie platter), soda, cake mix, frosting, lemons, lemonade, raspberries, $83.26

We did not buy her an actual birthday present. She did get gifts from others (which was very nice even though we specifically said ‘no gifts’). I know. Buying things for babies is almost completely irresistible.  I’m working on that, though.

OMFG: $522.18


How much did you spend on your baby’s first birthday? It’s so easy to go overboard on everything! (Especially since I bought the supplies a bit at a time and kept receipts in a drawer and didn’t even tally until just right now.) Got any tips for next year?


(I sort of knew this post would add a digit to that total but damn. Yikes.)