And now for the Mari in Wonderland with a Chance of Meatballs birthday recap

Monday, February 21, 2011


Yes, you read that correctly...that was the theme of the party this year. Here's the awesome invitation that I created on

I know it wasn't really evoking the theme, but I just wanted kids to come dressed up using their best imaginations and if it went along with the theme, then awesome! Lucky for us, we had quite a few participants! Tweedle-dee, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the Red Queen, and Spaghetti!

Sharing candy:

Alices collecting candy:


With her godmother from San Diego, the Cheshire Cat.

With her Nina, the spaghetti.

Spaghetti & Meatball

Look, it's a very pregnant me! I'm Absolem the blue butterfly that was once the snarky caterpillar. Why yes, that's a Mexican Coke in my hand. I kept losing it and I only had half of it. *sigh* BTW, do you like that awesome pink flamingo? I do!
Now for some details from the day. First off, here she is in her costume, which she wore for a whoppin' 20 minutes. Woot! (sarcasm font)



First off, a must at a Mari-birthday is a bounce house. This year, since she is quite girly, I opted for the princess bounce house. Aside from the pink castle facade on the outside, the inside was quite fun and even had a basketball hoop! All of the kiddos seemed to really enjoy it. The Sugarbean must've bounced for 5+ hours!
Remember the epic cake fail? Well, my mom salvaged the top with some excellent icing skills that I clearly have yet to inherit.


Because I wasn't sure if there was going to be enough cake with the cupcakes, I opted to buy another cake. Since I hadn't ordered one, I had no choice but to buy a full sheet. We still had 2/3rds remaining. Ooops!

Here is the room layout. We use our dining room to keep all of the food and decorations. The weather more than cooperated with us, so most of the party would be enjoyed outdoors, here, or in the living room where we were showing Tim Burton's Alice.

I made some specialty drinks with "drink me" on them. These are the juice boxes and water bottles.
We also had some adult beverages in the fun fridge.
Not shown are the Dublin Dr. Peppers, Mexican Cokes, and two flavors of Izze sodas.

Remember I mentioned cupcakes? Well, I made a cupcake tower and positioned them on top. The cupcake toppers said "Eat Me." They were assorted cupcakes from Society Bakery. I scored an awesome Groupon which made these cupcakes significantly less expensive than they would have been.

And what party is complete without favors? I didn't want the kiddos to be sent home empty handed, but I also didn't want to fill their homes with awesome trash either. Granted, these may very well have ended up in the trash, but I know they had a lot of fun with them at the party. They are ribbon wands (turquoise and white with a flower, and brown and green). It warmed my heart to see some of the little ones not being gender specific to the color of the ribbon wands. They just wanted something to shake! Also, in the plastic baggies are crayons that I had melted down from other crayons. They came out, um, interesting, but they work really well!

The pinata!
There's a story for this pinata. It traveled all the way to our home from Tijuana, Mexico. Mari's godmother and one of my besties commissioned a guy to make it per my request. Originally I told her 17 inches. I figured that would be a good travel size. Well, I guess the guy really likes what he does, because this thing was easily 2 feet tall by 2.5 feet in diameter. You may be asking yourself how in the world did she get it on the plane? She cut it in three parts and boxed up the top portion and filled it with some of her clothes to use the box as one of her check-in items. AMAZING!! We used a lot of tape to put it back together, but it was so awesome!

Then for the food, we had hot dogs, sliders ( die for sliders, WTG babe!), chips, infinite amount of cake (ha ha), cookies, chocolate peanut butter balls, candy
I didn't get any photos of the activities available for the kids, except the bounce house and pinata. But, we did have croquet available (which ended up turning into glow-in-the-dark midnight drinking croquet, long after the party) and print outs of white roses to be colored red...or any other color. This shot, is one of my favorite action shots of the pinata.
Here's one of Mari revving up for a hit. She actually busted the base right off.

My friend Hayley caught me shooting the pinata action. Yes, I had a bit of a difficult time getting back up to standing. ;)
After the pinata, we sang to her, and this year she didn't cry. She actually seemed to enjoy it! Guapo even jumped in on the singing action.

Personal upside down pineapple cake (which I was later complimented on my sloppy cake by the brave who ate it. despite the ugliness, it really was quite delicious!)
We were happily overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and friendship with everyone's presence. We are truly blessed by all of the special people in our lives. I'm especially grateful to family who traveled a great deal to get to us. Also, I'm grateful for my best friends Lindsey, Ada, and Michael. When I was younger, it was difficult to imagine I'd get to the point where we would be grown and we could celebrate these milestones of the next generation, but here we are all together. (with two more on the way inside both mine and Lindsey's bellies)


Happy 3rd Birthday Sugarbean! Mommy & Daddy (and so many friends and family too!) love you very much! I know you'll remember it because you are still talking about it. :D

Let me know if you want more information about the details of the party or my planning process in general. I'd be happy to write more information about those in a separate post.


chae said...

Wow! This party is every little kid's fantasy! So much thought went into every detail of it. You and Don did an amazing job!! Any thoughts on next year's theme?

MakeupMandiTX said...

It was such an awesome party! :D

The Art of Family said...

I love the theme! Invites were so cute. You did a wonderful job on everything - looked like so much fun to be had by all.

Happy 3rd Birthday Mari!

The Potts Family said...

Amazing party!! You did an excellent job! I love the small attention to detail, like "drink me" on the beverages. Fun Fun Fun!

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